While several members of the ship’s crew were overjoyed to have the Jayhawks on board — one woman had several coaches and players sign a KU shirt and Sgt. Vick Patel, of Overland Park, was wearing the Kansas polo he bought when the team won the national championship in 2008 — the Jayhawks appeared to be just as pleased with the opportunity to see a real naval ship.
Self asked several questions about the specifics of what they were shown, team managers took pictures and videos of all parts of the ship and the players paid close attention throughout the afternoon, with some handling some of the shells and getting a first-person feel for a handful of the duties carried out on the ship.
Few were able to top KU’s Director of Student-Athlete Development, Fred Quartlebaum, though. Coach Q, as they call him, made sure to take a seat and pose for a photo in the captain’s chair. Jacked by the opportunity, Quartlebaum, who was an assistant coach at Navy from 1992-96, quickly boasted that he would send the photo to some of his Navy buddies.
…There were plenty of serious moments on the USS Chafee on Wednesday. Nearly all of the players and coaches onboard posed for photos and shook hands with the ship’s crew and Self went out of his way more than once to utter words similar to, “I appreciate you guys. Thanks for what you do.”
Self said Lucas was a full participant during the Jayhawks’ 90-minute practice session Wednesday morning and that there was no evidence of a stress fracture at this time.
“It’s nothing but a sore foot,” Self said. “They just don’t want it to become (a stress fracture).”
Lucas joined the team in touring the USS Chafee destroyer during the afternoon and also went to the USS Arizona Memorial and also is expected to attend the kids clinic later tonight.
Kansas’ basketball players, coaches and support staff members survived an exhausting travel day in good spirits on Tuesday.
“It was long. We had a wake-up call at 3:45 (a.m.), then departed (for airport) at 4:15,” KU coach Bill Self said, speaking to reporters at 5:30 p.m. in Hawaii (9:30 p.m. Central) upon exiting a bus in front of the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort, the Jayhawks’ home until Friday.
“We always call it negative driving when you go in an opposite direction of where you want to go. We did some negative flying today,” Self said with a smile. “We flew to Atlanta then got on a great plane but it was a nine-hour flight here from Atlanta. It’s been a long day for the fellas.”
Self said his squad, which dined at Naval Base at Pearl Harbor shortly after arriving Tuesday afternoon, will practice at 9 a.m. Hawaii time (1 p.m. Central) Wednesday on the base. The Jayhawks will then tour a destroyer and the USS Arizona before holding a clinic for kids.
Self said the military aspect of this event played a huge role in Kansas’ willingness to participate.
“It’s the reason why we came,” Self said. “We wouldn’t have come if it weren’t for that. We were just here last year (at the Maui Invitational), we’re not gonna have a big contingent of fans here. Most of our fans, I think, will be in New York (for the Champions Classic vs. No. 1 Duke on Tuesday) and we knew that. But it was an opportunity, a once-in-a-lifetime type deal, to be a part of the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. We’ll get an education in some ways that, obviously, none of us would’ve had an opportunity to get.”
Before finishing the night by watching the results of the 2016 presidential election, Self said the Jayhawks were largely healthy and added that, after a busy day Wednesday full of scheduled appearances and obligations in and around the military base, the team would get some free time on Thursday.
“Yeah, we’ll have a free day from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.,” Self joked. “But it’ll definitely be free for that hour.”
At the end of the hourlong clinic, both Crean and Kansas coach Bill Self addressed the players assembled in the gym. Self told the kids to work hard, study hard and play hard. He put in a plug at the end for them to root for Kansas on Friday night.
Crean told the young participants that while athletes may seem like heroes in their eyes, that the true heroes are their families who are serving the United States. He said he hoped they never would lose sight of just how important their parents are to the U.S. and to its freedoms.
LJW Photo Gallery Honolulu Day 2
The most important part, for Kansas, may be how Bragg handles playing top competition right away. Indiana’s strength is inside, led by All-America candidate Thomas Bryant. Duke is strongest on the perimeter, but Amile Jefferson is back for a fifth year inside.
In some ways, this is Self’s move. He is unapologetically hard on his players, particularly the talented ones, and above all else the talented players he expects more from. Russell Robinson, the Morris twins, Andrew Wiggins, Wayne Selden, Brannen Greene, Tyshawn Taylor and others could tell Bragg stories. Most of them came out of it better off. Not all, but most. Some part of Kansas’ season depends on Bragg’s journey.
Kansas was the NCAA Tournament’s top overall seed last year but could be even better this season. Frank Mason, Devonte Graham, and Landen Lucas are the returning starters, and freshman Josh Jackson should be an upgrade from Wayne Selden.
That leaves Bragg at power forward, and in some ways he is stuck between two worlds. His best chance of enjoying a successful professional future may lie in proving he can be a so-called stretch-4, consistently hitting jumpers from 18 feet or so, but Self won’t play him (and the NBA won’t be interested) if he also can’t be a consistent rebounder for his position.
