Myles Turner and Funny Odds

  • I wouldn’t blame any reader if you stopped after this first sentence. I warn you this is a long thought worth about 2 cents.

    I’ve been following and reading anything Myles Turner. He’s committing in the Spring, however, I’m finding a lot of banter about his recruiting. I find it all funny and sometimes ridiculous. The main stream bball recruiting analysts have him leaning toward KU. I think it’s a bit laughable, although possible, that he would pick Okie St. Travis Ford is by far one of the worse Xs and Os coach. I don’t see him developing much in Stillwater. He doesn’t or hasn’t developed a top/quality big man at all during his time at OSU. He gets a good guard or two and like Smart, he simply let’s them play their game. I saw highlights of their last game and Smart just went ape crap (with KD in attendance), which we ALL know is possible. Love Smart’s self deprecating attitude about being a “team” and it’s “not about me…” Please it’s all about YOU Marcus Smart! Who else is leading this team? Without YOU, this Okie St team is lost. My question to bball fans and OSU fans is simple: Can the Pokes win without a true big? Can Ford develop a true big to be what he needs in his lineup? Lastly, like Barnes, can little Ford make it through the Big Dance with a big in the lineup? This is a tall order that is above and beyond Ford. I just don’t think he’s got the coaching ability to lead a NC team with his coaching experience. Most of his players have bailed him out many times in certain games. The players make him (Calipari-ish) type coaching. So, if Myles wants to be developed as a big man, he must look to the program that is not only proven in the NCAA, but also a program that will develop him at the next level. Larry Brown can develop him, but SMU will likely not do much even with Mudiay. Also, rumor has it that Brown is retiring too? OSU will likely be losing Smart and Brown which is the heart of their team. People are actually promoting Forte (good player) and this kid from Douglas HS from OKC. I doubt they will provide a nucleus or run. So, unless Ford can convince Smart to stick around another year with Turner (unlikey), I doubt OSU has much chance. There’s a KU fan typing guarantees of “Turner to KU, mark it down, you heard it here first,” but I am optimistically hopeful. Many are trying to discourage Turner away from KU with Embiid and Alexander.

    What’s your guess on Turner’s choice at this point? Oh and there is a small contingent that Turner may or possibly choose dook with Okafor too. Funny, because those same dook commentators said that if Okafor picked KU, Turner would pass on KU because he wouldn’t want to compete with Okafor. But now, Turner may be interested in playing with Okafor at dook (haha). Many of the dookie lovers are even saying that Okafor could play the 4 and Turner the 5. Have you all noticed how Self is marketing Embiid more and more? Hmm…Self is quite the marketer of his players. This is to get Embiid some reps, exposure, and much needed improvement. All at the same time showing Turner a few things too. Embiid looked good against Iona, but it was Iona. The best thing Self can do is market Embiid in each game and it’s a win, win, and win. Embiid get’s his, KU gets theirs, and Self just may get Turner in the process. We shall see and TBA.

    I’m not real sure about the other OSU and UK at this point.

  • If Turner wants to win anything at OSU, he should have committed last year because Smart is gone after this season. The way Embiid developing, he should seriously look at KU’s situation. At 6’11", he will be a nice replacement if Embiid decides to take cash.

    To Embiid, Look at all the past OADs and see how much you might gain by going early. It isn’t worth it unless cash is all that matters.

  • @truehawk93 : “I’m not real sure about the other OSU and UK at this point.”

    UK already has a C signed for next year in 6’11" Karl Towns. They also signed a PF that’s 6’11" so would Turner want to compete with them??

  • @Kip_McSmithers

    Turner has indicated pretty strongly that he doesn’t want to compete with another OAD. I don’t remember the exact quote, but it was something along the lines of it would weigh heavy with him if a suitor already signed a player at his position. I wouldn’t rule anything out, but regardless of what happens at UK this year, they’ll be returning at least one other big between Marcus Lee and Dakari Johnson, and could very well return both. I don’t see Turner walking into a situation with that kind of log jam in the front court.

    On our end, if Embiid can maintain this trajectory, he’ll add be an OAD right there with Wigs (I think Selden will be gone too. He’s going to make a great NBA pg in a few years). Likewise, if Ellis’ tear continues, he’ll be a late lottery guy if he decides to go (though I think we’ll get one more season out of him). Given that, I think we’ve got a great shot at Turner, who would slot in ahead of Mickleson, Lucas, and Traylor. If Embiid returns, however, I’d count us out, but that’d hardly be a disappointing turn of events. Even the worst case scenario of losing Embiid and Ellis and missing on Turner wouldn’t leave us in too bad of shape. Big Cliff is a presence on both ends of the floor and I’m willing to bet that junior Jamari will be a better player overall than junior Kevin Young. That may be HEM’s nightmare, but it’s certainly a front court I could live with.

