Straw Poll: How Many Think Cal Is What Draws Recruits to UK?

  • Cal reputedly has 10 McD AAs on his roster this season.

    Here are the UK gets for next season so far listed on ESPN

    ☞Skal Labissiere–6-10 rim protector, 5th ranked C

    ☞Isaiah Briscoe–muscular 6-3 200lb PG, 1 ranked PG

    ☞Charles Matthews–skinny 6-5 175 lb, 12th ranked SG

    Of these gets, apparently only Matthews considered KU lately. And given that he is only 12th ranked at his position, it kind of looks like Cal took him just for fun to keep him from going to KU.

    And here is an ESPN list of other likely UK prospects to join these three.

    Jaylen Brown (# 2), Malik Newman (# 3), Ivan Rabb (# 5), Cheick Diallo (No. 7), Caleb Swanigan (#8), Stephen Zimmerman (# 10), Brandon Ingram (#12), Antonio Blakeney (# 14) and Carlton Bragg(#18]

    This is quite an interesting list of signed players and players waiting to see if UK will have openings, since this year’s team has 10 Nike, er, McD AAs.

    Let’s take a straw poll:

    Vote Yes if you think the players come to UK because of Cal’s charisma.

    Vote No if you think the players come to UK for “miscellaneous other reasons.”

    It seems an embarrassment of riches. 🙂

    Man, can that guy recruit, eh? 🙂

  • @jaybate-1.0

    I vote “No”

    Cal relating with HS kids:

  • It’s a little of both.

  • You are stacking the deck as you know that it is more than charisma and those miscellaneous other reasons could mean a lot of things. So based on your poll…I would say No. But…we all know that he has clearly adopted an effective business model to thrive in the OAD era. Dribble drive offense that allows them to showcase their skills, join all of the other talented guys, compete for a NC and then become a high draft pick, etc. It’s working. The good news for us is that we are in the mix for the other big guys, so maybe Labissiere going to UK increases the chance we will get one of the other guys.

  • @Hawk8086 Labissiere won’t play a minute of college basketball - his guardian made sure of that.

  • KUSteve,

    I am not familiar with what you are referring to…what is the deal with labissiere?

  • Most top prospects go to wherever will get them exposure and will get them to the NBA fastest. Smart top prospects go to wherever will get them exposure, improve their game and get them to the NBA fastest. It’s not rocket science, really.

    Elite programs that get a lot of exposure will always get top prospects. Top coaches will take a marginal NBA prospect and make him a viable NBA prospect; Coach Self has been very successful doing the later.

  • @JayHawkFanToo and if their parents are educated they can usually guide them thru the BS! Example: wiggins

  • No I think it reveals how foolish some of these recruits are. How do they think they’re all going to play at that school?

  • @Hawk8086

    So glad to see you back for another season.

    So let me try to unstack the deck, at least to what little extent this humble alias can.

    But before I begin, you raise an interesting question in my mind: Has Cal adopted an effective business model, or has a business with an effective model adopted Cal? and Stumpy, legally, of course?

    I only think about legalities. I always assume that big actors on stage playing for tens of millions, or hundreds of millions, or even billions of dollars, play legally. There seems too much at stake to play illegally.

    My point is this: if the answer were Cal adopting an effective business model, then wouldn’t everyone have long ago copied it? I mean it worked for Cal at Memphis. And now at UK. Since no one apparently but Stumpy Miller, a modestly experienced coach from Xavier, has been able to copy it quickly the way the Stumpster has apparently done upon arriving at UA, one ought at least wonder why has Stumpy alone been able to copy it out in thinly populated southeastern Arizona, in the MST zone, but others have not apparently been able to do so? Coaches copy offenses and clothing styles rather rapidly. They would hardly seem averse to copying such an extraordinarily successful biz model, as you call it; one that produced such suddenly winning and rewarding results.

    What makes John Calipari and Stumpy Miller able to load up 5-10 deep on Mickey Ds, when others with vastly superior career records, or several more rings, or those recruiting smack dab in the middle of higher concentrations of top recruits have not been able to adopt this model, or, possibly alternatively, BE ADOPTED FOR this model?

    So: let the unloading effort begin in earnest, shall we?

    We can confidently infer a few things NOT driving this asymmetric distribution of talent.

    It appears not to correlate to superior coaching abilities. Self beat Cal in '08 without a single player the quality of Derek Rose. And Self hung in against arguably the most talented team in awhile in the 2012 Finals without a single Mickey D on his roster. Coach K has 4-5 rings to Cal’s 1. Donovan has two to Cal’s one. Yet Cal has the 10 Mickey Ds. Why?

    It appears not to correlate to superior offensive and defensive strategies, because Cal and Stumpy both frequently compete with sharply superior talent only to lose. This at least suggests a possibility that players are not being compelled to Lexington and Tucson to partake in coaches with an order of magnitude greater Xs and Os skill set that yields a massive edge in competition. Surely Bill Self at it longer than Stumpy, and no slouch when it comes to basketball IQ, knows as much or more than Stumpy, if players were looking largely for a coaching edge. Yet Stumpy appears to get the greater abundance of these types of players.

    It appears not to correlate to charisma, because Cal apparently has only a little and Stumpy almost none. We are not talking about George Clooney recruiting Brad Pitt to UK here with Cal. And we aren’t talking about Denzel Washington recruiting Will Smith to UA. We are talking about John Calipari and Stumpy Miller.

    It appears not to correlate strongly to tradition, because KU and UNC have as much, or more tradition, than UK, and UA has vastly less than KU and UNC and others.

