Next three games for Kansas: Georgetown, undefeated Toledo, and San Diego State. Going to be battle-tested for Big 12 play.
Embiid is much, much better offensively than @GoodmanESPN led me to believe.
Really? I have said since October that he is extremely skilled -- offense way ahead of defense.
We need to start a #JOJOFanClub #KUbball
Great team win! Way to bounce back! Only up from here! #rockchalk
Great team win tonight! The crowd was amazing... Only up from here #KUCMB
Joel Embiid had just picked up his second foul, and like so many other games this season, he knew he was going to be spending the rest of the first half sitting on the Kansas bench.
The 7-foot freshman vowed to make up for it in the second half.
Embiid scored 16 of his career-high 18 points over the final 20 minutes, leading the No. 13 Jayhawks to an 80-63 victory over New Mexico on Saturday night that ended a two-game skid.
"I was frustrated, even though I didn't think the second one was a foul," said Embiid, a native of Cameroon who's only been playing basketball for a few years. "Yeah, I wanted it bad, and they wanted to throw me the ball and let me score, and that's what I needed to do."
Perry Ellis scored 21 points and Andrew Wiggins, despite dealing with foul trouble all night, added 11 for the Jayhawks (7-3), who led 39-38 at halftime before using two big runs to put it away.
…"We knew we had to hit them first," said the Jayhawks' Wayne Selden, who finished with 10 points. "That was our main goal, be the first one on the floor and be the most aggressive."
Herein lies the quandary for Kansas coach Bill Self.
Jayhawks 7-foot freshman center Joel Embiid is really good at basketball. And he's becoming more brilliant by the hour, as evidenced by his 18-point performance in an 80-63 victory over New Mexico on Saturday night at the Sprint Center.
And still, if the 13th-ranked Jayhawks want to evolve into the NCAA title contenders that so many envisioned, Embiid will need to be playing 30 minutes per game. But the more Embiid plays, Self says, the more his talents will be wanted elsewhere. It's clear that his time in Lawrence could be limited to just one season.
"We need to play him all the time," Self said. "But the more he plays, the less time he's going to spend in Lawrence.
"So I'm not sure it's a real wise decision for me to do this. But he's got to play."
The last line came with a sly smile as Self sat inside the Sprint Center late Saturday night.
…Embiid's night supplemented a resurgent performance from Perry Ellis, who finished with 21 points and nine rebounds. But it was Embiid who left the Sprint Center onlookers in a momentary state of awe when he pulled off a hesitating, shimmy move that could only be described as Hakeem Olajuwon's "Dream Shake."
"You could see my facial expression when I was on the court," said freshman guard Wayne Selden, who added 10 points. "You see him do it every day in practice, and I finally liked when he brought it to the game."
With the long-striding, quick-afoot, long-armed 7-footer trapping the post in support of Perry Ellis, Embiid masked his teammates' deficiencies as post defenders. For the Lobos, seeing Embiid coming at them, arms reaching for the ceiling, it was the equivalent of a hitter crowding the plate and seeing a 95 mph fastball heading for his jaw. Instinct kicks in and the goal becomes getting out of the situation without harm as quickly as possible. Hurried, even panicked, the guy with the ball changes his goal to not turning it over. Scoring no longer enters the equation. It becomes all about surviving the possession.
“He’s better than anyone else at that because you’re throwing over 9-5 (9-feet-5-inches from tip of the fingers to the floor) when he runs at you,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “Other guys are a little softer in their approach and how they do it and their height and things doesn’t bother (the offensive players) as much.”
Ellis, as teammates and coaches of Embiid so often do, referenced more than the physical gifts of the 7-foot center from Cameroon.
“He’s smart,” Ellis said. “Whatever coach tells him to do, he’s doing it. It’s a big help having him right there blocking shots and everything.”
It was a tale of two halves and a tale of two Lobos, who needed a little more help on the scoreboard, but did not get it Saturday night in the Kansas City Shootout.
“If people hadn’t seen Cameron Bairstow and Kendall Williams, they got a good look at them tonight,” said Lobo Coach Craig Neal.
New Mexico got 24 points from both Cameron Bairstow and Kendall Williams, trailed by only a point at the half, before the Kansas Jayhawks upped their defense and their intensity to run to an 80-63 win Saturday in Kansas City.
