Recruiting Prediction: Nike Leans Sign with Nike Schools, adidas Leans Sign with adidas Schools, Sweetened Down Stream Agent Deals Tip Balance on One or Two

  • Hypothetically speaking, of course, wouldn’t you just love to be an agent runner carrying offers and counter offers on endorsement percentages downstream to the few remaining undecideds?

  • @jaybate-1.0 So how many Adidas OAD/TADs are we going to sign this season?

  • @jaybate-1.0

    I would love to do that! Hypothetically of course

  • I think at this point we should be glad we landed a solid player like Carlton Bragg. Anything past this recruit to me seems unlikely. Like I’ve said before this OAD is the real fools gold to me. It’s short sighted and has produced very little for HCBS and all Jayhawks fans. I stand by the statement that if oubre or Alexander wouldn’t have come to Kansas we would have been just as good as we were last year. I can’t wait for next year and hope with Bragg, and all the recruits HERE they get their chance to improve and excell like so many other less heralded Jayhawk recruits have.

  • @HawksWin

    Bragg is one. 🙂

    But we should perhaps infer that informal systems can work part of the time and then break down under specific situations.

    Coaches and programs should logically look to the players that play for Power AAU teams sponsored by the shoe brands the universities are contracted with for recruits first. These are relationship driven recruiting.

    But the huge stacking of talent at one program at each of the Power Five conferences not only prevents non stack program from getting even one of these kinds of players, but also leads to crisis situations where there may not be enough of these high quality players even for the stack schools themselves. So: in these cases, the stack schools have a very strong incentive to go poaching across shoeco turf frontiers; i.e., to raid players from the opposing brand’s sponsored Power AAU talent pool.

    This appears to be when noses get bent out of shape, old relationships reduce give way to bidding wars over informal net benefits, etc., etc., and players go from being leans with one brand to leans with another brand.

    Hypothetically, I suspect Self was set to get one of either Newman, or Brown, who were reputedly adidas leans, but then Nike-UK panicked because of unexpectedly high departures, and crossed shoe turf frontier and went after both hard.

    Similarly, I think Self was set to get Diallo, but then Nike-UK crossed shoe turf frontier and went after him hard.

    I suspect the counter move for adidas-KU was to cross shoe turf on Ingram and go hard after Ingram.

    What is “go hard after them” a euphemism for?

    Hypothetically speaking, one guess appears to be signaling increased informal net benefit expectations after graduation. Since NBA salaries are kind of set, one infers endorsement revenue expectations and agent fees after college eligibility would be the logical things to alter informally to appeal to players.

    I hypothesize that when the system breaks down, this quickly and chaotically defaults into informally bidding up the informal down stream costs of aligning these players with endorsement revenues and agent fee amounts associated with any particular shoeco-agent complex.

    I think all the schools involved have big PT holes this season, the player’s advisors saw it coming, and this is driving players to be willing to cross shoeco-agent turf frontiers. And the more this process goes on the more likely it is for informal net benefits rather than relationships to rule.

    I guess KU will get Diallo.

    I guess KU will get one of Brown and Ingram.

    I guess there is someone out there that fits Self’s description of a perimeter player (a 2 or a 3 TAD) that will surface that I have not heard of yet. Newman seems too good to be that guy. My guess is that there is another slightly better Frank/Devonte out there that Self will sign once the OAD stuff clarifies. He could be a Brewster Academy guy that reclassifies.

    I also suspect Self passed on Thorne, perhaps because he got a line on a foreign center that will play 2-3 seasons.

    But its all shot-in-the-dark hypothesizing, because the apparently critical information about informal expectation setting is not available, if it in fact it were the driver I hypothesize.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @5541-james

    I don’t know. It seems like Self has to get some more bodies in here. He even says he does.

    Oubre is one hole. BG ought to fill it, if he recovers. Svi ought to be a good backup and maybe blossom. But to master the obvious, Oubre was a draft choice now, and BG and Svi are maybe draft choices later. That seems a fall off that has to be compensated for somehow.

    I know that Self is in the enviable position of being able to move Perry to the 3 to replace Oubre, but then he has a hole at the 4 to fill and no prospective stretch 4 to fill it with, and we know he puts a lot of value on stretch 4s. So unless new bodies are brought in, Perry likely stays put, unless it was a condition of him staying that he play the 3.

    This brings us to the front court. Self says he has to get help at the 5. I believe him. He says Bragg is a 4. Diallo seems a 4 to me also. I have been kind of baffled by his desire to pursue Diallo. Diallo is good. But signing Diallo gives Self three 4s. The main reason then for signing Diallo seems to me to move Perry to 3 and staffing the 4 two deep with Bragg and Diallo.

    So everyone goes after Diallo and Self pivots and goes after Ingram. This makes sense as a hedge. Lose Diallo and Perry stays at the 4. Sell Ingram on taking over the 3 for two straight draft choices and some really sweet informal endorsement and agent fee expectations.

    And then there is this NEED at the 5. Thorne leaving means to me that Thorne found enough potential for big man overcrowding to settle for the Illini and Groce and his old recruiter and assistant coach. So: who could it be? Gotta be an overseas type, unless Thon Maker is the guy.

    What I am saying here is that while we could fire blanks, it seems unlikely. And since Self is hustling hard there is reason to expect a few hits beyond Bragg. The real question to me is whether adidas wants to joint the stack party. As of today, I don’t see a single adidas team across the country in a position to compete with Nike-stacks come tournament time. adidas has to at least be tempted to try a stack to ensure one of its teams gets to the Final Four. Without a Frank Kaminsky grade center on any of the adidas teams, the only seemingly probable way to get an adidas team in the Final Four would be to stack at least one adidas team.

