Self's post season reflection of the team.

  • Surprised nobody has started a thread on his comments yesterday about the Season in general. Some alarming comments or maybe I’m reading between the lines looking for something?

    "I am not making any excuses for our guys because we could have very easily advanced, but this was a team in which they did a pretty good job of piecing it together this year. The pieces didn’t fit great

    Roster turnover yet again??? I did not like the sounds of that statement true or not.

    *The kids adjusted and basically really did well to win the league and be a 2-seed against a monster schedule. Basically our inconsistencies certainly caught up to us at the very end,” Self added

    Nothing new there, KU buckets has been saying that all year.

    I’m realistic to know we’re going to have a guy or two leave,” Self said. “I’m also realistic to know sometimes kids and families do things you don’t anticipate them doing, too. That’s the nature of this business right now — kind of wait and see. I anticipate losing a couple guys but I’m hopeful we’ll have the rest of our players back because we do have a good foundation but we do need to solidify that and add a couple more players.”

    Hopefully just the 1 or 2 we are all expecting. We truly need a year where half the team doesn’t bail out.


  • @BeddieKU23 I just wish he’d been a little more forthright. Like -

    “We lost because we are what Mrs @drgnslayr says we are.” We don’t think, we don’t execute, we don’t play hard, we don’t make shots when we need to AND we have no killer instinct. If we ever get a 12-15 point lead go ahead and mark us down for an “L” - because we will find a way to screw it up. Other than that, I thought it was a pretty good season".

  • @nuleafjhawk

    It was a good season, 27 wins and another championship. But it wasn’t without what I think was more weaknesses than Self has ever experienced. 2 blowout’s, blown lead after lead another early exit. Those things sting in fans minds, myself included.

    We saw Frank Mason become the man but he’s still got work to do. We saw for a short Period Perry become the man, but he’s still got work to do.

    The comments that scared me is I think Self knows guys are leaving for the NBA- no shock there. And some guys might leave for other reasons. Those guys that leave for other reasons will further bring down the team.

  • @BeddieKU23 I was struck, as well, by his comments. I would posit that they are consistent with the (too) lengthy post I had yesterday in the Deja Vu thread that Self was faced with a somewhat unexpected talent deficit (whether that is on Self, the players, or both, could be further parsed) that made it challenging to effectively run any offensive scheme (also impacting defense) - to wit, Alexander and Oubre (showed flashes) didn’t live up to the hype (and particularly compared to some of their similarly ranked brethren - again, on them or Self?), Selden regressed, Greene didn’t progress, Graham got a late start, and so on. I made the point that knowing what we know now, as contrasted with expectations coming in to the season, winning 27 games and scratching out #11 seems pretty remarkable.

  • @DCHawker I don’t think you can put the OAD performance on Self. Oubre had a very good year once he figured things out. Cliff obviously struggled but I am not sure how that is on his coach. Cliff seemed to be highly over rated. So were the two top 10 kids for UNC this year. Myles Turner was the #2 player in the entire country and it is not like he had an incredible season. It happens.

    Bill can coach the OAD’s. Wiggins, Embiid, BMac. These guys all had very successful 1 year stops at KU and I truly expect more success from OAD kids in the future.

  • @joeloveshawks I expected more from oubre too.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Has there ever been a one-and-done that we didn’t expect more from? As long as the NBA drafts based on potential instead of performance, we’re going to be disappointed with them. We will see flashes of that potential, buy they can’t develop consistency in one year. They are teenagers, for heaven’s sake! I never get too down on freshmen because they are freshmen, but we really can’t expect too much from them either. They get scared on the road in front of hostile crowds. They don’t know how to work hard, and don’t realize they don’t know, because they never really had to put forth sustained effort to be successful, and also because they are just teenagers. They just don’t have time to live up to their potential, and so we will always be disappointed.

    I really think all the issues this year, as a team, boil down to youth. Hard work and consistency take time to learn, and we’re mostly trying to rely on freshmen and sophomores. But as long as the one-and-done culture remains, I don’t see these issues getting any better.

  • @DCHawker

    I think the issue we are now seeing is a deep rooted one and my memory will probably not remember everything but I’ll try.

    You start with recruiting and roster attrition.

