KUAD: Once a Jayhawk, always a Jayhawk - Adolph Rupp
On what he's seen from Kansas: "They are running their stuff. They're doing a terrific job of doing what they do. I mean, they play a style and they play it well. They're playing hard, they're pressing, they're denying, they're pushing up on defense. They're trapping randomly at times. They're trapping pick-and-rolls. They're being very, very aggressive."
On complaining in the past about the timing of this event and if this year it's good to get an early test: "Well, we're in a little different position than I've been in the past where you got a brand-new team and you're trying to just get your team together. This team needs to be challenged to see where we are, and this is gonna be one of those kind of games. Kansas, they're always well coached. They're always gonna play hard. They're always gonna be physical and get that ball inside. What they do they do really, really well."
On the caliber of competition Kansas presents as opposed to what UK has seen so far: "Everybody has the same kind of schedules. You play games that you get at home, and then you start playing these kind of games. Some people play them early. I'm hearing Texas is really playing well. I'm hearing UCLA is really good. Obviously Louisville's playing well. North Carolina, Kansas, Providence – we have a tough schedule. So our thing is kind of spread throughout the whole preseason, but this is the next step. They're a top-five team. They're predicted to be in the Final Four. They're that good. And if we play like we did in the first half last game, we'll get smashed. If we play like we did in the second half, we got a chance. Because you're gonna have to fight on every possession."
…On what he wants to see from his players vs. Kansas: "Just that we sustain energy, that we follow schemes, that we're really executing together – more defensively than offensively. And then we're a little more specific offensively. Because here's what's happened: we're like this (holds hands wide apart) so we're disconnected. We're going to narrow it a little bit (moves hands closer), so that they're more connected, so that they understand a little bit better. So you'll know when a guy's stepping away from what we need them to do.
…"Doesn't mean I don't want them to have freedom to play, but I want them to know – like we didn't run enough stuff when we could have, we just kept trying to go. It's not there, there's five guys back there. When we did run our stuff on either group we were good. We got the ball wherever we wanted it, we scored, we got great shots, we got fouled, we were in great position to offensive rebound. When we didn't, and just shot quick, contested, they have three guys around the goal, or drive into five guys; we charged, we didn't look the same."
On whether he means more control on the bench: "No, just give them more specifics what they're looking for."
On if he's heard from other coaches about what he's trying to do with the platoon: "Yeah, I talked to guys today. They're all saying the same thing. One guy said, 'I'm playing 10; they're not saying I'm platooning. Why are you getting all the credit,' he said.
Louisville CJ Calipari presser
"It's going to be crazy," Dakari Johnson said on Sunday. "I'm thinking it's going to be a big crowd. But we can't focus on the atmosphere. We have to go out there - it's two teams playing on the court - and we just have to compete."
Doing that will be even more of a challenge for freshmen Trey Lyles, who will be returning to his hometown to play in just the third matchup between ranked teams in college basketball this season and the first between top-five squads. Lyles will also be playing in the same building where he led Arsenal Tech to the first state title in the high school's history.
"It's been on my mind," Lyles said. "It's going to be fun. I get to play in front of family and friends. It's going to be a good time."
Managing emotions will be a challenge for Lyles, who's coming off a game in which he sparked a big second half with five points within a minute after halftime against Buffalo. He'll want to duplicate that effort on Tuesday without overdoing it.
"I just gotta go out there and do whatever is best for the team, playing defense and all that kind of stuff, whatever Coach asks of me," Lyles said. "It's just another game and we gotta approach it that way and approach it with a lot of energy."
UK lacked that energy in last year's Champions Classic, which led to a 10-point deficit within four minutes against Michigan State. The Cats return seven players who saw the floor in that game, but there's still no guarantee that translates.
"We could start out 10-0 the same way and it wasn't 10-0 we were up, it was 10-0 I had to call two timeouts to get it settled down," Calipari said. "I would hope these veterans understand what they are walking into, but teams are going to play like their life depends on it and we have to do the same."
As 2013-14 proved, these things don't happen overnight.
"Last year was, what, March 1 when we answered questions," Calipari said. "It took that long! There were five freshmen. 'Oh, but they're really good. You just roll out the balls. They should just win.' This stuff's hard, man. This stuff is hard. Now, I love it. I wouldn't want it any other way. I wouldn't it any other way for our kids."
