Real Brief update guys

  • saw on zags blog just now 8:50 p. m. Friday night lol, just saw where it says Josh Jackson will unofficially visit Maryland, and will officially visit Arizona & KU. Josh’s mom said it was like Arizona, Michigan State, UCLA, Maryland and KU working the hardest for Josh. She said they will definitely be taking the visit to KU for sure on that one she says, She was ask if KENTUCKY was a player in the game for Josh. she said NO DEFINETELY NOT. dam sorry to hear that. so take this for what its worth but though it was a little encouraging words anyways. he is the nu 1 shooting guard in the class of 2016 so we shall see

  • @jayballer54 Read that earlier tonight myself. Thought that article kinda painted MSU as the dark horse in all of that as it sounded like he must be from Michigan.

  • @jayballer54

    Usual long list spanning both petroshoeco brands; this appears to signal he would consider a brand lean switch, if the market for downstream endorsement deals were to change sharply and asymmetrically; I.e., with Adidas and Harden.

    Key: Which brand sonsored his SUMMER TEAM?

  • @globaljaybird Yes. Josh is from Michigan and played at a smaller school in Detroit his first 2 years. Led his team to one of the smaller classes state championship. I saw him play twice. It was like watching James Young play in high school…he was just quicker and faster than the other guys and could jump over them. Everyone that wanted to see him play again (like me) was really bummed when he transferred to the school in SF. I haven’t really heard that UM or MSU have really been much in the game with Josh.

  • Read this morning where Josh went off for 50 pts and 16 rebounds last night in New York, true I understand in these games not the most hotly contested defense BUT was he the ONLY player on the floor lol? would be a sweet pick up we shall see again his mom says Kentucky isnot involved in any way, so that’s a pain we don’t have to contend with, more worried about Michigan State

  • @jayballer54 ha yea the score was like 159-137 though… Granted he did show off a nice stroke from the outside.

  • Kid is a baller with unreal athleticism & motor for a wing. T-Ferg & Jackson are truly in a league of their own in terms of above the rim highlights.

    Coaches have actually said that his drive to win all the time actually will have to be contained going forward. Sounds like a great competitor. He can play defense & his shooting is good enough to be respected.

    As far as his recruiting goes I just don’t think we have much of a chance. Yes we are in it, but him being coached by Coach Miller all summer plus them being present at every game in the AAU circuit just tells me that they have the inside advantage. I don’t think any scout, recruiting service will tell you different. Maybe if we get him for a visit whether its late night or such we can make up ground because he does like KU & Self.

    I wouldn’t expect his recruitment to end until the spring either.

  • @jaybate-1.0 According to Rivals, Josh Jackson plays for 1 Nation in AAU which is a Nike sponsored program.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    Any chance Josh is Canadian, or is otherwise off shore in his roots?

    Whatever the reason, adidas-KU and adidas-Self rarely seem to be able to turn domestic Nike leans to signed adidas-KU players.

  • Josh Jackson update: " I’m not leaning towards any schools right now but within a month or two I will be ready to choose a school."

  • @jaybate-1.0 Rarely is a stretch don’t you think? Wiggins, Oubre, Alexander, and Diallo all had at least a decent stretch with a Nike sponsored AAU team.

    I think the more interesting thought is how Bill is using the Adidas brand to our advantage in recruiting foreign players. Look at all of our foreign signings. We have to have more than the average D1 team. And, while KU is a nationally recognizable powerhouse, these foreign players probably don’t know that nearly as well. So, it would seem the adidas sponsorship, the fact we put players in the league, and our success with other foreign players is becoming quite a pitch. If you think about it, we are the only major powerhouse besides UCLA (who hasn’t been relevant for nearly a decade now) with an Adidas sponsorship. Adidas is THE brand for sports overseas. More than Nike was in the 6 months i spent abroad. Because of this foreign preference of Adidas over Nike, are we actually at a recruiting advantage? I think we are. Not only do we have as many KU NBA players sponsored by Adidas as any other school has by Nike, we have a leg up on the foreign recruits that come onto the scene out of nowhere. We are overdue for a perfect stack to come to KU. I personally think next year could be it.

