It looks as if the popular early-season Champions Classic — a one-day, one-site doubleheader matching college basketball powerhouses Kansas University, Kentucky, Duke and Michigan State in a round-robin format — will be renewed for another three years.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said Friday on Lansing, Mich., radio station WVFN, that he believed Kentucky had “a little problem (with scheduling)” that had been resolved. Izzo said “I think they (Wildcats) just re-upped. I think it’s all but moving forward.
“We definitely wanted to sign up for another three years,” Izzo added. “It’s been a great event, good for our fans, alumni in those areas (New York, Atlanta and this year, Chicago). I don’t know where it’ll be at. There are rumors Atlanta, Indianapolis and Chicago. I’ve heard different rumors where.”
Larry Keating, who is in charge of KU’s scheduling as special assistant to the athletic director, said Sunday that KU has agreed to continue being a part of the four-team Classic. KU which lost to Kentucky in 2011 in New York and fell to Michigan State last season in Atlanta, will meet Duke at 8:30 p.m., Nov. 12 at Chicago’s United Center. UK meets MSU in the early game.
“I think everybody’s happy with it,” Keating said of the four schools. “There have been discussions for a year about renewing it. It’s a matter of everybody filling their schedules, (ESPN) getting the cities and facilities lined up (before anything is announced). I do believe it’ll stay the first Tuesday of the season, anchoring ESPN’s 24 hours of basketball.”
Keating said the event has been great for KU alumni in New York and Atlanta. “And we expect a large crowd in Chicago,” Keating said of the Jayhawks’ massive alumni base in the Windy City.
Kansas University forward Perry Ellis had a close-up view as KU freshman teammate Wayne Selden drove baseline and put in a one-handed reverse jam during the adidas Nations camp last week in Los Angeles.
The only problem? Ellis was playing for the other team.
“You can’t really do anything (afterwards). Just go the other way,” Ellis said with a laugh. “That’s going to be great to have (at KU).”
Ellis, Selden and KU freshman center Joel Embiid all participated as counselors at the camp, giving instruction to younger players while also playing in camp counselor games against other collegians.
Ellis mostly went against Baylor’s Cory Jefferson, UCLA’s David and Travis Wear and Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell.
“I felt I did real well,” Ellis said. “I was just really trying to get better.”
Andrew Wiggins (FR @ Kansas), Tyler Ennis (FR @ Syracuse) & Kevin Pangos (JR Gonzaga) were all inattendence for Canada's W over Jamaica
KUAD Press Release: KU alum, Dean Smith, to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom
The Presidential Medal of Freedom award for former North Carolina coach Dean Smith was an honor well deserved. The recognition by President Barack Obama, like those before him since President John F. Kennedy created the award, is meant to be for individuals who have set themselves apart in their chosen field, but not always for simply the craft that made them so successful. Smith did so much more than simply coach and win basketball games. He wasn't afraid to be active in the world in which he coached in the 1960s. He set a high example for himself and the program. North Carolina coach Roy Williams said in a statement Thursday, "But more than basketball, it was his social conscience that has left even greater marks on our society and will be paying dividends for generations.'' Smith has been battling memory loss over the past few seasons. No one knows if he'll be able to attend the ceremony at the White House when the date is announced. But let's hope he can make an appearance. His family deserves to see him praised publicly. That's what makes the timing right, so those who love him can celebrate his life's accomplishments with him.
…The Big 12 made the right call in having Kansas and Oklahoma State play on March 1 -- in Stillwater -- in what should be one of the best atmospheres and showdowns next season. KU and OSU should dominate the landscape on that day. This would give the focus to the Big 12 with Andrew Wiggins and Marcus Smart headlining the game. Like it or not, Duke-North Carolina the ensuing weekend usually draws a lot of attention. If KU-OSU were opposite that game there's a good chance it would still be the game of the day based on preseason projections. But this way there is no debate with Kansas and Oklahoma State on a separate weekend.
