• Nah man, I dont see a throttling coming. Both teams are so stacked this year and evenly matched top to bottom. Being at Rupp, we gotta spot UK a few points for that. I think it will be a KILLER game. and yes I think KU wins.
    Great article in CBS btw, I loved reading that.

  • @Lulufulu I stand by my bold prediction: THROTTLE!

  • KUSTEVE said:

    @Lulufulu I stand by my bold prediction: THROTTLE!

    NOW NOW - let’s not be hasty making to bold of predictions lol. - -Maybe Granny fed you a bad batch of chitlins - -or grits -I’ll be happy with the win of any type little lone throttle at Rupp. - - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • @KUSTEVE I think Kentucky getting the Travis kid makes them significantly better. Remember how he schooled us in that one game? Doesn’t mean they will beat us…but I think they will be very good.

  • @Hawk8086 No doubt he scorched Landen. But, also remember the next year we played him, and held him to 12 points with Doke in the lineup. And this year, we have a load of big bodies coming in to help.

  • @KUSTEVE Hmmm…I did forget about the 2nd game…


    You are correct. He had 29 points but 19 of those came from the FT line and Doke played only 11 minutes, Bragg 16 and Lucas 18. Last season Doke went to town on him and scored 24 points on 12 of 15 shooting including 7 dunks.

  • Anytime UK has less than six OADs, KU is a threat to throttle them.

    What’s the OAD count in Stillville this coming season?

    < 10

    < 6

    < 5


    < 3

    < 2

    < 1

  • If I had to pick a national champion today, with no other information, I would pick either Kansas, Duke, or Kentucky. Obviously, all of those teams lost a lot of talent from last season, but all of those teams also have a lot of talent for the coming season.

    Now maybe someone else emerges to win the title, but If I were a betting man, I would put money on any of those three squads before I put money on the field.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Kentucky probably only has 2 OAD’s.

    Keldon Johnson is the only for sure OAD. EJ Montgomery is probably an OAD, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Quickley or Hagans could play their way into being OADs, but I would guess both of them return to Lexington for a second year. This UK team is good because they have talent and experience. Quade Green, PJ Washington, Nick Richards and Reid Travis are all good, experienced players. That’s what makes this UK team so good. There’s a good chance that their leading scorer and leading rebounder will not be freshmen.

    With Richards, Travis and Washington up front, Kentucky has one of the best front lines in the country. Oddly enough, the other top front line in the country is KU with the Lawson brothers and Doke.

    Obviously, this doesn’t mean that UK will have everything together, but it is likely that they will have the talent to compete.

    Similarly, KU isn’t automatically running everyone off the floor this season, but chances that they could be dominant are pretty high.

  • Same UK as last season. An overrated group that will struggle to defend. Was UK not “Loaded” and “Experienced” last season?

    • PG: Alexander, Green
    • SG: Diallo, Baker
    • SF: Knox
    • PF: Washington, Vanderbilt, Gabriel, SKJ
    • C: Richards

    They went into the season 10 deep, sprinkling in a few Sophomores or Juniors. They only lost Baker for the season, who was unlikely to see much time anyways. Still lost 11 games and didn’t win their conference.

    • PG: Hagans, Green
    • SG: Quickley, Baker
    • SF: Johnson, Herro
    • PF: Washington, Montgomery
    • C: Travis, Richards

    Green, Travis and Washington all have major defensive limitations. The only way I think they finish in the top 5 is if either Johnson, Hagans or Quickley is unguardable.

    I just fail to see where they got much better from last season to this season, other than they will probably be able to shoot slightly better.

  • @Kcmatt7

    I see shooting as one major improvement for UK. Roster fit is another. If you look back at your post, you see five perimeter players, with 4 PF and just one true center. UK didn’t have a way to really get their best five players on the floor consistently since you couldn’t play Washington, Vanderbilt, SKJ and Knox all at the same time (3 PF, a SF and a PG is not a functional lineup because you don’t have a secondary ball handler).

    This year’s team improves immediately just based on the fact that Travis, Washington, Johnson, Quickly and Hagans can all play together in a real, actual basketball lineup. Fit is just as important as talent.

