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Monday, April 4, 2016

Keegan

Tom Keegan: Self, KU haven’t always had talent edge

Kansas coach Bill Self answers a question near his Associated Press Coach of the Year trophy at a news conference at the NCAA Final Four college basketball tournament Thursday, March 31, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Kansas coach Bill Self answers a question near his Associated Press Coach of the Year trophy at a news conference at the NCAA Final Four college basketball tournament Thursday, March 31, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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Kansas University forever appears on the lists of schools McDonald’s All-Americans are considering. That, coupled with Kansas winning the Big 12 every year, creates the sometimes-inaccurate perception that the Jayhawks always have a talent advantage when they take the floor.

Given that perception, Bill Self’s 2-6 career record (2-4 at Kansas) in Elite Eight games begs explanation. The only way to find one is by studying his previous appearances in the round that launches the winning team into the Final Four.

In doing so, I’ll bank on a completely unscientific means of measuring which team, in Self’s seven Elite Eight appearances, had more talent. I’ll count the NBA points scored by players who appeared in that game and see which team had more future NBA firepower. Why that method? Why not? Performance in the best league in the world certainly speaks more to pure talent than high school reputation. (All points used here do not include any scored in Sunday’s NBA games.)

North Carolina 59, Tulsa 55, 2000: Although Las Vegas favored Tulsa to win, the Tar Heels had more pure talent. That Tulsa team didn’t send any player to the NBA. Joseph Forte, the star of that particular game with 28 points, scored 30 points in the NBA, and Brendan Haywood totaled 5,538. So give the Tar Heels a 5,568-0 victory.

Arizona 87, Illinois 81, 2001: Self coached three NBA players in this one, and Lute Olson had four. Richard Jefferson, Gilbert Arenas, Luke Walton and Loren Woods made it to the NBA, and Jefferson still is playing, coming off the bench for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Frank Williams, Brian Cook and Robert Archibald from Illinois played in the NBA.

Score it Arizona 44,419, Illinois 2,616, so far.

Georgia Tech 79, Kansas 71, overtime, 2004: Brooklyn Nets guard Jarrett Jack, out for the season after knee surgery, scored a game-high 29 points vs. Kansas and easily has scored more NBA points (8,887) than the combined total of the other six players who made it to the world’s best basketball league. KU’s NBA alumni: Wayne Simien (169), J.R. Giddens (73), Aaron Miles (16) and Keith Langford (2).

Credit the Yellow Jackets with a rout, 11,863-260, thanks in part to Will Bynum’s 2,921 points. Somewhat surprisingly, Luke Schenscher only scored 55 NBA points.

UCLA 68, Kansas 55, 2007: The Jayhawks didn’t look so hot sneaking past Southern Illinois in the Sweet 16 and didn’t play any better against the Bruins, even though they had the same basic team, just a year younger, as the one that won it all the next year.

But it’s not as if they faced a less talented team in UCLA.

Freshman Russell Westbrook, who played just five minutes in this Elite Eight game, has scored more NBA points (12,525) than the seven Jayhawks with NBA experience. Score it UCLA 28,829, Kansas 12,482.

Aaron Afflalo (7,456), Darren Collison (6,203), Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (3,385) all have higher NBA point totals than every KU player with the exception of Mario Chalmers (5,236), who scored just two points on 1-for-8 shooting against the Bruins. NBA points for the rest of the Jayhawks: Brandon Rush (3,035), Darrell Arthur (2,961), Julian Wright (907), Darnell Jackson (308), Sasha Kaun (18), Sherron Collins (17).

Kansas 59, Davidson 57, 2008: Within a couple of seasons, Stephen Curry will pass the point total of the seven NBA Jayhawks who teamed to send Self to his first Final Four, but for now Kansas has the lead, 12,442-10,902.

VCU 71, Kansas 61, 2011: Five Jayhawks who played in this game have combined to score 9,069 points so far, none for VCU players. Troy Daniels, the Ram on the roster to land an NBA job, did not remove his warmup jacket, and neither did KU’s Jeff Withey.

Of all the Elite Eight misses, this one must have hurt the most for Self. The Rams caught fire from three-point land (12-for-25), and even players who usually did not shoot from long range got caught up in moment and launched successfully. Of Self’s eight Elite Eight appearances, this was the one in which he had the greatest talent advantage.

