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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Recruiting Class of 2015 considered another strong one

Bill Self

Bill Self

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The high school basketball recruiting Class of 2015 — which includes blue-chippers Ben Simmons, Malik Newman, Jalen Brown and Stephen Zimmerman — is considered quite deep in terms of talent.

It follows a strong Class of 2014, which included Jahlil Okafor, Emmanuel Mudiay, Cliff Alexander, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Karl-Anthony Towns and a Class of 2013 that had Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, Jabari Parker, the Harrison twins, Wayne Selden Jr.

Unable to talk about specific prospects in accordance with NCAA rules, 12th-year Kansas University coach Bill Self concedes there’s been no shortage of top preps for schools to choose from the past many moons.

“I think it’s cyclical,” Self said. “There may not be a better high school class ever than 1979. That was Isiah Thomas, Clark Kellogg and Ralph Sampson and some of those guys. You look at ’81 with (Patrick) Ewing and (Charles) Barkley and (Michael) Jordan and (Chris) Mullen and those guys.

“I think there are more good players today than there ever have been because more kids are playing and the training is so much better for young kids and they are getting so much more exposure,” Self added. “Whether or not we’ll have top-heavy classes every year, I don’t know if that will happen. That’s cyclical, but it appears to me there are just more really really gifted kids out there right now.

“There will never not be 50 guys that have a chance to be pros playing high school ball every year because there always will be that potential with these kids.”

Self has two scholarships to give in the Class of 2015, more if any Jayhawks turn pro or transfer. KU is in on top-10 prospects Brown, Newman, Cheick Diallo, Ivan Rabb and Zimmerman and others farther down on the top 50-100 list. Self obviously isn’t only about signing Top Ten preps.

“If you say 20 to 50 range, bring in those guys, those guys are studs,” Self said. “Thomas Robinson couldn’t crack that (top 10) group (he was No. 31 in Class of 2009). Marcus Morris (29 in Class of 08) and Markieff (49) couldn’t crack that group in so-called high school recruiting services experts. Tyshawn Taylor (No. 77 in Class of 2008) wasn’t in that group. Elijah Johnson (No. 24 Class of 2009) wasn’t in that group, neither was Travis Releford (No. 70 Class of 2008). Jeff Withey (No. 36 Class of 2008) wasn’t in that group. But they were all good players and I think the key with our guys (assistants) and they’ve done a good job, you not only recruit kids but you have to evaluate and then be able to project. Our coaches are very good at that.”

Self had additional comments concerning the rankings, which fans tend to treat as gospel, so to speak ....

“You can look at guys 1 through 5 or 1 through 7 that are rated that way yearly, maybe 1 through 10, and you know they’re going to have a huge impact. You know,” Self said. “But there’s not that much difference between 11 and 50, maybe what days they played well and who was watching and stuff like that. I think those recruiting services, although I appreciate them and I know they work hard, I think they’re so overrated in a lot of ways because it’s up to a school to determine who can play and how they fit to make you better, and there’s a lot of guys out there that could pick a school that are so, so talented on paper but they can’t play the way that that system is designed to play with, or play for, and it just never works out.

“Our guys have done a good job of plugging them into who we are.”

As far as where recruits come from ... KU will travel anywhere in pursuit of contributing players. The Jayhawks have had players from Canada (Wiggins), Russia and Ukraine (Sasha Kaun, Svi Mykhailiuk) and all over the USA.

“Recruiting is not easy,” Self said. “We have a national brand. We have to go into somebody else’s turf to seal the deal. There are not a lot of players in our locale, not a highly populated area. Of course we love to recruit from our own area. We’ve had some great guys that came from the state of Kansas, whether it be Perry (Ellis) or Travis (Releford) or Tyrel (Reed) or Brady (Morningstar), that the ball moved a little better when they were in there, or they were able to make sure that they piggy-backed screens or went ball side of every curl, that maybe don’t translate to be big things, but those are plays that win basketball games.

“I’ve been real pleased with who we’ve been able to recruit. I hope there are good players in our state every year. I wish we could get a kid out of here every year because I do think it adds something to your program to have some local flavor.”