    It does not appear to correlate highly with superiority of conference competition. The SEC and Pac 12 seem a cut below, say, the ACC, Big Ten, and Big 12, though some coasters might dispute the Big 12. Still, that leaves the ACC and Big Ten to try to explain away, which I cannot pull off.

    It does not appear to correlate significantly with time zone location, because UK and UA are two time zones away from each other. And UK is in the same time zone as Duke and UNC. Why does UK have 10 Mickey Ds, but Duke and UNC do not. And remember, Duke and UNC used to get as many Mickey Ds as UK.

    It does not appear to correlate with population density (no need to master the obvious).

    It does not appear to correlate with sports infrastructure, because UK’s is reputedly vastly superior to UA’s. And KU’s, UNC’s, and Duke’s are equal or superior to UA’s, and some say Duke and UNC are on a par with UK. But Cal and Stumpy get the bumper crops.

    It does not appear to correlate strongly with weather either. University of New Mexico, Arizona State, New Mexico State, Texas El Paso, Fresno State, among others have climate approximating UA’s. And again, I do not need to master the obvious that myriad other universities equal or surpass UK’s climate.

    It seems not to correlate strongly with academics. Any number of schools offer equal or superior academics. And if easier academics were the driver, well, if recent reports were to prove reliable, UNC, for one could compete neck and neck, and so could probably many other D1 schools with reputedly soft academic paths for student athletes.

    So: again, I must ask what drives the apparently acutely asymmetric distribution of talent presently?

    What variable, or variables, remain to explain this phenomena, now that the deck has been unstacked, as best this lay alias can via speculation?

    Hmmm, what else is there?

    Well, I have not run a correlation with sun spots yet.

    It could, also, I suppose, correlate somewhat counterintuitively with highly localized climate effects triggered by human-driven global warming, BUT I find this far fetched.

    ISIS, or ISIL, or Corusan, seem to be being blamed for about everything. How about them? No, that’s absurd (and besides, we don’t do the political here).

    And it could be that Nostradamus predicted the exact reason that two men of the distant future named Cal and Stumpy would attract absurdly asymmetric distributions of Mickey Ds during the teen decade of the 21st Century and I missed it when I speed read Nosty’s boredom buster.

    After perusing these rather farfetched explanations, I am suddenly stunned to see to my right, over in the corner, there stands a 900 pound gorilla with a tiny lamp shade on its head pretending to be a haired over floor lamp. Shaved into the fur of the 900 pound gorilla’s chest are the words: “Petro Apparel.” I ask the gorilla his name? Looking sheepishly under the teeny lamp shade on his huge head, he says, “Would you believe Megillah, as in The Big?” To which I say: "I, I, I don’t know. I’m not sure what to believe anymore about college basketball. Its all so counterintuitive, you know? Increased violence in a non-contact sport. Reputed whistle-shaping of games to fit them in broadcast windows followed by a season of sharply different whistling early and then still different whistling late. Allegations of easy As and Bs in African Studies and African American Studies at the university that integrated the ACC being said to imply staggering corruption. Its all so confusing to a simple fan. In thinking about the presence of the big ape as a possible explanation of talent asymmetries, I am torn between two quotes. One by Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes who said to Watson something like, '“How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?” And another by Thomas Edison, who said, "“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this - you haven’t.” The big gorilla pulls the tiny lamp shade down tightly on his head. “Are you alone?” I ask him. To which he mutters something I cannot quite make out, but which sounds vaguely like, “Don’t bet on it.”

    Rock Chalk!

  • @wissoxfan83

    Human folly is never a possibility to overlook. Thanks for calling my attention to it.

  • @drgnslayr

    Fire Marshall Bill has to be one of the wickedest, funniest comedy characters ever to lampoon anything. LOL! even as I wince at how outrageous Jim Carrey can be.

    I met him once on a walk outside an apartment complex somewhere between Hancock Park and the Miracle Mile neighborhoods in LA before he had made it big. He was the nicest hilarious human being I ever spoke to in passing. He was not trying to be funny. He just WAS funny. He had been doing laundry. And was wearing a scarf on his head. Three days growth. Pale, all nighter skin. All I said was hi, as I passed him. I barely recognized him from an old short run TV show he had once done about a cartoonist on a show kind of like Bullwinkle. I could not recall his name. But he nodded and shrugged at his load of clothes, and shot me one of those fabulously weird smiles, as if he had something weird stuffed inside. I laughed, and then walked down the rest of the block to where I was headed and I could not wipe the grin off my face. Some are born funny.

  • I think what Cal has done is found a glitch in the college system.

    As I have said in other threads, the level of competition in college basketball generally is not high enough to really prepare a player for the next level. Take Embiid last year. How many truly NBA size and talent centers did KU see last season? Twice against Texas, Georgetown, New Mexico, Baylor twice and maybe a couple others. That’s it. Less than 10 games against truly top notch big man talent.

    Calipari can now tell guys “Look, playing in college you will have a handful of showcase games each season - or you can come to Kentucky and play against NBA talent every single day in practice.”

    What’s better for a guy like Karl Towns? Playing 8 games against good players, or having to go against Willie Cauley-Stein, Dakari Johnson and the rest of the guys at Kentucky?

    NBA scouts will tell you it’s the second option because that’s what gives them something to really evaluate against. How does this guy work in practice against equal talent, when the lights aren’t shining? How does he take instruction and criticism from coaches? How does he handle a tough practice? How does he work in the second hour? What’s his concentration and competitiveness like in conditioning drills?

