Diallo/Bragg Vs. Top 25 Recruits & Cutting The Rotation

  • @jaybate-1.0 Mari played pretty good at Baylor last year against their zone. Pretty sure.

  • @DinarHawk well, I’m not at practice to see if they are or not.

  • @Bwag I’m not either, but I know that from what Coach Self says and what I see in the games, and I see that Diallo and Bragg are not adjusted defensively to what Self wants and Divison 1 ball.

  • @DinarHawk Braggs been overall decent. I don’t have a problem with him being pulled out of the game to receive coaching on the sideline. What I don’t like to see is to completely abandon him PT wise. His upside is too great to sit.

    Cheick is still green. But elsewhere, I think HEM posted the Player Efficiency Ratings of those two and they surpass JT.

  • @Bwag What I am referring to is about Diallo’s inability to play solid defense without fouling and proper defense positioning, both of which he struggles with. As others have said, the NCAA did not do him any favors by not allowing him to play in the exhibitions and the first five games, which could have helped him to be more comfortable.

    I saw those numbers that HEM posted, but I care more about what I see, and I see him a little slow to react and confused occasionally. Now it isn’t bad or something that he can’t improve on, but he is not there yet. My point is that Self says he is not there yet, which implies he makes defensive errors in practice also. As the season goes along, like Self said, he will get better and hopefully make an impact for us in the tournament.

  • @DinarHawk maybe I’d say he thinks and doesn’t react naturally. The last foul he got was exactly what you are talking about. The steal was there, but he didn’t react, he thought about it and was called for a foul.

  • @DinarHawk you won’t get much argument from me on Diallo. He was definitely put behind in development not playing out of the gate.

  • I am not sure how many people on this site have changed jobs/professions but for me its been a carousel my whole life. It always seems like total hell when you get out of your comport zone and take on a new profession. There is always an adjustment period and the jobs usually suck until you get used to them OR have done them for enough time to get good at it. There is always training videos involved or classes to take but nothing prepares you for the real deal until you are doing it. The best training you can get is hands on and on the job training to best prepare you for the road ahead. The light will come on ALOT faster if they are getting real experience. If my job only let me work with real customers for 10 minutes a day and watch training videos for the other 7hrs and 50 minutes it would take an eternity to get proficient at my job verses 7hrs and 50 minutes of working and 10 minutes training. That is why CAL and UK is so good with the 3rd season and why HCBS has not been to 4 final fours in the last 5 seasons. If he truly wanted to play better in the 3rd season he should take notes from the guy that has his team firing on all 8 cylinders every March. Just my openion.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Yes, I recall that two. And I seem to recall that was before injuries began to limit him.

    I felt last mid year was the beginning of him reaching the productive part of his KU career, only to be slowed by injuries.

    Injuries jump out with highly productive players, because that productivity drops sharply.

    We overlook the effect of injuries in less highly productive players, but the injuries are just as limiting and sad.

    Jamari may never have become the next Trob, but injuries and lost pop the last season and this seem to have robbed him from being the best he could have been.

    Here’s hoping those legs recover their pop.

  • @Statmachine

    Good take.

    But for Cal’s way to work for Self, Self would need a similar stack of OADs as that dumped at Lexington, so Self could afford the same high spoilage rate as Cal.

    What talking heads and board rats rarely consider is the high spoilage rate at UK.

    Cal has more 2ADs, because he has more 1ADs.

    And because he has had so many full dump truck loads of OADs for several years (before this apparent penalization for underperforming), the new guys coming in push a lot of one time OAD phenoms into journey men, or, worse, into broken spirits (Dakari Johnsons).

    My argument against the NCAA and NBA allowing the OAD dump truck game is because it increases talent waste and makes players and universities bear the increased wastage of the system.

    Pre OAD, a high school senior jumped and got big bucks even if he washed out. The system rewarded players for taking the risk of jumping early.

    Now the system doesn’t.

    If you wash out at college, you pay the cost and the NBA takes less risk.

    Worse the dump truck stacking of talent appears to increase wastage.

  • @jaybate-1.0 IF Coach Self adopted UK’s playing/recruiting OAD strategy I think KU could have its own personal stack of OAD’s. If Coach Self continues to play seniors over OAD’s then he will continue to have the same success rate recruiting OAD’s. This year Coach Self pretty much exclusively recruited 5 star talent but his 5 stars have had the least amount of PT among the rest of the field. I have stated this before about either adopt the UK handbook or get out of the OAD recruiting game. Go and develop 4 stars and exclusively recruit 4 star talent (or at least recruit 4 star talent). If coach Self thinks he is too good for the 4 star talent and doesn’t even bother to recruit them he is in for a rude awakening. Especially if he isn’t going to play the 5 star talent on his roster until the light comes on. I believe Cheicks Draft stock is going to go down the toilette just like Alexander’s if Coach Self doesn’t play him and develop Cheick while he has him. This years recruiting is a perfect example of why it cant and wont last.

