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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Keegan

Tom Keegan: Shorter bench means Kansas wins

The Kansas bench reacts to a dunk by forward Perry Ellis (34) during the second half on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

The Kansas bench reacts to a dunk by forward Perry Ellis (34) during the second half on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Notice the correlation between the size of Bill Self’s rotation and the Kansas University basketball team’s national ranking.

When the rotation gets smaller, the ranking becomes higher.

First, 11 players had equal shots at playing time. Then Hunter Mickelson was trimmed. Next, Svi Mykhailiuk’s minutes greatly declined. Freshmen Cheick Diallo and Carlton Bragg seldom reach double figures in minutes.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self on what it will take to win at K-State

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self discusses what the Jayhawks will have to do Saturday to beat rival Kansas State on the road, as well as a number of other topics, at his weekly press conference.

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In the past three games, victories vs. West Virginia, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, Diallo totaled 16 minutes, Bragg 11 and Mykhailiuk seven.

For the most part, Brannen Greene and Jamari Traylor give coach Bill Self what he needs when he goes to the bench better than anyone else on the bench.

In the past three games, Greene has totaled 59 minutes, Traylor 33.

Landen Lucas earned the starting job and majority of minutes in the post by playing the best of all Self’s options.

“He’s our post defender, position defender, and he’s smart, and he’s our best offensive rebounder,” Self said. “That’s been evident. I mean, he’s got 15 offensive rebounds the last three games, and he’s probably our best defensive rebounder right now. I think that that — and he goes after the ball with two hands in traffic. I think he’s given us an element of toughness, too, being in there.”

If Lucas has a bad night, Self won’t hesitate to turn to Diallo if he matches up better than Traylor, but Lucas clearly has moved to the head of the class.

Diallo and Bragg each could have a game in them in March that Cole Aldrich gave Kansas in a 16-minute dominant performance against North Carolina. Aldrich totaled 10 minutes in the three games previous to his national-semifinal outburst.

On the perimeter, and even at the power forward spot, Greene gives Self a terrific three-point shooter and solid defensive rebounder.

“I think he’s been a positive factor without question, the last couple of games,” Self said. “I thought he was good against OU and I thought he was good against Oklahoma State, so yeah, I’m hopeful that he’s on an uptick, but more importantly, I hope our team is.”

Riding a six-game winning streak, the team definitely is on an uptick. If the players do an even better job of finding Greene in the corner in transition, more improvement awaits.

One month ago today, Oklahoma State smoked Kansas by 19 points. It’s amazing how much better this team is now and the paring of the rotation has had at least a little to do with that.

— Tom Keegan appears on The Drive on Sunday nights on WIBW-TV.




Comments

Rae Bricil 6 years, 3 months ago

completely agree that in this analysis correlation does not imply causation. Simply based on the statement "When the rotation gets smaller, the ranking becomes higher." i do recall up till January the rotation was not so small and they were number 1 in the nation. Keegan could have argued that a large rotation has led to higher ranking. Or during their slump a few weeks ago could have argued that the smaller rotation has led to a drop--either way a weak analysis to imply sole causation--since i didnt see another cause mentioned.

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

Tom. We know this cannot be true. The Chicken Littles are very very sure that if Diallo and Bragg don't play big minutes that Kansas can never beat anyone. We also know that even though they're "mid major" guards at best, Graham and Mason COULD be marginally effective if they weren't playing so much. Lucas and Traylor are awful and would never play at all on any respectable team. The Chicken Littles are very sure of this. 100% sure. Coach Self's rotation is a disaster.

The secondary ramifications of a shorter bench is that no McD AA caliber player will EVER come to Kansas again. The chance of getting one in this years class is zero. The CLs have been adamant about this.

This is all symptomatic of Coach Self's ongoing list of abject failures, verified by the CLs. 1) No decent recruits at all, ever. 2) The McD AA recruits that have come haven't progressed, causing no recruits. 3) The #1 and #3 picks and other draft picks really didn't help much. 4) Failure to win National Titles every year.

Sorry Tom. Praising Self is fools gold. The Chicken Littles are sure. This team is awful.

Roy Caswell III 6 years, 3 months ago

LOL, Awesome post Jay, The Chicken Little's are always the loudest group in Jayhawk Nation.

Martin Shupert 6 years, 3 months ago

Jay Scott, welcome to planet Earth. Enjoy your stay. I'm assuming you know so little that you simply do not realize how stupid you are, which explains why you believe you know more than Bill Self. Fool's gold, indeed!

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

Marty. What grade are you in? The comment was sarcasm meant to mock the Chicken Little fans.

Did you really read it and think that? Wow. And you called someone else stupid?

