WUG - Pluses and Minuses...

  • I remember how excited I became when the word was out that Kansas would represent the United States this summer in International basketball.

    I felt plenty of Jayhawk pride, and looked forward to watching Kansas basketball in the summer time, when I typically sit around and watch plants grow.

    I am still excited to watch us play.

    But I’ve also started to wonder if this WUG phenomenon will be everything it was cracked up to be.

    I recall the “sales pitch” -

    1. We gain a huge recruiting advantage because players get more court time with us versus all other D1 schools.

    2. We’ll get a big boost in play next Jayhawk season because our guys will have more time together playing versus what everyone else will get.

    3. Playing in WUG will help the KU brand, after all, it is US that was picked to represent the USA!

    So how is this playing out for us now? Let’s address the “sales pitch” items first. I don’t think it helped us recruit one bit. Our big recent catch, Cheick Diallo, won’t even be eligible to play in the WUG for us. Okay, it was already known that we would be in the WUG before we landed Carlton Bragg… but wouldn’t he have signed with us anyways? Look at all the huge WUG-eligible talent we missed on over the past months. It certainly didn’t help us with those recruits. I’m rating us as a complete ZERO on that sales pitch item.

    It is yet to be determined if this will help our play in the upcoming Jayhawk basketball season. I guess we will mostly be watching the injury report to see if any of our guys get bruised up before our regular season. If everyone stays healthy, it would seem to be a positive and help us gain more experience, even though the rules will be different, the competition will be very different from what we are used to, and we will not be running the same roster of guys we will have in the regular season. Consider all of that and it is hard to say just how much help this will bring us. Let’s just say “wait and see.”

    I’m also giving a “wait and see” concerning the possibility that WUG helps out the Kansas brand. It seems to have already helped us by the knowledge that we got picked over the rest of the D1 teams… but the last time (and only other time) an American single college team was picked to play in WUG it was Northern Iowa in 2007, hardly a blue blood program. They finished a whopping 9th place finish. Imagine if we don’t put together a solid result? Did it help the Kansas brand? Hardly. I’d say we need to win the whole thing to get a boost to our brand, and a second or third would merely keep us at par… and a finish below that might be viewed as a negative! Granted… regardless what happens, the Kansas brand won’t be defined by what goes down in Korea. I view this entire thing as having a minor impact on the Kansas brand in either direction.

    Last… something unrelated to the original sales pitch items. We now have one recruiting spot left. And it appears Self will limit his choices in order to make sure he fills a spot for the WUG tournament. If that is the case, might we be hurt by not taking the best recruit to fill the needs for Kansas basketball BEYOND WUG? I know I’m thinking “who cares” when it comes to recruiting for WUG. I only care if Kansas lands a player that might help us in the long run.

    The biggest “plus” for us playing in WUG is the plus us fans will receive in extending our spectating into the summer. Bravo for that! Anything more than that… I know I’m not counting on anything and just hope our guys travel and play safe!

    First things first… bring it on, Canada!

  • Hey… the heck with WUG! Paschal Chukwu won’t qualify because he is Nigerian. Let’s sign him anyways!

  • We get to watch Kansas basketball in June and July. Heaven, really.

  • Banned


    Oh I think it’s a brand builder as much as it can be. After all KU basketball is a household name already.

    I’m no basketball genius like some of you that post on KU Buckets, but I am one that sees patterns and trends. KU has been recruiting quite well in the international realm. I know as @JayHawkFanToo once explained a lot of schools recruit foreign players in another topic. Yet KU isn’t just recruiting foreign players they are getting some of the best. I find it very interesting KU is going hard after the footer in Paschal Chukwu. How he just wants to transfer out of the blue. Kind of makes the mind wander doesn’t it.

    @jaybate-1.0 opened our eyes to shoe wars. Whose to say KU isn’t playing in this WUG because they are an Adidas school? It has been my prospective that Adidas does better in the foreign markets compared to the US market. So maybe I’m reaching a bit here or even just wishful thinking on my part. Yet maybe Adidas is behind the WUG bid for KU, as they want to present the storied KU Jayhawks to the world. Adidas greases a few pockets gets their school in, and then markets the hell out of it. I can see the commercials now. A little black in white action with a leather ball and a peach basket, then a close up of the inventor of the game Naismith. Flash forward and boom a couple crazy dunks with KU players sporting Adidas gear.

