KUAD: Kansas hosts Stanford pregame notes
Quick Scout: Stanford has weird quirk
Getting to know: Stanford basketball
Former Kansas basketball guard and fan favorite Jerod Haase, who went 42-0 as a player in Allen Fieldhouse from 1994-97, on Saturday returns to KU’s tradition-rich building — this time as visiting head coach.
“It really hasn’t sunk in yet. I know it will be emotional. Hopefully I can get the team and myself to stay focused at the task at hand, (but) the number of memories and feelings about that place for me … it’s not possible to put into words. It will be exciting from that standpoint,” Haase said.
His first Stanford Cardinal team is off to a 6-2 start heading into a 2:30 p.m. tip against the No. 4-ranked (6-1) Jayhawks that will be shown live on ESPN.
“In terms of playing the game, there’s not as much excitement with that,” Haase added, with a laugh, acknowledging the difficulty for anybody playing the
…Cal transfer Haase was so beloved at KU — where he started 99 of 101 games in three seasons — he wrote a book about his playing days that was a huge success. The book, titled, “Floor Burns,” referenced a stat created by KU media relations officials in response to Haase’s propensity to dive on the floor for loose balls.
“That’s the cool part about Kansas,” Haase said. “There are so many beloved players. I don’t know if ‘beloved’ is the right word (for himself). I know I love Kansas and loved my time there.”
Haase will be accompanied on this trip by wife Mindy, who is from Lenexa, and their three children — Gavin (10), Garrett (7) and Gabrielle (4). There won’t be much time to tour the fieldhouse or visit with former friends, however. Stanford’s team, which opened the season with a victory over Harvard in China (a 6,000-mile trip) and also has played three games in Florida (wins over Seton Hall and Indiana State, a loss to Miami) is scheduled to arrive at 7 p.m. Friday and will not practice that evening.
“There’s a lot more similarities than differences to a typical Kansas team,” said Haase when asked for his quick thoughts on the 2016-17 Jayhawks. “They have a great deal of talent, they play hard, they’re athletic, their guard play is phenomenal and we’re gonna have to be able to handle pressure and handle the environment and those are tall tasks.
“To have a chance to compete in Allen Fieldhouse it’s going to have to be truly a full team effort.”
Few coaches who have come through here before have been able to say that with such intimate knowledge. And even though Haase will be making his first appearance against the Jayhawks as a head coach, it seemed as if it was supposed to happen sooner rather than later. Had he not elected to leave for Stanford, Haase would have been the head coach at UAB, which faced the Jayhawks in the CBE Classic last week.
“Pretty unique situation,” Haase said. “This was the year, I guess.”
Like his coach, former Kansas standout Jerod Haase, Stanford senior point guard Christian Sanders is quite familiar with Allen Fieldhouse.
“I am very excited. I grew up going to KU basketball games,” Sanders, son of former KU player Brad Sanders, said Friday in advance of Saturday’s KU-Stanford game.
“I understand what that environment is like. It is cool to go back. It’s fun to go where my dad played and where he spent a lot of hours and time,” added Christian Sanders, a starter who averages 3.6 points, 3.6 assists and 19.6 minutes for the (6-2) Cardinal.
Brad Sanders, who is a member of KU Endowment’s Board of Trustees, played in 91 games for KU coach Ted Owens’ Jayhawks from 1975-79. He hit 80 of 185 shots for 43.2 percent.
“It’s always been a dream of mine. I just didn’t know it would happen this way. We are really excited and look forward to it,” Brad Sanders said of watching his son play in Saturday’s game.
“Start with nervous, very nervous,” Brad added of his emotions. “We want the kids to play well, do well, compete and for Christian to play well, do well, compete. We are hopeful for them. (But) KU is KU.”
Depth enables Kansas to sometimes ride the hot hand of an unconventional leading scorer. A case in point came in the Jayhawks' most recent game when sophomore guard Lagerald Vick, in just his second career start, went 9 of 9 and netted a career-high 23 points.
"I don't think that Josh looks at it like, 'I'm glad everybody else is playing good, so that takes some pressure off of me,'" Self said. "I think (top-flight) kids look at it like I want all the pressure on me now.
