KUAD: Press conference, ISU preview, quotes, video
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We’re getting way ahead of ourselves, Kansas basketball coach Bill Self says, shaking his head. You can’t crown a conference champion in the second weekend of January.
It’s too early, he says, to be measuring the Jayhawks’ trophy case for more Big 12 crystal or wondering how many victories will be needed to secure another league title.
“We haven’t even played a game yet,” Self said.
But such are the problems when you are Self, the engineer of an unheard of Big 12 title streak, a run that last year reached eight straight regular-season championships. On Tuesday afternoon, the Jayhawks took the practice floor just more than 24 hours before beginning their charge toward another title. The path starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday against Iowa State, 10-3, at Allen Fieldhouse.
…In the KU locker room, the streak has been passed down from class to class, each new group motivated by a simple and fear-laden mantra:
“It can’t be us,” sophomore guard Naadir Tharpe said. “It can’t be us.”
When Tharpe arrived at Kansas, he heard the same thing from the Jayhawks’ veterans, including then senior guard Tyshawn Taylor, and now he’s among those passing along the message.
“Everybody always talks about not being that team,” Tharpe said. “You don’t want to be that team, the one that messes up the streak. How would that look?”
On Tuesday, when Self was asked about the Jayhawks’ ongoing streak, he turned the question into an opportunity to talk about Alabama football and coach Nick Saban, who won a third national title in four seasons on Monday night in the BCS National Championship Game.
For Self, it all made sense.
“That humbles you a little bit,” Self said. “To win three (national titles) in four years is a remarkable feat. So no matter what we’ve done here, locally — on the national scene, there’s a lot more to be done if we want to be considered elite.”
The Jayhawks’ remarkable run is approaching rarified status.
UCLA under John Wooden won 13 consecutive conference championships, a feat sometimes lost amid the Bruins’ seven straight national titles. Gonzaga won 11 straight league titles before last season, when St. Mary’s edged the ‘Zags by a game in the West Coast Conference standings.
The trick for Self is to spin the pressure that comes with constantly winning championships into a positive, rather than a negative. He’d prefer his players to think of winning a ninth title as an opportunity, rather than a responsibility.
“We have a chance to do something special. I think we all want to do that,” Self said. “But there’s also a responsibility that we don’t want to get our butts beat, and be the team that doesn’t do it. So I think we’re motivated both ways, to be quite candid.”
The Jayhawks are once again built for success. They have the nation’s top shot-blocker in Jeff Withey, one of the game’s dynamic freshman guards in Ben McLemore, and four senior starters — a rarity in the era of early NBA entrants — who played roles in taking the Jayhawks to the national title game last season.
They’re starting to click, too. After losing to Michigan State on a neutral floor in early November, the Jayhawks have rattled off 11 consecutive wins, along the way beating Ohio State on the road, routing Pac-12 contender Colorado and fending off a game challenge from Temple.
…“If we’re not the best in our league, we don’t deserve to be mentioned with the best in the country, is how I look at it,” Self said. “I don’t think our players in any way, shape or form are ever satisfied, or confident or relaxed, based on the Big 12, because that’s just part of the stepping-stone to get where you want to go.”
There’s a glittering disco ball standing in for the letter “O,” but other than that, the Kansas athletics-based website, "Withey Block Party" is all about intimidation.
It’s designed to hype Jayhawk center Jeff Withey’s best-in-the-nation ability to block, alter and stuff opponents’ shots.
No need, said Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, whose Cyclones (10-3) face No. 6 Kansas (12-1) in Wednesday’s 6 p.m. ESPNU-televised Big 12 opener for both teams in Lawrence.
“If you go in there and challenge Withey, he blocks it, and it’s a dunk on the other end,” Hoiberg said while reeling off reasons the Jayhawks are so stout at home. “I didn’t sleep much after watching the Colorado game (a 90-54 Kansas win last month). They just absolutely, from the jump ball — it was like there were eight guys out there.”
