"McLemore scored 30 points on 9-of-13 shooting, including 6-of-10 on 3-point attempts, in a win against Kansas State. He also shot 6-of-6 from the free-throw line and added seven rebounds and three steals. Only one other time has a Big 12 player scored at least 30 points, shot better than 50 percent on field-goal attempts and 3-point attempts, and shot 100 percent on free throws this season. That was also McLemore, when he did it on Jan. 9 against Iowa State. Previously, the last freshman to reach those plateaus in a Big 12 conference game was Kansas State’s Michael Beasley in January 2008 against Iowa State."
This is the type of game Jayhawks fans have come to expect out of the 6-foot-5, 195-pound swingman, who according to KenPom.com, now ranks No. 22 in the nation in true shooting percentage (64.9 percent). Only two other freshmen rank higher: Kentucky forward Alex Poythress (66.7 percent) and Michigan's Nik Stauskas (65.7 percent).
However the fireworks come, Reid knows what she will see next from those fireworks’ origin, redshirt freshman guard Ben McLemore, her son.
“When he do one of his little fancy dunks he comes out with this little smile,” Reid said. “Pretty much that smile is his trademark.”
McLemore provided 40 minutes of fireworks Monday night against Kansas State, draining six of 10 3-pointers and scoring 30 points. He didn’t convert any Fieldhouse foundation-shaking dunks, but only because Kansas State refused to let him take off, fouling him before he came close enough for a fastbreak dunk.
But McLemore’s had plenty of reasons to flash his smile this season. Enough reasons, in fact, that he’s been compared to his role model, former Kansas star Paul Pierce.
McLemore started watching Pierce when he was a junior at Wellston High School near St. Louis. He went to Pierce’s summer camp that year and then met Pierce in person when he came to Lawrence to play in the 2011 Legends of the Phog game.
“His footwork is just crazy,” McLemore said. “I like to watch his footwork a lot because the way he moves it seems like he’s slow, but his footwork makes it seem like he’s moving fast.”
…With seven games left in the regular season, McLemore is on pace to break Danny Manning’s freshman scoring record of 14.6 points per game. McLemore is averaging 16.8 points per game, while Pierce averaged 11.9 points per game as a freshman. But since Manning graduated in 1988, Pierce holds the school’s single-season scoring average record of 20.4 points per game, which he set in 1997-1998.
The significance of Pierce’s college accomplishments isn’t lost on McLemore.
Besides the freshman scoring record, McLemore already has one accomplishment Pierce couldn’t get. It’s an accomplishment no other Jayhawk has — scoring at least 30 points in conference play twice as a freshman.
“When you go to the University of Kansas, you know you’ve got a lot to live up to,” McLemore said. “Watching my teammates play last year and just seeing what they do and seeing how much they put into the game because Kansas basketball has so much tradition and history.”
There was a worthy scene a few weeks back at a women’s basketball game that McLemore attended (he’s been to many of the women’s basketball games this season).
As McLemore was leaving by himself after the game, he was quickly surrounded by Kansas fans, mostly children, that were in awe of the latest crimson and blue sensation.
Did McLemore look upset by this? No, not at all. He looked the opposite, actually. McLemore signed every autograph for anyone who asked. He stood and smiled for every picture, and he took the time to talk to the children who dream of wearing the same uniform one day.
It’s a rare sight to see a 20-year-old kid act so gracious for the love that surrounded him. His twitter handle is @Humb1e_Hungry23, and it’s a perfect title for the kind of person that McLemore seems to be.
Even on the grander scale, after Kansas men’s games, McLemore sticking around in the autograph line has become a legendary tale among both media members and fans that have seen it happen.
He won’t get to speak on senior night, and nor should he, but he will be rightfully recognized and applauded in the pre-game video montage.
And then he’ll be gone, onto bigger and better things.
It’s time to cherish this young man if you haven’t done so already. It’s time to marvel at his unique athleticism and silky smooth jump shot. And it’s time to notice the effect he’s had on the community, and the effect we’ve had on him.
After all, time with Ben is running out.
