Gov. Sam Brownback and state lawmakers took a short break from politics this morning to talk about something they all seem to agree on — their love of Jayhawks basketball.
Senators endorsed a resolution, Gov. Sam Brownback is set to sign a resolution and a basketball hoop is set up in the lobby on the first floor of the Statehouse. Meanwhile, players, including Jeff Withey, Travis Releford, Conner Teahan and Jordan Juenemann, signed autographs and shook hands while cameras flashed in the hallways.
“We are ecstatic with the performance of KU basketball — men’s and women’s — this year,” Brownback said.
THE SKINNY: You learn after a while never to bet against Bill Self and next season will be just another example. Despite losing both Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson to the NBA, Kansas returns several key members of their rotation from their unit that reached the Final Four. Jeff Withey figures to be one of the better big men in the country next season and Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford are two grizzled perimeter players that know how to win. Look for Kevin Young and freshman Perry Ellis to round out the front court with Ben McLemore potentially adding some offensive pop at the guard spot.
CBS Rothstein Upadated Preseason Top 25
I know Bill Self has won the most games in the NCAA since he’s been at Kansas. Who are the top 10 coaches in that time period?
Since taking over the program in 2003, Self has won a national-best 269 games over the nine-year span. The Jayhawks’ run to the NCAA title game provided Self’s five-win margin over the second-place coach in that time frame, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski. Each entered the tournament with 264 wins over the nine years. Lehigh’s upset of Duke helped push Self ahead of Coach K.
The eight coaches are North Carolina’s Roy Williams (257 wins), Ohio State’s Thad Matta (247), Kentucky’s John Calipari (246), Pitt’s Jamie Dixon (238), Gonzaga’s Mark Few, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim and Florida’s Billie Donovan (237) and Connecticut’s Jim Calhoun (228).
Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and Texas’ Rick Barnes are just outside the top 10. It should be noted that Calipari would be No. 1 in the period if his 38 victories at Memphis in 2007-08 hadn’t been vacated by the NCAA.
As a comparison, current Kansas State coach Bruce Weber went 210-101 after taking over for Self at Illinois. Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall has won 204 games in the period, with four of the seasons coming at Winthrop.
Self has 476 total wins, good for 63rd place on the career list. He only needs 451 to catch Krzyzewski — or 18 more 25-win seasons. And for Coach K to retire.
After the Kansas University men’s basketball team lost to the Texas Longhorns last year at Allen Fieldhouse, coach Bill Self approached KU Public Safety Sgt. Gary Wieden.
You see, for the past two years, Wieden’s been the officer responsible for guarding Self at home games. Because of other police responsibilities, Wieden wasn’t at his typical game-day spot, right behind Self.
“He was not happy I was not there,” Wieden said. “I thought he was joking.”
But along with all the other inside knowledge Wieden gleans from his access as Self’s bodyguard during games, he’s learned Self is a superstitious man.
The look on Self’s face let Wieden know he was serious.
Since then, it’s only been Wieden tasked with protecting perhaps Lawrence’s most popular person.
Getting great seats, and seeing the KU team up close, is a special honor for a lucky KU public safety officer.
“This is a real dream job,” said Wieden, a Jayhawk fan. “It’s a real plus.”
Much better than directing traffic on cold, windy game days, something Wieden had done for many years before moving up to Self’s bodyguard.
It took Wieden — a public safety officer for 33 years and former Jayhawk — three decades to earn the honor.
Just minutes after the (usually happy) fans begin to file out of Allen Fieldhouse after a Kansas basketball game, another team begins warming up.
Usually before the last fans have left the building, a group that typically numbers about 30 people gets to work on a task that will usually take at least five to six hours, and that’s if they’re lucky and skilled.
After all, someone needs to pick up all that shredded newspaper students toss in the air and the rest of the leftover trash. And that task falls to KU student organizations and nonprofit groups of all kinds who sign up for the chore in return for some cash for their group.
“It’s too much for our day-to-day staff to handle,” said Casey Cook, director of events and facilities for Kansas Athletics Inc.
Cook said many of the groups are student organizations looking for extra cash, but they get churches and other nonprofits from throughout the region.
Returning groups have a draft each year to determine which groups get which games, and how many games each group wants to do.
Men’s games pay $2,200, and women’s games start at $700 but can increase based on attendance. Women’s games against Missouri and Kansas State, for example, typically pay more, Cook said. Groups can earn an extra amount for recycling the plastic bottles they find, he said.
…KU provides leaf blowers, and teams get to work right away. Sakuvich said it’s best to work from the top down, making a sweep to pick up the bigger items, and then coming back around with the leaf blowers.
