Dwindling Big 12 Basketball

  • I went back and looked at 247 Sports Top 247 recruits, and was wondering how the Big 12 fared as a whole in top 100 recruits for 2017. I guess the only word I could find to accurately describe it would be pitiful. 7 top 100 recruits for the entire conference. Iowa St has 1. WVU has 1. OU has 1. Tejas has 2, and we have 2. 5 Big 12 teams don’t have a Top 100 recruit. The slimy SEC has simply dominated recruiting like no other conference. 22 top 100 recruits, with a good potential of several more signing late. I know they have more teams, and more wallets than the Big 12, but 3 times as many seems extraordinary. At this rate, we might win the Big 12 for the next 30 years. Here’s the breakdown:

    1- SEC - 22

    2- ACC - 19

    3- Pac 12 - 17

    4- Big Ten - 11

    5- Big East - 8

    6-Big 12 - 7

    There are 3 B12 teams ranked in the preseason Top 25 : WVU at 22, Faylor at 9, and KU at number 1. We certainly have had more in the past. Now, I realize our transfers had a direct impact on these numbers, but if you take KU completely out of the equation, we’re still looking at 9 teams signing 5 players. The big question is: have we morphed into the SEC, where Kentucky and Florida were the only good teams for years? Do we have a shot at winning the conference for the next generation consecutively? And how does Louisville feel now about being rejected by the B12, and having to settle to play in the ACC? (I know how I feel about it. )Final question: are we going to wind up having to follow the lead of the Shlockers, and find a better conference when the lack of talent in the Big 12 drives down the RPI? Down to the point where if we were to lose in the conference tourney, we’d be on the bubble due to our weak sisters in the conference?

  • Yeah the $EC started giving a shit about basketball recently.


    I guess we can join the AAC… they claim they will soon become the 6th power conference -

    Power conference? American Athletic plans big push on idea

    But seriously… The Big 12 conference is run more like a 4H rabbit show than a major D1 conference. I’ve never seen any organization exist strictly off a reactive demeanor. At this point, they need to become completely proactive… but I’m not holding my breath.

    First… they need to hire a media marketing company to help build their strategy to move forward.

    Second… we can’t take any more Texas teams. 4 is the max. Otherwise… we just rename our league for what it is, “Texas 12 Conference” and then embrace becoming a mid-major-styled league.

    Third… kill the Longhorn Network. It has devastated our conference more than anything else.

  • Texas Longhorns football is the key for Big 12 athletics. The decline of UT football has coincided with the overall decline of the Big 12. It has spilled over into other spirts as well.

    I don’t care what anyone’s feelings about UT are, the reality is the conference goes as the UT football program goes.

  • @drgnslayr When UT and OU blocked Louie from becoming a B12 member, I knew the conference was going to be all about OU, and most especially UT, and not for the overall good of the conference. The B12 was over then, imo. So, will it be the Big 10, the Pac 12, even the ACC? What conference will KU be a member of in 5 years?

  • Be as it may…the conference is still strong. The very early 2018 Bracketology has 7 teams in and 2 more in the first 4 out and the next 4 out groups. Amazing how well the conference does with the talent it gets.

  • @JayHawkFanToo that’s because the B12 has the best coaches top to bottom of any conference, and consequently league parity. And our ten coaches give the ACCs top ten a run for their money.

  • @KUSTEVE When I saw the title of of your post, I literally had just read an article where the Big 12 had the lowest number of players drafted from the Power 5 conferences in the NFL draft, and less than the AAC too (yes, the AAC).

    Only the most hard core of deniers will deny that Big 12 basketball is nothing more than KU and the pretenders.

    KU should be working hard to get into the Big 10. This conference realignment stuff will come up again to be sure.

    We tabled expansion last fall. Of course, the Big 12 was a step behind and lost out on very attractive additions like Louisville. Huge miss.

    The Big 12 dying is a matter of time - unless there is some major shifting that allows a rebirth.

    @JayHawkFanToo But how well does the Big 12 really do? March exposes the Big 12 over and over – and over time, when every other conference seems to succeed somehow and the Big 12 flounders, that’s strong evidence. Non-con wins in November, while nice do discuss, simply mean exactly what they are – wins in November. Anyway, it is what we have. At least for now.

  • Yeah, but we got the coaches, right?