On most mornings, Keith, 26, climbs out of bed at 6:30 a.m., a young face among the murderers, rapists and death-row inmates at the Potosi Correctional Center, a maximum-security prison 75 miles southwest of St. Louis. His mornings begin at his menial job in the prison’s “Canteen,” where he spends his days filling his fellow inmates’ orders, handing off packages of coffee, potato chips and cookies, counting the hours until he can get to a phone and dial the number he knows by heart.
Life is rough here. Bleak and hopeless. The food is processed and rubbery. And the rules are strict. On some days, Keith says, the anger boils over and he feels like the only answer is another fight. But then he thinks of what he might be risking.
The prison basketball league on Saturday afternoon. The small television in his cell that picks up college games. Those are privileges that can be taken away. And Keith only gets so many chances to watch his younger brother Ben McLemore play basketball for the Kansas Jayhawks. If Keith’s lucky, and the games are on CBS, ESPN or ESPN2, he can battle for a TV in the prison’s rec room. But there’s always the inmate who doesn’t believe his story.
For more than 1,700 days, Keith has been here, locked up behind state-run walls. The State of Missouri says Keith will have to serve at least another seven years. But on a January afternoon, as Keith sits at a small table, surrounded by bare white walls, he tells a visitor about a choice he has to make.
…It was late summer in 2009, just a short time after Keith had been sentenced, and McCaw had recently taken the job at Wellston, one of the poorest schools in the St. Louis area. In some ways, McCaw says now, he got the job because nobody else wanted it.
Decades earlier, in the late 1980s, McCaw had been an All-Metro player at Wellston — also known as Eskridge High — and helped the school win a state title in 1988. He had grown up here, amidst the poverty and gang violence. So many players with college talent had come through here, but few made it out.
“We were kind of like the best that was never was,” McCaw says.
During those years, as McCaw finished high school, he would find himself on a local court, nicknamed the “Spectrum,” with a 20-something named Ben McLemore, a high-flyer could who could leave onlookers breathless. The kids in Wellston took to calling him “Donkey Kong.”
Close to 25 years later, when McCaw accepted the head coaching job at Wellston, he knew of a young kid on the roster. It was Donkey Kong’s son, Ben McLemore III, and he had the potential to be special. This may be the kid, McCaw thought, that Wellston had been waiting for.
The kid just didn’t know it yet.
…Ben had always been a homebody, a quiet soul who preferred the relative calm of his basement, but an attendance issue had caused his grades to suffer during his beginning years of high school. If he wanted to play Division I basketball, McCaw told Ben, he’d have to change.
“I told him,” McCaw says, “I wasn’t going to allow him to fail.”
On the court, Ben faced other challenges. All his life, he had played inside. In the sixth grade, when he suited up at center for the St. Louis Majestics, his first coach, Darius Cobb, had told him that he was only allowed to do two things.
“Rebound and put the ball back in the basket,” Cobb says now.
After his sophomore year of high school, McLemore sprouted three inches to 6 feet 5. But even then, Cobb and McCaw could see his future. He needed to be out on the wing, making plays and scoring.
McCaw mapped out a diet of 5,000 jumpshots a week. For Ben, it became a life of repetition and routine. Rise. Release. Swish. His brother was gone, but Ben was being reborn, an unpolished forward becoming a silky shooting guard, one beautiful jumper at a time.
“He saw that there was another way of life out there,” Cobb says. “He saw that you can create your own destiny.”
That summer, before his junior year, Cobb used an basketball connection to get Ben a spot in KU’s summer camp for elite players. The KU coaches had hardly heard of this young player from St. Louis, and at first, Ben was hesitant. But by the end of camp, Ben was showing off his athleticism in scrimmages against future NBA players Marcus and Markieff Morris, and the KU coaching staff wanted to know more.
A few months later, when the Wellston season was beginning, McCaw wanted to teach Ben another lesson. So he took Ben to watch another young junior named Bradley Beal, a future McDonald’s All-American who would sign with Florida and be a first-round pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. In St. Louis circles, Beal was a phenom, a precocious talent who played for Chaminade, an affluent parochial school.
