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.