Thon Maker

  • just saw where Thom Maker is expected to decide upon re-classification by next week. according by his I think guardian could be wrong but the latest probably by middle of the week by latest. and said would be visiting KU and Kentucky for sure. and POSSIBLY other schools. but from everything I have heard we lead for him. ya you know Kentucky is pushing hard. just another classic battle between the 2 of us. I feel and its just me, if he re-classifies like I think he will I feel good on our chances GO HAWKS

  • @jayballer54

    I just hope if we get him we set him up to play at his skills and not try to force him into what he is not. Thon is one of several big prospects coming up the pike that don’t fit the traditional mold.

  • @drgnslayr

    Very interesting observation. So: what is driving the phenomenon of several big man prospects not fitting the mold? Is this a Lebron Effect? Are big kids wanting to be like Lebron? Are highschool and summer game coaches letting them? Are agents and agent runners finding this role easier for OADs to excell at sooner and so become mega stars faster that generate big fees for agents sooner? And are the agent fees believed to last longer with less wear and tear on the merchandise playing the non traditional role outside, than the traditional banging role inside? Or is this just coincidence?

  • Nickname Alert:


  • If he can hit from the perimeter-“The Rain Maker”?

  • If he can throw it down with authority - Thon “Thor” Maker.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    I think it is because these kids are now introduced to several sports… many of the tall foreign players (like from Africa) are exposed to soccer from Day 1. This is where they draw their early footwork skills. It is a game entirely based on footwork!

    Basketball really has it’s roots in urban environments… remember my old playground ball? Most of those kids didn’t play other sports because the only thing around was basketball. They didn’t need anything but some shoes to play.

    Basketball, over the years, has caught on with more popularity in countries like Africa, Europe, South America… And also in more suburban-type American towns, where the kids have more exposure to other sports (and probably more $$$ to spend on playing other sports).

    Look at how much talent has come out of places like Wichita?! Those kids down there now play several sports. I’ve attended soccer games there watching a South American soccer team. Yes… In Wichita!

    I think we are definitely in the running for Thon.

  • Thon is very much like Embiid. Extraordinary skill level with some missing strength and the body to truly dominate with his size. For his size he should be posted up on the block, but he likes to shoot jump shots just as much. He’s got a game that is rarely seen for his age. Embiid had it and learned at rate Self hadn’t seen. Thon has that similar mentality potentially.

  • @drgnslayr

    The Soccer Hypothesis? Interesting again. I can see how it might explain it. Why do you think coaches like Barnes at UT go along with playing guys like Myles outside even as they say their teams would be better with those guys playing inside, but guys like Coach K and Self and Cal keep making these guys play inside, and winning by doing it?

  • @jaybate-1.0 so he can continue to impress recruits, tell them what they want to hear, Even at the cost of team. Turner wants to be KD, no way!

  • @jaybate-1.0

    I agree with @Crimsonorblue22

    The biggest threat to Barne’s loss of employment is if he can no longer recruit. The biggest thing he has on his resume so far is the recruitment of KD. That extends beyond their FF appearance.

    Unfortunately for schools in Texas… their vision never goes beyond their State borders. What counts there is how these guys recruit against each other. Barnes is competing against Drew and others, not the rest of the world which is outside the Texas borders. Very shortsightedness, but that is what counts in Texas. Football is the same thing.

    I really am curious what spins in the head of Turner. I wonder if he realizes he only lives once, and basketball is a one-shot proposition? He could have played on a contender but instead he gave in to the shortsightedness that runs rampant in Texas. He will get a very fast education once he leaves the educational institution of UT. The reality may never set in because his friends and family are Texans. He will always have to visit home and he is a hero for becoming a Longhorn and always will be. KD is a God in Texas… perhaps the only non-football sports figure there to be nominated a God!

    I wasn’t really that hot on Turner when we recruited him… mostly because of all his talk of wanting to play outside and mimic KD’s outside game. He was thin… and I thought maybe he would just create problems at Kansas and hate Self for putting him in the post. Meanwhile, Myles put on weight and strength, and he has a solid low post to mid range game. Gosh… could he have stepped right in to this Jayhawk team and made a huge impact!