    If not Self who? If not KU why?

    Pitino has had a pretty good stable of adidas horses for awhile now and won a ring recently. But Rick is getting a little older.

    Self might be good jockey to deliver some horses to, especially if UK and Duke are apt to come up a little shy this time.

    But who knows? Its all wild speculation until someone writes another book about how all this stuff is actually working.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I think at 6-9 Bragg could potentially be getting about half the minutes at the 4, with Jamari and possibly SVI? He’s 6-8 he could hang with a bit more mass. Also saying that we have to get a 5 is probably true, but we could make it another year without that main shot blocker in the middle. Lucas will be a junior and Michelson will be a senior and maybe I’m in the minority but those two have the size and skills to handle the post. What little we saw of HM, he sure played well when he was given the chance. With Lucas he was a project, and this being his 4th year in the program it just seems impossible he can’t be coached up and improved. Anyways I could go on and on but those are some of my thoughts for the front court. Thanks for all the info jaybate1.0 and all the the other posters I’ve sure learned a lot. I wasn’t even aware of these shoe company wars in the recruitment process:

  • @5541-james

    You know, I am in a lonely minority about the possible ShoeCo-agent complex influence on the recruiting process, and even I can only hypothesize about it.

    Little bits and pieces surface from time to time to hypothesize with, but not enough to argue a theory.

    The key thing we need is for some investigative journalists like Dan Wetzel, or others, to dig and publish what has evolved in recruiting, since the days of “Sole Influence: Basketball, Corporate Greed, and the Corruption of America’s Youth” was written by Dan Wetzel and Don Yaeger and published back in 2000.

  • So many things to comment on from above –

    1. @5541-james: Svi won’t play the 4. He’s a guard, pure and simple. Some coaches might flex him and post him up. Self posted up a guard exactly one time all last season. Unless Self makes big philosophical changes, it’s a non-starter. Trust me, you’ll want the ball in Svi’s hands on the perimeter next season.

    2. @5541-james: I do wish that Lucas and Mickelson had the “size and skills” to handle the post. They are just half way there. The skill part is what is lacking. I’d much rather have Mickelson playing than Traylor. But that entire threesome is problematic and there is an argument that none of them deserve any real playing time. But as usual, a player’s spot in the pecking order is relative to his competition.

    3. @jaybate-1.0: The important issue for our talent is the level of functioning. You make the assumption that simply because Oubre will get drafted, he is a better player. All Oubre has is a very high ceiling. He was not near that ceiling. And that is the entire issue – we get guys that have high ceiling, but their current level of functioning is not better than a player with experience in Self’s system. It’s exactly why I am completely convinced that Andrew White (as junior) would have been a better player last season than Kelly Oubre (higher ceiling, but lower level of functioning). Ingram, Brown, whoever … go somewhere else. Let’s roll the dice with our highly talented perimeter, all of whom now know our system. I’m not interested in the freshman learning curve.

    4. @jaybate-1.0 You are right. If Self moves Perry to the three, he will have officially lost his mind. But he hasn’t lost his mind. It won’t happen. We shouldn’t worry about it. We have a perimeter stacked with talent, five deep. All while our post is perilously thin, now with just Ellis and first year guy Bragg. The other post guys are as I said before – not worthy of playing time. Why would you take Perry away from the 4 spot and shove him into a spot we have well covered? It will not happen.

    5. @jaybate-1.0 Don’t concern yourself with the 4/5 distinction right now. Ideally, yes, I think Self would like that 6’11" dude with long arms; the rim protector. A back to the basket scorer. But Diallo is long, and he is a rim protector. The back to the basket scorer ship has sailed (unless that Greek kid lands here, and he has those skills). With Diallo, we might have a very nice grouping of 4s that man the two post spots – Ellis, Diallo, and Bragg. Both Bragg and Ellis can play that stretch 4 role. I firmly believe that a Diallo signing will not impact Ellis’ possible time at the 3 (which is nill). Ellis will only be emergency back at the three if we have injuries. After last season’s fiasco in the post, one thing I’m quite confident in is that Self won’t go through that again. He’ll attack things differently.

    6. On the shoe thing, there were three adidas teams (Wisconsin, ND, and Louisville) in the Elite 8 (the other five were Nike). I resist the idea that you need to stack OAD talent to get to the Final Four. Louisville wasn’t stacked in 2013. UConn was certainly not stacked in 2014 or 2011. Duke wasn’t stacked in 2010. No winners were “stacked” with OADs ever until 2012. We now have 2 OAD national title winners in the last 4 seasons, though. Has the landscape changed? Sure, a bit. But you don’t need to be stacked to get to Final Four.

    7. The home run right now for Self – Diallo and Ingram, plus the Greek kid, Georgios Papagiannis. I just don’t see us getting Ingram though (or Brown, for that matter). A home run in my mind would be the two bigs, Diallo and Papagiannis. That’s our need. That’s our system’s need.

    8. If Self strikes out on Diallo and Papagiannis, our system will change. Logic demands it. Logic meaning that Self wants to win. He can’t compete for a National Title relying on Traylor, Lucas and Mickelson (two of the three) as our 3rd and 4th bigs, in his system. He can compete emphasizing our perimeter talent combined with Ellis and Bragg, and using our low talent bigs in minor roles.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    All comparisons to ring teams before last season cease to matter.

