6/7/12 10:46 AM
The athletic/basketball facilities on the KU Campus are beyond ridiculous. They didn't have this stuff when I was here! Hahaha.
Just toured the MBB Basketball Facilities (Locker Room, Film Room, Warm Up Room, Players Lounges, Shower Room). Better than NBA Facilities.
Thomas Robinson just told me he measured 6-8 3/4 with shoes. 7-3 wingspan and 5 percent body fat. Official measurements released tomorrow.
Thomas Robinson official measurement from the NBA Combine:
6' 7.75" socks 6' 8.75" shoes and 7' 3.25" wing 8' 10" reach
Thomas Robinson measures 6-9 with a crazy 7-3 wingspan today. That should end any concerns about his size at the 4
Height-wise, that's puts him a little bit on the short side, but his wingspan is very encouraging. At 7'3", Robinson has the same wingspan at the draft combine as Tyson Chandler, Tyrus Thomas, Andrew Bogut, and Kawhi Leonard. As we've discussed before, the Wizards struggled defensively at power forward last season. Based on today's results, Robinson should at least be well-equipped to defend his position.
The Kentucky forward is seen as the consensus No. 1 pick in the June 28 draft, and he sauntered into the interview room at the draft combine wearing a T-shirt that read "Check my stats." Davis wasn't asked about the meaning of the shirt, but Robinson wasn't afraid to share his thoughts when reporters inquired.
"If you wanted to check the stats, then I'd be the No. 1 pick easily -- if that's what you want to do," he said. "I should get one of those shirts. I'll get a shirt that says, 'Numbers don't lie.' "
Based on the tale of the tape, Robinson -- who could go as high as No. 2 to Charlotte but is widely considered a top five pick -- has a point. He averaged 17.7 points, 11.9 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game, while Davis averaged 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and an NCAA-leading 4.7 blocks. Robinson was then asked if he would be looking for revenge from any team that passes him in the draft.
"I'm going to go after every team that I step on the floor against," Robinson said. "There's really not going to be a specific team that I'm going to point out and just try to kill. I'm trying to kill everybody."
…The lack of an agent, interestingly, had a ripple effect on Davis' public presentation on Thursday. Because he has no agent, groups that typically help dress the prospects for this event -- like Jhoanna Alba of the fashion company Alba -- were unable to establish a relationship with him and potentially become a partner. As a result, Davis wore the T-shirt that sparked Robinson's ire. Meanwhile, Robinson, a client of Alba's, was widely seen as the fashion winner of the day. He wore a sharp pairing of gray plaid slacks, white-with-brown-checks shirt and brown-with-orange knit tie.
The Charlotte Bobcats are shopping the second overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, according to multiple sources. They have yet to contact Thomas Robinson, who many had penciled in as the number two pick after Anthony Davis. On Thursday afternoon, the Bobcats met with a number of players who are projected in the middle of the first round, such as Tyler Zeller, which indicates that they could be looking to move down. The Bobcats don’t seem to be in love with anyone at this point, which means a different team could be selecting second on draft night.
With the fourth pick of the SLAMonline Mock Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select…
Thomas Robinson from Kansas.
Let me start off by saying that I don’t believe Thomas Robinson will still be available when the Cavs’ pick rolls around at No. 4. Brad Beal or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will probably be there most likely options. Maybe even Harrison Barnes will get some consideration. But with MKG and Beal both no longer on the market in SLAMonline’s 2012 Mock Draft, I think TRob would be the obvious choice here.
Although the Cavs saw some improvements this past season, they still finished with the third worst record in the League. And at times it looked like they could use an extra big in the paint, and yes also a wing! But Robinson’s can do a bit of the both.
Kansas point guard Tyshawn Taylor worked out for the Cavaliers about two weeks ago. While Kyrie Irving is entrenched as the starter, the Cavs could still be in the market for a backup.
Besides, Taylor is confident he can play either guard spot.
Taylor averaged 16.6 points and 4.8 assists in leading the Jayhawks to the national championship game. He is listed at 6-foot-3 and believes he can defend either guard position.
"They made it clear they want to be a defensive-minded team," Taylor said Thursday at the NBA combine. "They understand that's something I can bring to the table. With me being able to play the '1' and '2,' they don't see any conflicts. I understand Kyrie is their guy right now and that probably won't change for a while. There's no conflict. I could back him up or play beside him."
Akron Beacon Journal
One trip was enough for Kansas transfer Merv Lindsay.
On Thursday, Lindsay ended his recruiting visit to Albuquerque by giving the New Mexico men’s basketball assistant coach Duane Broussard and the Lobo staff the news it wanted to hear.
