Out with old in with the OAD

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    ](linhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQGdDNtWEygk url)

    This is not the best video quality but if you watch it you can smell the toughness and chemistry these guys displayed on the court every night (minus the TCU game I believe). Its the reason we have all grown to love watching KU basketball! Before last year KU was a well oiled machine with tuns of ally oops and highlight dunks. It was streamlined and sexy like a foreign super car with 1000 hp. KU or HCBS dominated opposing teams, controlled tempo, and executed plays out of timeouts. This is the era HEM dwells on and this is what most of you have grown to love.

    Many posters on this board talk about how they would rather have a national championship vs the 10 BIG 12 titles. Many of you talk about the OAD era and your likes and dislikes pertaining to the OAD’s. How you like to see player development. How you like to get to know players over time vs a one year stint before going pro. I understand every ones arguments. However those days have come and gone and a new era is taking shape at our beloved basketball program.

    The OAD era has arrived and not a second too soon! UK has beet us to it and boarded the OAD train a few years before HCBS and has been to the FINAL FOUR three out of the last four years and the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP game twice with records like 29-9, 38-2, 21-12, and last years 29-11. I would settle for some ugly play, early losses, poor records, and many more OAD’s if HCBS can keep us in the running for 3 out of the next 4 years.

    I say “if you cant beat em join em”… No one has had the recent tournament success UK has had and everyone says they got lucky last year. I think if Noel didn’t get hurt they could have made it there again. I think its taking the entire season to prepare these youngsters for the big dance. Imagine if JoJo was healthy last year? Many experts predicted KU making it to the Elite 8 if Embid was healthy and that’s only one win away from where HCBS is taking our program. Why wouldn’t you want to land guys that only take 6 months to develop vs 3-4 years? I really like where HCBS and the OAD train is taking us and I cant wait until next years OAD’s start signing. Time to get excited about recruiting success and stop bragging about BIG 12 titles, best coaching record, and everything else that takes a back seat to tournament success! Fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride KU buckets. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

  • I don’t think it is the time it takes to develop the players as much as it is time it takes the players to truly learn the system. Coach Self and the players themselves have indicated that to take full advantage of the system, one year is just not enough, so thes ystem has in a way been dumbed down in order to have a functioning team with OADs. IMHO, a team of superior (but not elite) players with experience will outperform a team of elite but inexperienced players. The '08 teams is a good example of superior players with experience forming a team that was greater than the individual players; while last year’s team was almost the reverse.

    This coming season we have a combination of both where we have a couple of borderline elite players and a couple of superior player with some experience. In today environment, the current team is the best combination that we can now expect unless/until the rules change and force players to stay longer. Maybe we will not have the full impact of Coach Self’s system but we will not have a system so dumbed down that is almost infective either.

    I know lots of people complain about the OADs but if coach Self stop getting them we would hear even more complaints that he cannot recruit. There is no way to please all the people all the time so Coach Self needs to do what he deems best for the program; there is no question that he knows a hell of a lot more than we do, and his ongoing success is proof that whatever he is is working rather well, even with the OADs.

  • @JayHawkFanToo With the lone exceptions of Stanford, VCU, Michigan, etc…

  • @Statmachine

    Yes… look at Kentucky.

    Imagine if Calipari had to rely on developing players and without a single McDs AA (like when they slipped by us a couple of years ago)?

    There is no way Calipari could take a team to the FF unless it is super stocked with talent because he doesn’t have the ability to do it any other way.

    So what happens when Self gets close to the level of recruiting that UK gets?

    It seems like we should be a shoe-in over Cal. But it may not work that way.

    @JayHawkFanToo raises a good point about players having to learn “Self ball.” Can an OAD get it WITHIN one year (so he can perform good in March)?

    Even tougher question; can a team stock with OADs learn “Self ball” within the short scope of a season and pull it off in March?

    I think not. But I think Self knows that, too… and we will see him shift his focus to address the situation he is in. At least, we better see him adjust or we’ll have many frustrating March performances with all those OADs.

