11/12/13 5:45 PM
Kansas only team winless in Champions Classic. But predictor of March success? NCAA Ws last 2 years: KU 7, UK 6, MichSt 4, Duke 3
11/12/13, 9:02 PM
RockchalkjayHawks let's go
11/12/13, 9:07 PM
Lets go! KANSAS!
@Next718star Russell Robinson
SHOUTOUT to our men's basketball team out in Chicago tonight playing Duke!
@Dollbaby_duo Gonzalez twins KUWBB
It's about to go down. #SHOWTIME
11/12/13, 9:21 PM
Get em young fellas #RockChalk
11/12/13, 9:10 PM
Tyus Jones on tonight's #Kansas-#Duke game: "The outcome won't affect my decision at all. I'm just ready to watch both of them play!"
Taking Jabari Parker in the matchup!!!
@Im_that_dude22 Jayson Tatum
11/12/13, 9:52 PM
This is a high-level game right here. Both teams play clean and with great skill.
11/12/13, 9:55 PM
.@WayneSeldenJr leading Kansas with 7 points and showing exactly why he was a McDonald's All American.
11/12/13, 9:57 PM
Pretty big ovation at the timeout for Kirk Hinrich, who is wearing a Kansas hat.
11/12/13, 11:37 PM
Rooooooooooock chalkkkkkkkkk Jayhawk kuuuuuuuuuuuu wooooooooooooo. Big win for my fellas. Let's build on this win and keep goin.
Translator app won't show me how to say #RockChalkJayhawk in Chinese. So, #RockChalkJayhawk
@DBlock_Official Darnell Jackson
11/12/13, 11:37 PM
U hear the chant
"Rock Chalk..." resonating thru United Center. Best chant in sports.
Me to NBA scout: "What'd ya think?" Reply: "I'll take any of em."
11/12/13, 11:35 PM
JP✌... Good luck this season...See you in the green room.. (Wig voice)
Shout out to the KU fans in Chicago making a difference!
11/12/13, 11:39 PM
#RockChalkJayhawk lets get it !!
@K_Ctmd22 Kelly Paul Oubre Jr.
Great Win by the Boys!! Now it's our turn!! Be there this weekend as we take on West V at 11am #KUfball #kubball
11/12/13, 11:44 PM
!!!! “@mchalmers15: I said it once and imma say it twice. It's a great day to b a Jayhawk. Enjoy ur night everyone. I'm out”
So glad I am a Jayhawk!!!!! So proud of the team tonight for getting the win... ROCK CHALK
Big win jayhawks!!! #jayhawknation #teamfoe
Big win, 2-0, Rock Chalk
All is right in college basketball Goodnight
Hey @Tyusjones06 now you know KU > Duke. You don't have to wait until Friday. #allwedoiswin
@colea45 Cole Aldrich
So many "media/Internet/gurus/ESPNers" called Kentucky's frosh class "best ever?"
But I thought Kansas' is better. Mason/Selden/Greene three of the reasons and you saw why tonight.
Tremendous games . . . each of the four could win the national title . . . Gut feeling: Kansas wins it all.
@FrankieBur Frank Burlison
KU great Kirk Hinrich congratulates Bill Self after KU's victory over Duke Tuesday night
Great way to start the season! It's gonna be a fun one!! #RockChalk
On to the next one!!! #RockChalk #kubball #KUCMB
Great win against a great team ... The fans were awesome in the Windy City! Now, back to L-town #KUCMB
Going back home with the Win way to come together as a team #KUCMB the fans were great out here in the Windy City #AutoMaticForThePeople
Rock Chalk Jay Hawk.....KU
Extremely impressed with Kansas' victory over Duke. Did not expect this outcome.
All tremendous. RT @chadfordinsider: Anyone still think Wiggins, Randle or Parker is over-hyped? Wish Exum was here to show off too.
While we praise the freshmen, KU's Perry Ellis had 24 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals and was 9-13. But, he's a grizzled vet. A sophomore.
They call so many fouls in college ball. Let em hoop. Should go to 6 fouls as well.
GM's wish the draft was tomorrow
@KingJames LeBron James
Finally back in the L, s/o to the best fans in the country showed great support ! Glad we brought back the win but now its sleepy time
KUAD Postgame Notes
KC Star Photos
Chicago Tribune Photos
News Observer Photos
Jabari Parker threatened to take the game and run away with it. But Ellis, nearly as difficult to guard as Parker in a different way, kept answering his big shots with ones of his own. He picked up loose ball knocked from Rodney Hood and pitched ahead the ball loose to Andrew Wiggins for a dunk on which Parker fouled out. Ellis’ patient footwork and the clever way he turns his body to make certain shots unblockable makes him so potent in the post. His hands are so sure, his touch using the glass, so soft. He also handles the ball well and uses his quickness and anticipation to pick up steals. Had 24 points, nine rebounds and three steals, all team highs, to go with two assists and one turnover.
LJW Keegan Ratings
“We were getting anything we wanted on the offensive end,” Sulaimon said. “It started on the defensive end -- 94 points is unacceptable.”
…Kansas built another three-point lead but Sulaimon scored two baskets in the lane sandwiched around a Jayhawk free throw. The second of the two tied the score at 77 with 3:26 left.
But the Blue Devils ran out of gas and were unable to stop the taller Jayhawks down the stretch.
"You use a lot of emotion in the anticipation of a game like this," Krzyzewski said. "I think it hits you at certain times in the ball game. Then you have to get another emotion. When I called a timeout at 6:20, I knew my team was staggering. We're tired. I tried to get them to get angry."
Durham Herald Sun
Next March will mark the 35th anniversary of the 1979 N.C.A.A. title game between Larry Bird’s Indiana State Sycamores and Magic Johnson’s Michigan State Spartans. The game remains one of the few instances when the undisputed top two players in college basketball competed against each other, and it is the highest-rated televised college basketball game ever.
On Tuesday night, basketball fans caught a glimpse of perhaps the next great individual basketball rivalry that could extend not only into the N.B.A., but in the annals of history alongside Bird and Magic, when two superstar freshmen, Duke’s Jabari Parker and Kansas’s Andrew Wiggins, faced each other in the State Farm Champions Classic.
Wiggins’s fifth-ranked Jayhawks defeated the fourth-ranked Blue Devils, 94-83, but both players showed the skill that has their fan bases thinking they could make runs deep into the spring. Parker outscored Wiggins by 27 points to 22, including converting on a spectacular one-handed alley-oop early in the second half that even brought the crowd’s large contingent of anti-Duke fans to their feet. But Wiggins scored key baskets down the stretch as Kansas pulled away in the final two minutes.
Duke and Kansas, two teams steeped in tradition and built on coaching mastery and seasoned, versatile lineups, are again expected to contend for this year’s championship. But both programs are in the unfamiliar position of being led by 18-year-olds, who are also perhaps among the most hyped freshmen ever. And neither team is assured of having its star freshman for more than a year.
