TV Talent: Jon Sciambi (pxp), Jimmy Dykes (color); Jeff Goodman (reporter)
BUAD: Kansas vs Baylor pregame notes (Ugh!)
KUAD: Pregame notes
KU had lost on the road, and sometimes that happens. Now the Jayhawks try to dust themselves off before heading to Baylor (14-7, 2-6 Big 12).
“It’s certainly not the end of earth,” Self said, repeating a message he told his players Saturday.
“What you do is, you put yourself in a position where there’s less margin for error. But everything is still possible.”
For Kansas, that means winning a 10th straight Big 12 regular-season title and earning a top seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks (16-5, 7-1) still hold a one-game lead over Texas, a team that still has to play in Lawrence. On Tuesday, Kansas will look to get back on track against a Baylor squad that recorded a surprising upset at Oklahoma State on Saturday.
And really, Self says, securing a Big 12 regular-season crown is not supposed to be easy.
“I feel like we’ll just come together,” KU freshmen wing Brannen Greene said. “And we’ll be ever stronger; we know what we got to do.”
The most discussed number in Big 12 basketball circles may be nine — as in nine straight Big 12 titles for Kansas. But as the titles have piled up, the passage of time has a way of obscuring some of the struggles during those seasons.
The Jayhawks have shared four of their nine regular-season titles (2005, 2006, 2008, 2013) and three more were by a one-game margin. This is why Self isn’t necessarily sandbagging when he suggests that the Big 12 race will come down to the final week.
“It’ll come down to the last week,” Self said, before repeating the words for emphasis. “It’ll come down to the last week … Texas has a hard schedule left in front of them, and certainly we do, too.”
Baylor (14-7, 2-6): After a frustrating 1-6 start in the Big 12, Baylor broke through with a stunning upset victory at Oklahoma State on Saturday. The performance was even more surprising considering Chery missed the game because of a foot injury. Senior guard Gary Franklin had 11 points while starting in place of Chery, who could be limited against Kansas. Senior guard Brady Heslip had six three-pointers in BU’s loss at KU on Jan. 20. Heslip is shooting 47 percent from three-point range and has made 27 of 58 during Big 12 play. This is still the same Baylor team that notched victories over Colorado and Kentucky during the nonconference season. Baylor has also won two of its last four against KU, including an 81-58 beatdown last season in Waco.
RPIs as of Monday: KU 1, BU 55.
• Forcing turnovers: Don't be fooled: Baylor forcing 16 turnovers at Allen Fieldhouse in the first matchup against KU was an aberration. That's actually the most turnovers the Bears have forced all year, as they have turned opponents over on just 15.8 percent of their defensive possessions (320th nationally).
• Committing turnovers: This matchup will feature the Big 12's two worst teams when it comes to taking care of the basketball. Through eight conference games, BU has turned it over on 20 percent of its possessions. KU, meanwhile, has lost it on 20.7 percent of its possessions in league play.
• Free-throw shooting: Though Baylor is pretty good at getting to the line (71st in offensive free-throw rate), it's struggled once it's gotten there. The Bears have made just 65.4 percent of their freebies (309th nationally), and that team percentage has mostly been dragged down by Gathers (47-for-83, 57 percent) and Royce O'Neale (27-for-552, 52 percent).
Though Baylor has shot-blockers like Texas, its defensive profile is different in that 3-pointers aren't the best way to attack it; instead, passing is.
The Jayhawks ran up 1.22 points per possession in a 78-68 victory over BU two weeks ago, and despite so many turnovers, the Jayhawks were able to get a lot of close shots and also take advantage of free-throw opportunities (making 26 of 29).
KenPom ranks this as KU's third-toughest regular-season game left, but truthfully, this should be a game where the Jayhawks' offense reverts to its previous high-scoring ways.
KU has won a lot of games this season by outscoring opponents, and though BU will probably have some success on the offensive glass, I think the Jayhawks will have more success getting easy shots while avoiding a few of the unforced giveaways they had last time.
Kansas 78, Baylor 71
TCJ Five-Minute Scout
KU point guard Naadir Tharpe, who was one of only two starters around for last year’s three-game losing streak, says this year’s group will be motivated by the Texas defeat.