“I’m not taking any other visits,” Lindsay told the Journal on Thursday. “After talking to coach Broussard almost daily since I got my release form (from Kansas), they’ve been the most consistent. They set up a visit, and now I’m a Lobo.”
Lindsay, per NCAA transfer rules, must sit out the 2012-13 season and will be a sophomore in the 2013-14 season. The 6-foot-7 guard/forward averaged just 2.2 minutes and played in just 12 games last season as a freshman at Kansas.
He decided to look for a school where he would receive more playing time, and said he also “received interest from Oregon State, Stanford, Nevada-Reno and Denver, but New Mexico took control of the lead. They were calling the most, and they set it up the first (visit).”
Lindsay said he will attend summer school at UNM in early July. He is from Moreno Valley, Calif. Lindsay averaged 15.0 points, 10.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists a game for Canyon Springs High as a senior.
He said he’s not bothered by having to sit out this season.
“It’s not a year off, it’s a year to get better,” he said. “It’s a year to get better on the court, off the court, to get ahead of in classes and take advantage. I get an extra year in school.
“… It wasn’t frustrating at all (at KU). I feel like I learned a lot, I don’t regret my decision at all. We went to the national championship game. And even though I didn’t play in the game, I didn’t disappoint my team. …. I’ll still always be a Jayhawk — and be a Lobo at the same time.”
KU basketball season tickets are now on sale for the 2012-13 season. The deadline to order and make a minimum pledge of $100 to the Williams Fund is July 20. Seat locations will be allocated at the Select-A-Seat event, which begins August 13. Season-ticket prices will remain the same for 2012-13, and all ticket packages include 20 home games – all 19 games in Allen Fieldhouse and one game in Sprint Center in Kansas City. Information is available at kuathletics.com or 800-34-HAWKS.
…“We have a great relationship with Colorado, plus we have 4,000 to 5,000 fans in Western Kansas. That’s an opportunity to see us play whenever we play in Boulder,” Self said of fans who likely will find tickets to the game during the 2013-14 season at Coors Events Center. This year’s game is in Allen Fieldhouse.
“It’s a great deal for us and our fans. We are playing a KU grad (CU coach Tad Boyle), who has done a remarkable job there in a short amount of time,” Self added.
As far as the nitty-gritty of the issue ...
“No one ever held Colorado responsible for them leaving the league. They did something they felt they had to do,” Self said. “There were so many rumors they could be left out in the cold, too. Everybody respected that without question. There are no hard feelings there. With the climate, the landscape at that particular time (summer, 2010), with all the talk about Texas, Oklahoma, A&M, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, all those schools going to the Pac-10 back then ... all the talk before that about Missouri and Nebraska going to the Big Ten ... Colorado was just making sure they had a conference affiliation. No hard feelings about that.”
Kansas University’s women’s basketball team will welcome two future Jayhawks to coach Bonnie Henrickson’s Elite Camp this weekend. They are: Jada Brown, a 6-foot senior forward from Las Vegas Centennial High, and Keyla Morgan, a 5-9 senior guard from Long Beach (Calif.) Poly Tech.
Brown is Nevada’s 2012 Gatorade Player of the Year.
Big 12/College News
The Junction City community was in mourning Thursday after learning of the loss of a prominent local family who died in an airplane crash in Florida.
Authorities said Junction City businessman Ronald Bramlage, 45, his wife, Becky, 43, and their four children were killed Thursday afternoon when a small plane bound for Junction City crashed in a swampy area of central Florida near Lake Wales.
The plane, coming from the Bahamas, was being piloted by Ron Bramlage and was carrying his wife and their three boys and girl. Roxanne, Beau, Boston and Brandon were going to be third, seventh, ninth and 10th graders, respectively, next year in Geary County Unified School District 475.
Ron was the grandson of the late Fred Bramlage, a 1935 graduate of Kansas State University and Junction City businessman. Fred Bramlage was the lead contributor to construction of Bramlage Coliseum, a multipurpose arena that opened in 1988 and is home to the K-State men’s and women’s basketball teams.
Becky Bramlage was president of the Geary County USD 475 board of education.
TCJ Condolences to the family and Wildcat Nation
Was Kentucky the most offensively balanced title team of this era? It's not the sort of question that can be definitively answered on deadline, and so I let it slide, but on a slow week in June, there was time to revisit it, build a dossier of data, and figure out where the Wildcats actually stand.
