Late Night in the Phog has closed the deal, so to speak, for many Kansas University basketball recruits throughout the years.
“I made my official visit to KU for Late Night. That was a good experience. It was intense. It was a different level,” said KU freshman Wayne Selden, a 6-foot-5 freshman guard from Roxbury, Mass., who actually orally committed to KU last Oct. 13 — the day after being blown away by Late Night 2012.
“I’m excited. I can’t wait to be a part of it this year,” Selden added.
Selden — he chose KU over Ohio State, Florida, UCLA, Syracuse and Missouri — this Friday will be helping host a batch of KU prospects who will be making official and unofficial recruiting visits.
As reported Monday, three of Rivals.com’s top-ranked high school seniors — No. 4 Cliff Alexander, 6-8 power forward from Chicago Curie High; No. 12 Kelly Oubre, 6-7 shooting guard from Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev.; and No. 17 Malik Pope, 6-8 small forward from Laguna Creek High in Elk Grove, Calif. — will be in the stands for the 6:30 p.m. Late Night.
A batch of juniors likely to attend Late Night as identified by Rivals.com: No. 11-rated (in Class of 2015) Charles Matthews, 6-4, combo guard, Chicago St. Rita; No. 14 King McClure, 6-3 combo guard, Dallas Triple A Academy; No. 39 William Jackson, 6-4 point guard, Athens (Ga) Christian School and No. 68 Jarvis Johnson, 6-1 point guard, Minneapolis (Minn.) De La Salle. No. 9 Elijah Thomas, 6-9 forward, Lancaster (Texas) High, hopes he’ll be able to attend.
Conference chatter: CBSsports.com’s college basketball analysts predicted champions in the country’s conferences on Monday. Gary Parrish, Jeff Borzello, Matt Norlander, Jerry Palm and Jon Rothstein picked KU to win the Big 12 for a 10th-straight season; Doug Gottlieb went with his alma mater, Oklahoma State.
10/1/13, 9:09 PM
Thanks to @JayBilas for coming to practice today. Super sharp guy who has a PASSION for the game of basketball and some great jokes too!
The nature of recruiting coverage and the breadth of Wiggins’ athleticism combined to make him perhaps the most hyped player ever to arrive on a college campus.
Is that possible? Yes, it is. Lew Alcindor was the most transformative high school player of all time, but in 1965 few followed high school basketball recruiting. In 2003, LeBron James deservedly became a household name while playing prep ball in Akron, but he skipped past college hoops and went directly to the NBA.
In part through his talent, in part through his decision to extend his recruitment well into the spring of 2013, Wiggins became an obsession.
So what’s all the fuss about?
There is no doubting his athleticism. You don’t need to put him through combine-style testing to see that his first step when driving the ball and his ability to leap quickly and high rank with the best you’ve seen play basketball. Applying those qualities to the sport, though, is not an automatic process. Wiggins has not been an exceptional 3-point shooter, so defenders will back away and dare him to shoot. Some players are quick enough to blow past even a defender who is positioned several feet away, and he very well may be one of those, but it’s generally tougher to impact the game in this manner.
He’ll also have to learn how to be an effective rebounder when he isn’t often stationed near the goal at either end. Rebounding was a big part of what made him such an exciting prospect, but it’s a different process when playing in a college structure.
What genuinely could ignite a dominant freshman season for Wiggins is the NCAA rules committee’s promise to alter how it officiates the block/charge call. If defenders no longer are permitted to hop in front of driving players and fall down once the shooter begins the process of pulling up for a floater or layup, Wiggins could blow away opponents with his attacks.
Wouldn’t that be fun to watch?
The Sporting News: Seven Players with Pressure to Perform
Big 12/College News
DeLoss Dodds, the Texas athletic director who built the program into a Goliath of college sports in terms of wealth, power and prestige, said Tuesday he is ready to retire and leave the Longhorns — and some potentially tough coaching decisions — in someone else's hands after three decades at the helm.
The 76-year-old Dodds has led the Texas program since 1981, when he took a job that oversaw an athletic department budget of about $4 million. He will leave it Aug. 31, 2014, with an annual budget of nearly $170 million, upgraded and expanded facilities, and its own television network.