    I predict we nab Ferguson, Jackson and Gabriel.

    Ferguson- It’s clearly down to 2 schools. What can Bama say that we can’t one up? Facilities, no chance. Be THE GUY on campus? Not a chance. Go to the NBA? Oh, yea we haven’t put a guy (basically) in the lottery 3 straight years.

    Jackson- It’s obviously down to us, Maryland or Zona as well after his and his mom’s comments. I think that we have the best pitch for him as well. We can damn near guarantee him an Adidas sponsorship after. We know how to use a guy with basically his exact skill set. And again, Bill has put wing after wing after wing in the lottery.

    Gabriel- It’s the 3 major programs right now. Duke, UK and us. Nobody has any clues as to what he is thinking. But, if Diallo shows out this year, I think he is a lock. I mean what better pitch than a damn near mirror image of himself playing for the crimson and blue and tearing it up. Not to mention the whole foreign and adidas thing I brought up earlier…

  • @Kcmatt7 I will guarantee KU does not land both Jackson and Ferguson. They both play the same position and KU won’t have a ton of minutes available at the 2/3 positions in 2016-17 and considering KU needs front court players much more than wings this year, Self isn’t looking to sign multiple wings in this class as of today. If both Selden and Svi prove to be NBA leans this year, then a second wing will probably be targeted, but the second one would likely be a 4 star wing that wing that be stashed on the bench for a year.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 Youre probably right. But, I think they will play two very different positions in the future as one will become a defined 3 (Jackson) and the other a 2 (Ferguson). Self was able to land both Wiggins and Selden in the same year, I could see it. We definitely are overloaded at the 2/3 next year. I keep forgetting about Greene and Vick honestly. Just something is telling me we are due for a huge haul.

    UK was able to sign Briso even though they had Ulis and Murray even though they had Matthews.

    We were able to sign Diallo even though we signed Bragg and had 3 seniors at the same position.

    I’m not saying it will. I’m just saying stranger things have happened my friend. Its just a gut feeling.

  • @Kcmatt7 You’re talking two completely different situations. In 2013-14, KU was replacing McLemore, Releford, and Johnson with Naadir Tharpe being the only returning back court player with any experice. KU needed 2 starting back court players that year because there was only 1 starting caliber back court player that was returning.

    Next year, KU is going to be returning Mason, Graham, Greene, Vick, and probably one of Selden and Svi. KU will not have the same depth issues in 2016-17 they had in 2013-14 and will not have room for multiple wings (which both Jackson and Ferguson will be in college).

  • @Kcmatt7

    Louisville and Wisconsin are currently a much better basketball programs than UCLA and they are both Adidas schools…

  • @Kcmatt7

    Adidas signing Harden for unprecedented bones changes the decision horizon for all Nike leans for a time. It signals there maybe more where that came from, if one changes to Adidas early.

    But Nike has shown it has painful countermoves each time Adidas has sharply spiked endorsement offers.

    The talent gap between top Nike programs and top Adidas programs appeared at an all time high last season. Adidas’ crown jewel basketball program–Adidas-KU–was down to starting two projects in the paint. Adidas-UCLA, in the biggest pool of local talent in the country, could not field near as much talent as UA! Adidas-UL’s Pitino was grousing about asymmetric talent pools. And the UW near miracle was accomplished by a coach leaving the game snArling about rent-a-players.

    Adidas apparently thinks there is some magic number of NBA stars it can sign that will stampede Nike’s stable top to bottom.

    But is there?

    A similar effect has occurred briefly each time Adidas has upped the level of offers sharply. A few high school players change leans, but not a lot.

    This game of using a bidding war with a few stars to destabilize Nike’s stable of many young players seems to hinge on how deep Adidas’ pockets are? This is why I always come back to stock ownership structure and the Euro depression. If Adidas stock ownership structure includes an investor with access to on-going, untraceable Fed bailout monies, and if the Euro recovery starts, then Adidas can play this game quite awhile longer and it might work.

    But Nike has so many counter moves it will be tough to destabilize suddenly.

    And how long can KU hold out without credible bigs before Nike can establish a good coach and a stack in the B12 to do to KU what UA has done to UCLA?

