The honor, if you want to call it that, goes to the Dead Man of the Day. Sometimes the Dead Man is sprawled out on the locker room floor, a hand covering his face. Sometimes he is hugging the top of a plastic trash bin. Sometimes, he, quite literally, looks dead.
The honor also has rules. If you are a member of the Kansas basketball team, for instance, you don’t want to be the dead man. That goes without saying. Bill Self’s annual boot camp began on Monday morning, and that means two weeks of grueling workouts, early-morning wake-up calls, and lots of exhausted players. So, no, you don’t want to be the target when junior forward Jamari Traylor pulls out his smart phone, snaps a picture and posts the Dead Man to his Instagram account — a funny blend of inside jokes, old photos and pictures with puppies.
“There are some days where you can’t help but lie on the floor or crash,” says sophomore guard Wayne Selden Jr. “But I try to not be the victim.”
Selden has a rather simple strategy for this. He usually tries to assist Traylor during the daily hunt for the dead man.
…On Thursday afternoon, in the hours before another full-squad workout, Selden spoke about his offseason goals and his new statu_s as a veteran. He believes he could play some point guard this season — if that’s needed. He believes he could play on the wing as well.
“I feel like I could play the point, play the two, play the three, wherever they need me to play,” Selden said. “I feel I could do any of those. And it’s more so guarding that position would be the challenge.”
It’s not that Selden will be needed at the point guard spot — though some added versatility would be helpful. The Jayhawks enter the fall with three players capable of earning minutes at the one. Sophomores Frank Mason and Conner Frankamp return to the backcourt, while freshman Devonte’ Graham is an intriguing talent from Brewster Academy.
"Leading up to it all summer, that’s all we talked about was boot camp and how bad it was going to be and people used to try to hurt themselves, run into the treadmill and different types of things. All types of stories, crazy things," Graham said. "But none of that really happens."
When talking to reporters Thursday, neither was about to admit the annual Bill Self conditioning sessions were easy, but both did display confidence that they'd be able to make it through with help from their teammates.
"Thinking about it, I was so scared first day," Graham said. "But I can do it. We all can do it."
…”All that coaches look for is for you to go hard," Graham said. "They know we're going to mess up because we're freshmen. We don't know what we're doing. But if they see you going hard and bringing a lot of energy, talking — especially as a guard — they tell me to talk a lot."
Selden thinks Boot Camp serves a good purpose.
“From a standpoint of being in shape is just a small portion of it. Then you’ve got the mental-toughness part of it. That’s the biggest thing,” Selden said. “Seeing who can fight through it. If you fight the toughest battle before the season starts, when the season comes everything else is going to be easier.”
Graham, a freshman point guard, pinpointed the hardest conditioning drill: “Figure-8 close-outs. You run up, close out; have to go again, close out; slide halfcourt, close out,” he said.
…After four seasons, KU’s men’s basketball locker room, lounge and locker room hallway are receiving a bit of a face lift with some new pictures and illustrations of former players and KU’s current NBA players included.
We chronicled Joel Embiid’s (successful?) courtship of Rihanna all summer long. The Philadelphia 76ers big man turned to the pop superstar after striking out with Kim Kardashian, getting her to follow him on Twitter at the very least – and depending on whom or what you want to believe, perhaps more.
But apparently Embiid and Rihanna had us fooled all along. Based on a photo the Cameroonian import posted on Instagram tonight, it’s clear he and the Barbadian songstress have had a relationship for longer than he’s let on.
Greatest moment of my life…. An important person supporting Kansas and I last year #WeAllFromAfrica #Johanna
Timberwolves head coach (and president) Flip Saunders is aware of this, of course, which is why he evaded the question of whether or not Andrew Wiggins, who the team acquired in the Kevin Love trade with the Cavaliers, was already penciled into the starting lineup.
It’s wise not too give Wiggins too much too soon, and to make him earn his spot in training camp like every new player on the roster. And the reality is, Saunders does have some reasonable alternative options.
Nikola Pekovic and Thaddeus Young should be a lock to start in two of the three frontcourt positions. After that, you’re looking at guys like Gorgui Dieng, Chase Budinger, Robbie Hummel and Anthony Bennett — all of whom have played primarily as reserves.
Ah, who are we kidding. Wiggins might be raw, and he’ll have to put in the work. But he should find his way into the starting lineup at some point next season.
In order to sign Andre Iguodala last offseason, the Warriors had to unload three expiring contracts in Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson, and Brandon Rush, sending them to the Jazz to clear cap space.
But while Biedrins and Jefferson were highly overpaid and past their prime, Rush did not belong in that category. He had been given an unfair shake, exceeding expectations in his first season with the Warriors in 2011-2012 as sharpshooter and solid defender, but then suffered a horrific injury (ACL tear) two games into the 2012-2013 campaign that forced him to miss the rest of the season. On top of that, he was dealt to the rebuilding Jazz last year, where he had a frustrating season rehabbing and playing in only 38 games.
However, he’s right back in Golden State, signing a two-year deal this offseason, and he’s definitely excited.
Speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle, Rush said:
“This is a great situation for me to be able to come back and to be with a winning team. I’m just going to try to help the team out with little things: rebounding, shooting and playing defense. I’m in a good mood. My head is on straight. I’m happy with where I’m at.”
Rush fits the Warriors so well. He is a career 40.9 percent shooter from beyond-the-arc, and can provide instant offense coming off the bench.
