UT Athletics has received an extraordinary demand for the No. 25 Men's Basketball vs. No. 6 Kansas game on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 3 p.m.
In an effort to fill the Erwin Center completely, UT Athletics may sell overflow tickets for the Kansas game at the north box office on gameday on a space-available basis.
If available, tickets will be sold for $20 ($10 for UT students) and will be good only for mezzanine seats. Sales will begin close to tipoff and tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Only ONE ticket per person will be sold.
KUAD: Kansas vs Texas pregame notes
UTAD: Pregame notes
LJW Smithology: Getting to know the Longhorns
Not a single player on this season’s Longhorn roster knows what it feels like to play a game as a ranked team.
The last time Texas was ranked was March 14, 2011. Junior forward Jonathan Holmes was preparing to graduate from high school, sophomores Cameron Ridley and Javan Felix were in the 11th grade and breakout freshman Isaiah Taylor was still learning to drive.
That will change when the No. 25 Longhorns play host to No. 6 Kansas (16-4, 7-0 Big 12), this Saturday. After spending nearly three years outside of the rankings, Texas finally cracked the AP Top 25 this week after knocking off three top-25 teams, in three consecutive games, for the first time in school history.
“It’s a pretty big accomplishment,” Holmes said. “But our mind-set all year has been to not be content with how we are doing. We are trying to get better each day in practice. We really haven’t done anything yet.”
Daily Texan: Texas prepares for biggest home game in more than three years
This is just the second time in Bill Self's 11 seasons at KU that the Jayhawks have posted at least 1.22 PPP in three straight Big 12 games. The other time was in the 2010-11 season, when KU accomplished it in wins over Colorado, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.
Yes scoring is up a bit this year with the new foul rules, but even after taking that into account, KU's recent offensive performance has been impressive to say the least.
…Self is in unfamiliar territory with this team defensively. KU fell to 30th in Pomeroy's defensive efficiency rankings (KU has never finished worse than 25th under Self and has been worse than 11th just twice), and the Jayhawks' conference numbers also are unimpressive. Though KU's 1.214 PPP easily leads the Big 12 offenses, the Jayhawks' 1.034 defensive PPP is actually fourth behind Oklahoma State (1.014), Kansas State (1.016) and Texas (1.022).
TCJ Newell Post
Through seven games in Big 12 play, Kansas has spent most of its time trying to chase down the smaller lineups like Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Iowa State.
It’s part of the reason that Saturday’s 3 p.m. matchup at No. 25 Texas is intriguing for KU coach Bill Self: KU will get to go against a Big 12 team with a more traditional two-big lineup.
“This’ll be a good test for our front line, without question,” Self said.
The biggest name — and body — for UT inside is 6-foot-9, 285-pound forward Cameron Ridley. The sophomore has excelled in three areas: making shots (57 percent field-goal percentage), getting to the free-throw line (5.8 free throws attempted per game) and blocking shots (third in conference with 2.4 rejections per game).
That means Saturday’s matchup will feature two of the top big men in the conference, as Ridley will go up against KU’s 7-foot center Joel Embiid, who has played well enough for many analysts to project him as the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA draft.
“I’m excited to see how Jo reacts,” Self said, “and I’m sure (Cameron) will be excited to play against Jo.”
…Against ISU, Embiid still appeared to be battling a knee injury that he suffered in last week’s road game at TCU. On a few instances, the freshman was behind in getting up and down the court and also tugged at his knee brace during stoppages in play.
As a precaution, Self only allowed Embiid to put up free throws during the team’s shootaround Thursday.
“I think he’ll be fine,” Self said. “He’ll practice (Friday), although he’s sore. But he should be full go.”
…The Jayhawks (16-4, 7-0) should be closer to having a full complement of players. Senior forward Tarik Black is expected to play after sitting out KU’s previous two with a sprained ankle.
Self said Black scrimmaged against teammates during Thursday’s practice.
“He looked the best he’s looked so far,” Self said.
It doesn’t look as promising for KU freshman guard Conner Frankamp, who missed the ISU game with an injured knee.
“He said he felt a little bit better (Friday), but the trainer told me that he was anticipating holding him out at practice,” Self said. “I think he’s probably doubtful.”
