Blog Entry

What's going on in Lawrence, Kansas???

Posted on: November 9, 2011 4:39 pm
By Jeff Goodman

There's no logical explanation.

Bill Self is regarded as one of the elite recruiters in the country and Kansas is obviously a program that is soaked in tradition.

Self is as likable as just about any coach in the nation and is a fixture on the recruiting trail - whether it's during the season or in the July recruiting period.

Kansas has just about everything to offer a kid - exposure, Phog Allen Fieldhouse and all the bells and whistles that many top-tier recruits yearn for nowadays.

So, why are the Jayhawks struggling mightily to land big-time players?

There is clearly playing time available in Lawrence these days, yet Self and his staff haven't been able to secure any of the big boys.

Sure, they got Perry Ellis.

But he's no program changer - and he's a local kid that may have gone there no matter who was in charge.

Oh yeah, they also got an unranked power forward named Zach Peters.

Kansas is hardly intimidating on paper this season and next year it could be even worse. Tyshawn Taylor will be gone - and Thomas Robinson could well explore the NBA route if has the season many (including me) expect.

The Jayhawks recently swung and missed on 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski, their top target in the Class of 2012. Assistant coach Joe Dooley put in more work with the New Hampshire native than anyone else - but they lost out to Arizona.

More on recruiting
They've also struggled to secure a big-time guard - which is a necessity with the departure of Taylor. Marcus Smart went with Oklahoma State in a package deal with Phil Forte and J-Mychal Reese also paired up, with his father to Texas A&M. Kansas missed on Danuel House, who is headed to Houston, and Ioannis Papapetrou went with Texas over the Jayhawks.

There's still the top-ranked player in the Class of 2012, Shabazz Muhammad, but I'm not sure anyone - even Self - thinks Kansas has any chance over UCLA and Kentucky.

Maybe it's time to re-evaluate Self as one of the elite-level recruiters in the nation.

Or maybe this is just one of those years where all the stars aligned in a way that went against the Jayhawks.

Whatever the case, it's baffling. There's no clear explanation for what's gone on in Lawrence lately, but that wealth and excess of talent that was found at Kansas a couple of years ago?

Those days are gone. At least for now.

Instead, it can be found in other places - like Lexington, Tucson and Chapel Hill.

Photo: Getty Images 

Since: Nov 13, 2011
Posted on: November 13, 2011 5:23 pm

What's going on in Lawrence, Kansas???

My opinion is that Mr. Goodman is full of $#!{.  But, I could be wrong.  I guess this is why that they actually play the games and have the tournament in March.  Let's decide this issue on the courts.

Since: Mar 16, 2009
Posted on: November 11, 2011 10:45 am

What's going on in Lawrence, Kansas???

Its fairly obvious Goodman hates KU. He has consistenly undervalued the team no matter who they have, so this article is fairly routine for him. He can easily dismiss our recruits as not being "game changers", but Self doesn't succeed with game changers. Who on the 2008 team was a game changer? They were a team and that is what Self instills and recruits.

Since: Nov 10, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 5:11 pm

What's going on in Lawrence, Kansas???

The number one thing that is going on is Self and his staff's lack of focus on what matters.  He isn't committed like he used to be...if he ever was.  Instead he is consistently seen around town...well I think you can figure it out.  Just go out in Lawrence late at night to certain watering holes and you will see what happened to our recruiting.  And another thing...if I was a parent I wouldn't want that man being a role model or father figure to my son.  The only way we fix our recruiting is get rid of the real problem.

Since: Aug 15, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 7:14 am

What's going on in Lawrence, Kansas???

Boils down to two things: First, Self's handling, or mishandling (depending on how you view it), of "one and done" type players is being pressed upon the highest level recruits by the other schools.  Henry looked terrible in conference play, and Selby was hardly given a chance after his foot injury.  Other teams use stuff like that in recruiting.  Second, without the sleaziest AD in the world at the helm, Kansas is now having to play closer to the rules than they have since Self has been there.  Any coincidence that the first season after Perkins THREE (3) recruits are deemed ineligible for the season?  Without a guy like Perkins to make sure things got done by any means necessary, Self is now at a disadvantage.  Having a new AD that is playing by the rules will hurt ku going forward with recruits on the fringe of qualifying.

