Roy: Master of Illusion

  • Joel Berry 4* #30 JR

    Isaiah Hicks 5* #16 SR

    Justin Jackson 5* #9 A TOP TEN RECRUIT JR

    Kennedy Meeks 4* #58 SR

    Theo Pinson 5* #14 FIVE STAR BENCH WARMER JR

    All rankings 247 composite. Anyone who doesn’t think Self would roll to a title with this team can fight me.

  • Imagine if Self still had Embiid, Wiggins and Oubre.

  • Just having Selden would’ve been nice this year.

  • Just having Udoka would’ve been nice this year.

  • And all of them came to college needing development. Other than Jackson none of them have a serious chance in the NBA.

    Jackson reminds of Selden with the hype coming in. Both flourished in year 3.

    But overall agreed Roy has gotten so lucky with getting top ish kids to stay

  • To me THIS is the new way to recruit. Find guys who are overrated. Guys who will be good/great college guys who have to stay 3 years. Easier said then done.

  • @BigBad said:

    To me THIS is the new way to recruit. Find guys who are overrated. Guys who will be good/great college guys who have to stay 3 years. Easier said then done.

    He also recruits kids that don’t have immediate OAD written on them. Whether it’s getting kids slightly small for a position or one that lacked a great perimeter shot or lots of talent that needed development coming in. That’s describing berry, Jackson and hicks btw. Meeks lost a crap ton of weight in college and is a perfect example of what 4 years can do for you if you want to make yourself something. I tip my cap to Roy for what he’s done in face of all the outside issues that loom

  • @BeddieKU23

    How many kids has it really cost UNC though. Maybe Ingram and SKJ. UNC still has a tremendous geographical and historic advantage in recruiting.

    There is definitely something to be said about recruiting higher ranked kids that are tweeners or have NBA deficiencies though.

    Really I just wanted to post this to point it out. A stark contrast to what Self was working with this year.

  • @BShark

    There isno question that with the players available, Coach Self has achieved the most and Calipari the least, although this could be argued considering the FF he has made.

  • @JayHawkFanToo if everyone stays, we will be on more equal footing with the other top programs in terms of talent. I am looking forward to seeing what Doke can do when he is fully acclimated to D1 ball. He has the type of Okafor/Davis type ability to be the x factor that leads us to a ring. Our inside outside balance could be spectacular. It appears as though Cunliffe and Newman are really good shooters, so we could have five three point perimeter threats plus Billy. The summer trip should really help our new players/transfers to learn more about the system and gel together.

  • Roy’s way works and so does Bill’s. Congratulations to Coach Williams. I could imagine all of his player’s in a Jayhawks uniform if he were still coaching here. I wouldn’t trade any of ours under Self though. I like our chances in the future.

  • @HawkChamp

    I’m excited as anyone to watch a hopefully healthy full season but Udoka lacks the polished offensive game Okafor and Davis had. Defensively, yes he could have a fantastic input.

    Newman can absolutely hoop. I would bet on a really good year from him.

    Cunliffe I am really not sure after watching his games at ASU. He seems to lack basketball skills, but is a good athlete. Shot 35% from the floor but 40% from three. With better players around him and a smaller role I could see him being a solid player for KU but it will take work.

  • @BShark For Davis and Okafor I was referring to the impact they had on the game. Davis was not really a prolific scorer, and we dont know what Doke can do B2B wise for a full game. He has a nice hook shot and a running hook, both of which he used this past season several times.

    Cunliffe this next year will be a more athletic and quicker version of Brennan Greene, though I think his athleticism will allow him to drive to the goal. He will play because otherwise we will be too thin on the perimeter even if both Graham and Svi stay (which they should).

  • @HawkChamp

    Not a great scorer, but he had a very efficient offensive game for a FR. Davis had one of the most impactful seasons in the history of CBB*. If Doke progresses to even 80% of that then I would bet on KU making a deep run in March.

    139 ORTG, 80 DRTG, 35 PER, 18.7 BPM, 62% from the floor. Just completely ridiculous and even Cal couldn’t screw it up.

    Cunliffe will definitely play I agree, it’s just how good will he be. Fortunately, I don’t think he has to be even a top 3 player on the team for KU to be really good.

  • @BShark yeah, I dont expect Doke to be at that level but he has the potential to completely dominate the paint. He will be “the man” at the 5 next year, so he will learn how to stay out of foul trouble and be in better shape.

    We SHOULD have so many options next year that Cunliffe wont feel pressured to make a play. If he could just play solid defense, get four or five rebounds a game and make some open threes, that will be just what we need for a title run.

