Also possibly fouls called in the game.
11/9/13, 1:40 AM
Really love the people around KU ..
Greatest home court advantage in the country. 16,300 every night. A… instagram.com/p/gdcPZTAHQq/”
KUAD Postgame Notes
KC Star Photos
Bill Self was livid.
Maybe he didn't expect Kansas' season opener against Louisiana-Monroe to spark this much angst and emotion. But five minutes into the second half on Friday night, with Kansas still struggling to pull away, freshman point guard Frank Mason was whistled for his third foul of the game.
The contact was minimal, the call perhaps questionable. And maybe Self was just growing impatient with his young team's inconsistencies. But as Self ripped into the official on the sideline, Allen Fieldhouse began to come to life.
"I didn't do it to fire up the crowd," said Self, who conceded he probably deserved a technical. "I did it because I thought that it was a bad call."
Moments later, the crowd came to its feet, and No. 5 Kansas pieced together a 15-5 run that finally provided some breathing room in an 80-63 victory on opening night.
"It's definitely fire," KU freshman Wayne Selden said. "It definitely fuels the tank for us."
…On the whole, it was hard to find unfiltered positives in a game that featured 58 total fouls and 72 free-throw attempts, more side effects of new rules that limit hand-checking and perimeter contact.
"I can't determine if it's good for us or bad for us," Self said of the rules. "I know it's bad to watch."
But even amidst the rugged pace, Wiggins appeared to open up his offensive repertoire, hitting two of four from three-point range. He didn't come close to the KU freshman record for points in a debut - Xavier Henry had 27 points in 2009 - but a steal and dunk with two minutes left put a punctuation mark on the victory.
"I'd like for all our guys to be more aggressive," Self said, "but he did some good things. I think he can be more aggressive, but I also think that all the guys can be more aggressive."
Whistle while you work took on an entirely new meaning Friday night in Allen Fieldhouse, where 16,300 basketball enthusiasts vacated the building grumbling variations of “Rock Chalk, Foul Hawk!”
They all must have felt a little like passengers in a car driven by someone obsessed with testing the brakes by tapping them constantly. (My father was a great, great man, but why did he constantly have to do that?)
On a night that featured more tweets than Carlos Danger could send with the shades drawn, a whopping 58 fouls were called in Kansas University’s 80-63, season-opening victory over a veteran, driven Louisiana at Monroe squad that hung within single digits for the first 27-plus minutes.
Kansas University’s 700th victory in Allen Fieldhouse will go down in history as ... a game in which the Jayhawks nudged Louisiana at Monroe, 80-63, despite using their third- and fourth-team point guards most of the first half.
“It was ugly and it can get ugly when you play without a point guard. For us to play without Frank and Naadir ... we didn’t practice that way,” KU coach Bill Self said with a smile Friday after KU overcame a scrappy Warhawk team and, in the process, improved to 700-108 all-time in Allen.
“It was good to get some other guys some minutes,” Self added.
…“Frank did well,” Self said. “He turns it over a lot in practice, but in games does a better job taking care of the ball. You could see we were better when he was in the game. He had the speed element.”
Frankamp finished with five points, three rebounds and three assists against one turnover in 17 minutes; Selden eight points, four assists against one turnover in 28 minutes.
“If we do it three minutes a day, that would probably be a lot,” Self said of running offense with Selden at the point. “And Conner, too. We want Conner to play the point, (but) he’ll be more effective off the ball when we have Frank and Naadir.
We practiced him at point just to be the backup for this game for the most part. Those guys are both new to it. They did fine, but it was a safe fine. It wasn’t a playmaking fine.”
Freshman center Joel Embiid had nine points and four rebounds in 11 minutes. He did not play the first 15 minutes of the second half.
“At half, that number zero (Marvin Williams, 19 points total) scored eight points on him. It wasn’t all his fault but we need to guard,” Self said. “It’s not an equal opportunity deal. I thought he did pretty well when he went back in.”