Withey, a legit seven-footer, flashes the most game-changing ability.
His 5.2 blocks-per-game average not only leads the NCAA, but also more than doubles the regular output of the Big 12’s second-best shot swatter, Cory Jefferson of Baylor (2.3).
And Withey has added a new wrinkle to his game.
He can score.
Withey averages 13.4 points per game — and commits a shockingly low 1.2 fouls each outing.
“He’s a force on the offensive end now, but still absolutely controls the game on the other end,” Hoiberg said.
The Jayhawks, who own a seven-game home win streak against ISU, exercise broader dominance within the walls of Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas has lost just eight Big 12 home games since the league’s inception in 1996-97.
The Cyclones notched three of those wins.
…The Cyclones are the only team in the country to score at least 70 points in every game this season and seek to end the Jayhawks’ 30-game home win streak.
“We’ve faced adversity before,” said Babb, whose team held a double-digit second-half lead last season at Lawrence before a 17-2 run doomed the upset bid. “It’s just another task.”
BOTTOM LINE: KU’s close call against Temple left one question: Will any Big 12 team be able to threaten KU at Allen Fieldhouse like that? The answer is probably yes. But it likely won’t happen against Iowa State as KU goes for its 31st straight win at home.
Curtis Stinson & Jamaal Tinsley not walking through that door. RT @TrevorOlson8: what are your thoughts about the Iowa State vs Kansas game?
“Everyone’s playing for second,” college basketball television analyst Fran Fraschilla said. “You can almost bank on Kansas being 9-0 at home.”
To be among runner-up contenders, providing the Jayhawks continue to mirror expectations, the Cyclones must have short memories.
Coach Fred Hoiberg will use anything bad that may happen Wednesday night as a teaching tool, because the next four games are winnable — against teams entering Tuesday with combined records of 1-3 in the Big 12 Conference and 32-21 overall.
“We’ll worry about that after this one,” Hoiberg said. “It’s important to play well and give yourself a chance. That’s the biggest thing on our minds at this point.”
…Iowa State’s Georges Niang packed his hook shot for his first visit to the 57-year-old facility in which he plays Wednesday. “It’s always with me,” the freshman said of the sweeping shot he shoots with either hand.
The 6-foot-7 Niang handles the ball well. He’s a shooter. He dives for loose balls.
“He’s a throwback player,” Hoiberg said. “He’s such a unique player to guard, because he can shoot it, he can drive it, he can pass, and he’s great in the block. There’s not a lot of guys that produce like he does.”
Coach of the year
Regardless what happens Wednesday night, Iowa State players can shake his hand on the way out of town.
“If you could pick one guy right now in college basketball to run a program, you could make argument to pick Bill Self over everyone else in the country,” Fraschilla said. “He’s a recruiter. He’s energized. He fits perfectly into the fabric of Kansas basketball.
“He’s a 5-to-7 point advantage every game.”
He’s a nice guy, too.
“He’s the next door neighbor that lets you borrow the lawn mower, and also helps you get it started,” Fraschilla said. “He might even mow your yard.”
…WHAT TO WATCH: The start. If Iowa State comes out of the locker room at the start of the game like it did the past two, then there is no way the Cyclones end Kansas’30-game Allen Fieldhouse winning streak. Iowa State trailed Yale 35-27 at the break of its last game, and led UMKC by just a point at half before winning by 15.
Des Moines Register
The Cyclones present some unusual matchups, with a 6-foot-6 forward who leads the Big 12 in rebouding (Melvin Ejim) and a 6-foot-7 guard, Utah transfer Will Clyburn, who can play in the post and averages 14.1 points.
“They turn the floor inside out, because they play their bigs on the perimeter, and they’ll be their post feeders to their guards that post with Clyburn and whatnot,” Self said. “That’s a little bit different.”
