The Benefits of Winning Gold – KU Wins in Korea
After coming off of an upsetting NCAA Tournament appearance, Kansas needed something this summer to get back on track. Back in March, Kansas fans were in mourning as the Jayhawks lost to Wichita State 65 – 78. The Shockers had been waiting for an opportunity to take down Kansas, and did so in impressive fashion. Wichita State controlled the entire game, and flashbacks of early tournament exits became a reality again for the Jayhawks. In 2012, Kansas made it to the National Championship game, but couldn’t handle the juggernaut Kentucky squad led by Anthony Davis. This summer, Kansas got the trip of a lifetime traveling to Korea for the World University Games and they made the most of it. This extra court time may just be what Kansas and Bill Self need to make it back to the championship game.
World University Games Recap
Kansas represented the United States at the World University Games in Gwangju, Korea over the summer. In addition to the Jayhawks players, Team USA added the help of SMU point guard Nicolas Moore and FGCU guard Julian DeBose. Bill Self relied on the veteran play of Frank Mason, Wayne Selden, and Perry Ellis, but also got an early look at incoming freshmen Carlton Bragg and Lagerald Vick. Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Cheick Diallo were left in Lawrence as they are not U.S. citizens, but they didn’t miss a beat spending the summer with Andrea Hudy, arguably the best strength & conditioning coach in college basketball.
Team USA went 8-0 in the World University Games beating Germany in the Gold Medal Match 84-77. The Germans, who were undefeated entering the Gold Medal Game, would not go down easy. At the end of regulation, USA was in trouble until Frank Mason took over and scored five of the last seven points for USA. Germany took a lead in the first overtime but Mason again saved Team USA with a layup to send the contest into double overtime. In double overtime, Mason put the Americans up by one and Nic Moore made two clutch free-throws to push the lead to three. The game would end with Wayne Selden hitting two more free-throws and stretching the lead to seven. With the win, USA won its first gold in the World University Games since 2005. In addition, Bill Self got to coach his players in the off-season, push his team through adversity, and develop team chemistry.
World University Games Playbook
Included in the playbook are six plays used by Team USA in the Gold Medal game against Germany. There are three man-to-man sets, one zone quick hitter, and two baseline out-of-bounds plays.
Click on the pdf link below to download the KU World University Games Playbook:
USA vs. Germany – Gold Medal Match
World University Games Highlights
2015 NCAA Tournament
Here is a look at some of the plays that Kansas used in the 2015 NCAA Tournament. In the first round, Kansas faced off against New Mexico State. The Aggies played a zone slowing down KU’s attack. Against the zone, Self called some great zone actions to get shots near the basket.
Click on the pdf linke below to download the Bill Self Kansas Jayhawks Zone Sets:
Self is a legend in Lawrence. In 12 seasons, he has led the Jayhawks to 352 wins and only 78 losses. Not only that, Self led Kansas to a NCAA Championship in 2008 and Kansas has won 11 straight Big 12 Regular Season Championships.
Coach Self has won everywhere he has been, leading both Tulsa and Illinois to Elite 8 appearances. He is one of only three active coaches to have led three different teams to the Elite 8, the other two coaches being Rick Pitino and John Calipari. Pitino made the Elite 8 with Providence, Kentucky, and Louisville and Calipari with Massachusetts, Memphis, and Kentucky.
At Allen Field House, Self has a 168-9 record. He has more Big 12 Regular Season Championships than he does losses in Lawrence. As a student at KU, I got to be a part of this awesome home-court advantage. The most memorable game I was in attendance for was one of these rare losses when a 69 game home win streak was broken by Texas in 2011. This was the only loss I saw during my time in Lawrence.
What to Expect in 2015-2016
The last two seasons, Kansas has gone out in the round of 32. This season, the Jayhawks will undoubtedly look to use this summer’s experience to make a run to another Big 12 Conference Championship and the Final Four. In 2014-2015, Kansas went 27-9 and 13-5 in conference play. The Big 12 will be tough as always, but getting through the gauntlet should prepare Self for anything he comes across in the NCAA Tournament.
This season, Kansas will play Michigan State in the Champions Classic on November 17th. The Jayhawks will also travel to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational and will play Chaminade and either UCLA/UNLV in the first two games. The rest of the non-conference schedule is wrapped up with NCAA Tournament teams Harvard, San Diego State, and UC Irvine. Oh, and you can’t leave out the Big 12/SEC Challenge game when the Kentucky Wildcats travel to Lawrence on January 30th. To make it even more interesting, Kansas closes out the season against Texas and Iowa State. Both of which just got a new head coach and will look to have a strong season in 2015-2016.
Although Kansas had to say goodbye to Kelly Oubre Jr. and Cliff Alexander, the remaining roster has everything it needs to win games. As shown in the World University Games, Frank Mason is ready to take the lead for Bill Self. He came up with clutch, game changing plays in Korea and will have to do the same throughout the season. With seniors Perry Ellis, Jamari Traylor, and Hunter Mickleson, the Jayhawks have a talented veteran front court. Self will use his size inside with the post iso plays included in the KU World University Games Playbook to dominate smaller opponents. To balance it out, Wayne Selden, Carlton Bragg, and Devonte’ Graham will serve as slashers to break down the defense. Lastly, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Brannen Greene will need to knock down shots from outside consistently for Kansas to be a complete team.
There’s no doubt, winning gold has its benefits… It should be fun seeing how Kansas can use this experience to succeed this season.