Even Johnson seemed excited about their potential effect this season and beyond.
“The hype definitely goes along with their game because they both can play,” Johnson said. “We haven’t seen this type of class come out in a long time with this many guys. Normally, you might have a LeBron, you might have one.”
…Johnson, despite rooting for the Spartans, also seemed impressed by Randle. Shaking his head, he pondered the possibility of seeing Randle, Wiggins and Parker at the next level. “I think if they all come out to the N.B.A., it’s going to be awesome,” Johnson said.
With biting winds outside on a frigid Tuesday night, a slew of national media, celebrities and famous athletes packed inside the United Center alongside eager fans simply to get a glimpse at college basketball’s best.
They got exactly what they came to see — two quality games in No. 2 Michigan State beating top-ranked Kentucky 78-74 in the opener, then No. 5 Kansas using a 15-4 run down the stretch to pull away from No. 4 Duke, 94-83, in the late-nightcap of the Champions Classic.
It was a night for college stars on the court and big-time celebrities in the stands.
Scouts and high-ranking NBA personnel dotted the arena. Former college greats Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng and Grant Hill flashed smiles on the Jumbotron. Celebrities and athletes from Bill Simmons to Ndamukong Suh socialized courtside.
Andrew Wiggins, with his once-budding afro now shaved clean, wore a stern look and calmly strode through Kansas’ layup line as Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” bumped over speakers. On the other end of the court, Duke’s Jabari Parker coolly hoisted jumper after jumper as the hits rattled on and the buzz in the crowd continued to build.
Welcome to November Madness.
This was a monster test on a frigid November night, on an NBA floor with scouts and general managers and celebrities and star athletes scattered throughout the crowd. And the Jayhawks (2-0) passed.
“We don’t back down from no one,” Wiggins told ESPN.
Ellis was at his smooth-footed, soft-touched best. The sophomore pumped in 14 of his career-high 24 points in the first half, pulled down nine boards and was a perfect blend of aggression and comfort in the paint.
“I thought he was terrific,” Self said. “Perry, for us, was the guy that kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win it late.”
If Tuesday was any indication, less acclaim hasn’t done anything to dampen the self-assurance of Wayne Selden or Frank Mason, either.
Selden played 37 minutes and poured in 15 points, many from the line down the stretch as he bulled his way to the basket. Mason added 15 points from the bench and was as comfortable and tough with the ball as anyone on the floor.
“It’s so cool to see, because of all the guys in the setting,” Self said, “he may have reacted the best of all our freshmen initially. And he’s been in the least game pressure situations of anybody.”
Joel Embiid only scored two points, but he pulled down seven rebounds and tied Naadir Tharpe for the team high in assists (five).
“They definitely didn’t play like freshmen,” Ellis offered.
…Jamari Traylor put KU up 83-79 with a strong drive to the basket, but Sulaimon answered with a take of his own.
With 1:51 on the clock, the Jayhawks stepped back onto the floor and Wiggins caught the ball on the wing. Any nerves he felt before the opening tip were gone. His jumper hadn’t been there for most of the game, but those doubts didn’t even enter his mind.
The ball hung in the air, fell through the net, and the moment was his.
“Times like this are fun,” Wiggins said. “Times to remember.”
Andrew Wiggins soared toward the hoop as Jabari Parker made one last attempt to stop his fellow freshman star.
No such luck. Kansas' silky smooth newcomer owned the end of Parker's impressive homecoming.
Wiggins scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half, outplaying Parker down the stretch and helping the fifth-ranked Jayhawks knock off No. 4 Duke 94-83 on Tuesday night.
"Big players make big plays," Wiggins said. "I think our whole team, whoever was on the court, every possession we made a big play. That's why we came out on top."
…The 10th meeting of two of college basketball's most successful programs was an absolute classic, an unbelievably well-played game for mid-November. After No. 2 Michigan State held on for a 78-74 victory over top-ranked Kentucky in the first game of the Champions Classic, the Blue Devils and Jayhawks put on their own show in front of a pro-Kansas crowd filled with breathless NBA personnel drooling over the possibilities for next year's draft.
Billed as Parker versus Wiggins, it was clear from the start there was much more talent on the floor than just the precocious freshmen stars. Jamari Traylor, another Chicago native, had an early block for Kansas and then hustled down to the other end for a trailing dunk.
…"The hype, it was big. I just tried to block it out," Wiggins said. "The names on jerseys don't say Parker and Wiggins, it says Kansas and Duke. At the end of the day, it's not one player that's going to win, it's one team."
…It just wasn't enough to overcome Wiggins and the balanced Jayhawks, who outrebounded the Blue Devils 39-24. Ellis, a sophomore, also had nine boards and three steals in a solid all-around performance.
"Key was just to get the ball inside and attack," Ellis said. "Attack at all times."
What will the critics say now about Wiggins?: When he was available -- he only played nine minutes in the first half due to foul trouble -- Wiggins’ presence was felt on the floor. He wasn’t as flashy as Parker, but he was effective. He ran the floor on fast breaks. He was versatile on defense, guarding multiple players -- sometimes on the same possession. And he was an excellent decoy. When he wasn’t making plays, he was drawing extra defenders to his side of the floor and opening up the court for others.
Perry Ellis (24 points) will see a lot of one-on-one matchups this season due to Wiggins’ presence. Big men will be forced to shift at times and give Tarik Black and Joel Embiid more room to work. He’s one of those guys who actually makes his teammates better. And that’s the point Bill Self made during Big 12 media day a few weeks ago.
“But the thing about Andrew, if you really understand ball, he'll be a guy that will impact our team in ways other than scoring points because he can do a lot of different things,” Self said at the time. “And so much of what is perceived of him, if he didn't get 22 a night or whatever it is, it will be not successful. Well, that may not happen. But he can impact in ways to help us win far more so than maybe anybody I've ever coached.”
His versatility was critical throughout the game, and his fast-break dunk with 1:17 on the game clock gave Kansas a six-point lead and disqualified Parker, who picked up his fifth foul.
I don’t know who folks want Wiggins (22 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and a block) to be. Right now, however, he’s an elite college basketball player who could be a star at the next level, too. That’s obvious. And it’s much easier to see when you appreciate him for whom he is right now.
Foul trouble played a role, but don’t blame the new rules: The Jayhawks managed to keep Duke in check in the first half even though Parker was unstoppable and they were shorthanded due to foul trouble during the first 20 minutes of the game. Black, Wiggins, Wayne Selden Jr., Jamari Traylor and Embiid all had two fouls by halftime. It was a problem for Duke, too. Parker had four fouls entering the final minutes of the game. He was hesitant on defense as a result. Tyler Thornton fouled out. Rodney Hood and Rasheed Sulaimon picked up four each, too. Duke had 29 total fouls, Kansas had 24. Was it the new rules? Somewhat. But it was also the fact that players committed the same fouls they’ve been committing for years. Can’t blame the rules for that.