Hurley had a few more: One, he showed that a 2-3 zone is the best way for smaller teams to defend the jumbo-sized Wildcats. UK missed 14 of 20 threes. The Wildcats grabbed 19 offensive rebounds, but didn't transform many into dunks or put-backs.
Calipari flipped his lineup, starting his second five in the second half – and that group responded with a 9-0 run in the first 2:06.
Two, making perimeter shots will be key against Kentucky. Buffalo made four of seven threes in the first half. The Bulls missed all five in the second half. Buffalo had one three-point shooter – Jarryn Skeete. Other teams will have two or three.
Here we go. Prepare to launch.
Both Hurley and Moss wondered if Calipari could cling to his highly hyped two-platoon system into March and April. Only two UK players – Willie Cauley-Stein and Dakari Johnson – played as many as 26 minutes.
‘They substitute a lot of guys,” Moss said. “They get fresh, (but) they don't really get into a rhythm.
“I felt like us being on the court and our substitution scheme helped us get better rhythm. They got fresh legs so that allowed them to run up and down. Me personally, I wouldn't like that.”
The great Duke teams that Hurley played on, the ones with Grant Hill, Christian Laettner, Thomas Hill and Antonio Lang, relied on seven or eight guys. Hurley believes that Calipari will tighten his rotation as the season unfolds.
“I would obviously not tell Coach Cal how to coach his team, but eventually they might settle into more a normal rotation late, particularly late in the year, especially in the NCAA (Tournament),” Hurley said.
Jamari Traylor only needed to watch a few minutes of Kentucky’s 71-52 victory over Buffalo on Sunday to pick out the Wildcats’ greatest strength.
“They definitely go after the glass. They get a lot of second-chance points and opportunities,” the Kansas forward said. “We’ve got to limit that.”
…“They run good stuff, but I think their best offense may be when the ball’s in the air,” KU coach Bill Self said of Kentucky. “We’ve got to do a much better job rebounding the ball. I don’t want to say we’ve rebounded poorly, but we’re not near as good as what we need to rebound it.”
UK’s size alone is impressive. The team ranks first nationally in Ken Pomeroy’s minutes-adjusted “average height” measure, with the Wildcats featuring six players that stand 6-foot-9 or taller.
“We’ve got some guys that are big too, but those guys are 7-footers and can jump out of the gym,” Traylor said. “We’ve just got to do our job and rebound and keep those guys off the glass.”
“Kelly and I played against half those guys all year round last year, so we kind of know how they play a little bit. I think we can match up pretty well,” Alexander, KU’s 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward from Chicago, said of UK’s Devin Booker, Trey Lyles, Karl-Anthony Towns and Tyler Ulis. They joined the two Jayhawks in both the McDonald’s All-America Game and Jordan Brand Classic last spring.
…Will it be more fun playing UK since he knows some of the Wildcats?
“No,” Alexander said. “Once I step between these black lines, ain’t no fun. It’s personal.”
…“We’re real excited, real juiced. We’re really pumped up about it,” sophomore Selden said. “The young guys are real excited, old guys are real excited. You know we got the nerves, but the nerves are going to go away as soon as the game starts.”
“I definitely think it will be an amazing game, a tough fought game. We’re just trying to get better and go from there,” KU forward Ellis said.
UK’s Lyles, a 6-10 freshman who is from Indianapolis, said the Wildcats will be equally enthused, not at all dragging despite playing on both Friday and Sunday.
“Definitely (there will be energy),” Lyles said. “You know everyone is hyped for the game. We’re all looking forward to it.”
At the present moment, the programs are not exactly mirror images, of course, but Kansas and Kentucky have shared one attribute during the last two years: Youth.
One year after relying on freshmen and future lottery picks Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, Self is attempting to inject four freshmen into a rotation that is currently at around 10 players - but will likely be whittled down to eight or nine before long. For now, the process has been taken in steps. Freshman power forward Cliff Alexander has shown flashes - but has yet to earn a spot in the starting lineup. Freshman swingman Kelly Oubre is still trying to find comfort, Self says, while freshmen guards Devonte' Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk could be thrown into the maw on Tuesday night.
"There's not much you can tell them," junior forward Jamari Traylor said. "This is one of those things you have to go out and experience on your own.”
…Perhaps more than any other sport, college basketball tip toes into its season, starting slow before ending in a March crescendo. It makes for an interesting dichotomy on nights like Tuesday. Two young teams will meet in a basketball game that, by late March, could mean nothing.