    Those are the questions that NBA folks are going to be asking, and UK’s roster gives them the best chance to answer those for their big guys. For what it’s worth, KU’s wing group does the same thing for them this year with Greene, Oubre, Selden and Svi.

  • I have to ask this question about the players that go to Kentucky, be it they pick the school for good ol Cal or to play for Kentucky itself in todays world, not it’s history.

    Does KU want a lot of those guys in the Bill Self system? Would the Harrison Twins be guy that would fit the KU mold?

    Sure by a talent standpoint a lot of those players would be great to have, but mentally?

  • @justanotherfan

    Thank you for taking a moment and proposing a hypothesis with your usual thoughtfulness.

    At first, I thought BINGO, but then I was dragged back to the harsh reality that KU, Duke, Slick deVille, MSU, UCONN and UNC have not copied the model that Cal has used for a few years now. And I recalled that after each season Self appears to copy something from other highly successful programs and so one would expect Self, and all the other coaches mentioned, to have already jumped on this model, if it could have been duplicated. All of the programs mentioned above have the coaching, sports infrastructure, and clusters of high level talent to tell every OAD that if you five Mickey Ds come to our school you will work out EVERY PRACTICE with other Mickey Ds.

    So: that cannot be the explanation, or we would be seeing it having been copied at each of these schools, and perhaps more.

    @justanotherfan, I am left only one inference: something else has to be driving the phenomenon acute recruiting asymmetry in talent distribution at UK especially.

    What could it be?

    We are making progress here.

    We keep ruling things out.

    We seem to be getting to where there are very few explanations left.

    Keep posting anymore that you think of.

    And I hope others do to.

    My goal here is simple. It is to arrive at a remaining explanation that is clear and probable enough that either Self can adopt this explanation and always have as many Mickey D’s on the KU roster as UK, OR it will become apparent that Cal is doing something that Self is simply incapable of doing.

    And again, I am assuming every thing Cal and UK are doing are painstakingly legal.

  • @jaybate-1.0 said:

    What could it be?

    $$$, cash, dead presidents, mule, green backs,

    or in the case of Blue Chips, tractors, apartments, jobs

  • @jaybate-1.0 One more “NO Vote” from the Red Rooster !!

  • @Hawk8086 Skal’s guardian was going around soliciting financial bids for Labissiere - he was looking for 100k-250k. Skal has been to three different high schools in the past several years. The NCAA will be all over it- no way he ever gets cleared to play.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    “What could it be?”

    I really think a big part of it is the academics. Schools like Kansas and Duke promote educational standards, even to athletes.

    Kansas recruits players like Ellis, a 4-pt GPA student. It is less likely to see the smart kids going to Calipari. A big chunk of top talent are not good students. They may get through by the skin of their teeth, and I think Cal sells it to them how he can help them with their academics.

    Let’s face it, even for good HS students, college is an intimidating step. Imagine what it must be like for athletes that aren’t good students and want (and do) spend all their energy, time and focus on their sport?

    It is just my opinion, but I think Cal is doing something other coaches are not doing. The recruiting discrepancy between Cal and all other D1 coaches is immense. Yes, Kansas is starting to get more top tier athletes… but we are a long ways from garnering the amount of top tier that Cal does. And people really think Cal just has a magic charm over these guys? Really? I remember hearing that for quite some time now and people are just starting to see through that lie. The next lie to defeat is that they get to practice against top talent every day. There is something to that, but not to the point where you can line your bench with McD AAs. It just doesn’t add up.

  • @drgnslayr “hey go to class for the first semester, then go to the NBA, no classes needed second semester.”

    Or something like that?

  • @jaybate-1.0 I don’t think your theory is improbable at all. The blow back is we’re doing essentially the same thing, only with Adidas instead of Nike. Pitino bitches about the shoe companies corrupting college basketball, yet if he could sign 3 Mickey D’s all stars, he’d push his mistress off the dinner table at his favorite restaurant to do so.

    ****JRyman: @drgnslayr “hey go to class for the first semester, then go to the NBA, no classes needed second semester.”

    Or something like that?****

    Like Kentucky did in 2012, when they all quit school January 1st?

  • @JRyman

    True. But UK has a big part of their team back for year 2 now. Those guys have to make it over the academic bar.

    We may have had a player or two going that route. But we graduate most of our guys, even if they go on to the pros.

    Maybe a big part of it is just ethics. Imagine yourself a college coach… will you do absolutely ANYTHING to win?

    These kids are student-athletes, and lets face it, some of these athletes are not involved much in being students. But as a college coach, do you recruit the guys that really aren’t students? It does feel like “gaming the system” and I’m not sure I would sleep well at night having a team full of guys that don’t have a basic grasp of the 3-Rs. Maybe other coaches feel the same. Maybe they have a line they won’t cross.

    I know we are on the books for recruiting and offering most of the top talent. We have to be if we expect to get the athletes that can legitimately pass a college-level class. That doesn’t mean we sign them. We’ve had players with academic issues… like BMac and Traylor. I believe Self had discussions with them about working in the class room. They were instructed where the bar was and how they could become eligible.

  • @drgnslayr

    I am very hesitant to question any player’s academics without knowing them personally. Pat Forde made a joke a couple weeks ago about Marcus Paige missing media day to take an exam. Blew up in his face because Paige is an academic all American.

    The fact that the Harrison twins, Dakari Johnson and Marcus Lee are all back as sophomores and Cauley-Stein and Poythress return as juniors makes it difficult to believe that UK’s guys just stop going to class second semester, otherwise they would all declare regardless of draft standing.

