BIG 12 NEWCOMER OF THE WEEK
Kelly Oubre, Jr., Kansas, G, Fr., 6-7, 200, New Orleans, La./Findlay Prep
Oubre posted 12.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game as the Jayhawks also split its two matchups with nationally-ranked foes. The freshman guard had 14 points on 3-of-5 (.600) shooting as KU defeated No. 24 OSU. He had a second double-figure scoring effort at No. 11 Iowa State, finishing with 10 points and eight boards. He shot 40.0 percent from the field on the week with five assists and four steals. Oubre has six double-digit scoring performances in 2014-15 and has recorded eight outings with five or more rebounds.
Big 12 Sports
The Sooners were expected to contend for the Big 12 title after returning Hield and adding transfer Thomas (formerly of Houston) to a veteran rotation. Oklahoma had an early slip-up in league play, falling at home to Kansas State. But the Sooners looked dangerous in a 17-point victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday. Kansas coach Bill Self complimented Oklahoma’s offense, but the Sooners, led by coach Lon Kruger, actually grade out better defensively, according to advanced metrics. Oklahoma ranks fifth nationally in defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.com. The Sooners hold opponents to 41 percent shooting inside the three-point line. Hield, meanwhile, has been on a tear offensively, scoring at least 20 points in four of the team's five Big 12 games.
Since the inception of the Big 12, Kansas is 20-5 against Oklahoma, which includes an 18-3 mark in regular-season play and a 13-2 mark under Bill Self.
22 years. That’s how long it has been since Oklahoma men’s basketball has beaten the Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence.
The Sooners will get a chance to defy history Monday when they square off against KU in Phog Allen Fieldhouse, and will look to build on their big win in Saturday's edition of Bedlam to do so.
For now, Self is looking for more energy on the defensive end, and Kansas might have to dig deep to find it. Late on Saturday, Self referenced the Big 12 bylaws that are supposed to protect teams from playing a late game on Saturday night and then playing in the Big Monday time slot.
“It is a quick turnaround,” Self said. “Our league, in our bylaws, we’re not allowed to do this. … But something slipped through the cracks.”
Self likes to say that the formula for winning the Big 12 is pretty simple. You must protect your home court and grind out victories on the road. For the past decade — and beyond — no Big 12 team has protected its home floor better than Kansas. In the last eight seasons, the Jayhawks have sustained just three home conference losses at Allen Fieldhouse. For Self and Kansas, that makes Monday gut-check time. A ranked team is coming into Allen Fieldhouse. And Kansas is trying to avoid a second straight loss.
“We got to let it go,” Kansas freshman guard Devonte’ Graham said. “We got a big game on Monday, so we can’t let one loss turn into two losses.”
“I think he’s terrific,” KU coach Bill Self said, adding “we recruited Buddy. I can’t remember who we took instead (in Class of 2012, in which Hield was ranked 86th by Rivals.com). I’m not saying we could have gotten him (in a recruiting class that included Andrew White III, Anrio Adams, Perry Ellis, Zach Peters and Landen Lucas). I saw him play a ton. It was a bad miss. He was on Perry’s (Ellis) AAU team. He’s a good shooter, active. His personality is contagious. He brings life into a room, as opposed to sucking air out of it. Outside of my guys, there’s nobody I enjoy watching play more.”
Both Hield and Ellis played for Wichita’s Pray and Play Players AAU team.
“Coach Self recruited me. I had a good summer. They came at me,” Hield said. “He came to my school, talked to me one-on-one. He wanted me to come on a visit.
“I had to go to Oklahoma. I feel this is the spot for me. Not to say I wasn’t good enough to play out there. I just feel they had all those guys there. I feel Oklahoma was a better fit for me. I still respect their program. I really like their program,” Hield added of KU. “If there was anywhere else to go (besides OU), I probably would have went there.”
Of the Jayhawks’ personnel, Hield said: “I respect everybody. They are all good players. I respect Perry. Me and Perry worked out quite a bit last summer. We played on the same AAU team, so I really like Perry a lot.”
Hield confessed that in one-on-one competition, “Perry got the best of me. I’m not gonna lie. He got the best of me. One-on-one doesn’t matter right now. It’s all about the team.”
Hield mainly scored either from behind the arc or at the rim against the Cowboys, but his offense has gotten more diverse of late.
