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Old 02-12-2019, 10:32 AM   #26
AdaSooner
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Default Re: I guess these stats say it all

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But they can recruit them 10 years later. I think this staff has recruited HS kids well, but have made some poor grad transfer and JUCO evaluations. HS kids can grow out into better players. Grad Transfers are who they are and JUCO kids 90% of the time are playing JUCO ball for a reason. Far to often we myself included view these JUCO kids as difference makers coming in because we see them dominate other JUCO kids. Big 12 Basketball is a completely different world from JUCO and even small school D1 basketball.
You might be surprised to learn that this staff has made more than their share of mistakes recruiting high school kids. My complaints about our recruiting has always been focused on the current staff, not the final four staff when Henson and Hill were leading the charge. I will never understand why this staff failed to use a FF finish as a launching pad to even more success. And, no I haven’t forgotten about Trae Young.

TY aside, though, let’s take a look at the high school recruits Lon and his staff have signed in the last two years:

Kristian Doolittle—a good player still on our roster with two more years to get better.

Matt Freeman—great practice player and teammate but a huge disappointment by most standards of measuring his success. Shooting stats are not good and neither is his defense.

Kameron McGusty and Jordan Shepherd—reported to be trouble makers last year, transferred at the end of the season. Even if you don’t agree with that assessment, they’re not here anymore.

Brady Manek—another good player who will almost certainly get better.

Hannes Polla—I’ll let you be the judge. I would love to be wrong when I say he may never make a meaningful contribution on offense. The jury is still out on defense. If he can learn to defend without getting in early foul trouble, he has a chance.

I have already gone on record with my thoughts about our 2019 class. While there are still some unknowns about the bigs in this class, I like what I have seen overall. It’s definitely an opportunity for this coaching staff to redeem itself.

I don’t see how anyone can look at their lack of success with the classes I have outlined above with any sense of accomplishment. Take Young, Doolittle and Manek out of the equation and what did we get? Not much IMHO. Some may point to our poor recruiting with juco players and transfers. Our high school recruiting in the last two years hasn’t been anything to brag about either.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:34 AM   #27
sooner 1234
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I agree with Wichita here...

Coaching is overrated. Takes jimmys and joes.

Toughness isnt just taught in college.
Couldn’t disagree more , coaching is everything in sports .... any sport .... on any level .

I’ll use Baylor for an example ( men’s college basketball in this conference ) what talent will get you with noncoaching and or developing .
You might need lotto picks to consistently make final fours but you need great coaching to consistently be competitive in your own conference .

Last edited by sooner 1234; 02-12-2019 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:49 AM   #28
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Couldnít disagree more , coaching is everything in sports .... any sport .... on any level .

Iíll use Baylor for an example ( menís college basketball in this league ) what talent will get you .
To clarify, I think coaching is important, especially in college. What I don't think is that coaches can magically change who a person is. On any team, some players are the type to put in the extra work needed to be great, and others aren't. I think our team has not had enough of the former over the past couple years, and has lacked mental toughness. And I would agree with those of you who note that the staff clearly deserves some criticism for not recognizing that stuff on the recruiting trail.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:53 AM   #29
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Couldn’t disagree more , coaching is everything in sports .... any sport .... on any level .

I’ll use Baylor for an example ( men’s college basketball in this league ) what talent will get you .
coaching is everything in your first statement...

Baylor is 7-4 in conf. YOu take that this year?
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:43 AM   #30
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Has he mellowed since his last final 4 or the exact same coach...?
Only now he can't win without having a player of the year candidate. OU is rarely going to have that kind of talent (even though it's happened a couple times in the relatively recent past). OU needs a coach that CAN get more out of his players. That isn't Lon. Never has been. That is why his record is all over the place. He waits and waits and waits, then gets the player he needs to succeed, then that player leaves and Lon is back to waiting.

