ESPN’s College GameDay Driven by State Farm® will be televised live Saturday, Feb. 16th from Allen Fieldhouse. The historic venue is hosting College GameDay for the fifth time since 2005. Doors to Allen Fieldhouse will open at 7 a.m. that day. The morning telecast begins at 9 a.m. on ESPNU and continues on ESPN from 10-11 a.m. The event is free to the public and tickets are not required. Allen Fieldhouse concessions will be open and interpreter services will be provided. In addition to the two hours in the morning, ESPN will televise a show from 7-8 p.m. from the Allen Fieldhouse floor. A Kansas-Texas men’s basketball game ticket will be required to watch that segment of the show in person.
KUAD: Texas vs Kansas pregame notes
KUAD: Kansas previews the Texas game
Self said he remains confident that Johnson, one of his top outsider shooters, will eventually emerge from his slump, but even that may hinge on how well Tharpe continues to play.
If he can take over the point, Johnson can slide back to his more natural position.
"I don't think it's unusual that guys go through this. He's a far superior shooter than his stats show,'' Self said of Johnson, who is shooting a career-low 36.5 percent from the field.
"We need him to play at a high level that he's very capable of playing at, and he knows that, and he will,'' Self added. "I have total confidence in that.''
Total confidence that Tharpe can assume some of the workload, too.
The sophomore from Worcester, Mass., was a four-star prospect coming out of New Hampshire's Brewster Academy, but he couldn't seem to get on the court last season. Part of it was because of the Jayhawks' veteran backcourt, but part of it was his own fault: Tharpe admits now that he wasn't quite ready for everything that comes with playing high-level college hoops.
"Thinking of what you need to do. That's probably the toughest,'' he said. "You come and you think you know the answers, and you think you know right and wrong, and after having Coach around and have him guide me, you realize you don't know what's going on.
"So learning is the most important thing.''
The irony is that Tharpe may be at his best when he's not thinking - when he's reacting to whatever is happening on the floor. He has a knack for slicing into the lane and then finding the open player when defenses collapse, something he did so effectively against the Wildcats.
"He is fast,'' Self said. "He's clever, he's good with the ball, he has good vision and he can make a shot. He needs to be aggressive, drive it and let that set up everything else.''
While his offense has started to develop, Self also has been pleased with Tharpe's growing tenacity on defense. He's been getting key minutes against the opponent's best perimeter players, and will get another shot on Saturday against Texas' Myck Kabongo.
It's heady stuff for a guy who hardly played last season, and perhaps that's why Tharpe is so quiet when he's surrounded by reporters. He's never been the center of attention since arriving in Lawrence, but that's slowing changing as he takes the wheel for the Jayhawks.
"He needs to be our pit bull,'' Withey said. "When he's doing that, it's really big.''
The journey sets up like this: Kansas will finish with four of its last seven at home, including home games against Texas, TCU, West Virginia and Texas Tech and road trips to Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Baylor.
Oklahoma State has a slightly less thorny path that includes home games against Oklahoma, KU, Texas and K-State — and road trips to West Virginia, TCU and Iowa State.
K-State will play at home against Baylor, West Virginia, Texas Tech and TCU and take trips to Texas, Baylor and Oklahoma State.
The logjam atop the conference puts Self and Kansas in an unfamiliar spot. Self knows his team will ultimately be measured by how it plays in March, but the Jayhawks’ title streak has turned into a program-defining measurement as well.
A big enough burden, that on Wednesday night, Self said the topic came up with his wife, Cindy.
“She was saying, ‘You know what? We’re going to win the league. We can still win the league.’ “ Self recalled. “And I said ‘I know babe, we can do this. But if we don’t, what would happen?’ She said ‘I don’t know. I don’t know. I can’t remember.’ “
Looking past such a possibility, Self says he’d like his team to break free of any streak-imposed shackles and just focus on getting better.
“It’s one of those things that everybody around here is judged on the postseason,” Self said. “Don’t you guys feel like the league titles, in past years, take second place to everything else? We won eight in a row, but it’s ‘What have you done for me in the postseason?’
“We understand that. But now that we’re tied for first, it’s like the sky is falling if you don’t win the league. Later on, (people) are going to say it didn’t really matter as much. But it matters to our players and it matters to our staff.”
