LJW Photos: Best of Wiggins
LJW Photos: Wiggins declares for the NBA Draft
Been at two NBA Draft pressers (Robinson and McLemore) they don't compare to this circus. Tons of media. Packed room. Team's here. #kubball
Andrew Wiggins: I think I improved a lot. Every practice we made each other better. And Coach Self makes you better. #kubball
Bill Self on Andrew Wiggins: "If he was my son, I would tell him that he's made the right decision. It's time."
Proud big bro!@22wiggins - All that you've accomplished so far ... And for what's soon to come #livingthedream #nba
“I’m just confident I’m ready, and it’s always been a big dream of mine to follow in my father’s footsteps and play in the highest level of basketball,” said Wiggins, who met the media in a news conference in Allen Fieldhouse with dad Mitchell, mom Marita Payne-Wiggins, brother Mitchell Jr. and coach Bill Self.
“It wasn’t an easy decision because the fans show me so much love here, and my teammates … it’s just fun being around them and the coaches, and it’s fun playing in Allen Fieldhouse. I wish I just had more time. College goes by so fast. I can see why people stay all four years,” Andrew added.
…Self said he was in favor of Wiggins leaving.
“Opportunity is certainly knocking on the door,” Self said. “We’re very proud of him, very excited for his future, and certainly as good as he’s been for us, we know he’s only scratching the surface of what he’ll do moving forward. I think this is a great decision and one that we support 100 percent.”
Wiggins said he has become a better player following his stint at KU.
“I think I improved a lot. There was never really a non-competitive practice we had,” Wiggins said. “When you have a legendary coach like coach Self, you get better every day learning new things.”
…He leaves with his family giving a thumbs up to KU.
“What he wanted was at the end of the year, to have a (national title) parade, and so he’s disappointed about the way it finished, but it’s a great choice,” Mitchell Sr. said of KU. “ I think if he had to do it again, he’d make the same choice.”
…Self said Wiggins would “fulfill his academic obligations” the rest of the semester.
“He’s right on track academically,” Self said. “We’ve had a perfect APR for seven years in a row. He knows he has to finish in order for us to (continue that). There’s no question (he will).”
The light-hearted moment came at the end.
A few minutes after Andrew Wiggins officially declared for the NBA draft during a Monday news conference at Allen Fieldhouse, the freshman guard was already reminiscing about his short time in Lawrence. He talked about his KU teammates that had turned into brothers; about the coaches that let him play his game; about those crazy fans that filled Allen Fieldhouse for every game, whether it was the regular season or not.
“If I could do it all over again,” Wiggins said, “I would.”
KU coach Bill Self couldn’t let the moment pass.
“You can,” the coach said with a huge grin, drawing laughter from both reporters and Wiggins’ family at the table.
No, Wiggins wasn’t going back on his decision, but the moment did illustrate pretty well the final resolution between Wiggins, the sure one-and-done, and KU, the program that hadn’t landed a prospect of his ilk since Danny Manning some 30 years earlier.
In the end, both parties were happy to look back at the last 10 months and decide that everything had turned out all right.
“As good as he’s been for us, we know he’s only scratching the surface of what he’ll do moving forward,” Self said. “I think this is a great decision and one that we support 100 percent.”
Jay Z wants to teach Andrew Wiggins how to spend his cheese.
Now that Wiggins has officially declared for the NBA draft, he's expected to seek representation, which CSNNW's Chris Haynes says could lead him to Roc Nation, the brainchild agency of Jay Z: "According to league sources, Wiggins is in the process of choosing between Hip Hop mogul Jay-Z's Roc Nation and one other unknown agency for player representation. Rich Paul, LeBron James’ agent, was rumored to be in the mix but we were informed Paul never recruited the forward."
Chad Ford: Wiggins began the summer as the consensus No. 1 pick in the draft. Once the season actually started, competition from Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid changed the consensus status. But other than a brief stint when Embiid ascended to the No. 1 spot, Wiggins has been there the entire time.
While scouts and GMs wring their hands over the fact that Wiggins isn't a complete player yet (his jump shot and handle both still need work) and have fretted over his lack of aggressiveness (especially at the beginning of the season), there's a general consensus that has been out there since the beginning that he's still the best long-term prospect in the draft.
He has elite size and elite athletic abilities for his position. He's already a lock-down defender. He's a hard worker and a great teammate. He already possesses a ton of NBA tools and won't have to face zone defenses every night, which should open up the game for him. If he keeps working on his game and stays healthy, there's no reason he can't become a Paul George-like player in the NBA.
