Where Have All the Long Men Gone?

  • I scanned the Top 20. Here is where they are.

    UK: 7-0, 7-0, 6-11, 6-10, 6-9, 6-9.

    Duke: 7-0, 6-11, 6-9, and 6-9.

    UA: 7-0, 7-0, 6-10, 6-9, 6-9, 6-9.

    UVa: 6-11, 6-10, 6-8, 6-8, 6-8, 6-8, 6-8. (I know, 6-8 is not really long, but they have so many to go along with two truly long guys)

    Gonzaga: 7-1, 7-1, 6-10, 6-10, 6-8.

    Louisville: 7-0, 7-0, 6-10, 6-10, 6-8

    Texas: 6-11, 6-10, 6-9, 6-9, 6-9, 6-9.

    We need to get back in the hunt for some length.

    P.S.: The only other team in the Top Ten as small as KU is Villanova.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Wow, Zaga is huge!

  • Yes, sure wish we had Joel or Withey back.

    But how talented are all those bigs? As we know with our current roster… height does not equal superior talent -Landen 6’10", Mikelson 6’10"

    We also have Ellis, Svi and Traylor at 6’8"

    And does KO’s 7’2" wingspan count? 🙂

  • @jaybate-1.0 Nice analysis. I was thinking about doing something similar but for a different purpose, that is to try and guess where the next Jeff Withey or Tarik Black could possibly come from in the event we miss out on Zim/Maker this year. The days keep going by and I never seem to have the time though.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I really hope we get Zimmerman, that would be a great get as far as length goes. Speaking of long men have you seen Manute Bol’s kid? He plays for Bishop Meige Bol Bol is his name, he plays for the JV squad because of a transfer so he is head and shoulders above everyone else on the team.

  • @HawkInMizery He is listed as 6’ 10" !!!

  • @RedRooster is he listed at different heights on different websites? ESPN has him listed at 7’ 0". That’s what I was basing it on, but who really knows it always seems like people gain an inch or two.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    B-B-B-B-But… we are “Big Man U?!”


  • @HawkInMizery

    Here is a copy and paste of a recent article that I read about him!

    Manute Bol’s son, Bol Bol, is dominating JV hoops in Kansas

    By: Cam Smith, USA TODAY High School Sports December 12, 2014

    Manute Bol had five children. One, Bol Bol, is now in high school in Kansas. He’s proving the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

    The video you see above, from MaxPreps, shows Bol Bol dominating Bishop Miege’s first junior varsity game of the year. He may be a freshman in the classroom, but on the court, he’s a power player.

    Bol Bol already stands 6-foot-10 and is surprisingly comfortable with his own size and dimensions, particularly for a 14-year-old.

    The next obvious question is: What is Bol Bol doing playing junior varsity basketball? The answer has everything to do with eligibility. The freshman transferred into Bishop Miege from Blue Valley Northwest early in the school year, but he had already technically started at Blue Valley. That created some gray area about when he should be eligible to begin competition.

    Until those deliberations are completed, Bol Bol will have to bide his time with the junior varsity. That’s clearly not fair, for him or his foes.

    Article Website is ==> http://usatodayhss.com/2014/manute-bols-son-bol-bol-is-dominating-jv-hoops-in-kansas


    Manute Bol’s son is now 6-feet-10 at the age of 14 and, yes, he plays basketball

    Two years after he first grabbed headlines, the son of the late Manute Bol is still growing and looking more and more like his late father — especially when he puts on a basketball uniform.

    Bol Bol, a 6-foot-10 14-year-old, is a freshman at Bishop Miege High School on the Kansas side of the state line that runs through suburban Kansas City. He has a ways to go before he stands as tall as his father, who played 10 seasons in the NBA and was 7-6 3/4. Bol Bol was born in South Sudan and moved to Connecticut when he was 2 and to Olathe, Kan., when he was 7. His father, a hero in Sudan, died four years ago of an illness he contracted while working to influence honest elections. His son idolizes his father, even if his relationship with basketball is more complicated. Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star caught up with Bol and his family.

