Big 12 News

Bill Self: Kansas Needs To Recruit Better, Get ‘More Athletic’

NCAA Basketball: North Dakota State at Kansas

Kansas head coach Bill Self admitted the truth on Monday night — the Jayhawks need to recruit better and get ‘more athletic’ if they’re going to avoid losses like the one they suffered against USC.

Yes, the KANSAS JAYHAWKS need to recruit better.

“You can address it through recruiting,” Self said about his team getting better after its 85-51 loss to USC in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. “You can address it through player development.”

The loss was the worst NCAA Tournament loss in Jayhawks history, eclipsing its loss to Indiana in the 1940 National Championship game.

The Jayhawks were never really in that game with the Trojans, who will play Oregon in the Sweet 16 this weekend. The Jayhawks had a horrible shooting night, and they finished the season with the worst overall shooting percentage of any Kansas team since the early 1970s.


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Kansas, for its standard, had a rough season, failing to win the Big 12 regular-season title for the second time in three years, and falling out of the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2009. The Jayhawks eventually moved back into the poll and rose as far as the Top 15. But it’s clear after this NCAA Tournament performance that the ranking was probably inflated.

“For us to be a team that really has a chance to be a national contender, I mean, we need to get a little bit more athletic,” Self said. “We need to get a little longer and bigger, those sorts of things.”

The tallest starter on the Kansas roster is junior forward David McCormack, who had a great season in earning Big 12 Most Improved Player honors. McCormack is 6-foot-10. Gethro Muscadin, a freshman who barely played this season, is also 6-foot-10.

The Jayhawks faced a Trojans frontcourt that included 7-foot freshman Evan Mobley.

Based on a story we published in January, the Jayhawks have gone two of the last three recruiting cycles without signing a five-star recruit, as ranked by Right now, the Jayhawks have two four-star recruits signed — F Zach Clemence, 6-foot-10, Sunrise Christian (Wichita, Kansas) and F KJ Adams, 6-foot-7, Westlake (Austin, Texas).

So Clemence would add more length to the roster. But how ‘ready’ will he be to play next season as a true freshman?

To anyone who watched Monday’s game it was clear this is not the Kansas program we’re used to. It’s filled with very good players, but no single ‘star’ that can get them through the tough moments. If Self believes it’s all about recruiting, then the NCAA resolving its current investigation against the program might help, no matter the result. It’s clear, based on our story from January, that the investigation is hurting the level of recruiting for the Jayhawks.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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