Kansas Is The Only Final Four Team Playing Modern Basketball

Why the team had to change this season isn’t much of a mystery. The high-low offense frequently puts the key decisions of a possession in the hands of the team’s big men, either after receiving a pass at the top of the key (the “sweet spot” that allows a player to shoot, pass or get back on defense) or down in the low post. This allows the offense to get its big men open through screens and ball reversals and for the bigs to find cutters for easy buckets. It requires bigs who can execute a moving, developing offense. But the Jayhawks’ frontcourt exploded just before the season, leaving the team without that crucial component.Five-star freshman Billy Preston never played a game for the Jayhawks after coming under investigation by the NCAA; he would eventually sign with a Bosnian professional team. Jack Whitman, a transfer from William & Mary, left Kansas abruptly in the summer of 2017 just a few months after committing to the school. Self had expected Whitman to contribute heavily along the front line: “We were thin up front,” Self said at the time, “and looking to add somebody that would be eligible immediately and was experienced. … He’s a great fit for what we need because we’re going to be so young up front and he’ll add some experience.”That left Kansas with sophomores Udoka Azubuike and Mitch Lightfoot, as well as late-arriving freshman Silvio De Sousa. Azubuike has been excellent — his 77.2 field goal percentage is the best in Kansas history — and De Sousa has emerged as a reliable backup. But this is not the polished frontcourt of your standard contending Kansas team. So Self has empowered his perimeter players to carry the team instead. Devonte’ Graham, Malik Newman and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk each are shooting more than five threes per game this season and hitting better than 40 percent. LaGerald Vick is shooting four per game and making 37.8 percent.By contrast, party-crashing Loyola of Chicago takes only 35.8 percent of its shots from three, below the average — though still above Self’s preferred waypoint. That’s unusual for an upset-minded team — those teams often take advantage of the short college 3-point line to achieve short-term scoring parity. Loyola instead relies on skill and strategy to win, along with new inefficiencies in the modern game ripe to be exploited by the right team.While Kansas does not attempt threes at quite the same rate as Villanova or Michigan, it has gotten off a similar number of attempts thanks to another modern facet of the squad: Kansas plays at a relatively fast tempo, while the other three semifinalists play at a glacial pace.Despite taking an enormous 47.1 percent of their shots from beyond the arc, Villanova has not pushed tempo: The Wildcats rank 225th in the country in average length of offensive possession, at 17.8 seconds, according to KenPom.com. Michigan ranks 311th at 18.7 seconds. And Loyola comes in 285th at 18.4. It makes sense for Loyola to slow pace, since underdog teams are best served by minimizing possessions and leaning on variance to carry them over more talented opponents. But a team like Villanova, more talented than nearly all of its opponents, would be better off maximizing the number of shots taken by both its own players and its opponents. Talent wins out over time.Kansas has maintained a standard brisk tempo over the past several seasons, ranking in the top 100 and often the top 50 in the nation since 2013 by KenPom.com’s average offensive possession length. (The Jayhawks rank lower on overall tempo because their defense typically forces opponents late into the shot clock, which is a good thing for a defense to do.) This season, Kansas is at 16.5 seconds per offensive possession, 76th in the country and miles ahead of its Final Four competition, making it the only program remaining that’s playing by the modern guidelines for overdogs: Push pace and shoot threes.This seems to be the season that Bill Self finally, fully, adapted to his players — and the times and, OK, the catastrophe surrounding his preseason frontcourt. This concession has allowed the Jayhawks to reach the Final Four, playing Saturday in what sure seems like the de facto championship game. Villanova will be the favorite. But Kansas, for once, will not have its own ideologies holding it back.Check out our latest March Madness predictions. Across the years, Kansas men’s basketball head coach Bill Self has fashioned an unmistakable brand of play. The Kansas Jayhawks, playing Villanova on Saturday in the Final Four, feature a high-low motion offense — inside-out basketball that moves the ball and values polished big men who can score at the rim and make decisions on the perimeter. That insistence didn’t leave much room for Kansas to adopt the ongoing 3-point revolution in basketball. Kansas stuck with its high-low system even as the very premises of the game were shifting underfoot.“When highly successful coaches adapt and succeed, like win a championship, we say they adapted to their players,” ESPN’s John Gasaway told reporter Matt Giles for FiveThirtyEight in 2016. “Self does not adapt to his players.”The lights flickered on briefly in that 2015-16 season, as observers wondered whether Kansas was finally adopting a modern rate of 3-point shooting. It didn’t last. Kansas’s rate of 3-point attempts fell off late in the season, and the team finished ranked 238th in the country in the share of its field goal attempts that were 3-pointers, according to KenPom.com. The Jayhawks were eliminated in the Elite Eight that season by a Villanova team that lived on the 3-point shot but didn’t shoot well in the quarterfinal. Self’s team took away Nova’s range, limiting it to 4 of 18 shooting from three, and the Wildcats won anyway. Perhaps this shook something loose in Self.In 2016-17, the Jayhawks threatened to be the first KU team under Self to breach the Division I average for 3-pointers attempted per field goal attempt. They weren’t a team of gunners, exactly, but their 35.9 percent 3-point attempt rate was a large step up for Kansas. This season, the Jayhawks have climbed even higher, reaching 41.4 percent — easily clearing the D-I average of 37.5 percent. That’s a quantum leap for the program given its recent history and a shocking development given Self’s stated opinions on shot selection.“Based on our history and the success that we’ve had with our shot selection over the years,” Self told the Kansas City Star in 2015, “I think 30 percent is a pretty good number for us.” read more

