Bye week roundtable so we're talking football and mixing in more and more basketball as we're now just over a week from late night.
Penguinhawk joins us this week as our volunteer guest roundtabler this week. Much thanks to him for stepping in and helping out this week. As for the rest...Warden Fetch and I weigh in from the normal crew.
- Back to what's realistic and what the bare minimum for improvement is with the football team.
- Kansas and Tech look off after a coaching change, are you buying the culture change argument?
- If things continue, would an assistant coaching shake up be in order?
- Late Night in the Phog...is this our best recruiting tool for basketball or does it fall short?
- Pace question. To run or not to run and Bill Self's preferences in style.
Give us your take or just critique ours and if you'd be interested in participating as a guest in the future, send me an email, Penguin did! firstname.lastname@example.org
1. This question is getting redundant but what do you truly believe is realistic for this football team after getting torched in Baylor? Wins/Losses and what you want to see as a bare minimum sign of improvement. This doesn't have to be wins it could be a personnel change, consistency, whatever.
I think 5 wins is still attainable, I'm just not putting money on it. In terms of improvement, I'd like to see some consistency. All I know about this team right now is that we are capable of playing solid football, and more than capable of playing abysmal football. Regardless of the outcome of the game, I want to see a consistent level of effort, energy, and preparedness on the part of the players and staff alike.
I'd say four wins is a good target but at this point it's not about the wins for me, I just want to see a team that competes. I want to see things become more consistent and look more competitive on a weekly basis, two weeks in a row would be fantastic. I'd also like to see a little more emotion on the field as well. I know this staff's style is a little more even keeled and I get the sense that rubs off on the players. That's fine to a point, but I guess when I'm watching a guy like DJ Beshears yelling at teammates and competing on EVERY play even when were down by 6 touchdowns in Waco, that's what I want from everyone.
Fun fact, I am watching Denver type one of his answers below. Awesome. Onto football, I just don't want to get blown out anymore. I want the team to compete the full 60 minutes, and let's just beat one of K-State, Nebraska or Missouri please.
I really think Kansas should be able to give the Wildcats all they want on Thursday. With the extended time to prepare, there is no excuse to not come out throw everything at them. Realistically, there aren't many possible wins left on the schedule. If Gill and company can come up with something good on Thursday, I'll be pleased. As far as a number on wins for the season, I'm having a hard time coming up with two more.
Kansas State, Iowa State and Colorado are all teams that we at least matchup better with. From there we just need the team to show up and play and we've got a chance. I'd say all three of those teams have been better and more consistent, but we'd have a shot.
2. Now looking at the bright side(sort of?) Texas Tech also appears to be struggling amid a coaching change. Do you believe that Kansas could be just going through a MAJOR culture change and the result of that is what we're seeing on the field?
Is it realistic in the least to believe the team/program will come around once they've had the chance to adjust to a new staff or is this just how bad it really is?
I think it is a realistic possibility, and I guess I have no choice but to give Gill and co. the benefit of the doubt. Nonetheless, the types of problems (lack of communication, poor judgment of talent) are not good early returns on what this "culture change" has in store for us. That being said, I think these are things that can be changed over the course of the season and who knows, maybe after the Mizzou game we'll all be talking about how much this team improved.
I don't know how much I buy into it or not, but I'll say that speaking with several players they really feel this is a legitimate reason for some of the struggles. Top to bottom the roster is adjusting to this staffs game week preparation and it's hugely different. Now again, I need to see growth and improvement before I can completely say...hey, it was a coaching change. But I guess yes I do think what we're seeing at Kansas and Tech probably has a little to do with this.
Don't know the answer. This is why head coaches should get at least two years before getting canned. Especially with the transition from Mangino to Gill, not sure there could be two staffs as different as these two (from what we're led to believe). The part of me that says this is total junk as an excuse is that these coaches have been around. If the players aren't getting the message yet, that is a coaching problem. Either communicate more effectively and if that isn't the problem, you're likely doing something wrong.
3. It's been suggested that while a head coaching change is highly highly unlikely (and truthfully premature and ill advised in my opinion) perhaps a staff shakeup somewhere will be order. Who do you feel has been the biggest disappointment or the assistant coach who might just deserve to be on the hot seat?
My initial thought was Stamm, but I'd have to go with Grimes after some consideration. The OL showed marked improvement over the course of the season last year, and gave us all hope that it would be the strength of the offense this year. I realize we lost Spikes to injury, but we've clearly regressed. I know they're being asked to do something completely different in this offense, but that's no excuse for getting knocked around by weaker d-lines.
This might come as a bit of a shock, and truthfully I wouldn't shuffle anyone yes, but if I had one guy that was disappointing me most it would be Chuck Long. Do I think he might rather run a different style? Yes. Do I think he's facing some personnel challenges? Yes. But I don't think we're putting our team, with our players in the best position to move the football on a consistent basis.
