Self's Last Chance to Showcase a Top Recruit?

  • It’s early. Let me start by acknowledging that. Perhaps too early to be posting this. But with each passing game the near consensus number 1 recruit in the country (and Bill Self’s most heralded recruit ever) not only doesn’t look like the best freshman in the country, but doesn’t even look like the best freshman on his own team. In fact you could argue that for several games, 2 or 3 freshman have looked better.

    I like Andrew Wiggins. I think he’s an incredible player. I think he’ll be a great pro for many years. How great? All-star? Hall of Fame? Not sure. And that’s not the point of my post here. In fact, I don’t even want to talk about Andrew. I want to talk about Coach Self. I think Coach Self is one of THE best college coaches in the game. I wouldn’t trade him for anyone. That said, I’m starting to wonder about his ability to adapt. I know he can adapt pretty well to what the other teams throw at him. I’m talking about his ability to change the way he coaches in order to best utilize the talents he has at his disposal. Is he running the best offense to utilize the once in a decade talents of an Andrew Wiggins? That’s not a rhetorical question. I honestly don’t know. I’ll leave it up to @highelitemajor , @drgnslayr and others to speak intelligently about that. It seems to me that Andrew isn’t the focus of our offense. It seems to me like we’re running the same stuff we always have. That’s why Perry Ellis and even Embiid have been looking so good. The big men always look good in a Bill Self offense, right?

    So back to my original question: Is this Bill Self’s last chance to showcase a top recruit? If the rest of the year looks like the first 7 games, I’d have to say probably so. I don’t think you can recover from an underachieving Wiggins who was (unfairly) hyped as the second coming of Kevin Durant. Add on an underachieving Josh Selby (yes I know he was hurt and suspended - no one else cares about that) and Coach Self will have strikes one and two against him. He’ll become known as the coach that can get you from a 10-50 Rivals ranking to the NBA draft, but if you’re a top ten talent he won’t know how to showcase you.

    Depending on how you feel about the Calipari “strategy” of bringing in the best of the best, perhaps that’s a good thing? I mean we all want Self and KU and Wiggins to succeed, but perhaps the silver lining to the collegiate failures of Selby and Wiggins is… no more Selbys and Wigginses.

    I’ll say it again. It’s early, and this may all be premature. But in my opinion, Andrew and perhaps even more so, Coach Self, is on the clock.

  • Well done, @JayDocMD!

    Your post deserves it’s own thread.

    I believe your post builds up to a broader perspective:

    Is a team-oriented coach the best option for the very top OAD prospects?

    I know I don’t have an answer to that one.

    I believe every top athlete gets shot down by someone. If they score too much they are a ball hog and don’t play team ball. If they don’t score enough they aren’t a leader, aren’t aggressive enough, or are missing certain skills.

    Look at the entire group in this year’s top bunch. I think Parker has been meeting expectations better than anyone (up to this point). Randle is a beast, and we saw how he could dominate against MSU, but he’s had some mixed results since then and a few sports people are starting to bag on him.

    I ponder on what someone else has said in here. Perhaps it was HEM. That Self (and Kansas) attracts a different breed; those lacking some alpha-dog. Maybe because Self talks “team” all the time so those types figure they can meld in and not have all the pressure.

    I do believe that players follow their coaches signals. And if Self isn’t giving the signal he’s looking for an alpha-dog then it is unlikely one will show up.

    All of us in here sometimes have difficulty understanding CS. He’s a guy who picks his words carefully, so we all dismiss the possibility that anything he says could just be an emotional blurt. But when you line up his comments, eventually you will count on reading tea leaves trying to figure him out.

    I try to read everything I can on CS. I’m still lost between a guy who strictly looks for “team play” to a guy who is looking for an alpha-dog to step up and take control. Maybe there is such a thing as both. I’m pretty sure there is and I think that is the Holy Grail Self is looking for. I think all of us fans (fanatics) read so much sports media content we lose sight of what is possible. You only have to reread what I wrote up above; star players are always criticized regardless how they play! So people like me read it all, and it creates a chaos inside of me where I suddenly become lost within myself.

    Is Wiggins a bust?

    &%& NO! I would certainly be saddened if he suffered an injury now and was out for the rest of the season. I would be sad for him and us, because we definitely would feel the impact. Maybe not so much now, but later.

