2/28/15, 7:04 PM
Self on Ellis: For the first time since he's been here, he's finally playing at the level that we all see him playing at…
2/28/15, 6:27 PM
Kansas is going to win at least a share of 11th straight Big 12, but, oh, 8 or 9 teams could win the league tournament
2/28/15, 7:07 PM
Shoutout my team ! #KUCMB
2/28/15, 7:10 PM
That was fun !! Good team win! Thanks for the help AFH!
AUDIO: Game Highlights
KC Star Photos
VIDEO: Perry Ellis Capital One Cup Impact Performance of the Week nominee
It was the Jayhawks' eighth win in their last nine meetings with Texas, and a pivotal one in their chase for an 11th straight Big 12 title. With losses by Iowa State and West Virginia earlier in the day, Kansas can wrap up a share against the Mountaineers on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, coach Rick Barnes is still seeking his 400th victory with the Longhorns.
There was a festive atmosphere inside the Phog as snow blanketed the ground outside. Kansas was celebrating the 60th anniversary of its fabled home, showing special video montages of grainy black-and-white film of its construction and cheerleaders dressing in 1950s-era outfits.
The joie de vive hardly waned when the ball was thrown up.
Two teams have faced each other regularly for Big 12 tournament titles traded blows like a couple of wary and respectful boxers in the middle of the ring.
Ellis threw most of the haymakers for the Jayhawks, scoring on an array of jumpers and scooping layups. Then there was the biggest highlight of the half, his alley-oop dunk off a pass from Wayne Selden Jr. that brought the sellout crowd to its feet.
Ellis, once a case study in the notion of paralysis by analysis, so long gridlocked by over-thinking and conscientiousness, has emerged into KU’s most reliable and mature player.
…Now, other Jayhawks had some fine moments in this riveting game that featured 14 blocked shots by Texas (and 10 by KU), 19 lead changes and 14 ties.
Freshman Kelly Oubre had 15 points and nine rebounds, and point guard Frank Mason had just one turnover to set the tone for just six by KU, and Kansas’ big men combined to clamp Texas’ three starting forwards to a total of nine points.
…With a third straight 20-plus point performance, Ellis has averaged more than 20 a game in the last five outings to help stake KU to a win away from clinching at least part of a preposterous 11th straight Big 12 title.
…Ellis pointed to a combination of visualization and prayer that has been helping him get his “mind right.”
…“I’m definitely growing, each day, growing better as a person and a player,” Ellis said, not boastfully but with pride.
The most substantial part of that growth is perhaps the hardest: learning to let go and cut loose instead of fretting about every … single ... thing.
“We’re playing with the best player in the league right now. Right now Perry Ellis is the best player in the league. He was dominant, fantastic,” KU coach Bill Self exclaimed after the 6-foot-8 junior forward exploded for a season-high 28 points and tied a season high with 13 rebounds in Saturday’s 69-64 victory over Texas in Allen Fieldhouse.
“We rode Perry as hard as we’ve ever ridden him,” Self said of Ellis, who has scored 20 or more points in the last three games, 19 the game before that. “Perry has kind of carried us. Perry has goals. He’s got dreams, but I think for the first time since he’s been here he’s actually playing at a level we all see him playing at. That’s being ultra aggressive. When he’s ultra aggressive he’s as fast as anybody, as bouncy as anybody and can score with anybody,” Self added.
Ellis was so dominant UT coach Rick Barnes referred to him as a senior in his post-game media session.
“If he keeps playing well he will be a senior, which is fine. It’s what you want. You want guys to play well so they can put themselves in good position (to decide whether to enter NBA Draft),” Self said. “Even though he’s a junior eligibility-wise, you keep playing like that ... there’s not a lot of people playing better than him right now.”
Ellis’ 13 rebounds were one off a career best, while his three blocks tied his best mark as a Jayhawk.
“He’s definitely bringing a senior presence to a team,” teammate Landen Lucas said, “that really only has one in (walk-on) Christian Garrett.”
Ellis’ effort was part of a grind-it-out game that Self labeled as a “fantastic win.”
Perry Ellis is the Tim Duncan of the Big 12: Wise beyond his years, solid as a bedrock, reliable as a down coat and boring as all hell. And if Kansas (23-6, 12-4 conference) wraps up the league title Tuesday night with a victory against West Virginia (22-7, 10-6), the man you call Captain Yawn just might be your Big 12 Player of the Year.