“There’s enormous amounts of newspaper,” she said.
In fact, when she goes to games, she doesn’t throw any newspaper, because she knows how much of a pain it is to pick up.
“You really learn to hate that tradition,” she said.
Cook said the athletic department does a similar program at Memorial Stadium after football games, but those cleanups are typically done starting on Sunday morning. Allen Fieldhouse, however, is an office area, too, and it’s used seven days a week. Football cleanups are often easier because there’s only one concourse to deal with, instead of Allen Fieldhouse’s three.
Sakuvich said she’s managed to find all sorts of things mixed in with that trash. Credit cards, cell phones, car keys, glasses (with a pretty thick prescription), shoes and even a pair of pants, once.
“I don’t know how you leave your shoes or pants at Allen Fieldhouse,” she said.
Brady Tanner won three gold medals in Greece last year at the World Special Olympics Games. He practices four days a week for power lifting competitions. But after his own workouts, he devotes his time to supporting Kansas women’s basketball.
Tanner participated in a Special Olympics power lifting competition on Saturday morning at Haskell Indian Nations University and when he found out the Jayhawks would be presenting the medals, he was determined to impress.
When the Jayhawks found out Tanner was going to be at the event, they contacted their coaches and asked if they could assist in some way.
The competition was split up into three different stations: dead lift, squats and bench press. Tanner attracted attention at each station. He dead lifted 450 pounds, squatted 600 and set a personal record on the bench press with 405.
“It is inspiring,” Kansas freshman guard Asia Boyd said. “I would never be able to lift that much.”
The Jayhawks trickled into the gym during the final round and Tanner made his way over to greet them. They watched and cheered as he set his new personal record. Tanner let out a triumphant cheer that filled the gym and he was met by a line of fist bumps and high fives from the team.
UDK: ACL troubles plague women's basketball
Kansas athletics presented the student-athlete members of the 2012 senior class with their K Rings in an elegant ceremony held in Allen Fieldhouse Sunday night. The program featured a handful of awards presentations as well as appearances by a host of former Jayhawk greats to help congratulate the graduating seniors on their outstanding Kansas careers.
"Tonight was about honoring our past and enhancing the tradition that goes along with being a part of the Kansas Athletics family," said Director of Athletics Sheahon Zenger following the ceremony. "It was a perfect way for us to commemorate their graduation and the beginning of their professional lives. It was a great night."
The highlight of the night came when K Club Director and former KU student-athlete David Johnston presented the nearly 100 Jayhawks with their K rings. Johnston discussed the importance of the rings and how each ring is a symbol of the athletes' past, present and future.
"The ceremony was a way of presenting them with a symbol of the things they've experienced here at KU," said Johnston. "The K Ring is something they will carry with them for the rest of their lives and hopefully it will be something that allows them to remember the experience they shared as Jayhawks."
A few days ago, a senior sat on the grass outside Allen Fieldhouse and tried to figure out what to say in his final column for the Kansan.
He will walk down the hill in thirteen days. He wishes it was thirteen years.
He was born in Missouri, but taken across the border a few hours after. He never returned willingly, except to scarf down a beef sandwich from Arthur Bryant’s or watch a Royals’ game. As a high school senior, he hemmed and hawed about attending other schools, but he never wavered.
He knew about the basketball. Everybody knows about the basketball, but that’s because it’s worth knowing about. Hakim Warrick made him cry in 2003; Mario Chalmers made him dogpile with his friends in 2008.
He hoped he could be a student with his team in the Final Four, because that’s when school pride would reach its highest.
Three years came and went. Kansas had some pretty damn good basketball teams. Those teams were expected to make the Final Four. They didn’t. The team in his senior year wasn’t expected to do much — not enough talent, not enough experience.
His Final Four dreams were just about dead. But then this team did something wonderful.
He watched KU survive against Purdue in the basement of a London hotel. He watched KU beat North Carolina on an iPad next to a baggage carousel at KCI. He couldn’t drive to Lawrence fast enough.
During Final Four week, he walked by the greener-than-usual grass of Fraser Hall more than he needed to. He sat in his FMS 100 class, feeling so jealous of those that have three or four more years in this wonderful place.
He ate a Wang burger at the Wheel. He ate — er, swallowed — a Smoke burger and truffle fries from The Burger Stand. He ran by Allen Fieldhouse, because there aren’t many times in life that you can run past the world’s basketball cathedral.
He drank cheap beer and hatched plans that only make sense after drinking cheap beer. He smiled with hundreds of people wearing crimson and blue all week long, ready to scream at televisions and Tyshawn Taylor.