“This is an elite player,” McCaw told Ben, “This is what we’re building to.”
…“He has an innocence about him that you don’t see in kids that often,” KU coach Bill Self says. “That’s what makes him so cool; he doesn’t see it the same way everybody else sees it.”
“He cares about what other people think,” Self says. “He hates to lose. And certainly prepares to win. But he’s not an assassin. He’s not a guy that sees himself as the guy, ‘Hey, I want to put a team on my back.’ He’ll get there.”
It’s a lot for a 20-year-old to take in, and maybe McLemore can’t fully comprehend it all — at least not yet. In just months, he could become a top pick in the NBA Draft, a moment that could change his life forever. Like most young people, Ben can’t think about his future without thinking about his family. He wants the best for Kevin, a high school senior who is now following his path in basketball. And Ben also thinks about Keith.
“It still sucks he’s not out here with me, supporting me,” Ben says, “But he’s still out there … still blessing me.”
McLemore says he’s not focused on the NBA right now, while those close to him talk about how one more year would put him just one away from graduating. His mother would love that, he says. But he also can’t help but think about what he could do for his family.
“I could give them things they’ve never had before,” he says.
Wichita North’s Conner Frankamp, Kansas’ Ben McLemore and the Miami Heat’s LeBron James are special players, obviously, but it goes beyond their statistics.
It goes to their art.
I was jolted by this notion Monday night at Allen Fieldhouse as I watched KU’s McLemore score 30 points during a 21-point win over Kansas State. He was phenomenal. McLemore’s grace stands out. He’s an elegant basketball player, someone seemingly born to perform with the orange sphere in his hands.
When he shoots the ball, it looks different than a shot from anyone else. McLemore reaches an apex with his leap. The ball lines up perfectly with his hands. The release is flawless and the flight of the ball is as beautiful as a painting.
Think I’m over-doing it? I don’t think I am.
Basketball is such an aesthetically-pleasing game, or at least it can be. And when it is, it’s a game like no other.
I have seen Frankamp play several times during his career and it’s not just that he scores points in bunches, it’s how he scores them. It’s the way he handles the basketball to create his shots. It’s how he pulls up and gets off a shot in the blink of an eye.
Many basketball players plod. They end up getting the job done, but it can be painful to watch.
Basketball is a game meant for symmetry. It has its own cadence and the very best players are the ones with rhythm.
I could say some things today about the big KU vs KSU win last night...a response to all the haters...but I won't. RCJH KU! #Highroad
Johnson — he’s made just five of 25 threes the last four games with 28 assists against 31 turnovers the last nine games — said he doesn’t dwell on the numbers.
“I love my teammates, man,” Johnson said. “They tell me, ‘You are all right. We are still with you. Whether the fans turn or not, whether the people turn or whether they doubt you, we are still with you because we know on the court stuff is not happening when you are not in the game.’ They tell me all the time, ‘Your stats don’t show what you do for us.’ That has helped me get through all of this ... and that means a lot to me.”
Johnson — for the year he averages 9.1 ppg off 36.5 percent shooting with 110 assists against 77 turnovers — said he received a wake-up call after the Feb. 2 home loss to Oklahoma State when coach Bill Self said the Jayhawks, “don’t have a point guard. We’re playing with two guards, which is OK, a lot of people have to do that.”
“It opened my eyes. He was right,” Johnson said. “The point guard of any team, whether they can shoot it, whether they only pass it, whatever they do, they set the tempo for everybody. When they are walking the ball up, the team is going to play slow. When they are (in) attack mode, the team is going to be in attack mode. I’ve got to make sure I’m always in control of the game. I can’t let the other point guard be in control, because when he’s in control his whole team is in control. When I am in control, my team is in control.”
Self on Tuesday’s Hawk Talk radio show praised Johnson for working overtime on his shooting.
“I watched him shoot 25 threes today. Although he shot way more than that, I stayed and watched him shoot 25 going full speed, game speed. All he did was make 20,” Self said. “He’s going to have a great last six weeks. I believe it and think you should believe it. The most important thing is he believes it and I think he will be confident moving forward.”
