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  1. #1

    The Kentucky Effect

    Kentucky won the National Championship with a 6-man rotation featuring:
    3 Freshmen
    2 Sophomores
    1 Senior
    7th man Witjer was also a freshman, but only played 11.6 mpg, 3 in the NC game.

    Predictably the national media and a lot of message board posters have gone overboard, obsessing over the 1 and done phenomenon. Take a look at the other three teams that made the final four and it appears that this year's Kentucky team was something of a fluke.

    Kansas's 6-man rotation included:
    4 Juniors
    2 Seniors
    7th man Young was a junior who played 11.4 mpg.

    Louisville's 6 man rotation included:
    1 Freshman (26.0 mpg, 4th leading scorer on team)
    2 Sophomores
    1 Junior
    2 Seniors
    They had 3 guys who played 12.5-13.5 mpg, all were juniors.

    Ohio State had 5 starters playing 25.4-33.8 mpg:
    4 Sophomores
    1 Senior
    They had 4 backups playing 10.2-11.4 mpg:
    2 Freshmen
    1 Sophomore
    1 Junior

    So... for the other 3 teams in the final four, only 1 freshman got meaningful minutes. All 4 teams had at least 1 senior playing an important role.

    On the flip side you have 5-star problem children like Jabari Brown and Josiah Turner who end up doing more harm than good. Even a "success" like Tony Wroten, who scores a lot of points, may end up hurting team chemistry with turnovers and a me-first attitude while blocking the development of another player who will be able to help the team for 2 or 3 more years.

    Let Arizona, Washington and UCLA fight over the 5-stars. That will leave more quality 3 and 4 star guys for us to recruit. Ideally we'd have a dependable group of 6 or 7 upperclassmen playing smart basketball and winning games with another group of 6 underclassmen learning to play Montyball and filling in off the bench.
    Last edited by R90; 04-12-2012 at 12:22 PM.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by R90 View Post
    Kentucky won the National Championship with a 6-man rotation featuring:
    3 Freshman
    2 Sophomores
    1 Senior
    7th man Witjer was also a freshman, but only played 11.6 mpg, 3 in the NC game.

    Predictably the national media and a lot of message board posters have gone overboard, obsessing over the 1 and done phenomenon. Take a look at the other three teams that made the final four and it appears that this year's Kentucky team was something of a fluke.

    Kansas's 6-man rotation included:
    4 Juniors
    2 Seniors
    7th man Young was a junior who played 11.4 mpg.

    Louisville's 6 man rotation included:
    1 Freshman (26.0 mpg, 4th leading scorer on team)
    2 Sophomores
    1 Junior
    2 Seniors
    They had 3 guys who played 12.5-13.5 mpg, all were juniors.

    Ohio State had 5 starters playing 25.4-33.8 mpg:
    4 Sophomores
    1 Senior
    They had 4 backups playing 10.2-11.4 mpg:
    2 Freshman
    1 Sophomore
    1 Junior

    So... for the other 3 teams in the final four, only 1 freshman got meaningful minutes. All 4 teams had at least 1 senior playing an important role.

    On the flip side you have 5-star problem children like Jabari Brown and Josiah Turner who end up doing more harm than good. Even a "success" like Tony Wroten, who scores a lot of points, may end up hurting team chemistry with turnovers and a me-first attitude while blocking the development of another player who will be able to help the team for 2 or 3 more years.

    Let Arizona, Washington and UCLA fight over the 5-stars. That will leave more quality 3 and 4 star guys for us to recruit. Ideally we'd have a dependable group of 6 or 7 upperclassmen playing smart basketball and winning games with another group of 6 underclassmen learning to play Montyball and filling in off the bench.
    If you're averaging double digit minutes, you are a rotation player. Louisville plays a pressing style and they play 9 guys. Kansas and Bill Self usually go deeper, but they had 3 guys go pro after last season. Young was an important part of their run to the title game, so not calling him a rotation guy is inaccurate.

    The problem isn't that we are not getting 5-stars. The problem is that we are not getting ENOUGH "good enough" players. Kansas, Ohio State, and Lousville all had rosters with enough very good players. Monty so far hasn't been able to build a good enough roster.

    And don't kid yourself. Most coaches will take a 5-star if they can get one. Even Wisconsin, the model program of the strategy you imply, took Sam Dekker, who's a flat-out stud 5-star. Should Bo Ryan have not gone after him because of his star rating?
    Last edited by tsubamoto2001; 04-12-2012 at 12:52 PM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by tsubamoto2001 View Post
    If you're averaging double digit minutes, you are a rotation player. Louisville plays a pressing style and they play 9 guys. Kansas and Bill Self usually go deeper, but they had 3 guys go pro after last season. Young was an important part of their run to the title game, so not calling him a rotation guy is inaccurate.

