KC Live! Stage with appearances by Kansas head football coach David Beaty, the KU pep band, Kansas spirit squad and mascots.
March 12, 10:30 a.m.
Stop inside Johnny’s Tavern in the Kansas City Power & Light District and visit the Kansas Athletics and KU Alumni tables. Tables at Johnny’s are first come, first served.
March 12, 7:30 – 11 a.m.
KUAD Postseason Info
KUAD: Coach Self weekly presser
KU's strength of schedule is so strong this year that no other team comes close.
So how do the Jayhawks rank in a historical perspective?
Since KenPom has been keeping his numbers, there have been 4,751 D-I teams that have played a single college basketball season. KU's strength of schedule ranks fourth over that time period.
KU has not completed its season yet, but when this year ends, it will become only the second team that has had a top-10 KenPom schedule while managing to avoid double-digit losses. In case you were wondering, the other team — 2003-04 Duke — advanced to the Final Four before losing to UConn.
Since 2004-05, D-I teams have played 3,771 individual basketball seasons. KU's strength of schedule this year ranks No. 1 out of all those teams — meaning this truly has been a once-in-a-decade type of slate.
KU has had the nation's top strength of schedule in three of the last four seasons. It's also the only school in the last 14 years to have the nation's top slate three different times.
In short, the Jayhawks have managed an impressive record this season while playing a historically tough schedule with a team that doesn't feature as much high-end talent as years past.
Seems to me like Bill Self was snubbed in the Big 12 coach of the year balloting.
TCJ (Click the link for Newell’s graphics.)
One voter must've missed the entire Big 12 season.
But the Poll Attacks didn't miss him.
Let's get it!
Associated Press poll: I don't put much value on where teams finish in most leagues because most leagues have unbalanced schedules that make such things meaningless.
But the Big 12 is not one of those leagues.
The Big 12 uses a completely balanced round-robin schedule -- i.e., everybody plays everybody home and away -- that makes it one of the few conferences where the regular-season champion, barring rare circumstances, should automatically be recognized as the league's best. But good luck telling that Daniel Shirley. Because he has Kansas -- this season's outright Big 12 champion -- ranked 16th on his Associated Press ballot this week.
That's too low, independent of everything else, for a team that's ranked No. 2 in the RPI, No. 8 in the Sagarin and No. 9 at KenPom. But it's insane when you consider Daniel also has KU four spots below Iowa State and one spot below Oklahoma. In other words, Daniel has a school that's won 11 straight Big 12 titles as the third-best team in the Big 12.
Good luck explaining that one.
Early in the season, Oubre saw that a friend and former AAU comrade, Arizona freshman Stanley Johnson, hadn’t elevated into the starting lineup for the Wildcats. When Oubre reached out on FaceTime and asked what was going on, Johnson lamented that he just couldn’t get it in practice, that the coaches saw him doing his own thing instead of doing what they wanted. Oubre almost had to laugh: That’s exactly what I’m going through, he told Johnson. So the scuffling Kansas freshman resolved not to think at all. He’d simply absorb every coaching point, apply it and strive to get the details right. I’m going to practice like a pro, Oubre told his father.
A breakthrough—23 points and 10 rebounds in a Dec. 20 win over Lafayette—followed. It was Oubre’s first double-figure scoring effort. “It was going to be hard as hell to contain him based on the little crumb you gave him,” Kelly Sr. says. “Because he’s been eating crumbs his whole life.” From that night forward, Kelly Jr. averaged 11.3 points and 6.3 rebounds while amassing 32 steals in 22 games. He also established more night-to-night consistency by the end of the regular season, posting 12 points or more in six of his last seven outings and capping the year with a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double at Oklahoma on Saturday.
He has become the player he and Self had envisioned—not necessarily a scorer like Ben McLemore, who averaged 15.9 points in his lone season at Kansas, nor as otherworldly as Wiggins, who averaged 17.1 points for the Jayhawks last season. Instead, Oubre is a versatile wing who can find his own shot when required or clear the glass or mark the opposition’s best player. Or all of the above.
SI: Oubre blossoms into go-to player
Cold, hard facts in the form of statistics make the case, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Perry Ellis is one standout college basketball player.
