In case you didn't know...
Imagine Self’s winning percentage had he been able to sign top ranked recruits at the 1 and 5 and had the same at roster slots 8 through 10. OMG!!!
Same for Signboard Forehead down in Wichita and Few in Spokane. Those guys can flat out coach, too!
But Self has been doing it many years facing the toughest, or one of the toughest rated schedules, and doing so with an ever increasing number of Tulsa type players on the roster, whereas Signboard Forehead and Few have been doing it against a steady conference diet of midmajors.
Self is insanely good!
@jaybate-1.0 Think of how that percentage would look with a healthy Doke this season, healthy Joel in 2014 and Ellis in 2015 with Cliff not having his issues? We may have a NC in there too. I disagree about the 5, we have never had trouble getting bigs whether its the 4 or 5 IMO, had guys not healthy at the most important time of year tho, but Self has had numerous top 20 guys pretty much year after at those spots. Now the PG deal is true in a way but BIFM was as good as any in the country the last 2 years, Collins was good from the get go and TT was pretty damn as a upper classman as was RussRob. Tharpe was a let down but outside of him and EJ not playing his natural position we have had good guys at those spots. The number next to the player doesn’t always mean a ton.
I agree Self had a likely ring in the bush with Wigs and Joel, before Joel got injured. Same this year with a healthy Doke.
Yet injuries have plagued Self particularly, because he has never been able to amass the kind of depth of OAD and 5-star talent needed to overcome such injuries.
It hasn’t hurt his winning percentage so much, which is based heavily on regular season, but it has curtailed his ability to go deep in one and out post season.
Self has never signed the highest ranked 5 in any class. I’m not even sure Self has ever signed the second highest ranked 5 in a class either. Maybe 6-8 (probably true 6-7) Cliff Alexander was ranked a 5 by his handlers, but he was a 4 by any reasonable judgement. Thomas Robinson, never considered a 5 by anyone, would have eaten Cliff alive even at the 4.
Self just hasn’t gotten his Okafor, or Anthony Davis, yet, or the run of highly ranked bigs Roy, Consonants and Cal have had, or the long stacks of 9, or 10, OADs/TADS on a roster–not even close really.
Gotta get a couple Okafors, or Davises, to win a ring by force, instead of by the luck of everything breaking right a la UConn.
@jaybate-1.0 Joel was the Davis and Doke only rated #30 (Joel was #25, went #3 hurt in the draft easily #1 if healthy) could be next year. We just had some bad injury luck but UK doesn’t win the NC without Davis. I personally think that guys like Davis and Joel are seldom seen. This 10 OAD, five star talent pool you speak of at UK has one but 1 NC. Look at UNC, Nova and Dukes title teams, plenty of experience on those clubs and not every guy was a 5 star.
This is old ground of course, but Joel did not come to KU as a superstar, or Number 1 ranked guy. Joel DEVELOPED into a phenom at KU that Self (shamelessly? desperately?) maneuvered into signing by hiring Norm, the guy who got an early lead on Embiid while Norm assisted Billy Donovan. Recall Donovan had stood up to the forces of darkness and hired Norm as an assistant, when Norm got run by the recruiting Deep State while at St. Johns, and Self had no slot for his old friend, and Donovan manned up. Donovan appeared basically to get the no-good-deed-goes-unpunished treatment from Self and his bosom buddy Norm, the latter of whom had reputedly identified the diamond in the ruff with the quick feet reputedly before most, including Self. Embiid was reputedly neither the number 1, nor number 2 ranked center that year. I am not even positive he was third. The year before that he had reputedly transferred high schools to ensure he would get the PT he needed to develop, as a come lately to basketball from Africa. It may have been Dakari (?) Johnson ahead of him that he transferred away from to get PT. Dakari fizzled over time and Joel revealed he was not only a once in a decade physical talent, but had a once in fifty years learning speed. In the long run, Joel’s talent will let him be one of the great ones, if he avoid further serious injuries. But in his time at KU, it was the rapidity that he became merely good that makes him stand out from all other projects.
As far as I can recall without running down a list, since KU upset Memphis, playing with the OAD and Number 1 draft choice ringer at point guard that Cal (and WWW?) remarkably attracted to Memphis, over the other finalist, KU, all the winners off the NCAA have been stacked to the gills at the start of the season, as KU has NEVER been, EXCEPT for once. UConn.
I really think the jury is in on this.
Since KU in '08–remember this is 8 going on 9 years later–things have changed from a scene where Self can sign an 08 KU team with as much depth top to bottom as any, and as many draft choices, if not more than all but maybe UNC–though to be sure Kaun and Jackson were not first or second ranked recruits at their positions either.
Only one team with less talent than the long stacks has won it and that was once, UCONN, and that only occurred, when all the stars in heaven aligned, UCONN had the right time zone location, it had a recent legacy of infractioned behavior suggesting it too maybe basketball Deep State friendly, and all the apparent asymmetric seeding paths and asymmetric whistles failed to ensure the teams stacked with the same kind of talent KU has at 2, 3 and 4 spots, but also possessing the kind that KU simply is NOT able to sign at the 1 and 5, plus the TAD and/or 5-star frosh talent at the 8, 9, and 10 slots, was able to win.
