Who is Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk?



  • Was reading an article on KUSports.com and ran across this

    Ukrainian recruit: KU and Virginia are said to be leading Michigan, Oregon, Iowa State and North Carolina for Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, a 6-6 wing from Ukraine who will either attend college this fall or play for a pro team overseas.

    “If he ends up in college he’ll face a little bit of a challenge because of his age (turns 17 this summer),” ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla told Jason King of bleacherreport.com. “But he’s just so skilled. He would impact a team immediately. He’s a 6-6 combo guard. He’s not a pure point, but he can play the point. He’s a dead-eye shooter who is tough as nails. It’d be like signing a really good player from Detroit or Pittsburgh or Chicago. He’s a competitor.”

    As far as possibly playing pro ball, Fraschilla told Bleacher Report: “A club over there could make it very difficult for him to leave. Right now I’d say there’s a 50-50 chance he ends up in college.”

    So what is the word or inside scoop on this guy? Does KU really have a shot at landed him?



  • @DoubleDD Yes, if Sasha Kaun has any influence with him and his family. Did you read their response when clips of Sasha came up during a past player review? He didn’t know much about some of the recent 6-6 players at KU, but when Sasha’s game highlights appeared, the family went crazy.

    He has family friends in the D.C. area, which is the appeal and reason for Virginia to have a slight edge. But hopefully Self can get Sasha involved with the family and Rock the Chalk then he could be a Jayhawk. I wonder too about some of our other Euro players? What about Langford?

    In 2009, Langford signed a two-year contract with Khimik Moscow in Russian League worth $2.6 million net income. If that’s not enough, in 2011, he gained a four-year extension from Khimik Moscow worth $9.4 million guaranteed, after taxes.

    After being an undrafted rookie free agent with the Golden State Warriors, Miles played for a laundry list of overseas clubs from 2006-2010.

    But it appears Kaun and Langford are the biggest KU Euro connections. Self should use them to influence the family.



  • Am I missing something? This potential signing makes absolutely no sense at all … unless … unless he actually can play the point and be a “lead” guard as Self has recently used the term. Not a “combo” guard, but the “lead” guard.

    Assuming he can’t be the “lead” guard, it makes no sense. An NCAA violation or suspension waiting to happen. Who does he play in front of and displace from the rotation? Another guy that might only be here one season, or who could leave anytime to go home and play pro. Plus, he will only be 17 during the season. Should be in high school.

    I just want to see that he can handle the ball like a point guard. Then it becomes interesting.



  • Trviaslankovanavich?

    Is that a word?

    But seriously… We could use a guy with size as a guard besides Kelly. I bet he can play good defense… and if he can’t he can learn quickly. He sounds like a deadly shooter, too. A guy who can do everything well.



  • I’m with HEM on this. We should just pass on this guy. I’m satisfied with our roster as is. If there was a Kaviar Shepherd type post player out there, that would be OK. But on the perimeter…he comes in and we either have 4 point guards and at least one person is disgruntled and transfers, or he cuts into Selden, Oubre, & Greene’s minutes. Pass.

    But Self has scholarships to give; almost like he can’t help himself. We’ll see.



  • Am I missing something? This potential signing makes absolutely no sense at all … unless … unless he actually can play the point and be a “lead” guard as Self has recently used the term. Not a “combo” guard, but the “lead” guard.

    Assuming he can’t be the “lead” guard, it makes no sense. An NCAA violation or suspension waiting to happen. Who does he play in front of and displace from the rotation? Another guy that might only be here one season, or who could leave anytime to go home and play pro. Plus, he will only be 17 during the season. Should be in high school.

    I just want to see that he can handle the ball like a point guard. Then it becomes interesting.

    Given that he’s only turning 17 this summer, he’d have to wait 2 years to be drafted by the NBA. So yes, you’re missing something. The offer makes perfect sense. If he can come in and dominate, he dominates and KU benefits. If not, we have him for a whole 'nother year after the likely departures of Selden and Oubre. Win-win.



  • @konkeyDong

    I agree… If he really is so talented, we are guaranteed (almost) that he will stick it out in Lawrence for at least 2 years.

    This guy is the perfect Self “combo guard” package. It sounds like he is definitely versatile enough to play the 2 or the 3 right now. He may have potential to play some PG. Will he be our future PG? No! But think like a NBA coach thinks… it’s about match ups. This guy gives us match up versatility on the perimeter. When might we use a guy like this at PG? Uh… maybe this year against Kentucky, where he only matches their height at PG.

    I don’t know anything about this guy except his youtube material. But how many Ukrainians lack toughness? And what does it take to win in March? Yeah… toughness.

    Watch the clip. I know… it’s only a clip. But the kid looks like he has basketball IQ, another asset we’ve definitely been lacking for a long, long time.



  • @drgnslayr Ok…I’m sold. I love his handles and his instincts. The kid is a natural. I love his anticipation on defense and think he could be extremely helpful on both ends. He seems to be an all in one type player that could impact a team immediately. When compared to past and present KU players, he reminds me a bit of Connor in shooting, X’s heighth, and Reed’s shooting instincts, and the IQ of BStar. He has a less athletic style of Wigs and a little of BMac ALL wrapped into a nice individual package. The heighth is a huge plus in D1 bball. It was interesting to see his post moves too. The kid is a natural.

    I totally disagree with those of you that say he doesn’t make sense. Why pass on this type of talent when you have a chance? If we get him great, KU’s advantage; if not, oh well, bball life goes on. But let’s not unilaterally rule him out. I think he’ll have to adjust to the physicality of D1 and especially B12 bball. Euro players are very finesse oriented, not too physical. After further review, this kid is pretty explosive.

    Russian teams will do whatever they can to keep this kid. But it might not hurt for him to get a taste of bball in America. Hopefully the lure of KU and Phog Allen will peak his interest. If you play for an American college, why not go where bball was pioneered by the founder of bball.

    Also looking ahead, how many of you think Selden will draft after this year? I would think if he has the year we think he will, he may be good as gone. This kid would be a great replacement.



