April Texas Hold'em Flop

  • No… this is not a thread about Marcus Smart and a bout of floparrhea.

    It’s April, and D1 schools across this nation are lined up for another round of the ultimate Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament, being staged from coast-to-coast.

    Schools have been holding their hole cards for a while now and we are finally witnessing the flop.

    Here is one of the flop cards in this year’s magnificent recruiting tournament: 6’11" Trevor Thompson, a transfer from VTech. On Sunday, he announced he will become a Buckeye next year (or at least, become a red shirt transfer).

    So how does this flop card impact Kansas? Or does it?

    Let’s look at our current hole cards. What we learned last week was that we developed a hole in our hole hand… 7’ Joel Embiid was leaving for the NBA.

    Schools (and media) from around the table have been wondering what cards Kansas would have in the hole when the flop came. Now the flop is turning and Kansas has a void in the post to fill. Many have speculated that top tier recruit Myles Turner was waiting in the wings and would decide after all schools’ hole cards were known (including Kansas).

    Kansas had shown interest in Thompson. But Thompson went for the lesser pick of OSU over KU. Why? Could this play be exposing what the Jayhawks card will be down the river? Could it mean that Thompson was tipped off that he would be fighting for minutes against Turner this fall (if he is granted his transfer waiver) or the following year if Turner was still around?

    Inquiring minds want to know. Schools are still holding their chips close to the vest.

    Turner has offers from Ohio State, Kansas, Kentucky, Arizona, Oklahoma State and Texas.

    I guess we can scratch OSU off the list with the signing of Thompson. And Kentucky appears to have little chance, too, because they’ll have at least one top 7’-footer returning. Arizona will have a blossoming Tarc back for another year… Tarc… the footer who burned KU and has done more for Kansas basketball than any player ever who actually didn’t come to Kansas! Thanks again, Tarc, for becoming a Wildcat! Texas already has Ibeh and Ridley… two quality players that will surely own plenty of PT next year. While all these teams hold the wrong cards for recruiting Turner, Oklahoma State doesn’t seem to have enough supporting cards to be considered. Smart and Brown will be gone, and the Okies will not be a certain to finish near the top of the B12 next year, with or without Turner.

    Kansas, on the other hand, has a colossal hole to fill with the exit of Joel Embiid, and Kansas will have a mixture of quality returning players and quality incoming recruits that point to a probably #11 B12 conference finish! Kansas has just the right cards in the hole that can inspire Myles to look their way.

    And last, Kansas owns the chip count in this tournament. Andrea Hudy is one, big developmental chip in Kansas’ stack. Myles has a long ways to go to be NBA ready, and he doesn’t have a second to waste going anywhere that doesn’t build strength on his light frame. He should be looking in the Kansas video library at one Jeff Withey, to become inspired about being a Jayhawk. Another big chip in the Kansas Stack is their infamous Bill Self hi/lo offense, which makes players like Myles the center of their offensive sets. Another valuable chip owned by Kansas is their reputation for developing big men. It is doubtful any other college team has sent more post players to the league than Kansas since the Bill Self era! Their record on big man development stands alone in college basketball!

    The betting has begun, and I know my chips will be on Kansas to land their next big man superstar, Myles Turner!



  • Turner has offers from Ohio State, Kansas, Kentucky, Arizona, Oklahoma State and Texas.

    He could’ve gone to any one of these programs at any time during the recruiting process or decided way earlier than now. However, each program is slowly tipping Turner’s direction. I think Turner has called coaches too.

    OhioSt- Thompson is a big give away

    Kansas- wide open 5, don’t expect Lucas or Mickelson to compete much

    UK- full up and Cauley-Stein back and Towns is pretty full (haven’t heard from Randall or Johnson)

    Zona- Tarc back

    OkSt- depleted of most talent, Cobbins likely back, not much comp, but they don’t offer much without Smart and Brown.