  • http://www.nbadraft.net/ranking/bigboard

    Cheick has dropped 5 on this board.

  • @Statmachine You said, “The best training you can get is hands on and on the job training to best prepare you for the road ahead.” This is seriously just common sense.

    Does anyone remember Marquis Teague from Kentucky in 2012? A guy that Cal kept the lineup. When we played UK early in the season, he was really bad. Looked out of place. Turnovers. Had some major struggles. There was a nationally televised game vs. Louisville later in the year. He was absolutely horrible. But Cal stuck with him, kept playing him.

    Part of this is that UK didn’t have much choice because Teague was about all they had at PG. But the point is that he improved immensely over the season. And if coach Self simply didn’t have his two security blankets, what would Self be doing right now? What would he have to do?

    We’d just be better off in the final analysis if coach Self did not have even have the option of falling back on his security blankets. That’s just my opinion.

    I agree with you completely, as you know. I would differentiate OADs vs. guys that will stay a second season. Diallo vs. Bragg. It would seem to me that simply avoiding those presumed OADs is really pretty easy to do. But geez, Diallo is being handled like a three year guy right now. Really, why bother? See Cliff – why bother?It’s all a big distraction. It was a big distraction leading up to the season with Diallo. I don’t need it, and I don’t want it.

    Truth be told, and sorry about being harsh, but I would have much preferred we not even sign Diallo; but rather, have another non-presumed OAD in the fold.

    Maybe I should take my own advice when I suggested in October we act like Diallo doesn’t exist, that we can just win without him?

    It brings me back to the Tyler Davis discussion. Simply tell the kid that if he commits and signs, he is our guy. Period. No signing of OADs in the spring. We won’t get sucked in if an opportunity presents itself. Program building recruiting – that fits with our coach’s temperament and requirements.

    @DinarHawk - Quick question, remember how Tarik Black struggled with the new rules enforcement in 2013-14? He was a fouling machine early. And really, he learned, as a senior, by experience. By playing and getting used to it. Also, importantly, “experience” makes mistakes too. But guys like Diallo will impact the game with activity and shot blocking, and the “net” might be better even with mistakes. Let’s look at Lucas, our designated post defender. Have you ever seen him really challenge a shot? Is he explosive vertically? Sure, he’s in good position, fundamentally sound. He uses his tools, and he defends with positioning. But that’s really it. I would argue that a guy like Diallo may be out of position more, but he’s quicker, can re-position, and he can better challenge shots. I’m not saying that Diallo is a better defender now than Lucas overall. I’m just saying that it isn’t going to take much for Diallo, with his natural talents and “y-axis” explosion, to surpass the slow footed, “x-axis” Lucas (credit to @drgnslayer on that one). Always appreciate your perspective on things.

  • @Statmachine

    The give away is that OADs that can start at KU do start: Xavier, Selby and WIGGINS.

    Self has made it pretty clear with those three that if you come to KU and can start, you start.

    Self even made Selby start with a boot!

    Self recruits OADs as heavily as anyone.

    The problem appears to be they don’t sign as often as with some, so Self cannot start them as often.

    And adidas-Self appears to have the same problems signing them that adidas-Pitino and adidas-Ryan have had.

    It appears a shoe-brand-agency complex problem.

    If you as a coach and school contract with the wrong shoe brand-agency complex, the dump trucks don’t apparently come as often. And when they do come, they more often bring the higher risk OADs.

    If the dump trucks don’t come, you don’t have 5 low risk OADs to start. Or 4. At most you have 3, and more likely you have 2, 1, or none sign with you, regardless if your name is Self, Ryan, or Pitino.

    In turn you have more 3rd,4th and 5th year guys for the higher risk OADs to have to beat out.

    In Ryan’s memorable phrasing, it’s significantly about the “rent-a-players”.

    And don’t forget Bo commented tersely on the refereeing at crunch time in the Finals, too.

    I suspect the term “rent-a-players” and apparently asymmetric refereeing are ones to keep in mind for coming years.

    At least that’s the hypothesis that fits the data so far.

    You sign the Selbys, and Alexander’s. You get the OADs that aren’t really OADs at all. They are guys that don’t get drafted low, or not at all, get picked up in the NBA and often wash out shortly, or fill end of bench slots…

    Self signs a Wiggins and he starts, gets drafted numerous uno, and becomes NBA rookie of the year.

    Self signs Alexander, plays him 15 mpg before losing him to a loan investigation, then he isn’t drafted and sits on a bench in the L.

    But either way, the dump trucks don’t come in the big numbers. The problem appears similar in Madison and Louisville.

