While Self can’t comment on the Bishop Miege High School standout, he did take time out after the KU basketball scrimmage on Wednesday to talk about recruiting and other basketball topics.
With Travis Releford's commitment, recruiting was certainly a hot topic with reporters.
“We have five seniors, and there will be a great opportunity at least for a couple of these guys probably to leave before their eligibility is done,” Self said. “We’re looking at probably signing seven guys, and it could be more. We got got an important one (Releford) in the fold. And certainly we’re one down, still several to go.”
Self added: “I think it helps whenever you recruit for all the guys to know know who they will be playing with because that’s what guys are looking at recruiting wise, in large part, is the opportunity and situation. It was important to at least get headed down the road in that direction (with Releford’s commitment). We got to sign enough guys. You look at who we could potentially lose, we’re not worried, ‘Oh, we got to get just one guard or one big guy.’ We need to get multiple (guys) in each spot to fill out a roster.”
Self said recruiting has definitely changed the last 15 years.
”I think personally recruiting has never been fun,” he said. “I don’t think there’s a lot of college coaches who say recruiting is fun. But certainly it’s something you can enjoy, and it’s really enjoyable when you get down to brass tasks and get to know families and everything. There’s so many factors involved that maybe weren’t there 15 years ago, which makes it more difficult because you never know quite where everyone stands because everybody is trying to get involved and have a say in what’s going on. Before, you recruit the coach and the parents and that was about it. Now, there’s so many factors involved.”
While Self will be on the chase this summer for recruits, he’s pretty excited about the guys he has coming back. Informed that KU was picked in the preseason top five by ESPN.com, Fox Sports, and CBS SportsLine, Self flashed a big smile.
“That’s pretty good,” he said. “I would think that those ratings are based at the end of the season when you hopefully have your full complement of players. We got some good guys. If Julian (Wright) would have come back, I think we would have been consensus No. 1 without question, but that’s not gong to happen in today’s climate. Brandan Wright comes back and Carolina is consensus No. 1 without question, and they still may be. We got good enough guys to pick up the slack. We’ll miss Julian, but I think the opportunities for Shady (Darrell Arthur) and maybe a couple of others will pick up some of that slack. He has an opportunity to put up some big numbers, I believe.”
And is Arthur quicker this summer?
“He’s not quicker,” Self said. “We haven’t made him faster in the last two months. We’ve got some magic wands, but we can’t do that. But confidence does make you quicker, and I would say his confidence level is pretty high right now.”