Posts tagged with 2013-14 Season
Bill Self's weekly press conference just wrapped.
Here's a quick look back at some of the highlights, as the Jayhawks prepare to take on Iona at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Allen Fieldhouse.
• Self: It's not too early to have an idea of what kind of team you are, but it's too early to know what you have.
• Self: We didn't play great early, but I did like how our guys responded on big stage against Duke. I'm excited. I'm not thrilled where we're at, but I do see a lot of potential. I think you can use Duke game as a barometer because there's no question that Duke will be a Top 5 team when it's all said and done.
• Self: If teams are gonna shoot 50% against us, we've got no chance. There's a lot we can do to improve that. We've been fortunate because we've been exposed, but we've also won."
• Self: We've had a good week of practice. Took Sunday off. Guys are more confident and comfortable because of how they played — and the win — against Duke.
• Self: Tharpe has taken Mason under his wing. Naadir is one of Frank's biggest fans. Just like Tarik Black has taken Joel Embiid under his wing a little bit, as well.
• Self: If you've got a guy who can beat a guy off the bounce, you're probably ahead. And I do think we have some guys who can beat guys off the bounce.
• Self on Iona: We haven't gone against zone yet, so this'll be the first time we play a team that's predominantly a zone team. And they play faster than anybody we've played so far. They're also small, so we'll have bigs guarding on the perimeter.
• Self on Perry Ellis: I thought he got a lot of confidence toward end of last season and he's been terrific so far. I do think he needed that Duke game because that was against big-time guys and a big-time team. Especially true of the Parker-Ellis match-up. Those were two really good players going against each other.
• Self: If a guy played good in that game the other day, they're automatically a draft pick. I get a kick out of that. We're two games in and there are 90 guys who are going in the first round and their are only 30 teams. And that number will go to 120.
• Self on D: I'd really like to guard the ball better and our interior post D was really lacking against Louisiana Monroe. I think the mindset of not relaxing during possessions will be something we can improve on.
• Self on missing Withey: We miss Jeff. Of course, if the rules were the way last year that they are this year, a lot of fouls would've been called before they got to Jeff and it would've taken away a lot of his block opportunities.
• Self on Black: He's pressing. I do think you'll see a more relaxed and comfortable Tarik Black on Tuesday vs. Iona.
• Self: There's no stress in dividing minutes because I'm happy with who I'm starting. If anything, it's a good kind of stress because at least we have options. Do we know what we're gonna do 1-8, 1-9? No. We don't. A lot will depend on how guys play and it'll kind of clear itself out along the way. This isn't anything that unusual. We do have more guys, though.
• Self on Cliff Alexander: Without a doubt he's one of the best big men we've signed. His ceiling is remarkably high. If I say he's a monster then that'll be the headline: "Alexander a monster" so I'll say that he plays much more aggressive that most 18 year olds. Self said he's been recruiting Alexander since 9th grade and can remember seeing him run for conditioning in the halls of his school during winter months because it was too cold to go outside.
• Self on recruiting: We're really happy, but we're still recruiting. We're off to a good start because we've got two of the Top 10 guys (Alexander and Kelly Oubre) and that's a pretty good start.
• Self on latest poll, where KU is ranked No. 2: If you guys don't tell the guys, they won't know. Unless people are blowing them up on Twitter. How'd we move ahead of Louisville? That doesn't make any sense to me. But I like it.
• Self's Wayman Tisdale memory: Played together one time, didn't know who he was in their first game together, Self had 26 and Tisdale had 2. He remembered thinking, "Yes, I'm going to start getting recruited," but after the game not one coach talked to Self and Tisdale had a line 26 guys long waiting to tell him great game. It was like a receiving line at a wedding reception. It was recently announced that Self will receive the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award at a banquet in April.
Following his team's exhibition victory over Fort Hays State on Tuesday night, Kansas University men's basketball coach Bill Self told reporters he was leaning toward not red-shirting anyone during the upcoming season.
Although this comes as a bit of a surprise given KU's incredible depth and the lack of minutes available for so many talented players, it also makes sense in a lot of ways and is exactly in line with what our own Tom Keegan predicted a little more than a week ago.
Entering the season, Andrew White III, Conner Frankamp and possibly Brannen Greene were the most likely candidates to take a red-shirt this season. But White improved a ton and worked his way into the rotation and Greene and Frankamp both offer the ability to stretch defenses with their deep range and killer shooting stroke.
If it's me making the decisions (and aren't you glad it's not), I'd still give a long look at red-shirting Frankamp, who will be a four-year guy anyway and could stand to have a year devoted to getting bigger, stronger and faster without having to worry about performing on the floor.