Markieff (4,208 points) and Marcus (3,369) Morris project to have long NBA careers.

Kansas 80, North Carolina 67, 2012: Carolina played six players in this game who went on to play in the NBA, and Kansas limited the Tar Heels to 20 second-half points. Remarkable.

Harrison Barnes (2,998), Tyler Zeller (2,164), John Henson (1,991) and Reggie Bullock (274) were starters, and P.J. Hairston (644) and James Michael McAdoo (175) came off the bench. Kendall Marshall’s fractured wrist sidelined him from playing in this game, so his 786 points in the NBA don’t count. The score: North Carolina 8,236, Kansas 1,902.

It will be interesting to check back in five years or so for an update on NBA points from players who participated in Villanova’s defense-driven victory against Kansas. Cheick Diallo’s points, should he make the NBA, will not count because he didn’t play. He probably has the best chance of any player from the two rosters to be taken in the first round, but will need a strong showing at the NBA combine to improve his stock.

As for Self’s seven Elite Eight games heading into the Villanova one, he coached the team with more NBA firepower twice, vs. Davidson and VCU, and went 1-1. The opponent had more NBA talent in the other five games, and Self went 1-4 in those. So based on that arbitrary figure alone, Self should have had a 2-5 record coming into this past season in the Elite Eight, and that’s exactly what he had.

Looking to next season, if Self lands Josh Jackson and one of the five-star big men he’s pursuing, and if reserves Carlton Bragg Jr. and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk return, those four players and returning starters Frank Mason III, Devonté Graham and Landen Lucas could form a nucleus that would blend experience and serious NBA potential in a way that could enable Kansas to advance to the Elite Eight and beyond.

Comments

Joe Ross 1 year, 6 months ago

Two obvious questions.

At Kansas, with the reputation and tradition we have, why is our talent level (gauged by your metrics) inferior so often to other Elite-8 caliber teams? This question could be the focus of an article by itself.

Secondly, Id like to point out that going into the game where WSU played Kansas and defeated us in the tournament last year, you mentioned going into the game that Kansas was the better team on paper but you also noted that Kansas didnt play to its talent level. Your prediction was very understandably...what's the term..."half-hearted"? You said (paraphrasing) that if Kansas played to it's potential, they should beat the Shockers. As we know, they lost. This indicates something about how the talent you have is able to translate to performance. This is a variable that must be considered in a synopsis such as this and is therefore another area to explore.

And finally, the Davidson game gives us an important lesson. We observed that a smaller number of uber-talented individuals can be overcome by lesser talent (but quality talent nonetheless) in greater numbers. I think it is often the case that Kansas faces the uber-talented and vanquishes them because they amass a greater amount of team talent. Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Buddy Hield, Blake Griffin, Dwayne Wade, Jared Sullinger, and many others can all attest to this fact. Of course sometimes we are beaten by the phenomenal player (Carmelo Anthony, Denzel Valentine) but it is much less often the case. In essence, I think it might be an oversimplification to suggest, for example, that Davidson was the greater team on paper. There are a couple of ways of measuring talent on a team besides NBA production.

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 6 months ago

It also helps that Self can recognize talent and double team a guy like that Curry kid for Davidson at game point. Every time I watch Golden State, I breath a sigh of relief we got the ball out of his hands for that last second shot. Had he taken that shot, I'm 99.9999999% positive he would have hit it and we'd all be watching that over and over, like the MJ NC shot, the rest of Curry's NBA career. ....and we'd be one less NC.

John Randall 1 year, 6 months ago

First question — Self tries to recruit players who fit the college game, the way Bill believes it should be played, whereas other teams reaching Regional Finals are more likely to have one or a couple of lottery picks on the court. Has something to do with your criterion NBA points, period.

Second question — which you never directly asked — The Elite Eight games are always the second of a weekend (as are Round of 32, another tripping spot for KU under Self’s tenure). Short turnarounds contribute to leg fatigue and limit the match-up adjustments for the second game.