8/7/13, 1:08 AM
Just found out the video I made for @BenMcLemore @KUHoops @KUAthletics Ben McLemore Rising Up is nominated for an #Emmy ! #exciting
The Wheel named #3 Best College Bar
Free agent Xavier Henry is "really impressing" in Los Angeles summer action and could latch on with a team soon.
Henry hasn't gotten much interest this summer, but recent speculation has suggested he might be a fit for the 76ers. A former lottery pick, Henry has averaged just 4.5 points per game in three NBA seasons but is still only 22 years old.
Big 12/College News
Big XII composite schedule
This season’s Big Monday presented by Bud Light men’s college basketball doubleheader will include the debut of the Atlantic Coast Conference and the return of the Big 12. Airing every Monday during conference play from January 13 to March 3, the ACC will make its debut in ESPN’s popular weekly series in the 7 p.m. ET window, prior to the Big 12 matchup at 9 p.m. The Big 12 has had a presence on Big Monday since the league’s inception in 1996-97.
ESPN (Complete Monday schedule at the link)
At 7 p.m. ET on Nov. 11, the Marathon begins with an ESPN2 women's doubleheader (Stanford-UConn; then Tennessee-North Carolina) and an ESPNU men's doubleheader (Kent State-Temple; then Colorado State-Gonzaga). At 7:30 p.m. ET on Nov. 12, the Marathon ends with a Champions Classic doubleheader that very well might match up four of the nation's top five teams (Kentucky-Michigan State; Kansas-Duke).
In between, starting at 11 p.m. ET on the 11th, there's a run of men's games that will keep the hardcore fans up all night and morning and begging for caffeine by lunchtime. Who will be participating in those games? Well, stick with us here in the Nation blog. We'll be revealing each of the Marathon matchups at the corresponding time they'll be taking place three months from now. Keep this page open and refresh every two hours and you'll get a new game, along with an early analysis of the matchup. Starting with ...
As Ford and I talked, Smart was across town participating as one of just two invited collegians at USA Basketball's national team camp. It was affirmation of his place as a big man on campus, yet he was still very much the wide-eyed child. "Marcus couldn't believe that those [NBA] guys knew who he was. He was all excited that John Wall came up to him and said his name," Ford said. It's exactly the kind of educational experience Smart came back for. Ford knows that Smart doesn't need to rework his game during the off-season, but he still has much room to improve. Said Ford, "I've challenged him to get a little bit better at everything."
With Smart back in the fold, Oklahoma State will return all but one starter from the team that went 24-9 and lost to Oregon in the Round of 32 at the NCAA tournament. (That lone lost starter, 6-foot-11 senior center Philip Jurick, averaged just 17 minutes per game.) Nor is Smart the only future pro. Markel Brown, a 6-3 senior, was essentially tied with Smart as the team's leading scorer last season. Brown is an exceptional athlete who has vastly improved his outside shooting and was among the collegians invited to compete at the LeBron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas last month.
Le'Bryan Nash, meanwhile, is also poised for a breakout season. The 6-7 junior was a highly-regarded recruit coming out of Dallas, but he has been plagued by inconsistency his first two seasons. Nash has good size and strength for his position, but he tends to drift too much on the perimeter. Ford has been working on convincing Nash to use his size more next season. "He really understands what's going to get him to the next level," Ford said. "He's realizing now, 'I'm big and strong. I can't be stopped five feet in.' When he came here, he probably thought he was one and done, but he has been very coachable and shown a lot of maturity."
With so many quality vets returning, it's unlikely that any of the Cowboys' freshmen will make an impact, but there will be one critical addition in 6-5 junior forward Brian Williams. After missing the first 18 games because of a broken wrist last season, Williams, who averaged 12 points per game in conference play as a freshman, was mostly a marginal player down the stretch, but he should be ready to make a greater impact this winter. Ford described Williams as a high-energy player as well as the team's best on-ball defender. "He can guard every position," Ford said. "He's the reason I think we'll be better."
When Smart announced he was returning, a lot of people predicted that Oklahoma State would end Kansas' nine-year streak as champs in the Big 12. I told Ford I was skeptical of that claim even before the Jayhawks landed the top high school player in the country, Andrew Wiggins. The coach did not disagree. "Until somebody finishes ahead of Kansas, I'd pick 'em every year, too," he said. That aside, Ford has no intention of trying to tamp down the hype. "I understand that people think we're going to be really good, but that's what you want," he said. "I just have to make sure our players understand that we haven't done anything yet."