Kansas had versatility that Duke lacked: The early foul trouble allowed Kansas to showcase a variety of lineups that gave Duke problems. The Jayhawks can play big with Embiid and Black inside. But Wiggins is skilled enough to play power forward, and Selden can play multiple wing slots, too. A lot of teams would have crumbled with their big men facing the foul trouble that the Jayhawks’ post players had in the first half on Tuesday. But Kansas adjusted with a smaller lineup. That versatility will be a problem for any team it faces this season.
This might not have been everything Wiggins had to offer, because he played only 25 minutes on account of those four personal fouls. The occasion of his sharing the court with Parker, though, was everything spectators and the 80-some NBA scouts in the stands would have hoped to see.
Because Self declined Wiggins’ proposal, and because Parker spent a lot of his night playing center for the smaller Blue Devils, theirs was not a matchup in the strictest sense.
But it was a show, a co-headlined performance with Parker doing the earlier set like a virtuoso and Wiggins closing the night with pure energy and enthusiasm.
Parker had 19 points at halftime and made four of his five 3-point shots, then threw down a ridiculous one-handed alley-oop dunk from the right baseline that looked way too much like Grant Hill’s ridiculous one-hander against Kansas in the 1991 NCAA championship game.
“We didn’t guard him very well. He was great,” Self said. “There late, I kind of wished we would have played Andrew on Jabari the whole time. I was nervous about fouls. Fortunately, it worked out OK. He’s good. He was the best player in the game for a big stretch.”
Andrew Wiggins didn't show the same roundness to his game that Parker did, but it wasn't hard to make out what he's going to be. He finished with 22 points and eight rebounds despite playing only nine minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, and he sealed the game with a step-back jumper and leak-out dunk in the final minutes. But more importantly, Wiggins proved that all that abuse we've been watching him heap onto high school kids in his many mix tapes wasn't fool's gold. Wiggins missed some jumpers and showed some rawness to his game, but he also proved one very important thing: He really is that goddamn quick.
Neither of those plays is really all that spectacular, but you can readily see his great first step and agility. That whip-fast spin move is just as filthy and unstoppable when deployed against college opponents as it is when it's used to torment hapless high schoolers, and it's a move that we'll be seeing over and over again this season.
Despite missing the shot in the second play, Wiggins showed that he's got the kind of quickness and burst that's going to make it damn near impossible for his opponents to keep him out of the lane. He zipped right past his defender with one dribble, hop stepped into the lane, and then rose up again for the shot in the amount of time it takes most players to complete just one of those feats. Once Wiggins starts finishing plays like this, he's going to be something.
But there is so much more to Kansas' class than just Wiggins. Frank Mason showed he has the ability to go in the lane, draw contact and covert at the free throw line. Joel Embiid was a force at times, grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out five assists in 20 minutes. And Wayne Selden Jr. buried timely buckets for 15 points.
…The Jayhawks had no idea what kind of team they were, or could be, going into the game. Earlier Tuesday, coach Bill Self said he was anxious to see how his team handled a game of this magnitude so early in the season. No offense to Louisiana Monroe, but the Jayhawks had no clue how talented they were after the opener. They had to deal with adversity to find out.
Kansas had to wait until Wiggins could pick his spots. That came much later in the game. He ended up with 22 points. He also saw how Mason could make plays and got a glimpse of the untapped potential that exists in Embiid and Selden once they get comfortable. Certainly, the freshmen weren't the only reason the Jayhawks prevailed. They don't win this game if sophomore Perry Ellis didn't heed Self's demands to be more assertive and aggressive inside. Ellis finished with a team-high 24 points and scrapped for each bucket. The contribution of returneeJamari Traylor earlier in the game set a defensive tone that Self covets.
But the Jayhawks, much like Kentucky earlier in the evening, will ultimately be defined not just by Wiggins, but by the bevy of freshmen who make up one of the richest first-year classes college basketball has seen in the past 10 years.
"All three [Randle, Parker and Wiggins] have a chance to be special, but it's also one week into our season,'' Self said "We get too giddy about certain guys because of the unknown. When guys are seen and studied and figured out, there will be a roller coaster for all these kids. It's a great freshman class, without question. We're fortunate to have one that's talked about a lot. But I also think our other guys have a chance to be pretty good, too. I don't think it's limited to those three freshmen in terms of quality freshmen.''
Three off-the-radar freshmen who have stood out
1. Frank Mason, Kansas
How inexact a science is recruiting? Mason was originally committed to Towson, then didn't qualify and had to go to prep school to imprvove his academics. The result? He became good enough to earn a scholarship offer from Bill Self. Tuesday night in the Jayhawks' win over Duke in the Champions Classic in Chicago, Mason scored 15 points and played with the poise of a grizzled veteran. This pesky floor general should have four very productive years in Lawrence.
It was the final minutes on Tuesday night, and for 38 minutes, Wiggins had battled through foul trouble, helping Kansas stay close to No. 4 Duke, but never quite breaking out. Now he cradled the ball on the baseline, Kansas leading by two points, and Wiggins rose up for a jumper.
“I’d seen a lot of people in the lane, waiting for me to drive,” Wiggins would say. “That was off-limits, so I just had confidence in my jumper.”
In the following moments, Wiggins would finish a fast-break dunk on the next possession. And Kansas would pull off a 94-83 victory on Tuesday night in the long-awaited Champions Classic at the United Center in Chicago.
For a sport that usually reserves classic status for the month of March, this game had every thing you could ever want. Wiggins and Duke freshman star Jabari Parker, battling for the title of nation’s best freshman. One of the Midwest’s basketball cathedrals. And Kansas sophomore Perry Ellis making magic in the post, finishing with a career-high 24 points.
For the last month, as Wiggins has prepared to enter his one and only season of college basketball, he’s repeated the same line: College should be the best time of your life. So he was going to enjoy this victory.
“It was fun,” Wiggins said. “It was nerve-wracking at first, you can ask Perry, I was sweating in the locker room. I was nervous. But once the ball tipped off, I played with confidence.
…All week long, Kansas coach Bill Self would say, Wiggins had pleaded with him to guard Wiggins. But Self was concerned about foul trouble, and he never relented — until Wiggins decided to guard Parker on his own during the second half.
“I didn’t put him on Jabari,” Self said. “He just went to guard him. And I think he caught a piece of his shot that possession, and I said, “Well, I guess he was probably right.”
Maybe Wiggins still needs time to mature and grow. Maybe he still needs time to reach his ceiling. But perhaps this game showed why Kansas could be an NCAA title contender in March. Four Kansas freshmen played major minutes on Tuesday night. And then there was Ellis, the sophomore who put on a clinic in the post.