Self said he has a lot of ammunition in recruiting, including tradition, facilities and great interest. “This is a cool place. Fans love their players,” Self said. “I don’t think there’s a place in America you can say fans truly enjoy players growing into being young men more than Lawrence.”

Prospects who are considering KU in the Class of 2015: No. 2-ranked (by Rivals.com) Jaylen Brown, 6-7, Wheeler High, Marietta, Georgia; No. 3 Malik Newman, 6-3, Callaway High, Jackson, Mississippi; No. 6 Cheick Diallo, 6-7, Our Savior New American, Centereach, New York; No. 7 Ivan Rabb, 6-9, Bishop O’Dowd, Oakland, California; No. 10 Stephen Zimmerman, 7-foot, Bishop Gorman High, Las Vegas; No. 14 Carlton Bragg, 6-9, Villa Angela St. Joseph High, Cleveland; No. 18 Brandon Ingram, 6-8, Kinston (North Carolina) High; No. 19 Tyler Dorsey, 6-4, Maranatha High, Pasadena, California and No. 90 Marcus LoVett, 5-11, Chicago Morgan Park High.

Comments

Benz Junque 7 years, 9 months ago

Hopefully Coach Self and staff will see that they have had their two highest rated classes the last two years and the two worst teams in Self's time here. Not sure if it's a direct correlation but I'd like to see more guys in that 25-75 wheelhouse that will develop and mature and be stars in their 3rd and 4th years. If being young is a bad thing in this sport (and I assume it is since so many use it as an excuse for poor play) then recruit guys that will still be playing at KU when they are no longer young so we can benefit from their good years.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 9 months ago

Of course its a correlation that Self's 2 highest-rated classes = 2 worst team's in Self era. But, cannot final judge this year's team, as it Self's system takes time, and we have many new players.

Self's product needs experienced guys executing it. And this year's team is not experienced enough to be reliable.

Nobody should cast doom on this yr's team just yet. Too young, lots to learn.

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

The game is changing and Kansas can not afford not to change with it. The old blueprint for success will no longer work. For the foreseeable future, blue chip players will be hot commodities at the most reputable schools (and for good reason).

Walter Bridges 7 years, 9 months ago

The #2 ranked recruiting year and the worst reg. season under HCBS. Nope...last year was a perfect example. Embiid was the only significant injury and no one able to step up for the first weekend? That's the result of too much youth and not enough experience. We lost to an average team we should have beaten with or without Embiid.

I guess we can write off next year as we won't have a top 10 recruiting class.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 9 months ago

Yes..as we can see just how well the NEW blueprint works. Round of 32 w/two of top three NBA picks.

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

And one of those never played in the tournament. Very bad example. Furthermore, as you may read in my comment below, the ability to coach OADs is a learned skill. One that HCBS is still in the process of picking up. Try again?

Rodney Crain 7 years, 9 months ago

LOL "Prospects who are considering KU", Really? Why have only 6 of those listed at the end of this article visited KU? Maybe it would be more accurate to say they have us listed with a bunch of other schools. To me we got 6 shots of the known available recruits. KY we get first choice, could be 2, 3, or 4 more players. There are a couple of home town guys on there that will probably stay close to home too.

KU is the only school ranked in the top 75 who have zero commits for 2015. MI has no scholarships available for 2015 but are chasing one of our recruits who visited and clearly they need help too.

Think about it, one of the deepest, most talented group of recruits, we have two open scholarships and currently we have no help coming in next year. I get all those left are waiting till Spring, but it does not make any sense how we get shut out in this group.

Steve Zimmerman 7 years, 9 months ago

I kinda felt it, too. it's like KU is awaiting for any 'leftovers', those who can't go to their first choice for whatever reasons. is it because KU not a good school? i don't think so. is it because the girls aren't that hot? maybe. but our fan base is one of the best support out there. or is it HCBS offensive philosophy? well, it attracted Embiid, Cliff. i can understand why top PGs won't come to KU. but no commitment so far not even from bigs? they will get fed and have chance to shine.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 9 months ago

You are right Steve. Something just does not feel right. When have we had to wait to see who KY does not want, or Not be able to get someone we target. Once the new apartments are in place, then add in the DeBuce (sp) center, we will have no weak spots on what a recruit wants or needs you would think. Other than KY there will not be another school that can offer that package.

