Barnes has led Texas to the NCAA Tournament in each of his 14 years at the 40 Acres, but with his Longhorns at 8-8 going into arguably their toughest game of the season to date, that streak is in danger of being snapped.
“You always try to prepare for what could go wrong,” Barnes said. “You have to believe that, in the long run, it’s probably going to work out. I’ve been doing this long enough to know that it’ll even out when it’s all said and done.”
Texas opened conference play with a pair of overtime losses to Baylor and West Virginia before being blown out by Iowa State last weekend. A game against Kansas, which has won each of its last eight games by an average of 17.8 points, could leave the Longhorns at 0-4 in Big 12 play by the end of the weekend.
One thing the Longhorns have going for them is their defense. Texas has held opponents to 24.8 percent from three-point range this year, the best mark in the country. The defense has also held opponents to 34.3 percent shooting from the floor, the second best in the nation. The only team holding opponents to a lower shooting percentage? Kansas.
“They see how fine a line it is between winning and losing, and I think that’s the toughest thing to teach young players when they’re playing a lot of minutes,” Barnes said. “There’s a sense of urgency and understanding that you need to stay engaged on every possession. You don’t have to play perfect.”
Three days later, McLemore returned to practice on Thursday afternoon, going through a full 90-minute workout with the rest of the Jayhawks. He’s expected to play on Saturday against Texas. And with no practice on Tuesday and a light shooting workout on Wednesday, McLemore didn’t miss much time.
“He’s gonna be close to 100 percent come Saturday,” Self said.
McLemore said he’d undergone pool workouts and laser treatments on the ankle since suffering the injury.
“It was about like 85 percent,” McLemore said Thursday, “just going through the motions … I think I should be good.”
…The Longhorns are off to an 0-3 start in the Big 12 and are just 8-8 overall. They also suffered a shocking nonconference loss to Division II Chaminade at the Maui Invitational before losing a home league game to West Virginia. For Self it certainly feels different, but he’s not writing Texas off just yet.
“It’s early, too,” Self said. “(North) Carolina started out 0-2 in the league in ’09 and won the national championship. So it’s not uncommon to see good teams or good programs get off to rough starts in the league, depending on who they’re playing. But this is different than most KU-Texas games.”
Kansas has won six of seven against Texas, but the Longhorns’ last victory came at Allen Fieldhouse in January 2011, snapping KU’s 69-game homecourt winning streak.
“It’s never been easy going to Texas,” senior guard Elijah Johnson said. “They’re gonna fight. Oh-and-four is not gonna sound good to them, so (I’m) pretty sure they’re not gonna just sit back and let it happen.
“But 4-0 sounds good to us. So we’ll just go out, handle business, do what we’re supposed to do.”
…Self will be honored on May 17 in Sarasota, Fla., at The V Foundation’s annual Dick Vitale Gala. Proceeds from the event will go to cancer research and related programs through The V Foundation, named after the late North Carolina State coach Jim Valvano.
Self said his team is better when they play fast, but that playing fast doesn’t always have to translate to points.
Although Kansas is second in the Big 12 Conference with 77.8 points per game, the Jayhawks’ past two games have been its lowest scoring games of the season.
They also highlighted the difference Self mentioned about playing fast and not scoring points, and playing just plain slow. Kansas shot 46 percent in its victory at Texas Tech, but it came on a season-low 41 field goal attempts.
The Baylor matchup may be a better illustration for the kind of game Self believes his team benefits from playing. Kansas shot only 23-61 from the field, but its defense smothered the Bears, holding them to 13-56 shooting. It is the Jayhawks’ best defensive performance to date.
“A lot of times you can play just as fast and score in the sixties as you do when you score in the eighties,” Self said. “I don’t think anybody would accuse us of playing slow. I think the time of possession that we have is probably in some possessions like Oregon football. We can score fast and we can score without the ball changing sides.”
Senior point guard Elijah Johnson said he is happier about Kansas’ defense against Baylor than its offensive struggles the past two games.
“Offense is going to come, it always does,” Johnson said. “I’m happy that we’re getting better defensively. We’re starting to take pride in that.”
Longer shot each passing week. But think they'll give KU scare Saturday. RT @MarkKielhorn: @franfraschilla Texas' tourney chances done?
I realize that nitpicking Kansas is like spotting a mole on Megan Fox's face, but I'm concerned that Elijah Johnson hasn't progressed into a more confident and effective point guard. That has hurt the Jayhawks' ability to score in the halfcourt.