    As for the OSUs of the world, I’d be more surprised to see Turner on a Big 12 team other than KU than anything else. Okie St. is going to be a middling team at best next year and landing Turner wouldn’t drastically alter that. Same thing with TX, who is also likely to be returning Ridley and Ibeh. Ohio St., on the other hand, looks like a very good fit for him. Yes, they have Amir Williams who will be a senior C, but I don’t think Turner would have any trouble jumping Marc Loving on the depth chart, so either he or Williams could slot the the 4 and that would be an incredibly formidable twosome. I’d handicap them as the favorite until we reach March and have a better idea of the future fortunes of Ellis and Embiid.

  • konkey- I would tend to agree that it should come down to Ohio St and KU. I really believe as do most of us, that Turner is waiting on Embiid. I’m totally convinced that we’ll see a lot of Embiid earlier than we all anticipated. I for one was thinking second half of the season, but with Black being up and down with fouls, Embiid will definitely get more reps. I think Turner is playing his options really smart. I really like how he has changed his approach with programs. I think he tipped his hat a bit early toward KU. I do believe Alex has given him a brief pause. But, he just wants to have his top choices ready to go. I think it’s KU, Ohio St, and a distant, but desperate third Okie St.

  • I will guess that the late signing is designed to see who is staying and who is going. I would say that right now Embiid is 50-50.

    The more important question for KU fans is do you want Turner as a OAD in his first year or do you want Joel as a sophomore trying to be the #1 pick in the draft?

  • I’ll take either one, or both, joyfully 🙂

  • The more important question for KU fans is do you want Turner as a OAD in his first year or do you want Joel as a sophomore trying to be the #1 pick in the draft?

    I’ll take a Sophomore Joel every day of the week and twice on Sundays. With one year under his belt in Self’s system … I mean look at the difference in Freshman Perry and Sophomore Perry. And Joel’s upside is twice that of Perry’s. He would have time to develop his shot blocking and be more polished offensively. Picking Joel is a no-brainer for me.

  • @JayDocMD,

    Agree 99%. The only thing I might disagree with is the “twice on Sundays” thing. Please change that to Saturday, we play a lot more games on Saturday …

    Seriously, I have such a hatred for the OAD thing that I can’t talk sensibly about it, but just take a 4 hour drive south some day ( or turn on the TV ) and watch Marcus Smart. He was very good last year, by anyone’s standards, but he is going to be an absolute beast this year. Had he gone to the pros last year, well we all know what would have happened. Eventually he would have blossomed into a good player, but time, maturity and experience playing college ball will benefit any player more than riding the pines in the pros.

  • @truehawk93 I enjoyed your post…I still think we are his #1 choice BUT we really need a top tier PG/

  • @Wishawk I think Embiid will be NBA ready by years end…not saying another year wouldn’t help BUT he has too much talent and athleticism not to make it.

    Embiid will not be another lottery bust but will be a long term NBA player who a good GM could build a team around. He will not be a cog in the wheel…he will be the wheel.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I want to see us back to where we build a strong nucleus of 3-4 yr players and use an OAD to add to the team…I really don’t want to see us as a OAD type program.

  • @jhawk7782 . Me too, but I am afraid that ship has sailed. There are many things that we wish would stay the same but they do and either you change and adapt as bests as you can or you are left behind.

    The only thing that an possibly change the current trend is if the NBA changes the one and done rule to something like baseball has, where players can go pro after HS, but if they elect o go to college, they have to wait 3 years.

    I have seen proposals where a panel of experts, likely NBA personnel, would compile a list of players that they believe can make the jump from HS, and only those players would be eligible to be drafted out of HS; the rest would have to go either to college or overseas. I can see some potential to that approach, but it would likely be contested in court for restriction of trade.

  • I too strongly dislike the OAD rule, however after giving it some thought it’s probably not too far off. Two an done would be better. Two years min. If you elect to go to college or go pro straight out of high school. Three years was my initial thought too, but the playing careers are too short to steal too many work days. I’m just hitting my stride in my career 12 years in; I’d be a washed up pro by now at 35.

  • I’m torn on the OAD rule. As a fan of KU, I like the rule because it pushes talented players to college. But I’m an NBA fan, too, and I think it would be fun to see how guys develop in the NBA as opposed to playing in college systems that may not expand their game.

    Julian Wright is a classic example of this - great college player, had most of his success playing power forward. However, there’s no way Wright could have played PF in the NBA at 6-8, 215. Just no way. He needed to work on his game away from the basket, but that wasn’t what was in KU’s best interests. In that case, the direct interest of KU (winning by having Wright dominate at PF) was in conflict with Wright’s personal interests (working on his game away from the basket, including jumpshooting, ball handling, etc.). I don’t know how to square that because the current professional interests of the college coach are not aligned with the future professional interests of the player.

    Because of that, I can’t get on board with a three year model. Baseball’s three year model is problematic for pitchers because many college coaches will have their starters throw tons of innings/pitches with little regard for their pro career and how much mileage is going on that arm.