And after Kansas beat Ohio State, he high-fived strangers and watched Kansas fans test the hydraulics of a parked truck while B Double E, a local rap artist, rapped in his ear.
It was a week that made him remember how much fun he’s had in the last four years. He’s met people he’ll never forget, people he’ll never remember and people he’ll never remember meeting. And he’s learned from all of them.
As he sat on the Fieldhouse grass, he realized something. His column was nearly finished, his college journey two weeks from completed.
He looked up at Allen Fieldhouse, then over to Fraser Hall. Two weeks left. A long walk down a hill. And then it’s over.
He swears there was something in his eye.
Heat guard Mario Chalmers had a career year from the 3-point line during the regular season.
He shot a personal-best 38 percent from the arc while making 101 3-pointers, the most since his rookie year in 2008-09.
With that said, Chalmers is proving he's more than just a 3-point specialist. He said he's made an effort in recent weeks to become more of a threat off the dribble. His aggressive play led to an 11-point, nine-assist performance against the New York Knicks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
"I'm just trying to put more pressure on the defense," Chalmers said. "I'm not trying just to be a standstill 3-point shooter. I'm trying to add more to my game."
Chalmers said the coaching staff encouraged the new approach late in the season. When the Heat added more spacing to the offensive sets, it opened more lanes for Chalmers to drive to the basket.
"It came from watching film," Chalmers said. "I'm just trying to keep everybody honest. I know a lot of people have been worried about my 3-point shooting. I want to attack the paint more."
The nine assists were a season high for Chalmers. When he is active in the offense as a distributor or scorer is when the Heat feel they are at their best.
"Give credit where credit is due," guard Dwyane Wade said. "Chalmers played a very good game for us, very focused. When he's playing that way, it makes our team that much better. Just like Chris Bosh, I think Mario Chalmers is one of the keys to us being successful."
Big 12/College News
The most eye-popping aspect of Tim Jankovich's decision to come to SMU wasn't that the head coach of a solid Missouri Valley Conference program would leave that gig to be the second-in-command under nomadic Larry Brown.
It was that SMU would pay him such a staggering sum to do it.
Jankovich reportedly will earn $700,000 per year to be SMU's associate head coach and coach-in-waiting, more than $100,000 more than what the Mustangs paid previous head coach Matt Doherty last season. The highest salary an assistant coach is known to have earned prior to this is the $420,000 per year Kansas State paid Dalonte Hill before he left for Maryland last year.
Larry Brown, hired last week to revamp SMU’s basketball program, has cut three players, including starting point guard Jeremiah Samarrippas.
“He basically told me that I wasn’t good enough to play for him,” said Samarrippas, a sophomore.
“It’s tough for me, and it’s tough for my family. I was excited to play with Larry Brown because he’s a Hall of Famer.”
Also, according to the Dallas Morning News, Brown cut redshirt freshman Ricmonds Vilde, freshman Eric Norman and redshirt freshman Leslee Smith. SMU was 13-19 this last season.
Kansas State basketball coach Bruce Weber added an assistant coach to his staff and signed his first recruit on Friday.
Alvin Brooks III, an assistant with Sam Houston State since 2010, announced on Twitter that he had accepted a job with the Wildcats. Brooks, who interviewed with Weber on Tuesday in Manhattan, will bring recruiting ties to Texas, which Weber has listed as a priority, and comes from a basketball family. Brooks played college basketball at Idaho State and has been an assistant at Bradley, Arkansas-Fort Smith and Midland College. His father, Alvin Brooks II, is a former coach at Houston.
Weber has one assistant spot remaining on his staff. He hired Chris Lowery as his top assistant and Jimmy Price as the team’s strength and conditioning coach earlier this month.
They will coach Darrell Johnson, a 6-foot-8 power forward from St. Louis, next year. Johnson committed to K-State last week after taking a recruiting visit and signed with the Wildcats on Friday.
Former Arizona Wildcats guard Josiah Turner has been arrested on suspicion of DUI by UA campus police, a UAPD official said Sunday.
Turner was arrested within the past week, but no further details nor a full police report were available today, said UAPD officer Joe Bermudez.
Turner, 19, will transfer after he was suspended twice during last season for unspecified violations of team rules, the University announced earlier this month.
Arizona Daily Star
Renaldo Woolridge, a 6-foot-9 forward who played at Tennessee, said he was transferring to USC and is looking forward to playing in the 2012-13 season with the Trojans.
Woolridge, the son of former NBA player Orlando Woolridge, will "walk" as a Tennessee graduate this spring and then complete a few hours of coursework during a mini-term that will enable him to play for the Trojans without having to sit out a season.
