The best part about @22wiggins winning Mr. Basketball award at tonight's banquet was @WayneSeldenJr starting the standing ovation.
In the days before Kansas’ annual postseason basketball banquet, Andrew Wiggins was tipped off that he was an unofficial finalist for the program’s only award: The Danny Manning “Mr. Jayhawk” Award.
But when Wiggins arrived at the Holidome Convention Center on Tuesday night, he still hadn’t prepared much of a speech. In his mind, he says, he just didn’t think it would be him.
So when Kansas coach Bill Self awarded him the “Mr. Jayhawk” honor at the end of the night, Wiggins took the stage and kept his remarks brief.
“The memories will never fade,” said Wiggins, who announced his decision to enter the NBA Draft earlier this month.
“It kind of caught me off guard, so I was a little nervous,” Wiggins said later. “But it’s an amazing award. I’m honored to get it, amongst the legacy of the names.”
In years past, the “Mr. Jayhawk” award has usually been reserved for veterans — seniors that have invested many years in the program. But much like the rest of the KU season, Tuesday’s postseason banquet had a youthful theme.
…While Wiggins and Embiid said their unofficial goodbyes, Self reflected on a season that featured KU’s 10thstraight Big 12 title — but ended in disappointing fashion in a round-of-32 NCAA Tournament loss to Stanford.
“It was a situation where it was very upsetting and frustrating, because as you guys saw … these guys can play as well as anybody in the country, without question,” Self told the sold-out convention center. “And we really didn’t do that at the very end.
“When we were whole,” Self added. “I really think we were the best in the country.”
“I think you could make a case for Wayne (Selden), Perry (Ellis), Tarik (Black), but when you really break it down, he’s the best player on a Big 12 championship team that has probably brought as much exposure to this school in a positive way as anybody ever has,” KU coach Bill Self said.
“He’ll win a lot of awards moving forward (in NBA). Hopefully this is one he’ll always remember.”
Wiggins, who confirmed he has signed with agent Bill Duffy, felt “blessed to receive this honor.”
“It’s an amazing award. I’m honored to get it amongst the names (who won in past) and the legacy of Danny Manning,” Wiggins said.
…KU freshman Joel Embiid confirmed he has signed with agent Arn Tellem of Wasserman Group. Self kidded Embiid about the expensive suit Embiid purchased on a recent trip to Los Angeles.
…Embiid said he enjoyed reliving memories of his one-and-done season.
“I was just watching the (season highlight) video earlier. I wish I could come back, but it’s too late right now,” Embiid said.
…KU freshman guard Wayne Selden had a “very minor” surgical procedure on his left knee at the conclusion of the season, Self reported Tuesday.
“He was playing on a bad wheel all year,” Self said. “He’ll be fine going into the summer, 100 percent. I think we’ll see him become even more explosive.”
Self said Selden hurt the knee at the “beginning of the year, one of those nagging things you have to deal with. He never complained once. You could tell he didn’t have the same pop as he did in August and September.”
…KU junior Naadir Tharpe did not attend. His grandfather died Thursday in Massachusetts, and memorial services are today, Self said. Tharpe will be back in Lawrence tonight.
“He’s had an interesting offseason,” Self acknowledged of Tharpe getting in trouble for having a risqué picture posted on social media. “But he is not here because of that (death in family). He said one of his biggest regrets is not being able to be with you (fans) tonight.”
…Self said Wiggins and Embiid have completed their coursework for the semester. “They have fulfilled their academic responsibilities by today,” he said. “If they decide to stay the rest of the semester, that’s great. If their agent says they want ’em to go to California to work out, that’s great. We know we’ve got that covered so that won’t impact our APR.”
"I have something to say" Joel Embiid, "But you don't have the microphone. If you say you're coming back you can say all you want" Bill Self
Bill Self just did his Joel Embiid impression with the double guns celebration. #kubball #classic
KUAD Press release KU BBall Banquet
Paul Pierce became the sixth player in NBA history to score 1,000 points in 15 straight seasons, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19), Karl Malone (18), John Havlicek (16), Elvin Hayes (15) and Robert Parish (15). .
