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Bill Self….”College Basketball’s Recruiting King”?


What do you get when you sign a 16 year old from the Ukraine that no one has ever heard of? Apparently, you earn a shiny title proclaiming you to be the new “King” of college basketball recruiting. After signing Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Bleacher Report’s college basketball national lead writer (sounds important), wrote an article  discussing how this signing has lead to Self’s dethroning of John Calipari as the King of recruiting throughout this merry-land of ours.

Never mind the ridiculousness of picking this particular commitment–which certainly did not send ripples throughout the college basketball recruiting world–to make such a claim.  As his first premise for his claim that Self has dethroned Cal, the writer of this piece cites Self’s landing of Andrew Wiggins as making Kansas the “it” school for basketball today and calls Wiggins, the “gift that keeps on giving.” First of all, most of the “giving” that Wiggins will do for Kansas is done. His gifts resulted in 10 losses and an early-exit (par for the course for Self) to Stanford in which Wiggins “gave” Kansas four points. Second, Wiggins in my opinion was looking for any reason he could to justify attending Kentucky. I won’t say it is by default that he ended up at Kansas as a result of Kentucky’s ulta-hyped recruiting class rather than Self’s kingly recruiting–I’ll just think it.

I’ll end by saying that while Self is obviously a nice recruiter, his various coups have done nothing to garner the thought that he is better than Cal. Forget the fact that most of Self’s success with big-time recruits (Xavier Henry, Josh Selby, etc.) has been hollow and with very little post-season success.  This writer misses an important point: Kentucky is returning vital pieces from a squad that went to the national championship next year yet Cal still signed the nation’s number 2 recruiting class. When Cal really needs to reload, he will do so at Self’s expense. There can be little doubt about that.

Article written by Matt Wheatley

54 Comments for Bill Self….”College Basketball’s Recruiting King”?

  1. WildTurkey101
    6:54 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

    Bill Self: Mr. ‘Second Round Loss’.

    • UKgrad95
      7:06 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      I hate to say It because I love my cats… but the truth of the matter is: Cal just isnt that good at recruitng…
      I mean, ALL bias aside and trying to look at it as an objective person, If it wasnt for the whole one and done fiasco (Which I wish would get fixed soon… And it seems like it will be with as many people speaking up) Cal just wouldnt be able to get half the talent he does.
      I mean, In all reality.. He only pulls in the talent he does because he is a relatively young guy (compared to most head coaches) seems pretty hip, and works with students to have them play hard for a year and then get outta there. Mark my words… once one and done is done away with.. Cal will have a MUCH harder time keeping players away from schools like Indiana, Duke, KU, UL, North carolina… etc.

    • the burg
      7:52 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      Don’t think some people are paying attention to the mount everest of talent and deep tournament runs a Calipari lead coaching staff has garnered. Words marked. Not sure some people are watching the same sport. Two and through won’t be a problem for UK unltil Cal leaves.

    • Transparent
      8:26 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      Hook baited “UKgrad95”. Let’s see if there are any bites.

    • Wait, WHAT?!?!
      8:49 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      Indiana? INDIANA?!?! You said Indiana? Okay, dude….

      IU is having a hard enough time keeping their current roster together.

    • Derp
      9:25 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      Are you fuggin retarded UKGrad95

    • highoctancehurricane
      9:48 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      Come on now, UKgrad95. You say Cal only pulls in talent for three reasons: because he is relatively young compared to other coaches, seems pretty hip and works with students to get them to play hard. Now, we all know one and done might be finished as soon as next season so my question is what, of the three reasons you gave, will change between now and then that will all of sudden mean Cal will have a harder time recruiting? Will he still not be relatively young compared to other coaches or will he age 20 years overnight? Will he still not seem pretty hip or will he suddenly become a big nerd? Will he still not get his players to play hard or will he just become a big pushover? I don’t get it.

