Jayhawks already trying to implement changes to their offense

Kansas guard Devon Dotson (11) drives past Texas guard Courtney Ramey (3) to score during the first half on an NCAA college basketball game in Austin, Texas, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Kansas guard Devon Dotson (11) drives past Texas guard Courtney Ramey (3) to score during the first half on an NCAA college basketball game in Austin, Texas, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) by Associated Press

Tuesday night, after a 10-point loss at Texas, Kansas coach Bill Self promised that he would do more to help fix KU’s struggling offense.

It remains to be seen how well the buttons he pushes work on game day, but the work definitely has begun.

Freshmen guards Devon Dotson and Ochai Agbaji on Friday briefly explained the things the Jayhawks have emphasized during the film sessions and practice time since the Texas loss. And, according to Dotson, the new mentality has a lot to do with attacking quicker and more often.

“He’s just made some tweaks in the offense, just getting right into things sooner and just getting more aggressive with things,” Dotson explained. “Changing some sets here and there. Just tweaking it to make it better.”

As the team’s point guard, Dotson said he thought a lot of the initiation of the new offense would fall on his shoulders and he added that overall leadership was another popular topic this week.

“That’s something that this team needs right now and we just keep working at it and leading each other in the right direction and helping each other out.”

Changing things on the fly, whether it’s the offense or the voice, or voices, leading a team, can be difficult. And, from the sound of things, that has held true for the Jayhawks this week.

“Practice yesterday was kind of a struggle,” Agbaji said before Friday’s practice. “But today we’re going to come in with positive attitudes. I know everybody’s just going to lift each other up.”

Asked to explain why, or how, things were off during Thursday’s practice, Agbaji pointed to energy as much as anything.

“Things weren’t really going offensively,” he said. “Nobody was really up. There was no emotion. We were kind of flat yesterday. We’re going to figure it out today, though.”

Asked for his assessment of his team's Thursday practice, Self said simply, "It was fine."

"I don’t know if I’d say great, but it was fine," he added. "We put in some new stuff and some new wrinkles so yesterday was kind of a day where guys were trying to get comfortable, but it was fine.”

Before Thursday’s practice, during KU’s regular film session, Agbaji said the Jayhawks “fixed some of our offense,” and then tried to implement and execute the changes during practice.

The focus?

“(To) make it more simple for Dedric (Lawson) to get touches because, obviously, he’s going to be getting a lot more attention as we move on throughout the Big 12 Conference,” Agbaji said.

Lawson, KU’s leading scorer and All-American candidate who currently averages 19.2 points and 10.9 rebounds per game, has struggled in the past two games.

Partly because of the defense played against him and partly because of the lack of offensive support from his teammates, Lawson has made just 11 of 33 shots in KU’s back-to-back losses while still finding a way to put up 33 total points and 22 rebounds in those setbacks.

While the offensive changes might take some time to fine-tune, Dotson said the team was trending toward getting over the rough 72-hour stretch in Kentucky and Texas.

"You know, that Tuesday loss (at Texas) hit kind of hard, but you’ve just got to forget about it and move forward to Texas Tech (3 p.m. Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse),” Dotson said. “I feel like we’re in a positive state. We know we have a big one Saturday. It’s a huge game for us and we’re just preparing this week for it and getting ready for it. (Thursday’s) practice, I feel like we were all pretty much together. We communicated. We just wanted to get better and I feel like this week should be a big week for us.”

Comments

Layne Pierce

more offensive breaks to the basket. More offensive rebounding. Playing harder and rougher.
Forget trying to be pretty. Look out for the ugly duckling!

Take more charges, and generally get after people. No back down.

Just because we get some shots blocked does not mean we stop going to the hoop, and
that way when the ball does come back out, it should be to a wide open player. Nobody gets all the way to the hoop on us.

In short: a la Larry Brown, we have to become a team that people don't want to play, anywhere, anytime, and you don't get there by trying to be pretty. This team is not a porsche, it's an all terrain vehicle.

RCJH

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Tony Bandle

Well, the three point shooting is an Edsel!

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Barry Weiss

no doubt we were taking way, way to long at Texas trying to get into our offense. We spent half of the clock just messing around way out on the perimeter before it looked like we were really trying to go inside. Then we either didn't even get a shot off or it was a poor one. It was painful to watch.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Karen Mansfield-Stewart

I just can't imagine what the &(@*#$ the NCAA is still working on related to Silvio.
Other than outside shooting, he'd give us most everything this team needs - an elite rebounder, a very good big free thrower, energy, and size to match up inside and take pressure of Dedrick.
The whole thing just makes me want to puke when I think about it. Sucks for him and this team.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Bj Cassady

I don't know how much you can tweak on offense. We cant shoot very well. Oftentimes the wrong people are shooting. We absolutely need to toughen up and play with an attitude that previous teams used to have. We have lacked that.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Steve Zimmerman

I don't expect to see anything different if they still pound the ball to Lawson - it's obviously high-low all over again, Lawson will kick out, guards can't shoot 3s, instead weaving on the perimeter, then 'aggresive attack' to the basket aka dribble drive by Garrett. I can even envision what's going to happen to this team before even watching them on TV, just like previous games. Hopefully, these guys don't just practice drills on offense. They need to repeatedly doing dribble drive with real defenders in practice. A lot. They need to know how to use shoulders, head first, protecting ball with arms, train their bounciness when dribble the ball. Just watch Graham do it. Watch how he shoot jumpshots.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Brian Wilson

I am hoping that this means a surprise in the lineup. I am hoping they start McCromack (DM) at Center. DM should do the rebounding, and recipient of Lawson's inside passing. Put Lawson back to PF where he can do his thing. Let Lawson move in and out to the bucket, dunk, pass, kick out.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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