2:15 p.m. (Central)
Coors Events Center (11,064)
Kansas leads 123-39
Dave O'Brien and Jimmy Dykes
KUAD: Kansas vs Colorado pregame notes
"Our scouting report went three pages deep with their personnel alone, because they've got a lot of guys in uniform who can play," CU head coach Tad Boyle said. "Andrew Wiggins is an unbelievable talent, but I look at Perry Ellis and what he did the last few times out for them. He's really a tough match-up. They are big guys on the block. They bring a 7-footer off the bench (Joel Embiid) who runs and is as good an athlete as there is in the country. I think Wayne Selden is a guy that's really, really a terrific player. He's a good team player who makes them better.
"I know Arizona has great personnel and UCLA has great personnel, but in terms of depth, I'm not sure we'll face a team on our regular season schedule as deep as KU and as talented as they are, but they're young."
CU has a young roster, with five freshmen in the regular rotation. Kansas coach Bill Self has seven freshmen among his top 12, however, including four among his top five scorers. Of the top nine scorers at KU, seven are either freshmen or sophomores.
…"We could open a lot more eyes," CU's Xavier Johnson said. "A lot of people have us to lose this game as underdogs. We just have to show everyone we're better than that and just play our game."
Boyle said CU's nine games to this point have not totally prepared the Buffs for facing Kansas, simply because they haven't played anyone near as good.
"Baylor had the athleticism and some of the length along the front line," Boyle said. "But, this will be the best team we've played so far. Not even close."
…Redshirt freshman forward Wesley Gordon missed practice on Thursday and Friday with an undisclosed injury. He is "day-to-day" and his status for Saturday's game was unknown as of Friday. Gordon has started all nine games, averaging 7.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game while leading the team with 12 blocks. ... The Buffs are trying to "Black Out" the Coors Events Center for the game, encouraging fans to wear black to support Boyle's team.
Sports fans are really amateur astronomers — stargazers — and Saturday they'll spot an incandescent comet shooting in Boulder, one not seen there since Dwight D. Eisenhower's second term. Call it the Kansas Comet — no, not Gale Sayers, though that blue blur bowled through Boulder back in his day — but the rarest of luminaries. See, Andrew Wiggins will be the greatest visiting basketball player to play in Boulder since 1958, when sure enough, another Jayhawk soared over Colorado — Wilt Chamberlain.
Yes, yes, Gail Goodrich, Kevin Durant and another Kansas star, Danny Manning, played a basketball game at Colorado. But if the Wiggins hyperbole is to one day shed its final five letters, we'll look back at Saturday as a "do-you-remember-when" day until we're gray.
After this game is over, though, we'll know a lot more about CU than we know about Andrew Wiggins. Can a rising Colorado squad play to the level of No. 6 Kansas? Can CU's own NBA prospect, the similarly sinewy Spencer Dinwiddie, hold his own against Wiggins? And will this be a Kansas road game or home game?
…There is a laid-back vibe in Boulder. In Lawrence, Kan., fans look at games like Sunday church. The onus is on the CU fans who complain that they're always a tier below the big boys. This is their day to make a statement (and if you're a CU student looking to sell your tickets to pay for some green leaves, at least sell it to someone wearing black, not blue).
…"Right now, Wiggins' game is all athleticism — it's a jaw-dropping quick-burst athleticism too, like a pogo stick that gets higher on a second bounce," an NBA scout said. "There are some flashes of a decent shooting touch — good from the midrange but a bit erratic from deep — and some defensive potential sprinkled on top. His biggest knock is that he's too passive, and I wholeheartedly agree with it. His athleticism and size for the wing could make him special — although he will have to get stronger. He's a twig right now. I'm not sold on him as the best player in this draft yet. I have yet to see him dominate and manhandle lesser teams the way great players have done in college."
It's December. I'm sure by March we'll be saying that Wiggins is the undisputable top pick in the 2014 draft, which will be the best draft class since LeBron's in 2003. And of course, Nuggets fans' second-favorite team is now whoever plays the Knicks, since Denver has dismal New York's 2014 first-round pick from the Carmelo Anthony trade. The Nuggets got Melo in the 2003 draft. Could you imagine if the Melo trade got them Wiggins?