Woolridge, who played at Studio City Harvard-Westlake High, averaged 4.3 points and 3.3 rebounds last season. He joins a USC team that was decimated by injuries and finished 6-26.
“A lot of times, it takes a fall for a team to be able to rise,” Woolridge said. “They had a lot of guys hurt and they have a lot of young guys coming back. I can’t wait to contribute.”
Maryland Terrapins men's basketball player Pe'Shon Howard was arrested early Sunday and given a criminal citation for disorderly conduct, a university police spokesman confirmed.
A campus officer was flagged down for a fight at the Shanghai Café in the 7400 block of Baltimore Avenue in College Park at about 2:25 a.m., according to Capt. Marc Limansky. Inside, people were holding one man back, and police took him outside and sat him down.
Limansky said Howard, 21, was shouting at the man and taunting him and was told to stop. The officer placed Howard under arrest for disorderly conduct when he refused to comply, Limansky said. Howard was released with a criminal citation.
News Observer: Sam Cassell ready for his son to make his own name
The NCAA has cited the USC Athletics Department for a "failure to monitor" and has agreed with self-imposed penalties the school placed on itself late last year.
The NCAA Committee on Infraction's ruling came out Friday afternoon. It said the school had been responsible for "impermissible recruiting, extra benefits and preferential treatment."
In the hours after his arrest a year ago on charges that he fixed college basketball games while at the University of San Diego, Brandon Johnson told federal agents he was informed of the point spreads, received money after games and solicited a former teammate to potentially participate in the scheme.
But USD’s all-time leading scorer insisted, tearfully at times, that he never actually altered a game.
“I didn’t go in no game to throw it,” Johnson told two FBI agents in an interview that lasted more than an hour. “I flat didn’t throw any game. … When that game started till that game ends, nobody is in my head — no bet, nothing.”
Johnson’s interview in Houston with San Diego-based special agents Nicholas Cheviron and Gregory Houska was videotaped, and U-T San Diego obtained a transcript of it.
UT San Diego
2012-13 Early Season Events List
Kansas' Bill Self & Rutgers are checking out 2013 NJ Roadrunners (NJ) forward Tyler Roberson. #HGJamFest
...2014 KC Run GMC (MO) PG Dom Collier lists Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, UNC, Purdue, Alabama, Kansas, Stanford, UNLV, Georgetown & New Mexico.
...LSU is going to make a run at Julius Randle. The entire Tigers staff including Johnny Jones saw the 2013 Texas Titans (TX) F play today.
...Rashad Vaughn lists Baylor, Kansas, Iowa St, Minnesota, Arizona, Arizona St, Marquette, Gtown, Texas, Tennessee, MSU, Wisconsin. #HGJamFest
Future Kansas University small forward Brannen Greene, a 6-7, 200-pound senior-to-be from Mary Persons High, in Forsyth, Ga., played well for the Florida Rams last weekend in the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions AAU event in Suwanee, Ga.
“Greene proved why he’s the top-ranked player in Georgia and why he had so many powerhouse basketball programs fighting over him before committing to Kansas,” Rivals.com’s Dan McDonald wrote over the weekend. “He possesses one of the purest strokes in the country and has really worked on rounding out the rest of his game since this time last year.”
Noted Eric Bossi of Rivals.com: “Greene is a physical wing with deep range.”
…Also competing at Hampton EYBL was James Young, a 6-5, 200-pound senior-to-be from Troy (Mich.) High, who plays for Detroit’s The Family. The country’s No 9 prospect says Kentucky is his favorite with KU, Providence, Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan and Missouri on his list.
Rivals.com says KU has offered a scholarship to senior-to-be Tyler Roberson, a 6-7, 190-pound small forward from Roselle Catholic in Roselle, N.J. The country’s No. 34-rated player has listed KU, Syracuse, Connecticut, Louisville, N.C. State, and others. Also, KU has reportedly offered Chris McCullough, a 6-8, 200-pound junior-to-be from Salisbury (Conn.) School. The country’s No. 10-rated player in 2014 also likes UConn, St. John’s, Syracuse, Memphis, Arizona and many others.
...Lawrence basketball standout Khadre Lane has confirmed in a direct Facebook message to the Journal-World that he has transferred from Seabury Academy to Free State High.
Lane, a 6-foot-4 junior-to-be who averaged 18.3 points and 6.0 rebounds last season at Seabury, plays for KC Run GMC, formerly known as KC Pump N Run AAU. Still early in the recruiting process, Lane most recently has heard from Nebraska. He’s projected to be a mid-major to major-college recruit, with his next school year to be crucial in terms of his development.
