Sorry for the technical difficulties Friday. Here's a combined recap of the news.
Kansas University sophomore walk-on guard Christian Garrett will join former KU guard Jordan Juenemann on an Athletes In Action all-star basketball team that will tour Poland and Germany in late May and early June.
They will be joined by Baylor’s Deuce Bello and Brady Heslip, Memphis’ Drew Barham, Mercer’s Daniel Coursey, Marquette’s Jamil Wilson, Tennessee’s Josh Richardson, Texas-Arlington’s Jordan Reves and Karol Gruszecki. Baylor assistant Tim Maloney and Liberty’s Pawel Mrozik are the coaches.
Former Kansas University basketball guard Keith Langford continues to dominate overseas.
The 6-foot-4 Fort Worth, Texas, native recently was named MVP of the Adriatic League’s Final Four tournament.
Langford, who plays for Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, scored 21 points, grabbed four rebounds and had three steals in an 87-77 championship-game victory over Cedevita. He scored 17 points in the semifinals.
Maccabi this week will begin play in the Israeli Final Four.
He will return to the United States on May 28 and figures to spend at least some time in Lawrence in June to work out with his brother, KU junior-to-be Justin Wesley.
I heard this audio on the radio Wednesday and it's too crazy not to share.
Missourinet.com downloaded the full audio of Missouri Rep. Stephen Webber's impassioned speech to the Missouri House earlier this week, saying the state should not allow KU-themed license plates.
I would try to describe the speech, but whatever I say won't do it justice. Just give the link a click and be sure to sit down for the whole 3 1/2 minutes.
Former Kansas University basketball guard Terry Nooner and his wife, Tracy, are expecting the birth of the couple’s first child — a girl — on Aug. 30.
“I’m trying to breed the next women’s phenom at KU,” Nooner said Thursday, with a laugh.
Who knows? In 18 or so years, he just might be tutoring his own daughter in Allen Fieldhouse.
Nooner — he played at KU from 1997-2000 — on Thursday was named assistant coach on Bonnie Henrickson’s KU women’s hoops coaching staff. The Raytown, Mo., native spent the last year as an assistant women’s coach at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill.
“I’m so excited. You know how much I love this place,” Nooner said Thursday. He will officially begin his new job today. “I’ve been hanging around for years (working Henrickson’s camps and bringing Kansas City-area youth players to Late Night in the Phog).
“To be able to work at KU is a dream come true. I know how much passion fans have for the University of Kansas and basketball in general, and I’m excited for the opportunity to be a part of it again. To work with a great coach like Bonnie Henrickson and these players ... I’m just thankful and grateful for the opportunity,” Nooner added.
At KU, Nooner will work with Jayhawk perimeter players in addition to recruiting responsibilities. Prior to his one season at SIU, he coached the girls 13-and-under and 15-and-under teams for the Lady Phenom AAU organization (2007-2011) and coached the Earl Watson Kansas City Bruins 17-and-under boys team in 2006.
Nooner also coached boys basketball at Southeast High School (2002-03, 2007-08) and Raytown High School (2008-09) during his six years of teaching special education at the two schools.
In addition, Nooner served as president of KC Pro Am Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides basketball instruction, and served as a personal basketball instructor at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City.
LJW Keegan: This year's top Jayhawks
Thank goodness for Mario Chalmers on Thursday night. Who knows how bad it would have been for the Miami Heat without him.
As it were, the Heat was run out of the gym 94-75 by the Pacers as Indiana took a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference semifinals. Chalmers led all scorers with 25 points — thisclose to the 27 points LeBron James and Dwyane Wade (five) combined for.
“It’s good to see him be aggressive and that’s what we need from him,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We need him to be offensive minded, get into the paint and make plays as another ballhandler and playmaker. He also has to run the team. He has a lot of responsibility. This will help moving forward.”
Chalmers, coming off a rough outing in Sunday’s loss in Miami, turned up his game on Thursday, as his eight points in the first quarter were almost as many as he scored in the opening two games of the series (nine). Chalmers’ 25 points set a personal postseason record, topping the 20 he scored against Boston (2010) and Philadelphia (2011).
With both James and Wade struggling from the field, Chalmers was Miami’s unexpected offensive force, carrying the Heat to what was a short-lived comeback midway through the fourth.
Krysten Boogaard stands at the biggest moment of her young basketball career, on the verge of making the national Canadian women’s team, which itself is on the verge of clinching a berth at this summer’s London Olympics.
But as the 24-year-old, 6-foot-5 centre competes to reach the Olympics, she wrestles with much more than the typical young athlete: It was a year ago that her older brother, hockey enforcer Derek Boogaard, died at age 28 of an overdose of alcohol and prescription painkillers.
