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Something I thought of tonight while watching him initiate an "ask me anything" session on twitter.
Self has to see something in this kid right? Otherwise it would not be worth the trouble. At the very least he would shut down the kids twitter account. I am baffled on this one. He is not a guy who would deserve the rope he has gotten if they were just going to run him off right?
Perhaps. He could also just not bother with it if he doesn't think Rio is worth the trouble.
If Adams is here next fall I will be surprised. There is some talent there but man he looks like a kid who has never been coached. Self has a lot of work to do with this one.
Assuming no scholarship crunch I think the kid is worth one more year of development. He does have athletic ability. At the very least he will be a useful practice player next year but there is a high upside potential here even if the chances of hitting it are pretty remote. Until we need his spot I would let him keep trying to get better. Plus I think the biggest jump for kids is in their first full off season. IIRC he was late getting to KU with some eligibility issues so this would be a year he can really focus.
He's got athletic ability and a great basketball body. His shoulders are really wide and his arms are really long and he's got very good athleticism. And he's apparently got a ten cent head. Although it's possible it's just amazing levels of immaturity.
Like I'd said before, I don't see him contributing a whole lot before his senior year... just too many good players ahead of him.
I think the player most likely to transfer out is White
Live to love, love to live
I don't get all the Adams love. He was a late addition to a weak class after we missed out on about thirty other targets. As bad as Tharpetastic has been at times this year, we've never CONSIDERED Adams over him. Heck, we even went to NIKO ROBERTS once.
He's athletic, but I can't think of a single thing basketball-related that he does well. He's not a good passer, he's not a good shooter, he's not a good dribbler, and he's not a good defender. Why do we expect him to improve in all four of those enough that he'll play?
What love? There is no pressing need to run him off this year is there? He is not scaring any talent away and you do need bodies to practice. The kid is athletic which is better than practicing against Tyler Self for our other players.
Also, and I realize this will make me president of the Tharpe fan club again, but can KU fan's get anything resembling a grip on reality with this kid? Since the KSU game at home after our bad stretch he has averaged 3.7 assist and 1 turnover per game. He is not Aaron Miles handling the ball but the kid does a lot of useful things for us. His shooting volume is down appreciably as well for the minutes played and he is appreciably improving across the board. More than that the kid has come in when our star player was getting nothing done and helped settle the team into getting things moving on offense.
Taylor averaged 6.8 assist per 40 minutes as a Junior who had played a ton his first two years and that team had two Morris twins on it.
Tharpe is at 6.1 per 40 as a Sophomore who never saw the floor last year.
The constant need of fans to have kids come in and be a star today continues to baffle me. Particularly when it comes from KU fans. At this point in his career Travis Releford had never even seen the floor much. Withey had not either. During their freshman season half or more of the KU fan base expected Thomas Robinson to put one of the twins to the bench. Everyone is so fixated on the next thing and you would think of any fanbase in the wide world of sports KU fans would know that players do develop. They do get better.
I don't know that Tharpe will ever be great. I do know that without him we don't get conference title number 9. We don't get a one seed. We probably don't get through this weekend of basketball. Would we be better off with a better player? Sure. But they are not here and, again just my opinion, but a lot of programs would take Tharpe over the next two years.
As for Adams I am just willing to wait and see. The kid has some abilities when I watch him but is raw as hell. He is not a Merv Lindsay or Quintrell Thomas though. I looked at those guys and could see that they would never have anything to offer. For whatever reason I am willing to wait and see with Adams. Probably won't amount to anything but for whatever reason his combination of long arms and athletic ability intrigue me.
Well, on Naadir, there are KU fans who get on a guy early, and seemingly no matter what he ends up contributing, they never get off. TJ Pugh and Nick Bradford are really great examples of this. They weren't great players, but neither were they as horrible as many of our fans would have you believe.
I saw flashes from Tharpe last year that made me think he was going to help us down the line. He's a good ball handler if he doesn't try and get too fancy, and he's really a pretty clever passer when he gets penetration. He's streaky with his shot but he's far from the first guy to be that way. Certainly, no worse than Elijah has been.
He's better than Elijah was in his sophmore season, but Johnson was never really needed, so he wasn't pressed into service like Tharpe has been.
There's no way you can say if we had players X, Y or Z they would or wouldn't be playing better than Nadiir is right now. The kid was nails yesterday against UNC, we needed as many ball handlers on the floor as we could get and Ben doesn't have the best handles... so Tharpe got the minutes...
I think I wasn't particularly clear that I both love and hate Tharpe at various times. Without Naadir Tharpe, there is NO WAY we win the conference, heck we don't win at Oklahoma State for sure, NO WAY we're a one seed, and NO WAY we're still playing. He's also been pressed into service earlier than a lot of our other guards have been other than Collins and Taylor, both of whom were superstar talents. Additionally, he has some AMAZINGLY baffling moments. The one-on-three take this weekend, the complete lack of conscience with his shot, and pretty much the entire Oklahoma State game in Stillwater (remember, after he canned what wound up being the game winner, he basically completely ignored Phil Forte on the rebound at the other end). The one thing he does consistently is play with a TON of effort. He was the only one who looked like he cared about what was happening in Fort Worth, for example.