The most obvious factor, of course, is Bill’s insecurity and fear of errors by his number 8-10 players who therefore seldom have a chance to contribute much to outcomes in March. Just look back at minutes for more than seven players … in the Sat/Sun losses. Even '08, with only Sasha and Sheron breaking a sweat.

Armen Kurdian 1 year, 6 months ago

Could also be a statement as to KU players leaving for the NBA too early. I didn't realize, for example, that Wayne S. was such a flop in the NBA. I think a lot of those guys played in Europe or around the world. But it is frustrating we don't have as many PTP'rs in the NBA as one thinks we should.

Regarding 'Nova, we got beaten, I think, by a slightly better team. Considering how they threw OU out of the building, that's a game we would have won, pretty handily, I believe. One more trey against 'Nova and the odds swing 60-40 we win that game, especially Seldon's shot in the last minute. Could have been KU UNC in the final. Found myself talking to myself all Saturday..."Dang it, we should be playing tonight!"

Glen Miller 1 year, 6 months ago

I do not believe they were a better team than us to be honest. We played a terrible first half and only a marginally better second half and still had a chance to win at the end. I still feel like if that game had been officiated evenly both ways, we'd have come out with the win. I do not blame refs for loses, I hate it because it's all about what if's..... but this game was an exception for me. I just don't understand a couple of the foul calls against us and at the times they were called.

Jay Scott 1 year, 6 months ago

When the CBS broadcasters use the term "phantom calls" you know you're not just a biased fan.

Barry Weiss 1 year, 6 months ago

agreed, they said two of Graham's fouls (not the last one) were "phantom". It hurt losing him that last minute.

Joe Joseph 1 year, 6 months ago

Agreed, Glenn. I firmly believe KU beats Villanova in a 5-game series.

John Pritchett 1 year, 6 months ago

Look at the box score of this game. KU won or tied in every category except foul shots attempted/made and steals. And the steals stat is directly related to fouls, because many of KU's attempts to steal ended up called as fouls, and many of Villanova's steals could easily have been called fouls. So that's what it came down to. Both teams played tight defense, but Nova got away with a lot more contact than KU. What really bothers me about this is that this was supposed to be the year the NCAA "fixed" our game. But if the result of that "fix" is that a team can win every significant facet of the game except foul calls and still lose, that's not a game worth watching.

Eliott Reeder 1 year, 6 months ago

Simien's career was cut short due to physical health, like Manning and many others before and after. Also, Wayne Simien was a bit of a tweener a la Perry Ellis. There are a lot of 6' 7" to 6' 9" post players who can perform well in the NCAA and not have it translate to the NBA. Both are reasons that this is a faulty gauge, though a fun off-season way to look at past teams.

Barry Weiss 1 year, 6 months ago

I've thought the same thing about that Seldon shot with a minute left, would have totally changed the game.

John Randall 1 year, 6 months ago

Once again, I ask what difference does it make to play seven leg-weary guys with three on the bench who are starters on most of the 68 teams in the tourney?

Come up just short on a shot that would put you in the final four?

Mike Riches 1 year, 6 months ago

Saturday was tough for me too. But I'm not so sure we would have beaten OU pretty handily. It's really hard to beat a good team three times in a season, and I wonder if they would have been much more ready for a re-rematch against us than they were against Villanova. Of course, there's no way to know, and I would have been glad to see how we would have fared against OU instead of hypothesizing...

Steve Macy 1 year, 6 months ago

Al McGuire, always good for a quote, once said that you put a NBA player on any college team, instant contender. Exaggeration? Possibly, but with a kernel of truth.

In related news, not really, Thon wants to enter the draft. Fifth year HS student, no interest in college, needs to go overseas or the NBA. Blessed with height and athleticism, he might learn how to play eventually.

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 6 months ago

I shall shred no tears if the Tong Maker never steps another foot in Lawrence, KS. I've seen that guy play. He's a self absorbed jack-ass that is totally clueless when it comes to knowing anything about the team aspects of anything.

Jay Scott 1 year, 6 months ago

Suzi! Tell us how you really feel!

I'm not sure i disagree... Lucas, Bragg, Coleby, AZ and Lightfoot are a good 5 to cover 80 minutes. I'd rather have another 4 year player or grad transfer than an OAD project.

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 6 months ago

especially this Thong guy.

