Monday, May 20, 2013

For Kansas basketball, recruiting never ceases

Huntington Prep basketball player Andrew Wiggins, center, flanked by his parents Mitchell Wiggins and Marita Payne-Wiggins, as he announces his commitment to the University of Kansas during a ceremony, Tuesday, May 14, 2013, at St. Joseph High School in Huntington W.Va. The Canadian star, a top prospect, averaged 23.4 points and 11.2 rebounds per game this season for West Virginia's Huntington Prep.

Huntington Prep basketball player Andrew Wiggins, center, flanked by his parents Mitchell Wiggins and Marita Payne-Wiggins, as he announces his commitment to the University of Kansas during a ceremony, Tuesday, May 14, 2013, at St. Joseph High School in Huntington W.Va. The Canadian star, a top prospect, averaged 23.4 points and 11.2 rebounds per game this season for West Virginia's Huntington Prep.



Sholten Singer, The Herald-Dispatch/Associated Press

Huntington Prep basketball player Andrew Wiggins, center, flanked by his parents Mitchell Wiggins and Marita Payne-Wiggins, as he announces his commitment to the University of Kansas during a ceremony, Tuesday, May 14, 2013, at St. Joseph High School in Huntington W.Va. The Canadian star, a top prospect, averaged 23.4 points and 11.2 rebounds per game this season for West Virginia's Huntington Prep.

Bill Self’s official title — the one that appears on his employment contract — is Kansas University men’s basketball coach.

It could easily be amended to coach/general manager, however, considering how much of his time goes toward the pursuit of players, such as last week’s prize catch — No. 1-ranked Andrew Wiggins.

“Recruiting is a never-ending process,” said Self, KU’s 10th-year coach, who has signed top-15-ranked players in Wiggins, Josh Selby (1), Xavier Henry (8), Julian Wright (8), Wayne Selden (12), Mario Chalmers (12) and Brandon Rush (13) at KU. “Not a day goes by you don’t do something recruiting-related with prospects you are seriously interested in.

“With Kurt (Townsend), Norm (Roberts) and of course Joe (Dooley) just here, Danny (Manning) here last year and Jank (Tim Jankovich) before that, you’ve got so many guys (assistant coaches) who have played a huge role in representing our school and selling it well. We love the product we are selling, but the product alone doesn’t sell it. We have to work, and I have a staff that does it as well as anybody.”

Sometimes Self and his assistants follow players — such as Wichita’s Perry Ellis — as far back as eighth grade. Other times they start recruiting players like Wiggins as late as the summer before their junior seasons of high school.

The specific pitch to Wiggins, a 6-foot-8 guard/forward from Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, went something like this: “The opportunity, the need, the exposure, the style of play, the success we’ve had of late,” Self said of selling points. “The programs he considered (Kentucky, Florida State, North Carolina) have all got it going, and others have it going as well.

“We’ve had it going pretty well, too. We’ve been able to sell what we’ve done and been able to sell a track record. That said, you have to have a connection with people, and Kurtis Townsend did a great job with he and his family. I’d like to think he (Wiggins) has a comfort level with our players and recruiting class coming in. It was a team effort, without question.”

Selling points

Self has some stats ready to present during in-home visits with prospects.

“We have won as many or more games than anybody of late. We’ve won the league (Big 12) nine years in a row,” Self said. “We’ve had lottery picks in the league (NBA). We’ve graduated every kid we’ve had here as a senior except one. I think we’re 27 out of 28 now. We’ve not played to less than a sellout in 12 years. There are a lot of things we can sell.”

Self sometimes gives a history lesson to recruits. Last week, ESPN radio host Doug Gottlieb was amazed Self said he mentioned Jayhawks Ralph Miller and John McLendon, who are not on the radar of current high schoolers.

“Dr. Naismith was our first coach. Adolph Rupp did play here. Dean Smith did play here. Ralph Miller was here, and John McLendon was from here, and Wilt (Chamberlain) was from here. Start adding that all up, there’s a lot of positive things that have taken place here,” Self said, proud of KU’s tradition and tree of coaches.

“There are so many people that impacted our game historically that basically got their start here. It’s an easy sell, a great product. Still yet with players in today’s time and immediate gratification and things like that, you have to be able to sell opportunity too.

“I think we can plug Andrew in and utilize him similar to Ben (McLemore, last year’s leading scorer as freshman who is off to NBA), plus some, and I think that’s something he was attracted to.”

Wiggins had a great time during his campus visit — during which he attended KU’s Senior Night game against Texas Tech. Wiggins left with a lasting impression of KU’s Allen Fieldhouse and its fans.

“Once kids get out here and visit, it’s different. Everybody that experiences it, even though you may expect it to be good, it’s usually better than what you expect,” Self said.

“Andrew liked getting to know the coaches (of schools recruiting him). His ego didn’t bother him where he had to be recruited like a lot of people feel they have to be recruited. He’s not one of those guys you had to talk to every day or write a note to every day. He’s one of those kids you know says, ‘I got my information. Coach, you do your deal. I’ll do mine.’ That’s how it played out.”

On one-and-dones

In a perfect world, Self would be able to coach players such as Wiggins, McLemore, Selby, Henry and Wright for four years, not just one or two.

But that’s just not the way it is. Barring some freak occurrence, Wiggins will be here one year only.

“I don’t think it’s a good rule. I think kids should be able to go right out of high school if they meet a certain criteria, (if) an NBA selection panel says they are definitely a first-round draft pick,” Self said of the one-and-done. “I don’t think the fact the way rules are set up that you’ll probably be losing a youngster after one year is a bad thing. There’s been many one-and-dones out there the way the rule is set up.

“Even though I don’t like the rule, it has really benefited our sport in that they (one-and-dones) have been great ambassadors for different reasons.

“I certainly believe if Andrew comes in and does what he is capable of doing, he can certainly fall into that group and be a great role model and ambassador for college athletics. I wish kids could go out of high school if that’s where they should be as far as the people looking at them a certain way, but it would be nice to see the kids stay longer than one year in college as well.”

Self said he hasn’t spoken with Wiggins about the near certainty he’ll be one and done.

“I know the deal. He knows the deal. He knows if he comes and makes us better, he’ll be better and will have a chance to make a decision early in his career,” Self said. “If that’s the case, that’s the case. That’s the system we have.”


Wayne Selden, middle front row, sits behind the bench during Late Night in the Phog on Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. Selden was one of 24 players selected for the 2013 McDonald's All-American game.

Stellar class

It’s interesting that as Self begins his 11th season at KU, he has perhaps his top recruiting class. Complacency has not set in the KU coaches’ offices.

KU’s class consists of No. 1 Wiggins, plus No. 12 Wayne Selden, 6-5 shooting guard, Tilton (N.H.) School; No. 25 Joel Embiid, 7-foot center, Rock School, Gainesville, Fla.; No. 29 Brannen Greene, 6-7 small forward, Tift County High, Tifton, Ga.; No. 34 Conner Frankamp, 6-foot combo guard, Wichita North; and No. 76 Frank Mason, 5-11 point guard, Massanutten Military Academy, Woodstock, Va. Also, KU has landed former Arkansas center Hunter Mickelson, who will sit out next season then have two years of eligibility remaining.

“We had an unbelievable class when we signed Brandon (Rush), Mario (Chalmers), Julian (Wright) and Micah Downs (2005-06). That’s a big-time class,” Self said. “This one has more upside. Andrew (Wiggins) has a chance to be the first pick in the draft. Joel Embiid goes from being an unranked player to being the top center prospect in the class. He’s raw but so gifted physically. Wayne Selden is a McDonald’s All-American and top-15 guy. Everybody knows about those three, but they are sleeping on are the other three. Conner Frankamp can play for anyone, and so can Brannen Greene. Frank Mason is about as underrated of a point guard as there is in the class. It’s been a great recruiting class, but we need to have a great recruiting class because we lost so many guys on a team that did pretty well this year.”