    I will never understand why any 5-star recruit would go to Texas. … if for no other reason than having to look at burnt orange constantly. That has to be the worst color in D1. It looks like the exiting result of a bad enchilada dinner from yesterday.

  • @drgnslayr can fault turner to much, everyone was thinking Texas was going to be great. I think turner knew the whole time he wanted to go there. I’m sure Self made no promises, plus told him no bucket hats! He doesn’t move to well and we like fast guys!

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    “can fault turner to much, everyone was thinking Texas was going to be great.”

    He was completely influenced by friends and family. He was an instant hero at his HS right after he went public with his choice.

    He had to look no further than his mentor, KD, and though he had a spectacular year in college (25.8 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 1.3 apg) Texas didn’t even win the B12 and didn’t even make it through the second round in March.

  • @BeddieKU23

    There used to be a lot of these tall, skinny guys that could shoot well, move nimbly, and wanted to play outside. Rick Suttle in the 70s and Manning in the late 80s come to mind at KU alone. In fact, it used to be many if not most tall big men WERE skinny! Remember Ralph Sampson? 7 foot outside shooter with good footwork and not too strong.

    I wonder if the key is that these kinds of players have been taught to think there is more future and less injury playing outside, and that they have a lot more leverage with coaches more desperate for top talent than 5-30 years ago. Before a coach just needed to get one Thon Maker and he would have him 4 years. Now a coach has him one year before an agent gets his fee for moving the player to the pros and PetroShoeCo endorsements. So: a coach has to find a new Thon every year.

    What would you do if you were Self right now, and you knew that as middling as Cliff has played, he were still projected a first round draft choice and still jumping. I wonder if he (or any D1) might not be tempted go to Cliff and ask for a commitment to come back another season, and if he wouldn’t commit, he might cap Cliff’s minutes where they were (unless Cliff improved no linearly) and begin developing Landen and Jamari more for this season and next. We will probably never know though.

    The longer the OAD RULE goes on the more I think the NCAA ought to start a graduate division that adds 4-7 years onto a players eligibility and helps them pursue graduate degrees. D1 appears in a bad position now.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    I think the focus of the game, in the NBA, is all around the 3-pt line. That is where teams want to do their damage, and stick the knife into their opponents. No matter how vicious the slam dunk, it only counts for 2 points.

    So now it is all about hitting the trey, and the push is to get footers to shoot treys. This also helps bring out defending footers away from the basket, opening up the middle.

    Another thing is the pace of the game. It moves fast in the league. The days of big post players waddling down court are over. You could just as easy move the NBA shot clock down to 10 seconds and you would hardly notice… except with teams like SA that really want a high percentage shot regardless of where it is on the floor.

    It is a game of x-axis with quick horizontal players tall enough to defend and attack with the y-axis.

    You touched on Calipari’s newest tactic. First, he learned to recruit OADs. Now he has learned the skill of talking them into staying another year or two. Gosh… look at a player like Marcus Lee. That guy should have been playing somewhere that would have made him a star in one year. He could have been an OAD. The guy might end up a 4-year player, especially if you consider where he is on the status totem pole at Kentucky.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Recent guys like Durant & Nowitski only further the notion of bigs away from the basket. Look at their fame and they are legit PF/C’s in shear size but do all their damage with a jump shot. The bang back to the basket guys are a dying breed. Being versatile has become more important than mastering a single position. You are more marketable and important if you can step outside and drain a 25 footer. Kevin Love has become a deadly 3 point shooter since joining the league. He probably wouldn’t be the All-Star he became if he didn’t find a versatility in his game. Maker has a chance to be just like any of those guys with an outside/in game but it will be up to him. It won’t be Self’s 1 year or Cal’s 1 year with him that makes him who he will become.