    The adidas conveyor appears the limiting factor for Self, Ryan and Pitino. It appears a pretty low number of players that are raided from the Nike, adidas or UA conveyors during college recruiting. Wiggins, Selby and Jaylen Brown come to mind.

  • @HighEliteMajor I realize its common sense. Its also common sense that Coach Self has a Large amount of negative publicity when it comes to PT for OAD’s. I can not wrap my head around Coach Self’s recruiting tactics and PT for OAD’s. Why would one heavily recruit OAD’s and not give them the same advantage of PT that their counter parts in next years Draft have? Common sense would tell me that if you want to continue to recruit OAD talent you would have to give the ones you land every opportunity to prove that they are still OAD talent come the NBA draft. If you are not going to do so they are not going to get in line to play for you! If you are not going to play them and they are not lining up at the door then WHY recruit them so heavily. He pretty much snuffed the 4 star talent on this years ESPN top 100 and we are sitting on a goose egg in the 5 star department and KU spends like 400,000 recruiting (the most in college basketball). We spent 400,000 on Lightfoot! What a bargain! HCBS’s counter parts have pretty much cleaned up all of the 5 star recruits and spent less money doing so. WHY?

  • @Statmachine

    The question is not why did Self take what few he could get?

    The question is why did any come to Self, Pitino, or Ryan at all?

    That reveals what drives the system.

    Assuming you and others are right, and Self, Ryan and Pitino won’t start these guys, which I of course think the facts flatly contradict, why do these adidas-lean players go to these adidas-contracted schools and coaches at all???

  • @jaybate-1.0 said:

    Assuming you and others are right, and Self, Ryan and Pitino won’t start these guys, which I of course think the facts flatly contradict, why do these adidas-lean players go to these adidas-contracted schools and coaches at all???

    I was aware AW had potential adidas-contract at the time. my question is how many others are there? it must be only a handful. just curious, JB at UC-Bears, that’s kind of odd, the fact that it’s not one of Adidas territory.

  • @Statmachine That is what I have struggled with and, I think, is the crux of the matter. The facts would suggest that we are not the best place for the presumed OAD’s (although Wiggins didn’t hurt himself since he went #1).

  • @Hawk8086 or embiid or Ben mac

  • @Statmachine Understand that when I said it was just common sense, I was conveying that in support of your sensible post – meaning it’s hard for me to understand how others can’t see your logic.

    You also as “why” at the end? It’s easy, if I’m an OAD I wouldn’t want to come to Kansas. As an OAD, I want my draft stock improved. There is just OAD that has ever come here and arguably had his draft stock improved – Embiid. Wiggins held serve. Embiid was still very high (per Pitino’s comment in summer of 2013), Selby dropped, X dropped, Cliff dropped, Oubre dropped. And BMac was not a presumed OAD.

    The same qualities that folks are applauding in Self choosing “experience” now is exactly why an OAD would look to other programs. Fine with me. Look somewhere else.

    Where Self is really in his zone is with guys like Marcus, TRob, Bmac, Markieff, Cole, Jackson, Arthur, Rush, Withey, etc. You bring in excellent players and they develop. Self will develop a guy when he has them for a couple of seasons. And he can win consistently with them. His 2012 team is the perfect model, in my opinion. 2008 had no OADs, though many thought Rush would turn pro.

    To me, that would be a great selling point for the next tier. Just do it his way, the way he does it best.

    @jaybate-1.0 The only reason to take a presumed OAD is if you think they will significantly impact your program now. In one year. No “raw”. No massive development curve. Now.

    So …. you know my next question, don’t you?

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Bmac wasn’t really a sure OAD when we recruited him and he red-shirted.But…those 2 do help the cause if we want to recruit the top guys.

  • @pa_grape

    My hypothesis is : These apparent occasional defections seem to occur around times of reputed changes in net benefi expectations, I.e., around the time of James Harden getting $200M.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Wild Guess Hypothesis: Diallo chose KU because:

    a.) Harden signing shifted the net benefit expectation curve to an adidas school;

    b.) KU and Self were most willing and likely influential among adidas schools to expedite getting him cleared;

    c.) Self figured the clearance process would set Diallo back long enough to make him need a second season;

    d.) Diallo’s handlers figured he might need a second season.

    Now, Diallo and handlers have decided his best chance to get drafted early and high is to show he can make the 15 foot j in the 10-15 mpg he plays.

    Shooting desperately and struggling with playing within the offense makes the pros less likely to take him.

    And the more he shoots it the more Self sits him the second half.

    Self is giving him rope.

    Self is getting all he needs from him. Self said all he needs to do to help the team is rebound, dunk and bring energy.

    Self didn’t say shoot 18 ft Js.

    If a choice is to be made on developing Bragg, or Diallo, beyond the narrow roles assigned, Bragg gets the minutes till Diallo and his handlers commit to another season. Commitment will require stopping 15-18 ft jump shooting.

