KC Live! Stage with appearances by Kansas head football coach David Beaty, the KU pep band, Kansas spirit squad and mascots.
March 12, 10:30 a.m.
Stop inside Johnny’s Tavern in the Kansas City Power & Light District and visit the Kansas Athletics and KU Alumni tables. Tables at Johnny’s are first come, first served.
March 12, 7:30 – 11 a.m.
KUAD Postseason Info
New NCAA qualifier Lafayette is worst team KU played all season — 197th in KenPom. Rider was 2nd-worst at 160th.
TCU (17-14), which has lost five of six against Kansas since joining the Big 12 in 2012, enters Thursday's tilt following a 67-65 victory over Kansas State on Wednesday that snapped a three-game skid.
Guards Kyan Anderson and Trey Zeigler combined for 31 points, while Chris Washburn had 16 points and eight rebounds to clinch TCU's first-ever Big 12 Tournament win.
"We ended the season on a high note. We felt like overall we played well, even though we didn't finish our games," said Zeigler. "We came in here and we knew Kansas State was a good team, and me and Kyan just tried to make sure we did everything we could do as senior captains."
Before their recent losing streak, the Horned Frogs won three of four, including a 70-55 victory Feb. 14 over then-No. 21 Oklahoma State - their only win against a ranked team in 12 tries this season.
TCU shot 52.0 percent in that win and 47.4 percent Wednesday, but struggled to a 35.1 shooting percentage in its two losses to the Jayhawks.
Coach Trent Johnson knows his team needs an improved offensive effort Thursday.
"Premiere team in this league, one of the premiere teams in the country," Johnson said of Kansas. "No basketball program has a more storied tradition than they do and we've got to find a way to compete at a high level in a short period of time."
TCU entered the Big 12 tournament ranked 50th in defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.com. The Horned Frogs’ offense, meanwhile has struggled at times, ranking 95th in the country.
“TCU is one of the toughest teams we’ve played on the defensive end,” said KU freshman guard Kelly Oubre Jr. “They go hard and crash the glass. Rebounding is going to be key.”
TCU outrebounded KU, 33-29, in Lawrence and 50-40 in Fort Worth. Chris Washburn (6-8, senior) grabbed 12 rebounds and Trey Zeigler (6-5, senior) 11 in the game in Allen.
On Wednesday, Washburn and Kyan Anderson (5-11, senior) scored 16 points and Zeigler 15 versus K-State. Karviar Shepherd (6-10, sophomore) had nine rebounds, Washburn eight and Kenrich Williams (6-7, sophomore) seven for TCU, which entered the Big 12 tourney with four losses in its last five games.
“They are so much improved. Trent (Johnson, third-year TCU coach) and his staff have done a great job in a short amount of time recruiting a higher-caliber athlete and getting those guys to guard and play together,” KU coach Bill Self said.
…Of Ellis, Traylor said: “He looks good. He was running the floor pretty well today. He’s doing moves.”
Sophomore guard Wayne Selden Jr. (ankle sprain) is “fine” and will play, Self said. Also, soph wing Brannen Greene, who was suspended for Saturday’s game at OU, practiced again Wednesday and will play today.
…Self’s next win will be his 350th at KU. He has 76 losses.
Bill Self turned to Perry Ellis before Kansas’ Wednesday shootaround at Sprint Center and asked him if he was sore. The forward shook his head “yes.”
“Real sore?” Self asked.
Ellis shrugged his shoulders as the KU basketball team’s biggest mystery continued another day.
The 6-foot-8 Ellis, who sprained his right knee last week, remains questionable for the Jayhawks’ Big 12 Tournament opener against TCU at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Self said Ellis “looked good” while going at 100 percent during Wednesday’s hourlong practice at Allen Fieldhouse that came before the shootaround.
“A lot will depend, if he plays (Thursday), on how he feels (Thursday),” Self said. “If he’s got pain, which he didn’t have today, then we’ll hold him. If he doesn’t, then we’ll put him out there.
“A lot just depends on that. We won’t know anything until (Thursday).”
Though Ellis has only missed one game, Self said an ideal scenario would allow the big man to play some this week so he can be better prepared for the NCAA Tournament.