“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
Leticia Romero says the Kansas State athletic department is blackmailing her.
Romero, a unanimous selection to the Big 12 All-Freshman team, said her request for a release from the women’s basketball team — submitted about a week ago — was recently denied.
K-State, Romero said, offered her a deal of sorts.
“They said we wanted to do the same thing they did with Angel (Rodriguez) for the men’s team, and they said that they weren’t going to give me the release this year,” Romero told The Topeka Capital-Journal on Tuesday afternoon. “They wanted me to try one year, and in one year if I didn’t like it, they would give me a release.
“I really saw this as blackmail.”
Romero says she has plenty of reasons to want to leave Kansas State, but she can’t understand why she is being denied that opportunity. The athletic department refused comment Tuesday, citing student athlete privacy laws that make them unable to comment on issues involving transfers or releases.
As proud as they were of a 20-win season and NCAA Tournament berth, they seemed more focused on what they can accomplish next year.
“Win the Big 12 and make a big run,” said leading scorer Marcus Foster when asked about expectations for the 2014-15 season. “Today I was watching Jacob Pullen and the run he made to the Elite Eight and it inspired me to want to do that.
“I want to beat KU twice. I want to beat them away and at home. I have big dreams for next season. It’s fun. We have all the pieces to make this happen.”
Kansas State athletic director John Currie on Wednesday awarded basketball coach Bruce Weber his second contract extension since he was hired in 2012. Both deals added a year to his contract. His new contract runs through 2019 without an increase in pay.
Weber’s compensation will remain the same, with his salary of $1.85 million increasing by $100,000 each year he remains on the job. If he stays at K-State through the entirety of his new contract he will earn $2.25 million in 2019 on top of a $500,000 retention bonus.
Big 12 program Kansas State and Georgia have a contract to play a home-and-home series the next two seasons, according to a copy obtained by the Athens Banner-Herald in an open records request.
The matchup would send Bulldogs coach Mark Fox back to his home state.
Georgia would play at Kansas State on Dec. 31, 2014, and Kansas State would return a game to Athens on Dec. 22, 2015. Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity signed the contract Tuesday but it awaits Kansas State to do the same to finalize the deal.
A report from the Omaha World-Herald says OU and Creighton will play a home-and-home basketball series starting next season in Omaha. Which will make a great series. The Bluejays have become a solid name in NCAA hoops, both last season in the new/old Big East and before that in the Missouri Valley Conference.
OU men's basketball coach Lon Kruger announced Tuesday that sophomore guard Je'lon Hornbeak has decided to transfer. Hornbeak, an Arlington, Texas, native, played in 61 games in two seasons as a Sooner, averaging 5.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. The 6-foot-4 Hornbeak said he will go through the recruiting process again.
Starting guard Royce Woolridge and reserve center James Hunter have left the Washington State basketball program, while recruit Jermaine Morgan has been released from his letter of intent.
New coach Ernie Kent said Tuesday that Woolridge wants to play his final season of college basketball closer to his family in Arizona. Woolridge averaged 7.3 points per game as a junior last season.
Kent says Woolridge is on schedule to graduate this school year with a degree in human development.
It is time to test the Tennessee River water that flows past Knoxville.
Test it for toxic levels of dysfunction.
There is something in the water, or the soil – or, most likely, the people – at the University of Tennessee that has turned the athletic department into a transient, turmoil-ridden place. Basketball coach Cuonzo Martin’s departure Tuesday for California is just the latest huh? moment for a school that has been buffeted by them in recent years.
Martin’s successor will be the third Tennessee hoops coach since 2011. Butch Jones is the fourth football coach since 2008. Dave Hart is the second athletic director in the last three years.
Absolutely nothing is rock solid on Rocky Top these days. It is high time for a reality check.
The NCAA established its own draft withdrawal date for early May, which gave players almost no time to conduct workouts for teams before making a final decision. With that date in place, a combine-style tryout was arranged for underclassmen who entered the draft. Some who took part found out it probably wasn’t their time.