“Buddy has worked a lot on his pull-up jumper. He’s worked a lot on attacking off the dribble,” Sooners coach Lon Kruger said. “What happens in a game, from one game to the next, you don’t know if it’s going to be half and half or all threes. That depends on how defenses cover him.”
But Hield’s improvement will be tested in a road game in the toughest environment in the Big 12.
Away from Lloyd Noble Center, Hield is shooting just 33.6 percent, more than 20 points worse than he is at home.
“It’s not one of those things you try to figure out,” Kruger said. “We don’t want to really put that in their heads too much from our perspective.”
Hield thinks the explanation is pretty simple.
“They mess up my routine,” Hield said of road games. “On the road, it’s tough getting into a routine and getting going.
“But as a player, you have to find ways to get yourself mentally ready.”
TCJ: The play that got Cliff Alexander benched
1/17/15, 11:52 PM
#StatLineOfTheNight Andrew Wiggins dropped a career-high 31 pts to go w/ 9 boards, 4 assists 3 blocks & 1 stl in a W.
1/17/15, 11:25 PM
There are four teenagers that have tallied at least 31 pts and 9 rebs: Kevin Durant, LeBron James (6x), Carmelo Anthony and Andrew Wiggins.
Sixers center Joel Embiid has denied that his weight has reached 300 pounds, as reported Sunday by The Philadelphia Inquirer.
"I don't weigh that," Embiid said in passing at a D.C. hotel Sunday night with the Sixers in town to face the Wizards for a Martin Luther King Day matinee.
A team source backed him up, stating that 275 pounds has been the maximum weight for the 7-footer whom the Sixers selected with the third overall pick in last year's draft.
Embiid weighed 250 pounds while playing for Kansas last season, but while he's been recovering from a foot injury, his weight has been a concern. Head coach Brett Brown said earlier this month that it was being addressed. When Embiid was sent home from the team's West Coast trip a few weeks ago, Brown said it was so he could be part of a more "structured, stable environment."
After returning from the trip, Brown seemed satisfied with Embiid's progress.
“He looked good,” Brown said on Jan. 6. “He did all the things he needed to do physically, being with the trainer and conditioning.”
According to the Inquirer report, Embiid's return from the trip was also due to a confrontation with trainer James Davis. That was neither confirmed nor denied, but sources say Embiid has expressed his frustrations with multiple people on the staff when working out this season.
VOTE for Coach Self: Infinite Coaches’ Charity Challenge
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“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
1/17/15, 12:38 PM
#Big12Leaders K-State president Kirk Schulz @kstate_pres has been elected chairman of NCAA Board of Governors. #NCAAconv
Stay classy Kirk.
1/18/15, 7:39 PM
Eudora's Mitchell Ballock has received a scholarship offer from Oklahoma. Ballock rated #21 by ESPN in 2017 class
Bill Self watched #KU recruit VJ King @BassProTOfC - VJ averaged 22 & 8 reb
1/17/15, 8:34 PM
Bishop O'dowd knocks off Paul VI 65-64
Behind Ivan Rabb's 31 points and
Paris Austin w/ 21
VJ King dropped 28
F Howard 21 pts
Saturday saw four of the best perimeter players in the ESPN 100 -- Brandon Ingram (No. 12), Malachi Richardson (No. 19), Allonzo Trier (No. 17) and Derrick Jones (No. 22) -- not only put up big numbers but also show off expanded games in the process. Ingram and Richardson got the day off to a good start, as they went back and forth in their head-to-head matchup. Richardson seemed to be getting the upperhand in the first half -- not just draining his trademark 3s but also starting to show an increased ability to attack close-outs and finish contact with a strengthened frame. Ingram got it going down the stretch, though, using his incredible length and super soft touch to score over the top of contesting defenders in the mid-range area and even showing off his ability to make plays for his teammates.
ESPN Hoophall Day 1($)
The 6-foot-9 Ingram, ranked 12th in the country by ESPN.com, is considering a final six of Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina and N.C. State. He said he plans to visit Kansas, Kentucky and UCLA down the road. UCLA assistant David Grace was among those on hand for this game.
Ingram is not close to making his college decision and is really trying to focus on winning his fourth straight state championship.
…Kansas: “It’s a basketball city. I loved it out there when I visited for their Midnight Madness. I love everything about coach Norm Roberts and coach Bill Self.”
