Rick Barnes: An “F” in recruiting Program Players
That’s the list. Other than Gary Johnson (who apparently can’t hit clutch free throws), Abrams (who was always a work in progress on defense tii his senior year) and P.J. Tucker, who had grade issues and left after his junior year, it is hard to find a bona fide “hit” with any of the players on this list – but it isn’t too difficult to find a lot of “misses.”
Program players are the ones who stay 4 years and are the heart and soul of your program – a Justin Mason-type with offensive skills. Royal Ivey, Brandon Mouton and James Thomas fit that bill to a Texas “T” – although Barnes put Thomas in the doghouse during the later half of his senior season in favor of the great Jason Klotz. Who has filled that bill since these 3 left? Barnes has struck out time after time and pretty much gets a pass since he brings in the super stars.
Where are the 4-star recruits who stay and prosper – those who build a program and a team identity? (Maybe at Baylor, A&M,K-State,Ok. State?) When Barnes misses, he misses big. I assume he may have been able to get a lot of these guys but just misjudged their talent.
We just seem to keep signing pretty much the wrong 4-star recruits. Who do we blame for that? The player or the coach?