OK, someone is dropping the ball

  • OK , its time to say enough is enough. I’m really not sure who is at fault, BUT seems for sure to me, someone isn’t cutting it anymore, pulling their weight, closing the deal. I mean Seriously, with the basketball tradition we have, the national exposure we have on TV, the schedule we play year in and year out, the players we have been putting into the N.B.A, the outrageous atmosphere, the home court advantage we have, the crazy’s and we are losing players in recruiting left and right. SOMEONE is not closing out on these kids. I mean this year 1st, all I see is how Terrance is a lock, all you saw on twitter account was nothing but KANSAS, every thing I saw, heard was KANSAS, KANSAS, KANSAS. and lo and behold next thing I know ALABAMA, ALABAMA, of all schools with NO basketball tradition at all steps in and BAM gone. Ya Ya I don’t want to hear about well Avery Johnson and the pro’s great that’s nice but there is NO way that a school like ALABAMA should be or is on the same level. Don’t tell me AVERY JOHNSON is as good as a coach as coach self, he has proven nothing at the college level. Then 2nd, we have lost ground and I mean ALOT of ground with Marques Bolden, another player that at one point seemed was ours for the taking. WHAT HAPPENED? YA I know its DUKE at least a little more understandable, but still what the hell is our recruiters doing? something is not right, who is the lead recruiter on these guys? maybe its time for a change of recruiters, cause the job is not getting done, I mean you can’t sit back and rest on your lorals thinking oh he is a sure bet, you have to stay on these kids, close it out. I can see, I can feel a swing in power coming for sure in the big 12 if something doesn’t get fixed and soon. BUT we are at a level where its MORE then just about power in the big twelve, if we want to maintain our level where we are at then something better get done, and done soon. WE are losing out on to many of these guys. I mean I think we all know Josh Jackson isn’t coming here. I would say we have lost our touch competing against the big boys with one and done’s that’s in the recruiting, because I will match us against ANYONE, ANYONE ! ! ! on tradition, exposure, scheduling, campus, atmosphere, players in the N.B.A. we stand even in all with maybe the exception of players in the N.B.A with Kentucky. Sorry guys just frustrated, venting anger right now, I know we will be ok, but still this has got to stop. we was doing better with 3 and 4 yr players maybe we have to go back to that who knows? but something needs to change. ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG GUYS THANKS for putting up with my venting

  • @jayballer54

    We are all feeling this from time to time. It is extremely frustrating.

    I think we have recently addressed much of this and exposed a big part of the problem.

    Two things stick out most:

    First… because of technology, we are able to follow recruiting much closer than in the past. I’m willing to bet we have always had these same big misses but we didn’t even know it. The fact that we are all kept PARTIALLY in the loop, makes this all very, very frustrating. We only have enough information to get frustrated and to start pointing fingers.

    Second… the grass is always greener on the other side. Just two years ago, we had the #1 and #3 players picked in the NBA draft. We still land talent. Often, the problem is that we have upperclassmen locking up the slots and so incoming OADs would have to ride the pine and we know Cal is the only guy able to convince OADs they should only play a few minutes a game and be happy. (ha… sarcasm… note how Cal isn’t selling the platoon system this year!)

    Would you prefer we land all of these top recruits and have “revolving door teams” every year? I wouldn’t trade some NCs to go that route. I don’t mind having a couple of OADs, but a team full of them? Seriously… Imagine the venom our fans will have when we DON’T win a NC and we have a team full of OADs? I would hate to be a Kentucky fan. What are they supposed to expect every year? Let’s not forget that Cal has only won ONE NC so far with all his dream teams. They edged us out in a year where we were undermanned in talent and didn’t have a single McDs AA on our runner-up team.

    These days, I have less of a problem with our recruiting and more of a problem with our development. I know there are practice limitations, but I expect more from our development, including in strength and conditioning. Yes… I’m even questioning our Oracle Of Fitness… Hudy! I look at guys like Lucas and I don’t know why he has been here so long and he is still getting pushed out of the paint like a soggy leaf. That does not compute in my head, with or without Hudy.

  • It seems like we’ve talked a lot about this. We get our guys every year I think but they make us sweat it out for sure. We’ve lost recruits to much lesser programs before and will again. Hard to read the mind of 18 year olds sometimes.

    Had our recruits worked out to their pre KU rankings, we’d been knocking at the door of championships I believe in the last three years. But injuries, academics, and even the Cliff scandal have robbed us of our true potential.

    Keep the faith. This year will be a special year. (If Cheick checks out)

  • Top recruit will go where they can get playing time, exposure…and coaching. KU can offer exposure and coaching but playing time seems to be at a premium for some positions for the near future, and many top players will go somewhere else where they can get the playing time and exposure they crave.