ABOUT TEXAS (16-4, 5-2 Big 12): It has been a year of resurgence for Texas, which finished 16-18 last season and missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998. After opening the Big 12 with losses against Oklahoma (at home) and at Oklahoma State, the Longhorns have won five straight. The run includes home victories against No. 8 Iowa State, No. 22 K-State and No. 24 Baylor — the first time Texas has beaten ranked opponents in three straight games. Earlier this month, Kansas became the first team in 17 years to beat ranked teams in four straight games. Now Texas can match the feat just a few weeks later. The Longhorns start three sophomores and one freshman, and first-year point guard Isaiah Taylor has provided a spark. He had a career-high 27 points against Baylor in Texas’ last game. But Texas has also gotten back to playing sound defense. During their five-game winning streak, the Longhorns have held teams to a combined 39.2 percent shooting from the field.
• BOTTOM LINE: It’s too early to think about Kansas potentially running the table in the Big 12. (Is 18-0 possible?) But if the Jayhawks escape Austin with another victory, they would have essentially lapped the field during the first half of the conference season.
“We say this all the time, you should run offense to score,” Self said. “Sometimes young kids just run offense because they’re supposed to run offense.”
Sometime in the last month, as the sixth-ranked Jayhawks started 7-0 in the Big 12 Conference, it all started to click. Maybe it was confidence. Maybe it was experience, Maybe a combination of the two.
But as the KU defense has struggled to consistently grind down opposing teams, the Jayhawks have found another formula for success: They’re simply outscoring teams.
In seven conference games, Kansas is averaging a Big 12-best 84.9 points and shooting 54.4 percent from the field. And after shooting just 34.5 percent from three-point range during nonconference play, the Jayhawks are now hitting 41.7 percent from the three-point line in conference play.
“When the ball moves,” Self said, “and it doesn’t stick, and we get rotation, we are getting where we’re fairly hard to guard.”
All around the court, the players had stopped. KU freshman Wayne Selden had drawn a foul along the baseline, and the ball was left spinning toward Embiid, KU’s 7-foot freshman.
Embiid kicked the ball upward with his right foot, juggled it to his left, bounced it off his right thigh, and then controlled it with his left. The whole act took about three seconds, and for a freshman who grew up playing soccer in his native Cameroon, it was all instinct.
“He does things in practice,” Kansas coach Bill Self said, “the ball will be bouncing and he’ll kick the ball to me by doing some soccer move — things 7-footers can’t do.”
Basketball was getting too easy, so Joel Embiid squeezed in some soccer last night:
Joel Embiid is projected by many to be the top pick in the NBA Draft, but NBA analyst Greg Anthony believes the Kansas freshman should spend at least one more year on campus.
“The guy I would hope wouldn’t come out would be Embiid because I don’t think he’s ready, I don’t think he’s polished enough,” Anthony told SNY.tv Thursday night at Madison Square Garden where he was doing the Cavaliers-Knicks game.
“[His] instincts aren’t where you want them to be. At this level, they don’t teach, they coach.”
Both Chad Ford and DraftExpress.com have the 7-foot Embiid projected as the No. 1 pick — with both having his Kansas teammate Andrew Wiggins at No. 2 — meaning it would be very hard for Embiid to stay in school.
Sources close to the Kansas program believe that Embiid himself may prefer to stay in school, but the opportunity may be too great for him to pass up (which, in turn, could open things up for Myles Turner to pick Kansas).
But Anthony disagrees.
“There’s a lot of guys who would’ve been the No. 1 pick [who stayed],” the former Knick point guard said. “I played with a guy [Larry Johnson] who would’ve been the No. 1 pick as a junior, he didn’t come out. You don’t have to because what I tell a lot of these young kids is, this is not for your first contract, this is for your second and your third.
“Our league drafts potential, it doesn’t draft a polished, finished product. I think a lot of these kids are really, really good and really talented but a lot of them could use another year.”
Kansas is to the Big 12 what Queen Elizabeth is to Great Britain — firmly entrenched on the throne.
The Jayhawks are 238-45 in Big 12 play. That’s an .841 winning percentage.