  • @konkeyDong You’re right on the draft age …

    Nice video, but he was playing U16 – against guys what, 15 and under? I didn’t see one black kid on the floor, either. Perhaps a different level of athleticism, if I might invoke a racial fact.

    I take nothing from this silly video. I’m sure if you watched Tharpe’s video it would be much of the same. There is nothing there that would suggest that he could be a reliable guy handling the ball, against D-1 pressure. Ok, he dribbled between his legs. I can still do that. I don’t see from the video that he has “basketball IQ” as @drgnslayr mentioned. Of course, that might be because my basketball IQ is lacking.

    Heck, at one point, it showed he was 3 of 8 from three point range. He’s supposed to be 6’6"? He was barely able to dunk.

    There is no way to tell his defensive acumen.

    What about the kid bolting for a Euro team after the season, which seems to be a reasonable alternative for him? Some Ukranian kid is going to come to Lawrence for two years? I’ll believe it when I see it. And as @icthawkfan316 mentioned, what about the possible disruption to our roster? Discontent isn’t cured when a guy leaves as an OAD – as White found, the next OAD is right around the corner. And it keeps coming. If we want guys to leave, then let’s dispense with the pretenses.

    This is not directed at you kD, but just in general – I just do not understand the belief that we have to have a certain guy, and the next talented guy is the best guy to have, and then the corresponding disregard for high level guys committed to the KU program.

    Is there no value at all to committing to your high level players then? Come in and your garbage if there is someone that might be perceived as better. And sometime (White) you perform well (see early in the season) and you find the bench anyway and never get your opportunity.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love competition for playing time. But there is great value in committing to your guys, and great value to treating them as more than a hedge to the next, supposedly better thing.

    I ask this question – Does Bill Self want Brannen Greene to stay here for 3-4 seasons? Or CF? Or does he want them to transfer?

    Maybe this kid is “all that.” Don’t know. But would you rather have right now, essentially sight unseen – CF or this guy? Or Greene or this guy?

    Easy, easy choice for me.

    What we need is quality post players. That’s where we’re lacking. Jamari Traylor for goodness sake is our projected first big off the bench. Didn’t Stanford just gameplan to take advantage of his weaknesses offensively?

    I’d much rather us hold the scholarship for a solid, highly rated, program guy; unless we can get a quality post player.



  • @HighEliteMajor

    Nice video, but he was playing U16 – against guys what, 15 and under? I didn’t see one black kid on the floor, either. Perhaps a different level of athleticism, if I might invoke a racial fact.

    It’s Eastern Europe. There aren’t a lot of black people period, but I can assure you, there are just as many unathletic black people as there are unathletic people of other races.

    What about the kid bolting for a Euro team after the season, which seems to be a reasonable alternative for him? Some Ukranian kid is going to come to Lawrence for two years?

    Why not come to Lawrence for two years? Kaun stayed for 4. And there are plenty of European players that live out college careers in podunk American towns. While there is some risk that he could come for a season then go pro in Europe, I think that’s the least likely scenario (and hey, what’s stopping Selden or Ellis or anyone else doing the same?). The only reason to eschew money now and come play in the US is the proposition that playing NCAA ball is the best way to get exposure for the NBA and thereby maximize future earning potential (same reason most people go to college at all). If getting paid now is really more important, he’ll probably just elect to do that. If it isn’t, the only reason to go to school for one year and quit when you can’t get drafted is that you had a totally disappointing/unremarkable season, in which case CF or Greene will probably have surpassed him anyway. Otherwise, he can come in, vie for a spot this year, and already have a role carved out for the year beyond.

    This is not directed at you kD, but just in general – I just do not understand the belief that we have to have a certain guy, and the next talented guy is the best guy to have, and then the corresponding disregard for high level guys committed to the KU program.

    I certainly agree that we don’t need this kid, but if we can have a role filled for the season beyond next, why not? Isn’t that what makes a program kid? Assuming Oubre and Selden go pro after this season, we’ll have 4 guards total. Although that’s ideal for a rotation, it’s very limiting in terms of injury insurance or in being able to show different looks on either side of the ball.

    What we need is quality post players. That’s where we’re lacking. Jamari Traylor for goodness sake is our projected first big off the bench. Didn’t Stanford just gameplan to take advantage of his weaknesses offensively?

    I’d much rather us hold the scholarship for a solid, highly rated, program guy; unless we can get a quality post player.

    We could certainly use another quality big for the season, but I think that’s unlikely. We’ve already lost out on Egbunu, who would have had to redshirt, and Lawrence (who will probably go back to NY) too. I was hoping Luke Fischer might back out of his transfer to Marquette when Buzz Williams left, but that hasn’t happened and so far there’s no Tarik Black types that have come onto the market.

    That said, how does he not fit the bill of ‘highly rated program guy’? We’re talking about a Wayne Selden-type signing. Unless you know something we don’t, he’s no more a flight nor NCAA violation risk than anyone else on the roster. I understand being soured on the hype that Wiggins got and the fallout in White leaving, but weren’t you not so long ago beating the ‘Self can’t recruit’ drum? We’ve settled that you’re a fan of the ‘good but not too good’ signings. We have the opportunity for one. What’s the problem, then?



  • I took the liberty of looking over and reviewing the info I could find on Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and what I found proved that he belongs in the discussion for a #1 ranking in the class of 2014 (as long as we are still ranking kids based off of potential).

    The only real knock on this kid was that he is young and would have trouble guarding older guys in college at the D1 level. False statement and anyone who has taken time to review the team he plays for would know that he has played for the SK Cherkasy Monkeys (Ukraine-Superleague) during the 2013-2014 season. He has been playing with and against guys of all ages mostly college graduates like Dajuan Summers that was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 2009 and Jason Washburn a graduate from Utah that made an impact on the schools program but didn’t make an NBA roster. There are guys as old as 35 on these teams he is playing against so that myth is busted.

    Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk would be a huge get for HCBS and all of the talk about Self recruiting a guard that is better than any guard on the roster is probably not far off base. I think Self and his coaching staff knows that this kid would be one of the biggest additions to the roster this year if we can nab him. Playing with and against veteran NBA players and college graduates has probably enhanced his game more than any High school graduate we could get our hands on. I believe this kid is a game changer for us and I personally hope we get him! He could very well be the lead guard HCBS is looking for.



  • @konkeyDong A couple of things. Whether there are as many unathletic black people as unathletic people of other races is completely irrelevant. The high level black athlete has demonstrated his/her superiority. Look at the NBA. Proof is in the pudding. Look at skill positions in the NFL. Look at KU’s roster. This is an obvious fact, given blacks account for only about 13% of our population. And relating it to this Ukrainian kid – it would be much more relevant to see what he does against high level athletes.

    Kaun lived in the USA before coming to KU. I suggested it as a risk, and a risk that bigger than a kid from Chicago. Kids in the Ukraine can graduate after the 11th grade and then have to get a qualifying test score. Again, just a risk and maybe a bit higher than U.S. guys.

    I never was beating the Self can’t recruit drum. I lamented why we were missing on high talent guys, resulting in Lucas, Traylor, Anderson, Lindsay, etc. It has been proven that it was just a downturn. Actually my main criticism of Self then was the “all in” on Tarc. But I was a fraction of bennybob, if that helps.

    Of course, we’re recruiting some highly talented guys in 2015. I doubt we’ll be sitting on four guys. But that is an excellent point with our likely numbers for 2015.

    So, ok, sign the kid. Great. When Greene or CF transfer, we’ll talk. Or when he gets homesick. Remember Ioannis Papapetrou? Left Texas, signed in Greece. How would his signing have affected our roster? Same sort of deal. But I know nothing is for sure and each situation is different, and some foreign kids do fine here.

    Who does he steal playing time from this season? We have 6 guys for a likely 4 man perimeter rotation as it is. Maybe he sits this year and is ready for 2015. That is fine. Maybe that’s the plan. With the battle at PG, we might lose one of those guys anyway.

    Does this situation seem like that to anyone though? That this guy is a multiyear player?

    Likewise, I’m happy to admit I’m wrong on this stuff, and roster turnover, and transfers, etc. Problem is, I haven’t (humbly, of course) been too far off in my projections with that stuff.



  • @HighEliteMajor

    HEM this isn’t directed at you, but in general…;) Did we see the same video? I saw a kid explode to the rim. I saw a few times where he barely dunked, but he seemed out of step. Did you see his strong moves to the rim? He flushed with authority. I don’t think he had Wiggins’ or BMac’s explosiveness, but he definitely was adquate on the dunks.

    Did you see his anticipatory D? I saw him step into the passing lane and grab 3-4 steals. Yes, it’s one game and that statement goes both ways for him and against him.



  • @HighEliteMajor

    Let’s just let HCBS decide who and why he wants to bring in and support him all the same. If Tharpe worked out, we would be in an ideal situation. Tharpe just decided to follow his heart and personal interests. Now, we are behind the eight ball and we have a lot of ground to make up with the pg situation.

    We are solid at the 2, 3, 4, and even the 5. We have exactly what you want with the majority of the players except for Oubre, Alex, and Graham. Our dedicated players are Ellis, Traylor, Lucas, and Mickelson to a degree by transfer. Oubre and Alexander both said they ‘may’ or ‘see’ themselves staying a few years.

    I’d say you have exactly what you want at KU right now. We don’t have a true OAD at all since Wigs and Embiid left. Embiid was obviously no OAD when he arrived either, nor was he OAD the first half of the season. I will say Self develops these guys and we lose them because Self gives them that little extra push toward the NBA. So I don’t understand what you’re constantly pushing for a certain kind of player. I’d say you have exactly a team full of 3-4 year guys right now. The question is will our leadership lead soon enough? Will Mason step up to be our general? Can Graham produce and become the ideal ‘lead’ guard KU needs moving forward? I see Self’s desire to have these flexible guards. But even when Chalmers, Robinson, and Collins were on the floor there was a pretty clear distinction of who the ‘lead’ guard was on the court, Chalmers. I never really saw Robinson as the ‘lead’ guard. It was either Chalmers or Collins.

    i’m not saying I want this European kid at all costs. If we do, great. But I won’t be heart broken. Also, I think we should be looking to solidify another solid 4 behind Ellis and possibly Alex. I think we have some great top 15-30 ish ranked players being recruited if Self and Co can complete the deal. Also, if we keep your 3-4 year guys, just when do we get your “solid, highly rated (rated, not ranked?) guy; unless we can get a quality post player.” If you follow your plan and logic, when do you have the scholarships available the same time as your ‘ideal’ recruit is available?

    This is the gamble. Self and Co can’t gamble. If you have a chance, you get them and unfortunately, the White type players have to make a decision. I don’t think Self’s plan was to make AW3 a “garbage player” for the “next best player.” He can’t look ahead and see who will be available, much less who will commit. So, he has to strike while he can. We all know there’s no guarantees in college bball. KU has seen their share of “quality” players leave for different reasons. I thought Royce Woolridge was a great player that meets your criteria, but he was thrown to the “garbage player” heap. I also liked Adams, who met the same fate as RW, but for different reasons. So, if Self follows your rule of thumb for recruiting, I don’t think we’d have much of a team. :)

    To answer your ‘easy, easy choice’…yes, I love Greene. I want all these guys to get what they deserve, but it doesn’t always work out perfectly and a AW3 decides to transfer. I loved AW3 too, but I also know that Oubre and Greene are going to give us better performances. AW3 worked hard, but struggled or Self wouldn’t have supported his transfer.



  • @HighEliteMajor I think that between Frankamp and Mason one of them have to RS. My guess is its Mason and only because he was the least recruited guy on the roster and the least likely flight risk. Our newest PG Deveonte Graham has not garnered any starting minutes and could foreseeably only get trash minutes. My guess is Frankamp, Greene, and Oubre will share the majority of minutes. Totally hypothetical though but if you had to RS a guy wouldn’t you RS the guy that didn’t have any other major programs after them? If KU were a Yacht then you don’t jump ship for a tug boat do you?