KAKE: Wichita celebrates “The Battle of New Orleans” win over KU
“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
The Sooners are coming off a second place finish in the Big 12 last season. Oklahoma was eliminated in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but they return four of five starters who will don this new look.
Everybody wants an edge. Nobody wants anyone else to have an advantage. For all of the hyperbolic hubbub about the purported recruiting benefits coaching USA Basketball brings Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, the fact is that coaches are forever fighting for inside position and constantly complaining if someone beats them to the spot.
If Kentucky coach John Calipari has a problem with Coach K's national gig — as Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim alleged Wednesday — perhaps he should level the playing field by hiring a concierge and a bellhop for the Wildcat Coal Lodge, to go along with the private chef who works the players' dorm. Perhaps he should bring in Beyonce as the opening act for Big Blue Madness. Perhaps he should simply continue to do as he has done, reaching high, winning big and churning out NBA prospects with assembly-line efficiency, because no coach has a bigger edge in college basketball.
Former University of Kentucky basketball player Doron Lamb is making waves after a tweet alluding to possible incentives for Wildcat basketball players.
Lamb tweeted on September 18, "If you play ball for UK, you can get whatever you want. Trust me, I know."
After causing an outrage on Twitter, Lamb deleted the post. He sent out a retraction, stating, “Nobody got money, so chill. Y'all crazy if y'all think that."
No word yet on whether the NCAA will take any action.
Krzyzewski said Jefferson, Duke’s 6-9 junior forward, is recovering well from his June hip injury but remains less than 100 percent.
“Amile is back to probably 95 percent,” Krzyzewski said. “He doesn’t have his explosion yet couldn’t work out with legs because of the hip injury. By the time we start playing games he’ll regain that.”
With practice set to begin on Oct. 3, Krzyzewski said the team has no other injuries.
…“This freshman class is just ahead, maturity wise,” Krzyzewski said. “With our team right now, it’s not sophomores, freshmen, juniors and seniors. They are just Duke basketball players. The freshmen are not freshmen. They are Duke basketball players. That differentiation doesn’t happen all the time. It doesn’t happen most of the time. With this group, it has. We saw that during the summer. This group is real close. Real close.”
The arrival of six NCAA officials in St. Louis marked what Frank Viverito hoped would be a turning point in the city’s pursuit of an upcoming men’s basketball Final Four.p:BC body copy 1st graph
Just how much impact the recent site visit will have on the decision, Viverito doesn’t know. But the president of the St. Louis Sports Commission was feeling pretty good when it ended.
He has plenty of experience with the NCAA and helped to lure the Final Four to the Edward Jones Dome in 2005. In November, the sites for 2017-2020 will be named from a field of eight finalists.
Among those cities — the others are Indianapolis, Atlanta, New Orleans, Minnesota, Dallas, San Antonio and Phoenix — St. Louis is probably an underdog, considering that many have newer, shinier stadiums.
And much more has changed since St. Louis was chasing the event more than a decade ago.
“I think the stakes are a little bit higher,” Viverito said. “The event is really probably double the size, if not more. It’s double the size in the building itself because they play to the whole dome as opposed to the half-house setup.
“There are so many more people in town, so much more money on the line. You have to demonstrate you can accommodate the bigger event.”
Viverito and the St. Louis organizers will have one more opportunity when they make a presentation before the NCAA’s announcement in November.s. They are Indianapolis, Atlanta, New Orleans, Minnesota, Dallas, San Antonio and Phoenix.
St Louis PD
University of Missouri athletic officials are planning multimillion-dollar renovations to the university's 10-year-old basketball arena.
Athletic Director Mike Alden spoke about the project in a gathering with reporters earlier but it was officially announced Thursday, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1uidmEV ).
Planned updates include the team lounge, locker room, weight room and academic area. The project was started by a $1.5 million private gift to go toward a new video board.
"Mizzou Arena is entering its 10th season and is tremendous facility for our basketball programs, but we need to enhance the areas that impact the fan experience, student athlete well-being and assist in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes," Alden said in a statement.
Welcome Cheick Diallo @cheick_diallo13 to Kansas for your visit this weekend!
8. Cheick Diallo 6-9 220 PF Centereach, NY HSSr. -- Diallo is pure energy in the mold of a Kenneth Faried. He's still got a ways to go offensively as he does most of his damage within a few feet from the basket. But his offensive game is not a lost cause as he shows some touch and has been working on a mid range hook that showing some promise. His fast progression and tremendous attitude indicate that he's going to keep outworking the competition and exceeding expectations. He needs to add strength and continue to expand his offensive game, but his motor is as strong as any kid in the class.
This weekend, CU head coach Tad Boyle and his staff will host five-star recruit Tyler Dorsey, as the 6-foot-4 combo guard makes an official visit to Boulder.
Last month, Rivals.com reported that Dorsey, who is from Pasadena, Calif., narrowed his finalists to six: CU, Arizona State, California, Kansas, Oregon and UNLV.
Recruits are allowed five official visits, and Rivals.com reported that Dorsey would make official visits to CU, Oregon (earlier this month), Kansas (Oct. 10), Arizona State (Oct. 17) and Cal. The Rivals.com report also said that Kansas would visit Dorsey's home this week, and that Dorsey would make an unofficial visit to UNLV.
In January, Dorsey made a verbal commitment to Arizona, but backed out of that commitment in June and re-opened his recruiting.
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