    • Bobbum man
      9:10 am May 25, 2014 Permalink

      Hahahahaha “UK grad95” lmao, such a terrible troll… No UK fan would ever say Cal will hve a hrs time keeping recruits from IU and UL hahahaha. Cause yeah Creans done so great and who doesn’t want to sit the bench for 2-3 years and be held back by pitino? Your logic is flawless

  2. Coach Durbin
    6:58 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

    Don’t think Self has definitively passed Cal, but it’s not a ridiculous statement. KU will possibly have the #1 and #2 picks in the draft, Oubre committed to KU over UK, and this Ukranian is a pretty big get. Cal’s still on top, but to write it off as ridiculous isn’t looking at the facts. Great summer topic, though.

    • tom
      7:27 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      Agree. Author’s statement that Cal returns many from last year’s national runner up yet still recruiting number 2 class while accurate is a bit misleading. We all know the 2014 class was reeled in BEFORE Willie, Harrisons, et al decided to stay.

      Self is a great recruiter. Why can’t we just accept that without having to put someone down? It is juvenile writing and reasoning. Self does not diminish Cal’s abilities nor vice versa. They are both good for their schools and college basketball.

  3. Mike
    7:07 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

    Either UKgrad95 is trolling, or the most clueless poster ever.

    • UKgrad95
      7:09 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      Clueless for speaking objectively about something that I see as a real problem and fear in the future? I’m just being truthful bro… I dont agree with the whole one and done thing… but I honestly feel like it will hurt us a lot when it gets outlawed… i’m torn and worried

    • rnet
      9:14 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      Not going too bite. Who even cares,when was the last time Self or the the Gayhawks where in the final four,oh yeah when we beat them. This is just an article to get talking heads to talk. Cal is and always has been the best recruiter in college basketball. Oops I bit.

  4. Mike
    7:12 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

    Ok, you’re serious. Wasn’t expecting that. You can disagree with the “OAD” thing all you want. Cal is extremely successful, and if you take accomplishments into the equation, he is by far the best recruiter since coming to UK. You’re statement I will remind you said “Cal just isn’t that good at recruiting”. That’s not “objective” and it certainly isn’t “truthful”. In six years, he’s had 5 #1 classes in most rankings, and 1 #2 class. You see how that FACT makes your statement ludicrous? Probably not.

    • UKgrad95
      7:18 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      Bro… why did you just ignore my entire argument to just state your own opinions…
      nothing you said even came close to relating to my concerns…
      YES… he has been a good recruiter at UK, I never refuted that…. BUT what I DID say was that the whole reason he has done well at recruiting was DO ENTIRELY to the whole timing of the One and Done situation, which I think we can ALL agree on… Cal has benefited from it more than ANYONE. Most basketball coaches are MUCH older and werent willing to embrace something so very extreme. I honestly care about the kids and want to see the rule changed… but at the same time it does scare me because Cal will suffer some loss of success, and likewise my cats will not do as well. Hence why i am torn.
      I will make this clear… Cal has only had recruiting success BECAUSE of One and Done.. take that away and a lot of these players would go to others schools.
      Also, It is objective… we know this BECUASE cal did not have NEAR this amount of success at his last two jobs (Umass and memphis)

    • UKgrad95
      7:23 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      In case you didnt catch that Mikey boy… You cant, in good faith, divorce the situation in which he has operated in the last 5 years from the reality and then try to look at the class rankings… OF COURSE he has had really high ranked classes coming in, EVERY student came here expecting to work with a Young buck of a coach and then be out of here in a year. The whole point is that most of those kids would spread out among other schools if they were made to stay more than a year. Since Cal is the only one that actively embraces the One and Done system… He gets all the top talent that just wants to play in the NBA and couldn’t care less about actual college ball.
      Take away one and done and it is once again a level playing field. Cal has an unfair advantage because most traditional coaches wont touch the one and done junk,

    • Ha!
      8:46 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      By “most coaches”, you mean Rick Pitino? Hate to break it ya – he’d LOVE to have them too, but just can’t get them.