I totally understand there is a group that is waiting till Spring and that we will surely get one or two, but what if we get no one over 6' 9? I am with Joe that maybe we should be looking within and see why we do not seem as attractive as AZ, or TX, or UConn, or LSU now, or any of these other schools who are getting these recruits. If you look at the top 100 in the class and the schools they have chosen, it baffles me we could not get even one of them. Something seems amiss.

Greg Lux 7 years, 9 months ago

Why all the Baa Humbug talk. Kansas has and I see no reason why it won't continue to attract top talent. TX? Just because one recruit chose TX over KU doesn't make them more attractive. Times are changing. Top kids are waiting to see how recruiting shapes out before committing. So what. We will fill are class without any problem. Cheer up gang and lets just enjoy the process.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 9 months ago

So Greg knowing the above details, and that only 6 players left in the top 100 have even visited our campus you are A Ok with having zero commits right now. All is fine and dandy, no worries, even though KY, MI and others are also in on those players? It looks bad that we are the only team in the top 75 that have zero commits. Especially with two open scholarships. We should be fighting off recruits not hoping we get anyone that is left.

Benz Junque 7 years, 9 months ago

So what recruits that we have targeted as our main interests have decided to go elsewhere? Not many. Just a weird year. I can 1005 guarantee that KU will find two players to take those two scholarships. Considering that the players we are in on are all top 20 recruits I'd hardly call them someone else's leftovers.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 9 months ago

Let's just see how this goes down. My prediction is that whoever we get will be because where they wanted to go, they could not and get PT. Duke, KY, AZ, wherever, they will be choosing KU as their 2nd or 3rd choice. Leftovers, settling, whatever you want to call it we are not choosing who we want we are hoping whoever chooses us will help. If we add a couple of 6'8 guys that is not what we need, we need length in the post to play Self's inside out game. Most of the guards are gone. We will take them for sure, we need them and will welcome them. If you think we are determining who we want to get at this point of the process you are not looking at this with an objective perspective. We are going to get what is left, not who we want.

Greg Lux 7 years, 9 months ago

Yes I am totally OK. With the fact that it's unlikely we will have any players leave after this year and the remaining players have KU on their list I feel confident KU will be just fine as always.

Benz Junque 7 years, 9 months ago

Eh, we haven't been shut out in this group. The recruiting year isn't even half over. Just a weird situation where guys we are in on are waiting.

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

When Bill Self speaks, people listen. He's earned his reputation.

But Bill Self is not always right.

It's true that none of the guys Coach mentioned cracked the top ten. But most of the guys he's talking about were several years ago. What does that have to do with anything? Most people live day to day and see life for what it is at the moment, holding memories of their past as a part of the present. Very few people live with the view of where they are in a trajectory that projects to a future that has not yet come.

Yes, those guys were great players. But we lost with some of those players to a Kentucky team that is paving the way to the future. And the way is this: more and more, blue chip recruits are going to determine your chance to win national titles. And at Kansas, you are not playing to have good seasons. You are competing for National Championships. When you have the latter focus, the good seasons will take care of themselves.

We simply can not compete for those championships the way we did before, with our best guys taking two to three years to mature. The game is changing. Even the average players today are coming in with NBA-ready bodies. The prep schools have changed the face of college basketball. Kids are developing skills earlier, and attending camps to polish their games. Parents are pushing kids more. High school and prep coaches are more connected to talent scouts. The amount of phenoms being produced before college now is unlike any period prior. That's why all these great recruiting classes are cropping up. It's not accidental. Talent is getting better and better, and to compete for Titles you're going to have to have them. Why? Because the game is changing.

Coaching has to change, too. Including the view that old recipes will work for the future of the program. As a lifelong Kansas fan, it's sacrilege to admit and it pains me to say: Calipari's view is more progressive than Coach Self's, and this is why Kentucky is ahead of us right now.

Asad Zoberi 7 years, 9 months ago

Joe, You have nailed it. One has to give tremendous credit to Calipari. His latest move, platoon system, will allow him not to sign 9 McDonalds but even more, I would not be surprised if he lands 13 of them next year.

