Welcome to the OAD Merry Go Round

  • It was about as strong of a signal as potential recruits could get short of an official announcement.

    Wiggins, Embiid and Selden appear to be goners.

    So: it’s unofficially official: Self and KU are on the OAD Merry Go Round.

    Time to tape new names on the lockers and change the warm bed sheets.

    Alexander, Oubre and Myles–you guys get the hot bunks and the over hyped expectations to deal with for the next 8 months.

    Time for Self to find 3 more OADS for when the next three rollover in another 8 months.

    What were Andrew’s, Joel’s and Wayne’s last names again?

    Finding three OADs each year is going to be a chore for Self. True.

    But think what this means for KU, CBernie, and Sheahon for Self’s next contract negotiation.

    If they don’t give him what he wants, then he walks and KU is left without a nucleus of a competitive team, i.e., with a hole the size of three OADs.

    Now do you see why UK does not walk away from Calipari?

    Now they have to replace not just Cal, but all his OADs, or watch the team lose 15-25 games for a couple seasons, while a new coach rebuilds a nucleus, or they hire another OAD attractor, which would be staying on the OAD Merry Go Round.

    And the crazy thing is with all this great talent of Cal’s, UK went to the NIT last season and may go there again this one.

    And Self went from winning 30+ without OADs to 23-7 in March and needing to win the last conference game, 3 in the conference tourney and 4 straight (the Semi Finals) in the big dance to reach 30+ with OADs.

    All in hopes of a ring.

    And taking on the risk of a coach leaving and not being able to hire another that can fill the OAD void.

    I love Self, but…

    It’s all madness.

  • @jaybate 1.0 Lest we forget, the seeds were sown in years past. So many experienced players left last year that we needed lots of new folks to fill the void. Coach Self had no choice but to bring in new players, either freshmen, JUCO transfers or graduate transfers such as Tarik Black.

    Would we have been better this year with three other freshmen not good enough to be OADs? If they started, no way. If they didn’t, then do Jamari, White and Lucas make us better than Wiggins, Embiid and Selden? No way.

    The open question is next year, especially if promising players transfer.

    All Self can do is try to unwind slowly, say going from 3 to 2 to 1 and recruiting more 2-4 year players. That’s hard to do, especially if one of the 2-year players becomes the number 1 pick in the draft during his first year!

    P.S. I don’t think Self was banking on a 30+ season this year. He said he figured 2-3 non-conference losses and 4-5 conference losses, so worst case 8 losses at the end of the regular season. We’re there.

  • The entire OAD merry go round is unnecessary. It is not a prerequisite to a championship team.

    The best talent creates the best team – most of the time. But that gets confused with reality of the OAD drama – most of the allegedly high talented players have higher ceilings. Higher ceilings need time to develop. So the higher talent does not necessarily create the best team. It’s a different game, different speed, different demands, different environments. And it takes time.

    In our case, to be fair to coach Self, I don’t think Selden and Embiid were presumed OADs at the time they signed. So circumstances have created this merry go round a bit.

    But as @jaybate said, here we are, and it is “madness.” And the only way I will “like it” is if we win the national title.

  • @jaybate 1.0 I’ve been whining about OAD’s since there was such a thing and I know nobody cares, but I will not be convinced that a OAD (or a group of OAD’s) is to any team’s benefit.

    I think, in almost every case, it just jacks with a team’s chemistry and hurts more than it helps. Almost every case.

    The thing is, I’ve been known to let my emotions get the best of me. I like watching players develop on the court, emotionally, spiritually sometimes, and physically (thanks Andrea!). So at the end of four (or five) years I cry like a little girl when it’s time for them to give their farewell speeches on Senior night. I feel like I KNOW them (not biblically…I know how your mind works jb lol) and like they’re a part of the family. When a OAD leaves, I still like them for having come to KU, but it’s like " see ya. have fun sitting on the bench and spending your money for the next couple of years".

    I have MUCH respect for Tarik Black. He could have stayed where he was, could have transferred to any school in the country, but he WANTED to be at KU. He will always have a special place in my heart when it comes to KU basketball.

    If I could ban the whole OAD thing, it would have already been a done deal. I can’t. So, I’ll just keep whining and hoping that we recruit guys that want to be here.

    By the way, this is not an indictment of Andrew, Joel, Wayne or anybody else on our team past or present. I totally understand why 18 year old kids want to be rich and famous. I’m pissed at the NBA and at the NCAA for allowing it. Let them be rich and famous at 22. I’m 55 and still ain’t rich and famous. I’ve survived.

  • @ParisHawk

    "Would we have been better this year with three other freshmen not good enough to be OADs?

    Perhaps not this season, but likely next. Clearly, Embiid, the guy who was not projected OAD, was the only player of our OADs that we clearly could not have done without.

    The question is how much better were we with Wigs and Selden, than the guys we have behind them? HEM nailed it here. Wigs and Silden had higher ceilings than anyone they played against, but their playing present levels of performance were often exceeded by non draft choices.

    Unless you come out of high school bigger, stronger, faster, and a better dribbler and Trey shooter, than experienced D1 players, you are just another freshman about to get schooled, Regardless of how high your ceiling is and how are you were going to be drafted for how good you will be in the NBA in three years.

    Unless we win the rain this season, the only two lasting effects of having signed Selden and Wiggins will be:

    1.) The POR for having been able to sign them at all; and

    2.) The need to replace them immediately, because long-term players were not developed.

    I am not salting Self. He tried it largely without OADs for 10 years and only got one ring and beat for a second one by a team with six OAD’s. He was reaching the pinnacle of his career. He had a lot of players depart. He had to try it sooner or later.

    What I am saying, is that unless he wins a ring, the experiment have turned out not significantly better than playing largely without OADS, and have resulted in him having to fill large voids year-to-year with the same kind of high ceiling, adequate performing OADS, or, like Humpty Dumpty, have a great fall, because the long-term players were not being developed.

    Self is masterful at trying to split the difference and invert situations to find opportunities that are not readily apparent. He is a master at resisting doing one, or the other, and instead doing some of both. I believe his initial idea was to try to sign two OAD’s each season from now on, bless maintaining a three man, long-term nucleus developing and only needing infrequent replacement. But when Wiggins surprised him and decided to come to KU, he could not very well say no to the reputed next LeBron. Coaching the best players is part of what great coaches strive to do. He had to take the bait. But as him has written repeatedly since the signing of Wiggins took place, there were going to be adverse consequences for signing Wiggins. Self crossed a tipping point in the nucleus of the team. Embiid, Wiggins, and Selden became that nucleus. And that nucleosis needed three quarters of the season, not to reach its high ceiling, but just to become competent Division I players. Alas none but embed could ever become strong finishers at the room. And Wiggens and Selden still cannot play a fast paced game without baking pop tarts at a high rate.

