Eleven straight#winning#proudofthisgroup instagram.com/p/z0Myb3slfH/
Love my team! Nobody thought we could do it! Blessed to be apart of this!!! pic.twitter.com/FJeJJ0XUIX
Talk about DOMINANCE/what about the job Bill Self has done in Big 12 play/Rock Chalk Jayhawk faithful help them come back v. WVU
#11 #RockChalk instagram.com/p/z1wYNlgxxB/
#11 ..... #kubball .. Keep it (up)
Lando the game saver Easily! @LandenLucas33
I value league championships more than the randomness of #NCAA results- to win 11 in a row,never having a down year is spectacular #kubball
LJW Tait: The Day After
LJW: Inside the stats
Kansas University’s Perry Ellis and Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield, who are arguably the top two contenders for 2015 Big 12 Player of the Year, will not guard each other in any epic one-on-one confrontation Saturday at Noble Center in Norman, Oklahoma.
Ellis, who is a former AAU teammate of Hield, will, in fact, miss the 3 p.m., contest because of a sprained right knee.
“He’s not going to play this Saturday,” KU coach Bill Self told the Journal-World on Wednesday, a day after Ellis sprained his right knee in the first half of KU’s 76-69 overtime victory over West Virginia in Allen Fieldhouse.
“He’s going to be sore here for a few days. Hopefully he’ll be able to respond to treatment and be back out there next week. That’s what we’re hopeful for,” Self added of Ellis returning for the Big 12 tournament, which for KU starts a week from today in Kansas City’s Sprint Center.
“The doctors said, that’s too quick,” Self added of Ellis playing on Saturday. “Of course, with the tournament coming up, our best chance to have him healthy is to let him get some rest and just rehab.”
Self did stress that Ellis has suffered no structural damage in his knee.
As far as the conference Player of the Year battle ... the 6-foot-8 Ellis averages 14.2 points off 47.1 percent shooting, and 7.0 rebounds a game in 30 games. The 6-4 Hield averages 17.3 points off 43.1 percent shooting with 5.4 boards in 29 games.
In league games only, Hield averages 18.5 points off 44.9 percent shooting and 5.7 rebounds to Ellis’ 15.1 points off 50 percent shooting and 7.2 boards.
Self confirmed to The Star that junior power forward Perry Ellis will miss Saturday’s game at Oklahoma with a sprained knee, while sophomore Wayne Selden is recovering from a tweaked ankle. Neither could have practiced on Wednesday, which the Jayhawks used as a much-needed day of rest. Selden, who finished out the game on Tuesday, will likely be fine for Oklahoma.
For Kansas, the most pressing injury issue is Ellis, who has grown into a Big 12 player-of-the-year candidate while averaging 14.2 points and seven rebounds. Self said that Ellis’ knee felt “pretty good” on Wednesday after he suffered the sprain in the first half in the 76-69 overtime win over West Virginia. Ellis underwent an MRI on Tuesday, and Self is still hopeful that Ellis could return next week for the Big 12 tournament opener on Thursday at the Sprint Center. Still, there appears little reason to play Ellis against Oklahoma in the conference finale.
Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self has been named one of 15 finalists for the 2015 Naismith Men's Coach of the Year Award the Atlanta Tip-Off Club announced Wednesday.
In his 12th season at Kansas, Self has guided the Jayhawks to an unprecedented 11-consecutive Big 12 Conference regular-season titles, including the 2014-15 crown. The 11-straight league championship ties for the second-most in NCAA Division I history.
At 24-6 overall and 13-4 in Big 12 play, Kansas' 2014-15 schedule is the toughest in the country, while its Rating Percentage Index (RPI) has been ranked either first or second in NCAA Division I all season and is currently second.
In addition to their Big 12 regular-season title, the Jayhawks won the Orlando Classic over Thanksgiving weekend to highlight non-conference action. In the 60th season inside Allen Fieldhouse, Kansas posted its 18th all-time, fifth under Self, undefeated season inside the historic venue by going 15-0 at home in 2014-15.
In the 2014-15 national polls, the No. 9/10 Jayhawks have been ranked in the Associated Press top 10 for 12 weeks and the USA Today Coaches' Poll top 10 on 11 occasions. With their 76-69 overtime win versus No. 20/20 West Virginia on March 3, the Jayhawks are 9-3 against ranked foes this season.
Self is currently 349-75 in his 12 years in Lawrence and 556-180 in his 22nd season overall. He is 190-9 inside Allen Fieldhouse and has won more conference titles (11) than lost home games (9).