  • @justanotherfan I went back, and researched this, and I was relying on faulty information. Didn’t realize there had been a correction issued on it. Here is more on it:

    “**Earlier that spring, Hall of Fame Coach Bob Knight disparaged the academic achievements of so-called one-and-done players. He mistakenly said that UK’s five starters in the 2010 NCAA Tournament did not attend a class in the spring semester. He later apologized.” ** I never got the memo…lol.


    Please try to remember, and note the significance, that I do not intend to deal in theories, least of all conspiracy theories. Theories of any kind to me are proven explanations of phenomena. I don’t have the time, resources, or expertise to deal in theories about basketball programs, universities, accreditation organizations, sports reform organizations, agents, agent runners, summer games, Big Shoes, Big Media, Big Gaming, etc., and I doubt most of the rest of us do. I try to pose, and encourage others to try to pose, hypotheses, and to amend and develop them with what logic and limited evidence that may be currently available, so as to point directions toward more hypothesizing, more evidence collection and more applications of logic to get us closer to better fitting hypothetical explanations. Hypotheses are possible explanations, not proven ones. Further, I try to pose possible explanations that I believe could be consistent with law, regulations, rules, and standards. I do not intend to, nor do I wish for this community to, act in the role of judge and jury. I have come to believe that if we can pose hypotheses that might be consistent with law, regulation, rules and standards, and refute or support them, then we are usefully narrowing the scope of the possible and leaving interpretations of what remains to others properly tasked with considering such things further. In short, if we can take what they give us and refute, or support it, or expand on it, we are becoming a more informed community little by little. And it is my hope at least that more informed fans contribute more to the positive development of the game and KU Basketball than less informed ones over the long haul.

    Put another way, we are hopefully an online community trying to understand what the heck is going on a little bit better each day. Being an informed community should be our goal. Not dispensing opinions of guilt and justice, even though a certain amount of outrage at acutes, sometimes seemingly egregious phenomena, provokes us toward such.

    This is why my original question ASKED: was it Cal’s charisma, or something else, that enabled Cal to attract 10 Mickey Ds?

    All we have to do is pose how he might be doing it consistent with laws, regulation, rules, and standards, especially by considering how he says he is doing what he is doing, then analyse it. If we can see that it is valid and fitting within apparent constraints, then we can expect our program to emulate it. If we can’t, well then maybe someone else can explain what we are missing. And if they can’t, well then maybe it isn’t something that can be emulated within constraints and it will lead where it leads without us slipping into acting as judge and jury. let us keep the focus on the issue and not on us.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @justanotherfan said:

    The fact that the Harrison twins, Dakari Johnson and Marcus Lee are all back as sophomores and Cauley-Stein and Poythress return as juniors makes it difficult to believe that UK’s guys just stop going to class second semester, otherwise they would all declare regardless of draft standing.

    I am so glad you posted this. This gives us a chance to posit that they are doing it the right way and to ask how are they doing it?

    What classes are these players in?

    Are we seeing a trend, which might correspond with logic, that OAD/Mickey D type players are starting to learn from recent past experiences; i.e., they are recognizing what has for sometime been noted here and elsewhere–a high risk of such players actually not flourishing at the NBA level; that injury and development are hard to predict; that developing a year or two extra may be advantageous; that education is a smart advantage to acquire along the way?

    Is Caliper perhaps LEARNING say, from Bill Self, that these OAD/Mickey D types, at least more rather than less of them, CAN be properly educated within the rules (assuming Self to is doing the right thing)? And is Cal perhaps learning that this approach to education creates even more of an attraction to whatever else Cal and UK are doing to attract large numbers of such persons to their program?

    Adding such insight, @justanotherfan, is real learning.

    And it leads to further a further insight, which is what connectivity in a community is supposed to do.

    What if Cal has learned from Self, as Self has appeared at times to have learned from Cal; that is, what if Cal has learned to take a laudable approach to education of these UK players (heck, let’s also suppose another scenario in which he has been doing it the right way all along), so that he and KU are doing approximately the same thing education wise–what then is leading to the great asymmetry between the number of ten Mickey Ds at UK and the number of Mickey D’s at KU? And why aren’t Self, and Coach K, and Rick Pitino, and Tom Izzo, and Tom Crean, and Kevin Ollie, and Larry Brown, not adopting this model? They have had a few years to do so.

    So: the point here is that the more one tries to explain away an acute anomaly, the more one finds oneself staring the acute anomaly straight in the face, especially if one is fair minded and grants Cal that he is doing it the right way in most things we can observe.

    And this is good and fair to do IMHO.

    How can Cal have 10 Mickey Ds, when it looks increasingly like he is doing all the apparent legal and admirable things so similarly done in other programs?

    Forget about what he might be doing illegally, or unethically; that is not our jurisdiction.

    Let’s stay focused on what legal things we have not yet thought of and hypothesized that he may be doing better to get the favorable distribution of talent?

    And let us analyze those too.

    What action, or combination of actions, that Self, Coach K, Rick Pitino, and Tom Izzo are not taking, that Cal is taking allows Cal to have 10 Mickey Ds and not them?

  • @jaybate-1.0 Your question, “What action, or combination of actions, that Self, Coach K, Rick Pitino, and Tom Izzo are not taking, that Cal is taking allows Cal to have 10 Mickey Ds and not them?”