    Marcus Smart’s comments were dead on… how he didn’t understand how Wiggins could steal that much light without ever dribbling a ball in D1. Smart is a fighter… and he’s worked his rear off to get where he’s at in D1. He has the scars to prove it. So naturally, he didn’t understand why he was upstaged by a HS player. I totally agree with Smart!

    There is nothing wrong with Andrew Wiggins. The only thing wrong was the disproportionate amount of publicity he has received without ever having to earn it. Yes… he was an outstanding HS player. But the publicity since summer wasn’t about HS. It was about D1 basketball… something Andrew never played before.

    Ever since that SI cover came out I have thrown a fit in here. I said we’ll be playing an extra ghost player every time we are on the court this year. It’s like that SI cover grew legs and is playing against us. Every decent upperclassman playing basketball this year was offended by that cover. All those players have already bled for D1 basketball, and few even received a comment of text in that SI issue. That cover put a target on Wiggins and put a target on our entire team.

    If Wiggins doesn’t lift his game by conference play, you can expect to see him taunted during away games with large graphics mocking his SI cover. I can already see it play out.

    I hope all of this ends up working to our advantage come March. That our team will get used to taking everyone’s best shot… and Wiggins will fly off his artificially-created cloud, down to earth… down to being grounded again. Perhaps even being down a bit lower than most… to the point of carrying a chip and wanting to prove the hype was right. He’ll have to find the drive to fight harder than every player on the court. That will be the only way he ever stands out enough to earn that hype. An occasional highlight stuff will not be enough. The stats will have to meet the expectations, too. The only way to build the quality stats is to put more energy out than everyone else. Stats don’t hype a mind-blowing dunk!

    We’ll all find out what Andrew is made of. But we won’t find out today, or tomorrow… but we’ll know by March.

  • @JayDocMD, many valid points that you bring up. Valid to me anyway, because it’s the same thing I’ve been thinking and didn’t have the guts to put into “print”.

    I’m not a basketball savant, just a fan. One that has loved KU for around 50 years. I’ve alluded to this in other posts, but my own personal take is that Kansas, especially with Bill Self, is not a school that is conducive to the OAD’s. For myriad reasons, they just don’t seem to work out here. Or maybe I should say that they don’t live up to they hype here. None of them. We might have been able to cement ourselves as that type of team during Roy’s era, but for whatever reason we couldn’t attract the top 5 caliber players when Roy was here. Don’t get me wrong, we had great players, and a lot of them, but they were players who worked hard and made themselves great or they were great within Roy’s system.

    This is my own personal opinion, but I really wish Coach would go back to recruiting the hard nosed, over-achieving, blue-collar guys that have that inner “fire” and the refuse-to-lose attitude and drive the opposition crazy with their in-your-face defense. Kind of like the team he had at Illinois that kicked our butts. To me, that seems to be the kind of guy that Bill Self is - someone you don’t want to get into a scuffle with.

    I know what you mean when you say it’s early and this may all be premature, but in actuality we’re - what? - 1/5th of the way through the season already.

  • Just a detail, but since Wiggins has shown he is no different from the other players right now, why not treat him the same as the other players?

    He is still getting special treatment, like not being made available to the press outside of the big national “haves”. Why feed the illusion he is different when he is not?

    Take off the kid gloves and make him prove himself in every single way.

  • A face guarded “Box and 1” is part of all college defensive strategies. The key for the rest of the team to start hitting shots, or face guarding of Wiggins will continue. The people that built Wiggins up are starting to tear him down. Any sub-par game will be a diagnosis as a failure for a kid that should still actually be in high school. The whole team is so young. Everyone at Kansas would rather have a win and a game where we have improved than a stat filler that doesn’t fit into Self’s system. It was always said that the only person to keep Jordan under 30 points was Dean Smith. However, Selden is not yet James Worthy.

  • I am at a loss to understand why we are second guessing Coach Self.

    Coach Self knows better that any one of us what a players is capable of doing and how he will perform under different conditions. He knows how players think, any issues on and off court, how they are feeling at game time, what they ate and when they had their last BM. We do not.