Self was the 2012 Naismith Coach of the Year and this is the seventh time he has been a finalist for the honor. Self has been named national coach of the year by other organizations four times: in 2000 while at Tulsa and in 2008, 2009 and 2012 while at Kansas. He has been selected as his conference coach of the year on five occasions, including four while at KU.
Bill Self called the people at the RPI on Tuesday in pursuit of a statistic to give to the naysayers.
Self was hours away from celebrating his 11th straight Big 12 title with a 76-69 overtime win over West Virginia, but before his team took care of business, he wanted to know where the Big 12 ranked on average in terms of league strength over the 12 years he has been at Kansas.
Somewhere along the line—maybe it was when KU was winning its fifth or sixth or seventh or eighth straight title—amazement turned to skepticism.
"I think the thing that I get a little upset with—of course, it's not worth getting upset over—but a little perturbed, a lot of people downplaying our league because a league can't be as good if one team has won this many in a row," Self said. "That's not true. Our league is terrific, and the RPI proves it."
The answer Self got was that the Big 12 on average ranked "3.1 or 3.2." This year it's No. 1.
Since I presume the folks at the RPI answered Self's call on a rotary phone, I went to the better and more modern metric at kenpom.com to run the numbers. The results were similar.
Since the start of this conference title run by Kansas, the Big 12 is just decimal points behind the Big Ten and ACC (see chart) as the best league in America.
…If you want to poke holes in the legitimacy of this run—like maybe Allen Fieldhouse is an unfair advantage—just don't.
KU's winning percentage on the road in Big 12 play over the last 11 years (71.4 percent) is better than any other Big 12 team's winning percentage in all league games. Texas, the second-best team over that stretch, has won 61.2 percent of all its Big 12 regular-season games since 2005.
There are only three* Big 12 schools that have a better home winning percentage in conference games than KU's road record over that stretch—Kansas State (71.7 percent), Oklahoma State (72.5 percent) and Texas (78.0 percent).
*Missouri won 72.3 percent of its Big 12 home games from 2005 through 2012, but KU's road winning percentage in that time span was 76.9 percent.
…Since KU's run started, the longest streak in any other major conference has been three.
If Indiana and UCLA miss the NCAA tourney this year—a real possibility—four blue bloods (UCLA, North Carolina, Indiana and Kentucky) will have missed as many NCAA tournaments (11) as KU has won Big 12 titles since 2005.
Self, or course, has not missed out on the NCAA tournament since his first year as coach at Tulsa in 1998.
…Self has won with no starters returning—in 2006, 2009 and 2014. He's won with a walk-on in the starting lineup—his first Big 12 championship in 2005 had that with Christian Moody at power forward. He's won with All-Americans and he's had conference players of the year, but some seasons, like this one, he's won with none of the above.
"To me, that's what's cool," Self said. "Faces change, but expectations don't."
No matter how you want to spin it, slice it or dice it, what KU has accomplished is the most impressive run in the modern history of the college game.
Kentucky's perfect season still isn't as impressive as Kansas'
1. KU has triple the longest current division-winning streak in college basketball and the longest in all of sports.
Eleven straight. It’s sort of unfathomable. The last time Kansas didn’t win the Big 12, the conference still had 12 teams (it has 10 now). Bob Knight was still coaching. George W. Bush was in his first term. And John Wall was still in middle school. No other team in college basketball has a current streak longer than three (though Harvard and Davidson could make it four with titles this year), which means that no team could tie Kansas’s mark until 2022, at the earliest.
No other team in all of sports has a title-streak longer than six and that honor belongs to the New England Patriots, who play in a division with only three other opponents. (Two-and-a-half if you consider the New York Jets.)
Oh, and in those 11 years, Kentucky has won the vastly-inferior SEC just four times.
2. KU’s is also the second-longest streak in history.
The longest streak in NCAA history is UCLA’s 13-straight Pac 8 titles from 1967-79. Kansas’s 11 ties Gonzaga’s streak from 2001-11 at No. 2 and breaks a tie they held with UNLV (1983-92) and Connecticut (1951-60). But while those the numbers are similar, the streaks are incomparable to KU’s.
UCLA was college basketball in the late-60s and 70s. Every big recruit went out west to play for John Wooden’s dynastic Bruins. Gonzaga and UNLV were big fishes in little ponds. Not that their achievements weren’t impressive, but doing it against Texas and Oklahoma is far more impressive than doing it against St. Mary’s and Pepperdine.