SI Seth Davis Hoop Thoughts
The University of Kansas claimed the inaugural Naismith Student Section of the Year Award in 2012, that title is once again up for grabs and the athletics department is turning to the fans to defend the title.
By visiting www.facebook.com/ILoveCollegeHoops, Kansas fans can vote once per day for the KU student section as the top student section in college basketball. The Naismith Student Section of the Year Award, which is presented through a partnership of The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), an affiliate of IMG College, and the Atlanta Tipoff Club, administrators of the Naismith Awards, is dedicated to celebrating fans that love college hoops and provide support to their college basketball team with devotion and passion.
"College basketball student sections showcase the emotion, energy, and passion that define what it means for a team to truly have a home court advantage, and we want to celebrate that," added Catherine Gammon, Senior Vice President of Brand Development for CLC. "We encourage all fans to vote to cast their vote and ensure their favorite school gets recognized for the spirit they display in supporting their team."
"We have the best students and fans in the country," said head coach Bill Self, who has only seven home losses in his 10 seasons at Kansas. "Our student section starts prepping for games days before tip-off; they stand by our team the entire game, giving us an unbelievable home-court advantage."
The Naismith Student Section of the Year Award will be determined through two rounds of public votes, combined with a scoring of finalists by the Naismith Awards Board of Selectors, which will review criteria such as the student section's name and attendance, as well as photos, video, and a write-up submitted by the nominating school. Complete details on the selection process can be found at facebook.com/ilovecollegehoops.
VOTE for Ben
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VOTE for Kansas players, team, and moment in NCAA 75th Anniversary of March Madness (Vote for Wilt, Clyde, Danny, 51-52 Kansas, Mario's Miracle)
Kansas 2012-13 MBB Schedule
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Big 12/College News
Player trying to get rolling: Sheldon McClellan is Rick Barnes' leading scorer, but the Texas coach barely used the sophomore in last Saturday's game at Iowa State. That experiment didn't go well; the Longhorns lost by 20. So it'll be interesting to see what kind of role McClellan plays this Saturday when Texas hosts No. 4 Kansas in a game that sounds nice given the names but probably won't be competitive given the personnel.
Three things you should know before you go
Bill Self's Jayhawks are the favorite in the Big 12 -- mostly because they're obviously the league's best team, somewhat because KU has won at least a share of the Big 12 title in each of the past eight seasons. But who will finish second this season? That could be decided Saturday when Oklahoma visits 16th-ranked Kansas State. Both teams enter the weekend with Big 12 records of 3-0.
CBS weekend look ahead
The Big Ten will cash the biggest check from outside income among college conferences for the 2012-13 financial year, according to Forbes Magazine.
The revenue generated by network television contracts, bowl games and the NCAA tournaments — income from deals struck by the conference — will amount to about $310 million.
The Pac-12 is second at $303 million, the ACC third at $293 million, followed by the SEC ($270 million) and Big 12 ($262 million).
Conference-generated income is shared among members. Because the Big 12 only has 10 teams, each school’s share is $26.2 million, which is the most per school in the major conferences.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said the dollar amount for his conference wasn't exact “but in the ballpark, and they are the essence of why we feel good about 10 members. Ultimately, it's not about gross number of dollars but how much gets returned to the campus.”
The Big 12 figure also doesn’t include third-tier television rights, which are controlled by the schools. Texas’ ESPN-based Longhorn Network is worth $300 million over 20 years. The Jayhawk Network added some $6.5 million to Kansas’ coffers in 2012, according to federal papers filed by the university.
You have to admire Coach Mark Turgeon’s refreshing candor about the Maryland men’s basketball team. People in his line of work rarely tell it like it is. But Turgeon is more interested in the product than the spin. And in only his second season of a rebuilding project, Turgeon is too busy to waste time making excuses.
The straight talk continued after the Terrapins pulled off their biggest victory since Gary Williams and Greivis Vasquez partnered to produce fun times in College Park. Alex Len’s tip-in off an air-balled shot by Pe’Shon Howard with 0.9 of a second to play Wednesday night was the difference in Maryland’s 51-50 upset of No. 14 North Carolina State. Students rushed the court, players hugged, everyone danced — and then Turgeon provided some needed perspective.
Northwestern and Illinois were both looking to bounce back from bad blowouts Thursday night, games where neither team could shoot or play defense.
