Friday, November 20, 2015

Shoot! Kansas guards couldn’t


The three guards who started for Kansas University in Tuesday’s 79-73 loss to Michigan State, hit a combined 9-of-36 shots.

Devonté Graham (1-of-9), Wayne Selden, Jr. (3-of-12) and Frank Mason III (5-of-15) realize that 25 percent mark is not acceptable, especially against tough competition as presented by the No. 13-ranked Spartans.

“Me, Wayne and Frank ... we had a talk just among each other about us playing better,” Graham, KU’s 6-foot-2 sophomore combo guard from Raleigh, North Carolina, said Thursday.

“I feel we all played not as well as wee hoped to. We didn’t shoot the ball well (and) late we didn’t get stops. We’ve got to be better. We’ve got to learn from it and practice in the gym to get better,” Graham added.


Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) tries to put up a shot with seconds remaining over Michigan State forward Matt Costello and guard Denzel Valentine (45) during the second half, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015 at United Center in Chicago.

Graham has converted 4-of-20 shots and is 2-of-10 from three through two games.

“It’s obviously bad,” Graham said of the 20 percent shooting clip. “Coach (Bill Self) talked to me about it. He told me he can live with not making shots. I’ve just got to stay aggressive. Nobody has told me not to shoot the ball because they all have confidence in me, the guys, the coaches. I’ve been in the gym shooting even more now. I’ve just got to take ‘em with confidence and believe I’m going to make it.”

Graham had four assists, one turnover against MSU and for the year has 12 assists against two TOs.

“I think I was being aggressive but it (shot) wasn’t falling, missing layups and stuff like that,” Graham said of the MSU game. “I definitely have to work on finishing, maybe pulling up (for a) midrange jump shot and not going so far to the basket down there with the bigs. I think going forward it’ll get better and start falling for me.”

Of Graham, Self said: “Devonté tries hard. He just hasn’t made any shots yet. We talked about that (Wednesday). I know he can shoot, can make shots. He was 1-for-9. He’s trying to do exactly what we want him to do for the most part. He’s a great kid, conscientious, tries to carry out assignments, is unselfish. When the lid comes off for him, it’ll certainly look a lot better.

I’m pleased with him. I don’t think you should judge guys ‘if they make shots they play well well, if they don’t make shots they don’t play well.’I’ve been one of those guys who thought it is a good or bad shot when it leaves the hand, not whether it goes in.”

Of KU’s guard play versus MSU, junior combo guard Selden noted: “It wasn’t good. Me, our starting guards, we didn’t play well collectively. I feel you get two of three or one of three to pick up the slack ... that didn’t happen.

“I’ve got to be more aggressive. I’ve got to get in the paint. I’ve got to rebound. I’ve got to be more a defensive presence. I’ve got to be louder. I’ve got to talk more. I can do better and will do better,” Selden added.

That includes finding the bigs for easy baskets. KU’s big men missed a batch of inside shots on Tuesday.

“Guys have actually been better in practice than they were in the game,” Self said. “That’s something I think we can become ... if not become great at because we do not have a Joel (Embiid), Markieff (Morris) or Cole (Aldrich) we can throw it to, we don’t and we’re not going to have that this year. We can certainly have guys that can finish close in. If guys struggle finishing from three or four feet with defense on ‘em, the whole thing is trying to make it an easier shot. We actually did that fairly well, we just came away with very little. We’ll get better at that.”

This, that: Lagerald Vick (scratched eye), who couldn’t play against Michigan State, should return to practice Saturday, Self said.


Chris Shaw 6 years, 7 months ago

“I definitely have to work on finishing, maybe pulling up (for a) midrange jump shot and not going so far to the basket down there with the bigs".

I think Wayne Selden needs to take note of Graham's statement.

Terry McEwan 6 years, 7 months ago

Take your last pay check, roll it up and stick it. Everyone is tired or your stupid posts.

Jim Keen 6 years, 7 months ago

Agree. Holly Day has about 10 other aliases. She/he must have an equal number of e-mail addresses. Sick of seeing these BS posts. Let's see if the moderator can block this stuff before it comes up.

Dave Miller 6 years, 7 months ago

In my own humble opinion, I think a lot of it was poor shot selection. Going to far into their bigs' area down low and throwing up a prayer when they realized they had strayed too far. Just my opinion, for what it's worth.

Damian Glaze 6 years, 7 months ago

I agree. I think these guys are mistaken "being aggressive" with taking bad shots. Of the nine shots Devonte took, about 6 were not very smart and not what we needed at the time. One thing that is discouraging is there is an awful lot of talk about our guards and their shooting and being more aggressive on offense, but there is little talk about being a great passer and putting your teammates in the optimal position to score by driving and dishing. DO WE HAVE ONE FREAKIN' GUARD THAT ACTUALLY LIKES TO PASS THE DAMN BALL!!! This has been a problem for KU for quite some time and at some point we need to get a guard in there that can create opportunities for the rest. Once you do that, your shooting efficiency goes way up.