More than that — much more important than that to those who know the 1,000-point scorer the best — Ellis is one, fine human being.
“He’s sweet, nice, conscientious — a rock,” Kansas University coach Bill Self said of the Jayhawks’ 6-foot-8, 225-pound junior forward from Wichita.
…Ellis has also been a regular attendee of Real Men, Real Heroes annual recognition event.
“What he (Ellis) did (as a Teen Hero his senior year of high school) was go into elementary and middle schools and speak in assemblies and classrooms to students regarding topics like the importance of academic excellence, making good choices, how to deal with peer pressure, setting and accomplishing goals as well as bullying,” Shannon said.
“Some of the assemblies may have had as many as 500 students. As everyone knows, Perry is an introvert. If you want to get him to open up, put him in front of a bunch of kids. He’ll talk about the importance of being a good person and good student. Perry is quiet, (but) he cares enough about kids to share with them things that helped him become a successful student,” Shannon added.
…Wichita Heights basketball coach Joe Auer, who coached Ellis for four years — all state championship seasons — beamed with pride as he read a quote from Ellis given after a KU victory over Kansas State.
“I’m growing,” Ellis said after the Jan. 31 game. “I’m growing as a person, as a player, just learning as we go. I’m still learning.”
“How many young people say things like that?” Auer said. “Most are obsessed with being evaluated and being seen as the top performer. He’s humble and honest and open about his journey and need to improve as a human being and player.
“What makes Perry so special is he is incredibly honest, straight forward and real. He’s embraced the notion you’ve got to get better every day in every way. For me it’s refreshing to see a guy who embraces that approach to life rather than worry about how you compare to other players in the country. Just worry about getting better and there’s a plan for him. He believes it,” Auer added.
…Ellis was asked about the growing perception he’s a “perfect young man.”
“Perfect kid? I’d say nowhere close,” Ellis said. “I’m just trying to become a better person each day. I’m definitely not perfect.”
KUAD: Ellis named Karl Malone Award finalist
Kansas University junior forward Perry Ellis will wear a knee brace in practice and games the rest of the season to protect his sprained right knee, coach Bill Self said Monday.
“For precautionary measures,” Self said.
The 6-foot-8 junior forward suffered a sprained MCL in the first half of an overtime win over West Virginia on March 3 and sat out the rest of the game. He also missed Saturday’s loss at Oklahoma.
“Perry did some things today, non-contact. It basically doesn’t mean he’s close to being ready. It doesn’t mean he’s not close to being ready,” Self said on his Hawk Talk radio show. “There are some things they (medical staff) wanted to see him do before he’s re-evaluated (Tuesday). Hopefully we’ll get good news and he can press forward on that.
“He certainly feels good. He looked good in what he did. Most of it was straight-line running,” Self added.
“If he can’t go full speed by Wednesday, we’re not going to play him Thursday. He’s got to go full speed before we’ll play him. I don’t think there’s anything holding him out mentally right now,” Self said.
“I think he’ll be close to 100 percent by the NCAA Tournament. This weekend, I won’t play him if he doesn’t feel very, very good. If he doesn’t feel he can play 100 percent, there’s no reason to put him out there this weekend,” Self added of the Big 12 tournament.
Selden said the ankle he sprained against West Virginia last week “is getting better; still probably not 100 percent, still not where I want to be, but it’s definitely getting better.”
In fact, he practiced full-go on Monday.
“He looked fine,” KU coach Bill Self said. “His rhythm is off, but he’ll be fine.”
Before practice, Selden said: “I sprained this ankle a while back (high school). I was out for quite a while. I sprained it bad and missed the rest of the season or something like that. This one doesn’t seem nearly as bad. I’m feeling pretty good about it.”
Said Self: “Wayne keeps complaining the flu is bothering him as much as his ankle, but I think he should be 100 percent by Thursday.”
“Brannen practiced (Monday), which he does every day. He needs to take care of his business. I’m excited for him. His attitude is very good," Self said on his radio show, Hawk Talk.
"There would have to be a setback for him not to (play). He’s been good since I told him (he was suspended). Certainly he needs to keep handling his business."