  • P.S.: Adidas best move may be to offer UK say $200m to change to Adidas. Calipari appears to be being squeezed on talent at Nike-UK for not winning enough. Drive another wedge in there.

  • Problem is the “big” star Adidas signed is a flop artist in Houston. Durant in OKC is the only player not on a coastal team that would have the kind of influence we all want; (Rose is always hurt) the change of a HS kids lean to Adidas from Nike.

  • well on another recruit of ours I just read where the 4 star big man Schneider Herald I believe has set up his in home visit with Ku. I dunno maybe not such a bad get if he wants to come, probably a 3 or 4 yr guy needs some work, but we don’t need all 1 and dones. ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • @jaybate-1.0 You say we have been squeezed on bigs, but we have landed four 5-star recruits in the last 3 years. NO ONE projected Cliff would be as big of a bust as he was. I would say we have been anything BUT squeezed. We have just had bad luck with them. Hopefully that changes this season.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    “P.S.: Adidas best move may be to offer UK say $200m to change to Adidas. Calipari appears to be being squeezed on talent at Nike-UK for not winning enough. Drive another wedge in there.”

    I’m pretty sure Cal has his gypsy attorney agent fighting every second for more dollars. I remember when he won his ONLY NC… and he was promoting the idea that everyone wanted him, including the NBA. All to squeeze more bucks on his new contract.

    We can make fun of him all we want, but he is the highest (or one of the highest) paid coaches in college basketball. I’m pretty sure that is one of the goals college basketball coaches have… to make as much money as possible.

  • @Kcmatt7

    Can’t go there with you. KU is signing about a third to a half as much big man talent as Duke, UK and Arizona. Last season UK had four footers, plus several near folders. Duke outrecruited KU In the paint also. Virginia had eight players 6 feet eight or taller. Utah, Zaga and Louisville had more footers and near footers able to play than KU had. Embiid was a project when he was signed. The big red dog apparently came with baggage. Bragg is a four star that likely will not be a starter this season. diallo may not play at all. KU rotated projects Lucas and Traylor last season and maybe this. If this isn’t squeezed, WTF is?

  • @dylans Wiggins has a chance to be one of those guys. But we also have had all of our lottery pick guys get picked up with a sponsorship. Which should be a HUGE pitch for our recruiting process.

    Current 'hawks with Shoe deals:

    • Oubre - Adidas - 2015
    • Embiid - Adidas - 2014
    • Wiggins - Adidas - 2014
    • Bmac - Adidas - 2013
    • Tyshawn - Adidas - 2012
    • T-Rob - Nike - 2012
    • Morris twins - AND1 - 2011
    • Cole Aldrich - Under Armour - 2010
    • B Rush - Nike - 2008
    • Chalmers - Spalding (LOL ) 😂 - 2008
    • Collison - Nike - 2003
    • Kirk - Nike - 2003
    • Pierce - Nike - 1998

    There was the obvious gap from when Bill took over to the NC game. But since that time, we have been at the forefront for sponsored players. And Adidas has clearly made it a point to sign our guys to shoe deals as of late. I mean Tyshawn? So, while I think not having the biggest name players in Adidas doesn’t help, our track record of getting players getting paid, should.

  • @jaybate-1.0 First of all. Bragg is a 5 star on almost every website. And no he won’t start. But, by the end of the season he should see significant minutes.

    Duke has outrecruited everyone. And why shouldn’t they? They have possibly the greatest coach of all time. And how did they outrecruit us in the paint? They got Okafor, we got Alexander. Ours didn’t pan out. Theirs did. Year before that we got Embiid and they got?

    UK had 4 footers because Cal couldn’t get 2 of them to go pro in time. WCS and DJ had to spend extra years. Because of that, they had the NIT and Robert Morris incident… And were an 8 seed the year before last…

    Louisville? You mean the 2 bigs they have in the league (including Harrel who was just drafted). AND they are and Adidas school as well. So if anything their lack of bigs is a point for you saying Adidas schools are getting squeezed.

