Jeff Withey, who traveled to Greece, Germany and Macedonia last summer as a member of Athletes in Action’s all-star basketball team, now gears for an equally exciting adventure — a Sunday through Aug. 14 journey to Switzerland and Paris with Kansas University’s hoops squad.
“It’s something we will remember forever,” said 7-foot senior center Withey, who is somewhat of an international travel expert at the age of 22 — he also trekked to France during his high school days at San Diego’s Horizon High.
“Not too many times do people get to go to Europe paid for. It’ll be fun to be able to walk around and see everything. We’re going with people we like. We’re all good friends, so it’s pretty much going on a trip with all your friends to a new place.”
…KU will play the Swiss National Team on Tuesday and Wednesday in Fribourg, Switzerland and French Club Teams on Aug. 11-12 in Paris.
“It’s going to expand our game and just going out there and experiencing the different food, the different culture, it’s always fun to do that, walking around. The cities are all historic, so it’ll just be a good time,” Withey said.
…The trip to Europe caps a busy summer for Withey, who attended the Amar’e Stoudemire big-man camp in Chicago and LeBron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas to go with working several camps in Kansas.
“I got a lot of new moves going to the Amar’e camp and worked on a lot of drills and did a lot of things NBA people do, so it was a good experience and even getting to play against Amar’e Stoudemire himself, so it was really cool,” Withey said. “And then in Vegas we played a lot of pick-up, going up and down, playing games, and whenever you play 25 of the the best college athletes (working as counselors), it makes you better. It was a lot of fun and even though I didn’t get to play against LeBron, it was a good time. I’ve just been busy with a lot of practice, getting ready to go over to Europe, so it’s been a pretty busy offseason.”
The Kansas Basketball Coaches Association honored KU women’s head basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson with the women’s college coach of the year award Thursday at Washburn University. Henrickson earned the award after she led the 2011-12 Jayhawks to a 21-13 record and their best postseason run in 14 years, advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16.
“It’s always humbling to be honored by your peers for your accomplishments and this is no different,” said Henrickson. “It was a great year for our program and much of the credit for this award needs to go to the staff and more importantly the players for all their success in 2011-12.”
In her eighth season at the University of Kansas, Henrickson saw her Jayhawks advance to the postseason for the sixth time. Kansas finished the 2011-12 season with a 21-13 overall record and earned its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2000. After defeating Nebraska and Delaware in the first weekend, the Jayhawks advanced to their third Sweet 16 in program history and first since 1998. Despite falling to perennial power Tennessee in the re-gional semifinal, KU’s postseason run helped the team earn a spot in the final national rankings coming in at No. 25 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll.
Henrickson helped develop two all-Americans in 2012 marking the first time in Kansas history the program has had multiple all-America selections in the same season. Additionally, three Kansas players were named All-Big 12 as Henrickson now has 20 all-conference honorees in her 15 seasons as a head coach.
Join the KU Alumni Association and Kansas Athletics on Friday, Aug. 17. You'll hear from football coach Charlie Weis, men's basketball coach Bill Self, women's basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson and Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.
KU KickOff at Corinth Square
Friday, August 17
83rd Street and Mission Road
(in the parking lot directly west of Commerce Bank)
Prairie Village, KS 66208
Bring the kids for inflatable games, food, drinks and lots of fun KU giveaways. Stay late for live music by SELLOUT! from 8 to 10 p.m.
And that brings me to the topic of Thomas Robinson, who recently joined Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Harrison Barnes, Andre Drummond, Austin Rivers, John Henson and Jared Sullinger as members of the Panini team. The signing allows Panini America exclusive rights to produce autographed trading cards featuring Thomas and currently 54 of the 60 2012 NBA Draft picks.
If you’re looking to get your hands on an exclusive Thomas Robinson autograph, you’ll be able to do so in the 2012-13 NBA HOOPS set which will be released August 15th.
