Could the New NCAA rules hurt Kansas HS basketball?



  • We had some discussion a few weeks ago about the new NCAA rules, but I wanted to ask this question, and didn’t want to hijack the thread to do so.

    The new rules are designed to limit the outside influences (i.e. AAU) affecting college hoops and recruiting. That’s a good motive, but I wonder if that motive will have negative consequences.

    As some of you may remember, I have been somewhat critical of the limitations of Kansas HS rules, specifically the game and travel limitations. With these new rules seeking to minimize the influence of AAU, Kansas kids may now be forced to get outside the state in order to see other top talent.

    As I noted before, Perry Ellis and Willie Cauley-Stein were in the same high school class, yet never once matched up in HS.

    Semi Ojeleye never faced Perry Ellis or Shavon Shields in HS.

    Looking at players currently in HS, Zach Harvey and Ty Berry never played each other. Neither of those guys has faced KT Raimey, either. Berry and Raimey are the top juniors in Kansas. Harvey and Robinson-Earl would have been the top seniors had they not gone to Prolific Prep and IMG, respectively.

    Because Kansas HS produces only a handful of D1 prospects each year, AAU gives those prospects opportunities to face other D1 talent that simply don’t exist if they played only their HS schedule. With so many classes in Kansas, and the state as spread out as it is, top prospects may not ever see each other. AAU gave our local talent a chance to show what they could do against national competition.

    Without that opportunity, it’s likely that more Kansas players could follow the Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Zach Harvey and Bol Bol route - play in Kansas for a few years, then move to a prep school for their last year or two because Kansas HS basketball can’t match the exposure that a top prep school like IMG can, and without AAU ball to help even that playing field, a kid in Kansas is left with few options.

    Of course, the KSHSAA could help eliminate this problem with two rule changes.

    1. Allow more regular season games. Most states are allowing their schools to play 24 regular season games. Simply put, allow teams to play in three tournaments instead of two, and then they have the chance to schedule one more free standing regular season game (maybe its a showcase game against another team in Kansas, maybe its a showcase event out of state).

    2. Eliminate the travel restrictions so teams in Kansas can play teams from all over the country. Currently, schools in Kansas in basketball cannot play an opponent in a state that is more than 500 or so miles from Kansas. This prevents Kansas players from ever competing against teams from most of the country (population wise). Without AAU, this means that Kansas kids would never face kids from Florida, California, North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New York, Arizona, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Jersey, etc. Those are some of the biggest basketball hotbeds in the country. Only about 20 players listed on the ESPN top 100 live in states that are close enough to Kansas to allow Kansas prospects to face them. That’s simply not enough exposure to top talent. Eliminate that restriction and the playing field evens.



  • @justanotherfan

    My first question is how does Kansas compares to other similar states as far as the number of games/travel rules are concerned?

    I would not have a problem with increasing the number of games but having top prospects play each other is more complicated because many times there are logistic problems (distances, cost) and also the various teams play in different classes and, while it might be fun to watch top prospects play each other, it might not be fair for small town programs play a higher class, big city programs. Perhaps a post season tournament where the top 4 or 8 programs in the state, regardless of class, compete could be a potential solution

    As you know, HS sports really don’t make any money and depend heavily on the school’s budget to exist. At a time when school budgets are stressed to the limit, cuts would have to be made on scholastic programs to subsidize sports teams travel which is very expensive. If you look at the top programs that do the majority of the travel, most are either sponsored basketball factories such as Oak Hill, Findley or wealthy and/ or for profit, primarily Catholic or private schools, that have their own support system and financing such a Mionteverde, Mater Dei, Bishop Gorman, St. Anthony, St Joseph Prep., DeMatha, Montrose Christian, all with wealthy endowment accounts and wealthy donors; most public schools cannot financially keep up with these programs so, the the AAU programs during the off season, appears to be the best option. Keep in mind that the primary role of High Schools is to educate all students and not necessarily prepare a few elite athlete for college.



  • The new rules are absolutely terrible for lower to mid level prospects.



  • BShark said:

    The new rules are absolutely terrible for lower to mid level prospects.

    Can you please expand on this since many of us are really not that familiar with the new rules and also, how can they be changed without major disruptions to schools’ schedules and budgets?



  • I’m ok with allowing more games, but not lifting travel restrictions. Unless you’re a private school, you’re not going to be able to afford the additional travel costs and it’s not a good idea to have that level of academic disruption for 15-17 year old kids. You’re really just asking for the gap between wealthy and poor districts to grow even wider, when it’s already a big problem in Kansas.



  • @JayHawkFanToo So basically it’s going to hurt player exposure by trying to regionalize things more. It won’t impact top players.



  • @JayHawkFanToo

    For a lot of the major HS tournaments, these are sponsored events. As such, many of those tournaments don’t cost the school’s that participate anything because they are invited and sponsored to go.

    A few years ago, when Highland Park High School in Topeka was a powerhouse program, they were invited to a sponsored tournament in Arizona (could have the location wrong because I am doing this from memory). The trip would cost nothing. However, because it was in Arizona, Highland Park had to apply for a waiver from KSHSAA to participate. They were denied. Here, an inner city school was denied this opportunity because the rules forbid it. Bishop Miege (where Robinson Earl and Bol Bol were) and Wichita Heights (Perry Ellis’ alma mater) also received invites to similar tournaments, but had to turn them down.

    Like I said, these are generally sponsored, so cost isn’t a factor. Also, many of these tournaments take place during the holiday time, so the travel isn’t as problematic. But because KSHSAA rules restrict travel, Kansas schools cannot participate unless they get a waiver, which has typically been denied by KSHSAA. Additionally, KSHSAA rules restrict who Kansas teams can play in these tournaments, so if a Kansas team wanted to go to a tournament in Missouri, for instance, they still could not play against a team from Michigan.