    There are 11 games to go, so the experimental results are not complete. It could all come roses for Self, if Joel comes back, Andrew finds his mojo on both ends of the floor, and Selden keeps guarding and protecting. But if this team were to lose to WVU, and again early in the conference tournament, then this season could in the best case scenario at most be an Andrew and the miracles, or Joel and the miracles, type of situation; I.e., A situation where not the best team gets hot and when’s six in a row.

    Is that really what the gambit of signing so many OAD’s was about?

    Finally, one thing I remember about Danny and the miracles: they were one heck of a sound defensive team.

    Can this team become that before the big Dance starts?

    What gives me the most hope for this team are as follows:

    1.) Joel comes back employs six games in the madness;

    2.) Self saying as he did after the Texas Tech game, okay, now let’s get serious, employing that he has of late been working on the stuff, rather than actually putting the spurs to the team;

    3.) Wiggins having a higher gear then we have seen so far; and

    1. Tariqk coming into his own and actually reconstituting this team the way he did against Texas Tech.

    Against Texas Tech, to you for the last three quarters of the game, played like a traditional Bill self team. They guarded well and actually ran the offense. Failure to run the offense effectively has plagued the OAD laden team with Embiid at the hub all season long. Of course it is much easier to run the stuff against a Texas Tech than it is against Marcus Smart, Markel Brown, LeBryant Nash lead defense. But what I saw in Tarik, was a conventional big man doing conventional things in a conventional offense and seeing it operate fluidly for the first time this season. Not to knock Joel, but she is not intuitive yet about setting screens and hedging in a way that makes the offense and defense cohesive. Joel’s strength is to reduce inside shooting percentages to levels that And opponent cannot win with.

    If Tarik can get the team to run the stuff effectively against the pressure defense of WVU, then I think we have made a major breakthrough capable of carrying this team to a ring, by playing the five with a committee of Black and Embiid.

    But still, we are on the OAD merry-go-round, like it or not.

  • @nuleafjhawk Glad to know i’m not the only one that cries like a little girl on Senior Night, I was at the Fieldhouse last year and It was probably one of the most special Senior Night’s to me because we had so many guys who had been around for so long. It’s awesome to get to watch these guys grow and change and get to know them. In a situation like Bens I get leaving early because his family needed the money. I don’t know about Seldens’ family but I’m pretty sure Wiggs and Embiid would be just fine in college another year or two.

  • Something to consider is that this is not a big change in philosophy for coach Self. He has ALWAYS heavily recruited the top players. It is just in the last two recruiting classes that he has started to land them in bunches. I think @ParisHawk made some very good points as well regarding roster spots. Consider the fact that for the third time in his tenure here at KU, Self was forced with replacing the entire starting line-up. If you, as a program, want to shy away from OAD type players, you need talented upperclassmen returning almost every year. You need a stacked bench of guys waiting their turn for playing time. And while we certainly have had our share of those types of teams before, expecting Self to forecast & predict the roster outlook even two years down the road is impossible. This situation was bound to happen. So yeah, we may have to have a few seasons like this one (and in all probability, next season) where we have a high OAD turnover rate. And while we all enjoy getting to “know” the players over longer stretches and watching them develop, we appreciate them more perhaps, I certainly couldn’t have been more pleased with the freshman seasons of Wiggins, Selden, & Embiid.

    And to @jaybate 1.0 's point about our record, your comparison of the 30+ win seasons without OADs to this year’s 23-7 record with them is more than a little off-base. I mean, if you’re insinuating/inferring that we have a worse record than in years past because we were playing a bunch of guys who eventually turn out to be OAD players, what do you think this team’s record would be without the OADs this year? Let’s say we sign a few non-OAD guys for the scholarships of Wiggins, Selden, & Embiid. Because of the lateness of the Wiggins signing, Self could not have hoped to get anyone better than in the 70-90 recruiting rating range, so that player would most certainly not have had much of an impact this year. You’re likely looking at a starting line-up of Tharpe, Greene, AW3, Ellis, & Black, assuming Black still chooses KU over Duke without the OAD players, which isn’t a given but for the purposes of this exercise we’ll allow the assumption. Other posters probably have a better recollection of guys that we were in on that may have came had Selden & Embiid not signed, but I can’t remember them. I can’t fathom any of them being good enough to crack the starting line-up listed above. So that’s the starting line-up, with only Connor Frankamp & Frank Mason as viable perimeter subs. Maybe Self adds someone with more height & length to sub some minutes on the wings. The post player brought in to replace Embiid would most likely struggle to garner minutes over Traylor & Lucas, so maybe a red-shirt candidate. But are you telling me that the team listed above, with some nameless non-OAD players, would have a better record and be closer to 30+ wins that the current squad? No way. The OAD players didn’t create the void in wins. Losing the entire starting line-up combined with not having much experience on the bench to plug in combined with a brutal non-conference schedule is what is responsible. If anything, we should thank the OADs for getting us to 23 at this point, not blame them for not having us closer to 30.

  • addendum to my previous post @jaybate 1.0 -

    After writing the above I then saw your more recent post, and would concede the fact that the long term effects very likely reduce next year’s win total due to stymieing the development of players like Greene & AW3 who would have seen significantly more minutes this year without OADs Wiggins & Selden. However, as I also pointed out, the schedule had a large role to play in this as well. I’ve heard it thrown out there that our schedule was more difficult this year than that of any team in the past 8-10 years. That phenomenon is unlikely to repeat itself, so expect the win total to improve next year regardless.

  • My opinion on three OADs is if you bring in four to 6 kids, you have a full class like this year with Mason and Green and Frankamp. Sure Wiggins Seldon and Embid leave, but look whats left.

    Those are three good players that have all contributed this year and will for the next 2 or 3 years as well and will become the leaders for those other OAD’s and holdovers.

    You steal a talent like Traylor here and there and a Lucas and they might be a project at first but look at TRob and that project. That worked out well not only for KU but for Thomas too(hope he returns from his injury soon).

    Is it ideal the OAD process? No way not even close. The new NBA commissioner is talking about raising the age to 20. Wish that rule was in place now KU would have Wiggins for one more year.

    Now if Coach Self goes off the deep end andgoes after 5 or 6 OAD’s alla Cal then we are in trouble. But we all know that Coach Self is a lot smarter than that.

  • @icthawkfan316 the schedule had a large role to play in this as well. I’ve heard it thrown out there that our schedule was more difficult this year than that of any team in the past 8-10 years


    They have beaten 12 top 50 teams, that’s more than any one else in the country…

  • Here’s the thing - in order to win the title, you need future pros on your roster. Pros as in plural. You can’t win a title with a future pro. You need multiple players that can play at the next level.

