• I am a huge Bill Self supporter and like it or not his recent recruiting tactics are shaping up to be the “golden ticket”. Weather you support the OAD era or prefer the more experienced teams the proof is in the pudding. The OAD’s are winning in March. For example out of the Blue Bloods you have Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, North Carolina, UCLA, and Indiana. Since 2010 Kentucky has 3 Final Fours: 2011, 2012, 2014 which is equal to all of the other schools listed here combined.

    Kelly Oubre was the first recruit to shed some light on Self changing his recruiting tactics when he said during an interview that HCBS had told him he could step in and play right away because Wiggins was leaving for the NBA after this year. That in its self goes against what HCBS has said in the past. I think Tharpe, and Whites departure signals to elite talent that Self is ready to play the OAD game and seniority is no longer going to trump talent at KU. We have 2 scholarship’s available at the moment and I believe Self is getting ready to land some more elite talent. My guess is he is going to tell Stephen Zimmerman and P.J. Dozier that the starting position is theirs for the taking.

    Buckle up Jayhawks because the transfers have just begun and I believe HCBS is aiming to dethrone Calipari as the nations best recruiter.

  • @Statmachine I hope you’re wrong, but I fear you aren’t.

  • Might be to our advantage, especially if the league bumps their age requirement to 20.

  • @tundrahok I’m torn on this because most of us have watched players develop and marveled at their improvement. We have gotten to know them and watch them grow on and off the court. Now on the other hand UK is recruiting the top guys year in and year out and is in line to make another national championship appearance. If HCBS doesn’t jump on board then someone else will, then we are on the outside looking in. So I guess if our ultimate goal is to win national championship’s then we gotta make a change. Like it or not its looking like OAD’s trump seniority and Bill Self is being forced to adapt his recruiting techniques to win games in March.

  • @Statmachine I agree, it’s probably a necessary evil. It’s a product of the one-and-done culture. Just disappointing, because as you noted we’ve enjoyed watching many of our players develop and improve, and we won’t be able to afford as many of those “projects” any more. AW3 is the most recent casualty of this change in strategy.

    We will also be sacificing skill for talent. The most highly talented players won’t stick around as long to become truly skilled. Plays will be simpler, offenses wil be less sophisticated. This change in recruitment strategy in the one-and-done culture will have profound impacts on the whole game, as many here have noted.

    I hope it doesn’t hurt Self’s reputation… Even with Calipari’s KU ties, many KU fans consider him somewhat slimy. And he often looks sickly. Sick and slimy…not what we want our coach to become.

    But as you point out, it’s hard to argue with success.

  • Hmmm … the only teams with an OAD as part of their rotation to actually win a national title are Syracuse in 2003 with Carmelo Anthony, and UK in 2012. That’s it.

    Further, I think even a more valid point is coach Self as a system coach. He approaches things much differently than coach Cal. Both are terrific coaches. I think it works for Cal, maybe not for Self. But we will certainly see this season with Oubre and Alexander. Let’s hope it works.

    Moving the age requirement to 20, though, might not give us anything to talk about.

  • @HighEliteMajor I don’t think Bill Self is trying to recruit OAD’s only. I think he is just trying to land the top 25% just like UK and hoping like hell they return for another year or 2. There is a good chance Alexander and Oubre stay for another year. If he lands 2 more 5 star guys in the right positions we are in really good shape to put the hurt on teams come March.