“That’s the way it is with any injury. You want to get out there and at least get hit and know you can get up and that kind of stuff,” Self said. “That’s a perfect world. But if it doesn’t work out to be a perfect world, then we’ll just work him really hard Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and get ready for next week.”
Teammate Frank Mason said he and others have asked Ellis for knee updates this week. The Wichita native typically gives the same response: that he’s feeling pretty good and that the knee is improving every day.
“He wants to get out here,” KU forward Jamari Traylor said.
Why the Jayhawks will win the national championship: Kansas was considered one of the five most talented teams in the country before Frank Mason came out of nowhere to “ball like a dog.” Navigating the Big 12 this year was like trying to go through a house of mirrors that’s on fire and has strobe lights and lasers flashing everywhere, yet Kansas won the conference outright. It has won 24 games playing the hardest schedule in the country, and its only halfway bad loss came on the road in a rivalry game. Perry Ellis was playing so well before he got hurt against West Virginia that Kansas fans had temporarily stopped hating him. Kelly Oubre Jr. has improved immensely since the start of the season, and Mason is a bona fide stud. Kansas is running on fumes right now, but if the Jayhawks can get their team healthy and eligible in the next week (and if Wayne Selden and Brannen Greene can break out of their slumps), this team will be a serious problem.
Why the Jayhawks won’t survive the first weekend: Who knows if Kansas can get its team healthy and eligible in time for the tournament? Ellis is battling a sprained knee and might not play in the Big 12 tournament. If Ellis returns in time for the NCAA tournament, he’ll wear a brace on his knee and it’s fair to assume it’ll take time for him to return to form. Meanwhile, Cliff Alexander’s status is more complicated and there’s no telling when his suspension will be resolved, since it involves an NCAA investigation of allegations that Alexander’s family received improper benefits from an agent.
Even if those guys are ready for Kansas’s opening NCAA tournament game, there are still serious questions about the Jayhawks’ chances. As someone who once wedged Jay Bilas’s book Toughness under the short leg of an uneven table, I know all there is to know about being tough. And way too often this season, Kansas has been the opposite of tough. There was the lack of pride the Jayhawks showed in blowout losses to Kentucky and Temple. There was the lackadaisical second half that cost them a game at Oklahoma State. And there were the 22 offensive rebounds given up in a recent loss to West Virginia. Every team goes through mental lulls, but Kansas’s lapses seem more severe and more frequent than the ones suffered by other top teams. In a “lose once and go home” format, all it takes is one lull for Kansas’s season to end.
Titus’s Top 12 NCAA Power Rankings: Why Your Team Will Win the Tournament … and Why It’ll Get Bounced Before the Sweet 16
Like most basketball coaches, Kansas’ Bill Self says he doesn’t pay much attention to bracket projections. But Self said he recently spent a few minutes considering the Jayhawks’ seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Most have Kansas pegged as a No. 2, and Self agrees with the assessment. He also thinks Kansas can drop to a No. 3. Why?
Because two projected third seeds — Iowa State and Baylor — are in his conference.
“Just looking at it realistically, if I was on the committee, I’d say we would be the fourth No. 2 seed. But if you look at the No. 3 seeds then you can see that they could jump us if they play well in this tournament and we don’t,” Self said.
As the days pass, the likelihood increases that Alexander will never play for Kansas again. The NCAA investigation has slowed to a crawl as the Alexander family remains quiet. Alexander has yet to be interviewed by NCAA investigators. And as the calendar pushes toward March, Alexander may be presented with limited options.
Last year, those close to Alexander envisioned a one-year stop at Kansas and a place on the stage at the NBA Draft. Now Alexander could be forced to head to NBA just as his stock has dipped, a decision that, based on the NBA's strict rookie salary scale, could cost him millions.
If the Alexander family is concerned about the future, they have given no public indication. When reached by The Star on Tuesday afternoon, an attorney representing the family in the NCAA investigation declined to comment on the status of the case.
"I don't have any update for you," said Arthur McAfee, a Washington D.C.-based attorney. "Our side is doing just fine."
…For now, the NCAA has yet to interview Alexander - though sources familiar with investigation told The Star on Wednesday that there was no reluctance on the Kansas side for Alexander to speak.
