11/1/12, 9:22 PM
Incredible event for Bill Self's Assists Foundation -- 500 people to hear the bunch of us talk? The people of Kansas are special.
Michael DeCourcy (@tsnmike)
11/1/12, 8:42 PM
Sporting News' DeCourcy: "KU is 12th in our preseason poll. After watching KU practice today, I can say that is our 1st error of the year."
Jim Marchiony (@JMarchiony)
Through his Assists Foundation, Kansas men’s basketball Bill Self hosted four highly distinguished men’s basketball journalists in the first “A Courtside View” at the Crown Toyota Pavilion in Lawrence Thursday evening.
College basketball television personalities Jay Bilas and Fran Fraschilla of ESPN along with national columnists Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News and Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star joined Self in a round-table discussion format on hot topics in college athletics. A crowd of more than 400 attended the event which raised money for Bill and Cindy Self’s Assists Foundation.
“We’ll raise some significant funds and we’ll give that money away,” Self said. “But more importantly we are getting the word out and getting some national attention and this time next year when we have this, we’ll have a thousand people here. It does a lot for our foundation but it also does a lot from the goodwill standpoint and the PR standpoint that bodes well over time and not just tonight.”
…“Allen Fieldhouse is the best place to watch college basketball,” DeCourcy said. “I was fortunate enough to cover the Missouri game last year and I have never, ever been in an atmosphere that was like that.”
“I know you are going to have a great defensive team because now that John Calhoun (Connecticut) is gone you have the number one defensive coach (Bill Self) in college basketball,” DeCourcy added. “After watching practice today, the only thing standing between your team and scoring is executing. They have a lot of guys that can put the ball in the basket.”
Following the aforementioned topics, the panel took questions from those in attendance. Those topics included NCAA accountability, football running conference realignment, coaching philosophies and the KU basketball staff.
“I thought it was good,” Self said of the evening. “The guys (the panel) are opinionated about certain issues. I think they definitely overvalued my team right now but I guess you expect them to do that if they are your guest.”
Metro Sports Television in Kansas City recorded the event and will air an edited version of A Courtside View at a later day.
A panel of basketball thinkers convened Thursday for a symposium that could have passed for a celebrity roast.
The panelists poked fun and themselves and each other, but the most pointed words were reserved for the NCAA and its president, Mark Emmert.
Bill Self’s Courtside View, a fundraiser for Self’s Assists Foundation, featured the Kansas basketball coach along with ESPN commentators Jay Bilas and Fran Fraschilla, Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News and Kansas City Star columnist Blair Kerkhoff.
The NCAA, which was not present, earned pointed critiques for its stance on several hot-button topics, including the controversial one-and-done rule.
“Mark Emmert is a nice guy,” Bilas said. “He’s wrong in the way he’s handling this.”
The rule references a provision in the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement prohibiting high school players from entering the league until they are 19 and a year removed from high school.
Asked about the one-and-done rule last week, Emmert was quoted as saying, “I dislike it enormously.”
DeCourcy criticized Emmert's dismissive stance on the one-and-done rule, and Bilas said college basketball should do more to cooperate with the NBA on a better solution.
…If players were required to spend two years in college, Self said, it would prevent one school (read: Kentucky) from signing the top NBA prospects in every recruiting class.
“Nobody is going to go sit behind somebody else if they’re a big-time guy,” Self said.
Panelists also expressed reservations about tougher eligibility standards that will take effect in 2016. Incoming freshmen will be required to have a minimum grade-point average of 2.3 in 16 core courses, up from a 2.0 GPA under previous standards.
Self cited data saying 43 percent of college basketball players enrolled in 2009-10 would be ineligible under the new standards.
“In the sport we recruit, it’s going to be devastating,” he said.
“A lot of guys can score,” DeCourcy added. “I think Ben McLemore missed two shots today. He took a few.”
ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said: “It’s a very young team. I’m impressed with the way they related to each other and the coaches.
“If you told any of us at this time last year Kansas would play for a national championship, we’d say, ‘Really? Can we have some of what you are smoking?’” Bilas added to laughs from the crowd. “I think by the middle of the season, we will not see more than a handful of teams where we’d say they are better (than KU).”
ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla, who replaces Bob Knight on Big 12’s ESPN Big Monday telecasts this season, said: “It may not be the deepest Kansas team he (Self) has had. The great recruiting class is on the way (for next season). Some of the best players are young players, and they have not gotten the full effect of Bill’s coaching yet.
“They’ll likely be 9-0 at home. If you go 6-3 on the road, which is do-able, that’s 15-3 and likely a ninth consecutive conference championship. Every home game except one or two will be a test for you (in league) and every road game for sure. They (Jayhawks) will play hard. They are always prepared,” Fraschilla added.
…“We are athletic. The key will be our anchor and point guard. If Jeff Withey plays like the third-best center in the country and Elijah (Johnson) can run a team, those would be keys. One thing I’m proud of is our guys expect to do it. That’s half of it. They think they are good.
“On the national level, Indiana may be better than everybody from a roster standpoint,” Self continued, “but I don’t think there’s a clear-cut team. Last year there were definitely two, Kentucky and North Carolina. I don’t see it. I see 15-20 teams that have a shot, and hopefully we will be one in the mix.”
…It was revealed that there will be a 115th year of KU basketball celebration this year in which former players will be invited to town for a reunion, which has been the custom every five years. The reunion will be for the KU-TCU game on Feb. 23 in Allen.
Self has sent 14 players into the NBA draft -- nine of whom were picked in the first round -- while three other former Jayhawks have reached the NBA.
Perhaps more impressive, however, is that in this era of one-and-dones and early-entry into the NBA draft, only two players under Self have ever gone pro after just one season in Lawrence: Xavier Henry and Josh Selby. (And Selby wasn't good enough to be a one-and-done player; he rode his high school recruiting rankings to the 49th pick.) Only one other player, Julian Wright, has been drafted after spending just two years on campus.
Do the math: 11 of Self's 14 Jayhawk draft picks have spent three or four years on campus. "We'd like to recruit all one-and-dones," Self said with a laugh over the phone last week. "Maybe not all, but we'd like to have a team every year where you've got lottery picks out there."
To be fair, more often than not, he does. But the method by which Kansas produces stars is much different than that of Kentucky.
Self runs a bit of a throwback program. He's one of the best recruiters in the country, routinely pulling in top five classes loaded with kids that are ranked in the top 50 and could have gone anywhere. But it's rare that those freshmen see major minutes immediately. In fact, only once in Self's tenure at Kansas has a freshman led the team in scoring. That came during the 2005-06 season when the Jayhawks lost six of their top seven scorers and were forced to use a starting lineup that included three freshmen and two sophomores. Two of those freshmen and both sophomores would eventually start for the 2008 team that won the national title.
That season was an outlier, as Self's roster usually has an arsenal of his recruits stockpiled, biding their time and working on their games while they wait for their turn. Last season is a perfect example. In 2011, Self sent both of the Morris twins and Selby to the NBA draft at the same time that starters Brady Morningstar and Tyrel Reed graduated. That's a lot of talent to lose, especially when three-quarters of his 2011 recruiting class was ruled ineligible for the season.
But Kansas not only survived, it thrived, winning the Big 12 regular season by two games and making a run all the way to the NCAA tournament title game. And it wasn't just because Thomas Robinson sprouted into a star or Tyshawn Taylor finally discovered how to be more consistent. The biggest reason the Jayhawks outperformed expectations last season was that the other three starters -- Travis Releford, Jeff Withey, Elijah Johnson -- all thrived in new, expanded roles. Withey was the nation's best defensive center last season, Johnson's play in the tournament was a huge reason Kansas made it as far as it did, and Releford was a steadying force on the wing all season.
"Our goal is, whenever their time is right -- whether their time is as a freshman or whether their time is as a sophomore -- they've gotta be prepared to take the ball and run with it," Self said. "We've been very fortunate that the [players we've had], when their number was called, they were ready."
Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self and women's basketball Bonnie Henrickson will appear at the Ramada Inn, 420 Southeast 6th Ave., on Wednesday for a Kansas Basketball Roundball Luncheon.
Tickets are $20 with proceeds benefiting the Williams Education Fund. Reservations are due Monday and can be made by contacting the Williams Fund office at (785) 864-3946. Limited walk-up seating also will be available.
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"We appreciate our television partners and the coaching staff at Southern Illinois Edwardsville to be so accommodating with this time change," Head Coach Frank Haith said.