    Unfortunately he cannot get in the court and play and has to rely on players executing what they are told to do. Do you think that he told Mason to make those 3 boneheaded plays at the end of the UTEP game? I will guess he gets as or more frustrated than us because he sees players not do what they are taught and fail to follow directions

    Like Coach Knight once said, he has forgotten more about basketball that we will collectively know. He has a track record that most very coach can only dream of and would give his right nut and first born for. He is the most successful coach at one of the most successful programs ever. If he retired today, he would go to the Hall of fame the first time he is eligible on an unanimous vote…and yet we continue to second guess him.

    Have we forgotten what he has done on previous years with role players? The season is still very young and the baby Jayhawks are showing their inexperience. Also, don’t forget that Wiggins was a 2014 class recruit that reclassified to 2013 so he is greener than he would have been had he stayed one extra year in HS .

    In the end, the only ranking that counts is the one at the end of the season. The team will learn from this trip and will be playing at a higher level come March.

  • I agree with the first post that got this started. How many top recruits were on the championship team of 08? Mario, Brandon and most of them stayed 3 - 4 years to get experience in his system. I don’t think he’s a good coach for the one and dones. He’s a great coach, there’s no one else I’d rather have at KU but just don’t think he’s using the most of the talent that he has this year.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I hope you don’t misunderstand me. I tried to be clear that I would choose no other coach over Self. The point of this thread is:

    1. Does Coach Self know how to coach a special talent like Wiggins?
    2. Will a Wiggins “failure” (anything less than 1st team All-american) keep KU from getting other best of the best recruits.?
    3. And is that a bad thing? Maybe @highelitemajor is right - maybe we want off this OAD merry-go -round.

    @ParisHawk I feel that that Wiggins** does** deserve special treatment. I know he didn’t ask for any of this, but I bet if you ask him, he wants to be considred the premier player everyone hyped him to be. If he is to be a transcendent player, then his games (good and bad) will be under the microscope. That said, this thread is intended to be more about Coach Self and how he handles elite talent.

  • Reminds me of that first year with B Rush, he deferred didn’t want to be a ball hawg. CS got on him, to shoot. One of you said it, last year final game our PG stopped feeding a hot Ben Mac the ball. Wiggins position on this team takes a combination of coaching, his own heart and the other players actions. Better to have hot shots than not.

  • “I am at a loss to understand why we are second guessing Coach Self.”

    It’s a good thing to do, @JayHawkFanToo, because it means we are engaged with this team and coach. As long as we are respectful it should be viewed as a compliment.

    I think all our guys deserve special treatment. They all deserve to be treated with respect and completely transparent communication. They should have been told before coming to Lawrence that they’ll be pushed to perform to the top of their abilities… and they shouldn’t have had to read between the lines. Everyone has to earn their PT… even Wiggins… and we’ve already seen him benched for long stretches.

    We all just have to keep pushing and expecting… and hoping… that in the end this team comes together and kicks some backside in March!

  • @JayDocMD - Great topic.

    I think the comment by @drgnslayr sums it up perfectly - “There is nothing wrong with Andrew Wiggins. The only thing wrong was the disproportionate amount of publicity he has received without ever having to earn it.”

    With that said, if Wiggins does flop this year – by those lofty, unfair standards, it may set Self back a bit with the top few guys. That may not be all bad as @JayDocMD posits (me being very anti-presumed OAD).

    In my little world, Wiggins is flop if 1) One of our potential four year guys – CF/White/Greene – transfer, and 2) if we don’t win a national championship. To me, if one of those guys transfer, the price was too high unless we win the title.

  • And hey, try this … would we be a better team right now without Wiggins?

    Imagine that Wiggins just didn’t happen. We signed Merv Lindsay II.

    Andrew White started at the 3, all season. Or Greene. Are we a one loss team? Are we better? How good is White or Greene? Maybe we lose to Duke, but beat Villanova?

    I do feel pretty confident that as Wiggins gets more comfortable, he’ll be playing at a very high level. I do question, as a team, if at the end of the season we’ll be better off for having Wiggins, or if we would have been better off if it never happened.

    Lots of season to go. I’m ready for the guy to explode for 30.

  • " I’m ready for the guy to explode for 30."


