Thursday, July 21, 2011

KU hoops coach Bill Self hitting recruiting trail


Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self maintained a rather hectic schedule during the first 10 days of the July basketball recruiting period.

“It wasn’t that grueling (but) I went to a lot of places. I went from Indy (Indianapolis) to Akron to Indy to St. Louis to Dallas to Augusta (S.C.) to Milwaukee to Minneapolis and then back here,” Self said of his travels to AAU tournaments from July 6-15. After a short break, he’ll be back on the road from July 22-31.

“I had some help with the school plane or I couldn’t have made all those trips,” said Self, who will finish the recruiting period at events in Las Vegas, Orlando, Fla., and Kansas City.

“We’ll definitely be in one place for longer periods of time,” he added.

Self can’t discuss specific KU targets in accordance with NCAA rules. On Wednesday, from the comforts of his office, he was willing to address recruiting in general, however.

“We believe we are actually in pretty good shape early. Of course, you never know what will happen,” Self said. “I really like the guys we are recruiting. We’re going into it with the mindset we know we have three scholarships to give, and that number could obviously be increased based on the potential for guys to leave (for NBA) early.

“We are going to be prepared to sign at least four guys to fill some specific needs to go with the team we have returning the following year on paper.”

The Jayhawks are reportedly in the hunt for some highly ranked players such as No. 19 Perry Ellis (6-8, Wichita Heights); No. 12 Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, St. Mark’s High, Southborough, Mass.); No. 1 Shabazz Muhammad (6-5 Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas); No. 45 Nino Jackson (6-2, Ardmore, Okla., High); No. 59 J’Mychal Reese (6-1, Bryan, Texas High); No. 24 Marcus Smart (6-4, Marcus High, Flower Mound, Texas); No. 5 Mitch McGary (6-10, Brewster Academy, Wolfeboro, N.H.); No. 134 Landen Lucas (6-8, Findlay Prep, Henderson, Nev.); No. 32 Robert Upshaw (6-11, San Joaquin Memorial High, Fresno, Calif.); No. 44 Winston Shepard (6-8, Findlay Prep); No. 11 Archie Goodwin (6-4, Sylvan Hills High, Little Rock, Ark.); No. 50 Adam Woodbury (7-0, East High, Sioux City, Iowa); No. 36 T.J. Warren (6-7, Brewster Academy); No. 26 Danuel House (6-7, Hightower High, Missouri City, Texas); No. 29 Shaquille Cleare (6-9, Village School, Houston); No. 30 Tony Parker (6-9, Miller Grove High, Lithonia, Ga.); No. 71 Andrew White (6-6, Miller High, Chester, Va.); unranked Christian Sanders (6-3, St. Thomas High, Houston); unrated Dillon Graham (6-3, First Academy, Orlando, Fla.); and others.

“I want the best players we can get, period,” Self said. “It doesn’t make any difference to me what the ratings say. The ratings ... absolutely anybody that’s ever watched one game of basketball could probably tell you that the top five guys rated are pretty good. You usually don’t have a roster full of top five guys at all spots. It’s getting the pieces to fit, getting guys you can look at and see how they can develop within your system and individually.

“Certainly we feel we’ve done a good job recruiting since we’ve been here, but certainly we know this is a crucial recruiting year coming up.”

Self said he’s enjoyed the NCAA-mandated breather this week.

“It was a good break. We were able to run down a lot of the kids we’ve been recruiting that we’ve watched and followed and let them know of our interest level and see what theirs is,” Self said of a week in which phone calls were allowed by the NCAA

Yet he’s ready to get back to the grind in Vegas and Florida.

“It’s basically all in the gym. You may have free time of an hour between games that you need to watch, or something like that,” Self said. “There’s not a lot of free time.”

As far as time spent in the gym ... Self said he does not go out of his way to meet with rival coaches.

“You don’t go with the idea of visiting. You go with the idea of watching,” Self said. “There’s not any one coach I try to sit with or do anything like that except our coaches. When we are sitting there watching our guys I want to sit with them,” he added of Joe Dooley, Kurtis Townsend and Danny Manning, also allowed to hit the road recruiting in July.