Noted Embiid: “I was very nervous, shaking on the bench. I tried as hard as I could tonight to help us win the game.”
ULM — a 27-point underdog — remained competitive early in the second half, when leading scorer Marvin Williams put in a layup with a foul that eventually cut the lead to 47-41 with 15:50 left.
After the play, Williams marched over in front of his bench, screaming out his satisfaction to his teammates.
“I definitely felt like we were in the game at that point,” Williams said. “It was just the fact that we kept fighting. When we keep fighting, I just get excited.”
Williams was the highlight for ULM, scoring 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting in 24 minutes before fouling out with 8:12 left.
“I think for the first game, I did pretty good,” Williams said. “But it’s hard for me to pat myself, because I fouled out. Like coach said, I’ve got to adjust to the new rules.”
The game also held some extra significance for Williams, who was matched up in the post against former high-school rival Tarik Black.
Williams attended White Station High School in Memphis, while Black went to Ridgeway High.
So who won those matchups?
“It was a tie. I’m not going to bad-mouth him. It was a tie,” Williams said with a laugh. “He won some matches. I won some matches.”
Black said he knew Williams was a talented player before his breakout performance Friday.
“I’m glad we got the ‘W’ obviously,” Black said, “but I want to see him be successful, because he’s from the hometown and a guy I’ve actually talked to a lot.”
LJW Keegan Ratings: Andrew Wiggins on top
Kansas' Andrew Wiggins, the undisputed cross-cultural star of this thrilling 2013 class, made his much-anticipated debut in Lawrence, Kan., Friday night. He finished with 16 points on 5-of-9 from the field, 2-of-4 from 3-point range, and 4-of-6 from the free-throw line, with three rebounds, two assists, and three steals. In other words, he didn't disappoint -- provided you knew what to expect.
If you need Wiggins to score 35 points a game to "validate" his hype, you're on the wrong track. Instead, what every coach has said about Wiggins -- that his greatest asset, perhaps aside from his athleticism, is that there are no real weaknesses in any aspect of his game -- is precisely what he displayed Friday night. He flies around the court but also handles the ball well, has soft perimeter touch (and excellent mechanics), and is already one of the best on-ball defenders in the college game. Yes, OK, it was Louisiana-Monroe, but still: Wiggins' game is obscenely well-rounded, and he showed as much in his first game as a Jayhawk.
…Parker scored 22 points, grabbed six rebounds, looked every bit as natural a scorer as he'd been sold as, and led Duke to a 111-points-in-68-possessions (yes, you read that right) win over Davidson.
Big 12 Sports previews Kansas
11/8/13, 5:49 PM
Shout out to my squad with there opening night. Go out there an have fun fellas and good luck. Rock Chalk Jayhawk. #KUCMB
Twin brothers Markieff and Marcus Morris made the big shots that helped the Phoenix Suns rally from an 11-point late in the third quarter to beat the Denver Nuggets 114-103 Friday night.
Markieff Morris scored 14 of his career-high 28 points in the fourth period. Marcus Morris sank a jumper with 5:13 left that gave the Suns a 100-95 lead after a back-and-forth first half of the quarter.
Marcus Morris finished with 11 points and eight rebounds.
VIDEO: Funny or Die with Paul Pierce, Tyshawn Taylor, BK Nets
Today the Brooklyn Nets announced that Tornike Shengelia and Tyshawn Taylor have been assigned to their D-League affiliate, the Springfield Armor. This weekend marks the start of training camp for the Armor. The regular season for the D-League begins November 22.
Shengelia played in 10 games for the Armor last season, averaging 24.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.3 steals. He has not played yet this season for the Nets, due to his recovery from knee surgery. Taylor appeared in eight games for the Armor last season, averaging 24.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists. He also hasn't played this season for the Nets.
This move, obviously, is to help both players continue to develop, while the Nets boast one of the deepest teams in the NBA, Taylor hasn't been able to crack the rotation -- and Toko, of course, has been dealing with his knee.