"But it is an advantage to be able to have five guards out there that are all very capable and making plays and making shots."
Jackson is the tallest in that group, a 6-8 wing who can penetrate for points or assists, and also contribute with sticky hands on the defensive end.
The only time he failed to score in double figures was a nine-point performance in an overtime loss to Indiana to begin the season.
"Josh thinks of it like, 'I want to get as good as fast as I can,'" Self added. "I think he's shown unbelievable improvement. And he didn't have a bad game against Indiana."
…Stanford is coming off a 66-51 loss to No. 12 St. Mary's. The Cardinal led 30-26 at halftime but shot just 28 percent from the field in the second half and made just one 3-pointer.
"They came out more enthused than we did," Stanford coach Jerod Haase said.
Additional enthusiasm might not be enough for Stanford to upset Kansas, especially considering the Jayhawks are riding a 46-game home winning streak, which is tops in the country.
Twelve straight Big 12 regular season titles. The nation’s longest active home court winning streak (45 games). And just this season, the distinction of becoming the winningest coach in Allen Fieldhouse history (209 victories and counting).
With all Bill Self has accomplished in Lawrence, it may come as a bit of a surprise to learn the Kansas basketball coach admits he hasn’t come close to the level of success he believes he should have achieved his first 13 completed seasons.
“Well, first of all, we haven’t accomplished near as much as what we think we should have,” Self said in a Wednesday afternoon radio interview with The Jim Rome Show. “I mean, we’ve had some good players here and we’ve come up short in the NCAA Tournament, and certainly multiple times where we felt maybe that team would have a realistic shot at cutting down nets again, so that’s always a motivation.”
…Self acknowledged he will have a hard time being satisfied until he can call himself a multi-time national champion.
“You know, to think how special it was to win one, I can’t imagine how great it would be to win two,” Self said. “So that is the motivation all the time — not only for me but for staff, for players, everything — is to try to bring home another national championship.”
All of that, though, is months away. For the moment, Self is still in the feeling out process with a No. 4-ranked Jayhawks (6-1) squad he said is still developing chemistry and an identity ahead of its eighth game of the season, a 2:30 p.m. Saturday contest against Stanford (6-1) at Allen Fieldhouse.
“You know, this team’s chemistry had a chance to be good, but it’s not great yet,” Self said. “But that’s what’s exciting to me. We’re still figuring each other out and learning how to play with each other and I do think there’s a mindset that we could become very, very good defensively and we can get a lot tougher. So if that’s the case, I like where we’re at, because certainly there’s a lot of room for improvement.”
While Self is on record wanting much more out of his forwards and starting center Udoka Azubuike, he used an analogy to explain how the unit doesn’t necessarily have to score to make an impact — or for the team to have a strong scoring presence in the paint.
“Nose guards (in the NFL), do they ever make any tackles?” Self asked Thursday. “No, because they get double teamed every snap. But if they can take on two people … then that opens up other people in the lanes to make tackles.
“I was always amazed by that — guys make the Pro Bowl and they have 27 tackles for the season. But they cause total disruption, and I think big guys (in basketball) can do that, too, by forcing double teams, by being great sealers.”
During the Jayhawks’ preseason, Self said Bragg was in the midst of “a funk,” and that funk seems to have extended into the team’s first seven regular-season contests. Bragg averaged 18.6 minutes and 3.2 fouls in his five starts, the final two an uninspiring stretch in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic at Sprint Center where he scored eight combined points.
There are encouraging signs for Bragg, though — he is shooting 56.4 percent from the field, and in the second half of Tuesday night’s victory over Long Beach State, he brought in six rebounds in 10 minutes.
Self, who has said he doesn’t believe KU’s current starting lineup will be permanent, said Bragg’s performance against LBSU was an important one and a possible confidence booster for a player he still believes is key to the Jayhawks’ long-term goals.
“He’s a great, great, great kid,” Self said. “He’s gone through a little bit of stuff that I don’t know if it’s stuff that’s really started out small and somehow got a little bit bigger or if confidence is involved or whatnot, but he made some good plays in the second half certainly that I think should give him some confidence, and they were real plays.