    Green is a decent defender as long as he isn’t guarding bigger people. Charlie Moore will have similar challenges because of his size and frame. Washington can be a solid defender when engaged, and Travis can be a solid system guy. They will rely on their perimeter guys to be tough since they don’t have a shot blocker unless they pair Travis and Richards, but they shouldn’t be a poor defensive squad.

    And offensively, they should be very good because they added shooting, something they desperately lacked last season.

  • Good stuff, guys. It’s nice to see some good analysis. My take is we have a decided advantage in many key areas that will allow us to whip Tucky on their home floor. Our guards are better than their guards. Grimes is the best on both teams, and Vick, along with a 5 star Dotson, and an incredibly underrated Charlie moore, and our guards match up with anyone, anywhere. And I haven’t even mentioned Marcus Garrett, and KJ Lawson. This might be the most talent diverse perimeter team we’ve had since the 2008 bunch. We have the athletic talent to smother them on the perimeter. And I think people will be shocked to see how good Charlie is going to be. That dude is just flat fearless. Our bigs are downright scary. Bringing Travis in might look like a winning play, but it won’t work when Dedric covers him all over the floor. And what in the world are they going to do about Doke? We’ve got better guards, better bigs, better coaching…this will be a nice win in Rump.

  • @justanotherfan I mean, I think they will be marginally better. I predict them to have 8 losses instead of 11.

    I just think it will be hard to believe that their shooting will improve that much. They shot .357 from 3pt last season. Odds are that number is around .370 this season.

    Now their D, it was pretty mediocre last season. And I see no significant additions that will help change that. If anything, I look at this team and think their D may actually be worse… Washington and Travis next to each other is basically a free run at the rim.

    UK should have honestly lost at least 1 more game than they did (Vanderbilt game), but realistically could have just of easily been a 15 loss team. They weren’t very good basically all last season.

    Again, I realize they will be good compared to the rest of CBB. I just think they are still overhyped. More likely a team in the 10-15 range than top 5.

  • I agree with @KUSTEVE - good analysis and great to see it. Only caveat, I have no idea if any of it is close to right (fault being on me). I do know, I’m excited for the season.

  • @justanotherfan

    Thx for the summary of UK. Very informative.

    Now, why do you believe UK (and Duke?) have roughly 1/5 the OADs they had for a few years a few years back?

    Here are a few lobs to get you in motion and so have an excuse to do some thinking out loud for us.

    Have Cal and Konsonants become viewed by the young and their posses, as declining talents too old for coaching?

    Or is PT coming back into fashion (which begs the question why did it ever go out of fashion?)?

    Or are certain coaches finding 9-10 OADs triggering uncomfortable appearances in the era of investigations apparently timed with a Rice Commission, and so a tandem event some insiders might had considerable forewarning of, right ?

    Or is Bill Self the evil doer some wish to smear him as?

    Or is adidas paying assistant coaches and players representatives, while Self somehow maintains some kind of plausible deniability? Is it more than what Sean Miller reputedly (but not yet proven in court I guess) offered in a phone call and UK and Duke and AU simply suddenly can not compete with evil KU?

    Or did Nike blunt adidas’ attack for market share and so apparent force concentration of players in certain programs would now be overkill and unnecessary?

    What goes on here? Most likely?

    It’s increasingly confusing to me the longer the REPUTED FBI-DOJ INVESTIGATION apparently intended to clarify by legal remedy victimization of schools (?) lingers in the shadows beyond the news for layman.

    Is there some kind of an ALT BASKETBALL RIGHT that cleaved the apparent Nike dominance (Nike summer team rosters comprising something like 80 % of Top 100 players at one time) the way Trump, Sheldon, Mercer and Bibi seemed to have done to the Repub and Dem and the reputed NeoLib-NeoCon uni-policy wonks in politics?

    Or are we witnessing “underhype,” as it appeared we saw with Nova last season, when only 2 of 6 Novatrifectates were reputedly ranked Top 75 talent, but 4 reputed sub 75ers could combine with the 2 Top 75ers and rather handily outshoot, our guard and out rebound teams brimming with Top 75 talent? Is UK REALLY stacked and do some hypothetically asymmetrically inaccurate rankings obscure it?