"Whatever happens, we'll deal with it," Self said last Saturday while expressing in the lack of cooperation from all sides in the investigation.
"He's sad. He's down," Self said of Alexander. "But his attitude has been great. You know, he's probably practiced better than he ever has, (darn it), here of late."
If Alexander winds up in the NBA Draft, multiple NBA scouts interviewed for this story said Alexander would still have a chance to be drafted in the first round. But one scout suggested that Alexander would have a chance to be drafted significantly higher if he returned.
"His stock has obviously taken a big dive," one scout said. "The guy has had a lot go against him."
KC Star via News Tribune
Legible name. Clear number. School colors. Pronounced logo.
That’s about as far as the check list goes for college basketball fans and the requirements they have for the uniforms worn by their favorite teams. But for those behind the scenes, the process of taking the uniforms from concept to creation is much more intricate and actually begins as many as 10 months prior to their teams wearing any new gear.
When the Kansas University men’s basketball team opens play in this year’s Big 12 tournament at 1:30 p.m. today inside Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, the Jayhawks will do so in their brand new postseason uniforms, the adidas brand “Made in March” look specifically designed for the 2015 season.
Such a shift from regular duds to a fresh postseason look has taken place regularly during the past several seasons, and, according to Larry Hare, KU’s assistant athletic director for equipment services, is all a part of the quest to keep up with the demands of modern advances, both in terms of aesthetics and performance.
..Due, at least in some part, to the negative feedback that came when the camouflage uniforms were unveiled, adidas, which two summers ago agreed to a six-year contract extension that would keep the company the official provider of footwear, uniforms, apparel and accessories to each of the Jayhawks’ 18 intercollegiate athletics teams through 2019, agreed to pull back a little on the wild endeavors.
“They were going with much more exceedingly trendy looks that were pulling some of their traditional schools too far away,” Hare said. “But they have vowed to put the emphasis on school logos, school colors and accentuate those. That’s made it easier because the past two years our postseason unis have been a different pattern but they’ve been pretty clean. It’s a different look but it doesn’t depart from who Kansas is.”
…One big advantage at play at Kansas, Hare said, is that the school’s licensed property manager employed by adidas, 2000 KU grad Stephanie Temple, has an office in the building. That not only allows the two sides better communication when wrinkles need to be ironed out, but also forces the two to be accountable to one another, which both Hare and Temple said has helped create a stronger partnership.
“We don’t always agree on everything and there is definitely some communication that takes place,” Hare said. “It’s easy to say no to someone who is miles away, but here, we have to look each other in the eye every day.”
Coming up with the proper look for KU’s postseason duds is only part of the equation when it comes to outfitting Kansas’ athletic teams. The school has its own rules and regulations for how its logos are to be handled. The NCAA has four pages in its rule book devoted to uniforms. And the Big 12 Conference now mandates that its new logo be put on all of the uniforms used in competition by conference teams. At KU, such requirements — and even one’s that aren’t; Hare still puts the American flag on all KU uniforms — meant slapping more than 6,000 patches on the uniforms that have been used during the 2014-15 school year.
The whole thing can have a never-ending feel to it. Just when Hare and his crew are finished taking care of one team or one season, they immediately start looking ahead to the next.
“We are already looking at uniforms for next year and next postseason right now,” Hare said.
Over his last eight games, he's had to defend James Harden, Jimmy Butler, and even Chris Paul. Those players have had good games, but it's the way Wiggins has approached each defensive match-up that has been fascinating in showing his growth as a defender. Let's take a look at each of those very different match-ups to look at where he's excelled and where he needs a little more work and experience.
The 76ers are saying that "everything is right on track" in regards to Joel Embiid's foot.
The rookie center was in Los Angeles Tuesday for a scheduled appointment with surgeon Richard Ferkel as a follow-up to his June 20 surgery to repair a broken navicular bone in his right foot.
"It's healing at the rate that we expected," coach Brett Brown said Wednesday before the Sixers played the Chicago Bulls at the Wells Fargo Center. "He has been allowed to dunk if that's what it takes.
"Really not much news that we said yesterday. We are just here to report that everything is right on track."