  • @drgnslayr

    Your idea that the NBA game is fast rings true with me, but then I ran into this interesting quote from Withey in a CJonline story. Withey said the first year in the NBA is a huge learning experience. He said he was hurt most of the season and so mostly watched and learned from the vets. Withey then remarked on playing more this year, though still not a lot of minutes because the Vets ahead of him were healthy and playing well. Then Withey reportedly said effectively that the college game was faster, had a lot MORE running up and down the floor–a lot more reckless abandon. I thought this was quite remarkable and I dialed up a couple NBA games since reading Withey’s quote and I have to say he may be right. about the speed of the current pro game. I don’t watch much pro ball the last few years. But it appears to have slowed down some from 5 or so years ago when I last watched with some frequency, and a whole lot from running era of the Showtime Lakers and before them the Wilt Lakers, and before them Big Russ and his Celts.

    Have you, or any one else seen any tracking of average length of possession in the NBA across the decades, or of late? I wonder if the game has slowed down since the NBA allowed the zone?

  • @jaybate-1.0 slow in that whomever gets the ball first, shoots, cherry picks til next possession, shoot again!

  • @jaybate-1.0

    “Have you, or any one else seen any tracking of average length of possession in the NBA across the decades, or of late?”

    No… would make an interesting read.

    I think we can look at the scores to get somewhat of an idea. And it would be interesting to compare average length of possession between pro and college.

    The pro game is what… 8 minutes longer?

    What is the average NBA score versus college?

    I know college scoring is nearing record lows. And of course total zone defenses are legal and the players not as skilled in scoring. But it seems to be quite a difference.

    I go to pro games every year and they always seem to go back and forth more. Concerning the actual speed in which they move down court… not so sure. But they have 11 less seconds just on the shot clock so I’m sure they get shots off quicker.

    I think it would be cool to put distance monitors on players and see who runs furthest in a game, college or pros? You can correct for the extra 8 minutes.

    NBA players pace themselves during the year because of the amount of games. 100+ games… around 3 times more than college ball. I’ve been to NBA Playoffs and those games definitely move faster than regular season. Everything bumps up in the playoffs.

    The NBA has been experimenting with shortening the game to 44 minutes.

    NBA experimenting with 44-minute game

  • @drgnslayr

    Distance monitors is an absolutely flipping brilliant idea that never occurred to me and here is why I would want to do it as a coach.

    I would want to compare points per foot run (PPFR) among players at the same positions. I would want to learn whether to coach maximum, minimum, or middling motion to achieve scoring productivity.

    I would also want to compare team totals to ascertain the same thing: what is the most point productive way to play the game: more running, or less running?

    Then i would want to use the overhead camera data collection technology to quantify which angles of running produced the most points.

    There is so much still to study in the game!!

  • @BeddieKU23

    You are onto something here with Nowitzski and Love. Dirk 's the first footer I recall where his team got behind him being a Mobile Big Man Attack Platform working outside in. Others more astute about the NBA may be able to name others before him.

    Certainly some like Ralph Sampson, and Danny Manning, should have been developed this way and were not.

    Perhaps Bill Walton before his injuries could have been perhaps the best ever at this sort of game prior to Nowitzski. Bill had a great touch, but his coaches mostly wanted him B2B inside.

    Robert Horry comes to mind as an early outside threat that might have been trained to play outside in and been hugely effective.

    Garnett had the most incredible athleticism, but never seemed to have the touch needed.

    Outside in is the future of all basketball until an inside three point line is created, and even that might accelerate the tendency of outside in.

    The future of basketball is to shoot all first shots as threes. And eventually to shoot all shots except the rare shot with 5 seconds to go and no one open to take a trey, as treys.

    People thought I was being eccentric earlier in the season.

    But the first team to field 5 trifectates with two trifectate subs will prove my hypothesis. I am confident.

    In 30-40 years, maybe only 10-15 years, the game will be 75% 3ptas and 25% 2ptas, or even more lopsided in favor of the trey.

    And the near footer mobile big man attack platform shooting the treys will be the gold standard for positions 3, 4 and 5, and if @drgnslayr were right about big man footwork in other games enabling ever more mobile big men, then we absolutely will see the near footer 2 and the infrequent near footer point guard.


    Because the taller you are, as a trey ball shooter the better.

    The ultiimate trey ball shooter is a good ball handling 2 that is a footer and 6 inches taller than the 2 defending him. Pass it to him and he can get an open look trey even with 5 seconds to go on the shot clock with no shake and bake.