The difference, however, between his rate stats and Taylors, in my opinion, is that I don't see his rate stats keeping up well if (when?) his minutes increase, unlike Taylors. Now, is that fair? Not really - Tyshawn was always an NBA talent and Tharpe is not, so our expectations for the two should be different.
As for Adams, I'll definitely give you that he'll be an interesting practice player. I just hear a LOT of chatter among KU fans about how he's going to start next year, and comparisons to him developing like Taylor or Johnson did between their first and second years. All I was pointing out in my comment about Tharpe was that Adams doesn't get minutes ahead of a Tharpe, while Johnson wasn't getting minutes ahead of Collins, Reed, Morningstar, Henry, Selby, and Taylor his first and second years. There's a difference there, and Adams was clearly recruited over in spades. Why is that? Because, while he has some intriguing physical attributes, he's not really good at any particular basketball skill. I'm not throwing him out, or running him off, or driving a bus over him; I'm just trying to figure out what basketball skills he has that some people (not you, BigJay) think are going to change him into a starter or 20-minute guy over the summer.
We needed Ben not on the court because he couldn't do anything offensively, and he was starting to let it affect his defense. He even missed an alley oop. I have faith that the staff and seniors will get him back on track this week.
The alley oop he missed was bad timing and in an awkward place to finish. If the ball had gotten to him a split second earlier he finishes that play with no problem.
Tharpe was nails? I mean, I agree in that he hit 3 big threes...but he was brutal in the first half.
I like Tharpe, but I think many KU fans overrate his talent.
No one, except Releford was worth a damn, much less nails in the first half... I should have clarified. Actually Tharpe played pretty good he last 8 minutes or so. When we needed ball control and defense Johnson, Tharpe and Releford did a great job.
I am not sure how anyone overrates him. He gets crushed almost constantly. The most he gets from anyone is that he is a decent player who provides some value to the squad. We had people screaming all year about the bench providing nothing. Well now it provides something. Not a lot but possible enough to get some things done for us. I don't see anyone saying he is an all-american or even all conference type. But he has hardly been the train wreck many think since about half-way through the year.
Maybe not, but there are a lot on the multiple KU boards saying he's going to be great next year and his senior year. I just don't see that.
I look at Naadir Tharpe much like I looked at Christian Moody. I guess a lot of people don't look at them the same way because the narratives around them were, obviously, starkly different. I look at them like this, though: They're both okay players who are capable of enough great moments and enough competent moments that they earn playing time when starters need rest, but if either of them is in your starting lineup, it signals a glaring deficiency that will, with 99% certainty, be exposed at some point. Both of those guys play(ed) their butts off for KU, and I love them for it, but a team with Naadir Tharpe as its starting point guard, much like a team with Christian Moody as its starting power forward, has a much lower ceiling than a lot of KU fans believe we should expect every year. With Self, we can (obviously) win the conference with those guys starting, but I think the ceiling of those teams is about the Sweet Sixteen.
Again, let me say that I love how hard Tharpe plays, I love that he's a Jayhawks, and I hope that he morphs into a great player, much as I hope that Anrio Adams does as well. I'm just wary that the narrative around Self and the staff is that we turn guys without any single, standout basketball skill into all-conference basketball players, when there's really no evidence of that. Does the staff have a history of taking recruits in the middle of the rankings or "off the radar" and helping them develop existing talents? Absolutely. Our strength and conditioning program, combined with whatever we do in practice on a daily basis has helped a number of guys maximize their potential, but I can't think of a single player who came in without a standout skill (and who knows, maybe Tharpe's standout skill actually is shooting because he's really a pretty decent shooter) or signature attribute who morphed into an all-conference player.
If he never shot the ball except on driving layups or wide-open threes - NOT IN TRANSITION BEFORE EVERYONE ELSE CAN GET DOWN THE COURT - he'd be fine. Really the only major problem I have with him at this point is his shot selection. They may be down in volume, but they're still awful from a decision standpoint waaaay too frequently.
It's decision making, right? Driving in when he's one-on-three, chucking a three early in the shot clock off two or fewer passes when he's not really even open, throwing a 30-foot bounce pass... he's not horrible, and I never meant to imply he was. He just plays like his skill level is higher than it really is.
but so does Young a lot of the time.
Tharpe has a killer instinct that you can't teach. If McClemore had the same instinct he'd be unstoppable. I worry about Tharpe's decision making at crucial times in the game, but the kid has come up spades in the moment.
I'm not a psychologist, but isn't it interesting how Ben plays well at home, so so on the road, had has had a miserable first two games in the Tourney? I'd love to hear what a professional would say about that. I also wonder how Self is going to reach out and get Ben's confidence back. If he doesn't rise up Friday, we're in big trouble. We need him bad.
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