This roster is talented enough to easily be in the Dance. But it takes the right kind of coach to get that done. Lon is not that kind of coach.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:46 AM   #31
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I don’t see how anyone can look at their lack of success with the classes I have outlined above with any sense of accomplishment. Take Young, Doolittle and Manek out of the equation and what did we get? Not much IMHO. Some may point to our poor recruiting with juco players and transfers. Our high school recruiting in the last two years hasn’t been anything to brag about either.
You can't set Young, Doolittle and Manek aside in order to support a negative recruiting outlook. These 3 players were recruiting wins.

I never like the Polla signing. Recruiting miss

Freeman was a pretty good player in New Zealand. I had no issues with him being a bench player for us but he hasn't panned out. I'll consider this a recruiting miss.

Odomes was a win. The staff has not developed him since his freshman year.

McNease I'll consider a win. Lattin was the Miss here. McNeace was a raw athletic big with potential that was viewed as a development player from the beginning.

Bieniemy - Win

CJ - Win. Mental toughness or development is the issue here.

Last years team:
Young - Win. Managed Pooly
Mcgusty - Win, Bad attidude
Lattin - Miss
Shepherd - Draw. Recruited as a backup PG and filled that role. Attitude soured and play declined.

Next Years incoming Freshman: (General board consensus)
Harmon - Win TBD
Hill - Win TBD
Iwuakor - Draw TBD
Garang - Draw TBD

Last edited by CMSOONER; 02-12-2019 at 11:49 AM. Reason: Forgot Garang
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:48 AM   #32
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coaching is everything in your first statement...

Baylor is 7-4 in conf. YOu take that this year?
That there are no GREAT teams in the conference this year .

Everyone has major weakness .

Lastly they still have 7 games left , they could easily drop 3-5 of the last remaining games .
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:55 AM   #33
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Default Re: I guess these stats say it all

Juco/Grad transfers/Transfers: In my opinion.

Lazenby - Miss
Reaves - Win
Williams - Win TBD
Kuath - Draw
Merritt - Draw
Reynolds - Miss
Calixte - Miss

The common theme i see in all this recruiting comparison is a lack of decent big men. Good guards and forwards & bad bigs.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:09 PM   #34
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Has he mellowed since his last final 4 or the exact same coach...?
You mean the team that had one of the best ever OU players of all time on it and a good supporting cast? When it was plainly obvious that he gave them the green light to do what they wanted?

No he hasn't
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:25 PM   #35
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Default Re: I guess these stats say it all

Lon has a great basketball mind & he teaches his players how to play the game and utilize spacing instead of a motion offense or a ton of sets. Multiple players have said he opens their eyes on how to see the game & talks about angles, reads, & situations. He motivates by talking to players and explaining what they need to do, if the players have a level of respect for him then they will fix their errors & play hard. If the players are selfish and/or has a poor attitude then that will hinder their play.

In order for this to work at it's best you need 3 things imo:
1) Man at the helm who doens't waiver his style or demeanor. Lon does that.
2) A hard assistant who demands the same type of respect but in a different way. Henson.
3) Coaches who can develop players that are willing to put in the work to get better. Lon, Hill, & Henson.
4) Senior leadership. Spangler, Thomas, Reynolds.

Main thing I see missing is the assistants & that's on Lon. He's loyal to a fault. He's a good coach & a great man who has done great things for the program. However, unless he's willing to make some tough decisions then making the dance will become the goal instead of the expectation.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:30 PM   #36
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You can't set Young, Doolittle and Manek aside in order to support a negative recruiting outlook. These 3 players were recruiting wins.

I never like the Polla signing. Recruiting miss

Freeman was a pretty good player in New Zealand. I had no issues with him being a bench player for us but he hasn't panned out. I'll consider this a recruiting miss.

Odomes was a win. The staff has not developed him since his freshman year.

McNease I'll consider a win. Lattin was the Miss here. McNeace was a raw athletic big with potential that was viewed as a development player from the beginning.