  • @truehawk93 Did you ever see the movie “Meaning of Life”? Where the teachers played the students in rugby? It’s why top tier guys absolutely dominate their alleged competition (such as Mason and CF in high school), then come to D-1 and it’s a whole new ball game. The D-1 guys are men against the high school boys as far as talent. These tapes show the top highlights. Didn’t see him miss any threes. But there was a spot where his stats flashed up as 3/8 from three.

    http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=frank+mason+video&FORM=VIRE1#view=detail&mid=25583F98F110DBC3D29F25583F98F110DBC3D29F

    http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=conner+frankamp+highlights&FORM=VIRE4#view=detail&mid=DFA613545C8C98D5200BDFA613545C8C98D5200B



  • @Statmachine I see Mason as a huge flight risk. The issue is “do we care.” Not being harsh, but if Traylor or Lucas transferred, we’d yawn. Selden? That’s another thing. Your “least recruited” reference is right on point for that.

    But I firmly believe that we need an experienced, high quality point guard running the show. Mason was way ahead of where Tharpe was as a freshman. He has the potential to be that guy. I don’t want to run he, or CF, off. Or Greene.

    Trade a yacht for a tug boat? Maybe not. But if your sitting in the engine room of the yacht, or could be the captain of the tugboat, that might change your perspective.



  • @HighEliteMajor : Doing the math 3/8 (37.5%) is a lot better than any of our returning guards did last year.



  • @truehawk93 You think that Tharpe followed his “heart and personal interests”? Both he and White were either subtly shown the door. There are cover stories. Makes everyone look good. But we got the snippet from White – Self said he’d have a hard time cracking the rotation. I have posted this a few times at kusports.com, most recently on March 29. I used Lucas at the hypothetical player. Hypothetical conversation between Self and player:

    Self: Thanks for coming in to talk.

    Player: Sure coach, what’s up.

    Self: Well, I just wanted to talk with you about what I project your role to be on this team moving forward. I talk to most of the guys about that.

    Player: Well, I’m looking forward to getting back to work.

    Self: I’m sure you are. In looking at our roster, what I try to do is anticipate my rotation, backups, etc. It’s what I need to do as far as recruiting. When I see what I have here, and what I have coming in, it’s hard for me to see you getting much playing time, even in your junior and senior seasons.

    Player: Really? It seemed I was making progress.

    Self: Oh, you are. I love how you play the game. Unfortunately, at Kansas, we are always targeting the top guys. We have Cliff coming in, maybe Turner. Ellis will be here. And Jamari has made great leaps. You and Hunter appear to offer a lot the same thing. Both of you very good players.

    Player: Well I could compete and win time, right?

    Self: Of course. But I see things objectively. I have to. No matter how much I like you, I have to put what I think is the best talent on the floor. For 2015, we’ll likely have 2 highly ranked post guys. I’m not sure either one will be a one and done. So both those guys would be here through your senior season. I also anticipate bringing in a transfer. The transfer I’m anticipating is farther along than you are. I guess what I’m saying is that it’s hard for me to project you being part of a 4 man post rotation at any point.

    Player. I guess I’m not totally surprised. I love it here though.

    Self: And we love having you here. Look, this is your scholarship. It’s your life, your career. If you are content, then so am I.

    Player: But I want to play. I only get to be a college player once, and I think I can play pro ball.

    Self: I do understand. I think you can too.

    Player: Well how can I do that if I don’t play?

    Self: Well, you make a great point. I’m not saying you won’t play here. I’m just trying to shoot it to you absolutely straight so you can have all the information. It would be selfish for me not to give you my thoughts. I love having all of the security I can get. But it’s not fair to you if I keep it to myself.

    Player: Well, thanks coach. Do you think I should transfer? I mean, if I leave I have to sit out another season. I would only have two seasons left to play since I redshirted a year.

    Self: That’s not my decision. I do know the desire to play the game. And playing the game puts you in a position to make a living playing the game. If you were my son, I’d want you to play the game. And honestly, I want that for you. Selfishly, I want you here. But if you aren’t going to play here for three seasons, but could get good playing time, probably start, somewhere else for two seasons – I guess you just have to balance that.

    Player: Ok, well I have to think about this.

    Self: If you are considering an alternative, I would love to know soon. You know, planning and all.

    Player: Sure, how soon?

    Self: Coach Townsend is out in the hall and he can visit with you more. See what his thoughts are. Or coach Roberts and Howard. If you or family have any questions, let me know.

    Player: Ok, thanks coach.

    Just a hypothetical.



  • @Kip_McSmithers You miss the point. First, it’s a highlight video. But second, whether it’s 37.5 of 45%, it’s not against D-1 competition and not with coach Self screaming at him not to shoot until the ball has a chance to go into the post. What did Greene shoot in high school? Or CF?

    I can hit 50% in a empty gym from high school range. If I was facing D-1 competition, well, I would hurt myself. It’s just not the same.



  • Whether there are as many unathletic black people as unathletic people of other races is completely irrelevant. The high level black athlete has demonstrated his/her superiority. Look at the NBA. Proof is in the pudding. Look at skill positions in the NFL. Look at KU’s roster. This is an obvious fact, given blacks account for only about 13% of our population

    @HighEliteMajor The proof is in the pudding, but the make up of the pudding isn’t what you think. The reason black athletes are over-represented in a couple of sports (namely basketball and football, although running sports might be included too) has more to do with a relative lack of alternative opportunities than any inherent or genetic advantage. As blacks are proportionally over-represented in high-paying professional sports, they’re proportionally under-represented in areas such as college enrollment, business, finance, and politics. If you ask a bunch of young black men what the best way is to get rich or be successful in life, invariably you’ll get a lot of responses involving becoming professional athletes. That’s it. Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd are/were no less athletic than Lebron James or Chris Paul, but a greater percentage of young black men are working harder to become the next Lebron compared to young men of other races. And it’s not like the athletes in sports dominated by white people (tennis, hockey, figure skating, swimming) or Hispanics (baseball, soccer) or Asians (gymnastics, martial arts) are any less athletic. Those just aren’t sports that have traditionally attracted a lot of black young men (insert swimming joke here). So while it is probably true that the competition that Mykhailiuk isn’t what he’d have faced in say, Chicago Public league, or in the NCAA should he matriculate, it’s not because Eastern Europeans aren’t black enough. It’s because they likely dedicate a lot less time to becoming superior basketball players the same way that kids from central Florida devote a lot less time to learning to skate backwards.