3. The Jayhawks are doing this against top competition.
Kansas is winning in the best conference in college basketball this year. In 2014-15, the Big 12 has six teams in Kenpom’s top 25. The SEC has one: Kentucky.
"It's remarkable," former UCLA standout and collegiate head coach Brad Holland told FOXSportsKansasCity.com before the short-handed Jayhawks rallied to top West Virginia, 76-69, Tuesday, clinching sole possession of the Big 12 title -- the program's 11th in a row.
"Because it just shows you the tradition. It shows you how difficult it is to play at Allen Fieldhouse, how good a coach Bill Self is, and their staff, and how they've been able to maintain a level and a culture of winning and high-level recruiting.
"They lose a couple of guys to the (NBA), they quickly replace them, rebuild, remain on top. That's a very difficult thing to do. I don't care what anybody says."
Holland was at the heart of the next carrot KU is chasing -- the Bruins' Division I record of 13 consecutive Pac-8/Pac-10 titles won from 1967-79. The last player recruited by the legendary John Wooden, he served as an anchor in the UCLA backcourt for the final four of those 13 teams, a chain of excellence that stretched from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band to Van Halen II.
"It was a lot of pressure," said Holland, a former first-round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers (1979) who would later win 200 games himself as coach at the University of San Diego. "Frankly, in a lot of eyes, and (with) the Los Angeles Times, and everybody else in LA, we didn't rate very well, because we didn't win a national championship."
Some places fear the pressure. The Bruins embraced it. To his mind -- and this from a man with no dog in the fight, a man who had Wooden's ear and ran the break with Magic and Kareem -- the Jayhawks do, too.
"They're the gold standard of the Big 12, like we were of the Pac-8 and Pac-10," said Holland, currently chief executive officer of the Carlsbad (Calif.) Boys and Girls Club.
"And the coaching staffs, let me just tell you how they recruit for the other teams. (They say), 'I have to have guys that can help us beat Kansas.' That's the standard. And that's how you recruit. That's how you have to recruit, because of what (KU has) established: Their run, their dominance."
Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins has a bit in his contract that says he gets $25,000 every time he beats the Jayhawks. Kansas basketball isn't just a dynasty anymore. It's a legal clause.
"That's how those staffs at the other Big 12 schools are going about it," Holland continued. "Yeah, they want to win a national championship, and yeah, they want to go far and they want to go far in the NCAA Tournament. But they have to go through Kansas to do everything they do. They have to have players that can compete against Kansas.
"So we can throw out the old cliches of, 'Oh, Kansas gets everybody's best shot.' Well, they do, because they're on top. They're the champions. They're wearing the crown until somebody knocks them off. 'We're the team that stopped Kansas' run of consecutive Big 12 championships.' So all that's going on, all that's being talked about, all that's being recruited to, to try and get that done."
…Some places fear the bar. In Lawrence, they embrace it. Lawrence, where the rafters are never satisfied.
Fox Sports Keeler
Kansas assistant coach Kurtis Townsend found himself in a back gym at the Adidas Fab 48 in the summer of 2012 in Las Vegas to watch current USC point guard Jordan McLaughlin. Only Townsend got distracted by a little guard dribbling circles around everyone else, including McLaughlin.
That night he called Ty White, the coach of the guard he'd never heard of.
Hey, that little kid, the kid with the braids, does he always play like that?
Coach, White responded, every day.
"He had a toughness about him that everybody sees now," Townsend said of Frank Mason, the sophomore point guard who coaches say is the Jayhawks' MVP.
White went on to tell Townsend that Mason had signed at Towson his senior year of high school. "Towson?" Townsend remembers saying. "He's way better than that."
…"I hate just seeing a kid once," he said. "Hate it. So I said, 'What time do you play tomorrow?'"
Townsend extended his stay in Vegas and went the next two days to watch Mason, and he played the exact same way.
"If he's this good," Townsend told Self, "he's better than anybody we're recruiting."
…Mason never played point guard until he arrived at Kansas. He called himself a "scoring guard," and he backed up the title. He averaged 25 points per game in his senior year at Petersburg High School in Virginia, and he scored 1,901 points over his career, second only to legendary big man Moses Malone at the school, per KUsports.com.
…"I'll be candid with you, I was thinking that Frank could have been a starter last year as a freshman, but looking back in hindsight, it would have been too much in fast forward for him," Self told Bleacher Report. "I don't know that he would admit to this, but I think he was a little bit overwhelmed by really understanding that there's a lot more to ball than just going and making a play."
