• OAD Skal doesn’t play like an OAD, but we are told he will be drafted.

    OAD Cheick doesn’t play like an OAD, but we are told he will be drafted.

    Last season, OAD Cliff didn’t play like an OAD, but we were told he would be drafted, but he was not drafted, yet he was picked up by an NBA team.

    OAD Ben Simmons, the most apparently real OAD big, chooses Johnny .600 and LSU over Hall of Fame coaches and elite programs. Simmons puts up numbers, but LSU loses.

    OAD Jaylen Brown expresses adidas alliance, switches to Nike Cuonzo and Nike Cal and Nike(?) Harry, starts and averages 13.9 Ppg for 9-2 Cal and is almost forgotten in daily hype.

    OAD Branden Ingram shoots 35% 3pta and 60% FTA, but starts and plays 29 mpg on a Duke team with a bunch of good Trey ballers, and ball handlers.

  • @jaybate-1.0 My first instinctive thought is a total (almost) recall of The Buffalo Springfield’s 1966 mega classic “For What It’s Worth”

    Messina, Fury, Martin, Stills, once in a while David Crosby & sometimes Neil Young when he was straight enough. - IMO Jimmy Messina was the most talented of all that era’s lead players… He played his Fender with 4 finger picks & a thumb pick. He was the only guy I ever watched do that. As country as Jerry Reed & as heavy as Jimmy Page, he was as fast & tasty as disappearing baclava at a Christmas barmitzva in The First Baptist Church If I was on the laptop now instead of the iPhone, I’d have the link pasted for all the younger guys to enjoy. Don’t have schizz to do with hoops but WTH… Even us old dudes were young once & remember the old 1940’s Playmore Ballroom on Main that morphed into the 70’s Freedom Palace where the Who, Poco. The Jefferson Airplane, BB King, Quicksilver Messinger Service & Loggins & Jimmy Messina damn near blasted the walls off the planet to our delights. I bet old Glenn Miller was turnin over in the grave when we were Rock n Rollin in his house… Once again JB you got my head in the stratosphere hummin Archie & Edith’s intro… and a very Merry Christmas to you, ya old fart. Ya always keep us thinking- not always about Kansas Basketball, but at this stage of da game, it’ all good. Keep up the good work, Meanwhile back at da ranch… here’s da link… http MESSINA.jpg Finally had to look it up so it isn’t really all recall…

  • @jaybate-1.0 I am glad you brought this up. The last few seasons in college basketball have included a large number of freshman who were NBA ready during their only season in the NCAA. Wiggins, Towns, Okafor, Parker, etc. The freshman this season are simply part of a less talented group than what we have grown accustom to over the last few years. Simmons at this point of the year is head and shoulders better than the rest of his class but even he is not good enough to carry his team to many victories (6-4). Jamal Murray at UK has probably impressed me the most outside of Simmons. He had a great game against Duke and over the weekend I believe he hit 7 3’s and had 30 points in a loss to Ohio State. But who else has been a Durant/Melo/Beasley/Julius Randle type player?

    I actually take this as a breath of fresh air. Maybe we will be able to see a few of these kids develop while in school? Mr. Diallo is of course #1 on my list of 18 year olds I would love to see back in a college jersey next year. He just doesn’t seem remotely ready for the pros and to my eye only a handful of freshman appear OAD caliber. There is a lot of season to play but as of December 21 this seems to be the year of the sophomore-senior in college ball and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

  • @jaybate-1.0 On another thread I just posted the most recent Draft Express projections. In top 60, no Ellis, no Selden. I think Labissiere was maybe #5, Cheick #10, Svi #23, Valentine #16, Buddy Hield way back in the mid 40s. Seems like a real insult to talented experienced college players. These young guys in whom the NBA envisions so much potential, I wish to all get out that they would never set foot on Division 1 ball courts. Universities are dupes, highlighting these teenagers as draws for professional franchise ticket buyers and advertisers. Bill Self seems to have done better than his peers in limiting the number of those recruits on his rosters. And he continues to send a message: Remain on the bench until you can be trusted to play as coached! Bill squeezes a bundle of wins out of squads which embody quite limited game minutes for developing freshman superstars.

  • But of course, the flipside is that colleges, too, are reaping the benefit of huge ticket sales and media contracts from those same one and done recruits. So…

  • @jaybate-1.0 HA! I just reread your opener for this thread. Sorry if I wandered somewhat astray. I’d say that the “something going on here” has lots to do with big money and promotion. Would not you?

  • @REHawk

    First, in response to your question about money, in France, they used to say everything tracked to women and romance, but we Americans learned that scandals in France and America did not always track to women. Women just frequently triggered some exploitable misbehaviors in male dominated oligarchies that enabled the improper institutional pursuits of money.

    But then we Americans had to learn a hard lesson. All big issues track not just to money, but to money and power and that there is a circular and self reinforcing dynamic between money and power. One is pursued for the other. And the other is pursued for the one. Round and round and up and up. Never enough money. Never enough power. And wherever one intervenes and looks in the circuit of the reinforcing circle, one does not have the full picture until once has mapped the full circuit of the money and the power beyond the initial point of inquiry.