    I’m on board with many who think there must be a happy balance in there somewhere. It seems like we could at least always try to have a point man able to lead who isn’t a freshman.

  • Is this really that difficult? All coaches have a choice. Let’s not pretend that they don’t. Let’s not assume that coaches are idiots. They think this stuff through. All coaches have a choice. They do not have to recruit all players simply because they are in the top 10. KU wasn’t even in the mix on many of the top 15 players. Why is that? One could assume players eliminated KU. One should also assume that KU eliminated certain players. Do coaches just recruit the best player? Don’t they scrutinize their backgrounds? Do they eliminate players for reasons we don’t even know?

    Coaches do not have to recruit presumed OADs. They recruit presumed OADs because they believe that presumed OADs are the best path to success. I am certain that coach Self recruits presumed OADs because he thinks it’s the best path to the ultimate success.

    But let’s not kid ourselves. There is absolutely no proof that teams stocked with OADs are the best path to a national title. None. We can talk Kentucky, but we certainly aren’t talking anyone else, are we? What we see is a litany of teams that have won outside of the OAD model. We see Syracuse in 2003 with Carmelo, and then 2012 with UK. That is it. Remember to fill in the blanks with all of the non-OAD national championship winners. We seem to forget that when we cheer the recruitment of the Andrew Wiggins of the world. The Andrew Wiggins whose style of play was a significant detriment to our overall success, to chemistry, and to the team concept.

    But the point raised by @jayhawkfantoo and @drgnslayr is the best one. It is the only one that matters. Does coach Self’s system “fit” with the OAD model?

    At Kansas, this is all that matters.

    The jury is still out.

    But back to my point. Coaches have choice. Sure, coach Self might be subject to criticism if he doesn’t land the top recruits… But since when do coaches really care? And if we win, we won’t care.

    I have said this before – but the key to coach Self being successful to the degree we all desire is for coach Self to recruit players that fit his system. I believe that Alexander and Oubre fit that bill, OAD or not. And to that end, I think we are two steps ahead of last season already. Alexander and Oubre, at least, seem like the right kind of OAD player.

    The OAD experiment is on-going. At least this season, it appears that we have the right formula.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    “'I believe that Alexander and Oubre fit that bill, OAD or not. And to that end, I think we are two steps ahead of last season already.”

    I think this not only nails it on the head, this will be the statement we will all come back to in March. I’m not saying we win it all this year, I just believe we stand an excellent chance of performing better in March this year over last. I know we can all blame it on Embiid’s injury… but I think that is largely a cop out. That team didn’t play like a FF team even with Embiid. Part of it was the youth. Part of it was players (like Wiggins) who really didn’t fit in and often created the need for more attention being spent away from Self-ball. Part of it was our lack of leadership at point. Part of it was the fact that we really weren’t a team, playing team ball.

    We should be better in all of these areas this year. Kelly and Cliff seem like they are tailor-made for Self-ball, and the more we hear them speak (and watch them play), the more apparent it becomes.

  • @drgnslayr @HighEliteMajor

    As I mentioned in my post…This coming season we have a combination of both where we have a couple of borderline elite players and a couple of superior player with some experience. In today environment, the current team is the best combination that we can now expect unless/until the rules change and force players to stay longer. Maybe we will not have the full impact of Coach Self’s system but we will not have a system so dumbed down that is almost infective either."

    Once you open the door to the OADs, then it becomes very difficult to go back to the previous system. To attract top talent that is not OAD, you have to have the allure of attracting OADs, does it make sense? In other words, to attract top talent you have to attract and get a few OADs, otherwise you lose the reputation as a top tier/elite program and top talent stays away. A difficult balance to say the least.

    This upcoming season is going to be really interesting because we will be able to contrast last year’s team with top OADs against this year’s team with fringe OADs but with more experience. Considering that last year was one of the less success seasons in Coach Self’s tenure, I will guess that this team will come out ahead…and this is probably a good thing, since the OAD phenomenon is here to stay, at least until the NBA entry rules are changer.