“I mean, it wasn’t like he locked into plays. He did a great job on the glass. He made a couple of face-up shots, which is what he does best. I thought he did some really nice things.”
For 13 years, you’ve built a team that has dominated teams with post players. You’ve used spacing and angles to get those guys easy shots, racked up 12 conference titles in a row and never had to stray too much from the offensive principles that have worked year after year.
Then ... this year happens. Your best players are guards, and it becomes apparent early that “small ball” — a four-guard attack — will need to be a major part of your team’s identity.
…So what was most important? Self and his staff wanted movement, but also opportunities to get to the offensive glass; specific roles for each player, but also freedom where guards could freelance to create for themselves or others.
These concepts formed KU’s new “four game,” a mixture of the weave and high ball screens that Self has called most frequently with his small lineup on the floor.
So how has it worked?
Let’s look at some of the play’s successes from early in the season.
BIG 12/COLLEGE NEWS
Texas rallies to defeat Alabama in Big 12-SEC Challenge
Kerwin Roach, Jr. tallied 16 points to lead five Texas players in double-figure scoring as the Longhorns roared from behind early in the second half and then held on for a 77-68 victory over Alabama on Friday at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas, as part of the Big 12-SEC Challenge.
Texas opened the second half with a 19-6 run that allowed it to erase a 12-point halftime deficit and take a 45-44 lead with 12:47 to play.
It was exhilarating to watch UCLA's electric style of basketball in the championship game of the Wooden Legacy on Sunday. Led by sensational freshman Lonzo Ball, the Bruins put on a show as they defeated Texas A&M 74-67 to improve to 7-0 this season.
As exciting as UCLA's play was on the court, it was just as depressing there was no one there to see it. The championship game of the Wooden Legacy, named after the Bruins' iconic coach, was played at Anaheim's Honda Center, less than 50 miles from UCLA's Westwood campus, but there appeared to be fewer than 4,000 in attendance at the 18,000-seat arena.
In that setting, I had to wonder why UCLA should still be considered college basketball royalty.
Among the high major programs in college basketball, there is a special, even-more select group. I call it the Uber Elite. Some refer to it as the Super-High Major.
Whatever you call it, it is the top of the food chain in a sport that has traditionally put five schools above all others. That group is, in no particular order, North Carolina, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and UCLA -- the latter of which has 11 NCAA Tournament championships, more than any other school.
Those storied programs are considered college basketball's royalty and command respect. They all can recruit nationally, should dominate locally and coaches consider them to be destination jobs.
…Meanwhile, since the NCAA Tournament expanded in 1983, UCLA has won just one NCAA title while advancing to four Final Fours. That's one national semifinal every eight years, on average, and even that's deceiving because three of them came in consecutive years from 2006-08 -- the only real stretch of elite play in the last three-plus decades. Yet alums and fans alike carry an air of arrogance that would suggest they're in the national title conversation year in and year out.
…The mystique of UCLA was created during a time in which the Bruins were committed to basketball and most programs were not. In the 1960s and early 1970s, UCLA dominated the western states and seldom competed nationally by only playing a game here or there against a team not from form the West and in the NCAA Final Four.
Meanwhile, others caught up and have passed the Bruins, and UCLA fans who do not truly support their program in any way other than clinging to some past glory they never personally experienced wonder why.
Is UCLA something special? Sure. But considering them amongst the Uber Elite of Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and North Carolina seems like a stretch.
Find out the tournament history for specific seeds, teams, coaches or conferences.
NCAA Tournament Brackets and History interactive tool
CBS Interactive Tool: Pick two teams to compare record, RPI and SOS details head to head. By default, the top two teams in RPI are shown.
Big 12 Composite Schedule & Results
The Marshall County Hoop Fest is back this weekend, and the schedule for the annual event in Benton, Ky., once again features several of the top national prospects in high school basketball. (Billy Preston w/Oak Hill)
Trae Young, the 6-foot-2 point guard from Norman (OK) North and MoKan Elite, is targeting a college decision in early 2017.
Young, who won the Peach Jam with MoKan Elite and then captured a gold medal with the USA U18 team at the FIBA Americas Championship, is focusing on Oklahoma, Kansas, Oklahoma State and Kentucky.