  • @konkeyDong That is a bunch of baloney. Politically correct nonsense. I suppose you think men and women are the same, too?

    There are many, many more whites playing basketball than blacks. They just aren’t good enough. Many more whites are working hard to play pro basketball than blacks. It’s numbers.

    Remember, it’s not that a white dude can’t be as athletic as a black guy, it’s the overwhelming percentages that win the day.

    I don’t care how hard thousands of white kids try, they aren’t going to be as good as Frank Mason. For every Mason, you have a thousand black kids that fail. For every CF, you three thousand white kids – or whatever. Look at participation numbers. When blacks participate, generally, they dominate sports.

    Why are black sprinters the best in the world? It has nothing to do with genetics, of course.

    Look, I get why you make the argument. There are no difference in the races, right? It’s politically correct. It’s the world now.



  • @konkeyDong That is a bunch of baloney. Politically correct nonsense. I suppose you think men and women are the same, too?

    Sexual dimorphism is a very real phenomenon. Look between your legs for proof of that. Political correctness has nothing to do with it. Or do you think that black people can’t play hockey?



  • @konkeyDong You make no sense. I think if blacks played hockey they would dominate hockey. My point is that blacks, generally, are much better athletes. That’s all.

    You don’t think that there are general differences between the races when it comes to athletic ability?



  • I won’t comment on all of the back and forth about if white people or black people are more athletic but I will say I don’t think we need this kid. We are loaded as is. Let’s take the incredible back court we have in Selden, Green, CF, Mason and Devonte and build confidence in these kids by giving them minutes…in real games. There are already too few minutes to go round and it is not like we are lacking on talent. We have studs at all positions.



  • You make no sense. I think if blacks played hockey they would dominate hockey. My point is that blacks, generally, are much better athletes. That’s all.

    You don’t think that there are general differences between the races when it comes to athletic ability?

    @HighEliteMajor I think there are genetic difference between related ethnic groups, but no, these don’t extend to ‘races’ as a whole. For instance, Nordic males are, on average, taller than most other males regardless of race. The same is true of some African tribes. But look at the Hutus in Rwanda. They’re short. They wouldn’t make very good basketball players on average because of that height disadvantage. It has nothing to do with ‘race’ which is only meaningful when used in one of two ways: to refer to skin color, or to refer to species. Given that all people are the same species, then no, I don’t accept your proposition that races have different athletic abilities because there’s a lot of genetic variation among people of the same skin color to begin with.

    And regardless of how many white kids play basketball, there are a lot fewer white kids that need to succeed in a sport like basketball in order to get ahead in life, whereas for black kids, it’s a different situation. Hispanics and South Americans play more baseball and soccer, and therefore, are over-represented in those sports at the highest level. Texans place more emphasis on football. Canadians on hockey. It’s cultural. That’s the only difference. When the negro leagues first integrated, it’s not as if whites got driven out of baseball or black dominated the sport. And nowadays, fewer blacks participate, and there are fewer great black players. There’s no mystery or PC conspiracy. Numbers, plain and simple. What you’re suggesting is as silly as saying something like ‘there are more black rappers because black people are better at rhyming than whites’.



  • I think it is difficult to talk about general differences between races when it comes to sports (or anything else) because it is so easy to insert your foot in your mouth. Everyone has a different background, different perspective… so what sounds like non-racial comments to one person, aren’t necessarily interpreted the same way for others.

    But it is safe to discuss statistics. And if you look at the stats, there are a disproportionate high amount of black athletics in the NBA to white athletes, when comparing the overall number of current players to the overall percentages of the races in America.

    What does that prove? That black people (in general) are more athletic than white people? I don’t think that proves it. Maybe there are direct large studies measuring different forms of athleticism and breaks it down by race. That would more accurately give us an idea of possible differences in athleticism.

    I believe the biggest factors relate more to cultural differences… from socioeconomic differences to just plain old physical environmental differences. For example… there are a higher percentage of black people living in an inner-city environment. Basketball is popular in the inner-city. It requires less space than something like baseball. It requires little equipment (basically a basketball and shoes) so it is more accessible to people on a restricted economy.

    One only has to look around at other sports to see a contrast to the generic claim that black people are more athletic than white people. Then why isn’t tennis dominated by black people? Right away it is obvious that tennis requires quite a bit of out-of-pocket expenses to reach a high level of play in tennis. It doesn’t mean only rich people can make it in tennis, but this fact creates a much harder path for athletes with very limited resources. I’m not being a racist for inferring that on average black people earn less than white people. It’s a fact backed with hard stats.

    Another thing… I don’t think any sport is all about athleticism. Sports are about execution. Athleticism is only a part of execution.

    The real sport to examine is soccer (or as the rest of the world puts it… football!). Soccer takes very little investment to play. Many players play without shoes. Someone has to have a ball. Sometimes kids don’t even have a ball so they make something count as a ball… like a hollowed-out goat head. A goal is often constructed with whatever means are available. Soccer is a world game and popular everywhere.

    But soccer is not dominated by black athletes (at least, not near the level black athletes dominate the NBA). Why is that? There is a huge incentive for low-economic people everywhere in the world to become a superstar and rise from poverty… but still… it is not dominated by black athletes. Why is that? Because of execution. It takes plenty of good coaching and proper practice to become a superstar in soccer. Many impoverished places in the world do not have the resources available for local players to reach their potential.

    If you look at all the sports in the world… basketball is probably the sport with the highest domination of black athletes. Why is that?