  • @drgnslayr Another thing I really like is Self focusing on ball handling. That seems like a small thing, but it is really a huge thing. Being fast, being able to maneuver the ball off the dribble, and to be able to get into positions to create, outweigh some of the negatives related to that sort of attack. Graham, Svi, Mason, and Selden are the key to this approach.

    Selden, while not a PG, and really just ok as the 2 with the ball, becomes a stud at the 3 with the ball. Mason, Graham, Selden on the floor at the same time creates a much different dynamic. Compare to EJ, McLemore and Releford. We love those guys, but EJ was only guy who could really handle the ball, and he would be behind Mason and Graham in that category. Selden ahead on McLemore and Releford. And compare to Tharpe, Selden, Wiggins. Mason > Tharpe; Graham > Selden; Selden > Wiggins.

    But the X-Factor is Svi. I have no idea how quickly he’ll progress as a player in Self’s eyes. But as much as I like Oubre, I love Svi and what he could bring to the rotation. Imagine the four man mix of Mason, Graham, Svi, and Selden on perimeter. Our level of ball handling would be through the roof, and the effectiveness of our offensive attack will increase.

    The battle for the fifth rotation spot is the biggest thing to watch here. Greene vs. Svi (assuming Oubre is ahead of Greene). Game on.

    If you have an offense where tossing it inside isn’t a sure thing, then maximizing our strengths seems to be the best option (which includes shooting more threes).

    @JayHawkFanToo So Adam Silver is our best friend?

  • @HighEliteMajor

    If he plays his cards right he could be…

  • Other than the not inconsiderable feat of shutting down fellow OADer Jabari Parker in the closing minutes of last season’s Duke contest, one of the most significant contributions which Andrew Wiggins made to the KU program was to embellish Bill Self’s reputation among current and future top talent. Now, more than ever before, Bill Self possesses credibility with topnotch recruits, far and wide. Already a master at recruiting players who best fit his particular style of play (and social adjustment), now he can reach out to gain contact with top tier players, parents, high school/prep school/AAU coaches with more accessible ease. Several posters have contributed some really fine stuff on this specific thread. I, too, feel that Alexander, Oubre, Graham and Svi are likely to become better fits for the Bill Self style than were Wiggins and Embiid. Embiid’s almost miraculous explosive development will add significantly to the current Jayhawk reputation for super development of big men in the Self program. For basic Bill Self Basketball, now that Selden is healthier and Perry/Jamari/Landon/Frank/Hunter possess another year of experience, the 4 newcomers should make for a stronger more cohesive unit than the newcomers of a year ago. A good thing, too, since Texas, Iowa State and Oklahoma especially appear to represent strong threats to Jayhawk league dominance.

  • Oops, I forgot Greene. I really hope that kid hangs in there patiently to latch on to opportunity when and if it occurs. I will continue to see him as a potential monster lurking within the Jayhawk hoops program. I retain a touch of sadness regarding the departures of AW3 and Fankamp; and really am keeping fingers crossed that Greene will develop into the significant contributor which many posters think he can become. He injects energy and a touch of excitement when he appears on the court.

  • Great thread, guys!

    HEM, I’m with you on Svi. He is the x-factor. There is no question that he will eventually be a gigantic contributor, but will it be this year or next? There is talk that he needs to strengthen up. He missed all the summer Hudy stuff.

    I think he can compensate somewhat for having a boyish body with his toughness. He is a tough kid.

    He can do things none of our other guys can do well. He easily can create his own shot. He can shoot off the dribble in mid-range. He has good court awareness and can make good passes. He can also win us some steals by seeing more of the game on the defensive end.

    Lots of pluses. But he has his minuses, too. His youth at the top of the list. He is a little green for “western ball”, very green for “self ball”, lacks strength, lacks discipline (especially on his shot), has language issues.