“They’re not going to want this to happen again. It’s not fun at all, losing. They don’t like the feeling,” Tharpe said. “We had a couple losses in the (nonconference) season as well. I feel like we’re just going come out swinging and turn it around right away.”
Individually, a lot of focus will be on freshman guard Andrew Wiggins, who mustered just seven points on 2-of-12 shooting Saturday. That was after averaging 28 points in his previous two games against TCU and Iowa State.
“I expect him to respond in a favorable way,” Self said. “Certainly young kids, especially freshmen, I don’t know very many that don’t have off days every now and then.”
The Jayhawks had a nightmare game in Waco a year ago; their 81-58 loss to the Bears was the second-worst defeat in Self’s 11 seasons at KU.
The coach admitted the team might watch a few video clips from that game, but the main focus would be on what this year’s team can do better.
And, yes, the future instead of the past.
“When you play as good of people as we have in our league away from home, losses are going to occur,” Self said. “I’m telling our guys, ‘Hey, just try not to let one become two or two become three.’”
Baylor coach Scott Drew said his team, which had hoped to contend for the league title, is primed for a big second half of league play.
“At the end of the day, if I could have gone back in time and done one thing different, I’d have made sure I’d prepared us for the physicality of league play,” said Drew, whose Bears went 12-1 nonconference. “I thought it took us a couple games to adjust to that. That’s something that will haunt me for many years, and I’ll make sure I don’t make that mistake again.”
…Self said Conner Frankamp (knee bruise), Joel Embiid (knee sprain) and Tarik Black (ankle sprain) practiced Monday and will play tonight.
The Bears have lost three straight home games to Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia. They understand the difficulty of trying to break that streak against Kansas, but they know it’s the kind of win they need to get back on the NCAA tournament track.
“Being able to play the team that wins it every year gives you motivation,” Franklin said. “If you’re able to beat a team like Kansas, you can call yourself a pretty good team. We’ve demanded and asked our fans to come out and support us, so we want to give them something to cheer about.”
After facing the Jayhawks, the Bears will play No. 21 Oklahoma on Saturday in Norman. If the Bears can get on a three-game winning streak against Top 25 teams, it would go a long way toward an NCAA tournament bid.
“These are the ones we need to put our staple on an NCAA bid,” Franklin said. “To be able to play against these caliber of teams will really show who we are and give us the confidence we need to move forward.”
LJW: Getting reacquainted with Baylor
Bill Self says he's not interested in coaching in the NBA, but we all know he'd be great at it. Video link.
More video Coach Self w/ Seth Davis
NCAA's latest RPI is out (2/3) and #kubball remains No. 1 followed by No. 2 Arizona, No. 3 Syracuse, No. 4 Villanova, No. 5 Florida.
"Stay with it through ups and downs. Your TEST will become your TEST-IMONY, your MESS will become your MESS-AGE."
What happens when an AP voter ranks Kansas way too low? He gets featured in
@GaryParrish CBS's POLL ATTACKS
We currently have 12 freshmen ranked on our Big Board right now. On Saturday, 10 of those 12 were in action. The other two played Sunday. NBA scouts and GMs were out in full force to take in a bevy of great games -- Kentucky versus Missouri, Kansas versus Texas, Duke versus Syracuse, Cal versus Arizona and Indiana versus Michigan.
After watching all five games, I spoke with several NBA scouts and GMs who were in attendance to get an updated look on most of the top freshmen on our Big Board. I wasn't as concerned about their performance this weekend as I was about where they stand, overall, in the eyes of NBA teams.
Here's a look at which freshmen in our Top 30 are helping or hurting their draft stock right now.
Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
After scoring in double figures in every game since Jan. 11, Embiid scored just eight points Saturday against Texas. While he struggled a bit against Texas' big, physical front line (Embiid has been cleaning up on the undersized front lines in the Big 12 this year), the arc for Embiid couldn't be clearer. Virtually every week his grasp grows tighter on the No. 1 pick. His fluidity in the post combined with his significant defensive abilities have every team in the league drooling. He is the favorite to go No. 1 right now.