OBITUARY Lucille C Enos Gilson 77

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Lucille C. (Enos) Gilson, age 77, of Chelmsford, formerly of Wilmington, passed away on August 30, 2019.Lucille was born on April 25, 1942 in Boston, MA; she was the cherished daughter of the late John and Mary (Broderick) Enos. Lucille was raised in Charlestown and graduated from St. Mary’s high school.Lucille married her husband, Albert G. Gilson in 1965; they lived in Somerville for a short time before settling in Wilmington in 1967. Lucille was a loving mother to three boys; Phil, Steve, and Tom. She loved to spend time with her family and was especially delighted when she became “Nana” to Ashlyn Gianna, Nicholas and Isabelle. Lucille and Albert shared many wonderful memories before his passing in 2016.Lucille worked as a clerk at CVS in Wilmington for many years; she loved her job and enjoyed her customers.In her spare time, Lucille loved to spend time in her garden. She also enjoyed cooking, baking and sewing. Lucille had a love for all animals and enjoyed babysitting for her family’s animals when they were away.Lucille was a loving and gentle mother and grandmother. She was devoted to her family and will be missed dearly.Lucille was the beloved wife of the late Albert G. Gilson, devoted mother of Phillip Gilson & his wife Heidi of Tyngsborough, Stephen Gilson & his wife Chanhsamone of Hudson, NH, and Thomas Gilson of Lowell, loving “Nana” of Ashlyn, Gianna, Nicholas and Isabelle, cherished daughter of the late John and Mary (Broderick) Enos, dear sister of Carolyn Deal of Stoneham, the late John Enos and Cynthia Gallarelli, sister-in-law of Al Gallarelli of Wilmington. Lucille is also survived by many brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews.Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Friday, September 6th at 9:00 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington at 10:00 a.m. Interment will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting Hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Thursday, September 5th from 4:00-7:00 p.m.Memorial donations in Lucille’s name may be made to Beacon Hospice, 290 Merrimack St., Lawrence, MA 01843.Lucille C. (Enos) Gilson(NOTE: The above obituary is from Nichols Funeral Home.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedOBITUARY: Albert G. Gilson, 76In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Lucille M. (Sabella) Ausiello, 76In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Bertha G. (Gouveia) Deprez, 81In “Obituaries”last_img read more

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam suspends controversial extradition bill until further notice