…If there is one program that best exemplifies the vagaries of revolving-door transfers, it is Memphis. Under Pastner, the program has a sterling academic record; 10 players on the current roster, including five juniors, will have their undergraduate degrees by the time the season starts.
The flip side to that is the NCAA rule that allows students who earn their degrees with eligibility remaining to transfer to another school and play right away. Two of the Tigers' most important players from last season, 6-2 guard Antonio Barton and 6-9 forward Tarik Black, took advantage of that rule and transferred to Tennessee and Kansas, respectively. Yet, when I asked Pastner about that during the Adidas Super 64, he expressed no bitterness. "They got their degrees. They did their jobs," he said. "If the rules allow a change of scenery, I'm behind them a hundred percent."
Those defections forced Pastner to hit the phones and try to recruit some transfers of his own. "I was a general manager," he quipped. He found two good ones -- David Pellom, a 6-8 forward from George Washington, and Michael Dixon, a 6-1 combo guard from Missouri. Pellom will be able to play right away thanks to the graduate rule, but Dixon's situation is trickier. He left Missouri last winter after a female student accused him of sexual assault, the second time Dixon had been accused of that in three years. Because Dixon was not enrolled at another school, he is not yet eligible to play for Memphis. The school has submitted a waiver to the NCAA in hopes he will get cleared, just as the NCAA granted a waiver that allowed former Xavier guard Dez Wells to play at Maryland last season.
When I said to Pastner that taking a player with Dixon's past was a big risk, he stood firm, pointing out that Dixon was never charged, much less prosecuted, in either instance. "We have tremendous faith in law enforcement and prosecution. In the end we trusted them," Pastner said. "All of us, myself and our administration, talked to Michael and asked some hard questions. We all believed we should give him an opportunity."
SI Seth Davis
In the days leading up to an important March home game against Kansas, Cory Jefferson had a conversation that changed him. Jefferson’s mindset wasn’t where he needed it to be, but after speaking with a close friend, something clicked. From that point on, Jefferson made an effort to be more aggressive, more assertive, whenever he took the court.
After scoring 25 points, grabbing seven rebounds and blocking three shots in Baylor’s 81-58 pasting of the Jayhawks, Jefferson realized how important a simple shift in mental approach could be for his basketball future. “I just needed to be more aggressive,” Jefferson says. “That’s the main thing I wanted to focus on in every game near the end of the season.”
…Baylor has what it takes to enter the league championship discussion. Returning big man Isaiah Austin, Ricardo Gathers and Jefferson, freshmen Ishmail Wainright and Allerik Freeman (Denver transfer Royce O’Neale, who could play significant minutes, has not heard back from the NCAA on the undergraduate hardship waiver he applied for to play this season), and junior college transfer Kenny Chery give the Bears one of the most talented rotations in the conference. And depending on how much you believe in superstition, the Bears — who have alternated NCAA Tournament appearances with either NITs or no postseason going back to 2007-08 — are right on schedule for another NCAA birth. (Are there NO editors? Good grief, this is SI, not Bleacher Report. Unless the NCAA is preggers it's berth people!)
“With the team we have, I definitely like how we’re looking and how everybody is coming together,” Jefferson says. “I definitely think we’re capable of accomplishing a lot of things.”
Wichita State’s men’s basketball team will play Western Kentucky at midnight on Nov. 12 (evening of Nov. 11) as part of ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon.
The game, televised on ESPN2 as part of ESPN’s 24-hour-plus coverage, won’t tip off WSU’s season, however. The Shockers will open the season a few days earlier and are holding out for a spot in another season tip-off, this one a four-game event on Nov. 8 at Dallas’ American Airlines Center.
WSU senior associate athletic director Darron Boatright said the Shockers are part of the event, if a suitable opponent can be found. Three games are set — Alabama-Oklahoma, Baylor-Colorado and TCU-SMU. The promoter, Boatright said, is working to find an opponent from a power conference for WSU.