"He wasn't great on Saturday," one league executive said, "but you still saw so many positives. His footwork is outstanding. He moves like a guard. He doesn't back down. He's making mistakes, but all ones that are very fixable. I love him."
Andrew Wiggins, G/F, Kansas
Wiggins had scored 56 points in his past two outings before being limited to just seven points on 2-of-12 shooting against Texas on Saturday. That was the bad news. The good news is that Wiggins continued to show he's going to be aggressive, played great defense and actually upped his 3-point shooting percentage to 37 percent for the season. He's prone to have these inconsistencies, but scouts love that he actually took 12 shots.
"He's playing so much better," one GM said. "He's becoming aggressive. He's playing with more poise. He missed a lot of shots on Saturday, but many of them were good shots that just didn't go down. He's going to have to get better at finishing around the basket in traffic, but lately he's been playing like the Wiggins we knew in high school. I think he's still very much in the running for the No. 1 pick. If I were choosing between him and Embiid, I don't know what I'd do."
Wayne Selden, G/F Kansas
Selden mostly has taken a backseat to Embiid, Wiggins and Perry Ellis. But against Texas on Saturday, with everyone else struggling, he looked the part of a projected lottery pick, scoring 21 points for the Jayhawks. More games like that from Selden could boost his stock back into the lottery.
Wait ...Kane 25 ?
“@dereknye: @tyshawntaylor yeah... He is almost a year older than you”
I'm only 23 been out of school 2yrs
“@ACole_5: @tyshawntaylor you miss playing in AFH?” Like crazy man
Over the past few weeks, we've looked at the recent NBA draft talent produced by Kentucky and Duke. Today we analyze another college basketball blue blood in Kansas, which has catapulted numerous illustrious careers, including a first overall draft selection in Danny Manning in 1988 (Wilt Chamberlain would have been one as well were it not for the territorial selection rule).
However, Kansas has a chance to join Kentucky in a rare distinction: have two players from the same team get drafted with the first two picks of the draft (Kentucky did it with Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in 2012). Andrew Wiggins was the presumptive No. 1 overall pick entering the season, but his teammate Joel Embiid has captured the imagination of fans and talent evaluators alike, and may have the inside track to being the first name announced by newly minted Commissioner Adam Silver this June. Either way, the NBA's Kansas alumni count figures to grow by several this year, with Wayne Selden and Perry Ellis also in the conversation.
Here's a look at the best Kansas draft picks who are still active in the NBA (sorry, Drew Gooden). The criteria for ranking include résumé and scout evaluation since joining the NBA, current production, potential (where applicable) and expectations based on draft position.
1. Paul Pierce, Brooklyn Nets
Drafted: No. 10, 1998 (Boston)
All-Star appearances: 10
It's hard enough to imagine there being nine better players in a draft than Pierce, but here's some trivia that most won't recall: He wasn't even the first Jayhawk selected in 1998. That honor went to Raef LaFrentz (third overall), which is laughable now, but illustrates many of the question marks surrounding Pierce coming out of college. He was an inconsistent college 3-point shooter, and to say he wasn't a superlative athlete would be very polite. So there were legitimate concerns about his ability to create his own shot.
Needless to say, those concerns were unfounded as Pierce almost immediately established himself as a draft-day steal, averaging 16.5 points per game, a number he would not dip below again until this season. Pierce has gotten by using his craftiness and guile, with an arsenal of pump fakes and excellent footwork to help him have the space necessary to create his shot. He also is extremely adept at getting to his "kill zones," around the elbow areas where he has consistently been efficient.
The apex moment of his Hall of Fame career was, of course, winning the Finals MVP in 2008 as the Celtics won their first championship since the days of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish. But to focus on Pierce's Big Three tenure would be a disservice to the earlier years, when he scored more than 25 points per game in five out of seven seasons and helped Boston get to the playoffs in four straight years, including the Eastern Conference Finals in 2002.
