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New Strauss Column - SLU needs to local Hoop talent at home


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Look, I think Strauss was way off base to suggest SLU and Mizzery make little effort to reel in good locals they feel will help them win. It's a crazy thesis. His article implied kids like Beals, Lee, McLemore, etc weren't pursued. That's just not right. They chose to go elsewhere. For example, look at the Hansborough boys. Dad a big Mizzery alum and still they went elsewhere. Face it, it takes a miracle to get a really good local to turn down the biggies. They just carry too much weight, or the lights are just soooo bright you just can't keep 'em down on the farm once they've seen them.

Also, Poplar Bluff is not "local" for SLU. If you consider that local, then Marcus Bartley (Decatur, IL) is a local.

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Ace and Adman. You are both correct. SLU can, and certainly has, had their greatest success these past three (3) years on the court without relying upon locals. Also, SLU now has re-stocked the shelves with some promising Sophs and Frosh -- only 1 of whom is a local - the rest of whom are from our "natural" recruiting spots: places like Chicago, Indiana, Memphis. Of course, nearly all programs need to take advantage of the local talent in their own backyard. At the same time, the local backyard has not always been as great and deep as many think it has. As to the high profile kids like Beals, Lee and McLemore, these kids picked the very best coaches/programs in the country, and to be fair, they picked schools other than SLU BEFORE we actually started to win. The situation with Beals is much different than young Mr. Tatum. Even now, though, yes we won three (3) straight years in a row, but we are not on par with the likes of Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, etc. and sitting at every one of Mr. Tatum's games will not change that. As to the next level of kids, such as Nolan Berry, etc., they were scouted, contacted and offered but they are the ones who sought greener pastures such as Butler dominating the Horizon with their larger than life head coach and going to back-to-back NCAA Finals. In short, we did actively recruit, chase after and offer local kids.

But hopefully gone are the days when SLU would desperately sell its only real asset: playing time. In the past, we would have plenty of openings and then would open the door for the St. Louis Eagles/AAU to all come to SLU and take over. It worked some years and everyone said how great it was to have local stars. And yes, Adman, attendance was great as well. The problem, though, is that we did not always win and we never followed up with back to back recruiting classes. Now, the philosophy should be: Yes, please come to SLU in that we need you and want you but we also have a good players here already, defense is expected, you will not be guaranteed 4 years of starting and we will not refrain from recruiting another guy who plays your position. Also, here is a scholarship, we want you to accept now, if you don't commit now, we will offer another kid as we no longer "save" scholarships to guarantee you that SLU is/will be your "safe choice" school.

And just to be clear, Strauss is wrong on his facts. SLU has always had local players from Bonner/Jones/Roder/Mimlitz to Melvin Robinson/Carlos Skinner/Highmark/Claggett to Hughes/Baniak/Tatum. More recently, we had had Polk and Luke Meyer, then Dustin Maguire, Lisch and Liddell, then RM (the guy everyone claims to have not respected the local players) got Echerle, Thompson, Cotto and Cassity and the local guard who blew his knee out. We now have Gillman from Oakville and have offered all the locals.

And maybe I am in the minority, and admittedly I would not be a very good college recruiter because I would not be willing to suck up to modern day prima donna athletes, but no, our coaching staff should not have been sitting at all of Bradley Beals' high school games (just b/c the drive is not far) to send a message not only to him but also the other local players. Win and the recruits will line up out the door -- both locals and non-locals.

+1

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You guys are ignoring some of Tatum's quotes. He's at as many of his son's games as possible. If he says other schools are there more than SLU, its the truth. And like he said, he cant push for SLU if they arent pushing harder for his son. If those are direct quotes, why twist the words. He doesn't have to say anything of push for SLU at all, especially if some of you are going to call him a liar

Nobody called anybody a liar - just some have a difference of opinion on what "pushing hard" means.

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Agreed. For those in the know correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Beals, Lee, the Haboroughs, Suggs, etc make it known early SLU was never an option? With JT it sounds different. He's interested but we've got to respond in kind. If we're not then JC and staff have fallen asleep at the switch, and I can't fathom that.

Suggs was recruited hard by Romar and when Romar left Suggs went to Washington where Romar went.