Miami Heat point guard Mario Chalmers has been fined $15,000 for a forearm to the throat of Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, the NBA announced Friday.
With 8:05 remaining in the third quarter of the Heat's 102-97 Thursday win over the Clippers, Chalmers hit Griffin in the throat. The foul was called a common foul at the time, but the league has since upgraded it to a Flagrant Two.
Had the foul been called a Flagrant Two at the time, Chalmers would have been ejected.
Big 12/College News
Kansas' Andrew Wiggins and Kentucky's Julius Randle dominated national conversations during the preseason concerning the best freshmen in college basketball this season.
Davidson allowed Duke's Jabari Parker to re-introduce himself during the Blue Devils' 111-77 victory Friday night.
Parker scored 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting -- including a perfect 3-for-3 from 3-point range -- and showed why he'll factor into that conversation moving forward. He was just one point from tying Shavlik Randolph's school record for a freshman in a season opener, set against Army on Nov. 23, 2002.
"First game in college, are you kidding me?" said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who has only had four other freshmen score 20 in a debut. "That was a terrific performance. I thought he played with a lot of poise."
…Parker showed a little too much poise after the game, when reporters prompted him to discuss returning home to Chicago and facing Wiggins and Kansas on Tuesday. His answers proved he's already well-versed in the skill of deflecting, too.
Parker didn't make personal comparisons between himself and Wiggins. In fact, he said he's perfectly content not having too much attention shine his way.
"All the other stuff can handle itself," Parker said. "I really don't focus on that stuff, I'm kind of glad that I'm in the position I'm in right now."
Parker was considered the No. 1 player in the 2013 class by multiple recruiting services before he was passed, in the eyes of some, by Wiggins and Randle. He said the experience of being a highly touted high-school player helped prepare him for Duke and keeps him wanting to do more.
"I have bigger goals, I've kind of been here before and I know what it takes to win," Parker said. "I have to be twice as good on my job in order for me to win, and that's more important."
The most pedestrian performance from the three came from Wiggins, who wasn't always aggressive in Kansas' laborious 80-63 victory over Louisiana-Monroe but showed flashes of his precocious talent. Despite going scoreless for one 14-minute stretch of the first half, the 6-foot-8 wing sank 5 of 9 shots and finished with a team-high 16 points, three boards, two assists and three steals.
Assertiveness was no problem for either Randle or Parker. Both took command in their respective games.
The most can't-miss of Kentucky's latest crop of elite freshmen, Randle delivered 23 points and 15 boards in the Wildcats' victory over UNC Asheville, both two shy of school records for a freshman in his debut. Amazingly, however, John Calipari was not satisfied, telling reporters that his 6-foot-9 freshman "could’ve had 20, 21, 22 rebounds."
"Why not go do that?" Calipari said. "Why not open up with a 20-20?"
Jabari Parker may not have produced a 20-20 game Friday night against Davidson, but the Duke star probably boasted the most efficient line among freshmen on Friday night. The 6-foot-8 Chicago native tuned up for his matchup with Wiggins on Tuesday night by scoring 22 points on 8 of 10 shooting, scoring on everything from back-to-the-basket moves, to mid-range jumpers, to 3-pointers, to free throws.
Kentucky Coach John Calipari said it was unfair for his freshman-oriented team to play veteran-laden Michigan State next Tuesday. Meanwhile, he acknowledged that UK, which he's made synonymous with star freshmen, may add to its schedule another early-season event reportedly involving top opponents.
"The issue becomes playing teams (like Michigan State) this early is not fair for my team," Calipari said Thursday. "It may be fair for everybody else. But it's no fair for my team."
…"It's just not traditional in the sense everybody stays four years," he said. "So it's not fair when we walk in and everybody else is more experienced."
Calipari spoke of 18- or 19-year-olds for Kentucky facing opponents who are 21 or 22.
"As big (a difference) as 16 against 19," he said. "It's huge."
Kentucky will test that premise against Michigan State. Of the physical challenge his players face in Michigan State, Calipari said, "I think they'll be stunned when they really see it."