    Or are we supposed to go back to now quaint “the invisible hand” of the market place explanations, despite heavy market subsidy and regulation, and amidst a REPUTED FBI-DOJ INVESTIGATION into apparent player channeling by perhaps some petroshoeco officials?

    Or are we to throw it all against the wall and guess parts of all of it may stick?

    It’s getting so the only thing we dare probably look forward to (rue?) is a Nike-EST winner in the Carney next April.

    Is there anything coherent going on here that you can unsnag for us?

  • @jaybate-1-0

    There are a lot of factors at work in the changing recruiting dynamic.

    First and foremost, we can look at the NBA Draft in 2016. That draft really shifted the dynamic as far as whether or not you had to attend a blue blood as an OAD in order to get picked in the lottery. Ben Simmons went first out of an LSU team that didn’t make the tournament. Jaylen Brown went third from an underwhelming Cal team. Kris Dunn went fifth from a Providence squad that was middling at best. Players from Gonzaga, Utah, Baylor and Washington were also picked in the lottery.

    That draft showed that, so long as you went to a school where you could perform, team results in college did not matter. You didn’t need to win a national title or go deep in the tournament. Last year’s recruits noticed to some degree. Duke was still loaded, but OAD’s were at Texas (Mo Bamba), Alabama (Collin Sexton), Oklahoma (Trae Young), Miami (Lonnie Walker), Oregon (Troy Brown), Missouri (Michael Porter), Texas Tech (Zhaire Smith), and national champion Villanova (Omari Spellman). Additionally sophomores from Wichita State, Villanova, Maryland, Georgia Tech, and Texas A&M.

    The NBA’s scouting apparatus has improved to the point that they don’t need players to cluster to evaluate them. There’s so much more video of players at AAU tournaments that, even for freshmen, an NBA scout will have 2-3 years of footage on them, and a lot of that will be against higher end competition at AAU tournaments.

    We have to remember that even P5 basketball doesn’t always provide good scouting for players. Think about a guy like Svi at KU. Playing for KU last year, let’s count the number of games he played against NBA caliber wings - Kentucky, Texas Tech (x2), Duke, Villanova. That’s five total games. Let’s see how many games he had against fringe NBA talent - Syracuse, Arizona State, Kansas State (x3), Clemson. That’s another six games. KU played 39 games last year. 28 of those were more or less worthless in evaluating a wing player.

    If two thirds of the schedule at a blue blood isn’t really critical to evaluation, why not go to a program that is more of a showcase. Ben Simmons was asked to be the focal point of the offense at LSU, where he would have been moved off the ball at a blue blood. He plays on the ball for the Sixers. LSU prepared him for his NBA role more than a year at KU, Duke, Kentucky, etc. would have.

    Collin Sexton will be a scoring PG in the NBA. At KU, he would have likely been asked to either move off the ball (Graham would have run the point), or play a combo guard role. Being at Alabama fit more into his NBA role.

    Players are looking for situations that will prepare them for the NBA. Sometimes that will be a blue blood (Newman and Svi both benefited by being at KU). Other times, it won’t matter (Michael Porter played three games last year and was still a lottery pick). Still other times, going to a place where you have freedom will be important (Trae Young is a good example of this - he would never have had that type of freedom at a blue blood like Duke, UK or KU).

    This year will be telling in that regard. Keep an eye on Jordan Brown (Nevada), Jaylen Hoard (Wake Forest) and Vanderbilt (Darius Garland and Simisola Shittu). If those guys end up being OADs, it may give even more OADs a reason to look for fit rather than history when considering schools.

    Keep an eye out for how Anfernee Simons does in the G-League as well. If he is successful going that route this year, players like Charles Bassey (Western Kentucky) and others that are wrapped up in this web may go the same route. The NBA collective bargaining agreement can end after the 2023 season, so the OAD rule won’t change before then, but that could signal the beginning of a huge change. Until then, talent could continue to spread out across different schools.