“They looked good to me (against Iowa State),” KU coach Bill Self said Thursday at his weekly news conference. “Kabongo definitely makes a difference from a speed standpoint.”
Kabongo, a first-team All-Big 12 selection in the preseason, was suspended by the NCAA for providing misleading information to school officials and accepting transportation to offseason workouts. He scored 13 points and dished seven assists in his return against the Cyclones after averaging 9.6 points and 5.2 assists as a freshman.
“He knows that he made some mistakes, but the fact is, he’s dealt with it like we would want all of our kids to deal with it,” Barnes said. “He’s taught all of us a lesson in some ways with his resiliency and the way he’s handled everything.”
The Longhorns are treating Kabongo’s return like the start of a new season, which is enough to make the Jayhawks wary of Texas as they prepare for Saturday’s primetime matchup.
“I think they should definitely be a different team,” KU guard Naadir Tharpe said. “This is his sophomore year, so he’s been there a full year and has had a chance to play against good players.
“He hasn’t been in the mix for a while, but he’s a great player. He should definitely be able to give them a boost.”
Bob Davis, one of the most recognizable voices in the Kansas City area, is retiring from his role as a Royals broadcaster after 16 seasons.
Davis, 68, said he will continue his duties as the voice of the Kansas Jayhawks the rest of this season – his 29th – and beyond.
“I just felt I needed to spend more time at home,” Davis told FOXSportsKansasCity.com. “I’ve had a good run with the Royals but as you can imagine, doing both the Jayhawks and the Royals doesn’t allow you much of an off-season.”
Davis said he will have more time now to spend caring for his wife, Linda, who has been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for some time.
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Kansas 2012-13 MBB Schedule
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Big 12/College News
The history of Big 12 men’s basketball could be titled: King Kansas and its Little Brothers.
The Jayhawks have ruled the Big 12 like a reigning monarch with a dozen outright or shared championships in 16 seasons. Kansas coach Bill Self has played the role of Louis XIV with eight straight conference crowns.
In most seasons, the powerful Jayhawks have been challenged by only one or two teams and sometimes none.
But this year is different. Wonderfully different.
With seven games remaining in the Big 12 race, five teams are within a game of the lead. Kansas, Kansas State and Oklahoma State are tied atop the conference standings at 8-3 while Baylor and Oklahoma are a game behind at 7-4.
This might be the best race in Big 12 men’s basketball history, so the final three weeks of the regular season are going to be filled with a lot of plot twists and turns and scoreboard watching.
Baylor coach Scott Drew’s eyes lit up when he was asked about the scintillating race following his team’s 80-60 thrashing of West Virginia on Wednesday night at the Ferrell Center. The Bears have never won a Big 12 championship, but they’re right in the thick of this scrum.
“As a player, you want to have a chance to win a conference championship, and we’re in that position,” Drew said. “Every game is a must game, you could say. That’s what you have with the parity in college basketball. It makes it exciting.”
This time, there was no collapse or controversy that would sting Colorado with a bitterness that was hard to shake. This time, there were fans storming the court in celebration.
Spencer Dinwiddie scored 21 points and freshman Xavier Johnson added a season-high 19 points and nine rebounds as Colorado avenged a painful overtime loss at Arizona with a 71-58 rout of the ninth-ranked Wildcats on Thursday night.
On Jan. 3, the Buffaloes’ apparent game-winning 3-pointer in Tucson was waived off at the end of regulation even though replays showed Sabatino Chen’s shot was taken in time. The smarting Buffaloes got smoked in overtime, then went into a prolonged funk, dropping three of their next four.
“Of course, we were disappointed in ourselves for the way we closed it out and it goes without saying that we were disappointed with the call at the end,” Dinwiddie said. “Of course, this was a revenge game.”
His coach would disagree, but certainly the student section that emptied onto the floor would side with Dinwiddie.
The Buffaloes (17-7, 7-5 Pac-12) have won six of seven, and this win over the Wildcats was by far their most impressive yet. They played stingy defense, moved the ball efficiently, held their own on the boards and controlled the tempo from tip-off to buzzer.
“What makes this win sweet is it has nothing to do with revenge,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. “It has everything to do with the respect I have for Arizona and Sean Miller and their basketball program. We beat a top 10 team in the country that’s legitimate and they’re going to win a lot of games as this season unfolds.