While he's not a lock to go No. 1 -- the Jazz, for instance, have Parker ranked ahead of Wiggins -- there is no way Wiggins falls out of the top 3.
The last memory most college fans will have of Andrew Wiggins, unfortunately, is the 1-for-6 stat line he posted in the Jayhawks’ disappointing loss to Stanford in the second round of the NCAA tournament, a tepid performance that drew a healthy dose of criticism from those who were watching only through the lens of Wiggins’ NBA prospects.
With that in mind, here is a bit from a pre-draft scouting report on one of the most prominent sites that covers the NBA draft: “Does he have the fire inside to maximize his abilities and develop a killer instinct? He has a laid back demeanor; will he continue to work hard after he starts cashing 7-figure checks?”
And here’s another: “One aspect of his game that was put on center stage throughout the (NCAA) tournament was his tendency to disappear throughout stretches of the game. For 10 minutes, you will be watching the best player the college game has had to offer in the last 10 years. Then for 5 minutes, you will forget that he is even on the floor offensively.”
No, no, that was not written about Wiggins.
The subject of those lines, penned back in the spring of 2007? Kevin Durant, then a freshman for the Texas Longhorns.
That’s not to say that Wiggins (projected to go No. 2 in our latest NBA mock draft) will be the next Durant, by any stretch. But it does highlight on one of the most frequent pre-draft scouting crutches going—the lack-of-aggressiveness criticism.
DimeMag: Why you should draft Andrew Wiggins over Jabari Parker
Joel Embiid took a seat off to the side during Andrew Wiggins’ NBA Draft announcement and watched his Kansas teammate declare his college career was over after one season.
Is there such an event in Embiid’s future?
Maybe, maybe not, Jayhawks coach Bill Self said. But Self said again Monday that Embiid hasn’t decided, contrary to a Yahoo Sports report last week that said Embiid would enter the NBA Draft.
“I think Joel is gathering information, but not information on where he’ll be picked because he’s going to go high,” Self said. “The decision he needs to make is, what’s best for him over time, whether to stay another year or to go.
“I could see him doing either one. I think you could make a case that either one would be a good decision. He’s not quite like Andrew. He hasn’t been playing ball his whole life. He’s not ready to jump in either way right now. We’ve talked a lot, but I don’t think he’s close to making a decision in the next few or several days. I think it’s something that will play out over a while.”
Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins picked up two more accolades Monday as he was named to the 10-member Wooden All-American Team by the Los Angeles Athletic Club and 2014 Associated Press (AP) All-America Second Team, the AP announced Monday. Joining Wiggins on the AP squad was fellow freshman Joel Embiid, who was named AP All-America Honor Mention.
Wiggins, who declared that he would bypass his final three seasons at KU and enter the 2014 NBA Draft on March 31, set the Kansas freshman single-season scoring record with 597 points, surpassing the 589 points by Ben McLemore set in 2012-13. The 6-8 Vaughan, Ontario, Canada, guard, Wiggins had 11 games of 20 or more points during the 2013-14 season, including a KU freshman record 41 at West Virginia (3/8). Wiggins led Kansas in steals with 41 and tied for the team high in three-pointers made with 43. His 5.9 rebound average was third-best on the team and his 34 blocked shots were second-most for the Jayhawks.
Besides his 597 points, other Kansas freshman season records Wiggins set include: scoring average (17.1), field goals attempted (422), free throws made (176) and free throws attempted (227).
The 2014 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Embiid broke the KU freshman record for blocked shots with 72 and his 2.6 blocked shots per game finished out the conference slate ranked second in the league. Named to the 2014 All-Big 12 Second Team, the 7-0 Yaoundé, Cameroon, center led KU with 8.1 rebounds per game, sixth in the league. Embiid shot 62.6 percent from the field and averaged 11.2 points per game.
Embiid was a two-time Big 12 Newcomer of the Week – Dec. 2, 2013 and Jan. 20, 2014 – and was named Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week and CBSSports.com National Player of the Week on Jan. 21, 2014 after averaging a double-double with 14.5 points and 10.0 rebounds to go along with 13 blocked shots in KU victories against then-top-10 opponents Iowa State (1/13) and Oklahoma State (1/18). Included was a KU freshman-record eight blocked shots against OSU.