The Jayhawks insist they won’t overlook the Cyclones or any other Big 12 opponent, a mindset handed down from veterans to newcomers. This team features both extremes, from Travis Releford — a fifth-year senior who’s been around for half of KU’s title streak — to Ben McLemore, a redshirt freshman whose only exposure to Big 12 play came on the bench last season.
McLemore has yet to play in a Big 12 game, but he has a pretty good idea of what’s supposed to happen.
“Eight in a row is great,” McLemore said. “It won’t hurt to get another Big 12 championship here. I didn’t start it, but I would like to continue it.”
KU’s Tharpe and ISU’s Ejim were teammates at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire (2009-10).
“We won our conference and national championship together,” Tharpe said. “He’s a good player, a good guy who works real hard. He rebounds. He can step out and shoot the ball well.”
What used to be known as adjusted field goal percentage and now is called effective field goal percentage reveals so much more about a shooter’s value. It assigns 1.5 credits for a three, one for a two, which makes sense considering three is one and-a-half times greater than two.
Now that a player from the local college basketball powerhouse leads the nation in effective field goal percentage can everybody locally get on board at least?
Kansas senior guard Travis Releford, one of the worst shooters in the nation three games into the season, leads the country with an effective field goal percentage of .727. In the past 10 games, his effective field goal percentage is a remarkable .868. A player who shoots only two-point field goals would have to shoot .868 from the field to generate as many points per shot as Releford has in the past 10 games.
He missed his first 11 three-pointers of the season and is 18 for 27 since (.667). Take a moment to catch your breath from all the numbers. Now listen to some more. In the past four games, Releford has made 11 of 12 two-point field goals. In the past five games, he has made 11 of 13 three-pointers.
“Outrageous,” Kansas coach Bill Self said of Releford’s shooting since he shook a three-game, season-opening slump. “He’s shooting so well. He’s still taking wide-open, great shots. That’s the thing. You’re going to shoot a better percentage when you take good shots and he’s taken great shots.”
@ESPNAndyKatz just picked a Kansas-Michigan title game.
Once upon a time, there was a conversation that sounds like a fairy tale.
The ironic fact that it took place in the Land of Oz, otherwise known as Kansas, just makes it seem more whimsical.
Yet, Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick swears every word is true, despite no confirmation from the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion or even John Calipari.
It all began in 1983. ...
"I'm an assistant athletic director at the University of Kansas," said Hamrick. "We had just hired Larry Brown as the basketball coach. His first year was 1983-84. I was with Larry and a couple of other guys. ... Bob Hill, a longtime assistant there and John Calipari who was an assistant. We were sitting around at a fund-raising event and Larry had just gotten off the phone.
"He comes in and says, 'Guys, we're going to win a national championship here at Kansas.' And I say, 'That's great, Larry. What has gotten you so excited?' He said, 'I just hired a great assistant coach.' And I said, 'Who is it?' He says, 'His name is Ed Manning.'
"I was kind of puzzled about how an assistant coach was going to win a national championship for us. So, I said, 'How do you know him?' And Larry said, 'He played for me in the ABA.' I said, 'Where's he coaching now?' And he said, 'He's not coaching.' I said, 'What's he doing?' He said, 'He's working for a trucking company in Greensboro, N.C.'
"And I said, 'Wow, Larry, and this guy is going to help us win a national championship?' He said, 'Yep. He's got a son who is 6-foot-10 and is the best high school basketball player in America.' I said, 'What's his name?' He said, 'His name is Danny.'
"I could see those assistant coaches' eyes light up like Christmas trees. But I didn't know who Danny Manning was. I can remember Larry saying, 'I've got to get Danny Manning out of North Carolina. I've got to get him away from Dean Smith.'
"And Larry had been a great player at North Carolina. I don't think the people from North Carolina have ever forgiven Larry Brown.
"Danny was a junior, so Ed moved to Lawrence (Kan.) and Danny came with him. He played his senior year at Lawrence High School in '84, which was my last year at Kansas, and led them to a state championship.