Ah, but that wasn’t good enough for NCAA rule makers: They soon changed their withdrawal date to the day prior to the opening of the spring signing period for letters of intent. And that is where we stand now.
The rule is so obviously an affront to the players who participate in college basketball that you’ll have a heck of a time finding a single coach who was in the room for those ACC meetings who’ll admit to a role in it. None wants to own it, because it’s so clearly self-serving. The rule’s very existence is equivalent to this statement: My program matters more than the young men it is designed to serve.
A panel of college administrators agree the NCAA business model has to change to survive.
Three administrators participated in a discussion Tuesday on integrity and the commercialization of college athletics — Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner Beth DeBauche, Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart and former Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe.
Many athletic departments are flush with cash thanks to multi-million dollar TV deals. Conferences have started their own networks, and coaches' contracts continue to soar.
Now athletes are demanding their fair share.
"The landscape as we know it for Division I is going to certainly change in some form or fashion," DeBauche said.
While DeBauche sees the current crisis as an opportunity to make college athletics healthier than ever, the panel also agreed the question now is how to do that.
"We have to have 21st century solutions," Barnhart said. "We didn't get to this problem overnight."
The NCAA's Legislative Council approved a proposal Tuesday to expand the meal allowance for all athletes.
The move occurred eight days after Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier complained during the Final Four that he sometimes went to bed "starving" because he couldn't afford food.
The proposal would allow Division I schools to provide unlimited meals and snacks to all athletes, including walk-ons. The measure still must be approved by the board of directors, which meets April 24.
"I think the end result is right where it needs to be," committee chairwoman and America East assistant commissioner Mary Mulvenna said in a statement released by the governing body.
The proposal has been debated for months, but Napier's comments following last week's national championship game brought attention to the topic. Napier was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA tournament, leading Connecticut to its fourth men's title.
Schools have been allowed to provide three meals per day or a stipend for those meals to scholarship athletes. The new rule would allow walk-ons to receive the same allowances and would allow schools to provide more meals and snacks, too.
The committee also approved a measure that would reduce the penalty for a first positive drug test — if the banned substance is determined to be something other than a performance-enhancing drug. Currently, players who fail the test during NCAA tournaments must sit out one full season. The proposal would cut the penalty to half a season.
Committee members said they hope the change will encourage schools to provide more rehab services.
When it comes to academic fraud, the NCAA's been consistent in one area: if the fraud happens outside of an athletic department or college players, the NCAA usually steps aside.
Thinking is: If a university has academic impropriety happening at a level that transcends what's going on with only players, then it's a university issue and not the NCAA's call to step in.
But that could be changing.
A report in the Chronicle of Higher Education suggests the NCAA is rethinking its approach to punishment in these instances. The most recent and infamous example is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Many students -- some in sports, some not -- were found to have participated in phony courses within the Department of African and Afro-American Studies.
"An academic scandal that spanned at least 14 years and potentially more than 200 classes. Many of those enrolled were athletes," according to the most recent story on UNC's corrupt academic past from the Raleigh News & Observer.
The NCAA has acted in the past as a participatory consultant in UNC's own internal investigations, but it never took the lead on the matter because the reported fraud never happened solely through athletic channels.
Now the NCAA is considering when and how it should get involved in these types of spots. The Leadership Council is undergoing meetings this week, and the Board of Directors meets on April 24 to approve or deny any suggested alteration in legislation that's been put forth by the Council.
In the nearly three years since news of the scandal broke, Crowder has yet to say anything publicly about her role in the classes. But now she is emerging as a key witness in a new investigation set up by the university and the UNC system of the biggest academic scandal in the university’s history.
What she says could have ramifications for hundreds of wins and numerous championships by UNC’s athletic teams. If she says she helped create the classes so athletes struggling academically could stay eligible to play sports, her actions could trigger serious NCAA violations. If she can show she paid no attention to who sought to get into the classes, and simply helped anyone who showed up at her door, the NCAA might stay away.