Or, to put it another way: Where would leage title No. 11, as in 11 in a row, be without him?
"He's been one of the best players that Kansas has seen," teammate Kelly Oubre said of Ellis, who notched his seventh double-double -- 28 points, 13 boards -- and third straight game of 20-plus points to help the Jayhawks outlast fading Texas on Saturday, 69-64. "And that's expected out of him because it's his third year. He has a lot of heart and he plays with a lot of pride for the university and he has been showing that lately, that he's been working hard in the gym and in practice, and it's translating into the game. He's been great."
…The Big 12's perennial coach-on-the-hot-seat also was effusive in his praise of Ellis, though in doing so, he also referred to him as a senior. Twice. Can't anybody get a little respect around here?
"You have to be impressed with the way he's improved," Barnes said. "But I think being a senior and being in a lot of big games, a lot of big minutes, you would expect that from him."
Fine. Whatever. The point stands: The bigger the stage for the Jayhawks, the broader Ellis' shoulders have become. And if that doesn't describe a player of the year in this league, given this grind, then what the hell does?
Fox Sports Keeler
There wasn’t time for an explanation of the events. None of them truly understood what they were told hours earlier, anyway. They just had simple facts: Kansas freshman forward Cliff Alexander wouldn’t be playing, and it was time to regroup without him.
The rest of KU’s bigs, the ones trusted with picking up the minutes left behind by Kansas’ suspended starter, huddled up and calmed themselves down.
“We have to step up and play big,” Kansas junior Perry Ellis told Landen Lucas, Jamari Traylor and Hunter Mickelson. “Everybody has to be aggressive.”
…Alexander was able to muscle through Texas’ mammoth frontcourt when the Jayhawks faced the Longhorns on the road. It became a signature performance as he finished with 15 points and nine rebounds in 27 minutes.
That type of scoring was non-existent from KU on Saturday — aside from Ellis. Mickelson, Lucas and Traylor combined for just five points and seven rebounds.
“That’s not a lot of production from that other spot in a big-boy game.” Self said.
Lucas’ final two points, however, came at one of the most crucial moments. The sophomore finished off an easy alley-oop from guard Wayne Selden (seven points) to give KU a five-point lead with 1:30 left.
The defensive presence the bigs provided also put Self at ease. KU held Texas’ starting trio of forwards Jonathan Holmes, Connor Lammert and Cameron Ridley to just nine points, while limiting freshman Myles Turner to 10 points. Traylor, Ellis and Mickelson also combined for five of KU’s 10 blocks.
Without knowing how long Alexander will be out, it’s a game that works best as a starting point. The Jayhawks know they’ll have to build themselves back up to having a frontcourt component to Ellis.
“Opportunities come to everybody at different times,” Mickelson said. “This is just one that everybody could take advantage of. “
Kansas University freshman forward Cliff Alexander sat out Saturday’s game against Texas over a potential NCAA violation.
KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger said the NCAA “has alerted us to an issue that could affect Cliff’s eligibility. As a precautionary measure, Cliff will not take the court until we have resolved the issue.”
Prior to the game, KU coach Bill Self said: “We are committed to NCAA rules compliance and we want to make sure we take every precaution to minimize the impact on Cliff.”
Self said he found out “approximately noon or 12:10” Saturday, prior to the 4 p.m., tipoff.
…“I agree with what they told me. If there’s an issue we have to hold him until it’s resolved. Hopefully it will be an issue that can be resolved in the very near future. I have not been told details about it other than there’s a situation that involves Cliff. I’ve not heard anything other than it involves Cliff, not a KU situation but a Cliff situation,” Self said.
“The NCAA obviously has to get to the bottom of it and figure out what’s going on. We understand that. Hopefully it’s done in a timely manner so we are not left in limbo and the kid is not left in limbo. Hopefully it can be resolved and we’ll move forward. We’ll cooperate and do whatever they need from us to hopefully resolve it in a very timely manner.”
Sports Illustrated reported that Alexander’s family has hired a Washington, D.C.-based attorney to address the issue. Until it is resolved, he will practice but not play in games.
“I would think that would be the smart thing to do without question,” Self said of hiring an attorney. “That’s not an admittance of anything. I think you should always be represented when you have a legal issue.”