    This array of trifectate footers at the 2, 3, 4 and 5 will become feasible as the game globalizes and billions more players grow up playing soccer and basketball early and get selected toward basketball.

    Eventually the game could migrate to trifectate footer point guards, but it doesn’t need to for a much longer time.

    As long as I am crystal ball gazing here, the interim period on the way to this future game is going to see a rebirth of the running hook to be run late in possessions when there is no open trey to pass to.

    Going to iron will simply become too risky for the great talents health, so the running hook is the way to get nearest the rim and draw a foul, without getting injured.

    Iba foresaw where everything had to go in 1964 at the Olympics, when he created the High Low passing game that put an end to the centrality of timing offenses he had worked so long to perfect himself, before having the epiphany of the untimed passing offense.

    Iba was the visionary genius. Iba was Moses that delivered the game to the modern game of controlling the T-axis, and ending reliance on strict timing offense. He could not enter into the land of milk and honey, for he was too much a part of the timing offense himself. But he created the passing offense and Dean and Larry perfected it.

    For a time, everyone thought you had to run to win.

    But right now, the only reason the pros play as fast as they do is the shot clock.

    The game distills to shorten the game up front looking for an angle to build a lead; then build the lead how ever you can, and with the three point shot you build it with the trey, then shorten the game while defending the lead. Repeat the formula as often as you have to do it to get to the point where you can shorten the game to the buzzer.

    Shoot the trey, transition when you can, defend the lead.

    The pros follow the formula to a tee, but with a short shot clock.

    Self follows the formula to a tee, but with a longer shot clock.

    When there was no shot clock, Dean Smith followed the formula to a tee by stalling whole games even with the most fabulously athletic players.

    The major successful exceptions to the formula were Wooden running and Auerbach running tp break teams’ wills to compete.

    These appear to be the two ways to play the game, and the Iba way appears to be prevailing increasingly over time, as the money in the game increases, and the desire to protect the merchandise in creases at college and pro levels.

    I am not smart enough to say what is right or wrong, or what might work better, or not.

    I am just barely smart enough to understand that what happens over time is what is most feasible to happen, whether it is wrong or right, for the best, or for the worst.


    Maybe even scarey at times.

    Requires a lot of animal faith to change with the times.

    And a lot of old time religion perhaps helps, also.

    And some cunning never hurts.

    And you’ve got to be willing to walk through the looking glass from time to time.

    Rock Chalk!

  • I think that the shot clock came about because of Dean and the Four Corner. Big men like Chamberlain changed so many rules. So now instead of the Four Corner, we have a shot clock where the half or the game end with an Isolation. The one play that reminds me of Hockey.

  • Banned

    I’m not so sure about Thon Maker. Some of the stuff I’m reading is he might not pass the clearinghouse, and has said if he doesn’t he will go over seas. I know this is the OAD era but something doesn’t seem right here. Maybe I’m wrong.

  • @DoubleDD

    I mentioned before that going to school in Canada was or should be a red flag. He might reclassify and then stay another year in Canada and then go straight to the NBA.

  • Banned

    Well if you haven’t seen the kid? He’s a monster.

  • ok guys, I am original poster of this and I’m just saying yes I see concerns. ya might be problems with clearinghouse not all sure on that, I have heard from others that the problem wouldn’t be with grades but something about players from other countries can’t remember I would have to re-read something about how they are frowning on players from abroad playing in the U.S.A yes is in Canada but I’m just saying fully not worries IF ANYONE ELSE is worrying about as far as grades go. heard something about partial quailifer like Jamari if that’s the case he won’t come. have read post where comments made they don’t want him that all he thinks about is about his-self and such, I hope these guys aren’t serious. I mean guys really? seriously? have we gotten to that point? no even saying Thon is that way, but even if that was the case again IF that was the case don’t know about you but I was raised you have to look out for yourself no one else will, its a cold world right? so he has to look out for him-self do what is best for him, if that’s one yr the so be it. I know if he comes here he will fit in coach self’s system or he won’t be here and I’m sure he knows that. nothing is a given with coach self you EARN IT no matter who you are. I’m not saying any of my fellow posers here are in that train of thought but I’m sayin I hope we haven’t got that spoiled to try and deny and be little a player for quote un quote looking out for him-self or thinking about him-self. I still feel if the staff can get him to commit to us even for 1 yr this is a kid we need to accept and enjoy for the 1 yr. this kid is an animal. yes I saw the video above and granted I have seen many of his video’s and its hard to compare his talent because he just dominates against other competition at the current level so much taller and total package. pretty thin but has all the tools lets just unite and pull and hopefully get this kid for the yr if that’s what it is. jo jo turned out being 1 yr and w enjoyed him as Jayhawk nation we need to unite and if he is hea your going to enjoy beyond a shadow of a doubt GO HAWKS