    Zags also only have 2 bigs in the NBA. Olynyk is good. And Wiltjer is a stud, but thats all they have. And they didn’t even originally land Wiltjer… And the moment they played a real team in the tourney last year they got dominated. They played a 15 seed, 7 see, and 11 seed before playing Duke. And they didn’t even play them close. They play in a mush conference year in and year out so their record gets inflated. The NBA clearly recognizes this as well…

    Virginia has just had a perfect storm and a good young coach. KU had, Oubre, Svi, Cliff, Lucas, Mickelson, Traylor, Ellis, and BG. 8 players who are all at least 6’7. And they only had 1 footer. Lets see how they fair after losing 2 starters and 19 ppg (thats like 1/3 of their scoring)

    Utah was a one man show. And he is gone. Good luck to them this season. Oh, and Poetl was unranked. They got lucky he panned out.

    Arizona. The only recent big to get drafted, Gordon. Tarczewski will probably get drafted. But, for being a top 10 talent he has had to stay for all 4 years…

    KU has had a big man drafted every single season going back to the 2009 season. Can anyone else say that? The answer is no. Not a single one. Every team has recruiting lulls. We aren’t getting squeezed. We had a little rut and had to resort to the Wesleys, Lucass and Traylors of the world to patch in. And we still made the tourney. And we still won the conference. And still made it to 2 NC games… Louisville is currently going through this lull (could be ugly this year). UK has the potential for a bust. Duke has a bunch of basketball players, but can they be a team? They certainly have no major post presence. Arizona lost their top 4 scorers and could easily have a down year. If anything, our consistency has been proof we HAVEN’T been getting squeezed.

  • @Kcmatt7

    Stay poz.

    Luck and bad breaks can explain quite a lot. They are a good explanation of why KU is being squeezed on big men.

    It can’t hurt to believe, while KU is being squeezed.

    Whatever works.

  • @drgnslayr

    If Adidas is serious about upping market share, Calipari and UK are the place to start IMHO.

    You don’t hire choir boys to pursue regime change.

  • @Kcmatt7

    Well stated.

    We were chatting about this the other day… how the grass always looks greener on the other side. I’m sure we all have a case of that. I know I feel like we aren’t getting the bigs we used to get.

  • @Kcmatt7 Gonzaga has a couple 7’1" 290 lb centers, one of whom (Karnowski) is pretty good. In addition to Gordon and Tarc, Arizona had Brandon Ashley and Grant Jerrett, both of whom are on NBA rosters. All KU needed last year was a big footer who could average 11 and 6 and be a defensive force (Karnowski), and none of the other “5’s” on the roster could manage that.

  • @Kcmatt7

    Good summary with one correction, Kyle Wiltjer is not in the NBA and he will be playing for Gonzaga this season.

  • @Kcmatt7 said:

    First of all. Bragg is a 5 star on almost every website. And no he won’t start.

    First, posters here identified him as a 4-star on most sites, when he was signed, and his rank when he was signed is all that matters to this discussion. Embiid was a project when he was signed. He turned into perhaps the best pro center prospect in ten years in one season of work with good big man coaching. But he was still a project when signed. Key Point: KU is NOT (and has not been) signing non-project OADs 5s, or even 5-star 5’s unencumbered by eligibility issues, or miscellaneous baggage, since Perry was signed. Period. You can try to polish this turd, but when you are done polishing, you are stuck with a shiny turd.

  • @Kcmatt7 said:

    Virginia has just had a perfect storm

    Why can’t KU have a perfect storm?

    Why can Virginia continue to have a near perfect storm this season?

    Why can’t KU continue to have a near perfect storm this season?

    Again, you are rationalizing here.

  • @Kcmatt7 said:

    Zags also only have 2 bigs in the NBA.

    Rationalizing again. What matters is what Zaga put on the floor last season and in recent seasons. Tiny PST located Zaga can field a four big man rotation of four actually big men, not tweeners and projects.

