The most important thing a coach can likely do is prepare his player for the difficulties and challenges they will face in the NBA ideally ensuring some level of long term success. The second most important thing a university or coach can do is provide the pedigree to give them every advantage to get that chance. Kansas and Self can do that.
Right. Kansas' advantage is its consistency. They're always good, playing top competition and becoming increasingly important these days is that Bill Self has never been in any trouble and is generally considered among the best coaches in the country.
They have the foundation in place to be an ideal training ground for the NBA.
Enter Daniel Orton.
He went to Kentucky, didn't play a whole lot and generally flashed some potential but not a lot of substance. He's coming off of some personal problems (like multiple canceled workouts with teams), apparently stuck in the middle of a contentious situation with family representing him and of course coming from Kentucky where there are questions marks abound regarding the ethical nature in which John Calipari runs his program.
“It’s a perfect storm of stuff happening with him – the knee, the conditioning, the stuff going on around him,” one Eastern Conference personnel director said. “I think he drops right out of the first [round].”
“Unless there’s one team that’s fallen in love with him because of the size, the shot-blocking, he could fall a long way,” a Western Conference general manager said.
In short, he's got a lot more problems than any Jayhawk coming out, particularly his counterpart, Cole Aldrich.
That's why it wasn't a huge surprise to hear from Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski that Orton has been telling front office folks that he wishes he had went to Kansas instead of Kentucky.
If you think about it, isn't Aldrich kind of the opposite of Aldrich. Orton played one year, didn't put up a lot of stats and will be drafted based on potential. Aldrich, meanwhile, played three years and is coming into the NBA as one of the more "known" prospects.
These are the types of stories Kansas coach Bill Self wants to hear. He's been hyping both Cole Aldrich and Xavier Henry as well as Sherron Collins. In fact, he's doing draft day coverage with NBA TV and NBA.com so it'll be interesting to see how much he vouches for his players.
Kansas may have some question marks with players making the transition to the pros, but there are also a lot of good reasons for a future NBAer to head to Lawrence.