  • @HighEliteMajor You also have to admit UK has been in a better position than we have to win another one since 2012. I know you are not a fan of the OAD situation but seriously UK has been ranked pre season top 4 nearly every year (reciently) and they have had more success than most. I admit I absolutely hate UK and their slime bag coach but if we don’t start competing with him the off season we are going to play second fiddle for a long time (along with every other program). Cal has already made UK the popular choice with the youth of our country and even though it sickens me he is going to win alot more than any other program if he continues. Every other blue blood is falling further and further behind the longer they wait to get on board. I wonder if Self can get Kim Kardashian to come sit with our recruits for late night since Cal already has Beyonce? lol

  • @Statmachine

    I don’t think Calipari has anything to do with what Self is trying to build at KU. Self is going to build Self’s program that is best for his talent. I don’t even think Self is necessarily after OAD type talent. I do think, like most coaches, he’ll take OAD talent.
    Self is in great shape with Graham, Mason, CF, Greene, Ellis, JTray, Lucas, and Mickelson. Oubre, Selden, and Alexander are bonus players. So, I guarantee you that Self will say the only thing he and Calipari have in common are those OADs. I do believe that Self and Cal are two different programs. They have two different emphases. One major difference and it’s the reason Cal and many other coaches land great guards is because their offenses are guard oriented or guard first programs. Self needs guards, but his is a huge big man program. Sean Miller and Zona are the self-proclaimed Point Guard U. If you look hard at Cal’s bigs, they are important, but like Miller, the guards make those programs. Self knows he needs better guards, but he is trying to build a core of players that will be around for 2-3 yrs and a few “OAD” type players to supplement his core. Don’t look now, but Calipari is actually following Self’s coaching strategy with recruits and players. I don’t think Self has anything to do with Calipari’s coaching strategy. Bottom line, they are two different coaches and their programs are different. I think Calipari’s greatest success is either failing to get his players into the NBA lately, or simply getting them to stay. Media said Calipari “failed” to get the twins into the league. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again, the players make the coach most of the time. The players make Calipari. I do believe Self is a much better coach at preparing players for the league.
    If you compare Self and Calipari players, Cal clearly has the better recruits and talent, rank wise. But, Self seems to get those lesser ranked players, and seems to raise their rank considerably. A few examples are ADavis v. TRob. We know the difference in the two, but Self actually increased TRob’s draft status. Now take Embiid v. Johnson and Johnson beat Embiid all over the ranks. However, Embiid went to the draft and will likely be high. Johnson stayed at uk, why? academics? pt? preparation? Calipari failed? I would now compare Alexander v. Towns. Watch what Calipari does with Towns v. what Self does for Alexander. Granted Alex brings a ton of tools for Self to use, but Self will teach him and polish him. Hudy is going to lean him up to become more muscle to hold his own aginst these boys. These uk guys could’ve gone, but decided to return? Maybe for good reason or Calipari just isn’t the coach to prepare these highly ranked players for the NBA. I’ll take Self everytime.

  • This will be very interesting to see it all play out in Self’s recruiting, and also how much the OAD “rule” getting changed (soon) to 2AD by the NBA will impact college recruiting. Will be also interesting to see how the “product” on the hardwood will be affected.

  • @ralster One things for sure, imagine being recruited over by a 2AD? Expect a few more transfers if the NBA makes the change.

  • @Statmachine Yep. Just saw the top 5 recruiting classes for 2014 on ESPN, and its Duke, KY, UNC, KU, Louisville. 4 royalty programs, along with recent NChamp Louisville. This is what gets noticed even by casual (non-ku) fans, especially 1000 miles away…someone pulls up ESPN, and right there is KU. Thanks to Bill Self for doing his damndest in the recruiting wars and for keeping KU’s stature nationally where we think it belongs. RCJH

  • As I posted on another thread, regardless of what Oubre said, I seriously doubt that Self guaranteed any playing time. One common thing on the interviews contained in the “Beyond the Phog” book is that all the players, without exception, indicated that Self did not guaranteed playing time and told them they would have to earn it; I just don’t see him changing his ways for Oubre when he did not even do that for Wiggins.

    Having said that talent has always done well at KU under Self. Lots of talented freshmen have started or seen considerable playing time under Self and I don’t expect that to change.

  • Adam Silver has established a great deal of credibility already with NBA players. If Silver pushes hard for the 2-and-done rule, the Players’ Association is likely to bow to his wishes. Would certainly fit well with Bill Self’s sytem’s approach to the game.