Asked if it is a concern KU may have played somebody ineligible, Self said: “I can’t answer that because I don’t know. We haven’t been told it was a KU situation, so …”
“I haven’t heard anything other than the fact that it involves Cliff, not a KU situation, but a Cliff situation,” Self said. “So the NCAA, obviously they’ve got to get to the bottom of it and figure out what’s going on. We understand that. Hopefully, it’s done in a timely manner so that we’re not left in limbo and the kid’s not left in limbo.”
Alexander, who had started KU's last five games, is averaging 7.1 points and 5.3 rebounds.
Self wasn’t sure how long Alexander would be held out but admitted there was a possibility the situation could drag on. That wasn’t his hope, though.
“When the NCAA is trying to find out whether kids are eligible in late August before the football season starts, they give it priority. And here’s a situation that is happening in the most crucial time of our basketball season,” Self said. “I’ve got to believe it’s going to be given priority. Even if it’s given priority, that doesn’t necessarily mean everything happens fast, because I’m sure there’s things they have to do to be comfortable. I don’t know how long it’s going to take, but I certainly hope it’s sooner rather than longer.”
A snowy Saturday didn’t keep Kansas University’s basketball team from enjoying its usual filled-to-capacity atmosphere for a 69-64 victory over Texas at Allen Fieldhouse.
“Our crowd was unbelievable on a bad-weather day like this,” KU coach Bill Self said afterward. “I even told the officials before the game, ‘Would you know it’s the worst weather day of the year?’”
The 16,300 fans in attendance enjoyed a few video features on Allen Fieldhouse, as Saturday was a celebration of 60 seasons in the building.
Myles Turner blocked five shots, Prince Ibeh four. Like Joe Frazier taking shots to the jaw, the chin, the nose, both eyes, Kansas kept plowing forward as its shots were swatted all over the place. The Jayhawks realized that basketball is more a prize fight than a beauty pageant.
“We had to keep attacking,” Oubre said. “We had to go at their chest. We got a lot of them in foul trouble early. That was definitely the game plan because they have Jonathan Holmes, who’s 6-8 at the three position. We needed to go at his chest because he had a good game down in Austin.”
Kansas shot just 40 percent from inside the arc and made just 1 of 8 from beyond it, leaving only one place at which to win the game, the free-throw line. The Jayhawks made 26 of 32 (.813).
Ellis, Mason and Oubre all responded properly to losing a starter by trying to play bigger. They scored all but 14 of KU’s points.
“Perry stepped up big tonight and I kind of tried to step it up on the glass because we lost a big body tonight,” Oubre said.
Bill Self strolled down the sideline, shaking his head in relief. Kelly Oubre pumped his arms in the air. Allen Fieldhouse let out a cathartic cheer as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
No. 8 Kansas held on for a 69-64 victory over Texas on Saturday, erasing a six-point deficit in the second half and escaping its home floor with a one-game lead in the Big 12 Conference race.
…In the final minute, with Kansas protecting a 66-64 lead, sophomore Frank Mason drove into a mass of bodies in the lane and didn't draw iron. The play resulted in a jumbled tie-up under the basket as the shot clock expired. The officials ruled a shot-clock violation.
Texas had one an opportunity to tie the game, but sophomore guard Isaiah Taylor got his feet tangled up in the lane on a spin move and missed a potential game-tying layup. Oubre would hit two key free throws on the other end, stretching the Jayhawks' lead to 68-64.
From there, the Jayhawks held on.
In the play in question, Taylor spun into the lane against Kansas’ Frank Mason and put up an errant shot while falling to the ground. Barnes believed Taylor was fouled. The whistle didn’t blow.
“(TV commentator) Jay Bilas walked right up to me, and said: ‘Rick, he got fouled.’ ” Barnes said after the game. “So I don’t know if he did or he didn’t. But I thought he did.”
2/28/15, 12:07 PM
Kings honored Scot Pollard last night. Nice to see another Jayhawk in the building. #RCJH #KUtoKings
With the threat of a winter storm looming, Oklahoma officials moved up tipoff for its women’s basketball Senior Night meeting with the Jayhawks by an hour Saturday.
And the Jayhawks responded with a quick start they carried over to a 65-58 victory over the Sooners at Lloyd Noble Center.