    In order to do that, you have to recruit the top talent. Not necessarily top 10 talent (which is where you will typically find the OADs), but you have to have talent.

    Sometimes guys outside the top 50 develop - Morris twins, Tyshawn Taylor, etc. But here’s the thing. Take a guy like Andrew White. He’s a good basketball player, definitely a D1 talent. Ranked right around 50. However, he struggled on defense last year and has struggled with injury and effectiveness this year. The assumption is that four years of White is better than one of Wiggins.

    The better question is whether White, in any of his four years, can be a rotation player on a championship caliber team. We are through two years and the answer is no.

    And that is the rub. Wiggins, in one year, is clearly good enough to start on a championship level team. So is Selden. Embiid, too. Landen Lucas is not, but Jamari Traylor is. White isn’t, but Greene is.

    So is four years of White better than one of Wiggins? Probably not. Is four years of Greene better than one of Wiggins? Doubtful, but its more comparable because Greene could give you two years where he helps give you a shot at a title as a key cog. You know going in Wiggins will only give you one. The tough thing is that Wiggins is the type of talent that can put you over the top. Greene is the type of talent that helps you get there.

    Here’s the tougher question - is four years of Perry Ellis better than one year of Joel Embiid? I would say no, because Perry Ellis, while good, isn’t the type of player to put you over the top. Embiid is, clearly.

    I think that is what Self and coaches like him - Calipari, Donovan, others - have realized. OADs, while they could be disruptive, could also be the thing that puts you over the top. Why do you think a guy like Billy Donovan, with a team ranked in the top 5, would start playing a guy like Chris Walker in February after he was ruled eligible? It’s because he could make a difference in March in a way that many other players can’t.

    Here’s a hypothetical for you. If the NCAA had ruled that Ben McLemore could have played in the national title game against Kentucky a couple years back, would you have wanted him to play, even if that would also mean that he would have jumped to the NBA after playing only one game for KU? I would take that in a heartbeat. McLemore could have been the difference that day. He’s that kind of talent. Adding him to that rotation, even just for that one night, could have closed the gap between KU and UK just enough to give the Hawks the title.

    That’s the difference between OADs and players ranked down the list. You pretty much know a OAD can make a difference in your season. There is no guarantee that a player ranked lower will ever have that type of impact in any one season, and at a school like KU, where you will basically always be good, you have to look for ways to push it over the top.

  • @JRyman

    I don’t think TRob is a good comp to Lucas. TRob was ranked the #10 PF and #31 overall by Rivals, #9 PF and 25 overall by Scout, and #40 by ESPN. He was a borderline 5 star recruit. Not a OAD, but a high talent guy. Lucas was not ranked in the top 150 by any service he was on the border between being a three star and four star player.

    My hope for Landen is that he achieves a Darnell Jackson type of career. That’s probably his best case scenario, honestly. Robinson wasn’t a top ranked player, but he was right on that next tier.

  • @justanotherfan Just FYI, the Morris twins were not outside the top 50. Since they were at a prep school, espn & scout did not rank them. Rivals listed Markeiff at 49, Marcus at 29.

  • Another thought on this - this discussion has centered around Wiggins, Embiid, & Selden. Why are we not throwing Black into the fray here as well? He’s not a OAD, but think of all the negatives that are tossed around about OADs - that we don’t get to enjoy them for very long, that KU is just a pit stop for them, that their being here is hindering the development of other players - is all of that not also true for Black? The only difference is that Black was certainly closer to his ceiling, so he was not likely to make as significant strides in improving his game. In that respect, given that he is not head & shoulders better than any of our other bigs (despite last night’s performance), wouldn’t Black be considered an even worse offender? Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of his and am in no way attempting to disparage him, but for those who are railing away against the OADs, why have you not included him?

  • @icthawkfan316 The difference is that " they " can stay three more years but choose not to. Black could only play one more year and he chose KU over everyone else. He’d be here longer if he could.

  • @nuleafjhawk “He’d be here longer if he could”

    Maybe not if he had millions awaiting him in the NBA. We don’t know that he would stay in that situation. Actually, we have a pretty good idea. Based on the article yesterday on kusports.com, Black says he wants to play in the NBA. So given that statement, might we surmise that were he presented the same choice that Wiggins, Selden, & Embiid are faced with that Black too might also choose to make the jump to the NBA?

    Again all the negatives about the 3 freshman OADs are the same for Black, regardless of whether anyone would choose to be here longer or not. Every one of Embiid, Wiggins, & Selden could have also choose to be elsewhere but wanted to be at KU as well. To me I fail to see the difference.

  • Jaybate, your point seems to be that somehow Self should not have recruited the top players in the country if there was a possibility that they would be so good that they would leave. Also, it would have been a good thing not to win the Big 12 again so that we would be better in the future. I can’t imagine any coach telling Wiggins that he was not wanted. As the season wore on we all could see why Green, White, and Conner had to sit on the bench. Complaining about the defense this year not being what it used to be is a false argument. We lost 4 Senior starters from last year and expect things to be better on defense this year when playing for a Self team requires a flow from the previous years upper classmen which were Ellis and Tharpe. Why do we always doubt the best coach in the country? Each of us on this site would have done all of this better than Bill. Only at Kansas do people bitch about currently being a # 1 seed.

  • It is interesting that in our last two NC defeats and the almost third defeat we fell victims to OAD’s. Cuse doesn’t win in 03, heck, they probably don’t sniff the final four without 'Melo and Kentucky, same thing. Memphis in 08 had a nice mix but without DR, there’s no way they get close.

    Other than those three years I can’t recall too many OAD’s leading their team to the title.

  • @icthawkfan316 Well, we will never know about Tarik, so I won’t waste any more time on that subject. I hope you understand that the “negatives” are not about the individuals - it’s about the whole system that allows it. I’ve said numerous times that I understand why kids leave college early. Heck, if someone stuck a blank check in front of my face to leave college and go play in the NBA, there wouldn’t be much of a choice to make. I just think it’s a sad situation.

    Schools spend unfathomable amounts of time, money and energy recruiting these kids. The fans are left feeling kind of empty ( at least I am ) as we don’t get to know the kids on personal level. (As personally as a fan can get to know a college ball player anyway )

    Bottom line is - you’re right. And so am I. It’s called our opinion.

  • @nuleafjhawk I certainly understand that you are not attacking the players. And yes we are all entitled to our opinions, I’m just trying to understand yours. I agree whole-heartedly about not getting to know kids on a personal level after one year. I guess I’m just wondering why you don’t seem to want to include Black in that as well. Regardless of motives and choices, he is in fact only here for one year as well. Surely we don’t know him any better than Wiggins, Selden or Embiid because of his years at Memphis.