Self said Johnson, who is coming off offseason knee surgery, obviously isn’t yet 100 percent.
“He hasn’t complained once,” Self said. “But you know, the kid did have knee surgery. He doesn’t have all his bounce back or pop back. He’s starting to get it. I see things in practice. He’s starting to take some steps. Sometimes your body won’t quite cooperate and do what your brain tells it to do. He is used to being more athletic than anybody. He is used to hitting a seam and getting through it. Now he can’t quite get through it but is still trying to hit it. It takes a while to get that pop back. I see it coming.”
Whenever asked by media about his health, Johnson says he’s “100 percent.”
“He knows,” Self said, “if you are out there, you are not hurt. You have to perform.”
…Self noted: “People say Naadir can be out there. That’s true. So Naadir plays 20 minutes, somebody else has to play 20 at the point,” Self said. “I believe in Elijah. He’s my guy. I believe in the kid. I feel for Elijah because all he’s done since he’s been here is win a lot of games.
“Try to picture anybody who is a defense attorney and the next year is told he’s a tax attorney. It’s still law, but a totally different deal. Elijah goes from 2 guard to point guard. Even though he’s still a guard, it’s a different deal. He’s got to shoot better. He will shoot the ball better. He was like this last year too, and came on (during NCAAs).”
“So Danny Manning is at the Sunflower Showdown tonight. I mean because why would you be out recruiting & prepping for #Tulsa right.”
“Danny Manning should not be in the stands cheering for KU like a college kid. Dude is the Head coach at Tulsa, what an epic fail. … A lot of people would luv 2 go visit their son. DM shouldn’t be there. But KU people have always lived in their own world, live it up #TCU.”
John Renshaw, @johnrenshaw365, Twitter
“Danny Manning needs to let go of Kansas and focus on his own program. Bad look to show up with his pom-poms in Lawrence tonight. … I get that Manning’s kid is a walk-on at KU. I just think it looks weird to be there when you have a program to run.”
Dan Wolken, @DanWolken, Twitter
“Finally, what do u mean Manning is cheering for his son? Evan Manning has played 21 minutes all year. What is he cheering? You sat well?”
John Renshaw, @johnrenshaw365, Twitter
The man among the 64 Associated Press voters who put Kansas lowest isn’t afraid to acknowledge he has a rooting interest in the Jayhawks. Jason Franchuk has covered BYU for the Provo Daily Herald the past nine seasons and is part of the KU Class of 2001. His wife, Audrey Hickert, is an '02 graduate.
Normally, Jason and Audrey will DVR the KU games and watch them together. Since nothing was normal about KU’s Wednesday visit to Forth Worth, Franchuk didn’t wait. A friend had texted him wondering what was going on in the TCU game.
“I figured Kansas was up 30 and I turned it on to see what was going on,” Franchuk said. “I was shocked. I covered BYU for six years (against TCU) and BYU never came close to losing to TCU.”
Interestingly, Franchuk this season often has voted KU lower than its ranking, which during one long week toppled from fifth to 14th. On his ballot, the Jayhawks fell all the way to 24th. Franchuk’s doubts predated the TCU clunker.
2/11/13, 8:47 PM
Gutcheck win for the @BrooklynNets Tyshawn Taylor got the opportunity and delivered! Big time performance!
The Nets' resilient, balanced and clutch 89-84 overtime win over the Pacers Monday night just might have been the opening that could launch Tyshawn Taylor's career.
Taylor, a rookie and third-string point guard, ran the show down the stretch, steering the Nets back from a four-point deficit with a minute and a half left in regulation, hitting two big shots in overtime and relishing a rare mass interview afterward, explaining how he had a career-high 12 points on a day that cried out for a lift from somebody.
"Honestly, I don't know if he went into this game saying, 'All right, we're going to play Tyshawn X amount of minutes,' " the rookie said, referring to interim coach P.J. Carlesimo. "I kind of felt he was going to put me out there and see how it went. That's why I'm even happier, because I made the most of that."