Wiggins’ Top Five Moments as a Jayhawk
“@b_greene14: S/o to @A_Hudy for the work!” I know they need a break but some guys already in working for next year!!! #tradition
Re: Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins. both have great potential. Id mentor either one
Wake Forest has significant interest in Tulsa coach Danny Manning, sources told ESPN.com.
It's still unclear where the former Kansas star, who went to the NCAA tournament in just his second season as the coach of the Golden Hurricane, sits on Wake athletic director Ron Wellman's wish list.
However, one source close to the process said that Manning has a legitimate shot to land the job.
Manning is in the equation to replace Jeff Bzdelik, who was forced to resign earlier in the month after four forgettable seasons. Bzdelik was 51-76 overall and 17-51 in ACC play.
Portland's Thomas Robinson hit a near full-court shot in practice
Cole Aldrich Basketball Camp July 7-10. 9am- noon. Lawrence, KS. Sign up coming soon. Colealdrichbasketballcamp@gmail.com
"The Sublime and Beautiful," a feature film shot in and around the University of Kansas and drawing from the talents of the university’s students and alumni, will screen at a series of film festivals throughout the country this spring.
“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
3/28/14, 7:54 AM
The ESPN "Rat Bracket" where rats determined winners via a bracket maze are in 91.3% percentile of ESPN Tourney Challenge. Let that sink in.
3/30/14, 10:17 PM
Of the 16 teams given No. 1 seeds the last four years, just three have made the Final Four.
The college basketball endgame can be a painful experience for viewers. With repeated fouling, free throws, and referees' video replay reviews, the final 60 seconds of this year's NCAA tournament games have drawn criticism from mavens and columnists both large and small.
Do the critics have a point? How much time of an NCAA tournament game is really taken up by the final minute? To answer this, we looked at all 52 games of March Madness so far and calculated how long it takes to play 60 seconds of basketball when those 60 seconds are the last 60 seconds.
We also ran the numbers through some statistical formulas to see if, as expected, the score margin of a game with one minute remaining affects how long it takes to play that final minute. Here's how the last minutes stack up—in real time, not game time—against the entire games:
The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) today announced rosters for the 2014 Reese’s® Division I College All-Star game, which will be played as part of Final Four Friday® at the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. Reese’s is the official candy partner of the NCAA.
Cory Jefferson (Baylor), Cameron Clark (Oklahoma) and Jaye Crockett (Texas Tech) will represent the league on the West All-Star Team.
The Reese’s Division I College All-Star game will be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, beginning at 4:30 p.m. The teams are composed of senior student-athletes in NCAA Division I.
The game will be telecast on a tape delay on Saturday, April 5, from 12-2 p.m. EDT on CBS.
Stanford University coach Johnny Dawkins will coach the West All-Stars while University of Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon will coach the East All-Stars.
Here are the rosters for the 2014 Reese’s Division I College All-Star game:
Mike Holder admits he made a mistake. Admits that giving Travis Ford a 10-year contract hasn’t worked out.
Such largesse rarely does. “Ten years is a long time,” said Holder, OSU’s athletic director.
In September 2009, OSU announced a contract extension for its basketball coach that in effect created a 10-year contract. Good through 2019. Escalating salary. All kinds of perks. No buyout for the university, and a stiff buyout ($3 million) for Ford, should he jump to another job.
Almost five years later, that contract is an albatross, preventing OSU from a coaching change it likely otherwise would make. And while that contract probably has kept Ford employed, it’s also been a burden.
“In retrospect, it wasn’t good for him or us,” Holder said.
To whom much is given, much is expected. Give a coach a 10-year contract, and the minimum you’d expect would be an NCAA Tournament victory or five, an energized fan base, a Big 12 contender.
Hasn’t happened. The Cowboys are 0-for-March Madness since Ford signed that contract.
Marcus Smart’s arrival and success rallied the masses, and Gallagher-Iba Arena sizzled again much of last season, and when Smart, Markel Brown and Le’Bryan Nash announced they would return for the 2013-14 season, OSU hoops seemed destined to return to the glory of the Eddie Sutton years.
But this season went splat, with injuries, discipline issues, Smart’s suspension and close losses souring the season. OSU rallied to make the NCAAs, but a first-round loss to Gonzaga sent the Cowboys home early in a year that was billed as Final Four or bust.
Players are bewildered at what went wrong, fans are fed up, the entire vibe around Cowboy basketball is toxic and Ford has five years left on that contract.
OSU is bound to Ford for $2.25 million in 2014-15 and $2.4 million each of the four seasons after that. That’s $11.85 million over five years.