    Before last season, the biggest stack was UK in 2012 and it ONLY had 6 draft choices.

    It just doesn’t matter what UConn did in 2014 and 2011, when there were no 9-10 stacks.

    It just doesn’t matter what louisville did in 2-13, when there were no 9-10 stacks.

    A new era started in D1 last season.

    Last season proves that if Nike creates a 9 stack and a 10 stack they both get to the Final Four and one of them wins.

    Last season proves that great outside shooting teams like Notre Dame CAN’T get to the Final Four. Period.

    Last season proves that MSU, which was in the first season of its migration to becoming a 9-10 stack, can make the Final Four with a hall of fame coach, favorable officiating, and can’t remotely compete with a 9 stack.

    Last season proves even teams with four footers, like Louisville, and Gonzaga, and Utah, but lacking 9-10 draft choices, can’t get to the Final Four against the 9 and 10 stacks.

    Even Wisconsin with one of the best footer centers recently, and the first true stretch 5 (Kaminsky) to come down the pike, and stocked full of great experienced outside shooters, AND a stretch 4 draft choice in Decker, can’t beat a 9 stack of freshman and sophomore draft choices. NO WAY. Not with today’s refereeing.

    I will be bold here and say that no one has more than a prayer of winning the NCAA national championship against 9 and 10 stacks, unless they are themselves 9-10 stacks.

  • I don’t know where and how Bill Self would plant him, but I do know one thing: This current KU squad NEEDS the energy of that kid Diallo. I will be disappointed if we lose him. Talk about an exciting player. WOW! He is born and bound to zoom to the top of any fan’s joy chart.

  • Regarding Diallo, if the coaching staff is fortunate enough to sign him, but then glues him to the pine, Ol’ Bill might as well dangle a white bandana, high in the act of surrender. This kid is no Alexander or Oubre. If he commits, THEN PLAY HIM!

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Forgot to add that Oubre would have likely been a monster without the knee injury that kept him off the floor early, healed just enough to show how much he could beast for awhile, and then reinsured and reduced him to a so-s0 player the rest of the way.

    The deal with OADs is they will conceal their injuries if revealing the injuries compromise their draft ranking. We have every reason to believe that Oubre could have kicked ass all season with a sound knee, because when it appeared to heal briefly he went on a tear.

    I agree that some OADs have high ceilings and low foundations. But UK and Duke proved this season that OADs, when healthy, and on teams given favorable whistles, can function at Final Four and Champship levels. And so I am starting to think that players like Andrew Wiggins, that I often cited as having a high ceiling, but a low foundation, were really just protecting the merchandize and capable of playing as good as the surrounding talent justified they play. To wit, had Joel Embiid not gotten injured, I am pretty confident we would have seen Andrew Wiggins perform in the NCAA tournament just about as well as he has performed in the NBA a season later against, shall we say, slightly better competition in the L. 🙂

  • @REHawk

    I totally agree with you and with others now, where as I used to defend not playing these OADs. I don’t believe anymore that OADs get any better over the course of a season, at all. It takes years to develop a persons fundamentals and skills to the high level that juniors and seniors used to attain by working diligently. There is no reason in the world to expect any lights going on, or fundamental development, to happen with OADs. They are what they are from the minute they hit town. You either find a way to use what they can do in the team scheme, or there is no point in signing them. Bringing them along slowly is an illusion. It is a residual belief that you can coach players up. There is no doubt in my mind that Self and his staff can coach players up. But it takes years to do it. Time and again what we see is Self and staff waste half a season coaching OADs up to fulfill roles that the eventually prove that they cannot grow into in one season. Then about December or January, Self says, “Okay, I was wrong. I can’t change Andrew Wiggins into being a rah-rah guy and a take charge guy. So its time to let him be who he is.” That translates out to: Andrew’s posse is not going to let him play 100% no matter what I do, so we are just going to have to scheme to him playing 75% and take what he can give us. Or it goes like this: we have to quit trying to teach Joel how to play the game and instead just scheme everything to what he can already do. And so on.

    OADs signed have to play from the first tip off. The team has to be schemed to what little they can do NOW.

    Coaching is for all the 3-5 year players.

  • @jaybate-1.0 So basically today’s coaching has come to “time & talent management of OADs” with little or no “development”. And that profession is demanding millions in salary? I wonder what a college bb player without the NBA talent but has a PhD in youth & time management can successfully coach for $70,000 a year. Wait, he’ll be going against the likes of K & Cali who learned to manipulate the refs & NCAA while smooching with the shoecos execs. Okay, maybe coaches need to be paid $millions. After all, Hillary Clinton’s State Dept sold us out selling our nation’s strategic resource uranium to Putin for the almighty dollar. Hey, adults & leaders will do anything for a buck, so why not kids with bb talent? In the name of money, we’ve come to rationalize everything including morality, dignity, sensibility & down right goodness. How K & Cali play the bb field for W is despicable as politicians who sell their soul for power.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I think Self will keep fishing in the sea until he finds a non-impactful player if he misses on Diallo. He’s thrown his hat into Izundu, and Grady a 5th year transfer from Cleveland St. Doesn’t sound to me he’s confident in landing him and is now after his 200th and 201 choices…

    Are you sure Self will change his system if we don’t land a big capable of starting. We all saw him regress back to bang the post after success shooting the 3 ball. We are still going to see that useless weave. I hope your right that he’d change, but he’s shown to go right back to what he knows

  • Gosh… where are all those recruits who were dying to play WUG ball this summer? Didn’t they see the lovely travel brochures from Korea?

