Bill Self Is College Basketball's Recruiting King After Kansas' Latest Signing

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Bill Self Is College Basketball's Recruiting King After Kansas' Latest Signing

Kansas signed one of the top European prospects in the world Wednesday in Ukrainian wing Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, per the school's site.

Roy Rana, who coached Mykhailiuk at the Nike Hoop Summit in April, compared the Ukrainian to former Michigan wing Nik Stauskas, who Rana has also coached for Team Canada.

"(Mykhailiuk) maybe slightly more athletic, but I think Stauskas is a little bit more accomplished as a shooter," Rana told Bleacher Report. "He was extremely impressive right from the start. Very, very good athlete. Obviously can shoot it. He can score. Pretty tough. Good motor. He defended. He competed. I was pleasantly surprised because I didn't know a lot about the kid."

Fran Fraschilla told Bleacher Report's Jason King last week that Mykhailiuk would be one of the top-10 prospects in the Class of 2015. Mykhailiuk is only 16 and will turn 17 in June, but he's coming to play this season and he's expected to stay at least two years at Kansas.

No one is questioning his skill. Some are questioning whether he'll be ready to really be a star as a freshman because of his age. One assistant who recruited Mykhailiuk told Bleacher Report that he believes Mykhailiuk will eventually be a top-10 pick in the NBA draft.

In other words, Mykhailiuk is one of the best freshman prospects in the country and will eventually—if not this season—make a big impact at Kansas. He's a huge addition to any recruiting class. And that means it's time to reevaluate the 2014 recruiting rankings and consider the possibility that Bill Self, not John Calipari, is the best salesman going in college basketball right now.

This is the second straight year that Self has landed the best player on the market heading into the summer. Last year, that piece (Andrew Wiggins) was the go-to guy from the moment he stepped on campus.

Wiggins is the gift that keeps on giving. The power of the Canadian wing goes beyond the results from his one year on campus. Those on-court results were not entirely what was expected. It was expected that a team with Wiggins would make it past the round of 32. But his legacy as a Jayhawk is ongoing.

This class was definitely impacted by Wiggins. He made Kansas the "it" school. And it's only going to be more and more hip to be a Jayhawk with time.

Next month, Wiggins and Joel Embiid could go one-two in the NBA draft. If Wiggins and Embiid both become stars in the league, the pull to Kansas gets stronger.

If there's a criticism for Self's first decade in Lawrence, it's that he hasn't produced any stars in the NBA. Self has got plenty of kids drafted, but he hasn't had a star. And, really, that may have been the only thing holding him back in recruiting.


If Wiggins or Embiid end up becoming one of the NBA's superstars, Self's reputation as a developer of talent only enhances.

And that brings us to Calipari. The perception has been that Cal has his pick of the litter when it comes to prospects. It's not like Self has had to go for the scraps, but Calipari has clearly been king of the recruiting game.

Well, now Self's guys will be the story of the draft next month—note to Self, don't call it the greatest moment in KU history—and this incoming class could end up as Self's best. It could also be viewed as a better haul than Duke's or Kentucky's.

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When you just consider those three schools and their classes, KU has the second-best incoming big man (Cliff Alexander) in the class, arguably the best two wings (Kelly Oubre and Mykhailiuk) and their incoming point guard (Devonte' Graham) would rank third on paper—behind Duke's Tyus Jones and UK's Tyler Ulis—but Graham is good enough that he'll be competing for the starting job right away at KU.

Even if Mykhailiuk is a year away from playing at a high level, it wouldn't much matter. Self's roster for this coming year was already complete. He has three point guards to choose from and then every other position will be set. Alexander and Perry Ellis will start inside. Kelly Oubre and Wayne Selden will start on the wing.

That's four McDonald's All-Americans in the starting lineup with plenty of options coming off the bench that includes a shooter who projects to be the Euro version of Nik Stauskas.

On paper, that's a national title contender. And in the recruiting world, if Mykhailiuk becomes a star, that could be as powerful for Self overseas as Wiggins has been stateside.

Not only is Bill Self the hottest recruiter out there right now, he's gone global.


C.J. Moore covers college basketball for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @CJMooreBR.

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