Kansas and Oklahoma State are the only other teams with two surefire first-round picks; the Jayhawks have Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey, and the Cowboys have Marcus Smart and Le'Bryan Nash.
…I'm also tuning in to Colorado-Kansas on Saturday. I really think we've underrated the talent on the Jayhawks this season and I'm excited to see a number of Colorado prospects, including Andre Roberson and freshman Josh Scott, go up against them.
ESPN Insider Chad Ford ($)
Kansas center Jeff Withey has been named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for games of Nov. 26 - Dec. 2. The honor is voted on by a media panel which covers Big 12 men’s basketball.
Withey helped Kansas to a 2-0 week with wins over San Jose State (70-57) and Oregon State (84-78). The San Diego, Calif., senior recorded the 13th triple-double in Big 12 history and just the second official one in Kansas history with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 12 blocked shots versus SJSU. It was the first triple-double in historic Allen Fieldhouse. The 12 rejections were a Big 12 and school single-game record.
For the week, he averaged 16.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 7.5 blocks while shooting 70 percent (14-of-20) from the field. Withey has five career outings with eight or more blocked shots. This is the second career Big 12 Player of the Week honor for Withey. He also was named Feb. 13 of last season.
Withey’s honor gives Kansas back-to-back Big 12 Player of the Week recognition. Last week KU senior guard Travis Releford won the award.
College basketball coaches around the country have been celebrating the life of Rick Majerus, the former Marquette, Ball State, Utah and Saint Louis coach who died Saturday at the age of 64.
“He was one of the best coaches our sport has ever seen from an X’s and O’s standpoint without question,” Kansas University coach Bill Self said Monday on his weekly “Hawk Talk” radio show. “He was a detailed guy. He was a very bright guy.
“He was a tough guy, but a good guy,” added Self, who indicated he’d “been around Rick quite a bit” the past several years.
…“So I got here (KU), and ... he calls out of the blue during finals week at Utah. He comes out and spends four days with us. He left his assistants to run practice (at Utah) because he wanted to watch us practice. We ate a lot of food in those four days,” Self added. The rotund Majerus was known for his appetite.
“He was a pro (at eating),” Self added with a laugh. “There was a wing place on Clinton Parkway that had 12 different sauces. He wanted to go there every meal. I learned a lot from him. I watched him do a clinic one time. I took six or seven things from the clinic that made sense that I had never thought of before. It’s the way he teaches.”
…“His knee will be fine,” Self said of Johnson, who had nine assists against four turnovers and scored six points with four rebounds while playing 28 minutes in Friday’s 84-78 victory over Oregon State in Sprint Center.
“He is nicked up a bit. He had some fluid in it. I don’t think it’ll be anything that’s structurally wrong at all. We looked at it. There’s nothing there. He got it hit, bruised. It takes awhile to come back from that.
“He has to respond in a way where he does feel a little better. He is not playing any different than he played last year. He’s just not playing like Tyshawn (Taylor) played last year from an explosion standpoint. We’ve got to help him do some things where he can drive the ball more downhill, so to speak, as opposed to side-to-side. I think those are correctable things.”
Warriors' guard Brandon Rush told CSNBayArea.com NBA Insider Ric Bucher that he is leaving for New York on Monday, Dec. 3 and plans to have surgery on his knee by the end of next week.
Rush suffered a season-ending injury, tearing his ACL on Nov. 2 when he came down awkwardly on his left leg after being fouled while going up for a dunk by the Memphis Grizzlies' Zach Randolph.
The Kansas women's basketball team continues to collect victories and climb the national polls, as the Jayhawks moved up three spots in the Associated Press Top-25 Poll Monday and are tied at No. 17 with UCLA.
The No. 17 ranking is the highest Kansas has been ranked in the AP Poll since Dec. 6, 1999, when KU was No. 14.
The Jayhawks, along with the Bruins, each collected 333 votes in this week's poll. KU, at 7-0 this season, is one of 19 undefeated NCAA Division I women's basketball programs remaining. Five unbeaten teams, including Kansas, compete in the Big 12 Conference.
KU posted a 2-0 record last week with a pair of wins at Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks topped Grambling State, 101-47, before beating Minnesota Sunday, 65-53. Kansas has still not allowed an opponent to score 60 or more points this season.
The Jayhawks will have a tough test Thursday night, as Kansas travels to Arkansas for a non-conference tilt. The game will be televised on Cox Cable and is scheduled to tip at 7 p.m.
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Today’s 7 p.m. Hilton Coliseum opponent is 6-3 Florida Gulf Coast, and it’s the start of a four-game, 12-day marathon that wouldn’t be so bad if there wasn’t an academic component thrown into the mix.
“It’s going to be tough, this stretch,” said junior Melvin Ejim, “but it’s nothing compared to the Big 12 — when we’re going to be grinding all the time.”
This is the last week before semester finals start Dec. 10.
…A team that played in the past six NCAA Tournaments on Saturday, Florida Gulf Coast tonight and then at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday.
“I think our guys will be ready,” Hoiberg said.
The two basketball hoops stand at different heights a little too close to one another, the uneven concrete cracked beneath each one and the net nearly ripped off one of the rims.
All that's left now are the remnants of a basketball court outside Otto Porter Jr.'s late grandmother's home.
Here, just a few feet from the gravel road in a town of 206, is where Georgetown's star sophomore became a basketball player.
…Rather than seek the sneakers and exposure offered by AAU teams, Otto played with his cousins at his grandma's court. When he was in high school, he scrimmaged against his father and uncles, learning how to fight for rebounds and that there's no such thing as a foul to bail you out.
Otto didn't take the path traveled by most elite basketball players, though their end destination — the NBA — might be the same.
Kentucky, a week after sliding from No. 3 to No. 8, fell completely out of The Associated Press' college basketball poll Monday, becoming the biggest single-week drop from the rankings since they were expanded to 25 teams in 1990.
It was also the first time since John Calipari became coach for the 2009-10 season that Kentucky's name didn't appear in the Top 25.
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University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari’s powerful recruiting train could gain further steam today with the college decision of 6-foot-10 forward Karl Towns Jr., rated the nation’s No. 1 prospect in the sophomore class by Scout.com.
Towns will announce his choice at 10 a.m. EST at his school, St. Joseph High in Metuchen, N.J. The announcement will be televised in that region by MSG Varsity and streamed live nationally on MSGVarsity.com.
UK is widely considered the favorite to land Towns, whose height and exceptional shooting have earned him comparisons to Dirk Nowitzki.
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