Rock Chalk Talk Roundtable 1.12.11

via cdn0.sbnation.com

The roundtable returns and we're officially back to a band of three, a trio if you will.  Fetch, Warden and I kicked around a few questions as the Jayhawks prepare to open conference play tonight against the Cyclones. 

This Week's Topics:

  1. Give your assessment of Kansas to date.
  2. Which Big 12 team scares you the most?
  3. Does Kansas win the Big 12 and why?
  4. Has Josh Selby lived up to the hype?
  5. Make your picks for a 9-10 man rotation and does it actually happen?

Give us your take or just critique ours and if you have questions you'd like asked or would be interested in participating as a guest in the future, send me an email, denverjhawk@hotmail.com.

Give your assessment of Kansas after the non-conference season.  Any surprises? disappointments?  Where is this team vs. your preseason expectations?

Owen K
:  

So far I'd say there are times when this team looks like world beater but they also lack the maturity to get my hopes up too high.  So far everyone on the team and coach Self seem to point to the Morri as the leaders of this group and while they are good basketball players, they still seem to have mental lapses in judgement that hurt the team and I think that is what makes me nervous.  

Preseason I didn't know what to make of this group.  Last year I expected a Final Four, this year I didn't start out the same, but I think they can very much make that happen.  I'd say they're better in the talent and overall potential department than I though, but worse in the leadership and poise department.  Hopefully they'll come around.

 

Warden:

Hmm, before the season started I was worried the Jayhawks wouldn't be able to score.  That seems to be a very small concern right now.  Though they have struggled in games against BCS opponents, so it could be something to keep an eye on.  The team is better defensively than I expected, the loss of Aldrich has had little effect on the overall performance.  Part of that is due to competition and part of that is due to Bill Self just knows defense.  

As for disappointments, none really to this point.  Withey hasn't came along a lot but he's had problems with some rumored illness and he's 9th/10th man anyway.  All the other players have came along and filled their roles.  Something other teams in the Big 12 can't say right now.

And Owen, the Morri "seem" to have mental lapses in judgment?  I think that's a fact by this point.  Lets just hope it doesn't show up in a conference battle because you know that's in the scouting report.  

 

Fetch:

I wouldn't say surprised really. I guess I am semi surprised that the UCLA and USC games were as close as they were, but overall I'm not surprised. Right now I honestly think we are the best team in the country, but unlike last year I hope we don't use up all our good fortune in the regular season.

Like Denver I am a little surprised that our defense has been as good as it has been. I thought we would get there eventually but to be there now is great.

Owen:

Fetch might be the most optimistic Jayhawk fan I've ever listened to.  Probably has some connection to being a Boschee fan.  


 

Headed into conference play what team scares you the most?

Owen K:

In terms of winning the thing I suppose I'd say Texas.  Teams that can stand in our way? Plenty.  Missouri is scary but I don't think they can win the conference, A&M is an interesting matchup as is Baylor, but if I had to say a team that has the pieces to take the title over us, I'd have to say Texas right now.  Not sure what to make of K-State, but you'll notice I don't mention them.

Warden:

Missouri and Texas.  Missouri because I'm not sold on Taylor and Selby handling their pressure all the well.  Texas because they just play great defense and have great athletes.  If I had to pick a game right now for the Morri to suck it up, it'd be the Texas game.  

Fetch:

I'm sticking with Baylor. For one we go down there, for two they have Perry Jones and Lace Dunn who can at least stack up with the Morri, and I think Acy is a pretty good guard. Plus they have that zone that can frustrate. Texas is probably the next one because we don't play well down there traditionally so if they beat us and then play well against the South, which I don't think is as good, then

Owen:

Fetch, I think you're confused Acy would matchup with the Morri and Dunn is more a wing/guard. But yes I do agree to a point.  I watched a Baylor game earlier this year and it was like watching Giraffes move like Gazelle's and dunk like Gorilla's, if Gorilla's dunked that is.

Does Kansas win the Big 12 and why?

Owen K:

Yes.  It's a top to bottom tough league and having been there before and being used to taking everyone's best shot will help Kansas.  I'd say this is a year where it could be a tie at the top and a split championship, but I do think Kansas will be one of those teams at the very least.  Too much talent and too much experience under fire, plus I think some of the other teams are finding out how difficult it is to handle expectations.

Warden:

Yes.  I just don't see them losing 4 games in conference play without a major injury or collapse.  I think there's enough evidence from Bill Self's tenure that points to a conference collapse being unlikely...the tournament's a whole other story.

Fetch:

I'm sticking with Baylor. For one we go down there, for two they have Perry Jones and Lace Dunn who can at least stack up with the Morri, and I think Acy is a pretty good guard. Plus they have that zone that can frustrate. Texas is probably the next one because we don't play well down there traditionally so if they beat us and then play well against the South, which I don't think is as good, then maybe they can steal the conference title. And for the obvious rivalry reasons, KSU and Mizzou are right there.

Owen:

Cutting and pasting is not allowed, especially when you have an error in your original statement.  Again, Acy 6'7" forward.  Dunn 6'5" guard.  Perry Jones, 6'10" Girzellilla.

 

Josh Selby.  Has he lived up to your expectations and what would you like to see him improve on?

Owen K:

So far I guess he has.  I tried not to get my hopes up after Xavier Henry's stint.  Not that Henry was bad, but there are only so many John Walls in the world and while I think freshman can make an impact, not all are game changers.  Fact is, at this point I'm not so sure Selby is a certain one and done. I've watched a lot of Kansas basketball and while he may not have been as dynamic, I'd say Jacque Vaughn made a bigger impact to the team as a true freshman than Selby has so far.  I mean Selby had USC, but Vaughn had Indiana.

Warden:

 Yes.  When he's on, he's the best player on the team.  I'm hoping to see him start finishing around the rim a little better.  That should come with time though and he's still only played 5 (?) games.  As to 1 and done, I don't think there's any doubt.  He can get around anyone guarding him.  He can shoot.  He can jump.  The NBA loves those guys.

Fetch:

Yes. Absolutely. He can get to the rack, he shoots well (Michigan excepted) and he defends a lot better than I thought he would. Plus the guy is a competitor and I really think he loves Kansas and the coaching staff. Can't ask for much more.

 

Self talks a 9-10 man rotation.  Make your picks and do you think he truly goes 10 deep?

Owen K:

I like the starters of Selby, Taylor, Reed and the Morri.  I like Thomas Robinson and Travis Releford as the first two off the bench.  Then Elijah at eight.  

Now we get into Brady Morningstar and Jeff Withey as to whether or not this thing hits nine or ten.  That means you can almost assure yourself it's at least nine because Brady isn't going to sit, Self like him too much.  Ten?  Well I could see spot minutes for Withey when there is foul trouble , but I think Releford and a small lineup has replaced him as the preferred option.

Warden:

Agree with everything you said.

Fetch:

Yeah I couldn't have said it better myself. All 10 of those guys need to play. Also, does Little make it 11? I think he has to play as well as an extra interior/wing defender.

Owen:

 Nope, I think Little just eliminates Withey and further entrenches the small lineup.  I think Withey plays on occasion, but not enough to be "part of the rotation".  Better luck next year big guy.  Of course if you want to have one of those outlandishly awesome national semifinal coming out parties ala Cole Aldrich, you have my blessing.
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