  • We are definitely still in it with Bolden. The kid just announced he was going to visit KU TWICE. He knows most of our front court is gone regardless of what happens with Diallo. He wants to play the 4 & Duke won’t offer that after Giles & Gabriel sign with them. Kentucky is getting a visit coming up but we at the moment are getting his last visits scheduled so far. So with his visit solo & then for Late Night we have the chance to give him everything he will need to know about KU. At that point if he doesn’t want to come here then so be it.

    We don’t have any recruiting momentum at the moment but it could change with a blink of an eye. We have visits coming from Lightfoot, Herard, 2 4 star forwards who will be system players. Late Night is sure to draw some more & especially juniors which we have done a pretty good job making in-roads with.

    Jackson is a long-shot, Fox is a long-shot from what the experts say but they both play positions that at the moment there is no guarantee of a starting job. As others have alluded we may return from 7-9 players next year (9 is probably a best case scenario). I’ve given up on the idea Diallo will be here as a Soph. regardless of eligibility. We need an impact big, if we miss on Bolden then Self will hit the spring recruiting hard as he always does. We also could use a system big so Herard is my preference but I’m sure Self will fill that void.

    Its way too early for the sky is falling someone is dropping the ball speech yet…

  • @BeddieKU23 It may be too early to say that the sky is falling, but the question is why, year after year, we can’t get quality early commitments. 40% of the 2016 top 50 are committed. How many do we have? Zero, nada, zilch. UK has 3. Duke gets early commits. A lot of schools get early commits. When was the last time we got an early commit from a 4 or 5 star ranked player? Self typically ends up with a strong class, but its almost always very, very late in the process. Mentioned this previously, but it sure seems like we are the 2nd or 3rd choice for many of the top players and end up with them only after classes fill up elsewhere…

  • @drgnslayr Slayer, 3 things. The third one is we’re dealing with 18 year olds with parents, siblings, friends and sleazy others in their ears. Speaking of sleazy, brings to mind the kid who on tv said he was going to Washington and then he got THE call from Sleazy who bemoaned how he had just broke the hearts of all Ken-suck-ians. Next thing you know the kid is going to Kensucky. One or two OAD"S is fine. Me, I like to get to know and watch kids become a team.

  • @DCHawker

    Your right it does bother me we don’t close the deal early lately. It hasn’t happened in recent memory with KU but a lot more kids sign early or commit then something happens (coaching change etc) and they open it up. It seemed like a record amount of kids were available this spring. Spring recruiting has really become some kind of trend. How mad would we be if we landed a OAD type or highly recognized recruit & then he ended up going somewhere else. We’d be furious.

    Since we recruit the best we run that risk of them all waiting til the spring especially in today’s culture. Let’s see if Bolden makes it past the fall uncommitted. He said Spring but the way he’s doing his visits suggest he’s open to signing early & hopefully they can close the deal at Late Night.

    I don’t have an explanation for why this is trending this way but a lot of has to do with our location & lack of top talent in the area. We fight with the best schools every year in other people’s backyards & that’s hard to do. Duke & Kentucky just seem to have this “class above the rest” label going on right now. They get who they want…

  • @BeddieKU23

    With more players moving to the NBA early, top prospects are now waiting to see who goes and who stays to see how much playing time is/will be available. Like you said, at the end of the last season I believe 7 of the top 10 players had not selected a school…this is going to be the norm going forward…

  • I don’t blame a wing not coming to Kansas. When looking at the 3 position as KU, they turn into a straight line driver and spot up 3 point shooter. Outside of Wiggins or Rush, can you name a 3 from KU that wasn’t very one dimensional?

  • @brooksmd

    Oh yes… I remember that kid. Another example of why Cal is hated everywhere but Kentucky. Jones had verbally announced and changed his mind because Cal continued closing the sell.

  • @JhawkAlum Wiggins, Rush, BMac and Oubre are all 3’s who were top 15 draft picks. Xavier was a 2/3 and was a top 10 pick. Some of them are 1 dimensional but it would be difficult to find a school that has produced more NBA lottery picks since 2008 at the Small Forward position.

  • @joeloveshawks

    Of those picks, only Wiggins has developed into an above average NBA player. Rush is an end of the bench guy (in part due to injuries). BMac is an average guy, maybe a rotation player, maybe a low end starter. Xavier is below average (in large part due to injuries). Oubre is to be determined. There is a serious question as to whether KU can actually develop wing talent and prepare them for the NBA.