“I saw Willie some, saw him in the summers,” Self said. “His high school team was in the same league as Free State. I saw those games. He’s gotten so much better. He’s made tremendous improvement. He’s so athletic and active.
“Recruiting is an inexact science. Would we have loved to have him? Absolutely, no question. Of course, if we got him, we wouldn’t have gotten Jo Jo (Embiid) either. That’s how recruiting plays. I think he’s a terrific prospect and probably a lottery pick.”
"What sold him on Kentucky was how pressured it would be each and every day," said Mike Grove, who coached Cauley-Stein at Northwest High School in Olathe, Kan.
The unblinking scrutiny of Kentucky basketball, which Calipari regularly tries to tamp down, is supposed to work against UK.
"He needs that," Grove said. "To push himself. Willie is an extremely smart kid. He understands what he is and, sometimes, what he's not."
...Kansas belatedly inquired about Cauley-Stein. Grove recalled then-assistant Danny Manning calling. When Cauley-Stein did not jump at the chance to play for the Jayhawks, Kansas moved on to other prospects.
"We were puzzled," said Cauley-Stein's mother, Marlene. "But you take the good with the bad. You don't dwell on it. He's happy where he's at."
It wasn't until early in Cauley-Stein's high school senior year that Kentucky got involved.
…Cauley-Stein bristled, albeit in a thoughtful and agreeable way, when asked about the improvement he's made as a player since arriving at Kentucky in 2012.
"There's not much room for (further) improvement," he said. "I could easily get in the next four weeks that much more better, and you're asking me the same question: How much better did you get?"
Kansas City has always produced its share of Division I basketball players. But Cauley-Stein is believed to be the first Kansas City-area high school player to play for Kentucky, while Ojeleye is the first area player to play for Duke. The same goes for Michigan State and Clark, who like Cauley-Stein, flew under the radar for most of his high school career.
Cauley-Stein grew up in Spearville, Kan., near Dodge City, before moving to Olathe to gain exposure during his final two years of high school.
Clark, a 6-6 forward, grew up in Kansas City, unsettled and often on the move. For a time, Suther says, Clark was essentially homeless. Suther always believed that Clark, given the right structure and resources, could become a high-major basketball recruit. Clark found that structure and environment at MoKan, which has grown into a regional powerhouse on the grassroots basketball circuit, complete with multiple summer teams and a Nike sponsorship. Clark eventually picked Michigan State over Kansas State, among others.
In the season opener, the murmuring throughout Allen Fieldhouse grew with each passing minute. Why wasn’t Kelly Oubre, a recruit ranked sixth nationally in last year’s class, in the Jayhawks’ rotation? He logged just four minutes.
Self commented that the lengthy guard was young. Said the same thing about Cliff Alexander, newcomer ranked fourth nationally. Alexander played just 12 minutes but contributed off the bench with nine points and four rebounds.
Now to the point: Bluebloods play their young. Usually.
With Self, however, November is a month to stress messages. In the opener, Self made a point to Oubre, in particular, and Alexander, too, that there is a system to learn and expectations to grasp.
“It’s not a complicated deal,” Self said. “You recruit the best players you can, you get them to play really, really hard, you get them to play unselfish and you get them to playing tough.”
And then … “you’ve got a chance to be really good,” Self added.
Both Alexander and Oubre have been tagged as potential one-and-dones, but neither has drawn anything close to the national attention thrust on Wiggins, which makes it easier on Self to gradually work them into the KU rotation.
Maybe they crash it quickly. Additional minutes will come, perhaps as early as Tuesday in Indianapolis, with national media watching and Kentucky, with all its size, the opponent.
Just be patient. Self is at his best when he gets time to instruct players. Anymore, those instructions have to streamlined into cram sessions, because KU is going to contend for one-and-done recruits and Self knows they must play.
He just hopes to base those decisions without beginning a sentence by saying, “Ready or not …”
ABOUT KENTUCKY (2-0): The Wildcats found a way to play two games during the season’s opening weekend. They began with an 85-45 victory over Grand Canyon on Friday, then trailed Buffalo 38-33 at halftime on Sunday. Kentucky rallied for a convincing 71-52 victory, but it exposed some flaws. The Wildcats have a record nine McDonald’s All-Americans on their roster, a number that doesn’t include Olathe Northwest graduate Willie Cauley-Stein. For the moment, Kentucky coach John Calipari is attempting to play 10 guys. The Harrison twins — Andrew and Aaron — are back in the backcourt after helping Kentucky to the NCAA title game last year. Freshman forward Trey Lyles, a native of Indianapolis, is leading Kentucky with 13 points per game while coming off the bench. Freshman big man Karl-Anthony Towns has been projected as a possible All-American candidate in some circles, but much like Kansas freshman forward Cliff Alexander, he’s still growing into his role.