“I told them the last time we won (at OU, in 2013), it was Senior Night, and we hit our free throws,” KU coach Bonnie Henrickson said.
The Jayhawks (14-16 overall, last place at 5-12 in the Big 12) followed the same script Saturday in snapping a six-game losing streak.
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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
2/28/15, 7:12 PM
Nine of 10 #Big12MBB teams have .500 or better records and league is only one in nation where every squad has 13 wins or more. #Big12Strong
We're 22 minutes into March and a 13-point underdog bubble team has already beaten a top-5 team on the road. LET THE MADNESS BEGIN!!!
The Iowa State men's basketball team lost 70-69 Saturday at Kansas State. The Cyclones
saw a second-half lead evaporate for the second game in a row and came unglued in the final 20 seconds. Afterward, several Cyclone players took to Twitter to vent as well as offer words of encouragement to fans and fellow teammates.
Kansas State’s security team left nothing to chance Saturday for the Wildcats’ game against Iowa State.
The university issued several warnings before and during the game to fans on the public-address system, informing all in attendance that fans were not allowed on the court at any time. Anyone that violated that rule would be subject to prosecution.
Security also lined the court during the game’s final minute to discourage anyone from rushing the floor after the game. Extra security entered the court to protect players and coaches during the postgame handshake line, and a guard accompanied Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg into the locker room.
No fans rushed the floor.
West Virginia fell to 22-7 and 10-6 in conference play after their 78-66 loss to Baylor (22-7, 10-6) on Saturday afternoon in Waco.
The chances for a road win today were slim when the game tipped, due to Juwan Staten being ruled out with a left knee injury. Things got even tougher three minutes into the contest when Rico Gathers landed on Gary Browne's ankle while going for a loose ball:
With both of their leaders sidelined, the Mountaineers lacked the firepower to keep up with Baylor. West Virginia trailed 45-29 at halftime, outscored the Bears by 4 in the second half, and ultimately fell by 12.
West Virginia was able to get the game to single digits with 10 minutes to go, mostly because of a great performance by Jevon Carter. Carter's play kept this game from getting incredibly ugly. The point guard position is in great hands for the next three years.
A Shawnee Mission North senior with Down syndrome stole the spotlight Friday, when the boy’s basketball team let him start the game and take the first shot during Senior Night.
Sam Rogers, 18, has been the team manager for two years and has never missed a game. So moving him from the bench to the court was very special to the teen and his family.
“He’s always wanted to play and now he finally gets his chance,” said Sam’s mom, Kelly Rogers, before the game. “I will probably cry. I brough two things of Kleenex.”
To watch Sam’s special moment, watch the video
The Villa Angela-St. Joseph boys basketball team entered Friday night on a two-game losing streak, but bounced back with a 75-66 victory against Cleveland Central Catholic.
…Carlton Bragg missed a couple of dunks early, but that did not stop Parker from feeding his big man. Parker was able to take the ball from the 3-point line into the paint, where he dropped a perfect pass to Bragg for the monster dunk.
The Ironmen would never threaten again.
For this edition of the HS Roundtable, we asked reporters, "If you could be in the same shoes as any 2015 college basketball recruit in Northeast Ohio, who would it be?"
Take a look at what they had to say, below.
Reporter Tim Bielik says:
"I think it would have to be Kansas signee Carlton Bragg. Bragg is going to a school in Kansas that has had so many productive big men in recent years from Darrell Arthur to the Morris twins, and Thomas Robinson to Joel Embiid.
"Bill Self knows how to get the most of his big men and it seems like he should be able to do the same thing with Bragg.
"Bragg has a bit more versatility than most players at 6-foot-11, which makes him a very intriguing college prospect. But as he gets older, he should get stronger and be able to use that size to be as effective in the post as he is attacking the basket.
"Considering Kansas' history with bigs and the type of recruits it can get, Carlton Bragg couldn't have gone to a better place for him."
Reporter Mark Kern says:
"For me, it is Carlton Bragg. Growing up playing basketball in Kansas, KU basketball is such a great tradition. There is no better place to play college basketball. With a rich tradition, great atmosphere and coach Self running the show, Lawrence is such a great place to play basketball."
Is retiring a player's jersey while he's still playing, especially at the high school level, worth celebrating?
