Friday, Head Coach Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks basketball program seemingly lost a recruiting battle but still managed to recover in the best possible way. Even though dual recruiting prizes of Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones decided to play at Duke next year instead of Kansas, it only took a few minutes for Self to get good news.
Power forward Cliff Alexander, the number 5 recruit for next season, according to Scout.com, chose Kansas over Illinois. Combine Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre, the number 6 overall recruit according to Scout.com, who had already committed to Kansas, and you have the prototypical reloaded recruiting class for the Jayhawks.
It is enough for one FoxSports.com writer to declare Bill Self the best recruiter in the country.
On Friday, Bill Self became the best recruiter in the country.
This quote is from Reid Forgrave at FoxSports.com, from his article Friday afternoon. Forgrave thinks Self has passed Kentucky’s John Calipari and Mike Krzyzewski, despite Self losing Okafor and Jones to Coach K. Forgrave thinks Self has taken advantage of the spotlight that has been locked onto the Kansas program since Andrew Wiggins signed with Kansas in May.
Of course, Forgrave isn’t the only person impressed with the job Self is doing on the recruiting trail. In August, ESPN revealed the results of a survey that polled 200 collegiate coaches, and Self’s peers ranked him second, just below Calipari. Self has also surrounded himself with a staff that is strong in recruiting as well.
Kansas only has one senior on scholarship on the roster this season. Tarik Black transferred from Memphis after graduating in three years and is the only senior. It is a forgone conclusion that Wiggins will also be here for just the one season. On the surface, that leaves just two scholarships that Self has to fill. The commitments of Alexander and Oubre have filled those vacancies.
There is a very good chance Kansas could loose more underclassmen. The NBA has a horrible habit of drafting on potential instead of skill and fundamentals (hence the awful product the NBA produces). With that being the case, Kansas freshmen Wayne Selden and Joel Embiid could both bolt for the money after their first seasons even though neither will probably be fully developed as players.
If Selden and Embiid do decide to take the money (and who can blame them), then Kansas will have more openings. Although Self has said nothing definite on the matter, his actions speak volumes. He was heavily recruiting Okafor, Jones, and Alexander. If all three would have committed to Kansas on Friday, plus Oubre, that would have been four bodies for just two scholarships. Obviously, Self believes (or knows) more players will be leaving.
It is the college basketball world we live in, for better or worse (worse!).
The fact remains that Bill Self has turned it up even more on the recruiting trail. He has already corralled two top 6 prospects, and just missed on two others. Whether it is because of Wiggins, the Jayhawks’ long, distinguished history, or Self’s charm and charisma, or most likely, a combination of all three, Self is at the top of his recruiting game.