Glen Miller 6 years, 3 months ago

It's pretty simple really.... the more minutes a set of players get to play together, the more cohesive they become. A constant rotation of players doesn't allow for chemistry building or gelling. Self almost always minimizes his rotation as the season wears on. This year is no different. He's not an idiot. Let your players play early to establish themselves. Once the stronger players establish themselves, start building towards conference and NCAA tourney preparation. I'm not sure why people freak out early in the season when we have a bigger rotation or why people stress late in the season, when we shrink the rotation. It must make too much sense for some of us, I guess. We seem to need something to complain about or pick at coach for and it's hilarious.

Dale Rogers 6 years, 3 months ago

I will never forget Aldrich blocking a shot, bringing the ball straight down and putting Psycho-T on his butt. Hansbrough looked totally stunned.

Steve Macy 6 years, 3 months ago

In the realm of not important comments, as soon as I read "chicken littles" I skip to the next comment. RCJH, going to be a gun one tomorrow.

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

"In the realm of not important comments"........you actually posted a comment about comments that you say you skip. You just made fun of yourself. Marty wants to hang out.

Steve Macy 6 years, 3 months ago

I meant what I said, and understood the ramifications of the comment. If only you would, about your's.

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

I understood your comments completely.You did make fun of yourself. Do you have a point? Any idea you want to debate? No.

Micky Baker 6 years, 3 months ago

Those with the chicken little syndrome... they usually do skip being called out.

Michael Sillman 6 years, 3 months ago

In my view the winning has nothing to do with the shortened bench. It has everything to do with the improved play of Mason and Graham.

Rae Bricil 6 years, 3 months ago

and a few timely career games from Graham, Selden and Lucas without which KU would have lost.

Kyle Brooks 6 years, 3 months ago

Hey Jay, just wondering why you like to get on here to just harass other fans? I don't remember the last time I posted on here but always see post by you that really don't serve any purpose other than to annoy other fans. If certain people annoy you with negativity after every loss why not just ignore it and have solid discussions about the positives and negatives about the game?.?.? Any way hope these guys can come out with lots of energy tomorrow and play aggressive and hopefully Lucas can keep up his good play inside.

Rock Chalk!!

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

Hey Kyle, just wondering why you like to get on here to just harass other fans? I don't remember the last time I posted on here but always see post by you that really don't serve any purpose other than to annoy other fans. If certain people annoy you with negativity after every loss why not just ignore it and have solid discussions about the positives and negatives about the game?.?.?

Was that stupid? Yes. Just like your hypocritical rant.

Al Martin 6 years, 3 months ago

Nice try, Jay! It might even have worked if Kyle had posted more than once between now and last December. You, on the other hand, post the same immature, insulting, name calling nonsense ad nauseum.

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

You're upset because others post "immature, insulting, name calling nonsense ad nauseum."?

Me too!!

Grow up Al.

Justin Kruse 6 years, 3 months ago

I think Lucas has played great lately. What I don't get is the lack of playing time for Hunter. I know he's not super quick or as athletic as Bragg or Diallo, but he's experienced, brings in good energy, and has a good enough shot where you have to guard him. I hope he gets a chance soon to prove himself on the court.

Benjamin Clay Jones 6 years, 3 months ago

Self's tightening the rotation may make sense from one way of thinking, but from another, it doesn't. For instance, on any given night, some players are going to have the hot hand, and others aren't. If several of your scholarship players never shed their warmups, how will you know if they are feeling it that night or not?

Svi had a nice game against Kansas State, scoring 10 points in 21 minutes. Some people said it was a breakout game for him. But, following the next game, he has hardly seen the court since. Hunter appeared to be making strides earlier in the year--remember Oregon State?--and is a team player who makes everyone around him better. But he's buried on the end of the bench for reasons no one seems to quite understand.

Such yo-yo inconsistency in terms of playing time baffles the players affected and may hurt team morale. Playing a deeper rotation, at least in limited stints, gives the coach a chance to find out who might be clicking on a certain night as well as keeping the players in the main rotation fresher.

Also, if players' effort is flat, as Bill complained about last game, there is a remedy--substitute! And one more thing--letting the bench develop incrementally over the course of the season means you will have a stronger team, top to bottom, come tournament time, when, if some key contributors should happen to have a subpar game, as has happened in the past, it can mean a sudden end to the season. With a developed bench, you have more options to turn to in such an event.

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

You don't like that Self consistently plays a certain group of players, allowing less development for others, but all hate the "yo-yo inconsistency" in playing time? Your solution? Playing time based on who's hot and who's not.

This is textbook Chicken Little logic.

Benjamin Clay Jones 6 years, 3 months ago

See? Svi had the hot hand tonight, and Bill went with him. Svi could have had the hot hand the previous two games as well. We'll never know, because he never got off the bench.

Janette Crotinger 6 years, 3 months ago

Jay sounds like a K-State fan! I know several that talk just like that!!!!

Joe Ross 6 years, 3 months ago

Just heard something Fran Fraschilla said as he is color commentating on the OU-WV game: (paraphrasing) "Short rotations grind players down so their play drops off at this point in the season."

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