    It is clear, that black athletes are very capable athletically. But what makes them dominate the NBA is execution. The inner-city basketball culture is all about execution. Doesn’t matter what your color is. If you want to hold a court in an inner-city, you have to win. Usually, you already have to be proven just to earn a shot on the court. The competition is all out, all for blood. And the courts are hard… concrete, asphalt. It’s a game for survivors… and those who can survive can go on to learn to thrive. That’s the code on inner-city courts.

    Naismith may have invented the game of basketball… but the inner-city brought it to the level it is at today.

    That’s why I call the NBA the No Boys Allowed league… because it is still controlled by athletes who grew up playing inner-city basketball.

    Move more white kids back to the inner-city and have them grow up in that culture and you will see the NBA shift back to more white athletes.

    And while we are moving white kids to the inner-city to play basketball… take Perry Ellis along with them. He’s a kid who has mastered technique, but he doesn’t execute at a high enough level because he hasn’t played inner-city basketball.



  • @HighEliteMajor

    What do you think of Jimmy “the Greek” Snyder?



  • We all do understand that there are many, many more whites in poverty than blacks, right? The logic that black “need” it more is absolutely absurd. Perhaps we aren’t understanding percentages. There may be more blacks as a percentage of their population that play basketball, but volume favors whites.

    The idea that the “white” Lebron James is actually working at IBM is also absurd.

    There has never been a white Lebron James, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Dominique Wilkins, Julius Erving, Michael Thompson, etc. The list goes on and on.

    Larry, DIrk, and an athletic freak here and there like Tom Chambers.

    Blacks – generally – are better athletes than whites.

    @JayHawkFanToo - I much preferred Phyllis George at the time.



  • As a fan, I agree with the concern about playing time / development of players / transfer risk. His actions (and maybe comments in the past…I think) would seem to indicate that Self doesn’t worry about that at all. He, like all coaches, recruits the very best players that he can…and as many as he can get. He figures the playing time will work itself out.



  • Maybe we should invite Donald Sterling to join this conversation :)



  • @wissoxfan83 and magic



  • Well. I hope I live long enough where the dull mindset of clueless racism just dies off, but I don’t think I’m young enough.



  • I’m w @HighEliteMajor on this one. I’ve played and watched a lot of basketball and the black players typically seem to have a higher ceiling.

    Look at the top players in the history of the game. Bird might be top 10 all time but I don’t think he’s top 5. And I know it’s subjective but how would everyone rate their top ten?

    Here’s mine w/out any google help! Caveat- I may edit later after reading subsequent posts!

    1. Wilt.
    2. Lebron.
    3. Jordan.
    4. Oscar Robinson.
    5. Pete Maravich.
    6. Bill Russell
    7. Barkley
    8. Brady Morningstar.
    9. Magic.
    10. Bird.


  • Maybe we should invite Donald Sterling to join this conversation :)

    Funny, @wissoxfan83, but this isn’t about racism. I don’t think HEM’s a racist. I haven’t used the word or implied it at any point. And even if I did, there would be nothing to be gained by throwing the word around. It’s unproductive and stymies conversation. I think a bigger part of race relations problems in this country exist because people are afraid to talk about racial topics for fear of that label.

    We all do understand that there are many, many more whites in poverty than blacks, right? The logic that black “need” it more is absolutely absurd. Perhaps we aren’t understanding percentages. There may be more blacks as a percentage of their population that play basketball, but volume favors whites.

    The idea that the “white” Lebron James is actually working at IBM is also absurd.

    @HighEliteMajor The idea that a white kid born with the potential to be the next Lebron wound up working in a cubical at IBM or trading stocks on Wall Street is far from absurd. Yeah, I doubt IBM has anyone with that talent today, but Lebron wasn’t Lebron until he became Lebron, so to speak.

    Are there more poor whites in this country than blacks? Of course. In fact, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in total, there are about twice as many white people that live at or below the poverty line than compared to blacks, although blacks fall below that line at nearly triple the rate. Athletic ability knows no socio-economic class, though, so assuming the same percentage of the population of whites and blacks is born with potentially elite athleticism, you’re still far more likely to be born black, athletic, and poor than white, athletic, and poor. So yes, I think you’re far more likely to put your eggs in the athleticism-to-escape-poverty-basket when you’re black because you’re more likely to wind up with the right combination of incentives. It’s the same affect that causes poor blacks to sell crack even though working at McDonald’s would be more profitable on average. Even when athletic whites fall into this rubric, they’re more likely to invest energy in other sports (see statistics for MLB players below, or consider when the last time you saw a black Nascar driver was).

    But the issue at hand isn’t poverty, it’s the over-representation of a minority in a few sports. In the year 2011, whites made up 65% of the US populations, blacks 13%, Hispanics 16%, and Asians 5%. In the same year black players accounted for 78% of the NBA and 67% of the NFL, and whites 17% and 30% respectively. In the same year, whites accounted for 62% of MLB players, and blacks just 9%. So why do blacks dominate the NBA but not MLB? As I stated above, it’s cultural factors. Blacks play more basketball than whites per capita. And whether or not white people have an advantage on sheer numbers, there are still going to be more black people who have played more hours of basketball in their life times than members of other races and that is primarily a cultural phenomenon. A greater percentage of blacks live in inner cities, where, as @drgnslayr pointed out, basketball dominates the sports culture. Likewise, there are a whole lot more inner city blacks living below the poverty line by both percentage and real volume.

    All that said, HEM, regardless of my rebuttal, the evidence you use to build your argument is weak in the first place. After all, blacks, the supposedly superior athletes, accounted for two thirds of the NFL’s population compared to less than a third for whites in 2011, yet the number of teams in that same year that started a black player at QB, ostensibly the most important, skill intensive, and athletic position in the sport: 5 of 32 (last season it nearly doubled to 9 of 32). If the chocolate creme truly rises, as you suggest, why do these genetic supermen flounder at that position? (The other position white players dominate? Kicker!). And how do you compare relative levels of athleticism of disparate sports/positions anyway? Is a golfer or pro bull rider less of an athlete than a power forward or middle linebacker? Do you really think that if 6’3" Michael Phelps had put the same amount of effort in his lifetime to playing point guard rather than swimming he’d have no chance to be drafted to the NBA? Or that 6’3" Tyshawn Taylor could have broken Phelps’ swimming records by virtue of changing sports at an early age? Even if you think that race gives a genetic advantage to basketball and football specifically (rather than say, polo), why is it that soccer is played the world round, yet European and South American teams dominate the World Cup? Surely explosivity, coordination, and power would advantage black soccer players if these were inherent properties.

