For someone who has said not to like all the media attention, Andrew Wiggins seemed as comfortable as ever Tuesday in front of friends, family and classmates at St. Joseph Central Catholic School in Huntington.
There was no waver in his voice.
There was no indecision.
There was simply a proclamation that the nation’s top boys basketball prospect would be attending the University of Kansas.
And the decision was his — no one else’s to make.
“The other schools were great, but Kansas had my heart,” Wiggins said as he sat relaxed in Huntington Prep head coach Rob Fulford’s office following the ceremony. “That’s it. I followed my heart.” ...
He stayed true to his word, having a small, much more intimate ceremony with only people from the Huntington area and his family attending.
And he certainly enjoyed the day, as evidenced by the beaming smile that never left his face.
“I didn’t really want to open up to the public,” Andrew Wiggins said. “I knew it would be jam-packed in here and I wouldn’t have the people I appreciate just watching.
“I wanted the people that appreciate me and the people I appreciate to be here watching while I made my decision because they are the ones who helped me out throughout the last two years and my mom and dad throughout my lifetime. I didn’t really want a lot of random people here. I wanted more people I knew.”
Not only did the ceremony fit Wiggins’ style, but so does Kansas, according to his father, who had spoken to his son about Kansas and why he was choosing them over his alma mater, Florida State. Mitchell Wiggins said the Seminoles were No. 2 out of the four teams.
“They run a lot of pick and-roll, pick-and-pop — a lot of stuff as he goes to the next level, he’s already ready for,” Mitchell Wiggins said. “The system was probably the biggest thing and the coach. (Kansas) Coach (Bill) Self is a very good coach and Andrew had a good feel for him. I think it’s going to be a great fit.” Herald-Dispatch VIDEO: WSAZ 6pm News Report on Wiggins
On Tuesday afternoon, the best high school basketball player on the continent -- the most hyped prospect since LeBron James, and probably the best, too -- proved he is possessed of not only otherworldly basketball gifts but also a preternatural ability to keep the world from knowing a singular piece of information.
Wiggins' parents, both former Florida State athletes, were reportedly in the dark as late as Tuesday morning. Even the Kansas coaching staff could do little more than cross its communal fingers until the final phone call. According to ESPN senior recruiting analyst Dave Telep, the Jayhawks not only didn't know; they hadn't even been in "much contact recently" with the player who, in the matter of a few words in a West Virginia gym, would morph KU from a promising but inexperienced group into one that will compete for the 2014 national title.
…Indeed, the only thing more impressive than the kid's public relations discipline might be his ability on the basketball court. At 6-foot-7, 205 pounds, Wiggins melds the skills and grace of a guard with the power and size of a forward. He isn't just an athletic specimen who can do things like this
(although I highly recommend you spend the rest of your afternoon with Wiggins dunks on YouTube); he's also a speedy, tightrope ball handler with court vision and a consistent perimeter shot. Scouts believe he could play the 2, 3 or 4 at the college level; he will be every opponent's matchup nightmare no matter where he lines up.
…If any player in the one-and-done era is destined to live up to his immense hype, it's this one. Self is too good a coach not to maximize his eight months with the future No. 1 overall pick, too savvy and too ruthlessly competitive not to modify his system wherever and whenever he should. Wiggins is too versatile and too overwhelming to fall flat. Whether Maple Jordan is a generational talent, an NBA All-Star or merely very good remains to be seen. The number of NBA teams already planning how best to tank their own 2013-14 seasons should give you some indication, but anything could happen. You never know. ESPN Brennan VIDEO: ESPN Telep on Wiggins' Decision
On his Twitter page, @22wiggins, Andrew Wiggins says that he is "Just a average kid trying to make it."
My niece is an average kid. She has 384 followers.
Wiggins has 80,000 followers and counting, mostly because on the basketball court he is anything but average. In fact, he is freakishly amazing, a generational talent ranked the top player in his recruiting class.
On Tuesday, the average kid declared that he would play at Kansas. He did it quietly -- no television appearance, no grand gestures of tinkering with various ball caps before making his choice.
That didn't stop the news cycle from churning out thousands of words (this column included) about his decision, following up on the tens of thousands of words written in advance of his decision.
…Now that we know where Wiggins is headed and the party has officially commenced in Lawrence, we can move on to the next phase of the Andrew Wiggins Experience: seeing whether he can live up to the hype.
Which is, of course, preposterous. He would have to be a mad scientist's concoction of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and LeBron James to complete the expectation-to-ability ratio.
That he chose Kansas, where high-profile players are typical, instead of, say, Florida State, where he would have been a cape-wearing savior, helps ease the burden to a degree -- but only slightly so. Within minutes of Wiggins' decision, the Twitterverse elevated the Jayhawks from a possible second-place finish in the Big 12 to conference winners and Final Four contenders.
…Wiggins was the last top-100 player to announce his decision, and he's been chided in some circles for dragging things out.
But shouldn't he take his time with this decision? It's a big one. High school seniors all across the country wrestled with their college choices, some waiting until the day before deposits were due to make their pick. That's how it should be. Whether Wiggins goes to college for one year or four, it's his future.
Yet by waiting and making a deliberate decision, Wiggins has singled himself out from the pack for more scrutiny. A year ago, Sports Illustrated tabbed Jabari Parker the best high school player since James. Parker announced he'd go to Duke in December.
No one's talking about Parker anymore, except to point out that he and the Blue Devils will play Wiggins and the Jayhawks next season in Chicago. ESPN O'Neil
Watching Wiggins and Selden running the wings on the break in Allen Fieldhouse will be a scary sight for opponents. If KU fans thought Ben McLemore was exciting in transition, wait until they get an up-close look at Wiggins, who often appears to be looking down at the rim on finishes. This class has it all: length, elite athleticism, strength, skill, upside and a number of immediate impact players. Once Self and his staff get this recruiting class on the same page -- look out.
…He is a coast-to-coast threat after securing a defensive rebound, and he attacks the rim from the wing and along the baseline with an excellent first step in half-court action. His physical frame allows him to draw fouls in the lane, score through contact or simply elevate and finish over nearly any defender. He can spot up for kick-out 3s and will knock it down when his feet are set.
In transition, he will sprint the floor for easy baskets or rebound and ignite the break with a bust-out dribble. In the half-court set, Self can run Wiggins off screens leading to curls in the lane, or create isolation opportunities for him to attack off the dribble. Even when Kansas goes to its power high-low game, Wiggins will have space to operate. When Self posts Wiggins against smaller defenders, it will be no contest because of Wiggins’ ability to outjump his man to convert.
Wiggins competes on the defensive end as well, using his length and athletic ability to defend all three perimeter positions in switch-off situations. ESPN Rankin ($)
(Also video at the link)
While Wiggins heads to Lawrence as a potential top overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft and with a far superior resume (consensus No. 1 ranking, Gatorade National Player of the Year, among other accolades) than what McLemore had as an incoming freshman, Wiggins was wise to look at how his predecessor developed himself into a lottery pick during his tenure as a Jayhawk.
I believe one of the reasons he waited so long was to fully analyze the rosters of each of his finalists (Kansas, Florida State, UNC and Kentucky) to see which school would allow him to be the centerpiece, while also offering the requisite supporting cast to abet his national championship pursuit.
Ultimately, Kansas afforded him the best opportunity to do that. I truly think that McLemore's declaration to go to the NBA finally made up Wiggins’ mind. McLemore was the top recruit in an unheralded 2011 Kansas class that just sneaked into the ESPN final class rankings at No. 23, and he redshirted his first year after failing to receive academic clearance. In that year, he improved his game and became Kansas’ go-to guy, putting himself in serious consideration for the Naismith Player of the Year award this past season. McLemore, much like Wiggins, already boasted incredible athleticism but made a concerted effort to improve his jump shot and overall skills.
Wiggins already is viewed as a potential No. 1 pick, but looking at how Kansas made a top-5 player out of McLemore, Self’s staff could work wonders in preparing him for instant success as an NBA rookie.
…When you look at Self’s teams, they’ve always been one of the best in defensive field goal numbers due to their stifling man-to-man defense. With Wiggins and Selden guarding the perimeter, Perry Ellis defending the high post and Joel Embiid protecting the rim, you have a lot of power, length and ability to get after people on defense. All those aspects should better prepare Wiggins for his foray into the NBA. ESPN Biancardi ($)
Q: Would Wiggins really be the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA draft?
Every GM and scout in the league with whom I've spoken believes Wiggins would be the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA draft if he were eligible. Every one.
"Noel is a really good NBA prospect. He's just not a franchise-changing player," said one GM whose team will be in the draft lottery. "[However,] Wiggins is one of the three or four best prospects in the last decade. He has the ability to completely turn around a franchise. All 30 teams would take him with the No. 1 pick if they could."
Q: Well, sure, he'd be No. 1 in this draft. The 2013 NBA draft is one of the weakest in memory, right?
"No," the same GM said. "In every draft since 2007. [Greg] Oden would've went ahead of him. If Kevin Durant couldn't beat him out, no one could. But Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin, John Wall, Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis? Wiggins goes ahead of all of them. I'm not saying he'll be better than all of them. I'm just saying knowing what we know about them when they were in the draft and knowing what we know about Wiggins, he'd beat out all of those guys."
Q: Is any player really worth that much hype? What makes Wiggins so special?
"[Wiggins is] a lethal combination of crazy athleticism and skill," one NBA scout said. "There just aren't a lot of holes in his game right now. Whenever he's on the court, even the untrained eye can pick him out immediately and say, 'That guy is special.' Maybe not LeBron James special. But close to that." ESPN ($) Chad Ford
There is a more specific kind of pressure, the kind Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg described to Andy Katz after Wiggins made his decision Tuesday:
"When you go against a guy compared to LeBron James, that's a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a lot of guys in our league," Hoiberg said. "The hype surrounding him is the main story. I'm sure everyone is taking note of that and the opportunity to play against him."
Allow me to translate for the unflinchingly polite native Iowan: We're all coming for Andrew Wiggins.
This is hardly a surprise. Every college player in the country knows who Wiggins is. They know what people say about him. They've heard the comparisons. They know he's already a near-lock to go No. 1 in the 2014 NBA draft. No one is going to be scared. Most are going to be convinced they're better than Wiggins, that all of their hard work and college basketball experience adds up to more than his talent. Any team with Kansas on its schedule just got an extra reason to put a bull's-eye on the Jayhawks' back.
This is nothing new for Kansas, of course, and it's nothing new for Wiggins, who has been the best player on the court in every possible setting -- the target of other players' attempts to boost their own profile at every recruiting event and high school game -- for as long as he can remember. But college basketball isn't easy for even the most talented freshmen. Imagine how much harder it must be when every single player in the country wants to prove you aren't as good as everyone seems to think you are.
That is the challenge Wiggins faces in 2013-14. It's not just high expectations and scrutiny from fans. It's not just about accomplishing as much as possible in a short period of time. It's about playing an entire freshman season with a target on your back, about being specifically challenged by every opponent every time you put on a uniform. It's the pressure of taking everyone's best shot every night. It's the peril of superstardom. ESPN Brennan
When I saw Bill Self at the Final Four in Atlanta, I speculated that it was down to Florida State and Kentucky for the top player in the Class of 2013, Andrew Wiggins.
"We're still in it," the Kansas coach replied.
That was all Self could say, by NCAA rules, but he said enough. The confidence in his voice was not just false bravado. He believed the Jayhawks had a good chance at landing the 6-foot-7 wing player from Toronto by way of Huntington (W.Va.) Prep.
…By Monday, word on the hoops grapevine was that Kansas looked like the choice. By Tuesday morning, when Kentucky coach John Calipari started tweeting about his team's grade-point average, it appeared certain the Wildcats were out. But nobody on the outside was certain what Wiggins would do until the news was broadcast to the Twittersphere, courtesy of Huntington Herald-Dispatch writer Grant Traylor – the only reporter invited to the school.
By modern standards, this was a shockingly publicity-free recruitment. Wiggins all but went underground, and those close to him persuasively claimed not to know anything. So it was hard for the recruiting media (a 21st-century phenomenon in its own right) to know where Wiggins was leaning.
…How he handles the burden remains to be seen. But Kansas will welcome that burden and everything else that comes along with Andrew Wiggins when he arrives in Lawrence. After many people were counting him out, Bill Self got his man yet again. Yahoo Forde
(Video at the link)
Suddenly, new starting point guard Naadir Tharpe doesn't have to work as hard to initiate the offense and can focus on making sound decisions. Suddenly, promising sophomore forward Perry Ellis doesn't have to be the No. 1 scoring option and can remain a complementary scorer. And suddenly, McDonald's All-American Wayne Selden and the rest of the freshmen can ease their way into their college careers instead of being needed to emerge as impact players immediately.
That Wiggins chose Kansas is a tremendous coup for a Jayhawks program that had to make up ground late to land him. Though the proximity of older brother Nick Wiggins at Wichita State probably helped Bill Self's cause, he still didn't have as many advantages as some of Wiggins' other suitors had.
…Older brother Nick Wiggins said at the Final Four he gets asked where Andrew is going to school at least a few times a day. Host mother Lesley Thomas had to ask her kids to stop asking Wiggins about it because she wanted her house to be a safe zone. And Huntington Prep coach Rob Fulford has sometimes had to turn off his phone or screen his calls because he has been bombarded with so many questions about Wiggins.
All the digging by fans, friends and reporters led to few answers. Not only were the college coaches in question in the dark about his decision Tuesday morning, even those in his inner circle were left guessing until he sat down alongside his family at a table in his high school gym and shared that he intended to be a Jayhawk.
Once Wiggins made his announcement and the stress of a laborious decision-making process was finally off his shoulders, those in the room with him said he smiled as wide and carefree as they had seen him in a longtime.
Only in Lawrence, Kansas were the grins any bigger. Yahoo Eisenberg
"Everyone last year was trying to figure out a way to get him next year," a longtime NBA scout and ex-player told Yahoo! Sports. "Teams are plotting and preparing for when he gets out of school. Character. Demeanor. Athleticism. Coachable. He makes the game look like it's insanely too easy. While everyone is sweating, he isn't and he jumps over your head. The total package."
A little more than a year ago, Chicago high school star Jabari Parker was viewed as the top recruit in the class of 2013. But that changed when the 6-foot-7 Wiggins stole the spotlight at the annual Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Ore., last year.
The Hoop Summit pits the top 10 American high school players against 10 elite international teens. The alumni list includes Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki and Tony Parker since the event's inception in 1995. The Americans, led by UCLA-bound swingman Shabazz Muhammad, were expected to win the 2012 Hoop Summit, but Wiggins stole the show with 20 points, two assists, seven rebounds and two steals to lead the World Select team to a surprising 84-75 triumph. The Toronto native also had 17 points, nine rebounds and four assists as the World Select team beat the U.S. again 112-98 in last Saturday's Summit.
"[Muhammad] was viewed as the No. 1 player in the country [in 2012] and me playing well showed I could play with the best when I was that young," Wiggins said. "I've enjoyed and don't mind the attention. It's something I've gotten used to the past couple of years."
…One NBA general manager told Yahoo! Sports that Wiggins might be the No. 1 pick in this year's draft if he were eligible.
"The athleticism. The ability to get from Point A to Point B with his speed and quickness," the GM said. "He finishes above the rim. I love his composure. Love his poise on the floor."
In October, Wiggins, who at the time was a member of the 2014 recruiting class, decided to reclassify into his original 2013 class because he felt he was ready for the academic and athletic challenges.
…Wiggins has the ability to own dual Canadian-American citizenship, but he cannot play for the United States' national team because he has already played for Canada internationally. Frankly, he prefers it that way.
"I'd never want to turn my back on my country like that," Wiggins said of Canada. "That's where I'm from. I have good times here. The program treats me right. USA already has a name for itself as a basketball country. Canada has not really established that yet. I want to be one of the reasons why we establish that." 4/23/13 Yahoo
Sonny Vacarro on @610SportsKC says @CoachBillSelf "took words out of my mouth, compares @22wiggins to Tracy McGrady, George Gervin #NEXT @RAWFoxSports AUDIO: Coach Townsend on 810WHB VIDEO: Louisville CJ talks with Wiggins after his announcement VIDEO: Coach Self on the Tim Brando Show
Mario Chalmers, like everyone else, wasn’t sure where Andrew Wiggins would go.
The Canadian-born prep star was choosing between Florida State, Kentucky, North Carolina and, the university that has retired Chalmers’ jersey, Kansas.
“Welcome to the family,” Chalmers said.
Wiggins said he had the best connection with Kansas coach Bill Self.
“That’s just the person Coach Self is,” Chalmers said. “He’s a players’ coach, he’s going to have your best interests at heart, and he’s going to do whatever he can for you.”
For Wiggins to get his jersey hung near Chalmers’, he will need to stay more than one season.
Wiggins spent some time with Heat players following a game earlier in this season in Toronto, but Chalmers wasn’t one of them.
“I’m sure I’ll meet him when I go back this summer,” Chalmers said.
Naturally, since Wiggins will need to meet all the Kansas legends.
“Yeah,” Chalmers said, smiling. Palm Beach Post
2. What will this do to Kansas’ style of play for this season?
There will be a number of questions to answer, but defensive excellence is an annual thing at Kansas. Per KenPom.com, the Jayhawks have ranked in the top 10 in adjusted defensive efficiency in each of the last eight seasons, and have been in the top four in defensive 2-point FG% in seven of those eight years. So while it’s easy to look at Jeff Withey’s departure and assume losing his shotblocking prowess will hurt (and it does), Bill Self has established this as his footprint. With the various pieces at his disposal, this season shouldn’t be any different, at least once the team matures and gels over the course of nonconference play.
The offensive side of the ball has been where the Jayhawks have been more variable, with the last two seasons being relatively less potent (and moderately slower in tempo) than the two before that, where Self had the Morris twins, Cole Aldrich, Sherron Collins and other efficient offensive talents to use. Eyeballing both the inexperience and style of players Self will have at his disposal, you’d have to believe this team is going to run more and be very, very potent in transition. In the halfcourt, there likely will be a heavier move into earlier high and off-ball screening to create space for a team that may be better going to the rim than it may be shooting from the perimeter, at least when they’re challenged. This roster also should be better on the offensive glass than the last two seasons, getting closer to where KU historically has been under Self.
3. What does this do to the college landscape now?
Well, Oklahoma State has a problem, and the games between the Jayhawks and Cowboys are now absolute must-see TV. At the very least, with Self’s track record and Wiggins in the fold, Kansas now has to be considered the favorite to keep its league title run going. In the bigger picture, the Jayhawks are now a legit threat to make the Final Four, joining Louisville, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Duke, North Carolina, Arizona and others in what is an increasingly competitive and compelling list. If these teams come anywhere close to living up to expectation next season, it’s going to be incredible, and that’s without mentioning any surprise teams of the sort that make college hoops so much fun.
It also makes the Jayhawks’ incredibly loaded nonconference schedule that much more compelling to follow. Kansas plays Duke in Chicago in the Champions Classic, so now we get to see Wiggins and Jabari Parker square off (as well as Kentucky’s wunderkinds against loaded Michigan State — what a doubleheader!) right out of the chute. The Battle 4 Atlantis now has a cornerstone team. Games against New Mexico (in Kansas City), Georgetown and San Diego State, along with trips to Colorado and Florida all grow in overall watchability and competitiveness.
…Wiggins’ game, which like any prep player’s isn’t fully developed, will be picked apart by media, fans and scouts. He’ll be on national TV a ton. There will be comparisons to other elite freshmen and how they’re playing, and to the teams he snubbed and whether he should have gone there instead. He’ll have to deal with team expectations created by his own presence. There’s going to be a lot on his plate as he navigates his way through a high-level college season and, lest we forget, a college environment for the first time.
From a fan’s standpoint, though? We couldn’t ask for anything more. This freshman class is absolutely loaded and we may be seeing a once-in-a-decade prospect in his formative years. Much like we knew with LeBron and with Durant and with Greg Oden (pre-injuries), we know with Wiggins. We don’t know exactly what we’ll see from him next season, but we do know it’s just the start of what should be a sensational basketball career. He’s that kind of prospect, and it’s that kind of celebratory day for Kansas. SI Glockner
I'm not exactly sure when it turned into the wildest recruiting announcement Twitter has ever seen. But there's no denying the hour leading up to Andrew Wiggins' public proclamation that he'll attend Kansas this year was a lesson on the impact social media can have in elevating a story.
Don't believe me?
Just ask Grant Traylor.
He's a writer from the Herald-Dispatch in West Virginia.
He was the only reporter allowed to attend Wiggins' announcement.
"Congrats Twitter ... you all broke my phone minutes after his signing," Traylor tweeted about 30 minutes after the announcement. "Twitter app is done. LOL."