  • I firmly believe that NBA scouts would be thrilled if their player was in Bill Self’s system. Wiggins picked KU for a reason. We all know what Parker and Randle can do. Wiggins is so young, he’s only beginning to scratch the surface. I think he was truly sick last weekend. let’s hope to see more hustle from the whole team!

  • “Self’s Last Chance to Showcase a Top Recruit?”

    Actually… we’ve got some kid from Chicago coming in next year who looks like the perfect match for Bill’s hi/lo.

    I’m anxious to see us get back to playing hi/lo again! I bet we showcase his skills!

  • I’ve been thinking the same thing as JayDoc–what if Bill’s system ends up dropping Andrew from the #1 pick status and literally costs him money? Do you think that’s gonna be lost on any coach recruiting against us? Coach K tailored his offense around Jabari. Coach Cal obviously showcases his top dogs. There’s a track record developing for other coaches to point to when recruiting against us.

    Here’s another hypothetical–how long til Andrew gets frustrated with Bill’s system and begins to phone it in from the perimeter (Like Xavier)? Could be wrong, but I’m already sensing some frustration from his demeanor and body language.

  • Self is definitely showcasing Embiid. He is handing Embiid over to the NBA scouts. This is for Turner. Self knows he has a shot at Turner and if Turner is committing, Embiid will have to go pro. Not a bad move on Self’s part. But, we win either way. If Embiid goes, we may get Turner, and if Embiid stays, it’s a win. In fact as someone suggested Embiid staying might be an even bigger win the second time around.

    And, there is always the little lose lose too. Embiid goes pro and Turner commits elsewhere, yikes.

  • Wish I had time to read all of these comments. The original post was excellent. Perception is everything. Bill has been ‘blamed’ for not developing Selby and even Xavier into top shelf NBA ready talent. But maybe the evaluators were wrong on these two. They haven’t shown much in the NBA (I know Xavier in Kobe’s absence is getting some PT) so even though they were top 10 talent, whoever made them top 10 was wrong. And maybe they were wrong about Wiggins. He’s obviously still a very good basketball player. But will he be everything the nation thought he’d be this year? The jury’s out, but it’s not coach’s fault in my opinion.

  • Is Andrew Wiggins the best player to come along in recent years?

    I moved my answer over to a new thread… because it deserves new attention and some responses from all you great ball fans!

  • @Dragonslayr, If the year ends with a disappointing loss, and probably anything short of a championship will be a disappointing loss, will we hold him in the same esteem as Paul Pierce who we saw grow into a great, and who was part of that great (alas disappointing) team? I’m not sure.

  • @wissoxfan83 - didn’t you answer your own question? Pierce didn’t win a championship at Kansas and we’ve immortalized him.

    I think fans differ in how they look at basketball. Obviously, I’d go nuts if we win it all this year, but if we don’t, I won’t necessarily look back and consider it a disastrous season. If I did that then KU basketball has been a failure since '08. I like to remember TRob, the twins and others in a positive light.

    Winning a championship takes more than talent and execution. There seems to always be an element of luck, too. You can have a great team, but your star may go down with injury in March… or most of the team has the flu… or they play a team that just can’t miss from 35 feet…

    You have to win so many games to win it all and there are always great teams that probably deserve it just as much. If we only judge the past by National Championships then we only have a few years that were good. In recent history that would mean only two years.

    Regardless how great Andrew is or becomes, his presence will never guarantee us a NC or even making it to the Final Four.

    There seems to be something called “destiny” and because of the unpredictable luck factor, destiny seems to be the right descriptor for crowning a National Champion.

  • @truehawk93 -I agree we have a nice shot at Turner, but don’t you think that our shot at Turner hinges on whether not only Embiid turns pro, but also Ellis?

    If Alexander is here and Ellis stays then one of the top 5 players in the country – Alexander or Turner – would have to come off the bench if we landed Turner. Doesn’t seem likely to me.

    If Embiid turns pro and Turner goes elsewhere, we still have Alexander and Ellis starting, but will have to look to Traylor, Lucas, and/or Mickelson to be our 3rd and 4th post rotation guys. Not optimal but not horrible.

    Scary thing … Ellis and Embiid turn pro, and Turner goes elsewhere. That’s a “yikes.”

    “Starting at forward, a 6’8” junior, number 31, Jamari Traylor "

    Never imagined that would be said.

