Littles and Bigs

Coach Self has been known to refer to his players as 'littles' and 'bigs'. For Self, there's often times no 1-guard, 2-guard or 3-spot, there's just littles. Can he keep this up when Julian Wright is dribbling the ball up the court. He's 6'8", I'm not going to call him little. Anyway, an interesting article in today's LJW about Self's little-big man theory.

Aaron Miles, Russell Robinson and Keith Langford will play in the same backcourt at times this season. During those stretches, and others with Michael Lee in the game, fans may be unable to decipher which Kansas University men's basketball player is the point guard.

"I'd like to play with three point guards, where whoever gets it, brings it," second-year KU coach Bill Self said.

Aaron throws a hitch in this getalong - he's a pure point...and one of the best in college at distributing the ball and playing tenacious perimeter defense. Does he really think Keith is 'equivalent'? Because I don't. If he were, Miles could have perhaps gotten a little more time off last year. The article goes on.

Self is not hung up on the traditional labels of 1 being the point guard, 2 shooting guard, 3 small forward, 4 power forward and 5 pivot.

"I hope we're just able to recruit good players, put them out there and have them figure it out as opposed to, ‘You are a 2, 3, 4 or 5,''' Self said. "I don't like doing that. The five best perimeter players are going to play, no matter how big they are, as long as there's a true point in the game."

That makes more sense - there has to be someone who can legitimately and capably run the floor.

This year, Miles and Robinson are the conventional point guards on KU's team. However, Langford and Lee can bring the ball upcourt as well as Jeff Hawkins and Nick Bahe, plus, when healthy, Jeremy Case and Stephen Vinson.

During KU's exhibition trip to Canada, KU played at breakneck speed when Miles, Lee and Robinson were in the lineup together.

"Coach Self wants to play fast. We want to play fast," Miles said. "The way to play fast is outlet it on both wings. You just go. When we are in practice sometimes, you get a glimpse of it.

This will be a more exciting year than last, and we will average more points per game. Hopefully, our opponents' ppg goes down, though, even though we have more possessions.

"When we were in Canada you saw it some. I can get it and pitch ahead, or Russell can get it and pitch ahead. It's going to be fun. With two guards you can pressure the ball a little more. That can speed the tempo also."

The 6-foot-1 Robinson likes the idea of not being labeled as a point guard or shooting guard. Next year, after Miles graduates, he and 6-1 recruit Mario Chalmers will share point and two-guard duties.

"Definitely we'll both bring it up," Robinson said. "It was one upside in recruiting me. I played a lot of 2-guard much of my (high school) career. I was a combo guard. It's what I see myself as. It's how I'm used to playing," the New York native added of the guard closest to the ball taking it out of bounds and racing up court.

"It's how I was playing when coach Self recruited me in high school and AAU. It's what I'm used to."

He thinks having multiple ballhandlers is the way to go.

Why would this be so? Can you give a good reason to us, the uninitiated?

"When you have more than one person who can push the ball," Robinson said, "it makes for a good transition game. Sometimes it's harder for defenders to match up."


Well said Mr. Robinson.

Most teams are going to have a problem with RR and AM this year. I doubt there are too many teams with as much defensive quickness on the perimeter, who are also blessed with large, menacing growlers down low, and growlers that can run as well as growl.

The Jayhawks are talking about running a lot this season and could average more than last year's 75.8 points per game.

"Last year we didn't push it as much as we'd like to. It was our fault as players. We didn't run enough," Miles said. "Picking up Russell gives us a lot more quickness and speed. Michael Lee running, J.R. (Giddens), Keith, Russell, Alex (Galindo), whoever comes in the game. We've got some big men who can get up and down the floor, too."

"It will not be breakneck speed," Self said of this year's pace, "but I think we can play faster than last year, pressure more than we did a year ago. More speed? Sure, because we have more depth."

2 days, 10 hours, 9 minutes, and 8 seconds to go until Washburn.