Bill Self’s Backup – Kansas rolls past South Dakota State and Texas Southern

Kansas looked impressive in their last two games, winning by a combined 212 – 135. Svi dropped 48 points in two games, hitting 10-of-14 threes. Graham dished out 22 assists and only committed two turnovers. Vick, Garrett, Newman, Doke, everyone’s looking solid.

But it was South Dakota State and Texas Southern. No offense to either of these schools, but in terms of competition, these teams have maybe No. 14 or 15 seed ceilings.

With that being said, I’ve seen Kansas teams in the past only win these types of games by 10 or 15, so hey, I’ll take some early season blowouts.

Here are my notes:

Daum didn’t dominate 

South Dakota State is not a bad team. They made the NCAA Tournament last year as a No. 12 seed and their strength is big man Mike Daum.

I thought Daum might get Doke into foul trouble and post a 30-point game since Preston is still out and the next line of defense is Lightfoot and Young. But the Jayhawks held Daum to 21 points and 11 rebs on just 7 of 17 shooting.

Aaaaaand when you talk about holding a mid-major big man to 21 and 11 it’s time to move on to the next game.

Graham not having season I expected… and that’s not a bad thing

There were a couple situations in the first half when Graham could have scored, but made a late pass instead for an assist – one to Newman, one to Udoka.

I really thought Graham was going to shoot a bunch this year and be one of the nation’s leading scorers, like 24-25 ppg. Much to my surprise, at least four games into the season, Graham is fifth on the team in scoring… and this is a team who only really plays six guys.

This style of play likely damages Graham’s chance at National Player of the Year, but I think it increases Kansas’ shot at competing for a title. In the NCAA Tournament, you have to win six games in a row, but you almost need to win six different ways.

And one of those games is probably the “Graham cold shooting night.” Teams that rely on one guy (unless that guy is Curry, Kemba, or Napier) are vulnerable when a team has game-planned to shut them down. I feel much better with the balance of Svi, Vick, and Newman all can get you 20. Doke is averaging 15.8 ppg and KU still hasn’t really figured out how to get him more touches. Plus, if Preston is ever cleared, KU may enter the tournament with six players averaging double figures.

I’m Still on Team Garrett

Marcus Garrett came off the bench and put up 13 points and 11 rebounds against Texas Southern.

I’m still a believer he should start over Newman.

I went back to the first half and jotted down when Garrett came in. The Jayhawks were down 11 – 10, 16:21 left in the first half. When Garrett went to the bench, KU was up 43 – 23 with 6:28 to go.

Now, granted, there are a ton of holes in my argument. First being he was on the floor with Newman for some of that time. Or you could say KU actually opened it up when he went to the bench, going on a 23 – 7 run.

Maybe Self has found the happy medium. Bring Garrett in within the first four minutes, then keep him in for 10-15 minutes straight. I liked this approach, Vick/Graham/Newman/Svi then cycled in and out. Later in the year, Cunliffe will be in that mix.

To me, “I want this guy out there for 10 – 15 minute stretches at a time” seems like the description of a starter, but hey, whatever gets us to 30 minutes a night of Garrett is fine by me.

Return of Josh Jackson Lite

Last thoughts on the action on the court, Lagerald Vick was back to that Josh Jackson Lite style. Over these two games his averages looked like:

20.5 ppg, 9 reb, 5 ast

Vick’s stats on the season:

18.3 ppg, 7.3 rebs, 4.5 ast

Josh Jackson’s stats last year:

16.5 ppg, 7.4 rebs, 3.0 ast

Quick shoutout to Doke with the Bear Hug Block

Billy Preston situation starting to feel real shaky

I can’t find much on this story. No new updates. Can’t even find out what type of car it was.

What’s concerning to me is if the situation was either:

  • He has the money, his family has the money, dude could afford the car. Or
  • He was borrowing a friend’s car

If either of those were the case, I feel like it would be cleared by now.

I mean situation number one, if you drive by a sorority or fraternity parking lot at KU, you’ll see the standard like Ford, Honda, Chevy college cars but you’ll also see Mercedes, BMW, Range Rovers. It’s not outrageous to believe the car came from his parents. We don’t know, or at least I don’t know, his family background.

The longer this goes with little to no information the more it scratches that Adidas scandal itch. Gotta say, I’m starting to more anxiously Google if De Sousa is going to be able to play this season in place of Billy.

I could do a whole post on this subject, but long story short – I stand with Billy Preston here.

Let’s say a scenario happened where he bought the car, got a loan that other college students might not be able to get. That’s fine. He’s not those other freshmen. Preston has earned that right to a bigger loan by being a top 20 ranked basketball recruit because top 20 ranked basketball recruits usually go on to ink an NBA Lottery contract 1 or 2 years later.

If someone making $75,000 a year can get a loan on a $350,000 house, putting down just 5%, why is it crazy to think a guy on pace to make multi-millions, starting as soon as next year, could get a loan on a $75,000 car?

I’ll stop here because this is all just guessing possible scenarios, and otherwise I’ll go off on a 5,000-word tangent, but I just see no situation here where Billy Preston should be viewed as any sort of villain. Let the guy play. Let him buy, drive, lease whatever car he wants to.

Hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving. I’ll have a post up on Wednesday, November 29th with thoughts on the upcoming games against Oakland (Friday. ) and Toledo (Tuesday, Nov. 28)

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