KU’s recruiting class is ranked second nationally behind Kentucky.

“We’ll have bigs and guys who can score on the perimeter, and we’ll have length and be athletic. We’ll just be very young,” Self said of the upcoming 2013-14 season. “We may not win as many games (as last year’s 31-6 team), but from a talent standpoint, we have a chance to be very good and by the end of the season hopefully a team that plays for high stakes.”


Kevin Kleinsasser 9 years, 2 months ago

Bill Self is the best college basketball coach in the country. I look forward to seeing this young talent play next season. Wiggins will make everyone on the team just that much better.

Keith Kienzle 9 years, 2 months ago

Having a tandem of talented slashers in Wiggins and Selden and a houseful of quality shooters is going to be lethal. I can't wait to see the effects of teams trying to double-team Wiggins.

Ken Sedgwick 9 years, 2 months ago

Approx, KU has always had their best player hampered by double-teams as you pointed out. Ever since AW committed I have not been able to stop thinking about how foolish any team will look trying to double team him. Hey runwild, what is it like being the one a hole in every crowd?

Jack Jones 9 years, 2 months ago

"Self really can't coach O & D's as WE have seen." Corrected version ~ "As YOU believe YOU have seen", "runny." Very foolish to think YOU have one iota of cred with any WE. ~ and when you choose to use McLemore as an example, you obviously have even less credibility ~ then, you compound your lack of knowledge by lumping McLemore's KU experience with Selby's ?? Not even close, my friend.

BringBackMark 9 years, 2 months ago

Wow, a little bit testy are we? The reality is, HCBS's greatest attribute is player development. We've seen it time and time again. That's not a knock against his ability to coach OAD's but it's a fact. That's why we're a consistent winner (e.g., not losing in the first round of the NIT).

If you'd ever played sports you'd know that chemistry can be as big a part of winning as talent. You don't develop chemistry over night. I'm very pleased we have Andrew Wiggins even for one year but consistency has to come from 3 and 4 year players.

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 2 months ago

Self's best attribute is getting the most out of the players that are available to him, when they are available to him. He does this by strategically playing to his teams strengths and to his opponents weaknesses, or "taking what the opponent gives him".

The concept of player development is inconsistent with the results that many of the players have in their pro careers. He develops them to play the way that he wants them to play. Some players actually become much more skilled and polished players, but many never become more skilled, instead they just become players who make fewer mistakes. Most of the players who don't become more skilled have already realized their potential. They can work on their strength and conditioning, and they can prepare better mentally using scouting reports and other techniques, but they won't improve their skill set. The players who have been gifted with the rare quality of both being driven to work hard to get better, AND having a physical and technical skill set that can be supplemented and honed are the ones who can actually develop as players. But it's not Self and Hudy, et al, that develop those players. The player must be driven to develop himself. Those are the players that coaches covet.

What Self does is give the players every opportunity to get better. Whether it be developing as a player or just learning and making fewer mistakes. He demands hard work, but hard work is not always rewarded. Self then takes the players who gives him the best opportunity to win the game and plays them. Sometimes those are the players who are simply more skilled or more athletic than everyone else, but usually they are the players who have both worked hard, AND developed or at least learned how to not make mistakes.

When Self recognizes that a player (be it Selby, Henry, McLemore, or any other player ever on the team) isn't giving him the best chance to win the game, that player will sit. If Wiggins gives Kansas the best chance to win, Wiggins will play every minute.

Hawk8086 9 years, 2 months ago

I agree with jackdavid. The comment might have had more basis if he had not included McLemore in the discussion.

Robert Brown 9 years, 2 months ago

I see nothing wrong with his comment. The true one and dones were Selby and Henry and quite frankly their contributions were largely inconsequential to the team. McLemore was not a true one and done as he was forced to sit out one year. I'm guessing the year he sat out significantly helped in his development and that he would not have been effective if he played as a true freshman.

Benz Junque 9 years, 2 months ago

Just because Selby left after one year doesn't mena he was a "true one and done". His one year of college proved that the hype surrounding him to be a OAD was unfounded. He needed to stay in college for AT LEAST another season. Because he chose to waste the opportunity to trai n and develop at the college level, he has now been left to train and develop on his own and the results are that he is floundering around the D-League wasting his potential.

And you are dumb enough to think that Henry's contribution to KU was "inconsequential" then you aren't a fan with any actual knowledge of basketball. He wasn't Kevin Durant (no one else is) but he was very good at both ends of the floor. Ironically, it was the erratic play of the SENIOR "leader" Sherron Collins that doomed that team.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 2 months ago

From what I'd been seeing, he wasn't exactly "floundering" in the D-league.

He was TEARING IT UP!!! HUGE stats. down there.

Someone needs to give him some more play.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 2 months ago

I reread the post several time and he said McLemore..not Henry (who was still a lottery pick)

That's whats wrong with his comment.

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago


Some grease is better than no grease, but...

No logic is better than specious logic. :-)

Joe Ross 9 years, 2 months ago

Self can't coach one and dones? You know this by comparing to who? Selby and Henry? If both of those players were in the same recruiting class, Wiggins would be much higher ranked. Selby had skills, yes...but his head and heart were never where they should have been. Selby has a big ego, whereas Wiggins is humble about the game. Henry was good, but should never have come out. Xavier should have been a two-and-done, minimum. Even McLemore spent two seasons with Kansas basketball. And speaking of McLemore, who is "officially" a one-and-done, I'd say having a chance of being the first pick in the National Basketball Association is not exactly evidence that Self can't coach a OAD player.

But let's be honest. By Self's own admission, he doesn't like the OAD rule. By Calipari's own admission, he thinks it's great for the game. It is true that the two employ different systems and strategies. Yet it takes a brighter mind to be able to coach a group of guys you are developing alongside a guy (or two) who you are trying to coach as a OAD, as opposed to coaching all of one or all of the other. It's not that Self can't coach a OAD, it's simply that a OAD must accept the team philosophy to fit in as opposed to trying to be "the man". Selby was a poor example of that. McLemore was a great example. Xavier was somewhere in the middle. My point is that a lot of a OADs potential in Self's system is a function of where a player's head is. Wiggins is not just skilled, but he has the humility to be able to insert his game into the system, as opposed to trying to make the system fit HIM.

...and everybody knows that's the truth.

Alex Peekeaton 9 years, 2 months ago

"But let's be honest. By Self's own admission, he doesn't like the OAD rule. By Calipari's own admission, he thinks it's great for the game."

What are you talking about??? Calipari HATES the one and done rule - seriously, do you even read what Calipari says about the rule??? I will help you out - just two days ago:

"I'm the one guy out there saying we've gotta change this somehow," Calipari said. "We've gotta encourage these kids to stay two years. But the NCAA's gotta do some stuff, and if they don't do it we need to separate from them. I'm not afraid to say it. But something's gotta change with this one-and-done rule."

Scott Smetana 9 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 2 months ago

Say one another.

It's a no-brainer why Cal gets so many OADs. It was true at Memphis and its true at Kentucky.

Alex Peekeaton 9 years, 2 months ago

"say one another"? Calipari as does Self, Williams, Coach K, etc. all go after the elite recruits. It's just the fact Cal signs most of who he recruits. If Bill Self signed most of the players he recruits (Wiggins/Randle/Walker/Gordon/Parker/Young), Kansas would be changing its roster over each year.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 2 months ago

Maybe so..I can't read his mind and his words back what you have said. I don't think his actions do but you would stupid to limit your recruiting to make a point.

The rule sucks. At least we can agree on that.

