KUAD: Baylor vs Kansas pregame notes
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound sophomore guard, who entered that game a 36 percent marksman from beyond the three-point arc, hit three of six threes with Lavette in the Allen Fieldhouse stands.
Again, with mom on hand, the clean-cut Selden swished five of seven treys against Iowa State two days later.
Selden has continued his sweet-shooting ways since Lavette’s return to Roxbury, Massachusetts. He cashed four of five threes against Oklahoma State last Saturday and four of seven against Texas Tech on Tuesday. That’s 16 makes in his last 25 threes, good for 64 percent.
“Family can do that. Family can change a lot of things. My mom came and things have been better for me personally ever since, on and off the court,” Selden said. “I’m feeling pretty confident in my game now.
…Several KU basketball players, including Selden and Tyler Self, helped Southwest’s Kyle Portela snare an appearance on ESPN’s Sports Center. Portela, 14, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was 3 1/2 months old, scored four points in a recent SW win. KU’s players had several Tweets with the hashtag “GetKyleonSportscenter” and indeed ESPN complied.
“It was good,” Selden said of the ESPN appearance. “I heard he’s coming to the game Saturday. We’re looking forward to that. Hopefully he gets back in the locker room and hangs out with the guys a bit.”
To read the J-W story on Portela go to the Web address http://ljw.bz/1Fgq4Kx
No. 16 Baylor has gone 0-12 against the Jayhawks in Lawrence including seven losses during the Scott Drew era. But instead of dreading the trip to Allen Fieldhouse, Drew sees Saturday’s noon game as a chance to make history.
“It’s a great opportunity to play in a venue where we haven’t had a lot of success in the past,” Drew said. “But we’d love to be the first Baylor team to have the opportunity to be successful up there. All teams are competitors and want to go against the best, and Kansas is at the top of the Big 12.”
The Bears (18-6, 6-5) believe they have a shot to beat the league-leading Jayhawks (20-4, 9-2) because they nearly pulled off a win in their first meeting at the Ferrell Center on Jan. 7.
They Jayhawks survived a 56-55 win after Baylor’s Royce O’Neale missed a layup and Kenny Chery committed a costly turnover in the final minute. Trailing 22-18 at halftime, the Jayhawks shot 72.7 percent in the second half to escape with the narrow win.
“We were right there,” O’Neale said. “We missed a lot of layups the first time we played them, so we just have to finish at the basket. Being on the road, you don’t get that many calls so we know we have to play through contact.”
Perry Ellis, who has expanded his range to hit 13 three-pointers in 2014-15 after making eight treys his sophomore season and two his freshman campaign, needs just three points today against Baylor to join the 1,000-point club at Kansas University.
“It’s real humbling to be able to play for Kansas and get the opportunity to do that,” the 6-foot-8 junior power forward from Wichita said. “I just feel blessed to be in this position. I’m just going to keep working hard,” added Ellis, who is striving to become the 56th player in KU history to reach the 1,000 mark.
He’ll be the first Jayhawk to 1,000 since Thomas Robinson in the 2011-12 season.
Ellis averages 12.9 points per game for Kansas (20-4 overall, 9-2 Big 12) heading into today’s noon game at Allen Fieldhouse against Baylor (18-6, 6-5).
“We’re playing Baylor. He’s going to need more than three points,” KU coach Bill Self said. Ellis scored just four points off 2-of-8 shooting in KU’s 56-55 win over the Bears on Jan. 7 in Waco, Texas.
“But I think that it is a great accomplishment. There’s not as many kids doing that in today’s time as what there was before because kids don’t stay for three or four years,” Self added. “If he were to stay here for all four years, he could be in that 1,500 range, possibly one of the top 20 scorers in school history, which would be a great accomplishment at a place like this, or that would put him in that vicinity. But we’re certainly proud of Perry and certainly hope it happens early in the first half Saturday.”
The 2007-08 Kansas University basketball team that won the national title didn’t have a single player named first-team All-Big 12 by the Associated Press and a skunking could happen again this season.
Unless things change, it will be an injustice. Frank Mason deserves first-team honors. Numbers don’t capture value in basketball. He’s the best player on the best team in the conference and he makes teammates better.