    I’d like to know how many of our current players have an Adidas background? Anyone know?

    I have to say that I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around the struggle to land a big man on a team pretty stocked with good experienced players with an excellent coach that has sent a lot of players to the NBA.

    I think @HighEliteMajor nailed it with us passing over 4-star players trying to land OADs. We’ve already seen what a crap shoot these guys can be.

    Now is the time we need to land a few solid 4-yr players because in two years we will graduate: Frank, Wayne, Brannen, Landen, and will lose let’s say 2 more OADs that year. If we don’t build a base of more returning players we will be right back how we were 3 years ago losing our top 6 players. We are just now getting out from under that and can finally mount a team this coming year that isn’t one of the very youngest teams in college basketball. And who knows if Devonte will be a 4-yr player the rate he is improving.

    It seems that we have thrown all logical basketball structure out the window just to recruit the glamorous OADs. We’ll never be squat without having a solid base of returning players.

  • @drgnslayr

    A lot of good points as always…

    I see we offered 2016 Mitch Lightfoot 6’7 kid from AZ. Has family in Kansas. May grow some more and has been labeled to have a great “motor”. Rivals has him at 140 right now, ESPN hasn’t expanded class yet, 247 has him 163 not updated fully as well. Was committed to New Mexico before re-opening. Some places have said he’s a done deal to KU.

  • Fuel for the fire

    The second weekend of the evaluation period is upon us, and that means Week 2 of “sneaker season” is here. There is an added element of intrigue in this second session though as the three major shoe companies will be operating their collective events all within 175 miles of one another. Here is a look at some of the other storylines to watch:

    Nike EYBL (Lexington, Ky.)

    Location, location, location: Nike’s prestigious league sets up shop in the backyard of its most prestigious college basketball program. Is it a recruiting advantage for John Calipari and Kentucky to have so many guys in town? It certainly doesn’t hurt.

    Coming at No. 1: ESPN 60 Jayson Tatum (No. 1) defended his territory two weeks ago with four strong performances to open the EYBL season. The task only gets tougher this weekend as he and his St. Louis Eagles squad take on MOKAN Elite and ESPN 25 small forward Michael Porter (No. 2) on Friday. Then they face Alabama Challenge and ESPN 25 small forward John Petty (No. 23) and Alabama Challenge early Saturday afternoon before the major showdown happens with Wings Elite and ESPN 60 shooting guard Malik Monk (No. 4).

    Big league: When it comes to size, EYBL has a leg up on the competition as it has far more five-star big men than either of its competitors. This weekend will feature a battle of their best bigs as ESPN 60 power forward Harry Giles (No. 2) leads Team CP3 against the Georgia Stars and triple towers in ESPN 60 Udoka Azubuike (No. 10), Abdulhakim Ado (No. 20) and ESPN 25 Wendell Carter (No. 10).

    Adidas Uprising Gauntlet (Indianapolis, Ind.)

    Finale or bust: Though Nike and Under Armour utilize a regular-season model, Adidas took a different route with one big bracket spanning the course of both live weekends. The goal for all 56 teams in the competition is to advance to the “Elite Eight” and earn a consequent birth in the Gauntlet Finale during the first three days of the July evaluation period in Atlanta. That means there will be a little something extra at stake this weekend.

    Decommit buzz: A pair of former Pittsburgh pledges and ESPN 60 products, Mustapha Heron (No. 22) and Maverick Rowan (No. 25), were among the top performers at Week 1 of the Gauntlet. Heron was still committed at the time and should have a big following after last week’s decommitment. Rowan will undoubtedly continue to generate long lines of coaches, partly because he has yet to completely rule out a move up to 2015.

    Guard game: If the EYBL is the circuit of big men, Adidas hopes to hang its hat on the guards, and there are plenty of them with ESPN 60 products like Dennis Smith Jr. (No. 4), Kobi-Jordan Simmons (No. 5), Josh Langford (No. 13) and Frank Jackson (No. 30), not to mention wings like Heron, Rowan and Rawle Alkins (No. 27).

    Under Armour Association (Louisville, Ky.)

    Always close by: When Under Armour moved the UAA Finals to Atlanta last year – on the same dates that Nike was holding the EYBL Finals at the Peach Jam roughly 100 miles away in North Augusta – the intent was clear: To go head-to-head on the biggest stages of grassroots basketball. This weekend, it is doing that once again by heading to nearby Louisville while Nike is just 45 minutes up the road in Lexington.

    Can Jackson rise? ESPN 60 small forward Josh Jackson (No. 3) led the UAA in scoring in Week 1 and couldn’t have been much more impressive. Nevertheless, the race for the top spot in the ESPN 60 has been between two horses in recent months (Tatum and Giles). The question for Jackson is whether he can continue to raise the bar in order to be a legitimate contender for that No. 1 ranking.

    Youth movement: Under Armour calls itself “the brand of this generation; and the next.” At the UAA, there seems to have a heavy emphasis on the latter. The No. 1 ranked player in the ESPN 25, DeAndre Ayton, is already the signature prospect in the Association. Fellow ESPN 25 products including Jalek Felton (No. 7), Billy Preston (No. 13), P.J. Washington (No. 14) and Trevon Duval (No. 15) are also on board.

  • @HawksWin

    Right on

  • @jaybate-1.0 Oubre knee injury? Where, when, what, how? Not sure what you are referring to. There was no discussion that a knee kept him of the court, was there? Additionally, I personally think you way overstate the OAD thing. Nothing has changed. Imagine Kansas last season with a third year rim protector, say the quality of Withey in his junior season here. And then assume had Andrew White. And then assume we didn’t have Cliff or Oubre. We (Kansas in Self’s system) would have been better – we would have been better subtracting OADs. I am very confident of that.