    There is also the factor that there is a P5 bump in recruiting rankings. If a player suddenly gets an offer from a P5 school, his ranking will rise, while a player that is being considered by mostly mid majors will have his ranking held down. Take a guy like Jermaine Harris. He was considering the following schools - Rhode Island (his ultimate pick), West Virginia and Xavier. No major bump. Then watch a guy like Derek Culver, who was considering, among others, Arizona, Cincinnati and Kansas before picking West Virginia. Harris is ranked 90. Culver is ranked 63. You watch their video and you don’t see much separation. I would guess that if Harris had KU considering him, he would have ranked in the 60s. Now, neither Culver nor Harris would have ultimately come to KU or even played much had they picked the Jayhawks. But having KU consider them is worth 10 spots in the recruiting rankings. Having multiple big time schools consider is worth even more.

    That inflates some rankings even if guys aren’t really any better than similar players that have already signed with mid majors.

    Look at our own Frank Mason and Devonte Graham. When no one was looking at those guys, they were unranked. As soon as KU considered them, they became top 100 recruits. Did they suddenly get better than 50-75 guys? No. They were always better than those guys. Devonte Graham would have destroyed at Appalachian State. He would have been a conference player of the year candidate as a freshman. He would have led them to the NCAA tournament and eventually been hailed as a sleeper pick for possible NBA consideration. Coming to KU just moved him up the rankings and got him closer to where he should have been to begin with.

  • @jaybate-1.0 ehh Duke signed guys ranked 1,2,3. I think they’ll be ok.

  • @justanotherfan

    Terrific survey of the recent dynamics. Thx. Am makes a lot of sense.

    Now, I want you to take a cut at another related circumstance, if you would be so kind.

    The dynamics you delineated point to a procession toward deconcentration of OADs.

    The current degree of deconcentration seems remarkably similar to what it was before concentration manifested and culminated 9-10 OAD concentrations at a few Nike schools (Duke, UK), along with 2-3 concentrations at a few adidas schools.

    Much of college basketball history has been marked broadly dispersed (deconcentrationed) top talent.

    UCLA had a run of top talent in the 1960s that many attribute to Sam Gilbert simply out bidding for the top talent.

    UNC had a monster run of talent in the 1970s to 1980s that coincided with Dean and Roy having a strikingly close relationship with Sonny Vacarro and Nike.

    Out side of these two extended concentrations, since then top talent has not clumped so asymmetrically, for extended periods except at UK and Duke.

    What dynamics triggered talent to clump so asymmetrically at Duke and UK? Since Cal got to UK, Duke and UK have really been loaded. Even there “down” years they tend to have awesome levels of the kinds of talent (OAD/5-stars at 1 and 5 that other programs, like KU, just can’t match.

    Are Duke and UK using a Gilbert like Wooden? Or a favorable shoeco relationship like Dean and Roy in the old days at UNC?

    Or are Duke and UK just the first schools to asymmetrically dominate recruiting for an extended period the old fashioned way by melting mothers hearts?

    How were they able to get and hold their edge in top talent at the 1 and 5 and attain generally better depth than other elite programs, and then rather suddenly lose their edge to deconcentration?

    What were the dynamics of concentration that seemed to coincide, though perhaps only coincidentally, with an apparently escalating competition between Nike and adidas, that then manifested in deconcentration, again perhaps only coincidentally, as adidas’ bid to take market share from Nike appeared to falter?

  • @dylans

    Yes, but 3 guys hardly equal 9-10, right?

  • @jaybate-1-0

    It’s all cyclical. Talent will sometimes cluster before re-distributing itself more evenly. Look at housing booms on a local level. There will be a “hot” neighborhood for a few years, then things re-distribute themselves for a while before another neighborhood becomes “hot.” That’s just how trends work.

    Now, of course, there are underlying factors that drive trends. Shoe relationships certainly play a part, along with popularity, TV time, success, etc.

    Calipari, for example, had an incredible run of PGs, with Rose, Evans, Wall, Knight going 1, 4, 1, 8 in the NBA draft in consecutive years. If you were a PG watching that happen as a prospect, you had to at least consider Kentucky. To not do so ignored the clear trend of the time. Duke has traditionally had good big men - Laettner, Boozer, Brand, the Plumlee brothers, etc.