    It is hard to see Bol Bol without thinking of his famous father. So tall, so thin, with the same high cheeks, the same brown and lively eyes, and those hands that seem to stretch forever.

    “Oh yeah, oh my God, I can’t believe it,” says Ajok Kuag, Manute’s widow and Bol’s mother. “He’s just Manute. Same thing. Same body, same everything. Everything is Manute. I know he’s my son, but he has nothing from me. He’s all Manute.”

    Bol loved his father, and that’s probably the wrong way to say it. Bol loves his father. He thinks about him often, and even four years after the funeral, the loss sometimes drives him to tears.

    His father is the reason he plays basketball. He used to go to the gym with his dad, and together they would ignore the strangers staring at the impossibly tall man with his impossibly tall son and shoot baskets together.

    The truth is, Bol didn’t like basketball. Not at first, anyway. But his dad and older brothers — Bol has several older half brothers and half sisters who live with their mom in New Jersey — always wanted him to play. He likes it now.

    Bol Bol, though, seems destined to be a different sort of player than his father. He’ll put on more muscle and weight and he already has better moves. But make no mistake, the NBA is his goal.

    “To help my family,” Bol said, pausing. “Like my dad.”

  • @RedRooster HA I thought you were referring to Zimmeran as being 6’ 10" I guess that’s what happens when I talk about multiple people in the same post. Thanks for the article link, Meige actually isn’t too far from where I live. I watched a video clip last week of him and it’s unreal how tall that kid is for being 14 and you’re right it’s totally unfair to him and to the people he plays against. How is he supposed to get better when no matter what night he’s going to be the tallest player on the court and doesn’t really have to work to score over anybody or anyone that can matchup with him physically?

  • @drgnslayr

    It is interesting to me that no one has remarked on the fact that all on the list but Louisville are as far as I can recall Nike programs, and Rick Pitino reputedly says Rick is getting squeezed out of recruits because agents and agent runners are shrinking his recruiting pool based on shoe brand bias… It appears that Self’s current predicament is probably a direct fallout from SHOEWARS.

    Since KU’s defeat of Memphis in '08, and the NCAA destruction of what Nike-Cal and World Wide Wes reputedly built at Memphis, Nike-Cal and World Wide Wes were apparently redeployed to Nike-UK to continue what appears a strategy for SHOEWAR domination–by now with 10 OAD/TADs on roster. In this apparent war, adidas-Self has effectively been locked out of signing of highly ranked USA big men out of high school since his 2008 ring. Withey was an unhappy transfer from Nike-UA. TRob was was apparently a raided Nike lean, who was raw as Sushi and not a top ranked 5. The Twins, though significantly ranked, were really not all that good, or tall, when recruited. Neither had respectable verticals before Hudy. Neither were true 5s. Embiid was a foreign player and a Nike-Florida lean before Norm Roberts moved from Nike-Florida to adidas-KU and appeared to bring him along.

    Self, after his ring, was never able to sign his share of USA bigs even though his coached up bigs were getting drafted. This difficulty of Self getting bigs to KU has never, ever made sense. And it has been obscured by his luck coaching up lesser talents and a few sloppy seconds raided from Nike leans. Self, an acknowledged excellent recruiter, has NEVER signed a top ranked USA big man in 11 years at an elite program, nor has he signed a top ranked USA big man since his ring. What is wrong with this picture?

    KU is not USA BIG MAN U under Bill Self since 2008. The question is: why not?

    Why is Self locked out of top ranked USA BIG MEN? Why can Nike-Stumpy Miller sign them immediately on arrival at UA from Xavier, but Self cannot after winning 82% and 11 titles and a ring for 11 seasons at KU?

    Why can Nike-Cal sign them after not knowing about infractions that imploded UMASS and Memphis?