  • Who has the most transfers? KU is getting some nice transfers, so that plays into it. Not sure why they’re coming to KU instead of the coasts, but we’ll take them.

    We ARE the Midwest, like it or not, and we’re an unstable conference as mentioned above, so that doesn’t help us. I’m starting to think we should be thankful to be in as many elite eights as we have. Not surprising that we don’t know what to do when we see real talent and size. (We see it annually at Baylor but the coaching negates it.)

  • I just don’t see how Kansas benefits from jumping conferences. In my opinion, it becomes the very last straw.

    I believe we should put our efforts into becoming a stronger conference.


    Thanks for bringing the bad tasting medicine.

    We needed to take it before we got so sick we died without a fight.

    Bottom line?

    TPTB want only four power conferences, not five.

    Football needs 4 for the play off, not 5.

    KU has to pro-act, not react.

  • @KUSTEVE we have 4 incoming top 100 level recruits, not 2.

  • Unless you’re saying Cunliffe and Newman are not in fact top 100 talent.

    It’s good for us if the rest of the world wants to make stats that don’t pertain to how we play the game. I get that they represent something, but they do not represent a dirth of incoming KU talent.

  • @chriz We looked shocked over how athletic Oregon was.

  • @approxinfinity You can count them. I’ll give you 4. So, we have 4 in the top 100, and the rest of the conference has 5. Out of 9 teams. We are chugging along, the rest of the conference…not so much.

  • @KUSTEVE Especially remarkable give that UK alone has 6! in the top 25 and 2 more in the top 100.

  • It’s tough, other than the Texas schools there is not another recruiting “hotbed” in the entire Big-12 area. So everyone recruits out of state really for players.

  • @BeddieKU23 Basketball recruiting is just such a different game than football recruiting because of prep schools and the AAU circuit. Kids move around so much for basketball that where they’re originally from frequently has minimal impact on recruiting. Most of these prep schools are located along the coasts so the EST and PST programs tend to have advantages in recruiting those kids because they can see those kids play in season more frequently. There’s not a lot of prep schools in the CST and the most prolific one is one that rarely has players make it through the Eligibility Center.

  • @KUSTEVE These numbers are a real jolt. Thanks for the timely post. Helps to explain Bill Self’s reaching out to proven transfers. Wily William might not get, or even want, a bevy of annual top-rated freshmen; but he has found a way to bring in top-100 recruits, most of whom will spend months learning his system and style before they suit up.

  • I said it last summer when the league decided not to expand, its only a matter of time before the sh** hits the fan. The Big 12 also was last of the power 5 in NFL draft picks as well and second from last the past 5 years. 1 FF in the last 5 years in BB and 1 CFB in 3 years. Why we didn’t add Louisville when we had the chance with Cincinnati I’ll never know. By the year 2022 the B12 will be a memory, hopefully the B10 wants us is all I can say.

  • @approxinfinity

    Cunliffe and Newman may once have been Top 100 recruits, but…

    Neither signed with elite majors.

    And neither did particularly well at the lesser majors they signed at.

    And Self apparently could not get either one to sign with KU before they chose lesser majors over KU.

  • Players like Newman, the Lawsons, Cunliffe, Whitman and Moore are hungry to play for a perennial top-10 D1 program, looking for a breath of new life and a boost toward their postponed NBA dreams. Not likely to produce a string of adjustment problems which we recently saw from one of the very best freshman recruits in the Bill Self Jayhawk era. As brilliant as he was in most games this season, Josh’s learning curve involving fouling, technicals and offcourt mayhem had to be quite stressful for the coaching staff. Gotta hope that these older transfers aren’t inclined toward, or at least have outgrown, such diversions.

  • Oops, I forgot Coleby. If he stays…


    I do not even believe we are chugging along.

    Our roster talent is sliding.

    The slide in KU roster talent has apparently been for awhile, and likely will be for awhile longer, masked not only by Self’s exceptionally resourceful coaching, but by the reputed declining level of talent in the B12.