    How many 5s has Self Era KU put in the NBA since Cole Aldrich, who has barely been able to hang on? Hmmm. The Morri? Nope. Marcus is 6-7. Kieff? Nope. He is a 4. Both are effectively tweeners. Kieff has faired well only because he is a trey baller. Kieff was not in the top of his recruiting class, either, was he? Kiev was a who you had to take to get tweener Marcus. Kieff blossomed so unexpectedly that Self wasn’t even remotely prepared for him to jump to the NBA. Witney and Embiid are the only 5 KU has put in the L, right and Da Biid was a project that hasn’t played even a quarter of a season yet. Period. And did I sez he was a project, when signed by KU. And he was injured at KU and apparently jumped early to the NBA remotely possibly to avoid showing the effects of the back injury during a second D1 season, and then his fractures started. Wait, there was Tar. Tar is a 6-9 4 that either didn’t get drafted, or was drafted low. I can’t recall. He has caught on in the NBA as a journeyman on his good days, right?

    Compare the above measly trickle of second tier big man talent with the open valve rush of big man talent through Nike-UK, Nike-Duke, Nike-UNC, and maybe even Nike-Louisville and Nike-UA some years. I watched a couple UA games last season and they were drenched with at least four big men that would have turned every one of our big men last season into bench warmers. Hell, except for Perry, our big guys last season would only have been in the rotation at flipping Utah last season!!! And likely not even have been in the rotation at Gonzaga!

  • @Kcmatt7

    What @Makeshift posted above bears a copy and paste.

    @Makeshift said:

    Gonzaga has a couple 7’1" 290 lb centers, one of whom (Karnowski) is pretty good. In addition to Gordon and Tarc, Arizona had Brandon Ashley and Grant Jerrett, both of whom are on NBA rosters. All KU needed last year was a big footer who could average 11 and 6 and be a defensive force (Karnowski), and none of the other “5’s” on the roster could manage that.

  • KU has not had a 5, i.e. Center listed on the roster since Jeff Withey, link here…

  • Embiid was obviously a center – roster for 2013-14.

    And a second roster from @JayHawkFanToo’s link – second 2013-14 roster

    Obviously just an oversight on @JayHawkFanToo’s part.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I agree. Our big men last year had a lot of problems. Perry was the only stud and he was injured at the end of the year. I’d say we had the worst group of post players in the Bill Self era last year. Trying to think back to when Roy maybe had a more lackluster post.

  • @Kcmatt7 said:

    KU has had a big man drafted every single season going back to the 2009 season.

    No question about it and not a single one would have started at the 5 for Nike-UK or Nike-Duke, except maybe Shady one season, or TRob one season,and it would have had to have been in a season when Nike-UK, or Nike-Duke did not have an OAD center, or an OAD 4.

    Frankly, Self’s best center prospect coming in was probably Withey. Witney was not considered a prospect the way Embiid was. And Withey, after several years of complete ineptness, or injury, or both, did finally give Self one and 2/3s good seasons. Witney, skinny as he was, was a true footer with a fairly high ranking as a high schooler, as I recall, but of course not the OAD type that UK and Duke sign routinely seemingly every season, or every other season. But recall: Self could not sign even Withey straight out of high school. He had to catch Jeff on the rebound from UA. Witney was a transfer. Withey would have started maybe one season at UK, or Duke, but that would had to have occurred during a season when UK or Duke did not have an OAD center; that most likely would have been some season before 2012, which was, alas, Withey’s first good season (along side TRob).

    And none of them except Kaun, Withey and Embiid that were drafted turned out to be 5s.

    Cole was 6-9, not the KU advertised 6-11. Cole was a flipping 4. Cole could not even stay in the L his first few seasons. It is not clear he can cut it now either. But if he does hang on in the NBA, it will be because of a shift to small ball and small bigs in the NBA, not because Cole was some how a legitimate footer, or near footer 5. 6-9 is as close to 6-6 as it is to 7-0. Cole is a Little Big Man. But he does, at least, have long arms and legs something less that a flamingo neck. So: he can at last play to whatever height he may actually be.

    Kieff was a KU 6-10 (probably real life 6-9) 4 with a trey. Again, Kieff has been blessed by small ball, but he is hardly a force in the NBA.

    Tar was a 6-9 wide body and a late bloomer that Self got in yet another transfer situation. Self had Tar the transfer 4, one season. We are not talking about an OAD, top 15 draft choice here either. We are talking about a guy that has had to have a lot of post draft breaks the right way just to barely hang on in the NBA.