Tad Boyle shook a lot of hands while greeting a batch of well-wishers before and after last year’s Colorado-Kansas University nonconference basketball game in Allen Fieldhouse.
“The KU fans were very gracious. Of course, it’s easy to be gracious when you are drilling us by 30,” cracked Boyle, a former KU basketball guard, who is now fourth-year coach of CU’s Buffaloes. “They were very nice, even though the Jayhawks on the floor were not very nice to us,” Boyle added.
Boyle — he played for Ted Owens and Larry Brown from 1981 to ‘85 — still winces when he thinks about his Buffaloes’ 90-54 loss to the Jayhawks last Dec. 8, in the first game of a two-year home-and-home series between the Pac-12 and Big 12 schools.
In fact, he quickly mentioned last year’s blowout when asked if CU junior standout Spencer Dinwiddie was looking forward to today’s 2:15 p.m. KU-CU rematch in Coors Events Center.
“Spencer is a special player. He has a bad taste in his mouth from Allen Fieldhouse last year. He is not the only one. We all do,” Boyle said of the 6-6 wing from Woodland Hills, Calif., who scored four points off 1-of-4 shooting in 21 minutes versus KU a year ago.
“Spencer is a competitive guy. He’s a terrific player in his own right. I know he’s chomping at the bit for this opportunity,” Boyle added of the NBA prospect, who takes a team-leading, 15.3 points-per-game scoring average into the game between the Buffs (8-1) and Jayhawks (6-1).
Boyle, who is 0-4 versus his alma mater (CU has dropped 19 straight to KU overall and 46 of 47), naturally seeks a “better game” this season.
“We didn’t put up much fight last year,” Boyle said. “I think the players we have on the team this year understand what they are getting into a little bit now.
“It’ll be fun,” Boyle added, dismissing the notion the game will be extra emotional for him. “I love KU. I’ve got great memories there. KU fans are special people, obviously special to me because I spent four of my most formative years of my life there in Lawrence.
“On this day, there’s no sentiment. I’m a Buff now. This is where I grew up (as high school standout in Greeley). This is where I work. It’d be the same if I was the coach anywhere playing KU. The fact I’m at Colorado ... another day at the office, but it’s a big day at the office.”
Bill Self knew they were quiet. Perry Ellis could go days without spitting out more than a dozen words. Andrew Wiggins is simply a “Call of Duty” guy, a code to designate Wiggins as the kind of player that, in the hours after practice, loves to disappear into the solitude of the popular video game. There are other examples, too, more young Kansas basketball players who display differing degrees of silence.
This is not all negative, of course. For a coach in charge of a much-scrutinized college program, there’s a comfort in knowing you’re coaching a bunch of homebodies. But earlier this week, as No. 6 Kansas returned to practice after an underwhelming week at the Battle 4 Atlantis, the thought hit Self once again.
“You don’t change personalities once they step on the court,” Self said. “If a guy is quiet, more than likely he’s probably going to be quiet. We’ve got some guys that are really, really, really quiet-type guys.”
For Self, who spent the last week talking about playing with the right kind of energy and toughness, the reserved personalities of his young players can be a significant sound barrier.
The Jayhawks are in the midst of a 29-day stretch without a game at Allen Fieldhouse, a place with a built-in, 16,300-watt energy source. But when Kansas tips off at Colorado on Saturday, Self will insert freshman guard Frank Mason into the starting lineup for Naadir Tharpe, adding another quiet voice to the fray.
“Frank doesn’t talk,” Self said. “But he’s been great.”
The grueling schedule will continue with a trip to No. 15 Florida on Tuesday, the first time KU has played back-to-back non-conference road games during Self’s Kansas tenure. In Boulder, which for years was home to Allen Fieldhouse West, they’re going to great lengths to keep KU fans out of the building. In other words, Kansas’ players will have to grow up away from home.
“Going and beating somebody else in their building where the deck is supposedly stacked against you from a crowd standpoint is what would spur me on,” Self said, “and that’s what we need to make sure spurs our players on.”