Former Kansas men's basketball player Sasha Kaun's teammate Vitaliy Fridzon made a three-pointer with four seconds remaining to lift Russia to a 75-74 win against Brazil in Preliminary Round Group B action Thursday at the Olympic Games. With the win Russia improved to 3-0 Group B competition.
Kaun, who played at Kansas from 2005-08 and was a key reserve on KU's 2008 NCAA National Championship team, started and played just over 15 minutes, scoring three points on 1-for-3 shooting. The Tomsk, Russia, native battled foul problems, ending the contest with four personals as he also pulled down two rebounds in the victory.
VOTE for KU
Kansas 2012-13 Schedule
The fallout from the Kansas University basketball ticket scandal continues to hang over the city almost as oppressively as this summer’s temperatures.
The public is just as much the loser in the ticket ordeal as local lawns are in the run of 100-degree days.
Next up: a threatened lawsuit against the city by one of two former police officers dismissed in the side-scandal in which traffic violations disappeared in some form of exchange for KU basketball tickets. In the wider scandal, a conspiracy to steal and sell basketball tickets sent seven KU Athletics employees to prison. One of those is the individual who provided tickets to police officers and had traffic citations fixed in return. Ultimately, two officers were dismissed over violations of the city’s gratuity policy, although many in the public continue to believe the circumstances involved something as serious as bribery.
Former Police Sgt. Michael Monroe now is saying he’s going to court to protest his firing. His dismissal was upheld by the city manager, who overruled a city employee grievance review board determination that Monroe should be reinstated with a demotion.
The city continues basically to stand mute. Now, instead of relying on “personnel issues,” the decision not to release substantive information in the case is attributed to “pending litigation.” That stance might be tolerable in some situations, but this involves the city’s police department, and Lawrence residents need to have confidence in the officers on the street, the organization and its leadership, and the governing body behind it.
Big 12/College News
The Division I Board of Directors on Thursday endorsed sweeping recommendations to change the NCAA’s enforcement model.
The Board stopped short of a binding vote, allowing the membership until its October meeting to voice final feedback on the recommendations.
The recommendations, which would take effect August 1, 2013, would dramatically change how the NCAA handles enforcement cases. Among the changes:
Switching from the current two-tier violation structure to four tiers, to provide more flexibility.
Increasing the size of the Committee on Infractions, which hears all the cases, from 10 up to 24. This would allow panels formed from this larger pool to hear cases on a more regular basis and allow cases to be resolved more efficiently.
Expanding the make-up of the committee members to include current or former university presidents, vice presidents or other senior administrators, current and former directors of athletics, former NCAA coaches, conference officials, faculty, athletics administrators with compliance experience and members of the general public with a legal background.
Creating new penalty guidelines to hold those who step outside the accepted code of conduct more accountable for their actions. The new guidelines would allow the Committee some discretion, although limited, in prescribing penalties while also assuring stronger and consistently applied penalties.
Enforcing the fact that head coaches set the tone and culture for compliance within the program. When there is failure by the head coach to fulfill these expectations, the new enforcement model holds head coaches individually accountable.
Ray told the Board coaches want change: “Coaches come to me and say, ‘I feel like a chump. I’m trying to do things the right way and I have peers who laugh at me because I don’t play the game and bend the rules the way they do.’
“That’s got to stop ... Most coaches are terrific people who love their student-athletes, try to do it the right way, try to have the right values and succeed. They’re very frustrated. This has got to stop. I think most coaches are saying it’s about time. We want a level playing field.”
Here is a breakdown of the recommendations:
The Board endorsed a four-tier violation structure to more appropriately recognize the varying levels of infractions:
Level I: Severe breach of conduct
A violation which seriously undermines or threatens the integrity of the NCAA enduring values (student-athlete success, the collegiate model, amateurism as a student model, competitive equity), including any violation which provides or is intended to provide a significant recruiting or competitive advantage, or a significant impermissible benefit. Multiple violations from other categories may collectively be considered a severe breach of conduct. Individual conduct that is unethical may be classified as a severe breach of conduct, even if the underlying institutional violations are not classified in this category.