    The bottom line is, you’re taking for granted what you see without asking yourself how it got to be like that in the first place. See my comments about blacks in the rap industry. (Honestly, do you think they’re better at rhyming?) I went to the KC Symphony with my wife and her parents this evening (I find it boring, but I’m an uncultured swine). Although the majority of the orchestra was white, Asians were heavily represented in the strings section (almost half of the players, even though they only account for 5% of the general population, and I’m sure even less around Kansas City). There were no blacks that played in the concert. I don’t conclude from this that Asians are somehow inherently advantaged violinists compared to blacks. That’s ridiculous. I simply conclude that A) more Asians are taught to play classical string instruments as children for cultural reasons when compared to blacks and B ) part of those cultural reasons is that more of the Asians that immigrate to this country represent the best and the brightest from those countries (a phenomenon we call ‘brain drain’. After all, immigrating to the US isn’t easy with the Pacific Ocean in your way), so they’d be more inclined to both value the classical arts and have the affluence to push their kids in those directions. It’s not hard stuff, HEM. Just never take what you see for granted.



  • I’m w @HighEliteMajor on this one. I’ve played and watched a lot of basketball and the black players typically seem to have a higher ceiling.

    @VailHawk It’s not what you see that matters, it’s what you don’t see (as is the gist of every Gatorade and Nike commercial). You take for granted that black players have higher ceiling ignoring the circumstances, choices, and effort that brought them to where they are in life. Black people dominate basketball because black people try harder to do so compared to everyone else.



  • @VailHawk Brady ha! He thinks he’s black!



  • @drgnslayr

    Your POV on this issue comes closest to mine and it is explained better than I could have done in the part that you covered.



  • @konkeyDong I really like this thread. I’m trying to track w you.

    Are you saying if everyone only played basketball and all gave equal effort then the ethnic breakdown of nba players would mirror the ethnic breakdown of the population?



  • Well KD and HEM seem to be going head to head. However it seems this kid has an offer on the table from KU? It seems HCBS has already made up his mind? or I’m I missing something?



  • @VailHawk

    Brady 8 on your list? That thin Colorado air causing your brain to misfire? After Wilt, there’s none other!



  • @konkeyDong said: “Black people dominate basketball because black people try harder to do so compared to everyone else.”

    I cannot fathom a more uninformed and patently ridiculous comment. Black people try harder. Right.

    So, conversely, are you saying that blacks’ lack of effort leads them to their much higher levels (per capita) of unemployment, poverty, and violent crime?

    You ask: “Is a golfer or pro bull rider less of an athlete than a power forward or middle linebacker?”

    Short Answer: Yes. Obviously. And by a long shot. It takes much less pure athleticism to do the former than the latter – see Craig Stadler, for example. Thus my point about blacks being better basketball players. And this is my sole point.The game of basketball, in a large part, is based on a certain type of explosive athleticism. It is exactly why blacks dominate those positions in football which require that – running back, wide receiver, corner, LB, safety.

    In basketball, shooting the ball is more of a skill. Rising above the basket with your elbow at the rim has more to do with explosive athleticism. A black player that can do the latter, can learn the former. Conner Frankamp can never do the latter, nor could a black kid that possesses CF’s athleticism.

    You say, “Blacks play more basketball than whites per capita.” Per capita is irrelevant. Your argument is that blacks succeed in basketball because culturally they focus on achieving in basketball. But more whites focus on that than blacks (numbers, not per capita), and the number of blacks at the highest level far outweighs the number of whites.

    Some don’t like stereotypes – but the phrase “White men can’t jump” is there for a reason.

    Again, I think you make pointless arguments – citing Michael Phelps, and orchestras.

    Learning to play the violin, my friend, is much different than being born with inherent athletic explosiveness.

    Just like men are born stronger than women. Some men are born stronger, faster, and more athletic than other men. It just so happens that based on centuries of evolution, some black men can achieve, generally, a higher level of explosive athleticism than white men. Exceptions for sure. But the rule, for sure.

    And remember, black folks are black because they lived in very warm climates. The pigmentation differences in our skin are a direct result of the climates and exposure to sun of our ancestors. Cloudy, cool = pale Irishmen? Is it that hard to figure out that the physical differences in people inherent to world regions where the races originated centuries upon centuries ago may be tied to the physical requirements necessary to survive in those varying regions of the world? And that those differences maintain in large part still today?

    @DanR - Or, other hand, you could think.



  • I posted this on the pg thread too, but this is for @HighEliteMajor and maybe @icthawkfan316 who are reluctantly for or overly against this kid for a OAD reason or another…I’m not trying to convince you as much as justifying my personal views of KU bball.

    So excuse the long post and the double post on two separate threads. I just wanted to be sure that HEM was able to read it. It’s all good civil discussion too…thank you :) and I respect your positions too. You don’t have to agree, but just understand.

    [http://www2.kusports.com/news/2014/may/15/ukranie-wing-mykhailiuk-visit-ku/?mens_basketball](link url)

    Exactly, hence the reason for Tharpe having to leave. You yourself said in the Euro kid’s post that Tharpe left for obvious playing/player reasons. He just didn’t quite measure up to Self’s expectations. I think Tharpe was a great ‘get’ when the getting was good. But you have to remember what was going on when Self grabbed Tharpe, particularly with the pg situation.