That’s why Ford remains the coach. Holder won’t touch the question of whether Ford’s contract is saving his job — “Who knows? You can hypothetical yourself to death,” Holder said — but almost $12 million is a lot of money. OSU wouldn’t have to pay him off in one lump sum, unless there was a negotiation, and any money Ford made from a subsequent job (basketball or not) would be deducted from OSU’s obligation. But still, if Ford found a job for $1 million a year, that’s still $1.4 million per year OSU would owe from 2015 through 2019.
It's tempting to think of Florida as a glamour basketball school, what with all that sunshine and tradition and Billy Donovan's endless supply of hair gel. But glamour has little to do with how the Gators arrived in the Elite Eight.
Florida seized the No. 1 ranking, won 29 straight games and entered this NCAA tournament among the favorites because it grinds. The Gators wear teams out, wear them down, with frenetic pace, full-court pressure and linebacker physicality. They play basketball like a boxer intent on punishing the body, the accumulated impact of the blows far greater later on.
The base for all this, for the press and the pressure and a team that lacks a sure NBA. star and yet stands one game from the Final Four, is training. Strongman training, to be specific.
That starts with Preston Greene. He is, by official title, Florida's strength and conditioning coordinator. He is, by unofficial title, the Gators' chief torture artist.
"Our strength coach is nuts," said Matt McCall, an assistant coach. He meant that affectionately. We think.
The Strongman training starts each August and runs for 12 weeks. It's set up as a progression, so it begins with one event and adds another each subsequent week.
You might have seen similar training methods late at night on ESPN2 in real Strongman competitions. The Gators flip 500-pound tires. They pull cars. They push trucks. They run while carrying the heavy bags used for boxing training or with 50 pounds of weights on each arm. They walk fast with squat racks on their backs.
This is how Scottie Wilbekin, the SEC conference player of the year, described his Strongman initiation: legs wobbled, muscles angry, breath gone. He spent several minutes on the ground after the sadistic workout ended with no thought, not even a hope, of standing upright anytime soon.
Teammates around him started vomiting. One time a neighbor even called police because the player's grunts were so loud.
"It's not easy," Wilbekin said. "It's not fun. I don't really like that stuff. But it's a necessary part of the process."
Indeed. Greene took over the strength program at Florida in 2011, ascribing to the theory handed down by a mentor, Charles Poliquin. Workouts needed to be varied. Athletes needed to be pushed. Comfort zones needed to be expanded.
Greene oversees basketball players who spend most of their time inside. They train indoors. They lift indoors. They often run indoors. Their bodies become accustomed to that routine. Their gains become greater when that routine is broken. That's the thinking.
But Greene needed to incentivize this part of his program. So he used the oldest trick in the unofficial athletic trainer handbook -- he made it a competition. He timed each event and gave players points based on how they finished. Then he took the "standings" and posted them all over the athletic facilities at Florida, even around campus. "Because let's be honest," Greene says. "What basketball player wants to push a truck?"
The program worked. The Gators became Strongmen, or at least stronger ones.
Take Patric Young, their 6-foot-9, 240-pound center with muscles so defined they look carved from stone. He might be the strongest player in college basketball. But he did not win the Strongman standings three years ago or before last season. Erik Murphy won last year and now plays for the Chicago Bulls. Coaches used that to motivate Young, to make him stronger, to coax him into a fuller effort. He would Tweet out his excitement on Strongman days last summer. Like, 6 a.m. Tweets. Like the Final Four was upon him.
He was not alone. Swingman DeVon Walker climbed from dead last two years ago to middle of the pack this season. Forward Casey Prather ascended from bottom third to top three. Not that he enjoyed it. "They do a good job in the off-season of, like, killing us," he said.
Greene says the Strongman training elicits some "intimate moments," and by intimate, he means like that time it took 13 minutes for one player to inch a truck forward. But those are the moments that can bond a team. Others stepped in and helped the player inch the truck -- a Nissan Titan -- up a hill, underneath that blistering Florida sun.
Wall is four years removed from his days at Kentucky, and failing to win a national championship is the only regret he has about leaving college after one season.
“I wanted to stay. I really wanted to stay because my whole goal was to win a national championship,” Wall said. Leaving after one year “wasn’t my intention. You can’t beat going No. 1 anyway. You don’t want to risk injuries or anything like that coming back, so I decided to go.”