    Texas- Ridley and Ebeh to compete…likely play, but not without comp

  • Four of Five analysts at ESPN predict Turner to Texas:

    Myles Turner

    Paul Biancardi: Texas The hard part begins as Turner must start to separate the schools in his mind and make one choice. The process has gone exactly how Turner had planned – take all his official visits, then decide. Because he has waited – even though he could have committed at any time to the likes of Duke, Arizona and Kansas – makes me guess that he will stay home and be the face of the Longhorns program.

    Adam Finkelstein: Kansas I think the allure of replacing Joel Embiid at Kansas will ultimately be too much for Turner to pass up on given coach Bill Self’s track record of developing big men for the NBA. Turner will have as good an opportunity to be a one-and-done lottery pick as any player in the current ESPN 100, all while having an enforcer like Cliff Alexander next to him.

    Joel Francisco: Texas Turner has thoroughly investigated his options. He is one of the elite prospects in the class who will make an immediate impact because of his shot-blocking and outside shooting touch. Though Kansas lost Embiid to the draft and has a glaring need at center, Texas is the school to beat, despite having everyone back along the front line. Turner has tremendous upside but still is far from a finished product as compared to Jahlil Okafor. Turner needs to work on getting stronger and his post skills are still raw as he enters college. Possibly coming off the bench will give Turner time to develop and Texas provides that as veterans Cameron Ridley and Jonathan Holmes could be excellent mentors.

    Reggie Rankin: Texas Turner is still evaluating programs and observing how he will fit in with other high-level players, but I am predicting he will select the Longhorns when it’s all said and done. Turner has visited Austin enough to connect with the coaches and players, and his family will be able to see him play on a consistent basis as well. The Longhorns are one of the youngest teams in the country, and with Turner they undoubtedly will make another huge jump forward from a team that already has played in the NCAA tournament. I have nothing to base this on other than a gut feeling.

    John Stovall: Texas Turner is by far the most impactful recruit left on the board. He is a program-changer and can make the right school an instant contender for the national title. His ability to take away the rim defensively and score both on the low post and perimeter make him a unique weapon in college basketball. After being pursued by every school under the sun, my guess is Turner chooses to stay close to home and attend Texas.

  • Three of Five say Graham to Kansas:

    Devonte Graham

    Biancardi: Kansas The hardest and most important position on the floor to fill is the point guard. Graham’s combination of running a team with extended range on his jumper makes him so valuable. An explosive athlete who has come on as a late bloomer has coaches pouring in to Brewster Academy. In the mix are Kansas, NC State, Virginia, Providence , Xavier and Virginia Tech. He is visiting Kansas this weekend and then heading NC State soon. This one is just starting to heat up, and when it’s all said and done, look for Kansas to land Graham.

    Finkelstein: Kansas I’m a big believer in the importance of the first visit and Graham’s decision to see the Jayhawks first would seem to indicate that Kansas is in the driver’s seat. Combine that with the opportunity to play rotation minutes next season and then have a potential chance to start as a sophomore and Graham is going to hear a convincing sales pitch from Self.

    Francisco: NC State After signing with Appalachian State, Graham has seen his recruiting pick up steam at a remarkable rate. After getting his release from his LOI, the savvy lead guard now has the likes of Kansas, NC State and Providence chipping at his heels for his signature. Although the lure of being under the tutelage of Self and his staff is enticing, Graham will see a greater opportunity – after Tyler Lewis bolted to Butler – of returning to his hometown and suiting up for NC State.

    Rankin: NC State Graham is a true point guard who is crafty and brings the ability to push the ball, run the offense and make plays off the bounce. He also can knock down open jumpers to keep the defense honest. When Graham was released by Appalachian State he became the most sought-after perimeter player at the most important position. I think he will take his talent back to his hometown of Raleigh, N.C., and sign with NC State. He will compete with Anthony Barber for the starting job.