In the second game of the Champions Classic, Duke plays Kansas.
Meanwhile, The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch and ESPN have reported a similar event in the works beginning in the 2014-15 season. The teams involved would be UK, Ohio State, North Carolina and UCLA. The sites would be Brooklyn, then Indianapolis and finally Las Vegas.
When asked about this second high-profile, double-header event, Calipari said, "We have another event. That thing is rolling down the pike like we want it to."
Northern Colorado coach B.J. Hill felt like this was a group that could take a step for his program. With all five starters returning, he felt it was a group to reverse a two-year trend of losing seasons.
Derrick Barden had 16 points and 17 rebounds as Northern Colorado stunned Kansas State 60-58 in Friday night's season opener.
The Bears only went 3-for-8 from the free throw line in the game's last 52 seconds, but an equally sour performance from the Wildcats gave them the edge.
"I'm very proud of our team because they couldn't have played much worse in the first 10 minutes," Hill said. "But I really think they showed what they were made of over the last 30."
Freshman guard Isaiah Taylor scored 17 points and Texas rallied from nine points down in the second half to beat Mercer 76-73 Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
Texas trailed 62-53 with just under 10 minutes to play.Demarcus Holland's dunk with 5 seconds left gave Texas a vital 3-point cushion and Connor Lammert blocked Jake Gollon's 3-point attempt to tie at the buzzer.
Langston Hall scored 22 points to lead Mercer, which hit 10 3-pointers. Javan Felix and Jonathan Holmes each scored 11 points for Texas.
Michael Frazier expected to log about 10 minutes for the No. 10 Florida Gators in their season opener Friday afternoon.
Still battling the effects of mononucleosis, minus 12 pounds, Frazier expected to provide "a little" help.
Instead, the Tampa native played 24 minutes and had a career-high 19 points and a career-high-tying nine rebounds in a 77-69 win over North Florida at the O'Connell Center. Florida forward Casey Prather also had a career-high 28 points and added eight rebounds.
Tampa Bay Times
Xavier Thames had 15 points and San Diego State breezed to an easy victory on Friday night over UC Riverside 77-41.
The Aztecs pulled away with about nine minutes left in the first half for their 34th straight win over a California opponent.
The run included a 3-pointer by Thames, a blocked shot by Skylar Spencer and a driving layup by Winston Shepard. That provided a 17-7 edge and the rout was on.
SDSU led 38-13 at halftime as UCR shot 23 percent (6 of 26) from the floor.
Picked to finish fourth in the Mountain West with three new starters, the Aztecs face a much stiffer test on Thursday when playing No. 6 Arizona.
A federal judge on Friday partially granted class action status in a lawsuit concerning the use of college athletes' names and likenesses.
U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled the plaintiffs, including former and current Division I men's basketball players and Football Bowl Subdivision players, will be allowed to challenge the NCAA's current restrictions on what athletes might receive in exchange for playing sports. The ruling sets up the prospect of a fundamental change in scholarship rules and the concept of amateurism.
However, Wilken denied the plaintiffs' bid to certify a class that was seeking potentially billions of dollars in damages from the NCAA for improper use of athletes' names and likenesses in a variety of forms, including live television broadcasts.
The NCAA claimed victory regarding the judge's refusal to certify a class that would be entitled to damages, but it did not address the class that was certified – one that still could cause major issues for the association and its member schools and conferences.
"We have long maintained that the plaintiffs in this matter are wrong on the facts and wrong on the law. This ruling is one step closer to validating that position," the NCAA's chief legal officer, Donald Remy, said in a statement. "We are pleased that the court correctly found that conducting a class-wide trial for claimed damages for student-athletes who played college football and men's basketball going back nearly a decade would be completely unmanageable and unprecedented. The plaintiffs in this case were seeking substantial damages based on erroneous theories for maintaining a class. The court correctly removed these claims from this case."
The decline of college basketball is nothing compared to the decline in the quality of complaints about the decline of college basketball.
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