Guys like Wiggins, Towns, and Durant are unique though. This Jackson kid looks to be one of those unique kids. If he works on his interpersonal relationship skills amongst his team mates, as well as his jump shot...he's got a serious chance, given the exercise levels around him to be special. Like Big 12 and National POY special.

John Randall 1 year, 6 months ago

Sounds made-to-order for NBA teams. People buy more tickets to watch a ball-hog like CAnthony than five who play together.

Mike Barnhart 1 year, 6 months ago

Izzo and Self are evidence that defensive minded coaches don't send as many players to the NBA. It's simply harder to recruit guys to that style, especially "one and done" guys.

On the bright side, this season has proven that you don't need "one and dones" to win a championship and Nova is really defensive minded!

Joe Ross 1 year, 6 months ago

I totally agree! You dont need OADs to win a championship. However, Ive always felt a solid core of multiyear players who you rely on most with a Durant-type college player who can turn it on is your best bet. But youre right. You can get the job done with multiyear players.

David Robinett 1 year, 6 months ago

Tom, my compliments on this article. I have had similar thoughts, particularly there regarding this year we over the Chiefs to be here in the first place. So if you think we've got less Talent generally speaking compared to other Elite teams then are over achievement in most years is also precisely the reason we don't win in the round of 8. Now this does not account for flame out in earlier rounds.

John Strayer 1 year, 6 months ago

So...now that we know Self is 2-6 career at the Elite Eight how does he compare to other Hall of Fame caliber coaches? Coach K, Roy, Calipari?

I really like Coach Self...but that statistic...coupled with the 1st and 2nd round failures he has had at Kansas...plus the 1-4 record in the Champions Classic seems like he and KU trails our "peer" blue blood programs.

If he is 3-3 or maybe 4-2 while at Kansas he probably has another National Championship to his name.

Steve Ramsey 1 year, 6 months ago

What I hear time and again from the experts on TV is that the NCAA tournament is all about peaking at the right time. Could it be that 12 straight conference championships means KU is peaking . . in early February?

Mike Greer 1 year, 6 months ago

Well, both teams in the final won their conference, so what does that tell you?

I don't think KU peaked in early February, they turned things around then, but I don't think that was their peak. Nova peaked mid season, slumped a little, that's how they went from the AP #1 to what should be the #8 overall seed in the tournament, only to play exceptional ball in the tournament, with the exception of the game against KU where the KU defense held them to a more pedestrian performance.

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 6 months ago

Tom, great article.

However, you do know...and all the fans should know...that Self eats this stuff up like most consume oreos and milk!

Self is ALWAYS saying something like 'to achieve greatness you always need to experience stuff." Self's stuff is his NCAA, especially Elite 8 performances. I'm sure the VCU loss gnaws his chops. Self, from his OSU playing days, is a competitor to the core. Regardless of the obstacles, he preservers against all odds (recruiting Turner in his Dallas home on Easter Sunday). He believes from the bottom of his heart he can win it all and dominate like no other coach since John Wooden.

Every single one of us are overjoyed with what Self has done for KU! However, The Real Bill Self Golden Era, the one he envisions, commences with the 2016-2017 season when the Hawks go wire to wire at Number one to post a perfect 40-0 National Championship Season...and 13 consecutive Big 12 Title!!!

Rob Bedford III 1 year, 6 months ago

Losing to Duke in the Champions Classic will prevent that from happening.

Jay Scott 1 year, 6 months ago

As would losing any other game on the schedule. Like Kansas, Duke's roster for next season isn't even set.

Troll elsewhere.

Rob Bedford III 1 year, 6 months ago

Go back to your room and play with your Chicken Little.

Ben Simonett 1 year, 6 months ago

And Yet, Keagan was the first in-line to dismiss all the critics who said Self wasn't recruiting at the level a Blue Blood coach should.

Now he says Selfs team didn't have the talent make final 4s?

Recruiting = Talent

what a hypocrite.

RJ King 1 year, 6 months ago

I don't see Keegan as a "hypocrite" so much as "indecisive" or "on the fence," by giving weight to two different arguments. It's possible to make a decent argument for both scenarios, which is why so much debate about this exists in the first place. He's a writer - he throws it out there for our consumption. Big deal.