…Joanne Boogaard this week flew to Vancouver from the family home in Regina to watch her daughter play. She’s made such trips before – to France, where Krysten played her first pro season last winter in Nice, and to the University of Kansas, where Krysten was a force.
“Derek would have been so proud,” Joanne Boogaard said. “That’s what’s driving Krysten, he’s a little guardian angel on her shoulder. I’m so proud. She’s trying out for the Olympic team. How much higher can she go, than to play for Canada? She’s one of the younger ones but we’re all crossing our fingers and hoping she makes it.”
Globe and Mail
Big 12/College News
In the shape-shifting world of college athletics, the eye can no longer be trusted. There is beauty, to be sure, but most of the beholders wear the realignment equivalent of beer goggles.
How else can you explain a sinking ship turning into a lifeboat overnight? Or a notorious bully and a benevolent benefactor becoming one and the same? Or one group's intolerable dysfunction looking like another's enviable harmony?
Thus is the state of the Big 12, and of Texas, these days. It wasn't long ago that the conference was known for buffoonery, and its biggest school was everyone's villain, but things change. Now they sit in a position of power and riches, with the option to make even more while they play savior, if they choose.
It's unclear if Florida State really wants to join the Big 12, but when college sports is involved, it's unclear if water is really wet.
Ever since FSU board of trustees chairman Andrew Haggard publicly criticized the ACC's media rights deal last week and told a fan website the Seminoles should consider the Big 12, we've been drenched in speculation, but little else.
Officially, FSU's president has questioned the wisdom of leaving the ACC, Seminoles football coach Jimbo Fisher has said he's open to it, and athletic director Randy Spetman has walked away — literally, down a hotel hallway — from questions about the matter.
On the Big 12 side of things, incoming commissioner Bob Bowlsby declined to comment on FSU but told USA Today “the topic of expansion will be on every agenda going forward.” UT athletic director DeLoss Dodds has maintained there has been no contact between FSU and the Big 12 and that he prefers the league stays at its 10-team alignment.
But like Bowlsby, Dodds said expansion will always be a possibility. Asked by the Express-News whether the conference would contact potential members or vice versa, Dodds spoke in general terms, making it clear he wasn't talking specifically about FSU.
“There would be some reaching out, and there would be some reaching in,” Dodds said. “To say that hasn't happened would be incorrect. There's been some reaching in.”
And that, incredibly, summarizes how far the Big 12 has come. Last summer, when Texas A&M and Missouri bailed, and UT and Oklahoma were looking elsewhere, it was on the verge of collapse. Now, with a new TV deal poised to pay each member $20 million per year and a proposed 13-year commitment of media rights, it's not just a survivor but a desirable destination.
However, the Pac-12's full ownership of national and regional networks that have lined up substantial distribution before their scheduled launch in August, indicates that the conference is on track to generate at least $30 million a school per year over the 12-year term of agreements with ESPN and Fox that begin later this year ($4.3 billion total). Only the money from ESPN and Fox — about $21 million a school per year — is guaranteed, though. And because of the networks' start-up costs the actual per-school revenue the first few years is likely to be well below the projected annual average.
The estimates come from Navigate Research, a Chicago-based firm that is not currently working with the SEC or Pac-12 but has done multimedia rights valuations for schools in various power conferences.
"People expect the SEC to be on top," says Navigate president A.J. Maestas. "The Pac-12 is the real story here."
The bottom line is that the Big Ten's financial numbers are strong amid talk that college football's top four conferences -- SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 -- are distancing themselves from the pack.
It's about winning championships for the Big Ten, but it's also about positioning for the next TV negotiation. The Big Ten's current deal expires after the 2015 season.
West Virginia University president Jim Clements said on Thursday athletic director Oliver Luck is staying in Morgantown for the foreseeable future.
Luck's name has been mentioned as a candidate for the open athletic director job at Stanford, among others. The Mountaineer A.D. did not end speculation when asked about the opening on May 8. He told the Gazette, "I'm not going to comment." He also refused to comment on the opening to other media outlets.
On Thursday, however, Clements met with Luck over the matter.
"I sat down with Oliver," Clements told the Gazette. "I told him I need to know because I've been getting inquiries, calls and texts, and he said, 'Jim, I love it here; I'm a Mountaineer; I'm staying.' "
SMU athletic director Steve Orsini was fired Thursday, just four weeks after he and the Mustangs hired Hall of Fame basketball coach Larry Brown.
The move was announced by SMU president R. Gerald Turner in a news release, and was effective immediately.
"After several discussions over the last few weeks, it became apparent to me that it was necessary to make this change," Turner said. "While we both are committed to the support of our student-athletes and coaches, a unified effort is required for future progress in our athletics programs."
Orsini had been SMU's athletic director since 2006. In January 2011, he had been given a contract extension through May 2015.