The NBA and the players’ union created the age minimum as part of the 2005 collective bargaining agreement, requiring eligible players to turn 19 during the calendar year of the draft and be at least one year removed from high school if they are born in the United States.
The No. 1 overall pick has been a college freshman in six of the past eight drafts in the one-and-done era. But if new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has his way, the delay between high school and an NBA payday will be at least one year longer.
Since taking over for David Stern in February, Silver has made it known that one of his priorities is to raise the league’s minimum age from 19 to 20 and effectively create the two-and-done system.
Silver wants the NCAA to play a role in eligibility, believing that colleges play an important role in the development of players. The NBA initially proposed the change to the players during the 2011 collective bargaining negotiations but elected to table the conversations and return at a later date.
The Wizards have five American born players on their roster who played fewer than two years in college, including preps-to-pros players Al Harrington and Martell Webster. Harrington, a 15-year-veteran, is troubled by the push to make basketball players wait longer before entering the league but believes a change is inevitable with the players’ union weakened after the last collective bargaining agreement.
“Older players are going to hopefully get two more years out of their career by keeping the younger guys out. I don’t like it, but it’s going to happen,” said Harrington, who went 25th overall to Indiana in the 1998 draft. The NBA owners “always get what they want anyway.”
Coach Randy Wittman was an assistant in Minnesota, where Kevin Garnett revolutionized the game by declaring for the 1995 NBA draft straight out of high school, so he understands that not every basketball prodigy should be forced to go to college. But Wittman also believes the current system needs to be changed.
“Everybody kind of wants it, and nobody wants to admit it,” Wittman said. “I would like to see it, in all honesty, like baseball. If there’s a kid that wants to come right out of high school that’s ready to go, he might be able to do that, and if not, he goes to college three years.
“I just think it’s going to make both the NCAA better and our game better. I just think it’s a win-win for both sides,” he continued. “I don’t think there is a better situation than going to college for a couple of years. Think about your lives, some of our the best years of our lives were going to college.”
Webster was among the last class of players to enter the league directly out of high school in 2005. Looking back, however, Webster wishes the age minimum had been in place a year earlier.
“If I could do it over again, I would go to school,” said Webster, who had committed to the University of Washington before going sixth overall to Portland. “I think guys should go to college. It’s a social void that you’ll never be able to replace.”
Bradley Beal left college after one season at Florida but wouldn’t have had a problem with being forced to go back for an extra year. “I’m a big fan of school. I think you should do at least a year or two. That much I’ll agree upon,” Beal said. “At the same time, I feel if an individual feels he’s ready for that level, what should hold him back from that? I guess you can see both sides of it.”
On Tuesday, Outside the Lines broadcast a piece on the academic scandal unfolding at North Carolina, which according to a whistleblower funneled athletes into sham classes with minimal standards and workloads. The internet's big takeaway was this screengrab of one athlete's final paper, which reportedly received an A-minus.
(And the lack of a closing quotation mark is provoking OCD tendencies I didn't know I had. I want to reach through my screen and fix it and let Rosa Parks find peace.)
Let's see if we can't find common ground by stating that this paper, its grade, and the diploma mill that was UNC's African and Afro-American Studies department are all affronts to the stated mission of a college education. Are we in agreement on that, at least? Good, because how you react to the paper's existence is a pretty perfect litmus test for where you fall in the grander debate about college athletics.
Every year since 2001 — through the aftermath of the dot-com bust, the Great Recession and the economic stimulus plan — the NCAA has made more money.
Every year, it has given more to the colleges it serves. Every year, it has set aside more money for investments, amassing $627 million. Now, it's poised to top the eye-popping mark of $1 billion in annual revenue.
And it's no secret that one big event, the Division I men's basketball tournament, accounts for 80 percent to 90 percent of that success. What is less clear is how much longer the winning streak will last.
Amid the maze of numbers and legalistic jargon in a recent NCAA bond prospectus, there's an ominous-sounding section on risk.
The Indianapolis-based National Collegiate Athletic Association describes a one-year "financial recovery plan" if anything happens to the money from the basketball tournament. The recovery plan includes drawing heavily from reserve funds, budget reductions, lowering the amount of money distributed to schools and event cancellation insurance.
It sounds extreme, a worst-case precaution bond holders expect, not to be taken as a prediction of doom so much as an insurance plan against loss. But as Indianapolis prepares to begin hosting the Midwest regional semifinals Friday, it's clear the NCAA is in uncharted territory.