Traylor had 1,962 followers on Twitter two days ago. Then it was learned that he'd be the first reporter to know Wiggins' college destination, at which point his follower account ballooned to 17,800, and each 140-character burst of information was treated as breaking news. Literally everything Traylor tweeted was retweeted hundreds, if not thousands, of times. My favorite was a picture Traylor posted of Wiggins and his mother walking into the gym at Huntington Prep that featured Jesus Christ himself photobombing because, honestly, why wouldn't JC make an unscheduled appearance?
It was that kind of day.
This recruitment that started as a battle between Florida State (because of his parents' connection to the school) and Kentucky (because it's Kentucky) ultimately swung to Allen Fieldhouse, the latest example of Bill Self out-maneuvering his old boss Leonard Hamilton. Within minutes of the announcement, countless fans who don't spend their days pulling for KU attacked. They tweeted at Wiggins to express their disappointment by telling him they hope he does everything from "tear his ACL" to "die in a plane crash." Some also wanted him to "burn in hell" because, in their opinions, he's a "bitch" who is "fu--ing retarded" and a "piece of sh-t" who should have his "neck snapped."
Andrew Wiggins is just 18 years old, by the way.
He is, by all accounts, a nice and respectful young man.
And yet this is how he spent Tuesday -- being told that he should die in various ways.
I could use the next few hundred words explaining why this is ridiculous, sad and embarrassing to college sports fans, if not the human race in general. But what's the point? Idiots are idiots. If it were possible to eliminate them from the conversation, we would've done it by now. So I guess my advice to Wiggins would be to get used to it. Because though he did his best to downplay this announcement -- no TV, no national audience, just family and friends and one reporter from a local newspaper -- his stature in this sport combined with the buildup to his unusually late announcement made all of this unavoidable, and things will only intensify from here.
Yes, Wiggins is the nation's top prospect.
Everybody knows as much.
But it should be noted he's much more than that.
Every high school class has a No. 1 player by definition. But in the same way that all national champions aren't considered equals, all top prospects shouldn't be considered equals either. Point being, Wiggins is a special kind of athlete and talent. It's not unreasonable to call him the best prospect since LeBron James. He'll be our preseason National Player of the Year. He'll be the No. 1 pick in next June's NBA Draft. Between now and then, he'll be the biggest star in college basketball based on what he does and what people think he'll probably do years from now. Wiggins' mere presence will make KU the Big 12 favorite (again) and a legitimate contender to bring Self a second national title. CBS Parrish
Kansas made up a lot of ground in the latter parts of Wiggins' recruitment after being something of an afterthought during the early stages. Self made a major impression on Wiggins, and he loved his visit to Lawrence. Wiggins has a chance to be the go-to-guy right off the bat, and he could be the missing piece between a borderline Top 25 team and a Final Four contender. Throw in the fact that Wiggins' brother, Nick, plays at nearby Wichita State, and it made sense for Kansas to put on the full-court press.
And it paid off.
Wiggins is immediately a leading candidate to be an All-American next season, as he is also the heavy favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA draft. Yes, he's that good. The 6-foot-8 small forward has the ability to play multiple positions, creating matchup problems all over the court. He's supremely athletic with great length, and he plays with smoothness in his game that separates himself from his peers. Wiggins can knock down shots from the perimeter, and is also adept in the mid-range. Of course, his ability to finish at the rim and attack in transition is also elite.
On the other side of the floor, Wiggins has the tools to be one of the best defenders in the country. His length and size enable him to guard every position on the court, whether on the perimeter or in the post. That's what makes him scary -- and so tantalizing. Wiggins has the ability to be a lockdown defender, but he has plenty of room to improve on the offensive end. CBS Borzello The basics on Wiggins:
DOB: Feb. 23, 1995 (in Toronto).
Height: 6 feet, 8 inches
Weight: 195 pounds
Stat line: 23.4 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 2.6 BPG, 2.5 APG, 2.4 SPG
Position: Combo forward
Awards: 2013 Naismith Prep Player of the Year and Gatorade National Player of the Year
High School: Huntington Prep School (Huntington, W.V.)
AAU team: CIA Bounce (Anthony Bennett, Tyler Ennis, Rathan-Mayes have also played for Bounce)
A year early. Last October, Wiggins reclassified to the Class of 2013. He was originally on pace to graduate in 2014, which would've made Duke's Jabari Parker the No. 1 recruit in this class. Why, it wasn't even a year ago that Sports Illustrated proclaimed Parker to be the best prep recruit since LeBron James. Now he's not even the best in his class. The Wiggins-Parker storyline is one that I'd like to keep an eye on, though. Both will be on teams playing with good Final Four hopes.
He doesn't like attention. No, it's true! And that adds to the irony of this. Wiggins has taken a really long time to decide, but he made his pick in relatively private quarters on Tuesday, signing a letter of intent while surrounded by family and classmates -- and just one media member. We should note that Kansas is a heavy college hoops media market, though. Wiggins will be stepping into a whole new kind of life a few months from now.
Skill set. Well, being the No. 1 overall recruit in this class and perceived as the best in a decade, naturally, Wiggins does so many things well. Watch the video below as proof. One thing that stands out to me: The kid cracks off the floor and adjusts his body to dunk with such ease. And he's a premier defender. The dunks get the lion's share of the video, but Wiggins will be one of the best without the ball next season, too. At this moment, defense is his forte.
He's not LeBron James. Just because he's considered the best prospect since James doesn't mean he has the same game. Wiggins most certainly doesn't, and no one (thankfully) has gone so far as to say Wiggins will be as good/better than James. He's a tantalizing athletic prospect with a natural feel for the game. Though his body has matured, his game has a ways to go before he's truly elite. James was better at this point than Wiggins is. CBS
5/14/13, 3:00 PM
We know you're hype about @22wiggins v. @JabariParker22 @championclassic. We are too! Tix in sale in Oct
@championclassic AUDIO: Telep on Wiggins ZagsBlog Archive of all things Wiggins
Everybody welcome the newest member to the family @22wiggins ! Time to get to work @WayneSeldenJr
BIG Welcome to the Family @22wiggins let’s get to work and win all next year #KUCMB #KUbball @jojo_embiid
I just landed in Atlanta and found out Andrew Wiggins is coming to KU!!! What a great day!#RockChalk @RobRiggle
ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK - KU now legit top 10 team with Andrew Wiggins! @DickieV
Andrew Wiggins is another example that every school would take a player for one year if they could get him. Remember this is an NBA rule,” tweeted @ESPNAndyKatz
Heading into the day, Kansas was likely second in Big 12. Now, Jayhawks are a Final Four contender. Wiggins effect @JeffBorzello
Welcome to the fam @22wiggins. ... next season needs to hurry up and get here @landenlucas33
Congrats to Coach Self, staff and team. Wow. Welcome Andrew to the Jayhawk family. Rock Chalk! @CoachWeisKansas
Great day to be a Jayhawk! Congrats to @22wiggins on his decision. A great feeling knowing where your going to be playing ball!! #RockChalk @jtheaps9
Congrats to Coach Self and staff on a great recruiting year!!! Rock Chalk!!!” @davecampo2
@22wiggins hey welcome to the family #rockchalk #kubball and #kufball @ReillyJeffers
Over a month ago Huntington (W.Va.) Prep sophomore point guard Nevell Provo said that teammate Andrew Wiggins had Kansas No. 1 on his recruiting list. That came as a bit of a shock because the logic was that Kentucky and Florida State were the leaders for the nation’s top high school prospect.
However, Provo’s proclamation came true Tuesday when the 6-8 Wiggins announced he was going to Kansas and not UK, Florida State or North Carolina.
So why Kansas? Provo said at the time Wiggins had listed the pros and cons of each team on his recruiting list and Kansas was the clear winner. Norrie (Clevenger) Price, a Mercer County native and the host mother for Provo and Huntington teammate Montaque Gill-Ceasar, thinks it might have had more to do with Kansas coach Bill Self and his similarities to Huntington coach Rob Fulford.
“I think he absolutely loved Bill Self. I think if (UK commit) Julius Randle had gone there, there’s no question he would have been at Kansas. He really liked Julius Randle,” said Price after attending Wiggins’ announcement. “Honestly, I believe there was ongoing discussions as late as last night with his parents. He seemed very relieved and happy, so I am happy with him.
“I know he loved Self from prior conversations he had with my husband. My husband loves him (Self), too. His host mom said Bill Self was more like Rob than (Kentucky coach) John Calipari and that is how Andrew is. He is not a flashy kid. He is not about pomp and circumstance. He’s just a humble kid.”
…“I think those that were not close to the program did not know how much he liked Bill Self,” she said. “I would not have predicted Kansas because no one really had an idea, but it’s not a big surprise to me.
“I think the longer things went on, it probably hurt Kentucky. A year ago, it was Kentucky and Florida State. The more players Kentucky signed and then going through the all-star games, I just think too many things stacked up against Kentucky in the long run. I think if he had made a decision early, it would have been Kentucky. By waiting, he changed his mind.”
Some are speculating that Wiggins might not have had a warm and fuzzy relationship with twin guards Aaron and Andrew Harrison, two of UK’s six signees he played with in various all-star games. Fulford also coached the twins in the Jordan Brand Classic.
“I don’t think he really knew Harrison twins. I think playing in all-star games with them probably clarified things for him about them when he had a chance to be around them,” Price said. “But the biggest thing, I think, is just that he felt comfortable with Bill Self.” Larry Vaught's Views
Wednesday seemed a lot like the day after Christmas to Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self.
“My birthday falls two days after Christmas. I always got underwear or T-shirts for my birthday,” Self said during an appearance on Colin Cowherd’s ESPN radio show. “This was better than a Christmas and a birthday present combined.”
…The signing of Wiggins, who chose KU over Kentucky, Florida State and North Carolina, classified as huge national news, hence Self’s appearance on various national talk shows.
Tim Brando of CBS radio asked Self about losing one top-three NBA Draft pick in Ben McLemore with another filling the void in Wiggins.
“The situation with Ben, he handled himself beautifully while he was here. He’s an unbelievable kid. We lose him. We should have lost him (after one season). He should go because he has a chance to provide for his family,” Self said on Brando’s show. “You wake up and have somebody like Andrew Wiggins step in to go with five other guys (in KU’s recruiting Class of 2013), and you are, ‘Wow. Did we deserve this? This is unbelievable.’ We’re all ecstatic around here.”
Wiggins has been praised for announcing in a private ceremony at his high school attended by just one media member.
“It drives me nuts. You spend a lot of time recruiting a kid, and a kid picks a hat (off a table), which is fine. It’s how TV wants to play it up to be a big deal,” Self said of signing ceremonies in which a top high school player places hats of his finalists in front of him and puts the hat of one school on his head, signifying the winner.
“You have schools that invest so much time, energy and money sitting there watching it go down and not have a clue because they (network executives) tell them (prospects), ‘If you tell anybody, we won’t have you on TV.’ This was the high school beat writer, family, friends, teammates ... perfect. I thought it was very refreshing.”
…“Comparing him to LeBron is not fair,” Self said. “From a physical standpoint, they are both about the same height. LeBron is obviously much thicker and bigger physically. Andrew is extremely long at 6-8. His wingspan may be 7-1, 7-2, and they can both fly. There are some similarities in that. Both are freakish athletes.”
As far as how Wiggins will be used ...
“We’ll plug him in and do a lot of things we did with Ben plus add a whole bunch of more things,” Self said. “I think he’s a slasher who can shoot. You can post him. You can play really small with him at the 4, which we probably never will do, and of course he can be your 2-guard, which is his natural position.” LJW
Of Wiggins the person, Fulford said: “Unbelievable kid. I texted coach Self and told him, ‘Congratulations, you are not only getting a great basketball player, but even better person.’ It’s been an honor to have him here. He’s one of the most respectful kids you’ll ever meet. He gets a bad rap for not wanting to handle media, but I think the part of the media he didn’t like to deal with is over. He didn’t like to talk about recruiting, comparing colleges. Talking basketball, he’s fine.”
As far as Wiggins the player, the coach said: “He has off the charts ability. It’s unfair to compare anyone to (Michael) Jordan or LeBron (James). I hope people don’t do that and set him up. He has unbelievable potential. His future is very bright. If he stays healthy, he will have a great NBA career. But comparisons are unfair at this point.
“He showed up at Huntington Prep as an elite athlete; he’s leaving an elite basketball player. He’s gotten so much better in the couple years he’s been here. He has room to improve certain things. It will be fun to sit back and watch how he develops at Kansas and into the future,” Fulford noted.
…Wiggins played for the Canadian team that won bronze at last summer’s Americas qualifying tournament for the Under 19 worlds. The U19 Worlds will be contested June 27-July 7 in Prague.
The qualifying tournament for the FIBA World Cup will be Aug. 30-Sept. 11 in Venezuela. Wiggins said Tuesday his immediate plans are to take finals, return home to Canada to relax with friends and family.
“He has some desires, which I totally support 100 percent, of playing on the Canadian 19 and under team,” Self said. “Whatever he wants to do I’m cool with, as long as it’s a situation where he’s getting better. One of the advantages of being here (in summer) is for camaraderie and chemistry with teammates. If he has a chance to do some things from a worldwide competition standpoint, we’ll support that 100 percent. To have the opportunity to play for one or, even better, both teams I think would be a remarkable experience for him.” LJW
“I’ve got a weight lifted off my shoulders. I can relax now,” said Wiggins, who will be playing one year of college ball just up the road from his brother, Nick, a senior-to-be at Wichita State.
“That’s another positive in going there. We talked about all the possibilities. My brother is right there with me. Wichita State is like an hour-and-a-half travel away, so I can be close to my brother. I just look forward to having fun (at KU) and competing,” he added.
Wiggins — the last ranked player in the Class of 2013 to announce his college choice — didn’t keep anybody waiting on Tuesday morning.
His press conference, which was scheduled for 11:15 a.m., started at 11:09. That’s when Traylor’s tweet came out, KU coach Bill Self and lead Wiggins recruiter Kurtis Townsend not immediately noticing that they’d won the biggest recruiting battle of their careers.
Recruiting analyst Shay Wildeboor of Rivals.com called Townsend with the news.
“Shay asked Kurt, has he heard? We said, ‘No, he hasn’t done it yet,’” Self said. “Shay said, ‘He just did it. He’s coming to Kansas.’ It’s how we found out. Everybody started running in the office saying it was out everywhere he signed. Then my phone started blowing up. I probably got 150 texts in 10 minutes.
“There wasn’t jubilation,” Self added. “It was kind of a surreal feeling. I was so happy. It was a humble happiness. I was so proud we were able to land Andrew. There were some high fives, but not that much celebration. There will be a time we do celebrate. Hopefully that’s after we win a lot of games next year,” Self added.
Self admitted he went to bed on Monday night apprehensive about Tuesday’s announcement.
“I didn’t think it was great,” he said of KU’s chances. “I kept texting him. I couldn’t get him to respond. In the morning I text him and said, ‘Hey man, have a great day today.’ He texted back, ‘Thank you.’ That’s been my limited contact with him in recent days because he shut it all down and wanted to think about everything. We had no communication with the family until after he signed the papers.”
…“I thought it was the longest long shot,” Self said, “at least when we first got involved and everything. The more we hung around, the more we felt he liked us. There was a little bit of a connection. Kurtis (Townsend) played a huge role in making sure that occurred.”
Self said KU caught a break in Wiggins visiting for Senior Day.
“He saw what this place was about,” Self said. “The game wasn’t a huge high intensity game (vs. Texas Tech) but he was able to see how the players are beloved here. After he left, I felt we were definitely in the game and had a shot.” LJW
Wilt, Danny and Wiggins can’t be compared as basketball players because of their different styles and positions and because nobody can be compared to Wilt. But Johnson did point to traits shared by Chamberlain and Manning and to early signs that Wiggins might have them as well: class and humility.
“Wilt and Danny, really good people who came from wonderful families,” Johnson said.
Wiggins didn’t invite ESPN in for a news conference choreographed by the network, replete with baseball caps from all four schools facing the TV cameras. Great sign.
“It tells me a lot about him,” Johnson said. “He wasn’t doing it for the glory or for the attention the way most of them do it.”
Instead, he let a reporter who had covered him in high school break the news via Twitter.
“That’s very telling about what type of person he is,” Johnson said.
Throughout his recruitment, Wiggins appeared to think all the speculation about his college choice, all the importance placed on it, did not make sense. He seems to get that just because he happens to be really good at something that generates huge audiences on TV and in person doesn’t make him more important than heads of state.
Manning’s the same way and, according to Johnson, so was Wilt, who to that point was the most talented basketball player ever. LJW Keegan
One sportsbook opted to not even post college basketbal future odds until Andrew Wiggins signed.
Another had Kansas as a 30-1 longshot a week ago and just 10-1 this morning.
Such is the impact the Canadian high schooler has had on college basketball and on college basketball betting.
"We were waiting on him to sign before opening these odds up," said Kevin Bradley of Bovada sportsbook. "He is the biggest impact player we have seen in a long time and he is an immediate difference maker on college basketball future odds."
Indeed, the decision by the son of former NBAer Mitchell Wiggins shot Kansas to second spot on the Bovada odds list at 11-2. That is just behind Kentucky at 5-1.
In addition to the improved odds on the Jayhawks, Wiggins was also the subject of a few college basketball props Wednesday morning. Bovada made him a -300 bet to be the first player taken in next year's NBA draft.
And his point-per-game over/under for next season was set at 18. philly.com
Bill Self knew after witnessing an emotional senior day that Andrew Wiggins was considering Kansas, even if the Jayhawks' coach was in the dark like everyone else while the superstar recruit made certain of his future.
For one thing, Wiggins saw on that visit in March just how beloved players are at Kansas, where icons such as James Naismith and Phog Allen have become deified.
Wiggins also saw just how many players were departing.
Four senior starters delivered farewell addresses that night. A few weeks later, star freshman Ben McLemore announced he would be declaring for the NBA draft, leaving the nine-time defending Big 12 champions looking for a bunch of guys to plug into the lineup next season.
Undoubtedly, Wiggins saw in Kansas a place where he could shine.
…"I felt like there was a connection," Self said, "but basically, he picked a good night to visit. He visited on senior day and kind of saw what this was all about, a game that wasn't a huge high-intensity game, but a game he was able to see how players are beloved here."
…"If anything," Self said, "it gets me excited to go to work."
Wiggins said the most difficult part of his decision was informing the three other finalists that he'd be going elsewhere. As for why he chose Kansas, well, he's keeping most of those reasons private, though he did say having his older brother Nick Wiggins at Wichita State was nice.
His father, former NBA player Mitchell Wiggins, said fit was also a big part of it.
"He liked their system. A lot of pro offence, the pick and roll," the elder Wiggins said. "The system is probably the biggest thing, and [Bill] Self is a pretty good coach."
Self is the first to admit he wouldn't be nearly as successful if it wasn't for his players — that's where it all starts, of course. But in luring Wiggins to Kansas, even Self acknowledged he's never coached another player like him.
"He doesn't really fit the mold of some of the guys we've had in the past," Self said. "He's a tremendous talent and a terrific kid. Probably an even better kid than he is a talent. We think he has a chance to be about as good a prospect as we've ever had." AP
“He is soft-spoken,” said Roy Rana, the Ryerson University coach who has coached Wiggins internationally and at the Nike Hoop Summit. “But it’s not that he’s not assertive. He’s an assertive young man. When he feels strongly about something, he will let you know and he will stand up for himself. I think his adjustment will be fine. I think he’s going to step in to wherever he goes to college and have a great experience as a student and have a huge impact on the court. As he continues to mature he’s going to be much more confident in who he is and what he wants.”
The hope is that his year in Kansas will help him get there. Wiggins is at the top of a loaded class of potential 2014 draftees, including Kentucky commits Julius Randle, Andrew Harrison and Aaron Harrison, as well as Duke’s Jabari Parker and Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart. Thanks to his superior athleticism, Wiggins is ranked the top prospect of them all, but he does not have a free ride to the top pick in 2014. He has never dealt with the consistent competition that he will face this year, and his jumper and work ethic are still points of concern.
In that sense, going to Kansas, where he will play with Cameroonian centre Joel Embiid and Boston shooting guard Wayne Selden, will help him. Kentucky will likely be the favourite to win the NCAA championship heading into next year, but Kansas will be very competitive. A dominant year for Wiggins would certainly help that cause.
But the main priorities are clear: avoid injury and avoid controversy. Those would have remained the same, no matter where he chose to spend eight months of his life. National Post
Wiggins had long ago narrowed things down to four schools — three bluebloods (Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky) and a sentimental choice (Florida State).