…Earlier Monday, on Andy Katz’s ESPN podcast, Self stated: “It was a one-game suspension as long as he did what he’s supposed to do. Hopefully he’ll be on time, make it to class, do what everybody else is required to do. If he does that, no reason why he shouldn’t play. I think it will be better for him in the long run and for us to have some kind of hit right between the eyes and say, ‘We need you on all fronts, not just on the court.’’’
Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self said he’s not counting on freshman big man Cliff Alexander playing the rest of the season.
“It’s not going to happen for Cliff to be eligible to play until the NCAA gets the answers they want (over possible extra benefit situation),” Self said. “The only way that can occur is if all parties get on the same page and meet. That hasn’t happened yet.
“We are basically moving on,” Self continued. “We’re preparing this week to not have Cliff, even though there’s a chance we could if everybody could get on the same page but as of now that has not occurred.”
…“I’ve never heard of a financial advisor. I’ve never heard of an agent. I haven’t heard anything on anything,” Self said. “The thing that’s a little misleading ... there’s not one thing remotely wrong with talking to agents. There’s not one thing remotely wrong with meeting them, or financial advisors, and you’ve got to understand families don’t seek this out, they (agents) seek families out the majority of the time.
”People make a big deal, well, they met with so-and-so. Every good player in the country has had somebody meet with somebody,” the KU coach said. “That’s just the way it goes. There’s not any illegalities at all about meeting or talking or taking a phone call or any of that stuff. Then it would become illegal if there’s things beyond that.”
Bill Self says this year will be different.
A season ago, Self and his coaching staff prepared for the NCAA Tournament as if they were going to have center Joel Embiid available to play every game. When the big man sat out with a back injury, KU’s plans were thrown off-kilter.
“I think we should have prepared with the idea that we don't have Jo, and therefore we're going to play this way, and then if he comes back, it'll be a bonus,” Self said. “The way it kind of unraveled last year with his injury, I think that we spent way too much energy talking about him potentially coming back.”
Self says the coaches won’t make the same mistake this year as KU faces similar uncertainty with Cliff Alexander.
…Though Alexander hasn’t been able to play in games, he still is practicing with the Jayhawks as they prepare for the postseason.
“You know, he's probably practiced better than he ever has, [darnit], here of late. ... His attitude is terrific,” Self said. “He's a great kid.”
Teammates also lauded Alexander for remaining upbeat.
“No matter what’s going on in his life, he’s always seemed to just be Cliff, be a happy guy,” freshman Kelly Oubre said. “He’s trying to have a great attitude for us, because we’re looking at him to see his status through his emotions. But he’s never down. I’m just behind him 100 percent.”
NCAA rules should encourage athletes to stay in school, but here the opposite is being done — and for what?
There is no protection of athletes or schools going on here. There are many ways for kids or their families to get money. Loans from licensed institutions aren’t harming anyone. They also come with the benefit of easy oversight and regulation — more manageable than gifts from boosters, for instance.
Big programs don’t have recruiting advantages over midmajors here, and allowing these types of loans does not cost a cent for any school of any size.
If anything, allowing loans could be an indirect moneymaker for schools if good (and marketable) athletes are encouraged to stick in college a little longer. That’s good for the schools, obviously, and it would also be good for professional leagues who would be drafting better and more polished players.
If this all sounds impossible, or unfeasible, or otherwise like the sort of thing college sports should not be about, it’s worth mentioning that this is actually something college sports has chosen to be about.
The changes adopted in January’s vote for power-conference autonomy included a proposal to allow athletes to borrow against future professional earnings to purchase loss-of-value insurance.
These pricy policies have been available to college athletes for years as protection from injuries that would prevent or significantly limit their professional careers. The proposal includes draft projections on both sides — future earnings and insurance policy value — which could easily be used for licensed loans.
Using future earnings for a loan instead of an insurance policy could be smarter for the athlete, anyway, because it is believed that no athlete has been able to successfully cash a loss-of-value policy.
Again, where is the harm? This is a rule that’s past its expiration date, and at least one major college administrator thinks it would have been cleanly adopted in the autonomy vote if anyone would have thought of it at the time.
KC Star Mellinger
Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self was informed by an Associated Press reporter on the Big 12 coaches teleconference today that he’d been voted AP's Big 12 coach of the year by media members.
