Over/Under on Shaka

  • I’m starting to wonder if Shaka rode his magical wave into a High Level Program and now will not get it done.

    On a different note, It shows how dicey the tourney can be as he is winless against Self since then. Kansas ran into VCU on the wrong day.

    I’m thinking if he doesn’t get it turned around within the next two years, UT will be showing him the door. Chris Beard is going to start taking his Texas Recruits.

  • @Blown

    Smart’s contract was extended one year at the end of last season and he was given a raise. The contract now goes through the 2022-23 season with a base pay of $3m and increases by $100k every year and I am sure there are other incentives. That buyout will be expensive…

    I find no it interesting that coaches contracts always include incentive clauses for good performance but no penalty clauses for poor performance…if he real world would be like that…

  • @JayHawkFanToo Charlie Strong buyouts totalled about $14,500,000 in, if I’m not mistaken. UT Alumns have big deep pockets, as does Nike–so I doubt much of the decision will hinge upon $$ owed and more upon W/L &tourney success.

  • @Blown

    Shaka has faced an early clump of injuries and roster losses to key players since arriving and has not shown ability to adapt to them. His supporters will argue that once those pass, we will see the real Shaka. What Self has taught me over the years is that how a coach handles this sort of adversity IS the REAL coach. Shaka will look better in a coming year when his roster stabilizes and supporters will say, “See? This was the real Shaka.” But in D1, roster instability is the tendency and so being able to identify who can do what and which player to impact with and which to glue with, regardless of scheme deployed, is the real key to success. From the beginning, Self has played players out of position to optimize “team” strength, often asking them to change roles from one year to the next, and successfully. It is scary and painful to players and fans, but it works 84 percent of the time now. It has NEARLY won 13 CONSECUTIVE conference titles. Self has done what he has done under conditions of XTREME ADVERSITY that would have sunk many other coaches. Self is right to say a coach should win at Kansas. But what he has done and continues to do at KU is the greatest sustained stretch of excellence, since WOODEN, even with only one ring. Without the apparent recruiting embargo, and apparent seeding and refereeing asymmetry in March, he almost certainly would have won 5 more rings, maybe 10. Shaka so far has shown no ability to adapt to roster instability at an 80 % plus success rate. He did not show it at his last stop either. This is a rare gift Self possesses and even with it he still needs the ghost of Jimmy to make amazing things happen to do what he does. Texas doesn’t need much from. Shaka. His ethnicity let’s UT keep hiring which ever football coach they want. That will buy him an extra two years at least. Shaka will likely be like Barnes. He has to worry about what Nike thinks of him. Does he serve a market they want to penetrate. They probably already see he is not the best guy to manage roster instability and so unseat adidas Self. But he may help Nike market to some identity politic segment that they keep the dump trucks stopping in Austin. He’s gotta have at least a medium stack to put a dent in Self. This recruiting season would be the perfect moment to dump truck Shaka big time. Self is going to lose this team’s huge edge on the perimeter and have little developed experience inside to offset the perimeter losses, unless Doke and Coleby recover fully and Lightfoot becomes “heavyfoot” with Hudy. Bragg? Self believes in him and the ones SELF BELIEVES IN inevitably find a role they can fulfill even injured (e.g., Traylor). A medium or long stack plus what Shaka has coming back could be very tough for Self to deal with next year. Next year will tell how serious Nike is about Shaka IMHO.

    Shaka’s future seems heavily dependent on SHOEWARS, because he seems so far unlikely to beat Self with the kind of players Self has had to coach up, and the roster instability Self has had to manage. Shaka seems like Cal. He will need an unfair advantage to do much.

    Shaka’s problem is not Self. His problem is the previous conferences he coached in never pitted him steadily against coaches and players of the unsung but still solid to high quality he has to face every game in the B12. The worst in the B12 is arguably better than all but the best he faced in his former conferences.

    Rock chalk!

  • @Blown He has a solid recruiting class coming in and some talented youngsters on the roster. I fully expect him to start making strides every year from here on out.

  • @Kcmatt7

    What talented youngsters will be back if Allen/Jones leave?

  • @BeddieKU23 Jones will be back.

