Josh LeBlanc's final 4...

Arkansas, Georgetown, LSU and Texas A&M.

Told me he is visiting Geirgetown this weekend

Visiting Arkansas on Aug. 25 along with point guard Keyshawn Embery

Plans to announce on his birthday Nov. 12

Thanks for updates on the visits.

Going to be a huge weekend for us on the 25th.

Gotta figure it will be hard to beat out LSU and A&M, but at least we are in the running.

Understand the LSU part but why would it be hard to beat A&M?

Billy Kennedy seems to always have a stud or two inside. Probably has the best big man combo in the nation with Tyler Davis and Robert Williams (from LA). Also Leblanc has mentioned them a lot when he is interviewed.

Right, and A&M put more emphasis on him earlier than we did. That’s why LeBlanc has mentioned them a lot. They do a good job of volume recruiting.

I understand the Aggies getting on him first part. It makes sense why that would have an effect. But are you saying that we don’t do a good job of volume recruiting? I am curious why you added that statement? As far as I can tell we are recruiting a lot of players for a few spots.

I don’t think Arkansas did a great job of “volume recruiting” in Coach Anderson’s first few years back, but I think they have kicked it into gear in that aspect the last few years.

The Mitchell Robinson saga may explain some of A&M’s recruiting. He developed his “relationship” with Stansbury at A&M. He signed with WKU when Stansbury hired his godfather Shammond Williams but recently decommitted after Williams resigned after only a few months on the job. The whole timeline is bizarre. I never know what it means to say that a coach recruits well.

ESPN recruits well for Kentucky. With all the junk that’s aired about Grease ball! The blue bloods don’t have to work as hard in recruiting. It’s has been a rough road recovering since Nolan left. Once Mike Anderson puts in a few more years of wining it will get easier.
Kids today have no loyalty nor do they care for the most part their home in state schools. Bobby Portis was one of the loyal few! Look at the the Reggie Perry saga go play for a team for a few days overseas and the coach of that team encourages home to go to Moo U. It’s non stop It is very simple to me. Once they suit up they are hogs. Until then MA has his work cut out for him.
We have a coach that I respect and admire and he is a winner!

I think a player needs a good relationship with the coach, but they should also want to play for the best program that they can, unless local loyalty (i.e. Portis). That said, I’m confident we will field a better team than LSU, A&M or MSU. Personally, I’d probably be hated by the fans, because I wouldn’t put up with much drama with a player. Skill matters, but so does discipline, work ethic, and maturity.

JacksonHog had a lot to say about Stansbury and his recruiting methods at Miss State. Stansbury knows how to beat the NCAA recruiting regs.

I actually just talked about Billy Kennedy and his recruiting in another thread. When he says A&M volume recruits, he means they recruit in large volumes. They currently have 28 scholarship offers out for 2018, and 30 out for 2019. Basically if you are a 4-star or higher and Kennedy knows who you are you get an offer.

It works out for them because they end up landing a good amount of 4-star guys every year, however in 6 years Kennedy is below .500 in SEC and has only had 1 good season, which was the year they went to the sweet 16. With talent on the rosters he’s had he’s vastly underachieved. There’s no way the roster he had last year shouldn’t have been a tournament team with a lottery pick in Williams and 2 other future NBA guys in Hogg and Davis. They had the second or third best roster on paper in the league last year.

Most of the 4 stars Kennedy signed are from Texas. Some of That success is probably due to Texas having down years as Barnes was let go. Shaka Smart has righted the recruiting ship and I think that will have an impact on Kennedy.

Yea, without a doubt he benefited from the Longhorns being down and able to get a lot of those Texas kids, my point was he’s underachieved with the talent. He’s had 4 top 25 classes in his time at A&M, including his class in 2015 that was #4, and he’s only made the tournament once.

I mentioned that because for whatever reason, we didn’t turn up the heat on kids and more offers until July. Meanwhile, many other programs were more aggressive with offers and relationships earlier. One could suggest we didn’t put more emphasis on kids like LeBlanc because we had Perry committed. I don’t know exactly why, but we spent all July playing catch up on some kids. A&M is in many top 100 kids’ top 5-10 right now. Odds are good they’ll land a nice crop because of how aggressive they’ve been.

As Dudley said, I think CMA and staff have become a little more aggressive, but I still don’t think we’re there on strategy. I just don’t think CMA appreciates marketing as he should.

It’s not a big deal if keeps us in the NCAAT, though.

One thing I always hear that Mike keeps everything close to the vest. So, are you sure they were not building relationships?

One thing that is definitely public knowledge is when offer is made. And clearly offers were made by A&M way before Mike did. But that does not necessarily mean that relationships were not being built. I agree with Blu that Kennedy makes offers based on ratings of scouting services and hope some come through playing percentages. Whereas Mike probably does a lot of vetting and evaluating of skills and academics before making the offer.

However it is clear that the recruiting strategies of Kennedy and Mike are different. Mike has been at it for a long time. So what we see is intentional and not accidental. He clearly believes it works for him overall for on and off court success.

By the way, I did not understand the impact of marketing on this discussion.

I’m not saying they weren’t doing anything, but many other schools did it earlier and more aggressively. I know that because kids talk. I read pretty much everything that’s associated to kids that we have interest in. Before July, Arkansas wasn’t mentioned much overall, relatively.

I’ve been following this world closely for a long time now. I don’t believe CMA does more vetting than other coaches. He obviously doesn’t throw offers out as much. His strategy is clear. He doesn’t give out offers unless certain things happen, and I think one of those is sensing legit interest from the kid. He also doesn’t watch as much of a variety as kids as many schools; instead, he zeroes in on a smaller number.

My marketing comment is related to my belief that having your name out there a lot is valuable. Think about Alabama football. They could cherry-pick if they wanted to. Instead, year after year, they extended as many offers as anyone. They cast a large net. Obviously, their brand is much stronger than ours in basketball. But, my point is: they don’t have to do it and they do.

A&M, and some others, have realized that they can push their brand out there more. Results are that more kids have them in their top 5 and top 10, even though their program under Kennedy hasn’t been great. But, because of their aggressiveness, other kids see their name associated to these top players and the perception is more positive than reality. Marketing and branding 101.

Our program has made some improvement overall in marketing; I just don’t think CMA values it as much as he should and it shows in his recruiting strategy.

This is just a preference and one of the things I’ve not preferred from CMA. Again, W’s trump all. That’s why I don’t constantly whine about things I don’t prefer from him.

Fair enough. And you have mentioned this before. I wish the media guys ask CMA in the pressers why his recruiting methods are different than other successful coaches and of the perceptions of respected of observers like you. It would be interesting to hear straight from Mike.

There’s other coaches that don’t mass recruit that are very successful. West Virginia, Wisconsin, Villanova, and Gonzaga are a few good programs I can think of off the top of my head that usual have similar recruiting rankings as Arkansas, and they don’t throw out a whole lot of scholarships. It’s just like anything in life, different people have a different way of doing things, one way is not better than the other. Just because you have better marketing, as RazorAG put it, doesn’t mean you will end up with a better product. CMA’s recruiting philosophy is to target system fit kids that have genuine interest in Arkansas and he treats it like it’s a family and is very selective in who he lets into his family. You hear the recruits mention family when discussing Arkansas in almost every interview, CMA really stresses that. Now, that’s not straight from CMA’s mouth, but if you just follow what he does and listen to the recruits, it’s pretty obvious that’s his philosophy.