In Kansas, he took the Goldilocks option.
Kentucky is too stacked with incoming freshman talent. Had Wiggins chosen the Wildcats he’d have created a Fab Five maelstrom guaranteeing blanket coverage for the next year. More than anything, what this kid needs is space to breathe, not new excuses for the media to pile on.
UNC isn’t quite as good, but still maintains the most pressurized atmosphere in college sports that isn’t football in Texas. Also, attending Michael Jordan’s alma mater would set the bar rather high.
Though both his parents attended Florida State, it has a depressingly average basketball set-up.
Kansas is just right — a historic program with a track record of shuttling youngsters into the pros; a powerful team, but not so oversold that it might overshadow him. Kansas is bigger than the player, but smaller than his ambition.
Kansas will know its role in all this — to take gentle hold of Wiggins and deliver him to his next team without breaking anything.
If there’s any significance to this decision it’s in the way it was taken.
The done-thing for a recruit of Wiggins’ stature is to announce his choice like the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Only 18, Wiggins is already an FOL (Friend of LeBron). He and his handlers learned something from that example about how acres of goodwill can be undone by one Caligulan pronouncement.
Rather than a big reveal, Wiggins instead chose to do it in his high school gymnasium in front of family and friends. There was no camera bank or pep squad squealing in the background. Only one reporter was invited — the local scribbler from Huntington, West Virginia’s Herald-Dispatch.
As soon as he tweeted out word, ESPN.com made it their top story. And not just one story. They posted five. They also re-released their pre-season top 25, bumping Kansas from the fringes to fifth overall.
Whether or not it’s true, Wiggins’ coaches told reporters that as of two hours before he announced his destination, he hadn’t yet told his parents. Kansas officials only learned of the choice when the words came out of Wiggins’ mouth. The overriding message: “I’m my own man.”
Wiggins seems aware that the three losers here were just as important an audience as the one winner. That’s heady judgment from a high-schooler.
He isn’t going to college to win championships, though he just might. He isn’t even going there to develop as a player. What Wiggins needs more than coaching is a quality trainer. The reedy 6-foot-8 forward can’t compete at the next level until he’s gained 30 or 40 pounds.
Everything else in his arsenal is already pro-rated. He is the best amateur player on the planet, and already one of the dozen-or-so best wings in the game.
Wiggins is instead going to Kansas on an extended promotional campaign. He’s there to impress upon NBA GMs that he’s as advertised, and that that quality extends primarily from character rather than genetics.
He’s also making a low-key sizzle reel for advertisers who can’t yet sign him. This is a job interview. Wiggins is the one holding the interview.
When he came up to Hamilton to barnstorm in front of a packed gym at McMaster in February, Wiggins was all shy reserve. He speaks in whispers, head tucked into chin. Someone asked him that day what he would like people to know about him.
“That I’m only 17,” Wiggins said then.
He’s age of majority now. He has next to nothing to prove in the NCAA. But the message is changing. He needs people to know that he is an adult.
In the way he hurdled all the stumbling blocks to making this first defining choice of his professional life, that message was amplified. The kid is a lot better than alright. Toronto Star
Baylor, nice try.
Same for Oklahoma State.
Just when the Big 12 was ready to crown a new men's basketball champion for the first time since 1934, Kansas just had to step in and go all Kansas on the conference yet again.
In a highly, highly anticipated decision, top prep basketball prospect Andrew Wiggins said he will attend the University of Kansas to play basketball beginning in the fall.
Wiggins is listed as a 6-foot-7 small forward; he has been called one of the top recruits in the past decade.
HOORAY FOR KANSAS, and specifically the institution of higher learning and edumicashion.
This has to be KU's biggest name recruit since Larry Brown hired assistant coach Ed Manning so his son, Danny, would play basketball in Lawrence. Ed apparently was a dynamite coach.
Wiggins is the best prep player in the country, and he was attracting interest from every blue blood program in the nation. He picked KU over Kentucky, North Carolina and Florida State to play college basketball.
He may even attend class, although I don't why.
(* It should be noted that I am a KU undergrad alum, class of ... just very recently.)
This guy is so gone to the NBA this time a year from now the only classes he should be taking are How to Change My Cell Phone Number Every 15 Minutes, The History of Groupies and Entourage Studies.
KU could potentially have the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA draft - Ben McLemore - and '14 draft, Wiggins.
Both Baylor and Oklahoma State should have an edge in terms of preseason conference ranking because of the number of quality returning players, but the addition of a talent like Wiggins to Kansas changes everything.
Just prepare now for another KU Big 12 title. Star-Telegram Blogs
Here's a look at the highlights of Wiggins' winding recruitment, from his roots in Canada to his big day in West Virginia:
August 2011: Wiggins, who had been a student at Vaughan Secondary School in his native Ontario, transfers to play for Huntington Prep in Huntington, W.Va. About that time, he makes his debut as the consensus No. 1 overall prospect in the class of 2014.
Sept. 24: Wiggins makes his first unofficial visit to Kentucky, taking in the campus with Huntington Prep Coach Rob Fulford and teammate Xavier Rathan-Mayes.
Dec. 3: Wiggins takes an unofficial visit to UK to see the much-hyped matchup between the Wildcats and North Carolina. Freshman star Anthony Davis blocks a shot in the final seconds to help UK secure a victory in front of a raucous Rupp Arena crowd. "I thought it was amazing," Wiggins later told Scout.com.
July 20, 2012: Wiggins faces off against fellow top recruit Julius Randle, with Calipari and assistant coach Orlando Antigua in attendance, at the Nike Peach Jam Finals in North Augusta, S.C. Wiggins outplayed Randle down the stretch, finishing with 28 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks in an 81-80 overtime victory.
July 30: AAU coach Mike George tells the Herald-Leader that UK and Florida State are recruiting Wiggins the hardest after both Calipari and FSU Coach Leonard Hamilton attend his basketball camp in Canada. George says that will be a big factor in Wiggins' decision: "It's who's recruiting him hardest. That's what counts. That's what he wants to see. If he's playing, you better have a coach there front and center. And it better be the head coach. And if it's not — you have a problem."
Oct. 13: Xavier Rathan-Mayes — Wiggins' longtime friend and teammate — commits to Florida State. Rathan-Mayes, a four-star shooting guard, has been mentioned as one of the reasons Wiggins might choose the Seminoles.
Oct. 22: Wiggins makes it clear in an interview with Scout.com that he has opened his recruitment to schools other than perceived favorites UK and Florida State. "My options are still wide open," he says. "People think they can dictate or know where I'm going, but they might be in for a surprise." Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio State and Syracuse are among the schools that express interest.
Oct. 25: Fulford announces that Wiggins will join the class of 2013. He is immediately listed as the No. 1 overall prospect in the senior class.
Nov. 18: Wiggins leads Huntington Prep to a 61-44 victory over Christian Faith Center (N.C.) at Scott County High School in Georgetown. The crowd of more than 2,000 includes Calipari, Antigua and several current UK players. "The atmosphere was great," Wiggins said. "All of the fans loved me and supported my team. It's a great place to play basketball here. People love basketball ... the desire for the game. So I appreciate that."
Nov. 30-Dec. 1: Wiggins plays two games at the Marshall County Hoop Fest in Benton, Ky., and averages 27 points and 13 rebounds in the two victories. There were more than 5,000 fans — many of them wearing blue — for each game. Among the spectators was UK commitment Derek Willis. "He's a freak. He's probably the best player I've seen in my entire life," Willis tells the Herald-Leader.
Dec. 5: Wiggins and his parents attend the Florida State-Florida game as part of the official visit to Tallahassee. The Gators trounce the Seminoles, 72-47, but Wiggins' parents are honored with a halftime celebration of their past accomplishments as FSU athletes. "(FSU's coaches) talked about the legacy," Wiggins told Rivals.com. "It's appealing. It's something that I could look forward to (if I went there)."
Feb. 7, 2013: Sports Illustrated publishes a lengthy article with the headline, "The Canadian Jordan, Andrew Wiggins the great hope north of border." The piece questions Wiggins' work ethic, mentions several Canadian prospects who have fizzled in the past and references his father's two-year drug suspension from the NBA. Later that night, Wiggins goes off for 57 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks, while making 24 of 28 field goals in a victory over the Marietta College JV team. Wiggins and Fulford said after the game that the performance was sparked by the "negative" SI article.
Feb. 25: Wiggins is named the Naismith Player of the Year, beating out fellow finalists Jabari Parker and Aaron Gordon for the honor.
Feb. 27: Wiggins and his parents attend the UK-Mississippi State game as part of their official visit to Lexington. "That was a good visit. It was crazy. The game I went to the fans were crazy. They're always crazy. My parents liked it."
March 2: A crowd at Boyd County Middle School in Ashland looks on as Wiggins scores 40 points in the final game of his high school career.
March 4: Wiggins and his parents travel to Kansas to see the Jayhawks play Texas Tech as part of their official visit to Lawrence.
March 9: Wiggins takes his final official visit to see the Tar Heels play archrival Duke in their regular-season finale. His parents also accompanied him to Chapel Hill. "It was a crazy experience," Wiggins said. "For some people a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see Duke and UNC go at it. That rivalry is crazy. I have a lot of family in North Carolina and my dad was born there. So it was good."
March 20: Julius Randle — who some services consider the best prospect not named Andrew Wiggins — commits to Kentucky. A couple weeks later, Wiggins is asked what his reaction was when he first heard of Randle's commitment. "I don't remember," he says with a smile.
March 27: NBA great Alonzo Mourning surprises Wiggins at his school with the national Gatorade Player of the Year Award, which recognizes athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the court.
March 28: The Hamburglar and Grimace stop by Wiggins' high school to acknowledge the player's selection to the McDonald's All-American Game. Standing in for Mayor McCheese was Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, who proclaims the date Andrew Wiggins Day in Huntington. Calipari also drops in on Wiggins for what Fulford later described as a "pretty informal, laid-back talk." It turns out to be the final face-to-face meeting with a college head coach during his recruitment.
April 2: Wiggins talks to reporters about his recruitment during the McDonald's Game media day. He outlines the positives of each of his finalists, specifically mentioning the appeal of playing with other top recruits at UK. "They'll all probably be superstars when they go to the next level. It's always good to surround yourselves with guys who you know are going to make it too."
April 3: Wiggins scores a team-high 19 points in the McDonald's All-American Game in Chicago, but his East team falls to the West, 110-99.
April 12: ESPN's Keith Jenkins tweets, "Source tells me Andrew Wiggins ... will commit to Florida State. Nothing official as of yet." Wiggins, who is attending the dinner banquet at the Jordan Brand Classic, responds almost immediately with a tweet of his own, "Lol if you ain't in my family you know nothing about my recruitment, lol stop with the rumors." Jenkins' tweet is later deleted.
April 13: Wiggins scores 19 points in the Jordan Brand Classic in Brooklyn. His team, which includes Randle and the Harrison twins, loses 102-98 to a squad featuring James Young, Dakari Johnson and Marcus Lee. Wiggins is asked by an ESPN sideline reporter when he thinks he'll make a college announcement. "No clue," he says with a shrug.
April 20: Wiggins scores 17 points to go with nine rebounds and four assists in the World's 112-98 victory over Team USA at the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Ore.
April 22: Twitter nearly breaks with the news that Wiggins has canceled in-home visits with coaches Leonard Hamilton, Roy Williams and Bill Self. The reason for the cancellations: Wiggins is exhausted from a grueling three weeks on the all-star circuit followed by travel problems getting back to Huntington from the Hoop Summit in Portland. Instead of face-to-face meetings, he talks to all three coaches on the phone before the end of the contact period April 24.
May 3: A Maryland seafood restaurateur with the Twitter handle Johnny Crabcakes posts a letter showing his connection to North Carolina Coach Roy Williams and declares that his sources tell him Wiggins will sign with the Tar Heels later that day. The tweets go viral. When the deadline passes, Crabcakes says he might be off on the timeline, but reiterates that "Wiggins to UNC is a done deal." Fulford responds to the Herald-Leader with incredulity: "I can promise you Roy Williams would tell me Andrew is committing before he did the guy that gets his crab cakes," he says.
May 12: Fulford tells several media members that Wiggins will make his college announcement May 14 during a private signing ceremony at his high school. Sticking with the theme of the highly secretive recruitment, Fulford says: "I have no clue where he's going or leaning, so I'm not much help here."
May 13: The predictions start rolling in, and the consensus seems to be Florida State. Among those who pick the Seminoles are ESPN's Dave Telep, 24/7 Sports analyst Jerry Meyer, Rivals.com's Eric Bossi and CBS Sports' Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish.
May 14: Decision Day. Lexington Herald-Leader
2015 Diamond Stone
2015 C Diamond Stone, Young Legends 16s, Saturday, April 27, 2013 Jayhawk Invitational
2014 Brekkott Chapman
Brekkott Chapman '14 Utah Prospects (#23 black jersey) competes at the 2013 Jayhawk Invitational vs the Illinois Wolves
Myles Turner 2014 Texas Select
Six-foot-10 Arkansas transfer Hunter Mickelson told the Journal-World on Thursday he will be transferring to play for Kansas. The big man will have two years of eligibility for KU starting with the 2014-15 season.
Here'a a look at Mickelson's statistical profile from his two years at Arkansas (stats from KenPom.com).LJW NewellKUAD Press Release: Kansas adds forward transfer
A former top-100 recruit, Mickelson will sit out next season and use a redshirt year to grow into a mature, program player. It’s a long-term addition, though, and that’s one reason Self is still looking to add instant-impact pieces to the Jayhawks’ roster for next season.
“I think the current roster could add a piece or two to make it great,” Self said on Friday, after officially announcing Mickelson’s transfer. “I’ve said all along, our recruiting class, I think, is really, really good. Adding Hunter to the mix, although he won’t play next year, makes it better.
“And if we were able to steal one or two more, I think our recruiting class could be as good as we’ve ever had here.”
Indeed, the Jayhawks are slated to add a five-man freshman class in 2013-14, including four players ranked in the top 40 of Rivals’ top 150 rankings. But there are a few big fishes remaining, namely top overall recruit Andrew Wiggins, who is still considering Kansas, Kentucky, Florida State and North Carolina.
“There’s not a lot of high school guys out there available. But we’re certainly open to the recruitment of a couple of those guys that we’re pursuing.”
Another potential target is Memphis transfer Tarik Black, a 6-foot-9 junior forward who is expected to graduate this spring and will be eligible to play right away under the graduate transfer rule. (The Jayhawks, according to ESPN.com, are not pursuing Alabama transfer Trevor Lacey.)
A player such as Black could provide an immediate impact, something that Mickelson won’t be able to do while sitting out. Still, Self believes Mickelson will benefit from what will essentially be a redshirt year.
“When we recruited him (out of high school), we didn’t know that Hunter would be a great player as a freshman, but we knew he had a chance to be a great player,” Self said. “That’s exactly where we are. He’s going to be a very good player for us we firmly believe, but I think it is going to take a little time. So the redshirt year will be much better for him.”
…Self is still in the beginning stages of his search to replace former assistant Joe Dooley, who recently took the head coaching job at Florida Gulf Coast.
But you can cross one candidate off the list. Self said he will fill the position from the outside, meaning Doc Sadler won’t be promoted from his position as the Jayhawks’ director of basketball operations.
In fact, Self said Sadler, the former head coach at Nebraska, may not return to Kansas.
“Doc and I have visited,” Self said, “I do know this: He’s probably gotta do more than what he’s done for us, to be honest with you. He was an asset to us in that position. But he wants to coach, so we’ll see how that plays out.”KC Star
In 2011, when Hunter Mickelson committed to John Pelphrey at Arkansas, he was highly regarded. He was the No. 8-ranked power forward in the class, the No. 55-ranked overall player, and a key part of the recruiting class that was supposed to save Pelphrey's job. It didn't. When Mike Anderson took over, there was some question where Mickelson would fit within "40 Minutes of Hell," whether he was the type of player that could really excel in Anderson's run-and-gun system.
He didn't and now he's transferring. And, to paraphase the immortal words of Jon Lovitz in "The Wedding Singer," Kansas is reaping the benefits.
Mickelson announced his decision to transfer to Lawrence Thursday afternoon, ending a pretty brief examination period during which he considered a handful of schools, Butler most seriously. But you can't fault the decision either way, and you have to think Mickelson could be a really nice addition for the Jayhawks.
Sure, he averaged just 5.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 16.6 minutes a game last season, with an offensive rating of just 97.0 and decent, but unspectacular, rebounding rates on both ends. Those aren't high-impact, elite-transfer type numbers. But it's entirely possible that Mickelson was simply lost on a team and in a style of play that didn't fit him. That was the consensus during his departure which was amicable as it gets, by all accounts). He could still be scratching the surface. Oh, and in case you hadn't noticed, Bill Self's staff at Kansas tends to make players better. Like, every player.
And even if none of that is true, Mickelson is a good defender and a great shot-blocker. He finished with a 13.5 percent block rate as a freshman, which took a dive last season (to a still-very-respective 8.2 percent); he once went 20 games in a row with at least one blocked shot. Even if that's all you get from him, fine, right? Plenty of coaches would take it.
Memphis forward Tarik Black has taken over the transfer circuit this season, because everyone wants a big, physical, veteran big. If Black is desirable enough to earn the affections of the nation's best, by 2013-14 Mickelson might just be the steal of the summer.ESPN
Mickelson, who broke Arkansas’ freshman shot-block record (72) two seasons ago, averaged 5.4 points and 3.5 rebounds his sophomore season (16.6 minutes/game), while never really adjusting to coach Mike Anderson’s pressing style of play.
“He is a great coach. It probably is a good style for big men, but it just wasn’t for me,” said Mickelson, who, as Rivals.com’s No. 100-rated player in the high school recruiting Class of 2011, chose John Pelphrey’s program over KU, Florida, Baylor, Arizona, Kentucky and 19 others who offered scholarships. Pelphrey was fired before Mickelson’s freshman year.
“KU was my No. 1 choice out of (Jonesboro Westside) high school, but he is a homestate kid and wanted to play for the Razorbacks. We gave that a try even though we knew the system and style probably wasn’t the best one for him,” said Mickelson’s dad, Darien.
“KU is a good fit with the type of players he (Bill Self) turns out as far as the Cole Aldriches and Jeff Witheys,” Darien added. “The storied tradition of KU basketball … it is like Notre Dame football. It doesn’t get any better than that. The biggest factor is, KU really recruits itself, but just being on the court with three or four other high-quality talented kids makes everybody better. You can’t have the success and history and expectations maintained that many years by not doing it right.”
Mickelson, who will practice but not play in games next season in accordance with NCAA rules, chose KU as a transfer destination over finalist Butler. He and his dad have never been to Lawrence.
…“Kansas has landed a key addition in Arkansas transfer Hunter Mickelson. He’ll fit much better w/ Bill Self’s system,” said Jeff Goodman of cbssports.com. CBS’ sources said Mickelson tried to get out of his letter of intent when Pelphrey was fired, but was denied by coach Anderson. Mickelson’s recruiting class included Devonta Abron (now at TCU), B.J. Young (recently declared for NBA Draft) and Kyle Madden, who remains at Arkansas.
…KU will play the University of New Mexico on Dec. 14 in Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. It will be a one-time game with no return game to UNM. Former KU guard Merv Lindsay will be eligible at New Mexico next season. KU will play Duke in Chicago next season, travel to Colorado and Florida, play Georgetown and San Diego State at home and play in the Battle 4 Atlantis.LJW
Standing out at first glance with his 240 pound frame and 7'5 wingspan, Embiid looks the part of a NBA center. Very new to the game of basketball, the Kansas commit has a limited feel for how to make his presence felt consistently, and doesn't always know his limitations, but flashed some intriguing tools on both ends of the floor, even though he wasn't at 100%. Knocking down a 20-foot jump shot, making a nifty move to score a left handed hook shot in the post, and putting in some impressive efforts on the offensive glass, Embiid has some unique skills for a player only beginning to pick up the nuances of the game.
On the defensive end, Embiid is a talented shot-blocker who has the tools to become an excellent defender on the ball and rotating over from the weak-side down the road. The Basketball Without Borders product is a bit foul prone and could stand to be more aggressive pursuing the ball off the rim, but his timing was impeccable at certain moments in practice.
Noted for developing big men, the Kansas staff landed an ideal long-term project in Embiid. If he can get stronger and continue developing as an interior scorer, rebounder, and defender, it would not be surprising to see Embiid emerge as an extremely interesting NBA prospect down the road and a valuable contributor for the Jayhawks as they look to replace Jeff Withey. DraftExpress.com
From noon to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Kansas Jayhawks fans can get autographs from three players from the 2012 Final Four basketball team.