    Roach has been forced to take some PG duties and that isn’t his game. Davis Jr. has plenty of potential. Combine that with Coleman coming in and they could have as good of a back court as anyone.

    Tevin Mack coming back is definitely a major question. But if he does and they can fit him into the scheme they are as deep an talented as anyone.

    Banks was a top 60 recruit and will be a solid contributor the next 3 years. I expect Shaka will have him ready to go before next season. Young was a top 100 recruit and will take a step forward next year as well.

    I’m also not so sure that Bamba doesn’t end up in Burnt Orange… A strong push from Nike towards UT is probably all it takes at this point.

    So right now:

    • PG - Coleman - Roach
    • SG - Roach - Davis Jr.
    • SF - Jones- Young
    • PF - Mack - Ham/Febres
    • C - Banks - Ham

    That is a solid team if Mack comes back. If he doesn’t they are weak at the 4. But I fully expect them to either land Bamba or get a grad transfer to help down in the post. I can tell you that the roster next season is twice as good as the one this sesaon. Just depth wise. Yancy sucks. Isom sucks. Cleare can only play 20 minutes a game because he is so thick and he is not that good of a player anyways. Now they add Febres and Coleman, two solid recruits at the very least. You should expect Young and Banks to take major steps this season as well. He is building a roster he can actually run Havoc with. Just look at all those guards 1-4. It’s coming… Here is your warning.

  • @Kcmatt7

    I thought Bamba was pretty much a race between Duke and Kentucky. Most recruits will take the 4 paid recruiting trips,who wouldn’t, even to schools they already eliminated.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Yea I think that is the general consensus, but I have a feeling that one isn’t over yet. A little smoke is starting to come out that the scouts aren’t sold on Bam. His Draft stock is slipping because of it. Saying he would probably benefit by staying another season in such a deep draft. And Giles draft stock continues to plummet even further than Bam. The consensus #1 pick to start the year is down around 20. And with his injury history I’m not sure he doesn’t fall further by the end of the season. It won’t surprise me to see both of them announce they will be back after the combine. Much like Newman for us. He was just too borderline when if he just plays one more season he can feel better about getting in that guaranteed money area.

    I don’t expect Bamba to announce until after the smoke clears with these two players. And if both of them are back at their respective schools, then I believe Burnt Orange it is.

  • @Kcmatt7

    That is a long way down from Duke-UK to Texas; I just don’t see it. It would not surprise me to see another elite program get involved but this season has done a number on Smart’s coaching reputation and recruiting is going to get a lot more difficult for him going forward…the legend of Shaka is getting unraveled and he is really getting exposed.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Long way down? Texas has put some studs in the NBA and has another lottery pick on the roster right now. They have 9 guys in the NBA at the moment which is the 12th most.

    These OAD guys don’t care where they go as long as they get to play it seems like. Simmons to LSU, Newman to MSSU, Rabb and Brown to Cal, etc etc.

    UT is in his final 4 and if Duke and UK are too crowded he knows he can go to UT and be THE guy and play 30 minutes a game.

  • @Kcmatt7

    That’s an extremely optimistic outlook for them.

    What makes you think Mack would be on the team having not played since January? That transfer is inevitable. If he does come back that would improve their chances, whatever they are.

    Jones leaving is a possibility especially if he goes to the combine. I’m not surprised he’s getting looked at, he’s been the 3rd best freshman in the conference. If he returns he gives the team a real piece to use. He will be far and above their best player.

    Coleman is the biggest immediate upgrade to the team, having someone who can handle the ball and make plays. He’s not a gifted shooter which kind of is going to be the theme of this entire team. He’s a perfect 4 year type for a College, but one that will be a liability shooting outside and that limits his ceiling just a bit.

    Davis & Roach have been inconsistent especially shooting the ball. Roach, your correct has been playing out of position. He’s a gifted athlete but unless he learns to make a jumpshot how much more improvement is he going to make. They do play solid defense so that is the one area that they are pretty darn good at.