It has always been true that Kansas’ best team may be with Jackson at power forward — Lucas can anchor the interior defense, no true power forward can guard Jackson’s athleticism, and this would allow more offense with Lagerald Vick or Svi Mykhailiuk on the floor — but their best season would be with Bragg playing to his considerable talent.
Marcus Garrett, a 6-foot-5 senior combo guard from Dallas Skyline High who orally committed to Kansas on Aug. 1, signed a national letter of intent with the Jayhawks on Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period.
He chose KU over Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma State, Connecticut and others. He averaged 17.7 points and 10.1 assists last season for Skyline.
…“I sent the letter to Kansas and everything is official,” Garrett told JayhawkSlant.com, signing the letter on his 18th birthday. “I’m officially a member of the Kansas basketball program. I was really nervous about today and didn’t really sleep much last night.”
“It was kind of a long night for me, but I’m glad that I signed with Kansas and everything is done. It’s a great day for me and my family and I didn’t sleep much last night, but it has been an exciting day for me. I’m just ready to put all of my focus on the season. I’m really excited about the upcoming year and that’s where my focus is at. I’ve signed with Kansas and it’s been a great day, but the season is about to start and I’m really looking forward to my final year at Skyline.”
“I love the Kansas Jayhawk tradition,” he told Wildeboor. “And I’ve seen that their fans are really into the basketball program. Once I visited, I interacted with the players very well. They still text me to see if I’m doing good or not.”
As for what type of player the Jayhawks are getting in Garrett, he’s a versatile guard who can play multiple positions and is a long and athletic option on both offense and defense who is willing to both set up his teammates and look for his own offense.
But Garrett said intangibles were the part of his game he was most excited to bring to campus.
“They’re gonna get a hard working player that plays defense and competes,” he said.
Rock Chalk Weekly: Tyler Self Didn’t Always Love KU
A hard foul, the kind that sends previously functional pickup runs into a shouty standoff death spiral. A 5-foot cushion on the perimeter, with overt disrespect masked as pity. Taunts of the printable -- He's soft, let him shoot -- and unprintable variety. An edict delivered as a matter of fact: Freshmen -- all freshman -- are required to carry the upperclassmen's bags.
This is The Test. Or parts of it, anyway. Probably.
It's a tricky, shifty thing, this test -- tough to define in concrete terms. It's not, technically speaking, an exam -- though it also kind of is. There are no guaranteed questions and no sure answers. Even the name is informal. You can be "tested," but you can also be "challenged." You don't necessarily pass the test so much as "react correctly," as Kansas senior Landen Lucas said, with some care. Correct reaction requires fluency in a social language only elite athletes speak.
All Josh Jackson could be sure of when he arrived at the Kansas campus in June was that a test of some kind -- administered by veterans of a top-five team with deadly serious national title ambitions and taken by a hyper-talented freshman with a potential No. 1 NBA draft pick awaiting him 12 months later -- was going to happen.
"I knew it was coming," Jackson said. "Immediately."
Fight back. Don't waver. Don't complain. Get angry but not too angry. Hide weakness at all cost. Forget your recruiting ranking; no one cares. Expect equal treatment. Take everything in stride. Absorb the larger stakes. Buy in.
Above all, understand that the whole point of all of this, at the end of the day, is to see if you can stand out and fit in -- at the same time.
"I think I passed," Jackson said.
…"The thing about him is -- and I think this is a good thing -- sometimes you go watch somebody play, and right away after 10 minutes, they're making every shot, and you just go, 'Wow,'" Self said of Jackson. "Josh is a guy that the more you watch him, you go, 'Wow.'
"It's not like it just jumps off the page to me when I watch him. Because he can go through phases of time when he blends in. But then you look at it and say, wait, he just blocked three shots, he just got two offensive rebounds, he just led the break, got us a layup -- he can do a lot, this guy. He can do a little bit of everything."
…HE IS ALSO, it turns out, a totally nice, seemingly normal dude.
Jackson can play the saxophone -- well enough that if he had practiced and hadn't been so nervous, he could have gotten through the solo performance his teammates wanted him to put on at Kansas' "Late Night in the Phog" event in October. ("I was not comfortable playing in front of 16,000 people," he said.) He's into chess, and he started a chess club at Prolific Prep in Napa, California, where he spent his senior year of high school and was a member of the National Honor Society. Ask him to describe himself, and the first thing he will say is that he's "kind of an introvert."
He is also, it turns out, a next-level competitive freak.
This is the second bit of that self-description: "a competitor at everything." Chess gets heated. Checkers gets heated. Connect Four -- Connect Four! -- gets heated. Video games aren't merely a relaxing diversion; they're another avenue in which to compete. (His top choice is "Mortal Kombat XL." His main character? Raiden. "I don't think anyone can beat me," he said.)
Indeed, these are the two things other people say about Jackson: that he is a really nice guy and crazy competitive, and that the difference is never more noticeable than when he steps on and off the court.
ESPN Brennan: Josh Jackson blends in and stands out (Much more at the link)
Yahoo Forde: 25 most interesting people in college bball
^NPOY=Jackson per Couzens, Gasaway, Lunardi, Schick
^NCOY=Self per Fraschilla, Lawson, O’Neil, Schick, Wischusen
KU single game ticket info
Why Allen Fieldhouse is the BEST!
