If for some reason (NBA lockout issues) Thomas Robinson would stay at KU for his Sr. year, they could be pretty good next year. Still not as deep as a Kansas team typically is, but the lineup COULD look like this:
I heard Naadir Tharpe looked pretty good last night. Will be a nice backup to Taylor this year.
Weren't we after Tharpe hard?
My question is this: Which is Self's best attribute: coach, or recruiter?
Granted, the last two tournaments were strikeouts —*1 vs. 11 in the Elite 8, and 1-9 upset to UNI — in which KU looked like it was the first game of the season. (Maybe 'ol Roy's postseason underachievement rubbed off on the entire program ... )
On the other hand, I could coach at Kansas and get a ton of talent (for a couple of seasons, until they realize I probably lack in-game coaching skills:smile:). It's freaking Kansas. It's the Alabama of Midwest college basketball.
KU would have to post losing records for about 15 seasons before regional prospects began to look elsewhere.
If I put money on these things, I still would consider KU winning the Big 12 this season the "safe" bet.
Do you think a guy like Scott Drew and Baylor have more to offer and are outworking other top coaches? Or is their a more nefarious side of recruiting. Maybe Bill Self is being out bid by other suitors or he is unwilling to meet their demands. Maybe he has lost an important middle man that helped get these recruits to KU. I don't know why KU is losing these battles, but I'm guessing laziness is the least likely explanation.
As to Gary Williams, his recruiting went down hill as the AAU programs and shoe companies gained increasing influence in basketball recruiting. Williams made a stand against DC Assualt and the shady AAU programs and his recruiting went down hill as a result. Below is an excerpt from an article discussing this.
...But then shoe companies got involved and suddenly money flooded the market. This meant having elite 14 and 15-year-olds under your influence would result in enough money that a few coaches could quit their jobs and be summer league coaches full-time. As the phenomenon grew several NBA players threw money into the pot by sponsoring their own teams, shoe companies raised their influence (ie Money) and AAU programs looked for younger and younger kids – in short, the whole enterprise was set to take fire. People were making cash. Stars were born. And then – like a beacon so true it could only mean it that was predestined – public high schools ran out of money, they began cancelling programs, and AAU stepped up their game and effectively took over the market. As AAU evolved to this sudden growth – just like any other completely unregulated industry – nefarious dealers rose through the ranks until it was nearly impossible to separate them from well-meaning, moral coaches who are inspired by teaching kids. And here, Gary Williams stopped playing. He was used to the old model where you cultivated relationships with high school coaches who would alert you when they had high-major talent, and in turn, you graced their gyms. The new model involved street agents, cultivation of fringe family members, and in too many cases bizarre and often illegal demands being made in order to simply talk to a potential recruit. Williams not only refused to play in this new arena, but on several occasions he hinted as to who might be doing illicit things, who might be charging for players, and tops in his crosshairs was the local AAU powerhouse, DC Assault. In true Godfather fashion the other interested parties in the area organized a sit-down between Williams and Curtis Malone (co-founder of DC Assault) for them to work out their differences. Nothing came of that meeting. DC Assault players would be guided to other programs...
This article is a little doom and gloom. While he has missed on some of his top targets last year and so far this year he still is signing good players. Ellis is a top 30 player and so is Mclemore. Tharpe is a very good point guard and Zach Peters isn't rated as high because he hasn't been playing AAU ball but was recruited by Kentucky, North Carolina, Texas etc. So he is no slouch. I think there is perception that last year he really got beat on the recruiting trail but he didn't sign anyone early last year because he said he never expected to lost both Morris Twins and Selby to the NBA and he told recruits straight up that he might not have room to sign them so they signed elsewhere. One of the guys they were trying to get, Deandre Daniels, wanted to come for the spring semester but Self was unwilling to take a scholarship away from a walkon because he promised him the scholarship so the guy signed with UCONN.
I think that the situation with Selby kind of hurt Self this year as far as getting guys that want to be one and done. But I think he handled Selby correctly. The guy just wasn't playing well last year and he should have to earn his time.