  • Yikes indeed. Very funny. Sure hope that doesn’t happen. However, if both Embiid and Ellis leave…what a great opportunity for Turner.

  • Interesting thread. Some points to consider:

    1)Self has been imploring Wiggins to be more aggressive, hasnt he?

    2)Self has Wiggins playing the position he is best suited for, and has made him a starter.

    1. Wiggins ALREADY is more aggressive than BMac. He has more moves than BMac. He tries to post-up smaller players and was calling for the ball himself.

    2. Wiggins, almost singlehandedly, broke Duke’s back in the final 2-3 minutes. Blew that game wide open. The jab-step, step-back pullup jumper was BIG time move from a big time player.

    3. Scottie Pippen type swingman is the MINIMUM for Wiggins.

    4. He is 18yrs. old.

    5. Judge him at the end of the season.

    6. If BMac was a top10 lotto pick, then what will Wiggybaby be at the end of this college season?

    7. If you watch his 3ball form, it is good…just hasnt hit it or found his stride yet. By good shot mechanics, I mean he has the foundation to shoot a way better 3%. GET MORE DATA. (Meaning, lets watch about 10 more games).

    8. Self plays ALL his top20 guys right from the beginning: Rush, Chalmers, Arthur (fouled too much early), Xavier, Selby got robbed, but he started when able, frosh Ellis got chances, Embiid plays, Selden starts. Sherron played from Day 1.

    9. Self knows the game, the mktg, the perceptions–of course he does.

    10. Self’s “work ethic” approach also draws “his” type of players…ones that gravitate to such an approach, or a parent that really liked Self’s good-shepherdliness/father-like persona.

    11. Self had to beg Rush to drive it, Xavier to drive it, BMac to drive it, EJ to drive it, too soon to say if Wiggins is just adjusting or not, but really, he drives it way more than BMac or Rush did in their Yr1’s…so Im saying he is MORE aggressive than other KU swingmen.

    12. The only guards Self did NOT have to tell to “drive it” were Chalmers, Sherron, RussRob, Selby, Tyshawn, and Mr. Frank Mason. And many, many KU fans ‘cringe’ when our guards attack into the trees, dont they? Seems ya cant please everybody.

    Patience. Judge more data, please…(a LOT more data).

    Just like someone posted a preface above: “I know its too early to post this, but…” (bingo!)

  • This season will be a revelation: WHY SHOULD Bill Self deviate from what he’s always done? His whole mid-major approach is one that is based in solid fundamentals (high% looks, ball-reversal to open up the post, inside-out approach itself is high%ball, offensive rbds=2nd chance opps, hustle for 50/50 balls = more chances) and defense (disrupt the opponent, keep game close even when own offense is off, get rebounds to feed transition break).

    Why did I say Self’s “mid-major” approach? Because that’s when he came up with this ‘complete system’ of ball, played at both ends. By the end of his 3rd season at Tulsa ('99), he still didnt have any MickeyD’s, but the took that team to the Elite8, 32-5 record–> that is KU-good. Once upon a time, he was that hotshot, upcoming midmajor coach, and this system was how he did it. He took it to Illinois, and added recruiting…and suddenly he was a national contender, basically giving Bruce Weber the best team Brucie ever had, and got the Illini a championship game appearance.

    So this is what we see at KU: Self CAN recruit, but he still demands his players to play on both ends of the floor. Most other coaches would easily play the “frosh” card, and there’s a ton of truth in that point at the game 5,6,7 mark…but NOT Bill Self–> he’s ticked off, not happy, especially with the defense, as if we cant feed the transition break, then how can we show Wiggy- and Selden-highlights? It also appears that at KU, Self has added the whole lob-dunk thing: Its pretty high % “stuffage”, if its practiced, which to Stan Van Gundy’s surprise, KU routinely practices.

    My feeling is let this team come together. We talk about chemistry almost EVERY season, so why not this season??? With a whole new starting 5, I think we should be waiting for the natural evolvement in chemistry + the Self-driven evolvement of the team’s play & consistency at BOTH ends of the court.

    My goodness, another thought most of us would agree on is that we CANNOT have much of the set-play offense installed yet? So just how smooth are we going to look in our first 7 games? Really, the only game that was a steamroller was the Towson game. Every other game has been a grinder.