And Wiggins overcame a foul-plagued first half to become the only one of the three to lead his team to victory, scoring 22 points, grabbing eight rebounds and sealing the victory with a step-back jump shot and a transition dunk in the final two minutes. There are things all three needs to work on: Randle must knock down his foul shots, Parker could become a better passer and Wiggins needs to show the aggression he had in the second half at all times. But rather than tearing one down to build up another, for at least one night let's give all three credit for outstanding performances.
Yahoo: Winners and Losers
Well, that certainly didn’t take long.
Five new starters. Seven freshmen who played before halftime. Ever-elite and fourth-ranked Duke, including even-better-than-advertised Jabari Parker as the opponent. Not even half of the month of November in the books.
And somehow, the players on Bill Self’s 11th Kansas team, the most talented, least experienced one he has coached, looked as if they had been playing together since Biddy Basketball.
As freshman Andrew Wiggins sat out the latter portion of the first half with two fouls, classmates Wayne Selden and Frank Mason made sure Duke didn’t exploit his absence.
And when the game headed down the back stretch, Wiggins showed why there has been so much fuss about him and showed it in a variety of ways. He proved he’s more than a talent, he’s a clutch closer.
…Selden’s forceful presence was felt longer than Wiggins’, even if it didn’t come in bursts quite as amazing. When Wiggins grew excitable at one point, Selden put his arm on him and brought his head right back into the game. In a game-high 37 minutes, Selden contributed 16 points, six rebounds and four assists. His tip with 2:53 broke a 79-79 tie and he followed it with a huge defensive rebound.
Mason, a jet of backup point guard, made sure Naadir Tharpe’s time on the bench with two fouls didn’t hurt KU. Fearless with the ball in his hands, Mason pitched in with 15 points and two steals and didn’t turn it over once. He made 11 of 12 free throws. Like Wiggins and Selden, he was clutch, fueled by the sellout United Center crowd of 22,711.
"They definitely stepped up, both Wayne and and Frank," Ellis said "They came in and played aggressive. They definitely didn’t play like freshmen.”
Graceful 7-footer Joel Embiid, another freshman, had seven rebounds and five assists in 20 minutes. Brannen Greene scored five points in eight first-half minutes
He is the magazine cover boy, his name in sentences with everyone from Wilt Chamberlain to LeBron James. He’s an 18-year-old from Canada unveiled to a mainstream American audience for the first time in front of millions. Dick Vitale and Mike Krzyzewski and some 60 NBA scouts watched what turned out to be a 94-83 win for No. 5 Kansas over No. 4 Duke here on Tuesday in the Champions Classic, which has become the unofficial kickoff of college basketball.
“The hype was big,” Wiggins says. “I saw it all over TV. I tried to block it out.”
Wiggins will tell you the nerves got to him. Early, at least. He admits sweating it all, but the folks who stayed to the end saw what started all that hype. A glimpse of it, anyway, when Wiggins hit the kind of step-back jumper in isolation that coaches will run for him in the NBA, then a breakaway dunk with less than two minutes left that pushed KU’s lead to four, then six.
…The world Wiggins now lives in moves fast. NBA scouts and stars watched this game, curious like everyone else, and their opinions are shaping.
Is Wiggins an NBA star like Kevin Durant (who Wiggins compared himself to in that GQ interview)? Or is he an NBA star like Rudy Gay, uber-talented but somewhere below the game’s true upper class?
This was Wiggins’ first of many nationally televised chances to tell us this season, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the message was mixed. It will be missed by a lot of people that Wiggins could score 22 points, including two key baskets down the stretch, and still not match a ridiculous set of expectations. But that’s important to remember.
So is this: Wiggins’ teammates are good enough that he doesn’t have to be LeBron or Durant right now. He can be himself, picking spots, surrounded by his friends, dancing, hopping, smiling into one season’s worth of big moments.
KC Star Mellinger
It wasn't until No. 6 Kansas seemingly ran out of defensive options – Parker had scored 19 points by halftime – that the Jayhawks had to resort to putting their star freshman on No. 4 Duke's. The matchup didn't happen often, but in those moments, it felt like a college basketball fan's dream.
Or, at least it was Wiggins'.
"I kind of wish we would have played Andrew on Jabari the whole time – he wanted to do that," Kansas coach Bill Self said later. "But I was nervous about fouls. … He is competitive. That dude wanted (Parker). 'I want to guard Jabari. Let me guard Jabari.' I said, 'That's not how we practice.'
"Midway through the second half, at the 13-minute mark, I didn't put him on Jabari. He just went to guard him. I think he got a piece of his shot that possession. I said, 'Well, he's probably right.' I should have been listening to him the whole time."
In bars, across coffee tables and on television for the next seven months, people will debate who is the best freshman in college basketball. For awhile, the Chicago-bred Parker had held the title of best in this class. Then, Wiggins reclassified and knocked him off his perch.
Neither player tried to turn Tuesday's game – a 94-83 Jayhawks win – into a Parker-Wiggins showdown, at least not vocally ahead of time. But of course it would be, even with Kansas sophomore Perry Ellis grabbing much of the attention in-game by adding 24 points.
Most of Parker's first-half accomplishments transpired with Wiggins languished on the bench for the last nine and a half minutes of the first half. Still, the Jayhawks trailed by just two, shooting 51.7 percent overall despite missing multiple starters.
Parker would convert a jaw-unhinging, elbow-at-the-rim alley-oop early in the second half, but nothing he did shook Kansas. The Jayhawks exterminated a five-point deficit with a Wiggins breakaway dunk midway through the second half, and the back-and-forth ensued.
Kansas led 68-67 when Wiggins picked up his fourth personal with 7 minutes 20 seconds left. Parker awoke from a 13-minute basket drought for back-to-back scores that reclaimed a Duke lead, albeit short-lived.
The teams were a possession (or less) apart until Wiggins arrived, emphatically, to create a six-point cushion. First came that wicked step-back jumper near the baseline to get the crowd into a froth.
"I saw a lot of people packed in the lane, waiting for me to drive," Wiggins said. "I knew that was off-limits. I had confidence in my jumper."
Then came the percussive moment, the transition dunk that evacuated Parker from active duty. With a Kansas-dominated United Center detonating, Parker's head bowed as he took two steps toward the baseline before retreating to the bench. Late, Wiggins worked his wonders, then assured Parker in the handshake line that he played a really good game.
In a quiet locker room, Parker wondered about how to proceed from here and, maybe, if he'd get a rematch some day in the spring.
"He's good. He's a good player," Parker said of Wiggins. "But most importantly Kansas beat us."
Parker insisted: "I didn't play that well ... Offense is always going to be there. You're going to get shots, no matter what. You're going to get looks. The most important thing is defense. Defense wins championships."
Then, as if he was tired of all the NBA talk and the Wiggins talk and even the talk about him, he said, with a startling level of intensity: "I want to win. Forget everything else. That's all I'm looking for is winning. That's all that matters to me."