It appears a stark display of asymmetric recruiting-driven dominance. Period.
Based decisively on being able to sign more dominant players at more positions that KU could and did.
Self just hasn’t been able to sign the top 1 and 2 frosh at the crucial down the middle positions–1 and 5. He has had some develop rapidly (Embiid), or slowly (Withey) and he has signed some 4s that had to spend time at the 5 and developed slowly (Kieff, who wasn’t first or second ranked when he signed either, comes to mind), but the talent just hasn’t 't been there, or when it has, there hasn’t been enough depth to offset injuries.
Kentucky has arguably had more Number 1/2 ranked 5s get injured than Self has ever signed.
Self has never once had the number of draft choices on a single team that UK had in 2012, 2013, or 2014, for certain. That Cal has not win many rings with his abundance of talented rosters really proves my point here. Cal is an average coach IMHO. Nothing more. If he were a coach of Self’s skill level, or even of Roy’s skill level, Cal would have won much more. And its clear in retrospect that the recruiting regime has come to the same conclusion. However one wishes to characterize what drives where recruits go, Cal clearly has fallen from being able to sign and play 5 and a 6th man that are credible high first round draft choices, as he did in 2012. And he cannot even dream of signing 10 as he did a few seasons later. Everyone has watched him blow rings with lopsided advantages in talent and with favorable whistles. Whatever decides how many great players Cal gets, the jury is in. He is not a good enough coach for so many greats to keep signing with him.
Self appears to be suffering a similar decline in the amount of top talent he can attract in the lower parts of his roster. But its happening when he is maximizing the talent he is getting, not when he has been squandering it, as is the case with Cal.
The proof of Self’s greatness is that he has won at a higher winning percentage with lesser talent against better competition than any other coach your chart lists.
Its frankly mind boggling what that chart implies he has done.
And I think what Few and Marsha have done would in most decades except Wooden’s wonder years, or this run of Self’s, be considered pretty much unparalleled, too, from their positions as mid major coaches.
But Self HAS done it and it does overshadow what they have done.
And then there is Roy.
Williams winning three (or is it four now?) at UNC with stunning depth and draft choices, and never winning a ring when anything went against him, and blowing a ring against KU in the semifinals of 08, when he clearly had the best team, just means Roy is a solid coach in a ridiculously advantageous situation. Heck, if the guy had been a truly great coach, he would have found a way to win a ring at KU with flipping Paul Pierce and Raef LaFrentz, or with his last marvelously talented team.
But Roy just is not as great of a coach as Self, who managed to win a ring in 08 by beating a more talented team (Roy and UNC) and by beating a team with a future All Pro and a bunch of ringers. Sheesh! Roy doesn’t even breath the same air as Self IMHO. Roy is good so long as he stays tightly attached to the Nike/Air Jordan teat as he was at KU and as he is at UNC. Could Roy have taken a Tulsa to an Elite Eight? No. Way. In. Hell. roy is just luckier than hell he never had to start out at an ORU, or a Tulsa. If he had, he would never have gotten to KU. EVER. Roy’s just not that kind of a coach.
Self is up here skill wise.
Roy is down here.
Roy could have won rings with John Wooden’s last 8 teams, when Wooden had twice the talent other teams had. But Roy would likely have finished .500 with Wooden’s first two ring teams. Roy would never have figured out how to win with five starters under 6-5. He would not even have tried. He would have approached it as he did his TJ Pugh team. He would have been out recruiting and building for the following season.
Of course, Self probably couldn’t have gotten Wooden’s first two ring teams to a ring, either, same as he could not figure out how to do it with this past year’s KU team, but Self would have gotten them to a ton of wins and a fine season. Self, like Wooden, understands how to win many different ways. Roy understands how to win with more talent than anyone else has, one way.
I know I have rambled and wandered off course here, but I felt like I ought not only respond to your able posts of late, which I have largely concurred with, but keep things going by dissenting just enough to keep it lively.
And I do think you, and @Kcmatt7, and some others, have manned up as posters of late and I look forward to reading lots of interesting things from you and the others in coming months, as I keep writing less and less.
I keep running on less and less fuel as I age, and so I increasingly have to pick and choose when to weigh in. Just not as quick and clear as I would like to be. Its an internal governor with me, nothing anyone else is writing about me. I’m slowing down in all parts of my life.
Anyway, always good to see someone else picking up the baton and beating us over the heads with it occassionally, as needed.
Now, I will buckle my chin strap on my ancient suspension helmet from high school football back near the start of a prior century’s third quarter, and ready for your and others next takes.
Otoh imagine Self’s record if he were in the ACC or BIG.
@kjayhawks Rick Pitino before the season said that Embiid was the best player in the class. He was pissed he missed out on him.
@kjayhawks Also Joel was ranked #6 by ESPN Recruiting when it was all said and done.
Joel probably was the best player in terms of ceiling, but he was the least developed IMHO. That’s why he wasn’t rank as high as some others.
Self at UNC, with AirJordan conveyor, would have equaled a Wooden-like run.
Coach K would likely already have retired.
Yeah, K’s back would have really been flaring up.