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Self says mid-majors best at talent ‘evaluation’

Few coaches can match Bill Self’s recruiting chops. Kansas’ coach is always in the mix for the nation’s top prospects - and usually convinces a few to come to Lawrence.

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Orlin Wagner/AP

But those are the gimmes. Self says he has a harder time spotting the hidden gems. That’s where his savvy assistants come in.

“I never felt one of my biggest strengths was the pure evaluation (of players),” Self said on 610 sports Thursday, noting that assistants Danny Manning, Joe Dooley and Kurtis Townsend usually have that task.

“You walk into the gym and see the best player in the gym, it’s not hard to tell that. It’s watching the third- or fourth-best player on a team who hasn’t developed yet -- where you project him, learn the background (of player). Is he projected to grow? How explosive is he? Can he fit in?”

Self’s not alone in that department. Every coach has their recruiting hits and misses. The best don’t rely on just one person, but a well-rounded staff to spot what the team needs. Kinda like how Butler and Xavier build their programs.

“The best recruiters in the business from an evaluation standpoint are at the mid-majors. They do a great job evaluating their talent level when they (players) are 16, 17 and projecting them out to when they are age 21,” he said. “At Kansas, we don’t get the opportunity to do that. The majority of kids we recruit want to be in school goal-wise, one, two, three years. Very rarely do the best of the best stay all four years in college basketball the way the landscape is. The real talent of recruiting is being able to dig those guys out who at age 21, 22 can whip those kids who are 18. The people getting that done are the ones having success.”

(H/T: Lawrence Journal-World).

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.