    Now let’s look at where those guys were ranked coming out of high school according to Rivals and (ESPN).

    Rush - 13

    Henry - 8 (3)

    McLemore - 34 (49)

    Wiggins - 1 (1)

    Oubre - 6 (11)

    Other than McLemore, every single one of those guys should be an NBA player regardless of where they go to college. Or you could look at a guy on the current roster, the number 12 (13) ranked player in 2013 - Wayne Selden. Why isn’t he an NBA player right now? That’s really the question we need to be asking.

  • @justanotherfan said:

    Other than McLemore, every single one of those guys should be an NBA player

    And they are, you just said so yourself.

    What’s your point?

    Outside of KU, what percentage of wings ranked in that range out of high school make it to the NBA? Without that comparison, there is no justification for “should”.

  • @ParisHawk

    I don’t have time right now, but I did a study a few years ago that basically determined that the chances that a player ranked in the top 15 in their class doesn’t make it to the NBA is less than 10%. Top 25 was something like 80% chance of playing in the NBA. And most of those guys were in the NBA within 2 years of graduating from high school. I will try to find my results, update and post those tomorrow or Friday.

    But these guys shouldn’t end up as journeymen. They should end up as high level players - starters, stars, etc. Henry and Rush are journeymen. Wiggins is a star. McLemore is okay and Oubre is TBD. The question is whether KU is maximizing the development of their wing talent. I would argue that there is no proof that KU develops wings better than any other school. Big men were clearly developed under Manning. Now that he is gone, we need new data on that. But there isn’t proof that Self has developed wing players at any stop in his coaching career. And the Selden issue is still there. By his ranking, he should be in the NBA right now because he hasn’t missed time due to injury, but I think at this point we all wonder if he will ever be an NBA player.

  • @justanotherfan All good points.

    That said, I think you could do that for any major program. Maybe not the recent success of UK as they have been putting countless guys into the NBA and a huge number of them are NBA studs.

    I guess my point is, how do you know if a guy is playing up to his high school ranking in the NBA? Is Austin Rivers? Is Harrison Barnes? Those guys were #1 in recruiting and not exactly top 10 NBA players now. Just a couple of examples.

    Good points, though again about KU. It does make me think a bit about whether we have developed the SF or not. Hard to argue with our success with the developing of big men.

  • @justanotherfan

    I think your posts take a critical view of Kansas basketball… and I’m glad you (and any of us) can do so without getting blasted by others.

    But I’m not sure I can buy into your point of view… especially today as I’m seeing the world crimson and blue!

    “There is a serious question as to whether KU can actually develop wing talent and prepare them for the NBA.”

    I’ve been one of the biggest critics of Kansas “development” lately. I don’t base that on the NBA results from our wing 3s. You’ve painted their results with a broad stroke. Rush and Henry, simply stated, shouldn’t even be in the league because of the severity of their injuries. I know Rush has now been through 2 ACL injuries, and he is viewed as a “high risk”… Henry… he’s a walking injury report. His ruptured Achilles was the final blow making him “high risk.”

    All of these guys except Rush were, essentially, OADs. BMac got some extra practice.

    So you are talking about guys that were on campus just a few months… does anyone really count these guys as “developmental players?” Definitely not at the D1 level. A few months will never convert a HS kid into a NBA-ready player. Either the kid brought the stuff with him, or forget it.

    It’s like giving Cal credit for developing Anthony Davis.

    My dream with Kansas is we dump at least one assistant coach, maybe two. And we go out and find the best developmental coaches out there, and we are willing to pay a 7-figure salary. It’s okay if they don’t have a used car salesman background for recruiting, because we stop going after OADs.

    Suddenly, we become “Developmental U” and every mid-ranked recruit targets Kansas as their dream school.

    So then we get our pick of most of those middle guys and almost all of them are with us for a minimum of 2 years. Many for 3, and sometimes we get to have a senior, like Perry Ellis.

    Now we have teams that have experience with “Self ball” and can finally execute a game plan. Finally a team that plays REAL defense! Finally a team that works the offense for excellent shot attempts via a plethora of options. Finally a team that has plenty of March experience and less choking in March. Finally a team that all of the guys return so us fans actually feel like we know them. Finally, we stop feeling like we are just a pit stop for elites. Finally, we have a team that beats teams like Duke and UK every single time because all that HS talent they have can’t come close to a real team made up of older guys with experience.

    Some will say… “we’ve already tried that.” No… not even close. Self has been angling for the highest talent ever since he came to Lawrence and he grades his assistances primarily by their recruiting abilities, not developmental abilities. We are not known for being “Developmental U” so we can’t even get a majority of the mid-grade players.