    Well it’s a theory.

  • Have they announced the times of the games?

    Its exciting for us KU fans but I’m not sure the rest of the nation even knows we are playing other than some writers of the sport.

    I’m just happy we get to see the guys play, no matter the benefit it has…

  • My take on the WUGs: international recruiting for our program, an opportunity to grease the wheels for 2015-16 Jayhawk Hoops, esp. with Svi and Diallo getting the chance to practice with and against the eligible squad. Graham, Lucas and Mickelson can really use these extra game minutes. Self and Co. can begin to adjust to a shorter shot clock.

  • If Self is really forced to bring in a 3 or 5 man from another school, will he step outside the Big 12 to secure someone? Buddy Hield would appear to be a splendid fit.

  • @DoubleDD

    Interesting perspective. I like the shoe connection concept. Well… like? Adidas is a much stronger brand after leaving USA soil. I’d think stronger than Nike… especially in the soccer world (which completely dwarfs all of basketball).

    My mention of branding didn’t even take into consideration recruiting foreign players. I would think this might help us there, if for no other reason than Self and coaches get to go over there and experience all those foreign players and make contact. Perhaps some are eligible and capable for D1. Maybe we land a good recruit or two in following years.


    I’m a huge Buddy Hield fan. He’d be a great addition, if he can stay within Self’s framework. I know we always say we want players who can create their own shots, but does Self really mean that? Because… when players create their own shots and throw up bricks, or shoot early in the shot clock, educators like Self turn purple and sweat explodes off his head like shrapnel off a grenade.

  • @REHawk I could maybe see a Wake Forrest guy… Danny trying to stay in good graces and could get a guy to get extra work in a similar system. Just a thought that seemed logical.

  • @REHawk where was Buddy born? Pretty sure he was born in the Bahamas.

  • @HighEliteMajor I wanted to give you your 3,000th reputation point. Congrats.

  • @drgnslayr

    The player or players that KU “borrows” from other teams for the WUG do not count as scholarships so they are completely independent of recruiting and available scholarships.

  • @JayHawkFanToo That said, KU can enter only 12 (?) players in the WUG. So there is still a numbers crunch.

  • KU will need at least 1 player to fill out the WUG that won’t be on scholarship next season. The 3 spot is where KU is going to be hurting the most for this tournament and Self is probably going to use some combination of Selden, Ellis, and Bragg to fill out that spot unless someone is willing to loan out a top quality wing. I don’t see that happening, so why not look at KU’s walk ons to fill that 12th roster spot. Evan Manning knows the system and can give Mason and Graham a breather in the back court.

    KU can only bring 12 staff members as well and we know Self (1), his assistant coaches (4), Svi and Diallo (6), Director of Basketball Ops (7), Hudy (8), and likely a couple of trainers (10) will make the trip. That would leave 2 spots open and you could bring Tyler Self and Josh Pollard over or even just a single trainer besides Hudy and also bring Brannen Greene over as well and have the full team together for this event. I’ll be interested to see which way Self goes with the open roster spots, especially if Chukwu comes (I’d rather have Williams personally) and Self needs two players.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 what about SZ? Ugg! Team doctor? I’m anxious to see too.

  • @REHawk

    Player-wise and TTBOMK, KU can take 12 active players and 2 that will act as managers and which at this time are Svi and Diallo. I am not sure on the number of support personal such as coaches and trainers, but anyone else can go provided the pay their own way. I am sure Coach Self would pay for Tyler and I will guess his wife will be going as well.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Maybe they can take SZ and leave him there. The longer he is away from Campus the less damage he can do like signing stupid contracts.

  • @JayHawkFanToo we’ve been in the news nationally this week, Charlie Weiss’s expensive buyouts! So embarrassing!!

