In late March, Kansas University Head Basketball Coach Bill Self had his team in New Orleans for the 2012 NCAA Final Four.
Wanting to get his team back to that stage, Self found himself in Tifton six months later as he visited Tift County High School Thursday.
In town for an at-home visit with Blue Devil basketball player Brannen Greene and his family, Self visited the school to watch the Devils play pick-up games and work out. He watched the team, along with Tift Head Coach Eric Holland.
While he could not comment on any particular player due to NCAA rules, Self did bring up the Tift County High Arena.
“It is very nice,” said Self. “This is a great facility.”
It was his first visit to South Georgia in a number of years.
“How far away is Albany?,” he asked. When told it was close to Tifton, he added, “I recruited a kid there several years ago that ended up going on to Auburn. I don’t remember his name.”
Self went on to add that Tift was “a big-time school,” and that he had gone to“places a lot more rural than Tifton,” during his recruiting.
“We will go anywhere in the country to look at a player, if they are interested in attending Kansas,” Self said.
And that includes Tifton, “This area of the country has always been one of the more fertile spots for talent.”
From the high school, Self went on to visit Greene and his family.
Happy birthday to my bro @PElliz!!!!
Kansas Athletics will have three mini-plan ticket packages available for the 2012-13 men's basketball season.
Each package includes seven games - including six in Allen Fieldhouse and the Friday, Nov. 30 Oregon State game in Kansas City's Sprint Center.
Williams Education Fund donors can purchase the mini-plans beginning Monday, Sept. 10. The packages will be on sale for the general public Monday, Sept. 17.
Packages are available in Tier 2 seating for $400. In addition, for only $100 more, fans can add the Feb. 16 game against Texas to any of the three mini-plans.
On draft night, when Tyshawn Taylor learned he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets, the first thing that popped into his head was Jay Z.
Think about that.
It’s one of the biggest moments of Taylor’s life, he was picked up by his hometown squad, and at the forefront of his brain is a 1/15th of one percent minority owner.
“That’s the first thing you think about when you think about the Nets,” Taylor says. “When I first got drafted and Portland traded me to Brooklyn, that’s the first thing I thought about – to be with Jay Z.
“I thought that was so dope.”
Taylor was speaking Thursday in front of the Hoboken projects, his old and renewed stomping grounds, where the 22-year-old point guard was distributing free school supplies to children lined up outside a basketball court.
…Taylor moved back to Hoboken, just a couple blocks from the projects where he was raised. His charitable appearance Thursday was his idea, and it was supported by the NBA and the XBox video game, “Baller Beats.”
“I’m a couple blocks up. This is where I’m from. These kids see me everyday so I feel like they see me as an NBA player and it would be good to come back and do something from where I come from. When I was growing up, we didn’t have anybody who would do stuff like this for us. It’s really not that much, honestly, but just for them to see me interact it’s cool. It’s just fun for me to see and I enjoy it myself.”
NY Daily News
Local NBA players Norris Cole and Daequan Cook, along with Mario Chalmers — all three of whom played in the recent NBA Finals — will headline the Ohio vs. Indy Pro All-Star Jam charity basketball game played Sunday night at Trent Arena in Kettering.
The gala event — promoted by Carlos Knox, a local hoops legend himself and now the director of the successful, pro-am league in Indianapolis each summer — will feature two teams stocked with players from the NBA, overseas pro leagues, the NBA’s Developmental League and the CBA.
Dayton Daily News
A judge has set a January hearing date for a former University of Kansas athletics consultant seeking a shorter sentence for his part in a ticket-scalping conspiracy.
U.S. District Judge Monti Belot will hear the case of Thomas Ray Blubaugh on Jan. 16.
Blubaugh is serving a 46-month sentence at a federal prison in Oklahoma. He pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to defraud the United States.
Blubaugh is the husband of Charlette Blubaugh, former ticket director for KU athletics. They were among seven people convicted in a $2 million scheme involving the theft and sale of Jayhawk basketball and football tickets.
Thomas Blubaugh contends the sentencing court improperly considered the value of tickets he had hidden in a storage facility. He also claims his lawyer did a poor job.
Kansas 2012-13 Schedule
Big 12/College News
Fox Sports decided to hand out Tier 3 television contracts this week and if your alma mater resides in the Big 12, you’re in luck. On the heels of Oklahoma’s agreement with the network to host 1,000 hours annually of Sooners sports, both Texas Tech and TCU announced similar packages today.
Neither is likely to receive as much air time as Oklahoma – top Barry Switzer reliving recruiting battles and we’ll talk – but the broadcasting deals create another revenue stream for Big 12 institutions. The Sooners, Horned Frogs and Red Raiders intend to showcase at least one football game, all available men’s basketball contests and various Olympic sports as content.
For each program, the hours on Fox Sports increases visibility of sports outside of the revenue-generators (football and men’s basketball). That aids in recruiting which increases booster donations which leads to better facilities and more wins.
…While these agreements for TCU, Texas Tech and Oklahoma won’t pay as much as ESPN does to Texas, it’s still supplemental income. It seems sensible then to expect Baylor, Oklahoma State and maybe the two Kansas institutions to pursue similar setups with Fox Sports.
The University of Missouri Basketball program has announced that it will host Mizzou Madness on Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. CT.
The event marks the official beginning of the 2012-13 Mizzou basketball campaign, and will feature scrimmages by both the men's and women's program. The Madness is also slated to include contests, giveaways, and games.
University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari has a knack for big, attention-grabbing ideas. So when his phone rang and the man on the other end said, “Coach, I just bought the Final Four floor and I’m calling to find out if there’s anything you would like to do with it,” Calipari laughed.
Northwestern Mutual, a large insurance company and corporate NCAA sponsor, bought the floor and donated it to UK.
The plan now is for more than 3,000 square feet of that floor to be used in the Cats’ locker rooms, which are undergoing a major renovation. The 2012 New Orleans Final Four logo that was in the center jump circle for the title game will soon be the centerpiece of the room where players dress before home games. There will also be wall murals that match moments from the game to sections of the actual floor on which they occurred.
“When you walk on the floor, this is it. This is the floor we won the national title on in 2012 and that was the free throw that Doron Lamb made to ice the game, and this is the free-throw line he shot it on,” Calipari said. “So it will be neat. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of any other locker room doing anything like this. But then again, it seems like here at Kentucky we do a lot of things that have never been done.”
Although he's repeatedly appealed through social media for more fans to attend charity exhibition games on Saturday, Kentucky Coach John Calipari can accept the idea of a less-than-big Blue Nation in Rupp Arena.
"I'm fine," Calipari said Thursday. "... You'd like to have 25,000 there. We're not going to."
The extra effort to draw a crowd continued Thursday night as Calipari tweeted about how the sale of $20 discount tickets will end at 10 p.m. Friday.
Earlier this week, Calipari tweeted about being "a little disappointed" about Rupp Arena's lower stands not being sold out. He noted that the players are not being paid for appearing.
The UK coach also pointed out that "other special people," presumably including highly regarded prospect Julius Randle, could be impressed by an immense — and raucous — crowd. Randle reportedly is visiting UK this weekend.
"You've never let me down before, Big Blue Nation," Calipari posted.
ESPN Tip-Off Marathon schedule
2012-13 Early Season Events List
9/13/12 5:39 PM
Joe Dooley of Kansas, Shaheen Holloway & Danny McHale of SHU, Stanford & Michigan State also watching Karl Towns
If Thursday were just any old day, Tyler Roberson would’ve taken the afternoon off.
But when Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua and Kansas assistant Joe Dooley come watch you work out, it’s not any old day.
So even though he was battling an ankle injury sustained last week, the 6-foot-8 senior forward from Roselle (N.J.) Catholic asked assistant coach Tom Sacks to retrieve his sneakers from his home so he could make the workout.
…Antigua and Dooley sat courtside while Roberson played five-on-five for about half an hour and then briefly spoke to him afterward.
“I mean, it’s exciting as a player to see all the coaches come out and watch me play,” Roberson said.
Kentucky has yet to officially offer Roberson — who has cut his list to 10 schools, including Kentucky — but head coach John Calipari is expected in Tuesday or Wednesday for a home visit and to watch Roberson again.
“I hope that they will [offer him],” Roselle Catholic coach Dave Boff said. “My feeling is that when schools are around this late in the game, there’s normally an offer at some point. But nothing’s been promised to us that there will be an offer.”
Asked if he was expecting an offer, Roberson said, “Hopefully.”
As for Kansas, where he has set a visit for “Late Night in the Phog” Oct. 12, Roberson said, “It was nice to see coach Dooley here to come watch me play.”
Boff said he also expects Kansas head coach Bill Self to be back “in the next two weeks.” Self watched Roberson a year ago during the fall.
It has been a busy week for the Tift County High Blue Devil basketball team.
It is a open recruiting period for college basketball coaches, so the Blue Devils have been conducting informal workouts in order for college coaches to see them in action.
Those workouts drew Mark Fox from the University of Georgia Tuesday, and this Sunday, Anthony Grant from the University of Alabama and Georgia Tech’s Brian Gregory are expected to be in Tifton.
Perhaps the biggest name, though, will be in Tifton today as Kansas Jayhawks Head Basketball Coach Bill Self will be here to visit Tift County High this afternoon.
After watching the team go through workouts after school, Self will then go for an in-home visit with Tift’s Brannen Greene.
Greene has already verbally committed to Kansas and is expected to sign with the school in November. Even though Self is not able to comment on a recruit, his in-home visit will allow him to spend time with Greene and his family to get to know them better.
The home setting will also probably be a more relaxed atmosphere as the previous meetings with Self and the Greene family have all been at Kansas.
9/12 Tifton Gazette
All this talk of high school corruption in Memphis got me feeling nostalgic. So I called Roy Adams.
Who else to turn to when the subject is fixed transcripts and $100 handshakes? The colorful Tennessee fan who helped expose Logan Young's payments to Albert Means surely would have something to say, right?
"I had lunch with Milton Kirk just yesterday," said Adams.
Well, of course he did.
It's been more than a decade now since the Means affair, since the city of Memphis made national headlines with the stunning story of a booster who paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to ensure that Means took his talents to Tuscaloosa.
Gary Parrish, the prep writer who broke the story, is now a talk-show host and a national college basketball writer for CBSSports.com. Young died from injuries suffered in a fall down the stairs of his Chickasaw Gardens home. Lynn Lang, the high school coach who took money from Young, is coaching football in Mississippi. Adams and Kirk — the whistle-blower and star witness in the Means case — are meeting every Wednesday for lunch.
They talk about the same things they used to talk about, college and high school football, primarily. Sometimes, they talk about corruption in Memphis. What, you thought it went away?
…Byron De'Vinner, a seven-man football coach from Nashville, says he saw a Mississippi State booster give East High's Will Redmond a $100 handshake? Was the booster wearing a porkpie hat?
"That's nothing," said Adams. "The NCAA doesn't usually get involved for less than $1,000."
Young must be rolling over in his grave.
"Honestly, the money is much less today than it was back then because there was one man spreading it around and then bragging about it," said Adams. "But the part of it that is shocking to the NCAA is the level of academic fraud, of people willing to change a transcript to help a kid or to hire someone to take the ACT for someone else. That's been going on forever in Memphis but I guess outsiders are just now realizing it's been going on."
Memphis Commercial Appeal
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