    Their best player if Jones is not back could be a transfer in Dylan Osetkowski 6’9 bruiser from Tulane that averaged close to a double double. He will either be a PF or a small ball 5. Can step out and make a 3 as well. Banks has been horrible, while he’s a good shot-blocker doesn’t offer anything offensively. I wouldn’t count on him starting.

    Ham and Febres are guys that can be put into the rotation but don’t see either making a big impact unless they are forced to be relied upon.

    The Bamba situation is interesting. Crazy potential with him that is still in the beginning stages of refining and development. As highly ranked as Bamba is, he’s not better then Allen is currently for Texas. Allen is a really polished offensive player and Bamba is still a bit raw at least from the games I saw him play in AAU. Texas needs guys that can score and be immediate offensive weapons. Bamba strikes me as a guy who would be a great equalizer at an elite program like Duke/Kentucky which are chasing him as well. It would buy Shaka another year if he did land him…

    I am not seeing this team being all that better. I figure natural progression from their Sophomores would make them slightly better but I’m struggling to see how this team will be much more than a 500 squad. If Jones returns, Mack somehow comes back and say Bamba signed they have some good pieces to work with. If neither returns its a rebuilding year yet again.

  • @BeddieKU23 I’m not saying they are going to compete for a Big XII title. I’m just saying that next year they will be better than this year. And now that Shaka is guard heavy like he wants to be, he can play a little more too his style. He wants ugly games. He doesn’t need Roach or Davis to shoot well, just good enough. What he needs to do is force more turnovers and get easy baskets. The style of play that made him “successful.”

    I would have thought Mack was a transfer as well, but it has been over a month now and if he was going to transfer I’m sure he would have already announced right? I mean why wait until mid-March? Seems odd me.

  • @Kcmatt7

    Yes…those were Rick Barnes players not Smart. Texas has not gotten better under Smart, most would say it has gotten worse. With two better coaches now at TCU and Tech. and even Drew at Baylor, recruiting is going to get a lot harder for Texas. It is not a secret that Allen wanted to stay in Texas and if he waited one year, chances are he would have ended at one of the other programs…just my read.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Do we not claim any NBA players that we had before Self?

    Texas, as a program, is not a bad place to be. Sure Smart didn’t come in and blow the world away like many thought. But I think the administration is being wise to give him so much time. His style of play isn’t one that you can just make happen overnight. Especially when Barnes had a very standard style of play. He would throw two giants at you in the post, have a 6’7 wing and then run two guards around up top.

    Smart’s style isn’t meant for that type of roster. Gotta let him build up his roster for that style. And he basically took over a dumpster fire from Rick Barnes. Do we not remember Huggy struggling his first two seasons with WVU in the Big 12? Similar styles. It took some adjusting to adapt that to the Big XII.

    TCU and Tech were both teams on the rise with solid upperclassmen pieces. Jamie Dixon was starting to tank at Pitt. Look at how garbage they are this season. Let’s see where the TCU program is in 4 years. I’m not so sure he will be the savior everyone thinks. Ballard very well could be a superstar at TTU. But he is also coaching Tubby’s guys and gets to start 2 seniors and 3 juniors. And TTU isn’t even in the conversation for the Big XII title… If he gets them in the hunt next season, and they can not drop off much 2 years from now, I’ll be a Ballard believer.

  • Nice to see some people are “warm-hearted” enough to wish Shaka success, and suggest that he’ll be back to his “previously successful” ways by next year.

    Meanwhile, Bill Self is not done teaching Shaka several lessons in a row, back to back to back…

    No worries, people on this site & in the entire BigXII (& nation) will see it all play out for real, in agonizing detail, regarding one Shaka Smart…

  • @Blown I have no idea really, but didn’t Texas get a pretty good class coming in next season?

  • I think Shaka will do fine at Texas. He has gotten off to a rough start, in part because he inherited a weird roster (5 seniors that he needed to play, only two true PG on the roster, no shooting among his wing players, etc.).

    And in his first year, he finished fourth in the conference, which was actually a bit of a surprise to me, as I thought he would struggle more last year.

    His two transfers have basically been no help. His best perimeter guy was suspended halfway through the season (a tough call to make when you’re struggling, but the right decision). You can stare at that roster for as long as you want and you won’t find a PG on there.