Tharpe was also a friend of Mason's, and Mason's father said he believes his son didn't want to step on his buddy's toes. Tharpe was a junior, and he had paid his dues his first two years in the program as a backup.
"I think he could have pushed harder than what he did," Frank Mason Jr. said.
"I love Naadir, but he didn't help him," Townsend said. "He didn't pull him aside. He needed to be under a guy like (KU's all-time assist leader) Aaron Miles for a year that would say, 'No young guy, this is how you do it.'"
…Knowing that he was the "next guy up," Mason went to KU's coaches this summer and made a request.
"Teach me how to be a point guard," he told the coaches, "because I don't know."
Mason would sit in Townsend's office and the coach would show him a play that Kansas runs.
"See here, all you're doing is looking for your shot," Townsend would tell him. "As a point guard, do you know what Cliff (Alexander)'s supposed to do on this play?"
"Nah," Mason told him. "I just know I go here and cut over here."
"You've got to know where everybody goes because you've got to direct them," Townsend said. "If he's not going in the right spot, 'Cliff, get over here.' If he's starting on the wrong side or in the wrong spot, that's your job. It's your job."
…Townsend could show Mason the right way to play the position. He could fix his shot. (That was also transformed this summer, as Townsend moved Mason's guide hand from above the ball to the side, and Mason's three-point accuracy has gone from 32.7 percent as a freshman to 43.0 percent this year.)
But for Mason to really be a point guard, he needed to trust his teammates, and that's something he had to figure out on his own.
"It's kind of refreshing to coach at a high-profile place and get a guy that not everybody knows about," Self said. "A guy that you didn't have to go head-to-head with Kentucky or Duke or Louisville or somebody to get him, but after he's been here for two years, he's just as good as anybody you could have recruited."
Handing Andrew Wiggins the NBA’s Rookie of the Year trophy is merely a formality at this point.
As Vince Carter would say, this race is over.
The 20-year-old Canadian phenom has quickly validated his status as the 2014 draft's No. 1 overall pick, leading this year's crop in scoring at 15.8 points per game. He also owns a 456-point cushion on the draft's second-leading scorer, K.J. McDaniels.
Since Jan. 1, NBA.com indicates that Wiggins' averages have ticked up to 18.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists, while his conversion rate sits at 46 percent from the field.
Bleacher Report's Dan Favale beautifully contextualized those numbers by viewing them through a historical lens:
For those after more concrete perspective, consider this: If Wiggins' numbers hold, he'll become the third player in NBA history to begin the season under 20 years of age and average at least 15 points, four rebounds, one steal and a usage rate north of 20.
Those other two players are Carmelo Anthony and James.
Kansas' Caelynn Manning-Allen and her longtime friend, fellow Jayhawks basketball player Cliff Alexander, have the same plan after college: playing professional hoops.
"That's always been a goal of ours, and mine especially," Manning-Allen said Tuesday. "That's why we're taking advantage of this opportunity in college, so we can pursue our dream job or open another door that we haven't thought about."
Manning-Allen, a 6-foot-4 sophomore, arrived in Lawrence a year before freshman Alexander, who stands 6-8. They met while attending Curie High School, where they were the tallest twosome. That hasn't changed at Kansas.
…But Manning-Allen said she never tried to influence Alexander to pick Kansas.
"I was never trying to do that," she said.
Manning-Allen has played in 24 of the Jayhawks' 30 games, starting once. She's averaging 2.4 points and 2.7 rebounds per game for Kansas (14-16), which competes in the Big 12 tournament starting Friday.
That she's seeing any time in Division I hoops might be surprising considering Manning-Allen didn't start playing basketball until the summer before her freshman year at Curie.
…Like Alexander, who said he "loved" campus life, Manning-Allen is enjoying her time at Kansas. Manning-Allen grew up in Garfield Ridge and North Lawndale and said Lawrence is "a lot safer."
"You don't have to deal with all the extra stuff, the gangs, here," she said. "Everybody's really friendly. I just don't see a lot of stuff here that I see in Chicago."
And Manning-Allen said the past six years have taught her "it's never too late to set a goal."
"You shouldn't underestimate your abilities, basically," she said.
