Something or someone should have knocked Kansas from its throne by now because that’s what usually happens in sports. An unexpected injury. The rise of another program. Suspensions in key stretches. Bad luck. A bad night, week or month.
Something. Yet Kansas remained on top.
The Big 12 has sent 23 non-Kansas players to the first round of the NBA draft since 2005, but LaMarcus Aldridge, Avery Bradley, Michael Beasley, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and others could not help their teams knock Kansas off its perch.
A 12th consecutive Big 12 title would stamp Kansas’ standing as the most dominant team in college basketball and solidify Self’s position as one of the three best coaches, along with Krzyzewski and Calipari, in the game today.
Wayne Selden Jr., Frank Mason and Perry Ellis will guide a Jayhawks squad that’s capable of extending the streak. And if that happens, it will leave Kansas and Self one short of UCLA’s record and two from setting a new standard.
He doesn’t even need No. 12.
This already is the most impressive mark in the game.
You can point to magnificent postseason runs, outstanding winning streaks and rallies toward national titles. And they still won’t top the breadth of what Kansas has accomplished.
Each year for the past 11 seasons, Kansas has chewed through a significant portion of the season against familiar opponents and coaches, in favorable Allen Fieldhouse and harsh venues on the road, and still managed to end each Big 12 campaign in first place.
That’s not just impressive. It’s brilliant and unrivaled.
And a 12th consecutive Big 12 title would confirm as much. At least it should.
Lansing High School graduate, Clay Young, has been chosen by Kansas basketball coach Bill Self to join the KU men's basketball program for the 2015-16 season. In this Quick 5 interview, Young talks about his lifelong dream come true.
1. Clay, what was it like when you were recently added to the University of Kansas Jayhawk basketball roster as a non-scholarship player? Was this a lifelong dream come true?
The moment I found out I would be a member of this team was one of the best feelings I have ever had. It is definitely a dream come true, something every kid who grows up in Kansas wants to experience.
…4. How did your life change dramatically in 10 months when you tore the ACL in your left knee during a game? What was the surgery and recovery period like and what do you think might have happened if you had not sustained this injury at that particular time? How did coach Newton help you through this period?
Tearing my ACL really changed my life. I'm almost certain I would not be a Jayhawk if I had not torn it. I likely would have taken a scholarship to a small school somewhere had I played my sophomore year at KCK. I'm still getting back into the swing of everything because I basically took a season off due to my injury. The surgery and recovery process was one of the hardest things I've ever gone through. Coach Newton told me to keep my head up and to not feel sorry for myself because that would just hold me back even more. It helped a lot and I was motivated and got back on the court in four months.
…Alexander, the undrafted 19-year-old out of Kansas, has been so tenacious and rugged in the team's pickup games, the Blazers' veterans have found themselves looking at each other in amazement that he wasn't drafted.
"He should have been drafted in the first round, if you ask me,'' said center Chris Kaman, who is entering his 13th NBA season. "He is an animal. Getting him as an undrafted player is unbelievable.''
…Alexander went undrafted, just like Matthews, the former Blazer who has gone on to make more than $100 million over his career. During the team's pickup games the past month, players say he was a rebounding machine and a bundle of energy in pursing blocks and loose balls. One person compared him to Thomas Robinson, only with the willingness to embrace a blue-collar role.
"A go-getter,'' Kaman said.
When the trade rumors were flying this summer, when Mario Chalmers wasn’t quite sure if he was coming or going, the veteran Heat guard leaned on two old friends: Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.
“LeBron and D-Wade are my two closest people when I’ve got things going on in my mind,” Chalmers said Monday on the eve of the start of Heat training camp. “I talked to those two in the summer and it really helped ease my mind.
“Bron, big brother, he told me, ‘Don’t worry — it’s a business.’ ”
A general manager from another team said the Heat shopped Chalmers during the summer in an attempt to lessen its luxury-tax burden — Chalmers’ $4.3 million salary could result in a tax hit of more than double that amount for Miami if he’s on the roster at the end of the regular season.
But Chalmers said he never sought clarity from the Heat nor has management given him any assurances.
“I talked to them at the end of the season,” he said. “They said, ‘If we have to trade you, we will. If we don’t, we won’t.’… It’s always stressful when you hear your name in trade rumors.”