▪ ABOUT KANSAS (1-0): If there has been one glaring change in how Kansas has played thus far, it is on defense, where the Jayhawks are relentlessly pressuring the ball and trying to create havoc in the passing lanes. The defensive style is closer to the one employed when Russell Robinson and Mario Chalmers were in the backcourt. The Jayhawks will need to push the tempo and force turnovers against a Kentucky team with a clear height advantage. KU coach Bill Self said Sunday that sophomore guards Frank Mason and Wayne Selden and junior forwards Perry Ellis and Jamari Traylor would start against Kentucky; Self has remained mum on the fifth starter. He could go with freshman Devonte’ Graham, who looked solid in the season-opening victory against UC Santa Barbara, but that would mean KU would start two smallish guards against a Kentucky lineup with nobody shorter than 6 feet 6.
▪ BOTTOM LINE: Entering Tuesday, Kentucky was first in Division I history with 2,142 wins; Kansas is second with 2,127 victories. The Jayhawks are young, and plenty rough around the edges, with rotation issues to be sorted out. But Kentucky is just as young, and if there’s a good time to face the uber-talented ’Cats, it might be November.
Calipari can notch his 600th win Tuesday night when his top-ranked team faces Self and No. 5 Kansas in an early season showdown of the nation's winningest programs at the Champions Classic in Indianapolis.
Best game -- Kentucky vs. Kansas (9 ET, ESPN): This is -- in my opinion -- the best matchup of the out-of-conference season. Featuring no less than 15 probable NBA players, this game will be played on a different plane than the rest of the day. If you want storylines, they are basically busting out of the seams here. Will Kentucky platoon the whole game? Will it work against a team as talented as they are? Can Kansas's smaller guards defend the Harrison twins? Will Kelly Oubre play more than four minutes like he did against UC-Santa Barbara? Can Cliff Alexander do well against the big Wildcats frontline? Who guards Wayne Selden on Kentucky's first unit? I think Kentucky should win this game, but Bill Self knows how to get his guys up for big non-league games early in the year. It'll be thrilling to watch, no matter what.
…Matchup to watch -- Frank Mason & Devonte Graham vs. the Harrison twins: There are so many to pick from today. But I think this is probably the one that makes or breaks who wins the Kansas-Kentucky game, making it the premier matchup of the night. Both Mason and Graham are pesky defensive players, but will the twins just overpower them with their size? It's entirely possible. Maybe the Kansas guards can get out in transition against Kentucky like Buffalo did on Sunday, although I think that Kentucky will be more mentally engaged than they looked in the first half against the Bulls. I think the twins probably get the better of this matchup and force Self's hand on Oubre early.
1. Can Kansas' front line match up with Kentucky's size?
Andy Katz: Not in height, but Kansas can rebound. The Jayhawks will need to be creative, but they have the personnel to disrupt Kentucky. KU has the ability to be physical and must to win.
Dana O'Neil: It's a tall order, pun intended. Kansas doesn't have the numbers Kentucky has -- then again, who does? -- so they're going to have to get everybody involved on the boards to make it a fair fight. Rebounding and inside defense have to be more of a group effort for Kansas to succeed.
Eamonn Brennan: There aren't many frontcourts in the country you'd take over Kansas, but there isn't a single team in the sport with more size than Kentucky. That isn't limited to the Wildcats front line, either -- it extends to the wings and guards in a way most college rosters simply can't match. If you want to beat them, you have to find a different way.
The big winner of the night will be ...?
Katz: Okafor. The sport needs new stars and faces to sell. Okafor gets his shot nationally Tuesday night.
O'Neil: Duke. I suspect Kansas and Kentucky will be a more evenly matched game, but I really think the Blue Devils will pounce on the Spartans. There are still doubters about Duke, and this game might make some converts.
Brennan: Maybe Michigan State! Relative to the other three teams on display Tuesday, the Spartans are drastically undermanned, but it's not like they're completely bereft of talent. Plus, it's hard to put value on the intuition that develops between teammates after years of daily practices. It wouldn't shock me if that gave them the edge against a more talented but still fresh Duke roster.