    Stovall: Kansas Graham just became the most recruited player in the country after his release from Appalachian State. He will have a lot of great choices. History says Self and Kansas are tough to beat when they single in on one player. My guess is the Jayhawks.

  • @HighEliteMajor Thanks for providing the ESPN insider info there. I don’t really understand some of the rationales by the “experts”. Maybe it’s my crimson & blue colored glasses. But take this sentence:

    “Because he has waited – even though he could have committed at any time to the likes of Duke, Arizona and Kansas – makes me guess that he will stay home and be the face of the Longhorns program.”

    Couldn’t he have also committed at any time to the like of Texas? That’s your reasoning Biancardi? Because he waited he will choose to stay close to home? To me, if you’re going to play for the hometown team, you don’t take this long to decide.

    Or how about this quote:

    “Turner needs to work on getting stronger and his post skills are still raw as he enters college. Possibly coming off the bench will give Turner time to develop and Texas provides that as veterans Cameron Ridley and Jonathan Holmes could be excellent mentors.”

    Right. Because coming off the bench is something all second best players in the country dream of! Oh and remind me, Texas has a history of developing raw bigs? Oh wait that’s us!

    At least Rankin didn’t make something ridiculous up, as he said he was basing it on his gut.

  • @icthawkfan316 Right, Biancardi’s logic seems backward. Unless he was waiting to see what Embiid was doing, why wait? If AZ was in the mix, maybe waiting to see if Tarc returned. Still, Biancardi’s logic is not sound there with the Texas conclusion. If it was Texas, why wait? Doesn’t seem like the stuff of insiders.

  • @icthawkfan316

    Loved your post. I thought the same.

    And if he knew all along he would stay in Texas, he would have helped out his team by declaring sooner so they could use that momentum to land more talent.

    It seems obvious that he waited to see what players were going or staying in other programs. We know he likes Kansas already. I guess soon we will find out if he loves Kansas!

    Amazing… how many players pick a school because they DON’T want PT! I can make a huge list of potential star players who didn’t want PT in their first year… no wait… I can’t name a single player!

    If I had 10 cents for every time these guys guessed wrong, I’d buy me a luxury condo in Monte Carlo.

  • @drgnslayr Andrew White chose KU because he doesn’t want playing time …

  • @HighEliteMajor now that’s funny! Is AWIII staying?

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Gosh… I think you are right!

  • 70% of the “experts” had Randle to Kansas and Wiggins to Kentucky. I kinda hope they’re backwards on this one also.

  • @drgnslayr Best thread in weeks slayr, you’ve regained my focus…if that’s possible. One thought -he also could be holding out knowing full well he’s putting the meat to other Big 12 schools by doing so & stepping into Barnes starting lineup at UT? Ridley is experienced, but he damn sure ain’t Turner. Plus after all, he is a Texan.

  • Heckuva piece of writing, slayr!

    Myles ought to come, but the Karviar Shepherd should have, too. Something happens to a lot of these big men down the stretch of their recruiting. You make clear: they should all be picking KU.

  • Just saw that Jeff Goodman and Paul Biancardihave tweeted Myles Turner has set his announcement date for April 30. Included in the tweets is a program note that Matt Schick of ESPNU will be talking to Turner sometime today during their national signing day special at 3 PM eastern/2 pm central time. For anybody that has ESPNU and is interested in checking that out. Anyway…2 more weeks of speculation.

  • Just watched the portions of the signing day special that interested me. First they talked to Turner. He didn’t give any clues as to where he might be leaning. Said the most important thing for him was where he felt the most comfortable - with the coaching staff, with the players, etc. He seems like an Andrew Wiggins type guy, in that Wiggins chose to come to KU in part because he was really laid back/even-keeled and felt comfortable around guys like Selden & Embiid whom he came to know through various all-star games and whatnot. I think Turner is going to make the same type of decision. I don’t know if he has that same comfort level with guys like Alexander & Oubre that Wiggins did with his fellow classmates, but I do think the opportunity is there where it is not for a school like Texas, simply because Turner isn’t making the rounds at these various all-star games with anybody else who is going to Texas.