    2011-12 we got McLemore, Traylor, Transfer Kevin Young, Tharpe, Lindsay.

    That class we got little contribution immediately. Ben & Mari had to sit-out the year for academics. Tharpe & Young played but weren’t ready. After the year ended Lindsay left after barely playing. We lost 2 starters & Teehan.

    2012-13 we got Ellis, White, Lucas, Adams, Peters. On paper it looked great and looked like a foundation class to build around.

    Ellis was the only freshman to consistently play. White had a hard time getting PT, Lucas red-shirted, Adams was a nutcase & Peters we lost in pre-season.After the year ended 5 starters left to graduation and NBA. Currently just 2 players remain from that class.

    2013-14 was supposed to be a great year getting the most hyped recruit in KU history Wiggins. Add Selden, Embiid, Frankamp, Greene, Mason, & Black and you had the best recruiting class in KU history. The problem was you had only 3 players who even contributed the year before. All 7 played and got us #10 somehow.

    After the season 3 left to the NBA & graduation, our starting PG is forced out and White goes elsewhere after not getting PT. To make it worse Frankamp before the next season started decided he wanted to leave after millions of posts debated on our PG battle. He apparently lost and left like a disgruntled QB is after the spring games reveals he’s not 1st on the depth chart. You sign 7 guys and 4 of them are gone before the next calendar year begins. Then you lose 2 holdovers from the previous year. Notice the trend???

    2014-2015 we get Oubre & Alexander 2 high school sensations, Graham, Svi & transfer Mickelson.

    The 3 leftovers from that monster recruiting class stabilized positions and previous leftovers Ellis, Mari & Lucas kept churning through eligibility. We won #11 in the toughest league in the country.

    After the season remains a mystery on roster turnover but the general thinking is half of last years recruiting class is gone. For the first time in years Self has the chance to stop the bleeding of this constant revolving door of players leaving the program. How can a coach teach kids the game of basketball if he’s stuck with a constant motion of 3-6 new players a year. There’s no stability, and no chance for Self to build a core. As I’ve pointed out the off-season has been almost as entertaining or nerve wrecking as a Big Monday game against Iowa St.

    Self needs to stop the bleeding, heal wounds, mend relationships and find a way to keep your kids that you’ve recruited. That you’ve spent countless dollars recruiting, training, teaching. Not come out with comments like your expecting guys to leave. Make them want to stay!

  • @joeloveshawks and @tundrahok We all put too much stock in the HS rankings. These are kids. Heck, there are NFL draft busts all the time and some overlooked 6th rounders turn out to be all-pro for years - and that’s with 3-4 years of college tape, combines, Pro Days, Wonderlics and other analytics. So, shouldn’t be a surprise that supposed OADs don’t pan out quite as hoped.

    I think the jury is still out on whether the quest for OADs is worth the costs/challenges - I know what my vote would be - unless you can cobble together overwhelming talent. How many of the Sweet 16 this year have multiple OADs - UK, Duke and maybe Arizona. Anyone else?

    But, it is also a question of how best to take advantage of the talents and skill set they bring (or adjust for some clear deficiencies) and fit them into a “system” (every coach has one to some extent) and mesh with returning players. I don’t think you can necessarily chalk it all up to “youth”, however - that can be a bit of a cop-out. Putting aside the unique case of UK, Duke has done pretty well with 3 freshmen starters (they’re 3 best players) and another frosh and sophomore who get regular rotation minutes.

    Clearly, Self has embraced the view - an overreaction to '12 perhaps - that you have to have overwhelming talent, no matter how inexperienced, to get another ring. There certainly is evidence that superior talent wins - but there are just as many examples, including 3 of the past 4 years, that veteran, defense oriented teams with superior guard play (and no OADs and minimum of NBA caliber talent) can also get you to the mountaintop.

  • @DCHawker Very well said.

  • @DCHawker You certainly can build a cabin with green wood, but it’s not very common and takes some special techniques. Coach Self is a more traditional builder.

    My main point was that OADs are almost always going to disappoint. It’s not their fault; it’s just the way it works now. We will never have another Danny Manning because it took him several years to become the player we think of, regardless of his superior talent from day 1.

  • @tundrahok Joel didn’t disappoint, injuries notwithstanding.

