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.


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