Joe Ross 9 years, 2 months ago

BBall2012....if you think Calipari hates the OAD rule youre nuts. Yes I know he has said he hates it, but Cal is a snake oil salesman. The OAD rule is the ONLY thing that has lifted KY back into relevance. Only because recruits see Kentucky as a shortcut to the NBA do they choose Cals program. As to whether or not Cal is truthful when he says that he doesnt like the OAD rule, consider that when he had 5 players drafted in the first round a couple of years ago, Calipari declared it the single greatest day in the history of the Kentucky program. It upset nearly the whole fanbase because their priorities--the tradition--are divergent from Calipari's: pride, in various forms. Were it not for the OAD rule, the top 10 recruits on an annual basis would HAVE to go elsewhere, because the lack of a OAD rule would keep players at KY on scholarship longer. You really think Cal wants other recruits going elsewhere? Hell no! He likes the fact that consistently the top tier of recruits choose Kentucky. Kentucky's chances for a title would DECREASE without the rule. You have to be more adept at interpretation of statements. In them, you find the real admissions of a coach's personal beliefs.

Alex Peekeaton 9 years, 2 months ago

Why don't you google "Calipari" and "One and Done rule" and read what Coach Cal says about the rule. From his perspective, wouldn't you want to see Anthony Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist, and Marquis Teague around for two years rather than one? I guarantee you that Kentucky wins back to back NCs in 2012 & 2013 if these guys have to stick around for two years. Both Davis & Kidd-Gilchrist have publicly stated that they wouldn't have any issues in serving two years in college and both have stated they would have gone to college if the rule changed where you could go directly into the NBA.

So your argument is that Cal wouldn't be getting the recruits he has been since there would be already top recruits sticking at UK for a second year. I will tell you the drop off of the "Alpha" recruits (Harrisons/Randle/Noel) wouldn't change all that much because their ultimate goal is the NBA and they want to play against the best (in practice) to prepare them for the NBA. The second wave of the UK recruits (Marcus Lee/Cauley-Stein/Wiltjer) would be the recruits thinking twice about going to UK because now they are looking at being the 3rd player at a given position. When it comes to landing the elite recruits, Calipari will still get them at a high rate because of his proven record of getting players to the league. Actually, UK's chances for a NC increases if players are required to stay two years.

Alex Peekeaton 9 years, 2 months ago

Great reply genius...and what am I naive about?

dylans 9 years, 2 months ago

Except UK can't sign all the talent if they stay two years, so other teams will scoop up that talent (also for 2 years). Cal would have to out-coach teams with better talent than would be around if they all were OAD and could go to one school every year.

Joe Ross 9 years, 2 months ago

RE: "Why don't you google "Calipari" and "One and Done rule" and read what Coach Cal says about the rule", I've already addressed this. Evidently you conflate what John Calipari SAYS for what he really WANTS. In essence, you trust him. Well I am not one to take John Calipari on his word. If you want to fine. You can content yourself with googling his statements all day if you wish, but I dont believe a word of it. Why? I've addressed this as well. The answer lies in the fact that Kentucky only stands to LOSE more games, get LESS stellar recruits, play for FEWER championships, place FEWER players in the NBA, have a reputation be DIMINISHED from what it would be otherwise, etc. John Calipari is not a man who plays for second place. So "No, thank you" to googling anything Calipari says. And for the record, in an earlier post I mentioned that JC "says" he hates the OAD rule, so it's not like I'm ignorant of anything. To answer your question..."NO". I wouldnt want all those players around for two years. You're not thinking broadly enough, and your focus is too narrow. You see only the benefit of having those good players around for two years, but you DONT consider that recruits in the second year are going to have to NOT COME to Kentucky, and they will go elsewhere. So why would you NOT want to corner the market every. single. year? The OAD rule has been a boon for Kentucky.

Alex Peekeaton 9 years, 2 months ago

So you know what Calipari WANTS? Right? Calipari has been in the past couple of days telling all schools should secede from the NCAA if they don't change the one and done rule. Why aren't all the other big name coaches coming out like Calipari is doing right now and telling the NCAA to change the one and done rule. Calipari wants to coach his players for two years rather than see them go to the NBA after a year. Calipari is going to get the elite recruits whether they stay one year or two because he has proven to be the coach that gets players ready for the NBA.

Like I said, Calipari is always going to get a majority of the elite recruits that he is going after. Look at Dakari Johnson's recruitment - he committed to UK with Cauley-Stein and Noel still on UK's team and not declared for the draft. He said he wants to play against the best in practice to get better and win a NC. Same with James Young - he wants only the best to sign with UK for the same reasons. If it were up to Calipari, the one and done rule would be gone in a second!

Joe Ross 9 years, 2 months ago

I've seen those comments. I dont believe them. I mean if Calipari really feels that way, he is dumber than I think he is. A prize idiot! So why does he make those kinds of comments? Because he is aware of the perception of the program, with the one and dones having a pipeline to Kentucky. There are a lot of people, rightly or wrongly, who have misgivings about that (namely, that it changes college basketball, and eliminates any real competition, when college basketball is adored because it is more about the game than the pros). The perception is that Kentucky's coup is changing the essence of the game in a substantive way. And not only that, but I think some people hold him in lesser esteem as a coach. I mean, might even be able to coach NBA-level talent to a 30-win season over a lot of other programs with less-gifted personnel. One could make the argument that he is only winning because of his players, and NOT because of his coaching (that is not a stretch). John Wooden had great players too, but somehow he managed to be revered for his coaching more than his recruiting. I dont think Cal is perceived in the same way. There are many coaches in the game today who are better coaches. So what's the answer if youre concerned about public image? Give the pretense that you don't want it that way. I mean if Cal REALLY doesn't like OADs, why does he recruit them annually? It makes no sense to say on the one hand that you don't like the revolving door, and on the other go out and aggressively recruit the kind of players who are going to leave. And you're telling me you're buying into this? Kentucky could just as easily recruit high-level four star players if Cal wants them to stick around. I call bull$hit because you and I both know the threat to secede from the NCAA is a farce. If they do that, how will he bring championships to Kentucky? The logical conclusion is that he's not serious at all about it. Not even a little. I'd be really surprised if you don't have an intuition for the kind of spin that John Calipari is capable of generating.

Steve Zimmerman 9 years, 2 months ago

why do you even consider Wiltjer a recruit? i'd take Haase or Brady than him.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 2 months ago

Nice post jross1972.

Everyone likes to say Calipari does the best with the OADs. Well, how did he do last year? Did Nerlens Noel live up to expectations? Archie Goodwin? Alex Poythress?

From NCAA champs to NIT chumps..but I don't blame Calipari. Back to back great classes but neither the chemistry nor the talent level was close, only the hype.

Just because a player is considered a OAD doesn't make it so. Selby could have had a great career at KU and gone on to the NBA Alex Poythress recognized this and returned to UK

Alex Peekeaton 9 years, 2 months ago

Did Nerlens Noel live up to expectations? Are you kidding me? He tore his ACL running the length of the court to block a UF guard going in for a layup. If you haven't seen it, Noel likely will be #1 in the NBA draft. You are right on one account, Goodwin didn't live up to expectations.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 2 months ago

I meant no disrespect toward Nerlens..his injury, not his play kept him from being a 1st or 2nd Team All-American. I should have clarified that...but even before his injury it was clear that the 2012/13 team was not as good as the previous year.

Noel was often compared to Kentucky All-American Anthony Davis. I think the comparisons are unfair..but most of the hype came out of Kentucky.

Even if he wasn't injured, this was not an NCAA championship team. I thought Louisville was the best team going into the tournament and saw nothing to change my mind.

Alex Peekeaton 9 years, 2 months ago

How many NCAA teams have been better than UK's 2012 NC team? Not many...unless you have UK's current recruiting class coming in to replace the 6 players drafted like the 2012 team had, you are going to have a drop off which occurred. Actually, from a defensive standpoint, no one (including Davis) was better than Noel. Noel also didn't have the benefit of playing with another experienced player next to him (Terrence Jones).

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 2 months ago

If Calipari had recruited players other than the one and dones then maybe Noel would have had the benefit of playing with an experienced player next to him.