…The coach had noticed that Taylor thrives on situations that challenge him. Johnson put it another way: "He's fearless."
Taylor knows that he usually plays sparingly at best, and feels he has to always be at his best.
"It's almost like walking a tightrope," Taylor said. "You make one wrong move, you're out. But I guess that's the challenge. I've learned over my playing career that when I go into a game thinking I don't want to mess up is when I mess up the most. So I'm just going to go out there and play."
Senior guard Angel Goodrich was named to the 2013 Academic All-Big 12 Women's Basketball Team for the fourth-straight season, including the last two years as a first-team honoree, as announced by the league office Tuesday.
Goodrich leads the Big 12 with 66 steals and ranks third in the conference with assists (141). She is second on the team in scoring with 13.2 points per game and a team best 35.5 minutes per contest. Goodrich is also 20 assists shy of becoming the school's all-time career leader.
The Big 12 Conference office named 35 student-athletes to the Academic Big 12 Team, 26 of which, along with Goodrich, were first-team recipients. First-team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better grade-point average (GPA).
KUAD: WBB vs TCU Pregame Notes
By this point in the season, most college basketball coaches expect to be dealing more with answers than questions.
But that has not been the case for the Kansas University women’s basketball team, which will look to snap its second losing skid in the past five weeks at 7 tonight at TCU.
On the heels of one of the more disappointing efforts of the season, a 16-point home loss to West Virginia last Saturday, the Jayhawks are facing questions about mental toughness, defensive fundamentals and even the rotation, given the season-ending injury suffered by starting guard Natalie Knight and the voluntary departure of starting forward Tania Jackson a couple of weeks earlier.
“I wouldn’t say it’s same old, same old,” said senior guard Monica Engelman. “But it is a little more frustrating that we’re struggling with certain things. Because of what we were able to do last season, our expectations were a little higher, but I still have the same expectations and I have no doubt in my mind that we’ll be able to do what we are capable of.”
A Kansas Historical Society review board voted Saturday to recognize 85 acres at the heart of the Lawrence campus as a state historic district.
It’s the first historic district on a university campus in the state. Kansas State University is a few years older and has several buildings on the state historic list, but it does not have a district.
The new KU district, now listed in the Register of Historic Kansas Places, has been forwarded to the National Park Service for consideration for the National Register of Historic Places, said Sarah Martin with the state historical society.
KU already had five buildings recognized by the state as historic: Strong, Bailey, Lippincott, Dyche and Spooner halls. The latest designation applies to 52 spots in all: 16 additional buildings, such as Watson Library, plus the World War II Memorial Campanile, Potter Lake, Marvin Grove and other landmarks.
Jayhawk Boulevard is the district’s spine. Spooner, at the northeast end of the boulevard, is the oldest building in the district.
The district extends north to include “The Hill” south of Memorial Stadium. It includes Lindley Hall on the west and the Prairie Acre area south of Watkins Home in the southeast corner.
“The beauty of our campus doesn’t come from any one building or place, but rather from the whole environment that has been created on Mount Oread,” KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray said Monday in a statement. “This district will help us preserve that environment so future Jayhawks may enjoy the same beautiful, historic campus as their predecessors.”
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K-State and Kansas are tied in first at 8-3 while Oklahoma State sits a half game back with struggling Texas Tech next up on the schedule. Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Baylor all have four losses, but right now it seems like there are only three main contenders.
They could all be labeled the favorite. Oklahoma State has the most talent (Marcus Smart, Le’Bryan Nash, Markel Brown) and an ideal remaining schedule (K-State and Kansas still have to go to Stillwater). Kansas has the most experience coming off eight straight Big 12 titles. And nobody takes care of business better than K-State. The Wildcats don’t have any bad losses.
But all three teams have flaws. The Cowboys are young and have never been in this situation before. Besides, do you really trust Travis Ford as a coach when the pressure is on? The Jayhawks have issues at point guard and will be haunted by a loss at TCU the rest of the way. Their schedule is back-loaded with remaining games at Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Baylor. The Wildcats aren’t getting consistent play inside and play at Texas a week after Myck Kabongo’s return. Kansas and Oklahoma State avoided that road challenge.