“And I think if we play the way we did tonight we will, too.”
The Western Athletic Conference could bring its event here.
The league and UMKC formally announced their partnership on Thursday amid cheerleaders, the school’s fight song and an audience of athletes, coaches, fans and media at the university’s theater in the Student Union.
One of the benefits of WAC membership could be postseason basketball at home for the Kangaroos.
“There’s an opportunity to bring the WAC Tournament here, hopefully sooner rather later,” UMKC athletic director Tim Hall said.
Perhaps not in the first year or two of league membership, Hall said, but next three or four. And the school and league would consider all area venues, including the Independence Events Center.
As this crazy college basketball season veers toward the NCAA Tournament, the Southeastern Conference features only one sure thing: Florida will earn a high seed in the bracket.
The Gators tower over the rest of the league. They will keep piling up victories while the elite teams in other conferences keep taking hits.
Beyond that, nothing is for sure. Will the SEC get just three NCAA bids? Will it get four? Could disaster strike and limit the league to just two berths?
The SEC is a bubble conference. It lacks the depth and non-conference victory list of the other major conference.
ST Louis PD
Deshaun Thomas scored 22 points, and No. 13 Ohio State used a late 12-0 run to beat Northwestern, 69-59, on Thursday night in Columbus, Ohio, the Buckeyes' 32d consecutive home win against the Wildcats.
On Thursday, Boeheim told the Syracuse Post-Standard that his issues with Katz stem from a November 2011 interview during the NIT Pre-Season Tip-Off tournament, days after ESPN reported allegations by two former ballboys that they had been molested by Bernie Fine, a longtime assistant on Boeheim's coaching staff:
"He (Katz) asked if he could interview me about the tournament," Boeheim said, according to the Post-Standard. "And I said, 'Yeah, but I can't talk about the (Fine) investigation.' We got in the room and he put me on camera ... and he asked me what I'd told him I couldn't answer. I kept telling him, 'I can't answer that.' And he asked me, like, 10 times on camera. ... And I told Katz right then and there, 'Don't talk to me. Do not try to talk to me again.' "
In a statement, Katz said: "Nothing of the sort took place. There was never any agreement not to ask Fine-related questions. In fact, that was ESPN's first chance to speak with Coach Boeheim after the Fine news broke so of course we would ask him about it. He had just come from a press conference where he addressed it as well. Separately, later in that tournament, he agreed to talk to me on camera for a postgame interview."
Big 12 Composite Schedule & Results
RPI and SOS Team Comparison Calculator
One of the things that is important is being able to talk with the players girlfriends. The girl that Ben was going with in high school was great because she would tell you that a lot of people around her were pulling for Missouri because of where they were from. I developed a relationship with her and she would tell Ben what a great place Kansas is.
It also could be an uncle or a cousin, but the girlfriends are important because kids at that age the girlfriends really have their head. Now kids won't directly say their girlfriend because they don't want to seem like they're whipped but I think it is an important piece.
JayhawkSlant.com: Recruiting talk with Kurtis Townsend
Late on Thursday afternoon, Wayne Selden was announced as one of the 24 prospects selected to participate in the 2013 McDonald's All-American in Chicago, Ill. The No. 26 ranked player in the class had long dreamed about being invited to take part in the prestigious event.
"Definitely, I definitely grew-up watching the McDonald's All-American game," said Selden.
…The only thing that would have made the McDonald's experience better for Selden would have been to have some of his future teammates by his side. Brannen Greene, Conner Frankamp and Joel Embiid, while all worthy, weren't among the 24 prospects invited.
Now, Selden will have to wait a bit longer to mix-it-up with Greene, Frankamp and Embidd.
"Me and Brannen are boys," he said. "Me and Joel were on our official visits together and we talk a lot, and Conner also. We're just excited to get together and really become a team and become a family.
"We're ready to compete and take it to the next level."
According to his mother, Carolyn Kyles, Randle will suit up for the Lions Friday in their final district game against Bishop Lynch (Dallas).
Currently the Lions are sitting at fourth in the TAPPS 5A. The top six teams make the playoffs.
“He’s coming back,” Kyles said. “He’s really excited. He’s been doing really well in rehab and he’s been full-contact in practice all week. The coaches are saying that he’s looking like he’s on his way to being the old Julius and even better. They’re saying it’s looking great.”