“I’m happy and proud. You could have picked a handful of coaches in our league that would be deserving of awards,” Self said. “Certainly Bob (Huggins, West Virginia) is very deserving. I thought Scott (Drew, Baylor) and Lon (Kruger, Oklahoma) were very deserving. Of course Fred (Hoiberg, Iowa State) had a great year, too. It could have been multiple guys. I’m glad you told me that because I didn’t know it. I’m very proud of it. All it is a reflection of the guys having a great year and playing hard ... It’s been an interesting year, been a fun year, been a grinding year, a tiresome year, but it’s been great,” Self added.
Nine days ago, Markieff Morris went on a post-game rant because he was upset with a lack of support from Suns fans.
No doubt, a lot of fans were outraged by what Morris said.
Monday night, Morris was back in front of the crowd for the first time since his rant. So how was the reception? In a word: favorable.
Mark Turgeon named Big 10 coach of the year by media
Joel Embiid lit up the Internet on Friday night after the 76ers posted videos on social media of him throwing down between-the-legs dunks.
By Monday night, the question was whether those dunks caused the 76ers' cornerstone player to reinjure his surgically repaired foot.
A report Monday on the Calkins Media website said Embiid had experienced a "minor setback" in his rehab and apparently was wearing a walking boot again. The Sixers were not available for comment.
After enduring season after season of mostly sub-par play in the ultra-competitive Big 12 Conference, Kansas University athletic director Sheahon Zenger decided enough was enough and on Monday morning fired women's basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson.
“At the end of the day, she gave her best effort to KU for 11 seasons and KU was very fair with her,” said Zenger of the coach who was 186-171 overall but just 62-122 in Big 12 play. “What made it difficult was she was a great teammate for all of us and she did everything we asked her to do.”
Except win enough games.
“Pay Heed. The game you love began here. Respect those who came before you. Make their legacy your own. Because destiny favors the dedicated. And rings don’t replace work. In this game you don’t get what you want. You get what you earn. We are Kansas. Together we rise. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
Big 12 / College News
The Star’s All-Big 12 team
F Perry Ellis, Kansas, Jr.
F Rico Gathers, Baylor, Jr.
F Georges Niang, Iowa State, Jr.
G Buddy Hield, Oklahoma, Jr.
G Juwan Staten, West Virginia, Sr.
F Le’Bryan Nash, Oklahoma State, Sr.
C Myles Turner, Texas, Fr.
G Kyan Anderson, TCU, Sr.
G Frank Mason, Kansas, So.
G Monte Morris, Iowa State, So.
▪ Player of the year: Hield
▪ Freshman of the year: Turner
▪ Coach of the year: Bill Self, Kansas
Who has a dartboard handy? Maybe a hat to choose from? The person who thinks he or she has the Big 12 tournament predicted should head directly to a Powerball ticket counter because there is no way anyone can know for sure what will happen this week in Kansas City.
Other than that it will be entertaining, that is. It has to be, based on what we’ve seen so far. The Big 12 has brought us wild finishes (Juwan Staten coast-to-coast-to-coast to score a game winner and stop Perry Ellis' game-winning attempt), controversial court storming (Kansas State) and even a pseudo brawl (Baylor and Texas).
In the end, two games separated the first- and fifth-place finishers in league play, and no one emerged unscathed or even with a pretty record.
Of course, out of the chaos emerged the same old, same old, with Kansas claiming the regular-season title and running its ownership of the league hardware to an absurd 11 years. That run of dominance doesn’t always get the attention it deserves -- maybe folks have become immune to so much success -- but it is an accomplishment worth applauding.
That, plus a bit of a home-court advantage, will make the Jayhawks the favorite to win the Big 12 tournament title too.
But there’s a but. Ellis is nursing a sore knee, Cliff Alexander is out indefinitely because of NCAA issues, and Brannen Greene apparently is in the doghouse, so it’s not like KU doesn’t have issues and concerns of its own.
The margins for both error and success are wildly slim for virtually anyone in the Big 12, which ought to lead to some entertainingly wild games.
Athlon Sports Big 12 Preview
NBC Sports Big 12 Preview
The Big 12 is the No. 1 conference in the RPI and Sagarin Ratings. Three teams are in the top 11, four in the top 13, five in the top 21 and seven in the top 45 of the RPI – ALL the highest totals of any conference.