The association — once seen as a fearsome monolith — is now the target of increasingly aggressive attacks by high-profile lawyers with deep pockets. On Wednesday, Northwestern University football players won the first round of their effort to become a union, and the NCAA faces a bevy of lawsuits by players who want more of the economic pie.
One high-profile case is scheduled for trial June 9 and, last week, heavyweight sports antitrust lawyer Jeffrey Kessler filed a lawsuit seeking to remove all restrictions on player compensation.
"It's undeniable that the pressure cooker is building," said University of New Haven Professor Allen Sack, a member of Notre Dame's 1966 national champion football team and a longtime critic of the NCAA. "It's a different ballgame. This is not like any other time."
Indy Star (much more at the link)
CBSSports.com has obtained a document detailing NCAA rules the power conferences would seek to change or amend in upcoming governance discussions.
The broad outline more formally recognizes those five conferences' desire to adjust rules dealing with agent contact, limits on coaching staff size and scholarship renewal.
According to sources, the document was distributed to college leaders by Wake Forest president Nathan Hatch, chair of the NCAA Steering Committee for Governance. That committee is overseeing the autonomy discussion among those five conferences – Big 12, Pac-12, SEC, ACC and Big Ten.
“I think what was reflected in that memo is a growing consensus,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said. “I think we're going to get there.”
Among the topics addressed in what is labeled an “Attachment to Memorandum”:
Bill Moos enjoyed hiring Ernie Kent so much that he decided to do it again. Kent has been hired by Washington State athletic director Moos as the school’s new men’s basketball coach.
Kent, 59, was signed to a five-year rollover contract.
“I’m looking forward to providing the kind of passion and leadership to help potential student-athletes understand how special WSU is,” Kent said in a press release. “Getting back into coaching for me has meant finding the right program that matches up with my passion, my vision, my beliefs and my commitment; and I feel Washington State University fits all that criteria for me.”
Kent was previously hired by Moos at the University of Oregon in 1997, where he coached for 13 years. He has been working as a college basketball analyst for the last three years, first with Fox Sports Net and then the Pac-12 Networks.
Mike Montgomery's successor at Cal will have big shoes to fill: The 67-year old Montgomery had a winning record for 16 consecutive years in Pac-12 play (six at Cal, 10 at Stanford). That's beyond impressive. Sustaining success is one of the hardest things to do in college basketball and not many people did it better than Montgomery. The good thing for whoever succeeds Montgomery? There will be plenty of quality players remaining on the Bears' roster. Cal returns a strong core in Jabari Bird, Jordan Mathews, David Kravish, and Tyrone Wallace and should have enough leftover talent to compete for an NCAA Tournament bid in 2015.
…South Florida's hire of Orlando Antigua is perfect move at perfect time: Why does this move make so much sense? It's real simple. The location of this job falls right into Antigua's wheel house. After serving as head coach of the Dominican Republic's national team last summer, Antigua will be in a prime spot to immediately aid the Bulls' program with his international rolodex.
April 7: NCAA Final Four Championship (Arlington, Texas)
April 9: NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee Application Deadline
April 14: NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee Response Deadline
April 15: NCAA Early Entry “Withdrawal” Deadline
April 27: NBA Draft Early Entry Eligibility Deadline (11:59 pm ET)
May 2: NBA Draft Early Entry Candidates Released – Underclassmen Contact Permitted
May 14-18: NBA Draft Combine (Chicago)
May 20: NBA Draft Lottery
June 16: NBA Draft Early Entry Withdrawal Deadline (5:00 pm ET)
June 26: 2014 NBA Draft
draftexpress.com: Testing the NBA Draft Waters in 2014
Tonight was crazy fun, S/O to everybody who tuned in, didn't win but I have the utmost respect for my man Gmoney @GraysonJAllen, he can fly!
Had a great time time tonight at the jam fest @McDAAG
3/30/14, 1:31 PM
I'm tired of seeing these other schools on my TL , me and my savage can't be stopped @humblekid11 #KUCMB
Whatever the bro @jojo_embiid decides to do, he's gonna EAT regardless! #WeAllFromAfrica
S/o @K_Ctmd22 & @humblekid11 ! Shut it down yaw #McDAAG
KU signee Kelly Oubre on what he needs to improve: "Better IQ. I feel I got the defense, rebounding and jumping down pat."
Oubre is in Chicago for the McDonald's Game with fellow KU signee Cliff Alexander. Said he liked how Wiggins' game 'transformed' this year.
