The Kansas City Star published an article today revealing Coach Self's linup plans, and don't blame me if a certain Beatles song will play over and over in your head. Self wants a nine man rotation (numba niyeen, numba niyeen):
In December and January, Self tinkered some with the lineup. But now he's about ready to go with a nine-man rotation the rest of the way. "I think it will help us," Self said. "I think guys play better when they know who they're playing with and they're used to playing with certain guys. We thought we'd do this all along. We tested the waters a lot. Certainly, this is where we've ended up."
Another Bill from Kansas, Bill Cross, writes in the Kansan today that the freshmen need to be getting more time:
This team needs depth. The Jayhawks fielded talented - but shallow - teams in the 2002 and 2003 NCAA Tournaments, and both teams wore down in the Final Four. If the Jayhawks win a championship this year, the difference will be their depth. [snip] If the freshmen don't step up in the next few weeks (selection Sunday is 33 days away), the Jayhawks will be eliminated again.
And while Self keeps the door open on such an opportunity to step up, saying, "the nine could be a different nine, it could be C.J. in one particular game. It could be Alex. Certainly, it could be Russell," one wonders if they'll actually get the opportunity.
Self knows what he's doing, and he'll put the line up out on the court that he believes will give us the best chance of winning. CJ's and Alex's injuries certainly don't appear to help things, but I will feel more comfortable with Niang in a tournament game now than I would have 2 weeks ago. Still, I would prefer a healthy Giles. I *think we'll see a bit of Robinson tomorrow night - Hawkins had done quite well in the weeks preceeding, and could very well have beaten a turnover-prone Robinson out for the spot. But Hawkins played pretty poorly in the second half and we may see Robinson sneaking in the window as a result. I, for one, think Robinson offers more, particularly if he can stop trying to force stupid passes, but we'll see what coach thinks.