“There’s still an opportunity in Dallas,” Boatright said. “They are really struggling to find someone willing to play us. We’re sitting and hoping somebody gets backed in a corner where they can’t do anything else. We’ll be there to help them.”
If the Dallas game doesn’t come through, Boatright expects WSU to add a non-Division I opponent on the afternoon of Nov. 9 to open the season. WSU plays a home volleyball game that evening.
Rick’s last roll? With another bad year looming and in-state talent flooding elsewhere, the Horns’ gig could be the Buzz job next spring.
SI: 2013 Twitter State of the Union
USA Today College BBall Countdown: #65 Norfolk State
Men’s basketball coach Larry Eustachy has agreed to a new contract that will keep him at Colorado State through the 2017-18 season and that has options for three additional seasons. Eustachy, who started his head coaching career at Idaho, led the Rams to a school-record 26-win season and an NCAA tournament win over Missouri last season, his first at the school. CSU also cracked the AP Top 25 for the first time since 1954 and Eustachy became the only head coach in NCAA history to lead five different schools to 24 or more wins in a season. Eustachy’s base salary goes up to $910,000 next season and rises by 2 percent each year.
The room many college athletics insiders consider to be the most powerful secret lair in the business essentially boils down to two tables, a handful of chairs and a sofa that faces what looks like a fancy entertainment unit complete with a flat-screen television.
Looks, as we all well know, can be deceiving. This nondescript conference room, housed in a traditional-looking office on the 29th floor of a high-rise building in Atlanta, is where college search committees gather to find athletic directors and athletic directors meet to find their next coaches.
And that ordinary television is actually a display window for a database that essentially serves as college athletics' biggest dating service.
This is Parker Executive Search, a company that insists it is little more than a headhunter, but whose perceived influence has reached nearly mythical proportions.
"If I was a young guy looking for a job, I'd make sure that the people at Parker knew who I was," said Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin.
In the past decade, colleges have increasingly turned to search firms to help them choose administrators, athletic directors and coaches.
The rise in coaching searches isn't random. It coincides directly with an increase in salaries, a change in the profile of the typical athletic director -- fewer are ex-coaches; more are coming from the business sector -- and the evolution of a 24/7 news cycle that makes privacy and plausible deniability both more desirable and more difficult to achieve.
But as with anything new, the increased use of search firms has been met head-on by an increased wave of paranoia, rumor and innuendo.
Plenty of people simply don't trust them, convinced they are little more than a fraternity or secret society: If you're in the popular crowd, you get the interview; if you're not, you don't.
"They get their guys; they ride their guys," said an agent who represents several college basketball coaches.
A rental car driven by suspended North Carolina basketball player P.J. Hairston also had a dozen campus parking citations over a two-month period, according to records released by the university Friday.
Hairston was charged in May with speeding while driving the 2012 Camaro, which has a Virginia license plate. There were no citations for vehicles registered to Hairston and it's unclear if he was in possession of the rental car at the time of the parking violations. The vehicle was rented from Hertz by a felon facing pending drug charges, or a woman sharing the felon's home address, at the time of each citation.
The violations run from April 1 to May 28, according to records released by the school in response to a public records request by The Associated Press. Ten of them were issued while the car was rented from March 25 to April 15 under the name of Haydn Patrick "Fats" Thomas, whose name also appeared on rental records for the 2013 SUV that Hairston was driving on the night of his June arrest on a misdemeanor drug charge that was later dismissed.
The final two parking citations were issued while the car was rented from April 25 to June 17 under the name of Catinia Farrington, who shares Thomas' Durham address. Hairston was charged May 13 with driving 54 mph in a 45-mph zone in Durham in the car.
Three of the citations were issued while the Camaro was parked near the Smith Center and Hairston's dorm.
American Traffic Solutions, an Arizona-based company that handles unpaid parking violations for Hertz and other rental agencies, paid UNC $265 in a check dated May 30 to cover seven violations for the Camaro. Charles Territo, a spokesman for American Traffic Solutions, said Friday evening that the company then billed $475 — which included administrative fees — on June 18 to Thomas' credit card listed on rental records for the vehicle.