    That would be so refreshing. And with the right planning… we would be at the top in March MOST years!

  • @jayballer54

    Wrong Shoe-Agent Complex alignment.

    Little more IMHO.

    How can recruiters close on recruitsperhaps only talking with them for appearance sake.

    The anecdotal evidence makes it kind of appear the recruits tend to channel to coaches/programs with same brand-agent complex leans as the leans of recruits before they enter D1. The exceptions appear to tend toward certain very highly regarded players, and sometimes highly regarded foreign players. It all at least hints at some kind of encouragement to switch leans in a few cases, while a lot just sustain prior leans.

    The pro journalists reported on the underlying shoe dynamics back around Y2K, then kind of only infrequently reported on it since based on what I have found so far.

    The 501.c3 Drake Group reputedly on U of New Haven property claims it advocates for integrity in college sports (who doesn’t?), but appears more focused on NCAA deficiencies than apparent Shoe-Agent Complex driven asymmetries in D1 talent distribution so far. But I haven’t visited their web site for quite awhile.

    There seems to be a bit more interest of late, what with Pitino’s brief related remarks sometime ago now, and the survey of coaches linked by @konkyDong recently.

    Hopefully, some coverage will clarify what, if anything, is going on.

  • @joeloveshawks

    They are in the NBA. But high profile guys to aspire to be a Rush or Henry who sits the bench. They want to be at least a starter or a valued player.

    As much as I love Self, he turns s J.R. And Bmac into a spot up 3 point shooter. They want to be a playmaker and in an offense that gives them freedom.

    Why a back to the basket big doesn’t go to KU is beyond me though. If you have the ability to get your points from the block, you can guarantee a plethora of opprotunities to show what you have.

  • Banned


    Nobody is dropping the ball on the KU staff. You see these OAD’s are business men. Most of them come from broken homes and were raised quite poor. To them basketball is a means to change the cards life has dealt them. They have had agents and runners whispering in their hears since the time it came apparent they could really play this game we call basketball.

    You see KU flies in the face of everything they want to do. They don’t want to fall in love with a school. They want to play their one year and be gone. They know they can’t do that at KU. They’ve seen the love, the romance and the history KU brings to the table. It scares them like a young man thinking about marriage. They don’t want to fall in love as it goes against their plans. College is only a layover stop, a connecting flight to their next stop in the NBA.

    That is why they pick the Kentucky’s and the Duke’s of the world. They can play their one year and move on. They can’t do that at KU. Once you become a Jayhawk you’re always a Jayhawk. Even the greatest basketball player ever Wilt Chamberlain had to learn that lesson. These young kids don’t want the emotional heartache of leaving a school like KU. They want to play their one year and be gone. Kind of like a one night stand.

  • @DoubleDD interesting take.

  • @DoubleDD

    Good take.

    And to make it worse, they have handlers who are in a big hurry to make sure they get paid. So they keep pushing to these kids about where they come from and how D1 is a huge risk of sending them back to that neighborhood with nothing. They don’t ever see the value of a college education. They don’t tell the stories about how many pro ball players declare bankruptcy (perhaps because of people like them).

    The best recruits are recruits like Perry. And Wigs, too. They come from solid families and received protection from all the handlers. They value education and realize life is long, much longer than the NBA. It wouldn’t surprise me if Wigs gets a diploma someday.

  • @DoubleDD that all sounds good, the only thing is- - - that didn’t stop wiggins- - - that didn’t stop Oubre- - - that didn’t stop Jo Jo those were one and dones, they felt the love, the marriage, and they know they are Jayhawks for life, still think its howard dropping the ball and not closing out

  • @drgnslayr

    I agree that these guys were all essentially OAD’s. So why is it that KU’s OAD’s have, by and large, not been as successful as OAD’s that have attended other schools? Henry, Rush and Embiid have been sidetracked by injuries. You could throw Selby in that group as well.

    What is it that allows other schools to produce OADs that are healthy and productive at the next level, while, by and large, KU’s OADs struggle to stay healthy, let alone be productive?

    That’s why I take a critical view. I ask the question every year when it seems we have guys breaking down toward the end of the year. Run through the last several years - it seems like every year we have one of our main guys with a nagging leg injury in late February or early March. Knee lingerie as @jaybate-1.0 has called it. Something that we are doing is not working.

    I have wondered if it’s because I am too close. As a KU fan, I am very aware of every injury and shortcoming of KU players. Maybe if I followed other teams as closely I would see the same patterns, but it just seems like KU has had more problems than they should.