    Another thing is, and I alluded to this in my posted response to Jaybate, is that without the OADs, we likely don’t land Black either. You say he could have signed with anybody. But it was down to us and Duke. Wiggins is on board, and a week later so is Black. He was choosing a school that he thought was not only a good fit but also gave him a decent shot at a ring. That means a significant portion of talent on the roster. Without the OADs, Black isn’t here. Speculation perhaps, but I’d say a pretty safe bet.

  • @wrwlumpy

    Sorry if that is how it comes off. I am saying a little different; that Self had to try it, under the circumstances, but, also, that, yes, KU probably could have won the tenth title without Wiggin and Selden, and with the combination of playing another two five star non OADs and what we had coming back. I am saying that Wigs and Selden have been good, but not great, and that the price of that goodness (not greatness for the greatness of the players lies 2-3 years beyond) is the OAD merry go round, that revolves faster and faster and triggers an endless repetition of moving from not much defense to some defense, of a high pop tart offense, to a medium pop tart offense, in any given year, plus the high risk of not finding the right three OADs needed to fill the holes every year.

    You never turn away a great player. Self didn’t. But you also never want to get into the position that you have to fill more than one or two OAD holes in your team, or your team nucleus becomes an OAD nucleus that is almost never experienced enough, strong and skilled enough and sound enough fundamentally to win the ring anyway.

    I will try to distill it to this.

    In D1, we don’t need the OADs with the “highest ceilings,” unless they are willing to stay long enough to realize enough of those ceilings that they are head and shoulders better than all the seasoned D1 players they come up against.

    What we need are players with “high foundations.”

    Any player, an OAD, or a non OAD, if we are to bring them in and start them as freshmen, has to have a high foundation; that is the key. That foundation has to be higher than the seasoned D1 players they will face, or there’s no point to starting freshman.

    Any OAD that has a high foundation, i.e., a higher foundation than seasoned D1 players, I want.

    Any OAD that has a lower foundation, or the same foundation as seasoned D1 players, I don’t want. I would rather have the guys for several years.

    This means that the high ceiling player’s ability to make wow plays has to make so many wow plays that it offsets his TOs, for instance.

    The high ceiling OAD that makes 4 wow plays per game, but turns it over 4 or more times, is not a net benefit to the team. You might have to vary my calculus a bit for the percentage that the opponent converts those TOs to points, but you catch my drift here.

  • @wissoxfan83

    You make a key point. If Andrew Wiggins, or Wayne Selden, could have played like Carmelo Anthony, then you absolutely want them.

    But the fact is that only certain OADs, and not most, are good enough to put a team on their backs and take them to a title; this is my whole point.

    And those OADs that are good enough to put a team on their backs and carry it to a title usually are studs from the beginning of the season. They don’t need a season to develop. Melo didn’t need to wait to March to dominate. Neither did AD and Kidd Gilchrist.

    We need to be a bit more discriminating in signing OADs.

    Unless they can dominate games like Carmelo and AD and Kidd Gilchrist could, they very likely may not be worth the down stream costs they create.

    OADs to be worth the down stream costs have to have super high foundations (ability to dominate games now), not just super high ceilings. In fact, the ceiling just doesn’t matter, since they aren’t going to develop that much in a single season. Melo and AD and Kidd Gilchrist developed hardly at all in their single seasons; that’s again is the essence.

    Sign high foundation OADs, not high ceilinged OADs.

  • Isn’t it a rock and a hard place scenario for Self?

    He brings in some one and cones and we complain they don’t stay and we have to rebuild.

    But if he doesn’t bring in the likes of Henry, Selby, Mclemore and Wiggins we complain he isn’t getting it done in recruiting and Duke and Kentucky are our recruiting Kansas and we are going to fall into oblivion.

    After Selby the word on Self was he couldn’t develop a OAD. Wiggins and Embid have showed the world differently.

    Now Self is being talked about as not only a great coach but a recruiter too. Which is funny cause ever since he was Illinois he was a big time recruiter.

  • @JRyman I completely disagree. Self can easily choose to take no presumed OADs. No complaints from me if he does. I’d rather take a #15-#60 player over an OAD. That approach will lead to better teams. You may lose many of those guys for their senior seasons … see TRob, Marcus, Markieff, Chalmers, etc. But 2 and 3 year guys would be the norm, with some 4 year guys.

    I’ve mentioned it before, but I think you can take a consistent approach – if you have non-freshmen that are top 60 guys, don’t recruit an OAD to start over them. If you have a clear hole, go the OAD route if you must.

    At our 3 spot, we had White (sophomore) and Greene (freshman). But we added Wiggins. Sticking to a consistent approach, I would have passed on Wiggins.

    Embiid was not a presumed OAD, but was filling a clear hole anyway. Same with Selden.

    But because we didn’t get a three year top 50 guy last season instead of Embiid, we are chasing our tail with Cliff Alexander. And will be chasing our tail the year after that because we didn’t bring in another top 60 post guy to learn and get better this season.

    I firmly believe this makes a better program. OADs mortgage the future because we aren’t able to as effectively build for the future. We’re continually hoping that the freshmen get it quick, which is completely unnatural.

    Assuming Wiggins, Embiid, and Selden are going pro, and we don’t win the national title, was it worth it?

    Or would we be much better in 2014-15 if our rotation this season was Tharpe, Mason, Green, White, Frankamp; and Ellis, Karviar Shepherd (or someone similar), Lucas, and Traylor?

    Don’t underestimate that guys would step up and play well. Don’t underestimate chemistry. Don’t underestimate Self as a coach. Don’t be afraid to have a season that is not a normal Kansas season, to set up years of guaranteed title contention.

    The team I described above would not need Alexander or Oubre. Self could have focused on guys in the #20 - #60ish range; guys that when you bring them in, they’ll be here for 3 years.

    I remain in the minority.

  • I think the OAD’s bring some intangibles, along w/talent. Wiggins is our best defender, followed by Selden. These guys make the rest of our team better. They didn’t come here to put our team on their back. They wanted to come here to play team ball. I don’t want them to go, I think they have been great ambassadors for KU! I feel strongly the rest of our team has enjoyed playing w/them too. Hopefully going against them everyday has been beneficial! I’m hoping Embiid and Selden will stay.

  • @HighEliteMajor I’m not saying I’m an advocate for the OAD’s I was just stating what people have posted in the past about not being able to sign the marquee names from time to time.

    Trust me when I say I am all about team, and team work. I have posted many times when KU loses a game like last year to Michigan, this year to OK st when they all blame one guy. I stand up and say you win as a team you lose as a team.