"We would all go down and watch Danny play. He was just a phenomenal player and he was such a classy, classy kid. He reeked of 'Yes sir, no sir.'
"Then, Danny played at Kansas in 1985-86-87 and they won the national championship in '88. They were called 'Danny and the Miracles' and Danny was voted the outstanding player in the NCAA Tournament.
"But I will always remember the day that Larry Brown said, 'Guys, we're going to win a national championship here at the University of Kansas.' "
That's quite a tale.
Yet, it becomes even more compelling when the ending is added. Twenty-five years later, Manning, Brown and Hamrick are all in Conference USA.
The pupil, Manning, out-coached the teacher, Brown, by leading Tulsa to a 48-47 win over SMU on Sunday. Next, Tulsa plays Marshall at 7 p.m., Wednesday, in the Henderson Center, giving Hamrick and Manning a chance to renew old acquaintances.
But the best part of this fairy tale come true?
They really did all live happily ever after.
After an 8-0 start, the Kansas Jayhawks have went 4-3 in their last seven with all three losses coming on the road.
The No. 17 ranked Jayhawks traveled to Stillwater, Okla., to square off against a top-25 team in Oklahoma State. The Cowboys were up to the task as they walked out of Gallagher-Iba Arena with their 12th win of the season in a 76-59 victory.
The Jayhawks had a tough time sinking a shot on consistent basis as they shot just 39.6 percent. Senior forward Carolyn Davis led the way with 14 points.
Only other Jayhawk to get to double-digit scoring was fellow senior guard Angel Goodrich as she put in 12 points along with eight assists. Goodrich managed to get points for her team, but saw just four of her 14 shots go through the nylon.
Leading the way of the bench were the trio of forwards —junior Tania Jackson, sophomore Chelsea Gardner and sophomore Asia Boyd— as they combined for 21 points. Gardner led the Jayhawks in rebounds as she nabbed seven off the bench.
Oklahoma State had a huge night from their starting five as they tallied 70 of the Pokes’ points with a game-high 24 points coming from sophomore forward Liz Donohoe. Donohoe went 7-of-10 from the field and also went a perfect 8-for-8 at the free throw line.
The starter’s pistol now has sounded on the Rock Chalk Park project.
Lawrence city commissioners on Tuesday gave approval to a pair of rezoning requests and a special use permit that will allow Kansas University and its private partners to move ahead with plans for a new track and field stadium, soccer field, softball stadium and other amenities on about 90 acres just north of Sixth Street and the South Lawrence Trafficway.
Now, the race is on to have the project ready to host the Kansas Relays in 2014.
“That is definitely our goal,” said Jim Marchiony, an associate athletic director for KU. “We’re very excited. This is an exciting time for both Kansas Athletics and the city of Lawrence. This will provide facilities for KU that can compete with facilities across the country.”
Tuesday’s votes, however, do not resolve all issues with the project. The votes do not yet commit the city to build a $25 million recreation center in the park. Commissioners won’t vote on that portion of the project until mid-February, when development agreements are finalized among KU entities, the city, and a group led by Lawrence businessman Thomas Fritzel, which will provide financing and construction services for the KU-related facilities.
But commissioners generally were enthusiastic about the project. The rezoning requests — which included 90 acres for the proposed Rock Chalk Park and another 20 acres that could be developed in the future — were approved unanimously. The special use permit was approved on a 4-1 vote, with City Commissioner Mike Amyx opposed. The special use permit plans showed the city’s proposed recreation center at 181,000 square feet with eight gyms and other amenities. Amyx has said he thinks that the city’s facility needs to be significantly smaller, and perhaps at another location.
Commissioners heard from several members of the public who urged the city to approve the project. The Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, the Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Lawrence-based Kansas Licensed Beverage Association — which represents bars and restaurants — issued formal endorsements of the projects.
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Patsy Sutton — the wife of former Oklahoma State basketball coach Eddie Sutton — has died at age 74.