    Even with all those negatives, I just have a feeling he is a kid who can learn quickly, even though his English is rough. This guy is a long way from home, and he surely wants to make a life for himself over here. No one has more riding on their play than Svi.

    There is the chance his game kicks up a turbo-notch during the year. If that happens, we’ll become a very tough out in March!

  • @drgnslayr did you read his eyebrows? Jk

  • @drgnslayr I’m with you on having a better chance of performing better at the dance this year with players that better fit the Self system.

    But not sure I can go with the losing our best player for the tournament as being a cop out… it was a pretty huge loss. I think we at least get by Stanford with him, maybe further… the guy was a beast.embiid.jpg

  • @Jyhwk_InTigrtwn

    I’m certain we would have been a better team, and we probably would have handled Stanford. Beyond that, I’m not so sure we would have continued to advance. Embiid rescued the statistical line on our defense, but he didn’t make us a team playing team ball. I didn’t see us as a FF team.

    Let’s not forget, our PG had a meltdown.

  • If we turn into a OAD school, I will be posting here less, watching less KU basketball, etc. I want to get to know players. There’s no way in H E double hockey sticks that I’m going to try to invest emotional energy into learning 10 new players every year and wait for the inevitable ‘so and so decided to forgo their last three years of eligibility and enter the draft’. Especially since more than half of those guys are going to be NBA busts and leave us wondering what if, ala Joshua Selby to name one. I want no part of it.

  • @wissoxfan83 I feel the exact same way. That’s the main reason that I don’t watch the NBA - too much team hopping going on, you never get a chance to know the players. I want guys that bleed crimson and blue, that are proud to be at KU and who are involved in the community. The one and done’s mean nothing to me. I’m not an Andrew Wiggins basher, but I’m just saying that he will never mean as much to me as say Scot Pollard. Who’s the better ball player? We all know that. Who’s more fun to be around? We all know that too.

  • The thing with college is that your system has to be adaptable year to year because no matter what, your team is likely changing every year.

    Under the old model, even when you kept your best players for 3-4 years, you still had seniors graduating and new players being integrated. A college system cannot depend on continuity because you are almost certain to lose one or two rotation players every year, or, if not, you lose 4-5 rotation players in one off season.

    I am firmly of the belief that Coach Self’s system does not require multiple years to learn. No college coach can legitimately run a system like that because he can’t keep his team together that long. The max you can have any one group is 5 years, and they can only play for 4. Considering how you have to distribute scholarships, you can keep a rotation group (8 players) together for a maximum of 3 years total. That’s the absolute upper limit. More likely, as I said above, you are shifting players in and out of that rotation yearly.

    Let’s take Creighton for example. Here are the top 7 scorers for Creighton each of the last four years. New players are bolded in each year.

    2010-2011 - McDermott, Young, Echenique, Lawson, Manigat, Wragge, Jones

    2011-2012 - McDermott, Young, Echenique, Gibbs, Manigat, Wragge, Jones

    2012-2013 - McDermott, Echenique, Gibbs, Wragge, Chatman, Manigat, Artino

    2013-2014 - McDermott, Wragge, Chatman, Gibbs, Manigat, Brooks, Artino

    This year McDermott, Wragge, Manigat and Gibbs are all gone. Artino, Chatman and Brooks are all seniors. Every single guy from last year’s rotation will be gone next year. And that’s the best case scenario as far as continuity is concerned.

    I see people on this board talk about development all the time. Look at that list again. The only guy that you could say really developed from being a non-starter to being big time players was Wragge. He was a back of the rotation guy early in his career, second leading scorer as a senior. Everyone else basically contributed the same. Artino has been a seventh man in the rotation. Gibbs was a 3rd or 4th guy. Manigat was a fringe starter.

    There is simply no guarantee, as this roster points out, that a guy who stays for four years will ever develop into a big time player. The truth is that, after the sophomore year, most guys aren’t going to change much more in college. Those with high talent (the potential future pros) will continue to grow. Those without that talent will start to level off.