    Can you build a team around OADs? I think you an if the chemistry and leadership are there. Can you build a team around 3 and 4th year players? YES. Look at what Villanova did to KU this year. Look down the road to WSU this year as well. There can be a balance, I agree with you it about building for the future and not the now, but sometimes how do you pass up on a guy like Wiggins? He is having a better freshman year at KU than any other freshman in Kansas history.

    This years team is something special with the mixture, no one transferred over the summer to Gonzaga because their feelings got hurt cause their playing time was shrinking. No one decided to play here or there or somewhere at Christmas break. Sure there are some rumblings that White wants to leave after this year, but if he sat and talked with Morningstar or Reed about staying and working hard and really earning that playing time he could be one of those guys people talk about for years to come.

    I don’t discount anyones potential, and I don’t believe the hype surrounding others. I want to see it with my own eyes what these guys can do on the floor and as a team.

    I remember seeing Hoosiers for the first time and I was an 8th grader and the student manager for our varsity boys team. We made it to state that year for the first time in almost 30 years. We went and saw Hoosiers the night before our first game, and from that point on until I graduated when we broke every huddle we yelled, “team”

  • @jaybate 1.0

    I agree. I would say that Wiggins was probably viewed as one of those high foundaition OAD’s wouldn’t you agree? I mean people are/were saying he’s the best to come along since Lebron, that’s a pretty high foundation!

  • A lot of good points presented and my thoughts on some of them.

    The fact that KU has won “only” 23 games so far cannot be attributed to the OADs. Although KU has had to replace its entire starting lineup before, it never had to deals with the “toughest schedule in 20 years” with a team this experienced and playing in the top conference. Let me repeat:

    All new starters including 3 freshmen, one (fairly green) sophomore and 1 junior. Previous team had 3-5th year seniors, 1 senior and one red-shirt freshman starting.

    Playing in the top conference.

    Playing the toughest schedule in 20 years.

    Anyone that thought KU would win more games under these conditions is completely delusional. Many of us thought that a 14-4 record would win the conference and it is true; a 14-4 record would win the conference. KU has a chance to beat that prediction by winning at West Virginia and hence exceeding realistic expectations.

    The second point is that it is very easy to criticize and come up with all kinds of theories anonymously and from behind a keyboard. Coach Self, on the other hand, does not have the luxury of playing what if games or take a year off to rebuild the team with players that will stay more than one year. If he did that we all would be screaming that Kentucky is increasing its lead in all-time wins and we are not winning enough; yes, were are a pampered/spoiled fan base with high expectations.

    Up to now, Coach Self has done a masterful job of blending returning talent with OADs. Is this his first choice? I will guess it is not, but as Rumsfeld famously said…you go to war with the army you have. Coach Self did not create the OAD system, but it behooves him to take advantage of it as long as he continues to produce consistent winners…and he has done that in spades.

    Maybe we should all relax a bit and enjoy the fantastic season KU has had, and how some day we will tell the 'youngens" we witnessed the start of the careers of at least two future hall of famers. If KU ends up winning the NCAA tournament, we will all be commenting on what a genius Coach Self is (he really is) and how well he handled the OAD system. As the expression goes…Success has many fathers and failure is an orphan.

  • Something to remember for those who absolutely can’t stand having presumed OADs on the roster, I respect your position, and in turn would ask that you no longer fondly recall the '08 championship season. After all, Brandon Rush came in as a presumed OAD, and you can bet we don’t win it all in '08 without him. Heck, according to rivals.com both Julian Wright & Mario Chalmers were ranked ahead of him - Rush #13, Chalmers #12, Wright #8. Scout.com had Wright at #8, Rush #15, Chalmers #19, I only single out Brandon because the word was he was definitely a OAD, whereas Wright & Chalmers didn’t have the same buzz. So what’s the cutoff point for not recruiting players? No one in the top 10? Top 15? Top 20?

    I don’t like the OAD rule anymore than the next die hard fan. I’m sure Self doesn’t like it. But I am of the opinion that you don’t pass up talent when you can land it, because you never know when that level of talent will present itself again. My guess is that Self is of the same mindset, particularly after the recruiting drought a couple of years ago that had him scrambling for guys like Braedon Anderson and Merv Lindsay just to have enough athletic bodies to hold competitive practices. Is it ideal? Of course not, but my guess is that every other team in America has issues year to year where their roster composition isn’t exactly to their liking.

    There is hope that the new NBA commissioner will alter the NBA’s rule to something that makes more sense for all parties involved. When that happens, who knows, maybe Self is holding the cards with three OADs on his roster that all of a sudden he gets to keep an extra year or two. Wouldn’t that be sweet?

  • @icthawkfan316

    Right on! Embiid is a projected OAD and we still don’t know if he is going or not.

    Most likely, without our presumed OADs this year you could kiss B12 #10 goodbye, also perhaps our string of 24 NCAA tourney appearances… along with any hopes of a national championship!

    We lost our entire starting 5 from last year… none were OAD… closest thing was BMac.

    This year, even if all 3 go OAD (unlikely), we will still be left with 2 starters and a plethora of bench talent with some experience.

    It isn’t fair to put us on the level of a Kentucky… even in a year like this one.

    I will be surprised if Wayne departs, and I am 50/50 on JoJo.

    Self may have tweaked his recruiting strategy somewhat… from, say, 1 potential OAD per year, up to 3. He knows even if he lands 3, good chance only 1 or 2 actually go OAD.

    The experimental season this year is a success! Everything we win (moving forward) is gravy because it is unlikely any of it would exist without our OADs.

    I am straddling between HEM and the pro-OAD folks. I totally understand where HEM is at. I just think it will be hard to maintain our winning ways (and streaks) if we eliminate recruiting many of the top recruits.

    I do, however, think we need to be selective on recruiting OADs. Just because I guy can run up a stat sheet doesn’t mean he’ll be a good Jayhawk and teammate.

    I think Calipari makes some big mistakes by just picking the top 10 players and going after each one, regardless of their personalities and styles. He has some tough issues with his team this year and I am doubtful to see them in the Final Four… but you never know!

    Last… I think it is hard to just zone in on a mid zone of players to recruit. Eventually, we are left with some pretty big holes that don’t get filled. It seems like a better strategy to start from the top and work our way down, being selective along the way.

    BTW: A year ago I was solidly in the HEM camp! I started changing my mind after BMac.

    Just look at the strategy of Self vs Calipari:

    1. Calipari wants all the Top 10 players. He isn’t selective and just goes off of ranking. He signs up at least 5 or more every year, knowing his current starters will be gone. That is a revolving door. So every year he has to start fresh, at ground zero! No experienced starters in the lineup to help the rookies and offer stability.

    2. Self is selective which top players he recruits. He doesn’t sign 5 or more Top players immediately, so he has time to go through and pick the right players from the Top 50. Many of those recruits will be returning players, some will last their entire 4 years, and may even red-shirt and make it 5 years! The starting lineup always includes at least 2 returning players… typically more. So new superstar players have experienced veterans to help show them the way and to be there to help keep play consistent.