ESPN Daily Word
If you're missing the scintillating analysis of Digger Phelps, he can be found on Campus Insiders, breaking down the Champions Classic as only he can.
11/18/14, 6:51 AM
Five weeks after the Kentucky Combine, NBA teams have been informed via email that UK practices are again open to scouts, a source tells DX.
@DraftExpress (Calipari continues to troll the media. They continue to bite.)
Excuse Kansas University senior Chelsea Gardner if she was in no mood for celebrating. She still had work to do.
The Allen Fieldhouse crowd of 1,984 gave Gardner a standing ovation when her second half layup-and-the-foul bucket against South Dakota made her the 27th Jayhawk with 1,000 career points. But Gardner’s score had only tied the game, and after the announcement, she still had plays to make.
On the next offensive possession, following a South Dakota turnover, Gardner hit a hook shot and gave KU a lead it would never give up in a season-opening 68-60 victory on Sunday, which included a combined 50 fouls by both teams.
“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
Seven freshmen were named to the team and three were from the Big 12 - Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre, Jr. of Kansas and Myles Turner of Texas. The Jayhawks were tied for the national lead (Kentucky) with four players on the list – Cliff Alexander, Perry Ellis, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Wayne Selden. Texas, represented by Turner and guard Isaiah Taylor, was one of eight schools with multiple players included.
In terms of conferences, the Big 12 leads the way with its 10 picks, followed by the ACC (8), Big Ten (7), Pac-12 (7) and SEC (7). Three former Big 12 players have won the Wooden Award since the league began play in 1996-97 - Blake Griffin of Oklahoma (2008-09) and Kevin Durant (2006-07) and T.J. Ford (2002-03) of Texas.
Big 12 Sports
11/17/14, 8:07 PM
Florida was up 54-42 with seven minutes left when Angel Rodriguez hit back-to-back 3-pointers. Rodriguez scored 20 points in last 7 mins.
Let's not press the panic button in Gainesville just yet.
Yes, the Florida Gators did fall victim to Angel Rodriguez's terrific second-half performance in the 69-67 loss to Miami. Billy Donovan's team also lost at home for the first time in 33 games. Both may be seen as warning signs as to how the 2014-15 season will go for the Gators, but neither should be taken seriously.
The other factor we have to remember about Monday's loss is the absence of Dorian Finney-Smith. The junior forward starred in the opener against William and Mary with 15 points and five rebounds. During the game, he suffered a hairline fracture in his non-shooting hand.
The good news for Gators fans is Finney-Smith tried to play Monday, but he didn't feel 100 percent. Sitting out the in-state rivalry game with the Hurricanes was a smart move by Finney-Smith with bigger games ahead during nonconference play.
With a trip to meet the Kansas Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse on December 5, the Gators need Finney-Smith to be fully functional, which means he could sit out the next two games against Louisiana-Monroe and Georgetown.
11/18/14, 6:41 AM
Gaudy numbers for Florida Gulf Coast's Brett Comer Monday night vs UCSB. 28 points (11-14), 11 assists, + just 3 TO's. Loves the big stage!
@JonRothstein (The Fighting Dooleys beat UCSB in OT)
Part of the NCAA's investigation into potential violations at Syracuse involved former student-athletes and internships, as well as a local YMCA branch's ties to the university, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard.
The Tri-Valley YMCA in Onieda, N.Y., had previously worked closely with students and student-athletes studying at Syracuse's David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamic — a program that required participation in an internship to graduate. Several student-athletes (24 of 134 football players in particular) were enrolled in the internship program and dedicated time to working with the YMCA from 2004-2005 — the timeframe that allegedly spiked interest from the NCAA.
…During that same timeframe, a former YMCA employee, Jeff Cornish, was accused of embezzling more than $330,000 from the Tri-Valley YMCA and funneling it into a personal account. The suit has since been dropped, ostensibly because the parties settled out of court.
According to the Post-Standard, Cornish has no known ties to the university but had maintained a steady presence around the basketball team during the time that the money was missing from the YMCA's account, even driving Carmelo Anthony to sign autographs for his family friends.
In addition to intern duties, many student-athletes participated in different charity events held at the Y under the watch of Cornish. One former basketball player, Dayshawn Wright, said Cornish paid him $100 to operate the scoreboard at a tournament at the Y.