Will it be any different next year? Possibly with Cauley-Stein and Poythress returning although I'm not sure either will start.

Also, Davis was better than Noel from any standpoint. Davis outscored, had better shooting percentage, shot better percentage at the free throw line, outrebounded, had more blocks per game...and so on. I agree that he benefited playing next to Jones but how do you measure that statistically?

Boouk 9 years, 2 months ago

Bill Walker and Beasley have certainly had spectacular NBA careers.

Cmill1221 9 years, 2 months ago

Oh... Was bill walker a O&D? B/c I thick I remember him sitting on the bench a full season eating popcorn.

Robert Brock 9 years, 2 months ago

McLemore wasn't a one & done. He was on campus for two years.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 2 months ago

I went back and looked at your comments. You're obviously not a KU fan which makes you a troll. Go cheer for and write stupid things for your team, we'll leave you alone, really.

Greg Lux 9 years, 2 months ago

Let's see ... Ben came to KU as an unranked player. He leave two years later ( 1 if your counting playing time ) as a top 3 draft prospect. Did he just sleep with a basketball and get his improvement by osmosis? hmmm I doubt that he got all that improvement by himself...

Rock Chalk

David Leathers 9 years, 2 months ago

Unranked is a far stretch. Ben was a top 50 talent (49) according to ESPN and top 35 (34) according to Rivals. Still, I get your point.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 2 months ago

Unranked?!?!?!?! Um, I think he was like 27th!!! Higher than Br. Greene or Frankamp are currently ranked.

Ludwig Supraphonic 9 years, 2 months ago

New alias JayhawkinNebr but your gift fot eloquent prose remains.

archercc 9 years, 2 months ago

Just in case someone hasnt educated you yet:

Ben wasnt a "one and done." He was 9th in his position and 34th overall in his recruiting class. He was a strong 4 star recruit. Ben's "freshman" year was after spending the previous training and practicing with the team.

Selby had an issue that delayed is participation and then an injury that hampered him later on. We only rarely got to see him at full strength. You cant coach a foot injury.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 2 months ago

Good comment..wish I had read it first before posting the same.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 2 months ago

I guess you didn't watch the games in which McLemore played and nor was he considered a OAD. Ranked at #34, Self coached the 4-Star SG into a lottery pick.

Really a stupid comment!

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 2 months ago

Ummmm, McLemore struggled?!?!?!?! If I recall he was either First or Second Team All-American so I don't see how that's struggling!!!! In SOME games, yes. I can only think of five off the top of my head though - at Oklahoma State, at Iowa State, vs. Iowa State in the Big XII Tourney, vs. WKU in the NCAA's Opg. Rd. & vs. UNC in the NCAA's 2nd Rd. Otherwise??? He had some other high-profile games where he came up HUGE!!!! I.e., the loss to Michigan, the big nationally televised home wins over Texas & Kansas State, the CBS nationally televised game at Ohio State.

He's not as multi-faceted as Wiggins, but he can be an "on-fire" shooter to the pt. of putting up some 30+ pt. games too which I don't know that we'd had since the times of Pierce being around. Yes, a couple from Rush and/or Chalmers, but fewer times.

Joe Ross 9 years, 2 months ago

We need beef in the post...a wide-body enforcer in the mold of Jeff Graves, perhaps without his propensity to foul. Hope Self isnt done recruiting. Tarik Black could be very useful.

Mel Clare 9 years, 2 months ago

Everyone is forgeting about Lucas..............he is 6'10 and 240lbs! Self has already stated that some people have forgotten about him and that he will be a "load" this upcoming season! Hudy makes them tougher......Lucas has had a redshirt year under Hudy so he is ahead of the freshman curve.........similar to McClemore and Traylor last year.

KGphoto 9 years, 2 months ago

I would argue that Self makes them tougher. Hudy makes them stronger. But considering he’s had a year under both of them, your point is perhaps doubly valid.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 2 months ago

Really good comments about Lucas.. I think it's obvious that HCBS sees Lucas getting plenty of PT this year. Embiid will not have the pressure of producing results immediately and will be a MUCH better player in the long run.

Cmill1221 9 years, 2 months ago

"We have not played to less than a sell out in 12 years." WOW! That's strong!

jhox 9 years, 2 months ago

Perhaps we're sending the message that a healthy body is as important as a healthy mind, and that the two should go hand in hand?

jhox 9 years, 2 months ago

Well the above response obviously didn't end up where it was supposed to!

Vince Brown 9 years, 2 months ago

"Self really can't coach one & dones as we have seen with McLemore and Selby. Both players struggled and had to sit on the bench many times. They just don't work our for Self." Runwild are you nuts? Selby believed all that was written about him and was a legend in his own mind. The NBA has driven that point home. Did you really expect BMac to go the whole season at the high level he was on for awhile. He's a kid who found himself in a position with which he was not familiar. The pressure of major college bball is a bit different than high school. Tyshawn, I believe is the only player to start consistently as a freshman and his troubles continued for 4 yrs. OADs don't work out for HCBS? In 10 yrs he's only had 2 and both had inflated egos. How about more samples before making that judgement? When you stack all the players that have worked out up against those two, I think most Jayhawk fans will take results and be proud andglad to have Bill Self in AFH.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 2 months ago

A better stat would read, "How many top 30 and less have become lottery picks under coach Self?".

TRob, the Morris twins (Markeiff was a top 50), Cole Aldrich #30, Ben McLemore #34, then add how many players coached by HCBS that have been chosen in the first two rounds and it's pretty clear which coach develops players better than any other coach.

Granted that some of these players weren't as successful as most KU fans would like but HCBS did his job. He is the one that was able to maximize the talent these players had, if it didn't work out in the NBA, then that's on the GM or head coach who didn't maximize what these players did best.

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

Self would have gone undefeated with Cal's ring team. He would have reached the sweet 16 with Cal's talent last season. He is the best right now.


Alex Peekeaton 9 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, Self's history of starting 3 freshmen and winning a NC is unprecedented. But if your theory is right, KU will be winning a NC this year as Self will be starting 3 freshmen this year (Embiid, Wiggins, & Selden).

Eric Williams 9 years, 2 months ago

Embiid will not start. Just like Kevin Young started over Perry Ellis, either Landon Lucas, Traylor or Tarik Black, if we get him, will start over Embiid.

Embiid will get his minutes off the bench.

John Strayer 9 years, 2 months ago

I wouldn't "expect" Embiid to start...not saying it isn't possible, because it is...just highly unlikely. A raw big man will take sometime to develop in order to just contribute, let alone start. Let's have some reasonable expectations before we heap lots of expectations on him. That could end up setting him up for failure...everyone thinking he is a wash if he doesn't significantly contribute as a freshman.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 2 months ago

jhawk613: Don't be so sure. It may start out that way, but the #6 player in the country coming off the bench won't last for long. Embiid provides attributes that no other player on this team provides (particularly defensively). KY started over Ellis because he was better -- as a 5th year senior. Self did start Ellis early, trying to give him the job it seemed. KY was just too polished. Traylor is not even in the same stratosphere with KY as a player. Lucas was redshirted behind Traylor. If you have watched Embiid play, you'll see that his skill level is much greater than Traylor.

I do grant your point that experience means something to Self .. but I would not be surprised to see Embiid start from day one, but could also see a transition period.

texashawk10 9 years, 2 months ago

HEM, the only reason Ellis started at the beginning of the season was because KY was still recovering from his broken wrist/hand (don't remember which bone) and was unavailable to play the first 3-4 games. I also don't see Embiid starting this year unless he's able to play without fouling. The speed of the college game will be something I don't see Embiid being ready for. I see Ellis playing 32-35 minutes per game with the other front court rotation guys getting between 10 and 20 minutes a game to fill in the other 45-48 minutes. Embiid clearly has the most upside out of himself, Traylor, and Lucas, but he may also be the least consistent of the three because he's only been playing for 2 years.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 2 months ago

Ellis started against TCU didn't he (which wasn't "early" as I had said).

