Player retention: UCLA under CBH vs. Kansas under Self

Prompted by a comment from LVBruin in this post regarding players staying in our program or leaving early, I decided to do a little research. I crunched some numbers first for UCLA. nickramz then talked about the correlation between retention and sustained success, so I figured I’d check on Kansas. Yes, I live here now, but both are high-level programs with a record of (at least mostly) success under their current coach, and both coaches conveniently started at the same time.

This was originally posted as a series of comments in the post linked above, but I've consolidated the info as a separate fanpost.

Please note that I am not at all suggesting we fire CBH and hire Self. I’ve said before and I’ll say again, I believe CBH deserves at least one more year. If the slide/malaise continues, I’d probably call for his ouster after one more year. If there’s significant improvement along with coaching personnel changes, I hope he’s still the man for many years to come. This all came about when LV’s post made me wonder about our player retention, so I did some checking to see what the numbers were. Once I start wondering about something, I want to go find the answers – so I did. Just some numbers to throw out there.


Players who have already left through graduation or other means, and years with UCLA:

4 years          JS LMR PAA MR DC ND JK MAH
(MAH was recruited by CBH even though not scholarship at first, and I’m counting him 4 years in the program though I know he had another year of eligibility)

3 years          AA   LRMAM (both to NBA)

2 years          JF   RW (both to NBA)   Ryan Wright (transfer)

1.1875 years DG (transfer)

1 year           KL (NBA, as expected)   JH (NBA)    Chace Stanback (transfer)

So some brief number-crunching…17 of CBH’s recruits have come and gone. I won’t even figure KL into any of my UCLA stats, as it was 99% positive he would be a one-and-done from the start, so let’s look at the other 16. 8 of them stayed four years. 10 of them (62.5%) stayed at least three years. That still means 6 of 16 non-KL recruits left after two years or less. Even if you were to assume that JF, AA, LRMAM, and RW all went pro when they ‘should’ have, still 4 of 16 non-KL recruits that are gone left early. These numbers do not include Ariza, who foolishly went pro after his freshman year with CBH (yes, I know he’s good now, but he was stupid to leave when he did) since he was not a CBH recruit.

None of the above numbers include non-seniors from the season that just mercifully finished. If JMM and MM do transfer out, then 6 of 23 (26%) total non-KL recruits would have left early. If JMM and MM transfer and if TH or ML leaves before they ‘should’, then we’d be at 30% of recruits leaving early.

Granted, the preceding paragraph has a lot of ifs in it. Regardless, even the 25% we’re at with players we know are gone isn’t very impressive.


16 of Self’s recruits have come and gone, including departures for all reasons.

4 left for the NBA – two after two years, two after three years.
1 was dismissed from the team in the first days of his soph year. (Hmmm…)
4 transferred out, all after one year each.
7 played out four years, including the seniors from this year’s team. (2 of these 7 were recruited/played as invited walk-ons.)

These numbers do not include the four (or at least three, I’m not quite sure) Roy Williams recruits that transferred within a year of Bill Self’s arrival.

Counting players on the current team, there are 29 total recruits for Self.
Totals of 4 transfers and 1 dismissal aren’t likely to change.
Cole Aldrich may (should?) go pro after this year – haven’t read enough to know if he’s shown any leanings. Xavier Henry will absolutely not stay past two years, and I’d be shocked (again with no info) if he stays for his soph year. (2 of the transfers were freshmen in 08-09 who then ‘chose’ to leave, conveniently opening up space for CJ Henry and his little brother X Henry. Haven’t read enough to see if there’s anything to those conspiracy theories.)

I hadn't really paid any attention to KU's program this year, so I don't have any feel of who left for the NBA early because they were ready, and who 'should' not have left.


Now to compare.

So…assuming for the sake of argument that Aldrich goes pro, and Xavier Henry and one other current player (probably Marcus Morris or Tyshawn Taylor would be my guesses, if you’re scoring at home) go pro instead of playing four years, and all other current KU players stay four years, here’s the breakdown. I’ll include both KL and X Henry in the comparison stats to equal out the (likely) one-and-dones.

Recruits who have come and gone, including this year’s seniors: UCLA 17 KU 16

Of those, recruits staying four years:    UCLA 8   KU 7
              stayed three or four years:     UCLA 11 KU 9
              transferred or dismissed:       UCLA 3   KU 5
              to NBA at some point before senior year:   UCLA 6   KU 7
              not included in above number, but transfers of recruits from previous coach:  UCLA 1    KU 3 or 4

Total recruits since the head coach arrived:   UCLA 23     KU 29
Of those, known transfers/dismissals:           UCLA 3       KU 5
              to the NBA before four years:         UCLA 6      KU 7 (UCLA not counting any current players, 1-2 may be good enough after soph/jr)

What did they do with those recruits? Conveniently, both coaches started the same year. Records and NCAA results:

2003-04 UCLA 11-17
             KU 24-9, 1st round

2004-05 UCLA 18-11, 1st round
             KU 23-7, 1st round

2005-06 UCLA 32-7, F4
             KU 25-8, 1st round

2006-07 UCLA 30-6, F4
             KU 33-5, E8

2007-08 UCLA 35-4, F4
             KU 37-3, national champions

2008-09 UCLA 26-9, 2nd round
             KU 27-8, S16

2009-10 UCLA 14-18
             KU 32-2, ???

CBH      166-72 .697
Self        201-42 (including 1st round win over Lehigh) .828


My disclaimer once more: I support CBH as our coach. I truly hope he can turn things back around, though I'll admit my confidence in that happening kept dropping week after week during the season. I want to be wrong. Regardless, these numbers are simply provided for comparison.

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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