For comparison, right-hander Al Spalding has the best winning percentage of any pitcher in major-league history. From 1871 through 1877, while pitching for the Boston Red Stockings and Chicago Cubs, Spalding was 252-65 (.795). This guy was 54-5 for Boston in 1875 after going 52-16 the previous season and he still wasn’t as dominant as Kansas has been in the Big 12.
Only nine of those 45 conference losses have come at Allen Fieldhouse. Bill Self, in his 11th season, has dropped five conference home games.
The Big 12 sets them up, the Jayhawks knock them down.
Take a look at KU’s records against Big 12 opponents since 1996-97. A hint: They’re ridiculous.
Baylor, 18-2; Colorado, 29-1; Iowa State, 28-8; Kansas State, 32-3; Missouri, 23-9; Nebraska, 27-3; Oklahoma, 17-3; Oklahoma State, 15-5; Texas, 14-5; TCU, 2-1; Texas A&M, 16-1; Texas Tech, 15-4; West Virginia, 2-0.
While Kansas has amassed 238 Big 12 wins, Texas comes in next with 183. Then it’s OU (164), Oklahoma State (158), Missouri (137), Kansas State (125) and Iowa State (123).
Remarkable. And always good to be reminded of just how remarkable.
Wichita Eagle Bob Lutz
Over the next eight weeks, I will go through each of the national championship contenders and attempt to address the key preparation points when facing each team. I will talk to four or five coaches who played those teams this season, and get in-depth insight into each team.
“It's crazy that I have to think so long about it. I don't know. If Tharpe isn't playing well would be the only thing. And I don't even know if that's a weakness.”
“If you can find one, it's probably point guard play and perimeter shooting. They don't shoot it exceptionally well.”
“On-again, off-again mentality of rookies. There isn't a consistency with rookies. Sometimes there are great games, sometimes they're off. Perry Ellis is consistent this year, but you see Andrew and Joel have big waves. If you go into a game knowing you're getting this, it helps your game-planning. The one thing you want is consistency. The inconsistency of rookies is tough.”
…How to stop them
“First of all, it's transition. Take good shots so they don't get out on the break. On misses, you have to stay back, because they'll get a layup within the first 3-5 seconds; they're that athletic. And then playing good post defense. Not giving their bigs angles in the post, so they can't throw over the top and get an angle for a layup. Pressure their guys, make them put their head down and get out of character.”
“You can face-guard Wiggins. It's a good strategy. You have to pick who is going to beat you. You can go concentrate on Perry Ellis or Joel Embiid, and front and back the low-post stuff, but then you're going to free Wiggins and let him get confident, or let Selden get good looks, or let the guards get free. You have to pick your poison. You can face-guard Tharpe and Mason and screw up their rhythm, too.”
“I guess you can zone them if you can rebound out of it. The problem is, if you get a stop, there's an offensive rebound and another possession or an offensive rebound and a stickback. There's so little room for error. They create that with their relentlessness and size. You can't make mistakes.”
“Look at the games where they've struggled. San Diego State beat them shooting 37 percent. They were defensively solid. They doubled the post, made them throw out of it. Stay in front of them, make them shoot over you. And limit them to one shot. They're not at their best playing half-court basketball. Make them one and done. And especially at their place, their crowd gives them energy, so you have to limit transition opportunities. That's where Andrew Wiggins is best, that's where Frank Mason is best, they've got guys that are best in the open court.”
CBS: Scouting Kansas
Kansas Jayhawks (16-4)
It's wild how the Jayhawks have the most efficient offense in Big 12 play, at 1.214 points per possession ... yet have the league's worst turnover percentage, at 21.1 percent. They can still get much, much better, because as Bill Self said last week, KU is "wasting way too many possessions." Freshman center Joel Embiid, whose role continues to expand, is one of the main culprits, turning the ball over on 23.8 percent of his possessions.
Because it seemed like a good way to spend part of my Wednesday while waiting for the Iowa State-KU game to start, I watched as many of Embiid's 48 turnovers as I could find on film, which turned out to be 42, and charted them to see what could be gleaned. The two main things:
• Passing is his biggest liability, as a third (14) of his turnovers have occurred on interceptions or throwaways.