    Keep waiting, keep watching. As Self says: Judge the team at the end of nonconf, at the end of conf play, and then after the Conf. tourney. He has “some” idea of how long it takes boys to figure out all of what he requires…then execute without thinking too much (Look at Ellis’ last 10 games of last season, compared to his first 25…perfect example).

  • Here’s what bothers me about the premise of saying Wiggins isnt living up to the hype…is the linking of that to Bill Self. What if the reality is that the hype is overblown? That almost sets up an automatic “let down” when Wiggybaby scores 6pts. But is that hype that set-up Wiggins to fail any of Self’s fault? No, as Wiggins arrived with that hype. Wiggins got more hype than MJ ever did at UNC. Wiggins got more hype than MJ did when he signed with the Bulls. Self simply was busy recruiting Wiggins, Parker, Randle…all the top guys as he always has. He hopes he gets 1 or 2, then he starts integrating each season’s roster into a team and a rotation of performers.

    I dont understand this thread at THIS point in time, as it is already clear that Wiggins is > than BMac. Already. I wish people could enjoy watching the season unfold, and enjoy watching Self craft this particular truckload of teenagers. I mean most posts I have read prior to the season were guarding that we would “run the gauntlet”, or may suffer a few losses. Those losses for KU nation are so few and far between, that KU nation gets thrown into all kinds of doubt regarding everything from “overrated player” to “coach wont admit he was wrong” or…get this one: “we risk not getting top recruits if Wiggins flops”. Flops? A post-game7 (out of 35+ games)monumental prognostication? Why? Do you have the guts to watch a very, very young team’s growing pains? Can you do so without casting condemnation or such monumentous far-reaching implications, umm, based on a 7 game sample size?

    To me, the team has played about like a frosh heavy squad is expected to…face it, people not used to it. Usually its only 1 frosh with a bunch of experienced starters for Bill Self. Remember how the 08champs were frosh in 06, and how we played with no consistency?

    Lets not forget we are likely playing the toughest non-conf schedule in the Bill Self era…with our MOST inexperienced team. What does that add up to, intuitively speaking?

  • @Ralster said: “Lets not forget we are likely playing the toughest non-conf schedule in the Bill Self era…with our MOST inexperienced team. What does that add up to, intuitively speaking?”

    What it adds up to is that this year’s team is like the 2006 team, except that team became the 2007 team then the 2008 team.

    This year’s team has no future beyond this year.

    We are expecting (or at least hoping) that a more talented version of 2006 will do in one year what that other team did in three years.

    Not gonna happen.

    Another thing: we’re not alone!

    Do you really think NBA teams would tank for just a chance at one player? If they’re tanking, it’s because the cards are stacked in their favor: there are a handful of great talents coming out, not just Wiggins – and all those other studs are playing on other college teams.

    If KU can create a great team in one season, so can those other guys – most of whom have more experience.

    I’m telling you, Coach Self is gunning for a tenth straight Conference Championship, not a great preseason record and a #1 NCAA seed. Win Conference, then hope for the best.

    That is why there’s no rush to get the best rotation.

  • I dont understand this thread at THIS point in time

    All good thoughts @Ralster, but not sure your responses really touched on the essence of the core question. That is, is this Self’s last chance to coach an elite recruit?

    I won’t argue many of your points. I think Wiggins and the team are just about on schedule per Coach Self’s expectations and will most likely follow an upward trajectory, as most Self teams do. But fair or unfair, ask anybody outside of the Jayhawk community and the impression is that Wiggins is under performing. Does their opinion matter? Only if you care about getting future Wiggins-like talent. And that’s not being facetious. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you’re in the camp that doesn’t want these OAD’s. That’s fine.

    I’m also not saying Self can’t continue to reel in top tier recruits. I think he most certainly will. Cliff Alexander for example. He’s a great talent, but there will be several players in each most year’s classes equal to him. Wiggins was to be that once in a decade talent, right? Probably unfair to say that, but that was the perception. Fair or not, what will the next supposed transcendent player that KU recruits think about Self’s ability to utilize him? If Wiggins doesn’t take flight soon, you know that the people recruiting against KU will point out Wiggins (and Selby) for the duration of Bill Self’s coaching career. Fair or not.