    Everyone back up. Last year wasn’t a typical year. We lost all our starters. So relax… because our inconsistency this year wasn’t caused by our projected OADs… it has come from our two returning players who start; Naadir and Perry! And most of our bench this year was new players. That certainly won’t be the case next year!

    We are going to have an awesome team next year, even if all 3 projected OADs leave! Imagine if one or two stay!

    The key moving forward is to only go after 3 potential OADs… have 2 returning starters… and a bench full of experienced, quality talent!

    It is starting to look like that might be a pattern Self can shoot for.

  • @justanotherfan

    “So is four years of White better than one of Wiggins? Probably not. Is four years of Greene better than one of Wiggins? Doubtful, but its more comparable because Greene could give you two years where he helps give you a shot at a title as a key cog.”

    Man… I liked your post!

    And in this analogy… perhaps Greene’s talent level increases and we only have him 1 year where he really shines. He could become a two&done or three&done. That means we had to spend 2 scholarship years developing him where he didn’t exactly help us as much as we needed.

    I also agree with you on BMac… I would have loved to have him against Kentucky.

    Really… last year was a testament to only going for 4-yr players. BMac was like a One&OneHalf&Done. And the rest of our team was 4 and 5-yr players. We were a long ways from playing for a national championship. And the moans that came after our Michigan loss were mostly directed at EJ… a senior!

    Plus… no one is talking about injured players. Go back to EJ… we still don’t know… was he banged up his entire junior and senior year? Who knows? Even though he was forced to play out of position, he didn’t show improvements in his game solidly over 4 years. So we were stuck with his talent level for 4 years. That equates to 4 scholarship years. 4 OADs.

    But no matter what… perspective is key… and the key is to mesh super talent with high talent players with experience.

  • @wissoxfan83

    In order to address Self’s probable expectations about Wiggins foundation height from the moment Wiggins signed with KU, I have to lay out a bit of my own thoughts back then. I do this not to toot my horn, but to say that if I were insightful enough to see Wiggins’ and the team’s prospects in rational terms back then, and again early this season, then Bill Self, who then knew more about basketball in one of his remaining hairs on his head, than I know in the entirety of my brain meat, certainly understood what I understood and in vastly greater detail.

    First, I supposed that the team would lose 8-10 games sometime after I studied Wiggins and Selden after the final signings of this season’s freshmen.

    Second, I supposed this, because I knew the schedule and I gathered from high school performances (feeds and stats) that Wiggins and Selden were neither of them lights out trey shooters capable of shooting 40% plus in D1. If neither wing could drain the trey, and the PG would not be an All American grade penetrator and trey shooter, then I supposed opposing defenses were going to take away most of Wiggins’ and Selden’s awesome athleticism getting to the rim by sagging and fouling when they got to the rim.

    If I could figure this out, Bill Self could figure this out.

    Next, what I could not figure out, Bill Self could also figure out, because he had spent a few years watching them play in summer games and in high school games. I could not figure out that Wiggins would have trouble with LSAs at the rim, and he would have trouble dribbling against pressure defense on his incredible first, second and third steps. And, regarding Selden, I could not figure out that Selden would have trouble guarding some of the faster guards even after adjusting to D1 speeds. I could not figure out that while Selden had a nice long first step, he did not have particularly quick feet. I just had not seen them play enough to make those kinds of assessments.

    But Bill Self had.

    It is not credible to me that Bill Self could have watched many performances over a couple of years of Selden and Wiggins and not realized the limitations I mentioned above, plus probably a much longer list that even now I am not smart enough to recognize. Self had to have known these things. And knowing them, he had to have known that not only was Wiggins not the next Lebron, he also did not have an extraordinarily high foundation; that what he had was some incredible wow moves and a very high ceiling, but a lot of basic stuff to work before his foundation was high. Same with Selden.

    So: my point here is: Wigs was always a high ceiling guy, not a high foundation guy, and Self knew it, when he took him.

    So: why did Self take him?

    Well, Self reputedly takes considerable pride in “coaching 'em up.” He uses the phrase not infrequently. He has had considerable success coaching guys up over 2-4 years, but he has had IMHO almost no success in coaching OADs up in one season. I don’t really think that Wiggins is sharply better than when he arrived. Almost certainly Wiggins dribbling has not improved significantly. Selden I can see some improvement in. He seems to turn it over less and seems to guard better and help off ball better. But Selden’s biggest weakness, his dribbling, seems not to have improved at all.

    Wiggins and Selden are not alone in not improving greatly in their OAD seasons. Once of the recurring knocks on Calipari is that his OADs don’t get better. It is said that Cal just lets them play. I think there is some truth to this, but the truth does not mean that Cal can’t “coach 'em up.” Nor do Xavier, Josh, Andrew and Selden not getting significantly better imply that Self cannot “coach 'em up.”

    (Note: Joel gets excused from this comparison, because he was not forecasted as an OAD, and he is in any case an anomaly, because he has played such a short time and so was sashimi raw when he landed in Lawrence with a lot to learn and rather a blank slate to put it on.)

    There are, I believe, rational reasons why most OADs don’t improve much in the year they are in college, regardless of coach.

    First, these guys are so good that most of them have never had to change to be able to make it at any previous level, and so they are inexperienced at adapting.

    Second, they are going to be drafted regardless of whether they change and so their is not an intense incentive to change.

    Third, coaches understand both things just mentioned and so they tend to string their teams around what the OAD can already do. Self tried this regarding Wiggins in the beginning, but the team just didn’t click this way. He could have asked Wiggins to change, but instead he just shifted gears to Joel Embiid and let Wiggins just keep doing what he already does, only less frequently.

    Anyway, this is my take on what was Wiggins’ actual foundation height going into this season vs. what you suggested many perceived his foundation height to be. Mostly this season, board rats have talked about his high ceiling and then mistakenly assumed that he had a proportionally high foundation. I believe his performances, especially like those against Texas Tech in March with Joel Embiid out suggests not that he is a bad kid who doesn’t try hard, but rather is a kid with a foundation not proportionally as high as his ceiling.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @justanotherfan

    “The tough thing is that Wiggins is the type of talent that can put you over the top.”

    You were saying this in conjunction with saying that Greene was not.

    I agree that Greene was a guy with so low a foundation that he was not a guy that could play a whole lot.

    What I think the evidence of the season makes clear is that Wiggins is only the type of talent that could put you over if you already had a great player that could carry you to a ring…like Joel Embiid.

    Wiggins has not showed much sign of being able to carry this team to a winning streak, a good month, or a conference title, much less a national championship.