Officials at Ninde Brookside Chapel say Patsy Sutton died Tuesday at a Tulsa hospital after suffering a stroke in December.
Patsy Sutton followed her husband to coaching stops at College of Southern Idaho, Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky and OSU. Eddie Sutton finished his career as interim coach at San Francisco while Patsy stayed home in Oklahoma.
She's survived by her sons — Tulsa banker Steve Sutton, Oral Roberts head coach Scott Sutton and ORU assistant Sean Sutton.
As a Texas Tech player checked out during the first half of the team’s game against Baylor on Tuesday, he was met at the sideline by coach Chris Walker, who delivered a simple, stern message.
The gist: Welcome to the Big 12 Conference.
The Red Raiders learned the hard way what it will take to compete in one of the nation’s top leagues, suffering an 82-48 trouncing at the hands of the Bears inside United Spirit Arena.
“It’s just our journey,” Walker said. “We can sit here and sugarcoat things however we want. It’s where we are. I don’t want to belabor the point about having new players. It’s our reality.”
That reality Tech demonstrated Tuesday is it simply isn’t in the same class at this point as a team like Baylor, which handed Tech its second-worst home loss inside United Spirit Arena. The worst came last season in an 81-46 loss to Kansas, which visits Lubbock at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Deshaun Thomas scored 22 points to lead No. 15 Ohio State to a 74-64 victory over Purdue on Tuesday night.
The angry Buckeyes (12-3, 2-1) rebounded from their first Big Ten loss by shooting 56.4 percent from the field. They took a 10-point halftime lead despite losing point guard Aaron Craft for all but 4:19 of the first half because of early foul trouble, and Buckeyes coach Thad Matta got his 100th Big Ten victory.
Barry Hinson sees only the good in every Missouri Valley Conference school. Maybe that’s not going far enough. He sees the great in every MVC school, sees their arenas packed and their players as deserving of more respect, and why in the world would Creighton consider leaving this group to play Seton Hall?
That is how Hinson sees the MVC, and for good reason. He is perhaps the nation’s most upbeat, homespun, say-what-you-feel coach and the Valley is the place he feels at home. He started coaching in the conference in 1999-2000 at Missouri State and saw almost every school hit a high point over the next nine years. After four seasons away, he is back as coach at Southern Illinois and absence made his Valley-of-Death-loving heart beat louder and prouder.
“You just fall in love with the passion of this conference,” he said. “We are a basketball conference, we always have been, and I don’t think we get enough credit. You’re sitting here with one of the best conferences in the nation, rest assuredly the best mid-major conference in the country.”
Growing up in Kansas City, there was a chance Trevor Releford would attend Missouri after being recruited by then-coach Mike Anderson.
Ending up at Alabama, he finally got the opportunity to play near family and friends on Tuesday night at his home-state school, which he says he wasn't close to attending. About 30 supporters watched Releford score a career-high 26 points and top 1,000 points for his career in an 84-68 loss to the 10th-ranked Tigers.
"I think it was a good opportunity to come back and play close to home and have my family come out and see me play," he said. "But I treated this game like any other SEC game. I just wanted to come in, get a win and worry about the next game after that."
Releford scored 19 points in the first half to top his average of 15.6. But he took just one shot over the first 8 1/2 minutes of the second half. The junior is the 46th player in school history to score 1,000 points but just the seventh with 1,000 points and 140 steals.
"I think they just played great discipline defense," Releford said of Missouri. "They helped each other, they talked, they communicated well. And I wasn't able to hit a couple shots I hit in the first half. I give it up to their 'D', they did a good job."
Missouri's Alex Oriakhi couldn't remember Releford's name afterward but said the guard, and his three 3-pointers, exploited a hole in the Tigers' perimeter defense.
@beccaneth: @JMcCay19 Are you at the Mizzou and Alabama game?” Yea baby
“@jhawk4life: @JMcCay19 are you in KU gear?” Of course Rock Chalk
Never has the Georgetown Men’s Basketball media guide received so much use just a mere thirteen games into a season.