A key blow for the Lobos came in the first half when 7-foot Alex Kirk picked up two quick fouls, played only three minutes in that half, and never regained his rhythm under the basket. Kansas got rhythm from a lot of Jayhawks including 7-foot freshman Joel Embiid, who scored a career-high 18 points.
“He could never get going,” Neal said of Kirk. “We are going to have a hard time winning ball games if Alex plays 18 minutes and has those numbers.”
Kirk finished with five points, five rebounds and five fouls. UNM got eight points off a bench that went 2-of-14 from the floor.
“I’m proud of the guys and their effort. We played hard,” said Neal. “We have to get some scoring off the bench and get some guys to make some plays off the bench and help us.”
…The Jayhawks won the battle in the paint with 38 points in that zone. UNM scored 24 inside. Naadir Tharpe had nine assists for Kansas. Embiid had four blocks and three steals. Kansas’ Perry Ellis had 21 points and Andrew Wiggins had 11 points.
“I thought that’s the best (Kansas) played offensively all year,” said Neal of the Jayhawks, who shot better than 50 percent in each half. “They didn’t have a lot of misses in the second half.
“It was just one of those things where we couldn’t get anything going. We didn’t have any rhythm. I wish we could have shot the ball a little bit better. We missed some easy shots. I never thought we’d score (only) 25 points in a half. We had good looks.”
All week, as the New Mexico men’s basketball team prepared for its showdown with No. 13 Kansas University at Sprint Center, the Lobos hoped the experience of starting three four-year veterans would make a difference against the young Jayhawks.
Minutes after KU’s 80-63 victory, which came in large part thanks to a 41-25 second-half surge, that hope proved more optimistic than realistic.
“I think the age thing is overrated,” New Mexico guard Kendall Williams, who tied teammate Cameron Bairstow with a game-high 24 points. “They have a lot of skilled players that didn’t really get flustered.”
The funny thing about New Mexico’s second loss of the season was that the Lobos (6-2) did not really get flustered either. In the opening frame, behind a monster half of 16 points and four rebounds from Bairstow, UNM played KU within a point (39-38), using all-out effort, physicality at all five positions and 13-of-15 shooting from the free-throw line.
Energized by a put-back at the halftime buzzer from sophomore Arthur Edwards, the Lobos raced off the Sprint Center floor and appeared to be the team with more momentum. But the next time they stepped onto the floor, the Jayhawks raced up and down past them, en route to a 10-2 run to open the second half that put the Jayhawks (7-3) firmly in control.
“All the time,” said Self, asked how often Embiid resembles Olajuwon in practice. “People haven’t seen in a game what he can do. We’ve seen glimpses but we haven’t seen an offensive repertoire where he can score over both shoulders, (with) both hands or step out and shoot it. That was nice to see.
“He’s becoming a better rim protector too,” Self added. “He gets three steals and four blocks and no turnovers. That’s pretty good for a big. He and Perry (Ellis, 21 points, nine rebounds in 31 minutes) both were great.”
…The Jayhawks prevailed before 18,493 fans in their home away from home.
“It definitely felt like a home court and we were saying it looked and felt a lot like the United Center,” Selden said. “The home support was great.”
Next up, KU will meet Georgetown at 11 a.m., Saturday, in Allen Fieldhouse.
Throughout the first month of the season, Kansas' up-and-down season has gone under the microscope in a variety of ways.
There are the point guard issues: is Naadir Tharpe the answer? Is Frank Mason? There are the questions surrounding Andrew Wiggins, mainly addressing whether he's got the personality to be a dominant go-to player. After that, we've seen columns on Joel Embiid's potential, their lack of perimeter shooting, and other aspects of Bill Self's team.
Each of those issues is legitimate – but one player has been somewhat overlooked when it comes to determining Kansas' success this season: Perry Ellis.
The 6-foot-8 sophomore led the way for Kansas on Saturday night, going for 21 points and nine rebounds to help the Jayhawks to an 80-63 win. He and Embiid combined for 39 points and 15 boards inside, outplaying New Mexico's vaunted interior duo of Cameron Bairstow (24 points, six boards) and Alex Kirk (five points, fouls). Tharpe was undoubtedly a major factor in the victory, dishing out nine assists and going through some terrific stretches in the second half.
