Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre Jr tonight!
Alexander, a Kansas-bound power forward who dunks often and with a lot of force, was a reluctant participant in the dunk contest Monday night. That's when the rim finally got the better of him.
Alexander hurt his wrist and sat out all but the first few minutes of practice Tuesday morning.
The injury was described as a small contusion/bruise by a representative of the games, and Alexander is expected to play.
The story line is fitting for a player who spent seemingly the entire season in the news.
"I started it," Alexander said following Monday's practice.
He was referring to the Illinois hat he picked up and put down before declaring himself a Jayhawk on national television.
Next were the two technical fouls — the second for hanging on the rim in traffic — that resulted in his ejection from Curie's game and automatic suspension for another.
Then there were the jaw-dropping plays that changed the narrative and lifted Curie to new heights that made its eventual fall that much harder.
Alexander averaged 24 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks while leading the Condors to a series of firsts: the No. 1 ranking in the Tribune, the Pontiac Holiday Tournament and city championships, a victory against the nation's No. 1 team on ESPNU and a two-game sweep of Simeon.
Alas, Curie was stripped of all 24 of its victories for using academically ineligible players. While the Condors were allowed to participate in the state tournament because the Illinois High School Association has different standards than Chicago Public Schools, they were beaten by DuSable in the first round in one of Illinois' biggest postseason upsets in years.
Officially, Curie went 0-26.
"It took me like two weeks to get over it, but I'm over it now," Alexander said. "It was amazing how our team came out and played this year. It was crazy how we were doing so good and it came to an end so quick. I've got to grow from it one step at a time."
SF: Justise Winslow (Duke) vs. Kelly Oubre(Kansas)
Winslow is arguably the best multiple-position defender in the class with his size and athletic ability, but he also can go into beast mode on offense by attacking the rim, posting up and getting others involved as well. Winslow will need all his physical gifts when competing against Oubre, a strong lefty scorer who is a highlight waiting to happen on all clear paths to the rim, not to mention his deep shooting range. This matchup has the potential to create some sparks when these two big wings go head-to-head.
PF: Cliff Alexander (Kansas) vs. Reid Travis(Stanford)
This power forward matchup would be the most physical. Both Alexander and Travis are true power forwards who have college-ready bodies and toughness. Alexander is a powerful and explosive freight train. He rebounds and finishes above the rim with a bad attitude, which is a good thing. He also protects the lane with his ability to move out offensive post-ups and his shot-blocking ability both on the ball and when he hunts down the ball from the weak side. Travis is similar on the glass and scores comfortably facing out to the midrange areas. Both players have rapidly developing skills as well. This matchup features furniture-moving strength, and there's little doubt both players will leave the game with some bruises.
C: Myles Turner (Undecided) vs. Jahlil Okafor (Duke)
The low-post scoring and paint dominance of Okafor and the floor-stretching skill and versatility of Turner will be on display in this one. This potential matchup features the No. 1 (Okafor) and No. 2 player (Turner) in the land. Okafor will anchor down in the lane and score with his length, width, hands and touch over both shoulders. Turner will score in and around the lane but is a pick-and-pop dream with range to the arc and when trailing on the break in a slow transition. Also expect to see powerful rebounds by Okafor and high-level shot-blocking ability by Turner. These two big fellas get it done at a high level in different ways, and it should be fun to watch who starts well and finishes strong.
ESPN($): McDonald game match ups to watch for
Myles Turner has heard the talk that his college choices are down to Kansas University or Texas.
It did not originate from Myles Turner, nor, the highly ranked basketball recruit said, any representatives of Myles Turner.
“There are three people in my circle and I keep it real tight,” Turner said, referring to himself and his parents. “Alternative sources, you never know what they might want out of it or who they know or what their ulterior motives are. Keeping a tight circle is very key in this whole process.”
Tuesday was Media Day leading up to tonight’s McDonald’s High School All-American Games, and it came as no surprise the cameras and notebooks flocked to the only uncommitted player in the group.
If the 6-foot-11 shot blocker with three-point shooting range handles college basketball as well as he did the attention, whoever lands Turner may not have him for long.
The Euless, Texas native answered every question eloquently and still managed to say very little.
His recent visits to Kansas and Texas have fueled speculation that it’s a two-horse race, but the No. 6-ranked prospect nationally by Rivals.com and Scout.com’s No. 2 prospect insisted that isn’t so.
“It is definitely a lot more open than that,” said Turner, who also visited Duke and Oklahoma State this winter and Ohio State in the fall. “People assume it’s Kansas and Texas because it’s close to home, it’s Big 12. I’m definitely looking at all my options. I don’t even know where I’m going.”
…“Every now and then (Ohio State recruit) D’Angelo Russell will talk about Ohio State, a couple guys from Duke will talk about it, Cliff and Kelly will talk about Kansas from time to time,” Turner said. “They’ll do little stupid things like, ‘If I make this shot, you have to commit to Ohio State.’ Stuff like that.”
Turner and a majority of the 24 McDonald’s All-Americans will also participate in the Jordan Brand Classic on April 18.
He said he will make his decision sometime after that.
“I’m going to let it come when it comes,” he said. “After the all-star games I’m going to sit down with my family and get it worked out.”