Kansas - to many recruits and their families - is in "the middle of nowhere," except maybe within the Texas to Chicago range. Even kids from Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee are typically drawn to those programs.

Self faces stiff competition from Big East and ACC for East coast kids who want to be closer to home. And Arizona, UNLV, Cal, UCLA, etc. lure the same kids from the West. Perhaps the new facilities will help. But often even a multiple National Coach of the Year and the historic significance of "Kansas" is not enough.

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 6 months ago

In the middle of all that between Chicago and Houston, NY and LA lies a ton called 'Smallville', Kansas .... the home of Superman and the Kansas Jayhawks.

Bob Bailey 1 year, 6 months ago

Self seems to be devoted to his hi-lo game at all costs. That could as easily explain the difference in the Final 8 scenario as the NBA scores do.

Just to take the final bgame this year as an example. Our Big Game guy was limited to 4 points.

Suppose there may have been a back up game plan to use him at the 3 pt line. If he had moved up from 4 pts to 10 pts we won by one. I saw no evidence of a game plan to defeat us by jamming Lucas.

Jay Scott 1 year, 6 months ago

Ellis would have been open if he had stood somewhere else? Is that your theory? He was guarded by a player 2 inches shorter for the most part. Self must be stupid to think posting him up would work...

Jamming Lucas? Why would any team game plan to stop the the opponent's player who they run the fewest offensive sets for? Please tell us you're not trying that whiny garbage about how Lucas shouldn't be playing?

The game was 9 days ago.... Get over it. Start working on Chicken Little stuff for next year.

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 6 months ago

Careful about that Chicken Little stuff. I'm hear to tell you for a fact that after the home OU game, the sky was indeed falling and kept falling until the UK game!!! I saw it and felt it myself. It took an effort worthy of Atlas himself to hold up the sky and put the world back into balance.

Not quite like The Cuban Missile Crises, but in a relative sort of way, it scared away 20 years of my life.

Mike Greer 1 year, 6 months ago

Suzi, you should have been at the away OSU game, I was there and I'm almost positive that I got hit in the head by one of the bricks falling from the sky. How else could I explain my erratic behavior since then? I had seen OSU play one non-conference game and they didn't look that good, then they hammered the Jayhawks and I figured the streak of conference championships was over and perhaps even the streak of NCAA appearances. I'm not a CL, but it looked like the end was here. I'm pragmatic, someday, the streak is going to end, all streaks end, I'm just glad it wasn't this year. And it did take one heck of an effort to put the world back into balance.

Jay Scott 1 year, 6 months ago

If you were alive and aware for the Cuban Missile Crisis you don't have 20 years to spare. Given the wit and insight of your thoughts you seem to have successfully reclaimed those 20 years. Clean living?

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 6 months ago

I did attend the 'Topeka YMCA' game in Ft. Worth vs TCU so that had to deduct a few years as well. As it stands, being a lifelong Jayhawk, it seems my life expectancy should be somewhere well over 100.

Brett McCabe 1 year, 6 months ago

Perry went for 15 and 7 in ghat game, I believe.

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 6 months ago

Seeing your avatar also subtracts years from a normal life expectancy! It's interesting how two people can agree on so many things, yet come out on far opposite sides of the political theater. At least we aren't shooting at each other, like the stories my grandmother and aunts used to tell me about good family members taking opposite sides in the War Between the States.

Jay Scott 1 year, 6 months ago

The shooting will commence when the 50% of the population who have been systematically addicted to government handouts in order to secure their votes are cut off because the interest on the growing debt has become more than 50% of the federal budget.

Unless one lives in a state that honors the Second Amendment, or a warm sunny Central American tax haven, more years will be taken from normal life expectancy...

John Pritchett 1 year, 6 months ago

Look, it made no sense that we didn't have a plan B for that game. We just kept forcing the ball in to Ellis when they were triple-teaming him. Sometimes having a player that good means you win by going to that player, and sometimes it means you win by going to the players left open when the other team smothers him. That's plan B. We didn't try it. That frustrates me.