I'm not feeling very good about this team and the shoot, shoot, shoot mentality.

Doug Cramer 6 years, 7 months ago

Not really sure if we can expect much help from these three guards to be honest when it comes to shooting. Greene or Svi probably needs to be starting in place of Selden.

One thing is for sure...we didn't see enough Mickelson that second half.

Brian Wilson 6 years, 7 months ago


Michael Sillman 6 years, 7 months ago

I would agree with Dave. The three of them made bad decisions once they entered the lane and tried to always finish at the rim.

Things might have been different if they pulled up for a mid range or better yet kicked it out to an open three point shooter.

Sooner or later, Self is going to have to pay attention to each of the guard's statistics, both offensive and defensive. The Royals stacked their team with contact hitters and defensive whizzes that cut off runs.

The intangibles like bringing energy only go so far. To justify playing each of these guys, they have to hit shots and make defensive stops on a consistent. To me the only one who has shown an ability to do that is Mason.

James Donnell 6 years, 7 months ago

If the pattern in the MSU game is a recurring one, we will lose a number of games, i.e., the three guards go 9 for 36, while Perry goes 9 for 18, Bragg hits both his shots, and Greene and Svi get off a total of 4 shots between them. Pretty easy to see the problem. I don't see how you can let one player go 1 for 9 when we have other shooters. Obviously not his night--needed to figure out some other way to contribute. With less than great rebounding, all those misses are basically the same as turnovers.

Town Thomas 6 years, 7 months ago

All I saw was "me, me, me". Nobody was talking about how to run a team and how to get teammates involved. Individually, none of the three starting guards are as talented as their counterparts or even the backups of their counterparts on the UK team.

John Strayer 6 years, 7 months ago

Regarding the end of drives to the lane, not all of them need to end with a shot attempt. It is a perfectly acceptable result to end one with a kick out pass to an open shooter whose man just sucked back in to help defend against the drive. That might have helped KU's outside shooters against MSU's defense and probably would be a much better result.

James Smith 6 years, 7 months ago

Agree Town. The nice thing is that we are going to be better now knowing that Graham is our go to player. So far 1-9 and 3-11. Yep great idea. Free Svi and Greene! Hoping even Vick is better soon to take minutes away from Graham. He is not worthy of 38 mins in a high profile game or any game.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 7 months ago

AW3 is shooting the 3 over 50% and is leading the team in scoring w/18, 18 and 20 in Nebraska's first 3 games.,

Cedric Spire 6 years, 7 months ago

How about use our players on bench. We shouldn't have to ever suffer through 3 guards playing bad replace them with Svi, Greene, Vick (when not injured). You don't continue to let them stink up the place.

The bigs on the floor Jamari and Lucas proved early they couldn't finish why didn't Mickelson play? Mickelson could have at least blocked some shots and got some rebounds. Bragg showed he could make a jumper but didn't get to play the second half.

No question this is the Coaches fault!! Acceptable to screw up for 5 minutes because that's trying to let you play through it but to let you play for 38 minutes when you're not producing is the coach's fault!.

Jared Reeves 6 years, 7 months ago

One of the biggest problems I have with HCBS is his stubborn tendency to over-evaluate and over-play good defenders. As a hypothetical, let's say having Svi or Greene in the game (over Graham) results in giving up on average 6 more points per game (over 40 minutes); but also results in the team scoring on average 8 more points per game. HCBS will still go with Graham.

It also seems like HCBS doesn't take this into account in particular circumstances either. If we are cold late in the second half and need a lift, he should put in a scorer which is more likely to give the team a lift, rather then having a better defender in the game, leading to a missed shot on the other end, which contributes to winning, but doesn't often provide a lift. He holds as gospel that good defense always leads to good offense, which is not true against all teams, especially against good teams. Unfortunately, HCBS over-evaluates the role defense has to winning a game, and under-evaluates scoring.

Graham's inability to score does matter. There is an opportunity cost to every missed shot.

Robert Brock 6 years, 7 months ago

It is interesting that nobody gives Izzo's and Michigan State credit for causing KU's poor shooting. MSU is tough as nails and their guys got through screens and battled for position. It's what they do and why they were in last season's Final Four.

If you want to improve your offensive production against the Spartans, and especially at "crunch time", you have to move, screen, pass, and find shooters who are more open than the Hawks were Tuesday night. Self's offense looked pathetic. It will look better...later.