Only the Wildcats improved, extending No. 23 Illinois' losing streak to three games while handing the Illini a 68-54 home loss in Champaign that could cost them their Top 25 ranking.
The UCLA Bruins who came into this season young and inexperienced are finally melding together.
Shabazz Muhammad scored 21 points, fellow freshman Kyle Anderson added 17 and No. 24 UCLA defeated Oregon State 74-64 on Thursday night, the Bruins' 10th consecutive victory.
No. 3 Duke figured the best way to win without Ryan Kelly was to play to its other strengths. That meant Seth Curry hitting from long range and Mason Plumlee converting from much closer.
Curry scored 24 points and matched a career high with six 3-pointers in the Blue Devils’ 73-57 win over Georgia Tech on Thursday night.
Plumlee finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds after going just 2 for 12 during an awful first half, and Duke (16-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) shot 53 percent from the field over the final 20 minutes to bounce back from its only loss and snap a three-game losing streak when playing without the injured Kelly.
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Sure, he’s got the ballhandling skills, the ability to dribble past any defender, creating space on the perimeter or slicing a pass through the defense for an assist.
No doubt Frankamp’s offense snatches any spotlight. Thursday was no different as he scored 38 points in a 67-32 win over Buhler in the first round of the Dodge City Tournament of Champions. North, ranked third in coaches’ association Class 6A rankings, improved to 9-0.
Frankamp, though, showed his defensive quickness and ability to anticipate by getting a game-high seven steals.
“I feel like (our defense) is probably the main part of our team,” said Frankamp, whose team forced 21 turnovers. “We work on it the most in practice. We have some quick guards, and we try to get some steals and some run-outs.
“Our defense gets our guys easy buckets and gets them into the game, gets them in the flow of the game and gets our confidence up on the defensive end.”
North will play Scott City, a 58-45 winner over Derby, at 7 Friday.
Frankamp had two steals and Tarius Williams and Sean Bernard each had one in the first 3:40 against Buhler (1-8) as North raced to a 10-2 lead.
North’s offense was stellar, as well, as the Redskins shot 58 percent from the field. Frankamp, who scored more than 30 for the eighth time this season, shot 16 of 25 from the floor, making 6 of 12 three-pointers.
He has 1,959 career points and is second in City League history, trailing Heights graduate Perry Ellis by 272 points.
Frankamp made three straight threes in the first period despite Buhler’s attempts to smother him.
“His range is so deep out front,” North coach Gary Squires said. “He shot some long, big threes, and I think that’s where they’re not used to that. You can’t work on that in practice.”
Frankamp, who was named a McDonald’s All-American game nominee on Thursday, had 23 points at the half, hitting 9 of 14 shots. He missed his first three shots of the second half, but made three straight in the final 1:32 of the third quarter. He then made 4 of 5 shots before being taken out with 3:57 remaining.
Conner Frankamp made his welcome to southwest Kansas with the rest of the Wichita North Redskins also saying 'Howdy' in a huge way. Frankamp scored 38 points and the other Redskins put on a defensive clinic in a 67-32 victory over the Buhler Crusaders in a first round game of the 70th Tournament of Champions at United Wireless Arena. Frankamp was 16-of-25 and made six 3-pointers as he outscored the Crusaders by himself. The Kansas recruit scored 23 points in the first half and said he felt very comfortable on a court he hadn't played on before Thursday. "I like this court," Frankamp said about the facilities. "I came out and got a good workout and just tried to get used to the rim."
North vs Buhler game video
North vs Scott City Live Stream tonight
The Colquitt County High boys basketball team will take a shot at knocking off the top-ranked team in Class AAAAAA when Tift County visits today to play on the William Bryant Court at the Gladys Espy Gymnasium.
The Blue Devils, 12-2 overall and 4-0 in Region 1-AAAAAA, are ranked No. 1 Class AAAAAA by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Tift has not lost to a Georgia school this season, falling only to Long Beach (Calif.) Poly 62-55 and Callaway, Miss., 59-43 in the City of Palms Classic held last month in Fort Myers, Fla.
The Blue Devils have breezed through their region schedule, defeating Brunswick 82-72; Camden County 90-47; Lowndes 59-46; and Coffee 84-67.
On Tuesday, Tift County knocked off Westover 87-77, its sixth victory in a row.
The Blue Devils were led by 6-foot-6 senior Brannen Greene, who had 37 points.
Greene, who transferred to Tift County this school year, has already committed to Kansas.