"This is a big day for me. I've thought a lot about it," Dodds said at a campus news conference with university President Bill Powers. "In 62 years, it will be the first time I haven't had a job ... That's long enough to work ... We've had a great run."
Dodds will move into a paid consulting role after he steps down as AD. Powers said a search for Dodds' replacement will begin immediately and the new boss could step into the job as soon as being hired, with Dodds helping make the transition.
"We do not need somebody in a week," Powers said. "We can be thoughtful."
Hot seats have been speculated for Brown and Barnes, and Dodds did not answer questions about prospective coaching changes.
“Anything this department does significantly over the next year needs to have the hand of the new person on it,” Dodds said.
The poor records have happened despite Texas’ position as the top revenue producer in college sports at $163.3 million for 2012-13, according to federal figures.
Dodds was in on the formation of the Big 12, bringing together the Longhorns and three other schools from the Southwest Conference with the Big Eight in the mid-1990s. He had extensive experience in both leagues.
Texas’ wealth and facilities were the primary reasons Dodds was lured away from Kansas State in 1981.
At the time, the Wildcats’ athletic budget was about $3 million. Texas was spending about $6 million on its men’s sports, and its venues, Memorial Stadium for football and the Erwin Center for basketball, ranked among the nation’s largest.
He was an attractive candidate because of his diverse background. Dodds had spent the previous three seasons as K-State’s athletic director. Before that, he spent two years working in the Big Eight office in Kansas City as associate commissioner under Chuck Neinas, and he was the Wildcats’ track coach during 1963-76.
As K-State’s athletic director, Dodds navigated through the choppy waters of NCAA trouble he inherited. The Wildcats received sanctions that today would rank as the most severe in college sports — docking of 20 scholarships, no postseason or television appearances for two years and penalized one-third of conference revenue from media contracts and bowl games for three years. The major crime: awarding too many football scholarships.
Dodds worked to get the financial portion of the penalty reduced, and the athletic department’s morale greatly improved during his tenure.
If anybody seemed like a Kansan for life, it was Dodds. He was raised in Riley, Kan., just outside of Manhattan, and like so many Kansas youth, took to running. At K-State, Dodds became a Big Eight champion quarter-miler and anchored two champion relay teams. In 1963, he became the program’s track and cross country coach, winning a total of six league titles.
In college basketball, it's not how you start. It's how you finish.
The Baylor Bears were cutting down nets after a season-ending victory, but the championship rings the players received didn't have the shine coach Scott Drew hoped for at the start of last season.
Nevertheless Baylor's NIT championship was a byproduct of a late-surging team that went on to win six of its last seven games, including a 23-point rout of Kansas in March and a 20-point beatdown of Iowa in the NIT championship. That elite level from the late-season stretch was missing during the regular season under the NCAA tournament committee microscope, as the Bears suffered three-game skids twice during Big 12 Conference play.
Now, the Bears have their sights on other hardware and plan to use last season's finish as a confidence boost heading into 2013-14 returning one of the best front lines in the country with 7-1 Isaiah Austin and 6-9 Corey Jefferson.
USA Today: #29 Baylor
When Oklahoma State men's basketball single-game tickets go on sale at 8 a.m. Tuesday, three games will be noticeably missing.
Tickets to this year's Oklahoma, Kansas and Kansas State games are available to season-ticket holders or flex-package purchasers only, at least for the time being. The university's athletic department is in wait-and-see mode before deciding whether the change is permanent.
"With our initial on-sale, we won't have those (three games)," said Adam Haukap, senior associate athletic director in charge of ticket sales and marketing. "... We won't have single-games, if we do, until closer to the event."
What did you learn from last season and the 2012 team about coaching young teams that you can apply to this one?
"No. 1 thing is you have to have – you can't do what I did last year and have eight kids on scholarship. You just can't. What happens is, you know, people want to talk about just the competition – and it's true; you can't save these kids from competition. I can't save my own children from competition. That's the United States. That's what we're about. So, what I tried to do was like, 'It's his turn, it's his turn. We just won the national title. I don't want bring (too many new) kids – you know, let these (veteran) kids …' You can't do it that way. We had no competition.