    He has some good interior players and a couple of solid wing scorers, but has nobody on the roster that can figure out how to get them the basketball.

    The good news for Smart and Texas is that he gets a few guys off the roster, including Cleare, a solid player that just doesn’t fit with the style they want to play. If he adds a PG with any skill, an athletic big man and another wing guy, this team could jump back up the rankings very suddenly next year.

    Shaka is a good coach. He just needs to revamp that roster.

  • I think this thread proves out that controversy provides more engagement and ink than straight up success.

    I see more ink on this thread with feedback from posters than on strictly KU BBall threads.

    This year is has been boring. Even @HighEliteMajor is singing Self’s praises 😉

    And the bench is so thin there are no options to argue about.

    Oh well, guess I’ll have to do with winning close games.

  • @Kcmatt7

    Huggy had a rough start in the Big 12 but he improved every year from 8th to 6th to 3rd and 2nd last season. Smart first year record was the same as Barnes had the year before he was fired and with the games Texas has left (Baylor and KU at home, TTU away) he will most likely finish 4-14 and you will have to go back to 1983 to find a comparable record for the Texas program. Remember ESPN had Texas as favorite to win the conference before the start of the season? Such high expectations and such a huge disappointment.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Looking at Texas, and Michigan State, and Indiana–and then you can appreciate even more what it means to have HCBS.

    Even those of us who think he’s amazing are probably underestimating how unreal his consistency is.

  • @mayjay

    Absolutely, Coach Self is the definition of consistency…in a good way. Today on talk radio they were discussing the difference between Texas and Indiana and the consensus was that Indiana is a blue blood program going through a tough stretch but Texas, other than having a lot of money, is not and has not been a relevant program in college basketball.

  • @Kcmatt7

    If they are better do they win more games? The Big-12 will be just as competitive next season and the road from the bottom usually is a slow grind. I just don’t believe in Shaka’s ability at this level. I know we have only last year and this current season to go on but he’s already proven whether its his talent or someone else’s that it doesn’t matter. Then you take in what he did at VCU and you find he’s no savant in conference play.

    Your are right about the style of play he wants to implement. But offensively all his good teams had 3 point shooters up and down the roster and he won’t have that again unless he signs some others in the spring. This is barely a 30% shooting team from 3 and worse without Mack’s numbers included. They have possibly 4 more spots to fill in the off-season so I’m sure shooting will be addressed.

    I have no real information about the Mack deal other than Shaka himself suspended him. Maybe Tevin is working to get back into the program, or Shaka is waiting until the end of the season to deal with his distraction. His comments to the media do not point to a player that is likely returning. This was his 2nd suspension of the season.

  • @BeddieKU23 I think they might win a couple more games next season. Seems like Shaka has figured it out a little more here toward the end of the conference season. A couple wins and a lot of close games that could have gone either way. He isn’t that far off.

  • Tevin Mack to transfer. That was the worst kept secret

  • @BeddieKU23 said:

    Tevin Mack to transfer. That was the worst kept secret

    About as secret as Graham wanting to go pro.

  • @BShark I trust you on this, because you seem to be invested in following these guys and recruiting. But, I guess for hopes sake, I just want to disagree. Where are you seeing Graham is going pro? Just a hunch because he is picked as the 40th pick?

  • @Blown

    He could still stay, it’s just unlikely.

  • Any chance Mack comes to KU? We pursued him at the same time as Vick knowing he leaned towards staying with Shaka.

  • Anyone else find themselves wondering what could’ve been with Jarrett Allen during the two KU/UT games? I don’t do that often, but for sure have with him.

  • @focojayhawk NO, bet he wonders though!

  • @CaptnMo

    He’d have to forfeit a year of eligibility and only have 1 year left to play instead of 2 somewhere else.

  • @Blown

    You won’t find anything officially. But people around the program started saying it last summer. Mostly rumors.

    He’s old for his class (just turned 22) last week. There’s always the question, will he improve his stock next year at 23 or should he just leave now?

    I wouldn’t read too much into the draft sites right now. What’s consistent is he’s viewed as a 2nd rounder. He could be following in Selden’s footsteps from last year where he left regardless of stock

  • Any scuttlebutt out there on why Mack was suspended?