Kansas women's basketball squares off with in-state rival Kansas State in the first round of the 2015 Big 12 Championship on Friday, March 6 at 6 p.m., inside the American Airlines Center. The No. 9 seeded Jayhawks ended the regular season with a pair of victories over Oklahoma and Iowa State and are the only team to enter the postseason championship with back-to-back wins. The first round match up with the No. 8 seed Wildcats will air on FOX College Sports and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
The 2015 regular season has concluded and four Jayhawks were awarded All-Big 12 honors for their efforts throughout the season. Four honorees for Kansas women's basketball marks the most since 2000 when KU have five all-conference selections.
Senior forward Chelsea Gardner was selected to the All-Big 12 First Team, while rookie guard Lauren Aldridge earned a spot on the All-Big 12 Freshman Team. Senior guards Asia Boyd and Natalie Knight were named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention.
“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
Tell me where you've seen this before.
OU lost 77-70 at Iowa State on Monday night in what served for the Sooners as a virtual Big 12 semifinal. Beat the Cyclones, and OU would have been hosting Kansas for the conference championship on Saturday. But the Sooners blew a 21-point lead in the second half.
And it all came crashing down after enthusiasm run amok.
Just like two years ago in Austin. On Feb. 27, 2013, Lon Kruger's Sooners led Texas 67-45 on Amath M'Baye's dunk with 7:54 left in the game. The game seemed over. M'Baye certainly felt like celebrating -- he famously flashed the 'Horns down sign at the few remaining Texas fans in the Erwin Center.
The taunt was not caught by referees -- or they didn't care. No technical foul was called. There is scant evidence that the Longhorn players even noticed. But the television viewing audience saw it; Kevin Durant eventually took to a Twitter war with OU walkon James Fraschilla.
Be it karma or something else, the 'Horns were revitalized by that downward hook-'em sign. In the final 7:38, they outscored OU 32-10 to force overtime, then won it 92-86.
A total collapse by the Sooners. Which was repeated Monday night in Ames.
…Epic, epic collapse. Can the Sooners rebound? Sure. Will they rebound? We'll see. Two years ago, OU recovered to beat a good Iowa State team and a bad West Virginia team, both at Lloyd Noble Center. Then OU went to TCU and lost, went to Kansas City and lost to Iowa State in the Big 12 quarterfinals, and went to the NCAA Tournament and lost to San Diego State in the first round.
Not a great recovery from the epic collapse in Austin. Can this team avoid the same fate?
Big 12 Tournament to be best of championship week: This has been the best conference all season and next week in Kansas City at least five teams capable of deep NCAA Tournament runs. Kansas, Iowa State, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Baylor have locked up the top five seeds and can beat one another on a given night, showcasing the Big 12's tremendous depth. There's a good chance Texas winds up playing Kansas in the Jayhawks' first game, provided the Longhorns get by TCU in the play-in game. Did anyone think Texas would be an eight-seed in its own conference tournament when the season started? I didn't either. It's going to be fun in KC.
Here are the scenarios for the four teams battling for the second through fifth seeds at next week’s Big 12 Tournament:
Iowa State: Second with win and Kansas win. Second with Baylor loss, West Virginia loss and Kansas win. Second with win, Baylor loss, West Virginia loss and Oklahoma win. Third with loss, Baylor win, West Virginia win and Kansas win. Third with Baylor loss, West Virginia win and Oklahoma win. Third with loss, Baylor loss, West Virginia loss and Oklahoma win. Fourth with loss, Baylor win, West Virginia win and Oklahoma win. Fourth with loss, Baylor win and West Virginia loss.
Oklahoma: Second with win, Baylor win and Iowa State loss. Second with win, Baylor loss and West Virginia win. Second with win, Baylor loss, West Virginia loss and Iowa State loss. Third with win, Baylor win and Iowa State win. Third with loss and Baylor loss. Third with loss, Baylor win and West Virginia loss. Fourth with loss, Baylor win and West Virginia win.
Baylor: Second with win, Kansas win and Iowa State loss. Third with win, West Virginia win, Kansas win and Iowa State win. Third with win, Oklahoma win and Iowa State loss. Fourth with win, West Virginia win, Oklahoma win and Iowa State win. Fourth with win, West Virginia loss and Iowa State win. Fourth with loss and West Virginia loss. Fifth with loss and West Virginia win.
West Virginia: Fourth with win and Baylor loss. Fifth with loss or Baylor win.
Now, the outcome of tonight’s Oklahoma State-TCU game will affect the outlook for the Cowboys, Texas and Kansas State, who are battling for the sixth through eighth spots.