• Throwing double-teams at him has been effective, as a third (14) of his turnovers were the result of being swarmed by defenders.
Embiid is already scary good, but if he can become a confident passer out of the post by the end of the season -- and given his rapid improvement in other aspects of the game, I think it's possible -- the Jayhawks' offense will be title-worthy.
Next three: 2/1 at Texas, 2/4 at Baylor, 2/8 vs. West Virginia
SI Luke Winn Power Rankings
S/o to the lady who picked my wallet up out of the parking lot and turned it in. It's some good people around here in Lawrence
Just found out that Trey Songz's nickname is "Mr steal yo girl"........ I'm glad he didn't stay in Kansas for more than a day
They won’t go as far as chanting “Rock Chalk Jayhawk,” but the color choice of a “Blueout” for the FGCU men’s basketball team’s home game Friday night is certainly fortuitous.
A group of 30 local Kansas fans purchased a block of tickets for the game against Stetson to show support for first-year FGCU coach Joe Dooley, an assistant at Kansas the past 10 seasons.
“We want to help him out. We’re there to root him on,” said Cape Coral resident Rich Whitaker, who helped organize the outing. “He’s a good guy. He gave us 10 good years at the University of Kansas and helped produce winners.”
Under head coach Bill Self, Dooley helped guide the Jayhawks to the 2008 national championship as well as the Sweet 16 six times, the Elite Eight five times and the Final Four twice in his 10 seasons in Lawrence.
Of various color-themed nights for fans to wear a single color, Friday’s happened to be blue.
“You may not hear a Rock Chalk chant because that’s not why we’re there,” Whitaker said. “I imagine you’ll see some (Kansas) shirts. It’s a blue out, so that’s an easy way to wear blue.”
Whitaker said he’s only been to one other FGCU game. But he knows of at least one couple that bought FGCU season tickets because of Dooley’s Kansas connection.
“KU’s got a pretty big contingent down here,” Whitaker said.
Bernard Thompson hit a 3-pointer with just 3 seconds remaining to lift Florida Gulf Coast to a 71-68 win over Stetson on Friday night.
Florida Gulf Coast (14-9, 8-2 Atlantic Sun Conference) retook the lead midway through the second half on a Brett Comer layup that made it 55-54, then hung on as Stetson challenged down the stretch, tying it up at 68 on a tip-in by Willie Green with 22 seconds left. The Eagles then got the ball to Thompson, who fired from beyond the arc to seal the win.
After dropping three games to open Big 12 Conference play but responding with an upset of No. 7 Baylor and a near-upset of No. 8 Oklahoma State, the first half of the conference schedule was a bit of a wild ride for the Kansas University women’s basketball team.
Although the first nine games against Big 12 foes included nearly as many high points as low points, the Jayhawks enter the second half of the conference schedule hoping things will level off.
“It’s disappointing,” KU junior Asia Boyd said of her team’s up-and-down tendencies. “I mean, I feel like we work hard enough to be doing a little better right now, but we’ve gotta refocus.”
If focus is what they’re searching for, the Jayhawks’ most recent outing — an 80-55 drubbing at the hands of Texas on Tuesday at Allen Fieldhouse — may have been a gift in disguise.
There’s nothing quite like losing — and doing it in the fashion the Jayhawks did versus Texas — to get a team’s attention. KU trailed by just four at halftime and was outscored 42-21 after intermission.
Coach Bonnie Henrickson was noticeably upset following the UT no-show.
“We’ve gotta learn from today and then probably let go of it,” Henrickson said after the game. “Myself included. We’ve gotta let go of it and then have some pop going into Texas Tech.”
Although today’s 4 p.m. game against the Red Raiders is on the road, it figures to provide the Jayhawks with an opportunity to bounce back. Texas Tech enters today’s game at 6-14 overall and 0-9 in Big 12 play. While the Jayhawks (10-11, 3-6) have proven they can play with anyone in this conference, they’ve also proven they can stumble against anyone, as well.