    So why did Self want Diallo?

    For C5.

    Just a hypothesis though.

  • HEM,

    I doubt Top 25 guys choose based on their rank being improved. They are covering their down sides. If you are as good as your hype, you want two showcase scoring games–one each semester, plus you want to play but not have the saddle and be a target. This was what Self gave Xavier and Wigs. If you are overhyped, you want a place that can afford to let you figure things out, while playing on a winner in the headlines. You also want your flaws coached and masked. Self is giving Diallo this. But he and his handlers appear to want something more now to keep his rank from falling more.

    Diallo is a year from being a big force in D1.

    But he reputedly wants the money end of this season.

    As long as Self just uses him for what he can do now we are gold.

    There is no dividend to investing more in him, because the investment won’t pay till next season and he has so much raw athleticism the NBA will take him now.

    Self is playing this perfectly.

    We didn’t get anymore LOW RISK OADs after Wigs started and went first after 1 season.

    That’s not how the system appears to work. You get what your shoeco-agency complex conveyor can give, no matter what. Rings didn’t matter after '08. Xavier didn’t matter. Wigs didn’t matter.

    You can’t get blood from a turnip and you apparently can’t get 5-10 OADs from an adidas feeder system.


    Diallo’s foundation is too low to coach him up to a dominant D1 player better than C5 in one season.

    And even if he were, Self has no incentive at all to make the same mistake with Diallo he made with Embiid. He put a saddle on Embiid and that put a target on him, and that injured him, thus killing KU’s ring chances AND Embiid jumped.

    So: His highest utility function to the team is what he is doing less the 18 ft Js.

    The 18 ft Js appear to be bargaining chips about what his handlers seek for him this season for him to come back next season, or perhaps the light just hasn’t gone on yet? 😄

    To reiterate, all OADs appear to be marriages of convenience on both sides.

  • I would kick everyone off this team but Diallo and Bragg. They are the only OAD or projected OAD or close enough. Sophomores and Juniors and Seniors are worthless, they did not get drafted so chuck em away.

    Self should get rid of projects like Mason and Graham, and replace them with 2 OAD.

    Selden should be told to pack his bags and go home because he is a Junior, he is not a OAD.

    Svi, Greene, Ellis, all should go. They are not lotto picks. Replace them with projected lotto picks and OAD’s


    This whole argument is because you have this entitlement that you should win titles every year or it is a wasted year.

    I have been a fan since '92. Point to all these examples of championships we have won in that time. Tell, me, in Kansas history we have 3 championships? What exactly are you pointing to when you voice this entitlement of being a perennial champion. Every year we are competitive. Our conference streak, national tourney appearence streak. Our consistency, with luck, any year Kansas could sneak through. Every 4-5 years we have a real real good chance. That is life, get over it.

    Self has won one championship and been to another. Have some faith and some appreciation, how many titles did you see before Self in your lifetime? 1? Some of you are of this awful instant gratification generation. Learn some respect. Have some perspective.

  • @Second-Prize feel better now?

  • It just funny, it silly. Spastic fans. I guess fan is short for fanatic.

    Bill Self has got a raw deal from some of you all from the beginning.

    Some of guys do not deserve a title until 2028, Teach you some manners.

    Self should win a title this year and walk. Then take over at Duke or Kentucky someday and bring his team to Allen Fieldhouse and roll you. That is what some of you deserve. Teach you some humility.

    Do you know Julius Caeser was once kidnapped by Sicillian pirates and ransomed. He was insulted by the ransom, raised it. When it was paid and he was freed, he raised a navy, came back, and killed them all. I hope you guys drive Self off.and he repays you in kind for the insult.

    Yankee fans can feel entitlement at least, it not a false entitlement. 29 titles. Montreal in Hockey can feel entitled, title after title.

    Show me all this rich history of championships and titles Self is not living up to. He has 1 and been to two finals. We have 3 total? Are you kidding me. We went 20 years without one until he came.

  • @Second-Prize - i would save ypur loud n clear statement till the end of season. we’re not that far off, though…

  • @Second-Prize Guess you’re not one to discuss the in’s and out’s of game, huh? Just Que sera, sera.

    I’d be interested in your jayhawk history.

    Personally, I love the give and take of this site and have learned so much. Now I’m able to watch the game with a more discerning eye because people do question moves, point out tendencies and then alternative ways of approaching an issue.

    Sure sometimes it gets over the top, but really, why else do come to a site like this? To hear “great game” or “rough game” and the blah, blah, blah of a post-game interview where everyone tries to say nothing.

    Great coaches and players watch lots of tape to break down tendencies and strategies. You think Coaches don’t have those same things that become part of the success and failures that teams have. That is what I see occur on this site, breaking down those things in a quest for greater excellence.

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