Nyang’oro has been charged with a felony fraud count in the scandal because he took special summer pay for a class that never met. That 2011 class was filled with football players. His attorney, Bill Thomas of Durham, said Nyang’oro is innocent and will fight the charge.
Some of the information produced so far suggests Crowder acted outside of Nyang’oro’s knowledge in creating some of the classes. Nyang’oro had given her broad authority to run the department.
A marquee non-conference matchup is close to being set in 2014, as SMU and Gonzaga are negotiating the terms of a home-and-home series beginning in the 2014-2015 season.
This came according to SMU Athletics Director Rick Hart, who tweeted the status of the proposed matchups on Tuesday afternoon.
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
"We're gonna do some great things next year." - Cliff Alexander, with Kelly Oubre, on @ESPNU #kubball pic.twitter.com/cwymyvrIJo
Cliff Alexander is StudentSports Mr. Basketball USA
At last summer’s LeBron James Skills Academy, there was something noticeably missing as 80 of the nation’s elite players tested their skill against one another.
The July camp fell during a non-viewing period, which meant college coaches were not in attendance. Scouts and recruiting analysts pointed to that as the main reason the camp’s big men didn’t battle and bang as hard as they hoped for. But there was an underlying reason why the camp’s post players lacked the desire people in attendance were looking for — the presence of power forward Cliff Alexander of Curie (Chicago).
After a few practice sessions, it was apparent guards were hesitant to drive the ball inside for fear of a rejection by Alexander. Post players would rather take a pass than be the victim of one of Alexander’s powerful finishes around the rim. That power game and inside dominance carried right over to Alexander’s senior season, as he helped Cuie become a nationally-ranked club.
Alexander’s talent level and dominance among his elite peers in the interior, combined with his production for Curie, today earns him the 2013-2014 Student Sports Mr. Basketball USA title.
“It’s just an honor to be named Mr. Basketball USA and I’m very excited to be named player of the year.” Alexander said from New York as he prepares for the Jordan Brand Classic.
…In the final Mr. Basketball USA Tracker, Alexander tallied seven of the possible 10 first-place votes, with two going to Whitney Young’s Jahlil Okafor and the other going to point guard Emmanuel Mudiay of Prime Prep (Ft. Worth, Texas). Coming in second place in the final balloting was actually Stanley Johnson of FAB 50 No. 2 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), who garnered the most second place votes (6) and finished second to Alexander in total points, 93-79.
Okafor, last year’s Student Sports National Junior of the Year, put the heat on the Mr. Basketball USA panel by capturing his first Illinois Class 4A state title after rebounding from the on-court loss to Curie in the city title game and by playing admirably at the McDonald’s All-American Game and Nike Hoop Summit. It’s not as if Alexander player particularly bad (9 points, game-high 11 rebounds in the McDonald’s Game), but Okafor stepped up his game down the stretch after a lackluster regular season. Johnson also closed strong by leading Mater Dei to a 35-0 record, including a win over
Whitney Young, and its fourth consecutive California major division state title.
Okafor was named the McDonald’s Morgan Wooten and USA Today Player of the Year and Illinois Mr. Basketball. Alexander, meanwhile, took home the Naismith Award and was named the Chicago Sun-Times Player of the Year over Okafor. Alexander has now added another prestigious honor as he prepares for his college and likely NBA career.
This honor could have easily went to someone else — particularly after Curie’s season engulfed in controversy at and following the city title game versus Whitney Young. It’s something not lost on the rather soft-spoken 6-foot-9, 240-pounder with a distinct power game.
“It means a lot because all three of them are great players and all of them had great senior seasons,” Alexander said.
Devonte Graham, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound senior point guard from Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, will make an official recruiting visit to Kansas University on Friday, Brewster coach Jason Smith reported Sunday on Twitter.
…“Graham is a long and rangy point guard who is deceptively athletic,” writes Eric Bossi of Rivals.com. “He dribbles the ball with purpose, advances the ball up the floor via the pass in transition and is a very good on the ball defender. He doesn’t take a lot of risks and is usually quite efficient.”