Top recruits are buying into the program. Play 20-25 mpg, less wear & tear, win a NC, and go to NBA, GMs like that.

Robert Brock 7 years, 9 months ago

Kentucky will cut down the nets in a few months. The following year is another story - perhaps another UK invite to the NIT.

Asad Zoberi 7 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps another UK invite to the NIT.

I hope that fans will take off the crimson and blue glasses.

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

Robert. Ive seen your posts. I respect the fact that your credentials as a Jayhawk fan are unimpeachable. Please allow me to make this observation without taking anything personal from it. Hating Kentucky neither makes us better, nor makes them worse. The practical thing to do is to admit where are respective programs are RIGHT NOW (Kentucky is ahead of us), and then move forward in a way that squares with that reality keeping a view toward passing them. If, as you say, Kentucky cuts down the nets in April, they will have made the NC game two years in a row. They also went in 2012. Calipari also went in 2008. Ignoring the W/L in the title game for the moment, that's 4 appearances in 8 years. Two points concerning this. One, Id take an appearance in the NIT to have that kind of hitting percentage. And two, Kansas has relied more on developing talent over time and we will still dont have that number of appearances. It is NOT accidental that Kentucky's superior recruiting has made the difference. NIT or no...

Cody Riedy 7 years, 9 months ago

What you say may be true, but it's probably worth noting that the current "market" is an entirely artificial creation. If the one-and-done rule changes, college basketball would be transformed again. Yes, Calipari's "making his money" while the market is rigged this way, but if basketball moved to what it seems most prefer - go pro or stay 3 year system - then the Kentucky super-team days will be over. Either all of these top recruits are going to choose to go pro instead of wait (ultimately impacting international leagues just as much as or more than the NBA as there will be a surplus of players) or a team like Kentucky might still be loaded, but their roster would be much more stable - you wouldn't have classes of 3-5 guys coming in and leaving right away every year. I suppose hypothetically Calipari might be able to convince guys not only to come in and play limited minutes on a platoon system but also to do it for three years, such that he'd still be turning loose and taking in a starting 5 of future pros every year, but that seems unlikely. Then again, maybe the system won't change - as is, it helps colleges make money off of these kids and it potentially saves money for pro teams by reducing the risk of making a poor draft choice based solely on high school performance.

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 9 months ago

I agree, even if it is at the expense of the game. I don’t know what we have now but it can’t be called amateur athletics. Not blaming the kids but there is no academic expectation and going to Kentucky is the equivalent of the D-League only better living conditions. Why don’t we just stop the hypocrisy and start paying these kids.

Benz Junque 7 years, 9 months ago

You are insane if you think that is the only way to play for a title. Who did Kentucky LOSE to in the national title game? UConn, a team loaded with lower ranked recruits that aged to perfection in their junior and senior years mixed in with a few upper tier recruits. Who won the title the year before that? A Louisville team loaded with lesser ranked recruits in the junior and senior years. Kentucky's plan isn't the only plan that works.

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

RE: "Who did Kentucky LOSE to in the national title game?"

Two points.

First, consider the last five words of your own sentence.

Second, your comment shows that you do not understand my point. Yes, Kentucky lost. But look at how recently they are making it to national championship games with freshmen-laden teams. The error that you make is that you see the "now" without realizing that in the future, as kids become better and better out of high/prep school (which is the trend), the tables will be tilted and they will start winning these games. And KY will have built the reputation that has the best talent considering them over everyone else. Coach K is smart enough to realize this, and he goes after that kind of talent as well. Look at who is ranked 1-2 right now. Surprise? I say not. Talented freshmen phenoms are leading teams. Kansas is gonna have to catch the train running. No insanity here...

Benz Junque 7 years, 9 months ago

I understand your post just fine. I honestly don't think that YOU do. There are a lot of KU fans that have a big thing with Kentucky that are losing their minds in this competition with them.

Like I said, there have been elite teams playing for the national title every year that are built with a combination of experience and talent. It has worked for them and it has worked for KU. No need to change and certainly not a situation where KU is falling behind.