Is that all that matters to Wiggins? He is the toughest nut to crack in the group, even though he has gotten the most hype. He was famously quiet during recruiting; he didn't even talk to the people recruiting him very much.
For most of the first half against Duke, Wiggins looked like just another athletic freshman. His outside shot is still developing. He picked up two quick fouls and sat. He drifted a bit.
But in the second half, Wiggins showed something we could not have anticipated, and that bodes well for the rest of his basketball career. With another freshman clearly outplaying him, Wiggins did not force shots or complain constantly to the refs. He did not get frustrated. He did not panic or make the game about him.
As Kansas coach Bill Self said afterward, "He's so mild-mannered and non-demonstrative in his actions. Things look easy to him. But he is competitive. That dude wanted ... he came to me, the whole deal: "Let me guard Jabari. I want to guard Jabari.' "
Who does that? What kind of freshman is that oblivious to expectations that he just wants to defend? Wiggins defended Parker extremely well and finished with 22 points and eight rebounds in just 25 minutes. His facial expression never really changed until the very end, when the win was his, and he let out a big smile and hugged his teammates. We knew he was a terrific player. But he really looked like a winning player.
As Wiggins raced down the open floor for a dunk that put the Jayhawks ahead 87-81 with 1:16 left, Parker was the one to foul him on the play giving chase and was disqualified from the game with his fifth foul.
The play symbolized what America learned after Tuesday’s Champions Classic: Wiggins is still a half-step ahead of Parker for now, but the battle is much closer than many people had anticipated.
The sold-out United Center’s frenzied atmosphere made the Champions Classic feel a bit like March, but there are still four more months until we find out any real answers to the “Wiggins vs. Parker” debate.
If Tuesday night’s matchup was any indication, college basketball fans are going to have a lot of fun figuring out the answer.
On Monday, Lola Parker was thinking this Duke-Kansas matchup in the United Center was just another game.
Then the mayor of Chicago called.
"Tell Jabari, 'Welcome home, true son,' " Rahm Emanuel told Lola.
When she hung up the phone, it dawned on her.
"Oh, this might be a little special," she said with a laugh.
Just a little. Chicago's Jabari Parker and his Duke teammates were home to play Andrew Wiggins and his Kansas teammates, in one of the most anticipated early season matchups in college basketball history. The interest emanated far beyond the mayor's office; it went nationwide and north of the border, to Wiggins' home country of Canada. Everyone wanted to see the players who were Sports Illustrated cover boys before they'd ever played a minute of college basketball.
And in a sporting rarity, the showdown lived up to the towering hype. It might even have soared over it, giving us a glimpse of the sport's promising future.
…This was a great night for college basketball, a sport that has been under siege in recent years. The talent turnover caused by early entry into the NBA was diminishing the quality of the best teams. Scoring was plummeting. TV ratings were stagnant. The game was pilloried as a puny subset of the product played at the pro level.
But now we have something to excite the common fan, the folks outside Kentucky and Indiana and North Carolina who need to be lured in. And the NBA fans will come back to the game as well, to see these three and many other excellent young players.
…After midnight, when Coach K and most of the Blue Devils had gone to the bus, workers were pulling up the basketball floorboards, converting the United Center back into a hockey rink. In the stands, the last few friends and family members of the Duke and Kansas players were lingering.
That's when the future of basketball walked out. In tandem.
Here came Parker. And right with him came Wiggins.
Hands were clasped, hugs exchanged. Lola Parker graciously snapped a picture of Wiggins with a young fan. Wiggins smiled and giggled as he interacted, enjoying the afterglow of a night that will be remembered as the international launching pad for three transcendent talents.
They are linked. In the 2013-14 college season, the 2014 NBA draft and beyond. Perhaps for decades to come.
Yahoo Pat Forde
Everybody's talking about the hype surrounding Andrew Wiggins. Really, all we want to do is just watch him play basketball. Screw everything else. The kid is talented, let's see what he can do night in and night out. Tonight against an undersized Duke team where he played mostly the 4, he was really, really good.
…KU is so stacked that they don't need him to be as dominant as Randle and Parker will have to be -- that also tracks with what's been written about his personality. Nice start with a 94-83 team win over a good Duke team.
And yeah, Wayne Selden is a perfect human being, I want him with all my might.
Krzyzewski attempted to thwart Kansas’ inside game in the first half by giving 7-0 redshirt sophomore Marshall Plumlee some playing time.
Plumlee played three minutes, but didn’t score or grab a rebound. He tallied one assist.
Alex Murphy also saw three minutes of playing time and senior Josh Hairston played only nine minutes in the game.
Freshman guard Matt Jones, who earned plenty of praise from Krzyzewski for his defensive play in preseason, played four minutes.
Jones and Hairston each missed two free throws in the final 1:15 of the first half when Duke had a chance to add to their lead prior to halftime.
Andre Dawkins saw no playing time.
Sulaimon came off the bench to play 28 minutes and score 17 points, with 14 points coming in the second half. For all the talk about Duke’s depth, Krzyzewski only used six players for 10 minutes or more.
Hood was on the court for 38 minutes and committed half of Duke’s 10 turnovers.
“I’ve got to be more assertive,” Hood said. “I can’t just let the game come to me. I have to take my opportunities and be more aggressive. It’s a learning period for me, too, being at the head of a team.”
Durham Herald Sun
I openly wondered if Wiggins, who had played casually in preseason workouts and in his first real college game, would live up to his AAU-ball rep as a big-stage performer when the Jayhawks met the Blue Devils in the nightcap. "Not many bigger stages than this one," the GM said.
Sixty-seven other NBA evaluators had joined him for what was essentially a pre-Predraft Camp on a Tuesday night in November. Whether any of them left closer to a final opinion on who should be the No. 1 pick is unlikely. Randle went for 27 and 13 in a loss and looked like a beast. Parker went for 27 and 9 in a loss and looked breathtakingly skilled. Wiggins went for 22 and 8 in a win while looking like far from a finished product. The NBA crowd will be debating over those three kids until late June, and can you blame them? It's a good debate.
Still, for those of us who cover college hoops not as a Predraft Camp but as an actual sport, freshmen turned out not to be the most important part of the Champions Classic. This event was like a four-months-early Final Four, and the most impressive team was full of players who've evolved in two, three or four seasons. By knocking off top-ranked Kentucky, 78-74, No. 2 Michigan State established itself as the early national title favorite -- and it did so by giving just seven minutes of playing time to a freshman.
SI Luke Winn
With his team cradling a slender two-point lead, Andrew Wiggins gathered the ball in the low post, stepped away from the basket and calmly stroked a mid-range jumper.
Nothing but net.
Moments later, off a turnover, the future of Canadian basketball roared down the United Center court and delivered a thundering dunk.
A young man taking off and in full flight, like Vince Carter in his prime.
With dozens of drooling NBA scouts and executives watching in a packed Windy City arena, Wiggins delivered a powerful and resounding message that he isn't just a product of hype.