Point guard Devonte Graham, who became an available Class of 2014 recruit when new Appalachian State coach Jim Fox released him from the letter of intent he signed in November 2012, has narrowed his college choices to Kansas, N.C. State, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Providence.
Graham, a 2013 Broughton High School graduate who spent the 2013-14 season as a post-graduate player at Brewster (N.H.) Academy, plans to visit Kansas on Friday and N.C. State on Monday. The Wolfpack has lost point guard Tyler Lewis, who is transferring to Butler, making part-time starter Cat Barber the likely full-time starter in 2014-15. Alabama transfer Trevor Lacey, who will be eligible to play next season, is a combo guard.
Graham's stock improved while he led Broughton to the 4-A state title game as a senior during the 2012-13 season, but he wasn't granted a release from his binding letter of intent with Appalachian State after he decided he didn't want to join coach Jeff Capel's program. ASU wouldn't release Graham because it believed N.C. State had tampered with him, an accusation that the Wolfpack has denied. It was also noteworthy that, after Graham had signed, ASU announced it was leaving the Southern Conference for the Sun Belt Conference.
Brewster coach Jason Smith says that #UVa target Devonte Graham will take an official visit to Virginia April 25-26.
Don't care what @im_dat_kid_dtae ranking is or how many stars after his name. He's as talented as any point guard we've had at Brewster.
Add Kansas to the list of high-major programs who will be recruiting 2016 Gill St. Bernard’s guard Tyus Battle.
Kansas assistant Norm Roberts called Gary Battle, the player’s father, and told him he would be watching Tyus later this month and this summer.
“He told me he’s gonna be really looking forward to seeing him over the summer,” Gary said.
Battle is running this summer with Team Scan on the Nike EYBL circuit, alongside 2015 forwards Cheick Diallo and Thomas Bryant.
Ohio State and Virginia are also expected in to see the 6-foot-5, 190-pound Battle next week at his school during the recruiting period.
USA Today: Malik Newman blog
Myles Turner, who is ranked No. 6 in the recruiting Class of 2014 by Rivals.com, will announce his college choice on April 30 on ESPNU’s Recruiting Nation show, the network announced Wednesday.
Turner, a 6-foot-11 center from Trinity High in Euless, Texas, has a final list of Kansas University, Texas, SMU, Duke, Ohio State, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M.
He disputes that he has narrowed his choices to three.
“That’s false,” Turner told Zagsblog.com. “It’s kind of cloudy. I have ideas here and there where I want to go, but it’s not a straight shot. Just really where I’m feeling the most comfortable,” he added. “That’s really the biggest thing with me.”
…Turner is questionable for Friday’s game (6 p.m., ESPN2) because of an ankle injury.
“I’m not sure if I’ll play yet, but hopefully I do,” Turner told Zagsblog after watching practice in sweats at Basketball City in Manhattan. “Even if I don’t play its just an honor to be a part of all this.”
Asked about KU by Zagsblog.com, Turner said: “I like the high-low system that coach (Bill) Self runs, due to the fact that I can play both the high and the low in that system with Cliff (Alexander) and a couple of other bigs over there. That would be really cool to be a part of.”
And apologies to the six other fanbases still holding out hope that Turner will come to their school, but if you were listening closely to Turner on Wednesday, he slipped up and let us in on his secret.
"It's in my backyard," Turner said of the University of Texas. "Hopefully I can come down there and make an impact like Kevin Durant had. If I were able to do that, that'd be pretty cool."
This was his response when asked what he liked about every school on his list. Now read that again.
"Hopefully I can come down there..."
This is what I hate about recruiting—all the speculation about what an 18-year-old kid says, and I realize I've stooped to that level. But if you want to read the signs, they are all pointing toward Austin.