    @BeddieKU23 To be honest, I simply cannot imagine any coach looking at what happened last season, and doing the same thing. It is sickening to me to think that he would continue the feed the post stuff as the focus of our offense if we have Ellis, Traylor, and Lucas in primary roles down low … guys who have unequivocally shown the inability to score effectively in that role. But then again, that’s logical. It is equally concerning to think that he’d run the same four out/one in weave as a regular offense.

    I think his use of the four out/one in weave signaled an acknowledgment that the feed the post focus failed. I think he used the four out/one in weave because that was all he had at the time. I am hopeful that with a full off season of consideration and time to plan, he’ll come up with a better four out/one in scheme – he need only look to WSU, or ISU, or Gonzaga.

  • @dylans

    Great post. Thanks!

    Maybe I have been underestimating PetroShoeCo influence? 😀

    Now what we need is coverage of the agent and agent runner meetings!!!


  • @HighEliteMajor

    That big wad of white fabric on his knee kind of gave it away.

    It never made any sense that he sat early and then could suddenly play, because “a light went on.” That is fairy tale theater stuff. And then after going on a tear the gob of white stuff on his knee grew and suddenly other coaches figured out how to stop him. The whole 20 mpg on a shallow stack team for a first rounder never made sense either.

    They appear to have fooled folks most of the season. I missed it most of the season.

    But c’mon! In retrospect, he appears to have had a knee problem and they apparently concealed it so as not to jeopardize his draft appeal, right?

    Or are we supposed to keep believing in this “light going on” mythology in which it goes off and on an off only in random coincidence with styles and sizes of knee lingerie?

    Oubre was waaaaaaay too talented and way too good, when he was good for this 20 mpg thing to have just been about the selfish young OAD and lights on and lights off myths IMHO.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Self personally told me Bragg is a “stretch-4”, when I asked him how he sees Bragg fitting in.

    Think of the matchup problems we’d give if we play Perry at the 3, Bragg (6’9) at the 4, although both are versatile, and then let true length (6’10) man the 5 position by committee (Landon + Hunter).

    Hey look, if other potential recruits taller than 6’9 keep seeing Lucas and Mickelson on the roster as potentially “ahead” of them, or even competing for mpg, then we either lose Landon or Hunter (not happening), somehow sell the recruit…or just be ready to PLAY HUNTER + LUCAS. That 10 fouls worth of shot-blocking and rebounds, and garbage buckets. That’s all I expect from Landon, and I expect a face up jumper from Hunter, but he’s got to be stronger hanging on to the rebounds.

    Look at it another way: At a mid-major, 2 guys like Landon and Hunter would be getting major mpg, and Self built his rep prior to KU with such guys. And Hunter was top50. Time to put up, or shut up, both are Sr’s.

  • Agree with pretty much everything @HighEliteMajor said here. Bragg will play, and we hope he is more outta-the-box ready than Cliff was. Cliff was OK against lesser competition. Cliff would have been a damn stud if he’d had the opportunity to stay at KU til his Jr. season. Think of a Darnell Jackson with more swagger and pop. But he + his mom cancelled that opportunity with their choices…

    But main point is: Bragg will play. We need in injection of dynamic play in the post, be it 2 pick & pop guys at the 4 and 5 (Ellis and Bragg), or Ellis and Bragg at the 3 and 4, while 5 is by-committee of LL/Hunter. Something in the post has got to change…and it will.

    Don’t forget that we now have a returning core of experienced, toughened guys, some of whom are McDs, while others are high-skill “gems” like Mason and Graham. And Svi is a 5star, who should absolutely explode this season. He will get mpg. As HEM said, we want the ball in his hands, as he showed flashes of dynamic playmaking ability as drive-dish, or drive-score. Everybody talks about that Dekker kid. Watch Svi this coming season (will be better than Dekker, or at least another Dekker)…then watch the NBA take him the season after (he’ll only be a 2AD).

  • Bragg has a lot of offensive skills. His offense is an immediate upgrade to the team. Coach will have to lean on him to give effort all the time and get the defensive effort that will be asked of him. I didn’t see Bragg play much defense or committed defense but in the HS ranks that’s always a rare commodity.

    Korea should help him tremendously getting early practice and PT in the system. Imagine how much farther along he could be going into fall camp as opposed to last year where your exposure to Self’s ways were in October. He’s going to get them in June. Huge advantage for Bragg having a lasting impact.


    I’ll believe it when I see. Logically your are right, but what we have seen on the court was different. Whatever reasons Self had for junking up the entire offensive philosophy is something we will never know unless @ralster finds out for us someway. If he was going to change wouldn’t he have tried to do so during the season? Why does it take the failure of how the season ended to realize maybe I need to change it up, especially if the same players are back again. He’s a stubborn man, he likes M2M defense and H/L offense no matter if he’s got half the talent he’s used to having run it. If you see us running the weave in the exhibition games against Canada, chuck the TV out the window you know all is lost!!!

    I think Lucas presents some hope of a low post game. He’s some major lower body improvements away from some good things. Good thing we got the best strength coach. I’m optimistic he’ll continue to improve his hook and leverage down at the 2ft line. Maybe that’s asking a lot but if Self truly still has that development wizard in his corner, Lucas is the next poster child for a step up.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    “he’ll come up with a better four out/one in scheme – he need only look to WSU, or ISU, or Gonzaga.”