    Immediately after speaking with Turner the crew spoke with both Alexander & Oubre. Oubre said (as I have read he has said in the past) that he has told Turner to do what is best for him & his family, but also said he thinks he should come with them to Kansas. Alexander spoke more on the departure of Embiid, how it wasn’t really a surprise to him because if someone told him he could possibly be the #1 player in the NBA draft he would leave too. Both players spoke of wanting to win a national championship.

    Kind of funny that the studio crew mentioned how set we would be if we brought in Turner, except that we really needed a point guard.

  • @icthawkfan316 Thanks for the updates and insight.

  • @wrwlumpy

    The article says, “All signs…”

    Maybe Moore should get real and say, “A sign…”

    Big difference.

    We’ve learned our lessons on recruiting. It can backfire to call a player out before he announces.

  • @wrwlumpy He can say what he wants now and every word could be interpited how ever you wanted, maybe his backyard is Baylor? Or maybe he looks down on the State of Oklahoma when he is saying down there.

    I’ll wait and rejoice or wonder when he puts on a hat on the 30th.

    Oh is that a sign a hat???

  • @JRyman

    We are 1-for-1 in recent hat ceremonies.

  • @drgnslayr Just saying most hat ceremonies don’t seem to go our way, most of KU’s guys don’t even use the hats.

    Why can’t a kid be original and do a card trick or something, maybe some magic?

  • @JRyman Yeah! Maybe they could hold up a sign that says;


  • @nuleafjhawk

    Great license plate, too. 🙂

  • @JRyman

    I know… I was being half sarcastic.

    Yeah… how about he flips a coin and says… “heads to KU, tails to Texas.”

    Or cut the deck and play hi/lo… hey, that’s the offense we run!

  • Or cut the deck and play hi/lo… hey, that’s the offense we run!

    @drgnslayr You know what the “experts” would say after reading that? “All signs point to KU”

    Speaking of signs, maybe hold up a One way sign that is blue and red and could read “One and done”

  • Man, it is brutal reading the comments over on kusports. Just looked in on the Turner article today. So glad we have this site.

    At this point, I don’t think we land Turner. The biggest hope I’d had for him coming in was that he was waiting for Embiid to declare to free up playing time. If that was the case though, that his mind was made up that he was coming to KU with Embiid gone, I don’t think he’d be waiting so long to announce his decision.

    So given the wait, I’m not sure what to make of it. Does he really not know where he wants to go? Are there still mitigating factors waiting to play themselves out? Lumpy posted a link indicating he had made up his mind to go to Texas. If that was the case, if he has already decided, why wait? I don’t get it. The only thing there is that maybe he decided and ESPN told him when to announce, or at least when they would be willing to cover the announcement live. From what interviews I’ve seen and read, he doesn’t come off as doing this for the attention or trying to create drama. But if that is the case, it comes off as pretty unsavory. Say what you will about Wiggins and his OAD hype, but he didn’t create a circus around himself. He announced quietly to a single reporter.

    If he does pass on KU, I’m hoping Larry Brown gets him down at SMU. I’d even settle for Texas getting him. Anybody but Dook at this point.

  • @icthawkfan316 Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in …

  • @icthawkfan316 if he has already decided, why wait? I don’t get it

    My thought is he saw what happened with Wiggins last year, all the speculation, all the extra free press surrounding his decision, his own day sorta speak. Maybe he wants that?

    If he does pass on KU, I’m hoping Larry Brown gets him down at SMU. I’d even settle for Texas getting him. Anybody but Dook at this point.

    I don’t want him at Texas so that Barnes gets all this credit for being a good coach, when we know in all reality of the basketball world he could not coach his way out of a wet paper sack. STill can’t believe he won Big12 COY this past season, over Hoiberg, Self and Krugger.