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

We certainly ARE falling behind. Doesnt take a genius to see it.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 9 months ago

The numbers don't add up Joe. Maybe 50 college players every year will make it into the NBA. Of those,10-15 at most are OADs. Kentucky is NOT the way of the future...there simply aren't enough players for more than 3-4 teams to load up on 'blue chip' players.

And if I recall, an experienced UConn beat Cal's phenoms in the most recent NCAA. Our team should be built around top 75 talent w/experience and one or two possible OADs at most. What did we gain from Wiggins and Embiid?

An even younger inexperienced team...

Benz Junque 7 years, 9 months ago

Look, don't get we wrong, I don't have a problem with young talent. Does anyone think that KU would be struggling to score if they had signed Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor instead of Alexander and Graham? No. Elite level recruiting is a crapshoot. It's not like Self isn't trying to land these kids. We just need to find the right combination of players that are willing to play night in and night out at a high level of intensity.

In most college basketball games, the more aggressive team wins. KU was not the more aggressive team against Kentucky and Temple and has had stretches in several other games where they were either up big and let off or came out off and the other team was the aggressor and hung a big run on us.

KU has the talent to make a Final Four this year. They do. They just aren't so talented that they can put it in cruise control and win games against good teams or keep big leads against lesser teams.

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

Read my comments below on the Kentucky loss in the NC game.

Robert Rauktis 7 years, 9 months ago

So you'd rather be Kentucky? Ringers in the D-league II?

I'm glad Cal didn't sign my diploma. Or my car title for that matter.

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

On the contrary, I'd rather stop playing catch up with Kentucky and put them in the rear-view for once. But to do that, we have to stop pretending that the old way is going to keep working.

Benz Junque 7 years, 9 months ago

We aren't competing against just Kentucky.

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

No we arent. There is a slate of teams, few though they may be, that represent the upper echelon of solid programs. We are competing against those teams. But be sure about this, we are competing against the best of the best; after all, we are Kansas. We certainly are NOT competing against Appalachian State. The teams that are certainly do not have the reputation we do.

Benz Junque 7 years, 9 months ago

And Kentucky is the ONLY one of those upper echelon teams that have the model they have. The rest are doing the same thing that Kansas is doing; mixing upper tier Top 10 freshmen amongst lower ranked recruits that are now upperclassmen. Some are even succeeding with no upper tier freshmen and just winning with elite upperclassmen. Wisconsin's 2014 recruiting class was bench fodder. Louisville's top scoring freshman is scoring 4 points a game.

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

You evidently havent noticed, then, that most of my comments are targeted toward Kentucky for exactly that reason. The fact is, UK is the prohibitive favorite to win the Championship and when you're Kansas you don't come up with a strategy to beat every Division I school in college basketball. When you're Kansas, you prepare to play and beat the best. In this regard, the game planning will be slightly different for the handful of teams that are in the conversation regarding contenders, but be not mistaken: KY is head and shoulders above them all. What's more is that if we had the talent to beat Kentucky we, instead of they, would be favored to win against any of the other top-10 team. You want to make the point about what other teams are doing, but none of them is favored over Kentucky this season, nor has any team in the country been as successful as John Calipari in the last 6-7 seasons in getting to the National Championship game. His formula is not a secret: get the best players to play for you. So whatever you call "succeeding", by whatever ruler you are using to measure it Calipari comes out longer. It's a simple analysis that evidently you lack the clarity of thought to comprehend.
Wisconsin and Louisville aint winning the national championship because they lack the talent Kentucky has. Bringing up Louisville does nothing to help your case when they just got handled on their own floor by the very team Ive been discussing as the team to beat.

Scott Yessen 7 years, 9 months ago

I couldn't agree more guys and this years team makes it more obvious than last years. Our talent is on the wings and we are not using it. And the worst part is I think its becoming noticeable to people outside of KU as well. Our freshman are performing at a lower level than almost all other programs and throw in our supposedly OAD sophomore (Selden) its concerning what recruits are think about our program and its unwillingness to adjust to our talent.

Michael Bennett 7 years, 9 months ago

You got to remember that other top programs also have "OAD" players that fall short of expectations and stay longer too. Alex Poythress was ranked 8 on Rivals in 2012 and is still at UK as a junior, with little change in production over the years. Kaleb Tarczewski same story for Arizona (9th). James McAdoo at UNC was basically the original more-hyped Perry Ellis (and he was ranked 8th, went undrafted this summer after junior year). And those are just the first recent ones that come to mind.