  • @BeddieKU23 Actually pretty remarkable that UNC will be in back-to-back NC games with so little NBA talent on the roster. Jackson will be a lottery pick, but you are right, I don’t think anyone else is has a realistic shot. Veteran team with no OADs. In fact, I think I read that UNC hasn’t had a OAD in a decade. Folks have debated ad naseum on the board the merits or lack thereof of going the OAD recruiting strategy, but if UNC does win tomorrow, that will be 2 straight titleists comprised of multi-year players and no OADs. Gonzaga has only one possible OAD and he comes off the bench.

  • @BShark

    Roy sure seems to recruit well once he gave up his courtesy rule for only recruiting in half of America!

    I wonder how many titles he would have won at Kansas had he recruited back east?

    Sorry… I just can’t ever heal from this. I wasn’t even a Roy fan when he was at Kansas.

  • @drgnslayr Wasnt it because he didnt want to recruit against Dean Smith? I like Roy, but it is maddening to think that he could win his third title at UNC but couldnt win a single one with us. Mental block? Not enough talent? Not sure what it is. The 02 and 03 teams were super good.

  • @DCHawker

    UNC has three guys that were in the OAD ranking range though.

    I mean obviously Pinson is a bust at this point. I could hardly imagine the crap we’d hear from the media if KU had a Pinson type situation. It was bad enough with Selden, and Selden actually produced. Just seems to deflect right off of Roy and UNC.


    Ifs and buts…buuuuuut KU really should have won in 03.

  • Kansas constantly improves it’s resume for recruiting.

    A few recent additions include:

    HOF’r head coach

    POY point guard who was barely recruited

    Tied longest conference regular season winning streak

    Longest consecutive streak for NCAA tournament

    Top NBA selections

    McCarthy Hall… luxury living

    Naismith basketball rules

    Add all of that on top of what we already were…

    The Home Of Basketball!

  • @HawkChamp

    We will never know if he could have won a few titles while here because he crippled himself by never wanting to challenge UNC. Yes… I believe it was a deal with Dean Smith. Let me put it to you this way… if Dean didn’t want the unfair advantage, he would have told Roy to go ahead and recruit back east. Nothing ever stopped Dean from recruiting west. If these were businesses instead of institutions, this may qualify as an antitrust violation!

    I am still friggin’ pissed because we should have made it to the FF to give UNC a real fight.

  • @drgnslayr And only three titles (I dont count Helms titles) We are falling behind and have had several great opportunities under both Roy and Self to win one or two more. If all goes well this off season, 2018 is our year.

  • @drgnslayr Totally agree with you. As I said in an earlier post, I am thankful for what Roy did here, but he short changed all of us by caving into “daddy” Dean on the recruiting trail. I can not and will not ever forgive him for that. He did pretty good here, but could have done much better.

  • @drgnslayr Yeah it is disappointing. Everyone keeps saying “no one can run with Carolina”. Sorry, but our guys would have.

  • @HawkChamp

    Sorry… I believed this year was our year. I don’t see it next year. Lacking enough experience and not having the leadership we had with Frank. I’m not going to candy coat this. Next year is a “rebuilding year.”

  • @HawkChamp Yes that is exactly why he did not recruit East of the Mississippi. Did not want to trample on Smith’s territory.

    The 03 failure was on the players. Roy put together a very good team, but when the players do not execute, it does not matter.

    20% from 3 and 40% from the line doomed us against Cuse and we lost a championship by 3 lousy points. Still sick about it!!!

  • @drgnslayr I see what you’re saying, but that leadership did no good two years in a row against Oregon and Nova. I am starting to think that some of that is a little overrated. Basketball is never about one player even if that player is the POY.

    At some point, you have to have the talent, length and athleticism to overcome Bill’s usual stuff in the elite eight. Doke, Malik and Devonte will be the best players on next years team - thats pretty dang good trio to build around. Svi and Lagerald both did some very good things in the tourney that keeps me hopeful that they can replicate those things. Cunliffe is another 40% three gun plus more length. He will benefit from the summer trip immensely. Billy is a stretch four and could be a good compliment to Doke. Coleby provides more muscle and rebounding.

    We could have more depth, height, shooting and athleticism than this past year - a larger margin of error. Hopefully we can dish out to our opponents what Oregon and Nova did to us instead of being on the receiving end of it.

  • @HawkChamp

    “Basketball is never about one player even if that player is the POY.”

    That was proven last week! Good point.

    I still think our best chance of winning in March exists if we have a real leader at PG. I don’t see us having a leader like that next year.

    Having a great PG to lead may not be necessary… but without one, it seems to get much tougher. There were so many good teams this year that didn’t have that PG.

    We had 3 really great guard leaders in '08!

  • @drgnslayr We will have to see what Devonte does when it is “his team”. Look at the two teams playing for the title - each has one main point guard that they rely on. I think Devonte is capable of doing that as well.

  • @HawkChamp

    I’m still recovering from Devonte’s horrific performance that sent us home.