    What gives?

  • @jaybate-1.0

    If UK switches from Nike to Adidas or UA, do you think Cal/UK would stop getting recruits?

  • @HawkInMizery Match-ups happen in Club bball (AAU and such) in the off-season.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    You are hitting on the most crucial point of all. Is there one driver, or a small constellation of drivers, triggering the apparent phenomenon of increasingly sharply asymmetric talent distribution.

    I have been saying for awhile now that what appears to be SHOEWARs may not be limited to just two or three PetroShoeCos.

    The phenomena and the news reported keep suggesting there is some black matter still not being accounted for in SHOEWARS

    Pitino reputedly remarked specifically on the influence of agents and agent runners being participants contributing a reduced pool of talent available to adidas Rick and adidas Louisville.

    And one recalls that summer game coaches and juco coaches were reported by a New York paper as contributing to the closing of the valve of triborough talent to Norm Roberts while at St. Johns.

    And one recalls the reputed unretracted Chicago newspaper report that six figures was reputedly offered to a top UK player on Cal’s only ring team.

    It appears possible we are so far mostly discussing the tip of a recruiting ice berg of asymmetry.

    So: I cannot answer your question…yet.

    What do you think?

  • @jaybate-1.0

    …I was hoping for “yes/no” answer???

  • @JayHawkFanToo If we eventually should read very clearly and revealingly the deeply buried substance of such a yes/no answer, the NCAA might implode and completely collapse.

  • @REHawk

    Good one…:):):)

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I too, sir, I too.

    Alas, neither of us seems up to the task yet.

    Maybe time and more reporting and more reading of useful books will enable us both to see more clearly.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    I was hoping to get a yes/no answer from you, but since you asked, I would say yes, he would continue to get the same recruits he gets now.

  • @REHawk

    I so hope not, but you are The Coach.

    And I am just a board rat out of the cradle endlessly wondering.

  • @JayhawkRock78 That’s true but I just meant as far as during the season, there is no one that can even remotely challenge him in the JV circuit.

  • True dat.

    If I still lived in KC I’d go watch him play a game.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Do you have a reason why you think he would be able to attract 10 OAD/TADs to a different program?

    I have not been able to explain how he does it at UK to my complete satisfaction, and I have not yet been able to explain how he would do it at another school.

    I admit to being a bit bumfuzzled by it.

    Part of me wants to call it an anomaly, even for Nike-Cal. But then there is Nike-Coach K with reputedly 9 OAD/TADs. One guy, Nike-Cal, has a reputedly questionable reputation, while the other, Nike-K, has a reputedly nearly spotless reputation.

    I don’t know WHAT to make of it.

    All I know for sure is there are two cases of XTReme asymmetry in talent distribution and both are Nike programs with Nike coaches.

    For what little it is worth, I have posed what you opine before to myself, as a what-if thought experiment and asked what would it imply?

    What if Cal signed with adidas and convinced UK to do the same?

    Or similarly, what if he left and signed with adidas and an adidas school?

    And what if he continued to have 10 OAD/TADs, as adidas Cal and adidas-UK, or adidas-fill in the blank?

    Would it be because Cal had even more recruiting charisma than, say, Stumpy Miller, who stayed with Nike in the what if scenario?

    Would it mean that Cal was just so incomparably persuasive as a recruiter that Cal could overcome the smaller recruiting pool that Rick Pitino reputedly recently alluded to? That Bill Self at least appears to be constrained by?

    Could be, I suppose.

    Probably? Hmmm. That’s tougher.

    So what else?

    Well, could it suggest that there was something else driving the signing of recruits than either PetroShoeCo brand, or Cal’s coaching charisma?

    But this is where even my what-if thought experiments keep bogging down and leaving me to recall the three things I mentioned above, plus one more.

    1.) Pitino reputedly remarked specifically on the influence of agents and agent runners being participants contributing a reduced pool of talent available to adidas Rick and adidas Louisville.

