Saturday, September 17, 2016

Self: Jayhawks not likely to join preseason combine craze

Kansas head coach Bill Self and assistant coach Kurtis Townsend watch with smiles during the campers vs. counselors scrimmage, Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at the Horejsi Athletic Center.

Kansas head coach Bill Self and assistant coach Kurtis Townsend watch with smiles during the campers vs. counselors scrimmage, Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at the Horejsi Athletic Center.


Earlier this month, reports surfaced that Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski was planning to close practices to pro scouts this season, and, instead, would host preseason NBA scouting combines Oct. 19 and 25.

The move is similar to something Kentucky coach John Calipari has done during the past couple of years —and is doing again this season, Oct. 9-10 — when the Wildcats, like the Blue Devils this season, were loaded with likely NBA talent.

While Duke and Kentucky going to the combine system certainly catches the attention of the college basketball world, don’t expect to see Kansas follow suit any time soon.

“We’ve actually talked about it as a staff,” KU coach Bill Self told the Journal-World Saturday night. “It may be good for some schools, but I don’t see it being great for us.”

The reasons behind Self’s stance on the topic are many, and they begin with the fact that he likes the connection between his program and pro scouts. Self said the Jayhawks routinely have anywhere from 1-10 NBA scouts at a given practice during most seasons and, after each one, the veteran KU coach requires his players to go introduce themselves to those in attendance.

“I actually enjoy NBA people coming to our practices,” Self said. “That, to me, is not a distraction. A distraction would be stopping what you’re doing to change your routine.”

That has never been the case and, outside of a few rare instances, Self said he has never — nor does he believe he ever would — closed practice to scouts.

“I’m not one to say, ‘This is the only time you can come,’” Self said. “In fact, I think those guys add to practice because every day when we’re working out, our players know who’s there watching them.”

Beyond that, Self believes the idea of staging a combine-style event for evaluation purposes is not necessary at Kansas.

“It probably works well for other people,” he said. “And certainly we have good enough players to be evaluated and watched. But they’re all gonna be evaluated and watched anyway because at one point or another every NBA team comes through here to watch our guys play. We’re all for our guys getting seen, but we think they get seen plenty the way things are.”

Gak on visit

Deng Gak, the No. 91-ranked player in the 2017 recruiting class and one of the top targets for the Kansas program recently shared his thoughts about his recent in-home visit from the KU coaching staff with

“My in-home visit with Kansas was great,” Gak told Shay Wildeboor of “Coach Self and Coach (Norm) Roberts came to visit me and we had a great time. The thing that I really liked was Coach Self was really honest with me and told me his vision for me and the team next year.”

Gak, a 6-foot-9, 219-pound, four-star prospect from Blairstown, New Jersey, said he was looking for a place he could earn immediate playing time and that would help him develop quickly.

He plans to visit KU on Oct. 21, has scheduled visits with Miami (Sept. 23), Florida (Oct. 7), Indiana (Oct. 14) and also is considering Duke.

Waters coming to town

Tremont Waters, the No. 36-ranked player in the 2017 recruiting class, will visit Kentucky, Indiana and Kansas during the next three weekends, according to Adam Zagoria of

Waters, a 5-11, 160-pound point guard from West Haven, Connecticut, already has visited Georgetown.

The four-star point guard averaged 10 points, six assists and three rebounds per game during the June NBPA Camp, where he led his team to the title and won MVP honors.

Waters has a Top 7 of Duke, Georgetown, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, UConn and Yale.


Scott MacWilliams 1 year, 8 months ago

Love the way HCBS keeps it honest.

Why have a separate 'event' for hype when the NBA scouts are coming through all the time? Seems like the regular visits by scouts would be much more productive for all concerned than a one-time event. Besides, with virtually every game on national TV, the scouts can see the team all the time, with the players dealing with real game situations. How much more do they need?

Calimari is the king of hype, let him have that title. It's not the Jayhawk way.

How many days til Late Night???

Rock Chalk Jayhawks!!

Marius Rowlanski 1 year, 8 months ago

Combines for pro scouts? This new era of college basketball continues to amaze me and not often in a good way. I understand that teams need to keep their practices closed once the season starts but to close practice before your first exhibition game seems a little much to me. Glad to see that Self isn't following this latest craze.

Not to make a big deal of this but I much prefer the inside knowledge I get from the PHOG than from the JayhawkSlant when it comes to specific news about Kansas although I much prefer Rivals over Scouts on national news.

Shay just seems to be a step or two behind. Just my personal viewpoint. Certainly not intended to set off any type of firestorm.

Tony Bandle 1 year, 8 months ago

Why not do both. Keep the current "open door" policy for the NBA scouts but also set up a couple of formal combines as well. Not only would it get the players attention from a recruiting standpoint but having all the scouts in at once may set up NBA scouting rivalries.

Having six to ten scouts at a time is great but forcing all the NBA teams to make their presence felt by the key players would be awesome. Thirty scouts at once would be an event for the players.

Just a thought, I have absolutely no problem with the way Bill runs the program regarding the NBA right now. OADs are here to stay for now so one better customize their program to best take advantage.

Latest preseason NCAA bracket shows Kansas making it to the Elite Eight in the West Regional as a #2 seed losing to #1 seed Oregon. Also shows Duke beating Kentucky in the Final.

Noah Oone 1 year, 8 months ago

I think we could take Oregon. As usual, Duke and UK are all OAD hype.

Marius Rowlanski 1 year, 8 months ago

Dude...your post makes far to much sense. Cease and desist!

Oregon!! Please - we have a legit championship contender. There is talent (some untested) at every level w/a deep bench. We WILL be in the Final 4.

Benz Junque 1 year, 8 months ago

Is it really a "craze" if just TWO of the 350+ teams are doing it?

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