    Wiggins can add much the same thing that Michael Jordan added to UNC. If you have James Worth and Sam Perkins and a helluva good point guard all fully developed, and you just need a 3 to play with in the system, rather than have to put the team on his back and carry it as a freshman, then Michael could get those guys over the top by being a very good role player.

    Likewise, if Andrew had been added to one of KU’s top teams that needed a 3, he would have been ideal as a on year freshman for that task. Xavier fulfilled it well too.

    But, no, so far, there isn’t a stretch of six games. preferably ten games, where you look and say, hmmm, this freshman Andrew Wiggins has been so dominant that we need to put the team on his back and let him carry us to a ring. Self in fact decided early on that he was NOT that kind of player; that was why the team was strapped on Embiid’s back. Andrew most definitely needs a team with James Worthy and Sam Perkins and a great point guard to get a team over the top.

  • @drgnslayr

    The thing is Greene, as limited as he was in capacity to perform this year (i.e., as low as his foundation was coming in), he still gave us quite a bit of rotation time and flexibility and injury insurance, while he was learning to play the game.

    The trouble with going with OADs instead of grooming players like Greene is that even Cal cannot really get 7-8 deep rotation in OADs that are going to going to be able to play well at D1 speeds out of the box. His great ring team only had 5, if I recall correctly, and it was considered about the greatest assemblage of talent ever. The team was a six man rotation team and Terrence Jones was a TAD.

    The best event he best wired and most highly successful coach can consistently hope fore is 3-5 OADs that will actually be gone in a year to the L, and he has to hope and pray that one of them is a guy that can carry a team out of the chute.

    Self is gambling that the most he can sign any one year is 2. And occasionally one additional one will fall in his lap. I think that is the sanest route to go with OADs, but the real question is whether HEM is right in arguing that you don’t really need any at all. And I think that a case can increasingly be made that one can.

    Of course, if Andrew were to transmogrify and pick the team and carry it on his back for six games in March, well, then sign me up for AT LEAST THREE OADs per year. 🙂

  • @jaybate 1.0 “the real question is whether HEM is right in arguing that you don’t really need any at all.”

    I don’t think HEM went that far. He said he prefers the best multi-year players, but is OK with recruiting OADs to fill a need. He just doesn’t want to recruit an OAD to a position where you already have a non-freshman.

    Looking at this year, HEM said Embiid and Selden were not clear-cut OADs, plus they filled a need. In short, his only problem is with Wiggins.

    Why do you say “going with OADs instead of grooming players like Greene”? Hasn’t Greene been groomed this year?

    In this thread, there is confusion between strategy and tactics, or between philosophy and necessity. Self had a bad stretch in recruiting, then made up for it with a huge haul. It’s been famine, then feast. What is needed is to smooth recruiting out so we don’t get this Baby Boom cycle where we lose all our starters every 4 years. The best way is not to jump off the Merry Go Round but to slow it down bit by bit, dropping from 4 OADs to 3 to 2 to 1 as time goes by. (I’m counting Black as an OAD here.)

    Finally, as many of you have said the real damage of OADs will come from good multi-year talent transferring out. If Andrew White stays, we will have dodged that bullet.

  • @ParisHawk

    Actually, I think he did go that far in principle. But if he didn’t, in principle I will again for emphasis. High ceilinged, low foundationed OADs are a net cost to a program, unless they are good enough to put a team on their back and carry it to a ring Carmelo style. Few OADs are, otherwise Cal would be winning rings every season. Further, Self’s own track record up through his first ring team proved one could build 80% winning success with a ring once in 7-8 years and that a proto OAD (Rush) could not win a ring without hanging around a couple more years for development. To me the proof is all in the pudding already.

    Very, very, very few OADs can carry a team to a ring as freshmen and when they do, as AD did, they need a monster supporting cast, as AD had.

    Further, continually opting to recruit the highest foundationed 15 to 40 guys with a minority mix of high ceiling, low foundationed 15-40 guys minimizes the need to ever bend over for an OAD, unless he is the real deal.

    And on top of that, KU would always get the absolute best of these 15-40 types and in as great of numbers as they want, because the other top teams are loading up on the marquis OADs. But here I am arguing principle rather than what I would actually do.

    You say HEM would supplement with some OADs to fill holes and I agree with that; it’s just common sense, isn’t it? It is like saying I HAVE to fill a hole if I can do so, and if an OAD is willing to come to KU and fill a role rather than be the man to carry the team, then I sign him, just as I would sign Towson bound Frank Mason to fill a hole at backup PG.

    So: I would always take the best guy available, but it would be based on the player with the highest foundation, not the highest ceiling, that would fill that hole.

    Distilled to programmed boolean heuristics:

    If high foundationed OAD capable of carrying team on back to a ring, then sign unconditionally, else

    If high foundationed OAD capable of filling a hole better than a 15-40 player, then sign unconditionally else

    If high ceilinged, low foundationed OAD, then pass unless there is no equivalent 15-40 (note: there almost always would be), else

    If high foundationed 15-40 sign.

    So in praxis, OADs are part of my mix, but only in the sense that I am trying to minimize the situations where I would have a role the fit the constraint set I have defined.

    There are almost NO high foundationed, high ceilinged OADs capable of carrying a team to a ring, and even then they need a strong supporting cast to do so. Period.

    High ceilinged, low foundationed OADs in the age of hyper-hype are net cost in Division 1, unless you have a phenomenal supporting cast to plug them into. KU did not have that this year.

    Sign the very best of the 15-40s (those with high foundations) and some high ceilinged 15-40s (projects) and when “usual” OAD comes along that fits your constraint set and wants to come, sign him, but make him a role player, as Self effectively has done since Embiid became the guy most capable of putting the team on his back.

  • @jaybate 1.0 Is it possible you would consider attempting a Vulcan mind meld with Self?

  • @jaybate 1.0

    “The thing is Greene, as limited as he was in capacity to perform this year (i.e., as low as his foundation was coming in), he still gave us quite a bit of rotation time and flexibility and injury insurance, while he was learning to play the game”

    True… but he is taking up a scholarship. A scholie that could go towards another OAD.

    I’m just playing devil’s advocate.

    Players like Greene will most likely do our program as much good as his scholie going to a OAD, as long as we get our share of OADs to fit our needs.

    I think it is all about getting the right OADs. Someone like Andrew is so capable to help a team as a freshman. Some potential OADs are not as helpful, and still think they should jump to the league even without ever being effective at the college level. Those are guys to avoid… unless we think we can get them to stay at least another year.

    A guy should at least give one dominant year before heading to the league… anything less is a recruit we don’t want!

    We will all be watching WSU in the tourney. They will be another example of a team without a OAD player. They might not be filled with recruits 20-50, but they are athletic, play well as a team, and they have one of the best PGs in the country, if not the absolute best!