“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
“Talent-wise, we all think we are better than TCU, and some of us know we are better. So we really didn’t play the way we were supposed to.”
That mixture sent the Wildcats into the Big 12 Tournament as its No. 8 seed, missing a first-round bye for the first time since 2006. A matchup with No. 9 seed TCU in front of a friendly crowd left the team hoping for a victory that could lead to memorable tournament run. Instead, K-State went out with a whimper.
The result is the team’s first losing record since 2003, snapping a run of eight straight 20-win seasons. K-State will miss the postseason for the first time since 2006 and the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009.
A basketball season that began with Kansas State players saying they had enough talent to reach the Final Four ended without a trip to the NCAA Tournament, the NIT or a winning record.
The Wildcats bowed out of the Big 12 Tournament on Wednesday at the Sprint Center with another inconsistent effort, losing 67-65 to TCU in the event’s opening game.
“I think the game was kind of a microcosm of our whole season,” K-State coach Bruce Weber said. “A bunch of ups and downs and all-arounds.… Our guys fought vibrantly, like they did all year, and it’s disappointing. You want to keep playing and you want to keep coaching, but you have to help the guys and move forward. That’s all you can do.”
OU guard Buddy Hield said he was glad to be in Kansas City and away from the atmosphere in Norman. He said he is glad to focus on playing basketball.
“Everything that happened Sunday, it feels good to be away from that,” he said. “Thank God we're able to be in this position.”
Isaiah Taylor kept dumping the ball into the post. Cameron Ridley kept finishing plays.
Texas kept pulling away in a game that it desperately needed.
Behind the inspired play of its flashy point guard and bruising forward, the seventh-seeded Longhorns put away Texas Tech 65-53 on Wednesday night to help its NCAA tournament hopes.
“I thought Isaiah’s demeanor was as good as it’s been all year in terms of running it for us,” Texas coach Rick Barnes said. “And I do think Cam is more confident now. Why he hasn’t been, I’m not sure how to answer that.”
Speaking of confidence, the Longhorns (20-12) can feel a whole lot more confident about their NCAA hopes if they can beat No. 2 seed Iowa State in Thursday’s quarterfinals. The Cyclones won both meetings with Texas earlier this season.
“I think we have a good chance to get into the tournament,” Taylor said, “but right now, that really can’t be the focus. We’re looking to win the Big 12 tournament.”
What went wrong for Nebraska?
It was just four months ago that the basketball gods were presumably smiling on the Cornhuskers. All five starters back from their first NCAA Tournament team in 16 years. A No. 21 spot in the preseason rankings. The lavish promise from winning 10 of 12 down the stretch the year before.
Nebraska basketball had arrived.
That was then. This is now.
The Cornhuskers’ ordeal finally ended Wednesday with a 68-65 loss to Penn State in the Big Ten tournament. One last scoop of frustration for a program that thought it was blossoming, not headed for a cliff. That made nine consecutive defeats to finish, and a 13-18 final record. No pre-season ranked team had a bigger belly flop.
Missouri set another dubious record Wednesday with a season-ending 63-54 loss against South Carolina in the opening round of the SEC Tournament at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
The Tigers finished 9-23 overall, setting the program’s all-time record for most losses in a season.
It’s only the third time Missouri has lost 20 games or more, joining the dark days of 1965-67 when the Tigers went 3-21 and 3-22 in back-to-back seasons under Bob Vanatta before Norm Stewart’s arrival.
…The Tigers endured the longest losing streak in program history, a 13-game slide in SEC play, before picking up two wins in the final four games of the regular season.
The worst season for the Missouri men’s basketball team in nearly half a century was officially put to rest — out of its misery, if you prefer — on Wednesday at the hands of South Carolina in the first round of the Southeastern Conference tournament. Time of expiration was 10:35 p.m. Realistically, the Tigers’ pulse began to fade midway through the second half.
Unlike their last three games away from home, the Tigers showed some fight and chipped away at their second-half deficit. But like most efforts this season, it was never enough. Momentum stalled. And now, the season.
The 63-54 loss to the Gamecocks at Bridgestone Arena ended Mizzou coach Kim Anderson’s debut season at 9-23.
