Cliff to Draft, But Whither Snacks?

  • Cliff and Okafor sprang from Chicago.

    Snacks recruited both very hard for KU.

    Snacks lost Okafor, but landed Cliff.

    Snacks hiring was reputedly based on his ability to recruit Chicagoland.

    Cliff was kind of an exploding cigar.

    I have not heard any word about who Snacks is recruiting hard in Chicagoland for this year’s recruiting class.

    I have not heard anything about Snacks generally since his reinstatement.

    Snacks seemed rather more subdued on the bench during his time back.

    The only time I noticed him at all was in one of the last couple games, when he wore a black suit with near chalk stripes, what I recalled as being something of a fashion no-no for a wide man.

    Whither Snacks?

  • Snacks needs to go.

  • If Snacks should happen to move on, I would hope that Self can unearth and unleash a wizard with a great mind for offense.

  • @ralster

    You are usually pretty conservative in these matters.

    I have not made up my mind about Snacks. I have my moments, when I agree, but then I waffle because I think I do not yet know enough about Snacks yet.

    What do you base your position on?

  • Snacks used to play. If he had talents in coaching up players like Danny did, I’d say keep him. But notice we haven’t heard a single word from players on how much help they have received from Snacks.

    Who is doing the actual coaching lifting in this program? That is what I want to know. From the looks of our guys, I’d say no one!

  • @drgnslayr I agree - there is very little coaching going on, almost to the point where I don’t want to watch.

    A move that I wish our post players would learn is the fade away. I could make fade away jumpers in middle school when my coach taught me how to do it. It is a very effective move when playing against taller players. Very disappointing that they can’t do it.

  • Snacks played for Self, he makes a place for him as long as he is productive regardless of his issues unless the higher ups put on the pressure. If Cliff would have played we would not be having this conversation and I don’t blame the NCAA. How else are they supposed to discourage this kind of thing from happening. There had to be some kind of consequence. Cliff’s family made a bad decision and if Snacks was like a “DAD” to Cliff they should have consulted him before talking to a dumb axx agent. Snacks may have been preoccupied with other things and lost his close ties with the family.

    I’m more concerned about the players and coaches as a whole after watching the tournament. To me, and I’m definitely not as up on these things as the rest of your but I think we have a week bench of coaches kids to practice with. If we had some hungry recruits from local Junior colleges or on the edge high school standouts, walk on we would be better off. I also think we have traded out very fundamental assistant coaches for recruiter types because we are trying to land the OAD’s. BS has a hard job trying to juggle coaches and players that will give us a winning program but I will say this again, we lack a degree of fundamentals that these players should already know before coming to college.

    Believe it or not, I coached women’s industrial league basketball many years ago and the simple basics were to bend your knees and get in a stance, see how fast you can slide across the floor, Stay between the other player and the basket, and use that big but to block out under the basket. I saw other players using these skills against us very successfully in the tournament. We don’t seem to even learn from playing games with well coached teams. We got whipped by a very hard nosed fundamentally sound team and so did UK. I thought the championship game was a great display of fundamental basket ball, but Bo lost track of what brought him thus far and got beat by a lesser team with a tournament seasoned coach. My point is that if Snacks is not going to teach fundamentals and hard nosed basketball and not come up with a recruit that understands the fundamentals before he gets here then we don’t need him. We don’t need a suit we need a roll up your sleeves hard nosed in your face beast. Someone Self has to keep on a leash. Someone who can coach even Perry into the NBA.

  • @KU-Flyer

    Thanks for responding.

    You are not alone in your questioning of the teaching abilities of our assistant coaches. I recall @drgnslayr and @ralster among others articulating similar positions.

    I am not resolved on this yet, so everyone’s takes interest me.

    Here is a question for you that your post prompted in me. It is not argumentative. It is asking for some clarification.

    On the one hand you describe a fascinating stint coaching women’s industrial league basketball and the basics of basketball that can be taught AND learned, by most any teacher and most any player.

    On the other hand you describe a KU team this past season lacking in these fundamentals and coaches apparently are not teaching these fundamentals to players that show up without out them, and suggest that a very tough, very aggressive coach needs to be added to the staff that can drill these fundamentals into our new and returning players.

    What is it about Snacks, or Norm, or Kurtis, that prevents them from teaching these fundamentals that you describe alternately as things pretty much anyone can teach and learn, and also as things best suited to be taught by a task master?