A league that matches the 40 best Nike-sponsored AAU programs, Nike EYBL featured some of the top talents in the country.
And when the dust settled at the end of Session 2 just one program could claim to still be undefeated: CIA Bounce.
Mike George’s program from Canada moved to 9-0 in Nike EYBL play with five wins in Hampton, with their 76-71 win over Mokan Elite being the lone victory by single digits.
CIA Bounce’s most talented player is none other than 2014 prospect Andrew Wiggins, who according to some may be the best prep player regardless of class.
An extremely versatile player, Wiggins also played a big role in the World team’s win over the US in the Nike Hoop Summit early this month.
Wiggins scored 20 in the win over Mokan Elite (MO), but he isn’t the only player who has caught the eye of analysts and coaches alike.
2013 guards Tyler Ennis and Xavier Rathan-Mayes are also highly sought-after prospects, with both showing off the skills that have left so many impressed.
Ennis, who scored 20 in CIA Bounce’s win over NJ Playaz on Sunday, plays his high school basketball at St. Benedict’s Prep in New Jersey and ranks among the top point guards in his class.
Rathan-Mayes, who accounted for 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists in a win over The Family (MI), plays his high school ball alongside Wiggins at Huntington Prep in West Virginia and is more aggressive in looking to score than Ennis.
Just spoke with Anthony Barber. Duke, KU & UK among the schools who have been in recent contact with him.
Bill Self here for Allerik Freeman.
Allerik Freeman just made a ridiculous three-pointer, beyond NBA range. Looks much better today than last night.
Kansas' Bill Self and Alabama's Anthony Grant among the few coaches still left checking out Boo Williams vs. Jackson Tigers. #Nike #EYBL
Jermaine Lawrence is tearing it up.
The 6-foot-10 forward from the New Rens 17U team has knocked down 13 3-pointers in three games at the Philly JamFest, including six in Friday night’s 61-59 overtime win.
“He’s really, really shooting the ball well and doing a lot of things well,” Pope John (N.J.) coach Jason Hasson told SNY.tv.
Kansas coach Bill Self watched both of Lawrence’s games Saturday and Rutgers coach Mike Rice and Cincinnati assistant Darren Savino were also on hand.
Along with Kansas, Rutgers and Cincinnati, Hasson said both St. John’s and Syracuse are working hard for Lawrence.
James Young drew Bill Self, Johm Calipari and Tom Izzo. #eybl
Daily Press: Loss to MoKan Elite drops BW team to 2-5 in Nike EYBL
Daily Press: BW win twice Sunday, stay alive in Nike EYBL
Boo Williams Day 2 recap
Day 1 Recap
Rivals Bossi: EYBL Saturday's Stars
Rivals: EYBL Top Performers Day 1 & 2
Rivals Bossi: EYBL Preview
Another ship for the 15's in the 16U division Jayhawk Inv. 16's lost in the 17's semis. 17's won the Silver Bracket at Philly Jam Fest.
JayhawkSlant: Jayhawk Invite underway
Eron Gordon is still in the eighth grade, but he has picked up his first college basketball scholarship offer.
Gordon, the youngest brother of former North Central High School and Indiana University star Eric Gordon, was offered by Indiana coach Tom Crean on Sunday night. The 6-1 Gordon played in the IndyBall.com Shootout over the weekend, playing up an age group with the 15-and-under Eric Gordon Central Stars.
Eron's father, Eric Gordon Sr., said Eron will take an unofficial visit Wednesday to Purdue. He could receive another offer.
Two private schools in Johnson County announced new boys basketball coaches.
St. James Academy announced Friday that Stan Dohm had been hired to replace Mark Huppe, who retired as basketball coach in March.
Dohm spent the last four seasons at Cheney, Kan., where he went 66-25 and claimed two undefeated Central Plains League championships.
…Fellow parochial school Bishop Miege also landed a new coach, introducing Fred Turner to the Stags players Thursday afternoon.
Rick Zych left Miege, 12-9, which was upset in the opening round of sub-state by Blue Valley, earlier this month to take the reins at Park Hill South.
The set in motion a cross-border coaching musical chairs, which saw Turner leave Oak Park in favor of Miege.
Turner became the 35th member of the Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame when he was inducted April 5 during a ceremony at Shawnee Mission South.
He brings a 592-318 career record in 37 seasons, which includes stops at the college level with Fort Scott Community College and Avila as well as a handful of additional area high schools – West Platte, O’Hara, Lee’s Summit and Warrensburg, Mo.
Spring/Summer Event Schedule
adidas Grassroots schedule
Nike EYBL Schedule
Check here for the NCAA Recruiting Calendar
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