Having said that, the idea of red-shirting Frankamp was made tougher by the one-game suspension handed out to starting point guard Naadir Tharpe, who will miss Friday's game against Louisiana-Monroe. Frank Mason, who looked great on Tuesday, will start in Tharpe's place, but, behind that, there's no clear back-up point guard, which is where Frankamp comes in. He seems like the best option there and handled some of that role on Tuesday.
But, what if Self wants to hold Frankamp out of Friday's game just to keep the red-shirt option alive. Could he do it? And how?
There's no question he could, and a big part of the how comes from KU getting a huge lead early and riding it out from there.
I have no doubt that Mason could play 35 minutes if he needed to. So why not let him run wild for 20 minutes and see if that allows KU to build a big halftime lead. If it does, then Mason can get his rest in the second half (maybe even sitting as many as 10 minutes) and KU can go to the point-guard-by-committee approach when Mason's not on the floor.
Self has said that Wayne Selden could be an emergency point guard for this team, but the Jayhawks have a few other guys capable of bringing the ball up the floor and getting the offense going, as well.
Andrew Wiggins certainly is one. Brannen Greene is another. And I even think that Perry Ellis could do it if the Jayhawks got into a bind. (Seriously, what can't Ellis do!?!) During last year's NCAA Tournament, I remember talking to Ellis and his teammates about the prospects of him handling the ball more just in case the Jayhawks ran into VCU and their crazy pressure defense. There wasn't a guy in that locker room who thought Perry operating as a point forward was a bad idea. And I think giving him more of a role in that capacity would be good for his development and prospects beyond college ball.
We'll see how everything plays out on Friday and beyond. If I'm a betting man, I'm guessing that Frankamp will play. But if Self wants to keep the option of red-shirting the Wichita native open, he has options, at least in a one-game scenario.
Gotta love all that depth.
The Andrew-Wiggins-to-Kansas news that overjoyed Jayhawk Nation at 11:09 a.m. today and continues to send waves of happiness throughout Lawrence brings to town the latest can't-miss, one-and-done college hoops prospect.
Regardless of your opinion on OADs, the addition of Wiggins, a 6-foot-7, 190-pound wing from Huntington, W.V., who can do a little bit of everything, not only makes the Bill-Self-led Jayhawks the favorite to win a 10th straight Big 12 title but also puts Kansas firmly into the preseason Top 10, perhaps even the Top 5. Not bad for one of last year's No. 1 seeds that lost all five starters, many of whom played key roles on the Jayhawks' run to the national title game in 2012, as well.
More important than any fact about where KU will be ranked or what KU can accomplish during the 2013-14 season is the fact that adding Wiggins to the incoming class and the returning roster gives Self an incredible amount of flexibility and a seemingly endless list of options.
As Self likes it, the competition for playing time will be stiff this coming season, which not only means the Jayhawks are loaded, but also means they're going to get better. Picture this: a deep and talented crop of Jayhawks new and old battling against one another for minutes every day during practice. There will be no fear about going too hard, only fear about not going hard enough.
Wiggins, who is projected by many to be the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, will certainly be pencilled in as a starter from Day 1.
The rest of the starting lineup remains to be seen, but, again, there are a bunch of different options for Self.
Here's an early stab at what the opening night starting lineup could look like, followed by a look at KU's reserves:
PG: Naadir Tharpe, jr.
SG: Wayne Selden, fr.
SF: Andrew Wiggins, fr.
PF: Perry Ellis, soph.
C: Joel Embiid, fr.
PG: Frank Mason, fr.
SG: Conner Frankamp, fr.
SF: Brannen Greene, fr.
SF: Andrew White III, soph.
PF: Jamari Traylor, soph.
PF: Landen Lucas, RS-fr.
PF: Justin Wesley, sr.
Don't forget that Memphis forward Tarik Black is visiting KU today and, should he choose the Jayhawks, he would offer Self yet another option in the starting lineup. Perhaps something like this:
PG: Naadir Tharpe, jr.
SG: Wayne Selden, fr.
SF: Andrew Wiggins, fr.
PF: Perry Ellis, soph.
C: Tarik Black, sr.
What all of this tells me is (a) KU will not have to worry about a lack of athleticism next season; and (b) Naadir Tharpe better be ready to take on a leadership role because he'll be playing with a bunch of youngins.
As many of you may know, I've loved Tharpe's leadership traits since his freshman season and I think he took a real step forward in that department last season. Give him another summer to go to work and adjust to the feeling that this is his team to lead and I think he'll be primed for a fantastic junior year.
Remember, Tharpe was at his best last season when he served as a facilitator, and with these lineups and the offensive weapons KU will have coming off the bench, it will be pretty clear that getting the ball to the right guys will be Tharpe's No. 1 job next season.