    Julian? 6-8 tweener. Flop.

    Marcus? 6-7 tweener. Marcus who always wished to be a 3 has barely made an impact in the NBA until the last season or two, when he finally parlayed his uncanny (for his size) garbage man abilities, into a few journey man seasons.

    Shady 6-9. Shady came to KU with a true 4 body and frankly such a floaty personality he benched himself and made himself a sub. He finally beat out the likes of 6-8 tweener D-Block, never seen as a 5 inside any mind but Bill Self’s, who never really has been able to hang on in the NBA, and play-operable Sasha Kaun. Shady in the NBA has, shall we say, been as enigmatic as he was at KU.

    During most of the Self era, and especially since the2008 ring team, KU has essentially been LITTLE BIG MAN U, except for Withey and Embiid. And of course Withey was in the rotation only two seasons, and Embiid was a project footer that only played 3/4s of one regular season and not a second of an NCAA tournament.

    Again, there is little reason to think that Withey would have beaten out any of the OADs at other elite programs, as he has not beaten many of them out in the NBA, at least that I can recall so far.

    And again, Embiid was a project that transferred high schools to avoid playing behind projected OAD Dakari “I haven’t burned up D1” Johnson.

    Embiid, despite may love, respect, and optimism about his fabulous potential, has essentially done nothing but suggest that he might do a lot. And at the end of the day, injuries are no excuse. Larry Bird played through a bad back starting the third year of his NBA career. If Bird had let injury slow him the way Embiid has, we would view Bird as one of the great might have beens, as we now increasingly do Embiid. Joel is facing a fork in the road. I believe he has done the right thing so far. He got his money and we still do not know how bad his back problems are, because his foot fractures have moved front and center. And he is right to try to get the foot fractures behind him and milk the contract as long as possible, while protecting the merchandize in hopes of “getting well.” But Bird never got well. And Bird had many injuries in addition to his back problems. There comes a point where the great ones decide to play until the pain and deterioration literally force them to give up. And all players ultimately have to be judged on the entirety of their careers, including the lengthy portions of their careers they are encumbered with talent constraining injuries. Bird unquestionably would have been one of the 5 greatest players of all time had he not injured his back, but he DID injure his back. As a result, he is NOT one of the 5 greatest players of all time. Mickey Mantle obviously would have been one of the five greatest baseball players of all time had he not wrecked his knees. But he DID wreck his knees. At the end of any career, even during a career, its what did you get done with whatever you had to work with. Joel Embiid, frankly, hasn’t gotten squat done, so Embiid the project when he was signed, and Embiid the guy that hasn’t gotten squat done since because of injuries, doesn’t remotely equate to even a Kaleb Tarciewski. And Embiid doesn’t compare within the same basketball solar system with either Jeff Withey, or out in some galaxy with UK’s exceptional, ring-winning unibrow OAD center, Anthony whatever his last name was. Embiid can’t compare with Little Big Man Tyler Hansbrough, who at least won a ring in college, at least until Embiid does SOMETHING, ANYTHING.

    The more I apply the scalpel to the reasoning of your post, the more stunning KU’s actual big man deficit, especially since 2008 appears to grow.

    The record Self, given how tough the schedules have been many of the seasons (not just a few), has fashioned with the lack of real big men he has had to work many seasons with in the face of the near constant abundance of big men that have cycled through the other elite programs is even more remarkable than I realized.

    How has Self done it?

    He hasn’t been able to attract even a single OAD point guard in his entire tenure, except for Selby who jumped from Pearl’s soon to explode ship in Knoxville to Self as a port in the storm. Selby was NOT going to play for Self had Pearl not imploded. And Self didn’t even try to play Selby at point, because Selby was too TO prone with the rock, so we know Selby, though highly ranked, was not remotely in the same category as a Derek Rose-grade point guard, which Self has NEVER COME CLOSE to having. Self has really only had three even 5-star type point guard recruits in tenure: Chalmers, Sherron and EJ, and Sherron may have been a 4-star, because of how short he was. Chalmers, after an early flame out at the 1, played 2 the rest of his KU years. EJ really played only one season of point and he was operable. Only Sherron gave Self 3 seasons of starting PG luv. And by Sherron’s last season his explosiveness was halved and he even wasn’t drafted.