    I think we could use some coaching help on how to work effective offense on high ball screens. When you mentioned WSU… the first thing that popped in my mind is their reliance on high ball screens to go on the attack. It works and it isn’t rocked science. No need to send your players home with a 600-page playbook that takes them 3 years to learn half of it.

    I’ll be interested in watching WSU after Baker and VanVleet are gone. Those guys really know how to make the most out of a small area on the floor that blossoms end to a full-blown assault on the defense. Will Marshall still run the same attack without these guys? Or is it mostly his offensive style that makes mediocre players into stars?

    We have never really counted on attacks through the high ball screen. We kind of “show it” just to try to position defenders out high so we have room to feed the post.

  • Unrelated but Buddy Hield back for Senior season. Guess who’s hyping Oklahoma already no other than Franny frann.

    They lose Thomas their best post player and Booker and there supposedly better. Media is comical

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Good points and sound logic. In my mind it all boils down to old school basketball where upper class men played and the younger players learned and by extension…an experienced and competent junior is better than any OAD. Unfortunate that train left the station and is not coming back and in the long term it will mark the start of the demise of the sport as we know it, and to a large extent we can blame it on the squid, although he is by no means alone.

    I long for the days when we could see a player develop and follow his progress over several years and then at the next level; now, by the time we start to see progress…he is gone. When I watch the NBA and I see Hinrich or Pierce or Mario or Collison or the twins play I have memories of all the games I watched them play as Jayhawks; when I watch Wiggins I know he is a Jayhawk but he does not elicit the same emotion as the other players do…in this respect, I pity UK fans, so many players in the NBA and so few they really know.

  • @BeddieKU23

    OU will be right in the chase. They have a 7’ Junior College player and 2 guards coming and get the bulk of their team back; Hield is the best player in the conference.and makes them a contender. If we don’t get Diallo, OU and ISU will be the favorites to win the Conference next season. ISU is pre-season top 5 (as high as #2) in all the rankings I have seen and OU is top 10 and KU somewhere in between.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Neither team is better than KU regardless of if we get Diallo or not. If the media is hyping them to be better than they can put the bottle down anytime now.

    Iowa St lost 2 Seniors players who were vital to their offense. Didn’t replace either of them. 1 transfer guard is good but doesn’t fill a need. Burton isn’t eligible to mid-season.

    Oklahoma lost their starting PF and first guard off the bench. Their freshman guards aren’t heralded so they’ll take time to adjust. Juco bigs often need time to adjust as well to level of physicality just like Freshman bigs. Buford has a better chance with year in system. But they didn’t upgrade either loss.

    How are they better?

  • @BeddieKU23

    I did not say I agreed with it…UT, ISU and OU were picked to finish ahead of KU last season and remember how that turned out? On the other hand, ISU won 2 out of 3 against KU last season…

    I was simply reporting what all the pre-season rankings have…and all of them have ISU ahead of KU; maybe you can find one that has KU ranked ahead of ISU? I could not. Now if we get Diallo or a starting quality big then the dynamic change, wouldn’t you agree?

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Defintely would agree, Sorry didn’t mean you were saying but that the Media has done a great job hyping all these teams that are supposed to be leaps and bounds better without actually getting better at their weaknesses. I don’t view KU as a team who will be leaps and bounds better if we don’t get say Diallo. Because that would mean our biggest weakness from last year still translated to next year.

  • @BeddieKU23

    Even if KU does not pick any other player, it should be at least as good or better than last season. Oubre will be ably replaced by Svi and Green so no drop there and possibly better production. Bragg should be, or I should say hopefully will be, an improvement over Alexander whom I think would have been much improved player in his second or third year but in his first year, IMHO, underperformed and underwhelmed. Plus we get the rest of the team back with one extra year of experience and a summer full of practice and game time experienced against top competition that should hit the ground running next season. No doubt a legitimate to 10 team and maybe a top 5 and, if we get a quality big, a top 3 and national title contender. Just my opinion, of course.

  • In my not so humble opinion, the Jayhawks will be as good as Perry’s knee. Unless those hip spurs were a really serious factor, I don’t see Brannen Greene EVER fitting in well to Bill Self Basketball. His motion counterflows…upstream. Selden? Which Wayne will make a show? A dependable nightly show? And can Svi live up to his billing? Seemed like something of a waste, sitting idle after Christmas break last season. Maybe practice-time challenges elevated his game while visits with Hudy and co. sculpted his physique? Time will tell. I sure liked the way he moved the ball before Christmas. Mason and Graham? I’ve no skepticism re those two…so long as Mason’s legs hold up. And from recent photo clips of his work in the weight room, his knees looked strong as iron. Gotta trust that both Lucas and Mickelson take giant steps up the ladder of improvement. At least one of them bound to make significant gain. I still crave the energy of Diallo. Like a pistol in a waistband, he is a certified difference maker.

  • @REHawk Brannen tore a labrum I think. No bone spurs. Good points though. I have a very good feeling about Svi this season. Gonna be awesome I think. Also, dont think we can trust Lucas and Mickelson’s improvement. Theyre both 5th year seniors at their respective ceilings. Unless Im wrong about them being seniors. I honestly cant remember right now. We NEED Diallo. And, Diallo needs KU

  • @REHawk

    I am so glad you were courageous enough to bring up Perry’s knee.

    We’ve all been living in denial about that.