But Ellis' performance was another in a developing pattern: when he plays well, Kansas plays well. When he plays poorly, Kansas generally plays poorly.
Check out the splits. In Kansas' three losses, Ellis is averaging just 8.3 points and 5.3 rebounds. In the Jayhawks' seven wins, however, the talented forward is putting up 16.6 points and 7.3 boards. Kansas' two biggest wins this season came over Duke and New Mexico, and Ellis totaled 45 points and 18 boards in those two games.
There were a number of good signs for Bill Self’s team on Saturday. Naadir Tharpe played really well, especially down the stretch of the second half as Kansas pulled away. He finished with eight points and nine assists, facilitating the Kansas offense and getting the ball to the hot hand in a position that he could score. I liked the analogy that ESPN commentator Fran Fraschilla made: the point guard spot is the key for Kansas, and while Frank Mason is talented, he’s their third-down back right now. Tharpe needs to be the guy that’s running the show.
He was tonight, and we saw what the Jayhawks can be.
Bill Self was hot.
The Kansas coach dialed up a timeout with 9:11 left in the second half and didn’t wait for Naadir Tharpe to come to him. Self marched on the court to rip into his point guard, getting into his face with the words exploding out of his mouth.
Then Self did something that he might not have done earlier this year. He left Tharpe in.
The junior made sure Self didn’t regret it.
During the final 8½ minutes, Tharpe delivered five of his game-high nine assists, including a pair of no-look passes that helped break the game open in an 80-63 victory Saturday over New Mexico at Sprint Center.
“I thought the biggest key that gave us a little bit of poise and confidence … Naadir, except for about three possessions in the second half, he was great,” Self said. “That’s what we have to have him be for us.”
…After New Mexico (7-2) pulled to within 63-58 with 5:03 left, the Jayhawks played one of their best stretches of the game, and Tharpe was a huge part of it; he contributed assists on three of KU’s next five possessions, with the last two coming on a pair of highlight-reel plays.
The first was a no-look pass in the lane to Joel Embiid for a slam, and the next time down, Tharpe penetrated the lane, then squeezed a no-look bounce pass in traffic to Perry Ellis for an uncontested layup that made it 72-59 with 5:41 left.
“We had a nice talk this week, and he knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’m disappointed in him, not in his play as much (as in) the ownership and how he’s helping the other guys. He knows,” Self said. “That was the thing I’ve been trying to beat into (his head). I think he responded really well. He’s got to take ownership for everything, because there’s nobody else that can do it yet. He’s got to buy some time for these guys to give them a chance to grow up.”
Tharpe played so well that he even earned a mulligan from Self with 4:13 left. After Tharpe threw a ball out of bounds, Self once again screamed to his point guard, “Naa! Naa!”
When the coach finally got Tharpe’s attention, he clapped a couple times to applaud his aggressiveness.
Tharpe finished with eight points and the nine assists to go with four turnovers.
“He led us, and that’s what a point guard is supposed to do,” Ellis said. “He led us to the win.”
…Kansas sophomore guard Andrew White III sat out Saturday’s game with a hip pointer injury that he suffered in Thursday’s practice.
“He tried to practice (Friday) and made it worse,” Self said. “He was really hurting today. Hopefully, we can get him back in practice this week.”
Self said Mason’s minutes were cut because, “they played zone. Frank hasn’t shot it well yet. I thought we’d be better off playing Brannen (Greene, five points, 16 minutes) or Wigs (Andrew Wiggins, 11 points, 28 minutes) or Wayne (Selden, 10 points, 34 minutes) on the wings and give the ball to Naadir and let him run the point the majority of the time.”
…Senior forward Tarik Black, who has come off the bench the last two games in favor of freshman Joel Embiid, did not score with two turnovers and a quick foul in two minutes. Red-shirt frosh Landen Lucas had two points and five boards in 10 minutes.
“This is not a knock to Tarik ... Landen gets in there and gets five rebounds in nine minutes and is obviously a factor,” Self said. “I think that will be good for our team moving forward. He understands what we are doing about as well as anybody on our team. When you play heavy bodies like that (on UNM team) he’s about as good as we have guarding those heavy bodies. I thought everybody who got in the game contributed in a favorable way.”