I think I'm going to agree with Penguin and go Grimes as well. The line play has been absolutely brutal. Fortunately some recruits are on the way, and hopefully they can push some people around as soon as next year.
Really think something should be changed on the offensive side of the ball. Between not going with Sims and Webb in week 1 and the poorly organized drives we've seen, I just do not have a lot of confidence in the game-planning skills on the offensive side of the ball.
4. Basketball and late night. We've got something like 12 recruits ranging from 2011-2013 coming in and some big names at that. Personally I've been to late night and it doesn't even come close to matching Allen Fieldhouse on a good gameday. Problem is, the early signing period is before Kansas ever plays a solid opponent.
Do you think late night is still the best vehicle we have recruiting wise? or do you think with the trend moving toward late signings with the upper tier recruits, would KU be better off bringing them in for say K-State or Missouri? And circling it back to football, does the lack of atmosphere and a consistent show on Saturday's in the fall limit our opportunities?
Late Night shows off the more fun side of college basketball, and no event better illustrates the campus' love for our KU basketball players. For fun-loving type recruits, it may be a fantastic recruiting tool. Still, nothing compares to the electricity of gameday in Allen Fieldhouse, and no recruit would ever forget experiencing a win over Mizzou at the Fieldhouse on a Saturday night. In terms of football, right now I'm concerned that what's happening on the field is more likely to hurt us than anything else.
I am planning on going to late night this year, so I will make sure to tell the ladies to look nice so we can nab some recruits. Recruiting is certainly not my area of expertise, so I can't definitively say whether Late Night or a Mizzou game would be the best for recruits to see, but I am going to lean towards late night because it's a fun experience that is all about optimism, and a game against a heated rival might highlight some of the uglier parts of our crowd. As for the football angle, I am not sure how much of an effect it has, but it certainly can't help.
For me the moments where late night hits the level of excitement that a game does are few and far between. It's an event with a few highs, some funny moments and a lot of sitting around, at least when I was there. If it were up to me we'd have a competitive football team that we could bring recruits to as needed, you'd bring your underclassman to late night to get a taste and then bring any of those Jr's/Sr's that we're targeting in for Mizzou, K-State, Texas whoever it needs to be and show them what playing in Allen Fieldhouse means.
Owen brings up a good point about Late Night, it is a lot of sitting around. It doesn't compare to the Phog on a gameday. However, I think it's good to see Bill Self relaxed like that and the players relaxed. We know HCBS isn't the calmest on gameday, so getting the kids around him in that atmosphere can't hurt. For football, I don't think it hurts basketball recruitment any because those kids don't really care about the football team.
5. More roundball and a several part question. I just read an article about Cole the other day and it reminded me a little of my feeling that he might have forced our team to slow down a bit in '09-'10.
Do you think that's the case? or do you think Bill Self just prefers not to run? Obviously this year he's going to have the team and depth to go as fast as he wants, but we've been there before with Roy...which do you see playing out?
Self has shown no proclivity in the past for running like Roy did. I think we may play slightly more up-tempo, but it will likely be the natural result of having 5 great athletes on the floor. I'm not expecting Missouri's offense by any means.
Just for the sake of having the stats, our possessions per game and conference rank since Self took over: 70.7 (2), 67.3 (5), 69.1 (3), 70 (3), 67.8 (5), 68.5 (4), 68.6 (6). It looks like Cole slowed us down in a bit, not necessarily in raw possessions, but when compared to the rest of the conference. I think we'll see us speed it up similar to 2005-06 when we didn't really have a traditional post guy (Julian Wright played a lot of 4 and CJ Giles, Darnell Jackson and Sasha Kaun mixed in time at the 5).
Damn that's a wordy question, sorry. I'm with Penguin on this, there will be a natural uptick but it's not going to be a concentrated effort and personally I'm ok with it. To this day I still remember the game when Roy played Self in the tourney and Coach Self's team just flat out punched us in the mouth, almost literally. They were so much more physical, significantly better on defense and they beat us up. That's what Bill likes, great defense, physical play and of course he'll score points...but it won't be because he wants to increase the possessions intentially.
You guys have hit it already, they'll be a little faster just because of the personnel not because of a change in philosophy. This is Bill Self from Dan Hanner "Why are Bill Self and John Calipari at the top of their games? It isn't because Kansas and Kentucky have great traditions. It isn't because Kansas and Kentucky have the most talent, though that helps. The reason they are so successful is that year after year, their teams force tougher shots. Their teams have the 2nd and 3rd lowest eFG% defense on average over the last 7 years." Over the last 7 years, Bill Self's team have averaged the lowest adjusted defense.