    2.) And one recalls that summer game coaches and juco coaches were reported by a New York paper as contributing to the closing of the valve of triborough talent to Norm Roberts while at St. Johns.

    3.) And one recalls the reputed unretracted Chicago newspaper report that six figures was reputedly offered to a top UK player on Cal’s only ring team.

    4.) World Wide Wes, whom I cannot tell whether he is an agent, or a business advisor, or what, seems to have been involved in some formal, or informal way, with Cal at UMass, Memphis and early on at UK.

    These are just the only data points I can recall now.

    And I cannot connect these dots into any kind of connected system.

    They just seem to be out there…4 data anomalies with no apparent intermediate, systemic connections.

    If I even try to formulate these data points in a speculative hypothesis, the best I can say is that if Cal were to be involved initially at an adidas program with World Wide Wes in some formal, or informal capacity, and have summer game coaches and juco coaches willing to valve him talent, because he dealt with them in a way that Norm Roberts reputedly did not do, and there were unretracted rumors by a big city newspaper that one of his star players had been offered six figures to come to Cal’s new school (not that it actually occurred, but that it were reported to have occurred and not been retracted); then Cal would still be having to contend with what Rick Pitino claims is a smaller recruiting pool for coaches contracted with the adidas brand, due to the reputed actions of agents and agent runners reputedly diverting players to other brands.

    Pitino’s reputed recent remarks really stand out in all of this, don’t they?

    Still, I just don’t know. What if he didn’t really say them?

    But what if he did?

    It seems like kind of stretch to me to think that Cal has enough more recruiting charisma than Rick Pitino and Bill Self to reason logically that he would still be able to land 10 OADs/TADs.

    Do you see what I am saying here?

    I am not saying it could not happen.

    I am saying I cannot explain in my little what-if thought experiement how it could “probably” happen.

    But I am not a professional at this stuff. I am just a board rat. So: I am stuck with saying I just cannot explain it and in turn I just cannot say yes, or no to your original question. I have to say: I don’t know yet.

  • Cal has drake, doesn’t need nike.image.jpg

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    You make a great point.

    What is Cal’s take on his connection with Drake?

    Drake’s family was reputedly from Toronto and from Memphis.

    Did he and Cal become associated in Memphis through some fund raisers?

    It doesn’t look like Drake was a college basketball player, before his music and Canadian TV career’s sky rocketed.

    I read somewhere that when Drake was 15 a friend of his had a father who was an agent that took an interest in Drake. But none of the sites I googled ever mentions the name of the agent. Have you hear of that agent’s name?

    Might there be any overlaps between Drake’s management, agency, and advisers and Cal and World Wide Wes, or anyone else associated with Cal from his Memphis years? Just idle curiosity.

    Don’t Drake and Cal look swell together?

    Self has Garth Brooks for an entertainer pal.

    But I would say Drake is a bit more popular among young recruits these days that Garth. 🙂

  • @jaybate-1.0 ha ha!! Recruits probably are more impressed w/drake. Drake warmed up w/team during late pm, he shot an air ball.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    It is amazing how entertainment and sports are converging as entertainment. I wonder if they are converging on the agent level, too?

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I like Drake as an artist but I laughed pretty hard when I saw that air ball since he associates himself with Kentucky

  • @jaybate-1.0 Yeah, yeah… You are a bullshitter deluxe!

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Cal does pretty much what a pusher does, offer kids what they wants and is popular while staying one step ahead of the law.

    Cal’s pitch :

    Cool Nike gear, playing time (even if has to platoon), celebrities like Drake visiting the locker room, LeBron attending games. World Wide Wes ATM show on call, nice digs; other financial and personal considerations he never, ever does in person but uses surrogates, so he always has plausible deniability (See UMass, Memphis), we don’t expect you to stay more than one year and “you are ready for the NBA” and with our connections you will get there, we are just giving you a 1 year luxury stop on your way to the League. That was his MO at Memphis as well.