    Each of these guys recruits a lot, as does Self.

    If they are too busy recruiting to coach, does that mean we need to hire an additional coach?

    Do the NCAA rules permit doing so?

    If the rules do not permit it, might they permit us to hire an agility coach, the same way we hire Hudy as a weight training coach, and we could have the agility coach focus on all of the physical fundamentals of movement and positioning, the way Hudy focuses on strength, body fat, weight redistribution, etc.?

    As an aside, one of the things that surprises me about the relationships of D1 coaches today with their players is how much of their interaction off the floor seems to occur via text message, rather than face to face contact. I tech literate, but at the same time, I am old and so this perhaps strikes me as more unusual than it would younger board rats. Coaches, at least some coaches, ought to be physically accessible to players, it would seem to me. But I can see that they might no be if they are all out pounding the recruiting trail, or emailing and texting recruits from their offices endlessly. Maybe today’s players are getting less connected to their coaches in face time, but more connected in virtual time and it is having a strange effect? I don’t know.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Not sure if this is the right place (didn’t check other headlines), and this is from no-keen eyes for KU bball, but based on what I’ve observed, our players are athletic, but their BBall IQ isn’t the same level as their athleticism. If one’s IQ is good, their body isn’t quite there, and vice versa. Mistakes they’ve made during the mid & late season (this isn’t just this year) makes me wonder if they got rocks for brain. A case in point is Cliff who fell short of his brain talent. Self needs physical talent with brain talent. Sorry if I’m being harsh but Snack’s ability to relate to players is one thing, but recruits lacking in brain talent requires coaches with more than social skills. There’s so much emphasis on social skills with tweets etc that I wonder if our coaches are looking at recruits ability to learn - so as to shorten the learning curve given OADs one year timeline.

  • I, like others on this board have a tendency to rant and rave a little to get my frustrations out. As I comment more I see that it is therapeutic to say the least, but I am actually at work so I can’t put a lot of thought into these comments so don’t take me too serious. I ain’t too deep.

    When one of you has time please tell how to address you individually and how to create my own icon as I have not been able to figure out how to do either. Is there a help page?

    Obviously I did not communicate well. I assumed all assistant coaches can do both, recruit and coach. It just seems in the last couple of years we have lost something. So if I look to what has changed it would be coaches and the type of player we have. Morningstar, Releford, and the kid from Burlington (by the way I’m going to retire next year as you can see memory is the second thing to go). These were local prospects that seemed to have good fundamentals from day one. After 3 years in the system each could handle anyone on any on any given day. When they made a mistake they did not slip back into a comma they went after the next play. These are the type of kids that could teach by example what the OAD’s needed to know before Christmas.

    By the way thank all of you for your comments about EASTER, I also feel we serve a Risen Savior. I’m not sure how I make it through the day without the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and his help.

    We have spent a century trying to communicate to one another with something other than the mail and telegraph when we finally got land lines . My Aunt was the operator in our small town in Kansas back in the fifties and even the early sixties on our party line. We had to talk to her to make a long distance call. To me texting is a kin to the telegraph. It set us back a century. I was at the neighbors house over the EASTER weekend with 12 kids and 4 pair of young adults with no TV. No one was communicating to each other but were all on their own phone on the internet or texting about what was on the internet or taking pitchers and posting them or or or or or or … In a few years we will not play on the hardwood we’ll just play the game on the computer, but maybe it will be with a peach basket.

  • I know we’ve skirted the topic of whether or not our current coaching staff leans too heavily to the recruitment side of the basketball equation versus the development side, but I wonder whether or not some of these players (Greene, Selden, Alexander, etc.) have simply reached their level of competency?

    The NBA drafts on potential, but aren’t these kids given scholarships essentially based on potential as well? The road to riches is littered with NBA prospects who, by all accounts, had what it took to make it at that level but didn’t or couldn’t. So, why is it we automatically assume that a great high school hoops player will continue to develop and get better in college?

    It sure seems like we’ve pulled in our fair share of highly-ranked guys lately who, for whatever reason, haven’t showed much improvement after a couple years in our system. You have to wonder why. Were they ranked too highly? Not developed properly? Or have they simply reached the point where potential is no longer a consideration; They are what they are. I understand recruiting is probably an inexact science, especially when you’re dealing with young kids, but if a guy is highly ranked by numerous services you have to believe it’s not haphazard in nature. You have to believe that if it walks and talks like a duck that it is a duck. Yet we seem to have an inordinate number of guys who can’t seem to improve. Is that on the player or on the coach?

