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Although Frank Mason has played well so far, it's going to be Tharpe. While he didn't shoot great last year, Tharpe was good from an asisst/turnover standpoint, and, though the sample size is small, he's a good enough free throw shooter to be on the floor a lot. The other thing he offers is that he's a much better on ball defender than Frank Mason. Mason (again, sample size!) has drawn more fouls than all but 15 players in the country so far, and is making 88% of his free throws, so the fact that he hasn't shot well from the field isn't a huge deal (yet). He also hasn't turned the ball over yet, which is rare for any Freshman point guard, much less one ranked outside the top 50 in his class.
back to back Bensa questions! How about that SKC. OK soccer talk is over. For me, it comes down to the fact that it is going to take awhile to remove the stench of the Gill era. Weis has gotten some talent in via the junior college ranks as well as a few transfers and potential impact high school recruits. I think that the assistants should also get some credit for turning guys like Ben Heeney and Jacorey Shepherd into very good Big 12 players. Heeney's only other D1 offer was from Colorado State and now there is at least an argument to be made that he's the best linebacker in the league.
There's no doubt some things need to get better. Someone else has to come in and be the offensive coordinator, they need to get unified on that side of the ball (though maybe we started to see that with them sticking to Cozart the whole game) and some strategy things need to get better (for god sakes go for it on 4th and 1 when you have James Sims. Just do it.) but I think things are trending upwards.
With Oubre and Alexander already on board and still chasing Lyle and Turner, what happens if we get those other 2 but either Embid and/or Selden stay for a second year? Who is forced out?
-From Rob O.
That's a good question. I think that won't be an issue, but if it is, I did mention that Frankamp could be a possible transfer. It's too bad because his long range shooting is a major weapon and he is a good enough player to play high major D1 basketball, but if say Selden stayed, Frankamp would be behind him, Tharpe, Mason, Oubre and Lyle. That's another year of little to no playing time. The other redshirt possibility is Andrew White, for basically the same reasons as Frankamp.
Who will be the defensive match with Marcus Smart?
-From Thomas K.
Knowing Bill Self, I'm sure he will start with his point guard on him. However, I think it will be a mix of Selden and Wiggins, depending on what else happens. If, for example, Phil Forte is on fire from three it might make sense to have Wiggins chasing him around screens, which would enable him to use his wingspan to bother Forte and stay out of foul trouble. I think it will be Selden on Smart for most of the time because Selden is quick enough to stay with him, strong enough to not get bullied in the post, and smart enough to stay out of foul trouble.
What one player needs to play more?
- From Jack K.
For me the easy answer is Embiid. Embiid isn't there yet, obviously, but he has the highest potential to become the rim protector that this defense is missing. Traylor leads the team in block% at just under 10% but once Embiid gets more of a feel for the college game, I think you'll see that rate spike (no pun intended). Embiid also is the best offensive rebounder (22.6%) on a team that is sorely lacking one (Kansas has grabbed under 30% of their misses, ranking 216th nationally) and he also has the best assist rate on the team, a testament to both the respect opposing coaches have afforded him by double teaming him as well as his feel for the game.
Was rushing the field and tearing down the goalposts the right move?
-From Not K.
What a great looking question, Not K. The short answer is: YOU'RE GODDAMN RIGHT IT WAS THE RIGHT MOVE THEY HADN'T WON A BIG 12 GAME IN THREE YEARS I DONT CARE IF THE TEAM WAS 4-7 OR 1-10 OR IF THE BIG 12 ADMITTED A 12 YEAR OLD FLAG FOOTBALL TEAM FOR THE BLIND IT WAS A FREAKING CONFERENCE WIN AND TO EVERYONE SAYING ACT LIKE YOU'VE BEEN THERE BEFORE, THEY HADN'T. IT WAS THE FIRST BIG 12 WIN OF THE WEIS ERA. GILL HAD 1. THIS IS NEW TERRITORY. WOOOOOO CONFERENCE WIN. I WOULD HAVE FLOWN THERE TO TAKE THEM DOWN IF THE STUDENTS DIDN'T. GOOD ON YOU, STUDENTS.
Hope that clears it up.