On a late evening in early February, Shelley Lucas is on the telephone. She is talking about her family’s time in Japan, and how it shaped her son — how those nights in Fukui left a lasting imprint. But before we go forward, Shelley admits that there was one other reason for choosing to take Landen to Japan during his sixth-grade year.
Part of it was basketball.
“I knew that there was a chance he’d get pretty serious about basketball as he got older,” Shelley says. “So I figured: If we were going to go back to Japan, we should do it before he got to high school.”
In this case, her maternal instincts were correct. A decade after spending a year in Fukui, Landen Lucas is now a redshirt sophomore at Kansas, a blue-collar forward on a top-10 team. Lucas is averaging just 2.4 points and 11.4 minutes per game, earning sporadic playing time as the Jayhawks steamroll toward an 11th straight Big 12 championship.
For now, Lucas’ on-court impact has been limited. But it’s safe to say that few college big men come as worldly as Lucas.
How many forwards can tell stories about their early years in Asia or their days in a Japanese language school in Portland?
No. 16 Baylor at No. 8 Kansas, 1 p.m. ET, CBS, Saturday: Kansas escaped, really. On Jan. 7, the Jayhawks left Waco with a 56-55 win over Baylor that demanded some late resilience. But Baylor collected 17 offensive rebounds in that game. The Bears got 13 second-chance points out of that. It was a tight game and the second matchup on Saturday should be a battle too. One that's fought in the paint, where Kansas scored 34 of its points in the first matchup. Baylor has the nation's top offensive rebounding rate. But the Jayhawks are shooting 41 percent from the 3-point line and they're not going to lose at the Phog.
Prediction: Kansas 71, Baylor 65
Honoring Dean Smith: For the Baylor game, Kansas Athletics will recognize the accomplishments of former KU men’s basketball player and college coaching legend Dean Smith, who died Feb. 7. A native of Emporia, Kansas, who grew up in Topeka, Smith competed at Kansas from 1949-53 and was a part of the Jayhawks’ national championship team in 1952 and were the national runners-up in 1953. Smith also served as an assistant coach at Kansas under Dr. Forrest “Phog” Allen for the 1953-54 season. Smith went on to coach North Carolina from 1961-97, winning two national championships (1982, '93) and the 1971 NIT title. When he retired, he was the winningest coach in college basketball history. His 879 wins are fourth all-time in Division I.
Why watch? Baylor is 30-9 since Feb. 12, 2014, and Bears coach Scott Drew is one of four coaches (along with Tom Izzo, Fred Hoiberg and Travis Ford) to beat Kansas three times since 2009. Baylor held Kansas to 56 points -- 16.2 points below its season average -- in a 1-point loss on Jan. 7. The last time Baylor played on CBS was Dec. 1, 2012, when the Bears defeated No. 8 Kentucky 64-55 at Rupp Arena. BU's win ended UK's 55-game home win streak and was the first home loss of the John Calipari era.
ABOUT BAYLOR (18-6, 6-5 Big 12): In Baylor’s 56-55 loss to Kansas on Jan. 7, junior big man Rico Gathers finished with nine points and 14 rebounds, including nine boards on the offensive glass. As a team, Baylor pulled down 17 offensive rebounds, and that could position the glass as a crucial battleground again on Saturday afternoon. “It’s as good an offensive rebounding team as maybe we have in America,” Self said of Baylor. Baylor appears to be an NCAA Tournament team, but coach Scott Drew would surely like to stay above .500 in the Big 12. The Bears, who often employ a zone defense, have been solid on defense, ranking 42nd nationally in defensive efficiency. But they have been most dangerous on offense. Entering the weekend, Baylor ranked 14th in the country in offensive efficiency and third in the Big 12 in offense during conference play. For the season, Baylor is shooting 37.8 percent from three-point range. Senior Royce O’Neale and junior Taurean Prince are each shooting better than 40 percent from long distance.
Perhaps the biggest factor, though, is that the best way to beat Baylor's zone is by passing the ball effectively (69.8 percent of opponents' field goals are assisted — the highest mark in the nation). As you'd guess, passing has been one of the Jayhawks' biggest weaknesses this year and also a big reason for KU's poor shooting inside.
