What he brings: It would be hard to find a player with a better combination of athleticism and assertiveness out west than Lightfoot. He runs like a deer in transition and attacks the rim with a vengeance. Despite his slight frame he plays through contact and loves the physical aspects of the game. Defensively, he shows excellent timing as a rim protector and he is quite bouncy. His offensive game is a work in progress, but his face-up skills have improved each and every season.
How he fits: The way Bill Self and his coaching staff develop big men, you would be hard pressed to find a better situation for Lightfoot. The Jayhawks are known for their half court defense as well as the ability to get out in transition and convert easy buckets. Due to his ability to fill the lane in transition and explosive finishing ability, this should translate well for him. In the half court set Lightfoot is just tapping into his potential. He needs to get significantly stronger to convert plays in the paint and his overall post game (fundamentals and skill) is still quite raw.
How the class is shaping up: Surprisingly, the Jayhawks have started out slowly for the Class of 2016. However, after landing Lightfoot, there is speculation that the Jayhawks lead for elite big man Marques Bolden as well. In addition, if it doesn't work out with Bolden, fellow classmate Jarrett Allen is visiting Kansas this weekend.
Who he reminds us of: Due to his consistent motor at both ends and ability to finish plays in transition, Lightfoot has a nice dose of Tyler Hansbrough (Charlotte Hornets) in his game especially when his willowy frame fills out.
SI: Ranking Best Point Guards (Mason #9. Warning, it’s a slideshow)
“The most physical team in the past seemed to me to always have an advantage,” Self said. “We took great pride in our teams being physical. The team that hits first and team that doesn’t allow you to get to your spot, teams like that will be the teams in foul trouble and the opponents will be shooting a lot of free throws.”
Self said that he thinks basketball will “become a — ‘finesse’ game may not be the right word — but you can almost use that word. There will be more freedom of movement to actually make plays offensively.”
That sounds terrific. I wish he had stopped there, because I had been trying to suppress the potential dreaded consequence of the rules changes. But he didn’t stop there. He said it.
“I think there will be a ton of free throws,” Self said, words that had the same impact on my ears as someone snapping gum loudly while dragging fingernails across a chalkboard and telling me the kitchen just ran out of flan.
Therein lies the challenge for those charged with legislating and enforcing a better game: Find the best way to do it without turning games into a boring succession of:
- Everybody stops.
- One player shoots an uncontested 15-footer.
- Go back to the beginning and repeat steps 1 through 3.
UDK: The Ellen DeGeneres Show comes to KU
Inspired by game one of the World Series taking place Tuesday in nearby Kansas City, Mo., The Ellen DeGeneres Show came to the Kansas University campus Monday to drum up some team spirit.
Specifically, Royals spirit.
Though DeGeneres herself didn’t make the trip, representatives and camera crews from her show set up shop at the bottom of KU’s Campanile hill Monday afternoon and filmed scenes that will air on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Tuesday prior to the baseball game.
Hundreds of KU students and community members showed up to cheer on the Royals for the cameras — many dressed as various versions of kings, queens, princesses and Royals baseball stars, as instructed for a chance to win prizes from the show.
Tweets by DeGeneres — who claims a cool 49 million Twitter followers — started Saturday and, little by little, revealed more about what her show was doing on campus, when and where.
“Pay Heed. The game you love began here. Respect those who came before you. Make their legacy your own. Because destiny favors the dedicated. And rings don’t replace work. In this game you don’t get what you want. You get what you earn. We are Kansas. Together we rise. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!”
Big 12 / College News
A bad night is one that ends with you not only getting shot in the leg, but also arrested when police find a half pound of marijuana in your bag.
Glen Rice Jr., a former player for the Washington Wizards and the son of former NBA All-Star Glen Rice Sr., was reportedly shot Sunday night during an argument at a restaurant in Atlanta.
According to a police report obtained by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, employees at Scales 925 -- a restaurant co-founded by hip-hop star T.I. -- asked Rice and a group of men he was with to leave after they started arguing.