It’s a wide-open race that could go in many different directions. Maybe even a three-way tie. No matter what, it will be fun to watch.
Texas' season has been far from what it was forecasted. The Longhorns (10-13) are 2-8 in the Big 12 with their only two wins coming against last-place teams TCU and Texas Tech.
The team's season was derailed when one of its key catalysts, guard Myck Kabongo, had his suspension expanded to 23 games. Kabongo, who opted not to declare for the NBA draft last summer, was suspended for accepting airfare and personal training instruction and then providing false and misleading information about the infractions during two interviews with university officials.
On Monday, Kabongo released a statement expressing his excitement to return to the court now that his suspension has been served. He also said he should have cooperated with school officials when first asked about a 2012 trip to Cleveland.
"I am ready to start playing with my team again and putting behind me the last several months," he said. "When I went to Cleveland, I did not intend to break any rules and did not believe I had broken any. I should have been upfront with UT about everything the first time I had a chance, but I'm glad that I corrected my mistake and I'm glad that I was truthful with the NCAA."
Myck Kabongo won't be the only Texas basketball player making a return tonight. Jonathan Holmes, the forward who broke a bone in his hand last month, has been cleared to play against Iowa State. Holmes, a sophomore from Antonian, averaged 7.7 points and 7.1 rebounds before getting hurt Jan. 21 at Oklahoma. He sat out five games with the injury.
Gotta love University of Texas director of athletics and de facto Big 12 commish DeLoss Dodds - the man is the rich guy at the richest country club in town who just loves to remind you that despite your success you just aren't as rich as he is. And you never will be.
He can't help himself.
In a state of the Texas athletics program with long time Austin-American Statesman columnist Kirk Bohls, Dodds insisted all is well at Club Bevo.
In the column, and this is the quote Dodds is currently getting killed for, he said: "We’re going to have good years again. Our bad years are not that bad. Take a school like Missouri. Our bad years are better than their good years. But we’ve created a standard."
As a University of Kansas undergrad alum, it is my moral obligation to say, 'Well played, DeLoss.' Any shot at Missouri Junior College is always appreciated.
As a fair and balanced journalist who strives for fairness and accuracy at least 33 percent of the time, it is my obligation to say, 'Dude, show some class you arrogant entitled rich kid".
FW Star Telegram
Just got word that Buddy Hield's fractured foot was surgically repaired today. Still looking at 4-to-6-week timetable for return.
These are my issues: First and foremost, OU is not a basketball school.
One cannot be overjoyed about a victory from a secondary sport that doesn’t involve touchdowns. Do we see any die-hard softball fans rushing the field after a signature win? I doubt it.
Secondly, Kansas is now out of the top 10. Did OU fans rush the court after defeating OSU ranked just three spots higher? Of course not.
Barely beating an average, struggling basketball team by escaping from their last-ditch effort, church-league, triangle two defense does not merit the type of celebration that ensued.
The abuse of this tradition definitely is concerning. We’re reaching the point in which the phrase “the game we rushed the court” is becoming “the game we won.”
The reason for rushing the court shouldn’t be because other people seem to be doing it. It should be because your emotions as a fan cannot stop you from doing it.
I firmly believe this court rushing penalized the Sooners’ current ranking. The pollsters realized OU didn’t recognize nor remember how to win games and docked them valuable credentials that will affect them come March.
The Big 12 men’s basketball race has suddenly evolved into a free for all. Nobody is more aware of the madness than Baylor which survived a three-game losing streak to become a player in the conference chase.
After blowing past Texas Tech last weekend, the Bears know they need to protect their homecourt again against West Virginia at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Ferrell Center.
“You can’t count us out,” Baylor guard Pierre Jackson said. “The Big 12 is wide open and everyone has tough games every night. We’ll be on top when all is said and done.”