Here’s a look at those team’s scenarios based on different outcomes of tonight’s game:
IF OSU WINS
Oklahoma State: Sixth with Texas win. Sixth with win and Kansas State win where Oklahoma State wins tiebreaker over Kansas State based on finish of Iowa State, Oklahoma, Baylor and West Virginia. Seventh with win and Kansas State win where Oklahoma State loses tiebreaker to Kansas State based on finish of Iowa State, Oklahoma, Baylor and West Virginia. Seventh with loss and Kansas State win.
Kansas State: Sixth with win and Oklahoma State loss. Sixth with win and Oklahoma State win where Kansas State wins tiebreaker over Oklahoma State based on finish of Iowa State, Oklahoma, Baylor and West Virginia. Seventh with win and Oklahoma State win where Kansas State loses tiebreaker to Oklahoma State based on finish of Iowa State, Oklahoma, Baylor and West Virginia. Eighth with loss.
Texas: Seventh with win. Eighth with loss.
IF OSU LOSES
Oklahoma State: Sixth with win against West Virginia and Texas win. Seventh with Kansas State win. Eighth with loss and Texas win.
Kansas State: Sixth with win. Eighth with loss.
Texas: Sixth with win and Oklahoma State loss. Seventh with win and Oklahoma State win. Eighth with loss.
Regardless of what else happens, the bottom two teams are set. TCU will finish ninth and Texas Tech 10th.
Big 12 Seeding and Tiebreaker Procedures
• Will Kentucky finish 40-0?
• If so, why do some suggest it would be bad for college basketball?
• How wild is Kansas' streak of 11 straight Big 12 titles?
• Will we ever see something like this at the power-conference level again?
Beyond that, we spent the majority of this podcast talking about Seth's article on the crisis facing college basketball. If you haven't read it yet, you should. It's well-researched and full of good suggestions to make the sport of college basketball better.
The latest Eye on College Basketball podcast is below.
Darrell Williams has been to hell and back.
"To be honest, I felt like I wasn't alive. Man, it just took so much out of me," he said. "It just felt like I didn't have nothing to live for."
Williams was working on a promising basketball career at Oklahoma State, but it the early morning hours of Dec. 12, 2010 it was all thrown off track.
At a party at a Stillwater home, two woman claimed Williams sexually assaulted them.
"At the time, I really didn't believe someone could say anything like that," he said. "At the time, I was like, 'I'm not going to worry about it, I'm not going to stress about it, because I know I didn't do it."
Hearings followed. Williams says he trusted the system.
There was no physical evidence or witnesses, but the district attorney believed the alleged victims' claims. And on July 23, 2012, Williams was shocked to find out a jury believed them, too.
"That's when I just shouted out, like, 'Oh my God, I can't believe this,'" Williams said.
He spent three months in jail.
…A Facebook page was created. Rev. Jesse Jackson traveled to Stillwater, speaking on his behalf. The Chicago Innocence project found evidence that both Williams' accusers had suffered mental health issues and one had twice been arrested for theft.
So, in April of 2014, the Oklahoma Court of Appeals overturned the conviction. The case will not be re-tried.
"I started cryin,'" Williams said. "It was a very emotional day."
The next stop on Williams' journey was Texas A&M Commerce, about 65 miles northeast of downtown Dallas. It is another place where Williams has gained a legion of supporters.
After more than two-and-a-half years away from the game, Williams is now a Lion.
The Division II program is a long way from the bright lights of the Big 12, but surprisingly, Williams stays overwhelmingly positive.
"He's so good at looking forward to what is going on positive in his life and putting the past behind him," said Commerce Head Coach Sam Walker. "It's something I don't know if I would have handled it as well as he has."
…On senior night, the Lions score a big conference win on a thrilling, last-second dunk.
As great as the game was though, even better, Williams said, was getting surprised by some of his biggest fans.
His sister, Alicia, made the trip from Chicago, and Oklahoma State Head Coach Travis Ford - who seen Williams goes through so much - said he wouldn't miss this night for the world.
"I'm so proud of him," Ford said. "How he's handled adversity and the character he has -- just proud of the man he's become."
"We been through a lot and it's been a long road," Alicia Williams said. "He's blessed. He's blessed to have a second chance in life, also a second chance in playing ball – that's what he loved the most."
An interesting footnote on Williams' case: Before being convicted, he was offered a plea deal that would have allowed him to continue playing basketball and he probably would have been drafted to the NBA.
His decision against has meant lost time – and place – but Williams contends he gained much more.