    Thx for publishing the interesting list. The pattern of disparity in rank between skilled experienced players and the Sushi is both intuitively what one would expect of a system tilted to spit out inexperienced peak talent and develop the somewhat less talented. At the same time it is counterintuitive (at least to me so far) that such a system would be desired by NBA and tolerated by the universities of D1. Thanks for calling our attentions to it. It is yet another counter intuitive anomaly of college basketball today. Sooner or later, if we keep collecting these apparent anomalies, I suspect that they will cease to appear as anomalies and begin to appear as a pattern of some presently difficult to see and understand process. Whether we find the process desirable, i.e., good for the players, ethical, equitable to all the parties, inclusive to the parties that ought to be included and exclusive of those that ought to be excluded, or reprehensibly unfair, and so on, I cannot yet say.

  • I can’t say that colleges do a great job of development.

    Take KU and our own Mr. Perry Ellis, for example. While Perry has had an outstanding KU career and will likely finish in the top 25 in both points and rebounds, in what way has Perry Ellis improved his game in such a way as to improve his own personal skills, etc?

    That’s not a criticism of Ellis or even Self. It’s just a statement of fact. If colleges, particularly elite level programs, were great at development, Perry Ellis would/should be a pro prospect right now. He had the right pedigree coming out of HS (top 40 prospect). He went to a top program with strong coaches (Kansas). He’s a very smart player (valedictorian in HS, top notch student athlete at KU). He’s been productive in college (basically a 14/6 player the last three years).

    So what went wrong?

    I would argue that Perry Ellis was never really a pro prospect to begin with. He was/ is an undersized power forward. The NBA looks at him and all of the things I listed in the previous paragraph don’t really matter because he can’t come close to replicating his college success in the pros because he’s not big enough, strong enough, athletic enough, skilled enough to be an NBA player.

    The American Dream is that if you work hard enough, you can become something by setting your mind to it, but the truth of pro sports is that if you have not been blessed with the physical skills, you will not play in the pros. Perry falls on the wrong side of the genetic curve. Cheick falls on the right side of that curve, and will likely do more to develop in the NBA (where they will develop him in his pro role) rather than in college (where he will be coached in a way that is most conducive to winning games at the collegiate level.

    We can look at the UNC career of Tyler Hansbrough as instructive here. Hansbrough was a superstar at UNC. He was one of the top players in the nation. However, it would have been beneficial for Hansbrough to develop as a stretch player rather than as a low post monster because he simply isn’t big enough to play on the block in the NBA. However, it was in UNC’s best interests to develop him as a low post bully. That helped Carolina win a title. Hansbrough is now in his sixth year in the NBA and he’s averaging less than 10 minutes a game. His career is limited by his development as an interior player, but, like Ellis, he went to an elite school with a strong coach and stayed four years.

    Being an OAD is about being on the right side of the genetic curve moreso than anything else. These guys are identified as having NBA potential because they have NBA level athleticism.

    That’s why I marked Selden as a potential NBA player when he arrived at KU. Same with Greene (NBA level shooting and size, with decent athleticism) Svi (same), Bragg (elite level athleticism and length from the 3/4 spot, Diallo (NBA level athleticism and length), Oubre, Alexander, Wiggins, Embiid, etc.

    The NBA knows there’s no real need to spend time waiting for a guy to develop unless he already checks some NBA boxes. It’s a worthwhile endeavor to wait on Alex Poythress because he is an NBA caliber defender at the 3/4. It’s worth it to wait on Wayne Selden because he’s built like a tank with the athleticism to play the 2 in the NBA even though he still hasn’t shown elite ball handling skills. Or wait on Brannen Greene to see if he can play anything resembling sound defense, because his shooting would play in the NBA tomorrow.

  • Cliff aint playing a lick unfortunately for Portland. Of course he’d still be here had he not been screwed over by the adults in his life.

  • @wissoxfan83

    Alexander has been battling a knee issue for most of the season.

  • @justanotherfan ahh, Hansborough is like Tebow a great college player, but not talented enough for the big time. I’m afraid Ellis is in that same boat. However, if Ellis catches on with the right program (think Spurs) he may be able to develop into a 10-12 year NBA roll player. I’d expect a ceiling close to Collison (which is one heck of a compliment as far as I’m concerned).

  • @wissoxfan83 + 100…

  • @dylans

    Spot on. A great college player does not necessarily translate to a good NBA player…Morrison comes to mind…he was the next Larry Bird and yet he did not last long in the NBA and now I believe he is an assistant at Gonzaga.

  • @dylans The problem with the Collison-Ellis comparison, is it is almost apples oranges, other than the fact they both play/played the “4” at KU. Collison is 6’10, and simply had THE MOST polished post moves seen at KU in the last 15years. Embiid in Yr2 could have come close. Collison could score vs length. Ellis cannot reliably do that, even by Yr 4.

