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And for some reason it just hit me last night how stupid I was being about Randle's decision. Would it have been awesome to get him? Yes. Would he have helped the team? Yes.
But here's the reality - Self doesn't need one-and-done superstars to thrive. He never has. Now, I realize the championship squad had multiple top 25 guys, but it's a different time - college basketball is weaker now - and Self is a different coach. He's learned to sand the rough edges off of projects far more quickly, and turn them into something special. Look at what the Twins and Tyshawn became in the end, for example.
I don't like John Calipari. I think he's a liar and the worst sort of scumbag. Beyond that, I think he's harming the game by devaluing the college experience as part of his sales pitch. He's turned one of the 2-3 top programs of all time into nothing more than a pit stop with his players feeling no real loyalty to the school (Read Anthony Davis' recent tweets). And the crazy thing is - the fans don't care!
Maybe they shouldn't. I don't know. They're winning, right? Maybe Cal is just doing what every coach would given all the benefits he enjoys (Wes, his celebrity ties, etc.). I don't know. And I'm not saying Self wouldn't like to have some of these top 10 guys, because he obviously expends effort recruiting them.
But I loved the Class of 2013 way before Julius Randle put on the Kentucky hat. Selden, Frankamp, Greene, Mason and Embiid are multi-year talents - with a couple of early-entry pros in that group - that are going to be exciting to watch develop. And maybe it's cheesy, but they'll understand what it is to play for KU. Hell, they already do. Greene was a Jayhawk from the get-go. Frankamp was too. Not because of "the system" as Randle said (Which is still total crap. Good luck with the Harrisons and their brotherly tea party), but because they love KU.
So maybe Kentucky gets its title again next year. Maybe the best recruiting class of all time is enough to get it done. I tend to think people underestimate the impact a player the caliber of Anthony Davis had with his ability to defend - look at what Jeff has done for our team - and they won't have that next year for all their ability to score.
But it's Self. It's Self with a talented group of players. Sure they're young, but does anyone really doubt he'll have them playing at a high level by the end of the year? Because I don't.
Check out one of the most exciting and complete players in the nation, 6'5" Wayne Selden from Boston, MA. Special thanks to http://www.TheMarsReel.com
Pitts, thanks for this thread. I think reminding us how good we've got it from time to time is an excellent idea. I'm really looking forward to watching this class develop next year,
Embiid is going to be the center piece of the class in a few years. I'm excited to watch his development as he becomes the dominant center in college basketball. He is definitely going to be the game changer. Selden will be our Marcus Smart. Lastly, they'll play as a team and not for a NBA draft spot.
Edit: Not to imply that Selden will be a pg but more of a dominating big guard in the backcourt.
This post was edited by boggsz 13 months ago
Have loved this class for a long time.
With regard to Kentucky we will see. They will have tons of talent. But it will be a volatile brew. We saw the wheels nearly come of the machine this year. They will be some noise about guys they have to run off after this year to make space. And with the twins presumably dominating the ball there is a lot of room for things to get ugly if there is early season struggles of any sort. Or even if it is just someone not getting the touches they think they should.
You are right that Kentucky fans don't care. About the most intelligent thing most of them are capable of is counting to 8. As I said in another thread and Larry Brown once said to Oklahoma. The world is round. They all know exactly what they hired and the world is always just in the end.
I've loved our class for next year for a long time. I'd like to have had a centerpiece like Randle to carry us, especially early, but I've always been more intrigued by multi-year guys that I can grow to love than I have by one and dones. I like X and Selby, but not as much as I care about Tyshawn, the twins, TRob, Reed, Rush, Chalmers, etc.
The weakness out of the gate next year will likely be our ability to defend at a level high enough to satisfy Self. It's honestly one of the biggest reasons I think Frank Mason plays a lot of minutes next year - he'll easily be the best on ball defender we have and is fully capable of running the offense. I also think we may see some lineup configurations that are unfamiliar to us under Self, with smaller three-guard types of lineups. Part of that will be to improve ballhandlng, but part of it will be because AW3 and Greene will struggle to defend at this level moreso than any of the others. Selden will be undersized against a lot of teams at the "three," but I have a feeling we will use a Mason-Frankamp-Selden look at times to clamp down defensively.
Now, do we believe Self is done with 2013 or will continue to look for another piece? Thankfully Ellis has started to show improvement, as I think most assumed he would at some point, but if gives at least a little hope for the front court play for next year. Outside of Ellis the frontcourt will be either raw and inexperienced or just not that talented. I almost wonder if Self will go small at times next year.
I don't think Self is ever done.
Agree. He'll stay after Wiggins if he thinks he has any shot and he'll keep an eye on anyone who opens things up due to coaching changes or otherwise. I don't think he'll try any late hail marys on unsigned guys this year.
As for this class, how could anyone not love it? A bunch of great, pro-KU kids, not to mention a consensus top 3 class in the country (2nd on 247). I would have loved Randle (or would love Wiggins) because they seem like the type of guys who can make up for the lack of experience. If the perfect Self team is a blend of experienced leaders and young 2-3 year guys, when you don't have the experienced leader, get a young superstar to make up for it. Easier said than done.
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I will say this. I can live with losing out to whatever Cal is selling (imaginary offensive system, money, drugs, women, trips to Wonka's candy factory ect) but the recruiting misses I really would like to see us clean up are the ones where we can't take key guys from other conference squads. Marcus Smart is a total and complete waste of time down at OSU. Those bug me far more than whatever happens with regards to Kentucky.
I'm sorry bham, but there's no way in hell Traylor starts over Embiid. My God what a talent. Can't wait to see this kid in a KU jersey.
Edit: I quoted Pitt's link to Embiid's highlights.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by muffnudge 13 months ago
It's possible, for sure, and I'd love to see it.
However, I just think Traylor and Ellis having played together for a full year will help Traylor get on the floor early as a starter. This team isn't going to have a real identity or superstar, so going with experience early will help bring along some of the young guards.
And I think we all know not to sleep on Mason, given what we've heard about him.
Best on-ball defender in the class...watch Tharpe try to contain Paige, VCU's guards, Burke, etc. and tell me you think a good on-ball defender won't have a GREAT shot to start and play a TON of minutes.
You say anything on TFS about Mason becoming a starter next year and they call you an idiot. Of course the problem with Mason in their eyes is his ranking. If he were really any good he would have caught someones attention and been ranked a lot higher, mosy just see him as a guy we took because we missed on Roddy Peters... which is true to a certain extent... if we had gotten Peters we most likely would have passed on Mason.
When Tharpe is on he is fun to watch... he's quick, he drives and dishes... speeds up the game in ways that Johnson just can't... But too many other times he is just out of control, careless and takes bad shots.
The 1 and the 4 continue to be the trouble spots for next year, and traditionally those are the most important positions in the Self offensive scheme.
Live to love, love to live
We took Mason before Roddy Peters made his decision.
We took Mason before Peters had committed anywhere because Mason is more of what we need - a show-running POINT GUARD who can defend - and Peters is more like what we already have in Tharpe and Adams - a guard who's really a scoring guard who needs the ball in his hands
Not sure Frankamp will be in there next year when we need to clamp down defensively.
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