    I’ll give you a perfect example – Kelly Oubre. Top 10ish player, McDonalds AA. If he were at Kentucky, he’d be playing the same 15-20 minutes as the 10 guys they have running the platoon right now. Cal’s system is player-centric. It’s much easier by all accounts.

    Further, there is a perception that UK and Cal get kids ready for the NBA at a better clip than other colleges. This may just be a result of more NBA type guys going there, but it is perception.

    A scout last spring mentioned how Self’s system held Wiggins back, because he had to play his spot.

    To be honest, I love that Kentucky can be public enemy #1.

    You’ve seen guys transition to the OAD model. Self is hot and heavy with it … look at our (non) recruiting class. Talk about going “all in.” And coach K, who just recently wouldn’t take OAD guys, has embraced it. But Cal is the king. He’s a pure players’ coach.

    If Oubre languishes, that will be fodder for his recruiting competition. Self is going to be under some huge pressure to play Oubre as we progress, ready or not. Heck, Cal can already say to recruits … “Look, I know your talent. I let you play. Self, well, you have to fit his system. Look at his transfers. Look at Oubre. He played 4 minutes in the season opener and he’s in the top 10 in the 2015 mock draft.”

  • @HighEliteMajor “Look at Oubre. He played 4 minutes in the season opener and he’s in the top 10 in the 2015 mock draft.”

    Point well taken. Too bad we can’t be there to say “Look at Embiid. Developed so fast he was taken 3d in the draft with known back problems and an injured foot.”

  • Do we know that Kelly Oubre is completely healthy right now? First game of the season and he plays 4 minutes in the first half, doesn’t play at all in the second.

    Played 21 minutes against Washburn, scored 9 points in 21 minutes on 4-7 shooting.

    Played 15 minutes against Emporia State, scored 2 points in 15 minutes on 1-3 shooting.

    4 minutes against UCSB. No points on no shots. A couple rebounds.

    Oubre has literally disappeared from the rotation. For a guy with his physical skills, that’s surprising this early in the year. So my question is, is he completely healthy?

    Is Coach Self not saying because he doesn’t want UK to know that Oubre can’t go (or isn’t 100%). Or is Oubre just not in the rotation right now? I would tend towards the former for right now. It’s not like Oubre has come in and stunk the joint up. He played solid against Washburn, shaky against Emporia and barely at all against UCSB. It just doesn’t make sense to me - unless he’s not healthy.

  • I hope I didn’t come across like I am carrying a prejudicial torch on anyone… because I’m not. This is a case where I’m speaking about athletes as a whole. There are plenty of excellent student-athletes out there, many have played at Kansas.

    But there are many top recruits that are not good students. This is a known fact. So when such a high number of elite athletes are on one team and there really isn’t a great reason why they all should have committed to the same school, that makes me wonder.

    I’m not going to accuse anyone of anything directly… but I am wondering what is going on and it is enough of a red flag that if I was in a position to investigate the academics at Kentucky, I would do so.

    I would investigate Kansas, too, if we were hauling in that many top recruits and there was no apparent reason why we should be landing that high concentrate.

    Our recruit classes are a long ways away from what Kentucky lands in top tier talent. So does anyone really think Calipari is that much better of a recruiter than Self? Or HS elites really want to attend UK over KU by the margin we are seeing? I’m just not buying it. And I’m not buying it from a guy who has been very close to previous academic issues with his players… or at least, one player we know about that was nailed on his SAT.

    Maybe it is just the fact that UK has a great dorm for their players. Well… we shall see what our new dorm does for us soon enough, and from what I see, our dorm may even be a notch up on Kentucky’s.

    Anyone in here still buying the “charisma” angle?

  • @justanotherfan I find it very puzzling!! I’ve seen him play a lot of all star games and he’s legit. He’s especially known for playing d, which is so high on Selfs list for pt. Hmmmmm

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Great, let’s go with this. Suggestions like this are exactly what we need.

    So: let’s say Self has not adapted to a player centric model, and let’s say that it happens, because, despite Self’s signs of adaptability (embracing hack’n’slap after being beaten by Howland and UCLA, adapting Coach K’s cheap shotting after K’s last ring, etc.) and willingness to pioneer (let the other team set tempo, personally sign with adidas,etc.), let’s say Self is kind of a high sphincter-toned type about control and he is set in his high sphincter-toned ways and that this player centric model is at least as obvious to other professional coaches at every stage of the coaching profession as it is to you. Let’s even say it is obvious to Self, who just has FU money, and is old enough, and determined enough to think he can find another way.

    Let’s even extend this explanation to Coach K and Izzo and Rick Pitino, and Billy Donovan, and Rick Barnes, and so on. Let’s say that these baby boom coaches and some on the frontier of the Gen X crowd, constitute a high sphincter tone generation of coaches that John Calipari has left the program on. Let’s say Cal is a pioneer.

    We know why Self and all these Boomers and border line Gen Xers aren’t copying the model.

    But why isn’t anyone younger copying the model? Coaching is reputedly such a competitive profession where everyone is looking for the edge in everything, there just have to be a whole bunch of Gen X, Y, and Z coaches out there ready quickly adapt the Player Centric model? And by lots I mean hundreds of them. There are something like 300+ D1 programs.

    Why isn’t Kevin Ollie copying the model? He has a more recent ring than Cal. All Kevin would have to do is go to every OAD and Mickey D and say the magic words: “Player Centric Model” and tell each player you will be playing 20 mpg guarantied, it will be easy, it will be fun, we can keep you in school as long or as short as you want, you will play a dribble drive offense, and the defense will be a simple m2m that is driven by athleticism, not complicated help schemes, and you will play with a bunch of great guys. It seems to me that Kevin Ollie after a ring, and with Shabazz jumping, should just about be able to snap his fingers and make the change. The timing was perfect.