Elijah Johnson, Kevin Young and Travis Releford will sign free autographs on Saturday, April 27 at the Goodcents Deli located at 796 East Main.
810 WHB will be broadcasting live from Goodcents from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
At the event, donations can be made to an organization that purchases air conditioning units for senior citizens to use during the summer.
However, donations are not required to receive the autographs.Gardner, KS
Openings remain for the Bill Self Basketball Fantasy Experience, scheduled for May 3-5. The camp, open to participants 35 and older, includes games, practices, film sessions and other activities designed to replicate the experience of playing for the Jayhawks.
“We even play 'One Shining Moment' at the end for the team that wins,” Self said.
Southern Illinois coach Barry Hinson will be among the featured guests, Self said. Registration is available at www.billselfexperience.com.
Tickets also are available for Bill's Basketball Boogie, a fundraiser for Self's Assists Foundation scheduled for June 8 at Abe and Jake's Landing in Lawrence. The website for that event is www.basketballboogie.org.TCJ
Kansas led the NCAA Division I in field goal percentage defense at 36.1 percent and finished second nationally in blocked shots at 6.7 per game. Both stats led the Big 12. KU also led the conference in scoring margin (+13.2), field goal percentage (48.1), rebounding (39.2) and rebound margin (+6.2). The Jayhawks ranked in the top four of the Big 12 in scoring (third, 75.2), free throw percentage (third, 73.7), rebound defense (third, 32.9), assists (fourth, 15.5), assist-to-turnover ratio (fourth, 1.1) and three-point field goals made (fourth, 5.8).
Kansas held a double-digit lead in all but seven contests. KU held the lead in all but one game in 2012-13.
Out of its 37 games, Kansas held 21 of its opponents to 60 points or less, including 57 against Western Kentucky and 58 versus North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament.KUAD: 2012-13 Wrap Up
In the 40 years since Bob Geoghan founded the Capital Classic in 1974, the event has served as an early stage for household names like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and LeBron James. And while it’s anyone’s guess as to what level of stardom this year’s collection of high school seniors will reach, when the Capital All-Stars take on the U.S. All-Stars at 4 p.m. Sunday at T.C. Williams, Geoghan believes the game’s 40th installment will be known for its depth.
“This is probably as athletic and as talented a group of kids that we’ve had in a number of years on both teams,” Geoghan said. “And it’s not about patting myself on the back because I’ve had a lot of help. I’m proud of the group that was able to pull this all together.”Capital all-stars
Guards: Nate Britt, Oak Hill Academy (North Carolina), Aquille Carr, Princeton Day (Overseas), Will Ferguson, Herndon (Massanutten Military Academy), Nick Griffin, Magruder (George Washington), Nigel Johnson, Riverdale Baptist (Kansas State), Marquis Wright, North Point (undecided)
Forwards: Junior Etou, O’Connell (undecided), Josh Hart, Sidwell Friends (Villanova), Kris Jenkins, Gonzaga (Villanova), Ishmail Wainright, Montrose Christian (Baylor)
Centers: BeeJay Anya, DeMatha (N.C. State), David Kadiri, Coolidge (UMBC)
Coach: Gary Hall, HerndonU.S. all-stars
Guards: Rysheed Jordan, Vaux, PA (St. John’s), Frank Mason, Massanutten Military Academy, VA (Kansas),
Stanford Robinson, Findlay Prep, NV (Indiana), Kameron Williams, Mount St. Joseph, MD (Ohio State)
Forwards: Brandon Austin, Imhotep, PA (Providence), Rodney Bullock, Kecoughtan, VA (Providence), Lennard Freeman, Oak Hill Academy (Undecided), B.J. Johnson, Lower Merion, PA (Syracuse), Mike Young, St. Benedict’s Prep, NJ (Pittsburgh)
Center: Moses Kingsley, Huntington Prep, WV (Arkansas)
Coach: Jamie Ross, Vaux (Pa.)http://dcbasketball.com
Big 12/College News
ESPN says former Notre Dame coach Digger Phelps has been diagnosed with bladder cancer.
The network said Thursday that Phelps has had surgery and will start follow-up treatment next week near his home in South Bend, Ind.
The 71-year-old Phelps has been a college basketball analyst for ESPN since 1993 and says he's preparing for next season. He went 393-197 in 20 seasons coaching the Fighting Irish.APDraftExpress Early Entry TrackerCBS NBA Draft Early Entry Tracker
4/26/13, 6:13 PM
Any Jayhawk targets you will be watching? #kubball" Norm Roberts was watching Rashad Vaughn. # EYBL@jerrymeyer247
Some of the country’s best prep hoop recruits will descend on the Kansas City area this weekend for the Jayhawk Invitational, an Under Armour-sponsored grassroots basketball tournament.
The three-day event, which will begin on Friday in locations in Olathe, Gardner and De Soto, comes with a little added cache this time around.
Previous versions of the tourney were held in Lawrence without NCAA certification, meaning college coaches were barred from watching. But this event, according to local AAU coach L.J. Goolsby of the Run GMC organization, is NCAA certified, meaning college coaches can attend and evaluate during this April evaluation period.
“It’s a certified event for the first time,” Goolsby said. “There should be plenty of coaches in town to watch.”
And they should have some solid talent to scout.
Among the top players expected to play this weekend: Diamond Stone, a 6-10 center, is the No. 4 overall recruit in the class of 2015, according to Rivals.com. Stone, a native of Milwaukee, will play for Young Legends (Wis.).
Dom Collier, a 6-1 junior guard from Denver, will play for Kansas City-based Run GMC’s U-17 squad. Collier, the No. 61-ranked player in the class of 2014, has offers from Arizona, Kansas State, Missouri and Oregon, among others, according to Rivals.com.
Blue Valley Northwest junior Clayton Custer, who led the Huskies to the Kansas 6A state title, will play for Team YOBO. Custer, the 101st-ranked player in the class of 2014, has verbally committed to Iowa State.Class of 2014 (Rivals' national class ranking)
Malik Pope, 6-8 SF, Team Superstar (No. 7 )A Kansas target, Pope has been battling injury and may not play this weekend.
Keita Bates-Diop, 6-7 SF, Illinois Wolves (No. 20) (Ohio State commit)
Quentin Snyder, 6-0 PG, Louisville Magic (No. 29)
Dominique Collier, 6-2 PG, KC Run GMC (No. 61)
Melvin Swift, 6-7 PF, Houston Defenders (No. 72) (Xavier commit)
Myles Turner, 6-10 C, Texas Select (No. 78)
Rising center is on Kansas’ radar.
Shaquille Carr, 6-0 PG, Las Vegas Prospects (No. 84)
Brekkott Chapman, 6-8 F, Utah Prospects (No. 87)Another rising talent who has drawn interest from Kansas.Class of 2015
Diamond Stone, 6-10 C, Young Legends (U-16) (No. 4)High major prospect will draw interest from dozens of major programs.Locals players to watch
Clayton Custer, 6-0 PG, Team YOBO (No. 101 in 2014) (Iowa State commit)Blue Valley Northwest junior is slated to play for Fred Hoiberg at Iowa State.
Tyrone Taylor, 6-2 PG, KC Run GMCGrandview junior has interest from Missouri Valley schools Wichita State, Missouri State and Creighton, according to Rivals.
Ezra Talbert, 6-7 F, KC Run GMC (Creighton commit)Olathe East junior has committed to play for Greg McDermott at Creighton.
Ahmaad Wainright, 6-2 SG, KC KeysYounger brother of Ishmail Wainright, a former Ray-South standout who has signed with Baylor
Kevin Puryear, 6-7 PF, KC Run GMC (U-16)Blue Springs South sophomore has drawn early interest from Missouri and K-State.
Jimmy Whitt, 6-3 SG/PG, KC Run GMC (U-16)Columbia Hickman sophomore guard could mature into a top-75 talent.KC Star4/26-4/28 Jayhawk InvitationalKC Star All-Metro TeamRecruiting Calendar2013 Spring/Summer AAU & Camp ScheduleMy KU Alumni games, 2011-12 Border War, Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos, Late Night in the Phog, and more now on YouTube
4/24/13, 1:51 PM
Look what showed up today at the office. Block Party Hardware. #witheyblockparty @KU_Hoops
LJW Newell: 10 years ago this week, Bill Self was hired at KU
1. Kansas may have the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft and the top nonconference schedule for 2013-14 season. The Jayhawks haven't finished the slate as of yet it but it's getting better with each game that they finalize. The Jayhawks are hosting Georgetown, San Diego State, playing at Colorado, Duke in the Champions Classic in Chicago, and are the marquee team in the Battle 4 Atlantis with Villanova, Tennessee, UTEP, Xavier, USC, Wake Forest and a team to be determined (was going to be Michigan State but the Spartans couldn't get out of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in Brooklyn). The SEC-Big 12 Challenge isn't set yet, but according to multiple sources the Jayhawks could be headed to Florida. The inaugural SEC-Big 12 Challenge will have a number of marquee games but some are already determined like Kentucky playing Baylor in Dallas, which will be folded into the event. Kansas also plans on playing two to three "guaranteed" buy games against top 100 teams. ESPN Andy Katz
4/25/13, 7:06 AM
@ESPNAndyKatz Kansas also playing 'Neutral' game against New Mexico in Kansas@feezsupreme
(Random tweet, but I thought it might pertain to the Sprint Center game)
@b_greene14 will officially visit Kansas May 3-5. Shay #kubballhttps://twitter.com/JayhawkSlant
30 days till graduation... 37 days till I'm in Lawrence...https://twitter.com/WayneSeldenJr1. ANDREW WIGGINS, (6-8, SF)
There is no question Wiggins has the highest ceiling of anyone in the incoming freshmen class. He’s essentially a 6-8 shooting guard with a 7-0 wingspan. Andrew possesses elite athleticism, can score the basketball at all three levels, and defends four positions on the floor. He can change the game in more ways and exploit a wider variety of matchups than anyone since LeBron. Wiggins has a nose for the rim and his second jump is explosive. He operates baseline as well as any prospect since Carmelo and has a perimeter game that’s growing daily. Defensively, Andrew has quick feet, takes good angles, and takes pride in locking someone up. Despite the fact that being the only player on the list uncommitted makes his fit at the next level unknown, Andrew possesses the kind of rare DNA that only comes around once a decade. He’s the most unique seven-month rental of the one-and-done era and thus a no brainer for the No. 1 spot on this list.9. WAYNE SELDEN, Kansas (6-5, SF)
Ben McLemore put his name in the draft, leaving a vacancy on the wing for the Jayhawks. Selden doesn’t have McLemore’s talent or ability to score the basketball. What he does have is a physical presence and toughness which should become contagious to his teammates. Selden gets to the rim at will and should make a living on the free throw line as a freshman. His perimeter game is a work in progress, but he is making strides. As a freshman Selden will play major minutes and bring the kind of energy and toughness that coach Self will appreciate. He’ll be dominant in space and is capable of being a shutdown wing defender. Offensively, picture something similar to Dion Waiters. If he’s able to stay in his lane and continue to attack the basket, Wayne will finish the year on this list where he started: One of the 10 best freshman in America.15. JOEL EMBIID, Kansas (7-0, C)
There is no doubt Joel Embiid has the tools to one day be a lottery pick. The question is how quickly will he transform from prospect to player? Lately, there’s been enough evidence to suggest it’s going to happen faster than many expected. It feels like the calm before the storm. Embiid has the talent and opportunity to emerge as a one-and-done star for Kansas. Jeff Withey is gone and a vacancy in the middle is ripe for the picking. Embiid can protect the rim, rebound his area, and make shots out to 10 feet. As his feel for the game improves, the sky is the limit for the international big man. His freshman year might be similar to what we saw with Andre Drummond at Uconn. Early in the season he might even look like he’s running wind sprints while there is a high level basketball game going on around him. But eventually the light is going to come on. When it does, he’s going to shoot up this board.Dime Magazine Top 15 Incoming Freshmen
Big 12/College News
Don’t slam the door on future college conference expansion and realignment just yet.
The trendy instant reaction Monday to news that members of the Atlantic Coast Conference agreed to a “grant of rights” clause for its television and media was that it would halt realignment.
By the schools “granting” media rights to the conference for 14 years, the theory is that it would be too costly for a school to change leagues because it wouldn’t have much of value to “carry” to a new league.
Several old friends in the business of college athletics I talked to Monday said they wouldn’t bet their own money on that.
These people — from conference offices and major-college athletic departments — all agreed that any number of lawyers would be delighted to challenge those deals in court.
The ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 have such deals.
As one buddy with a wicked sense of humor said, “Do you really think Texas would sign up for something it couldn’t get out of?”
As a sidenote, two sources have told The World-Herald that the Big Ten has done prior “homework” on Oklahoma, Kansas and Vanderbilt among other schools who might some day be expansion targets. The Big 12 grant-of-rights deal didn’t stop a look-see for OU and KU.
Besides a legal challenge, the potential future TV money available could still make it profitable for a school to move.Omaha World-Herald
Kansas' returners have combined for a total of four starts, three from sophomore Perry Ellis and one from sophomore Jamari Taylor.
Bill Self has had to rebuild before, losing Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor in 2012, the Morris twins in 2011 and Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins in 2010. Kansas missed out on Class of 2013 five-star prospect Julius Randle, who could have instantly helped the Jayhawks remain Big 12 favorites but committed to Kentucky instead. The Jayhawks still landed Wayne Selden, the No.12 overall recruit according to ESPN, and Joel Embiid (No. 28 overall), who should both make an immediate impact for Kansas. But neither is good enough to make up for the Cowboys’ returning talent. Self will keep the Jayhawks in contention, but reloading again will be too much for Kansas.
It is because of all of this that Kansas’ reign in the Big 12 will end this season. The Jayhawks will not beat the Cowboys at Gallagher-Iba Arena two seasons in a row, and the Cowboys will start the year a vastly more experienced team. The Cowboys knocked off the Jayhawks in Lawrence last season, and may be poised to do it again.
Oklahoma State is the "Smart" pick to win the Big 12. It made tremendous strides last year and with Smart continuing to develop it will be even better next season. I bet the team finishes 16-2 in Big 12 play and should be favorites in every matchup, with the possible exception of the showdown in Lawrence. The Jayhawks will be good, and probably the second-best team in the conference, but I see them losing four or five games in Big 12 play next season and, more importantly, failing to win a 10th consecutive Big 12 regular season title.Daily Texan
Wayne McClain is leaving the staff of Kansas State basketball coach Bruce Weber, returning to Illinois to become head coach at Champaign Central High School.
McClain was director of student-athlete development at K-State. He previously was on the staff at Illinois for 11 years, nine under Weber and two under Bill Self. Prior to that, he was one of the most successful coaches in Illinois preps, winning three straight state championships at Peoria Manual from 1995-97.TCJ
Former WSU Final Four team member accused of sexually assaulting a 20 yr old woman at a teammate's househttps://twitter.com/JennBates12
The phone lit up on a Sunday in Kansas City, producing a mix of relief and joy that nearly knocked to Will Reed Sr. to his knees.
His son, Willie, was on the other end of the line, telling his father the four words that every parent longs to hear.
Dad, I’ve made it.
“I cried,” Will Sr. says now. “I’ll be honest with you.”
It’s been 10 days since Willie Reed, a Kansas City native, signed a contract with the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies and gained a spot on the Grizzlies’ playoff roster. But for Reed, a graduate of Bishop Miege High School, the road to the NBA has been a cloudy and chaotic ride, a journey marked by missteps at the high school and collegiate level.
Tonight in Memphis, however, when the Grizzlies play host to the Los Angeles Clippers in game three of their first-round series, Reed will be in the buildingfor his first home playoff game, though. The Grizzlies trail the Clippers 2-0, and Reed he may not even suit up.
But that won’t stop his dad,Will Sr., from making the trip to Memphis for game four on Saturday.KC Star
What’s already shaping up to be a really compelling 2013-14 college basketball season just got more, well, Russdiculous. Louisville guard Russ Smith, a driving force behind the Cardinals’ national title this season, announced on Wednesday that he will be returning for his senior season. Smith, who somehow was only named third-team All-American by the AP, averaged 18.7 points a game for the sometimes-offensively challenged Cardinals while teaming with senior point guard Peyton Siva to form the best on-ball defensive backcourt in the nation.SI
What's the biggest concern -- above all others -- we should have about college basketball? How about the fact fewer fouls were called this past season than in any other on record. That is negatively startling, at least to me.
Some might say, "But fewer fouls means smoother play! The refs are finally not calling ticky-tack stuff. This is a good thing." Alas, that's not the case. Because what's happening is rougher play that leads to fewer fouls called. How can that be? Players are fouling with their chest and grinding up the game because that's exactly what many coaches are teaching them to do.
It's creating a slog, and it's why nearly everyone reacted so positively to that national final between Louisville and Michigan; the game was antithetical to the greater trend.
A story from USA Today
by Daniel Uthman details the findings, which were released by the NCAA Tuesday.
The NCAA's 2013 final trends report reveals the following: Scoring in Division I men's basketball is at its lowest point since 1951-52. Teams averaged 67.5 points per game in 2012-13. Team 3-point shooting percentage declined to its lowest mark since the 3-point line was introduced in 1986-87.
Foul calls reached an all-time low, and teams shot the fewest free throws of any season since 1976. Teams averaged for 17.68 fouls each per game, and they shot fewer than 20 free throws a game (19.76) for only the fifth time in history. Assists and turnovers reached extremes they haven't seen since 1993, when the report first tracked them. Assists saw a low of 12.82 per game, continuing a trend that began in 2007. Turnovers, meanwhile, also reached a low for recorded history, falling to 13.30 a game.
Turnover average was so low in part because teams have become more efficient -- but they're also using fewer possessions in each game. With that comes fewer opportunities to give the ball away. What we're seeing is coaches use up a lot of shot clock to try to get a better look at a better shot,
and that has an erosive effect on game flow while actually upping team efficiency.
As points per game continue to dip, points per possession actually increase. It's an interesting inverse of trends. As a result, the past 13 seasons have seen fewer and fewer turnovers per game. The options for chaos don't exist on most possessions, and so the game becomes more predictable by nature.
"I'm no more concerned this year than last or year before," director of officials John Adams said in the story. "Because we've been looking at a decline in points (for a while). Clearly a 10- or 11- or 12-year decline is something to be concerned about."CBSAtlantic: The college basketball victory that seemed too good to be true - and was.
(Basketball history buffs will enjoy)DraftExpress Early Entry TrackerCBS NBA Draft Early Entry Tracker
Tarik Black, a junior power forward from the University of Memphis who has announced plans to transfer, is being courted by Kansas University and Duke, among others.
He will be immediately eligible next season, following his graduation in May.
KU coaches were slated to visit with the 6-foot-9, 262-pounder on Wednesday night — a day after Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski met with Black in Black’s hometown of Memphis. Zagsblog.net reported that Black has also met with coaches from San Diego State.
Black averaged 8.1 points and 4.8 rebounds a game off 58.9 percent shooting (103 of 175) last season. He hit 52 of 116 free throws for 44.8 percent. He started five of 32 games, averaging 20.8 minutes a game for the (31-5) Tigers. He was ranked No. 54 nationally by Rivals.com in the recruiting Class of 2010.
Wrote Matt Giles of ESPN.com: “Though his playing time was limited, he has shown the potential to carve out space on the interior and grab a plethora of offensive rebounds, posting an offensive rebounding percentage of more than 10 percent in his three seasons in Conference USA. There were reports that Black recently met with the ACC program’s (Duke) coaching staff, but Gary Parrish of CBSsports.com clarifies: ‘Duke put a fullcourt press on Tarik Black yesterday. Mike Krzyzewski, Steve Wojciechowski, Nate James visited his home.’”LJW
It makes little sense, on the surface, that a player who averaged 8.1 points and 4.8 rebounds coming off the bench for a fringe Top 25 team this season could, within hours of announcing a transfer, become the most desirable recruit in the country not named Andrew Wiggins. But that's what Tarik Black has done.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and two assistants were in his home Tuesday.
Kansas coach Bill Self visited Wednesday night.
…Duke, Kansas and Ohio State -- three of the sport's best and most consistent programs coached by one Hall of Famer and two others who figure to be viable candidates someday -- are working every angle imaginable in an attempt to land a player who's been remarkably disappointing relative to expectations, and not only because he walked out of a practice, basically just quit, on Josh Pastner in November. Black finished his career at Memphis with an all-too-familar six-point, two-rebound, four-foul effort in a loss to Michigan State in the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament. The 32 minutes played in that game were representative of his junior year in general and Exhibit A of why this prospect once projected as a first-round pick in the NBA Draft would now go unselected even if the draft were stretched to three rounds.