    The problem isn't that we are not getting 5-stars. The problem is that we are not getting ENOUGH "good enough" players. Kansas, Ohio State, and Lousville all had rosters with enough very good players. Monty so far hasn't been able to build a good enough roster.

    And don't kid yourself. Most coaches will take a 5-star if they can get one. Even Wisconsin, the model program of the strategy you imply, took Sam Dekker, who's a flat-out stud 5-star. Should Bo Ryan have not gone after him because of his star rating?
    This +1. Plus I, for one, do not aspire to Kentucky like heights. I just want to make it past the first weekend .

    <Best Haunted Mansion narrator voice.>

    "And observe this distressing fact.....it has been nearly 20 years since Cal made it past the first weekend of the NCAA. Of course....there is always MY Way"

    <lightening flashes and narrator revealed to be hanging corpse wearing a new Shabbaz UCLA Jersey>

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by socaltownie View Post

    "And observe this distressing fact.....it has been nearly 20 years since Cal made it past the first weekend of the NCAA. Of course....there is always MY Way"
    "nearly 20 years" is only 15 years - 1997. But, it will be 16 next March, so I guess that qualifies as "nearly 20"

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by R90 View Post
    Kentucky won the National Championship with a 6-man rotation featuring:
    3 Freshmen
    2 Sophomores
    1 Senior
    7th man Witjer was also a freshman, but only played 11.6 mpg, 3 in the NC game.

    Predictably the national media and a lot of message board posters have gone overboard, obsessing over the 1 and done phenomenon. Take a look at the other three teams that made the final four and it appears that this year's Kentucky team was something of a fluke.

    Kansas's 6-man rotation included:
    4 Juniors
    2 Seniors
    7th man Young was a junior who played 11.4 mpg.

    Louisville's 6 man rotation included:
    1 Freshman (26.0 mpg, 4th leading scorer on team)
    2 Sophomores
    1 Junior
    2 Seniors
    They had 3 guys who played 12.5-13.5 mpg, all were juniors.

    Ohio State had 5 starters playing 25.4-33.8 mpg:
    4 Sophomores
    1 Senior
    They had 4 backups playing 10.2-11.4 mpg:
    2 Freshmen
    1 Sophomore
    1 Junior

    So... for the other 3 teams in the final four, only 1 freshman got meaningful minutes. All 4 teams had at least 1 senior playing an important role.

    On the flip side you have 5-star problem children like Jabari Brown and Josiah Turner who end up doing more harm than good. Even a "success" like Tony Wroten, who scores a lot of points, may end up hurting team chemistry with turnovers and a me-first attitude while blocking the development of another player who will be able to help the team for 2 or 3 more years.

    Let Arizona, Washington and UCLA fight over the 5-stars. That will leave more quality 3 and 4 star guys for us to recruit. Ideally we'd have a dependable group of 6 or 7 upperclassmen playing smart basketball and winning games with another group of 6 underclassmen learning to play Montyball and filling in off the bench.
    Really? Your argument is that we should AVOID recruiting 5-stars!? Wow.
    You might want to check how many of those Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors were once 5-stars themselves before taking that much time to put together a bogus argument.

    Our 'strategy' of recruiting has consistently left us with no bench production, no depth, and hardly any tournament success without the excuse of 5-stars clogging up our roster and leaving early.
    I'm not saying we have to fill our team with 5-stars as that would be unrealistic but we need to start beating schools like Colorado, Oregon, St Mary's, Gonzaga, and Washington for the players we DO want. Monty losses more recruiting battles than any Cal coach I can remember.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by R90 View Post

    Let Arizona, Washington and UCLA fight over the 5-stars. That will leave more quality 3 and 4 star guys for us to recruit.
    I really don't like your post. It is wrong on many levels.

    First, as someone else pointed out, it assumes that none of the other players in the Final Four were at one time 5 star recruits. Think about Josh Smith at UCLA. I think he was a 5 star guy. His name was bandied about on Cal boards and when he went to UCLA instead, a lot of people said we shouldn't waste our time with him as he would only be there for 1 year, 2 max. Well, now he's going on 3 and will likely get a fourth. Laugh at his weight all you want, but do you think he could have helped Cal basketball these past 2 seasons?

    Second, you can have behavioral problems without being a 5 star guy who blows up a team. Look at Reeves Nelson. He wasn't 5 stars. Look at Amondi or Solomon - they were 3 star guys who's actions were disruptive to their teams.

    Third, why aim low? No matter how you try to spin your argument or rationale, the fact is you are going to have more success the better your recruits are.

    I could go on... but will just repeat myself.
    Coaching is something like 75% recruiting and 25% x's and o's. The number one job of any coach is to get players who can play on the court. It's certainly not everything, but it's job #1. And so often overlooked.