People will take anything And twist and turn your words for manipulation
Kelly Oubre, SF (Kansas)– At 6’7”, Oubre is a long wing with an explosive game. He’s very athletic, fast and skilled at penetrating a defense. He ran the plays very well today and played with high intensity, which was encouraging to see. His shot was a bit off in practice, but he didn’t let that stop him from getting his teammates involved. He has tremendous body-control and is adept at taking contact and still finishing inside. After a solid performance at the Nike Hoops Summit, it will be interesting to see how he follows that up in Brooklyn.
East team Practice 1
JBC participants on how they would fare one-on-one vs MJ in his prime
ESPN2 & ESPN3, ESPN3 Surround
For the second straight year, Barclays Center will serve as the host venue for the 13th annual Jordan Brand Classic. The nation’s premier high school all-star game will be held on April 18 in Brooklyn, NY.
Jordan Brand Classic will feature three epic bouts, beginning with an International Game at 2:30 p.m. EDT. This is the seventh year that the best young talent from around the globe will square off on-court, showcasing the world’s basketball talent. Following the International Game, the New York metropolitan area can support their favorite local talent in the Regional Game, tipping off at 4:30 p.m. The Regional Game is a “City vs. Suburbs” showdown that will feature the top prep players from the area.
Headlining the Jordan Brand Classic is the National Game, with tip-off slated for 7 p.m. EDT. This game serves as an annual showcase for the best talent at the high school level. Jordan Brand signature athletes including Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Blake Griffin are all Jordan Brand Classic alums.
The top 26 prospects from across the country have been selected to play in the National Game. Teams are organized by geography.
Tyus Jones (Apple Valley, MN/Duke), Joel Berry (Lake Highland, FL/UNC), Isaiah Whitehead (Lincoln, NY/Seton Hall), LJ Peak (Gaffney, SC/Georgetown), Grayson Allen (Providence, FL/Duke), James Blackmon (Marion, IN/Indiana), Rashad Vaughn (Findlay, NV/UNLV), Kelly Oubre (Findlay, NV/Kansas), Justin Jackson (Homeschool Christian Youth Academy, TX/UNC), Reid Travis (De LaSalle, MN/Stanford), Trey Lyles (Arsenal Tech, IN/Kentucky), Jahlil Okafor (Whitney Young, IL/Duke), Karl Towns (St. Joseph, NJ/Kentucky).
Emmanuel Mudiay (Prime Prep, TX/SMU), Tyler Ulis (Marian Catholic, IL/Kentucky), Devin Booker (Moss Point, MS/Kentucky), Kameron Chatman (Columbia Christian, OR/Michigan), Theo Pinson (Wesleyan Christian, NC/UNC), Justise Winslow (St. John’s, TX/Duke), Stanley Johnson (Mater Dei, CA/Arizona), Cliff Alexander (Curie, IL/Kansas), Chris McCullough (IMG Academy/Syracuse), Myles Turner (Trinity, TX/Uncommitted), Daniel Hamilton (St. John Bosco, CA/UConn), D’Angelo Russell (Montverde Academy, FL/Ohio State), Shaqquan Aaron (Rainier Beach, WA/Louisville).
Tickets for the Jordan Brand Classic are currently on sale at all Ticketmaster locations, the Barclays Center box office, online at ticketmaster.com, or by calling 1-800-745-3000. For more information, visit the official website at www.JordanBrandClassic.com.
ESPN3 Surround delivers exclusive content tied to live events on ESPN linear networks, offering a companion experience in real-time that will complement the big game on television. It will enable fans to go deeper into ESPN’s biggest live events with alternate camera angles, experiences and stories around the game.
“With ESPN3 Surround, we continue to super serve sports fans with a unique offering around the biggest rivalries, competitions and sporting events,” said Jason Bernstein, senior director of programming and acquisitions, ESPN. “Its availability on computers, smartphones, tablets, Xbox, Apple TV and Roku make it a true second-screen experience that will engage sports fans in new and meaningful ways.”
Jayhawk Invitational (4/25-4/27)
adidas Uprising Spring/Summer Events
2014 Spring/Summer AAU and camp schedule (compiled by CBS Sports)
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