      Beoheim – Signs OADs
      Self – Signs OADs
      Roy Williams – Signs OADs
      Coach K – Signs OADs

      By traditional, are you talking about guys like Eddie Biedenbach, Bill Carmody,…..?

    • Contra Dicked
      8:58 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      OK, try to follow along:

      1. “The whole point is that most of those kids would spread out among other schools if they were made to stay more than a year.”

      2. “Since Cal is the only one that actively embraces the One and Done system…”

      3. “He gets all the top talent that just wants to play in the NBA and couldn’t care less about actual college ball.

      4. “Take away one and done and it is once again a level playing field.

      5. “Cal has an unfair advantage because most traditional coaches wont touch the one and done junk.

      He wrote that, in order. And I truly think he believes it.

    • highoctancehurricane
      10:02 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      Kids aren’t going to UK to play for Coach Cal solely for the one and done rule. James Young liked UK since he was a little kid in Michigan watching the Pistons when Tayshaun was in his prime. Other kids committed to UK because Coach Cal kept it real with them during their recruitment. He didn’t promise them playing time or a starting position like a lot of other coaches do. Kids appreciate the no BS recruiting pitch that Cal delivers. Will Coach Cal lose the one and done angle if two and through happens? Sure. But that is merely one weapon in his recruiting arsenal.

  5. Mutt
    7:19 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

    The writer of the piece proclaiming Self as the “new recruiting king,” is a KU alum. He is hoping Self is the new king. That is all. Tonight’s movie will be “A Failure To Understand Motive,” featuring UKgrad95.

    • UKgrad95
      7:27 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      whoa whoa whoa Mutt… actually try reading what I wrote.. I haven’t even addressed the article yet.. Hell I haven’t even read it. try putting in the minimum amount of effort please. ALL I was saying is that Cal isn’t the recruiter he could be because he is young and just focuses too much on this one and done garbage. I fear for the Program because he is building a house on sand… once this one and done thing is outlawed (Which I fear may be soon do to the amount of attention it is getting, NBA president and NCAA president both publicly disagree with it) UK will have the most underdeveloped program in the country. We will be left with an empty locker trying to recruit on the same level as other good schools that still have juniors and seniors in the lineup

    • hal
      7:52 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      ukgrad95–you sound like you’re trolling.
      –cal is “young”? he’s 55 (self/donovan are younger & tubby, pitino & bcg were all younger than cal was when hired at uk) he literally recovering from hip surgery right now……….
      –cal “just isn’t that good at recruiting….. focuses too much on OAD garbage” cal focuses too much on elite recruits???? and you cant dismiss cal’s recruiting ability/results simply b/c of OAD. it’s ignorant. he got results with the players he recruited.
      –cal is “building a house on sand…once this one and done thing is outlawed” not completely untrue but certainly ignorant, at best. cal has a title, runner-up, final 4 & elite 8 in 5 years. he wins at a high-profile school with high-profile recruits. to act as if the program is in dire trouble simply b/c recruits will have to stay another year is ridiculous. even if cal gets lesser recruits he still gets another year to develop them.

    • Mutt
      8:03 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      So, you admit that while the rest of us are talking about the article in question, you are talking about something else entirely? No wonder I don’t understand your comments.