“This may sound crazy,” said Anderson, whose team never led after scoring the game’s first basket. “I was real proud of my guys. I thought we played extremely hard. Obviously, we made too many mistakes at critical times.”
“Things were rolling for us,” forward Johnathan Williams III said, “but we couldn't make stops in the process of scoring. It just got out of hand.”
From the stunning season-opening loss to Missouri-Kansas City to the final flat notes in Music City, Missouri suffered the most single-season losses in team history — a program that began tracking wins and losses in 1906, when there were only 45 states in the Union and Teddy Roosevelt was in the White House. It’s the fewest wins for a Missouri season since the 1966-67 team went 3-22. That was also the last time Missouri’s football team won more games than MU’s basketball team in the same school year — until now.
With the first-round exit, Missouri finishes its season as the only team from the six high-major conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, Pac-12, SEC) to win fewer than 10 games. Missouri also went winless (0-14) against Division I teams away from home.
St Louis PD
Through six teams and 12 seasons in the NBA, Mo Williams has seen a lot of basketball players.
When he looks at Callaway High star Malik Newman, from Williams’ hometown of Jackson, Miss., he can only draw one comparison.
“We call him ‘Young Kobe,’ ” Williams said. “The only person I’ve actually seen like that is Kobe Bryant. He (Newman) is just always working and he wants to get better. He has that in him.
“But one thing that you can’t teach is that drive, that will to be the best. You don’t get tired. You have to get him out of the gym at times, tell him to rest, just rest. He doesn’t want to rest until he gets to that goal.”
…The relationship between Newman and Williams runs deep. Newman’s father Horatio Webster is a longtime friend of Williams.
“His dad (and I) are real close,” Williams, now with the Charlotte Hornets, said before a recent game at Chicago’s United Center against the Bulls. “His dad played at Mississippi State. He was in college when I was making my college decision and he almost got me to go there.”
Williams would attend Alabama before being drafted by the Utah Jazz in the second round in 2003.
…“We’ve got a great relationship and he gives me advice throughout the season about what I need to do to be better on and off the court,” Newman said. “He’s a big help and somebody that I know I can depend on.”
On the most productive night of Williams’ career, he shared the stage with Newman.
“Getting buckets like @iammaliknewman 2nite,” Williams tweeted after he scored a career-high 52 points for the Minnesota Timberwolves against the Indiana Pacers in mid-January.
…Newman is still pondering a college destination and other top tier coaches have also made Callaway games a must-attend event.
“Obviously he’s got some schools that he likes — Kentucky, LSU, NC State, to name a few — but he’s still open,” Williams said.
But wherever he goes, Newman seems destined to have an immediate impact.
“He’s going to go somewhere and be capable of scoring a lot of points as a freshman,” said Eric Bossi, national analyst for Rivals.com, which who ranks Newman as No. 3 overall nationally. “He’s mentally ready for the college game and physically ready. … He has a chance to come in and play major minutes wherever he goes.”
Despite accolades, Newman said there’s still plenty to learn.
“He (Williams) talks to me about patience on the court, how I can’t play the game 100 miles per hour the whole time, and just knowing when to pick spots and ways to make my teammates better,” Newman said.
Five-star LSU basketball commit Antonio Blakeney is feeling good about luring another superstar to the Tigers.
Blakeney said on Cullota & The Prince on 104.5 FM in Baton Rouge on Thursday morning that "LSU is very real in Malik Newman's recruitment," and "I think we're going to get him."
Newman, who preps at Callaway High School in Jackson, Miss., is one of the country's top-rated guards
If he chooses LSU, he'd join a star-studded class along with Blakeney and Ben Simmons.
Click here to listen to the full interview.
New Orleans Advocate
McDONALD’S ALL-AMERICAN GAME
April 1, United Center, Chicago
ESPN NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIP
April 2-4, Christ the King, Queens, N.Y. & Madison Square Garden
NIKE HOOP SUMMIT
April 11, Moda Center, Portland
KENTUCKY DERBY FESTIVAL
April 11, Freedom Hall, Lexington, KY
JORDAN BRAND CLASSIC
Friday April 17, Barclays Center 7p.m,
Regional Games (4:00 pm) All times Eastern
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