  • @icthawkfan316 I don’t know why, gut feeling I guess, I think he comes here. From everything I read, he seems like a pretty quality kid! I sat across from him on senior pm, he was really having fun! Of course, Tarik’s speech was the best recruiting tool.

  • @icthawkfan316

    I keep thinking about Myles… everything he has said until now… the type of player he can be… the type of player he wants to be.

    His idol is Kevin Durant. I can’t blame him for that. Durant is one of my idol’s, too. But think about what Kevin’s game is. It isn’t the Bill Self hi/lo.

    Reading that article, you can take from it the sales pitch used by Kansas. The sales pitch is that they wouldn’t always (or ever) use Myles in the low post on the hi/lo. They will use Alexander for that, and use Myles all over the court, often the perimeter, to nail 3s and whatever else is available.

    Notice what Myles DIDN’T say! He didn’t say how he was looking forward to getting in the low post and working the hi/lo. And why should he? He isn’t built for that (yet) and, realistically, he never will be. His future pro game should mimic his idol, Durant!

    So now, when you look at it that way… does Kansas have the advantage on recruiting Myles? I think we lose many of the advantages we hold with most 7-footers. Most footers are looking to be a star in the post. Self’s hi/lo is built for those players. Just don’t expect us to put Cliff on the left side and Myles on the right side of a hi/lo set if he does pick Kansas. Ain’t gonna happen!

    I’m psyched to think of the possibilities if he does pick us… and if Self can think outside of the box and not try to force the square peg in the round hole (thin footer to become a post monster).

    Myles can shoot, and I admire him for going after Durant’s game! Smart kid!

    Don’t know that we land him, but I hope he stays in the B12 so we can watch his game closer!

    Why is it taking so long for Myles to pick a school?

    Perhaps it takes that long to negotiate a deal. I think the longer it goes on, the higher chance we have of landing him. This is like an extended poker hand… and Self is pretty good at playing that game. I’ll say this again… Self is the best recruiter in the country after March Madness. When the pressure is on, he gets what he wants. And in this case, getting Myles requires negotiating how he will be used while at Kansas.

    In this case, I agree with Myles. He should be cut lose, outside of the post, to create his offense. We should force a square peg in a round hole!

  • @drgnslayr don’t hold me to it, I thought he said one of the pluses about KU, was the hi/lo???

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    “Asked about KU by Zagsblog.com, Turner said: “I like the high-low system that coach (Bill) Self runs, due to the fact that I can play both the high and the low in that system with Cliff (Alexander) and a couple of other bigs over there. That would be really cool to be a part of.””

    That tells me a lot more than the junk we heard yesterday where that Texas article parsed every word from one of Myle’s statements to suggest he showed his hand for going to Austin.

    The above statement tells me there has been an in-depth conversation of how he would be utilized at Kansas… and it sounds more like a negotiation. Myles would like to be used more outside…

    It sounds like Self is just trying to make sure he knows that at times he will have to be in the low post… like when we have a huge size advantage over our opponent. And in that case, it would raise Myle’s stock more… proving he can play low post ball or play with his face to the basket, including nailing the long ball. If we can sell that style of play to him, we stand to take back some of the advantage we may have lost by just selling him on straight hi/lo with him in the low post.

    With Myles focused on Durant’s game, it sort of neutralizes our biggest weapon, Hudy. Durant is proof someone can be a star in the league without having girth.

    If I was Self I would still sell Hudy. Sell the idea of strength helping him wherever his game is. What player turns down building strength in his short time in college before going pro?

  • @HighEliteMajor Sucker!

    No I almost posted too, but really the level of debate over there is of such low quality, and often hostile. It’s very seldom respectful, and usually it is just beating your head against a wall offering up perspectives to people who are too close-minded to even consider an opposing position.

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