If you were asking yourself, "Is it impressive that Kansas is keeping the ball after 73.8 percent of Withey's blocks?" the answer is YES, that's an insanely good number. When I charted Anthony Davis' blocks last season, Kentucky only kept the ball 58.4 percent of the time, and that was considered good.
SI Luke Win Power Rankings: Kansas #8
By Withey’s early-season standards, his performance was rather pedestrian. But by most normal standards, it was another defensive clinic. Withey’s five blocks gave him 45 for the season, second-most in the nation behind Arizona State’s Jordan Bachynski.
After eight games, Withey leads the NCAA with 5.6 blocks per game, and his block percentage — the percentage of opponents’ shots he blocks while he’s on the floor — is 20.07 percent. As of Wednesday, only 21 teams were blocking more shots per game than Withey.
After a breakout junior season, Withey has gone from an emerging defensive force to a player that can change a game on one end of the floor.
“He’s evolved as a pretty good basketball player,” KU coach Bill Self says, “there’s no question about that.”
In defensive terms, Withey is an All-America talent. According to advanced statistical metrics, Withey’s defense may be worth as much as five to six points per game, on average. But in other terms — namely the ability to block shots while not committing fouls — Withey has a rare gift.
“Just uncanny,” Self says.
Self, fellow walk-ons Christian Garrett, Niko Roberts and Evan Manning, as well as red-shirt scholarship player Landen Lucas and others not in the current rotation, try to make pests of themselves while running the upcoming opponents’ defense and offense during high-octane drills and scrimmage situations.
It was Self’s offense that sent KU’s student section into a frenzy during Saturday’s KU-Colorado game.
Self, who entered with 1:44 left, put the finishing touches on a 90-54 victory by hitting a driving layup off the glass at :02.
“Looking at it from a history standpoint, it’s a big deal to me,” Self said of joining the fraternity of individuals who have scored points for KU’s tradition-rich program. “But in my eyes, it’s not anything really too special because I’m out here trying to get better, to make the team better.”
San Diego State men's basketball and Kansas have agreed to start a home-and-home series beginning in 2013-14.
The Aztecs will open the series at Kansas in January, 2014. The final date is still to be determined, but the game will take place on either Saturday, Jan. 4, or Sunday, Jan. 5.
The series will skip a season before the Jayhawks return the game and play inside Viejas Arena in 2015-16. That date has not been determined.
Redshirt junior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc became the first Kansas volleyball player to earn All-America honors as the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) awarded Jarmoc Second Team accolades on Wednesday morning.
Jarmoc, a native of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, has enjoyed a long list of program firsts accompanied by a longer list of awards for her consistent performance all season long. The most recent recognition, however, marks a program milestone. Only one Jayhawk has previously earned Academic All-America honors (Paula Caten, 2005), but none has reached All-America status - until Jarmoc.
Olivia Wilde is reportedly engaged to her boyfriend Jason Sudeikis.
The 28-year-old actress has apparently been secretly planning her wedding to Saturday Night Live star Jason.
Sources have revealed the couple have been visiting venues in Jason's hometown of Kansas City in preparation for their big day.
"Everyone in town is buzzing about the wedding," a source revealed to RadarOnline. "They have already booked the venue and are in the process of finalising the rest of the details."
Divorcee Olivia has been dating her beau for around a year. She has made several visits to the actor-and-comedian's home town since her first trip accompanying him to a University of Kansas basketball game in December last year. Residents have reported that the last time Olivia was in town a diamond engagement ring could be spotted on her finger.
"Jason is a hometown boy at heart, and he is super close to his family and all his friends there," the source continued. "It has always been his dream to get married back in Kansas City."
Kansas 2012-13 MBB Schedule
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Big 12/College News
Isaiah Austin had 23 points and 17 rebounds, Pierre Jackson scored 21 points and Baylor beat Lamar 85-68 Wednesday night.
Baylor had a 16-point lead erased just after halftime, but the Bears pulled away with a 13-2 run in the second half.
Indiana finally gets 6-8 freshman Hanner Mosquera-Perea and 7-foot freshman Peter Jurkin eligible for Saturday's game against Butler in Indianapolis. The two players add tremendous length and size as well as giving the Hoosiers 10 more frontcourt fouls if Cody Zeller ever has foul issues. It's unclear if either player can be extremely effective in a game like Saturday's, or if they'll even see the court, but having them on the bench makes the top team in the country deeper and even more attractive as a title pick.
…Marquette, Georgetown, Villanova and St. John's will do everything in their power to remain in what they perceive is an elite conference -- whether that's in the Big East or forming their own conference. But if the whole thing ever splinters then DePaul, Providence and Seton Hall may not have the same options. There is strength in numbers as a group of seven. But each school is also thinking about itself and can't afford to lose out on something for the sake of the group. I have been told that there is no way the A-10 would be able to pull off a 21-team league. But I think we all have learned that nothing is certain anymore. A number of the football schools remaining in the Big East don't think the Catholic schools will be able to dissolve the league or break off because they would need the football schools to get the best possible television deal. Stay tuned. ...
If the seven basketball schools leave the Big East, it will be a crippling blow to the Big East's media rights negotiations. Last week CBSSports.com projected the value of the Big East's media rights revenue between $60 million and $80 million.