The difference between Embiid and Traylor/Lucas should be major. You're talking a potential top 10 NBA pick vs. guys that will have to really improved to be rotations regulars. His skill level now is better than Traylor showed in all moments on the court (but for his spin move vs. Texas at home). "Skill" is something Traylor lacks. Lucas, I really don't know yet.

If I had to bet, I'd bet that Embiid starts by conference season at the latest. And I think he'll start before that.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 2 months ago

I tend to agree w/jhawk613. Embiid will be a major force at Kansas but I think he needs a year to get up to speed..especially if we get Black.

If we miss on Black then Embiid might be starting by the time conference play starts. I think Lucas might be a bigger challenge than Traylor. I also think Yahoo has him over-ranked. Rivals has him at #25 and 3rd at his position.

Preston Dwiggins 9 years, 2 months ago

Kevin Young was one of my favorite players, but I would not describe him as polished. He was a poor man's Denis Rodman. He was a catalyst, rebounder, garbage man and leader. I loved his game, but can't call him polished as he had no shot anywhere on the floor. I cringed each time I saw him shoot the ball. The Morris twins were polished regarding recent polished players IMO.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 2 months ago

He started Ellis over KY because KY was injured at the end of the Exhibition fact, I think Ellis ONLY started the first two games - vs. Towson & vs. Michigan State. Then when KY was healthy again, he started the rest of the year.

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago


Ask Self who he thinks was the best college player that ever played. Even if Self were to say there were no answer, it would be informative.

Andy Godwin 9 years, 2 months ago

During his 10 years at KU, Self has said Wayne Simien is the best who played for him. Not sure who Self would indicate as the best college basketball player ever, but Danny Manning should be in the top 10.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 2 months ago

I'm not sure that still stood after this year. I recall him MANY times gushing in that manner about Ben and how he'd never had as talented of a player.

KansasComet 9 years, 2 months ago

I will never forget Henry's 30 point game to start his career out and I will never forget Selby's 21 against USC in his debut. The talent was there. I am glad both were Jayhawks. It is easy to complain about what they didn't do. I remember wanting them both, and I am glad they decided to attend KU. I am sure they tried as hard as they could. I really don't think Henry wanted to leave, based on his press conference. He has been back to attend games, which is great. I liked both, and wished that they both would have stayed longer. They didn't, and life goes on.

Steve Reigle 9 years, 2 months ago

Selby was injured after that 21 point game and should not have played. The doctors told him to sit out the season and rehab. So did Coach Self. But Selby wanted to be a one and done and felt he had to showcase his skills. It's all in the book, Beyond the Phog.

As for Henry, I think he had a lot more skill than he showed. I have not read this and do not know firsthand, but my bet is he was being coached by his father as well as the KU coaches and that tore him in too many directions and affected his play. Carl Henry was a good basketball player for KU but, as a father, once he turned his sons over to KU he should have let the KU coaches do the coaching.

wrwlumpy 9 years, 2 months ago

I was the reading the Lexington, Ky. paper for articles about the moonshiners response to AW to KU and the resulting tweets. A wise article that expressed the disgust of the UK tweets that were filled with Racism and homicidal threats. Most of the Wildcat fans were appalled by the horrible publicity for the state and the school. Where ever KU plays, schools like ISU have the entire crowd wearing shirts that say "Breathe if you hate Kansas". Crazy fans that attack Self after games. ESPN realizes what they have here. The greatest plot line to ever start off a basketball season. Kentucky fans were already making plans for a shrine to this years team until everything changed. You know UK fans are pissed about the cameras and spotlight staying in Lawrence. These 5 players helped by showing Andrew what KU is all about and helped him to decide to be a Jayhawk,

This was tweeted by Seldon yesterday.

This was tweeted by Seldon yesterday. by wrwlumpy

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

I love Selden already, lump.

A man with artistic vision will most definitely have court vision.

A man with the sense to put the upperclassmen in the foreground is all Kansas.

Rock Chalk Wayne Selden!

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 2 months ago

too bad the team image doesn't include Justin Wesley, Niko Roberts, Christian Garrett, Evan Manning, and Tyler Self... am I missing anyone?

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 2 months ago

wrwlumpy..your posts are so often right on target and this one ranks near the top. If I was a coach and saw KU on our schedule, I would already be drafting my "let this be a learning experience' speech.

Kevin Jenkins 9 years, 2 months ago

Amazing that some people say Self can't coach. Wow, haven't they watched any KU games or checked the stats or wins? Of course you have players like Shelby or Henry who thought they could be NBA stars and had huge egos. Check out other teams with players who left early only to be working at Walmart. Wiggins is a smart kid with smart parents. He knows a great coach and went with the one he felt would get him ready for his next step. BMac was thinking probably what's best for his family. As far as education KU's players have a excellent graduation rate.

KemDooKU 9 years, 2 months ago

The UK fans talk about Selby and Henry as being good examples of why Self can't coach OAD players but what about UK - Alex Poythress was a top ten sure fire OAD player ......... Errrrr...... Spell check....... Guess he is now a 2AD..... And thats just one player mentioned and there are many more so careful UK fans when casting stones because your track record is not so great as well....

Alex Peekeaton 9 years, 2 months ago

Your logic doesn't make sense because Poythress was a projected mid-first round pick and he could have gone pro, but decided not to. He was smart enough to come back another year and refine his game. A player's decision to stay in college or go pro has nothing to do being able to coach OAD players. If your point is to say UK hasn't had a track record of putting OADs in the NBA, then have you heard of Cousins, Wall, Bledsoe, Orton, Knight, Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist, Noel, and Goodwin - and that is all in the past 4 years!

Brak 9 years, 2 months ago

So your logic to prove that Cal can coach OAD players is by listing a bunch of players that may have or will get drafted high but have not yet proven anything in the NBA except maybe Wall and to a much lesser extent Cousins. Plus how is it a reflection on Bill Self that Henry and Selby CHOSE to go OAD when it was clear by most that they were not ready. Oh and you forgot to mention Poythress was projected 1st rd before the season started, by the end DraftExpress had him mid 2nd round but I'm sure that had no impact on his decision, LOL.

Alex Peekeaton 9 years, 2 months ago

Don't forget about Bledsoe either - he is a force. They haven't necessarily proven anything is right - because they are only 19-22 years old!!! Give Anthony Davis another 2 years to build up his body and you will see a NBA All-Star for years to come.

DraftExpress had Poythress the #11 pick overall in the 2013 draft before he declared that he was staying in school.

Brak - don't let the facts get in your way though!

Alex Peekeaton 9 years, 2 months ago

Ralster - do you really want to review KU's lotto picks in the Bill Self era? I believe there have been 7 and only Chalmers & Markieff Morris are gettting any meaningful minutes. Wall, Cousins, Knight, Kidd-Gilchrist, Bledsoe, and Davis are key members of their teams, but just haven't reached the All-Star status yet.

In all seriousness, I'm not trying to change anyone's mind here. I tend to stick with the facts.

Alex Peekeaton 9 years, 2 months ago

Insecure? Hardly...there will be more talent in Lexington than any team I can recall. I'm here because of all the Kentucky talk every day. Why does a Kansas website talk about Kentucky/Calipari every day of the year? Still bitter from 2012? Just a guess...

Alex Peekeaton 9 years, 2 months ago

What is even more rediculous is a Kansas website talking about Kentucky basketball every day of the year! Why is that Ralster? Hell, there is more Kentucky talk here than any site out there!

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 2 months ago

Getting top 10 recruits into the NBA doesn't mean nearly as much as turning top 30 and less into lottery picks.

Self gets more from his players than any other D1 coach.

Boouk 9 years, 2 months ago

It's disappointing to see our coaches to put a ton of time and effort into some of these recruits (Randle, Barber, Tarckewski, etc.) only for them to go elsewhere. Thank you Andrew for putting us back into the top 5 and national title contention.