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 12:06 am

What's going on at Kansas?

This speculation is a response to pander to the fringe element of Kansas fans. Sure the Jayhawks were in the final two or three of a number of high profile recruits for next year and did not land them. But look at the number who kept Kansas to the end. That is good recruiting. Not landing them may be troublesome but the have landed some good players and have more still considering.

The reason this article is wrong is that the recruiting and scouting services across the country consistently fail to recognize stars that never were touted in the top 50. How many thought Thomas Robinson would be a preseason 1st team All-American? How many have missed on Naadir Tharpe who is a lightning strike and a good shooter who is the first real point guard Bill Self has had since Aaron Miles? Is Zach Peters going to be a stud? He might be but, after committing to Kansas, chose to drop AAU and spend the summer with professional trainers. Peters and Perry are both players. Somehow Bill Self produces winner after winner. No coach has won more the last two years. And few coaches ever rise to the level the Self has. So the fringe can worry but the rest of Kansas' fans will stand behind their coach and disregard the attacks by Parrish and now Goodman. What's going on in Kansas is what makes fans of other college basketball teams green with envy. Wins.

Since: Nov 9, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 11:10 pm

What's going on in Lawrence, Kansas???

First of all, its a B/R article, so it immediately loses credibility.  Second, I would venture to guess that 1 out of every 5000 KU fans feels that way.  How is the winningest coach in the last decade on the hot seat? Ludicrous.  This is just guys with a bone to pick coming out of the woodwork.

Since: Oct 29, 2009
Posted on: November 9, 2011 11:01 pm

What's going on in Lawrence, Kansas???




he's not the only one

Since: Nov 9, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:43 pm

What's going on in Lawrence, Kansas???

Why no mention of McLemore? Or the #1 overall recruit last year, despite his woes.  Although nothing you have said is incorrect, it comes across as very misleading and amateur.  For example, you say, " year it could be even worse.  Tyshawn Taylor will be gone - and Thomas Robinson could well explore the NBA route..." and the ironic thing is, neither of those players were highly touted out of highschool.  In fact, Tyshawn was only the 77th ranked player in the country, and T Rob hovered around the bottom of the top 100 list until a rise right before he graduated and the list was finalized.  Same for Brady Morningstar.  Same for Tyrell Reed.  Same for Travis Releford.  Same for the Morrises. Same for Darnell Jackson.  Same for Sasha Kaun. 

Also, I think you would have a hard time convinving Calipari that Perry Ellis isn't a game changer.  He's a player that Calipari has recruited the hardest since he has arrived at Kentucky, sans John Wall.  And your Zach Peters jab? He also had offers from UNC, UK, OU, Texas, and Baylor, so don't let the stars confuse you on what the real coaches think about this player.

My point is, we have won the Big XII 7 years in a row with classes ebbing and flowing in the rankings.  Now, if we lose 12+ games, and our depth becomes an issue, AND this happens next year it will be a worthy cause for concern.  Not to mention there is still time in this class to lock down a player like Andrew White, or to snag a last minute gem like Tony Parker or Cameron Ridley.  Self has a knack for getting guys to commit last minute, out of the blue, much like Darrell Arthur or Julian Wright.

Personally, I think Self is inadvertently setting himself up to put on display his best coaching job yet.  We will be in the conference title race until the last few weeks, and just might win it.  Then next year we can add this class to go along with Ben McLemore and Jamari Traylor.  Then, I hope to see an article from you praising Bill's NCOY job.

Have to ask, whats with the anti-KU schtick for the past 4 years? Don't get it.

Since: May 23, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 9:03 pm

What's going on in Lawrence, Kansas???

oh man i can hear the KU fans know

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