I'm not saying Black isn't very good or that he can't be very good.
I'm just saying he wasn't very good at Memphis.
But that doesn't matter now because, even at his worst, Black has shown he's at least capable of playing rotation minutes at the high-major level, and who couldn't, at this point, use a big who can play rotation minutes at the high-major level? Answer: Almost nobody. So Duke, Kansas, Ohio State and at least 20 other high-major programs are all lined up and working like they're the last 25 dudes in a bar with just one moderately attractive girl. Closing time is in 15 minutes. Somebody just yelled last call.CBS
Just got offered by the Jayhawk nation!!#Bless #HardWork https://twitter.com/OneBigHaitian/
When he's on a basketball court, Skal Labissiere makes quite the first impression.
Legendary Tennessee high school coach Terry Tippett clearly remembers his first encounter with Labissiere.
It was 2010, and the 6-foot-10 Haitian had left his homeland in hopes of playing basketball in the United States.
Tippett, a Hall of Fame coach with 40 years of experience in Tennessee hoops, was in charge of Evangelical Christian School in Memphis.
When he first saw Labissiere, Tippett was skeptical.
"He was a string bean," Tippett said. "I thought he was so thin and so weak."
Then they went into the gym.
"He shot the ball and I said, 'Oh, man!'" Tippett recalled. "It came out of his hands so soft. Jump hooks. He went right and left. He can really do anything with the ball."
Labissiere (pronounced La-biss-EE-ay) ended up enrolling at Evangelical Christian and playing for the varsity basketball team as an eighth-grader.
Word eventually spread to Kentucky Coach John Calipari, who called Tippett — an acquaintance from his Memphis days — to ask if Labissiere was "good enough" to play for the Wildcats.
"I think so," Tippett told him.
On that recommendation, Calipari made the trip to see Evangelical Christian's first game of the season.
"He came and took a look and really liked him," Tippett said. "And he offered him that night. He just came in and saw the potential that the kid has.
"That was great that he would think that much of him."
Labissiere, who ESPN ranks as the No. 5 overall player in the class of 2015, was scheduled to play in a showcase in Louisville on Saturday, but the game was canceled by the event's organizers.
He remains the only sophomore in the country with a scholarship offer from Kentucky.
Memphis, Georgetown and Mississippi State are among the other schools expressing early interest.
"He's still taking everything in and seeing what might happen," Tippett said. "But I know that he loves Cal and loves Kentucky and was very impressed with the offer."
The journey hasn't been easy for Labissiere.
He was 13 years old when a devastating earthquake rocked Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010. The disaster killed more than 200,000 people and left hundreds of thousands of others homeless.
Labissiere was in his home at the time. It crumbled around him, leaving the basketball-crazed teenager pinned under a pile of rubble and fearing that he'd never play again.
It took several hours for his father to dig him out, and Labissiere's legs had gone numb in the meantime.
Gerald Hamilton — Labissiere's legal guardian in the United States — said Labissiere wasn't able to walk for a few weeks, and he took several months to get back in basketball shape.1/31/13 Lexington Herald Leader
4/24/13, 4:44 PM
Met with Coach Keller and Texas A&M earlier today. And Coach Self & Kansas just now. Both meetings were great.@Chief_Justise Justise Winslow
Five-star point guard Tyus Jones says his list is down to seven. No favorites, no leaders, no one school ahead of or behind another; he's just down to those seven.
Yet according to Twitterverse, the rumor mill and the recruiting blogs, his list of seven is just posturing for now. Duke, they all say, is his leader.
"That's not true," Jones promised at last weekend's EYBL event in Los Angeles. "A lot of people are talking and stuff like that, but I'm not leaning anywhere."
Jones swears he's not lying. His list of Michigan State, Duke, Baylor, Ohio State, Kansas, Kentucky and Minnesota is steadfast, and nobody is standing out right now.Rivals4/26-4/28 Jayhawk InvitationalRecruiting Calendar
Joel Embiid is probably a year ahead of Gorgui Dieng was when he arrived at Louisville. Long, gangly big man. Will anchor pivot for Kansashttps://twitter.com/jonrothstein
Based on the schedule that is taking shape, nonconference play could be a trial by fire for Kansas and its five new starters next season.
KU hasn’t released its 2013-14 basketball slate, but the schedule could be finalized within the next week, said Larry Keating, who handles hoops scheduling as a special assistant to athletic director Sheahon Zenger.
The Jayhawks are waiting for an eighth team to join the Battle 4 Atlantis field, Keating said, plus another date or two. Several games already have been announced, including matchups against Georgetown, San Diego State, Duke and Colorado.
Factor in the Big 12/SEC Challenge (anticipated opponent: Florida), and it’s clear the Jayhawks will learn a lot about their young roster in the first two months of the season.
Coach Bill Self hasn’t raised any objections, Keating said, even though the Jayhawks will have at least five freshmen and only one experienced upperclassman in junior Naadir Tharpe.
“Every game that we do he OKs, so I think he's OK with it,” Keating said. “I think it's a good test for our kids. I also think we're going to be a lot better than people think we're going to be.”
The first big date will be Nov. 12 against Duke in the Champions Classic at the United Center in Chicago, followed by a trip to the Bahamas for three games in the Battle 4 Atlantis from Nov. 28-30. The Atlantis field also includes Tennessee, Xavier, UTEP, Villanova, Wake Forest, Southern Cal and an eighth team still to be announced.
In addition to playing at Colorado, the Jayhawks will play host to Georgetown on Dec. 21 and San Diego State on the first weekend of January. The San Diego State game could be either Saturday, Jan. 4 or Sunday, Jan. 5 depending on the NFL playoff schedule.
“We've done it almost every year,” Keating said. “We've played a national game, usually on CBS, that sometimes swings to Sunday based on the NFL schedule. We've done that for years just to get a good game on national TV.”
KU hasn’t confirmed the game at Florida because the Big 12/SEC Challenge has yet to be announced. It initially was reported that KU and Florida couldn’t work out a date, but Florida reportedly has told ticket holders it will play host to a “historic powerhouse from the Big 12.”
KU also will play its customary nonconference game at Sprint Center against an opponent that has yet to be announced. The Jayhawks faced Oregon State in Kansas City this past season, and Keating said next year’s Sprint Center opponent will be a recognizable name.TCJ
There's nothing like one last experience to extend the memories of college teammates.
Kevin Young, Jeff Withey, Travis Releford and Elijah Johnson — all graduating seniors from the University of Kansas men's basketball team — are living proof of that.
Saturday night at The New Garden at Garden City High School, the KU Barnstorming Tour came to town and thrilled approximately 1,500 fans and likely even more who lined up for hours awaiting to get autographs of some of their favorite Jayhawks.
…"This has been amazing," said Young, a 6-8 forward from Perris, Calif., who came to KU after two seasons at Loyola-Marymount (Calif.) before sitting out a year as a red-shirt. "The fans have been incredible to us so far. Driving out here, it's just incredible how far the (state) line is from Lawrence. The crowds show how much the team has touched the state of Kansas and how much over the years people have been following us. It's just crazy, crazy!"
…"It means a lot for us to be able to come out here and interact with fans who don't get a chance to come and watch us play live," Releford said. "It shows how much they appreciate us and it's our way of giving something back. The love they've shown us is incredible."
…"It doesn't get any better than that, playing in the national championship game," the 7-0 center Withey said. "It's meant a lot to play at KU. You gotta wait your turn. It's hard getting playing time as a freshman when you're playing behind great players. I'm happy I waited my turn. I'm a better player, a better man because of my experience at KU."
…"No question, that is something that I'll always have a fond memory of," Johnson said of the 108-96 win over the Cyclones. "Lots of other great memories. Playing in Allen Fieldhouse, which is the best place to play basketball in the country. There's nowhere like it."
Johnson said he had enjoyed this final opportunity to be with his senior teammates.
"It's fun for us to make this last trip together," Johnson said. "We're enjoying doing something together for the last time. The fans have been great. It's cool to see how much they care and that we can give them something back."Garden City Telegram
T.J. Sparr was present when the players arrived on Friday for the 2013 Kansas Barnstorming Tour stop at Wichita East.
“It’s crazy. They pulled up in this huge van, and we were like, ‘These are real celebrities,’ ” Sparr said. “When they put on our baseball hats, it was really cool. All these KU all-star basketball players wearing East High baseball hats. It seemed like they loved it.”
Sparr, a member of East’s baseball team, helped greet five former Kansas basketball players to the school for an autograph session, auction and scrimmage to help raise money for East’s baseball program.
“We are just thankful that KU can do this,” East baseball coach Ryan Bensch said. “The facilities that we have, the uniforms that we have, the things that we get to do, are unlike any other City League schools. We are very fortunate for that.”
This was the eighth year the tour has come to Wichita, all at East High. KU fans started lining up as early as 3:30 p.m. for autographs even though the doors didn’t open until 6 p.m.
Representing the Jayhawks were four seniors from this year’s team: Jeff Withey, Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford and Kevin Young. Conner Teahan, a 2012 KU graduate, joined them as the fifth player and coach for the scrimmage.Wichita EaglePhotos
For the first time since 1947 White Auditorium will have members of the Emporia State Hornets and Kansas Jayhawks competing with each other when the Kansas Barnstormers make a stop in Emporia. The Barnstormers are represented by Kansas University men's basketball seniors Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford and Kevin Young along with Emporia State seniors Taylor Euler and Chris Sights. They will take on a team made up of former Emporia State players including Wes Book and Troy Pierce.T
Tickets are $10 and all general admission. They can be purchased in advance at the Emporia State Athletic Ticket Office in the Memorial Union, Reeble's Country Mart, Price Chopper.
The ticket booth at White Auditorium will open at 6:00 p.m. on game night with an autograph session with the players on Slaymaker Court going from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
There will be a limited number of VIP passes available that will allow access to a special autograph session in the Little Theater of White Auditorium from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Contact the Emporia State Ticket Office at (877) 341-6378 for more information.Link
Fort Scott Community College and Fort Scott High School are teaming up to sponsor the University of Kansas Barnstormers appearance April 28 at the Fort Scott High Gymnasium. The event starts at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 5 p.m. for an pre-game autograph session.Link
Eight former Kansas men’s basketball players begin their quest for an NBA title.
The eight Jayhawks – Darrell Arthur (Memphis), Mario Chalmers (Miami), Nick Collison (Oklahoma City), Drew Gooden (Milwaukee), Kirk Hinrich (Chicago), Paul Pierce (Boston), Thomas Robinson (Houston) and Tyshawn Taylor (Brooklyn) – represent eight of the 16 teams in the 2013 NBA playoffs. Former Jayhawk Brandon Rush’s Golden State team also qualified, however Rush sat out the 2012-13 season recovering from a torn ACL.
Hinrich’s Chicago Bulls and Taylor’s Brooklyn Nets, and Gooden’s Milwaukee Bucks and Chalmers’ Miami Heat will square off in the East quarterfinals, guaranteeing a Jayhawk matchup in the East bracket semifinal. In the West quarterfinals, Collison’s Oklahoma City Thunder and Robinson’s Houston Rockets will meet, which means a Jayhawk will be in the West semifinal round.
Last year, Chalmers joined elite company when his Miami Heat team won the 2012 NBA title.
Chalmers joined former KU great Clyde Lovellette in becoming only the second Jayhawk to win both an NCAA National Championship and an NBA title. KUAD
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They’re all in.
Florida Gulf Coast University officially unveiled new men’s basketball coach Joe Dooley during a Monday afternoon Alico Arena news conference, five days after the decade-long Kansas assistant to Bill Self accepted the position.
Despite it being the week before finals, nine of the eligible Eagles were present and they gave Dooley, 47, a grinning standing ovation. So did holdover assistants Marty Richter and Michael Fly and Joey Cantens, the director of basketball operations.
They’re all staying and it looks like highly regarded signees Logan Hovey, a 6-foot-6, 200-pound small forward from Oviedo-Hagerty, and Jordan Neff, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound power forward from North Cobb (Ga.) High, will join them.
“We’ve all talked, and I think we’re all going to be here and we’re going to keep progressing and keep the same recruits we have coming in and add on and get even better,” said FGCU sophomore point guard Brett Comer, who attended “a couple” Jayhawks camps when he lived in Overland Park, Kan., from his eighth-grade year through his sophomore high school season.
Dooley said he last spoke to Hovey and Neff on Sunday and, “They seem to be onboard.” Comer has spoken with Hovey and junior forward Chase Fieler has talked with both signees. He even texted with them during the news conference. Comer and Fieler agreed with Dooley’s assessment.
The Eagles campaigned hard for the 36-year-old Richter, who was a viable candidate and who served as the interim head coach after Andy Enfield took the USC job on April 2 after leading FGCU to a stunning Sweet 16 run in his second season.
“My first impression was I was mad,” Comer said. “I wanted Marty to get the job because I wanted to keep what we had. But after talking to Dooley and realizing I know the guy, I’m happy. I’m happy with him and what’s going to happen here. It’s going to be exciting and it’s going to be an advancement to big things.”Naples News
“He was a big part it,” said Chalmers, who called Dooley to congratulate him on the FGCU job, of the national title. “He was a guy that always kept us working, motivated us, kept us going.”
Some might even say Dooley pulled off his own miracle, convincing Chalmers to come to Lawrence.
Dooley recruited Chalmers, an Anchorage, Alaska, native who was considered one of the best guards in the country, persuading him to pick Kansas over the likes of Arizona and North Carolina.
“I think he’s going to be a great head coach,” said Chalmers, who was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2008 National Championship game played at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
“He’s going to be a guy who’s going to get some players. With players who have a lot of talent, you can do anything, especially if you’re a good coach like that.”
“Besides my dad (Ronnie, Kansas’ new director of operations at the time), that’s the person I trusted most when I first got there,” Chalmers said. “And over the years, we developed a close relationship. To this day we have a close relationship.”
During his NBA summers, Chalmers worked out with Dooley at Kansas.
“On those days that you’re tired and don’t really feel right about working out, he was the guy who motivated you and changed your mindset to want to be out there,” Chalmers said. “He’s definitely a player’s coach. He’s going to teach you a lot of things about the game, and he just wants what’s best for you.”Naples News
The Kansas women's basketball team will travel to the Virgin Islands for three games in the Paradise Jam next season.
The Jayhawks will face Central Michigan on Nov. 28, followed by Xavier on Nov. 29 and Duke on Nov. 30. The Chippewas and Blue Devils both played in the NCAA Tournament this past season, with Duke going 33-3 and advancing to the Elite Eight.
"This is a terrific trip for our players and fans," coach Bonnie Henrickson said. "We will face some quality opponents on a neutral floor. It will be a great trip and a chance for a young team to grow and prepare for Big 12 Conference play."TCJ
Big 12/College News
A desire to be closer to his family in Puerto Rico was behind the surprising announcement by sophomore point guard Angel Rodriguez on Monday that he is leaving the Kansas State basketball program.
Rodriguez was a two-year starter for the Wildcats, earning second team All-Big 12 honors this past season and a spot on the all-conference defensive team. The distance between himself and his mother and siblings prompted him to request his release from K-State.
“It is important that everyone understands that this was a really difficult decision,” Rodriguez said in a statement released by K-State. “I have really enjoyed my time here and this decision was based entirely on my family and has nothing to do with Kansas State, basketball or the coaching staff. It’s unfortunate after the year we just had, but I just feel right now this is the best thing for me and my family. Whether it is the right choice or not, family has and always will be first with me.”TCJ
Alabama guard Trevor Lacey, who led the team in assists and 3-pointers, is transferring before his junior season.
Crimson Tide coach Anthony Grant said Tuesday that he has granted the two-year starter a release from his scholarship.
"It was a family decision to pursue other opportunities," Lacey said in a release from the university. "This definitely was not an easy decision to make. It's been great at Alabama during my two years. It was tough my freshman year coming off surgery and having to work my way back. I wanted to improve during my sophomore season and I thought I did that. I want to thank the coaches and staff, my teammates and all the fans for their support."AP
The push for a 30-second clock is a reaction to a season in which offensive production was episodically horrific—who can forget Tennessee failing to reach the 40-point mark in consecutive games, or Northern Illinois scoring four points in a half?—and statistically depressed.
Per team scoring fell from 68.01 points per game in 2011-12 to 67.50 this past season, the lowest average of the shot-clock era—in fact, the lowest since 1952.
The knee-jerk solution to this concern is to assume a shorter shot-clock cycle will create more possessions, and that more possessions will lead to higher scoring totals.
It’s really not that simple. As explained by Jeff Waksman, proprietor of the Basketball Predictions website, scoring plunged in college basketball soon after the shot-clock cycle was trimmed from 45 seconds to 35, from a 45-second high of 76.7 in 1991 to 70.2 in 1997. That’s a dozen fewer points per game between the two teams.
“Once you start reducing the clock close to 24, you’re going to make the basketball sloppier. You’re going to have more turnovers and more missed shots,” Wakman said. “I’m not sure it’s going to make total scoring go up significantly, and it’s going to make the basketball uglier.”TSN
There's no doubt West Virginia was a bigger and better football brand than Louisville was/is, and had a team that got folks everywhere excited for Year 1 in the league. The latter doesn't matter all that much, but when people talk Louisville, they always talk about them instead of West Virginia. Talking about them in addition to West Virginia is a much more interesting conversation. There was a case to be made for Louisville last year, but I agreed with the Big 12's move to go with WVU instead.
A year and a half after that decision was made, it's easy to say, "Well, come on, Big 12?! Why didn't you let 'em in? Now they're headed to the ACC!"
For one, I do think the prospect of Louisville being big enough to add $26 million in value to the Big 12 is doubtful now and was doubtful then. It's not crazy, but I don't think it's worth the risk for a Big 12 that's experiencing some serious unity lately and a major lack of drama off the field.
Does Louisville still even play its way into a BCS game if it's in the Big 12? I would definitely argue no on that front. The BCS team that whooped up on Florida is the same team that went to the wire with Southern Miss, (who was 0-12 last season) South Florida, North Carolina and Rutgers. It went 10-2 with losses to Syracuse and UConn, and I'm betting they would have lost at least a couple more in a super-deep Big 12. That means no BCS.
So, I really don't think Louisville's recent year of success is enough reason to rethink the Big 12's position. Basketball is mostly irrelevant, and WVU's success on the field put it in a much more advantageous position to grab a ticket to a much better conference. It's hard for any program in an AQ conference to match WVU's six conference titles since 2003.
The Big 12 wouldn't necessarily have made a huge mistake with bringing Louisville in the league, but 11 teams posed some logistical issues that the Big Ten dealt with that the Big 12 didn't necessarily want. West Virginia was pretty close to a home run when you consider the caliber of the program that came into the league, not considering its failures in 2012. WVU went 7-5. I'm betting Louisville goes 8-4 in the Big 12 last season and doesn't sniff a BCS game. That's not a huge difference. 'ESPN
College basketball's offseason could be shortening.
The informative John Infante, he of the Bylaw Blog, passed along word this weekend that some legislation could go through that would move up the start of college basketball's first practice. As it stands, the NCAA permits teams to start formally playing on Oct. 15 of each year. That date could get bumped up by a few weeks, snuggling into September.
The Legislative Council -- a group whose power includes deciding what rules go into effect for Division I sports -- is proposing teams be able to practice as a group, with coaches, earlier in order to better adapt for the season ahead.
Hmm. Too soon? Infante explains.
This was to ensure that the start of practice would fall on a Friday for Midnight Madness events, rather than on a Sunday which it would have without the change. Women's basketball has had this rule for a couple of years. It basically moves the start of practice up two weeks, but requires two days off per week before the first game. This creates a period of acclimatization rather than the abrupt jump from 8 hours per week straight to 20 hours per week with just one day off.
In essence, the players wouldn't be drastically upping their practice time. Instead, this is seen as the natural segue from offseason, informal workouts to full-blown learning/practice time with the program. But it won't be as intense or heavy as a mid-November practice schedule. This doesn't mean most players will spend any more time in the gym than they already do.
The proposal also includes a separate, smaller side proposal that would allow teams to begin practice at any point on the first allowed day of the season. Currently, the practice has to begin at 5 p.m. or later on the earnest opening to the season. (This could allow teams more flexibility to have a true Midnight Madness -- at midnight -- if they wanted.)
"The rule creates a flexible preseason practice schedule that allows practice days and off days instead of the current schedule that leads to practice occurring every possible day," according to the NCAA. "The more flexible approach provides coaches with the ability to determine how to use practice opportunities."
The Board of Directors will have the choice to approve or deny this change on May 2. If no strikes are taken against it, the new season timeline will be in effect for the 2013-14 season.cbs
College football's most powerful entities will assemble in Pasadena, Calif., this week for meetings that will determine several aspects of the new playoff system that begins in 2014. It will be a celebration of progress and riches for the schools involved and a validation of the bowl industry, which kept its seat at the table despite heavy criticism in recent years.