    My best solution would be to allow any interested HS player to consult with NBA reps to see what their status would be, as well as what they need to do in order to prepare for the NBA - i.e. a player like Julian Wright coming out of HS would be told that he’s not ready for the NBA at the time because his future position is on the wing, but he’s not a good enough ball handler/ shooter to play wing in the NBA currently. Then in recruiting, Wright can ask about whether he will be allowed to play on the perimeter and make his collegiate decision based on, among other things, whether his personal interests (future NBA career as a wing player) align with his coach’s interests (allowing him to play on the wing to develop that ability).

    I think information is the key to all of this. Lots of players are just not getting enough information not only about their status, but about what they need to do to change that status. Unfortunately, the college coach may not be in the best position to give that advice because, again, the college coach has their own personal interests to look after, whereas NBA scouts and evaluators have no reason to tell a player they are ready if they know they aren’t. High school coaches likewise wouldn’t be in a position to give that information because most high school coaches have not been around enough talent at a high enough level to know whether a player could transition to the next level.

    My thought would be to allow a player to inquire about their status prior to each draft after they complete high school. The inquiry would be confidential and, after the inquiry period was complete (sometime in April), then a list of declared players would be released. Once a player declared, they would have a small window (two weeks) to withdraw from the draft and return to school. The late recruiting period would need to move from April to May to accommodate this, as players would not be able to inquire until after the Final Four and the evaluations would take some time to make sure the best advice was given (likely 2-3 weeks).

  • @jhawk7782 Jojo was compared to Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon frequently, but here is what Olajuwon achieved,

    Graduated as a senior in 1984. Went to 3 Final Fours. Drafted by NBA as the number 1 pick in 1984. Played in the NBA for 18 years. Was 2× NBA champion (1994–1995) 2× NBA Finals MVP (1994–1995) 1x NBA Most Valuable Player (1994) 12× NBA All-Star (1985–1990, 1992–1997) Made over 100 million dollars in salary over his NBA career.

    What did Olajuwon miss by staying for 4 years at University of Houston? I’d say nothing. But I believe he gained a lot by being ready on every level when he was drafted. Too bad today’s kids don’t get it. Too many of them go for the instant gratification.

    Will Embiid be an exception in the modern era? I wish… 🙂

  • @Wishawk One asterisk to your above statement, no Jordan in 94-95. On an aside if there had been no Jordan for the rest of Hakeems career who knows how many championships the rockets would’ve won.

  • @justanotherfan The object of the three year rule is not only to prepare the player for the NBA, but more importantly to give the student athlete a chance to make substantial progress towards a degree or in many cases complete the degree in 3 years, so if a professional career does not happen, he has a degree to fall back on. A two year rule would could not do this.

  • @dylans Yes, there were many super stars in and around that era, Magic, Ewing, Olajuwon, Jordan, Barkley, et al. That’s why there was the Dream Team. To me that was the good o’ days.

  • This years draft class may rival that of '86. No one will know for about ten years though.

  • Unfortunately, the college coach may not be in the best position to give that advice because, again, the college coach has their own personal interests to look after, whereas NBA scouts and evaluators have no reason to tell a player they are ready if they know they aren’t.

    @justanotherfan, as long as the NBA drafts on potential instead of readiness, I’m not sure you could necessarily trust what an NBA scout says. I agree information is key, but I don’t think the question is whether a player is ready or not. It’s whether they can get ready just as well while getting paid.

  • @tundrahok Potential is an important factor in readiness. I have long argued that the improvement of players in college is limited because the level of competition is not consistently high enough to push them to develop, the coaching is too limited (weekly limits in season and during the summer) and they are not forced to expand their game.

    I used Julian Wright before, so I will go back to him. At his size, he was going to be an NBA small forward. The average small forward in the NBA is 6-7. The average power forward is 6-9. However, in college, the average small forward is closer to 6-4 or 6-5. The average power forward is around 6-7. Therefore, Wright’s size and athleticism made him a mismatch sizewise for not only small forwards in college, but also power forwards. And that’s before we start talking about skill level.

    Look at this year’s schedule for KU. It’s a tough schedule. One of the toughest in the nation. Andrew Wiggins will be an NBA small forward, same as Wright would have been. He’s playing on the perimeter as he should be. And yet he has had exactly one game this year where he has faced a guy that was both his size AND close to his skill (vs. Duke with Hood and Parker). Every other game has been against guys that were either too small or not skilled enough from an NBA perspective. One season of that is fine because it transitions him from dunking over 6-4 centers in high school to playing against some more size in college, but the skill will really ramp up in the NBA. But two seasons of that could cause him to start developing bad habits like forcing jump shots over defenders that are 2-3 inches shorter, or gambling on defense and depending on athleticism rather than positioning to recover.

    For the most elite players, they need to move to higher levels of competition quickly to avoid developing bad habits by facing inferior competition.

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