Many of the stats and totals have been record breaking thus far in the 2012-13 campaign, but mostly for the wrong reasons.
There was that 37-36 victory over Tennessee on November 30th that proved to remind fans of an era long since gone, before the implementation of the shot clock.
A week later it was yet another offensive offensive performance, this time a 46-40 decision over Towson.
While the majority of the numbers being broken – or just even looked up – haven’t been aesthetically pleasing, the Hoyas had been finding a way to win those games. As a result Georgetown went from unranked to as high as No. 15 in the country – a position it held for a month.
So a few days after failing to score more than 50 points for already the third time of the season, a 49-48 loss to Marquette in their Big East opener, 19th ranked Georgetown set some serious history on Tuesday night.
Pittsburgh continued its recent road dominance over Georgetown by defeating the Hoyas 73-45.
Even though the Panthers previous two trips to the Verizon Center had produced wins of 16 and 15 respectively, it was hard to see such a record breaking blowout in the works.
It was the largest loss since John Thompson III took over in 2004.
But it’s bigger than that.
It was the largest conference loss for Georgetown since the creation of the Big East in 1979.
Still, it got worse.
The 28-point drubbing was the worst loss of any kind since a 104-71 loss to Maryland on Dec. 10, 1974.
The hits, they keep coming.
It was the most lopsided home defeat since December 7th, 1971.
To put that last date in perspective, it predates Georgetown Basketball as everybody currently knows it.
Wyoming senior guard Luke Martinez, who is out indefinitely with a broken bone in his right hand, sustained the injury in a bar fight, according to Laramie Police.
Cmdr. Mitchell Cushman told the Star-Tribune on Tuesday that Martinez, 22, was involved in a brawl at the Buckhorn Bar in downtown Laramie. The fight took place at about 2:30 a.m. on Dec. 30. It involved multiple people; some were injured.
"There was a number of people, and Luke was involved in that fight," Cushman said.
Cushman said multiple participants in the fight fled when police arrived. Martinez, however, stayed and talked with the officer who investigated the incident. Cushman said no charges have or will be filed. He said he had no other information about how the fight started at this time.
ESPN O'Neil: Season's First-half Winners and Losers
1/6/13, 4:10 PM
Josiah Turner was the #2 ranked PG in the nation 2 years ago. Got cut by the Halifax Rainmen of Canada's NBL. Talent aint everything, kids.
Sadly, I'm gonna miss high school when it's all over! Final few months to truly be a kid...
A cold-shooting Conner Frankamp is just what Bishop Carroll needed in the second half against visiting North on Tuesday night.
Frankamp made 9 of 11 shots in the first half, including 6 of 7 from three-point range as his 24 points was one more than Carroll scored by the break.
So when Frankamp didn’t make a second-half basket, that was Carroll’s chance.
The Eagles didn’t snatch that opportunity and North beat Carroll 61-43 to improve to 8-0.
North credited its defense.
“I think our defensive intensity picked up and they missed some shots,” North coach Gary Squires said.
Frankamp made his first jumper, which gave him 1,889 points to put him in second place in the City League for career scoring. He moved past Greg Dreiling and trails record-holder Perry Ellis by 310 points.
Frankamp thought his shot was there, so he decided to try a three-pointer. It was good.
“It’s always good to get that first one because it’s always a confidence boost,” Frankamp said.
But Frankamp missed all seven shots in the second half. He finished with 34 points, making 10 of 10 free throws in the final period. “I didn’t play very well in the second half, but my team did, and we got the win. We held the team to 43 points. That’s what we wanted. Mostly credit the defensive end.”
Frankamp had struggled in the first half of North’s win over Andover on Saturday at Koch Arena.
Squires wanted to make sure that didn’t happen again, so he ran sets specifically designed to get Frankamp shots.
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