    I gave the caveat that it was early. Maybe you’re right - too early for this thread at this point in time. But this is a friendly - and civil - place to throw out this morsel for us board rats to chew on. So, I’ll rephrase the core question: if Andrew Wiggins performs the rest of the year as he has to present, will this be the last elite talent Bill Self is able to recruit?

  • “What if the reality is that the hype is overblown? That almost sets up an automatic “let down” when Wiggybaby scores 6pts.” - Ralster

    I like it. Let the hype rule. Everyone knows I’m a huge CS fan… but my one criticism is he doesn’t develop a chip with his teams. We’ve lost so many games in March to teams that came ready to play more than us.

    Let the hype rule, and maybe it will be our chip come March! Maybe the negative hype will start pushing Andrew to new heights. He said he likes to be challenged. Can’t really imagine a challenge greater than this one.

    LHR - Let Hype Rule!

  • @jaydocMD, I agree with your raising the concern, as Im sure outsiders are as well, simply because they dont see Wiggins putting up 20ppg. Its natural. As KU fans, our job is to understand Self’s system and see how well a recruit is fulfilling his obligations and assignments on offense and defense, and by the attitude he shows. For the at-large audience (non-KU fans)…if they want to hand-wring about Wiggins not scoring 20+ppg, let them. I dont expect them to understand the intricacies and nuances of Bill Self basketball. Their lexicon of Self ball is likely limited to: “hi-lo”, “m2m defense”, and maybe a few may report “good set-plays out of timeouts”. Leave the understanding of Selfball nuances to those that know. If they want to predict early, then they dont know another nuance that Self teams always get better as the season grinds on…and maybe Wiggins can help put egg on their face by the end of the season. And in all honesty, its all about what KU looks like at the end of the season, and how far we get (THEN), and how good Wiggins looks at THAT point. Just my thought. I’ll wait to judge Wiggins. I like him and his demeanor a LOT so far.

    By stating “elite” talent, can we assume we are talking about top20 guys? Well, even after Selby, we get Wiggins. We get Selden. We get Embiid. We have Cliff Alexander committed…

    As long as Bill Self can point to a steady stream of NBA talent matriculating, kids will see that, and will come to play for him. Not to mention some kids+families just like Self’s charisma and charm when he walks into the room. (See: Julian Wright committing to Self without ever setting foot in Lawrence, KS).

    I guess my point is that irrespective of Selby (or Wiggins), Self’s program as a whole (winningest) and his trail of KU-to-NBA talent speaks for itself. Plus, most people who “knew” Selby was the #1 PG, also saw that he should have come back for a 2nd season, so some of that negative spin is actually on Josh Selby’s own decision. After a couple of more years, who outside of Baltimore and Lawrence is going to remember Josh Selby, unless he storms back to the NBA from China…which then is good for KU.

    Let’s see what Andrew Wiggins does with his legacy with these 30+ remaining games this season. So if the talking heads give a negative spin, lets see if that motivates Wiggins? It is largely up to him. Self already on record wanting him to be aggressive. Wiggins has responded on the D-end quite impressively actually.

    As Ive posted before, I really respect Wiggins trying to balance his own attacking game vs. the team-offense chemistry development. With his skills, if we force-fed him preferentially (like we did for Xavier), Im sure he could put up 25ppg. Self wont do that as if a 25ppg player goes down, what predicament would that leave the undeveloped team? Self goes for balance. Fact is this team is almost too good, potentially, to have Wiggins be the every-game goto player.

    Just food for thought.

  • Agree completely! I love that Wiggins takes pride in playing great defense and begs coach to do so! These KU recruits know exactly what Self expects .

  • Ben Mac is helping our cause!

  • By stating “elite” talent, can we assume we are talking about top20 guys?

    Good stuff @Ralster. Just to clarify, I don’t mean top 20 talent. I mean that one kid that comes along maybe once every 2-3 years or longer. That clear cut top guy in the class. Granted this year is unique, as there are several players (Parker, Randle, Gordon) that would usually be the best of the best most any other year. As I mentioned with guys like Cliff Alexander, I’m confident we’ll get plenty of top 20 kids regardless of how Wiggins does.

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