The most effective way to assess offensive balance is through possession usage -- the percent of possessions a player ends by making or missing a shot, or committing a turnover. A perfectly harmonious team would have a usage distribution of 20-20-20-20-20 across its lineup, while a team with a ballhog and four role players might have a 35-17-16-16-16 distribution. By applying a business-analysis formula called the Herfindahl Index, which typically measures market-share concentration, to basketball usage data, we can assess how much teams stray from that 20-20-20-20-20 model. The lower the Herfindahl (HHI), the more balanced a team is; the higher, the more unbalanced. Usage data is available for the past 16 champions, from Arizona's 1996-97 title team onward; while that doesn't exactly constitute an "era," it does provide a decent sample of modern-day champs.
For each team, I averaged two HHI figures -- one across the top five players in percentage of minutes played, and the other across the top six players -- to come up with a final balance score. (The complete chart doesn't appear until the end of the story, for the sake of suspense.) Counting down, these were the three most balanced title teams in the sample:
3. Kansas 2007-08
Top Six in Rotation (Poss%): Mario Chalmers (19.6), Brandon Rush (21.6), Russell Robinson (16.6), Darrell Arthur (24.1), Darnell Jackson (19.9), Sherron Collins (21.1)
Chalmers hit the biggest shot for these Jayhawks and played the most minutes, but he was the second-lowest possession-user in an unselfish rotation. It's incredibly rare to see a team with three NBA-prospect guards (Chalmers, Rush and Collins were all highly regarded at the time) with usage rates near 20.
…WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN No. 2 INSTEAD: Kansas 2011-12
Top Six in Rotation (Poss%): Tyshawn Taylor (27.6), Elijah Johnson (17.3), Thomas Robinson (29.5), Travis Releford (13.8), Jeff Withey (17.9), Conner Teahan (14.0)
This is my favorite footnote to the '11-12 season: Had the Jayhawks managed to upset Kentucky in the final, they would have gone down as the second-most unbalanced champs. Robinson and Taylor formed such a powerful offensive duarchy that everyone else was relegated to sub-18-percent roles. But they fell to a Kentucky D that keyed on T-Rob, and a Kentucky offense with such a multitude of options that it rendered defensive game-plans futile. On that Monday night in New Orleans, it was Doron Lamb who led the Wildcats in scoring, but really, it could have been any of their top six. While balance is not always better, when you are historically loaded with soon-to-be pros, and they are selfless enough to engage in a historically great balancing act, you have to like your odds.
SI Luke Winn
It's Coaches Week on ESPN.com and today we're going conference by conference to rank the best and worst coaching jobs, as voted on by 14 of our writers and television analysts.
A few important notes: This is not an attempt to rank the programs or their histories. A school's tradition was taken into account of course, but more emphasis was given to recent years, and how hard or easy it is for a new coach to win there. Current recruits don't remember much beyond, what, 2008?
When voting, our 14 panelists were asked to take into consideration facilities, expectation level, athletic budget, wins and losses, recruiting base, fan support/pressure, and all of the other factors that go into determining the "best" jobs in the ever-crazy profession of college basketball coaching.
In short: If you were an agent and every single job was open in a particular conference, where would you direct your client? Where would you tell him to avoid if there are better options?
There's no right or wrong answer of course. These rankings are very much up for debate, and we're sure you'll do so in the comments section. But at the very least, this polling of 14 people clued into the inner workings of college basketball offers a glimpse into how the coaching position at your favorite school is perceived on the national scene.
1. Kansas: Only a handful of programs in the country can match the Jayhawks when it comes to tradition, fan support and overall prestige. The job pays exceptionally well -- Bill Self makes $3 million -- and attracts national-level recruits on name alone. Allen Fieldhouse is the top home-court advantage in college basketball, which is one reason KU boasts a national-best 22 straight NCAA tournament appearances and eight consecutive Big 12 titles. Former coaches Larry Brown and Roy Williams are both in the Hall of Fame, and Self eventually will be, too.
Now that we've ranked the best jobs in every league in the country, how would we rank the best of the best -- the jobs every aspiring coach spends a lifetime pursuing? Consider what follows my humble attempt to do exactly that.
For the sake of consistency, I'm using the same criteria we established for our initial voting, which was laid out in the rankings (see above link): "This is not an attempt to rank the programs or their histories. … When voting, our 14 panelists were asked to take into consideration facilities, expectation level, athletic budget, wins and losses, recruiting base, fan support/pressure and all of the other factors that go into determining the 'best' jobs in the ever-crazy profession of college basketball coaching."