  • @focojayhawk probably wouldn’t have beat Lucas out 👍

  • @Blown

    Mack was suspended to start the season so I think he was already on thin ice. Not sure this one gets released to the public. Seemed to be fighting with teammates during games as well. Might not have been good for the team

  • @BeddieKU23

    Mason will turn 23 in April so there is really not that much of a difference. I never understood why age is that important, it is not like the team that drafts him will have him his entire career. So what if he is 23? Likely it means he is more mature and with more experience and many years away from retirement anyway. Yes, I get it that a young player means he was likely a OAD with higher ceiling but do you rather have a young inexperienced player or a slightly older player with more maturity and more ready to contribute? just sayin’…

  • @JayHawkFanToo Part of it is about how much you can get for your money. If you draft a stud that is 19, you can get 3 contracts with him before he is 30. With the first 2 contracts usually being on the cheaper side. A 23 year old you only get 2. And it is much easier to retain players on your own team than get a free agent in the NBA. So if you are building through the draft you want to get a player that will be with your team for 11 years instead of 6 or 7. And the draft is set up to go for superstars because you are the only one with their rights (which is why you have seen the foreign players start to go up. Draft and stash is the best value in the NBA). When you can get a Frank Mason, Ron Baker, Harrison twin type as an undrafted FA every single year. It is a superstar league and that is what teams draft for.

    All of this applies to everyone except the Spurs.

  • @Kcmatt7

    My question is…how many players stay with one team for 11 or more years? I don’t know the answer but I would guess not many. Also, most of the players drafted are 20 or older, only 7 active players in the NBA under 20 and most of those are almost 20. Ever since the age requirement went up and players had to be a9 and remove one year from highs school, the age has gone up. Also. many OAD go and extra year to prep school so they come to college 1 year older.

    My point is that age will not be the deciding factor on whether Devonte comes back or leaves.

  • @ralster

    Yeah… we won’t have to wait too long to see if Shaka can cut it or not. I give him two more years to show that he is on the right path. If he can’t by then he still may not be fired yet but we will know he doesn’t have what it takes.

    Heck, we need Texas to be a good team, for the strength of our league.

    I’m not a Shaka fan and think he is a one-trick pony who has already showed us his “magic.” But I still want Texas to be respectable. I don’t care if it is with him or someone else. I will be happy if Shaka can get it together, just as long as we still own their Longhorn arses. We do need other decent teams to hang losses on WVU, ISU and Baylor.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I’ve never understood it too be honest as well but the NBA operates differently then other professional leagues that value maturity and experience. Hield was amazing last year but has strugged in the league and was already traded. The NBA doesn’t care who you are unless you are young enough and good enough to build around.

    Mason seems like he has more going against him then going for him in regards to getting drafted. It’s likely that being POY will inflate his status enough (without the POY he probably wouldn’t be drafted) to get looked at but his size will always be a something he will have to overcome. We’ve seen Mason improve a lot this year to the point where maybe he’s the type that can overcome being small. He seems like a driven individual with the ability to score in a lot of ways.

  • @BeddieKU23

    Being small can come handy sometimes…

  • @BeddieKU23

    Don’t forget his ability to rebound! Frank is an excellent rebounder. And I’m sure he would snag quite a few rebounds in the league. He is a quick leaper and he has the strength and mass to not get pushed around too much.

    He is also a respectable defender, especially when comparing to most D1 PGs.

    Frank will get drafted and will get a hard look by some teams. I think he is going to make someone’s roster. I will be surprised if he doesn’t.

    Frank’s biggest setback is his reach. I’d feel much better of his chances if he had 4 more inches on his reach (over 4 more inches of height). His reach is pretty standard for his size while so much of basketball today has players with freakish reach. I don’t think anyone would be talking about his height if he had a longer reach.

    Reach helps more than height. It ends up being the same thing on vertical when arms are straight up… but the advantages with reach are extreme at everything else. It allows players more reach in to defend. It also extends distance on protecting the ball from the defender by offering more separation inches from the body.