    @BShark is right that these rules hurt low and mid tier prospects most. Right now, if you’re the #350 prospect in the country and you’re from western Kansas, you can use AAU to prove your wares against D1 talent that you don’t see in the regular season. But now, with the emphasis on high school schedule, it makes it much more difficult to evaluate a player at a school that doesn’t see high caliber competition regularly. This basically takes any incentive away from a kid playing below 5A in Kansas that is a prospect. You need to transfer to a higher tier program. If you’re at a smaller program now, you had better transfer to the Sunflower League, or the Wichita City League, or the Eastern Kansas League, or some of the other big class leagues, because that’s the only way to get reps against high caliber talent.



  • justanotherfan said:

    @JayHawkFanToo

    For a lot of the major HS tournaments, these are sponsored events. As such, many of those tournaments don’t cost the school’s that participate anything because they are invited and sponsored to go.

    A few years ago, when Highland Park High School in Topeka was a powerhouse program, they were invited to a sponsored tournament in Arizona (could have the location wrong because I am doing this from memory). The trip would cost nothing. However, because it was in Arizona, Highland Park had to apply for a waiver from KSHSAA to participate. They were denied. Here, an inner city school was denied this opportunity because the rules forbid it. Bishop Miege (where Robinson Earl and Bol Bol were) and Wichita Heights (Perry Ellis’ alma mater) also received invites to similar tournaments, but had to turn them down.

    Like I said, these are generally sponsored, so cost isn’t a factor. Also, many of these tournaments take place during the holiday time, so the travel isn’t as problematic. But because KSHSAA rules restrict travel, Kansas schools cannot participate unless they get a waiver, which has typically been denied by KSHSAA. Additionally, KSHSAA rules restrict who Kansas teams can play in these tournaments, so if a Kansas team wanted to go to a tournament in Missouri, for instance, they still could not play against a team from Michigan.

    @BShark is right that these rules hurt low and mid tier prospects most. Right now, if you’re the #350 prospect in the country and you’re from western Kansas, you can use AAU to prove your wares against D1 talent that you don’t see in the regular season. But now, with the emphasis on high school schedule, it makes it much more difficult to evaluate a player at a school that doesn’t see high caliber competition regularly. This basically takes any incentive away from a kid playing below 5A in Kansas that is a prospect. You need to transfer to a higher tier program. If you’re at a smaller program now, you had better transfer to the Sunflower League, or the Wichita City League, or the Eastern Kansas League, or some of the other big class leagues, because that’s the only way to get reps against high caliber talent.

    I can speak on the highland park thing from a few years ago the reason why they didn’t go to Arizona. Year was because of the KSHSAA WOULD NOT LET THEM GO THAT FAR



  • @justanotherfan

    How is this different than other states? Does the rules apply to all schools or only State schools? Bishop Miege is a private schools so perhaps not affected?

    Looks like the situations you named are few and far in between, so, should the rules be changed for all or maybe i would be better to add a few exemptions that would take care of the 3 cases you mentioned?



  • Have you seen how poor the education is in Kansas public schools? I think the time, money, and effort can be better spent in the classroom.

    The reason you don’t see big time recruits come out of sparsely populated western ks isn’t lack of recruiting, it’s lack of talent. The good ones get picked up. Two WNBA players have been produced close by. Very little nfl or nba talent. Genetics and lack of population are the biggest limiting factors it’s generally not a exposure and development issue.



  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Any school that plays for KSHSAA state titles would be subject to the KSHSAA rules, so even though Miege is private, they are subject to the rules, as are other private schools like Topeka Hayden, Wichita Collegiate, etc.

    @dylans

    Cauley Stein played for tiny Spearville HS his first two years of HS before transferring to Olathe NW for more exposure. Ron Baker is from Scott City. There is some talent out in Western Kansas. And that doesn’t count guys that are low level prospects, or even D2 prospects. This rule would hit them hard because how many coaches will drive out to Tiny Town X to see one guy when they can go to a game in a bigger city and potentially see a couple of potential recruits?

    In all honesty, this rule has a good chance of absolutely crushing smaller town schools because any athlete with potential collegiate prospects may have to transfer to a bigger school, meaning that once in a generation talent may not be able to stay at a smaller school and have a shot at being recruited.



  • @justanotherfan

    what exactly does the new rule changes from the current rule?



  • Does anyone expect anything different from the state that used to force airlines flying over it to pick up any alcoholic drinks from fliers while they were flying over Kansas? The land of 3.2 beer is restricting high school players from competing out of state…classic Kansas thinking there.





  • @KUSTEVE

    Yes



  • @JayHawkFanToo

    The biggest change is that it shortens the summer evaluation period from 19 days to four days. Right now, college coaches can go to all of the big AAU events and evaluate dozens of players at a time. By slashing that evaluation period down to four days, it really eliminates the ability to evaluate kids in person, particularly early in the process.



  • @justanotherfan

    But…that is a NCAA rule not a Kansas rule, right?



  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Yes, but with the Kansas rule that limits games and travel during the HS season, this rule hurts Kansas prospects.



  • Besides playing in high school games boys and girls can play in over a hundred games a year with different organizations such as AAU and other travel ball programs. Most weekends there are tournaments where you can find desired competition. My experience it’s these programs where kids develop the most rather than in school programs. Not always the case but a majority of the time. If a kid has potential long before high school his/her name is in the conversation.



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