Based on that criteria, here's how I see the top 10 jobs in college basketball, from No. 10 to No. 1:
What do college prospects want? Luxe facilities? Sure. A pristine campus? It can't hurt. The chance to go pro? No question. But there are few things more potent in the recruiting game than a truly great home atmosphere -- and no other school in the country can offer the chance to earn a game-ending, goose-bump-raising "Rock Chalk Jayhawk" chant from the die-hards at Allen Fieldhouse. (I'm not sure how many 17-year-olds are impressed by the fact that James Naismith essentially invented college basketball at Kansas, or the fact that his 13 original rules exist permanently in the Phog, but it would certainly impress me.) Just as impressive, perhaps, is the frequency with which KU competes for national titles; it currently holds the active NCAA record for consecutive tournament appearances (23) and has won or shared the last eight Big 12 regular-season titles. If you go play at Kansas, you know two things. One: You're going to win. A lot. Two: You're going to do that winning in one of the greatest venues in sports, packed with one of the nation's best and most intense fan bases. What's not to love about this gig?
WVU won't officially switch conferences until July 1, when the school will sign papers to leave the Big East and join the Big 12, but the new fan shirts already reflect the change.
The gold-colored shirt features the WVU Mountaineer on the front. On the back is the Big 12 logo with a Flying WV logo superimposed.
2012-13 Early Season Events List
Last summer, Chris McCullough had a breakout performance during the July live period and established himself as a five-star prospect in the class of 2014.
What does he have in mind as an encore this summer?
“I need to work on my overall game,” McCullough said. “Getting stronger, working on my jump shot.”
McCullough, a 6-foot-9 New York native who attends Salisbury School (Conn.), is an extremely talented forward that uses his length and athleticism to make plays at both ends. He runs the floor well and can guard multiple positions. While McCullough's offensive game still needs refining, his ceiling is extremely high.
At the Pangos All-American Camp last weekend, McCullough simply attempted to make an impact with his effort level.
“I'm just playing hard, and that was my goal: to come and play hard,” he said.
In terms of recruitment, McCullough holds offers from Syracuse, Arizona, Kansas, Connecticut, St. John's, Iowa State, Providence, Rutgers, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Hofstra and Temple, while North Carolina is also showing interest.
The No. 9-ranked prospect plans on trimming his list in the next few months, and wants to take trips to Kansas and Miami (Fla.). For a rising junior, McCullough has already taken plenty of unofficial visits: Syracuse, Villanova, Arizona, Providence, Rutgers, St. John's, Iowa State, Seton Hall and Connecticut.
While McCullough has no official favorite, he did say that Syracuse, St. John's, Arizona and Kansas are coming at him the hardest.
“I have a good relationship with the coaches,” he said.
Five-star power forward Julius Randle headlined a trio of rising seniors selected as finalists for the USA Basketball U18 National Team on Thursday night.
Randle, a 6-foot-8, 235-pound product of Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas), is ranked No. 4 overall in the MaxPreps Class of 2013 Top 100. He joins point guard Nate Britt of Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) and forward Austin Nichols of Briarcrest Christian (Eads, Tenn.) as the only finalists with high school eligibility remaining.
Before the team competes in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship later this month in Brazil, the roster will be cut from 14 to 12. Billy Donovan of Florida is serving as head coach and assisted by Mark Few of Gonzaga and Shaka Smart of Virginia Commonwealth.
"I think it was very, very difficult for the committee to get this group narrowed down just because there were so many good players. I thought for the past three days their effort was great," Donovan said of training.
Sure, this weekend’s Rose City Showcase AAU boys basketball tournament has its share of national star power.
Chicago’s Jabari Parker, featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated last month as “the best high school basketball player since LeBron James,” and Marcus LoVett Jr., a California guard who set a state scoring record as a freshman last season, are among those committed to play in the eight-team Super 17s division.
But Canaan Chatman, organizer of the 10-year-old event, is just as excited about the quality of talent on the five teams from Oregon and Washington.
“This might be the first year I think we’ve got all of the local kids, which has always been a problem because the month of June has always been a summer-league month,” Chatman said.
The tournament, which begins Friday and ends Sunday, includes 155 of the top AAU boys teams from 9-and-under to 17-and-under at Lewis & Clark College, Beaverton Hoop YMCA and Beaverton Courts.
The Super 17s division will be played exclusively at Lewis & Clark College. Play begins with four games Friday, starting at 5:30 p.m., and finishes with the championship game at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
Spring/Summer Event Schedule
adidas Grassroots schedule
Nike EYBL Schedule
Check here for the NCAA Recruiting Calendar
My 2011-12 Border War, Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, KU Alumni games, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos and more now on Youtube