One group, though, will surely dominate the cocktail party and golf course conversations, even while its influence in the future of college football further weakens: the NCAA.
As college athletics sifts through an avalanche of foundational issues, the credibility and viability of its governing body has never been more in question. Among realignment that has deepened separation of the haves and have-nots, the legal challenges to the NCAA's amateurism model, an explosion in football and television money and embarrassing misconduct in the NCAA's enforcement arm, the calls to start over are louder than ever.
Although the notion that big football schools might eventually break away from the NCAA is not new, the overwhelming sense within the industry is that some sort of major change is on the horizon. Whether that change includes the NCAA completely, in part or not at all is now talked about openly and frequently among administrators, according to conversations with more than two dozen high-ranking college athletics officials across a spectrum of Division I conferences.LinkDraftExpress Early Entry Tracker
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Reggie Rankin: I have to go with Kansas. The Jayhawks have added excellent perimeter talent with ESPN 100 prospects Wayne Selden, Brannen Greene and Conner Frankamp. Frankamp is a smaller version of former Kansas star Kirk Hinrich, Greene has excellent size and deep shooting range, and Selden is a powerful wing who attacks the rim and scores through contact with a college-ready body. In addition, ESPN 100 center Joel Embiid is a long, athletic, above-the-rim finisher, rebounder and shot-blocker who has great size and is improving daily. Coach Bill Self will plug these immediate-impact freshmen into the KU system with a few personnel tweaks, and the Jayhawks will not miss a beat next season.
Adam Finkelstein: Kansas has the second-best recruiting class in the country, in my opinion. Not only do the Jayhawks have great depth and balance, they also have two prospects in Wayne Selden and Joel Embiid who have distinguished themselves against the best prospects in the nation in recent weeks. Selden is the most capable of putting up big numbers right away next season, but when it comes to long-term potential, Embiid is off the charts. Surround those two with a pair of shot-makers to stretch the floor in Brannen Greene and Conner Frankamp and a defensive-oriented lead guard in Frank Mason, and the Jayhawks haven't just accumulated talent -- they've strategically built a class with complementary parts.
Joel Francisco: In reality, you can't go wrong going with either Memphis or Kansas for the most impressive recruiting class other than Kentucky. In a normal recruiting season, either of these two classes would be, in all probability, a No. 1 class. Under John Calipari, however, Kentucky is revolutionizing the recruiting process. With that said, Kansas appears to have the most complete class when comparing it against Memphis' class. The difference for me is in the backcourt. Lightning-quick Frank Mason teaming up with one of the most prolific shooters in high school in Conner Frankamp trumps Memphis signee Rashawn Powell at the point guard spot. There's Kansas-bound center Joel Embiid, who is the best unknown talent in the nation with an extremely high ceiling. Nevertheless, both Kansas (Wayne Selden, Brannen Greene) and Memphis (Austin Nichols, Kuran Iverson) are bringing in elite, deep classes that deserve more attention outside Kentucky's shadow.ESPN Insider Top recruiting class after Kentucky's($)
My Pops and coach Self think they cool. Haha pic.twitter.com/y1Z8G2eYC0https://twitter.com/jahprobound
@jahprobound 👌👌 yessirhttps://twitter.com/WayneSeldenJr
@WayneSeldenJr Lol what's good brohttps://twitter.com/jahprobound
@jahprobound lol im chilling bro, how u? You hurt ?https://twitter.com/WayneSeldenJr
@WayneSeldenJr Yeah I'm straight bro. Just a high ankle sprain.https://twitter.com/jahprobound
@jahprobound oh aight cool, get healthy and dm your numberhttps://twitter.com/WayneSeldenJr
@jahprobound idk about pops... But ole dude on the right is legithttps://twitter.com/b_greene14
@b_greene14 Haha you crazy bro.https://twitter.com/jahproboundJoel Embiid, C, Kansas Jayhawks
The 7-foot Embiid, who hails from Cameroon, was very impressive in the Jordan Brand game a week ago in Brooklyn, and although he played only 16 minutes in the win over the U.S., he contributed 7 points and 7 rebounds.
Here is all you need to know about Embiid: He has played organized basketball for only 18 months. He will be a contributor for Bill Self as a Jayhawks freshman and is already a potential top-5 pick in the NBA draft as a sophomore.
...Andrew Wiggins, F, Undecided
The 6-foot-8 Canadian, for the most part, played effortlessly in this game after three straight weeks on the road. He was the best athlete on the floor but played very unselfishly, picking his spots to show off his ability. He is considered the consensus No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA draft.
While Wiggins is an overwhelmingly right-handed driver, he rarely had an issue in getting to spots on the floor to create his own shot. His great jumping ability allows him to easily shoot over defenders. In addition, he has great head-on-the-rim and second-jump explosiveness around the basket.
While Wiggins will have little trouble scoring at the college level, his lack of a consistent outside shot is something he should look to iron out immediately. He should use the next year and a half to improve it before leaving for the NBA.ESPN Insider ($)
No. 24-rated Craig Victor, a 6-8 junior power forward from St. Augustine High in New Orleans, tells Rivals.com that he’s being recruited by KU, Arizona, LSU, Oklahoma State, Kentucky, Miami and others. He competed in an adidas tourney in Duncanville, Texas, last weekend.
“Sometimes seen as a bit of a cruiser in the past, Victor put in serious work on the glass Saturday,” wrote Eric Bossi of Rivals.com. “He attacked the rim and got to the free-throw line in his first game and started hitting jumpers in his second.”
Mission on tap: Payton Dastrup, a 6-9 junior center from Mountain View High in Mesa, Ariz., tells Rivals.com he will take a Mormon mission and will not play college ball until 2016. He has a list of KU, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Florida, BYU, Virginia, Texas A&M and others.
“I’ll sign everything, but I’ll defer my scholarship for two years,” the No. 52-ranked Dastrup told Rivals.com at the EYBL Los Angeles tournament.
KU in top 10: Justise Winslow, a 6-5 junior small forward from St. John’s High in Houston, who is ranked No. 10 in the Class of 2014, has a list of 10 schools: KU, Baylor, Arizona, Duke, Florida, Houston, North Carolina, Texas A&M, Stanford and UCLA. Winslow, who averaged 29 points and 15 rebounds a game his junior season, made unofficial visits to KU, Duke and Arizona last winter.
McLaughlin likes KU: Jordan McLaughlin, a 5-11 junior point guard from Etiwanda (Calif.) High, who is ranked No. 33 in the Class of 2014, revealed a top seven to Rivals.com at the Los Angeles tournament: KU, USC, UCLA, San Diego State, UConn, Indiana and Gonzaga.
Upcoming visits: Tyus Jones, a 6-1 junior point guard from Apple Valley (Minn.) High, told Rivals.com in L.A. that he had in-home visits with Duke, Baylor, Ohio State and Michigan State last week, with KU coaches to enter his home Tuesday. He’s ranked No. 3 in the Class of 2014. Today, KU coach Self will visit Jahlil Okafor, 6-10 junior from Whitney Young High in Chicago and the No. 1-rated player in the Class of ’14.
Diamond eyes KU: Diamond Stone, a 6-10 sophomore from Dominican High in Milwaukee who has KU on his list, played on the Young Legends team that fell to KC Run GMC in Sunday’s 16-and-under title game of the NY2LA tourney in Minnesota. He’s ranked No. 4 in the Class of 2015. Jimmy Whitt, a 6-foot point guard from Columbia Hickman, had 15 points for KC. Another Run GMC standout is Kevin Puryear, a 6-7 sophomore from Blue Springs South High. Rivals.com’s Robin Washut says Puryear, “currently holds offers from Creighton and Miami (Ohio), but has been getting heavy interest from schools like Missouri (which he unofficially visited in January), Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Marquette, Wichita State and Arkansas.”4/21 LJW
They never identified themselves, and their phone numbers were always blocked. But when they called Diamond Stone’s home, they were clear with their threats.
The intimidating correspondences were designed to steer the No. 2 prospect in the 2015 class per RecruitingNation to their favorite schools -- the nasty side of the recruiting battle for America’s best players.
“Sometimes we get phone calls, threats [from] college fans … ‘Come to my school’ and sometimes they just hang up,” said Stone, who competed at the NY2LA tournament in the Minneapolis suburbs over the weekend. “One time, [they said], ‘If you don’t choose this school, something will happen.’ It’s insane.”
…The coward(s) that has harassed the elite prospect, a player who’s received interest from every high major program in the country, represents college basketball fanaticism at its worst.
The incidents also demonstrate the ugliness that the recruiting game can entail for young men seeking the complicated balance between playing basketball, executing in school and enjoying their youth.
But it’s difficult to avoid the static.
Social media has created an unfiltered pipeline to these kids.
And in good times, it’s a tool that’s often used to attract those players.
And in bad times, it can become a cesspool of hatred that’s directed toward 16- and 17-year-olds who deserve better.
“That’s just craziness. That’s just America,” said Bob Stone, the father of Diamond Stone. “It gets crazy, man. …. He gets all kinds of crazy stuff. Tweets [like] ‘[Diamond], what’s cocaine like?’ Crazy stuff.”ESPN
DYK? - #Big12 MBB has 6 of the top 40 recruiting classes in ESPN.com rankings. https://twitter.com/big12conference
Bout to watch this Jackie Robinson movie. The reason why I wear #42 in school ball. #Legendhttps://twitter.com/chief_justise
We basically just reiterated things we've talked about before like Coach K talked about he wanted to use me and how well he thinks I could run his team. Coach Izzo talked about how well things would play out if I came there. All of them basically were saying the same things they'd been saying for a while.
It was just fun to see them and hangout with them for a while. It was really laid back and chill. We had some appetizers for them. A lot of the coaches weren't really hungry so we didn't cook a whole meal.
I talked to my boy Jahlil (Okafor) after the visits to compare how his visits and my visits went. We talked about similarities and differences and things like that. And, yes, we're still planning to play together in college.
I don't plan to cut the list down anymore.
I'm looking at the early signing period in November, and I'm hoping to have a decision made by then. I mean you never know, but that's what I'm hoping for.
I want to take my five official visits in the fall. Not sure where to just yet though.
Now I'm looking forward to Kansas coming for an in-home either Monday or Wednesday of next week. I'm not sure which day yet. That's all that I've got planned as far as visits go.Tyus Jones blog in USA Today
A slew of high-major coaches flocked to see Rashad Vaughn this weekend at the Nike EYBL stop in Los Angeles.
Playing for Wisconsin Playground Elite against ICP Elite, Vaughn went for 31 points in 26 minutes on 13-for-20 shooting while adding seven assists and five rebounds. He made four 3-pointers. (Here’s the boxscore.)
“He was the best player there,” one high-major assistant told SNY.tv. “He’s 6-5, shoots the hell out of it, is athletic and unselfish.”
“I feel I played really good,” Vaughn, the Rivals No. 6 player in the Class of 2014 out of Robbinsdale (MN) Cooper, told SNY.tv by phone. “We won, we went 3-1, my team played good, so overall it was a good weekend.”
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, North Carolina coach Roy Williams, Kansas coach Bill Self, Minnesota coach Richard Pitino, Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, Michigan coach John Beilein, Baylor coach Scott Drew, Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin, Oregon coach Dana Altman, Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton, Florida assistant Rashon Burno, Maryland assistant Bino Ranson, Louisville assistant Kevin Keatts and Georgetown assistant Kevin Broadus were among those watching Vaughn.
“I saw a couple,” Vaughn said. “I saw Coach Roy Williams. I saw Coach K. Yeah, there was a lot of coaches there. I don’t really pay attention to them, but it’s good to see all of them there.”Zags Blog
KU is expected to have an in-home visit this week with Elbert Robinson, a 6-10 junior from Lakeview Centennial High in Garland, Texas. He’s ranked No. 66 in the Class of 2014.LJW
Former UCLA pledge Allerik Freeman has re-opened his recruitment
“Yes,” Findlay Prep coach Todd Simon told SNY.tv. “I think Al just wants to exercise all due dilegence in making this major life decision.”
Freeman initially pledged to former UCLA coach Ben Howland, who has since been fired and replaced by Steve Alford.
The 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Findlay Prep initially chose the Bruins over Ohio State, Villanova, Kansas and Duke.Zag's BlogESPN: Players and families react to new NCAA recruiting rules
and Coaches react 4/26-4/28 Jayhawk InvitationalRecruiting Calendar
USA Today feature on Rivals' Alex Kline
4/18/13, 4:41 PM
Watched @nikehoopsummit World Team with @chadfordinsider &@PaulBiancardi this morning. Joel Embiid's potential is scary.https://twitter.com/franfraschilla
4/19/13, 1:21 PM
Kansas commit Joel Embiid (94) is so HUGE! 7 feet tall with 7-5 wingspan. Looks like young Dwight Howard. Raw offensively though. Big upsidehttps://twitter.com/rafjuc
Best World Team players at practice were: Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, Sergey Karasev & Dennis Schroederhttps://twitter.com/chadfordinsider
4/19/13, 10:20 PM
@22wiggins is the manhttps://twitter.com/jojo_embiid
4/20/13, 7:54 PM
Embiid is raw, but he has had a few awesome flashes. He's made some NCAA 3's, lefty hooks, and blocked shots. C w/upside for Bill Self.https://twitter.com/draftexpress2
4/20/13, 9:10 PM
I hope the brother @22wiggins liked those passeshttps://twitter.com/jojo_embiid
The Oregonian image
Andrew Wiggins was solid, scoring 17 points and pulling down 9 rebounds. Despite going 6-16 from the field, he didn't force too much on the offensive end, mixing in plenty of flashes of the talent that one would expect from the potential 1st overall selection in the 2014 draft, including some great defensive possessions. Content to spread the wealth on a very talented team, the fact that Wiggins didn't try to take over the game was a positive here and a testament to his unselfishness.DraftExpress.com
The Oregonian image
Kentucky and Florida State have long been considered the frontrunners to land Wiggins, but his decision may come down to this, says Kentucky Kernel sports editor Alex Forkner: “Does Wiggins want to share the limelight on the way to a national title at UK, or be the main man at FSU? I'd call it a coin flip.”
Brendan Bures, the sports editor for the FSView and Florida Flambeau, gives Wiggins a 75 percent chance of coming to Tallahassee, even though the Seminoles are not the basketball powerhouse that the other three finalists are.
“I believe Wiggins chooses Florida State because of his father's (and mother's) alumni status, his best friend Xavier Rathan-Mayes (who’s already committed to FSU) is attending, and he wants to be the guy, not just one of many,” Bures said.
The intriguing school in this mix is North Carolina, especially considering Williams has an opening for a wing scorer with Reggie Bullock off to the NBA. UNC’s other three 2013 recruits are either big men (Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks) or a point guard (Nate Britt). And much like Lexington, Chapel Hill would be Wiggins’ best bet at a national title, should that be on his priority list. Teaming with P.J. Hairston and James Michael McAdoo would form a formidable team.
Meanwhile, Kansas has its own big hole to fill with Ben McLemore declaring for the NBA draft. Wiggins could star in Lawrence with McLemore’s departure, but Pat Strathman, the sports editor at The University Daily Kansan, the school’s student newspaper, gives it a 10 percent chance.
“With Marcus Smart heading back to Oklahoma State, the urgency to get him increased drastically, but I think with the history of "one-and-done" players, Wiggins won't choose Kansas,” Strathman said.The Oregonian
4/17/13, 4:50 PM
Conner Frankamp putting on a show at Derby Festival Classic practice.https://twitter.com/jdemling
4/18/13, 6:20 PM
Zak Irvin and Conner Frankamp beat Derek Willis and Anton Gill in 2-on-2https://twitter.com/stevejones_cj
4/18/13, 6:43 PM
Conner Frankamp, KU-bound sharpshooter, with 19 in 3-point contest.https://twitter.com/stevejones_cj
4/18/13, 7:01 PM
Frankamp, Agau, Avare and Levitch advance to Friday's 3-pt finals at halftime of Derby gamehttps://twitter.com/stevejones_cj
4/18/13, 8:42 PM
@CFrankamp_23 is the biggest boss ever. Knocking down those 3s like layups. #teamfrankamphttps://twitter.com/gocards985
4/18/13, 8:55 PM
@CFrankamp_23 is the real dealhttps://twitter.com/liljacky_1
4/18/13, 8:58 PM
@CFrankamp_23 ran the court tonighthttps://twitter.com/ihbasketball3ie
This kid, Conner Frankamp, who is going to Kansas has "off the bus" range. #derbyfestivalclassichttps://twitter.com/bulldog62606
Louisville Courier Journal Images
VIDEO Dunk Contest:
Anton Gill dunks with assist from Conner FrankampVIDEO Derby Festival Classic Game Highlights
Watch archive video of the Derby Classic Night of the Future Stars here
Lexington Catholic senior Dillon Avare won the three-point contest with 15 points, defeating a field of finalists that included Kansas signee Conner Frankamp, who is considered one of the nation's top shooters.Lexington HL
Keith Frazier, a McDonald’s All American who is headed to Southern Methodist, was the White team MVP, with 18 points. Kansas-bound Conner Frankamp and Louisiana State recruit Jarell Martin had 20 points each to lead the White team.LCJ
Future Kansas University basketball player Conner Frankamp scored 20 points while playing 20 minutes in Friday’s Derby Festival Classic high school all-star game in Louisville.
The 6-foot guard from Wichita North hit eight of 15 shots, including four of nine three-pointers in the White squad’s 124-113 loss to the Black squad. He had two assists and no turnovers.
Frankamp had 13 points the first half off 5-of-6 shooting. He hit three of four threes in playing just nine minutes. Frankamp also won the Papa John’s “Slice Award” for core values.LJW
Joe Dooley — who has worked as an assistant coach at Kansas University during the entire 10-year Bill Self era — says it’s going to be extremely difficult to say goodbye.
“(It was) quite a run. Being part of 300 wins in a 10-year period, 15 of 20 (Big 12) championships, guys growing up and getting better, the friendships we made with other staff members, players and community members. There’s no better place (than KU),” Dooley said Wednesday after agreeing to a five-year contract to take over as head coach at Florida Gulf Coast University.
“Tanya (wife), Max (son) and I will always be proud to have been Jayhawks,” the 47-year-old Dooley added.
Dooley — he was named the top assistant coach in the country in 2010 by foxsports.com — has always said it would take a “special situation” to leave KU.
“My wife and I and coach Self came up with criteria — to go to a place where you could win, work for a great administration and to top it off a place with great quality of living,” Dooley said. “Fort Myers (Fla.) is attractive to live in and recruit to. All those things told me it was a great fit.”
Still ... “this is bittersweet,” added Dooley, who replaces new USC coach Andy Enfield, who led the Atlantic Sun Conference school to a berth in the Sweet 16 of the 2013 NCAA Tournament. “We have unbelievable memories here. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Dooley — who according to the Fort Myers News-Press will be paid $225,000 a year (he made $300,000, plus use of car and country club membership at KU) annual salary, not counting media money and incentives — has extended offers for assistant coaches Marty Richter and Michael Fly to remain with the program along with director of operations Joey Cantens, the paper indicated.
“Joe certainly gave us 10 years of excellent service. I’m sad to see him leave, but happy for he, Tanya and Max. They deserve this opportunity,” KU coach Self told the Journal-World.
“He’s had several opportunities where he could have made a move but this one just felt the best for him and his family. Joe has meant an awful lot to our program in the last 10 years and a big reason why we have been successful. Although we hate to see him leave, it’s one of those situations that you are so happy for him and know that he will be ultra-successful living on the beach in Florida.
He’s been so instrumental in not only coaching our guys but also with the development and skill improvement of our players. All of our players have enjoyed playing for him, knowing they were going to get his best effort every day.”
…Self said he was in no hurry to name a replacement for Dooley.
“I really don’t know what I’m going to do, obviously sit on it awhile, get input from Kurtis (Townsend) and Norm (Roberts, assistants) and see what direction we are going to move. I do have some individuals in mind in case there ever was a potential opening. I’m at the preliminary stages on doing anything,” Self said.
If Self wanted to, he could ask the NCAA for an emergency recruiter during the rest of the spring period, such as director of basketball operations Doc Sadler.
“I don’t know if we’ll need that. We only have basically 10 days left (in recruiting period),” Self said, “and three guys can be on the road. We have a limited number of total days we can be out so I don’t think that will be a factor,” Self said of being shorthanded.