    The fact that Frank is doing what he is doing, and he is doing it without an extended reach says a lot about his athleticism and abilities. Look how well he scores in the paint even against the trees. He finally figured out how to shield the ball with his body, but he is doing it with just an average reach. Remarkable!

  • @drgnslayr

    Good points. His advanced statistics should also paint a pretty good picture with teams. Analytics has become an increasingly big factor in judging players.

    It’s hard for me to say anything but positive things about Mason. He’s going to be a beloved Hawk forever and we all want to see him succeed after his days here. It’s an uphill battle and realistically his battle might be harder than past hawks trying to make it.

  • But the Austin press AND FANS (only 7 comments and this was posted yesterday!!!) are already turning on Shaka. And they just posted that Tevin Mack is being let out of his scholarship so he is gone.

    Here is Exhibit “A”.

    sss-texas-basketball22.jpg Golden: Texas’ lost season rests at Shaka Smart’s door

    Posted February 26th, 2017

    Shaka Smart believes it’s his job to breathe life into his team.

    Of course it is, but the question has to be: Who is breathing life into Shaka?

    “Nobody, really,” he said after Texas’ fifth straight loss, this one coming 77-67 to a soon-to-be-top-ranked Kansas team which clinched its 13th Big 12 regular season title. “It’s about the guys.”

    Smart’s team has played with commendable effort the whole season but the familiar refrain has been one of hanging in there early, but not being good enough to close the deal at the end. Commendable effort is nice, but this is a bottom-line business and the results are unacceptable at 10-19 overall and 4-12 in Big 12 play.

    “All of us are obviously disappointed in our how season has gone so far,” he said. “But playing hard is the first step. The next step is understanding what the right play is to make.”

    Smart hasn’t been through a season like this, at least not as a head coach. Now he never experienced a winning season in four years as as the point guard at Kenyon College where he finished as the career leader in assists, but dishing out dimes in Gambier, Ohio had to feel like child’s play compared to the demands of winning ballgames at a major program at a salary of $3 million per year.

    It’s been a historically awful season. Smart hasn’t come right out and said it, but this lost season rests at his door. The old cliche’ rings true: players win games and coaches lose games. This team realized long ago that this wasn’t going to end with the team gathered around a flat screen, munching on pizza while waiting to hear their name called on Selection Sunday.

    For now the head coach has to keep his chin up and not give any indication that his confidence is shaken, even if it’s obvious that it is.

    “He’s handling it good,” said guard Andrew Jones. “He keeps the spirits high in the locker room and makes sure we are motivated in every way possible. He hasn’t killed anybody’s spirits on this team.”

    With two games and what is likely a brief stay in the conference tourney — Texas is 0-13 in games played away from the Erwin Center — Smart needs to find a way to avoid spending the offseason with a long losing streak in the final month of the season hanging over this team’s head. It may not seem like much, but improving to 11-19 and 5-12 with a win is much more important than it looks on the surface.

    “It’s my job as a coach to get these guys to own this,” Smart said after quoting Alabama coach Nick Saban, who famously said “it takes what it takes,” to win games.

    He’s right on both counts. He also understands that there is plenty of blame to go around for what we’ve witnessed this season.

    Above all else, ultimate responsibility starts with the dude in his bathroom mirror.

    press.JPG press2.JPG

  • @RockChalkinTexas

    Wow. That doesn’t read well for Shaka.

  • He’s putting his own evidence in the books–and now he’s going to get judged by his own body of work. No conf championships in that VCU conf. Ever.

    Gregg Marshall would have been twice the hire. Rick Barnes would have done better than Shaka. As said earlier, for the Shaka hire to be a positive for TX, he must surpass what Barnes did, or else firing Rick was totally pointless.

  • @ralster Texas didn’t want Marsha, acquired taste!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Ya, I was just speculating, as there was speculation in Wichita, just rumor-mill stuff really. I think Alabama had a hard offer, but $Koch$ matched it, making Marshall a top10 paid coach in Div.1…and he has little pressure at WSU. Just win their conf and get into the Dance.

    I still think he’d do better than Shaka.

  • @RockChalkinTexas “Surely there’s another Bill Self out there…” lol.

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