    And if you say, well, but Kevin is a high sphincter tone guy, who just never happened to care much about UConn’s abysmal graduation rate, well, then where are all the other young coaches jumping on this player centric model that let’s them leap frog Self, Donovan, Pitino, and so on?

    This player centric model is XTRemely easy to adapt. It is probably the easiest thing to adapt in college basketball that I can imagine outside of maybe a Sex-centric player model where you promise each player unlimited amounts of sex if he comes to your program. 🙂

    So: where i am headed here is that we are just not seeing the wide spread adaptation of this pleasurably simple to adopt player centric model, which by the way, Cal has embraced at least back to Memphis, which means about a decade now. So: it seems like a decade of successful recruiting and high winning percentages at a lesser program like Memphis and an elite program like UK would long since have caused a stampede among coaches at all manner of programs to the player centric model, if that were actually the way that Cal has over the years loaded his teams with a growing share of the OAD/Mickey D talent pool until this season, when he has 10 Mickey Ds.

    The search to unlock the mystery of Cal’s ten Mickey Ds continues.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @justanotherfan

    From what I’ve heard, from sources really not that close to the locker room, is that Kelly is just having a few issues adjusting to D1 and Self. He needs a bit more breathing room on learning plays, philosophy, etc. I believe he is 100% healthy and he has a great attitude.

  • @drgnslayr

    I still say that when he told that Wichita reporter he was branding with hair he was toughening box bound and Self probably called his dad and told him so.

    I am very glad to hear you think Kelly’s knees are okay and that black knee wraps are just a preventative, or a fashion statement.

    My hunch is that Oubre is going to see a ton action versus UK; that he and Alexander and Svi are likely to be Self’s three flat tops out northeast of Midway.

    That Frank and Selden and Graham and Greene have one mission and one mission only: cut off the head so that the body will die.

    Tyler Uliis, 5-9 155 is the head.

    Tyler Uliis, welcome to a world of hurt–D1 violence and speed NOW, the second game of the season. You are going to have contact like you never dreamed.

    I keep saying that Self gave this team a Marine Corp indoctrination for a reason and it was not just to take a beating, but to deliver one, too.

    This KU team is really two parts: it is a Marine Raider battalion of Mason, Selden, Graham, on the outside and Ellis, Traylor. Their job is to go in an wreak havoc, absorb force and engage a superior enemy. Sustain violent contact. Operate in a world of hurt. Improvise tactics. Focus force on the key point. Cut off the head in this case.

    But there is a larger battle space, where the decisive blows must be struck.

    When you are outgunned and outmanned you have to confuse with Signal Traffic, which Self has been doing, and you have to hide your best pieces and where they will attack from.

    Alexander, Svi and Oubre are this expeditionary forces decisive weapons. These are the big weapons that come in when the Raiders have stunned them. Not all three will be successful, but for one, or two, to be successful all three must be hurled into the enemy at the decisive hour.

    Go, Kelly go!

    Go Big Red Dog!

    Go Svi!

    The Raiders go in just after dusk.

    You will attack soon after.

    40 seconds over Tokyo this is not.

    40 Minutes Over Indy.

    Some may not return.

    Attack with surprise.

    Attack in waves.

    Attack in force.

    Stop them here.

    Stop them now.

    And the tide of the season will be changed for ever.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Coaches don’t do it because they don’t want to be player centric. They want to be the boss. They can win without kissing ass more than they already kiss ass in recruiting.

    You asked … “Why isn’t Kevin Ollie copying the model? He has a more recent ring than Cal.” It’s because his goal is not to have 9 or 10 McDonalds AA. Heck, I wouldn’t want that at Kansas. Ollie’s goal is to have the best team, and win a national title. I"ll be shocked if this works at UK … and “works” means a national title.

    @drgnslayr I agree completely on Oubre … “a bit more breathing room.” He is just a freshman – damn OAD baggage. Let’s make him a two year player, and an All-American next season. Mason/Graham at the point, Svi, Oubre, Ellis, Zimmerman, with Bragg, Greene, and Mason/Graham off the bench. National title. Heck, he was named to the Wooden watch list today. We’ll be watching. Heck, we might see him sooner than we think.

    @ParisHawk You said, "Too bad we can’t be there to say “Look at Embiid. Developed so fast he was taken 3d in the draft with known back problems and an injured foot.” No, no … I bet Self says that quite a bit. I bet he points to guys like TRob, the Morrises, Withey, McLemore, etc. that developed and got drafted. Non-OAD guys that developed over at least a couple of years in the program.

  • I have an interesting hypothesis on this subject. How many here are familiar with snapchat?

    For those of you who don’t know, snapchat is like instagram, except the picture/video disappears after a maximum of ten seconds. Whenever there is a large event, there is a usually a long series of videos and pictures sent to people who have snapchat on their phone of pictures and videos that people took at that event. For example, every Saturday there is a snapchat video series sent out of the College Football Gameday game. So you see frat boys, tailgaters, fans at the game, and most importantly the players getting ready for the game. When UK did their Big Blue Madness or whatever it’s called, there was a video series sent out for Big Blue Madness on snapchat.

    This move was pure brilliance on UK’s (and Cal’s) part. Trust me, every single high level recruit saw that video series and said, “That looks awesome!” Videos of the players dancing and having fun in the locker room, players and fans hanging out with Drake, fans waiting to get into Rupp, etc. This is all from the fans’ and PLAYERS’ perspective and greatly appeals to young players.