FearlessJayhawk 9 years, 2 months ago

I can almost guarantee you that if coach Self would have had the number of McDonald All-Americans that Kentucky or Carolina have had over the past ten years, there would be one or two more NCAA titles hanging from Allen Field House rafters.

Benz Junque 9 years, 2 months ago

It's often forgotten that Selby is a mouth breathing moron. Too many of these kids are more talented than intelligent and they do not go about their business the right way.

Wiggins seems to be an intelligent kid that was raised in a stable home by two caring parents. Self needs to continue to make stability and intelligence a high priority in recruiting. His response to having knuckleheades like Collins, the Morris twins, Taylor and Johnson has been to start recruiting smarter kids. Ellis and Greene were both 4.0 students. Frankamp and Wiggins both seem to be very intelligent kids and players.

We don't need to stay away from OAD players in recruiting. We need to stay away from knuckleheads, regardless of how many years they play. I'd argue that a 4 year knucklehead will do more damage than a one year knucklehead. KU disappointed in the tourney for two seasons with Collins as the "leader" of the team and we all watched what happened with EJ as the team leader. Knuckleheaded talent often plays to their talent level but occasionally plays to their intelligence level.

hawk_of_ages 9 years, 2 months ago

Right. We need to stay away from these "knuckleheads" like Collins, Taylor, and Johnson. I've had it up to here with 30-win seasons, Big 12 championships, and Final Four appearances. ENOUGH ALREADY.

Benz Junque 9 years, 2 months ago

Typical lazy response. Don't get your panties in a bunch and don't be afraid to cast a critical eye on what KU's weaknesses have been in recent history.

Only in 2012 was KU able to overcome having a knucklehead leader and perform to their level of expectation in the tourney. As I said before, sometimes talented knuckleheads play to their talent level and by all means, Collins, Taylor, the twins, EJ, all had many games where they were excellent players and were 100% responsible for some success.

But if you're OK with repeatedly having knuckleheads play like knuckleheads in the biggest moments, then we will have to agree to disagree. If you think that those 30 win seasons, Big 12 championships and Final Four (singular, 2012, with a knuckleheaded leader) were not attainable with players who AREN'T knuckleheads, then you are sorely mistaken.

Perry Ellis will be better by his junior year than either Morris twin and I am 100% certain that he will not be flapping his gums and bumping shoulders pregame with his tourney opponent like the Morris twins did to VCU before laying an egg in 2011. And don't get me started on Collins' game against UNI. Fat, lazy bum thought his jersey and AA resume would win the game without him having to put out much effort at all. I love all that Collins did to win games at KU, but I will not give him a pass for that game. That was knuckleheaded of the worst kind.

There are talented kids out there who aren't knuckleheads that could win just as much as we have with knuckleheads AND would likely have a better chance of not flaming out earlier than expected in the NCAA tourney.

I am not pulling this out of my a$$. Look at Self's recent recruiting and draw your own conclusions. I would doubt highly that it is just a coincidence. Self is trying to address the issues that have tripped his teams up in recent history when it matters the most, at least in my opinion.

hawk_of_ages 9 years, 2 months ago

College kids act like knuckleheads sometimes. So do middle-aged Internet commenters. If you think it's OK to call KU players "bums" and "mouth-breathing morons" in a public forum, I don't have much hope of finding common ground with you.

I will say, however, that the smartest KU backcourt tandem I ever saw, academically speaking, was Jacque Vaughn and Jerod Haase. Those were high-character, high-achieving student-athletes who did everything right. And yet they couldn't even lead a team with Paul Pierce and Raef Lafrentz to the Final Four. I still love those guys and respect what they accomplished, but it just goes to show that your correlation between intelligence and athletic success doesn't hold up.

actorman 9 years, 2 months ago

Twocoach, I think a lot of what you say is true, but I think calling Selby a "mouth-breathing moron" is ridiculous. As others have pointed out, he started out really well and then got hurt, so there's no way to know just what he could have accomplished if he had stayed healthy. Unless you have inside knowledge, what evidence do you have that he was a knucklehead? On the other hand, there was plenty of evidence with the others that you mentioned.

But I don't think it's as easy as you seem to think to recruit players who have that kind of talent and are not knuckleheads. I'm sure that if Self had his choice, that would be his preference, but at some point you have to go with the best available.

Hawk8086 9 years, 2 months ago

Would you call Reed and Morningstar knuckleheads? They were 2 for 21 (or something like that) in the VCU game, and were as much to blame as the Morris twins for that loss. I think your assessment is harsh.

JayHok 9 years, 2 months ago

No doubt. It's amazing. I read through this entire group of posts waiting for someone to put a little sense into the discussion. Xavier played all year as a starter. Didn't do too bad, played his role. Needed another year. His press conference showed it. But he's nowhere near the talent of Lebron James. Selby had to sit out the first 9 games. Went off against USC. Quickly injured. Wore a plastic boot inside his shoe the rest of the season. Few KU fans knew this until the season was over. He was a great talent who needed another year of being healthy. Also unfortunately for him he's not as tall or long as Lebron. Many of the kids the UK fans are bragging about don't fit the profile of Selby or Xavier. Henry would have needed an extra year in Cal's system for sure.

Steve Kubler 9 years, 2 months ago

I keep seeing Self quoted as saying Mason is a sleeper and very underrated. I keep thinking its coach speak but he keeps repeating it with a bit of emphasis. Something in the way he smiles when he says it makes me really want to see this kid play. I figure at best he is a couple of years from seeing the floor. Beings that in a couple of years there will be a need at point to replace Nadiir I do hope Mason works out.

Perhaps it is just coach speak but when HCBS says he thinks someone is going to be good I can't help but get a little excited.

Robert Brock 9 years, 2 months ago

Mason won't know the offense or the defense but I figure he will be a really tough matchup in practice - and Coach Self likes to work the kids hard in practice.

onegonzo 9 years, 2 months ago

Mason's coach states that "he makes everyone around him better." That is MVP status & I will go with CS' evaluation of him. If he does not get that much PT and makes everyone around him better, then he is sorely under rated as coach Self has said. Let's just enjoy what unfolds next season...RCJH!

JayDocMD 9 years, 2 months ago

Julian Wright? Think he's too busy working on his rap career.

ParisHawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Julian Wright was never a senior. He left after two years.

Benz Junque 9 years, 2 months ago

Maybe Jeff Graves in Self's first year?!?

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 2 months ago

Does it have to have been a scholarship player? Could it have been a walk-on (though you would think that it would be more likely that they would)?

Tony Bandle 9 years, 2 months ago


1] In these inflationary times, 30 wins a season for a decade just ain't what it used to be.

2] Never ever got the top, kid....oh wait..Selby, Wiggins...oops, never mind!!

3] Does not have any rappers on the payroll.

4] Making the last 25 NCAA's is boring.

5] Heck, anybody can win 9 conference championships in a row.

6] His teams have played before about 150 straight sellouts...probably a bunch of blow up dummies in the cheap seats!!

7] Conference titles are tied with number of home losses in the last ten years...big deal!!

8] Fans show up anywhere in America to watch the University of Kansas because lots of people love the colors Crimson and Blue.

9] Heck, he got turned down by Misery University!! [And look how well that's worked out.]

10] He's never started the Coaches Sons!!

Chris Shaw 9 years, 2 months ago

You forgot about the timeouts Bill Self carries in his backpockets after a 40 minute ball game.

I know Self is a great coach, but the NCAA Tournament is one frustrating beast that IMO hasn't brought out the best side of Bill Self despite a National Championship and 2 Final 4's. As great as Bill Self is...he should have more NCAA Tournament wins and Final 4's. Just my .02

Tony Bandle 9 years, 2 months ago

The LAST thing I wanted to do was imply any criticism of Bill. Sorry, I did not include the sarcasm icon.