Several Adidas schools will wear short sleeve compression jersey this season, including possibly Indiana, Louisville, UCLA, Kansas, Baylor.
It was a rout of such epic proportions in the 75-52 win for Michigan State against its archrival that walk-ons -- three of whom hadn't been given jerseys with names stitched to their backs -- got to play.
Also unclear is what became of Michigan's big-name players in the smackdown at Breslin Center that left the Spartans yukking it up on the sideline in the game's final moments and provided the Izzone with target practice for all its favorite chants.
Gary Harris with his hot shooting led the Spartans (21-4) with 17 points, and Derrick Nix bullied his way in the paint to 14 points.
Trey Burke led all scorers with 18 points for the Wolverines, who were subjected to laughter from Michigan State students at the announcement shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. had finished with two points.
Kentucky was immature, its weaknesses laid open.
"This was almost a game that exposed us physically," Calipari said. "And they did a good job of it."
Something else got exposed. The supposed progress this team has made looked more imaginary than real inside the O'Connell Center. This wasn't Auburn or South Carolina or LSU the Cats were playing. This wasn't even Ole Miss, which the Cats beat in Oxford two Tuesdays ago.
This was the best team in the league, by a wide margin, and Kentucky was nowhere near ready.
"We played soft, scared," said senior guard Julius Mays. "Guys played uptight. We let the pressure get to us."
At the half, UK had more turnovers (11) than field goals (10). Defensively, the Cats were beaten repeatedly to the rim. Ironically, Calipari's team was dusted by the dribble-drive, the Gators proceeding as if they owned an E-Z pass to the bucket.
Calipari said this would be a big game for guards. Unfortunately, Kentucky's young tandem came up small.
Harrow ended up playing just 19 minutes and failed to score. Goodwin had as many turnovers (four) as baskets (four).
Meanwhile, down low, Poythress missed eight of his nine shots. On several of those, he barely got the ball out of his hands before being smothered.
…There was 8:03 left in the basketball game when a bad night for Kentucky suddenly got much, much worse.
There was Nerlens Noel lying under the Florida basket, clutching his left knee and screaming in pain.
It's one thing to lose to Florida.
It's quite another to lose Nerlens Noel.
"I'm not thinking about that right now," said UK coach John Calipari, who said only that the freshman forward was taken to a hospital in Gainesville to be examined. "I'm just thinking about the kid."
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3. Jayhawks turn with Randle.
Ask any hoops recruit which college shows them the best time during a visit and, more times than not, you’ll hear Kansas. This weekend, the Jayhawks will try and woo Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas) forward Julius Randle, who is ranked No. 2 in the Rivals150.
Randle visited Texas this past weekend. The Kansas visit will be Randle’s last before he decides between the Jayhawks, Texas, N.C. State, Oklahoma, Florida and Kentucky.
And yes, Kansas will have plenty of red velvet cake for Randle’s mother Carolyn Kyles. Every school recruiting Randle so far has tried to impress Kyles by having her favorite cake on hand.
“They said they’re ready for us,” Kyles said of Kansas.
After visiting Florida State earlier this season, Wiggins high school coach Rob Fulford is looking at dates with Kentucky, North Carolina and Kansas.
John Calipari and the Wildcats will be the first to receive a visit from Wiggins when he comes to Lexington on Feb. 27 as the Wildcats host Mississippi State.
Following his visit to Kentucky, Wiggins will next visit Kansas to see the Jayhawks and Bill Self. Wiggins will be in Lawrence on March 4 for the Jayhawks' final home game against Texas Tech.
The high-flying wing will wrap up his visits on March 9 when he heads to Chapel Hill to visit with Roy Williams and the Tar Heels. That will put him in town for the Heels' final home game of the year against archrival Duke.
There is no timetable for Wiggins to make a decision and his parents have yet to confirm that the visit dates are concrete so the visits could change. But for now, the senior who has yet to mention any favorites looks to have his visits set.
Moreover, Ohio State and Syracuse have been eliminated from Wiggins' list. The four aforementioned schools are all that remain for the No. 1 prospect in the class of 2013.