GET EXCITED! RT @TheFastPitch: Paul Rudd, @RobRiggle and Jason Sudeikis' #BigSlickKC scheduled for June 20 and 21
VOTE for Kansas fans at the NCAA 6th Fan Contest
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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
Don’t get too worked up about Iowa State’s loss Wednesday against Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse. Better teams than the Cyclones left that historic building stinging from Jayhawk basketball.
If that 92-81 defeat multiplies, about which coach Fred Hoiberg warned long after the game, then there’s trouble.
If Iowa State doesn’t respond favorably at 3 p.m. today against 23rd-ranked Oklahoma at Hilton Coliseum, then the battle becomes about trying to stay among the 10-team Big 12 Conference’s upper echelon.
Des Moines Register
The numbers on Wichita State stack up, bit by bit, and begin to tell their own story.
They show a team, on paper, as good as anyone in the country. Numbers that befit a 22-0 start and a No. 4 national ranking.
The numbers on the Missouri Valley Conference are nowhere near as kind.
A closer look at the Valley shows a conference mired in mediocrity – if not worse – and one that, statistically, doesn’t match up with leagues with similar traits of ranked teams or resumes of recent NCAA Tournament success.
Side by side with the American Athletic Conference, Atlantic 10, Big East, Mountain West and West Coast Conference and considering three widely-used ratings systems – RPI, Pomeroy College Basketball Ratings and Jeff Sagarin’s ratings – the Valley struggles to keep its head above water.
Big XII composite schedule (includes results, highlights, stats)
ESPN College GameDay Schedule
2013-14 TV Schedule
If you were in Springfield and saw what I saw @humblekid11 do to Montverde & those rims, how do you drop him in ESPN rankings. It's a joke!
Having already been compared to previous No. 1 draft picks Amer’e Stoudemire and Elton Brand, Cliff Alexander has potential through the roof. But in the last few months, the 6-9 big man has taken his assertiveness to a whole new level. Putting up numbers like 30 points, 26 rebounds and 14 blocks in a game is something that Alexander makes look easy. That’s when he’s not shattering backboards or posterizing dudes while recreating the jumpman logo.
After the aforementioned triple-double performance, he traveled to Springfield (MA) for the Hoophall Classic on MLK Day, the most start-studded HS showcase of the winter, where he easily came away as the talk of the event after dropping 30 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks against then No. 1 ranked Montverde Academy in an enormous upset victory—oh, and he also had the crowd going crazy after dunking on the same player on consecutive possessions.
Although he’s listed as 6-9, the Chicago native reportedly possesses an incredible 7-3 wingspan. His height and bulky physique alone make him a highly sought after prospect for scouts, but when you add the kind of athleticism and explosiveness he demonstrates, it just begins to look unfair. It’s a man among boys type of situation. But he isn’t just all dunks and spin moves in the paint. He can also sink it from midrange and from the charity stripe. At Hoophall, he went a perfect 9-9 from the free-throw line.
Prior to his 30/26/14 performance and Hoophall, Alexander was named the Athlete of the Month for December by the Chicago Tribune/WGN after averaging 27 points,17 rebounds and 5 blocks per game, including posting 22 points, 20 rebounds and five blocks against nationally ranked Bishop Gorman (NV) in a victory. He ended 2013 at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament, where he took home MVP honors after posting a 37-point, 26-rebound, 5-block performance (which included 10 dunks) in one of his outings.
He’s put Curie HS on his back and has carried the team up to the No. 2 spot on USA Today‘s most recent top-25 national rankings and a 19-1 record. We wouldn’t be surprised if the future Jayhawk receives the Athlete of the Month title again for January. Needless to say, Alexander has been tearing up the competition all season long, and thus deserving of his new ranking spot. The kid is a beast and as explosive as you’ll find at his size.
SLAM Fresh 50 Rankings: Alexander #1, Oubre #8
JaQuan Lyle went into Thursday as the team’s leading scorer at almost 20 points per night, but had only four. That’s because he decided to make the extra pass and get his teammates involved quickly. Lyle finished with 13 assists.
Where does Kansas rank on your list?
I'm giving them a really hard look. I like the fact that they signed two heavy hitters in Kelly Oubre and Cliff Alexander. I'm interested to see what' it's gonna be like teaming up with them at the Nike Hoop Summit!