The game is at Allen Fieldhouse, which should help KU. The Jayhawks should get a few more whistles and perhaps a couple more steals than they would otherwise.
I'll say that makes the difference in a coin-flip game ... though I won't be surprised at all if Baylor is the team to hand KU its first home loss this year.
Kansas 69, Baylor 68
Baylor ranks first in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage, pulling down 43 percent of its missed shots, according to KenPom.com. In the last decade of college basketball, only two teams have finished a season with a better mark in that stat.
Gathers, for his part, ranks second nationally in individual offensive rebounding percentage.
“He’s a monster in there,” Self said. “He does a great job of going after every ball.”
It sets up for an interesting challenge for a Jayhawks roster that isn’t constructed like years past.
KU, partly because of a lack of size, ranks 158th in defensive rebounding percentage. Before this season, no Self-led Jayhawks team had been worse than 142nd.
“We’ve become an average rebounding team,” Self said. “I mean, there’s periods of time during the season we’ve been very good, there’s periods of time we’ve been poor.”
One of those poor games was the previous matchup against Baylor. Though KU managed to come away with a 56-55 victory in a low-possession game, it was only able to corral 19 of the available 36 defensive rebounds (53 percent). It was the eighth-worst defensive rebounding performance in Self’s 418 games at KU.
Best game of the day: Baylor at Kansas (-7.5); 1 p.m. ET, CBS
Baylor held Kansas to just 18 points in the first half of the first meeting between these two teams, a 56-55 Jayhawks win in Waco to open Big 12 play. Kansas' comeback was powered by 72.7 percent shooting in the second half and an unexpected boost from Jamari Traylor when the usual stars were struggling against Baylor's zone defense. The Bears failed to capitalize on several chances to win in the final minutes and have had to wait more than a month to get back at the 10-time Big 12 champs. Baylor can play its (very strong) brand of defense, dominate on the glass and still lose, so it will be up to Taurean Prince, Lester Medford or Kenny Chery to create enough offense to make the Jayhawks uncomfortable at home.
Kansas coach Bill Self will be featured on "Northwestern Mutual Presents NCAA Men of March" airing Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on CBS.
Bill Self's still-in-the-building-stage, respectable basketball legacy has come to be because, in large part, he's as known for his regular season dominance as anything he's done in March.
For many coaches, this could, and would, be a thorny rose.
But with Self, his dominance in the Big 12 has led to something that would be mythical if it weren't happening in the present, somehow, year after year. One day, this will be fable. In ways that modern science has not yet been able to reason, Self has managed to get his Kansas Jayhawks team to finish atop the Big 12 standings for 10 straight seasons.
…This is more impressive than winning one national title. It may even be more impressive than if/when Self wins his second. He dances every year, with a great seed, and has made seven Elite Eights, going to the Final Four twice.
Is Self a "Man of March"? Certainly. But he's a king of the winter and lord of the Big 12 unlike any coach before him, and probably after.
To illustrate that dominance, or add insult to injury for the rest of the Big 12, depending on which way you see it, Kansas is 160-33 in conference play since 2003. K-State would need to add up all its conference victories since the Tom Asbury-era starting in 1990 to reach 160 conference wins.
With the way Kansas has handled itself over the last 11 years, the question has become whether or not the Jayhawks’ overwhelming success is a good thing for the Big 12.
The simple answer is yes.
…Like it or not, Kansas is the big mammoth of a man sitting in the corner of the bar who everyone — drunkly — wants to fight to “prove themselves.” Losing is expected, certainly, but competing is rewarded nonetheless.
But back to basketball. When a team manages to do the herculean task of usurping Kansas at the top of the conference, they get rewarded. This is rightly deserved, because it rarely happens.
…Programs at the bottom and middle change, but Kansas, the benchmark of excellence in the Big 12, remains firmly seated at its throne at the top.
If the Jayhawks succeed and win their 11th-straight Big 12 regular season title this season, it is something positive for the Big 12 … mainly because it sends a huge message to everyone else: “come and get us.”