    Big players step up for big games. He reminds me too much of Wayne Selden right now for me to think he can lead this team.

  • @drgnslayr But we also had zero inside presence. When the shots arent falling you have to be able to do something else. I wouldnt put too much stock into that game other than how important it is to be diversified. Just think about how much better we would have fared with actual size and athleticism down low to counter Bell - would have loved to see Dok dunk on him! Oh, and defense. That has to be better next year too.

  • @DCHawker

    The defeat has probably been a great motivator. UNC at its best was one of the best teams in the Country there was no doubt about it. A complete team that had so much come back with that hunger to win. I cannot imagine a greater motivator then how they lost last season.

    It’s not like UNC doesn’t have NBA talent on its team. Jackson has a career in the league with his much improved jumper. Bradley, the freshman is a fantastic talent (KU recruited him and had a realistic chance), and Seventh Woods was able to get some rotation minutes as a freshman and has off-the charts athleticism as a guard.

    Meeks & Hicks will end up somewhere although I’m not sure where they fit in the NBA but they both can rebound and score around the basket so someone will take a chance on these 2. Berry is the typical 4 year guard that just wins games. Him being hurt and still finding ways to help this team win says a lot about him.

    But I agree, so much is said about the OAD’s and yet here we are another year with none of them having a feature role in the championship game. We had arguably the best one this year and he wasn’t able to help KU get over the hump. Roy has done a great job with his method and reminds everyone he’s still a great coach.

  • @HawkChamp

    I just think we lacked intensity and desire that game.

    I think far too much credit was given to Oregon. I still don’t buy it. Yes… they gave UNC a run for their money but I didn’t really think UNC was the most-dangerous team in the tourney. I was most-afraid for Duke and Kentucky.

    I can’t imagine having a better setup than the guards we had this year. I’m sure it is possible… just like the fact that we had such a dynamic group in '08. But I’m still feeling miserable about our loss. I think we are much better than we showed that game… and it really didn’t have to do with hitting shots.

    Our post play was definitely not up to snuff. But so many NC teams don’t have a dynamic post. I immediately think of UCONN and their success in March.

    I’m just still in a snitty mood… still wanting to vent!

  • @drgnslayr I agree its less about the shots and more about personnel. Bill may never get over his difficulty with coaching in the elite eight, so the only way to counter that is by having a balanced team that can lock down defensively, like the 08 team. We could have that next year and with a summer trip to boot.

    If you have a guard oriented team, you have to do everything just right to win a ring. With post presence, it gives you a larger margin for error. We did not do everything right and lost.

  • @drgnslayr Yes Graham had a terrible game. That is going to happen, but then you expect the rest of the team to step up. Frank did all he could but did not have much help. Last year against Nova, it was Frank and Wayne that had horrible games, and Devonte did all he could, but had no help. When one of your stars is struggling, several others have to step up and do the little extra to carry the team.

  • @HawkChamp

    And recall '08 and how we lucked out in the Elite 8 game against Davidson… who was not coached well enough to realize they had to get the ball to Curry!

  • @drgnslayr Iirc, Curry had the ball and passed it up. Our guys played great defense and forced the other player to a tough 30 foot jumper.

  • @HawkChamp

    Over recent years I’ve changed my philosophy on the game.

    I do think a key post player can make a difference. Hey… we could have won in 2012 if UK didn’t have Anthony Davis… no doubt!

    And Gonzaga isn’t such a threat without their monster guy in the post.

    But most teams don’t have a big like that.

    I hope we keep a 4-guard team. We move the ball quicker and we open up the floor a lot more than with just 3 guards.

    And we have proven we can rebound just fine with 4 guards. The only real give up is post defense. And that does hurt us!

    But let’s say we go back to two bigs… two bigs limited by their lack of ability to dribble and shot the long ball.

    Look what we give up. Other teams don’t have to guard our bigs when they step out except to hedge screens. There is a good chance our bigs can’t shoot FTs well. And how vulnerable are we on presses, traps and just good defense?

  • @drgnslayr But on the other side, it makes it harder for the other team to score inside and we have an advantage on the other end. I like the traditional 3-2 the best, particularly when we have a stretch four. Honestly, I think there are advantages both ways but Gonzaga and UNC proved you can get to the title game playing that way.

    I hope Billy can learn quickly how to play the spot because he would be huge next March if he could drive and shoot the 3 like Perry.

  • @drgnslayr

    The lost definitely sucks no matter how one looks at it.