Kansas went four deep with head coach Bill Self and three assistants on Saturday night when Young went for 33 points in Norman North’s 65-55 loss to 2017 Kansas commit Marcus Garrett and Dallas (TX) Skyline at the Thanksgiving Hoopfest in Duncanville, Texas. /78528705/ZAGSBLOG-Multisize-300x250_BTF2 Meantime, Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger and an assistant were on hand, as were Oklahoma State head coach Brad Underwood and assistant Mike Boynton. “It means a lot,” Young told Jaki Goldner of FloHoops. “Some of the schools had practice [Saturday] morning and made the trip up here. The whole staff came so it showed a lot.
“I’m getting near to the end of my recruitment and I’m starting to look at these teams play and come to a conclusion what school I want to choose so it was a really big thing for them to come out and I’m really happy for that.”
The Hoops Festival features five teams ranked in the latest Super 25 boys basketball rankings, including No. 6 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), No. 8 Westtown (West Chester, Pa.), No. 12 DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.), No. 15 Gray Collegiate (Columbia, S.C.) and No. 17 Wheeler (Ga.).
The event also includes American Family Insurance ALL-USA Preseason selections Mohamed Bamba and Cameron Reddish (Westtown), Trevon Duval (IMG Academy) and Collin Sexton (Pebblebrook; Mableton, Ga.).
“The D.C. area has both the best high school basketball teams and the best high school basketball fans in the country,” Zach Leonsis, Monumental Sports Network’s vice president and general manager, said in a statement. “Fans’ passion for sports extends beyond our city’s pro teams and really hits home through high school allegiances.”
The network said plans also include playoff coverage across D.C., Maryland and Virginia’s public and private schools, and comprehensive coverage of nationally known grassroots club teams and events based in the region.
Fans can watch all of the events live on Monumental Sports Network through monumentalsportsnetwork.com/hs.
Hours after taking his SATs, Hamidou Diallo makes the 150-mile trip south to his hometown in Queens, NY from Putnam, CT, for the weekend. It affords him the opportunity to clear his head and spend some quality time with family and friends before his final season of prep ball kicks off in about a week.
As he sits in his father’s silver Nissan sedan parked on the 99th Street side of the mega 20-building, 4,605-apartment complex known as LeFrak City—which is home to a diverse population of 14,000—he stares out the windshield toward the families entering and exiting the buildings he grew up in.
“There’s a lot of paths you can choose coming from here,” says Diallo. “It’s either you’re going to focus on being the best version of you or you’re just going to feed into the streets and let the streets suck you in. Basketball just helped me stay in the right lane and stay positive.”
…“I’ve been getting phone calls with people trying to tell me, ‘Make this choice. You always wanted to have a chance to go to the NBA,’” says Diallo, who as of early November has narrowed his college choice down to six schools: Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, UConn, Kentucky and Syracuse. “And then I got people telling me, ‘No, go to college and do that.’
“I definitely want to go to college. That’s my goal—it’s been since I was young. I don’t think I should skip a step but then again it’ll depend on what’s the right thing for me at the moment. So I’m just seeing how the process goes. I don’t want to rule anything out quite yet. I’m just happy to be in the position I am today. Hopefully one day soon I get to support my family from it.”
ESPN is coming to New Castle Fieldhouse in December for a high school basketball showcase featuring two of the state’s top players.
Defending Class 4A state champion New Albany will play LaLumiere on Dec. 15 at New Castle as part of a doubleheader televised on either ESPN or ESPN2. New Albany, ranked No. 18 nationally by ESPN, is led by junior star Romeo Langford. LaLumiere, ranked No. 1 by ESPN, is led by former Park Tudor standout and Michigan State recruit Jaren Jackson Jr.
The game will tip off at 7 p.m.
The second game of the doubleheader will match up No. 3 Sierra Canyon (Calif.) vs. No. 2 Oak Hill Academy. Sierra Canyon is led by junior Marvin Bagley Jr., while Oak Hill has top seniors Billy Preston, Matt Coleman and Lindell Wigginton. It will also be televised by ESPN or ESPN2.
Annual Late Night in the Phog
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60 Years of AFH Celebration
Legends of the Phog game
2011-12 Final Border War
KC Prep Invitational
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