Still, in the aftermath of his team’s 2-1 trip to the Bahamas, Self wants to make one thing clear: Nothing is broken. Wiggins may be doing too much thinking instead of playing, Self says, and the KU defense may be allowing the highest field-goal percentage of his tenure (41.7 percent), but some of the issues appear to be symptoms of youth.
…Self believes that freshman guard Wayne Selden can become more of a vocal leader and energy source, but for now, he’s still just finding his way, too. Self, of course, has been here before. Mario Chalmers didn’t talk much. Neither did Brandon Rush. In fact, he was a video-game guy, too.
“That team won a national championship,” Self said, “but they didn’t win it as freshmen. We started out 3-4 and 12-6 and that kind of stuff … until the light kind of came on in a lot of different areas.
“Hopefully this team doesn’t have to lose games to have the light come on. But I do think that that’s something (where) we have to get much more verbal.”
Nose stuffy and burning and i keep coughing
No. 1, I think he's rewarding Mason and I think Mason deserves to be rewarded. He's played beyond his years, been one of the tougher players on the team thus far — if not the toughest — and shown that he brings an extra dynamic to the floor that KU really benefits from at this point in the season.
No. 2, I think Self is making this move now because he believes Tharpe can take it. Remember last year when everyone was saying that Tharpe should be starting ahead of Elijah Johnson later in the season? I think one of the big reasons Self never pulled the trigger was because sending Johnson to the bench might have lost him for the season. In this case, I'm guessing Self believes that Tharpe will be able to keep his head in there and still serve a key role as the team's sixth or seventh man. If that's true, Tharpe deserves credit, not criticism.
When people first began speculating on whether the move would or should be made, my opinion was that it was too soon. My read was this: Mason's a stud. He deserves to play more and he should be out there a ton of minutes. But you don't have to start a guy to make that happen. Remember that old adage... "It's not who starts the game, but who finishes it that matters." Besides, Mason's been great with the role he's been in so why risk changing that by putting the pressure tag of "starter" on him?
That was a couple of weeks ago, though, and things have changed since then. Tharpe's played a couple of poor games, made more than a few bad decisions and not looked like the confident, solid player I've always known him to be.
So, from where I sit, I think the move could benefit KU tremendously. But that's as much because I believe Tharpe can handle it as I believe Mason deserves it. And that's just one of the reasons the #TharpeFanClub exists in the first place.
Turn in your memberships if you want, but don't be surprised if Tharpe delivers plays as the season goes on that make you wish you hadn't.
This is truly a coin-flip game, and I can see reasons not to like it from KU's perspective.
For one, like Villanova, CU's defense tends to allow a lot of 3-pointers. Early on, KU has been hesitant to take and unlikely to make those 3s. The trend could change quickly, but so far, KU hasn't been able to make sagging defenses pay from the outside.
Consider also that KU has won 19 straight in the series, and Buffs fans should be especially amped. Not only that, studies have shown the best college basketball home-court advantage doesn't come from fans, but instead comes from teams playing in high altitude. CU has that going for it as well.
After saying all that, I'm still picking KU ... though not by much. It seems likely to me that KU manages a split of the next two games, and I like the Jayhawks' chances more with a week of practice in an arena that will still have some rowdy KU fans lingering.
KU 75, Colorado 73
12/7/13, 1:07 AM
Early prediction: Colorado beats Kansas and @GoodmanESPN finds a scout to call Wiggins a "borderline second-round pick."
12/7/13, 1:04 AM
Colorado is favored to beat Kansas tomorrow. So, yes, that’s a nice win for BU. RT @jrstp: @GaryParrishCBS Wow. Colorado is a nice win now?
So, KU's got the best coaching and biggest upside. OSU has the best roster and now, Baylor has the best win.
12/7/13, 12:11 AM
I can't wait until we convince ourselves Baylor can compete at Allen Fieldhouse and they get rolled by 20 as always.
Big 12/College News
With the @BaylorMBB win, #Big12/SECChallenge is clinched by #Big12MBB, 6-2. Two games remaining.
#Big12MBB is 13-4 (.765) against @SEC teams the last two years.