BIG 12/COLLEGE NEWS
Indiana is going into the contest as 6.5 point underdogs, which is fair. Indiana is an extremely young team and have a lot of new key parts that haven’t had a chance to find their place yet. Josh Newkirk, De’Ron Davis, and Freddie McSwain Jr. are all new Hoosiers who should expect to see a lot of playing time. Kicking off their careers against Kansas is rough, but they showed poise in the two exhibition games, for whatever that’s worth.
Another reason that the Hoosiers are taking the underdog role is due to matchups. While they maintain a slight advantage in the back-court with stars such as OG Anunoby and Thomas Bryant, Kansas has a lopsided advantage in the front-court, especially if James Blackmon Jr. has another night like the one he had against Bellarmine. Frank Mason III and Devonte’ Graham are two guards to watch out for this year, and are facing up against new transfer Josh Newkirk, as well as Blackmon Jr. who has been criticized for his lackadaisical defense.
There are so many newspaper and online columns blasting the rule that if you were to print them all and bind them they might fill the Library of Congress. The headline on Vice Sports’ entry stands out: “College Basketball’s One And Done Rule Fails Everybody.” It’s not college basketball’s rule, as we’ve mentioned, but you certainly get the gist.
There are just two problems with that article, and the thousands like it: “One and Done” has been terrific for basketball at all levels, and it’s not going anywhere for a long while. If college basketball doesn’t break its addiction to this argument it may never regain the momentum that once placed it among America’s most prominent sports.
How has one-and-done made basketball better?
Sporting News DeCourcy
Find out the tournament history for specific seeds, teams, coaches or conferences.
NCAA Tournament Brackets and History interactive tool
CBS Interactive Tool: Pick two teams to compare record, RPI and SOS details head to head. By default, the top two teams in RPI are shown.
Big 12 Composite Schedule & Results
Collin Sexton, G, Mabelton, Ga. - The five-star ranked No. 7 nationally will announce his decision on Thursday on ESPNU. Sexton is 6-foot-2, 182 pounds. Alabama, Kansas, Georgia Tech and North Carolina State are his top choices. Sexton will announce on ESPNU in a special recruiting program that starts at 5 p.m. CT.
Individuals with knowledge about the recruitment of Class of 2017 point guard Collin Sexton by both Alabama and Kansas told the Journal-World on Wednesday that neither side knew, as of late Wednesday, whether the No. 7-ranked player in the country, according to Rivals.com, was going to pick them.
Rivals.com reported earlier Wednesday that sources had indicated that Sexton’s decision could come down to the wire. If it does, that should make for a very interesting afternoon Thursday, as the 6-foot-1, 170-pound, five-star prospect is slated to announce his decision on ESPNU at 5 p.m. central time.
Although the Mableton, Georgia, guard made official visits to Oklahoma State and NC State, and even kept alive in-state programs Georgia and Georgia Tech, recruiting analysts for weeks have had this pegged as a race between Alabama and Kansas.
…A source said Wednesday that Sexton came to a decision on Monday after sitting down with his family and coaches. But the same person said late Wednesday night, that it appeared that Sexton had not informed either program of his decision.
Preston’s mom, Nicole Player, told Rivals.com that he indeed will choose among KU, Indiana, Syracuse and USC between now and next Wednesday.
As the early signing period begins for high school basketball student-athletes, ESPNU will air a one-hour Recruiting Nation: Basketball Signing Day Special on Thursday, Nov. 10, at 6 p.m. ET. Three top 20 college basketball recruits in the ESPN 100 will announce their college decisions during the show - No. 8 Gary Trent Jr. (Prolific Prep, Apple Valley, Minn.), No. 10 Collin Sexton (Pebblebrook High School, Mableton, Ga.) and No. 16 P.J. Washington (Findlay College Prep, Frisco, Texas).
Trent Jr., a 6'5' shooting guard, is expected to choose between Duke, Michigan State and UCLA. Sexton will make his announcement from the ESPNU studio in Charlotte, N.C., and will choose between Alabama, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kansas, NC State and Oklahoma State. Power forward and 6'8' Washington is expected to decide between Kentucky, North Carolina and UNLV.
The No. 1 player on the espnW HoopGurlz Top 100 - Megan Walker - will also be interviewed during the show. Walker, a 6'1' shooting guard from Monacan High School in Chesterfield, Va., is expected to make her college announcement earlier in the day, and will discuss her decision during the special. She is currently considering UConn, Notre Dame and Texas.
Host Matt Schick will be joined by national recruiting director Paul Biancardi and analyst Adam Finkelstein. The special will see interviews with Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl and Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar. Both programs boast top 5 ranking in the Recruiting Nation Class of 2017 rankings with several prospects from the ESPN 100.
Schick, Biancardi and Finkelstein will also discuss other programs' recruiting classes and projections on where remaining uncommitted recruits may land.
Annual Late Night in the Phog
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60 Years of AFH Celebration
Legends of the Phog game
2011-12 Final Border War
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