“It’s not bad timing. Most of our recruiting was done in the fall by signing five guys. We’re in the process of trying to bring in a couple more guys. I don’t know if there’s ever perfect timing, but the timing is fine,” Self said. LJW
4/17/13, 2:10 PM
I’m also appreciative of all that Bill and Cindy Self have done for us and the great players and fans at Kansas ...
It’s been a great 10 years and a great experience at KU for me and my family. @FGCUCoachDooley
There’s only one emotion FGCU’s hiring of Joe Dooley as its men’s basketball coach should elicit from the Eagles players, fans and supporters.
Total, complete, absolute elation.
A program precious few outside of Southwest Florida and — let’s be honest, not all that many inside of — knew or cared much about one month ago just got its coach from the University of Kansas.
Rock Chalk Jayhawk Kansas.
Phog Allen Kansas.
Wilt Chamberlain Kansas.
Even the last fan on the FGCU bandwagon, the one who enjoys “Chris Feeler” and his loopty-loop slam dunk shots, knows the Jayhawks are one of a handful of college basketball bluebloods.
Kansas may not have invented basketball, but the man who did, Dr. James Naismith, was its first coach. He started the program in 1898, just 32 years after the first person settled in Fort Myers.
This cradle of college basketball is a coveted destination spot for coaches.
…As for the Eagles’ fans and supporters, both new and old, they should all be excited that FGCU basketball has not only reached the big time, but has a chance to stay there.
Not because its coach is a millionaire married to a model, or its players are exciting dunkers or its campus has a beach.
But because the Eagles’ future is so bright, a coach as accomplished as Dooley wanted to be a part of it.
Now that’s a Cinderella story. News Press
Excited for Dooley’s opportunity, but a bit sad at losing not only one of his top assistant coaches, but a close friend.
“He’s done just about everything you can do as a basketball coach in a program,” Self said in a phone interview with The News-Press. “But it’s time. He’s had opportunities to move to get other jobs, but this is the one he felt most comfortable with. He told me all along this is the best opportunity he’s seen come his way. He’s so excited about it.”
“You’re going to get a guy who’s unbelievably well-connected,” Self said. “You’ll get a guy with a lot of personality that’s extremely tough. Works guys the way they deserve to be worked to put a great product on the floor. You’ll see a guy that’s tremendous at making relationships and guys love playing for him.
“He’s an excellent skill development guy and he’s a basketball junkie. He watches more basketball than anybody. He gives me more ideas than anybody that we can potentially implement to help our team. I’ll miss his ideas.
“But more than anything I’ll probably miss his friendship. We’re colleagues but we’ve also become very close. That is one reason why it’s not bittersweet, I’m just so happy for (Dooley’s wife) Tanya and (son) Max and himself to have this opportunity.”
“He’s a fun loving guy; he’s hilarious,” Self said. “His personality is very dry. He’ll say some things that you will stop and think about and say ‘That’s some funny stuff.’
“But he’s not one of those outwardly guys that are trying to be the life of the party. He always fit in but he has a great presence about him, when he walks into the room everybody’s going to know it.” News-Press
With FGCU athletic director Ken Kavanagh naming Kansas assistant Joe Dooley as the new coach on Wednesday, Canzano is hoping it lends a bolt of energy.
“It’s awesome,” said Canzano, who was prepared to offer Enfield $50,000 off a home to stay and will offer $50,000 off a home he’d build for Dooley. “I’m glad they moved quickly.”
One person excited about the hire is Chris Welling, a member of FGCU’s booster board. He’s a Kansas graduate and has followed the program closely.
“I did joke I’d wear a Kansas shirt to the next meeting, sure,” said Welling, who earned his pharmacy degree from the school in 1996. “I’m in good standing. I’d wear it over or under my FGCU shirt. I tell everyone I like to cross dress.”
Calling it a “great hire,” Welling said the Jayhawks’ success the last 10 years speaks for itself.
“It’s one of the best in the country, they’ve averaged 30 wins a season,” he said. “He was a good aide to coach (Bill) Self.” News-Press
This FGCU basketball team has talked openly and lovingly in recent weeks about being a “family.” That family dynamic was just altered and not in a small way.
We saw last month how everyone at FGCU handled success. Now we’ll find out how they handle disappointment.
For his part, Joe Dooley could not be doing any more to keep the family together. He has offered jobs to both Richter and Fly. Most incoming coaches want to hire their own staffs. Andy Enfield retained no one at USC. One assistant is sometimes kept but rarely two (Dooley also wants to keep popular Director of Basketball Operations Joey Cantens). Both Richter and Fly have been pros long enough to know this gesture is more than an olive branch.
If that’s not enough to satisfy the players, Kansas (like FGCU) plays an up-tempo style which Dooley has pledged to continue. Dooley has previous head coaching experience (four years at East Carolina, winning record, one trip to NCAA tournament), is a big-time recruiter and is popular with his former players (players at different schools talk to one another all the time).
From a basketball perspective, this is a stunningly good hire. It is bold but it does come with risk.
Which when you think about it, is how FGCU plays and why they’re in this situation to begin with.
Dooley is eminently qualified and Ken Kavanagh has a great track record when making this hire.
The basketball program seems poised to pick up where they left off but that depends on which team Dooley will be coaching.
He signed on for Dunk City not Transfer City. Naples News
4/17/13, 4:20 PM
Straight Flexin who u got? We got @A_Hudy #KUCMB @AndrewWhite03 @Ntharpe1
Students at the University of Kansas will benefit from a new center to be built on Naismith Drive, thanks to a leadership gift from KU alumni Paul and Katherine DeBruce, of Mission Hills.
The three-story center will provide much-needed dining and meeting facilities for students, faculty and visitors on the south part of campus. Moreover, it will become the permanent home of James Naismith’s original "Rules of Basket Ball" and will be connected to the northeast corner of historic Allen Fieldhouse.
The facility, which will be named the DeBruce Center, will be funded solely from private gifts and is estimated to cost $18 million. KU Endowment is working to complete funding for the 31,000-square-foot center; construction is expected to begin this year.
Paul and Katherine DeBruce graduated from KU in 1973. Katherine earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism, and Paul earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
“Katherine and I are excited and lucky to be a part of this new facility at KU,” said Paul DeBruce. “Our years on the Hill helped provide a foundation for each of us to be successful and give back to our community. Part of that experience was academic, but a lot of it included the many friends we made there and the fond memories of attending basketball games at Allen Fieldhouse. We hope the new center will be a place on campus that students and faculty will want to come to and enjoy. It will be a meeting place for friends and a place to further honor KU traditions.” KU News
The building’s centerpiece, Naismith’s original basketball rules, will likely be located on its second floor, where the building will connect to the second-floor concourse of Allen Fieldhouse, Seuferling said. Surrounding the rules, and lining the walls of the walkway into the Fieldhouse, will be other exhibit materials celebrating the history and tradition of KU basketball, he said.
“The rules will serve as a prominent beginning for the exhibit space, and obviously a big tourist attraction,” Seuferling said.
The exhibits in the Booth Hall of Athletics at the Fieldhouse’s east entrance will expand up some stairs into the second-floor concourse, he said, where they will connect with the DeBruce Center’s walkway.
Planners also envision a small theater that will show videos on KU basketball history, as well as a retail space for KU memorabilia and clothing. Elsewhere in the center will be restaurant and dining space, a possible coffee shop area and meeting and event spaces. LJW
Ever notice that it’s the off-Broadway players who are the biggest hits with the Allen Fieldhouse faithful? It’s usually not the guys who lead the team in either scoring or NBA dollars earned, rather the ones who hustle their way onto the floor and play supporting roles. Kevin Young was that guy on this year’s Kansas University basketball team.
Just watching him play, it’s obvious he doesn’t think he’s special. And he comes across the same way in conversations off the court.
Young’s appearance in the Douglas County Fairgrounds livestock arena Wednesday did nothing but grow the popularity of the senior from Southern California. It was quite the sight watching the long, slender basketball player doing battle in the Rubik’s Cube with an Olympic shot-put medalist whose shoulders look as wide as the lane on a basketball court. It was easy to tell the shot-put celebrity from the basketball player. About three of Young’s arms could fit into one of Hoffa’s. LJW
Hoffa was able to defeat KU senior basketball player Kevin Young in the celebrity Rubik’s Cube-solving competition. Hoffa, who has completed the Cube in a personal-best 38 seconds, needed a minute, 25 seconds to solve the Cube.
“Once I saw his cube, I knew I wasn’t in any trouble. If he had a Chinese or well-lubed Rubik’s Cube, I knew I’d be in trouble,” Hoffa said. “I take it seriously. Mine is a competition cube. The cube he has is 9 bucks; this is a $26 cube.”
Young said he had a lot of fun competing before a crowd that KU officials estimated at about 1,000.
“When he pulled his cube out of a case, I was, ‘Oh,’” Young said with a smile.
“I got a new cube and a shirt for this,” added Young, who bought a Rubik’s Cube hooded sweatshirt and T-shirt for the event. “It’s impressive on his part. He’s legit.” LJW
Cole Aldrich Basketball Camp June 24-27 (K-8th grade) Olathe, Kansas. More details at ColeAldrich.com @colea45
Seniors Carolyn Davis, Monica Engelman and Angel Goodrich each held center stage Wednesday night at the annual Kansas women's basketball year-end banquet in the KU Union Ballroom, as the three 1,000-point scorers finished their collegiate careers as the winners of the coveted Ms. Jayhawk Award.
After a highlight video to start the event, Kansas Director of Athletics Sheahon Zenger welcomed the crowd of 300 or so and congratulated the Jayhawks on their second-straight NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 run. Head coach Bonnie Henrickson then addressed the group of staff, team and supporters before handing out the team awards.
Davis and Goodrich joined sophomore Asia Boyd on the stage as members of the AD Honor Roll, while Goodrich was highlighted for her Academic All-Big 12 First Team honors. Davis and Goodrich were also recognized for their All-Big 12 efforts with Goodrich being named to the first team and Davis claiming her third-straight honor with a second-team plaudit. Goodrich was also recognized for being named to the WBCA All-America honorable team, the WBCA All-Region 5 squad and being selected in the 2013 WNBA Draft by the Tulsa Shock with the 29th overall pick.
Henrickson finished the award portion of the ceremony by presenting the Ms. Jayhawk Award, the evening's top honor. The award is bestowed each season to the player, or players, that encompass what it means to be a Jayhawk. It is a reflection of a player's high-character, high-motor and competitive drive.
"We saw you bring the swagger back (to Kansas women's basketball)," Henrickson said as she addressed the seniors. "We saw you change the program. We have seen you triumph. We have seen you cry; and we have seen you overcome - all three of you. We watched it with you. Shared it with you and struggled with you, but now we watch you hang diplomas on your walls. For each of you, we cannot wait for bigger, better and brighter." KUAD
Big 12/College News
It’s official. Marcus Smart is putting off his NBA career for at least one year to return to Oklahoma State for his sophomore season.
To say his decision was unexpected would be an understatement. Smart was more or less assured of being a lottery pick had he turned pro. Instead, he is staying in school for what is sure to be the most anticipated Oklahoma State basketball season in recent memory.
Smart’s return will make such an impact that many now consider Oklahoma State the favorite to win the Big 12 next season.
With that in mind, here is a look at how I would vote if my preseason Big 12 basketball poll was due today:
1. Oklahoma State
Smart, Le’Bryan Nash and Markel Brown were three of the most talented players in the Big 12 last season. Just think what they could accomplish together next season. The Cowboys return the Big 12′s Player of the Year in Smart, a talented forward in Nash and one of the conference’s most underrated scorers in Brown. And the only key contributor they lose is Philip Jurick. Some will doubt Oklahoma State because of underachieving coach Travis Ford, but the Cowboys have to be considered the preseason favorites with so much returning talent.
If the Jayhawks want to extend their Big 12 championship streak to 10, they will have to do it with a new starting five. Though talented reserves Perry Ellis and Naadir Tharpe return, Kansas will lose the bulk of players who helped it reach the Sweet 16 last season. It won’t be an easy rebuild, but there is a reason the Jayhawks were projected by most as the preseason league favorite before Smart announced he was coming back. They are bringing in an impressive five-man recruiting class, which is ranked second nationally. Five-star recruits Wayne Selden and center Joel Embiid will join Brannen Greene, Conner Frankamp and Frank Mason. Kansas is also still in the hunt for Andrew Wiggins, the No. 1 rated recruit in the country. Bill Self has guided young teams to conference titles before, but there is no way to tell how so much new talent will jell until the season starts.
3. Kansas State
Angel Rodriguez, Shane Southwell, Will Spradling and Thomas Gipson provide a nucleus. If incoming guard Marcus Foster is as good as advertised and Wesley Iwundu can play meaningful minutes as a freshman K-State will finish near the top of the Big 12 standings.
It’s hard to predict how good Baylor will be without knowing whether Cory Jefferson and Isiah Austin are coming back. If both big men return, the Bears will have one of the most formidable front courts in the nation and should be able to compete for a higher finish than fourth. If one or both turn pro, Baylor will have to learn to play without them and point guard Pierre Jackson. A strong recruiting class will join Rico Gathers and Brady Heslip, regardless. So the Bears will be talented. But they were talented last season, too, and had to settle for the NIT.
5. West Virginia
The Mountaineers were downright bad in their first Big 12 season, but with Bob Huggins in charge I expect that to change. West Virginia is losing three transfers, but is replacing them with three top 150 recruits. Wichita Eagle
Somewhere Oklahoma State University team owner T. Boone Pickens has to be smiling. Kansas' run of Big 12 titles, which stands at nine consecutive, should be over.
Smart was expected to be top five pick in the 2013 NBA draft had he elected to enter. This is a major coup for Okie State and coach Travis Ford, and for college basketball. Not many guys of Smart's caliber stick around for two years.
He is by far the best player returning to the Big 12 next season. The 6-foot-4, 225 pound freshman from Flower Mound led the team in scoring with 15.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. He set a conference freshman record for steals with 99.
The two things he needs to clean up: 3 point shooting (38-for-131) and ballhandling (139 assists to 111 turnovers).
Oklahoma State finished third in the Big 12 last season and lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament against Oregon. This should be a Sweet 16 team next season, at least.
Along with Smart, Okie State should return Markel Brown (All-Big 12 second team), Le'Bryan Nash (All-Big 12 third team), Michael Cobbins (honorable mention) and Phil Forte (team record for 3s by a freshman).
If this team does not win this conference, T. Boone will not be pleased. FW Star-Telegram
K.J. Bluford, a 6-2, 185-pound shooting guard from Northeast Community College (Nebraska), signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Iowa State for the upcoming 2013-14 season, Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg announced today.
Bluford is considered one of the best shooters in junior college hoops, drilling 205 3-pointers in his two-year career. A second-team All-Region XI pick in 2013, Bluford averged 17.8 points and made 113 3-pointers at a 38.8 percent clip. DMR
Junior college standout point guard Kenny Chery has signed a national letter of intent with NIT champion Baylor.
Chery, a 6-foot guard who played the past two seasons at State Fair Community College in Missouri, signed Wednesday. Three post players signed with the Bears during the early period in November.
Chery, from Canada, averaged 16.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 26 games last season, when he made 45 percent of his 3-pointers. AP
Grant Jerrett has declared himself eligible for the NBA after one season at Arizona.
A 6-foot-10 freshman, Jerrett announced Wednesday that he is leaving the Wildcats to pursue his lifelong dream of playing professional basketball.
Part of a heralded recruiting class by coach Sean Miller, Jerrett averaged 5.2 points and 3.6 rebounds in 34 games, including two starts. He had a high of 15 points against Oral Roberts and had 10 rebounds against UCLA. AP DraftExpress Early Entry Tracker CBS NBA Draft Early Entry Tracker
Derby Classic (Frankamp scheduled to participate) 4/18 Night of the Future Stars (3pt and dunk contest) LIVE online feed (H/T jayhawk42000 on jayhawkslant.com
) 4/19 Derby Festival Basketball Classic AMERICAN FAMILY INSURANCE ALL-USA PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Andrew Wiggins | G-F | Huntington (W.Va.) Prep | 6-8, 205 | Undecided
The facts: Averaged 23.4 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 2.5 assists this season, leading team to 30-3 record and a No. 7 ranking in the USA TODAY Sports Super 25. Son of former NBA player Mitchell Wiggins and Marita Payne-Wiggins, a two-time Olympic track silver medalist for Canada. Grew up in Toronto but played at Huntington Prep the past two seasons.
My game in song: I like that song that Cityphil made for me (Andrew Wiggins). He was rapping about me and talking about my team.
MORE: Wiggins has his own country song, too
Favorite teachers: Mr. (Sean) White for art. I can be myself around him. We make jokes. In Canada, it was Mr. (Constantine) Gymnopoulos. He was my basketball coach, but he also taught phys ed.
Most embarrassing: I scored on my own basket when I was in a game in fifth grade.
Most used phone app: Instagram on Twitter.
People don’t know that I: Play a lot of video games, mostly Call of Duty.
Underrated virtue: A passion for others.
MORE: Wiggins adapts to attention as college decision nears
Good read: Trapped Between the Lash and the Gun (by Arvella Whitmore). About a boy who finds a watch that takes him back in time and he lives the life of an African who is a slave in America and it shows him how fortunate he is. He gets back into regular time and he didn’t want to join a gang, so they beat him up or shoot him, I can’t remember. It was a while ago when I read it, but he survives. It was an excellent book.
What I miss most about Canada: Not being with my family and friends and that environment. USA Today AMERICAN FAMILY INSURANCE THIRD TEAM
Joel Embiid | C | The Rock (Gainesville, Fla.) | 7-0, 230 | Kansas
Averaged 13.0 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.8 bpg. USA Today
4/17/13, 7:05 PM
Gotta run the floor like a cheetah, be physical in the paint like Amare, rebound like Reggie Evans, pass like Marc Gasol, block like Ibaka!! https://twitter.com/jojo_embiid
Just kicked @KATis32
ass in FIFA 6-1 https://twitter.com/jojo_embiid
The Oregonian image
The Oregonian image
On the video below see Embiid (#11 black jersey) in action during the scrimmage, go to 1:55 for his shooting practice
White Team – Dante Exum, Sergey Karasev, Tomas Dimsa, Mouhammadou Jaiteh, and Livio Jean-Charles.
Black Team – Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins,
Dennis Schroder, Karl Towns, Nikola Ivanovic, and Gabriel Deck
Although the score went back to 0-0 after each quarter the White Team won the scrimmage 68-51 when the totals from each quarter were added together (Exum and Schroder both scored 2 points in the first quarter conveniently canceling each other out). Below are stats from the scrimmage which was watched by a throng of NBA scouts.
Livio Jean-Charles – 19 PTS, 8-12 FGs, 0-1 3FGs, 5 rebs, 2 assists, 1 TO, 1 blk, 2 steals, 3-3 FTs
Andrew Wiggins – 17 PTS, 7-16 FGs, 2-7 3FGs, 3 rebs, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1-2 FTs
Mouhammadou Jaiteh – 15 PTS, 6-10 FGs, 9 rebs, 3 TO, 1 steal, 3-3 FTs
Karl Towns – 14 PTS, 7-12 FGs, 0-1 3FGs, 3 rebs, 1 assist, 1 TO, 1 blk, 1 steal
Tomas Dimsa – 14 PTS, 5-8 FGs, 4-6 3FGs, 3 assists, 2 TO, 1 steal
Sergey Karasev – 13 PTS, 5-11 FGs, 3-8 3FGs, 5 rebs, 3 assists, 1 TO, 1 steal
Dennis Schroder – 11 PTS, 4-9 FGs, 2-3 3FGs, 5 assists, 2 TO, 3 steals, 1-2 FTs
Dante Exum – 7 PTS, 1-4 FGs, 0-1 3FGs, 6 rebs, 2 assists, 4 TO, 2 steals, 5-6 FTs
Joel Embiid – 4 PTS, 2-3 FGs, 2 rebs, 1 TO, 4 blocks, 1 steal
Gabriel Deck – 4 PTS, 2-5 FGs, 5 rebs, 2 assists, 1 TO
Nikola Ivanovic – 2 PTS, 1-7 FGs, 0-4 3FGs, 2 rebs, 1 assist, 1 TO CityLeagueHoops
In case the above Wiggins vid from OregonLive doesn't work for you click here.
Self next week will conduct an in-home recruiting visit with Jahlil Okafor, the No. 1-ranked player in the Class of 2014, according to Rivals.com. Okafor, 6-foot-10, 280 pounds from Chicago Whitney Young High, has visited with Ohio State coaches. He’s also considering Duke, Michigan State, North Carolina, Illinois, DePaul, Arizona, Kentucky, Baylor and others. LJW
I remember when I interviewed former North Carolina standout and current NBA rookie Harrison Barnes, the No. 1 prospect in the 2009 recruiting class per RecruitingNation, following an AAU tournament. He was the most mature young basketball player I’d ever encountered. His responses were measured and substantive, much like his maneuvers on the court.