The Packers are 3-9 overall and 1-4 in the region and are in the midst of a four-game losing streak, including a 54-48 defeat at the hands of Lowndes on Tuesday.
Hoophall Classic (Wayne Selden's team Sunday 10 am, B. Greene's team vs St Anthony's Monday 10 am. Times are Eastern.)
OK, so of course you guys want to know about my recruitment, right?
Well, I’m really excited about my trip to N.C. State next weekend. I’m taking my official and I know it’s gonna be off the chain. My boy Rodney Purvis texted me this morning and told me that they really needed me for next year and how good we would be if I come there. I’ve been listening to him. I’m excited to get down there because State has really been doing their thing this season.
They had the big win over Duke and it shows how much they’re growing as a program. Coach Early from State actually came out to my school today for my workout and we had a really good talk about things. He was basically telling me about how I could come in and play a role similar to the one C.J. Leslie has been playing this year. He said he thinks I’m the missing piece that they need. I like Coach Early and Coach (Mark) Gottfried. They’re real cool and they come at me pretty hard.
I know State plays UNC when I’m there and I already told you guys that I’ve got N.C. State winning that game. That hasn’t changed. They’re playing too good right now.
I’m looking forward to seeing everything that the school has to offer. The first time I visited N.C. State I was in and out. I didn’t get to really experience the campus, but I plan to get a good feel for what life would be like if I came there. I know the coaches and Rod will show me everything and then some.
I can’t wait to get down there.
After that I’ve got my visits to Kansas and Texas in February so I know those will be ridiculous too.
You wouldn’t expect Kansas to be a live place to be, but I’m telling you, the Kansas fans are crazy! I cannot wait to get down there for that visit. I know it’s gonna be crazy.
Then with Texas, that’s home and I’ve been there the most. People forget just a few years ago they were the No. 1 team in the country. They’re just young, but I know that’s a place that I could go and make a run at a national title. Just seeing the impact that (Kevin) Durant had is big for me.
All of the coaches have been real good about checking on me throughout my rehab. That’s one thing I can say is that I’ve got great relationships with all of the coaches that are recruiting me.
Like, I talk to Coach (John) Calipari from time to time and he checks on me and checks on my mom, but I think the main reason we click is because we have similar mindsets. We’re both go-getters. We battle. We compete. I love that about him.
Then Coach (Bill) Self is one of the coolest guys I’ve talked to off the court. I love talking to him.
Julius Randle blog for USA Today
Julius Randle might play in the McDonald’s All-American Game after all.
The UK recruit, who suffered a broken foot during the second game of the season and has been sidelined since, was surprisingly on the list of McDonald’s nominees released Thursday.
In the past, the game’s organizers have had a stipulation that a player must play in 50 percent of his team’s games to qualify for the McDonald’s event. That language is no longer on the game’s website.
An email to the Herald-Leader on Thursday attributed to the McDonald’s Selection Committee said a player could be named to the game even if he played in less than 50 percent of his team’s games.
“The percentage of games played is a guideline during the selection process, but not a rule,” the email read. “The most important aspect is that the player is playing during the selection process (i.e. not injured). And if they are injured, that they are scheduled to return to finish the season.
“The Selection Committee and Chairman Morgan Wootten do evaluate each player and situation on an individual basis.”
…Carolyn Kyles, Randle’s mother, told the Herald-Leader on Thursday that Randle’s recovery is going better than expected. At the time of the injury, he was scheduled to return to the court sometime in later February or early March.
Kyles said she was thankful to the McDonald’s All-American organization that Randle will still have a chance to play.
“It’s an honor for Julius to still be considered,” she said. “As of last week, Julius is out of the boot and will start rehab next week. His doctor said he looks great and ahead of schedule. We’re taking it one day at a time.”
Randle — considered to be one of the two or three best players in the country — has narrowed his list of schools to UK, Texas, Florida, Kansas, N.C. State and Oklahoma. He is not expected to make a decision until after the season.
Whether it's the pursuit to land the final piece to the incoming class or stockpiling elite recruits for the future, college basketball coaches are prepared to battle the nation's other top recruiters in order to lock up high school basketball's elite players come signing day.
At RecruitingNation, we enjoy watching a good ol' recruiting battle, and that's why we've created #BlueChipBattles. We've constructed a list of the 10 most intriguing recruiting battles currently going on for elite hoop prospects and will make changes to the list as new information (official/unofficial visits, exceptional performances, trimmed lists and commitments/decommitments) becomes available.
ESPN (Might be $)
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