2. Kirk Hinrich, Chicago Bulls
Drafted: No. 7, 2003 (Chicago)
All-Star appearances: 0
Hinrich was never an elite pro player, but it's hard to argue he didn't justify his draft slot, even in a loaded draft like 2003. A combo guard in college, Hinrich was more than a solid point guard in the NBA. His size and IQ allowed him to defend either guard position, which proved to be essential as the Bulls fielded scoring guards with point guard size in Ben Gordon and Derrick Rose, then again in Washington with John Wall and in Atlanta with Jeff Teague. In that sense, Hinrich played the role of a steady hand to run the team offense and defensive specialist to take the tougher backcourt matchup, making All-Defensive team in 2006-07.
3. Nick Collison, Oklahoma City Thunder
Drafted: No. 12, 2003 (Seattle)
All-Star appearances: 0
The prototypical blue collar big, Collison has spent his entire career with the same organization as a smart and savvy defender, an excellent offensive rebounder and a guy who knows his role on offense and plays within it. Like Hinrich, he was an NCAA All-American at Kansas and the focal point of their offense, but he made a smooth transition to role player in the NBA. Besides crashing the glass, he is an excellent screener and an underrated passer while developing a consistent catch-and-shoot 17-foot jumper. His defensive rebounding numbers have slipped over the years, but Collison still is an impactful member on one of the best teams in basketball.
4. Mario Chalmers, Miami Heat
Drafted: No. 34, 2008 (Minnesota, rights traded to Miami)
All-Star appearances: 0
You know you've made it when the President cracks jokes about you on television. Chalmers' brazen confidence makes him sound delusional at times, but that's what makes him successful. The winner of the Final Four Most Outstanding Player award in 2008, after knocking down a clutch 3-pointer to send the championship game into overtime, Chalmers also holds another, far less famous distinction.
The second-round pick Miami purchased to draft him with was unofficially the most expensive second-rounder ever sold, and he hasn't disappointed as he has provided Miami with everything they need out of his position: a top defender who can catch-and-shoot at a high level (career 3-point percentage of 37 percent) and put the ball on the floor to create his own shot. He's not a prototypical point guard in terms of vision and passing, but he does a good enough job on a team that has two fantastic creators in LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
5. Brandon Rush, Utah Jazz
Drafted: No. 13, 2008 (Portland, rights traded to Indiana)
All-Star appearances: 0
Rush may be No. 5 on this list, but he's No. 1 in the Rush family, as the youngest and most accomplished of his brothers, JaRon and Kareem. He made a name for himself at Kansas as an elite-level defensive wing and a decent 3-point shooter, and was an integral part of the 2008 championship. Those skills have carried over to the pros, as he has been a solid 3-and-D player, but the team success hasn't. His only playoff action came in Indiana in 2011, and he played sparingly due to the success of another up-and-coming 3-and-D player by the name of Paul George. Rush also has been hit with the injury bug, having twice torn his ACL (including once during a secret illegal workout with the New York Knicks before he officially declared for the draft). It remains to be seen where his career goes from here, but the feeling is he can still contribute to a contender.
6. Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns
Drafted: No. 13, 2011 (Phoenix)
All-Star appearances: 0
It's all starting to come together for Markieff, who had a shaky start to his NBA career after a solid three years at Kansas. An excellent rebounding big who could play inside and pop for perimeter jumpers in college, he's had to adjust his shot selection in the pros to account for bigger defenders and more sophisticated defenses and has hit his stride this season with the Suns. He hasn't been able to duplicate his gaudy rebounding numbers (23 percent career DREB% at Kansas versus 18 percent in Phoenix), but he brings toughness as an enforcer on the court.
6a. Marcus Morris, Phoenix Suns
Drafted: No. 14, 2011 (Houston)
All-Star appearances: 0
Neck and neck with his twin brother, Marcus has had a more circuitous route to the same destination, as he started in Houston playing mostly for the D-League affiliate in Rio Grande before being traded to Phoenix and reunited with his brother. A stretch big at Kansas, Marcus has attempted to play the wing in the NBA with varying success. He's a more gifted offensive player than his brother, with the ability to create off the dribble, deeper range and an improved midrange game, but he doesn't defend his position as well as his brother does and isn't as good a rebounder, making him a tweener of sorts.
