Kansas student-athletes proved they could compete with the best in the Big 12, nation and world during the 2011-12 season and eight of the finest Jayhawk performers have been nominated for Male and Female Athlete of the Year awards to be presented at the Rock Chalk Choice Awards at the Lied Center of Kansas Sunday.
Thomas Robinson (Basketball), Michael Stigler (Track and Field), and Tyshawn Taylor (Basketball) are the nominees on the men’s side, while Paris Daniels (Track and Field), Diamond Dixon (Track and Field), Andrea Geubelle (Track and Field), Maggie Hull (Softball), Ingrid Vidal (Soccer) are the nominees on the women’s side as announced by the Kansas Athletics Student-Athlete Development Office Wednesday. The winners will be announced at the Academy Awards-like celebration Sunday. Due to space limitations at the Lied Center the event is by invitation only and limited to athletic department staff, student-athletes, KU faculty and selected dignitaries.
SMU coach Larry Brown will host the SMU Basketball Coaching Clinic at Moody Coliseum on Oct. 7. In addition to Brown, the event will feature John Calipari of Kentucky, Bill Self of Kansas, Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs and Mark Turgeon of Maryland.
Guest lectures and Q&A sessions will be held in the morning and afternoon. Brown and his staff will also stage a practice with the Mustangs. The event is open to coaches and fans. Cost is $75 before Oct. 7. Information:214-768-3501; or email SMUCoachingClinic@gmail.com.
Cole Aldrich couldn’t stop smiling on Tuesday’s 16-hour flight from Johannesburg back to the United States as he reflected on a rewarding 12-day NBA-sponsored Basketball Without Borders excursion to that impoverished land.
“The biggest thing I noticed while we were there was the joy — the tears from the people knowing that we cared about them,” former Kansas University center Aldrich said Wednesday from Allen Fieldhouse. “They are in townships surrounded by all this poverty and tough things. You don’t always see people coming in wanting to give their time and showing care and affection and love toward them.”
…Aldrich, who was in his old college town just a day, played pick-up basketball with various current and former Jayhawks on Wednesday. Also on hand was Sacramento Kings rookie Thomas Robinson, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft following his junior year at KU. Former KU guard Xavier Henry of the New Orleans Hornets was in town last weekend.
“He definitely has the work ethic,” Aldrich said of Robinson. “He will learn a few things on the court this season and things like that. He’s going to be a good (pro) player.”
Aldrich, meanwhile, is in the final year of his rookie contract that will pay him $2,445,480 this season. He’ll make $3,245,151 in 2013-14 if the team picks up his option. If not, he’d be a free agent.
“I think this year is big for me obviously,” the 6-foot-11, 245-pound, third-year pro said. He’s received precious little playing time his first two years in the pros. “Nazr Mohammed signed with the Bulls. It opens a lot of opportunity for me to earn that backup (center) spot. I had a good summer, worked hard. I’ll go in there with the same work ethic I’ve had since high school, and things will take care of itself. I’m excited for the opportunity.”
On a personal note, Bloomington, Minn., native Aldrich reported that he will marry KU graduate Britt Claflin next summer in a ceremony back in Minnesota.
Filmmakers for the 1950s-era basketball movie “Jayhawkers” are recruiting extras for game scenes being shot this weekend in Topeka.
Shoot dates at Topeka High School will be from late morning through the night on Saturday and Sunday.
For information on “Jayhawkers,” visit www.facebook.com/JayhawkersMovie.
People interested in being an extra can contact Kalif Fuller at email@example.com for details.
Kansas 2012-13 Schedule
Big 12/College News
Texas Tech Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt revealed Wednesday the university in January reported secondary rules violations by the men’s basketball program to the NCAA and subsequently served sanctions for exceeding allowable practice hours.
Red Raiders coach Billy Gillispie was reprimanded at the time, and Hocutt said he made it clear he’d have “zero tolerance for further disregard for the rules.”
Published reports in the past week cited several Tech players accusing Gillispie of mistreatment and far exceeding NCAA practice-hour limits, putting the program in what Hocutt on Wednesday
termed “an unusual and unfortunate position.”
“If this investigation proves that there were further NCAA rules violations — and again, at this point in time everything has been alleged — then I’m going to be very disappointed and we will handle it accordingly,” Hocutt told the Avalanche-Journal.
Asked if Gillispie could be fired, Hocutt did not answer directly.