    I recall reading the story of Frank Mason’s recruitment. I think it was coach Townsend who had gone to visit another potential recruit, but watched as Mason continually torched the guy. Right then, Townsend knew that Mason was the guy he wanted. As we all know, Mason is one guys who has progressed as a player and it seems like he still has a pretty high ceiling. So, was it just raw ability that impressed Townsend or did he see something else in Mason? Perhaps it is that something else that our coaches should be looking for in potential recruits, beyond the stats and the rankings.

  • I’d like us to become what Calipari is to recruiting, we are to developing. Imagine that!

    Imagine that it really didn’t matter who we recruit because the players we get (as long as they buy in to development) are going to become awesome talent within a very short time.

    Imagine a team that executes! Imagine a team where the coach tells them what he wants and they deliver! Imagine a team of listeners that also have a player or two that leads the team verbally.

    Back in my day we had a captain, and second captain. The captain was usually our PG and he was on the floor about 90% of the time. The second in command, would get lots of playing time, too, but that position was open to whoever was best in fulfilling the responsibilities. The #1 responsibility is to keep the entire team on the same page. Keep the guys mentally involved, physically energized and spiritually connected. We had 100-times the communication going on than what you see at Kansas. That level of communication is what took us from last place to first place in one year. When a player was told to go out and guard someone, the guy would be in the opposition’s underwear! We always joked about wearing condoms out there. I miss that kind of basketball… it was really a team concept. This term is misused today because by today’s definition, if a team passes the ball around a bit, then they play team ball.

  • @KU-Flyer You bring up great points 1) kids can’t communicate effectively & poignantly today. Their “text” lingo can’t possibly translate well on the court. 2) Ability express one’s thought is a challenge for teens, particularly boys. Their vocabulary consists of “lol, ok, uh huh…” Good communication skill and add leadshership skills needed on & out of the court. It takes more than physicalness to win NC.

  • @HawksWin You are right about the communication problems with kids. My teenagers can write English very well, and at meals know the phones are left in another room.
    However they both have real bad habits of saying “uh or like” multiple times-sometimes in the same sentence. We correct them at times but the problem is they are surrounded by kids talking that way all day long.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Several things, including what drgn said just below your post.

    Snacks sideline demeanor is like a player-in-a-suit, not that of a coach.

    He lost about 90% of his credibility with me because he smeared Bill Self and the Univ. of KS with a prosecutable drug offense (that was indeed prosecuted). Doesn’t matter which drug. He is helping coach/mold young men. And in the spirit of that and alongside the greater spirit of academia enriching and molding young adults, he let us down.

    Snacks should have been schitt-canned the minute Self found out about it. Maybe this weekend I should tell Self personally he is “going soft” (Just kidding, I don’t have the balls to tell him that to his face…)

    And I didn’t think Snacks added much to the coaching staff to begin with. Or, maybe his smeared persona is counterbalanced by Wayne Simien’s close presence with the team. But just as happened on Simien’s own KU team, not all players are ready or at that point in their lives to “buy into” religiosity, and I mean that as a nonjudgemental observation only.

    Recruiting? Other than possibly Cliff, what has Snacks added?

    Just don’t think Snacks is qualified to sit on a royalty program’s bench.
    Look at Duke’s bench: Jeff Capel left OU to go be an asst under Coach K (again). And we get Snacks. Not credible. Zenger didn’t have the balls to tell Self to get rid of Snacks either. Snacks wins! We lose!

  • @ralster

    A couple of items, Capel did not leave OU, he was fired and went to the only place that would take him at the time, Duke; apparently he was recently being considered for the Arizona State HC job and decided to stay at Duke, likely hoping to one day inherit the HC position when rat face retires.

    At one time, coaches and assistants were hired to actually coach and recruiting was something they grudgingly did because it interfered with their primary role. Now, some assistant are hired almost uniquely because their recruiting skills (i.e. Snacks) and coaching is secondary…a really bad development both for the players and the sport at large.

  • Piling on here: if Snacks recruited Cliff, he has primary responsibility for dealing with him and his family. So Cliff’s eligibility problem happened on his watch.