first_imgMass demonstration against the proposed extradition law proposal on June 9, 2019, in Hong KongGetty ImagesThe controversial law that prompted Hong Kong into mass demonstrations of dissent has been officially suspended until further notice.In an official press conference held in Hong Kong on  Saturday, June 15, the severely criticised Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that the pro-Beijing lawmakers had urged the government to delay the bill.Referring to the massive protest that the bill generated from Hong Kong’s citizens, Lam said that “We should pause and think instead of assuming the second reading of the bill in the Legislative Council as scheduled,” reported Hong Kong Free Press.She further said that the Government of Hong Kong is reflecting on the protests and is adopting an open mind “to heed comprehensively” the views of all sections of the society.However, she insisted that the “loophole” in the Hong Kong criminal justice system, which according to her was the main reason behind pushing forward the contentious bill, continue to persist and clarified the fact that the government has not completely retracted the bill. Lam cited the murder case in Taiwan, in which the alleged perpetrator, a Hong Kong man, fled to the city had prompted the two countries to re-evaluate the criminal justice system affecting both the countries.The Taiwanese authorities have however said that it would not seek the extradition of the accused man as the proposed bill is suspected to put its citizens at risk.Dismissing questions whether she will resign after the widespread dissent over her proposed bill, she said that “We regret that this incident caused a split in society.”Earlier, before she became the Chief Executive in 2017, Lam had said that she would resign “if mainstream opinion makes me no longer able to continue the job,” CNN reported.Last week, at least a million protesters marched against the passing of the contentious extradition law. The massive demonstration turned violent after the riot police armed with batons arrived at the government headquarters in the Admiralty business district and subjected tear gas and pepper sprays against protestors who charged and hurled the police barricades.However, the public is still suspicious and holds its position of Beijing being the mastermind behind the law based on last month’s incident in which a politburo member revealed that its targets included foreigners who had committed crimes against Chinese national security outside China.The anxiety of Hong Kong bending before Beijing’s imposition had plagued the minds of many before the recent demonstrations.In April, pro-democracy protest organisers were jailed for taking part in the Umbrella Movement protests in 2014 in which demonstration for seeking free, transparent elections from China had been sought by the public.last_img read more

Grab close to buying Ubers Southeast Asia business Report

first_imglReutersRide-hailing service provider Grab is close to buying Uber Technologies Inc’s Southeast Asia business, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.Singapore-based Grab may sign a deal this week or next, the report said citing people familiar with the matter.Under terms of the proposed agreement, Grab would buy out Uber’s operations in certain markets in Southeast Asia and Uber will take a stake in Grab, according to the report.The structure of the deal would be similar to the one Uber struck with China’s Didi Chuxing in 2016, when the San Francisco-based company sold its local operation in exchange for a stake in the company, the report said.The  report comes as the ride-hailing giant is slowly curtailing its Southeast Asia operations to boost fledgling growth.SoftBank Group-backed Uber have had issues with some local regulators, including more recently in the Philippines, and seeing a slew of exits by senior executives in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and India.Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi last month said that the company could turn profitable if it cut costs of its business such as operating in developing markets.Grab has separately been in discussions with existing backers, including SoftBank Group Corp., and new investors for additional capital, according to the Bloomberg report.last_img read more

Displaced Barry Farms Residents Sue DCHA for Loss of Housing

first_imgResidents of the historic Barry Farm Public Housing development filed a lawsuit against the District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA) Aug. 29 in U.S. District Court. The suit alleges the private developers under contract with the Housing Authority have significantly reduced space allotments in redevelopment plans that would effectively displace the complex’s mostly Black tenants.According to a copy of the filing, many residents would “stand to lose their housing because the number of two-, three-, four-, and six-bedroom units that accommodate them will be significantly reduced as part of the planned redevelopment of Barry Farm. Additionally, the tenants say they were led to believe that 1,400 units would be built – with 444 units of varying sizes set aside as public housing – but now are told only 344 public housing units will be built, a loss of 163 (2-, 3-, 4-, and 6)-bedroom units, according to the Washington Lawyers’ Committee.The lawsuit also alleges that “once conditions in a particular unit deteriorated to the point that the unit was uninhabitable, DCHA often pressured tenants to move, without assurances that they would have an enforceable right to return, rather than repair the unit. In the event where residents moved out of their units, DCHA additionally adopted a practice of keeping such units vacant, which allowed a significant number of units at Barry Farm to remain vacant months before HUD approved the demolition.The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs and Foley & Lardner are representing the tenants. “Now, with redevelopment at hand, families with children stand to be left behind in a manner that is discriminatory and illegal,” Joseph Edmondson, a partner at Foley & Lardner, said in a release. “It appears Barry Farm residents are being written off by the very public housing administrators with responsibility for providing them with safe and habitable housing in an attempt to clear the property and squelch dissent.”The historic Barry Farm neighborhood is located East of the Anacostia river in Southeast D.C., along Suitland Parkway. The community dates back to the postbellum period when emancipated Blacks settled there.“The lawsuit seeks the tenants’ rights to return after redevelopment and to ensure unit sizes measure in terms of bedrooms,” said Edmondson. “We allege that this is discriminatory against families with children.”DCHA has not released a response to the lawsuit.On Sept. 6, residents in Ward 8 are holding a press conference and rally to outline steps D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and the city’s government could take to protect lower-income residents against slumlords and displacement.last_img read more