Dates for summer camps:
June 7-11 Individual Session 1
June 12-13 Parent/Child
June 14-18 Individual Session 2
June 19-21 Team Camp
2. Andrew Wiggins, Timberwolves | Rookie (World)
Heading into this game, Wiggins looks like the best player of this group based on his play of the past six weeks. He is mixing up his perimeter game with a devastating post-up game while also looking for his midrange shot over smaller guys. He is also beginning to play harder for longer stretches, which is a huge key for him to reach his MVP level of potential.
Andrew Wiggins was named the most valuable player after scoring 22 points for the World team in a 121-112 win over the United States team in the Rising Stars Challenge at Barclays Center on Friday night.
The game, which consisted of rookies and second-year players and had two 20-minute halves, was essentially a relentless dunk and layup drill, with sporadic rim protection and paltry defensive efforts. The teams combined for 51 turnovers and shot 53.6 percent from the field. That was mostly because 65 percent of the points in the game were scored from the lane. There were also 52 3-point attempts. This was not a game to show off midrange shooting.
The sold-out crowd stayed mostly subdued. It was quiet enough at one point that a group of fans screamed, “Oh, Canada!” at Wiggins, a Toronto native, as he stood at the free-throw line. Wiggins cracked a smile and missed the free throw.
“It was all fun,” Wiggins said. “Hopefully for all the people watching, we could give them some entertainment.”
…Wiggins, the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft, also had several highlight-reel moments, including a 360-degree dunk early in the second half. He added six rebounds, four assists and a blocked shot.
“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
DYK? The top 12 list of teams in CBB with the most games vs. top 25 opponents include NINE #Big12MBB schools. #Big12Strong
More Big 12 title race fun: West Virginia at Iowa State (-6.5); 4 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Kansas may be pulling away from the pack in the Big 12, but West Virginia and Iowa State are just two games out of first place with seven games left on the schedule. West Virginia won the first meeting in Morgantown but enters the game with a 1-2 start to February that has been more notable for offensive struggles than the full court pressure defense that powered a fast start to conference play. Iowa State likes to run and will have all of Hilton Coliseum -- where the Cyclones have won 20 straight -- behind it in a game that feels more like a "must-win" than it is in reality. Both teams are in the tournament, but West Virginia still has to play Kansas twice and Iowa State faces two tough road games (at Oklahoma State and Texas) in the following week.
For more than 60 years, the mantra of college baseball teams have been, let’s make it to Omaha. Omaha, of course, being the home of the College World Series.
That’s also the mantra of the Big 12’s old guard basketball teams in 2015. The five schools left over from the Big Eight — OU, OSU, Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State — had Omaha penciled in as their desired location for the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
And the Sooners now can justifiably believe they’ll get there. Two Big 12 teams likely are to replaced in Omaha, and Kansas is absolutely going to be one of them. OU’s swoon in the early part of the conference schedule made the Sooners unlikely to be the other.
But that has changed. OU has soared to second place in the conference, and since the Sooners have the meat of their conference schedule behind them, second place seems not just possible, but probable. OU has six games remaining: at Kansas State, Texas, at Texas Tech, TCU, at Iowa State and Kansas. The Sooners will be favored in those first four; the games against Iowa State and KU could determine OU’s fate. It’s also possible that the Sooners will be safely locked into second place by then.
Michele Roberts on stance on college players: "Be happy with one & done, it's not going to be two & done."
College sports has its issues, but some conference commissioners want to revisit a rule that hasn't been in place for more than 40 years.
CBS Sports' Jon Solomon reported that the Pac-12, Big 12 and ACC commissioners want to put serious consideration into making freshmen ineligible for varsity sports.
"I've had conversations with several commissioners about (freshman ineligibility)," Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott told CBS. "We are pushing, and I think you will see much more serious conversations about it in the coming months and year."
Freshmen used to be ineligible in college sports, but that rule was done away with in 1972. Why bring it back?
A number of the idea's proponents also claimed that this was motivated to improve the academic performance of incoming athletes.