He's the real deal.
Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri was one of those watching at courtside, and boy, did he leave town with lots to think about.
The long-limbed Wiggins, a freshman at the University of Kansas, was the featured attraction on a much-anticipated doubleheader night of college basketball.
It was the silky Wiggins's second collegiate game, but really, it was his debut on the big stage in a game also televised nationally in Canada. Just think; that's early exposure that's never been granted a hockey player in the Great White North.
The Great Unveiling, as it were, for a player considered the future of Canadian basketball.
…So if you're Ujiri in your first season of running the sad-sack Raptors, you'd love to get your hands on all the three.
No chance of that. But how much is Ujiri willing to do — or how many games is he willing to lose? — to make sure he gets one of Wiggins, Parker or Randle in next summer's draft?
Tough decision, complicated the possibilities a hometown star like Wiggins — who has already said he'd love to be a Raptor — could do for Toronto's NBA franchise.
Sports luminaries like Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen, Luol Deng, Tom Thibodeaux, Danny Ainge, Grant Hill and Ndamukong Suh were on hand at the United Center, the House that Michael Jordan built, to see Wiggins and all the other young talents.
No wonder Wiggins got a new hairdo for the occasion. Right down to the wood.
So much has been said about the 18-year-old Wiggins from Thornhill, Ont., he of the 6-foot-8 frame, seven-foot wingspan and 44-inch vertical jump.
He's been on the cover of Sports Illustrated. There's a shoe contract waiting.
The hype machine behind Wiggins has been in over-drive for months, creating as much jealousy as excitement.
But understand this; there are many waiting for Wiggins to fail, maybe, given the intense passions that U.S. college basketball creates, as many as those who want him to succeed and be the next LeBron, the next Kobe.
With March Madness still five months away, we're just at the start of a long conversation about who is the best player in U.S. college basketball. Just the fact that Wiggins is part of that conversation after Toronto-born Anthony Bennett went first in the NBA draft last summer tells you something may really be cooking on the Canadian basketball scene.
The Hamilton Spectator
This was Duke’s first loss in its last 23 regular-season neutral-court games. The Blue Devils hadn’t lost one since December 20, 2007, when they lost to Pittsburgh.
ESPN: Keys to victory, Kansas beats Duke
Forever, this made-for-TV event was billed not only as the best regular-season doubleheader in the history of college basketball but also as a chance to see the sport's three best prospects under one roof and on the biggest of big stages. We talked about it and talked about it and talked about it. We hyped it and hyped it and hyped it. But I've been around this stuff long enough to know that the pregame storyline is almost always better than the postgame story. So I assumed at least one (or maybe even two) of the heralded freshmen would perform mediocrely, in which case, I figured, the subsequent 24 hours would be used by some to explain the dangers of celebrating prospectsBEFORE THEY'VE EVER EVEN PLAYED A COLLEGE GAME!
(I can't tell you how many times readers tweet that at me every preseason.)
Turns out, I was wrong. None of the freshmen struggled. Which, of course, means I've been right all along. Right to talk about them. Right to write about them. Right to hype them and label them as three of the nation's best who will make significant impacts at this level before flourishing at the next.
…Randle was the most physically overwhelming, Parker was the most offensively gifted, and Wiggins was the one who got a jumper, a dunk and two free throws in the final 90 seconds to secure KU's victory. He had 16 points in the second half and looked worthy of the National Player of the Year attention he received this preseason.
"Big players make big plays," Wiggins said.
Sublime performances by three of the kids seen as surefire Top 5 NBA picks next June – Our Own Wiggins, Jabari Parker of Duke and Kentucky’s Julius Randle – made it a rather memorable college basketball night, so memorable that I sat on the couch for hours watching a game with a day-long shot clock, too much attention paid to coaches and more missed free throws than I’d care to remember.
Oh, and while Dick Vitale might be amusing, if he name-dropped one more time I was going to throw a shoe at the TV and he can’t carry Jay Bilas’s shoes when it comes to analysis but I digress.
As expected, the three kids were really, really good; I was most impressed with how they seemed to be entirely unaffected by the super-charged atmosphere and expectations and that’s says something about the maturity level of teenagers.
They were explosive and good when then game was on the line and looked, as we all knew, but I think now it’s time to maybe take a step back from the overwhelming hype and let the season unfold?
I honestly don’t think we need day-by-day or even game-by-game breathless attention played to them, we know they will at times dominate the college game and, given their talents and expectations, that’s to be expected and not lauded.
Kansas University’s first victory in three tries at the Champions Classic proved to be one worth waiting for.
The Jayhawks, who fell to Kentucky and Michigan State the first two years of the three-year, early-season college basketball extravaganza, rode a career high 24 points from sophomore Perry Ellis and 22 from freshman Andrew Wiggins, plus 15 from freshmen Wayne Selden and Frank Mason to a 94-83 victory over Duke in the United Center.
“We’d like to have won all three,” KU coach Bill Self said, “but I will say this: It’s good for a young team to have success. I’m happy about that.”
The youthful Jayhawks won this one during crunch time.
…Wiggins, who is the same height as Parker at 6-8 but gives up 30 pounds, spent some time guarding Parker the second half.
“It’s all pride. You take pride in what you do, whether offense or defense,” Wiggins said.
…“Jabari lived up to his billing. Andrew lived up to his billing late,” Self said, adding, “Perry was one who gave us the chance to be in the game. Perry played great. I’ve been on him to be more aggressive. He was great.”
Other KU heroes: Mason, who hit 11 of 12 free throws and finished with his 15 points in 23 minutes; Joel Embiid who had five assists the first half. And Brannen Greene went for five points the first half when KU needed a boost. He didn’t play the second half as Self searched for the best match-ups “to try to win the game.”
CBS NBA Draft Prospect Grades: Wiggins B+ (video at link)
Kansas freshmen Joel Embiid, Wayne Selden, Jr., and Andrew Wiggins have been named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 list, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Tuesday.
Kansas was one of three schools to place three players on 50-member list, which was chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts projecting the early front-runners for the Wooden Award. Duke and Michigan State also had three players make the list, while Kentucky leads all schools with four on the list.
KUAD (Better add Ellis to this list!)
What they said before the game:
Duke 81, Kansas 71: Duke can spread the floor out against Kansas the exact same way that Iowa State did last season, and if you remember, Iowa State nearly beat Kansas twice. The biggest difference? Iowa State was good, Duke is awesome.
Kansas 86, Duke 79: Love Parker and Wiggins, but on this night I see Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden having big performances.
Duke 82, Kansas 74: Kansas has a ton of talent for a late season run, but Duke is meshing well early and their offense can really move the ball at times and play unselfish ball.
Kansas 80, Duke 77: Naadir Tharpe’s return to the lineup makes Andrew Wiggins better and more comfortable in his second game.