    • UKgrad95
      8:08 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      you really are a lost little boy arent you? Half the sh!t you just said is hardly coherent…
      firstly… YES.. exactly what I said, And if you would go back and ACTUALLY READ WHAT I WROTE you would see that I said he is RELATIVELY young… which he is for a head coach at a big school. 55 is nothing for a head coach… he has his whole career ahead of him.. just look at coach K.. My WHOLE POINT IF YOU WOULD PAY ATTENTION is that when a young player is looking for the quickest way into the NBA Cal (Being only 55) is young and hip compared to most other head coaches. Most other head coaches dont tweet and do social media like Cal does. Cal is very young.
      AND you just proved my point with your last two points… exactly… Cal is only successful because of one and done… and he is building a house on sand. sure he has had success… but so has A LOT of other coaches recruiting traditional students. when the one and done era ends… this will all come crashing down and you will see about 3 or 4 years (if not more, pretty sure Cal will leave for the NBA THE DAY one and done is outlawed) that UK is struggling to keep up with other programs that recruit long term players

    • UKgrad95
      8:13 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      Mutt… can you try to keep up and stop trolling please? I really dont have time for immature 5 year olds. That isnt even close to what I said…
      your EXACT statement was: “Tonight’s movie will be “A Failure To Understand Motive,” featuring UKgrad95.” Implying that I believed what the article had said…
      I DON’T… but my statements were directly related to the topic at hand, just not directly addressing the specific article, which you had hinted at me doing.
      It is clear that you are lost and insecure. just dont replay if you cant get it together kid.

    • A little help
      8:24 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      “I don’t like UK or Calipari.”

      There, I just saved you having to write paragraph after paragraph of snarky, name-calling posts in which you continuously contradict yourself. Have a good evening, you “UK fan”, you.

  6. Mike
    7:27 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

    He wasn’t at UK before UKgrad95, so you can’t say that just because he didn’t get the classes he is getting now is just because of the OAD thing. You do realize it is the same rule for every coach in America right? It’s not like it only exists at UK. Also, I repeated your statement because of the absurdity of it. Even if you accept your premise, which I don’t, you still can’t make the case that Cal “is just not good at recruiting”. How do you not see how stupid that sounds?

    Also, please look up the definition of objective, because your BELIEF that Cal only gets good classes because of the OAD is pretty much the opposite of “objective”.

  7. Bledsoe's Biceps
    7:39 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

    When this post is based on an article from Bleacher Report, it is simply a space filler. No one, who has more than 5 or 6 functioning brain cells, considers anything from the Bleacher Report as a legitimate source of analysis.

  8. Goonies25
    8:01 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

    I got my laugh in for the day. See Cals FIVE number one recruiting classes and one ranked second in five yrs at UK..End of argument. Period. Dethroned??? Lol! Cal will always be the best recruiter and he actually develops his players and has post season success. Self can’t sniff Cals jock! What a dumb writer and of course he is a KU alum. Nothing Objective to look at…Cal is the best and will always be the best until he leaves! I hate trolls.

  9. rollingcat
    8:04 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

    blah blah blah, let me guess self is as good of coach too… cals as elite coach and recruiter as theres ever been.

  10. coreycatfan
    8:06 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

    I use to come on this website everyday.. but now, I really don’t have a desire to anymore. The post are getting boring. Post are so random and just not interesting anymore. Hate to say it, but Im just being honest.

      8:10 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      Honesltly man.. I agree with you. This site is losing its edge. I’m about to stop coming all together

    • Super
      8:58 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      Sweet. Later!

  11. UKgrad96
    8:13 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

    In conclusion, Cal is not good at recruiting because of his taking advantage of the one and done. We’ve also earned by this logic:

    * Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were not innovative, they were just taking advantage of people’s need for technology.

    * Rick Pitino was not good a coach while at UK, he just took advantage of the 3 point shot and the press.

    • Gap Tooth Danny
      8:41 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      LOL, thanks for injecting a little humor into my otherwise depressing Saturday.
      What name do you use when writing letters to editor at LHL, bemoaning the sorry state of UK basketball?

  12. Chicago Chris
    8:17 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

    • jd
      8:47 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      Bc that is what we are known for.

    • highoctancehurricane
      10:14 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      Kentucky is known for bourbon, horse racing and KFC, too. Another reason could be that the writer is a “rabid sports fan” (says so on his bio) and maybe he is a UK hater and thought putting that picture with the Commonwealth’s dubious ranking on that list would be a way to get UK back for all the winning they have done.