“We’ve got some serious issues on the table that we’re working through,” Hocutt said. “What the end result is, I don’t want to speculate. I can’t get ahead of myself here. We’ve got to take it day by day, step by step. We will get to the right place.”
Hocutt didn’t provide an exact timeline for a decision on Gillispie’s status, but he hinted the process could move quickly.
“We’re going to move as expeditiously as possible,” Hocutt said, “but I can’t speculate how long that’s going to be. ... “Practice starts officially approximately a month from now, so it is a time-sensitive manner that we will handle accordingly.”
Grantland spent some time with talented forward Royce White leading up to the NBA draft and produced this incredible “hockumentary.” You must watch it. Now. White, who suffers from general anxiety disorder, was a star at Iowa State and had Top 10 talent, but fell to 16th in the draft due to his illness. The buildup to the 4-minute mark is terrific, and then White’s agent tells him everyone is “out” (passing on him), except for Kevin McHale (“the rest of the room is against you”). Riveting stuff.
Tad Boyle and Colorado won 24 games and earned a surprising trip to the NCAA tournament last season. No one thought the Buffs would be dancing, not after losing Alec Burks and Cory Higgins.
The Buffs lost three starters off last year's group, but Boyle is upbeat and optimistic about his highly touted freshmen class -- which includes six new faces -- especially after the recent overseas trip to Paris, Belgium and Holland.
"We're deep and talented," Boyle said. "I'm really, really excited about the future of our program."
Ditto for Colorado basketball fans.
The anger and frustration are seeping in from literally every corner of the country right now, directed inland toward a brick building in Indianapolis.
At the moment, the vitriol lives in Los Angeles, Lexington, Providence and Raleigh -- but that's just for 2012.
It's always somewhere about this time of the year, in those panicky days when classes have started or are about to start on a college campus.
And the ire always is directed at NCAA headquarters, as fans wait for the puff of smoke signaling that their top prospect has been given the NCAA all-clear to play ball.
When Arizona State basketball coach Herb Sendek named former NBA head coach Eric Musselman and longtime NBA assistant Larry Greer to his staff this week we wondered, as many of you might have: Did Sendek just hire his replacement?
After all, Musselman is a young, fiery, ambitious coach who is known for playing exciting offensive basketball. And he’s been looking for the right opportunity to get into the college game since he was let go by the Sacramento Kings in 2007.
However, something entirely different occurred to Jeff Van Gundy, the ESPN/ABC analyst who is Sendek’s friend and mentor.
“Listen,” Van Gundy said Wednesday. “Herb is a very serious guy. You’re not going to share a lot of belly laughs with him.
“But he’s got balls, you know? I’ve always appreciated that about him.”
The University of Missouri Kansas City may have a new name by the end of the year. In an email, Chancellor Leo Morton says they're exploring and testing public reaction to two proposed names: The University of Kansas City and Kansas City University.
Close to 70% of UMKC's enrollment comes from the Kansas City Metro and 75% of graduates stay in the area to work. The name change would emphasize the University's importance to the Kansas City community, says University spokesman John Martellaro.
He says they started thinking about the name change after University of Missouri Rolla changed its name to Missouri S&T. "They went to a name that better describes who and what they are and what they're all about. For us, a city name, does the same thing," says Martellaro.
ESPN Tip-Off Marathon schedule
2012-13 Early Season Events List
Top recruit Jabari Bird (Richmond, Calif./Salesian) committed to California on Wednesday.
Bird, the son of former Golden Bear star Carl Bird, cancelled his remaining recruiting trips before announcing his decision. The shooting guard also had been considering Washington, Oregon and Colorado.
"It's the hometown school," Bird said. "It's been one of my favorites for a long time. It's perfect right now."
California coach Mike Montgomery has to be quietly hoping that Bird's decision is the catalyst for what's to come. Ranked No. 20 by ESPN, Bird could be a pied piper for other recruits.
During his official visit to Berkeley over the weekend, Bird was on campus with two other elite prospects. Power forward Aaron Gordon (San Jose, Calif./Bishop Mitty) and forward Marcus Lee (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) are prime Cal targets.
"I'm trying to get Marcus Lee and Aaron Gordon and maybe a few other guys from SoCal," Bird said. "We can be the top class in 2013 if they all decided to come."
My 2012 KU Alumni games, 2011-12 Border War, Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos and more now on Youtube