Home / Sports / What Lagerald Vick's absence may mean for Kansas basketball | Speech by Tait

What Lagerald Vick's absence may mean for Kansas basketball | Speech by Tait



  Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (24) and Devon Dotson (11) in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona State, Saturday December 22, 2018, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)

Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (24) and Devon Dotson (11) in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona State, Saturday December 22, 2018, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)

by the Associated Press

It is almost impossible to tell what the embodiment of Lagerald Vick's leave from Kansas Basket team will be without first seeing how this law responds.

But the opportunity exists for his resignation to actually help Jayhawks.

First, the bad news.

Without Vick, Jayhawks will be a man down, which is scary when it comes to depth and hard missing in 3-point shooting. Not only is the Memphis senior team's best 3-point player statistically ̵

1; 45.5 percent by 23 matches – but he also has experience of taking (and doing) big shots and has shown that he can be completely deadly when he catches fire.

Replacing it won't be easy. But the burden should also not fall on a player.

Although he had some unconscious nights behind the bow, Vick was still on average only 3 3-point marks per game. It means between Charlie Moore, Ochai Agbaji, Devon Dotson, Quentin Grimes, K.J. Lawson, Marcus Garrett and even Dedric Lawson and Mitch Lightfoot, the 8 Jayhawks must find a way to make 3 more 3 pointers per game to retrieve the slack.

None of them have full Vicks pure jumpers and the ability to make tough, guarded 3-point pictures, but they won't all need it. One game can be Moore, Grimes and Lawson and the next can be Agbaji, Moore and Dotson.

Anyway, the gap left by Vick's ability to get hot from the 3-point range is as much filled with philosophy and mentality as it is that guys reinforce and become scooters.

The ball needs to move. The floor needs to be spread. And the shots have to go up with confidence, much like the previous Jayhawk Great Devonte & Graham played and asked for this team a week ago.

And that leads us to the good news.

Whatever Vick goes through clearly weighs heavily in his mind. And you can't help feeling him in that respect.

Remember, while Kansas Basketball is the life of many Jayhawks adoring fans, these players have all the lives outside the game. None of them are immune to family struggles, relationship problems, problems with peers or in the classroom. And everyone is susceptible to all the stress and struggle that the real world can throw at college students from all walks of life.

With that in mind, it was quite clear that Vick's thoughts had been elsewhere, at least sometimes, in recent weeks.

KU coach Bill Self said so much about his "Hawk Talk" radio program Thursday night and reminded people that these thoughts had kept Vick from being his best for Jayhawks during that time.

So how is something good? Well, for one, this team is heard by the young guys now.

Rumors of a player's only meeting on Wednesday crossed my desk and it can only be seen as a good thing for this group, who must come on the same page and start working on another way of thinking if it wants to close last 8 games in it regular season in a strong way.

The absence of Vick can only help it.

Here's how:

Part of the reason that Vick was bent for the last 16-minutes in the first half of Tuesday's loss to K-State was his desire to play the gambling game and scold his teammates.

To some extent it is a natural part of every team and every match. Guys call on each other, the intensity increases and things can get hot out on the court. It usually happens in the spirit of everyone trying to do the right thing.

It may have been the deal in Vick's case, but it looked like it had a negative impact on his teammates.

I really will not talk to any of them here, but we have all been around that person – at work, in school, in social environments, anywhere – who can create a tense environment and put everyone a little more on edge than they would like to be.

If Vick's latest problem created that kind of atmosphere for this team, it is quite possible that these still young Jayhawks will play with much more freedom and much looser with Vick at home in Memphis.

Who knows which players will get the most benefit – or if it will benefit any of them at all – but the possibility is that for talented players like Dotson, Garrett, Grimes and Agbaji to get up and become more self-adhesive without having to worry

Self has talked a lot – both this year and throughout his career – that there comes a point in each season when a team ties together and really becomes a law.

It looked as if Silvio De Sousa government could be the catalyst for that kind of situation with this team, but then the K-State game came and all the winnings from the big win over Texas Tech were gone.

In addition, this team never had Silvio. They had Vick. And now they don't.

The reality, far more than trying to rally if someone who never played, could end up being the only thing that brings these guys together and causes this group to shoot as a unit.


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