"Taking that plea would have made me feel like I was weak," Williams said. "Taking a plea would have, mainly would have been saying that I did it, so people would have still been looking at me differently."
"And you have no regrets about that?" we asked.
"No, I do not."
Williams will graduate this spring with his degree. His dream to play pro basketball endures.
Duke athletic director Kevin White released a statement on Tuesday that said men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and the school's basketball office followed protocol following allegations of sexual assault against former player Rasheed Sulaimon.
The NCAA said in a statement that it is not legally responsible for any academic fraud that may have been committed at UNC, according to Jon Solomon of CBS Sports.
In January, both the school and the NCAA were sued by two former North Carolina players: Football player Devon Ramsay and women's basketball player Rashanda McCants.
The lawsuit alleges that student athletes are not getting the education they were promised by UNC and the NCAA. It also accuses the NCAA of negligence, claiming the organization knew of "dozens" of instances of academic fraud by other institutions and "refused to implement adequate monitoring systems to detect and prevent these occurrences."
Two years after his prolific shooting and trash-talking, jersey-popping, renegade attitude made him one of college basketball's most electrifying – and polarizing – players, Marshall Henderson now leads a much more humble professional existence.
In Baghdad, Iraq, of all places.
Henderson plays in the Iraqi Super League. The former Ole Miss star hears gunshots from time to time in the city. He doesn't leave his Baghdad hotel too often, where working electricity can be a daily challenge. And there are rarely female spectators in the stands at his games.
Henderson is about as far away from his NBA dream as possible, and yet he finds himself in a much better place personally while playing in Iraq.
"It's not as bad as people make it seem back home," Henderson told Yahoo Sports in a Skype audio interview last week. "We just chill in the hotel. We don't go anywhere. We could go places and it would be safe. We wouldn't be worried about getting captured or anything. It's definitely better than I would've expected."
CBS Paternal Fraternity: College athletes as fathers
But there are enough concerns being raised about deciphering jersey numbers that the NCAA is taking efforts to clean up what's apparently becoming a gamesmanship issue. Some coaches want the confusion to gain an edge so future opponents have trouble scouting their team.
Complete ESPN Networks schedule
Big 12 Composite Schedule & Results
Malik Newman and the rest of Callaway's starters sauntered to the bench for good with 1:08 left in the game on Wednesday.
The Chargers would have been just fine if they took a rest much earlier.
Callaway dominated Pascagoula from that start in the boys Class 5A quarterfinals at Jackson State and cruised to a 67-48 win.
The Chargers' offensive onslaught was led by Newman's distribution skills and Dimencio Vaughn's ability to finish down low.
Time and time again in the first half, Callaway's five-star combo guard would start to drive and swing it down to Vaughn.
"Malik's passing ability is so underrated. I had a conversation with (Kansas coach) Bill Self," Sanders said. "He said if he comes to Kansas, he's going to be a point guard. He does a great job of being unselfish and spreading it around."
Added Newman: "Since high school, I've been really labeled as a scorer. But I really think (passing) is one of my biggest strengths. When I get double teamed like I was tonight, I have to be able to read the floor."
247Sports national analyst Jerry Meyer changed his prediction Wednesday to a school that hadn’t previously received much attention in Newman’s recruitment: Louisiana State.
The Tigers already have commitments from Ben Simmons – arguably the No. 1 high school player in the country – and Antonio Blakeney, a five-star shooting guard. Both players have been trying to recruit Newman to LSU.
“Malik has a really strong relationship with the incoming recruits at LSU,” Meyer told the Herald-Leader. “He’s dead-set on playing point guard. LSU gives him the best opportunity for him to be the guy at the point.
“Just from what I’m hearing, and putting everything together – I’m not saying it’s a done deal or anything. It just seems like the best fit.” Newman was actually born in Louisiana, and Meyer noted that his mother still lives in the state.
LSU likely would give him all the minutes he could want at point guard. He has said several times in the past few months that that’s the position he wants to play in college, though all of the major recruiting services consider him a shooting guard.
Those who have watched him in high school and AAU might not see the fit. In those settings, he is always in attack mode and often looks to score first.
Meyer has seen a different side of Newman, who he first evaluated during a USA Basketball trials weekend when the 6-foot-3 prospect was running the point.
“He’s been the starting point guard for USA Basketball (junior teams) the past two years and has done a tremendous job,” Meyer said. “He was phenomenal at the point guard position. The big thing with Malik is, does he trust his teammates? If he doesn’t trust his teammates, then he isn’t going to pass the ball. But when he plays with really good players, he’s a great point guard.”