Mike Greer 1 year, 6 months ago

Did we not have a plan B or did plan B just not work? If Ellis is triple teamed, then one or two guys must be open, but those guys have to make shots. The box score tells me we were 6 of 22 from beyond the arc, that's 27% for a team that has shot the three well all season. Mason was 1 of 6 and Selden was 0 of 6, I would have thought that was plan B. If either one of those guys makes anywhere close to their season average, or only one more each, it's a different outcome. I only know plan A, go inside, and plan B shoot from the outside, plan C is make free throws and we only shot 63% from the line, so that wasn't working very well either, plus we didn't get that many times a the line. I don't think it was because there was no other plan than to feed into Ellis, just that the guards couldn't make what should have been open shots. Maybe there should have been a plan D, just not sure exactly what that might have been.

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 6 months ago

Your on the right path. I'd say Plan B, which calls for the outside shooting, was Plan B (Selden outside shooting open shots), 1-6 failed. Plan C (Mason outside shooting open shots), 0-6 failed. Plan D hitting FTs - 6 of 13 (missed two front ends), barely 50%, failed. Self gave Plan E (Mykailiuk) a look for 9 minutes but only had 0-1 to show for it, failed.

Anytime you get to Plan F It was Plan F, ...F is an F.

Marius Rowlanski 1 year, 6 months ago

I wish i could get over it in 6 days...often it takes the start of next season.

Harlan Hobbs 1 year, 6 months ago

Mostly relevant comments to a nice article. Especially like your analysis of Wayne Simien, Elliott. It is ironic that most 6'7" or 6;8" guys have a hard time with the transition unless they are great rebounders like Charles Barkley and the late great KU star Bill Bridges.

Rebounding is an art that has to be learned. That's one reason I really like Landen Lucas. He doesn't get as much credit as he deserves for his rebounding skills. He blocks out so well and of course his 6'11" size with a solid body lets him match up against anyone. Really would have liked to see him match up with Brice Johnson of North Carolina, who is also a stud.

Must also mention your comment, Suzi, about Coach Self's plan for guarding Stephen Curry at the end of the Davidson game. The strategy worked to perfection as do the vast majority of Coach's game plans. I can't begin to count the number of games in which he and his staff have made game adjustments, mostly at half time, to turn a game around. We all have our favorite examples, but his defensive strategy against North Carolina midway in the second half of the 2012 Elite Eight game is mine.

Corey Sparks 1 year, 6 months ago

You guys are dissecting this article way to much. He even referred to his "NBA talent comparison," as "completely unscientific," and "arbitrary."

Harlan Hobbs 1 year, 6 months ago

Gee, Corey, I have reread all of the posts, and I don't see much evidence of dissection. I think we all get the fact that there is no scientific way to do a comparison. This article was mostly a fun exercise, I think, to put things in perspective.

Of all the Elite Eight appearances, the only one that sticks in my craw is the VCU game where we were a huge favorite. Others have expressed the same opinion.

The bottom line is that, at this level of competition, the margins are usually razor thin. However, occasionally a team plays their game of the century and shoots 71% like Villanova did against OU. Just remember, Nova did nearly the same thing against Miami in the Sweet Sixteen. They didn't shoot like that against us (thanks mostly to KU's defense), and they won't shoot it tonight against UNC. Yet, they still may be good enough to win.

Len Shaffer 1 year, 6 months ago

I lost 200 IQ points by reading this article.

Mike Greer 1 year, 6 months ago

Very interesting article and very interesting and insightful comments. There is a bit of an art to recruiting, and sometimes things work out and sometimes not as well as expected. The important thing is knowing how to get the best players and then do the most with them that you can. This is a bit of a trade off and a bit of a risk. Coach Cal. has a no brainer approach, get the best talent and cross your fingers that all this talent can come together in a year's time and then reload next season. It's worked so so for him so far, but there are seasons where he doesn't even make the NCAA tournament. Coach Self has had good success in taking what is perhaps not the most outstanding player, although Andrew Wiggins is an exception, and getting the most out of them. The $64,000 question is what would have been Diallo's role had he gone to say, Kentucky? Riding the pine at KU may not have been the worst thing that could have happened to him. Coach Self has recruited some top tier talent, some years it's worked out better than others. Had Embide and Ellis been healthy, that team, along with Selden and Wiggins had huge potential, but Wiggins couldn't put the entire team on his back, as good as he was/is.