He was ready.
And then we found out that he wasn’t Michael, just Harrison.
Talented and fluid but raw in some areas of his game.
The doubts soon followed. I was in San Juan, Puerto Rico, when he went 0-for-12 in a loss to Minnesota during a nonconference tourney. I talked to NBA scouts who’d attended the event. Just months into Barnes’ freshman campaign, they wondered if he had the necessary edge to compete at the next level.
That’s how quickly things can change.
That’s the scrutiny Wiggins will face in 2013-14.
His contemporaries have already made their decisions. His delay is a message, whether he realizes it or not.
“I’m that good, that legit. So I’ll make the world wait.”
I understand the philosophy and respect his right to take his time. It’s a huge decision.
But he should know that the pressure is growing. Every day.
Wiggins can’t be a good player next season. He has to be an All-American, a star. That’s the only status that will justify the early praise.
Anything less than that will be considered a disappointment. Is that fair? Doesn’t matter. It’s the reality.
I know it seems like a lot to put on the shoulders of a teenager. But that’s college basketball in 2013.
He’ll be applauded when he finally makes a choice. He will not, however, have a grace period to prove his worth.
If he goes to Kentucky, he’ll have to be the best player in a recruiting class that’s already been labeled as “the greatest of all-time” without him.
If he goes to Kansas, he’ll be expected to lead the Jayhawks to their 10th consecutive Big 12 championship and second Final Four bid in three years.
If he goes to Florida State, he’ll be asked to turn the Seminoles -- who went 9-9 in conference play last season -- into ACC contenders and lead them deep into the NCAA tournament.
If he goes to North Carolina, he’ll have to be the next great Tar Heel and take the program to Dallas.
Again, Wiggins is not naive. I’m sure he gets all of this.
But the reality, once it materializes months from now, could surpass everything he’s predicted about his collegiate experience.
I’ve watched Wiggins play multiple times. He is a special talent.
Next season, however, he’ll have to confirm the rankings and ratings that place him one step above a class that features a multitude of one-and-done athletes.
So I hope he enjoys this.
Whenever he makes his choice, the news will warrant headlines throughout the country. He’ll elevate the projections of the team he picks. He’ll be lauded as a game-changer.
But he can’t answer this pressing question until next season: Was Wiggins worth the wait?
I hope he’s ready. ESPN Medcalf
Next week, Wiggins will also have visitors as coaching staffs from his finalists plan to stop by.
“They all called and said they were going to swing by and give it one last crack at it,” Huntington coach Rob Fulford said.
Kentucky was already in town two weeks ago for face time. North Carolina arrives Monday, followed by Kansas on Tuesday and Florida State on Wednesday.
Even after the visits, it’s not like Wiggins will go into hiding to make his decision. Those visits simply mean that Wiggins, who doesn’t like the attention, will have each piece of the recruiting process fully out of the way.
“After Wednesday, we’ll shut it down and let him have some peace,” Fulford said. “He hasn’t given us any indication [he’s ready].” ESPN Insider ($)
At last week’s Jordan Brand Classic in Brooklyn, Wiggins shared very little information, and nothing new, on his recruitment.
“He talked to a few of the national media, but he really did not talk to anyone locally,” said Rob Fulford, Wiggins’ coach at Huntington (W.Va.) Prep. “He talked to USA Today and one group from Canada, but he refused Sports Illustrated. He just didn’t want to do a lot of interviewing. It’s the same questions about wanting to know the timetable for a decision and where he’s going. He doesn’t know.”
Yet the speculation never stops. Fulford was sitting at dinner when Keith Jenkins, the editorial graphics producer at ESPN, tweeted the decision was Florida State.
“I texted Andrew across the room and said he needed to tweet out something to stop this from blowing up so I could enjoy my dinner,” Fulford, who was one of the Jordan Brand coaches, said.
Then there’s the theory that Fulford might get a job on Rick Pitino’s staff at Louisville and bring Wiggins with him.
“If the position was offered to me at Louisville, I would take it. But that’s not saying Andrew is coming there,” Fulford said.
But what about speculation that Wiggins will make his college choice during the Nike Hoop Summit Saturday?
“He’s not said anything about the 20th to us. I am not saying he might not do it at the Hoop Summit. But I until I hear it from him, it doesn’t exist in my mind,” Fulford said. “He has been too busy to really worry about it. These kids have funs at these games. It’s not like they are sitting around talking about him coming to Kentucky or North Carolina.”
Fulford says he knows Wiggins, and others playing a third straight week, have to be tired.
“I am wore out and I did not play. We spent a lot of time in traffic,” Fulford said. “Andrew flew out of New York Sunday about 6 p.m. and texted me when he landed in Portland at 11:56. He had weigh-in and measurements at 9 the next morning and then two practices. They are doing a lot.”
But one thing has not changed during all this time. Don’t believe the speculation about Wiggins or what any so-called source says.
“I have old everyone from day one, and apparently some people do not want to listen, if the information does not come out of Andrew Wiggins’ mouth, there is no accountability period. I keep saying that and have all year,” Fulford said. “Everybody says, ‘I got a source.’ No you don’t. The only source for this is Andrew.” Kentucky's Larry Vaught's Views 4/20 Nike Hoop Summit 4/26-4/28 Jayhawk Invitational Coaches Recruiting Calendar 2013 Spring/Summer AAU & Camp Schedule
My KU Alumni games, 2011-12 Border War, Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos, Late Night in the Phog, and more now on YouTube
Ok State becomes the favorite to win the Big 12 title. Of course, I can remember plenty of yrs when Kansas won it w/o being picked to do so.https://twitter.com/JasonKingESPN
Agreed. Self >>> Ford. @nickryan10: @GoodmanCBS Even as a wildcat, foolish to bet again Self. Dudes a machinehttps://twitter.com/GoodmanCBS
Ppl saying OKL St over Kansas in conference play - advice -DON'T BET AGAINST @CoachBillSelf & Jayhawks - still must go thru Lawrence Baby!https://twitter.com/DickieV
You don't tug on Superman's cape! H/T Bhapnin w/assist by Texasjhawk on jayhawkslant.com
KU assistant coach Joe Dooley is a candidate for the head coaching post at Florida Gulf Coast, ESPN.com reports. Other candidates: Ohio State assistant Chris Jent, Oklahoma assistant Steve Henson and Gulf Coast assistant Marty Richter. The Fort Myers News Press on Monday said that Wichita State associate head coach Chris Jans and Florida State assistant Corey Williams were also in the running.LJW
Before every game you’ll find Tyshawn Taylor working on his game with assistant coach Doug Overton. Taylor is always one of the first players to hit the court and one of the last to leave.
Taylor routinely works on his ball handling with a weighted ball, his mid-range shooting at the elbow, and pick-and-roll game with Overton. On Monday night against the Wizards, Taylor’s dedication was validated.
Taylor scored a career-high 14 points, including a career-high three three-point field goals. None of which showed Taylor’s progression more than the final three-pointer he sank to put the game out of reach at 106-101.
Taylor used an in-and-out dribble to create space on a pick-and-roll before backing the ball out. Once Wizards forward Trevor Booker switched on the pick-and-roll Taylor had the confidence to hoist one final three-pointer that sealed the win.
“I knew it the whole time,” said Taylor. “They called a timeout and I shot it after the timeout. It went in and I told myself I’m shooting it again. Then I got the switch with Trevor Booker so I was just like, yeah, I’m going to let it go.”
As the ball hung in the air, Taylor leaned back on one leg while maintaining the flick of his wrist behind his back to guide the ball in, but it wasn’t necessary. The ball swished through the hoop, just like it has done numerous times during warm-up routines with Overton. This time, the major difference was Taylor heard the thunderous roar of a nearly capacity crowd at Barclays Center cheering him on along with his teammates.
Coach P.J. Carlesimo felt comfortable putting the ball in Taylor’s hands in a position where he has
seen his most success when called upon.
…As Taylor continues to hone his craft as a point guard, he believes he’s found his niche in the league and will look to strengthen it.
“I’m working on pick-and-roll because I feel like that’s a lot of the NBA game and I think I’m a pretty good pick-and-roll player,” Taylor told SNY.tv. “But I think that’s it’s just a different level. So just working on that and just trying to get stronger and be a more consistent shooter.”SNY
"You can't teach the way he runs pick-and-rolls," Carlesimo gushed.
Carlesimo may not think it's teachable, but Taylor says he's used this season as a learning experience. "All I've been doing is working on pick-and-rolls and my jumpshot. Towards the end of the game, that's the play coach (Carlesimo) was calling for me. Everything was a first option, and then if that option wasn't there, he'd come back to me for a pick-and-roll."
…His third and final three-pointer put the Nets up 106-101 with 22 seconds left, icing the game. Taylor responded by throwing up a "3-holster" as the crowd roared. "I love playing in front of a crowd," Taylor added. "That gets my blood going. At Kansas, we played in front of 16,300 every night no matter who we played. So that gets me going."
Taylor finished the night with 14 points on 5-8 shooting, hitting all three of his three-point attempts, and his three assists and two steals all came in the game-deciding fourth quarter.Brooklyn Game
Kansas University officials on Tuesday officially broke ground on the multimillion-dollar Rock Chalk Park athletic complex in northwest Lawrence, with the hope of unveiling a world-class track and field stadium in time for the 2014 Kansas Relays.
In other words, a ribbon-cutting should be on tap for the complex near Sixth Street and the South Lawrence Trafficway about this time next year.
“I’m still feeling good about (the timeline),” said Thomas Fritzel, the Lawrence businessman who is the lead donor for the park and the chief contractor for the project.
Feeling good was the general mood of about 250 KU officials and boosters who gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony for a project that KU Athletic Director Sheahon Zenger said will address 20 years worth of frustrations with facilities for the track, softball and soccer programs.
Still to come: the start of construction of the city’s proposed 181,000-square-foot regional recreation center, which is slated to be adjacent to the KU facilities. City officials are scheduled to receive construction bids for the recreation center on May 14.
The Rock Chalk project — which KU officials have said would cost KU about $40 million to build, but is being constructed and financed by Fritzel and leased back to the university — will include several components:LJWKUAD Photo Gallery
Big 12/College News
The time for Marcus Smart's announcement appears to have arrived.
A news conference concerning Oklahoma State basketball has been set for 12:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Student Union Atrium and is open to the public, a team spokesman said.
The topic was not disclosed, but a source indicated Smart and teammates Markel Brown and Le'Bryan Nash will announce they are staying in school instead of declaring for the NBA Draft.
Smart, the Cowboys' freshman point guard and the Big 12 Player of the Year, has spent the past three weeks weighing his decision. He is projected to be a top-five pick in this year's draft. Tulsa World
The University of Texas played host to a Big 12 Commissioners Panel earlier today, during which current Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and former commissioner Dan Beebe answered questions on a range of subjects, including conference realignment. Current Big 12 Deputy Commissioner Tim Weiser was also on hand to field questions.
Bowlsby discussed the summer of 2010, during which it was rumored that the Pac-12 had invited the Texas Longhorns, Oklahoma Sooners, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Oklahoma State Cowboys, and the Texas A&M Aggies to head west. Bowlsby said that no official invites were sent, and that such moves wouldn’t have made geographic sense.
It was somewhat surprising to hear a conference commissioner talk about the importance of geography given that a conference branching outside of its traditional borders to add members is becoming more common. It was more surprising hearing it from the man who ushered the West Virginia Mountaineers into the Big 12. Continuing on the point of geography, Beebe said that location can’t be the only factor, and that where the students attending a school come from was also important.
Beebe used the Colorado Buffaloes as an example saying that they were a good fit in the Pac-12 since many of their students come from the west coast. He also pointed out that the Big 10 adding the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Maryland Terrapins made geographic sense because it helped connect the Penn State Nittany Lions to the east coast where a large number of their attendees hail from.Link
How do we make college basketball watchable again?
Tom Izzo thinks he has an answer. He went on a radio show and discussed what he thought were a couple ways that the nationwide scoring drought could be addressed. Namely, reducing the shot clock.
“One of the guys I have great respect for — Johnny Dawkins, who is at Stanford — and we were in our meetings the other day, and he said, ‘We have the slowest game in the world,’” Izzo said. “As you say, the international is less. The pro is less. The women’s is less. And here we are with 35 [seconds].”
The NBA and FIBA use a 24 second shot clock, and women’s college basketball uses a 30 second clock despite the fact that they don’t have a 10 second back court violation.
“It was talked about at our meetings in Atlanta,” Izzo said. He was on the NABC’s Board of Director’s this season. “You know the bureaucracy of committees and what it’s got to do, but I think there is getting to be a growing run at maybe doing that, and I think more coaches are in favor of it.”
This is a topic that has bounced around basketball circles for a while. Will reducing the shot clock in college hoops really have the desired affect, increasing tempo, or will it further erode the quality of play at this level. The argument made against reducing the clock is that NBA possessions quite often devolve into isolations and ball-screen actions, and with so much college talent fleeing for the NBA before their eligibility is exhausted, there isn’t the kind of talent left to be effective in mainly iso’s and pick-and-rolls.NBC SportsDraftExpress Early Entry TrackerCBS NBA Draft Early Entry Tracker
Kentucky may be the most popular choice, North Carolina the most glamorous and Florida State the most likely, but from a strictly basketball perspective, the least talked about finalist of all may make the most sense for Huntington Prep wonder boy Andrew Wiggins.
Even for a Canadian transplant, there’s no place like Kansas.
Ignoring all miscellaneous variables, the birthplace of basketball presents the most appealing collegiate checkpoint for the sport’s fastest-rising star.
KU may not have any one signature selling point to contend with the other three schools, but the net value of its total package is enough to win the Wiggins showcase. More than the stand-alone star power of Kentucky, cachet of North Carolina and familial comfort of Florida State, Kansas hoops has a program, better yet a culture, that unites a combination of the three.
If Wiggins desires a coach capable of producing pros through radically different courses, Rock Chalk Nation is worth a second look. In a decade-long stint in Lawrence alone, Bill Self has coached 24 pros, 18 current or former NBA players and 10 first-round picks, with several more to come this June. He has reared one-and-dones, four-year projects and everything in between. Better than any other coach in the game today, Self has maximized the individual components in his talent trove, both for short and long-term benefit.
If Wiggins values a culture of winning. Kansas, a storied program with a spate of recent success, should garner special attention. The Jayhawks have won nine consecutive Big 12 regular season titles and six of the last eight conference tournament crowns. They’ve made the NCAA tournament in each of the last 24 years — all the while without a player of Wiggins’ ilk — and have reached the Sweet 16 in six of the last seven. They invariably make Final Fours. They win national championships. Don’t forget, KU is a blueblood too.
If Wiggins fancies a strong supporting cast capable of competing for a title, don’t overlook the KU crew. Yes, Kansas must replace all five starters from a 31-win team, but the reinforcements lining up in their wake are ready to step up in true Self-ian fashion. The Jayhawks have an emerging point guard — which is critical to Wiggins — in rising junior Naadir Tharpe plus a returning interior presence with sky-high potential (Perry Ellis) if he can ever finish at the rim. Incoming freshmen Wayne Selden and Conner Frankamp are talented imports on the perimeter and 7-foot fiend Joel Embiid, a late-bloomer, has the highest upside of any center in his class. Bruising big man Jamari Traylor will stabilize the frontcourt rotation, and the soon-to-be sophomore could be in store for a quantum leap in production with available playing time aplenty. Pundits are quick to write off KU as a national threat year-after-year, as talented stars matriculate out of the program, yet the Jayhawks remain one of the most consistent presences in the Top 10 today. The role players are already in place for next season. All Kansas needs is the centerpiece around whom to build. Paging Andrew.
If Wiggins wants to be “the guy” without forfeiting a legitimate chance to win, KU ought to be his future domain. He’d have no prominent competition for floor time or touches in Lawrence, and Self would most certainly tailor his offense to run through the Canadian hotshot. Kentucky has a cavalcade of highly-skilled freshmen competing for touches, never mind a returning sophomore (Alex Poythress) sure to bite into Wiggins’ minutes. North Carolina returns P.J. Hairston and James Michael-McAdoo, two players sure to shoulder a large percentage of the team’s shots next season. At Kansas, Wiggins would have the spotlight to himself, absent the do-or-die expectations at the other two bluebloods.
If Wiggins wants familial comfort, Kansas has him covered. His older brother Nick plays at nearby Wichita State, a two-and-a-half hour drive away.
If Wiggins covets a legacy, James Naismith’s alma Mater can offer quite an opportunity. Wiggins could be the best player (shy of Wilt) to ever suit up at the school responsible for inventing the game of basketball. How’s that for a legacy?
Each of the remaining four suitors for Andrew Wiggins has its own unique bargaining chip. The Jayhawks claim an entire stack. Kansas may not be the next stop on the Wiggins NBA expedition, but it isn’t for lack of a compelling pitch.Busting Brackets
“If we could get a couple more if they are the right couple, then I think we’d be interested in doing that,” KU coach Bill Self said heading into the spring signing period, which runs today through May 15.
“We’re involved with some guys. I don’t know if it’s a situation where it will probably benefit us if we are able to sign a couple more from a depth standpoint. I’m really happy with the guys we have coming in.”
...Tyus Jones, a 6-1 junior point guard from Apple Valley (Minn.) High, tells USA Today he will have an in-home visit with KU’s Self either Monday or Wednesday. He has a final list of KU, Duke, Michigan State, Minnesota, Baylor, Kentucky and Ohio State.LJW
Tyus Jones’ heavy recruiting season began last weekend in his home.
The Apple Valley junior, considered by many national recruiting services the Class of 2014’s best point guard, was visited by Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski on his first stop of the April recruiting period. The Blue Devils are considered by many recruiting analysts to be among the front-runners on Jones’ list of seven colleges he’s considering, including Michigan State, Minnesota, Baylor, Kansas, Kentucky and Ohio State.
Duke has yet to offer a scholarship to another point guard in the 2014 class and seems to be in good standing with Jones’ close friend, center Jahlil Okafor at Chicago Whitney Young High. The pair has continually said they plan to play together in college.
Over the weekend, Jones also met with new Gophers coach Richard Pitino, Ohio State’s Thad Matta and Baylor’s Scott Drew. The point guard said he likes Pitino’s energy and vision for the program.
None of the visits led Jones to narrow his list, but he continues to say he would like to make a decision by this fall. He also said he might considering delaying the decision to see how Pitino’s first year with the Gophers begins.Minn Star Tribune
Recruiters fawning over Apple Valley’s Tyus Jones required the nation’s top-rated junior point guard to implement a new move of misdirection to his repertoire.
Upon each request for his phone number, Jones recites 10 digits that belong to his mother.
“They don’t need to call all day or night. Nothing over the top,” said Jones of college basketball coaches eager for his attention. “I definitely give out my mom’s phone number a lot.”
A change in NCAA rules in October 2011 reformed men’s basketball recruiting practices to allow unlimited contact with players beginning June 15 after their sophomore year. The deregulation unleashed limitless phone calls, text messages, e-mails and private messages on social networks to elite high school athletes such as Jones and other highly sought players.
The NCAA, which believed the changes would help coaches and recruits build stronger relationships and reduce influence of third parties such as AAU coaches, is also considering such deregulation in football and women’s basketball.
To manage the attention, star athletes sometimes utilize parents or coaches as intermediaries, or try to manage when and how often they can be contacted. But with cellphones as indispensable commodities, these teenagers often end up dealing with buzzing and ringing that they either have to answer or ignore.
“All … the … time,” said Rashad Vaughn of the frequency of incoming messages. The Cooper shooting guard, who has yet to narrow his college considerations, said he has received up to 30 messages in a single day. One night in January, he heard from coaches at North Carolina, Louisville, Florida, Iowa State and Baylor.
“It’s nice, I guess,” Vaughn said of the attention. “Sometimes it’s overwhelming.”
…Debbie Jones was ready for the attention directed at her son.
“We had a plan, and that included calling coaches and telling them one text message or one phone call a week is enough,” she said.Minn Star Tribune
Kaleb Joseph & I were on the phone with Kansas University today. They will be in Dallas this weekend & will be recruiting @kalebjoseph15.https://twitter.com/RivalsNationDerby Classic
(Frankamp scheduled to participate)4/18 Night of the Future Stars (3pt and dunk contest)4/19 Derby Festival Basketball Classic4/20 Nike Hoop Summit4/26-4/28 Jayhawk Invitational2013 Spring/Summer AAU & Camp ScheduleMy KU Alumni games, 2011-12 Border War, Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos, Late Night in the Phog, and more now on YouTube