  • I’m late to this thread, but I see a few minuses that I don’t think have been mentioned much:

    • We all put faith in Hudy to actualize the player’s athletic potential: strength, quickness, jump, etc. A lot of that work happens in the summer when the players are not practicing. The WUG will mean more Self, which is good, but it also will mean less Hudy, which is bad, especially for the thin young’uns.
    • Self has 11 players and 2 managers (Svi, Cheik) so far. He needs another player and isn’t allowed a third manager. To me, this means recruiting is limited to Americans who can play this summer. I really think Self will have a problem offering that last scholarship to a foreign player or a transfer.
    • Greene is neither player nor manager. I wonder whether he will make the trip. If not, it’s going to be a lonely summer.

  • Banned


    Though I would agree most of the work Hudy does is in the summer, but I have no doubt this girl is working year round. Think about how many athletic personal that have made a name for themselves. Hell even recruits are like yea I would love to work under Hudy’s guidance. You don’t make a name like just doing summer gigs.

    Again I would agree KU doesn’t need another manger, but KU recruiting isn’t about WUG. It’s about the future of KU.

  • @drgnslayr We get to play a slew of games in the summer. Bragg, Vick, and Diallo get invaluable practice time, and Bragg and Vick should see the court during the games. Maybe our newbies will be a little better prepared than what Oubre and Cliffie were to start last season. I am truly not worried about the results - we are playing a slew of teams under a different set of rules, but our core group is pretty damn strong to begin with, so lets have at it. World, meet Frank…and Perry…and Devonte, etc.

  • I guess I’m at a “wait and see” on the outcome of WUG.

    I think the biggest positive is that Self gets exposure to some great International talent. And many of our guys get extra coaching and play when they are usually off. And of course, us fans get Jayhawk basketball!

    I wonder what everyone’s opinion will be if we finish 7th?

  • @DoubleDD said:

    Though I would agree most of the work Hudy does is in the summer, but I have no doubt this girl is working year round. Think about how many athletic personal that have made a name for themselves. Hell even recruits are like yea I would love to work under Hudy’s guidance. You don’t make a name like just doing summer gigs.

    I’m with you 100%. I didn’t mean to imply Hudy doesn’t work year round, simply that the players can’t do their normal summer regimen plus practice.

    Again I would agree KU doesn’t need another man[a]ger, but KU recruiting isn’t about WUG. It’s about the future of KU.

    No argument there, but again that wasn’t my point. The question was: is WUG a plus or a minus? If the best recruit for the future of KU doesn’t come because he can’t be with the team in Korea, that’s a minus for WUG.

    Does anyone know what the rules are on that? Suppose we get a transfer ineligible this year: are we sure he would be ineligible for the WUG? Do we know whether he could travel and practice with the team?

  • @ParisHawk

    The NCAA does not have jurisdiction over the WUG. A transfer that would be required to sit one year by the NCAA could play in the WUG as long as he is enrolled in college…any college.

  • @JayHawkFanToo said:

    A transfer that would be required to sit one year by the NCAA could play in the WUG as long as he is enrolled in college…any college.

    Well if that’s true then the WUG could be a recruiting plus! Transfer anywhere else and you sit a year; transfer to KU and you get to be a real part of the team, at least before and during the WUG. Not a big deal maybe, but attractive short term.

  • Playing in the WUG was never going to be a big recruiting boost and considering these games are typically on Fox College Sports and being in Korea, will be happening in the middle of the night here in the US so it also isn’t going to be a big boost of exposure either for KU.

    The big bonus from this is the unlimited practice KU gets to have starting June 8 for the WUG. Self will have a huge head start on the 2015-16 season installing more complex schemes for the year. Everything else is a net neutral at best impact for KU.

  • @ParisHawk

    " I didn’t mean to imply Hudy doesn’t work year round, simply that the players can’t do their normal summer regimen plus practice."

    You made a good point about the guys getting a reduction in strength conditioning this summer. Guys may do some weight during the season, but not much. The big strength developmental push is in the off-season. It is too easy to throw off shooting touches and have some injuries or sore muscles that would hurt guys’ performances in games if they were hitting it hard during the season.

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