    • UKgrad02
      9:02 am May 25, 2014 Permalink

      ALL of which were invented in Louisville, KY…

    • Bulldawg
      10:23 am May 25, 2014 Permalink

      The first KFC was and still is in Corbin, Ky. Facts are optional though, right?

  13. Holler Baller
    8:18 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

    Who cares. See you in March….again

  14. jd
    8:36 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink


    8:38 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

    Hurts to say it, but Self out-recruited Cal while Marshall, Pitino, Beilein, and Ryan outcoached him.

      8:38 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      Oh yeah and Weber too

  16. UKgrad95 is an idiot
    8:43 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

    He listed Indiana first among schools tough to keep recruits from. Even mentioning Indiana is a joke considering they are no longer relevant in terms of college basketball. He’s an IU fan. It’s so obvious.

  17. pr
    10:42 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

    Cal has been recruiting great well before he came to uk. He came to uk a top notch recruiter. Yall say he it will be a level playing field when two n through comes??? Well if that’s the case why is top notch players still wanting to get down to lexington to visit? Why is the top 2016 point guard dennis smith jr wanting to hear from uk? Or another pg 2016, saying uk is his favorite along with his buddy carlton braggs? So no two n through does not matter. Kids are still going to want to come to uk as long as cal is here.. n as for the ukrain kid who signed with kansas? Yes he can shoot his but off. Step back jump shots all day. But I haven’t seen him take no one two the rack. Plz he’s the 31st player in the nation. Hes not top 10. They can have him. Cal will get his I’d rather have THON MAKER!!!!!

  18. Cmon now
    11:00 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

    The guy who wrote this is a kansas homer –

    • OldUKFan
      11:29 pm May 24, 2014 Permalink

      Agreed. Xavier Henry, Josh Shelby, Wiggins are just a few of the OADs that Self has done nothing to develop. John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, Demarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson, Anthony Davis, Brandon Knight, Terrance Jones are the ones having success at the next level. Self has been established at Kansas for 10 years and he still can’t build a team. Compare the success of UK and KU since Cal arrived…no comparison. UKgrad95 is an idiot. There are not facts to back up is statements. Cal is young???? Really??? Probably one of the more stupid comments he made. Older than Self, burns a lot of energy. He will give up the grind in less than 10 years. Self will still be looking for that next championship!

  19. UKgrad95
    12:34 am May 25, 2014 Permalink

    Back to my bridge!

    • UK_Turp
      4:06 am May 25, 2014 Permalink

      Yeah, you totally got us. With a wit such as that, it must have been quite easy to fool everyone on this website, nay, on the entire internet, into believing you were a UK fan. I can only pray that you will never use this god-like gift for deception for evil.

  20. JTB
    9:00 am May 25, 2014 Permalink

    Bleacher Report – enough said. Biggest joke on the sports web. Have yet to read one insightful article on that junk site

  21. First time
    9:03 am May 25, 2014 Permalink

    I’ve ever heard anyone say “Cal just isn’t a good recruiter”. He turns down 5 star players. And then try to back it up by calling our Succeed and Proceed players “garbage.” I don’t care if you like the OAD rule or not I take great offense to a supposed UK fan calling our players “garbage.” Fact is, Cal will get the best players available no matter how long they have to stay. And I believe Cal when he says Two and Todaloo will extend his career. Mark MY words, if Cal gets players for multiple years we will see an unprecedented run in modern times.

  22. One more thing
    9:12 am May 25, 2014 Permalink

    So, UKgrad95, you think Davis, Kidd Gilcrist, Noel, Randle and Young are “garbage” but the Twins, Lee, etc are not because they came back? Do you think if Cal hadn’t recruited these guys that they would have not had other options? Did you actually watch the same games as the rest of us and then say Kidd Gilcrist, Cousins and these guys didn’t care about UK? Please explain.