Trailing by one at halftime, New Mexico coach Craig Neal told his team if it just got a couple of quick baskets it could put No. 13 Kansas on the ropes.
Instead, it was the Jayhawks that went on a run.
Kansas scored 16 of the first 20 points in the second half, and then rolled to an 80-63 victory Saturday night that ended a two-game losing streak.
"That pretty much buried the game right there," said New Mexico guard Kendall Williams, who had 24 points. "We weren't able to back bounce from that. That run was pretty much the tale of the game."
Before John Calipari even coached his first game at Kentucky, he seemed to grasp the importance many UK fans attach to maintaining the Wildcats as the men's hoops program atop the all-time wins list.
In a presentation at a Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches clinic in September 2009, Calipari noted that UK, then with 1,988 all-time wins, and North Carolina, then with 1,984, were in a race to become the first to reach 2,000 all-time victories.
"We have to get to 12 wins before North Carolina gets to 16," Calipari said then. "I know that."
Not only did Calipari beat Carolina to 2,000 wins, in the years since Cal has expanded Kentucky's advantage in all-time wins over North Carolina from four in 2009 to 22.
Yet UK fans need only look west to find a relentless riser that has supplanted UNC as the prime threat to the Wildcats' claim as the winningest program of all time.
When Bill Self was hired as Kansas head coach before the 2003-04 season, the Jayhawks stood third in all-time wins, 48 games behind Kentucky and seven behind North Carolina.
After Saturday's contests, Kansas is within 11 wins of tying UK and was 11 victories ahead of UNC.
In its first 10 full seasons under Self (through the end of last season), Kansas gained an average of 3.8 wins a season on Kentucky. Over Calipari's first four full years as Kentucky head man, the Cats averaged a robust 30.8 wins a season — and Self and Kansas still gained eight total victories on UK over that span.
Among coaches at an elite level, Self has presided over far more than his fair share of "bad losses" in the NCAA Tournament — but he has yet to produce an overall bad year at Kansas.
Since 2003-04, Kentucky has had five seasons of double-digit losses. North Carolina has endured three such years. Kansas has had zero.
Calipari and Kentucky followed up winning the 2012 NCAA title with a 21-12 collapse into last year's NIT. After claiming the 2009 national crown, Roy Williams and North Carolina produced a 20-17 NIT slog of their own in 2009-10. KU backed up its 2008 NCAA title with a 27-8 season in '08-09.
Six times in the past seven seasons, Kansas has won more than 30 games.
The Jayhawks are in the midst of a nine-year run in which they have either won outright or shared the Big 12 regular-season championship every year. In an era of roster instability and mass parity in major college basketball, the league title streak produced by KU and Self is one of the more impressive achievements in American team sports.
…Will Kansas overtake Kentucky?
If Self maintains the average 3.8 win a season advantage over Kentucky of his first 10 years, then KU will need three, maybe part of a fourth season, to pass UK.
Of course, as our friends in the financial industry remind us, past performance is no guarantee of future returns.
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As a second round draft pick placed onto the veteran-laden Brooklyn Nets last season, Tyshawn Taylor spent extensive time in the NBA D-League, but teammates and coaches swiftly noticed his tenacious style on both ends of the floor. He’s put up four double-digit scoring performances in 14 games this season, starting three, and has a growing relationship with the Nets’ new coaching staff.
Taylor praises Eric Hughes and John Welch as the assistant coaches who have helped in his improvement, working on his jump shot technique that has slowly developed between four seasons at Kansas and the NBA.
“My coaches have been great working with me,” Taylor told RealGM. “We have a whole new coaching staff from my rookie year, obviously. Coach [Jason] Kidd has also helped me, just talking to me and pointing things out that I don’t see on the court.
“Getting the experience and getting to play, it’s been helping me out a lot. The season hasn’t gone how we wanted to so far, but we still got time to change it and we’re looking forward to it.”
Q&A with Darrell Arthur
Comparing a pair of teams’ results against common opponents is an inexact science at best. But if Kansas University women’s basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson needed any more evidence of how good her team’s next opponent is, she could simply look at how the Jayhawks and No. 18 Purdue handled their respective nonconference meetings with one of the top teams in the nation.
KU lost to No. 2 Duke, 73-40, on Nov. 30 at the EZ Global Payments Virgin Islands Paradise Jam.