The judge in former college basketball star Ed O'Bannon's lawsuit pertaining to the use of college athletes' names and likenesses on Thursday rejected the NCAA's request for an expedited case management conference, canceled a hearing that had been set for Sept. 5 and said she will instead rule on a series of recent motions by the NCAA and other defendants based on written filings.
The NCAA and co-defendants Electronic Arts, the video game manufacturer, and Collegiate Licensing Co., the nation's leading collegiate trademark licensing and marketing firm, each filed motions last week in response to the plaintiffs' July 18 filing of an amended complaint and their addition of current college athletes as named plaintiffs.
Q&A with Jay Bilas on his dust-up with the NCAA
For the eighth straight year, the University of Texas collected the most royalties of any college or university represented by the Collegiate Licensing Company, whose clients include all the major schools except Ohio State, Michigan State, University of Southern California and Oregon.
SEC schools dominated the top 10 in royalty rankings released by the company on Monday.
The University of Alabama came in second, followed by Kentucky (5), LSU (6), Florida (7), Georgia (8) and Arkansas (10), which broke the top 10 for the first time. Notre Dame (3), University of Michigan (4) and UNC (9) rounded out the top 10.
The list, which represented royalties on the $4.6 billion annual college merchandise business, reflects money collected by schools on sales of gear from July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013.
Schools that saw a rise in the royalty rankings include Notre Dame, which went from ninth last season to third after playing in the BCS title game.
Texas A&M, thanks in part to an 11-2 season in its first year in the SEC and quarterback Johnny Manziel winning the Heisman Trophy, jumped from No. 19 to No. 12 over the past year, and University of Louisville moved from No. 32 last year to No. 25 thanks to the success of its championship men's basketball licensing program.
The biggest slide in merchandise royalties was Penn State, likely due to the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Penn State dropped from 10 to 12 last year and fell seven more spots this year to No. 19.
Nike was the No. 1 apparel licensee among college teams, while EA Sports, whose college game is the subject of two current lawsuits brought by former players, was the top non-apparel licensee.
Complete list (KU #22)
Former Emporia State University basketball star Sean Robbins has been found dead in a Chicago hotel room. Robbins was traveling on business according to an ESU official. At the time of his death, Robbins was employed by WSI Kimberly-Clark near Tulsa and he resided in Owasso, OK. He was 41.
Robbins played at Emporia State as a freshman in 1990-91 and again from 1992-95, after a year at Kansas State. Robbins averaged 18.4 points per game in his career and his 1,396 points ranks him 7th in the all-time Hornet record book. Robbins' 45 points against Lincoln in 1995 is still the 10th highest single-game total in ESU history. His 216 made 3-point FGs is still a school record. Robbins was 2nd team All-MIAA his senior season in 1995.
Prior to his career at E-State, Robbins was a star at Waverly High School.
2013-14 Early-season events schedule
When coveted Class of 2014 point guard Dominic Magee received texts from a handful of prominent college coaches at the end of the July evaluation period last week, the Louisiana product tweeted screen grabs of each of them.
Needless to say, the texts were revealing about each coach's recruiting style.
…Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford uses more exclamation points than the average 13-year-old girl -- 12 in one text to be precise. Ford also touts his track record for getting players to the NBA as "proven" even though the only Cowboys player in the NBA that he coached, James Anderson, has been waived by three teams in the past year. Hmmm, at least Marcus Smart and perhaps Markel Brown and LeBryan Nash should change that soon.
Yahoo (more pics at the link)
Five-star center Myles Turner (Bedford, Texas/Trinity) has confirmed that he has trimmed his list to eight schools. In no particular order, the finalists for high school basketball’s hottest prospect are Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Arizona, Ohio State, Oklahoma State and Texas.
Turner has an official visit set up with Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks on Oct 4.
Turner also has a home visit set with Texas on Sept. 9 and plans to go unofficially to Austin as well.
"I have done my research and after studying demographics, coaching staffs, head coaches' records and history, these are the schools I have settled on at this point in the process," Turner said.