…“I’m hearing from more than one source that there’s no way it’s Kentucky,” Meyer said. “They might be right or they might be wrong, but (playing point guard) is a huge issue.”
…Meyer acknowledged that Calipari won’t be giving up anytime soon, and he chuckled at the thought of something he saw UK do during Tuesday night’s game at Georgia.
For a few series in that contest, Harrison was running the point while 5-9 Ulis played off the ball.
“I’m sure they did that so they could get a clip of it to Malik,” Meyer said with a laugh. “Calipari’s no dummy. … I’m sure they’re telling him Tyler will play the 2.”
In all seriousness, Calipari can always reference John Wall and Eric Bledsoe as two point guards who flourished alongside each other in UK’s backcourt. That is surely part of the pitch to Newman.
Whether it works, only time will tell.
“It’s a very good point, and it’s a very sellable point,” Meyer said. “But it’s up to Malik Newman and his people – what they think and what they want to believe. “I don’t know how it’ll end up, and I don’t know necessarily what’s best for Malik. But I’m getting really strong intel that they are dead-set that he wants to be a point guard in college.”
Since Kassoum Yakwe said Monday evening that he was considering reclassifying from the 2016 class to 2015, there’s been a bit of confusion regarding what exactly that means for not only Iowa State’s recruitment of him but also of his teammate and top-10 2015 recruit Cheick Diallo.
Hopefully I can clear all that up here.
The issue is in regards to the NCAA’s Individual Associated With A Prospect (IAWP) rule. In essence, the rule bars schools from hiring people that are in various ways tied to prospects, in non-coaching positions and then having a program immediately recruiting those same prospects with which that person was/is associated.
It is applicable in ISU’s recruitment of Yakwe because the Cyclones last year hired Tim Mannix as a graduate assistant. Mannix had previously worked with Yakwe in the Team Scan AAU program as an assistant coach of the program’s 16-and-under team. As such, ISU would couldn’t enroll Yakwe until two years from that hire – which would be his expected college enrollment date of summer 2016. If Yakwe were to reclass to 2015, that would fall inside the two-year window that would make ISU unable to take him.
The 2-year clock started when Mannix was hired and would continue to run and apply to Yakwe whether Mannix left ISU or even was promoted to an assistant coach. Simply, ISU cannot enroll Yakwe until after the 2015-16 academic year, which was and still could be his expected timetable. If Yakwe decides to go to a prep school next year, he will remain a member of the 2016 recruiting class and this won’t be an issue. He handicapped the decision as “50-50” as to whether he’ll reclass or head to prep school. Yakwe also indicated he may want to redshirt if he decides to go the college route, which wouldn’t affect ISU’s ability to take him in 2015. but would indicate he’s not necessarily in a rush to play college basketball by next winter.
And I know there’s been concern about what this rule means for ISU’s pursuit of Diallo, who has also played for the Team Scan program. In short, the rule wouldn’t apply because while Mannix worked with the 16U team, Diallo was playing with the 17U squad, thus not making Mannix an IWAP in Diallo’s case.
It all started with a simple early morning tweet that sent recruiting analysts, media outlets and college coaches alike into a frenzy, followed by an eight-hour bus ride from Ontario, Canada, later in the day that had his Orangeville Prep team arriving at the hotel well past 3 a.m. And then there was the team shootaround just a few hours later at noon that didn’t leave much time for an extended rest.
So here is Thon Maker, one of the world’s most highly touted prospects—regardless of class—back at the hotel after shootaround just trying to catch his breath before a game later in the evening on this frigid Thursday afternoon in late February.
“It’s been real crazy,” says the 7-1 center. “I’ve had to really put my phone away. I still had to use it for alarms and stuff. But I turned the privacy on so that I don’t get the text notifications on my phone. I had already turned my Twitter notifications off.”
…Nonetheless, as Maker’s tweet carefully articulated, he’s stopped short of calling it a reclassification just yet. As he increases his workload, the “a lot of hard work ahead” part of the announcement revolves around getting it all done in a short period of time.
“I would say 70 percent chance right now that I can do it,” says Maker, who’s gone from a fragile 165 pounds to 211 now. “I just want to keep it open toward June so that I have both options. I don’t want to just be locked into the 2015 class and then not finish. I want to make sure that when I get closer to graduation time then I can make a decision.”
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