    Every guy with a knee injury, operated on, scoped, or just left alone, except for Tyshawn Taylor, has seen his effectiveness reduced during Self’s tenure; this is ominous for the one True Kansan in our rotation.

    Perry has come such a looooooooong way.

    I respect him enormously, because he has grown into a kind of player that it was not at all certain that he could become.

    Self could stand there and tell him this is what he had to become.

    But Perry is who had to go through the blast furnace of transformation.

    A lot of smart guys like him would have transferred and become who he already was.

    But Perry Ellis is proof that Self’s idea of “developing” people can work with players of great inner courage and perseverance.

    I cannot think of another player–well, maybe Tyshawn–that has been through so much humiliation and then blossomed.

    It is truly a metamorphosis for Perry.

    One knows just how much of his mind power it required to come out the other side of the blast furnace, because his grades sank to Bs instead of As.

    I hope he has achieved enough transformation on wood, so that he can go back to acing all of his classes.

    And I pray for his knee.

    I hate knees with a passion.

    I hate all joints.

    I hate anything that steals a young man’s pop!!!

    I am praying for you Mr. Kansas.

    Repeat after me: Bill Bridges.

    Put a picture of Bill Bridges up in your locker.

    Bill Bridges is the patron saint of all players with knee injuries great or small.

    Bill Bridges was the greatest rebounder pound for pound I ever saw.

    Bill Bridges had a heart the size of Bill Russell’s.

    I always dreamed of Bridges and Big Russ playing together and in one game never allowing the other team a single rebound.

    Perry, you are a quiet man, but you have the kind of heart that Bridges and Big Russ had. You just weren’t born knowing it. But now you do.

    Don’t let anything stop you now!!!

  • @Lulufulu

    Michelson is a RS-Senior and this is his last season but Lucas will be only a RS-Junior and has one year of eligibility left after the upcoming season.

  • @jaybate-1.0 totally off topic. What about Wilt, rebounding skill vs Bridges and Russell?

  • IowaState beating KU “2 out of 3 times” is a bit misleading–> let’s let IowaSt fans, and the national media look back on that W/L fact and prognosticate…while Self, us, and Hoiberg know the truth: Self solved IowaState in game 2 (in AFH) when he shockingly ditched his offensive rebound mantra to race the defense back to bother IowaState’s always-struggling half-court offense. Hoiberg had NO countermove. Then, in the BigXII Tourney Champgame: KU blows a 17pt 2nd half lead… That is squarely on KU. I’ve not seen a more Jekyll-Hyde KU team than this last season. That tendency has got to go, and honestly it has to do with team leadership more than anything. I can say that Mason, Graham, and Greene don’t get “butterflies” in their stomach when the other team goes on a run. But our other guys…makes ya wonder…

    Maybe I need to add HealthySelden to our warrior list, as he did pull our half-baked butt out of a deep hole against FL, almost single-handedly. And for grins, I will add: when I directly asked Wayne if his knee “was good?”, he said “its good” (no hesitation)…so I asked if it was “100%?” to which he said “100%!”. Kid was walking & moving & working out with Hudy with bounce and great motion. He is a very key piece to next year…and as I have ventured to say repeatedly: a MickeyD who stays 2-4 yrs for Self is almost a 100% odds of being a solid contributor and true star of his team (or one of the stars). He was a glue man, commendably buying into the D-philosophy from Day -60…but it is time for more. It is time for Selden to shine.

  • @jaybate-1.0 If that knee gives way, Bill Self had best be well prepared and ready to install Plan B. Perry Ellis represents the fulcrum upon which current Bill Self Basketball teeter totters.

  • When Bill announced, prior to this past season, that Perry Ellis would likely be his team’s leading scorer, I don’t think he was indicating a readiness to turn the scoring reins over to Greene and Frankamp, or to build an offense around Oubre or Alexander.

  • @Lulufulu

    I should probably make this my tag line at the bottom of all my posts about great players.

    There is Wilt.

    And then there is everyone else. 🙂

    Seriously, Wilt could do anything but shoot free throws better than every other player that has played the game. He could have been a fabulous point guard–way better than Magic. Anyone that has watched him when he was young knows all it would have taken was three years playing point guard when he was young and he would have mastered it easily.

    Either wing? He could do ANYTHING Jordan did plus a whole lot more. All it would have taken was three years playing the position when he was young.

    Power Forward? OH…MY…GOD! He would have been the greatest Power forward ever and he wouldn’t have even needed three years work.

    Center? Not even flipping close. With respect to @drgnslayr, and others that have blown Kareem’s horn, Wilt could have mastered a sky hook without any trouble at all. He almost certainly would have scored more with it than Kareem because he was soooo much stronger than Kareem. He could have shot every sky hook 5 feet from the basket and shot a much higher percentage than Kareem. Wilt would NEVER have had to range out as far as Kareem was always getting pushed. The reason Wilt never wasted his time shooting a hook shot was because it was frankly too low of a percentage shot for him to bother with, when he was strong enough to stay on a low block, and do one of two moves: 1) pivot and dunk; or pivot and fall away bank shot. Kareem had to shoot the much lower percentage hook because he was so weak. All of Wilt’s moves were based on highest shooting percentage. Kareem could never match Wilt’s scoring efficiency ever. This is what no one talks about. Wilt’s scoring efficiency dwarfed Kareerms and Kareem was the only guy that ever scored a lot of points efficiently ever other than Wilt. If Wilt had been willing to let his scoring efficiency sag to what Kareem’s routinely was, Wilt probably would have scored a hundred points in a game several times a season, not just one in his career.