Bieniemy - Win

CJ - Win. Mental toughness or development is the issue here.

Last years team:
Young - Win. Managed Pooly
Mcgusty - Win, Bad attidude
Lattin - Miss
Shepherd - Draw. Recruited as a backup PG and filled that role. Attitude soured and play declined.

Next Years incoming Freshman: (General board consensus)
Harmon - Win TBD
Hill - Win TBD
Iwuakor - Draw TBD
Garang - Draw TBD
I made it clear that my beef was with the current coaching staff. Guess you must have missed that or ignored what I said because it didn’t fit your narrative. You must have also missed what I had to say about Young, Manek and Doolittle because it’s clear I didn’t leave them out.

McGusty was a win and Shepherd a draw? You can’t be serious! If they had been team players instead of trouble makers, I might agree. Both failed to meet that basic requirement. Since they left during questionable circumstances without ever reaching their potential, I don’t see how anyone can think that’s a win or a draw.

I have been a huge Freeman fan since he committed to OU, still am. That doesn’t change the fact that he didn’t work out the way we hoped it would. I don’t have much to say about the others you brought up. They were never part of my post. I agree with you that CJ and Odomes are a win. They’re both great Sooners, always will be in my book. I never had anything negative to say about our 2019 class. I like what I have read about them and seen on video!
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:48 PM   #37
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coaching is everything in your first statement...

Baylor is 7-4 in conf. YOu take that this year?
I used to think Scott Drew was a great recruiter and an average coach. Has his coaching caught up to his recruiting, or is OU losing ground in both areas?

IMO, something is definitely wrong somewhere. Baylor beat us by thirty in the LNC, and again last night in a more competitive game with King McClure not in the starting lineup. Muni wasnít available for OU, but Tristan Clark is out for the season for Baylor. A team OU owned for many years is moving ever closer to owning us now.

Is that coaching or recruiting better players? Either way, our coaching staff has to accept some responsibility for falling behind Baylor so far weíre embarrassed at home in front of our own fans. The research I outlined above seems to demonstrate a pattern of our coaches doing a poor job of evaluating the recruits weíre in on, and/or failing to continue their development after they arrive on campus. I wish I didnít feel that way!

For the record, Iím not in favor of making any changes during this calendar year, unless Lon decides to replace an assistant or two, a move I would support. We canít afford to take a chance on losing the key players in our 2019 recruiting class. Iím happy with that class, and want nothing better than to praise our coaches for doing a great job, not being critical of what I see as failures.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:55 PM   #38
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I made it clear that my beef was with the current coaching staff. Guess you must have missed that or ignored what I said because it didn’t fit your narrative. You must have also missed what I had to say about Young, Manek and Doolittle because it’s clear I didn’t leave them out.

McGusty was a win and Shepherd a draw? You can’t be serious! If they had been team players instead of trouble makers, I might agree. Both failed to meet that basic requirement. Since they left during questionable circumstances without ever reaching their potential, I don’t see how anyone can think that’s a win or a draw.

I have been a huge Freeman fan since he committed to OU, still am. That doesn’t change the fact that he didn’t work out the way we hoped it would. I don’t have much to say about the others you brought up. They were never part of my post. I agree with you that CJ and Odomes are a win. They’re both great Sooners, always will be in my book. I never had anything negative to say about our 2019 class. I like what I have read about them and seen on video!
I don't disagree that the problem is with this current staff. I'm just bringing up all the HS kids this current staff brought in (CJ & Odomes were the previous staff, my mistake) as I believe this staff hit on more than they missed from a talent standpoint. I don't believe at the time there were any red flags regarding character issues for any incoming freshman the last few years. Recruiting is recruiting, player development, player management and attitudes are a separate issues.

In 2016 when we signed MuGusty & Doolittle they were wins. Shepherd and I''ll throw Freeman in, were draws. Never thought to be difference makers, but what the team was needing, a Backup PG and a shooter. Seeming serviceable players off the bench.