    Self missed on Josiah Turner, Marcus Smart, and the twins. But it all started with Josiah Turner. This is when Self’s pg woes began. I think Tharpe was a 3rd option, but Self just couldn’t pick up a pg. The reason was because he had Collins, Taylor, and EJ all waiting in the wings. Actually, in all fairness to these pgs that passed on KU, it was a fair gamble for them. Turner imploded at zona, so it may have worked out for KU in the long run. But he would’ve battled the three above players. But, I think Turner would’ve been between Taylor and EJ. EJ would’ve played a true 2 with Turner and likely not have either Taylor or Tharpe.

    My point is yes Self’s system works, but it has been argued that may be the reason many pgs in particular pass on KU because Self’s system is demanding and highly complex for most players. I think they prefer to play a more pure pg, 2 or 3…etc. They don’t like coming in to a system like Self’s and expecting to flex into a position they aren’t accustomed to playing. You are actually proving my points.

    Look who Self has brought so far: Connor, Greene, and now Graham. Now go back to 2008 team and look who Self had…you obviously know that Chalmers, Collins, and Robinson were the top guards…now look more recently at BStar, Collins, Reed, etc. YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. But my arguement isn’t against what Self demands or wants, I get it, it’s the player that doesn’t want to play within Self’s demands. This Euro kid will fit perfectly in Self’s system. Hence why Self is after him BIG.

    Now, this is why I said “those guards are gone.” You won’t find many and most aren’t going to KU because of Self’s system. It’s too demanding for guards. I think this is why EJ and Tharpe struggled. TT was fair and worked within Self’s system. But 1-2s tend to struggle with Self’s system. This is why we have ZERO pg leadership right now. We don’t have an alpha dog pg that can run the show, it’s not Self’s system. These kids are confused as to what Self seems to want. Tharpe was the poster child for playing confused, heck, even BStar had his moments, but he understood Self’s system. Reed understood Self’s system too. Collins, Robinson, and Chalmers all got it. But I’ll say it again, Chalmers and Collins were alpha dog pgs/‘lead’ guards. I hate those terms because to me, they make no sense. The teams having success have true players at their positions.

    I’ll end my rant this way. I drive around and see a service van with: Plumbing, Heating, and Electrical. I think to myself, what do they do? Well, the van says they do all three. But which is their specialty? I want the best I can get for my money. If I need a electrician, I don’t want some plumber or h-vac specialty working my electrical. Yes, they may be cross-trained in all three, but I want a specialist to work my problem, not a jack of all trades that’s diversifying to make an extra buck in the market. BUT, if they can do all three well, then by all means take my business and fix my problem…it’s the same with these players. They’re capable, but in the end, it’s just too much for some. This Euro kid is exactly what your yelling about.

    Read kusports and what this kid says. Yes, you’re going to focus on the kids dreams to play in the NBA and pass…I get that, but he still meets your prototypical KU player…

    I’m thinking about going to pro, going to college. Both sides have advantages and disadvantages. I’m still thinking,” Mykhailiuk told Jonathan Givony of draftexpress.com at the Nike Hoops Summit. “I play shooting guard, point guard, wing. I am a universal player from 1 (point guard) to 3 (small forward). I think I showed what I can do in the previous European Championship.

    HEM + Mykhailiuk = UNIVERSAL PLAYER, lead, combo, whatever the heck you want to call it…you’re shooting yourself in the foot with this kid. And I hear you LOUD and CLEAR, you don’t mind having him, but you’ve made it clear how you really feel about him.

    You’re arguing against the very player you’re trying to convince me that you want for KU, except for the fact that he’ll be here 2 years and then try to go pro. But he’s here for 2 years and Kaun was here for 4 years. His dad is is a professor. Don’t we have an opening at KU in the English dept? hmm…The kid has a great academic record and may stay the full term. I think it’s a gamble worth taking. Worse case KU gets a great kid for 2 years, then turns pro. So, what’s new? At least he’s not OAD. And YES HEM, we may lose another player to a transfer, but that’s college bball.



  • @HighEliteMajor

    We all preferred Phyllis George, who would not like a former Miss America; she was the the Erin Andrews of her time, a better version In my opinion.

    What I was asking were your thoughts on Jimmy the Greek Snyder philosophy on race?



  • I’m not even touching the race thing ; ) It’s a losing battle.



  • @konkeyDong

    “but this isn’t about racism” I was in no way implying racism in anyone. I have called people out for it in years past over on KUSports, but I was really just trying to make light of the current debate we’re having.

    As for the athletic/non-athletic question, I have cringed over the years as I watch my 2nd love, UW. They have had more than the usual number of white players over the years, football included. And for years I hear people describe a top 20 UW team in either sport as being un-athletic, or not as athletic. And I think it is just preposterous. Their guard who was their only Senior this year Ben Brust, was white, 6’1" and averaged 5 rebounds a game over his last two seasons. How is that not athletic? How is it not athletic for Frank Kaminksy to dominate the tournament’s first four rounds and for a bunch of non athletes to come within a missed shot of playing for the title?

    These kids are incredibly athletic that are playing at this level. They may not run quite as fast but they still have blinding speed. They are strong, quick, have extraordinary hand-eye coordination, and would run circles around all of us.

    I always found it interesting when I was at KU and would go to Robinson (?) gymnasium for pickup basketball. During the offseason for football there’d always be a lot of football players in there. During my years at KU the football team was the laughingstock of the nation (along with KState). The football players playing ball in there were incredibly athletic, white, black, whatever. They’d go shirts and skins and I’d just gawk at these guys, sounds weird I know. They’d dunk, run, fly through the sky, do amazing things on the court. Yet these incredible athletes were not capable of winning more than one or two games a year on the football field.

    My point is they’re all athletic and to inject race into the discussion is missing the point of what makes a great team a great team.



  • I would like to remind everyone that correlation does not equal causation. The question about ethnicity and athleticism can not be answered without an experiment (ideally randomized control trails – although a properly constructed natural experiment or instrument variable might also do the trick). Good luck with that. In sum, we can’t statically support a causal claim.

    With regards to the recruit in question, as a native Kansasan (and a big Jayhawk basketball fan) – sure signing him up. But as a double alum of UVA I would be very happy if Coach Bennett landed him instead.



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