Benz Junque 7 years, 9 months ago

We aren't using it? WTF are you talking about? DO you think Self is doing something to stifle their performance? Self has been begging Wiggins/Selden/Oubre/Svi/Greene to play to their max capability. BEGGING them to. At some point these kids need to accept the message and do it.

Joseph Bullock 7 years, 9 months ago

First of all, Myles Turner was always going to go to Texas. At first I thought we had a chance to get him, until I found out that KD was his favorite player, and had been helping to recruit him to Texas! Also, has anyone ever thought that Coach Self is waiting on certain players, and is simply honest with the other recruits, that he has others that are his top priorities? For instance, Graham did not commit, until he knew Tharpe would not be back (and Graham shot up the charts after going to a Prep School! Also, be aware that Thon Maker, just may be the guy Coach Self is waiting for, as he may reclassify to the Class of 2015. I have heard he is a K.U. lean, and this guy is a 7 footer, who can flat out play the game. He is who I hope we get, along with Jaylen Brown! I also like Stephen Zimmerman, but I think he is a Arizona lean. Rock Chalk!

Asad Zoberi 7 years, 9 months ago

Self is a smooth talker. He knows very well that there is tremendous difference between a top 10 and a top 50 talent.

He has realized that in the best case scenario he may sign 1 top 10 recruit. It would be an extreme reach. Personally I don't see it happening. Thus he is managing fan expectations by making such statements.

Andy Tweedy 7 years, 9 months ago

Would it really be so bad if we don't sign top 10 recruits every year? I miss the days when I actually felt like I "got to know" more of the players that stuck around for a few years, not just at KU but at all the programs that are on ESPN.

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 9 months ago

I hope Wiggins, Embiid, McLemore, et al tear it up in the NBA and become the premier players in the league but I don't have much of a fan conection with any of them. I miss those days as well and don't care for the current state of college basketball.

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

Would it be so bad? Yes. I miss those days too. Desperately. Ive been watching Kansas basketball almost 40 years, and I can tell you that it doesnt sit right with me to see kids coming in for a year--effectively "renting" our program--and leaving. Andy, brother, I get it. But history will not record our feelings. History will make a note of who won National Championships, and everything else will be footnotes. I hate seeing kids leave early, but I hate seeing Kentucky (and NOT US) competing for National Titles even more.

Cody Riedy 7 years, 9 months ago

To risk stating something not immediately relevant to the conversation and so obvious anyways as to be too obvious to state: from the perspective of history, winning a national championship in college basketball is more or less as inconsequential as personal feelings. Just 50 years from now, there will be very few alive who truly give two you know whats about Bill Self, John Calipari, and who won the 2015 national championship, whether or not the winner is duly noted in a book somewhere.

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

Are you saying that it matters not to Kentucky, UConn, Duke, UCLA, Kansas, UNC and every other school who's won a title that they actually won it? Id like to see you campaign at each of these schools to vacate their titles because, after all, no one truly "give(s) two you know whats [sic] about...who won the...national championship...", and then return to comment on your success or failure.

Cody Riedy 7 years, 9 months ago

Yes, I'm sure right now there's an 18 year old freshman kid in Salt Lake City Utah who's thinking - "Should I be here? What I'm doing? What is the purpose of life? Is there a god? How do I lead a moral life if there is not a god? I don't know, but you know what, my school Utah won the national freaking championship in 1944. Hell yeah. That's something they'll never take from me. National Champions 1944. Now that was a team and they were heroes then and a great comfort now." Another random example: Napoleon was a near mythical leader who conquered Europe two hundred years ago - do you think there's a single person in the entire planet of 7,000,000,000 or even just one French citizen who woke up today and reflected on the past glories of Napoleon and sighed and shed a tear for what might of been of the empire? I'm not saying people don't care about sports or their alma maters, but you evoked the perspective of history and on impulse I made a largely useless comment that from the perspective of history, which you know, is quite a long-view perspective, the winners of college sporting events in any given year is utterly meaningless. Again, it was a largely useless and jokey and perhaps snarky comment suggesting that evoking "History" was a bit silly, but from the long-view perspective of history most of the things we spend our time doing is silly so again, it was a sophomoric if utterly true bit of wisdom.