KU signee Cliff Alexander on Bill Self's pitch: "Coach Self said he’d turn me into one of the twins. I’m not for sure which twin it was."
Andrew Wiggins' decision to leave Kansas for the NBA came as no surprise to Curie's Cliff Alexander or any other observer of college basketball.
Alexander never expected Wiggins to be in Lawrence when he arrives in a few months, but the nation's top-ranked power forward recruit is holding out hope another potential lottery pick, Kansas center Joel Embiid, will be his teammate next season.
For the first time publicly, Alexander said Monday following practice for Wednesday night's McDonald's All-American game that he may be open to staying in college for more than one season.
Even before choosing Kansas over Illinois in November, Alexander was open about his intention to be a "one-and-done" college player.
"I wouldn't mind staying two years," Alexander said. "Stay and get better. I've been talking to my parents about it. Some guys leave and they aren't ready. They rush in and they're rushed out. I just want to take my time."
Alexander gave Embiid that very advice.
"I talk to 'JoJo' sometimes," Alexander said. "He said he hasn't made up his mind. I told him to do what's best for him. Hopefully, he stays. I think nobody could stop us next year if he does."
Players who impressed:
Cliff Alexander: 6’9 240 PF: Kansas
Alexander takes no chances within 8 ft. of the rim as he dunks everything. He is a physical specimen who brings to mind some Amare Stoudemire comparisons and if he can develop some consistent post moves he will be unguardable. On the defensive side of the ball Alexander is a great shot blocker but the amount of shots he alters is amazing he causes a ton of turnovers based on his presence alone. In the argument of Alexander vs Okafor, Alexander showed a lot more energy on Day 1.
McD practice Day 1
The slam dunk contest is the premier event of the Jam Fest. Curie’s Cliff Alexander initially said he wasn’t going to participate, worried that he wasn’t a creative enough dunker to compete. He changed his mind Monday and joined the event. Creativity wasn’t the issue for Alexander, who tried two unique dunks. One involved Jones throwing the ball off the side of the end of the backboard.
Alexander attempted to catch it and slam one-handed. He missed the first three attempts but then was able to throw it down when he tried with both hands. The combination of all the misses followed by a less spectacular final dunk resulted in a low score of 49, not enough to send Alexander into the final round. Duke-bound Grayson Allen would end up winning the dunk contest after an impressive dunk over future teammate Jahlil Okafor. Ulis and Okafor will team up on the West Team in the McDonald’s All-American game Wednesday at the United Center. Alexander will play on the East Team.
Erin: Who has been the most impressive player so far for you?
RR: There are many categories of impressive. Jahlil Okafor‘s ability to score with his back to the basket, he is a true center, big body low-post scorer. He’s been what everybody has been expecting from the top player in the country. Right behind him Myles Turner is athletic and his ability to face up, show skills and block shots, those jump out you right away. Cliff Alexander‘s ability to rebound, block shots and power through traffic and finish is pretty special. You have your skill guys, you have your Trey Lyles, Karl Towns is a skilled…kind of a stretch center who’s skill level and passsing is impressive, Stanley Johnson a powerful wing that scores through contact, defends multiple positions. Justin Jackson, Kelly Oubre Jr. When you say impressive, they all are impressive in their own way, that’s why they are here.
Q&A with Reggie Rankin
Curie boys basketball coach Mike Oliver first watched Cliff Alexander play the summer after Alexander’s eighth-grade year. Oliver noticed that Alexander was 6-6 but overweight, unskilled compared to smaller players of his age. But a handful of high schools in Chicago were salivating about him just because of his size. “The whole West Side was after him,” Oliver said of Alexander, who by his senior season would commit to Kansas and be named the 2013-14 Sun-Times Player of the Year. “And after his freshman year and sophomore year, everyone tried to get him to transfer. All the way up to his senior year, people were trying to get him to leave Curie.” He didn’t. But many other players as skilled as Alexander do make the switch, highlighting the transfers and inherent recruiting that the Illinois High School Association struggles to police.
Undecided big man Myles Turner just grabbed 21 pts. That means Ulis is tied with Allen for third as it stands now. #McDAAG
@michaelsobrien (This was in the prelim 3pt contest)
Alexander, a Chicago native who signed with Kansas in the fall, is one of the top frontcourt players in the senior class. So is Turner, who has yet to pick his college destination. Both have the talent — and physical tools — to be in college for a very short period of time.
On Monday, they played together for close to an hour. And Alexander is hopeful it could turn into a more permanent partnership.