    The one notable thing about big men is that collegiate big men can look much better than they end up being in the NBA. The competition at the college level is low enough for 20-30 of your games that you can rack up big stats against lesser opponents.

    My guess is that we are on the other side of the cycle, where UK and Duke rode a big wave for a few years and now that wave has crested and is receding. Talent will re-distribute before again concentrating in a few years (probably after the NBA rule change) when non OAD top players will gather at a handful of schools, then the talent will again re-distribute. Waves and Crests.

  • I have no doubt that every player that signs with Dook and UK are being taken care of handsomely. I remember when Dook couldn’t recruit a decent big man to save their life for years, and then it all changed practically overnite. Money is changing hands, but I’ll bet we won’t ever hear about it. We are Adidas… and we are on the wrong team with the NCAA. We are marked to go after. If we were a Nike school, all those little problems go away, because the rules only apply to Adidas schools.

  • @jaybate-1.0 4 of the top ten and 1,2,3 is a pretty salty class. Kentucky is experiencing an off year, but it’s still a good year by anyone else’s standards.

  • @dylans

    I would not call it an off year, #2 class with 4 5-stars and 1 4-star…same as Duke. Just sayin’…

  • @JayHawkFanToo for anyone be not named Kentucky the number 2 class would be great. Just sayin.

  • dylans said:

    @jaybate-1.0 4 of the top ten and 1,2,3 is a pretty salty class. Kentucky is experiencing an off year, but it’s still a good year by anyone else’s standards.

    —————————— OMG YES!


    But gain…


  • @jaybate-1.0 who had 10 of the top 10? I’m confused as to your argument. The number 1 & 2 recruiting classes in the nation aren’t good enough? I think we’d be pretty upbeat if KU had such a class.

  • @dylans

    I’m not following your argument even a little.

    Do u really not recall UK’s 6 OAD/TAD team of 2012? Or it’s 8-9-10 OAD/TAD teams after?

    “Only” 3 OADs ranked 1, 2, 3 seems quite a come down from 6-10 OAD/TADs regardless of their rank.

    And that 2012 UK team with “only” 6 OAD/TADs included three screaming studs at 1, 3 and 5!!!

  • @jaybate-1.0

    UK had 4 guys drafted from the class of 2010, 3 in 2011, 3 in 2012, 4 in 2013, 4 in 2014, 2 in 2015, 3 in 2016, and however many this year. Not all drafted were Freshmen, but most were.

    3 OADs would be pretty par for the course. The only time Cal had line changes was due to returning players as well as a stacked class.

    Could you point me towards the class you are referencing? Maybe Duke? I don’t see 10 OADs on a team. There were guys Cal forced out after their freshman year to make room like Gabriel, maybe that has inflated your impression?

  • Are you referencing the draft of 2015 with 6 UK guys selected? 3 freshmen, 2 soph, 1 junior. 2012 they had 2 soph and 3 freshmen drafted.

  • I like our chances in Rupp. Throttle? I don’t see us doing a huge point win, but I could see us controlling the game most of the time. I think a really big win would be if we could come out of there with a 10-point win.

  • drgnslayr said:

    I like our chances in Rupp. Throttle? I don’t see us doing a huge point win, but I could see us controlling the game most of the time. I think a really big win would be if we could come out of there with a 10-point win.

    ya I just don’t see us throttling them in Rupp - -got to many young players ourself. - - Grimes - - Dotson - - McCormack- - DeSousa. - If we can come out of Rupp with a 10 point win - - works for me. - - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • @drgnslayr I am engaging in wishful thinking. The most annoying fan in all of college basketball happens to be a UK Mildcat fan down to the tattoo on his ass ( I don’t actually know if he has a tattoo on his ass, but if his ass looked anything like his face, it might be an improvement). And the thought of tormenting him for a year …well, as much as I try to resist such lowbrow pursuits, and the stark pettiness of mocking somebody for an entire year …well, I’m not sure that any Mildcat hatin’ KU fan could get away from that. It’s going to be like a 2nd piece of cherry cheesecake.