[Pause for eye roll]
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said that it would help football and basketball players adapt to college life easier. But in reality, this is about the "one-and-done" era of college basketball. The NBA's age limit currently stands at 19. There has been discussion about amending that rule, but nothing has been completed.
But to deem freshmen ineligible? It looks more like a workaround rather than a solution.
ESPN will host the first college basketball postseason awards show in which it will unveil the Wooden Award and five positional awards named after all-time greats.
The one-hour show will be held on April 10 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2 from Los Angeles.
The program will honor the top player in the country with the Wooden Award presented by Wendy's and also include awards for the nation's top point guard (Bob Cousy Award), shooting guard (Jerry West), small forward (Julius Erving), power forward (Karl Malone) and center (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar).
We polled more than 450 college basketball coaches on whether they want the shot clock to remain the same or be changed. Division I coaches of all varieties -- high-major, mid-major and low-major head coaches, as well as assistants -- weighed in.
Here are the results:
30-second clockoffer -- 270 votes (59 percent)
35-second clock -- 137 votes (30 percent)
24-second clock -- 48 votes (10 percent)
28-second clock -- 4 votes (1 percent)
45-second clock -- 1 vote
Total votes: 460
Here are some comments from coaches on why they voted the way they did:
30-second shot clock
Kansas head coach Bill Self: “I think 24 is too big of a jump -- unless many other NBA rules are adopted.”
Kentucky head coach John Calipari: “Shot clock would be fine if they put it to 30. It would have no effect on me.”
Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey: “Simple. More possessions.”
Richmond head coach Chris Mooney: “Thirty-five and 24 are arbitrary numbers. We're conditioned to think of those as the options, but we should look at it more basically -- 30 seconds is half of a minute, 10 seconds to cross the time line, 30 seconds to shoot. NBA is eight seconds to cross the time line, 24 seconds to shoot.”
Complete ESPN Networks schedule
Big 12 Composite Schedule & Results
2/13/15, 9:00 AM
No update on Thon Maker's reclassification decision, per his guardian Ed Smith, who is here in New York for All-Star weekend.
In the opening matchup of the 2015 Metro Classic at Kean University, high-flying Our Savior New American of New York raced past No. 4 Linden (15-5) 67-55 led by the presence, athleticism and dunking theatrics of McDonald's All-American Cheick Diallo.
"Tonight, their big kid (Cheick Diallo), we had no answer for him," Linden head coach Phil Colicchip said.
Diallo led a brigade two-point field goals, blocks and dunks for seven Our Savior New American scorers, as the 6-foot-9 220 lb forward-center was the premier threat Friday with 23 points. Our Savior New American won by 22 despite not hitting a 3-point field goal all game long, finishing with 26 two-point field goals and 15 free throws made.
A capacity crowd saw Wheeler hang on in the final moments to beat Cherokee 51-49 in Friday’s Region 5AAAAAA semifinal at Roswell.
…Buckets were hard to come by for both sides in the first quarter, which ended 7-5 in the Wildcats’ favor. McDonald’s All-American Jaylen Brown, however, had no troubles putting the ball in the hoop and scored all of Wheeler’s seven points in the first quarter.
Brown finished with a game-high 24 points, while no other Wildcat finished in double-digit scoring.
Iowa State is set to host unofficial visits from a pair of high-level recruits this weekend.
Tyler Cook (2016, Mo.) and Mitchell Ballock (2017, Kan.) are expected to be in attendance for the Cyclones’ game Saturday against West Virginia at Hilton Coliseum, sources tell the Ames Tribune.
Cook is a 6-foot-8 forward from St. Louis that is ranked 93rd nationally in his class by Rivals. He plays in the summer with the St. Louis Eagles and has offers from the likes of Florida, Illinois, Michigan and a host of others.
Ballock is a 6-foot-4 guard from Eudora, Kan. Who sports offers from Creighton, Kansas and Kansas State, along with ISU. He’s ranked 24th in his class by Rivals and summers with the Run GMC program out of Kansas City.
@iammaliknewman & Callaway set to play Dominican (Wi.) & @Diamond_Stone33 in a nationally televised game on Saturday, Feb., 14: 10 p.m. on ESPNU from Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, Wis.
Times are Eastern
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