…The NCAA is also looking into the validity of the coursework in some of the internships in the mid-2000s, which used to be run by graduate students and not necessarily overseen by faculty members.
Since 1997, the Tar Heels have opened the NCAA Tournament in their home state eight times – seven of those as a No. 1 seed, once as a No. 2.
In that same period, Duke has opened in state 10 times – seven times as a No. 1, twice as a No. 2 and once as a No. 3.
Since 2002, when the NCAA introduced the “pod system” that meant early round sites no longer were tied to a specific geographic region, North Carolina and Duke have opened at the same home-state site three times: twice Greensboro, once Charlotte.
Obviously, the Heels and Devils have had to maintain titanic programs in order to earn the advantage of playing close to home. (And, it hasn’t always been that great an advantage for Duke, which lost to No. 14 seed Mercer last March in Raleigh and to No. 15 seed Lehigh at Greensboro in 2012).
Still, the frequent placement of early sites in the state of North Carolina does raise the issue of fairness.
Dan Gavitt, the NCAA vice president in charge of the men’s basketball champion, told Sporting News the staff and men’s basketball committee “try to consider everything in the process, history included.” The selection of sites is naturally based on “what cities bid, and how frequently.”
“We’ve had great success when we’ve stayed in the East and we’ve had great success when we’ve gone outside,” Boeheim said. “We got to the Final Four from Denver one year, we got there from Boston and Albany. I mean, that’s a little easier, you’re going to have more fans.
“If you can play in your region, that’s a huge factor. One of the reasons Duke and Carolina went to the Final Four about 25 out of 30 years was because the Regional was in Greensboro or Charlotte or some place every year. They had good teams but they also had the Regional in those locations every year.
“And people say neutral court, but that’s nonsense. If you can go to the Regional in your area it’s going to help you. We got there from New Jersey, we got there from Albany, we got there from Washington, D.C.
“So it’s easier to get there if you’re in your own area, there’s no question about that. But you just gotta play well and see what happens. Control your own destiny a little bit.”
During Stephen Zimmerman’s first four official visits, the Bishop Gorman High senior’s presence was a big deal, and that’s not just because of his 7-foot stature. It’s an event when a top-10 basketball recruit comes to town, and Kansas, Arizona, UCLA and Kentucky each did their part to mix VIP treatment with the idea that their campus could feel like home.
Las Vegas is home for Zimmerman, so while his official visit to UNLV’s two games this weekend was met with signs in the Rebellion student section and 5-star dinners with the coaching staff, it’s unlikely this is the last time Zimmerman is in the stands for a game. He and his family are regulars at the Thomas & Mack Center and that hometown vibe is how Lori Stevens, Stephen’s mom, described the visit.
“It felt like we were hanging out with our friends all weekend,” she said.
Stevens has handled all interview requests during their visiting process, which wrapped up with this one at UNLV. The school that offered Zimmerman a scholarship back in ninth grade and once sent him nearly 100 recruiting letters in a single day got in the final word. Now it’s a months-long waiting game for five schools that each hope to have the five-star big man on their campus for a year or two.
The program that can actually get Zimmerman off campus the quickest might have the advantage. He’s made it clear he wants to be a pro, and not four years down the line.
“He wants to get to the next level as soon as possible, so he’s looking at who’s developing and who’s not,” Stevens said. “What positions are developing, which coaches are helping players to get where they want to be.”
That’s where UNLV coach Dave Rice’s offseason decisions, particularly to hire assistant Ryan Miller, seem like a big boost for the Rebels.
“Ryan Miller was an absolute excellent addition for them,” Stevens said. “The boys really seem to respond to him.”
Las Vegas Sun
USA Today Preseason HS All-USA team
“If you look at who we are recruiting and who they are recruiting this year, there’s a lot of carryover,” KU coach Bill Self said of players such as Stephen Zimmerman, Carlton Bragg, Jaylen Brown, Malik Newman, Ivan Rabb, Brandon Ingram, to name a handful. “Just because we are recruiting them doesn’t mean one of us is going to get them. They could still go somewhere else. We’ve gone head-to-head against Kentucky numerous times. We’ve won a couple and lost a few and that stuff. That’s always going to be the nature of the business. We’re going to recruit against Duke. We’re going to recruit against Carolina. We’ll recruit against UCLA. We’ll recruit against Texas. It seems there’s been more of the Kentucky-Kansas crossover than maybe there has any other school, at least with us.”
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