Mick Allen 6 years, 7 months ago

Doug, Frank hit 42% from three and Wayne 38% last year. But I certainly agree Svi, Greene and Mickelson need to get more time. I know Coach has concerns about Svi and Greene not being able to keep their man in front of them and their ability to defend.I know the word zone is a profanity to Coach but the occasional use of same could keep both Svi and Greene on the court more. Izzo, who I believe to be as good a"game" coach as there is, mixed some zone in with his man defense in the second half and shut down the dribble penetration in the lane from our guards. Just in Greene won't be getting any time in the next 6 games, as Coach has suspended him for"conduct detrimental to the team. Geez!

Jared Reeves 6 years, 7 months ago

Do you have a link about the Greene suspension?

Jared Reeves 6 years, 7 months ago

Robert, I thought the offense looked pretty good the first 30 minutes. MSU was depleted with big men, and with the new emphasis on fouls, the strategy of attacking their big men off the dribble was sound (along with letting Perry do his thing). We got fouled a lot and made a lot of free throws.

However, late in the game it stopped working and Self didn't adjust. We stopped hitting free throws, including the front end of several 1-and-1s, and the guards were just throwing the ball up to the rim hoping it would go in or they would get fouled. We should have used Ellis more and brought in Greene or Svi to spread to floor to open space for our other guards penetrate and score or penetrate and pitch. But Self's answer to any problem is--more defense!

Mick Allen 6 years, 7 months ago

Rustin Dodd on twitter. twitter.comrustindodd.

James Smith 6 years, 7 months ago

Wow now Greene is suspended for 6 games by Self. Self is now losing control of his team. I can understand Greene being upset sitting on the bench only to watch Graham who is now our go to guy gets 38 minutes who is shooting 20% and can't guard 3 point shooters. We are in for a fun ride this year. Sure hope the AD checks in to see what is really going on behind the scene.

Don’t be surprised if Greene quits and transfers so that he can play second semester next year.

Darwin Dandy 6 years, 7 months ago

What?!?!?!? I don't think so sir not this late. He would only have a semester to play ball next because he would have to wait at least a year

Mick Allen 6 years, 7 months ago

James, I believe this is Greene's third suspension since he has been here. Don't be too quick to put the onus on Coach for this latest discipline to add to your many reasons why you think we should look for a new coach, which is asinine.

James Smith 6 years, 7 months ago

All good Mick you are right sit back and enjoy.

Mick Allen 6 years, 7 months ago

Good James, and you can sit back and revel in our misfortune like a good, loyal Jayhawk fan.

James Smith 6 years, 7 months ago

Again Mick you are right again. I love losing. Maybe why I am no longer going to sit back and support a coach who can't or won't adjust to the times. If he does great but have not seen anything change his arrogance won't allow him.

A true loyal Jayhawk fan has to stand up and ask why when things are pointing to more downtimes ahead and not be brain dead and watch Izzo laughing at us.

Just out of curiosity what is your expectations for Maui and for the season? My guess is that they are low so that you are not disappointed.

Mick Allen 6 years, 7 months ago

Is it your wish that we have a bad season so you can be proven right James? One can certainly get that impression from your counterproductive posts. I f you love losing you can support 99% of the other division one basketball teams who can't come close to matching Coach's winning percentage. KSU and Misery would be 2 choices. How do you think the fans of the other 9 Big 12 teams feel about your criticism of KU not winning enough? You are also quite premature in your hope for" more downtimes ahead". We've played 2 games for Christ's sake. Roy Williams characterization of KU fans being whine and cheese fans defines you well. Mickelson should have all of Lucas's minutes and some of Traylor's. Greene, if and when he comes back and Svi should play more. Some concern is valid in this regard, but the wholesale dismantling of the program that you seemingly advocate, is a total over reach on your part. I'm sure Coach is aware of these concerns. Let's give him more than 2 games to address them. My expectations for the team this year are winning a 13th conference title in a row and the elite 8 in the tourney without Diallo and another conference title and final four with him. Would that still not satisfy you James?

James Smith 6 years, 7 months ago

Mick looks like we are going to agree to disagree. This is not a Kumbaya website for other Big 12 schools to check in on and see a love fest going on. I would love to see your expectations come true but unfortunately we have nothing in the cupboard and it is going to get worse.

There is a reason we can't get recruits in the fall and one year soon Bill won't have anyone coming in. Kids are not coming here because of Bill and his style of play.

You will never agree with me and sad that you don't see the big picture. We will continue to do well because of the PHOG but once the tourney starts we play on neutral sites and Bill just does not have the system and talent to compete.

Enjoy your day and again I hope that your expectations come true. Thing is if they don't and fall way short like most years what do you say. Good year and we will get them next year. Make up excuses. So tired of that. That is where I am and you cannot convince me because not once have you been able to dispute anything that I mentioned.

Again sorry that is not what you wanted to hear.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 7 months ago

With our best shooter being benched the next 6 games, the others are really going to need to get on the same page if they want improvement.

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