Here are notes from “Hard Work: A Life On and Off the Court” by Roy Williams with Tim Crothers:
Here was my first piece that was published earlier today for Basketball Insight, that discusses the Kansas vs. Villanova (Preview with a Review) matchup that took place in November of 2013 and how the first half results of that game could lead to coaching decisions and important game strategy for tomorrow’s Elite 8 contest.
I am excited to be contributing to another wonderful site that coaches can share and learn from. I hope my thoughts and contributions spark great conversation and make others give back as well.
As Selection Sunday was unveiled last night, the Kansas Jayhawks were slotted as the overall No. 1 seed.
This has set the stage for the Jayhawks and Head Coach Bill Self to finish one of the most historic seasons in recent college basketball history.
Kansas has not only won the Maui Invitational, their 12th consecutive Big 12 Regular Season Championship, and the Big 12 Conference Tournament, but they also won the 2015 World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea, as Team USA defeated Germany, 84-77. That version of Team USA consisted of the almost the entire Jayhawk roster and gives them an added championship pedigree (USA – Germany box).
This means that Kansas has already won four different championships this season.
Essentially, Self’s Jayhawks could win their fifth championship this season if they can win six more games in the upcoming National Tournament.
It begs the question, how much did it value Kansas to play the type of competition it did in the World University Games? It can be argued that this tournament will be more challenging then any games in the NCAA Tournament and rhat it really helped prepare Kansas for their rigorous Big 12 regular season.
After the gold medal win in July, Self acknowledged that “‘It’s a huge thrill, a huge honor. Our team really bonded and came together. To win it the way we won it — playing against a Germany team that outplayed us a majority of the game — we were dead tired, no legs, no lift, couldn’t make a shot and willed ourselves to win.'”
Although Kansas may not eventually cut down the mets, their championships still have provided the elite program with an opportunity to test themselves throughout the season and be as prepared as possible.
It seems that throughout college basketball, more preseason tournaments should play for championships, especially at D2 & D3 levels, and not just have an exempt weekend where games are played for regional rankings.
There is value to winning a championship at any level of college basketball, as it prepares teams for the quick turnaround and focus that postseason play requires.
This past Monday, Oklahoma State lost against #2 Kansas at legendary Phog Allen Fieldhouse, 94-67.
OSU, who beat Kansas by 19 points in Stillwater, Oklahoma just a month ago lead the Jayhawks early in the first half, 25-17, but Kansas made a 30-9 run to end the first half to give them a 47-34 halftime lead.
The final points of the half came at the hands of Kansas’ sharpshooter Brannen Green, who hit a buzzer-beating 3pt shot to give the Jayhawks a 47-34 advantage.
See video of Green’s buzzer-beater.
This shot was a huge momentum swing in favor of Kansas as OSU just made the back end of pair of free throws, but allowed Kansas to hit the three down with 5.0 seconds remaining.
With the score 44-34, and OK State’s Joe Burton at the line, both Kansas and OK State made substitutions, including Brannen Green, to set their ensuing offense and defense, respectively.
Although OK State did not have any fouls to give (Kansas was in the double bonus), Kansas went small placing four outside shooters onto the floor to stretch the OK State defense.
The Cowboys’ End of Half (EOH) defense failed on several fronts:
- They were rushed because they did not substitute Burton after the made free throw: OK State should have substituted Burton out of the game to set their defense, get the matchups they wanted.
- They allowed an easy inbound and north catch: If OK State had substituted them could have pushed up on Kansas and defended the inbound pass. By doing so they could have also made the receiver step towards their defensive baseline to make a tougher catch and therefore wasting precious time in order to get the ball inbounded.
- They did not make the ballhandler go east-west: Even without executing #2, OK State could have still forced Kansas’ Frank Mason Jr. to take an east-west (side to side) dribble instead of allowing him to merely take two uncontested dribbles and pass to a wide open Green. Again, this stems from #1 because there was no organization in this defensive possession.
- They did not push up on the shooters to make them dribblers: Lastly, OK State completed this poor defensive possession by not pushing up on Green. They got caught in the middle of the floor (due to #1 and #2) and did not look organized. In addition, although it is understandable that they do not want to foul a shooter in that situation, if the defense is there prior to the shooter elevating, they will either have to either (a) initiate contact, (b) take an awkward shot or (c) dribble around the defender.
Not executing these factors cost OK State three critical points, which could have kept the game at 10 points going into the half and also keep Kansas’ momentum down. Instead Kansas had confidence and the raucous Jayhawk crowd fully behind them.
As someone who has been a Kansas Jayhawks fan all my life, I am a huge admirer of Bill Self. From the stuff he runs, to his recruiting, to the way he represents the program, he is a great role model to emulate in the coaching profession.
With his recent 200th victory at Phog Allen Fieldhouse, Self has now over 200 wins and just 9 losses at home as the Head Coach of the Jayhawks.
Here is an excellent article by CBS Sports, Matt Norlander, dissecting the nine losses:
More impressive than this though is what I saw at the end of last night’s game vs. Kansas State. Kansas was on the verge of winning yet another home game and dribbling the ball out, when KU’s Brannen Greene dunked the ball as time expired.
My first thought was “did I just see a Bill Self team do that?” My second thought was did anyone on K-State see that?
Well, here was Coach Self’s response to that act:
This is just another example of why Coach Self is one of the top three coaches in college basketball, in my opinion.
First, he apologized. Second, he addressed the act as foolish. Lastly, I would not be surprised if Greene does not dress for a game or two.
Nobody is bigger than the program. If Coach Self addresses acts against the program (albeit, Greene is not a starter and he has a wealth of talent on his bench), every coach should follow his lead.
Kansas used this set in triple overtime vs. Oklahoma with 1:42 left in overtime down 103-102.
The set has multiple options if opponents take one option away.
To view the video click: http://www.fastmodelsports.com/library/basketball/fastdraw/112534/play-Kansas-HC-SLOB-Chop-Action
Kansas used this BLOB twice in the epic triple overtime thriller vs. Oklahoma on Jan 4th, 2016.
The first time Frank Mason III connected on a wide open elbow jumper (1st Half – 7:43) and the second time was in triple overtime where Mason III got to the line in a critical juncture in the contest.
Click on: http://www.fastmodelsports.com/library/basketball/fastdraw/112519/play-4-Flat-DHO-BLOB to see video links.
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo