Chosen by a poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of 25 student-athletes who are the frontrunners for the John R. Wooden Award, based on their performances during the first half of the 2015-16 season. Kansas is one of four schools to have two representatives on the list along with Gonzaga, Kentucky and North Carolina.
Ellis is the only player in the Big 12 to rank in the top six in scoring, fourth at 16.3 points per game, and rebounding, sixth at 6.9 boards per contest. The Wichita, Kansas senior forward has five games with 20-plus points this season, including two of his last three outings. He has two double-doubles on the season with both coming in league play. The 2015 Big 12 Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, who was an All-Big 12 First Team selection as a junior, also ranks among the Big 12 leaders in field goal percentage (13th at 50.3) and free throw percentage (12th at 76.7).
Selden is seventh in the Big 12 with a 15.2 scoring average and is second in the league 3-point field goals made at 2.7 per contest. The Roxbury, Massachusetts junior guard is seventh in the conference in field goal percentage at 52.7 percent and fourth in 3-point field goal percentage at 50.6 percent. Selden has scored 20 or more points in four games, including two of KU's four Big 12 contests. Earlier this season he was named Maui Invitational co-Most Valuable player, along with KU teammate Frank Mason III, and joined Ellis on the event's all-tournament team.
“We were a little disappointed in how we competed and tried against them. I hadn’t seen our team do that all year. I think the players agreed the same thing. I think they agreed they didn’t try as hard as they need to,” KU assistant coach Kurtis Townsend said on Wednesday’s weekly “Hawk Talk” radio show, subbing for coach Bill Self, who was out recruiting.
“It was a rough trip. We got home pretty late. We didn’t do much today except watch tape,” Townsend added. “A couple of the guys said, ‘We didn’t realize how bad we were until we saw it on tape.’ Hopefully we can take from it, learn from it and go from there.”
Self said after the game the Jayhawks (14-2, 3-1) may have been “a little full of ourselves” after winning 13 in a row and vaulting to the top of the national polls.
“We feel we have a good enough team if we compete harder than other teams we should win the game,” said KU junior forward Landen Lucas, who had six rebounds and a blocked shot in 14 minutes. “We failed on that end for sure.
“I think we unfortunately let them compete more than we did. They got us off our game. It’s tough. We talk about it. We watch film. We’ve seen halves where we play into their rhythm and halves where we play our own. It’s night and day. Unfortunately, today they put in a full game. We can’t let that happen especially next time we play them (Feb. 9 in Allen Fieldhouse),” Lucas added.
As far as the Jayhawks not being as hungry as West Virginia (15-1, 4-0) ... Lucas says, guilty as charged.
KU (14-2, 3-1) clearly is on the short list of legitimate national championship contenders, a team worthy of the No. 1 ranking entering Tuesday night’s game.
The Jayhawks rank second nationally in scoring offense (88.4 points per game), second in 3-point field percentage (.462) and eighth in field goal percentage (.501). They feature balance, experience, quality depth, a proven scorer in Perry Ellis and two of the country’s best perimeter shooters in Brannen Greene and Wayne Selden.
In other words, the Jayhawks are good. Really good.
They just aren’t good enough to simply go through the motions and expect to win … particularly in a conference as loaded as the Big 12.
West Virginia beat KU because the Mountaineers outworked the Jayhawks. They were more aggressive, more determined and, not surprisingly, more effective.
WVU never will be considered a polished offensive unit, and it wasn’t against the Jayhawks. The Mountaineers made only 19 of 57 field goals.
I know there’s a large portion of readers only interested in Perry Ellis content if it involves jokes about his advanced age or eternal college eligibility, but I was intrigued enough by the senior forward’s game to chart all of his Big 12 halfcourt possessions. Ellis is interesting because the eye test is inconclusive on where he’s best deployed, there being four general options:
• In the post, where Ellis operates frequently
• As an off-the-dribble attacker either in isolation, spot-up-and-drive, or pick-and-pop-and-drive situations, which (collectively) he does frequently
• As a catch-and-shoot guy, which happens infrequently
• As a cutter or pick-and-roll guy, which also happen infrequently
Here’s my Ellis possession chart, plotted by where he started with the ball, and indicating, with arrows, his perimeter dribble-drives:
SI Luke Winn
Carlton Bragg featured in Rock Chalk Weekly
A pair of tickets to the Kansas Men's Basketball game against Kentucky goes on E-Bay Thursday night, with the proceeds going to benefit local housing.
In an effort to raise awareness of the need for affordable housing in Douglas County and the need for funding, longtime advocate Steve Ozark has decided to pass his treasured basketball tickets to the big game to the highest bidder and give the money to Lawrence's Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
The pair of tickets for the January 30th game at Allen Fieldhouse will be up for bid starting at 9:00 p.m. tonight through 9:00 p.m January 24th.
You can find the offer by searching "ku slash ky basketball tickets" on ebay.
"It was like any other game," Aldrich said matter-of-factly after the Los Angeles Clippers blitzed the Miami 104-90 Wednesday night at Staples Center. "Just go in there, play hard and try to find a way to get a win tonight."
The 6-foot-11 Aldrich, who started for Jordan, scored a season-high 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds, sparking the Clippers to their 10th consecutive victory.
Darrell Arthur came up huge in 26 minutes off Denver's bench on Wednesday, contributing 18 points, 11 rebounds and one assist in a win vs. Golden State.
Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid is reportedly seeking new representation after leaving the Wasserman Media Group, per Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com.
Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported he will sign with agent Leon Rose. Jake Fischer of the Boston Globe indicated Rose is based out of New Jersey and has a "long history of [representing Philadelphia] players."
Embiid won't become a restricted free agent until 2018. He has one more guaranteed year on his deal. He'll make a little over $4.8 million in 2016-17, and then the 76ers have a club option on him worth $6.1 million in 2017-18.
Embiid (foot) took the court for some shooting drills Tuesday, CSN Philadelphia's Jessica Camerato reports. While the Sixers didn't provide an update on Embiid's condition, coach Brett Brown beamed about the center's progress in his recovery from a second right foot procedure. "I think everybody sort of sees more of him for a reason," Brown said. "We think he's heading in a really, really positive direction, both physically and mentally. We're going at a pace that we're all happy with. We understand how crucial it is that we don't miss a beat and he does, too."
VOTE for Coach Self
“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 10 turnovers he committed in Wednesday night’s 74-72 victory over Oklahoma State ran his total to 23 in four conference games and 29 in the last five games.
What’s scary is the Sooners face No. 11 West Virginia Saturday at Lloyd Noble Center. The Mountaineers, who employ a full-court press throughout the game, forced 334 turnovers in their first 16 games. That’s nearly 100 more than any other Big 12 team.
“I have to do a better job of taking what teams give me,” Hield said. “Teams have scouted me real well. I have to be smarter and make aggressive plays and hit open guys.”
…The Sooners’ bench was outscored 12-3 by Oklahoma State. Through four Big 12 games, OU’s reserves have been outscored 91-32 by opponents’ backups. The only basket from OU’s bench Wednesday was a 3-pointer by Dinjiyl Walker.
Through the collaborative investigation, it has become evident violations of NCAA bylaws occurred dating back to 2011. There are four levels of violations in the NCAA enforcement process, ranging from Level I and Level II, considered major infractions, to Level III and Level IV, which are secondary in nature. The violations based on supporting evidence which both the university and the NCAA agree occurred, include:
Level I - A donor (Representative #1) to MU Athletics provided impermissible benefits to three men's basketball student-athletes and one prospective men's basketball student-athlete from 2013-2014. The impermissible benefits included compensating student-athletes for work-not-performed at a business through a summer internship program. Through the internship program, the donor also provided other impermissible inducements and extra benefits including housing, cash in the amount of $520, local transportation, iPads, meals and arranged for the use of a local gym for the student-athletes, all in violation of NCAA bylaws.
Level II – A second donor (Representative #2) was discovered to have provided impermissible benefits to 11 student-athletes and three members of one student-athlete's family from 2011-2014. The benefits included providing student-athletes with a "friends & family" reduced rate at a hotel as well as meals and a ride on a recreational boat. A Missouri men's basketball student-manager also provided transportation for multiple student-athletes to the hotel from the Missouri campus, all in violation of NCAA bylaws.
Level II – Because the University of Missouri did not fully vet the summer internship employment opportunity and follow-up to request documentation at the conclusion of the 2013 and 2014 internships with Representative #1, the institution was cited with a failure to adequately monitor the internship program.
Level III – A former associate head men's basketball coach assisted in the relocation of a prospective student-athlete by providing the phone number of the prospect's mother to a donor (Representative #2) to arrange for rental housing. The family paid a market rate for the rental. However, the actions of the former associate head coach are in violation of NCAA bylaws.
Level III – Representative #1 had multiple impermissible recruiting contacts with a prospective student-athlete and paid for a meal for a non-scholastic coach, in violation of NCAA bylaws.
That booster is Christopher Tuley, multiple sources told the Post-Dispatch. Tuley, who goes by his middle name, Mark, is the CEO of T3 Solutions, a national intelligence company based out of Martinez, Ga. A native of Huntsville, Mo., he attended Mizzou from 1998-2000, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Reached by phone Wednesday, Tuley declined comment on advice from his lawyer.
A source with inside knowledge of the situation told the Post-Dispatch that Tuley was paying several former Mizzou players as part of his internship program, including former Tigers Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown, along with Jakeenan Gant, a Mizzou recruit at the time and a current sophomore on Anderson’s team.
Fannie Brown, Jabari's mother, has refuted that Brown was involved in the situation, telling the Post-Dispatch he never took part in an internship at Mizzou and did not participate in anything that took place in Georgia. Brown was Clarkson's teammate with the Los Angeles Lakers last year and now plays professionally in China.
…He is not named in the report, but the coach is clearly Tim Fuller, who was the only person with the title of associate head coach under Haith. Fuller also coached at MU last year under Anderson but was not retained after the 2014-15 season. As part of MU’s self-induced penalties, Fuller was not allowed to recruit off campus for three months last season.
Fuller, who last May accepted a job at Harris Stowe State working for the university president, did not return messages from the Post-Dispatch.
The recruit in question, again, was Gant, who during his senior year of high school moved from Springfield, Ga., to Osage Beach, Mo. Fuller was his primary recruiter. The source, who requested anonymity while sharing sensitive information about the investigation, said Gant and his mother, La’Kenia, were interviewed by NCAA officials in early November 2014 and admitted to receiving benefits but were not aware they were in violation of NCAA rules. Gant served a nine-game suspension to start the 2014-15 season. At the time, Mizzou said Gant was being held out while the school reviewed his eligibility related to undisclosed benefits.
Gant and his mother moved to Missouri so he could enroll and graduate from School of the Osage, the source said. Gant had failed to get qualifying scores on the Georgia High School Graduation Tests, leaving him in danger of failing to qualify academically for college.
The NCAA sent Mizzou its letter of inquiry on April 14, 2014. Four days later, Haith accepted the head-coaching job at Tulsa.
…On Wednesday, Anderson said he was not told about the NCAA investigation when he accepted the Mizzou job on April 28, 2014 — even though the school had received the NCAA’s letter two weeks earlier. Former athletics director Mike Alden, the person who hired Anderson two yeas ago, was not available for comment.
St Louis PD
In addition, the NCAA informed Syracuse that because the men's basketball program is currently three under the NCAA's normal scholarship limit that the school can apply all three of those scholarships toward the penalty.
The NCAA had originally sanctioned Syracuse with the loss of three scholarships a year for a four-year period. That penalty was part of the NCAA's report on violations within the Syracuse basketball program. The report was released last March.
"The Big 12 is disadvantaged when compared to the other conferences in three ways. We do not have at least twelve members, we do not have a conference network, and we do not have a championship game. I think that all three of these disadvantages need to be addressed at the same time. Addressing only one without addressing all three will not be adequate to improve the strength of the conference," the statement read.
Boren's comments came after the NCAA reached a compromise to deregulate conference championship games Wednesday, allowing FBS conferences to hold title games with fewer than 12 members.
The ruling allows the Big 12, the only Power Five conference with fewer than 12 members, to implement a championship game without expanding.
Big 12 Composite Schedule & Results
Thon Maker has lived in three continents, in four countries and played basketball for three high schools. When you’re 7-1 and have the basketball skills Maker has, it doesn’t matter where you play, people will expect great things.
This weekend, the power forward from Athlete Institute in Ontario will play in the Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass.
…Maker said last month that he plans official visits to Arizona State, St. John’s, Kansas, Indiana and Notre Dame.
At the City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Fla. in December, he dropped in 31 points in a 58-53 loss to Hamilton Heights Christian (Chattanooga, Tenn.), making 11 of 16 shots, including five slams and three three-pointers, while pulling down 11 rebounds.
That was vintage Maker, doing something you rarely, at least at the high school level, see players his size do: pull down a rebound, lead the break off the dribble and finish, whether with a long jumper or with a slam. But it was what Maker did in a 46-43 defeat of Potter’s House Christian (Jacksonville, Fla.) earlier in the tournament, when he had only nine points and eight rebounds, that made Ed Smith, his guardian and assistant coach at Athlete Institute, smile.
Facing Udoka Azubuike, who is a burly 6-11 and 270 pounds, Maker held his own in the post. He blocked several of Azubuike’s shots and kept Azubuike from backing him down, eventually fouling out the Potter’s House center.
“The main thing what you saw today is strength,” Smith said. “I was proud of him because it showed that the weight room is working. Forget about the points.”
He is listed as 223 pounds, so he still gave away nearly 50 pounds to Azubuike, but that’s a far cry from the 194 pounds Maker weighed as a junior.
The second annual 810 Varsity Best of the Midwest Showcase tips off at Johnson County Community College on Saturday, January 16, 2016. The all-day event features seven games with schools from Kansas City, St. Louis and Columbia, including Father Tolton Catholic and Michael Porter, a consensus top 3 recruit nationally for the 2017 class. Over the summer, Porter cutting down his list to include Kansas, Mizzou, Duke, Kentucky and other national powers.
“Porter has been a special player that you see once in a lifetime,” said 810 Varsity’s Chad Rader of the 6-foot-8 junior. “Kansas and many others have been recruiting him a long time, and for good reason. He's the most highly regarded player nationally to play in Kansas City in a basketball game since Danny Manning.”
The Best of the Midwest Showcase was organized by 810 Varsity, the high school entity affiliated with Sports Radio 810 WHB, in starting a regional event to Kansas City. Among the matchups, the headliner with Blue Valley Northwest – the top team in Kansas Class 6A vs. Father Tolton Catholic and Porter at 8:30 p.m.
Bass Pro Tournament of Champions 1/14-1/16
Jarrett Allen, a 6-foot-9, 225-pound senior forward from St. Stephens Episcopal School in Austin, Texas, who is ranked No. 20 in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.com, tells Zagsblog.com that five schools are recruiting him the hardest.
They are: Kansas University, Houston, North Carolina, Texas and Kentucky.
“Those are the five schools that have been calling me recently,” Allen told Zagsblog.com.
“I’m starting to pick (my recruitment) back up. I took a break for a while. I've been talking to coaches again.”
Of KU, he told Zagsblog.com: “When Kansas calls, they just come in and check in on me. Both coach (Bill) Self and the assistants. They’ve always had bigs that have done well.”
Recruiting Calendar (updated for 2016)
Late Night in the Phog
Bill Self Camp KU Alumni games
60 Years of AFH Celebration
Legends of the Phog game
2011-12 Final Border War
KC Prep Invitational
and more, now on YouTube