An industry source thought the figure would be closer to $50 million, he told ESPN on Tuesday. The estimates reported by CBSSports.com and ESPN both included the basketball schools as part of the package.
If the Big East lost the seven Catholic basketball schools, it would decrease the value of the league's media rights by "15 to 20 percent," an industry source said.
All these factors also could affect decisions by Boise State and San Diego State to join the league in 2013 as football-only members. Both schools have reiterated in the past that they are committed to the Big East, but if the seven basketball schools leave, it could erase any potential financial gains Boise and SDSU would get from leaving the Mountain West for the Big East.
On Tuesday night, Marquette athletic director Larry Williams was critical of the future membership of the Big East.
"The Big East that Marquette joined in 2005, boy, that's a different looking animal going forward over the next couple of years," Williams told 540 ESPN Milwaukee. "It's prompted some deeper discussion what futures are for schools such as Marquette, Georgetown and Villanova."
Deshaun Thomas did most of his damage in the first half. By then, he was just about done, and so was Savannah State.
Thomas scored all but one of his 22 points in the first 20 minutes and No. 7 Ohio State (7-1) showed its firepower inside and out in handing Savannah State (5-5) an 85-45 thrashing Wednesday night in Columbus, Ohio.
LaQuinton Ross added 13 points and tied a career high with nine rebounds, Shannon Scott had a career-best 12 points to go with four steals and three assists, and Evan Ravenel chipped in with 11 points and nine rebounds for OSU.
Missouri announced an agreement to play a two-game nonconference basketball series with Arizona in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.
The Tigers will play the Wildcats at the McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz., on Dec. 13, 2015, and Arizona will visit Mizzou Arena on Dec. 10, 2016.
The eighth-ranked Wildcats haven't sold out the 14,538-seat McKale Center yet in five home games but have come close: UA drew 14,503 for its opener against Charleston Southern on Nov. 11 and has averaged 13,577 fans.
During an ESPNU podcast Monday, Arizona coach Sean Miller praised UA fans for their support.
"We have incredible tradition," Miller said. "We when we have a home game, there's 14,500 people there, whether it's Long Beach State in the third game of the season or if we're playing Florida on Saturday.
"If you look around college basketball, it's amazing how so many high major programs who have good traditions or good teams don't have that (crowd) game-in and game-out. Tucson is one of those special places to be in. They care a lot about college basketball. I'm lucky to be here, and I hope we can continue to grow and be better."
Arizona Daily Star
So why don’t the power conferences just leave the NCAA and create their own organization? Let’s call it the Big-Time College Football Association, for the purposes of this thought experiment. It’s not as crazy as it sounds.
Practically speaking, the NCAA does almost nothing for college football. It doesn’t draw up schedules, market teams or negotiate TV contracts. All the NCAA does, really, is set and enforce the rules, on and off the field. It wouldn’t be hard for the BTCFA to write its own rulebook -- picking and choosing from the NCAA’s -- and create its own enforcement arm. Done. NCAA replicated.
Except for one thing, of course: Membership in the NCAA has long protected schools from lawsuits challenging the amateur status of their players, which is another way of saying that it has allowed schools to avoid paying their athletes.
The BTCFA could continue to press this specious claim to the courts, arguing that even without the cover of the NCAA, it is no less committed to the “Athenian concept of a complete education derived from fostering full growth of both mind and body.” (Over-the-top language courtesy of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.)
Or it could drop the fig leaf, start paying taxes and show itself in its full, naked commercial glory.
That sounds self-destructive -- who breaks up their own cartel, let alone a tax-exempt one? -- but it might actually be the smarter move. Ironically, unleashing the free market on college football could help save members of the BTCFA from their own greed and short-sightedness, which has left many of them crying poverty, like wealthy bankers who can’t afford to service the debt on their Gulfstream jets.
Here’s the problem, as explained by the sports economist Andy Schwarz: Under the current arrangement, player costs are artificially low. That doesn’t mean universities necessarily spend less money; it just means that they spend it on other things, such as coaches and stadiums and players-only dormitories outfitted like luxury hotels.
Bloomberg: Is this the beginning of the end of the NCAA?
2012-13 Early Season Events List
Big 12 Composite Schedule
Tyus Jones scored 36 points to spark Apple Valley to a 82-68 victory over Minnetonka on Tuesday night, impressing a group of college coaches including Bill Self of Kansas and Mike Krzyzewski of Duke. Jones, a junior point guard, is attracting national attention from coaches and recruiters for many college basketball powers.
Minn Star Tribune
KC Star: Hy-Vee Shootout results
the nation will get a chance to watch quite possibly the best high school player Santa Clara County has produced Thursday on the main ESPN network at 5 p.m.
That’s not ESPNU, ESPN2, ESPN3 or ESPNGazillion.
Aaron Gordon and the Archbishop Mitty Monarchs will be on the main network in a high school showcase live from Houston. The opponent will be another national power, Travis Fort Bend.
Behind its senior superstar, Mitty is off to a 2-0 start.
Gordon scored 18 points in a 64-42 rout of Jesuit of Carmichael on Friday and 24 in a 71-65 win over another powerhouse, Sheldon of the Sacramento area, on Saturday.
Travis Fort Bend is 10-1 as the Kentucky-bound Harrison twins — Aaron and Andrew — are each averaging 18-plus points per game.
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