    In contrast, our Late Night this year was on the Friday before Fall Break and during a Royals ALCS game. I truly hope whoever dropped the ball on Late Night this year was fired, because by comparison UK made us look bad. Really bad. To me, it’s this understanding and ability to relate to younger kids and what they find appealing that all other CBB coaches are struggling to keep with Cal.

  • @KUSTEVE Thanks for that information. I had not heard that.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Well it could be that… I was giving him credit for being a good salesman (although a cheesy one). Also, it does require people skills to manage all of those egos, playing time, etc. I think he is an underrated coach who gets his guys to play hard and play tough defense. Oh heck…your deduction is probably correct. 🙂

  • @MoonwalkMafia "In contrast, our Late Night this year was on the Friday before Fall Break and during a Royals ALCS game. I truly hope whoever dropped the ball on Late Night this year was fired, because by comparison UK made us look bad. Really bad. To me, it’s this understanding and ability to relate to younger kids and what they find appealing that all other CBB coaches are struggling to keep with Cal."

    Ok, I’ll bite…how did our Late Night game make us “look bad”, and why do you want someone fired over it?

  • I think @MoonwalkMafia may have hit on something. I don’t think our Late Night made us look bad - but Calipari makes sure that things like Late Night are orchestrated to make UK look like the place to be. He did the same thing at Memphis. Late Night was an event. At KU, Late Night is also an event, but in a different sort of way.

    Late Night at KU is about tradition moreso than anything, and tradition has its appeal. However, most any tradition occurred before any of these current recruits can remember. After all, we are talking about 17 and 18 year olds. Most of them were not even in high school when we won the national title in 2008. They probably don’t remember anything about more than 3 or 4 of our conference title teams. Tradition sells, but not as much as those of us who are older would like to think.

    Take it this way - there are 8 year olds in LA right now who think the Clippers have always been awesome and that the Lakers are a group of broken down has beens. Why? Well, the Lakers haven’t really been good in almost 4 years and the Clippers have been pretty good that entire time. Those of us old enough to know better recognize the enormous difference in history, but if you’re a kid too young to know, what difference do all those titles make? The Lakers have won 5 titles in the last 20 years. If you’re 8, you probably don’t remember any of those, but you know watching Blake Griffin and Chris Paul is awesome.

  • @MoonwalkMafia said:

    In contrast, our Late Night this year was on the Friday before Fall Break and during a Royals ALCS game.

    Yeah! How did someone not plan around the Royals game?!? I mean, they make the playoffs once every 29 years…how was there no preparation for that? sarcasm font

  • @KUSTEVE I’ve never seen AFH so empty. That’s how. Check out what UK’s Big Blue Madness was like. Then ask yourself, how is that perceived by recruits? It may not be a huge deal, but Late Night has garnered several commitments in the past. Can’t downplay its significance in recruiting.

    @icthawkfan316 My problem is much more so that it was the Friday before Fall Break. Am I the only one that saw Late Night this year? Again, I’ve never seen AFH so empty.

    You both did not even look at the crux of my point as well…

  • This post is deleted!

  • @HighEliteMajor

    You just gave the reason that some coaches don’t do it.

    But in any given population distribution of coaches there almost certainly will be many more willing to do almost anything to win rather than that stand on principle and accept defeat based on the principle you have enunciated. It is simply human nature. It is why we have so much adaptation, copying, innovating and cheating. Far more coaches want to win than want to stand on principle at any given time. And athletic departments and universities and Big Shoe contracts and Big Media contracts constantly and hugely incentivize this tendency, and constantly bias the population of who becomes a coach to be, among other things, persons particularly prone to looking for competitive advantage, which of course, your hypothesis assume a player centric model creates.

    Thus, the search for the reason Cal has 10 Mickey D’s continues.

  • @MoonwalkMafia and @justanotherfan

    Ooooookay, what we have here are really two hypotheses: a superior UK season starter hypothesis combined with a The World Series Wrecked the KU Season Starter Hypothesis. Well, okay, let’s unpack them and analyze them.

    First, “The Superior UK Season Starter Hypothesis”: For this hypothesis we would expect to read mainstream reports of comments by parents saying they liked all of the season starters but UK’s was the best by far. We don’t find these. We would also expect to find lots of internet posts and tweets and so forth by recruits indicating how hopelessly out of date the KU season starter is. We don’t find these. We would also expect for guys from outside the country that have no comprehension of arcane American basketball traditions like season starters to much more receptive to UK’s reputedly state of the art season starter, But in fact, Andrew Wiggins of Canada, Joel Embiid of Cameroon, and Svi of Ukraine all chose KU.

    Second, “The World Series Wrecked the KU Season Starter Hypothesis:” Well, this hypothesis could explain some of this current recruiting gap between UK and KU, but, alas, it does not explain the current recruiting gap between UK and other elite schools that did not have a World Series conflict with their season starter. Further, this hypothesis does not explain why UK has 10 Mickey Ds this season from its 5 Mickey D recruiting haul from last season.

    Thus, the search for how Cal has 10 Mickey D’s continues.

    Rock Chalk!

    In essense, what you are proposing is that

  • @MoonwalkMafia

    The Snapchat Hypothesis. I really like this one, too, because it is dealing with something real and something new, so it most definitely could have an impact that we need to adopt.

    I dealt with it indirectly above, but I want to address it directly, because I think it is such a fitting hypothesis.