Level II: Significant breach of conduct
A violation that provides or is intended to provide minimal to significant recruiting or competitive advantage; or includes a minimal to significant impermissible benefit; or involves a pattern of systemic violations in a particular area. Multiple violations from other, less-serious categories may collectively be considered a significant breach of conduct. Some limited individual conduct that is unethical or dishonest may be classified as in this category, even if the underlying institutional violations are not classified as significant.
Level III: Breach of Conduct
A violation that is isolated or limited in nature; provides no more than a minimal recruiting, competitive or other advantage; and does not include more than a minimal impermissible benefit. Multiple Level IV violations may collectively be considered a breach of conduct.
Level IV: Incidental Issue
An incidental infraction is a minor infraction that is inadvertent and isolated, technical in nature and results in a negligible, if any, competitive advantage. Level IV infractions generally will not impact eligibility for intercollegiate athletics.
Cases involving severe and significant breaches of conduct will be further categorized into three sublevels based on the presence of aggravating or mitigating factors.
The average 2011-12 RPI of Kansas State’s nonconference home opponents is 227.7. For Wichita State, it’s 213.7. And for Kansas, it’s 157.5. None of those numbers makes me want to run out and order tickets, but we all know how crazed basketball fans are in this state. Selling tickets is not a problem, given the high level of play for the three Kansas teams.
And there are nine home conference games for KU, KSU and WSU. By the time January rolls around, fans will have forgotten all about the San Jose States, North Floridas and Western Carolinas of the world.
I still think it would be nice, though, for the state schools to give their fans some nonconference meat on the bones.
Wichita Eagle Lutz
ESPN Tip-Off Marathon schedule
2012-13 Early Season Events List
adidas NATIONS Aug 2 - 6
Chicago Simeon Career Academy forward Jabari Parker, the nation's No. 1-ranked senior, could wait to commit until the spring if he can't decide on a school by the early signing period, his father said Thursday.
Parker, a 6-foot-8 forward, and his family have stated previously they hoped for him to commit and sign in the early signing period, which is from Nov. 14-21. Parker recently released a list of 10 colleges he was considering to attend: BYU, DePaul, Duke, Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina and Stanford.
"We aren't in a hurry," said Parker's father Sonny Parker on Thursday. "He can pretty much go anywhere he wants to go and can take his time. We're in a good position to take his time and get it right the first time. We'd like to get it over with, but there's no rush. Like I told him, if you aren't ready, do it in the spring. If they want you bad enough, they'll wait. He's the No. 1 player."
Sonny Parker said he expects his son to trim his list further before making any visits, but he was unsure when that would happen. He also said he's been hearing consistently from all the coaches on Parker's list, but the coaches are still unable to contact Parker directly.
Parker has been resting since mid-July after discovering he had a fracture in his right foot. Surgery wasn't required, and he's been wearing a protective boot.
Parker is expected to return to the court in six to eight weeks, but could rest up to 10 weeks, according to Simeon coach Robert Smith. Simeon will be shooting for its fourth consecutive Illinois state championship this season.
"We'll make sure everything is correct," Smith said.
July has come and gone. And just like every summer, there were movers and shakers who will impact the rankings. Then there were the lesser-regarded guys who came out of nowhere to make their move. With that in mind, we take a look back at the month of July.
…Julius Randle: The 6-9 Texan was at his best for most of the month of July. There is a tendency for him to rely too much on attacking off the dribble, but the big, strong post player is a rebounding machine and super productive.
...Frank Mason: Had he made it to Towson, he likely would have been the biggest steal of the 2012 recruiting class. Now the 5-11 bulldog is headed to prep school and will likely end up on the high-major level. Pound for pound, there is not a tougher player in the country.
Bossi via special to SI
Check here for the 2012-13 NCAA Recruiting Calendar
My 2012 KU Alumni games, 2011-12 Border War, Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos and more now on Youtube