The Boilermakers, who visit Allen Fieldhouse at 2 p.m. today, were the undefeated Blue Devils’ next victim, and lost, 99-78, on Dec. 5 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
“They’re good,” Henrickson said of Purdue (6-2). “They can score, boy. They scored 78 on Duke, which has done a really good job defensively.”
The Boilermakers average 76.1 points a game (compared to KU’s 68.2) and their only other loss of the season came against another powerhouse, No. 6 Stanford, at a neutral site.
Big 12/College News
The noise was deafening even before Iowa's Mike Gesell missed a potential tying free throw with 13 seconds left.
Then Hilton Coliseum started shaking.
At least that's how it must have felt to the shell-shocked Hawkeyes.
Georges Niang scored 24 points, including the go-ahead basket with 18.8 seconds left, and 17th-ranked Iowa State rallied past No. 23 Iowa 85-82 on Friday night.
Niang's reverse layup gave Iowa State an 83-82 lead. Gesell then missed two free throws as the frenzied fans rose to their feet _ and aired out their lungs _ in hopes of rattling one of the Cyclones' biggest rivals.
Dustin Hogue then buried two foul shots and Zach McCabe, who entered play shooting 48.5 percent on 3-pointers, missed a wide-open 3 for Iowa (10-2).
"You could feel the vibrations in the building again. Just an unbelievable atmosphere," Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said.
…"I honestly have no idea how we won that game. I look at the box score and they crushed us on the glass and they beat us in transition," Hoiberg said. "I give the credit to this game to our fans. No way in heck we win this game without them."
In a move that could alter the balance of power in college basketball going forward, Chris Walker began practice at Florida on Saturday wearing No. 23, sources confirmed to SNY.tv.
The 6-foot-11 freshman has completed his online academic work and was admitted to the university. He now awaits word from the NCAA Clearinghouse.￼
…ESPN.com reported that Walker could face a brief suspension “due to the fact that an unofficial visit to another school was paid for by his former summer league coach.”
Florida will play Memphis Tuesday in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden, but Donovan said it was unlikely Walker would play then.
It might not be time for the panic button just yet, but alarm bells are sounding for the 11th-ranked University of Kentucky basketball team after its third loss in as many tries against Top 25 teams, the latest an 82-77 defeat at No. 18 North Carolina on Saturday.
The Wildcats, who were talking about an undefeated season this summer, are now 8-3. The Tar Heels (7-2), who somehow also lost to Belmont and UAB, completed a sweep of the top three teams in the preseason Associated Press poll: formerly No. 1 UK, No. 2 Michigan State and No. 3 Louisville.
“What we are right now is we’re not a good basketball team,” Cats coach John Calipari said. “And we’re not a good team because everything, our emotion, is all based on our individual play instead of our team.”
Former University of North Carolina basketball player Will Graves was cited last Friday and charged with marijuana possession at a house owned by Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams.
Records show that Graves was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession at 1016 Pinehurst Drive in Chapel Hill, which is a home owned by Williams, according to property tax records. Graves was found to be in possession of 4.4 grams of marijuana, three full blunts, two “burnt marijuana blunts,” eight marijuana seeds and a grinder, police said.
A meter reader with the utility company called police after assessing the house that was thought to be vacant but suspected somebody was living at the residence.
A UNC spokesperson confirmed that Graves was renting the home from Williams while he was working as a part-time video coordinator for the basketball program and attending UNC-CH to finish his degree. The spokesperson added that “various people have rented the house.”
Graves, 24, was a member of the UNC team until his dismissal in Oct. 2010 for failing to comply with team rules as a senior.
Kind of a clever shirt, taking a dig at the NCAA there. The picture's already gone viral. I'm sure Heels fans love the message Henson's sending, and no doubt Hairston and McDonald appreciate the non-verbal sign of support.
(Can you imagine if an active college basketball player ever wore such a thing?)
The interesting connection here is this: Hairston is being investigated over the matter of rental cars. Twice this offseason he was pulled over by police while driving rental cars connected to an ex-convict named Haydn "Fats" Thomas. According to a story in the Raleigh News & Observer from this past July, Thomas previously sent out a photo tweet of ... Henson. That tweet was long ago deleted, but based on the reporting, it would appear Henson and Hairston were in some way -- even if minute -- previously around Thomas.