"Mizzou Arena is the toughest home court in America because of our students and fans and this move gives everyone a little extra time to get to Mizzou Arena after watching the football game that morning."
7,741 Missouri basketball fans at Mizzou Arena for last night's exhibition opener
Iowa State senior guard Chris Babb has been suspended three games for violating team rules.
Cyclones coach Fred Hoiberg says Babb won't play in Sunday's exhibition against Minnesota State or in regular season games against Southern and Alabama A&M.
…Oklahoma State says the NCAA has granted Jean-Paul Olukemi a waiver that will allow the senior to play this season.
The waiver was sought after it was learned that a junior college class he had taken during his final semester of high school would count against his college eligibility.
UConn opened the Kevin Ollie era with former coach Jim Calhoun watching from a seat on the baseline.
Calhoun, who retired in September, slipped into Gampel Pavilion just before the tip of UConn’s exhibition game with American International College on Thursday night, chatted with referee John Cahill and then took a seat on press row along the baseline
His successor walked on the court a few minutes later to a loud ovation from the students and a less-than full arena.
Freshman Omar Calhoun scored 24 points and Ryan Boatright added 14 to lead UConn to a 78-63 win.
But it was a slow start. UConn fell behind early and didn’t lead until the second half.
After the initial shock of Duke’s opening loss to Lehigh in the NCAA tournament wore off, he sat down with Krzyzewski and assistant Steve Wojciechowski. They told Plumlee they would support him either way and would gather information from NBA decision-makers to gauge his draft stock. All Plumlee had to do was let them know what he planned to do.
While weighing his options, Plumlee remembered something Krzyzewski told him in 2008, after the Beijing Olympics.
“When you look at his USA players, almost all of them have a better season when they come back the next season after spending the summer with him,” Plumlee said, citing Derrick Rose’s MVP after the 2010 FIBA World Championships.
“The biggest thing for me with coach is that, even if I’m fortunate enough to play in the NBA for a great team and a good coach, even at that level, there’s no one really as good as Coach K.”
Lessons from Laettner
The two also talked about his opportunities at Duke. While nothing was promised, he was given the opportunity to make this team his team.
Krzyzewski further enabled that when he named Plumlee and Kelly team captains in the spring, months earlier than the typical announcement.
…“I thought we were too balanced a year ago,” Krzyzewski said. “I’d rather not have it be as balanced. I don’t think you win if everyone on our team scores 12 points a game. I’d like Mason to score 25 a game.”
Lawyers representing former and current college football and men's basketball players in an anti-trust lawsuit said in documents filed Thursday that the NCAA says it does not obtain permission from athletes to use their names, images and likenesses in various ways, including live TV broadcasts.
The lawyers suggested that this "admission," as the lawyers termed it, means that athletes should get what essentially amounts to back-pay once they complete their college careers.
Thursday's filing also revealed that the athletes' lawyers have told conferences across the country that the NCAA's position potentially makes the conferences' mega-dollar TV contracts unlawful. If the athletes – rather than the NCAA and its members -- own the rights to their names, images and likenesses, the lawyers said, then the conferences do not possess the rights they are selling to broadcasters.
The documents were filed in U.S. District Court in California as part of a bid by the athletes' lawyers to have the lawsuit certified as a class action.
The suit seeks damages from the NCAA; video-game maker Electronic Arts; and Collegiate Licensing Co., the nation's leading collegiate trademark licensing and marketing firm. The 15 named plaintiffs, including former basketball stars Ed O'Bannon, Oscar Robertson and Bill Russell, say their names, images and likenesses were used illegally by the NCAA.
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11/1/12, 6:29 PM
Going to Marquette
Joel Hans Embiid (@jojo_embiid)
Another ESPN 100 prospect came off the board Thursday afternoon when senior center Dominic Woodson (Round Rock, Texas/Huntington Prep), the No. 80 overall recruit in the country, committed to the Baylor Bears over North Carolina State.
Woodsoon's pledge gives Baylor coach Scott Drew his second ESPN 100 commitment along with small forward Ishmail Wainright (Raytown, Mo./Montrose Christian). In addition, the Bears have a commitment from another player on the cusp of the top 100 in Johnathan Motley (Houston/North Shore).
"I picked Baylor because it is close to home, it is a great academic school, they have a great coaching staff and we have a chance to win a championship," Woodson said.
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