Tim Orel 9 years, 2 months ago

You also forgot that Self doesn't let the fans fill out his starting lineup, insisting instead on going with the players who practice best, out of sight of the media and public.

Greg Lux 9 years, 2 months ago

I have watched a lot of videos of our incoming class and all I can say is AWESOME. We are going to be so very very fast. There is no way to double team anyone with the inside/outside gang of talent. Conner is an unbelievable 3 point shooter with Brannen, tharpe and Seiden we are crazy good from outside plus they can get to the rim. Seiden and AW are so fast and get to the glass so quickly they are going to raise havoc with anyone. Perry will be unstoppable inside to mid-range with Embiid and Lucas. Lest us not forget Mason who is just plain blazing fast. Yes I did leave out AWIII for a reason. I truly believe he will red shirt this year and that will help him down the road. The talent level of Basketball has jumped to a new level of late and the rims are going to pay the price. This season is going to be crazy fun to watch. The talent is off the chart and the future is so bright. Congrats to HCBS and staff for an unbelievable recruiting class. The Joy in Jayhawk land is off the chart.

Rock Chalk

Tony Bandle 9 years, 2 months ago

And your enthusiasm is "off the charts" as well!! I want whatever you had for breakfast today. :)

All kidding aside, I have seen those same videos and totally agree with you, however, you forgot to mention one fast our BIGS are going to be. Perry and Jo Jo can flat out fly!!

Kansas will present nightmare match-ups everywhere on the court......hey, maybe, that will be a great nickname for this team..THE NIGHTMARES!!!

Gil Ek 9 years, 2 months ago

ParisHawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Warning, FUD post. (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt).

Worst case scenario: McLemore is retroactively deemed ineligible for games at the end of the season. Could that annul our 25-year streak of NCAA appearances? Could that annul our Conference Championship streak??

Tony Bandle 9 years, 2 months ago

He could....but he/it won't....KU/Self/Wiggins NCAA poster child for Good vs UK/Calipari/Class of '13 NCAA poster child for Evil = great theatre, great interest, great $$$$$$$$.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 2 months ago

Paris .. I think there is a decent chance of wins being vacated (many disagree there and think the idea of KU being penalized by vacating wins is absurd). I'm trying to figure out how Ben is not ineligible -- a guy admitted by Ben to be in his inner "circle" travels to LA at the urging of Ben's mom. Takes money. Ben is now tight with the guy Cobb went to meet (Blackstock). Ben may have not paid for his own trip to LA ("I think I paid ..").

But unless there is new info, I wouldn't worry about a "going forward" penalty. A scholarship maybe for two years? KU's knowlege of what was going on would be what would likely be needed there for there to be some tourney ban.

Chase Topliff 9 years, 2 months ago

Just read that Tarik Black is still trying to decided where to transfer. However, the "experts" seem to think that although there are four options; it is a two horse race between Kansas and Duke.

In my honest opinion, I hope he chooses somewhere other than Kansas.

Yes, he could be a decent veteran presence for our young bigs, but I would worry about the available minutes at the 4 and 5. Right now, we have Ellis, Traylor, Lucas, and Embiid that will play the majority of the minutes (Not to mention Wesley or even the potential of playing Wiggins at the 4 in some lineups). If Black were to come to Kansas, that would leave us five (or six) bigs for two spots.

With Traylor and Lucas already using their red shirts, that leaves Ellis and Embiid. I doubt that we would see either of them take a red-shirt (Embiid would be the best choice, but his athleticism and shot blocking ability could help right away).

Quite frankly, I just don't think we have enough space here for Black because if he did come, his presence might hinder the development of our already talented front court.

Tim Orel 9 years, 2 months ago

I agree, but I also feel the practice sessions would also be a place for Tarik to help the youngsters learn and develop skills against a fourth year player. He may not have the temperament to practice with, but be limited in court time to the youngsters, but Self will play the people who practice the best. If that's Tarik, the others will have to up their games. If that's the others, if Tarik helps them to be better, then it's to the benefit of the Jayhawks. I think we're good as-is, but I don't mind another potential starter or practice player.

Benz Junque 9 years, 2 months ago

I honestly think he'll end up at Oregon. That is the place where he would get the most playing time. He only has one year left to impress NBA scouts and he isn't doing that coimng off the bench for Duke or Kansas.

Black to Oregon --> Book It.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 2 months ago

WesternKS: Don't have space for Black? The only question is whether he is better than Lucas and Traylor. That's it. If so, there is room. He is big, bulky, and offers a nice compliment to Ellis (protection) and Embiid (skinny).

Our pursuit of Black, to me, is a clear indication that Self does not see Traylor or Lucas as rotation ready. And clearly that he sees them as lesser players for the upcoming season.

I hate to harp on this .. but we have Ellis and Embiid. Tell the rest of our "already talented front court"? I'll give you a hint .. start well outside of the top 100.

And please refrain from the use of the name "Wesley" when discussing PT. Thank you.

Hawk8086 9 years, 2 months ago

HEM, I was wondering when you would respond. You didn't disappoint.

Hawk8086 9 years, 2 months ago

I think we could use Black's veteran presence. Ellis is the only proven front court player. Embiid will, not doubt, get minutes. Hopefully Traylor will improve, but how effective he can be for a large portion of the game is uncertain. Lucas is an unknown at this point. Particularly given the inexperience up front, I would like to see us get Black. Maybe Self feels differently, but I think Wiggins will be more effective as a 3 (or 2). I think with the young lineup, any experienced, good (doesn't need to be great) player will help, especially up front where, I believe, the talent pool, overall, is not as deep as on the perimter.

bad_dog 9 years, 2 months ago

I wish one and done was over and done.

Robert Brown 9 years, 2 months ago

Who is saying Bill Self cannot coach? I have read through the comments and I don't read anyone saying that. Some have commented that the OADs have not fared too well (which is true- I don't believe the teams with Selby and Henry would have been appreciably worse without them). Most of the comments indicated that those players who stay 2, 3, 4 years all get better, which is true from my obsevations. I don't think anyone is arguing that. Doesn't this improvement speak to how great the coaching staff is.

Some of you tend to get upset because people aren't ordaining Coach Self as the "the best coach in college basketball". While some may not think he is the best, I don't think anyone disputes that he is "one of the best".

Some of our fans can have a needless persecution complex.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 2 months ago

I am going to throw a curve out for everyone and it may not be a very popular one, but this is a perspective from the other end of the spectrum. I keep seeing everyone throw out 30 win seasons, 9 straight big 12 Championships, potentially 25 straight NCAA tournament appearances, 2 NCAA Final 4's, 1 National Championship, and Best Coach in the country in the span of 10 seasons.

Are all of you content with these numbers? If you are then just keep scrolling and don't pay attention to this post. If you are like me I am not content with those numbers. Although it was brief I remember Kansas basketball prior to Larry Brown and the first couple of seasons of Larry Brown. It wasn't pretty basketball.

With that said, I feel like I know the history of the college game pretty well and my point of this post is this....."Why can't Kansas be the dominant program of this era?" I mean, you look back at history and Kentucky had the late 40's, 50's, and part of the 70's. UCLA was dominant in the 60's and 70's. Indiana had it's time in the 40's and 80's. UNC has been consistent through every decade and did great things in 80's and 90's and Roy won 2 championships in 5 years in the New Millineum decade. Duke and Coach K had the late 80's and 90's locked up!

My point is that while Kansas has been consistent except the late 60's, all of the 70's (Outside of a couple of years) and the first half of the 80's...Kansas has never been the dominant program of a given time period like it's blue blood brothers. I mean, Duke goes to the Final 4 5 out of 6 years, 6 in 8 years, and 7 in 10 years and wins 2 National Championships. Izzo wins a National Championship and goes to the Final 4 every other year over a 12 year span. Roy at UNC wins 2 Championships in 5 years after missing so many opportunities at Kansas over 15 years.