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Soderberg recruited suggs. Ill never forget them showing his recruiting letter to him on channel 5 news. It was Brad with a photo shopped afro. We have come pretty far from those days

Maybe early on soderberg was the coach that recruited him. But Suggs definitely committed to Washington when Majerus was the coach and had recruited him for a while. He was in the same class as conklin/kwamain/willie/etc.

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Maybe early on soderberg was the coach that recruited him. But Suggs definitely committed to Washington when Majerus was the coach and had recruited him for a while. He was in the same class as conklin/kwamain/willie/etc.

Soderberg recruited him for the majority of the time (including when he played on Kramer Soderberg's AAU team). Majerus came in during the end of Suggs' junior year and recruited him a little that summer. But I think at that point it was a little late to gain much traction. I know Suggs came on campus at least once after Majerus took over.

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I recall Suggs was being recruited hard by Romar before he left, but stayed in close contact with him when he left. Then Sodeberghs son and Suggs were buddies, and it was felt Brad had the edge. Then when Brad was fired this opened the door for Romar and UW. And just to be fair to RM and JC, Romar never did too well w/ the locals either.

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Just to clear up matters on McCaw. His final three schools were UNLV, SMU and SLU. This is indeed true. JC met with the kid and his dad at the Elite Camp and they had hoped to get an offer. SLU did not offer and McCaw's dad was confused and clearly disappointed and somewhat put off by that. Who wouldn't. Mixed message. Not good.This was in June folks. That's not to say that McCaw would have committed immediately like Gillmann did, but SLU would have had the pole position for the entire summer and been in a great position to get him. They went on to chase some other kids that didn't pan out and the circled back to Patrick as a fall back plan.. Coach Platt made a good run at him, but there was too much ground to make up after not offering initially. By then, David Rice and Larry Brown came in with excellent presentations.

That's what I meant by McCaw could have been had. Clearly, SLU was in solid position to make it happen if it chose to do so. They did the same thing with Gillmann at the team camp. They called him in the office and offered on the spot. The kid committed two days later. That is how you do it. If you really want a kid, tell him so, make the offer. No mixed message. Granted, Austin didn't have the schools recruiting him that McCaw did, but he responded quickly and the Billikens got a good local big man for the future. How hard was that? They did the same thing with Roby from Memphis and he committed. You offer McCaw in June and make it known that he is a priority and follow him through the summer circuit and the chances are good that you will land him. I think the Billikens were in great shape with him until he wasn't offered early. The talk of him not being interested is pure nonsense. Instead of being a priority, he became a fallback plan.

I do like the local kids, but I'm not one that's going to come on here and tout every st. Louis kid to be recruited simply because he is from st. Louis. That would be foolish. However

If there is a local kid that SLU likes and really believes in (and I am not talking about Tatum), they must offer him, recruit him hard as a top priority recruit and work it and do give out mixed messages. Players like Cook, Goodwin, Barnes, Gladson, Yess and others seem to fall into that category. It is my understanding that Cook has been to several game this season. Clearly, they like the kid and he appears to like SLU. Has he been offered yet. To my knowledge he hasn't, but I read that Iowa has. How is SLU not his first offer when they clearly like the young man.

Believe it or not, these kids are interested in SLU and like what they see. But you're not going to get them with a half-azz effort. Does not work that way. They are no different from the kids from the region that have been successfully recruited. Is it a guarantee that they will become Billikens. Of course not. But you have to get into the fight. SLU has had a history of going only halfway and sending mixed messages is not going to get you the best results.

I think that was what Justin Tatum meant.

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Just to clear up matters on McCaw. His final three schools were UNLV, SMU and SLU. This is indeed true. JC met with the kid and his dad at the Elite Camp and they had hoped to get an offer. SLU did not offer and McCaw's dad was confused and clearly disappointed and somewhat put off by that. Who wouldn't. Mixed message. Not good.This was in June folks. That's not to say that McCaw would have committed immediately like Gillmann did, but SLU would have had the pole position for the entire summer and been in a great position to get him. They went on to chase some other kids that didn't pan out and the circled back to Patrick as a fall back plan.. Coach Platt made a good run at him, but there was too much ground to make up after not offering initially. By then, David Rice and Larry Brown came in with excellent presentations.