    Some examples - Sherron Collins came to KU as an explosive leaper - recall the dunk he threw down off the backboard in the McD’s AA game. I can’t remember Sherron dunking at all after his sophomore year. Rush, Selby, Henry, Embiid have been covered ad nauseam. Selden was another super athletic player, but how many times have we seen that disappear as the season wore on. Frank was worn down and banged up from mid January on last year. Heck, we had a whole thread on Hudy a few months ago where I (and others) were very vocal about some of the injury issues we have had.

    I just want to know what is happening to our guys that makes them turn from high flyers into X axis players.

  • @justanotherfan All very interesting points. The injuries are an issue. E.J. is another player who comes to mind. Super explosive athlete who by the time his much lambasted senior year rolled around was not the same player he once was.

    The lack of OAD KU guys that have had success in the NBA is going to change with Wiggins. He is a once every decade or so athlete and once he figures out how to shoot he will be as hard to guard as anyone in the league.

  • @justanotherfan

    Excellent post and worth analysis!

    I think a bit of this is the “grass is always greener” concept we have been posting lately. Just coming to mind… but look at DRose. He is nagged with injuries and seems to be fading from the bright ShoeCo lights.

    "I agree that these guys were all essentially OAD’s. So why is it that KU’s OAD’s have, by and large, not been as successful as OAD’s that have attended other schools? Henry, Rush and Embiid have been sidetracked by injuries. You could throw Selby in that group as well.

    What is it that allows other schools to produce OADs that are healthy and productive at the next level, while, by and large, KU’s OADs struggle to stay healthy, let alone be productive?"

    I think many of our guys are just a notch down on the elite level. Players like Anthony Davis would have been kicking butt in the league even if they had their year of prior ball at a mental ward.

    I believe our problem is the sports media. They keep over-hyping our guys, enticing them to leave early. Oubre… that kid should still be wearing crimson/blue. I know he went in the first round, but he should have put in another year to prepare and to age his body more for what is to come in the league. The kid scored something like 333 points as a Jayhawk. That isn’t diddly. What did he prove to anyone? How could he be ready? The second after he had his first double-figure game the friggin’ sports media said, “don’t get too used to him, Jayhawk fans, because he will be gone in a few months.” Seriously? Every kid that scores 10 points in a D1 game is ready for the league? Horse s#it!

    So we lose guys that now think they are in the category of an Anthony Davis, and they are no where near that. Oubre… great guy, good player, not on the same planet as Anthony Davis.

    Maybe these kids get hurt more because they are over-pushing their bodies and taking too many risks in play because they are trying to actually play to the dream standard they set for themselves. Just an idea.

    I wonder, sometimes, about the way we build our guys through strength and conditioning… perhaps some of it runs counter to having less injuries. For example… Hudy builds up a guy and through his improvements he increases his vertical by 6 inches. This is not uncommon. That means the guy has probably quadrupled the impact on his joints after a jump, when he returns to earth. The real deal is that Hudy is here to try to help athletes perform at a higher level. Not sure I buy into all the “preventing injuries” claims.

    Look at Svi… adding 15 or 16 lbs of strength. It has to help his performance. And it is almost all upper body strength, where he is weakest. How will that impact his joints? It is a tricky thing when trying to actually strengthen joints themselves. We aren’t going to improve cartilage and sockets. Tendons, we know we can improve. But their bond to the bone? Questionable… at best. Most likely, we have far exceeded the boundaries of the human body by over-training. It would take many generations to adequately change our genes to better handle the stresses we are putting these bodies through. Training does not impact genes immediately… Worse… we push kids to improve quickly through training. Big mistake. My personal experience is that improvements should be more gradual, over time. Gives the body time to adjust. Human tissue has the ability to transform improvements through regeneration. These kids don’t have that kind of time. The concept with Hudy is to improve AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE!

    If you had the brightest medical minds address this issue, chances are their ideas of how to prevent injuries would be very different from the training protocols Hudy uses. Like I said… for Hudy it is all about increasing performance.

  • Banned


    Well some young men want more than a One night stand.

  • @ParisHawk

    I tried to find my results, but I can’t locate them and don’t think I can replicate the results because I used Rivals and Scout when I did my previous comparison, but would now have to do Rivals and ESPN. I did a quick check of ESPN from 2007-2013 and it appears that ESPN rankings early on were not very reflective of long term success. There were some fairly significant crash and burns in there (Nolan Smith, Austin Freeman, Corey Fisher, Corey Stokes, Scotty Hopson). However, It seems that you are correct that there’s a fairly large attrition rate in the ESPN rankings.

  • @justanotherfan Thanks!

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