The KU coaches actually might spend a little bit less time on the road next July. The NCAA is thinking about altering the recruiting calendar.

“I think there will be some modifications, which I do think could possibly be very good for everybody,” Self said. “Maybe reduce the number of days in July, but give us some of those days back in April. I think that would be a positive.”


hawk316 10 years, 11 months ago

Every KU basketball fan should take careful note of this comments:

“I want the best players we can get, period,” Self said. “It doesn’t make any difference to me what the ratings say. The ratings ... absolutely anybody that’s ever watched one game of basketball could probably tell you that the top five guys rated are pretty good. You usually don’t have a roster full of top five guys at all spots. It’s getting the pieces to fit, getting guys you can look at and see how they can develop within your system and individually."

This is why Bill Self makes it work and one reason we're so blessed to have him in Lawrence. He's truly one of the very best. Coach, thanks for all your hard work!

Jayhawklegacy 10 years, 11 months ago

Keep up the hard work Self!! You have it figured out on fitting the puzzle pieces in!! You can have the top five guys in every position, but if you don't have the puzzle pieces then it doesn't mean much. Get the talent we need, mixed with the workhorses we need and the coaching staff will handle the rest. Call me crazy, but I see Ellis if he comes to Ku setting a record in a single stat! I see T-Rob setting a single game record in a category next season you choose!!!!!

gratefultyler 10 years, 11 months ago

That list of recruits could not be longer and more randomly out of order. Is there a method to the madness I just tried to sort through? Ordered by position? Ordered by rivals ranking? Ordered by level of interest in KU?...hope not. Any thoughts?

KU_Alumn_2000 10 years, 11 months ago

Don't we also have the big kid from Texas coming as well?

Chris Bailey 10 years, 11 months ago

Yeah but he (Zach Peters) already has committed and self gave him 1 of the scolarships so obviously we aren't recruiting him still since he has commited.

Marcia Parsons 10 years, 11 months ago

I thought it was just supposed to be a random list of those who seemed to have indicated a mutual interest with KU. Nobody knows what that level of interest is except the kids and the coaches who aren't allowed to talk about it.

jaybate 10 years, 11 months ago

"Top Fives and Puzzle Pieces"

Impact and glue.

Love and marriage.

Aircraft carriers and tenders.

Protons and electrons

Ribs and sauce.

One without the other is failure.

But here's the thing: one is tougher to get than the other.

Self got sideways in recruiting this season with The Twins and Selby.

Impact is as impact does.

What the Twins and Selby did was split.

So impact split and left Self unable to land an increment of impacts.

So he played take what they give us: he loaded up on the best glue he could get--the marriage, the tenders, the electrons, the sauce--the stuff that holds things together--the stuff that orbits the mass--the TNT packed around the critical mass.

But with only a thin infusion of impact, of Top Five, coming in this year (BenMac), the impact infusion needed next season grows.

There is a bigger premium on impacts, on Top Fives, on the love, on aircraft carriers, on great bones, on protons in the nuceus, on the fissile plutonium.

Self knows that to build a great team, he needs the Top Fives AND the Puzzle Pieces.

He has to have glue AND impacts.

He knows marriage without love at the center is desolation.

He knows even the best sauce is complement to the bones with the meat.

He knows destroyers without aircraft carriers can't control the sea lanes.

He knows electrons without protons at the center are just stray particle/wave functions looking for a quantum bond.

He realizes TNT has to be packed around critical mass, or he just has a conventional bomb, not the big boomer he seeks.

He knows cookies without double filling at the center are not really Oreos.

So Self is probably recruiting harder than he ever has in his take-what-they-give-us driven life.

He knows that with the quality of glue had has landed this off season, he can cobble together something pretty good with the returning impacts.

But he knows that when the bulk of his returning impacts depart after this coming season, the cupboard looks like a picture window in a house owned by a bank about to go under without more funny money from Helicopter Ben, without Bill lands 3 to 4 impacts.