Comparing Coach Self's record to Coach Williams record at KU is tough, both had some early round exits and both had some successes, but Coach Self did win a national championship, which Coach Williams failed to do. Both were in the finals two times and both have been in 5 elite eights with the Jayhawks.

When you consider those who are supposed to know the game and the teams the best, put together the tournament brackets and only one time have all four #1 seeds made the final four, tells you a lot about the tournament. It's an exciting event, but unlike the NBA with a best of 7 series, it's not always the better team that wins. I give Coach Self and the players credit for holding Nova to a less than stellar night and being in a position to win the game.

Harlan Hobbs 1 year, 6 months ago

I didn't know you had that many to spare, Len. Just kidding!

Jay Scott 1 year, 6 months ago

"KU always has a coaching edge, though. Bill Self is a sure-fire Hall of Famer, one of the best ever." - Jay Bilas Retweeted this story

Steve Macy 1 year, 6 months ago

KU is on the short list of Scooter's half brother? Interesting, I love the internet and rumors, hope some of them pan out. RCJH

Rene Tinajero-Realtor 1 year, 6 months ago

Looking forward to the incoming class. It seems recruiting in today's world is a crap shoot...

Mike Greer 1 year, 6 months ago

I think it has always been a crap shoot, just that in the past you had time to develope players like Diallo and now if they're not at the peak of their game, they leave for the NBA anyway, or at least many of them do.

Mallory Briggans 1 year, 6 months ago

i just read thon maker is trying to enter this years draft.........thats going to be interesting......

Mallory Briggans 1 year, 6 months ago

its true about maker.....he is 19 years old which is one of requirement and he high school ball in canada.....it was verified by david aldredge nba insider so this will be a litmus test for 5th year seniors who reclassify ........he will challege the nba ........this can be a bad thing for the nba ........

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 6 months ago

Although The Thong Maker is already 19 and finishing his 5th year of HS, he still has yet to qualify to play in the NCAA. If he wants to play in the NCAA he needs to attend a real HS for a year or two. Perhaps when he is 22 he might have the nessary grades and course work to play college ball.

The Highest Maker didn't do much of a balanced job creating this Thong.

Steve Zimmerman 1 year, 6 months ago

why bitter? what has he done to you? your name calling an athlete, heck even anyone, that has worked hard to get to where he is now, is just not the right thing to do. it's considered as cyber-bully. you have lost my respect, Ma'am.

Mallory Briggans 1 year, 6 months ago

maker is 19 and played in canada......the player who started this is 19 year old jonothan issac who played at IMG academy in florida....maker is following suit......issac a 5 star player commited to florida state.....but unlike maker he played in the U.S.......so now do more kids reclassify and go to a prep school or academy ....instead of college........its not good for college basketball or the nba....

Rene Tinajero-Realtor 1 year, 6 months ago

this whole Maker thing seems too complicated...Allah Chieck Diallo! Let him do his thing elsewhere and pick up a player more concrete.

Steve Zimmerman 1 year, 6 months ago

WT? Diallo is a pure child of God! Please do not associate him with that stuff.

Mallory Briggans 1 year, 6 months ago

true.....but lets get the picture....these kids are recruited as " student-athletes "....but as we all know...some are more athlete than student....they average a double/double but are dumb as rocks......not all kids are cut out for college...so now you tell them reclassify......go to a prep school then throw your name in the draft when youre 19 some will

Jay Scott 1 year, 6 months ago

Wouldn't it be more lucrative to go Euro or D League

RJ King 1 year, 6 months ago

probably Siri's interpretation of "a la . . . "

A la mode (with ice cream) . . . a la carte (individual servings) . . . a la king (in cream sauce) . . . and of course, a la Diallo (ncaa rationed gruel).

Jay Scott 1 year, 6 months ago

Is that like when someone referred to Kobe Bryant as a "pre Madonna"?

Yolanda Gay 1 year, 6 months ago

I don't believe it's all talent. Sometimes there is luck. Sometimes it's match-up that gets a team to the next level. You've also got to have kids that show confidence and swag. We had 1 - Graham. Greene has some swag too; but not sure if he would have help against Villanova.

Oh well, on to next year.

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