  • @drgnslayr I don’t think in any way it was a lack of desire. If anything, it was the other way around- they wanted it so bad, they tried too hard, played tight, didn’t let the game come to them. We had nothing inside to make the easy shot- every shot was a contested shot. They would collapse on the ball in that match up zone, which took away the drives to the basket. Only once did I see one of our guards drive to collapse the defense, and pass to the 3 point line, and that resulted in a wide open 3 for Svi. We kept throwing up nervous 3s, with little success. The entry passes made into Landen were wasted, as LL’s weak post moves resulted in him shooting several weak shots that never had a chance. You take away our drives, and the post, and guard us on the perimeter, we have no way to score. Which is why we scored 60 points. If we had a 300lb 7 footer in the middle, we would’ve squashed Jordan Bell like a bug. If we had a 6’10" 4 with the ability to put pressure on the defense by shooting or driving along side the 7 footer, now we’re not going to be shut out in the paint. It’s been a long 3 years without a frontline that people feared. For years, we had some really great players at the 4/5.

  • @KUSTEVE excellent summation.

  • @BShark I’m not a fan of UNC by any means, but maybe the reason it deflects off Roy there is he has won 2 titles with them and has been to the last two title games - and without obvious OAD talent. Yes Pinson hasn’t produced to expectations, but none of their recruits were clear OADs - not sure any were top 10 coming in? I’m also struggling to understand why some of the the 10-30 range recruits seem to be staying at Carolina on a more consistent basis?

    Every coach has his unique style, which means plusses and minuses, but one thing I’ve always liked about Roy (didn’t like that he didn’t get guys as committed on the defensive end) is that he plays a lot of guys. Luke Maye came up huge for them in 2 tournament games - Luke Maye, really?!

  • Lots of good discussion here.


    Not sure the shooting could be much better next year. KU was 6th in the country in 3pt% this year. However there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of athleticism, length/height and depth which should easily offset the shooting maybe getting worse. Either way I’m excited for the upcoming season as always.

    Agree with you about the Oregon loss. Oregon was just much more athletic and their defense stifled KU. In no spot did it show more than Bell vs Lucas.


    Easily the best for KU performance wise, and a surefire NBA player. This was just, unfortunately, the worst that KU has ever been in the post under Self.

    @HawkChamp said:

    If you have a guard oriented team, you have to do everything just right to win a ring. With post presence, it gives you a larger margin for error. We did not do everything right and lost.

    All it takes is one off shooting night and you are done. Two double post teams in the title game this year. Doesn’t always work out that way of course.


    It will depend on the personnel. Self has shown he will play the style that gives KU the best chance to win. I bet we see a mix next year. Preston will play in the post, but he has wing skills.


    Keepin it real.


    Well, Self didn’t exactly have a lot of kids to trot out there this year that could compete at the P5 level.

  • @HawkChamp

    “Gonzaga and UNC proved you can get to the title game playing that way”

    I’m not certain… but I think most of the history of college basketball (when looking at the champs) included at least 2 bigs on the floor.

    It used to be 3 bigs were common. Teams often ran a 2-3 or 2-1-2 offense. I guess that is how we got that original offensive format -

    Point Guard

    Shooting Guard

    Small Forward

    Power Forward


    I remember when we used to call the “small forward” a “swing forward”… meaning… that forward might swing out down the baseline or sometimes might pop out to around the top of the key, or any peripheral spot in between. It used to be a very rare deal to have bigs taking outside shots, let alone from trey distance.

    College ball mimics (to a huge degree) the NBA. And as players became more efficient at trey, the game changed completely. Before the trey line, teams really worked hard to get low post scoring. It was a totally different game.

    Focus is on the trey, and rightly so. I’m not sure with my memory… but if I recall right… the high ball screen became very popular first. Then it became more popular to use motion offense (both dribble drive and rapid passing), and secondary breaks.

  • @drgnslayr Over the arc of history perhaps, but more recent history? Other than Anthony Davis, has there really been an impactful big, let alone 2, among the titleists over the past decade. Dieng and Harrell (the latter 6-7)? Luke friggin’ Hancock was actually the MOP for the FF. Bigs don’t play a big role in the NBA and seems that they haven’t in college in the recent past. Gonzaga is actually a bit of a throwback in that regard…

  • @DCHawker Probably UConn. They usually had an elite shot blocker on their title teams.

  • @DCHawker

    Yeah… I think of Anthony Davis… who definitely was the difference-maker for Kentucky.

    And anything is possible moving forward. But I’m not optimistic for big guys trying to make it in the league if they can’t dribble, pass and shoot the trey… and… with a big motor and fast legs to keep up with the pace, and even head a big chunk of fast break opportunities.

    I always expect college to follow the NBA… eventually.

  • @Big-Clyde52 said:

    The 03 failure was on the players. Roy put together a very good team, but when the players do not execute, it does not matter.

    This sounds vaguely familiar - are there any recent -VERY RECENT- Kansas teams that this could be said of…?

  • Bill would DOMINATE if he were at UNC. Bill + Jordan + East Coast = Championships every 4 years.

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