    That exception aside, the question is not whether our OADs disappoint, but whether they disappoint more than other teams’ OADs.

    Is there a disconnect between Self and OADness? Is there something about his system that requires longer maturing? This has been discussed often. I imagine it is being used against Self in recruiting.

  • @BeddieKU23 He mentioned earlier in another article something about the WSU loss being on him. He didnt give that sentiment at all regarding the season. I’d like to see him have some more personal accountability. He is the coach. Down seasons at KU are on him and him alone. I dont like seeing him throw his players under the bus for having a down year.
    Yes, KU had a good season, beat last years win/loss by 1.5 games and won the conference and got a 2 seed for their 26th straight NCAA tourney appearance. Thats good. BUT, at KU, it is not great and they could have had a great year if Self had exercised a bit more ahhh, fluidity with his coaching and in game adjustments. Thats on him.

  • @BeddieKU23 said:

    I’m realistic to know we’re going to have a guy or two leave,”

    I wonder if Self is referring only to players.

  • @tundrahok I agree, with the qualifier that there will be exceptions - the problem is that you really don’t know who those exceptions will be in advance, and if you swing and miss, the costs can be very high in terms of building a strong veteran team, with emphasis on team…

  • @ParisHawk Yes, Embiid was indeed an outlier. But was he envisioned as an OAD when we recruited him? I think he was a savant! He just figured it out, and developed at a rate far exceeding anybody’s expectations. It was phenomenal to watch his progress, see mistakes made early on that were never repeated. That was fun to watch. But not typical. Alexander, I fear, was the opposite. I don’t want to knock him, but he didn’t figure things out as quickly as expected.

    And yes, I think Self has tried to change his stripes because of the negative effect on his recruiting. And I think he’s been successful there. I don’t think OADs are afraid to come to KU like they once might have been because individuals have been successful in the NBA draft, which is often their top priority when deciding on a school. That individual success just doesn’t necessarily translate to team success.

  • @tundrahok “That individual success just doesn’t necessarily translate to team success.”

    There ya go. Look at Wiggins. Last year we saw flashes of his ability. We also saw about as many games with no flash. Now look at him in the league. If he isn’t in double figures every nite you wonder if he’s sick. Whereas I think as the season went on with Embiid we wondered after each game how much better can this kid get? Like you said, “not typical.”

    I’m sure with Oubre, he’ll be like Wiggins. The ability is there, but we only saw flashes of it. And again, like Wiggins, we also saw as many games where you wondered if he even suited up.

    So, are OAD’s, especially the one’s like Wiggins and Oubre, just biding their time in college, trying not to get hurt and jeopardizing their lottery spot in the draft? If that’s the case, why recruit them? Recruit the ones who will give their all every game.

  • @brooksmd I dunno, but it sure doesn’t appear that Anderson at AZ, Williams at OSU, Okafor-Winslow-Jones at Duke, and Lyles and Downs at UK (among others) are just biding their time…

  • @brooksmd I don’t think they are dogging it intentionally. I just think they are young and don’t know better. Alternatively, maybe their college coaches are holding them back. Dean Smith was criticized for not letting Michael Jordan blossom to the extent he could have at UNC, and I’ve heard speculation about Wiggins last year being kept in check by Self. I dunno, and I wouldn’t blame the coaches if they had more faith in their system than an untried superstar. Takes a lot of faith to turn over your team’s success to a teenager. But in most cases, I really doubt most young players are that selfish to hold back to avoid injury (at least KU’s prospective OADs that I’ve paid attention to). Wouldn’t it reflect better on them if they led their team to the glory of an NCAA championship???

  • @brooksmd I don’t think anybody here can point to anything to indicate that any of the OADs have taken it easy so they wouldn’t get injured or do anything to jeopardize their draft status.

    Last year, the way Wiggins played in the game at West Virginia certainly didn’t give any indication that he was thinking about next year. I don’t recall seeing anything this year that made me think KO was thinking about the draft. Ben McLemore certainly didn’t. At Texas, Kevin Durant certainly didn’t take it easy. These are 18-year old kids, not middle agers.

    Are you saying that it’s only the ones that come to KU that are looking forward to the draft? Or is it all of them?