“He said he hasn’t made up his mind yet,” Alexander said, “so hopefully we can entice him to come to Kansas.”
…Alexander, the No. 4 overall prospect in the class of 2014, and fellow Kansas signee Kelly Oubre, a 6-foot-7 swingman, have tried different sales pitches this week.
Alexander, it appears, has been trying the hard sell.
“I told him: ‘Come be a Jayhawk, Bill Self will get you ready,’” Alexander said.
Oubre, meanwhile, says he’s used a softer approach.
“I just let Myles be to his self,” said Oubre, rated as the 12th overall recruit in the class. “He has a tough decision. I know how hard it was to pick a college, and he has so many good colleges that want him. I can’t just persuade him myself to go to the college of my advising.”
…“God is going to lead him to the right situation,” Oubre said. “Of course, it’d be nice to see him in KU blue, but if he doesn’t I can’t be mad at him.”
If John Lucas winds up at Houston, expect Myles Turner to follow: And that would create major shock waves throughout college basketball. Lucas has emerged as a legitimate candidate for the opening at Houston and multiple sources have told CBSSports.com that the top remaining high school player in America will follow him if he indeed becomes the next head coach of the Cougars. Lucas has worked out Turner on a near daily basis over the past few months and is in his ear more than anyone during the recruiting process. Houston has struggled to be relevant nationally since the mid 1980s, but that would immediately change if it hired Lucas and he brought the 7-foot Turner along for the ride. With Turner, TaShawn Thomas, DanuelHouse, Danrad "Chicken" Knowles, and point guard L.J. Rose, the Cougars will immediately be able to compete with every team they'd have to play in the American.
The Texas men’s basketball team and coach Rick Barnes put their best foot forward with Euless Trinity standout Myles Turner the last two days. But the 6-foot-11 center left Austin on Friday without making a commitment, two sources said.
That’s not surprising given how many marquee schools are chasing Turner. It was widely known that Texas would get the last official visit. Turner has also visited Oklahoma State, Duke and Kansas. He’s considered one of the top five high school prospects in the nation.
The 2014 Nike Hoop Summit, which will be played on Saturday, April 12, at the Moda Center in Portland, Ore., will see a very experienced USA Basketball team of high school seniors taking on a World Select Team comprised of top international players age 19 years old or younger. An exception to that, however, will be Myles Turner (Trinity H.S./Bedford, Texas), a 6-foot-11 center who has just one USA Basketball mini-camp under his belt.
In contrast to Turner, six of his USA teammates will enter the game having won at least one gold medal with USA Basketball in international competition, but don’t expect that to put Tuner at a disadvantage.
“The mini-camp was my first time being a part of USA Basketball, and I had such a great time there and such a great experience, I just wanted to be able to continue that going forward,” Turner said. “When I got the call to play on the (USA Junior National Select) team, I was very relieved to know I was still a part of the program going forward.
“Even though I was new, I thought I fit in quite well,” Turner continued. “I felt it was the best I had played in a long time. I pretty much matched the intensity and aggression of the camp, if not surpassed it. That experience brought a lot out of me.”
The past four years have seen Turner produce more and more each season, even with having experienced a broken ankle that hampered his sophomore season in 2011-12.
“When I was a freshman, I was about 6-foot-4, probably about 175 or 180 pounds, so I wasn’t’ fully developed yet,” Turner explained. “I had somewhat of a postgame and I had the opportunity to go play varsity basketball, but I opted out to try and get my game a little bit tighter and be able to play with the bigger guys and to try an win a district championship in middle school, and I was successful at that. Coming forward to where I am now, the plan definitely worked.”
3/29/14, 5:49 PM
Kansas, Creighton, Providence, Ga. Tech all went to Brewster Academy to watch senior PG Devonte Graham. Still not released by App State.
The Jayhawks' needs in 2015 could be many depending on which players declare for the NBA draft next year. Here is an early peek at their wish list in 2015. On the perimeter there's Malik Newman, Jalen Brunson, Jalen Adams, Antonio Blakeney, Montaque Gill-Ceasar and P.J. Dozier. Dozier, who has been sidelined with a knee injury this year, will be back and has already shown the talent to be a high-major prospect.
The main targets for the frontcourt are ESPN 60 No. 1 Ivan Rabb, Diamond Stone, Stephen Zimmerman, Chase Jeter and Carlton Bragg.
This is an early, fluid list of recruits Kansas has targeted. There is a very good chance this list will change after the spring evaluation period.
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