    Add that to the drug incident and coverup, and I wonder what keeps him at KU? The only answer I can think of is Self’s loyalty to a former player.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Agreed on all. My point on Capel was that he had been a HC, although I wondered when OU would fire him exactly…but can you imagine Snacks as a HC anywhere? He looked fun in that KU locker-dance video that Justin Wesley orchestrated, but that’s about it.

  • @ralster He wasnt in the Harlem Shake video. Ben Mac was here then, Im pretty sure that was before Snacks’ time. But, I do get your point.

  • @KU-Flyer there is a help page, I’m not the most advanced techy person, but if you use an iPad or phone, you just touch on the last of a response and different icons come up, reply is on there, edit, touch that and you can reply to that specific poster. You can practice on mine. You can also touch on arrow if u like a post. Mess w/this post all you want. I haven’t changed my avatar, but I know it’s not to hard if you have pics saved you want to use. Touch on your avatar and it will take u to your home page and from there it should help u. I have to work so maybe others can help you w/that.

  • I understand why people are piling on Snacks… but the focus should be broader, on all our assistant coaches. Snacks did what he initially promised to do; successfully recruit Cliff. Snacks recruiting capacity is probably limited to the Chicago area. And he doesn’t have the recruiting experience our other assistants have. So we should assess Snacks’ value to our program but along side the others. All of them should be held accountable.

  • @drgnslayr

    I would even go a step further. Norm and Kurtis have proven themselves over now long careers as assistant coaches capable of recruiting good players. Snacks has done the same over a shorter period, recruiting a goodly number of players for Bruce Weber, who might be a tough guy to attract players to for a number of reasons.

    Why don’t we stop comparing how well our staff is recruiting with recruiters at the Nike-agent complex programs, and start comparing them solely to recruiters at adidas-agent complex programs, since KU is contracted with adidas and so would most probably most closely aligned with adidas-agent complex recruiting base.

    For example, compare our staff’s recruiting with Rick Pitino’s staff at Louisville.

    Pitino has been having exactly the same difficulty landing well-rounded classes that KU has had since KU won the 2008 ring.

    Every year, Rick seems to be patching an piecing either in back court, or in front court. Even his recent ring team won with back court guys that were pint sized guards that Rick basically had to make do with and play X-axis ball with.

    This season’s Louisville team had four near footers, but these guys were largely projects IMHO.

    Rick has not been getting anywhere near the depth of quality players that the apparent Nike-agent complex designated stacks at UK, Duke, and UA have been signing, but relative to apparent adidas-agent complex programs, Rick’s recruiters have been doing pretty well.

    My point here is this: our staff has probably been doing among the best jobs of recruiting among the adidas-agent complex programs.

  • @ParisHawk

    You have it exactly right. Snacks, as the coach that recruited Cliff was in fact the de facto “handler” and he failed at this on several levels. Given that apparently he is “more of a recruiter” than a coach and turned out not to be good at this either, what is the reason to keep him?

  • @ralster

    I agree and I really can’t imagine him as a HC at any major program…maybe JuCo? I bet Larry Brown is relieved he left, although if you read his bio at the the KU web site, you have to wonder, either who wrote it or what went wrong…

  • @jaybate-1.0 I think Townsend was voted #1 asst coach a year or 2 ago.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    I recall the same.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    As per his bio at the KU web site that I posted above…

    "Known as one of the top recruiters in the nation, Jerrance Howard came to KU in May 2013. Two months later, Howard was ranked 12th among the top recruiting assistant coaches in NCAA Division I by in a survey of more than 200 head coaches."

    The key word being “recruiting.”

  • @JayHawkFanToo we were talking Townsend, I don’t know much about Howard, except for, you know.

  • @jaybate-1.0 What’s your opinion of Snacks? Is he equipped to take over Self when he retires? Is Snacks that good of a coach? I don’t know, hence the question. Thanks.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Oops…my bad, I did not read closely and I thought We were still talking about Snacks. In any case, this is from his bio at the KU web site; it looks like it might need updating…

    "Kurtis Townsend enters his eighth season at the University of Kansas. Since his arrival in Lawrence, Townsend has been a part of the KU program which has won a national championship, reached three NCAA Tournament Elite Eights, four NCAA Sweet 16s, seven Big 12 regular-season titles and five conference tournament crowns. In summer 2010, Townsend was ranked 12th in the Top 25 High-Major Assistants by"

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