  • I thought Wigs often took too many chances with his health by forcing drive into the paint against 5 defenders. Self told him to do that… and if he didn’t he sure didn’t tell him NOT to do it! The risk was too high for the possible gain (a couple of FTs and a bunch of TOs).

    Wigs should have been taught how to pull up for easy mid range shots 8 ft from the basket. He does it now in the pros. He takes it to the rack when he’s one-on-one or has an open path. He typically doesn’t challenge a crowded lane now.

    There were times some fans thought Wigs was guarding his health on 50/50 balls requiring a slide on the floor. I just think he didn’t have much experience doing that in HS. There is technique you need so you don’t get hurt going down on the court for balls.

    I give Wigs a solid “A” for risk taking. His effort could some times be so-so as all freshmen do.

    The big criticism on Dean Smith was that he pinned Jordan down on his structured offense and wouldn’t just allow him to do his thing and take over games. He held Jordan’s game back because a lot of his game was him going 1-on-1 or 2 or 3. Not many college games out there where the coach doesn’t teach total team play. The pro game is just about winning… and if one guy racks up 50 pts and they win, then the strategy worked!

  • I think the deal with Self and OAD’s is that he goes for the best talent no matter what. If that talent shows up and makes the player capable of leaving after one year so be it. If not, than he gets to use some of that “potential” that everyone talks about with high level recruits. Rush was a border line OAD who we got 3 years out of. We got 2 from Arthur who was almost assured OAD coming in. Selden was borderline and we are probably going to get at least year 3 with him.

  • @BeddieKU23 I dunno why, but I just had a thought that we were gonna get Diallo.

  • @drgnslayr Wigs is absolutely a shoe in for ROY, Im glad he was at KU.

  • So now I’m reading that Cal is interested in the NBA again. Could that change the landscape of the college game again?

  • @wissoxfan83 He does this every year. It’s all hype to raise his image during tourney and for recruits. He’s the greatest promoter ever. The guy is a master at promoting himself.

  • @Lulufulu According to one recruiting outlet, KU has a 42% chance over ISU of landing Diallo. It appears that Maker is a UK lean. It would make my day if Maker signs with UK and they have an eligibility issue with him. It would be funny too if he signs and then goes to Europe.

    I think it’s 24/7’s Crystal Ball projection. Even UK recruiting analysts have him leaning toward KU.

    link text

  • Malik Newman is UK, MissStU, LSU, and KU…Somthing tells me Newman may do somewhat like Wigs and just simply pick KU. He could really bolster the backcourt. It will depend on Selden. Frankly, I wouldn’t be all that disappointed if Selden jumped at this point. Sorry nothing personal against Selden. He never progressed, but digressed.

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  • @wissoxfan83

    Isn’t that an every year thing and he declines it every year. Unless it comes from his mouth I don’t believe he’s going that way.

  • @BeddieKU23 I heard it on PTI. They were just speculating like the rest of us, but he appears to be considering it more seriously this time.

  • @wissoxfan83 I think if he wins the championship this year, there is higher probability of him leaving for NBA. You can’t top an undefeated championship season. He can leave at an all time high.

  • IF he left for the NBA which I really believe is unlikely then it would totally send shockwaves through the College ranks. I think he likes the College game and all the attention he and his program get. It won’t get any better going back to the league unless he is given a good team to work with.

    Who would they pursue? I don’t even know where you go looking, Cal raised the standard above anyone before him. Would his recruits look elsewhere?

  • Cal would have to share the spotlight in the NBA. He is the face of the program at UK. I kinda think he likes the attention.

  • @dylans I just want Cal to get burned for some NCAA violation before he bails for the League. That would make a total of 3 schools at that point. Wouldnt he almost have to leave then? I seriously intensely dislike that guy sooooo much!

  • @Lulufulu

    The talk about Calipari jumping to the NBA is a circus barker attempt by his agent to renegotiate his contract next month after Kentucky wins the NC (or so they think). This horse and pony show should sound familiar… it’s what came around in 2012 after Calipari won his first NC.

    This is also going on now down in Wichita. Marshall’s agent is already trying to talk up a possible move to Alabama. If, by chance, WSU can win the NC this year, Marshall’s agent will have plenty of leverage to renegotiate his current contract.