Seven Big 12 teams are ranked in the top 16 for strength of schedule - the most of any conference. Nine league schools are in the top 65.
Among the 15 teams in the nation that have the most wins over top 25 opponents this year, SEVEN are from the Big 12.
A total of 82 of 90 (91.1 percent) conference games this year involved at least one nationally-ranked team.
For the first time in Big 12 history, every team in the conference has at least one win over a top 25 opponent.
The Big 12 has had seven top 25 teams two different weeks this year, six in nine of the last 12 weeks and at least five in 16 consecutive weeks.
The Big 12 is the only conference in the nation where every team has 13 victories or more and 80 percent of its squads are at .500 or better.
The Big 12 non-conference winning percentage (.827) is the best by any league since the 2004-05 season and only the second time that any conference has been over .800.
Big 12 men’s basketball has the nation’s best non-conference record (105-22, .827). The Big 12 is the only conference in the nation that is at .800 or better this season.
Nine of the 10 teams in the Big 12 have been ranked in the top 25 at some point since January 1, 2014.
Big 12 men’s basketball has combined to post a 25-16 (.610) record versus the ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC this season.
Eight of 10 teams in the Big 12 have been ranked in the top 25 this season. Nine of the 10 have been ranked or received votes.
Big 12 men’s basketball has a .500 or better record against every conference it has faced this season (29 total).
Showcasing the depth of the Conference, teams predicted to finish 6th through 10th in the Big 12 preseason poll were 56-7 (.889) in nonconference play. Teams picked 8th - 10th were 33-5 (.868).
The SEC wants it. Tiger fans want it. But Kansas City officials have said, "no, thank you."
KC officials weighed the Big 12 tournament versus the SEC tournament, and voted Big 12.
The reason is simple: KC can have the Big 12 event every year, while the SEC wants to sign up for one or two years.
There is no way the SEC will lock its tournament into Kansas City for the long-term. Not when they have domes in Atlanta, New Orleans, Tampa, Houston and St. Louis. Not when they have NBA arenas in Atlanta, Memphis, Dallas, Houston and New Orleans (although the Pelicans' building is a dump).
In a perfect world, Arrowhead Stadium would have a removable roof, and would be available to host the SEC, while the Big 12 could reign downtown at the Sprint Center. But, absent two first-class venues (and don't even mention Kemper Arena), Kansas City is a one-tourney town, and for the foreseeable future, that tournament is the Big 12.
MU officials don't like it, but the Big 12's commitment to Kansas City runs deeper than the SEC's.
So, when it comes to the excitement sweeping through Kansas City this week, Tiger fans will once again find themselves on the outside looking in. It is a sad scenario for a Mizzou fan base that used to live for this week.
Only one person knows for sure if Barnes’ job is in jeopardy, and he’s not talking. UT athletic director Steve Patterson declines all requests to discuss the state of the basketball program, or to evaluate the coach’s performance.
Although many of the program’s supporters are frustrated by its production in recent years, one influential donor said the decision will be “entirely” up to Patterson. Last summer, Barnes received a contract extension through 2019, but his contract includes a $1.75 million buyout if he’s fired before April.
As for whether Barnes can count on any of the Longhorns’ biggest boosters to fight for him to stay? San Antonio billionaire Red McCombs said he didn’t want to get into that.
“There’s a lot of talent out there, and they’re not playing as a team,” McCombs said. “That’s all I’ll say.”
San Antonio Express
NBA and NCAA division 1 scouting reports cover the floors of Simon Wagstaff’s one bedroom flat in London. All those months of planning amount to an incredible journey across America.
Each year, he maps out which teams will be successful and this time it’s 21 games in 21 days.
“I really like packing it in,” Wagstaff said. “I like to try to do a game a day and then consequently try to work out the travel around that.”
For the first time, Wichita State’s Koch Arena made Simon’s list and he got to witness the Shockers take down Evansville.
“I love it, I love the intensity and I love coming to the arenas that are absolutely packed out and the team is playing well,” he said. “To feel that intensity from the atmosphere and the fans, there’s nothing like it.”
At 10 years old, Simon became a basketball fan.
His mom got a job with a team in Britain and as he got older he followed the team on away trips and discovered a love for being on the road.