    Think about this for a minute.

    No OAD point guards, and only three credible 5s in 11 seasons: Kaun, Withey, and Embiid. Kaun was a project when signed. Kahn blew out both knees by the time he was a sophomore. Kaun apparently played operable his junior and senior seasons. By Kaun’s senior season, Kaun’s knees were so far gone he couldn’t start, couldn’t play a full game, and could neither clear the floor, nor rebound most of that senior season. He couldn’t score. Period. He had stone hands and struggled his entire KU career catching post feeds. So with Kaun, Self had two years of a project in relatively good health. and two years of a 5 that couldn’t do much more than guard the post.

    Simien was a terrifically powerful and athletic 4 playing back to basket. He really doesn’t count as a 5 at all. Wayne was the prototypical Little Big Man that Self would have to rely on so frequently in his KU tenure.

    Shady was so inconsistent and so ambiguous in his roles in his seasons at KU that it is finally unrealistic to call him a 5 in any true sense of the work. Though seemingly a true 6-9 and very bouncy, and with a back to the basket game, as well as able to put it on the deck a little, he too was a Little Big Man; i.e., a true 4.

    Witney, a true footer, he had to catch on transfer, gave him 2 good seasons of great defense and adequate rebounding and garbage scoring. Witney is really Self’s zenith of Big Big Men, as opposed to his plethora of Little Big Men.

    Self did have Cole Aldrich, a 4 in a face mask one season, playing 5, and a 4 with knee and mystery illnesses another season. Cole’s junior season performance was decidedly disappointing. He could barely play 20 mpg much of the season. Much of that last season he was a hollowed out version of his sophomore season. He was drafted as high and as early as he was apparently because the NBA folks believed he could “get well.” But getting well didn’t help in the NBA. But Cole’s NBA woes are not what is crucial to evaluating KU’s big man deficiencies under Self. Self really had a good Cole one season. The second season, Self had a few stretches of good Cole, at most. And Cole was AT MOST 6-9.

    Here is the bottom line about Little Big Man U.

    Self beat every elite program in D1 and probably in the NBA to small ball, if by small ball we mean relying on Little Big Men, rather than footers and near footers with true 5-position skills.

    Self has been playing Little Big Men that were none of them projected OADs coming in, except maybe Cliff Alexander, who was ONLY 6-8 after being stretched on a medieval rack.

    He really got no healthy seasons out of Kaun after he was something more than a project.

    Cole doesn’t count, because he was only 6-9.

    But if you insist on counting Cole, Self only had, say, 1.5 good and healthy seasons out of him.

    Self did get 2 good, heathy Big Big Man seasons out of Withey–a true footer.

    Self also did get 3/4 of a good, healthy Big Big Man season out of Embiid–a project footer.

    And you might throw in one season of Kieff (his final one), if you want to fudge and call him a near footer, even though he always played like a Little Big Man 4, at whatever actual height he might have been at KU (likely 6-9 in earth inches rather than Self inches).

    So: out of Self’s 11 seasons, so far, Self sans OAD point guards, has had 5 3/4s seasons of Big Big Man healthy and producing as starters, IF AND ONLY IF one counts 6-9 Cole and 6-9 Kieff as Big Big Men, which seems a very questionable thing to categorize them as.

    So: to be more valid in categorization, Self has had a grand total of 2 3/4 Big Big Man seasons from Withey and Embiid in Self’s 11 seasons.

    Compare this with other elite programs over that same period. And as you compare with the other elite programs, factor in that Self has had to rely on the likes of Landen Lucas and Jamari Traylor to one degree or another for one full season of rotation play and considerable starting. And it looks like there is a possibility that he may have to again, if Diallo doesn’t get cleared.

    Self has not been getting to .82 with a Big Big Man Game, and he has most certainly not been getting to it with projected OAD Big Big Men, and increasingly he is not getting there with 5-Star Big Big Men.

    Self has been relying very, very, VERY heavily on a marvelous run of OAD 3s.