Chalmers, who had minor knee surgery in May, said the knee discomfort was a “big factor” in his decline last season.
He also was never quite sure of his role, because he switched between both guard spots and between starting and coming off the bench.
“It was kind of, in a way, disappointing,” he said of his role last season. “Maybe I could do more, but I’m not being allowed to. It was more an inside battle, had to figure it out.”
This season, there is clarity: Coach Erik Spoelstra announced Chalmers will be the backup point guard.
“You still have to prepare for anything,” Chalmers said. “But at least knowing the clarity of what exact position I can focus on, it does ease my mind going in.”
Said Spoelstra: “Clarity always breeds confidence. Hopefully, Rio will wrap his mind and arms around the clarity. I care about Rio. We’ve been through so much as a rookie player, a rookie head coach to now we’re both veterans. I’m excited about him embracing this new role. I’m open to changing for more, better, wherever it could possibly go.”
Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris' last calendar year hasn't been an especially good one in terms of public image.
On the court, he was called for 15 technical fouls last season (only Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook was whistled for more), and he got into a shouting match on the bench with coach Jeff Hornacek during a game.
He also called out Suns fans for a lack of support following a blowout home loss to the Spurs.
Off the court, Markieff Morris and his twin brother Marcus, the latter of whom the Suns traded in June, were charged with felony aggravated assault stemming from an incident in January.
Markieff wasn't happy with his brother's trade, and has gone as far as to demand a trade of his own.
But on Suns media day Monday, the Suns' 2011 first-round draft pick set a different tone.
"I want to be here," Markieff Morris said. "I don't really want to talk about what happened this summer. I just really want to look forward to this upcoming season. I'm glad to be back with my teammates and glad to be back with the team."
Morris didn't provide details about conversations he's had with Hornacek and Suns management.
"That's between us, and we're going to deal with it," he said.
Markieff Morris is one of the Suns' most valuable contributors, and his stats have improved in each of his NBA seasons. His 15.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game last season were career highs.
On whether or not he knew Mudiay watched him when he played in high school: "I didn't," then shared a laugh with the media, said he used to watch a lot of players like Chris Bosh and Deron Williams when he was in middle school
When it was pointed out that Mudiay was in elementary school when he watched him: "I'm old, man," then laughed again
on Mudiay: "good guy, good kid, doesn't get into any trouble, I'm looking forward to playing with him"
On position: "I'll play any position Coach wants me to play," said power forward has been the one he's played the most but that he can play any position
On three-pointers: been working on corner threes, said he's been struggling with the top area of the three-point line but will continue to work on that as well
Q&A with Darrell Arthur
Q&A with Tarik Black
Former Kansas University basketball coach Larry Brown, now the head coach at SMU, again is in trouble with the NCAA and, according to reports, is expected to be suspended for 30 percent (9 games) of SMU's games during the upcoming season.
Reports about Brown's suspension — which coincides with a postseason ban for the SMU program in 2016 — surfaced Tuesday morning and a formal announcement of the punishment was made around 10:30 a.m.
According to multiple reports, Brown is being punished for what the NCAA deems "lack of coach control" after an NCAA investigation into whether former SMU assistant Ulric Maligi and another person connected to SMU's program provided former McDonald's All-American Keith Frazier with academic assistance.
Maligi left SMU in January and Frazier missed the second half of the season after being declared ineligible. Frazier remains on the SMU roster.
ESPN's Jeff Goodman also reported that SMU will lose nine scholarships over the next three years as part of the punishment and Brown will be required to attend a rules seminar over the next two years.
