Great interview of Bill Self by Andy Katz and Seth Greenberg of ESPN posted here today. Had some good stuff about Wiggins, next year, McLemore, and trying to keep programs safe from outside interests, but the most museum-worthy moment came just a couple minutes into the interview (which starts ~the 23 minute mark) when Seth Greenberg asks how Coach Self will adapt his high-low offense to the new personnel.
This “high-low narrative” about KU’s offense has been repeated so often that people believe it to be true when it’s not, kind of like a Republican talking point. KU hasn’t used the high-low offense as its primary offensive set for quite some time, and Self mildly (too mildly in my opinion) calls Greenberg out on it. Because we’ve had good, big man play in the paint, I would say that KU uses more of a flex-style offense, with lots of screening and ball-reversals. A high-low offense is classically defined as keeping a big man out closer to the top of the key (“high”) as a threat to shoot in order to spread the defense, with the other big man in more of a typical, post position (“low”).
I’ve always thought it was either laziness or ignorance for announcers to continually parrot the high-low comment whenever a big man went to the top of the key at any time during a play – just because you set a screen at the free-throw line does not mean you’re running a high-low offense. Slightly nerdy to be annoyed by, I know, but I loved Self’s playful mocking of Greenberg.