Only a few months ago, Turner was essentially unknown as a prospect, not even ranked in most analysts’ top 100. He has been delighted by the sort of ascent last seen when Carly Rae Jepsen released “Call Me Maybe.” From nowhere to superstar.
Now Kansas and coach Bill Self want Turner, and he has committed to make an official visit at Midnight Madness. “I like what I see, have a good relationship with Coach.”
…Turner was raised to play in the frontcourt, although he only grew to true center size in his ninth-grade year. He has been well-coached in the game and owns a full arsenal of offensive skills that includes a jump-hook in the post that makes great use of his length, excellent balance and hand-eye coordination that allow him to score on duck-unders from even eight or 10 feet, and of course his terrific face-up shooting.
He gives the credit to his father, David, a New York native who learned the game on the city’s playgrounds.
“He learned how to be a fundamental player with the mix of a little bit of street ball, a little bit of toughness,” Turner said. “From a young age he taught me to the basic moves: basic drop-step, basic pull-up jumpers, stuff like that. I’ve always had a jump-hook. I haven’t been using it as much lately. I’ve really been pushed out, but that’s definitely a weapon I have.”
He is best-known, however, for his feet. Hall of Famer Bob Lanier played in size 22 sneakers. So did Shaquille O’Neal. Turner wears a size 21—which, frankly, looks even bigger than it sounds.
Turner once grew three shoe sizes, from a 14 to a 17, in two weeks. At the same time he was shooting up from 6-4 to 6-8. He is asked about this often, and he’s fine with it.
“People are curious. I think it’s a pretty cool story myself,” Turner said. “I don’t ever want to be a burden to people, come off mean, so I’m open to everybody.”
Turner has one of the more delightful personalities of any elite prospect in recent years. Opponents might catch him smiling as he blocks their shots.
The Sporting News
My top 7 college choices in no particular order: Kansas BYU Florida Ohio St Virginia Arizona UCLA
8/11/13, 10:19 AM
#KU along with Indiana and Duke picking up interest on 6-foot-9, power forward Chase Jeter
ESPN 60 center Chase Jeter (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman) has good genes. His father, Chris, was a member of the UNLV 1990 national title team, and UNLV should be considered the favorite here. Stacey Augmon, a teammate of Jeter’s father at UNLV, is now an assistant with the Rebels.
I've decided that I want to go ahead and get my decision out of the way in November. That's always been a goal of mine because I don't want it hanging over my head my whole senior year. I want to be able to focus on my last season and have fun. I don't want that stress.
Me and Jahlil have been talking about it and we're on the same page with that. I have no idea where I'll go yet, but I know that it can get really stressful. That's why I told myself by November I'll have it done. It gives me something to work toward.
I've definitely felt the urgency from the coaches now that the summer is over. They are definitely letting me know that they want me more and being really open about it. It's just another reason why I want to have a decision made by the fall. I know it will only get more intense.
It's a tough decision and it has gotten a little stressful, but I always remind myself that it's a blessing and that so many people want to be in this position. That helps me keep things in perspective.
USA Today Tyus Jones blog
Below is an updated list of players invited to the Aug. 24 Elite 24 game in Brooklyn.
The game will be played at 7 p.m. ET and will be shown live on ESPNU.
Tyus Jones (Uncommitted)
Stanley Johnson (Uncommitted)
Chris McCullough (Syracuse)
Isaiah Whitehead (Uncommitted)
Justin Jackson (North Carolina)
Emmanuel Mudiay (Uncommitted)
Malik Newman (Uncommitted)
Ivan Raab (Uncommitted)
Kelly Oubre (Uncommitted)
Rashad Vaughn (Uncommitted)
Myles Turner (Uncommitted)
Justise Winslow (Uncommitted)
Karl Towns Jr. (Kentucky)
D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State)
Joel Berry (North Carolina)
Thon Maker (Uncommitted)
Stephen Zimmerman (Uncommitted)
Chris Chiozza (Florida)
Harry Giles (Uncommitted; Injured)
Goodluck Okonoboh (Uncommitted)
Devin Booker (Uncommitted)
Theo Pinson (North Carolina)
Dion Wiley (Maryland)
Romelo Trimble (Maryland)
Reid Travis (Uncommitted)
8/8/13, 4:12 PM
I don't have a leader. Stop the rumors.