    Alas, that run just stopped with Jaylen Brown defecting to Nike-Cuonzo and Nike-Cal and Professor Emeritus and sports institute founder Harry Edwards of undetermined brand lean.

    Yo, Bill, you da man.

    You doin’ .82 with Little Big Men and an OAD point guard void and a long suit of trump at the 3.

    Dis be summthin’ dat da boys like da stack artistes–Konsonants and Gianni da Squid–like coulda not did even for a couple uh seasons.

    Yo, Bill, keep at it.

    Sooner or later da embargo, she gotta break.

    Summmmthin’ gotta shake loose sooners or laters.

  • @joeloveshawks

    Thanks for weighing in. Re: Roy Era? Probably that year that Pugh started his last season. I forget who started with him. They struggled. Pugh was playing injured much of that season, if I recall correctly. Very tough luck. He had looked promising as a back up. He might have done much better healthy, but we will never know. Anyway, it was a significant trough year between two peak runs for Roy. Some times troughs are attributable to multiple deficiencies and so it is hardly fair to attribute it solely to a player like Pugh, who was maybe more visible than some other deficiencies. And I recall how fans said Roy had lost his recruiting mojo. I’m fishing here, but might that trough have coincided with the Roy and Myron Piggie affair reputedly involving parking Jaron at Pem Day, or Barstow, or somewhere, and then Jaron flying the coup for UCLA for reasons that I never really understood, even after reading Sole Influence by Dan Wetzel and that other fellow, whose name escapes me right now? Boy time flies. That is all so long ago now.

  • @drgnslayr said:

    I know I feel like we aren’t getting the bigs we used to get.

    I wrote at length on this elsewhere. Self has never gotten many Big Big Men during his KU tenure and of those he has landed only a few have given him even two good seasons.

    Reputation to the contrary, Bill Self may be argued to have been a pioneer of small ball in D1, if one considers small ball to be playing Little Big Men at the 5.

    Self has not been given due credit for his contribution to pioneering small ball with Little Big Men. He has been doing it almost all of his 11 seasons but for 2 3/4 seasons, when he had Withey 2 seasons and Embiid for a 3/4s of a season.

    What has fooled commentators and fans most of the last eleven seasons is that Self has pounded it inside to his Little Big Men same as he has when he had Big Big Men.

    I don’t follow the NBA closely enough to know if the NBA started playing Little Big Man Ball 11 years ago, or if it is a more recent phenomenon, but Bill Self has definitely been playing it since he got to KU. He has often tried unsuccessfully to get away from it, but most seasons recruiting limitations, or injuries, or failures in development, have compelled him back to Little Big Man Ball at the 5.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    You are correct I did miss Embiid who along with Withey and Aldrich are the only players listed as Centers since Kaun. I believe Kleinmann was also listed as Center but he really did not play much.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    “Little Big Man”

    One of my favorites:

    But seriously… it seems we haven’t been “Big Man U” since Manning was an assistant. Does anyone know… did Danny go out and recruit bigs for Kansas? I know he coached them up.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I don’t have the time to read all you wrote, much less give it an appropriate response. Let’s just agree to disagree on the matter. We clearly drink different amounts of the koolaid.

    P.S. Louisville is Adidas.

  • @Kcmatt7

    Oooooooookay, but I get the vague sense that you don’t wish to be doubted as much as you doubt some others. Call it a wild guess.

    Let’s do agree to leave things as they are. I am comfortable with things as they stand.

    P.S.: Louisville reputedly has a $40+ million deal with Adidas to be specific, but then I suppose we both probably knew THAT long before this thread, didn’t we? 😄

    Rock Chalk!!

  • @jaybate-1.0 youre probably right. I don’t. But pot calling the kettle much?

  • @Kcmatt7

    I wouldn’t post if it bothered me.

    And I’ve been posting quite awhile.

  • Update on Wenyen Gabriel. KU didn’t make his top 5.

    Surprising seems how a few weeks ago he said he would visit KU…

    Still a heavy Duke Lean if and when they offer.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Hey, jb, ya gotta purchase a stronger repellant. That guy can shinny all the way from yer ankle to your groin like a fast moving wood tick.

  • @REHawk


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