    Self’s pitch:

    KU offers a great coaching and training staff, you will have to attend classes to play and you will have to earn your minutes, cool Adidas gear, you are not ready for the NBA but if you stick with the programs we will get you there when you are ready.

    Now, if you are the typical 18 year old who thinks he is ready for the NBA and know more than the coach… which one would you pick?

  • I think Cal does everything he can to recruit the best. His entire legacy is about who he has recruited, not how he has coached.

    So Nike is part of it. I have become a believer that it matters. The odds go with Nike, and for that reason, Cal is with Nike.

    I think it would definitely damage Cal’s recruiting if he flipped to Adidas tomorrow. His “supply lines” are Nike. All those AAU coaches talk recruits in the direction of UK. He surely can’t effectively go out there and recruit in that many top tier recruits by himself. And though his tongue may sing sweet lullabies to recruits, the # he signs is just too much to give credit to that… Cal has helpers.

    If Cal became Adidas, he would suffer with less star recruits. Over time, he would build it up because his total focus is on obtaining quality players. So… maybe they add hot tubs to the player suites, and a “sex clinic” next door. Whatever it takes.

    Kansas had too good of reputation after 2008, and we had Danny Manning. We should have owned the post in college basketball. I’m with @jaybate-1.0 on this. It just doesn’t add up. Why were we locked out of all those star 5s?

  • @jaybate-1.0 Oubre isnt really tall. 6’7" but a 7’2" wingspan? Thats long. His hands and feet are lightning quick too. If I am not mistaken, over the last few games or so, he has averaged atleast 2 steals per game and a block or two also. BUt, I was thinking about our '16 class. By then we will need bigs and wings. All with length preferably.

  • @REHawk

    I spoke the truth as best I could.

    I never condescend to you, because you are the professional and I am not.

    You are The Coach, based on what I have gathered from our exchanges here.

    I am a Board Rat and I think there is no doubt about that.

    Aliases are often jumping to the conclusion that what is going here with recruiting asymmetries is necessarily corrupt, or illegal. I don’t make that jump, or at least I try not to, across the board, and increasingly I am skeptical of it at all. Sometimes aliases think I am bull evacuating about that, but I am not. The more I have learned over the years the more I think it maybe possible, that though what goes on in recruiting may not be desirable, that it may also not be corruption in the sense of violation of laws, regulations, or rules.

    Corruption and illegality require an extensively developed, unambiguous set of laws, regulations and rules to exist to be violated.

    When actions occur in a context of vague, or ambiguous, or non-existent law, regulation, and rules, then asymmetric costs and benefits may occur, but that does not necessarily qualify as corruption and illegality in my mind.

    The activity may be unfair, cruel, or morally repugnant. It may shift costs and benefits with XTreme inequity. But that does not make it corruption in a legal/regulatory/rules sense. Maybe in a moral/ethical sense, but not in a legal/regulatory/rules sense.

    A point shaving scandal, when there are laws, regulations, or rules prohibiting it are corruption in a legal sense.

    Paying players valuable consideration beyond what the rules permit is corruption in a rules sense.

    But based on several books that I have read about recruiting and scandals of the past in search of some historical perspective on this, I have a hunch that a great deal of what is going on today to cause the asymmetries may in fact not technically qualify as corruption in terms of laws, regulations, and rules. But the hunch of a non legal professional doesn’t account for much.

    And I don’t want to get bogged down in laws, regulations and rules, because I am not an expert in those areas, and until I see some specific laws, regulations and rules that are being violated, and not being addressed properly by the relevant authorities, I am going to assume that the authorities are able to take care of that job without fan assistance.

    What I think fans can and should do is explore all the non-corrupt dynamics that might trigger the recruiting asymmetries.


    Well, if we do and discover them, then we can confidently advocate for KU to commence doing them.