  • I used to vent all day long on Cal and his ways. Life is just too short for me to stay thinking about Cal. I think I fear more dominance coming from Duke and Nova. Cal looks silly every year except in 2012 (and that was the Anthony Davis show more than anything). Typically, he’s a hype monster who has to put his tail between his legs in March and make up excuses for why they didn’t win it all with their “hamburger roster.”

    Cal’s perception of dominating college basketball is largely over. I’d say Duke and Nova have passed him up, and we are soon to do the same. Time for us to look forward, not behind us!

  • @drgnslayr

    Unless Wright has some tricks up his sleeve his run is over this year.

  • @BeddieKU23

    Agreed. Wright no doubt will benefit from the NCAA championship but he and Marshall at WSU had what I call their “perfect storms” when a number of lower ranked players developed way beyond expectations and lifted the programs way above their norms but they will be coming down to earth now, Wichita State more so.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Agree Wichita St is headed for a down season, if they make the post-season with that roster Marshall is a Magician. McDuffie will have to become a 20 point scorer for them to have any chance in the AAC this season.

    Wright just lost an unbelievable amount of talent. It’s not as if the cupboard is bare, he will have 3 seniors likely in the starting lineup but I have no idea who starts in the post besides Paschall. Spellman gave them an element they will severely lack this season, size, athleticism. The freshman they signed are very good. A lot of role players will have to step up their game. A bottom half type Top 25 team is their ceiling imo

  • @BeddieKU23

    I’m just speaking in general terms here… not so much just about the upcoming year.

    I know plenty of unhappy UK fans. I don’t even poke them with a stick anymore because they are plain frustrated. And I don’t go on and on about having all that talent but not able to capture another crown.

    Cal has run a hype machine for so many years. Keep the fanbase dreaming ahead, regardless what is currently happening.

    Duke and Nova are proven. Not just one title. And though Self only has one title, he doesn’t go out on the hype circuit trying to keep the fans going.

  • @drgnslayr

    Since Cal went to UK (2010 season), here are the teams with the most Final Fours:

    1. Kentucky - 4 (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015)

    Tied for second

    Villanova (2016, 2018) UConn (2011, 2014) Duke (2010, 2015) North Carolina (2016, 2017) Louisville (2012, 2013) Kansas (2012, 2018) Michigan State (2010, 2015) Wisconsin (2014, 2015) Michigan (2013, 2018) Syracuse (2013, 2017)

    Duke and Villanova have won titles in both Final Four trips they have made. So did UConn, but they have posted losing records more often than they have won titles since 2010. But they also only have two trips. Kentucky has only won once, but has been there four times. That’s not exactly unproven, or fanbase dreaming. The current Final Four drought at Kentucky (three seasons) is the longest since Calipari arrived in Lexington. Duke went four seasons between trips, and hasn’t been back in the same amount of time as Kentucky. Nova has gone twice in three years, but didn’t have a trip since 2009 before that. Izzo has the same droughts as Coach K. Self had a five season drought between 2012 and this past season. Roy Williams went from 2009 to 2016 without a trip to the Final Four.

    That doesn’t mean Kentucky will automatically make it to the Final Four this year, obviously. But they certainly have a team that is capable of that.

  • @drgnslayr

    Okay, makes sense then.

    Agree with pretty much everything else. While it would be great to beat Nova in Allen Fieldhouse I’ll value the win in Rupp more!

  • I might be alone but I don’t see Kentucky being the best team in their own conference. I might be placing too much faith in Rick Barnes but he’s got a team capable of being in the Top 10 all year

  • @BeddieKU23

    On paper Kentucky has a nice combination of top talent coming in and good talent coming back which gives them more experience that they had in the past. Travis is perhaps the key piece since it gives them an experienced scorer and rebounder. If Calipari cannot make the Final four with this team he will be in trouble.

  • @BeddieKU23 Marsha lost 2 coaches this yr too. Losing the reeves kid to ou really hurt.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Ouch didn’t know that. Did his wife join the staff?

  • BeddieKU23 said:


    Ouch didn’t know that. Did his wife join the staff?

        • Now you stop that lol . - - well wait a minute , 2nd thought I think Marsha’s wife did - -why yes she did join the staff. - -Think she is in charge of the 6 point refreshments - only one issue that being trying to keep her out of it lol – ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

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