  • All college sports should standardize on the baseball rule; a player can go pro straight out of High School but if chooses College he must stay 3 years. This approach gives players a chance to graduate in 3 years, or at least a chance to be reasonably close to graduation, so if the professional career does not work, they can complete their degrees and have a fall back option.

    Having all pro-sports standardize would make it easier for all the different leagues to adapt the rule.

  • @Statmachine

    I would edit your statement just slightly - Talent > Seniority. It just so happens that the best talent is now OAD talent, or TAD talent.

    I think it is important that KU gets these players now because the NBA will likely change the rule at the next CBA and move to a TAD rule. If that does happen, it likely will not happen before 2017 (when the current CBA is up for review). We can’t be on the short end of talent between now and 2017. That just isn’t acceptable.

    @JayHawkFanToo brings up an interesting point regarding having your degree to fall back on. I would be in full support of this, but this is a problematic situation. It has been shown that athletes at major schools are often steered away from certain majors - biology, business, pre law, etc. and towards other majors - sports management, general studies, etc. in an effort to lessen the academic load on the athlete. I have a couple of friends that were D1 athletes (not at KU) that actually had to fight with their respective athletic departments to pursue their chosen majors. That’s a problem. I don’t have any evidence that this happens at KU, but I do know that it happens very literally everywhere else. A degree in “general studies” doesn’t give you much to fall back on. Only if athletes are allowed to pursue a degree that will give them an opportunity to truly have something to fall back on.

  • @justanotherfan

    If I recall correctly, the Bachelor in General Studies was done away many years ago since it was pretty much worthless. Most of the current roster are majoring in Sports Management or Communications; I believe all the Freshmen have undeclared majors. It looks like a lot of the players want to eventually go on to coaching; not really a surprise.

    Since the Big 12 inception, the Basketball programs has had more honor roll players than any other team in the conference; Aldrich was Academic All-American player of the year. Other names that come to mind are Moody and I believe Reed who were pre-med and Kaun that studied Computer Science.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I’m not just speaking to KU hoops. I was more addressing a college athletics problem. This is something that is present not just at the D1 level, but also at the D2 level, where the likelihood of a player going pro is so remote as to make it non-sensical to even dangle that possibility out there.

    College athletic departments (not just KU, but all colleges) tend to steer athletes towards less demanding (and ultimately less rewarding) majors because it is easier to keep guys eligible that way. Even more accomplished students are encouraged to take less burdensome course loads because it “may interfere with their practice schedule.”

    This is a dirty little secret that the NCAA does not want to talk about. It is most rampant in football, because of the time commitment in both the fall (with the season) and spring (with spring practices), but it pops up in other areas as well.

    Again, I’m not saying that everyone does this, but it happens because these student athletes are likely to trust their academic advisors, so if they are told that they shouldn’t take certain courses, they will probably not pursue those courses unless they are absolutely adamant that they want to do that.

  • What I see, especially when comparing Self and Cal, KU vs UK… we are a big man school (because of Self’s offense) and UK isn’t weighted to big men or small men (because of Cal’s dribble-drive motion offense).

    Our big advantage doesn’t really become a huge advantage until the NBA ups the player entry age to 20. Then all the D1 top players become TADs. Then… Hudy becomes the big advantage for Kansas!

    Hudy is the difference maker between Self and Cal. But Hudy doesn’t make a huge difference in players until the summer between their freshman and sophomore years. Why? Because players only get a small taste of Hudy before their freshman fall year. Once basketball starts they back off the heavy weights.

    Players between their freshman and sophomore years have all of April right on through to November to pump big iron.

    Don’t believe it? Check out all our returning sophomores this fall (freshmen last year). Players like Conner will show a lot more strength.

    Once we know we have two years to develop the top elite players, we will smash Cal on the recruiting trail as long as we have Hudy.

    I hope she is well-paid and planning to stay at Kansas.

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