That's what I meant by McCaw could have been had. Clearly, SLU was in solid position to make it happen if it chose to do so. They did the same thing with Gillmann at the team camp. They called him in the office and offered on the spot. The kid committed two days later. That is how you do it. If you really want a kid, tell him so, make the offer. No mixed message. Granted, Austin didn't have the schools recruiting him that McCaw did, but he responded quickly and the Billikens got a good local big man for the future. How hard was that? They did the same thing with Roby from Memphis and he committed. You offer McCaw in June and make it known that he is a priority and follow him through the summer circuit and the chances are good that you will land him. I think the Billikens were in great shape with him until he wasn't offered early. The talk of him not being interested is pure nonsense. Instead of being a priority, he became a fallback plan.

I do like the local kids, but I'm not one that's going to come on here and tout every st. Louis kid to be recruited simply because he is from st. Louis. That would be foolish. However

If there is a local kid that SLU likes and really believes in (and I am not talking about Tatum), they must offer him, recruit him hard as a top priority recruit and work it and do give out mixed messages. Players like Cook, Goodwin, Barnes, Gladson, Yess and others seem to fall into that category. It is my understanding that Cook has been to several game this season. Clearly, they like the kid and he appears to like SLU. Has he been offered yet. To my knowledge he hasn't, but I read that Iowa has. How is SLU not his first offer when they clearly like the young man.

Believe it or not, these kids are interested in SLU and like what they see. But you're not going to get them with a half-azz effort. Does not work that way. They are no different from the kids from the region that have been successfully recruited. Is it a guarantee that they will become Billikens. Of course not. But you have to get into the fight. SLU has had a history of going only halfway and sending mixed messages is not going to get you the best results.

I think that was what Justin Tatum meant.

Good info, diddy. Assuming your info to be true, and it is usually spot in, only possible justification I can think of is that McCaw had some possible yellow/red flags with regard to grades or personality? I'm not saying he did, just trying to piece together why SLU would act the way they did.

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Good info, diddy. Assuming your info to be true, and it is usually spot in, only possible justification I can think of is that McCaw had some possible yellow/red flags with regard to grades or personality? I'm not saying he did, just trying to piece together why SLU would act the way they did.

You may be right on that one.

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think you're off by several years.

The Romars and the Suggs were family friends.

Yes they were friends but while Romar was here he was working to get Suggs to come to SLU - and now that I think about it RM did recruit Suggs and yes BS did recruit Suggs - we were on Suggs for a very long time and what did it get us - recruiting is a fickle thing.

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Yes they were friends but while Romar was here he was working to get Suggs to come to SLU - and now that I think about it RM did recruit Suggs and yes BS did recruit Suggs - we were on Suggs for a very long time and what did it get us - recruiting is a fickle thing.

I'm sure somehow it was SLU's fault.

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Yes they were friends but while Romar was here he was working to get Suggs to come to SLU - and now that I think about it RM did recruit Suggs and yes BS did recruit Suggs - we were on Suggs for a very long time and what did it get us - recruiting is a fickle thing.

I still think your timeline is off here. Suggs committed the summer before his senior year in 2008. Romar left SLU the summer of 2002. So if Romar was recruiting Suggs while he was at SLU, he was recruiting him while he was in the 5th grade!

I realize they were family friends and that is a form of recruiting but I really doubt Romar was working all that hard to get a 5th grader to come to SLU.

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Just to clear up matters on McCaw. His final three schools were UNLV, SMU and SLU. This is indeed true. JC met with the kid and his dad at the Elite Camp and they had hoped to get an offer. SLU did not offer and McCaw's dad was confused and clearly disappointed and somewhat put off by that. Who wouldn't. Mixed message. Not good.This was in June folks. That's not to say that McCaw would have committed immediately like Gillmann did, but SLU would have had the pole position for the entire summer and been in a great position to get him. They went on to chase some other kids that didn't pan out and the circled back to Patrick as a fall back plan.. Coach Platt made a good run at him, but there was too much ground to make up after not offering initially. By then, David Rice and Larry Brown came in with excellent presentations.