Video: adidas nations Jahlil Okafor
The ongoing rumor that Duke is the leader for the recruiting package of No. 1-ranked senior Jahlil Okafor and No. 3-ranked Tyus Jones is ruining the recruiting process for the two players, Okafor's father said on Friday.
"It's disappointing. It's taking the fun out of the process for the two boys," Okafor's father, Chukwudi Okafor, said by phone on Friday. "That's a shame. Let the kids go through the process. I just want them to enjoy it, not the media, not Twitter, not the coaches, not the AAU coaches. Those kids are highly intelligent. They know what to do. Let it play out, and I think the world is in for something special."
"They're going to make their decision. Everybody is saying they say this and they say that. It's not fair to them. It's not fair to the other schools. It's not fair to Duke. They might want to go to Duke, but decide not to go there because everyone is saying that's where they're going. I'd hate for that to happen."
The rumor began with Okafor's club coach, Mike Irvin, recently telling the Chicago Sun-Times he believed Duke had "a really good chance to land [Okafor]." Irvin went on to say, "I think there is a great chance Tyus is going to Duke. So if [Okafor and Tyus] are going to school together ..."
From there, the rumor took off. Other reporters and bloggers followed with the same story, and it created a buzz on Twitter. It got to the point where Okafor tweeted on Thursday, "I don't have a leader. Stop the rumors."
"Let them decide," Chukwudi said. "No AAU coach knows; no high school coach knows; no parent knows. The reason no one knows is because they don't know."
…The two players will make official visits together to Baylor on Aug. 30, Kansas on Oct. 18 and Duke on Oct. 25. Okafor will visit Kentucky on Sept. 9 and Arizona on Oct. 11 without Jones. Okafor will also make unofficial visits to Illinois, Michigan State and Ohio State.
Okafor would like to make a decision in November, but his dad said that is not set in stone.
"If he's comfortable with the decision and school, he'll say it," Chukwudi said. "He wants to know the school where he's going as bad as everyone wants it. I want him to enjoy his senior year and move on to the next chapter."
Quentin Snider, a 6-1 senior point guard from Louisville, who is ranked No. 31 in the Class of 2014 by Rivals.com, recently decided to re-open his recruitment after committing to Louisville on Aug. 4, 2011. Snider’s dad, Scott, told Peegs.com that schools on his new list include KU, Indiana, Louisville, Minnesota, Marquette, West Virginia, USC, Illinois, UConn, UCLA, Memphis, Oklahoma State, Michigan State, Xavier, Cincinnati and Vanderbilt.
Oubre MVP: Kelly Oubre, a 6-5 senior from Bush High in Richmond, Texas, who has KU on his list of prospective schools, scored 22 points and dished seven assists, earning MVP honors at the Big Strick Classic all-star game on Saturday in New York City. He is ranked No. 19 in the Class of 2014 by Rivals.com. Oubre has a list of KU, Florida, Kentucky, Georgetown, Louisville, Oregon, UConn and UNLV.
Cheick Diallo, 6-9 junior from Our Savior New American High in Centereach, N.Y., who is ranked No. 6 in the Class of 2015, had 21 points and 13 rebounds. Diallo has scholarship offers from KU, UConn, Texas, Louisville, Syracuse, Villanova and others, Zagsblog.com indicates. Stephen Zimmerman, a 7-foot junior from Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas, who is considering KU and many others, had 19 points and seven boards. He’s ranked No. 2 in the Class of 2015.
8/9/13, 9:53 PM
SF Kelly Oubre (@K_Ctmd22) pours in 34 pts for USA White in a 103-87 win over USA Blue, representing @HoustonHoops17U #BigStrickClassic
Q&A with Rashad Vaughn
My KU Alumni games, 2011-12 Border War, Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos, Late Night in the Phog, and more now on YouTube