Big 12 / College News
NRG STADIUM — HOUSTON, TX
MONDAY, APRIL 4, 2016
NORTH CAROLINA 7-1
IOWA ST 20-1
MIAMI FL 100-1
MICHIGAN ST 25-1
NOTRE DAME 60-1
WICHITA ST 25-1
NC STATE 100-1
OHIO ST 100-1
TEXAS A&M 100-1
FLORIDA ST 60-1
SAN DIEGO ST 100-1
U CONN 50-1
WEST VIRGINIA 100-1
OLE MISS 300-1
RHODE ISLAND 200-1
BUFFALO 500 -1
OKLAHOMA ST 500-1
ARIZONA ST 100-1
BOISE ST 300-1
GEORGE WASHINGTON 500-1
ILLINOIS ST 500-1
KANSAS ST 500-1
NORTHERN IOWA 300-1
OLD DOMINION 300-1
SOUTH CAROLINA 300-1
CAL IRVINE 1000-1
CENTRAL MICHIGAN 1000-1
LOUISIANA TECH 1000-1
MISS ST 500-1
NEW MEXICO ST 1000-1
OREGON ST 1000-1
PENN ST 500-1
ST JOHN’S 500-1
ST MARY’S 500-1
STEPHEN F AUSTIN 500-1
WAKE FOREST 1000-1
***ALL BETS ARE ACTION DESPITE TEAMS GOING ON PROBATION OR PLACING THEMSELVES ON PROBATION
Odds via the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook
Dakich: The smartest scheduler in the country, in my opinion, is Mike Krzyzewski. He never plays a nonconference road game. He plays in New York. He plays in Chicago, and he has recruited well there. We played them in the preseason NIT title game (1996). They called us up and asked if we minded them wearing black uniforms. Coach [Bob] Knight asked me what I thought, and I said 'Hell no. They're using this for recruiting. Tell them they're the home team. They wear white.' Krzyzewski thinks of everything.
…Greenberg: Dan, don't you think your fans can get unrealistic? People start thinking making the tournament is easy. When you put yourself out there, sometimes it becomes an obstacle.
Dakich: It doesn't to me. Maybe that's why I'm out of coaching. I would rather the fans have higher expectations. Whether a fan expected me to win never entered my mind. It was, 'Let's win today and we'll figure out tomorrow later.' My first year (as a player) at Indiana, we beat Miami (Ohio) and I'm thinking this is great. Knight comes in and destroys us. He kicked us out of the locker room. He understood the time of year to do that kind of stuff.
Tommy Amaker has made Harvard into one of the premier mid-major programs in college basketball. The Crimson have advanced to four consecutive NCAA Tournaments and won games in the field of 68 in both 2013 and 2014. CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein sat down with Amaker in Cambridge, Mass. to discuss how the Crimson will move forward without Siyani Chambers, last March's NCAA Tournament loss against North Carolina, and what has to happen for Harvard to exceed expectations during the 2015-16 season.
Jon Rothstein, CBS Sports: Is it a little hard to fathom the idea of starting a season at Harvard without Siyani Chambers as your point guard?
Tommy Amaker: Yes. First and foremost, we're really devastated for him. He's someone who's been as important as anyone in our program. My feelings and my relationship with him is different too because I can relate to the fact that he's a point guard -- he's a quarterback and I know how he's feeling. He led our program and our team for his first three years.
John Calipari says his Kentucky Wildcats' loss to the Wisconsin Badgers in this year's national semifinals -- or at least part of it -- was due to his decision to leave slumping guards Andrew Harrison and Aaron Harrison on the floor.
Speaking with nearly six months of hindsight, Calipari said Sunday during a basketball coaches clinic in Los Angeles that inserting Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis in place of the Harrison twins could have helped Kentucky overcome Wisconsin and given them a shot to beat eventual champion Duke and complete a 40-0 season.
Instead, Wisconsin won 71-64, with the Harrisons missing seven of their last eight shots combined.
"Now you may say, 'Why didn't you have Tyler and Devin in at the end of the Wisconsin game? You probably would have won,'" Calipari said, according to USA Today Sports. "Because I was being loyal to those other two who led us to a championship game a year ago and they deserve to be on that court. That's why I did it. I knew who was playing well and who was struggling. You think I wasn't sitting there watching?
"But I owed it to those two (the Harrison twins) to do it."
Kansas State University officials are attributing the school's first enrollment decline in nine years to tougher admission standards.
The Manhattan Mercury reports enrollment fell by 620 students, or 2.5 percent, according to a Kansas Board of Regents report detailing last week's official census.
The report says enrollment at state universities overall dropped by about 1 percent, or 890 students, while enrollment at the state's technical colleges rose by 6.3 percent.
The University of Kansas and Fort Hays State are the only state universities to see a rise in student numbers.
Kansas State dean of students Pat Bosco says the school has weathered the transition from being a virtual open admissions school to one that intentionally prioritizes student success.