    The B12 is being hollowed out kind of like the American economy was hollowed out.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 I tend to agree the Texas is the key to our conferences success because of their size and the media market they have. The trouble is with UT football is they suck and really always have since the B12 was formed outside of 05 and 09.(OU 10 titles to Texas’s 3) The big 12 is really KU and the rest in basketball, OU and the rest in football. Texas being even remotely relevant in anything is most due to the media market. They are pretty much good at Volleyball right now and that’s it. I just looked it up and Texas finished in the lower half of every single B12 race for this school year besides women’s BB, VB and soccer with 0 conference titles. Ou much better all around athletic school, power in gymnastics (2017 NC), Softball and Football. Its just crazy to think that results mean nothing just your fair weather football fans…

  • @jaybate-1.0 ya your right they didn’t sign at an elite major. BUT as far as Newman’s part he was a top 5 recruit and he could of signed just about anywhere. - -The thing is he Choose to sign with Mississippi St because if I remember right that was home for him right? -as far as not doing that well, one of his biggest reasons for transferring if I remember was they played him out of position and he wasn’t happy, just wasn’t happy with the whole scenario. - - Just a case where that didn’t work out, isn’t because maybe he wasn’t as good as projected or anything look for him to have a really good year. As far as Cunliffe don’t know on him but Newman like I said was and is a stud. - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • @DCHawker Not really remarkable as Calipari does what he does. If he doesnt get at least 3-4 playable top10-top15 guys each year, his system will tank that year.

  • @jayballer54 right on. I don’t think there’s anyway Newman isn’t still a top 100 talent and very doubtful that Cunliffe isn’t as well considering he was top 30 last year with no major injury (right?). I agree that Self is being resourceful @jaybate-2-0 . I disgree that it is something to wring hands about or that it puts us at a disadvantage. I’m excited about this approach.

  • Newman Mickey-D avg 13ppg as a freshman at MissState, playing out of position as PG instead of SG. Kind of like EJ forced to do. But 13ppg alone as a Div1 freshman, even in the Bill Self structure would be called a starter. But, Newman gets to learn system, get stronger by Hudy, and comes in at his comfortable position, and now with that chip on his shoulder, something to prove. All good for '17-18…

  • KUSTEVE said:

    1- SEC - 22

    2- ACC - 19

    3- Pac 12 - 17

    4- Big Ten - 11

    5- Big East - 8

    6-Big 12 - 7

    I drew the line in your the list to make it easier to see the “Battle for the fourth Super Conference.”

    Two below the line will become Mid-majors. Big 12 leads the race to the mid-major position.

    When the B10 picks up a couple of cherries from the Big East, it will pop… and that will be the end.

    KU needs to get out of this sinking ship at the right time, in the right way.

    Much easier said than done.

  • This was something we started discussing a few weeks ago when talking about why the Big 12 has less postseason success than other major conferences. I’m glad @KUSTEVE has brought this topic back because it is important to the future of KU hoops and the Big 12 overall.

    First, let’s just cut to the chase and admit that the Big 12 needs to add Memphis and Cincinnati to the conference immediately. That gets the group back up to 12 and also introduces some new recruiting territory into the conference footprint.

    Next, let’s admit that while the Big 12 has some very good game coaches, the conference lacks any elite level recruiters other than Self. In fact, I would go so far as to say most of the coaches in conference are below average recruiters. That’s a killer. It introduces parity into the conference because the talent level is pretty equal across the board, and it helps the conference look good early in the season because the Big 12 maintains continuity season to season because most schools aren’t losing tons of players early, but when plays need to be made in March, the Big 12 doesn’t often have the players to do that.

    Let’s have a look at some NBA mock drafts to see where the talent is:

    Big 12 - Jackson, Jarrett Allen and Jawun Evans are the only Big 12 players listed in the first round.

    SEC - Fox and Monk from Kentucky are the only SEC players.

    Big 10 - Anunoby and Swanigan are the only Big 10 guys.

    ACC - We have Jayson Tatum, Johnathan Isaac, Dennis Smith, Justin Jackson, John Collins, Luke Kennard, Tyler Lydon, and Harry Giles. That’s 8 guys.

    Pac 12 - Fultz and Ball are anticipated to go 1-2. Markkanen is a top 10 guy. Ike Anigbogu is here, along with Rabb and TJ Leaf. That’s six guys.

    Looking back, last year the Big 12 had 2 first rounders, the SEC had 5, the Pac 12 had 4, the ACC had 4 and the Big 10 had 2. Notice a trend?

    Big 12 gets less talent in, puts less talent out and as a result, can’t seem to get over the hump in March, while the SEC and ACC consistently bring talent in, which allows their teams to run deep into March even if we believe the Big 12 is superior in some way.