    Kareem was a great player.

    But Wilt was UP HERE.

    And Kareerm was down there.

    All of which establishes the context for answering your question about Wilt’s rebounding in relation to Big Russ and Bill Bridges.

    Wilt’s rebounding is UP HERE.

    Big Russ, and Bill Bridges, rebounding are down here.

    Big Russ and Bill Bridges are in my mind tied for greatest rebounders pound for pound among mortals. You might even put Rodman in with them. Its hard to compare Big Russ and Bridges because they guarded different positions and so blocked out and rebounded different positions.

    Big Russ was the greatest rebounding center among mortals.

    Bill Bridges was the greatest rebounding non center with Rodman a close second. Why was Bridges so great? Because he was 6-5 and played his entire NBA career on two bad knees and he could still rebound in double figures. Rodman was as good of a rebounder as Bridges. But Rodman did it on two good knees! This is why I hold Bridges is such high esteem.

    But if you bounced a ball off the rim among Wilt, Big Russ, Bridges, and Rodman, Wilt would come up with it 9 out of 10 times.

    Wilt is UP HERE.

    Everyone else is down here.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Thats awesome. I had no idea Wilt was so versatile. Never got to see him play. Much before my time. He should be the greatest player of all time, not Jordan.

  • @Lulufulu Unfortunately the “greatest player of all time” is usually the greatest player at whatever time it is. Many are now pushing LeBron. Who knows who it will be in 10 years. How many people today know that Oscar Robertson averaged a triple double one year?

  • @jaybate-1.0

    I have to disagree with you on Wilt having the easy capability to master the hook. I never want to slam Wilt, he is definitely at the top of my list of true legends… but even Wilt had weaknesses in his game. Really, his one big weakness was touch. He could play so strong and athletic, and he could dance ballet around the basket, but the guy threw bricks at the goal. He had to finish at the rim because… he had to!

    I’ll never forget how he tried everything in the book to try and get his FT% up. Underhand… standing back several feet from the line… tossing the ball like a ping pong ball. Wilt tried everything, but he couldn’t shoot from the perimeter or FTs because he lacked touch. And that skyhook Kareem used was pure touch.

    I loved watching both of these greats play and just wished they could have overlapped for a longer period in the league. Their games were so different, as well as their personalities. I can’t believe the game will ever have two like these two in the game and in the game at the same time.

  • @drgnslayr

    Don’t forget that “allegedly” Wilt dunk free throws and the rule that the player cannot cross the free throw line was created because of that…

    Rule Change - Wilt Chamberlain: Free throw plane

    When Wilt Chamberlain was in high school, he had a unique way of shooting free-throws. He would stand at the top of the key, throw the ball up toward the basket, take two steps, jump toward the rim and jam the ball through the net. Doing this resulted in basketball rules to state that a player cannot cross the plane of the free-throw line when shooting a free-throw.

    I have searched extensively over the years and I have not found any evidence he ever did this at a game at any level. The closest it came is that he did it during practice and didn’t really dunk the ball but laid it in.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Anecdotal evidence: My dad told me the same story. I fondly remember my dad telling me the Wilt story. My dad went to WSU when Wilt was at KU, and he would catch as many KU games as possible. He said Wilt would take off from the Free Throw line and dunk it, until they outlawed it.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Oh yeah… thanks for the reminder!

  • @REHawk said:

    In my not so humble opinion, the Jayhawks will be as good as Perry’s knee. Unless those hip spurs were a really serious factor, I don’t see Brannen Greene EVER fitting in well to Bill Self Basketball. His motion counterflows…upstream. Selden? Which Wayne will make a show? A dependable nightly show? And can Svi live up to his billing? Seemed like something of a waste, sitting idle after Christmas break last season. Maybe practice-time challenges elevated his game while visits with Hudy and co. sculpted his physique? Time will tell. I sure liked the way he moved the ball before Christmas. Mason and Graham? I’ve no skepticism re those two…so long as Mason’s legs hold up. And from recent photo clips of his work in the weight room, his knees looked strong as iron. Gotta trust that both Lucas and Mickelson take giant steps up the ladder of improvement. At least one of them bound to make significant gain. I still crave the energy of Diallo. Like a pistol in a waistband, he is a certified difference maker.

    I really like your post. On Ellis, I’m confident that his knee will be 100%. I’m pretty sure he’s 100% right now. It’s the type of injury that is easily compensated with by use of a brace. Based on what we saw, this was most likely a grade I sprain. Self said before the NCAA tourney that Ellis was “getting his explosion back.” You don’t get that back in that timeframe, unless it was just a grade I sprain. Relatively minor injury to deal with once he got two weeks out from the injury. For next season, there is no worry. Heck, if he tore his ACL in February, it would be reasonable to think he would be 100% by the start of the season – think Branden Rush tearing his ACL in May, then returning the next season.

    And I agree on Greene. I don’t see him fitting with Bill Self basketball. How much will Bill Self basketball change? Greene could be an incredible force. It all depends on how he’s used. For my money, if he’s not shooting threes, I don’t have much of a use for him in Self’s system otherwise.

    Selden and Svi are crucial questions. I’m positive in both regards.

    I do disagree with you on Lucas and Mickelson. I would say mini-steps. It’s hard to imagine either taking big leaps. And with Mickelson, how does he get on the floor? I noticed you avoided Traylor.

    But this coming season rides very much on what coach Self has planned for this team. All predictions need to be qualified. If we play Self’s system, here’s prediction #1. If not, then predictions #2, #3, etc. based on possible changes.

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