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I'm ready to take any questions. Very excited to see the newcomers play tonight.
It's hard not to watch the Michigan State - Connecticut game and think forward to Tuesday night. A very slow start by the Spartans so far in this game. Kansas will need to match Michigan State's physicality in the post and on the perimeter. If they can hold their own on the glass and pressure the basketball they should have a good shot.
I know we'll have a bang up preview ready for that one on Monday, but looking at this game and projecting, where do you see our biggest matchup problem in the early season? I think it's probably on the glass and size in general?
Do you have enough confidence in our ball handling that rebounding is a greater concern?
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I was joking with a friend about this today and said as bad as our passing was on Tuesday and as poor as I expect our dribbling to be, our best offense might be taking halfcourt shots and letting Withey, Releford, and EJ rebound...
I agree that this team could struggle on the glass. Southeast Missouri State has two post players who rebounded the ball well in their exhibition games so that should test the young big men tonight.
It will be very interesting going forward what they decide to do with both Lucas and Peters. I'm not sure Coach Self can afford to redshirt both of them.
In the long run of the season, Matt, how do you see Travis Releford projecting? He was HUGE defensively last year, but he has always been very passive offensively in his time at KU. However, he may be our best mid-range jump shooter, with EJ and Ben being better from long range and Ben better off the bounce. Is Travis maybe the guy more likely to leap forward offensively than a Withey or a Johnson?
I still don't see why he redshirts either of them unless Peters is too hurt to play this year. His track record has always been you have to earn the right to redshirt as a sophmore during your freshman year if you want to tie up a scholarship for five years. Prove you'll have value.
For me it's ball handling, but more of what can this team do off the dribble in terms of getting into the paint? Last year there were two players you could throw the ball to on each possession (Robinson in the post and Taylor at the point) that could get you a shot. This year I'm not sure who it will be. For all that Withey has develop into, his points came on putbacks and off of dribble penetration from the guards. He's not a classic back to the basket scorer. Johnson and Relaford aren't guys that have traditionally been able to get into the paint and create offense for themselves and others. They need Elijah to take a step in this area and need McLemore to be a guy that can create offense.
Tyshawn Taylor brought a lot to the table but if Kansas fans lived with some of his turnover issues then I don't think it will be as big of a concern this season. Rebounding will be a bigger concern than turnovers but I think Coach Self and his staff can take care of some of these issues.
This post was edited by Matt Cumro 20 months ago
Peters being injured so much is really putting him behind, so I'm not sure he'd be ready to contribute anyway. I think his skillset is high enough that he doesn't necessary need to "prove" he's worth the redshirt. His biggest downside is how old he is. It's one of the reasons he was rated so highly early and then faded.
Lucas redshirting doesn't make any sense to me. He has the frame, but I have no idea if he can fill it out or develop the skills needed to compete in the Big 12.
My concern with Releford is that often times he was the forgotten man last year and the 5th option. With teams wanting to clog up the lane for Taylor and Robinson they would often sag off of him which meant he had open looks or had a chance to beat closeouts and use his mid-range game. Now, with his defender playing him more honestly, will he be able to get those looks? That's a big question mark for this team.
I agree with you 100%. I think you need both of those bodies available. I'm also of the opinion that if you want to have those guys play important minutes late in the season (Withey in foul trouble against a team with another good center) you better give them meaningful minutes throughout the year.
This team is going to have to be better than a typical Self team is at ball movement, in my opinion. I'm not sure how else the offense is going to work because I don't see someone capable of getting into the lane off the bounce. Maybe McLemore or Traylor can be good at that, but it's scary to me that our best bet for dribble penetration is going to be a wing or a small post...
Wow. ESPN has really become a major part of the Kentucky / Calipari hype machine. First the "All Access" show, then commercials, and now Digger calling Cal the "best teacher in the game."
That's something Self has always been really good at - developing guys for the end of the season by giving them time early in the situations where they will be expected to have success by the end.
I couldn't agree with you more. When you lack creators on the perimeter your player movement and ball movement needs to be very good to move the defense. The more your offense can put you in positions to beat closeouts the more you can create opportunities to get into the lane off the dribble.
Traditionally, Self's teams have been very strong in these two areas, which is part of the reason he's respected so much by other coaches for his ability to teach offense.
I just feel like we will need Lucas or Peters throughout the season. When Withey gets into foul trouble if Kansas is dependent on Wesley, Young, Traylor, and Ellis to defend a bigger post player like a Cam Ridley from Texas, Isaiah Austin from Baylor, and the big man from West Virginia then they could be in trouble, especially on the glass.
Speaking of Austin, has anyone heard how bad the ankle injury today is?
This post was edited by WestCoastHawk 20 months ago
I have yet to hear anything on that.
I hate to see guys on any team go down, especially guys that good. Hopefully it's nothing serious.
I agree. That kid is a special talent.
He'd be a lot better if someone would make him post up occasionally. Sheesh
Thanks for your questions.
Thanks for answering, Matt. One last question for the game tonight, what's your prediction on how it goes and where does it end up?
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