That's what I meant by McCaw could have been had. Clearly, SLU was in solid position to make it happen if it chose to do so. They did the same thing with Gillmann at the team camp. They called him in the office and offered on the spot. The kid committed two days later. That is how you do it. If you really want a kid, tell him so, make the offer. No mixed message. Granted, Austin didn't have the schools recruiting him that McCaw did, but he responded quickly and the Billikens got a good local big man for the future. How hard was that? They did the same thing with Roby from Memphis and he committed. You offer McCaw in June and make it known that he is a priority and follow him through the summer circuit and the chances are good that you will land him. I think the Billikens were in great shape with him until he wasn't offered early. The talk of him not being interested is pure nonsense. Instead of being a priority, he became a fallback plan.

I do like the local kids, but I'm not one that's going to come on here and tout every st. Louis kid to be recruited simply because he is from st. Louis. That would be foolish. However

If there is a local kid that SLU likes and really believes in (and I am not talking about Tatum), they must offer him, recruit him hard as a top priority recruit and work it and do give out mixed messages. Players like Cook, Goodwin, Barnes, Gladson, Yess and others seem to fall into that category. It is my understanding that Cook has been to several game this season. Clearly, they like the kid and he appears to like SLU. Has he been offered yet. To my knowledge he hasn't, but I read that Iowa has. How is SLU not his first offer when they clearly like the young man.

Believe it or not, these kids are interested in SLU and like what they see. But you're not going to get them with a half-azz effort. Does not work that way. They are no different from the kids from the region that have been successfully recruited. Is it a guarantee that they will become Billikens. Of course not. But you have to get into the fight. SLU has had a history of going only halfway and sending mixed messages is not going to get you the best results.

I think that was what Justin Tatum meant.

I checked the recruiting timeline and you are mostly on point.

When we had the team camp Gillmann was offered there. Roby was on a visit and offered as well. Both committed within days, hours for Roby. Also for some reason we went after Barnett coming out of that team camp as well before he committed to Texas, even though he had dropped us for bigger suitors a year before. At this point we had offers extended to roughly a dozen or so kids prior to the team camp. McCaw was not one of them but he had been followed closely and at that point only had offers from low major schools. Billikens already had offers out to Jalyn Patterson, Ore Agundade, Kelan Martin, and JP Macura. Whitesell was the point man on a lot of these recruits. He left. A lot of them downgraded SLU because of that. All those players filled a similar need to Mccaw and all are more highly regarded players.

McCaw was offered finally in early August. It took a couple weeks for the smoke to settle after Whitesell left. Then McCaw's situation went haywire. He was going to transfer from CBC to a prep school, then his father was hired at trinity so he enrolled there, then he left for prep school again. McCaw visited in early September, then visited Depaul. After his DePaul visit Cheaney went and saw him, that was the fist thing Cheaney did when he was hired. McCaw had said he was going to commit before his season started, He left for prep school then after he wasn't going to be eligible to play at Trinity. McCaw waited and waited on offers and took one from UNLV. SLU stayed in the mix till the end.

Look at Bartley's experience. He came for a visit after SLU had already evaluated him. Crews told him he wouldn't offer him then, It took 8 weeks but Bartely finally received an offer from SLU about a month after McCaw got his. Bartley committed days after McCaw's visit. Sounds like Bartely got a much more raw deal than McCaw, and Bartely had an offer from Creighton at the time. He still waited on SLU.

I like McCaw and admittedly probably there was some mishandling of his recruitment on his end and SLU's. Crews saw him play many times, he chose to offer him when he did for a reason. I'll trust Crews' judgement on this. If a kid wants to get butthurt because he isn't the #1 priority when we have a 6 man recruiting class to fill well what can you do as a staff? Crews had different priorities and needs he felt needed to be filled. McCaw is on a similar level to the recruits we brought in, he's not a top 100 player. i don't have a problem with him being treated any different from other guys were after at the time especially since his HS playing career was in such limbo for several weeks.

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On his radio show Crews said he likes to take time to ensure a potential recruit is right for the program and that SLU is is a good fit for the recruit and his family.

The staff landed nine recruits in less than 12 months, all or nearly all 3-star level..starting with Agbeko...and they are in fact seriously looking at local players...

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