KU has entered the silly season. Three-straight scheduled games either cancelled or postponed because of Covid issues with their opponent. The next regularly scheduled game is in jeopardy, too, although the new quarantine rules may save it. Odds are at least the first half of January will continue to be crazy, and perhaps only a quickly declining Omicron wave will keep the entire conference season from being a mess.

In place of two of those games, KU scrambled to get new opponents. Last night was Nevada, giving KU a chance to earn some redemption from the Kirk Snyder/Nick Fazekas disasters in Bill Self’s early days in Lawrence. Seriously, those were weird times.

A blow out win with lots of dunks was a fine way to close out the calendar year. The team defense looked improved. And, in the second half at least, I think we saw another glimpse of how the team should play on offense if they want to fully unlock the team’s potential. That included fewer passes to David McCormack, and when he did get the ball, him looking to pass first rather than put his head down, plow to the hoop, and throw up an off-balance shot that slams off the backboard. He’s a good passer. He has shooters all around him. He’s limited offensively. It seems like a no-brainer to me that he should be complimentary rather than featured on offense.

Earlier this week Bill Self said the KU offense needs to run through McCormack. KU fans know what Self says to the media is often a way of challenging or pumping up players. I sure hope these comments were about keeping Dave engaged and soothing his ego. Because it makes no sense in the context of this roster to make Big Dave a focus on offense. As I said earlier this season, Self is not, or should not, fuck around this year, given what is potentially ahead with the NCAA. Letting Dave post and try to score at will definitely qualifies as fucking around.

While this team does not need McCormack taking 10 shots a night off post-ups, it does need him on the court and being a presence. He’s their only player with legit height. Christian Braun and Jalen Wilson do a great job on the boards for their size, but KU needs Dave getting 5–8 boards a night. He can be effective on defense when he is calm and doesn’t try to block un-blockable shots or is jumping wildly at head fakes. While he really struggles with long, athletic bigs, KU also needs him providing at least a few minutes against those players rather than putting a 6’7” wing on them and hoping for the best.

KU doesn’t need David McCormack to be great in any aspect of the game. More than Remy or Wilson finding their shots, though, keeping David on the court for 25 positive minutes each night might be the biggest factor in this team reaching its peak in March. I’m hoping Self’s comments this week were indeed just about letting Dave know he isn’t forgotten.