Duke 81, Kansas 72: Yes, the Jayhawks have Naadir Tharpe back. Yes, KU has the better frontline. But I’ll take the chance, and I’ll go with Duke and Jabari Parker back in his hometown.
You will notice below that I voted Kansas ahead of Duke in my preseason poll, but after watching each team play its season opener, I've concluded that Kansas might be the better team at the end of the season, but Duke is better right now. The Wiggins vs. Parker storyline is going to be tantalizing, but Parker is surrounded by older players. If this were late February, I could imagine Kansas 7-foot freshman Joel Embiid exploiting Duke's lack of a formidable big man, but the youngster isn't ready to command such a big stage just yet.
Duke 85, Kansas 78
SI Seth Davis
Xavier what's wrong wit u? You don't dunk on another jayhawk like that! #fingerrollthatish
Big 12/College News
I bet if you asked the average college basketball fan to identify names like James Johnson, Kevin Willard, Stan Heath, Pat Chambers, Larry Krystkowiak, or Johnny Jones, that fan would whiff on just about every name, even though all of those guys are head coaches in a major conference. What's interesting, though, is that the Big 12 is the one conference whose coaches are all recognizable to anybody who follows college basketball. Just look at this list of names:
Scott Drew (Baylor)
Fred Hoiberg (Iowa State)
Bill Self (Kansas)
Bruce Weber (Kansas State)
Lon Kruger (Oklahoma)
Travis Ford (Oklahoma State)
Trent Johnson (TCU)
Rick Barnes (Texas)
Tubby Smith (Texas Tech)
Bob Huggins (West Virginia)
Don't get me wrong — I'm not saying that these are the best coaches in college basketball. Some of these guys are future Hall of Famers and some of them are Travis Ford. But all of them have name recognition. In fact, the median number of years of Division I or NBA head-coaching experience in the Big 12 is 17.5, which is by far the highest total of any conference in the country. Fred Hoiberg is the only coach on the list who hasn't been coaching for at least a decade, but he's such an important figure in Iowa State basketball that it feels like he never left the Cyclones, even when he was in the NBA.
…Kansas has won so many consecutive Big 12 championships that I've actually washed my jeans since its streak started. At this point, you could probably give Bill Self the Jamaican bobsled team and a month of practice time and he'd still find a way to win the Big 12, so there's no telling what he's going to do with the most talented team he's ever had. The Jayhawks lost their entire starting five from last season's team, which lost to Michigan in the Sweet 16 thanks to Trey Burke's heroics and Elijah Johnson's Elijah Johnson–ness. But the new players who have arrived in Lawrence are, despite their inexperience, unquestionably more gifted than what was lost. Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, Wayne Selden, Conner Frankamp, and Brannen Greene are all ESPN top-50 recruits. They're the most talented group of freshmen outside of Lexington, Kentucky. And Tarik Black, a senior transfer from Memphis, is the perfect combination of enormous (6-foot-9, 260 pounds) and hungry to prove himself after averaging only 20.8 minutes per game last season.
Grantland Big 12 Preview by Mark Titus
Increasingly, college basketball just doesn't matter nationally the way it used to in November. Or December. Or January. The NFL has become carnivorous. It devours all forms of sports/entertainment that dare get in its way. The playoffs have what amounts to an exclusive run.
And since the Super Bowl isn't played until the first Sunday in February, college basketball gets put on a very long hold. And since the NBA and its various mini-dramas have had something of a regular-season renaissance, professional basketball has become a bigger deal, too. So, the NBA All-Star Weekend knocks college basketball back yet another week into February. The college coaches know it. So do my bosses at ESPN. The college basketball season, featuring unfamiliar freshmen, has pretty much been reduced into a six-week season, from the middle of February until the first week of April. It's been in danger of becoming a niche sport, like Wimbledon in June/July or the U.S. Open in September.
Digger Phelps, who can remember when there was actually a full college basketball season, has been in favor of getting college basketball away from the NFL, away from the 35 college bowl games. "You wake up one morning and somebody screams at you, 'Championship Week is in three weeks,' and people haven't really sampled a wonderful product," Phelps said.
So here was college basketball in early November, and not in Alaska or Hawaii, but on the mainland, in middle America, four of the five best teams in the country (everybody except third-ranked Louisville), schools that matter greatly to the history of college basketball, three of the best freshmen, 12 to 15 projected first-round draft picks (depending on which NBA scouts you talk to), a half-dozen future lottery picks.
…A big to-do was made, and rightfully so, about the approximately 70 NBA executives and scouts who descended on Chicago, essentially to determine who the early front-runners are for the 2014 draft. One general manager I talked to said he thought 25 of the 30 teams in the league had their general managers in attendance. Some teams had their GM, assistant GM and top scout. A huge reason this doubleheader was so great for this college basketball season is because of the three identifiable freshmen: Randle, Wiggins and Parker. While the 2013 lottery yield looks pretty pathetic (Alex Lin, Nerlens Noel and Otto Porter have yet to play a game), teams have been trying for years to trade into the 2014 lottery.
My colleague Jalen Rose said, "Imagine college basketball, a game usually defined by coaches, having a doubleheader like this defined by players …"
And the scouts already have their favorites, though it's a horse race whose leader will surely change every few games based on performance.
…Remember, this is a game in which 10 guys can play at a remarkably high level. Kansas has Perry Ellis, Wayne Selden, Naadir Tharpe and Wiggins. Duke has Parker, point guard Quinn Cook, former Amile Jefferson and a kid named Rodney Hood, who also possesses big-time offensive skills. These really look like four of the five or six best teams in the country. And the freshmen, especially after Wiggins got himself together after halftime, looked like three of the top players in the country.
They're identifiable, highly skilled stars who people will want to watch ... as soon as the NFL season ends.
You tune in to watch these three players, or these four teams, and you'll inevitably discover other players and teams to fall in love with -- which means the doubleheader will have lured a great many people into college basketball's tent long before February or March. Perhaps what's needed is a foursome just like this the first week of January, one put together by the matchmakers and ESPN or whoever wants to televise the proceedings. It won't always be as compelling as Kentucky-Michigan State or Duke-Kansas, and it won't always have the young stars people want to get a glimpse of now before they bolt after a year for the NBA. But clearly this is something to savor, something to look forward to no matter what else is going on in the world of sports.
For nearly 10 minutes, Florida had a pretty good handle on Sam Dekker.
Casey Prather was among the Gators harassing Wisconsin's 6-foot-7 forward on the perimeter. Dekker had two turnovers early and the Badgers looked out of sorts.
Three-pointers by Dekker on consecutive possessions finally got the 20th-ranked Badgers going in their home opener, sparking a 22-10 run in the first half that helped hand No. 11 Florida a 59-53 loss Tuesday night.
"I think his offensive game has really blossomed over the last year," Gators coach Billy Donovan said of Dekker. "He's going to be in a situation right now where his game will really have a chance, I think, to grow and do a lot more things _ inside, out, shooting 3s and putting it on the floor."