North Carolina is adding former Tar Heels player and Final Four most outstanding player Sean May to its basketball staff as assistant to the director of player development.
In a statement from the school, May says he has long been interested in college coaching. He says the job will help him "get started along that path at the place it all began for me" after playing professionally for a decade in the NBA and overseas.
Coach Roy Williams says May is "one of the smartest players I have ever coached" and that the job would give him the opportunity to learn from UNC's coaches.
Highly touted Purdue freshman Caleb Swanigan has not been cleared to play by the NCAA, a source told Bleacher Report Monday.
Purdue coach Matt Painter confirmed the news when reached on his cellphone.
"We're still working through the process," Painter said. He declined to comment further.
According to the source, the NCAA is investigating the relationship between Swanigan and Roosevelt Barnes, a Purdue alum who adopted Swanigan in May of 2011, prior to his eighth-grade year.
At the time, Swanigan was 6'2", 360 pounds and living in a homeless shelter in Salt Lake City, Utah. His father, who was battling an extended substance abuse problem, was out of the picture, his mother was jobless and dependent on welfare checks and all five of his older siblings had dropped out of high school before earning their diplomas. Three of them had spent time in jail for charges including armed robbery, assault and theft.
Barnes, who is now Swanigan's legal father, spent the next four years helping Swanigan train in his native Fort Wayne, Indiana, while monitoring his diet and schoolwork. Swanigan now stands 6'9" and weighs 250 pounds. His success story was chronicled last week in a feature by Bleacher Report.
The NCAA is investigating the Pacific men’s basketball program for potential academic misconduct, the school confirmed to CBSSports.com’s Gary Parrish.
The investigation is related to allegations against former Pacific assistant Joe Ford, Parrish reports. Ford, a former Tigers player, spent five years on the coaching staff before resigning in May. He was then hired at Idaho, where Pacific head coach Ron Verlin’s twin brother Don is the head coach.
Ford resigned at Idaho after Parrish reported last month that Pacific had hired an independent investigator to examine a possible inappropriate relationship between Ford and a female student-athlete.
Allegations against Ford included that he “helped student-athletes remain eligible with online coursework and possibly provided impermissible benefits,” Parrish reports.
Nike has something for Kentucky fans to be giddy about. Nike will release some “Nike Free Trainer 5.0″ shoes completely designed and decked out in Kentucky Wildcats logo’s. The shoes will be available through Nike and in stores on October 30th at 10:00am eastern.
…Nike will also release the same shoes for Duke and North Carolina as part of their tribute to the most successful basketball programs. Here are some more pictures of the shoes.
Big 12 Composite Schedule
Harry Giles, the No. 2-rated player in the recruiting Class of 2016, makes his fifth and final recruiting visit — to Duke — this weekend.
Oak Hill coach Steve Smith told Zagsblog.com that Giles will announce for a school either Nov. 12 or 13 on ESPNU or in Winston-Salem when Oak Hill plays in the Phenom Hoop Classic on Nov. 13-14.
…It remains to be seen if No. 16-ranked Marques Bolden, a 6-10 senior forward from DeSoto (Texas) High, will wait for Giles to pick a school or commit first…Bolden has yet to say for sure whether he’ll sign early or late.
…No. 20-ranked Jarrett Allen, a 6-9 senior forward from St. Stephens Episcopal School in Austin, Texas, visited KU last weekend and will visit Kentucky this upcoming weekend.
…Schnider Herard, a 6-10 senior forward from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas, who is ranked No. 34 nationally, has visited KU, Mississippi State, Purdue and Texas Tech. He has said he will take a final visit to a yet-to-be-determined school and will sign in the early period.
…Udoka Azubuike, a 6-11 senior forward from Potter’s House in Jacksonville, Florida, who is ranked No. 27 nationally, visited North Carolina last weekend.
Recruiting Calendar (updated for 2015-16)
Late Night in the Phog
Bill Self Camp KU Alumni games
60 Years of AFH Celebration
Legends of the Phog game
2011-12 Final Border War
KC Prep Invitational
and more, now on YouTube