    Cal has no business in the NBA. His recruiting advantage is gone, then he has to win based on his coaching… and he is no coach. He may do a great job keeping college OADs on the same page, but the NBA is 100x more involved than college. There is a reason why he did so poorly his first go-round in the league… because he stunk!

    If you want to know how good a coach he really is… take him and swap him out at ISU next year, with the Mayor’s group of transfers and juco players. Let’s see Calipari contend for a B12 conference title, let alone a seeding in March. ISU wouldn’t even play 500-ball. I’m saying this on the basis that the Mayor doesn’t land any 5-star players this year… he might surprise some people!

  • I think we get 4 new players in next year. They may not all be Freshmen. Transfer in, transfer out.

  • @KansasComet

    I think it would be great if we could sign at least one transfer that can play right away and contribute. Otherwise… we will need probably 3 or more new guys that need to contribute and are freshmen. Another year of being “one of the younger teams in college basketball.”

  • @drgnslayr Our starting 5 could include Mason (Junior) Selden (Junior) BG (Junior) Perry (Senior) and someone else. I don’t think Bill will have the youth excuse this year.

  • @BeddieKU23 Very nice personnel summary.

  • @joeloveshawks BG wont start if KU lands another 5 star wing. Svi will also contend for a starting spot next season too. I can see it comin. Kids a stud with a better handle and defense iq

  • @brooksmd I don’t buy the argument that they lay off on purpose for NBA draft. I think it is more as has been discussed that they haven’t needed to and/or learned to sustain a hard work ethic.

  • @joeloveshawks Unless BG suddenly learns how to play D he won’t be starting. My bet is Svi would get the starting nod over BG.

  • @drgnslayr Another Tarik transfer but with more years of elgibility.

  • Kansas & Pittsburgh head coaches watching Mike Thorne Jerry Meyer - 6 hours ago 0 Newsletter 0 12 Charlotte transfer Mike Thorne is being watched by Kansas head coach Bill Self today, and Pittsburgh’s Jamie Dixon will be in tomorrow according to recruiting analyst Evan Daniels.

    A 6-11. 270-pound post player, Thorne averaged 10.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game as a junior.

    As a graduate transfer, Thorne has immediate eligibility.

  • Xavier Henry sandbagged the final 3rd of the season, noticed by many. No doubt on daddy Carl’s advice, who was an absolute cancer at his son’s practices, finally getting banned from the sideline by Self.

    Xavier himself was a wonderfully nice young man who loved his KU college time, and makes it back routinely for games in AFH. I wish him the best despite his daddy…

  • @brooksmd

    Right on!

  • @ralster do you think Self will ask an ex player? Who would you pick? I know it depends on who we recruit.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Along with 41 other teams! Read that many teams are after him which speaks volumes to how in-demand a near footer with skill can be. I heard Virginia Tech may have an inside track with him as Buzz Williams recruited him in HS. We will see we are definitely the biggest school to reach out so hopefully Self sells a good thing.

  • @brooksmd I agree. BG probably won’t start unless he adds to his game.

    I still feel that we are a “veteran” team next year and that if we lose in the tourney Self will not be able to say “KU is young and WSU is old and that is that”. Mason, Selden and Ellis will start so no matter who the other 2 players are there will be 2 juniors and a senior in the starting lineup.

    Jamari is a senior and will play big minutes. BG is a junior and will get big minutes. Lucas is a red shirt junior and will likely see a lot of time. Mickelson will be a senior.

    Graham, Bragg and Svi are the only guys right now who will see minutes that are underclassmen. We will more than likely add another good freshman that will see minutes but this will be a veteran squad.

  • @joeloveshawks

    Same team just a year older it’s going to take more than that to correct the issues we had. Same terrible 2pt% shooting team, same bunch that had the most blocked shots in the country. Then you consider KU is more than likely to lose the 2 most athletic players from that team.

    Big minutes from Mari is exactly why were are recruiting bigs still. We need to find an option that will drop his minutes in half.

    Other than Ellis & Mason the rest of the team is in full development mode this off-season. Those 2 already have skill set in place that just needs refining. The rest Selden included need major work on their games.

    It will be interesting to see who else we add and how serious the team takes the off-season.

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