Thon Maker will visit Kentucky, Kansas and several other schools if he ends up reclassing next month, his guardian Ed Smith told SNY.tv Saturday night.
Smith said he will also work in advance with the NCAA to make sure the 7-foot native of the South Sudan passes through the NCAA Clearinghouse, and if for some reason he cannot, Maker would consider playing next season in Europe or China.
“If we reclass then we’ll start looking at who we would visit,” Smith told SNY.tv before Maker went for 14 points, 8 rebounds and 6 turnovers as Orangeville Prep (Ontario) lost to the Phelps (Pa.) School, 66-64, at the Big Apple Basketball Invitational at Baruch College.
“We would visit Kansas, we would visit Kentucky. We’ll see where Duke is within the process and where Indiana is within the process, UCLA is within the process. And Missouri and Wake Forest.
“Kansas and Kentucky with Indiana, they’ve been in it [Maker’s recruitment] the longest.”
He added: “You stay with those guys who were consistent with you.”
Diallo was electric on Sunday, one of the few bright spots in a 75-57 loss to Huntington St. Joseph Prep for Diallo and Our Savior New American. He scored 24 points, many of which came in the second half during a brief run by Our Savior New American, and pulled down nine rebounds.
"He's got a good overall game," Our Savior New American coach Ron Stelzer said. "He runs, he jumps, he blocks shots, he plays defense, he extends out to about the 3-point line, and he can — of course do damage around the basket. We try to put him in a position to score, and his effort does the rest."
MassLive.com (Photos and videos at the link)
1/17/15, 1:12 PM
Bol Bol, the 6-10 freshman at Miege. MT @StagsBball vine.co/v/OjrAJeQLbaj"”
The Spalding Hoophall Classic almost always saves the best for last. Monday is always a special day at Blake Arena and this year should be no different, as today’s schedule features the No. 1 senior in the country (Ben Simmons of Montverde Academy), the No. 1 junior in the country (Jayson Tatum of Chaminade College Prep), standout unsigned seniors like Ivan Rabb (Bishop O’Dowd), Jaylen Brown (Wheeler), Stephen Zimmerman (Bishop Gorman), Duke commit Chase Jeter and on and on.
From a team standpoint, there’s No. 3 Wheeler, No. 4 Montverde, No. 6 Oak Hill, No. 11 Villa Angela St. Joseph, No. 25 Bishop O’Dowd and a handful of other terrific and talented programs.
And then there’s St. Anthony and Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley.
Oh, and the four final games are on ESPNU. What more could you ask for?
St. Anthony vs. Constitution High, 9
No. 3 Wheeler High vs. No. 25 Bishop O'Dowd, 11
No. 6 Oak Hill vs. No. 11 Villa Angela St. Joseph, 1
No. 4 Montverde Academy vs. Bishop Gorman, 3
Paul VI vs. Chaminade College Prep, 5
TICKETS: $20 for the day. Under 5 is free. For more information click here.
GAME OF THE DAY: No. 4 Montverde Academy vs. Bishop Gorman — There are plenty to choose from, but if you can only pick one, let’s go with the defending national champion, which is led by the top senior in the country, Ben Simmons, squaring off against a Bishop Gorman team led by the outstanding duo of Chase Jeter, a Duke commit, and unsigned Stephen Zimmerman.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Again, so so many, but we’ll go with No. 1 junior Jayson Tatum, who leads Chaminade College Prep in the Hoophall’s finale. But we strongly suggest being there for the entire day, including Ivan Rabb (Bishop O’Dowd) and Jaylen Brown (Wheeler), Carlton Bragg (Villa Angela St. Joseph), Simmons, Jeter and Zimmerman.
MUST READ/WATCH: Your best bet is to go here and look around because there's so much content from the past four days of coverage. If you simply must go directly from here, we've got you covered with Thon Maker content - exclusive Q&A here ... Scouting report here ... his guardian saying he's on collegiate path - plus looks at future UConn Huskies Jalen Adams and Steven Enoch. Final big recommendation is a nice story on Miles Bridges that you may have missed yesteday.
LIVE CHAT: MassLive will have a live chat (below) running throughout the entire Hoophall Classic. To take part, enter comments below or Tweet with the hashtag #HHClassic.
LIVE STATS: Fans can also follow along with all the action via Gamechanger. Here is the Gamechanger Hoophall Hub.
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