But over there, 100 chairs were a sellout crowd.
“It’s still never going to beat soccer, rugby or cricket so if you want to watch basketball the way it’s supposed to be played you’ve got to come to the states,” Wagstaff said.
…He’s conquered over 200 NBA games, 170 D-1 college teams and 100 different arenas.
He plans on doing this until the money runs out.
“I know I’m not crazy,” he said with a laugh. “I think it’s just something unique. It’s what I love doing! It’s not for everyone but I get a kick out of doing it.”
This year included Koch arena, Allen Fieldhouse and Bramlage coliseum. Even though he’s been to the nation’s most prominent venues, he says there’s no place like the state of Kansas.
“I love Allen Fieldhouse but equally coming here I love the intensity here was great you’ve got a team that’s doing well and fans that are supporting them so I loved it,” Simon said about Koch Arena.
As Striker sat in a quiet corner on the fourth floor of OU’s Bizzell Memorial Library, he tried putting it into words.
The All-Big 12 linebacker — perhaps best known for tormenting Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron in the 2014 Sugar Bowl — said he and his teammates have kept quiet about the way they’ve been treated in the past at fraternity parties — and not just SAE events.
Despite often being invited to parties because of his athletic prowess — and used to promote and create buzz about those parties — Striker said he’s been singled out and asked who invited him, then told he can stay, “as long as you don’t cause any trouble.”
Striker recalled defensive end Charles Tapper being called the N-word at one fraternity party, and former OU running back David Smith overhearing someone whisper that people at a date party should watch out for Smith, because he might take a girl home and rape her.
“All of this has happened, and we kept it within and pushed it under the rug,” Striker said. “After (the video), we have to take a stand. Our voices have to be heard.”
Top HS football recruit de-commits from OU
“I had witnessed it before and to be honest I'm kind of glad it was released because now they can be punished for it once and for all,” she told NBC's Gabe Gutierrez in an exclusive interview.
The student said she heard the same song being chanted two years ago by “all of the fraternity members” on a bus she rode to a SAE "date" party.
“It was really offensive to sit there and listen to that especially because they would just chant it and then laugh after and they thought it was funny,” she said. “And after that, I just did not want to associate myself with any of them.”
The fraternity’s national headquarters said it is looking into similar allegations that the chant captured on the video reflects a history of disturbing behavior.
"We have learned that others have come forth to say they have heard the chant before, which is deeply disturbing,” it said in a email statement to NBC News. “Our current administration and staff have never heard this inappropriate and racist chant but are investigating.”
In the second half, VASJ’s huge size advantage finally started to take its toll. The Vikings continued to miss numerous shots from close range, but 6-10 Carlton Bragg eventually moved outside and hit three 3-point field goals that helped open up the VASJ offense.
Bragg finished with 18 points to lead a balanced VASJ attack.
…Kwasniak and the Vikings walked out with an eye toward March 13, and the district final against the winner of the Beachwood-Warrensville Heights semi-final, which will take place March 10.
“This was good for us,” said Kwasniak of the hotly contested win over Elyria Catholic. “It’s about us. We’ve got high standards here, and all of our guys realize we have to play better than we did tonight.”
Bragg, who is on his way to Kansas, wasn’t just an inside force for the Vikings, he scored half of his points from beyond the 3-point line.
How good have the Vikings been this season? Monday they shot 52 percent from the field and outrebounded Elyria Catholic 45-21, yet coach Babe Kwasniak talked after the game as if his team had a subpar performance.
“Anyone who thinks there is no such thing as an ugly win didn’t see us play tonight,” he said. “But in the district semifinals you just have to win and move on. If we defend the way we did tonight on Friday there is a good chance we’ll be going home.”
McDONALD’S ALL-AMERICAN GAME
April 1, United Center, Chicago
ESPN NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIP
April 2-4, Christ the King, Queens, N.Y & Madison Square Garden
NIKE HOOP SUMMIT
April 11, Moda Center, Portland
KENTUCKY DERBY FESTIVAL
April 11, Freedom Hall, Lexington, KY
JORDAN BRAND CLASSIC
Friday April 17, Barclays Center 7p.m,
Regional Games (4:00 pm) All times Eastern
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