Benz Junque 7 years, 9 months ago

Stop taking stupid philosophy courses. This is a sports message board. If you think people are too worried about sports here then perhaps this is not the place for you.

Cody Riedy 7 years, 9 months ago

No, I'm not trying to sound witty and smart, in fact, I said my comment was sophomoric philosophy, nothing that serious. But you are right, I'm just digging a deeper hole in explaining myself. So for the last time: I said repeatedly that I wasn't trying to make any profound statements, but made a snarky comment on impulse. Then people took me to task for my comment as if I had said something insulting. So I've tried to reply over and over: "Look, I wasn't trying to make a big existential points about the meaning of life - I was just making a stupid snarky unnecessary joke (all words I've already used in other posts) comment that talking about basketball as being of historic importance was a bit of an exaggeration." Because people took my comments so serious I tried to explain myself in half way seriously, I suppose in a laymen like "philosophical" way. But Perhaps instead of a "stupid philosophy course", you should just get a dictionary, then you'd understand my comments and would know there's nothing especially "smart" or "witty" about them, nor did I mean to be and that in fact I described my comments repeatedly in deprecating terms. But (to be less "philosophical") whatever dude. I'll let this die and walk away now.

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

Youre in left field. If you cant start making better sense we'll have to end our discussion. Otherwise, Ill be wrestling with a chimney sweep and there will be nothing I can do at that point to avoid coming out dirty. People do care. Evidently you are the only one in 320 million Americans (minus those who care nothing of college basketball) who doesnt.

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 9 months ago

No one will care only if college basketball no longer exists.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 9 months ago

Sorry Cody...you don't think KU fans care about who won the '52 NCAA?

If the answer is no, why are you here?

Cody Riedy 7 years, 9 months ago

"Care" is a somewhat relative term. Sure, I "care." But let's say today I was diagnosed with a terminal illness, would I would trade every national title KU won for one more second with my loved ones? Yes. If the worst of climate change prognostications were true and in 50 years we're having global wars over drinking water, am I going to "care" if KU won a national title in 1952? No. Again, I apologize, I just impulsively made a comment that I thought was so obvious and proportionally irrelevant as to be useless - i.e. that on the grand scheme of things, history really doesn't care who wins national championships in college basketball. I think my comments were perhaps taken to be confrontational when I didn'tmean them to be. That said, if there are people for whom KU's basketball team really ranks as central to the meaning of their life such that when they are on their deathbed, they will be comforted by recalling that KU's national title in 1952, then I apologize if I suggested that was a bit silly. I do "care" about KU sports and sports in general. For example, I lost sleep when Jay Cutler was benched for the Bears because it marked how disappointing the season had been. So, I "care" a good deal. But then I step back, regain my perspective and realize, that even though I "care," it really means virtually nothing to me or my life relative to things that do truly impact the trajectory and value of my life. Sorry, my snarky stupid comment was taken as a real insult to other peoples value system, which perhaps does place college basketball as being on par in historical significance as whatever else - FDR's New Deal presidency, the invention of the microprocessor, the Iraq Wars, the birth of a child, etc, etc, ad infinitum.

Benz Junque 7 years, 9 months ago

You're trying too hard to sound witty and smart. This is not the forum for this.

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

Its clear even from the small sample of responses that people do care. Your assertion is clearly incorrect. I advise an alternate course.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 years, 9 months ago

Wow, I was going to "stick my oar in the water" here (again) but most of you beat me to it.

This newsrag has the habit of beating the drum way too early with this collection of prospective one-year-wonders and NBA wannabes. Past experience gives us all cause for concern (well, not me, I am an Oklahoma fan), but it is sort of disturbing that this yearly plan for destruction continues. Nothing is valid except the numbers on the scoreboard at the end, and as we have seen so far, that has not been very acceptable this year or in years past. I do not know enough about basketball to offer any advice, but I can tell that something is critically wrong with this newsrag coming out so early with this yearly glorification of a group that to this point has not tossed one ball or made one basket.