Yes. Yes it is.
It's unprecedented. It's well deserved. And the timing is perfect.
VIDEO: Malik Newman scores 38
No. 1-ranked Wheeler got a game-high 29 points from Jaylen Brown to beat Tucker 74-64 in the Class AAAAAA semifinal at McCamish Pavilion on Saturday.
Wheeler (29-2) will play Pebblebrook in the state final next weekend in Macon.
One of the main catalysts for Wheeler taking over in the second half was Brown. The 6-foot-7, 217-pound forward who’s arguably the state’s top senior prospect, is a load for any opponent to deal with. And sixth-ranked Tucker didn’t have the size to match up.
During Wheeler’s 14-0 third-quarter run that turned the game in its favor, Brown scored 7 straight points, including a powerful layin plus a foul while barreling over a Tucker defender. He scored 20 of his points after halftime.
Midway through the third quarter of Saturday night’s second Class AAAAAA state semifinal, Jaylen Brown had the ball inside the paint and kept attacking the basket despite missing his first three putback attempts.
When Brown finally got the ball to drop on his fourth try, Wheeler had a one-point lead.
It was a lead the Wildcats would not lose, going on to secure a 74-64 victory over Tucker at Georgia Tech’s McCamish Pavilion.
“That was a big play,” said Brown, who finished with 29 points. “I had to keep aggressive, and I’m also proud of my team for keeping pushing and keeping fighting.”
Wheeler (29-2) will how head to the Macon Centreplex next Saturday, where it will face county rival Pebblebrook — a rematch of last year’s semifinal — for the championship. It’s the first all-Cobb boys championship game since 1986, when Wills beat Sprayberry.
Things got interesting toward the end of the third quarter of the Division I boys state basketball championship game Friday night at Orleans Arena.
Palo Verde pulled within five points of heavily favored Bishop Gorman late in the third, but the Gaels quickly ended any doubt.
Gorman scored four points off turnovers in the final 20 seconds of the third quarter, then opened the fourth on an 8-0 run en route to a 74-54 win over the Panthers. It was the fourth consecutive state title for the Gaels.
…Zimmerman had seven points, eight rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots for Gorman.
Thon Maker wasn’t able to attend Kansas’ 69-64 victory over Texas on Saturday because he was busy playing in the Bill Crothers Invitational Showcase here.
The 7-foot Maker went for 16 points in Orangeville Prep’s 74-59 win over Thetford Academy (Quebec).
“We were going to visit Kansas today but we had already made the commitment to play in this tournament, so that got postponed,” Maker told OnPointBasketball.com and SNY.tv. “Indiana is another school that I plan on visiting soon.”
The start of the national signing period is April 16. With six weeks remaining, a number of top college programs could get a huge infusion of talent because many five-star players remain uncommitted — moreso than in recent years.
Of the top 11 players in the Class of 2015 rankings by Rivals.com, only four have committed, led by No. 1 overall player Ben Simmons (Montverde, Fla.,) who has signed with LSU. No. 4 Skal Labissierre (Cordova, Tenn.) and No. 10 Isaiah Briscoe (Roselle, N.J.) have signed with Kentucky and No. 9 Chase Jeter (Las Vegas) has signed with Duke. That group includes Thon Maker, a 7-footer at Orangeville Prep who intends to reclassify to the Class of 2015.
USA TODAY High School Sports recently spoke with Eric Bossi, Rivals.com’s national basketball recruiting analyst, to talk about the run of uncommitted players, Maker’s reclassification, which schools could make a strong showing in the final run to the signing period and more.
McDONALD’S ALL-AMERICAN GAME
April 1, United Center, Chicago
ESPN NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIP
April 2-4, Christ the King, Queens, N.Y. & Madison Square Garden
NIKE HOOP SUMMIT
April 11, Moda Center, Portland
KENTUCKY DERBY FESTIVAL
April 11, Freedom Hall, Lexington, KY
JORDAN BRAND CLASSIC
Friday April 17, Barclays Center 7p.m,
Regional Games (4:00 pm) All times Eastern
My Late Night in the Phog videos, 60 Years of AFH Celebration videos, KU Alumni games videos, 2011-12 Final Border War videos, Legends of the Phog videos, KC Prep Invitational, Jayhawk Invitational Videos and more, now on YouTube