Yet he also knows, if he lands 3 to 4 impacts of the kind in his cross hairs right now, of the kind of big games that trophies are stuffed from, that all could be right in his career and in the KU legacy for another three years.

Go, Bill, go!

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 11 months ago

Mostly agree. You know me, though. Your BBQ reference does fly in the metaphor sense. But, the best Q that I know of needs no sauce. If you want sauce, drink sauce. If you want ribs, savor the meat. Sauce covers up the natural properties of properly smoked ribs.

Dammit Jaybate, you've got me jones'n for ribs and it's only 7am!

Woody Cragg 10 years, 11 months ago

For ribs, my hands-down fav is the original Slaughter House 5 Oklahoma Joe's at 47th & Mission. Never had any better. But the original OK Joe's sauce is no longer available-it's Cowtown now & that is different than the orig & not quite up to snuff. You'd never imagine Q from a gas station could be so fine but...the hogs are just better-no grease, fall off the bone, whatta treat! 7:00 am? Go now, the line is out the door 15 min after opening.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 11 months ago

globaljaybird -

KC does have some decent offerings. But, most I ever sampled never held a candle to the average places here in Memphis. There'll always be a debate!

Gas station food can be a true hidden treat. There's one here that has the second best sushi in the area. Go figure!

Chris Bailey 10 years, 11 months ago

I do like the pork! And I have no doubt I would love Memphis BBQ. But I do love sauce on my sandwich. Ribs=no sauce unless its cooked on the meat! What's with the BBall talk? This post is all about BBQ!

dylans 10 years, 11 months ago

You haven't eaten at Oklahoma Joe's if you think KC barbeque is just ok. I have eaten at some of the best BBQ places in Memphis and I just don't care for the dry rubs. Give me well prepared, tender, slow cooked beef (pork is fair, but beef is King) smothered in a high quality BBQ sauce. You just can't beat it! If in KC go to Oklahoma Joe's; don't let the location fool you. The BBQ is top notch!

Woody Cragg 10 years, 11 months ago

You should really try the location at 47th & Mission. The Olathe location is not nearly as good...too much volume. Plus, the name Oklahome Joe's was puchased by the Slaughterhouse 5 team yrs ago from the New Braunfels Co in Texas, but only for the restaurant. They cannot use that name for their products. Theirs are called Cowtown. I do use their Steak rub for grilling steaks-similar to the seasonings at Longhorn but not as strong. That team has won the Championship at the American Royal more than once. The original OK Joes dry rubs & sauces were out of this world but you can't get them in KC anymore. Their Sweet & Spicy rub was just tremendous for jerky. I have bought at least 2 of the New Braunfels smokers for gifts in past yrs, and have been given 2 of my own from my kids. Too hot for that now! Man, I gotta get some today-I think they're still closed on Sun.

Chris Bailey 10 years, 11 months ago

OMG Oklahoma Fricken Joes! The best BBQ in KC! Jack Stack is pretty good well really good but it doesn't really feel like BBQ it's too dressy. Rosedale is so/so not bad but nothing on JOES! Try OK JOES! 39th and Mission in KCK. Amazing! Best of all it's in a fricking gas station! The beans are ON! The Smokey Joe is ON! The FRYS yes are ON! Damn I'm getting hungry!

addlime 10 years, 11 months ago

Globaljaybird, I know we had sort of a beef earlier (pardon the pun), but on this matter we totally agree! OK joe's does make some fantastic ribs, and burnt ends if you happen to be there on the right day. I've gotta say, I love Jack's stack also, going back to the days when it was Smokestack out in Martin City. That place is still the best! Crown prime beef, so unique and so delicious. As for rosedale's, I loved it 15 years ago, but I don't think its as good anymore. Has that unique sauce with a touch of cinnamon or something... I've been experimenting with Blues Hog sauce on my ribs. Does anyone else use that? Its a little sweet so I've cut the brown sugar in my rub. Love its sticky, molasses texture though. Gonna go get some from the fridge right now...

Funhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Smokehouse Bar-B-Que at various KC locations. Ymmmm..... burnt ends sandwich that is a just a tiny bit crunchy and melts in your mouth, with cole slaw and smoky baked beans. HCBS loves bar-b-que.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 11 months ago

Jack Stack is my favorite in the KC area. Been to the one near Union Station and in OP. Their lamb ribs are a treat for sure!

Funhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Ya, Jack Stack! "Let's get bar-b-que for lunch!

David Lara 10 years, 11 months ago

My friend, if it's burnt ends you live for, please for the love of god tell me you've had Gates'. My fave joint is Okie joes just because there's nothing there that will disappoint, but truth be told, if I had to pick just one dish to rule my world, the Gates burnt ends is the hands down choice.

FoCoCoHawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Actually, this post made me want to eat BBQ and watch "Midway".

packywacky88 10 years, 11 months ago

Go to Williamsburg for the best ribs....Guy & Mae's. Read the Reviews. Johnny Carson couldn't be wrong.

Woody Cragg 10 years, 11 months ago

Surprised no one mentioned this before now. Haven't been there in 20 yrs but the place was top notch back in the day.

John Boyle 10 years, 11 months ago

Hey, we were talking BBQ!! What's with the basketball question??

This is sarcasm in case that wasn't obvious.

joshar 10 years, 11 months ago

The only problem with these high profile recruits is the NBA's decision. If they decide to allow players to go to the NBA straight out of high school, a few these recruits won't be coming here because they'll make the jump. I don't have a problem if the NBA makes that decision because then the players that choose to go to college would be real commitments rather than being forced play at colleges.

KGphoto 10 years, 11 months ago

Again with the basketball? Seriously, Fiorella's Jack Stack is at least as good as any other ribs I've tried. I don't know how you could do them much better. But I'll have to get to Memphis for a taste.

joshar 10 years, 11 months ago

Oh my bad, I work by a Fiorella's Jack Stack. I've eaten there a few times. It's pretty good. But I really do enjoy my Gates BBQ.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 11 months ago

Come for a week. You'll be able to try a different place every night and different places for lunch every day and still can't choose a favorite place. We've got places in downtown alley basements, suburb hot spots, hole-in-the-wall urban joints, chain restaurants and even a small place in the airport that makes that whole concourse smell really good!

Mike Kendall 10 years, 11 months ago

Memhawk---just curious----were you in the city of Memphis in '08 when the Jayhawks and Mario took care of the Tigers? How was that like?

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 11 months ago

It was like walking around with a smile on your face and nobody understands why! Of course, everybody that knows me, who are Memphis fans, didn't even want to discuss the game. I did actually have a little paranoia driving around with my KU license plate frame. I swear I saw people staring me down in traffic. But, it was all worth it!!!

KGphoto 10 years, 11 months ago

Oh, and a shot out to Big Wigs BBQ!! My boys make a mean brisket!

jlvlawrence 10 years, 11 months ago

The beans at jack stack are the best in the world. Hands down!

lee3022 10 years, 11 months ago

The ratings are meaningless. The players coach Self wants he goes after hard, regardless of ratings. The thing is, signing four of the above will be terrific. No order, no idea who we need the most. Sure we all drool over #1 or an aircraft carrier but those players may be redundant with other assets already recruited or in school.

There is one factor we can depend on - KU will be deep. We have a lot of players for every position already. We know we lose TT but we have Naadir and EJ still. We likely will lose Thomas but there are a bunch of guys working in the weight room as we write.

What I have seen that is unlike many coaches is coach Self structures his sets around the talent he has and does not have to recruit only certain types. This adds both flexibility and difficulty for opponents to prepare for. It also brings back to back 30 win seasons.

Robert Brock 10 years, 11 months ago

If KU doesn't land Kaleb Tarczewski, the program drops down considerably.

Robert Brock 10 years, 11 months ago

Self likes to run offense through the post; better get one if you want to continue playing at a high level.

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