    And this comment not meant for @dylans but simply in general: I think the “development” of WIthey, Thomas Robinson, Morris Twins, Darrell Arthur, Darnell Jackson, Tarik Black (in just 1 season) speaks well of KU’s development of bigs. Then there are guys who changed little during their time at KU: Cole, Lucas, Traylor. And finally the guys that weren’t here long enough to show their improvement: Cliff, Embiid. So, its hard to make a blanket statement about bigs development at KU, because to me…it seems to vary on the kid himself, first and foremost. And even the most motivated guy may have a learning curve that takes more than 1 or 2 years. KU has examples of every type of bigman in the last 12 yrs under Bill Self. Hard to pigeonhole his bigs–they vary too much.

  • @globaljaybird

    The Springfield…loved THE SONG!!!


  • @ralster I agree, I just think a Collison like career numbers would be Perry’s ceiling. I don’t think he’s the same player as Collison, as Perry projects as an NBA 3 not a 4. Collison was pretty special in college, as is Perry, but neither will be an NBA star.

  • I don’t think Perry can become Nick Collison. Collison was a much better collegiate player than Perry is. @ralster pointed out the size difference. I would go further. Let’s compare career numbers:

    Freshman Year

    Ellis - 5.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.3 bpg, 0.4 spg, 47% fg, 67% 3p, 74% ft, 13 mpg

    Collison - 10.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.9 bpg, 1.1 spg, 50% fg, 38% 3p, 67% ft, 22 mpg

    Even accounting for the difference in minutes, there is a huge gap in production between the two. Collison was a decidely better freshman, as evidenced by the fact that he was able to garner 22 minutes while Ellis only merited 13.

    Sophomore Year

    Ellis - 13.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.6 bpg, 0.8 spg, 55% fg, 47% 3p, 76% ft, 27 mpg

    Collison - 14 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.6 bpg, 1.1 spg, 60% fg, 40% 3p, 62% ft, 27 mpg

    Their sophomore years are similar in points and rebounds, but Nick doubles Perry up in assists and blocks, and shot 5 percentage points better from the field. Perry exhibits the better range, but you can start to see the Nick is much better inside.

    Junior Year

    Ellis - 13.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.2 apg, 0.7 bpg, 0.8 spg, 46% fg, 39% 3p, 73% ft, 29 mpg

    Collison - 15.6 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.7 apg, 2.2 bpg, 1.1 spg, 59% fg, 37% 3p, 57% ft, 27 mpg

    And now we see the separation. Nick has continued to improve, boosting his points, rebounds and blocks, keeping his FG% steady. The only thing that took a dive was his FT%, a fact that would haunt KU the next season. Meanwhile, Perry puts up a season very similar to his sophomore campaign, only slightly less efficient.

    Senior Year

    Ellis - (through 10 games) 14.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 0.8 apg, 0.1 bpg, 0.7 spg, 53% fg, 41% 3p, 74% ft, 26 mpg

    Collison - 18.5 ppg, 10 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.9 bpg, 1.2 spg, 57% fg, 34% 3p, 63% ft, 32 mpg

    Collison was the horse that we rode to the national title game that year. A lot of people only remember the horrible FT shooting in that game, but you have to remember that Collison (and Hinrich) basically carried that team to the title game in much the same way that Robinson and Taylor did nearly a decade later. Ellis has taken a small step forward this year, but unless he goes crazy in conference, he’s not putting up anything near what Nick did.

    If KU is to go to the Final Four this year, it likely will not be because we ride Perry Ellis there. More likely we ride Selden and Mason to the Promised Land if that’s where this party ends up.

    Perry is a very good college player, but let’s not forget, Nick was a great one.

  • @justanotherfan Good thoughts on Collison. Sometimes I forget how great he really was. Averaging 18 and 10 on a team packed with other great players is a truly impressive stat line. I appreciate seeing all of the comparison numbers between him and Perry.

    I am not sure that I fully agree that college is not a great place for development. It may not be for everyone but it certainly is for others. T Rob certainly blossomed in college. Releford developed into a hell of a player after a red shirt. Withey was two totally different players from early to late college. Non-KU players like Kaminsky, McBuckets, Russ Smith, Napier, etc. I think part of the issue with college is all of the rules about when you can practice and for how long. Once you are in the NBA it is a job. You play all day every day and against the best in the world and you are bound to get better. The team has millions invested in you and either you develop or you go play in Turkey.

    Perry is interesting. I fully agree with you that I thought he would be dominant by his senior year and so far he is pretty much just the normal Perry. Super steady. 8 points on a bad night. 18 points on a good night. 5 or 6 rebounds. Not many TO’s. Steady and consistent but certainly not dominant (I kind of expected Perry to be Valentine this year) and certainly not an NBA lottery pick. Maybe he will get lucky and land on an NBA team that simply needs him to fill a role but his lack of specific position and lack of talent on defense makes me think Perry will be another McD’s All American who ends up playing over seas.

  • Wayne Simien is another example of a superior college player that was not meant to be great in the NBA. NBA scouts saw his NBA potential or lack thereof and he was drafted way below where his college number would indicate. In all fairness, maybe his heart just was not in the NBA and he had a higher calling…

Log in to reply