Like against Florida.
The Gators turned up their backcourt pressure to narrow a 10-point deficit to 56-53 with 41.8 seconds left on a free throw by Patric Young. But Traevon Jackson hit a floater at the foul line over Jacob Kurtz with about 10 seconds left and Frank Kaminsky blocked a shot on the other to seal the win for Wisconsin (2-0).
Big XII composite schedule
ESPN College GameDay Schedule
2013-14 TV Schedule
2013-14 Early-season events schedule
Recruiting - Signing Days begin
Kelly Oubre, a 6-foot-7, 200-pound senior shooting guard from Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., orally committed to KU on Oct. 8. Oubre, Rivals.com’s No. 12-rated player in the recruiting Class of 2014, chose KU over Kentucky and Florida.
Oubre — who was born and raised in New Orleans, before moving to Richmond, Texas, with his dad after Hurricane Katrina hit when he was in fourth grade — is off to a great start his senior season at the Nevada prep school.
He has averaged 23.0 points and 7.4 rebounds a game for Findlay Prep (5-0) with single-game highs of 29 points and 12 boards thus far this season.
“S/O to the Kansas fam tomorrow taking on Duke in Chi-Town, my savages ready to eat greedy !!! #RockChalk,” Oubre tweeted on Monday.
KU will announce Oubre’s signing upon receipt of his letter of intent.
Kansas is also in the running for three players who will announce their decisions on Friday. They are No. 1 Jahlil Okafor, 6-10 from Chicago’s Whitney Young High; No. 4 Cliff Alexander, 6-8 from Chicago’s Curie High; and No. 5 Tyus Jones, 6-1 from Apple Valley (Minn.) High. Jones and Okafor have said all along they will be choosing the same school. It’s believed they are down to KU and Duke. Alexander has a final four of KU, Illinois, Memphis and DePaul. His girlfriend attends KU.
KU, by the way, officially has one scholarship to award in recruiting. Tarik Black is the only senior scholarship player on the team. However, freshman Andrew Wiggins is a certain one-and-done to the NBA. Also, freshmen Joel Embiid and Wayne Selden are possible one-and-dones, and sophomore Perry Ellis is considered a possible early exit after this season. There’s also always the possibility of transfers opening up scholarships.
Apple Valley point guard Tyus Jones will announce his decision on Friday at 3 p.m. at Apple Valley High School, according to his mother, Debbie Jones.
Jones, who is ranked No. 5 in the nation according to Rivals.com, is expected to choose between Duke, Kansas and Baylor. Those are the three remaining schools that both he and Chicago center Jahlil Okafor, who is ranked No. 1, are considering. Jones and Okafor have discussed attending the same school for a couple of years now.
The Gophers are still technically on Jones' list -- and he won't say he's eliminated them -- but the guard landing at Minnesota is beyond an outside chance, as he and Okafor remain serious about being a package deal. The two did their official visits at the schools they are considering together.
"We're pretty positive," said Jones on a Monday night radio appearance on 105 The Ticket. "It's not 100 percent that we're going to the same school, but it's up there pretty close to 100."
Minn Star Trib
Naturally, opinions abound, but we caught up with a handful of elite players who know Okafor and Jones and had them reveal their pick on which school they think will ultimately win out.
Joel Berry, Lake Highland Prep (Orlando), PG, 2014 College: North Carolina
My prediction is that Tyus and Jahlil will go to: Duke. I feel like that's the best fit for both of them. I think all of the other schools that they have on their list have their pieces that they need already.
Devin Booker, Moss Point (Moss Point, Miss.), SG, 2014 College: Kentucky
My prediction is that Tyus and Jahlil will go to: Kansas. I feel like both of them will fit perfectly into the system and their spots will be open. They will be going in with their wingman already established with Kelly (Oubre) and Wiggy (Andrew Wiggins) will be gone.
Montaque Gill-Caesar, Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.), SF, 2015 College: Undecided
My prediction is that Tyus and Jahlil will go to: Duke. All I've ever heard about those two Duke has been in the convo, and they just look like Duke-type players.
Grayson Allen, Providence (Jacksonville, Fla.), SG, 2014 College: Duke
My prediction is that Tyus and Jahlil will go to: Duke! Get to play for the best coach in college basketball on a huge stage in front of the craziest fans. Plus, you get a great education. Best of both worlds!
D'Angelo Russell, Montverde (Montverde, Fla.), SG, 2014 College: Ohio State
My prediction is that Tyus and Jahlil will go to: Kansas.
Harry Giles III, Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.), F, 2016 College: Undecided
My prediction is that Tyus and Jahlil will go to: Duke. When I was there with them they had a really good vibe with Coach K. I think Duke is the school for them. I'm going to say Duke!
Malik Newman, Callaway (Callaway, Miss.), G, 2015 College: Undecided
My prediction is that Tyus and Jahlil will go to: Duke. They fit the system!
Myles Turner, Trinity (Euless, Texas), C, 2014 College: Undecided
My prediction is that Tyus and Jahlil will go to: Duke. Tyus and Jahlil want to go where they can be a package deal and Duke needs a post/point guard combo because Grayson (Allen) is the only player signed. Kansas is my second choice for them, but I think Cliff (Alexander) is going there too so that would probably eliminate them because I feel Jahlil would want the individual attention and the chance to shine at his position.
Ivan Rabb, Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, Calif.), C, 2015 College: Undecided
My prediction is that Tyus and Jahlil will go to: Duke. They just seem like they would fit into Coach K's system. Plus, they are both gold medalists already!
Stanley Johnson, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), SF, 2014 College: Undecided
My prediction is that Tyus and Jahlil will go to: Kansas. Because they both will start and it's high level. Plus, Kansas already has Kelly (Oubre).
Kelly Oubre, Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.), SF, 2014 College: Kansas
My prediction is that Tyus and Jahlil will go to: Kansas. We would be lethal and shine together. Lawrence is the place to be!
Clayton Custer is the only recruit expected to sign a national letter of intent with Iowa State Wednesday. The 6-foot-1 guard from Overland Park, Kan., verbally committed last November.
He chose the Cyclones over offers from Kansas State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
“Clayton is a solid combination guard who is an excellent shooter . . . out to 22 feet,” according to ESPN’s recruiting nation web site. “He has a good basketball I.Q., and can provide minutes at either guard spot. He has toughness and moxie, and plays the game with no fear. A pest on defense.” Custer averaged 22.4 points, 3.8 assists and 2.1 steals last season for Blue Valley Northwest High School.
Iowa State is in the mix for five-star prospect 6-5 Rashad Vaughn, who is playing this season at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev. He is the nation’s No. 12 prospect, according to Rivals.com.
Many people believe Vaughn, who will attend Sunday’s Iowa State-Michigan game at Hilton Coliseum, has narrowed his lengthy list of offers to the Cyclones and UNLV, although a decision isn’t likely until the spring.
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