  • Good points made by a lot of posters here.

    However, we have to think about this from a different angle as well. We don’t know, right now, who will sign with KU.

    Let’s skip the 2014 class since it’s pretty much wrapped up at this point and say that after the 2014-15 season we have Oubre leaving, Tharpe graduating and the following scholarship players returning - Seniors Mickelson, Ellis, Traylor, and White, Juniors Frankamp, Mason, Greene and Lucas and Sophomores Lyle and Alexander (I’m assuming Lyle signs and no one transfers). We need to land three guys.

    Here is the list of guys that KU has offered in the top 15:

    1. Malik Newman, 6-3 shooting guard
    2. Stephen Zimmerman, 7-0 center
    3. Ivan Rabb, 6-9 power forward
    4. Skal Labissiere, 6-10 power forward
    5. Cheick Diallo, 6-9 power forward
    6. Elijah Thomas, 6-9 power forward
    7. Carlton Bragg, 6-8 power forward
    8. Jaylen Brown, 6-7 small forward
    9. Derrick Jones, 6-6 small forward
    10. King McClure, 6-3 shooting guard
    11. Chance Comanche, 6-10 center

    That’s 11 of the top 15 players that KU has offered in the class. They can only sign three. But which three? Well, if Oubre leaves, they need either Brown or Jones. I don’t know much about either right now, but let’s say they grab Brown. They could use another guard. Let’s add McClure to the mix. And since they are recruiting all of that size, let’s throw Cheick Diallo into the fray as well, since he has such a cool name (I bet that sounds awesome over the PA).

    So how will these personalities mesh with what’s already in house. I don’t know about you, but I changed quite a bit from when I was an incoming freshman to when I returned to campus as a junior. I would imagine that the same will be true for Frankamp, Mason and Greene. How will a player like Brown fit in with them? How will Andrew White handle having yet another tremendously talented player come in at his position? What about Lyle? How does he handle a combo guy like McClure’s arrival?

    And that’s just personalities. We haven’t even touched how their games match up on the floor. Does Diallo like to operate on the right block offensively? That’s the same area Perry Ellis likes, so if that is the case they will operate in the same real estate and that just won’t work. Let’s say that Jones likes to work on the left wing. What if that’s also Lyle’s preferred side? Or if Mickelson likes the left elbow, but we have also seen that Jamari likes to start his moves from there? And that doesn’t address the fact that inside you will see a logjam of Ellis, Traylor, Mickelson, Alexander and Diallo.

    What if Self prefers Brown over Jones because Brown is a better fit, but knows he needs one of them to have a high skill wing player and gets Jones instead? Again, this is hypothetical. I don’t know what the preferences are.

    After all, the way this class is currently built, it’s heavy on big men. It’s pretty light on wing guys. If we miss on the preferred guy in the top 15, we may end up with a guy in the 70s or 80s that won’t contribute for a year or two. We are only on the list with one other top 50 SF, and we haven’t offered him yet. If he signs and we miss on our preferred guy, do we really want to take on a guy that may not contribute for 2 years just to avoid a OAD. That was Roy Williams old philosophy, which led to some pretty dry recruiting years when he missed - remember the Baron Davis miss that led to not really having a quality PG on the roster for a season back in the late 90s?

    I’ll take the talent, please.

  • @nuleafjhawk “Let them be rich and famous at 22. I’m 55 and still ain’t rich and famous. I’ve survived.” That made me laugh pretty hard.

  • @ajvan

    These kids are suddenly rich. But they aren’t wealthy… Wealth is reserved for the guys who sign their checks! And then there is extreme wealth… the guy who signs the checks of the guy who signs the checks of the players.

    Most likely, there are levels of check signings above that, but we aren’t privileged enough to even know of the trail. Doubtful the IRS has that privilege either!

  • @nuleafjhawk I think you are pretty famous!!! I like reading your posts.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Lol - Thanks Crimson, I enjoy yours as well! You probably ought to sets your sights a little higher though!

  • This hit me today about Green and White. Sure without Wiggins and Seldon they get more playing time this year. But what does coach Self really like in his players?


    Green has come out and said that his D has improved so much this year in practice because he is guarding Wiggins and Seldon. He also has said it has made his offensive game better because Wiggins is guarding him.

    I am sure White isgetting the same education on D and his offensive game.

    So in the long run when Green and White are a junior andsenior and everybody is raving how good they are won’t we have to give some of that credit to the OAD guys in Wiggins and Seldon for helping them improve their overall game?

  • @justanotherfan

    This is a great advancing of the discussion. Thanks.

    But may I reiterate…

    If you are signing one of the guys to carry the team immediately, only take the talent with a high foundation. Forget the high ceiling.

    And if you are signing a guy to fill a role, make sure his foundation is higher than a sure 2-4 year guy. Forget about the ceiling.

  • @drgnslayr

    Good devil’s advocacy. 🙂

    Clarification: if the need were to a starter immediately, you add the guy with a high enough foundation to start. Between Wigs and Greene, you’ve got to sign Wigs.

    If you’ve got to find a guy to be a backup in the rotation, then Wigs would not have considered doing that role, so it would not be an option that had to be considered. Greene would be the only choice.

    And if you have to sign a guy to carry a team on his back to the ring, because you have the kind of supporting cast that you think could make it with a great player carrying them on his back, you have to sign an OAD, not with a high ceiling, but with a fantastically high foundation. Self let Wigs try to be that guy, but Wigs so far has had too many holes in his game to have had a high enough foundation for that job, and so Self shifted gears to Embiid, who we have just learned after watching Tar play post the “right way” vs. a weak team still has a few holes in his Cameroonian game. 🙂

    The thing that is so tough is that great coaches think they can coach anyone up sharply in even a season. But for whatever reason the evolving record of presupposed OADs at KU and across the country is that they don’t improve sharply in a single season. Rather, they come in and do what they do, and try to work on the little things. As you say, it is very, very difficult to lift your game sharply DURING a season.

    Lastly, if you have to sign a guy to play a role to complete a stacked team with a returning guy that will carry the team on his back, then you can sign a Michael Jordan/Andrew Wiggins and subordinate him to a the returning guy, or you can sign a lesser guy. But which ever way you go, the height of the foundation, and not the height of the ceiling, is what is crucial.

  • @jaybate 1.0 what would coach Self say about this???

  • I’m getting in lat on this discussion, so maybe I’m the only one, but I don’t think Selden is necessarily going. I think there is a good chance he stays. Not in the lottery, he returns and he’s our main guy, etc. He could go from somewhere in the first round to the lottery…that is worth staying for. If Wayne stays…we are a much different team next year, I think. Better than this year, probably.

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