  • @drgnslayr with a healthy Embiid I did see a final four team. I saw it in the home and away ok. games, the home Texas game, both Baylor games, osu at home and in conference tourney, without Embiid. I saw hope in our team in con tourney-without Embiid against a very good, healthy ISU team! I saw an interview w/wiggins timberwolves teammate, Rick Rubio. They asked him to describe Andrew, although there were many nice compliments the one that stands out is, “unselfish”!

  • @justanotherfan You said, “I am firmly of the belief that Coach Self’s system does not require multiple years to learn.” – and you bolded “does not.”

    That, I think, is missing the point with OADs.

    Self’s system is difficult to grasp quickly. Meaning, that it takes time to be effective in Self’s system. Thus I think when compared to the static, average college program, it just takes a player longer to assimilate with Self. To learn what Self wants. To know where he needs to be, and what he needs to do.

    Part of Self’s system is “toughness” – that can be taught. It can be learned. But many guys don’t start diving on floors immediately.

    Part of Self’s system is his impatience with mistakes. This certainly limits quick development. It puts guys on the bench many times as they learn. Other programs, you will guys playing. A good example is/was Anrio Adams and/or Andrew White in 2012-13. There were room for minutes for one of them. Self didn’t have the patience. You get in and dribble the ball off your foot, you’re done.

    And development is not just becoming a starter – it’s becoming better. Witness Marcus Morris from freshman to junior. Starter each year, but he developed. Development is just a nice, upward progression.

  • @drgnslayr

    Don’t forget that Svi has been playing in a professional league with grown men, many of them former American college players, for a while now so he knows how to play against grown, strong men probably better that the other players in the team. We casually dismiss Euro ball all too often as being not good, and 20 years ago it was probably true; however, the level in those Leagues has improved dramatically and now the difference is small. A few years ago the US sent less than top teams to international competitions and they were soundly defeated, so a program was started to have an active National Team comprised of top player to represent the country and only after that approach the USA team started winning again.

    The NBA currently has 92 foreign players in team’s rosters and the San Antonio Spurs, have a record 10 foreign players; last year’s championship team had 8 foreign players in the roster. Surprising isn’t it?

  • @justanotherfan

    "I am firmly of the belief that Coach Self’s system does not require multiple years to learn. No college coach can legitimately run a system like that because he can’t keep his team together that long."

    I respectfully disagree. Coach Self “developed” his system at Oral roberst long before the OADs and it obviously did not account for players not staying long enough to learn the system. Coach Self AND the players themselves have stated that to derive **“full benefit” **of the system, players typically need more than one season. In order to accommodation the OADs, the system has been simplified (dumbed down) and while it works, it does not derive the full benefit of all the variations of the full system.

  • Right now I believe my second love Wisconsin Badgers have a much better chance of making the FF with their 2nd, 3rd and 4th year players than KU does with their getting to be usual stable of 1st and 2nd year players. By all means I hope this team proves me wrong, but as Cal has showed us 1st round NIT exits are possible with such players as well.

  • I agree that Self’s system (plus whatever else it takes to go far) requires time to learn.

    Look at the difference between 2007 and 2008: basically the same players, just more experience. Self said he had 54 different plays he could call in 2008.

    2012: all seniors and juniors.

    2013: 4 seniors and a freshman.

    2014: we had to replace our entire starting lineup, which explains in large part why we are on the OAD merry-go-round since then.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Development is upward progression. I think we both agree. And both Morris twins definitely developed while at KU. So did Thomas Robinson, Tyshawn Taylor and many others. But I would argue that a player like Brady Morningstar peaked in his second year at KU and did not develop further after that. I’d likewise argue that Kevin Young was basically the exact same player in both seasons at KU - he just played twice as many minutes and so his averages were twice as high.