Thomas has denied "knowing" any UNC players.
Mark Emmert and a slew of college athletics monarchs convened in New York City on Wednesday. Why were they all there? One of the world's biggest agencies, IMG, held its Intercollegiate Athletics Forum -- and so there were panels and interviews and a bunch of hobnobbing.
Some of the biggest news was dispersed via Twitter when Emmert essentially accused ESPN analyst Jay Bilas of lacking the bravura to run the NCAA, something Emmert has done with enormous amounts of criticism since he took the post three years ago.
“I dare say I know more about running complex organizations than him & he knows more about basketball.”
Emmert also said Bilas' panning of Emmert and the NCAA are "ad hominem" attacks.
Bilas is as outspoken and well-known as any NCAA critic the world has. His Twitter feed essentially amounts to early morning rap verses, retweets of compliments for his new book, the occasional photobomb and thawck after thwack against the NCAA, many of those attacks validated and in need of a megaphone.
But Bilas has also been consistently and directly critical of Emmert; one of the more notable knocks against him via Bilas came when he called Emmert an "absentee president" in an interview with SI.com back in March. It's no surprise that Emmert's rabbit ears caught Bilas' words, and the NCAA's Poobah, for all his perceived faults, isn't one thing: afraid. He'll go face to face with pretty much anyone willing to take a shot at him or the NCAA.
Most college basketball fans will forget this game, but the Arizona Wildcats will not. They flew across the country, faced a hungry and talented Michigan team before a boisterous, hostile crowd, barely had any time to shoot on a tough road arena, tipped off at 10 a.m. Mountain Time, and fell behind by nine points at halftime. All signs pointed to an Arizona loss.
But this is what we learned about these Wildcats: They really like that No. 1 ranking. And they kept it by rallying back to earn a 72-70 win over Michigan. The Wildcats also like big stakes and rough waters, and we should all remember that in March when people start wondering just how tough the Pac-12 power really is.
How tough? Physically? Well, Arizona out-rebounded Michigan 37-24. Mentally? Arizona hit 14 of 15 free throws on the road, including six straight in the final minute by guard Nick Johnson.
"We've been working for this for so long," Johnson said. "My team trusts in me. So, I mean, there is no pressure."
Look, December pressure is not the same as March pressure. We all know that. But champions are built in games like this. You don't prepare for the NCAA tournament by knocking off 6-foot-6 centers and 5-foot-9 guards on your home court.
"When you say we went to San Diego State, played Duke at (Madison Square) Garden -- which is basically a home game for them -- we've been tested," Johnson said. "And I think the country is starting to see that. We're not just a West Coast team, a top team that stays at home and just plays easy teams. We want to test ourselves. Going into the tournament, hopefully we have (home-court) advantage, kind of, but it's definitely going to be easy for our young guys."
…Arizona has some rare beasts in the college game: talented young big men who play well together. Seven-foot tall sophomore center Kaleb Tarczewski, 6-8 sophomore forward Brandon Ashley and 6-8 freshman Aaron Gordon don't have to take turns watching each other go to work. They work with each other.
"We didn't have to grow into anything," Gordon said. "I'm very, very capable of playing most positions, so I'm not stepping on anybody's toes."
Gordon was supposed to be in the second tier of the nation's elite freshmen, just below Kansas' Andrew Wiggins, Duke's Jabari Parker and Kentucky's Julius Randle. That is where he belongs, frankly. He does not have Wiggins' freakish athleticism, Parker's incredible skill or Randle's ability to abuse people in the post. He is not the same level of prospect that those guys are.
But Gordon is plenty good, a likely top-10 draft pick, and he is a winner. He proved it again Saturday. In the first half, he guarded Caris Levert, and Michigan's Glenn Robinson III went off. Gordon says he "took it upon myself" to guard Robinson.
…Most visiting teams would have lost to Michigan Saturday. Arizona came back and won.
The most talented teams in the country have been inconsistent this season. Kentucky lost to Baylor. Michigan State lost to North Carolina at home. Kansas lost to Villanova, Colorado and Florida.
Arizona, meanwhile, is 10-0, and could be unbeaten into February. The Wildcats don't have a road game against a team that is currently ranked until Feb. 22 at Colorado.