Now this is just my opinon, but Bill Self, as great as he is, IMO should be capitalizing on these "Opportunities" and this "Time Period" of college basketball a lot more than the results being produced in the NCAA Tournament.

What I mean is that Kansas has been the #1 seed 5 times out of the 10 years Bill Self has been Coach at Kansas and only one time has Kansas advanced to the Final 4 after having that #1 seed.

I don't know...I just don't understand why, if Self is as good as everyone is saying and indicating...why can't the time in College Basketball be about Kansas right now? Why can't Kansas capitalize on it's "Opportunities" like so many other programs have in the past?

I don't know, I am excited as all get up for this next season, but I also believe that Andrew Wiggins coming to Kansas is temporarily hiding the fact that Kansas and Self missed another opportunity with their Sweet 16 loss to Michigan.


Kevin Huffman 9 years, 2 months ago

One reply I would have to that is that the so-called "smaller guys" have gotten appreciably better. A team of Lehigh or Western Kentucky or Creighton in this day and age is likely 1,000,000 x better than a team of the same conference stature say 30 years ago.

Thus, your chances to "trip up" early go SIGNIFICANTLY up.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 2 months ago

Like I said, I like 30 win seasons, Big 12 Championships blah blah blah, but people outside of your fanbase remember Final 4's and Championships. I sometimes feel like our fanbase argues for the crumbs and scraps when it comes to other bluebloods.

Why can't this time be Kansas' time? I just have a feeling, like I did in the 90's with Roy Williams a lot of "What If" type of scenarios. Bill Self is so freaking close to putting up Coach K NCAA Tournament numbers, but IMO Kansas and Self keep coming up short.

There will be a time when this era of Kansas Basketball passes and I want to be able to look back and say...Bill Self was the greatest of all time...Not just a "Top Notch" or "Good" coach.

Tim Orel 9 years, 2 months ago

Doesn't HCBS have the best winning percentage in the NCAA's during the 10 years he's been at KU? For that to be the case, including those stretches by Duke and UNC and MSU, KU has to have had the best, most consistent record. Maybe they were one fewer championship than those teams (plus Florida, IIRC) but year in and year out, including with the Killer B's years, KU has done very well in the tourney. I'm just saying this in contrast to your comment about "Coach K ... numbers". I think I'd trade another early ouster for having beaten Kentucky a couple of years ago, but that's just my dislike of Calipari. I believe Self will be able to get more championships at KU and starting off as a #1 seed usually is a good way to get there.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 2 months ago

Coach K is on his last leg. Why do we as fans keep comparing ourselves to Coach K and Duke of the present? From 1986 to 2004 Duke and Coach K were the Standard.

I don't want to be like Coach K and Duke of the last 10 years although he has still managed to win 2 Championships despite his other years bowing out early in the tourny. It's time for a new sheriff in town and it's primed for the picking with Pitno, Williams, and Coach K on their last leg's in their coaching careers.

Even with all that said and Duke and Coach K not being that great over the last 10 years...what Coach K has done for Olympic Basketball still gives him a pass IMO even though Duke has taken a step backward from where it was in the 80's, 90's, and the beginning of the 2000's.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, but in a year where the tournament opens up beautifully for Kansas in 2011...that's the year Kansas has a stumble. That is my point. I mean, Duke 2010, really? One of the worst years to win a Championship and it ends up being Duke and all because Kansas stumbled in the second round.

Think about UNC 2009. The whole reason they were the best squad in the country that year was because everyone came back because of the Kansas beating in 2008.

2007 Florida was suppose to win and they did win.

2008 at least all four #1's made it to the Final 4.

UNC was suppose to win in 2009 and did win.

Kansas was suppose to win in 2010. Duke wins

Kansas was suppose to win in 2011. UConn freaking wins

Kentucky was suppose to win in 2012 and did win.

Louisville was suppose to win in 2013 and did win.

It just seems like when Kansas stumbles they stumble hard, which is even preventing them from making the Final 4.

actorman 9 years, 2 months ago

I'm right there with you, BigMan, and you said it very well. As great as things have been, KU has had to put up with more heartbreaks and upsets in the tournament than virtually anyone else, going back to the beginning of Roy's time. I mean let's not forget that KU was the winningest team of the '90s, and yet ## 2 through 5 all won at least one championship (with some of them winning more than one) and KU didn't.

2008 was incredible, but it would be nice to see KU take more advantage of being a #1 seed. And Colorado, you may be right about Sel's winning percentage in tournament, but one of the reasons for that is because KU has always had such a high seed. The more accurate question is what KU's record has been compared to the expectations based on seeding, and in that area I think Self has often fallen short. Let's just hope it's not a large enough sample size, and that we won't continue to see Northern Iowa and VCU-type losses (not to mention the devastation of the blown lead vs. Michigan).

orbiter 9 years, 2 months ago


Are you off your medication again? You should really listen to your doctor.

"I want to be able to look back and say"
--Hahahaha. Good lord, dude. It's a good thing you have no part in this basketball program. You don't have the stomach for it. It's so precious when fan-dudes whine on like this.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 2 months ago

I have the stomach for it, but not why be the best?

John Fitzgerald 9 years, 2 months ago

First and foremost, I think we should pay every opposing teams fans to chant "overrated" before every game to Wiggins. That will be an automatic win. Secondly, I think we can actually use Tarik. It's always good to have depth down low and he's got some playing time under his belt. Lastly, Bill Self may not have won all the NC's we thought he could have won, but realistically, what he's done since he's been here has been A LOT better than what Roy did. If the ESPN Analysts were to rate all the coaches, like they do for the team rankings, I promise you Bill Self would be top 5. He may not win a NC every year, but dang it, he at least puts a team together that can compete for it. Also, looking at this recruiting class just goes to show he isn't satisfied either. Anyone that thinks Self is "okay" with only one championship, especially after the teams he's had, is insane. He WILL get more NC's, and he WILL do it soon. That, I promise you. RCJH!!!

Hawk8086 9 years, 2 months ago

I think most of us would say we would not trade HCBS for any other coach. I know I would say that. I think where the criticism starts to come in relates to the early exits in the tourney. I do think we have had more than our share of them. Some of our teams have tended to play "tight" which have lead to the upsets that don't need to be listed. Yes.... Roy had some too. Every coach is the nature of the tournament. I think Self's teams have under-performed relative to their ranking in the tournament more than average. Of course, we all would like for him to have won another NC or two. That said, if Self stays 10 more years and wins the same number of Conference Championships, one more NC, and one more runnerup..........I'll take it in a hearbeat. .

Tony Bandle 9 years, 2 months ago

The most important basketball played every season is the times none of us rarely if ever see....PRACTICE!!

Having Tarik join Kansas would add another dimension to an already electric roster...and that is an experienced big man.

Just picture Jo Jo, Perry and Jamari jousting with Tarik, Landon and Hunter...those practices will be amazing. The AW's against each other.....Naadir and Frank.....Conner, Brannen and Selden trying to outgun each other....EPIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

wrwlumpy 9 years, 2 months ago

I'm sure many on this site have discovered this KU site with national stories. I found it today. I saved it to my favorites list with my 8 other sports sites dealing with NCAA basketball and especially the Jayhawks.

Joe Baker 9 years, 2 months ago

Black is the experience and capstone needed. An extra big option can't hurt.

Greg Lux 9 years, 2 months ago

We have got to do a better job of watching our Poor Star athletes. We should have seen the game tickets left by Ben for this guy ( not family or friends ). Thats a red flag that should not have been missed. No matter how this turns out for the school. Ben walks free and thats just wrong. We have a lot invested in these athletes and we have a lot invested in the future. A scandal like this is stoppable if we are watching. The school knows all these guys are out for money off this kid and the school needs to be more aware of the problem. Let's pray the school and kids are not damaged by this money hungry bunch.

Rock Chalk

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