Florida coach Billy Donovan was at Prestonwood watching Randle on Wednesday and Kyles said Donovan couldn’t contain his excitement with what he was seeing from Randle, who is considering the Gators along with Kentucky, Kansas, Oklahoma, N.C. State and Texas.
“Coach Donovan said he was in there trying to tear the rim off,” Kyles said. “He was excited. I know he’s just happy to be back on the court. I’m proud of him because he didn’t rush it. He probably could’ve come back before now, but he was really mature and waited for the doctor’s OK.”
Kyles said that the plan is for Randle to play sparingly.
“Just a few minutes a quarter,” she said. “He’s excited. It’s senior night and this is what he loves to do. I’m just really happy for him.”
And Douglas Freeland, director of the McDonald's All American Games, said Randle will continue to be considered.
"(The committee) will be closely watching his play over the next few weeks as he finishes his senior season," Freeland said in a statement to the Herald-Leader. "If Julius Randle returns as the Julius Randle we knew earlier this season, we are open to naming him to the team."
Randle has already been named to the Jordan Brand Classic, set for April 13.
NCAA rules prohibit prospects from playing in more than two post-season all-star events
ESPN: McDonald's East Roster Breakdown
Right now, Ojeleye has been nothing short of great. The 6-foot-6 swingman is leading an unprecedented assault on the state record books. Ojeleye stands just 38 points away from becoming the state’s all-time leading scorer, snatching that title away from former Brewster standout Josh Reid, who had 2,554 in his career.
Starting the season with 1,811 points, it was going to take another monster season, and that’s exactly what Ojeleye has had. Knocking down pull-up 3-pointers and throwing down highlight-reel dunks, Ojeleye has been unstoppable.
The 28 points he scored in the season opener against St. James are his season low. The 58 put up in his next game are his season high. In between, Ojeleye has had two other 50-point games, six 40-point outings and seven 30-point contests, putting up nine of the top-10 scoring games in Ottawa history this season alone.
Averaging 41.5 points, he seems like a lock to break Burrell’s single-season scoring average. Needing 166 points to topple Cadue’s single-season total, he figures to land that mark as well as long as Ottawa continues deep into the postseason as it has the past three years while reaching the Class 4A state title game.
…The question many Kansans naturally ask is how did Ojeleye get away? Ottawa is just 20 miles south of Kansas, which has plenty of basketball tradition in its own right, and Ojeleye’s older brother, Victor, played for Kansas State from 2008-12, mostly as a walk-on after a productive prep career at Ottawa.
Both were factors early, but coaching moves in each program had an effect.
Former Kansas assistant and standout Danny Manning was Ojeleye’s primary contact, and when he took the job at Tulsa, Ojeleye said communication between him and the school waned. By the time it picked back up, he had decided on Duke.
Kansas State, meanwhile, saw Frank Martin leave for South Carolina, taking with him many of the ties Ojeleye had with the Wildcat program.
In the end, Ojeleye — a 4.0 student — said Duke just was the best overall fit.
“Obviously at the end of the day, you play basketball because that’s what you love, but academics are really key for the long term and that put Duke over the top,” he said. “Everything happens for a purpose.”
POINTS SCORED: CAREER
2,554 — Josh Reid, Brewster (1993-96)
2,544 — Don Bigham, Randall (1953-56)
*2,517 — SEMI OJELEYE, OTTAWA
2,513 — Sean Robbins, Waverly (1987-90)
2,382 — Steve Cadue, McLouth (1958-61)
2,377 — Oliver Salmans, Hanston (1987-90)
2,262 — Rod Shrum, Erie (1975-78)
2,250 — Trey Unrau, Moundridge (2,009-12)
2,231 — Perry Ellis, Wichita Heights (2009-12)
2,204 — Jerry Milner, Virgil (1952-55)
2,204 — Travis Hermreck, Colony-Crest (1989-92)
2,198 — Randy Dawson, Lyndon (1974-77)
*2,196 — CONNER FRANKAMP, WICHITA NORTH
2,161 — Lonnie Hiebert, Goessel (1986-89)
2,052 — Tod Bernard, Haven (1985-88)
2,015 — Ryan Wedel, Minneapolis (2003-06)
2,006 — John Crider, Horton (1995-98)
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