    And if we cannot discover them, then, well, as Conan-Doyle used to have Holmes say, if one has exhausted all of the other possibilities, then what ever remains, how ever improbable (or corrupt and illegal) must be the explanation.

    So if we explore all the non-corrupt paths and don’t find anything, well, I believe someone in authority would recognize the implication, don’t you?

    And approaching the situation this way, keeps we non-professionals from treading into areas we lack the professional skills to wade into.

    Now, does that seem like a bull-evacuator to you?

    Rock Chalk!

  • @JayHawkFanToo and @drgnslayr

    Please see what I wrote to @REHawk.

    I find both of your posts are serious takes articulating two facet of what appears possibly to explain at least some of this phenomenon.

    What I would say is that if I could remodel both of your takes to avoid any connotations of corruption in a legal, regulatory, and rules sense, then I think basic parts of both of your takes, which on the surface seem mutually exclusive, might well be, as I just said, two useful facets of the same multi-sided diamond of hypothesis.

    It appears reasonable to hypothesize that Cal recruits kids to some extent, or other, as @JayHawkFanToo describes. We can’t really know if he violates any rules in doing it this way, or claim any specific knowledge of such, just that it appears that way from the outside looking in. What we can say is that in his school’s prior scrapes with the NCAA he has been absolved of wrong-doing in those cases. So: as we do not have to make the assumption that he is doing anything wrong in order for the major thrust of @JayHawkFanToo description of what Cal appears to do, well, then let’s just leave that aspect out of the hypothesis. Let’s assume things are on the up and up.

    At the same time, it also makes sense that Cal, when acting as hypothesized based on the major portion of @JayHawkFanToo’s take, does so within a process that Rick Pitino has alluded to as a larger market of potential recruits shaped in some as yet not clearly understood way by agents and agent runners and by the shoecoes. And let’s hypothesize that were the pool to shrink sharply that Cal’s numbers of recruits would likely shrink some too, while realizing there is some room for debate on that point.

    And further that when these two facets come into play with in a recruiting game space instituted by the OAD rule which creates what amounts to a 12 month, or a 24 month lead time before all participants involved in the shoeco/agent/agent runner/player complex can informally budget to achieve considerations worthy of their participation of the process leading up to the benefits. And that these considerations are somehow not in violation of laws, regulations and rules.

    Further, it would seem reasonable to expand the hypothesis to include collateral damages might result to certain participants not able, or not willing, to enter into the dynamics hypothesized above, for reasons of contract, or subjective disagreement with the process.

    Again, its all hypothetical and I am just throwing it out there as one possible way of reconciling the two points of view you have presented.

    And I am grateful to both of you for taking a few minutes to give this some thought and to do so with calm collegiality.

    Again, I think both of your positions offer important insights.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @Lulufulu

    I see what you mean. Point taken.

  • @jaybate 1.0: I honestly believe a lot of it has to do with the difference in Cal’s and Self’s approaches to the game. Cal tells the recruits they will have to work hard, but I think his way is to extend the AAU game for them, while trying to get them to play some D. Self tells recruits they will have to work hard, but he doesn’t necessarily let them on the court until he has seen them begin to fit into his system. Self’s way seems much more restrictive to me, and I wonder if any number of highly rated recruits don’t just find it easier to join Cal’s ever-changing stable of talent.

    Barry Switzer once said that if you give money to a player, you don’t own the player. The player owns you. If anything like that goes on at UK, it is well away from Cal. The vacated FF appearances at UMass and Memphis touched the schools but did not touch Cal. In the case of Memphis, Cal said that he asked the NCAA whether the player would meet the NCAA eligibility requirements, which is a lot like something the Tudors would have done – provide an answer to the wrong question being asked. Cal never asked whether the student had actually taken his own SAT, did he? And nobody could tell if he knew the answer to that question, or if he had even asked that question in the recruiting process. Thus, Memphis never played against KU in the final, but Cal moves right on to Kentucky.

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