    I’ve said many times before that development should not be assumed. Every player has a ceiling. Some guys reach their ceiling at 19 or 20. Others won’t hit that ceiling until 25 or 26. For many collegiate players, their ceiling, from an athletic perspective, will be achieved in either their sophomore or junior year because they simply don’t have the physical talent to continue to improve beyond that. They may become smarter or more efficient (look at a player like Travis Releford, who became a much smarter player as his career went on), but his game was basically set at that point.

    Consider a couple of current KU players: Perry and Jamari.

    Jamari has more room to improve because he arrived at KU so raw. He wasn’t very good with handling the ball. He wasn’t much of a shooter from outside about 5 feet. He was just fast and athletic and strong. Perry, on the other hand, was much closer to his overall ceiling when he got to KU. He could handle the ball. He could step out and shoot. He could finish at all sorts of angles inside. From a basketball playing standpoint, he was very much developed fundamentally. So how much more can Perry improve given his athleticism (good, but not elite) and his fundamental skills (already very high)? Or maybe a better question - Where does Perry improve?

    And that is where the myth of development begins. Unless Perry suddenly becomes a dynamic ball handler and shooter off the dribble, he’s already at 95% of what he is going to be. He’s already a very efficient interior scorer. He’s already a respectable midrange shooter. He seems to have added 3 point range this off season. The trendline on Perry will likely continue up because he is a hard worker, but it is going to be a much more flat rise because he is very close to his max.

    Think about how much Joel Embiid improved last year. His elite physical skills combined with his raw basketball skills meant that he was improving dynamically from week to week. But Embiid is a rare find. You won’t find many elite athletic specimen like him that are still so raw entering college. Coaching has improved at the lower levels to the point that very few guys with high athleticism are arriving in college still raw. Wiggins won’t be fully developed for another 5 years because his ceiling is just so high, but he was still developed enough to average 17 and 6 at the D1 level last year.

    But that’s the only way to see consistent high improvement, is to either have someone that is so raw that they can develop just by learning some basic basketball skills, or have someone so physically gifted that any skill they add is magnified by their incredible physical talent.

  • I think the way we are recruiting is the way we will recruit as long as we have Self at the helm. Kansas is a top 5 program, with all the accolades and reputation of an elite program.

    The Elite high school kids these days barely make it to Sophomore year of high school before they are being hailed as potential 1 and done’s. The exposure has created hype and a belief in these kids that they are bigger than College before they even arrive. Very few like an Embiid blow up so late in the process that it takes the media and scouts to catch on.

    Self knows his program has a strong brand, Wiggins and others have lifted it even further. We are in with most of the top remaining kids left in the 15 class because KU is a darn good place to play. We are in with many of the top kids in the 2016, 2017 classes because Self knows that he can develop talent no matter the skill level they come in with.

    Self gets paid millions to mold a team his way, no matter if its a 3 star or 5 star player. He knows the risks either way on how both can or don’t pan out. It’s his job to figure out how to consistently put Kansas in a position for championships.

    The development method can be more satisfying to him and to the fans because both get to witness progression over the years. 1 and done’s leave an unfinished business feeling if those star players don’t bring home championships. We are always left wondering “what if they came back another year”.

    We might gain more brand recognition with the 1 and done method but it might not always be what’s best for the long term of the program. That’s why Self is still one of the best because he gets a Landon Lucas, a Frank Mason, a Jamari Traylor to mold around the All American’s. Graham could be one of the best point guards Self has ever had. Who would have thought from a kid who was once signed to Appalachian St. Svi is a 2-3 year player who could be an All Big 12 kid in a few years. It’s his talent evaluation on the less heralded players that we should scrutinize just as much as the stars because those might be the foundations for years to come in this program.

    Now if the NBA 1 and done rule gets changed, maybe a shift in the recruiting of top kids changes slightly to where kids buy into a school more… Kids might be more likely to stay for a 3rd year where if they are academically gifted can get a degree and still hit the league at a young age. Self has changed with the times. The 1 and done created this ongoing trend, only a rule change can swing it a different way. We know whatever happens Kansas will always be near the top.

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