Jordan Brand, a division of NIKE, Inc., has selected 22 of the top prospects in the country, including all of the Top-10 rated players from the ESPN 100, highlighted by No.1 Andrew Wiggins (Huntington, WV/Undecided), No. 2 Jabari Parker (Chicago, Duke), No. 3 Andrew Harrison (Ft. Bend, TX/Kentucky), No. 4 Julius Randle (Dallas, Undecided) and No. 5 Aaron Harrison (Ft. Bend, TX/Kentucky).
The Jordan Brand Classic event will also include a Regional Game, showcasing the top prep players from the New York metropolitan area in a “City vs. Suburbs” showdown, and the sixth annual International Game featuring the top 16-and-under players from around the world.
The tripleheader will begin with the International Game at 3:30 PM followed by the Regional Game at 5:30 PM, and the All-American Game at 8:00 PM. The International and regional rosters will be announced at a later date.
“This year’s roster could be one of the most talented in the 12 years of the Jordan Brand Classic – even with an alumni list that has become the who’s who of basketball,” said Larry Miller, President of Jordan Brand. “The event will be an incredible showcase of talent reaching millions of people around the world through ESPN2 and in person at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.”
Additional selections for this year’s event include Joel Embiid (Gainesville, FL/Kansas), Tyler Ennis (Newark, NJ/Syracuse), Aaron Gordon (San Jose, CA/Undecided), Kasey Hill (Montverde, FL/Florida), Kuran Iverson (Waynesboro, VA/Memphis), Rondae Jefferson (Chester, PA/Arizona), Dakari Johnson (Montverde, FL/Kentucky), Matt Jones (DeSoto, TX/Duke), Marcus Lee (Antioch, CA/Kentucky), Kennedy Meeks (Charlotte, NC/North Carolina), Bobby Portis (Little Rock, AR/Arkansas), Wayne Selden (Tilton, NH/Kansas), Noah Vonleh (New Hampton, NH/Indiana), Chris Walker (Bonifay, FL/Florida), Troy Williams (Mouth of Wilson, VA/Indiana), Nigel Williams-Goss (Henderson, NV/Washington) and James Young (Rochester, MI/Kentucky).
Jordan Brand Classic
Two years ago, Jordan Brand invited a lesser-known prospect named Otto Porter to its event. A small-town forward with a ton of state championships, Porter was good, not great, at the event, but it foreshadowed that he could be. Jordan Brand took a chance on Porter (as evaluators, we applauded the chance to see him) and it paid huge dividends since he’s now one of the best players in college basketball at Georgetown.
Knowing that the bold move worked once, Jordan Brand went back to the well this year with center Joel Embiid. Though he signed with Kansas, Embiid isn’t likely to be a hot property on the all-star circuit. He hasn’t had the time to build his reputation. However, he’s about to get tested in this event. He’ll line up against the likes of Randle, Florida signee Chris Walker and UNC-bound Kennedy Meeks.
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Sure, Conner Frankamp wants the City League basketball scoring record — and he’s closing in on it with two regular-season games to go — but the North senior also wants a little rest.
A breather was hard to come by over the weekend, when Frankamp scored 74 combined points on back-to-back nights without ever leaving the court in wins over Southeast and Kapaun Mount Carmel.
By scoring the first six points of the fourth quarter in Tuesday’s 78-39 win over South, Frankamp afforded himself a break. He finished with 40 points in the victory and is 35 points behind the record set by Heights’ Perry Ellis last season.
North (16-2, 13-1) captured its first outright City League title since 1974, an accomplishment that was met with minimal enthusiasm by the Redskins.
“It was nice to get a little rest tonight, for almost the (entire) fourth quarter, which is nice,” Frankamp said. “Last Saturday I was tired in the Southeast game; last Friday was tough, as well.”
With 34 points through three quarters and North holding a comfortable lead, perhaps Frankamp’s night could have ended after he scored 15 points in the third.
He scored six quick points in the fourth before sitting down, giving North a 30-point lead to ensure a running clock during the final 6:33.
Q&A with Rashad Vaughn
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