Really impressive coaching job by Scott Drew. Had his team ready. Best win of his career.
Big win for 20th ranked @BaylorMBB over 3rd ranked Kentucky.Can I just say AGAIN how good #Big12 hoops is going to be #BigMonday starts 1/13
Frank Martin had an up-close look at many of Oklahoma State's players when he was still coaching in the Big 12 at Kansas State.
The second-year South Carolina coach saw exactly how far the Cowboys have come since then on Friday night, when No. 9 Oklahoma State raced to a 79-52 victory over the Gamecocks.
Big XII composite schedule (includes results, highlights, stats)
ESPN College GameDay Schedule
2013-14 TV Schedule
2013-14 Early-season events schedule
Oubre scored the points in Findlay Prep’s 112-61 win over somebody called Options Academy.
Kelly Oubre Sr. said his son was motivated because teammate O’Shae Brissett “suffered a horrible knee injury just minutes before the game.”
“It was all for my brother @oshaebones , i’m praying for you family , see you soon soldier !! Love you lil bro,” Oubre Tweeted.
Oubre was one of the most impressive wings on the summer circuit and narrowed his choices to Kentucky and Kansas before selecting the Jayhawks.
With Andrew Wiggins headed to the NBA Draft, Oubre will slide into the wing spot in 2014 and should give coach Bill Self a capable scorer on the wing.
“He plays with the metabolism of a hummingbird,” New York recruiting expert Tom Konchalski told SNY.tv when Oubre committed. “He has extremely high energy. His motor is never off and he’s always in attack mode. He’s a left-hander who slices to the basket, has very quick second- and third- jump. Has a pretty good mid-game. He’s not a very consistent 3-point threat right now, and that’s something he has to work on. At his size, he’s a small forward, possibly even a two guard down the road. He has tremendous athleticism, which is only trumped by his energy level.
“He’s a winner. You look for holes in his game, but that’s like looking for blemishes in the Mona Lisa.”
12/6/13, 11:46 PM
CLIFF ALEXANDER will be playing tomorrow night! 🙌 let it be known, kill and rep the chi tomorrow night killa @humblekid11!
Cliff Alexander will play for Curie in the Chicago Elite Classic Saturday night, after all.
The IHSA reversed course Friday and determined the 6-foot-9 Kansas recruit can serve his one-game suspension during a Jan. 4 game in Michigan.
Alexander was supposed to sit out Curie’s next game after receiving two technical fouls Sunday night against St. Rita.
Pointing to its bylaws, the IHSA said Thursday Alexander’s suspension must be served during a previously scheduled game.
That was going to be Friday in Kentucky, but Curie’s appearance there was cancelled due to the threat of bad weather.
IHSA executive director Marty Hickman released the following statement:
“We have a good relationship with the Sports Administration at Chicago Public Schools and have been having with discussions with (Director of CPS Sports Administration) Thomas Trotter since the cancellation occurred. I acknowledge that the student-athlete would have fulfilled the by-law requirement on Friday and been eligible to play Saturday if not for these unique circumstances with the weather. Clearly, the school and the student have no control over the weather.
“After reaching a decision regarding Saturday’s game, the next step was determining when the suspension would be served. Thomas (Trotter) and I concurred that the suspension needed to occur during a contest that was comparable with Friday’s game, which is how we settled on the Jan. 4 game.”
Curie will face Las Vegas Bishop Gorman and highly regarded 7-foot junior Stephen Zimmerman at 7:30 p.m. at UIC.
A year after falling in the Pattonville Tournament championship game in overtime, Chaminade came into Friday’s finale dead set on walking out with a win.
It wasn’t easy, but Chaminade eventually overwhelmed Metro Catholic Conference rival St. Louis U. High 57-45 to capture the title at Pattonville.
“Last year we came up short,” sophomore guard Jayson Tatum said. “We came out this year with a different mentality.”
The No. 1 team in the STLhighschoolsports.com large-schools rankings, Chaminade (3-0) had to bide its time before breaking away from a pesky SLUH (2-1). Tatum finished with 23 points but had to sit out a large part of the first half in foul trouble.
St Louis PD
Revised Hoopfest Saturday schedule
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