  • How many non-UK draft picks does the SEC typically have? Of course this all could change soon, as the SEC has become way more serious about competing in basketball.

  • @BShark

    They usually do okay. Arkansas, Florida, LSU and Vanderbilt all have had picks in the last few years. Usually, its a couple from UK, then one or two from other schools in the conference. Last year, for instance, LSU had Simmons and Vandy had a couple guys. The SEC has more take a game over type talents (look at South Carolina and Arkansas from this year). That helps them make runs when those guys get hot. The Big 12 lacks that, which is why it’s hard to make deep postseason runs.

  • Let’s keep in mind that of all the major basketball conferences, only the Big 12 and the Big East have 10 teams, all the other have more. ACC 15 teams, Big 10, SEC and A10 14 teams, PAC 12 and American 12 teams.

  • @justanotherfan

    Iwundu is a first round pick in most every mock draft and with a good combine Motley can move from borderline to solid first round. CBS has Mason in the first round at #29. Too much variability outside the top 15 to state with certainty what the actual breakdown will be; we will have to wait until the actual draft for that.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I’m going with consensus. If Iwundu gets in, that probably hurts Mason, Motley and Evans. The Big 12 has four guys that are borderline first/second round picks. Chances are that as the first round dwindles down, all four of those guys don’t get picked. If Evans goes, Mason probably doesn’t. If Mason goes, Evans probably won’t. If Iwundu get picked, that means teams are likely going for more wings, so a guy like Motley falls down the board. If Motley gets selected, that means Iwundu probably sticks on the board because there are better wings out there. The lack of true lottery talent in the conference will probably keep all four of those guys from going in the first round because one moving up almost certainly moves another one of them down.

  • I am not sure that any of you have checked out the 2018 mock draft but 5 of our guys are projected to be drafted. Doka could be a first rounder if he stays healthy and he is not even listed.

  • @Statmachine We will have NBA type talent at all 5 starting positions for the first time in a really long time. This is a better constructed roster than people realize.

    Although, I do get what @KUSTEVE is saying. Problem is and always will be that when UT sucks and can’t even recruit Texas than the Big XII will look weak.

    UT is swimming in cash, yet they can’t field a good basketball team. Shaka was a bad hire. With all the money in the world, they couldn’t steal a Sean Miller from Arizona?

    UT athletics is a mess. Until they get their shit together the Big XII will suffer. Especially in the next round of TV negotiations.

  • @Kcmatt7 I think the talent level at UT is perfectly fine. The fact of the matter they have the talent that SOME posters on this board drool about. Top 100 talent that will stay four years. They have 10 or so 4 star guys on their roster! What more can you ask for?

  • Kcmatt7 said:

    @Statmachine We will have NBA type talent at all 5 starting positions for the first time in a really long time. This is a better constructed roster than people realize.

    Although, I do get what @KUSTEVE is saying. Problem is and always will be that when UT sucks and can’t even recruit Texas than the Big XII will look weak.

    UT is swimming in cash, yet they can’t field a good basketball team. Shaka was a bad hire. With all the money in the world, they couldn’t steal a Sean Miller from Arizona?

    UT athletics is a mess. Until they get their shit together the Big XII will suffer. Especially in the next round of TV negotiations.

    It’s a great roster, with GREAT practice depth because of the transfers.

    Yeah UT…I wouldn’t mind if they were better. If losing the conference title a couple times to UT meant the league would improve in general and KU would be better tested for March I’d take that.

  • Statmachine said:

    @Kcmatt7 I think the talent level at UT is perfectly fine. The fact of the matter they have the talent that SOME posters on this board drool about. Top 100 talent that will stay four years. They have 10 or so 4 star guys on their roster! What more can you ask for?

    They could ask for a coach that has a clue. They had 2 NBA players last year which isn’t bad, but no PG.

  • @BShark I think their Coach was a good hire BUT they could do better given they have the resources to do so. If Smart doesn’t produce next year he will be looking for another job. Outside of the Blue Blood schools what coach would be willing to take the Coaching Job. Not who would they hire but who would take the job?

  • @Statmachine

    The talent deficiency from Duke to UNC is none.

    The talent deficiency from UCLA to Arizona is none.

    The talent deficiency from KU to Texas, its a lot. Despite what their recruiting rankings say.