Tom Jones 7 years, 9 months ago

While I find your posts hilarious and really don't want to scare you off, Fred...one has to wonder...

Why does an OU fan frequent KUSports.com? Especially when he clearly has some serious disdain for it?

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 9 months ago

Aside from Embiid, which OAD has made an impact at KU? The senior laden 2011-2012 squad was one of our best teams and had no OAD’s. The NBA is drafting these kids on their upside and their potential during their time in college does not always translate into the type of contribution that will result in wins. I know Bill has to go after the best talent he can find but I am no longer excited when we sign a player like Andrew Wiggins.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 9 months ago

Joe, I always respect your take, and I believe Self is trying to assimilate the OADs into earlier positive contributors in his system. But I wouldnt discount the "old ways". All my post was saying is that it takes experience to run basketball plays efficiently and with the timing that gives an offense the edge over a defense trying to react.

Let's say the "old ways" represent a team that has been together for 2+ yrs and is pretty good at executing, and has a decent repertoire/toolkit to handle different defenses, etc.

Saying it another way: KU got beat by Stanford's "old ways" (bunch of upperclassmen), as well as by Temple (scrappy kids with more heart in that 1 game), and by Kentucky (a Final Four experienced deep, long, athletic squad). Those are our last 3 losses.

In support of your point, yes, Calipari will win more with freshmen because of his system, compared to Bill Self. But Im not so sure I want Self to just become Calipari. As a funny aside, I thought in the Lafayette game, KU did an IowaState impersonation (small bigs, perimeter shooters light it up from 3).

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

Erich, thanks for the vote of confidence. Your posts always make me think, as does this one. Ill say this and then give you the last word. You make a case about the last three losses. It seems to me that in the last couple of seasons, our losses have been more about who we aren't than who opposing teams are. We clearly have the talent, and we clearly have a good coach, so what could be the problem? I'll offer one for your consideration. To everything there is a learning curve. There is no shame in this. Coach Self is a great coach, especially when he's had guys in the system for a while. The OAD rule places a burden on him, as it does all coaches who have those kinds of players on their roster, to coach guys up quickly. I dont know for sure, but I strongly suspect based on how Coach Self's OADs seem slower out of the gate than Calipari's, that Coach Self is on the steep part of the curve whereas John has been able to egress down to a more shallow part of it by virtue of his wider experience with top flight college talent and his coaching experience in the NBA. (By the way, the same is true of Coach K, who regularly works with NBA players in the Olympics and FIBA games.) Now who would begrudge Coach Self of that? Certainly not I, as I in my vast ignorance am not worthy to lace Coach's shoes; but some things are readily apparent to astute observers. Now some of this could also be that Cal's recruits are generally better than ours, but if you look at Exhibits A and B for Kansas (Wiggins and Embiid) and our best OAD players, their lone seasons were marked by some inconsistency that may not be typical for others on that level. I have in mind Julius Randle, Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, Jabari Parker, and many others whose levels of play didnt seem to mirror the kind of drop off in performance.

Lastly, I dont want Coach Self to "be" Calipari. I want him to pass the standard that Cal has set.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 9 months ago

Good points, Joe. We shall see how it all works out. I personally would be surprised if we had people leave to the NBA, I dont think Cliff will go, unless he really pours it on like a Julius Randle. Oubre and Selden need to have several 18-20pt games to attract scout buzz. I think next year's squad could have many experienced guys return, to our benefit.

Agree about Calipari and Krzyzewski. But I do recall Jabari Parker having several 'flat' games last year, and he has some holes in his game (at age 18-19), as I watched several of Duke's and KY's games last season. Wiggins also has some holes in his game, although he is a different type of player than Parker.

Embiid is a perfect example of what a rule change to 2AD could have done for a kid's development, strength, and confidence (imagine if he was back for Yr2 at KU...). He only went because of ridic potential, but he clearly isnt ready to play now. But when you are top5 lotto, you definitely go, as that is once-in-a-lifetime money. Develop on the bench. Finish college later, if desired. Have a good money mgr...

We'll see how this all works with Self, and I do think it depends on what OAD-level guys we get, as that roster mix is the most vital part of what Self is trying to cook up with his yearly recipe...

RCJH

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