8. Ben McLemore, Sacramento Kings
Drafted: No. 7, 2013 (Sacramento)
All-Star appearances: 0
The jury is still out on McLemore, who has shown flashes of immense NBA potential as a high-flying athlete with a sweet stroke, but struggled with offensive efficiency and attention to detail on the defensive end. The knock on him at Kansas was he was too passive and had a tendency to float, and although that hasn't been a huge problem for him in the pros, the sub-.400 FG percentage and lack of contributions outside of scoring the ball have been disappointing. Sacramento is in a transition with new ownership, management and coaching, and so the hope is he can still develop into a high-level offensive wing.
9. Darrell Arthur, Denver Nuggets
Drafted: No. 27, 2008 (New Orleans, rights traded to Memphis)
All-Star appearances: 0
The third member of the 2008 championship team on this list, Arthur has been a serviceable backup big in the league as a decent pick-and-pop option to midrange. He's nothing to write home about, but as a late first-round pick, he has turned in a decent career as a rotation big in the league.
10. Thomas Robinson, Portland Trail Blazers
Drafted: No. 5, 2012 (Sacramento)
All-Star appearances: 0
I joke on Twitter about having an All-Cape team -- players who draw the ire of fans and analysts, but whom I see potential and/or still hold out hope for. Robinson is firmly ensconced on that list. A player who showed remarkable growth and development through his three seasons at Kansas, going from a raw athlete to an all-around talent, Robinson's unstable start to his career (traded twice in his first two years) as a pawn in greater machinations have not given him the time and development he has needed to fulfill his promise. He's just 22 and is starting to figure things out in Portland in short minutes.
More impressive than the talent Kansas has put out on NBA floors is the talent it's put on NBA sidelines and front offices, with such luminaries as Spurs general manager RC Buford, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, Clippers assistant coach Alvin Gentry, Indiana GM Kevin Pritchard and Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn all having spent time at KU in one capacity or another.
VOTE for Kansas fans at the NCAA 6th Fan Contest
“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
Here in Stillwater for Iowa State-Oklahoma State. First time at Gallagher-Iba. This place is only about half-full. Kind of shocking.
2/3/14, 9:05 PM
They're honoring Eddie Sutton in Stillwater tonight, unfortunately not by letting him coach the second half.
Much to our relief, it appears as though Big 12 officials have more than caught on to Oklahoma State star Marcus Smart’s penchant for flopping.
At one juncture of Monday’s triple OT loss to Iowa State, Smart was matched up on defense against Cyclones guard DeAndre Kane. Kane made room for himself with his hips, and Smart went flying as if he’d been decked by an uppercut.
The official situated close by behind the baseline correctly let the play continue. Kane drove to the hole, and Smart - who got back on his feet - exaggerated contact again, but to no avail; the aforementioned official whistled him for a blocking foul.
Take a bow, good sir. You’ve upheld the karmic forces of the college basketball universe.
Only had to wait 97 seconds for Marcus Smart to complain to refs today, but we're 20 mins in and still waiting for his first FG.
Marcus Smart has a future as an Italian soccer player if basketball doesn't work out.
They should pay college players just so they can fine Marcus Smart for flopping.
You'd think B12 officials would be Smart by now.
Funny, games between the sixth- and seventh-place teams in other leagues don't seem nearly this fun.
One of these teams will be below .500 in conference play. Yeah, the Big 12 is pretty damn good
Buy stock in several Big 12 teams advancing deep in the NCAA Tournament. League has been a cut above the rest of the country all year.
Beginning to think Jamie Dixon is a GENIUS. Schedule nobody, pileup wins, get yourself in tourney or top 25.
Big XII composite schedule (includes results, highlights, stats)
ESPN College GameDay Schedule
2013-14 TV Schedule
Will be Announcing my decision this weekend!
Rashad Vaughn @ShowtimeMr
Vaughn’s top five schools are Kansas, UNLV, Kentucky, Iowa State, and North Carolina. Vaughn is the nations 7th ranked player according to rivals.com
Interesting take on recruiting sites and fans
2/3/14, 9:48 AM
Had a great time in Eugene, loved it!!!
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