"But more than that, there were guys that needed to be out of the game, and they knew it. Like Alex (Poythress) at times. So it's kind of like you're playing golf and it goes south so you try to play 27 more holes and it just gets worse. Your best bet is: when it started, go home, have a beer, laugh about it and then go out tomorrow and you play better. Well that happens if you have enough players. So it's not just the competition. There were times Archie (Goodwin) needed to get his – 'Just sit for awhile kid. I'm not mad at you. Just sit down.' Well, we couldn't do it. I did it, and I looked and I went, 'Oh my gosh, go back in.' You can't do it that way. So I know there's a number that's too many, but you can't do what we did a year ago. That was my own – I did it, you know? It's what I did. It was my choice. And so, you look back and say we put the kids in a bad position on a lot of fronts."
USA Today: John Calipari
The NCAA has been granting waivers left and right this offseason, but that stopped on Tuesday evening.
Illinois guard Ahmad Starks saw his hardship waiver request denied, meaning the Oregon State transfer will have to sit out this season before suiting up for the Fighting Illini in 2014-15.
Starks, a Chicago native who played at legendary Whitney Young High School, left Oregon State in April in order to be closer to his sick grandmother back home. However, because his home is more than 100 miles from Champaign, Ill., the location of Illinois' campus, his waiver was denied.
An attorney named Jeff Kessler -- who is credited with creating free agency in the NFL -- is now about to spearhead an effort to give college players representation. For many, this is a move long overdue, given college sports/the NCAA is now collectively being paid more than $16 billion in TV contracts, according to Bloomberg.com's piece.
Winston & Strawn LLP is the law firm (based in New York City) that will attempt to alter the relationship between the NCAA and its players -- and also "coaches, schools and conferences." Kessler is a powerful voice and attorney, and this movement could be a culture change for college sports as we know it.
Big XII composite schedule
ESPN College GameDay Schedule
2013-14 Early-season events schedule
Hey, what's up guys, I'm back with a new blog.
Since the last one I've gone on an official visit to Baylor and had a great time.
I flew in on a Friday night and we got in late so we just went back to the hotel and relaxed. The van that they came to pick us up in was really cool. It was decked out in Baylor everything. Like a Baylor custom van. I've never seen anything like it.
The next day we took a tour of the campus and met the president of the school and things like that. We toured the facilities too. They're really nice. Everything there is definitely top of the line.
After that we played some pick-up with the team, which was fun. It was really competitive. It was cool to see how they did things. The fans showed a lot of love too.
Sunday we met with the advisors and had a good meeting with Coach (Scott) Drew. The crazy thing that we did on Sunday was met the live bears.
Yes, they had real bears on campus and we got to go over and feed them. I didn't know what to think at first because, I mean, they're bears, but it turned out to be pretty cool!
After that we just chilled. It was a really good visit. We had a ball. Of course I was there with my boy Jahlil (Okafor) so that made it even better.
Also, I have a cousin that's on staff down there, Jared Nuness, and it was really good to be able to catch up with him.
My next visit will be Oct. 18 to Kansas and the week after that I'll head over to Duke. Jahlil is headed with me on both visits. So hopefully that shows everyone that we still have the same plan to play together in college. That's 100 percent still the plan. I know there are a lot of rumors going around out there, but we're not paying any attention to that. We know that people are gonna talk, but we know the plan. That's all that matters.
USA Today: Tyus Jones Blog
Duke’s dream of landing the trifecta of Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow might take a step closer to reality after all three visit the campus the weekend of Oct. 25.
Various reports indicate that Winslow will join Jones and Okafor on their official visit that weekend.
…Winslow is coming off a string of visits to Texas A&M, Florida and UCLA, and Davis said her son still planned to visit Duke, Arizona, Stanford and Kansas in October though she was not certain of all dates.
"I don't know how the last three are going to play itself out," she said. " I don't know who's going to get the unofficial."
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