Will you still consider Kansas if Joel Embiid stays?
Coach Self told me himself that Embid stays it's not worth my time.
With Kansas likely having the number 1 and 2 picks this year does that make them more of a team you would like to play for?
It doesn't necessarily impact my decision. But it's very enticing, yes.
What do you like most about Kansas?
Their tradition with post men.
Will you visit Kansas for sure?
Looking forward to it, but I cannot confirm.
Since you have 3 Big 12 teams on your list, who goes home as regular season champions
I only have two, but I'm liking Kansas' odds of winning a 15th straight title.
USA Today Live Chat with Myles Turner
Oklahoma State needs a big man, in case you haven't heard.
A legitimate big man.
Might the answer be seated behind the Cowboys bench on Saturday?
And no, not injured forward Michael Cobbins, although he'd certainly help.
The answer, and it would have to wait until next season, could be premium prep recruit Myles Turner.
A five-star prospect and Scout.com's No. 2-ranked recruit nationally, Turner is a 7-foot, 240-pound center at Fort Worth-area Euless Trinity High who counts OSU among a short list of schools he's considering. The other contenders include heavy hitters like Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Arizona and Ohio State, along with Texas and SMU from the home state.
Turner is allowed five official visits. The Buckeyes got the first. The Cowboys receive the second, Saturday, with OSU's game against Baylor on the agenda.
It's an opportunity to take in the Cowboys and Gallagher-Iba Arena, but also a chance to visualize where he might fit with next year's OSU team, which is prominently.
…“I think No. 1, and he'll tell you this, it's going to have to be the right fit for him,” Villines said. “Family oriented is going to be huge wherever he goes, because he is so close to his friends and his family. And we are like a family here. So that's going to be important.
“He's going to have to feel that when mommy and daddy leave, he's still circled by this family that is all in it for the same reasons.”
Like most kids, Turner dreams of the playing in the NBA, Villines said, and a feel for development toward that goal will also be a key factor. By all accounts, he's got the tools.
In the short time between sprouting from 6-7 and 185 to 7-foot, 240, Turner's skills have grown, too.
Entering Friday night's game against L.D. Bell, Turner was averaging 17.8 points, 12.2 rebounds and nearly seven blocked shots per game for a Trinity team that is 20-6. He ranks seventh in the area in scoring, second in rebounding and first in blocks. And Villines said he's had multiple triple-doubles.
Daniels and Villines rave about Turner's defensive impact and his ability to change games as a rim protector. The coach offers up an intriguing offensive comparison.
“He's very Tim Duncan-like,” Villines said. “My assistant made this comparison the other day, and it makes sense, because he isn't flashy, necessarily. But he is efficient, efficient, efficient. He can shoot the 15-foot jump shot. He can shoot the 3. He makes his free throws.
“Now, don't get me wrong. He can dunk one with some authority. But he just goes about his business and pretty soon you look up and he's got a triple-double.”
Tim Duncan, that's high praise.
“He is the best player we've ever coached here and will probably be the best we ever get to coach,” Villines said, “so we're fortunate.
“The best days of Myles Turner are way ahead of him still, without a doubt.”
And there's more.
“He's a super kid,” Villines said. “His work ethic, his character, his grades, his family — he's pretty much the total package. That's what I tell everybody who asks.
“Obviously, he has talent. It's the other aspects and facets of his life that are just as good.”
Jayson Tatum couldn’t sit down. Chaminade’s sensational sophomore guard was hit with his fourth foul just seconds into the fourth quarter with his team nursing a one-point lead against rival CBC.
Tatum, the heart and soul of these Red Devils, headed to the bench and the unexpected happened — Chaminade extended its lead.
Garrett Roberts, Damon Patterson, Mike Lewis and Tyler Cook scored key buckets while Tatum was parked on the pine to help Chaminade (No. 2 in the STLhighschoolsports.com large-schools rankings) knock off Metro Catholic Conference rival and area No. 1 CBC 70-59 Friday at CBC.
“I have to give the credit to them. I’m not normally a cheerleader; I usually stay on the court,” Tatum said. “But when I was on the bench I couldn’t sit down because I had to cheer the guys on; they had me fired up.”
St Louis PD
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