Big XII composite schedule (includes results, highlights, stats)
ESPN College GameDay Schedule
2013-14 TV Schedule
2013-14 Early-season events schedule
Former University of Louisville basketball commitment JaQuan Lyle, a five-star guard from Evansville, Ind., who now attends Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, said at last weekend’s Marshall County Hoopfest that he’s had minimal recent contact with Indiana University — considered a possible landing spot for him.
“I’m talking to Indiana, but we don’t really talk that much,” Lyle said on Dec. 7. “They only have one scholarship left or something. They kind of wanted me to sign early, and I wasn’t feeling (an early decision). So they kind of backed off.”
…Lyle, who is ranked No. 22 in the class by Scout.com and one of only three uncommitted players in the top 100, said he is “wide-open” and taking his time to make a decision. He has made unofficial visits to Connecticut and Memphis since his decommitment and said his first official visit will be to Kansas on Jan. 11. He wants to officially visit Oregon, which had an assistant coach at Marshall County, and Florida State.
Lyle said about 10 other schools are under consideration for his other two official visits, if he takes them. Asked if Indiana is on his list right now, he said, “not really.” He also said he’s had no contact with Kentucky.
Huntington Prep was taken out of its normal up-and-down style Friday night.
The Irish didn't allow the slowed pace to take them out of the win, though.
In a contrast of styles, Huntington Prep was able to use its speed and athleticism to run past the methodical offensive sets of Cincinnati Walnut Hills in a 64-46 boys basketball victory at the Boyd County Roundball Classic.
The game stayed within 10 points for the first three quarters, but as Walnut Hills had to speed up in an effort to climb back, the Express was able to speed up and extend the lead.
"I'm glad we pulled it out," Huntington Prep coach Rob Fulford said. "That's a tough game obviously because of flow, but we did what we had to late to take control."
Huntington Prep took a 16-point lead on the first possession of the fourth quarter when Ivan Gandia converted a four-point play on a 3-point shot and a foul shot.
Walnut Hills countered with a 9-2 run to close within single digits, but JaQuan Lyle got into the lane on the next two possessions and went to the foul line to extend the lead back to 13.
Lyle had 20 points in the win.
Do you know where the Miami Heat’s Michael Beasley played basketball before Kansas State? The Trail Blazers’ Thomas Robinson before starring at Kansas? Wayne Selden Jr. before starting as a freshman this year at Kansas?
Notre Dame Prep out of Fitchburg, Mass., Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, and Tilton School, respectively, all part of the Northeast’s prep school basketball hotbed that annually produces some of the top college and pro prospects.
This weekend, those three schools, along with top basketball factories Rise Academy (Philadelphia), IMG Academy (Florida) and Lee Academy (Maine), are converging on central New Hampshire.
Tomorrow and Saturday, Rise, IMG and Notre Dame will be taking part in the Brewster Invitational, and those four, along with Lee and Tilton, will be coming to Concord on Sunday when Bishop Brady High hosts the Frank Monahan Foundation Basketball Showcase. As part of Sunday’s quadruple-header, Brady will be taking on Conant in its season opener.
So who are some of the players to keep an eye on?
Wherever Euless Trinity post Myles Turner goes these days, he’s the center of attention.
Guyer head basketball coach Grant Long knew entering Friday’s game against the Trojans that his team’s No. 1 objective would be to contain the nation’s second-ranked recruit.
That obviously proved to be easier said than done on Friday night, as Turner poured in 31 points on 11-of-13 shooting with three 3-pointers to go with 15 rebounds and five blocks to beat Guyer 61-49 at Wildcat Gymnasium.
“He’s the No. 2 recruit in the nation for a reason,” Long said of the 7-foot post. “He’s a great player and even better kid, and he deserves all the attention he gets. He’s as good as advertised.”
…After the game, Turner was in the hallway taking photographs with young kids and wishing them a Merry Christmas, but during the game, he wasn’t so friendly to the Guyer fans.
He hurt the Wildcats in every manner — beyond the arc, inside and at the foul line.
“At the half, we really focused on trying to contain him,” Long said of Turner after he had 15 first-half points. “We wanted to get the ball out of his hands and really put pressure on him inside but that opened up some of their other shooters, who all made some plays.”
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