  • He is a great talent and I would be excited to see him in a Jayhawk uniform but a couple of reasons that give me a pause:

    1. Is he the right fit for Self? He’s not the typical big that Self likes and may not be able to adapt in one year, while in the process disrupt the chemistry and identity that we are building this year. Maybe if Self plays him like he does Perry, outside in, it may work.

    2. Is he going to be another media circus like Wiggins? I loved having Wiggins on the team because of his humble personality and it will pay dividends if he continues to rise in the NBA, but his presence impacted the development of other multi-year guys.

    All in all, I like how our team is right now and what it will be next year (even with Oubre leaving and everyone else staying) without anymore additions. Sure, a true footer would help next year’s team, but not sure Thon’s game is suited for a Self-type footer.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    After I read your post, I found the story on the CJon line and I had to read it a few times to put in context.

    In the past, Withey indicated that when he fist started the NBA the game was too fast and once it “slowed down” for him (read he became accustomed to the speed) he became more comfortable.

    "“Kansas did prepare me for this, but obviously there are bigger and stronger guys in the NBA,” said Withey, who helped lead the Jayhawks to the 2012 NCAA title game in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. “I’ve noticed how the guards here are a lot faster and smoother with the ball. They know how to make plays and are so good at this level. In college you can kind of get away with a lazy hedge (helping a picked teammate on defense), but here you can’t do that at all. You’ve got to be on guard all the time. It’s a different physical level.”

    I take his comment to mean that there is more running in college with players, particularly at defense oriented KU, always running back to set up the defense, where in the NBA the game is more deliberate and you don’t really have the full court press or tight coverage that tends to speed up the game and sometimes defense is not a priority. However, when the plays are developing and the offense is in motion the game is played at a speed that new players cannot keep up and only when they become comfortable with the speed, the game eventually “slows down.” Makes sense? I guess were are taking about slower pace with higher speed…I think???

    I watch a fair amount of NBA games and the game seems to be indeed more deliberate but when the players get in motion, they are blindingly faster and stronger than college kids. The same is true for other sports such as football, where when new players are asked what is the biggest adjustment between college and the pros, the answer is consistently…speed. I would suspect this is true for most sports.

    I will see if I can find some stats on pace and possession time for the NBA and college.; it should be interesting.

  • @drgnslayr

    There is a system in place that allows accurately measurement of the distance basketball players travel during a game along with a battery of other statistics.

    Also, this link has a comparison between the different sports; not surprisingly, soccer players cover the longer distances.

  • @DoubleDD He is a monster playing against other average to slightly above average high school players. He will not do this in D1 against equal or greater talent with some muscle.

    I hope for his sake he qualifies. It’s pretty obvious when his guardian doubts his qualifications for the clearinghouse. It seems most agree that it’s not his grades or academics, but the number of schools. If he’s attended 3 or more schools, there’s going to be issues. I guarantee you if they investigate his records, they will find something that will disqualify him. Some class won’t qualify him. He’ll be short a class or two. These kids need some direction. They need a normal high school and then go to a prep school. Two schools should be the max. Why all the school hopping?

    Don’t get me wrong, the kid is good. But is he worth the hassle? Maybe? If UK gets the bigs they want, this will pretty much leave KU as the remaining possibility for Maker. They will have a number of bigs once again. I would love for Embiid to talk with this kid for many reasons.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    That makes a lot of sense to me.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Glad to know that that software tracks that. The answer to my question about players points per foot, or points per mile, is actually quite handy. Thanks for the heads up.

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