“The (coaches) talk to my parents,” Turner said. “Same with every school. I don’t really talk to schools.”
…If Embiid leaves, Turner would be a natural 7-foot rim protector to slot into the Jayhawks’ frontcourt. But if Embiid, a projected top-three pick, does come back …
“It wouldn’t rule them out initially,” Turner said. “But I’ve had talks with coach Self; he feels that if Jo comes back — he didn’t say (I would) ‘waste my time’, but he said I should really look other places.”
In the hazy world of recruiting, Turner appreciated Self’s honestly.
“He still feels like if I come in, the more the merrier,” Turner said. “The fact he was upfront with me shows a lot about his character.”
…Still, part of Turner’s decision to wait is practical. Three years ago, he was a skinny 6-foot-2 freshman about to experience a massive 4-inch growth spurt. One year ago, he was barely even in the top 100 of most national recruiting rankings. His father, David, who works in customer service at the Dallas/Fort Worth International airport, envisioned that his son could be a great player. But this was not on the radar.
“I came into the recruiting process quite late,” Turner said. “So I didn’t have an opportunity to develop a relationship with all the other coaches.”
But now he’s here, standing close to 7 feet. On Monday night, he took part in the McDonald’s three-point shooting contest, scoring 21 points in one round.
“I want to be able to have the post game of a (center),” Turner said. “But be able to step out some as well.”
Moments later, as Turner continued to talk, Oubre, a 6-foot-7 wing, walked passed Turner.
“KU!” he yelled.
All week long, Oubre and Alexander, KU’s two McDonald’s All-Americans, have hit Turner with some subtle selling points.
“It’d be nice to see him in KU blue,” Oubre said. “But if he doesn’t, I can’t be mad at him.”
“I told him: ‘Come be a Jayhawk,’ ” said Alexander, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Chicago. “Bill Self will get you ready.”
Anyone who thinks Myles Turner is automatic to Kansas if Embiid leaves is misinformed. Texas is in very strong. SMU is getting there, too.
Good news. ESPN2 will broadcast the @nikehoopsummit April 12th at 7pm EST. The excellent @franfraschilla and @PaulBiancardi are on the mic.
adidas Uprising Spring/Summer Events
My Late Night in the Phog videos, KU Alumni games videos, 2011-12 Border War videos, Legends of the Phog videos, KC Prep Invitational, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos and more now on YouTube
bc I'm quite certain some ppl around here are interested - drake drops an "a wiggins" reference in his new song "draft day"
Southern Methodist Coach Larry Brown recently referred to his tenure as Knicks coach during the 2005-6 season as “humiliating.”
The top-seeded Mustangs made their Brooklyn-bred coach proud to be back at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday when they defeated third-seeded Clemson, 65-59, in a National Invitation Tournament semifinal.
The 6-foot-9 sophomore forward Markus Kennedy scored a game-high 21 points for S.M.U.
After Clemson’s Rod Hall hit two free throws to cut the Mustangs’ lead to 60-59 with nine seconds remaining, Kennedy leaked out behind Clemson’s full-court press. Nic Moore hit him in stride to the basket for a layup, and he drew a foul. His free throw iced the game.
For S.M.U. (27-9), the N.I.T. has been about redemption. The Mustangs were not selected to the N.C.A.A. tournament despite winning 23 games and being ranked 25th in the nation.
“We haven’t had a lot of nice things happen at S.M.U. for a long, long time, so if we were fortunate enough to win a championship like this, and I was a part of it, it would be pretty neat,” Brown said.
When Brown left the court after the game, S.M.U.’s fans, from the alumni who made the trip from Dallas to the band members in their red-and-white candy-striped jackets, chanted, “Larry.”
“Everywhere we go, it’s standing ovations,” Kennedy said before the game. “I mean, everybody loves him.”
Former Kansas University basketball All-American Danny Manning, currently the head coach at Tulsa, met with Tulsa’s president and athletic director Tuesday afternoon amid reports he is a leading candidate to fill the Wake Forest head coaching vacancy.
“They are very much interested,” Manning told the Tulsa World, referring to Wake officials. He said he had a productive meeting with UT officials.
The World asked Manning when he is expected to make a decision on whether to leave Tulsa after two years.
“When I’m ready,” he said. “I’ll sit down. Turn my phone off. Turn off my email. Visit with my wife and family, and go from there.”
The World reported that TU is prepared to make Manning the first coach in program history to make as much as $1 million annually.
About the time Florida Gulf Coast University coach Joe Dooley was wrapping up the Eagles’ first workout since their season ended with a first-round NIT loss, ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman linked him to the Boston College job Tuesday afternoon.
It was no April Fools’ Day prank, but Dooley, who completes his first of a five-year contract on April 22, said there was no reason to take it seriously. Dooley said he has not spoken with Boston College representatives, and he doesn’t even have an agent.
“I don’t know anything about that,” said Dooley after meeting with rising senior point guard Brett Comer. “I’m here, I’m the coach here and that’s all we’re worried about.”
“Pay Heed. The game you love began here. Respect those who came before you. Make their legacy your own. Because destiny favors the dedicated. And rings don’t replace work. In this game you don’t get what you want. You get what you earn. We are Kansas. Together we rise. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!