    Just go look through the top players that have come out of the state of Texas and gone to Kentucky lately. KU and the Big XII as a conference need UT to defend it’s own recruiting grounds. And they aren’t right now.

  • 2 summers ago Smart was hired after the 2015 class was pretty much recruited. He retained most of the players on UT’s roster, and even added 2 four star top 100 guys to the roster with Mack and Roach. Last year he landed on of the top 5 star guys in the state of Texas and the other 5 star guy went over seas. He also added Andrew Jones who is testing the NBA waters and was invited to the combine. He is in the running for 2 more 5 star guys and already signed four 4 star guys. I would say if he can make it happen this year on the court with HIS guys that he recruited then the top guys in the state will have a different view of UT. He has only been there 2 years and signed 8 four star guys and a 5 star. I personally think things will come along and on a side note UT is possibly building a new basketball facility.

  • @JayHawkFanToo great point. Like advanced metrics for stats, need a top player / conf team stat. Or top picks ratio to total players in each league.

  • @jayballer54

    Ya know, there are two kinds of studs among recruits.

    The kind that produce.

    And the kind that produce excuses.

    If Malik produced excuses staying home at Mississippi State, because didn’t like playing out of position, then he will really be prone to produce excuses at KU. Self makes almost everyone play out o position part, or all of their careers at KU. IMHO, Self is taking a bigger risk on Malik, than he would be taking on a freshman ranked as high as Malik was when he was an incoming freshman. And the reason Self is taking that risk is that he couldn’t sign another highly ranked incoming freshman with Malik’s possible roles, so he took the risk on Malik, and he hoped to offset that risk with working with Malik a year before he had a chance to prove he could produce more than still more excuses.

    Cliff Alexander and Diallo were studs that were highly ranked too. But they had millions of excuses why they didn’t produce. It did not help them be producers by coming to KU. And they have been mediocre at best after leaving.

    You have to be very careful about assuming that studs produce.

    Studs fool us a lot of the time.

    Studs “could” produce.

    That is the attraction of studs.

    But many don’t.

    And once they don’t one place, the chances of them producing and living up to expectations at another place is probably even less.

    We have, or should have, sharply lower expectations for Malik.

    Tarik Black was an exception, not a rule. And even he was not a monster producer for KU.

    Malik is a risk until he actually produces something other than the excuses he produced at Mississippi State.

    Remember, Malik is different from BenMac.

    BenMac was the real deal. He was signed as a Freshman. The only reason he had to set out was transcript issues. The guy could have produced from Day 1.

    Malik proved at Mississippi State that he was not as nearly good as his OAD hype.

    The question now is: with a year of practice, can he at least produce. We’re not even expecting him to be a TAD. Being a TAD would be a surprise.

    KU has to get more real deals that produce–guys like Josh Jackson–and fewer guys that produce excuses.

    Malik can definitely help us, same as Tarik Black did help us. Malik can even turn into a TAD and surprise us. But the probability is he will take a couple seasons to be really accomplished, if he CAN stop producing excuses and start producing.

    KU needs more real deals to seriously compete for rings.

    Give Self three Josh Jacksons and a complement of Malik-grade transfers and he will win you some rings the same way Cal, Roy and Coach K have. Their ring teams have tended to be loaded, relative to the competition. All of their ring teams had more talent than last year’s KU team. Board rats that focus on UConn’s ring team under Ollie are not mastering the obvious; that UConn team was the exception to the rule. Might last year’s KU team have done what UConn did? Under perfect circumstances, yes. But perfect circumstances come along rarely at, at this late point in Self’s career, Self could easily never win another ring if he has to keep competing at such a disadvantage in talent and depth.

    The Malik grade transfers without the three real deals mean Self will use smoke and mirrors and find a way to the high 20s or low 30s in the Ws, if he has an OAD have a good season and another player have a career year, but then get overmatched by the Elite Eight, or sometime in the Final Four.

    You’ve just got to have so much talent to get to the Final Four and even more to survive and win it.

    KU has to get beyond being Tulsa on Steroids.

  • @Statmachine Shaka Smart will not be gone if UT struggles next year. Their level of care is pretty low which is why they’ve been trying to build a new arena for about 4 years now and still haven’t found a site last I was aware.

    With Tom Herman, UT is all in on restoring their football program and really could not care less about the basketball program right now.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I think you are in for a bi surprise. - - ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG

  • Shaka watch continues…

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