Inspired by a program that has been wildly successful on the field and among Monarchs supporters, Old Dominion announced Thursday that it is leaving the Colonial Athletic Association for Conference USA, which will elevate the football program to the Bowl Subdivision level.
That ascension, university President John R. Broderick said, made the move desirable.
"Football certainly was a driving consideration is this decision, and the success of coach (Bobby) Wilder and his teams have provided us the confidence that we can make this bold step,'' Broderick said at Foreman Field, where about 100 ODU supporters attended a press conference.
Their excitement merely mirrored what athletic director Wood Selig was feeling.
"Today's announcement, simply put, is a game-changer,'' he said to rousing applause.
Incoming freshmen should anticipate major adjustments at the Division I level. The players are bigger, stronger and faster.
But the uptick in competition is only part of the transition from high school to college. The 21st-century college basketball player should understand off-court expectations, too.
They're all about adhering to proper swagger etiquette.
I hope you all have notepads ready. Here’s what you’ll need to get ready for Division I basketball off the floor:
An Instagram account: Twitter is so 2011. These days, college basketball players send messages through photos via Instagram. It’s a cool tool. You take photos, attach a brief memo and ship the image to the world. Or if you’re Jared Sullinger, you send photos of text-message exchanges with other All-America forwards. You need this. Trust me.
Friendships with rappers: Blame Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins. Lil Wayne’s highly publicized crush on the talented guard dramatically increased her street cred and Twitter follower count. Jay-Z sat behind Kentucky’s bench during the Final Four. Romeo Miller (the onetime Lil' Romeo who now just goes by Romeo) didn’t just support USC basketball. He actually joined the team. Find a rapper. Become his friend.
Fashionable specs: I know. You have 20/20 vision. Doesn’t matter. This is all about style. I learned about this recent development in college basketball fashion from Michigan State’s Adreian Payne. He says his black glasses project sophistication. It’s either that or an affinity for Clark Kent.
ESPN: Must-haves for 2012's incoming freshmen
Organizers for the Battle 4 Atlantis -- the top non-conference tournament -- won’t decide on the bracket until August for the November event. The event, at the Atlantis Hotel on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, could put all eight teams in the NCAA tournament. They are: Louisville, Duke, Stanford, Missouri, Minnesota, Memphis, VCU and Northern Iowa.
2012-13 Early Season Events List
Damontre Harris, a Trinity Christian graduate who played two seasons at South Carolina, likely will pick his new school in the next few days. He has narrowed his list of transfer options to Kansas and Florida.
"They're both great programs," Harris said Thursday night at Pine Forest High School, where he participated in a scrimmage between former and current members of the North Carolina Force travel team. "Wherever my heart takes me, wherever my heart feels I need to be, that's what I'm going to go with."
Harris, a 6-foot-9 forward, averaged 6.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks last season, when he was named to the SEC All-Defensive team. South Carolina fired coach Darrin Horn in March and hired Frank Martin away from Kansas State, then granted Harris permission to explore transfer options to any school but N.C. State.
Assistant coaches from Florida, Kansas and Virginia Tech flew to Columbia, S.C., on the last day of a live recruiting period in mid-April. Harris visited Florida in late April and went to Kansas a week later.
"They're great programs; they're all winning programs," Harris said. "I really don't see any negativity with either program. It's a comfort level and the coaches I think I can mesh with the most."
Great workout w @J30_RANDLE @T_2releFOUR@Austin_Chatman they went in #GrindMode
From the Team Loaded bench came the call.
"He can't shoot."
Thirty second-half points later, yes, Anthony Barber can shoot.
The Hampton High School standout, the reigning Group AAA high school player of the year, scored 30 of his game-high 32 points in the second half as Boo Williams' 17-under team cam from behind to eliminate the Richmond-based team 85-71 in the championship bracket quarterfinals.
Anthony Barber: The 6’2 point guard out of Hampton (VA) was absolutely sensational for Boo Williams in a blowout victory over the Stafford Hoyas to open up the event. Barber did basically anything he wanted with the ball and was nearly unstoppable when it came to getting to the rim. He scored at the basket, hit open teammates for layups, knocked down 3-pointers, and displayed a nasty crossover. Barber, an elite prospect in the 2013 class, had the look of a top 10 player as he dominated the game from start to finish in a number of different ways.
...Anthony Barber listed scholarship offers from Virginia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Alabama, Syracuse, and Missouri to go along with interest from Duke. He has no favorites, but said Kansas and Alabama are coming at him the hardest. Barber has no timetable for a decision and said that neither location nor conference affiliation will be factors for him.
SLAM 2012 HS All-Americans
ESPNHS profile: CIA Bounce
Rivals: Five for Friday
Spring/Summer Event Schedule
adidas Grassroots schedule
Nike EYBL Schedule
Check here for the NCAA Recruiting Calendar
My 2011-12 Border War, Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, KU Alumni games, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos and more now on Youtube