    It clearly does not explain the past advantage Cal has achieved, so we can reject it outright as the explanation of why Cal has 10 Mickey D’s now. But…

    By positing this hypothesis, which does NOT explain Cal’s prior advantage, you have opened up a path around Cal’s advantage. And this is often just as important as explaining his advantage.

    The KU fan base CAN influence the future of KU Basketball. It influences and shapes it ALL THE TIME by continuing to love and support its traditions and its present. When a new score board goes up, or a new uniform is tried, or a new logo goes on the court, it is the response of the KU fan base that determines whether the logo stays, or the scoreboard makes any positive, constructive, lasting contribution. We are not yet so large that Self and Zenger and CBernie are like the U.S. Presidents that complain of getting sealed off from the people the love and sought to represent, by becoming ensconced in a national security bubble once they get to the White House. We don’t have an election once every 4 years. We have 40 games a season. We have 15-20 home games. We have a robust and active internet feedback loop. They know what the KU fan base is feeling without QA. Self shows repeatedly that he is sensitive to what fans are thinking. He is not a CYA coward standing around with his wet finger up to the quantitative wind sampling to see if we like everything he does, but he is out there in the arena every time the team is. He knows the difference between the fan base and the hyping of the fan base. He can feel the crowd. He can feel when he and the crowd are in synch and when they are not. He gets feed back every game. Zenger and Bernie get it more indirectly when the attend, but what the KU fan base thinks and its collective mood is there behind the hyping of the sound system and the lights. But Self above all knows. He has walked out on to floors in Tulsa, and Champaign. This is not knock on those places. But there is a difference. He has been both places. The fans at KU care AND understand the game. They love the tradition, BUT THEY ALSO love the now!

    The few rich alumni may be so infatuated with their own influences that they do not feel it, but I believe most of the rich alumni are of above average intelligence and have lived full lives and they’ve been to Paris, and STILL they are planting their butts in the seats in Allen Field House. They ARE part of the fan base and so they too know the fan base is EVERYTHING. It is the foundation that the entire structure and superstructure rests on. Without it, KU Basketball is Texas in blue.

    Roy said it.

    Bill said it.

    Everyone that has coached anywhere else, gone to school anywhere else, supported any other sport, knows that it is the fan base that is different at KU.

    This web site is part of the KU fan base and that is why this web site is different. @approxinfinity and @bskeet are simply smart enough and generous enough to structure a web site that lets the KU fan base be and do what it wants.

    The other web sites are part of the KU fan base. When they let it be what it is and wants to be they benefit from it. When they don’t, they don’t. Same with this web site.

    It is the KU fan base that endures and sees beyond the momentary failures, the memorable successes, the missed shots, the made shots, the bad calls, the hideous uniform tries, the great new uniforms, the momentary goofs, the momentary mistakes, the brilliant moves, the visionary risks taken, that are part and parcel to any organization continually trying to compete and flourish, save what needs saving ,and invent anew what must be reinvented.

    And it is the KU fan base that is the gate keeper that must approve what is invented, must be smart enough to recognize foolishness, must be wise enough to recognize exploiters vs. those that are trying to take KU basketball to the step.

    This hypothesis you have put forth is sign of intelligent life in the fan base. And intelligence is critical to taking the next step, to proposing it and to assessing it, and to either persisting against obstacles to its implementation, or to reject as the wrong move.

    Hell, yes, we need insta chat, but we need something that would have ensured we had used instachat. KU basketball needs an ASSISTANT COACH IN CHARGE OF INTERACTIVE RECRUITING, and a marketing professional on staff with the title Director of Interactive Marketing, as surely as it needed an asisstant in charge of weight training, a director of PR. KU Journalism and maybe the marketing department in the Business school need majors in this too. Things have grown beyond tired definitions of advertising, public relations, broadcasting, mass media. and sports journalism. Sport reaches both recruits and fans through digital connectivity, interactive media KU basketball cannot rest.

    Tomorrow is already the past.

    Forest Allen understood this when he got Memorial Stadium built LONG BEFORE it was needed.

    Forest Allen understood this when he called for an NCAA and an NCAA Tournament to leap frog the inbred stupidities and mendacities of eastern media’s tail wagging the national dog of college basketball.

    KU Basketball understood this when they built Allen Field House at a large size long before it was needed.

    KU Basketball is not ABOUT tradition.



    Universities that only store knowledge without advancing it perish.

    We live on the brink of the game going viral around the globe.

    Even the buck sucking, copy cat, inside the box thinking CEOs of Big Shoes and Big Media understand this and are scrambling desperately to get to the head of the line at the hog trough.

    KU Basketball fans must never lose sight that they are BOTH the guardians of the past AND of the Discovers and Explorers of the Future.

    We are both.

    That is the message of Bill Self.

    He is at his best when he is both.

    We are at our best when we are both.

    KU Fans must not be satisfied with aiming slightly ahead.

    No competition is won by competing for tomorrow, because tomorrow is already too late to act upon. We build for half a century past tomorrow.

    Tomorrow is for suckers.

    The future is for those with the courage to step waaaaaaaay into it.

    Rock Chalk!


  • @jaybate-1.0 I was certainly not proposing that snapchat is the sole reason why Cal gets these recruits. It’s part of it though. That much is obvious. There is no one single reason. Cal is at UK not UMass. He gets to sell a package rather than just himself or his ability to get someone to the next level. In that regard, he’s knocking it out of the park.

  • @MoonwalkMafia BUT, he didn’t get Wiggins!!

Log in to reply