  7. #7
    True Blue Golden Bear 59bear's Avatar
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    Many, if not most, of the non-frosh on these teams were highly recruited out of HS. Think Terrance Jones, Jared Sullinger, DeShaun Thomas, Tyshawn Taylor, Jeff Withey, Peyton Siva. As much as I love kids like Craft from OSU, there are more 4/5* players who contribute meaningfully than who flame out a la Brown/Turner, so turning your back on these guys is really not an option. Even Josh Smith is probably a sensible diet/conditioning plan from being an impact player. I'm OK if we never become Kentucky, NC or Duke but also realize that even if Kravish, Crabbe, Cobbs et al reach their ultimate potential we're not likely to beat a team like this year's Kentucky.
    Access is better than ownership!

  8. #8

    Hate Bait

    You guys are really funny. Got nothing better to do than pounce on any post that says something other than "Our recruiting sucks!" It's like you're on a mission or something, but I can't figure out what you think you might accomplish. Maybe it's just an argument you've invested too much in and you feel like you need to win it at all costs.


    To clarify and expand on the point I threw in at the end:

    We have limited recruiting resources. If there's a 4 or 5 star recruit who Cal has a very good chance of getting, then sure, we should make a strong effort to sign him, but most of those guys (including the biggest ego-trippers) aren't going to be attracted to Cal. Let the other programs battle each other with all their resources over those kids. It's not worth our time and effort when we could be improving our chances with an underrated kid who'll benefit the Cal program for years.

    Allowing one-and-dones in college basketball has had an equalizing effect. The high profile recruiting destinations will get most of the best players regardless, but if the best of them leave after one or two years then the colleges that do well recruiting and developing 4 year players will have a better shot at knocking off the elite programs on the basketball court.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by R90 View Post
    You guys are really funny. Got nothing better to do than pounce on any post that says something other than "Our recruiting sucks!" It's like you're on a mission or something, but I can't figure out what you think you might accomplish. Maybe it's just an argument you've invested too much in and you feel like you need to win it at all costs.
    Yeah, that's it. There's no way there could be something wrong with your poorly constructed argument that predicates on ignoring 5-stars. It has nothing to do with the fact that the very argument you attempted to use to your advantage (5-stars don't produce final four teams) was inaccurate and attacked because of it's inaccuracy.

    Quote Originally Posted by R90 View Post
    To clarify and expand on the point I threw in at the end:
    We have limited recruiting resources. If there's a 4 or 5 star recruit who Cal has a very good chance of getting, then sure, we should make a strong effort to sign him, but most of those guys (including the biggest ego-trippers) aren't going to be attracted to Cal. Let the other programs battle each other with all their resources over those kids. It's not worth our time and effort when we could be improving our chances with an underrated kid who'll benefit the Cal program for years.
    So programs like St. Mary's, Gonzaga, Colorado, South Florida, Marquette, Butler, VCU, and Creighton (I could go on and on with examples) have more resources than us? Are you even aware of the resources at our disposal or have you resorted to throwing arguments against the wall in hopes that one of them eventually sticks?

    Ben Braun was able to land far more talented kids than Monty but couldn't coach as well. If Monty could recruit like Braun, or like Few, or like Romar, or like South Florida's coach, or like Brad Stevens, we would have players who could give our starters some rest and keep them fresh for the NCAA tournament. Unfortunately, we haven't had any kind of bench since Monty became coach, a point you refuse to address.

  10. #10

    Stop the Bird recruitment

    Isn't Cal likely to land this 5 star player? And the guard commit the following year is likely to be a high 4 star? Maybe the point to be made is the 5 star players may think they are off to the NBA in one year, but more often than not, they are not ready, and stay longer. Its hard to criticize basketball recruits that want to go to places like Kentucky, Louisville, Kansas, and TOSU, who have proven programs and coaches.

  11. #11

    This Year's Kentucky

    Quote Originally Posted by 59bear View Post
    I'm OK if we never become Kentucky, NC or Duke but also realize that even if Kravish, Crabbe, Cobbs et al reach their ultimate potential we're not likely to beat a team like this year's Kentucky.
    I get your point, about our recruiting better, but what an example you use!

    There are recent national championship teams that would not have beaten this year's Kentucky.

  12. #12
    You failed to mention that Kentucky won in part because they played selflessly, some out of position, and focused on defense as much as offense. They were 5-stars and good guys (at least on the court).

    Without naming names, the biggest problem players at Cal have not been the best players. So the right strategy is to cross off obvious problem players and recruit the best you can among those remaining. Mistakes will be made but it makes no sense to cross off players because they have talent.

    Sluggo

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