2017 & 2018 Young and Manek were wins. Polla was a miss. Bieniemy - win

Next years incoming Freshman have drawn a lot of praise so far on this board. Harmon and Hill appear to be wins so far, and maybe Iwuakor. Garang is a Draw for me until proven a hit or miss.

My point is our teams 2016-until today haven't completely lacked talent. They have lacked experience which is understandable. But the lack of maturity, player management, lack of fundamentals and lack of game management and X's & O's to name a few things are very concerning now an issue going on 3 years. And to be honest longer than that but having players like Buddy, Isaiah and Spangler masked some things.

So I agree with you that there are issues with the staff and how the program is managed, I just don't believe that recruiting is the issue.

Last edited by CMSOONER; 02-12-2019 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 02-12-2019, 02:34 PM   #39
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Nothing there I disagree with, CM!

I see recruiting as somewhat of an issue, just not as much as developing players and motivating them to be successful. IMO the current staff falls short in those two areas. That was not the case with Henson and Hill. They are definitely missed. I also donít include Crutchfield. IMO, heís as solid as they come.
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:20 PM   #40
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McNease has career averages of 5 and 5. He averages 5 and 4.

Khadeem Lattin averaged 8 and 6 in his best season. The others were 2 and 3, 5 and 5, and 6 and 6.

Polla averages 1 and 1.

Freeman averages 2 and 1.

Dante Buford averaged 3 and 2.

Keshaun Hamilton never made it.

Jarion Henry never made it

Akolda Manyang averaged 2 and 2 at OU... Averaged 13/8 for some smaller school in New York.

Kur Kuath hasn't played much, but what we did see looked like a huge project.

In other words... we get very limited production from "big guys" that we sign. Manek has been an exception.
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:27 PM   #41
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I think it has been proven that Lon's teams take on his demeanor. Which is good in some cases but overall I think it is a detriment.
Because West Virginia is having such a great year.
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:32 PM   #42
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To back Ada up on this....

Lon Kruger has signed 28 players since being at OU. 14 out of those have not worked. The criteria for "not worked out" is as follows:
  • They never made it Norman
  • They transferred out
  • They were not at a level worthy of scholarship basketball and made limited or no impact outside of practice

This is likely controversial.... as good practice players are seen as having value, like a Hannes Polla who has made essentially no impact in games but is said to be a good practice player.

But, following this methodology 50% of the players (not including transfers into the program like Calixte) have not worked out for one of the above listed reasons.

To be honest, I have no idea if that is acceptable or not. What is industry standard for a top 25 program? A top 50 program? What is expected attrition at Kansas? Or at Baylor? Or at Florida? Etc...
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Old 02-12-2019, 04:00 PM   #43
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Finals 4's, sweet 16's, 5 different teams to the tourney... Im talking about his resume as a whole.

I struggle with this about your "ideas"

You don't think he has tried anything different from this group? I'm talking about in practice... He isn't going to just flip a switch and become a yeller or "more passion"
Don't you think he wants to win? I mean, I'm just guessing here but I'm betting he has tried multiple things, guessing like your wife and mine have tried multiple things to make us better husbands but sometimes it just doesn't work no matter how hard you try.

Ill go a step further, Its on players.

1. James just became a gym rat his senior year, thats too late
2. Grad Transfers arent big 12 ready, thats part of taking grads
3. Muni hurt, hurts us more than we think
4. Odomes limited, never a gym rat
5. Manek trying to add weight since Harrah days, hard to do.
6. doolittle limited at times...

The list goes on...

We all know the flaws of our players. Coaches will get the blame, just like WT blames me for being a s***ty coach. I can handle that, and I take full responsibility for my team being average. Lon will do the same.
No. Bc his teams suck like they usual do lol
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:59 AM   #44
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Because West Virginia is having such a great year.
oh c'mon
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