It is not in Bill Self’s nature to tap the brake pedal or let off the throttle, even when common sense could dictate a brief rest, or when three Kansas regulars could sit out a regular-season finale that could mean little in the big picture.
No. 9 Kansas will travel to face No. 15 Oklahoma at 3 p.m. Saturday. The Jayhawks will do so with Cliff Alexander sidelined with an NCAA issue, leading scorer Perry Ellis out with a sprained right knee, and sophomore guard Wayne Selden hobbled by an ankle sprain. Kansas has already claimed outright ownership of an 11th straight Big 12 title, and the Jayhawks seem more or less locked into a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament — though that status could conceivably change in the next week.
Self, though, says he will not treat Saturday’s game as any sort of exhibition, resting his regulars for the March stretch run. Still, Kansas could find itself employing some new-look lineups with Ellis and Alexander out — and the status of Selden in question.
…“I do believe that if we play well from this point forward, we postured ourself to be a (two-seed) without question,” Self said. “And then depending if things don’t go well, then could we fall a line or two? Absolutely. So I’m not looking at it — I really hadn’t looked at it like that.”
For the moment, a bevy of questions hangs over Kansas as it enters its regular-season finale. Will Ellis’ knee strain limit him in March? Will Alexander ever return to action? Will the Jayhawks be rested for a grueling Big 12 tournament?
For now, though, the questions can wait. The Jayhawks are more concerned with finding a way to win on Saturday.
“We want to win,” Lucas said. “We’re not going there looking at the game any different. It’s just the ‘next man up’ mentality.”
“I don’t think we’re worried about it. Shots are going to fall,” KU freshman point guard Devonté Graham said of KU’s three-point shooting slump entering today’s Big 12 regular-season finale in Noble Center.
He was 0-for-1 and his teammates 0-for-14 from three in Tuesday’s 76-69 overtime win over West Virginia. The win gave KU (24-6, 13-4) the undisputed conference title and rendered today’s game against the Sooners (20-9, 11-6) somewhat meaningless.
“On that night (Tuesday), they just didn’t fall for us, but we found a way to win. We’ll be good moving forward,” Graham added.
KU enters today’s game tied with Baylor as the most accurate three-point-shooting team in the conference (38.5 percent mark). In league games only, KU ranks second at 37.9 percent to Baylor’s 40 percent mark.
“We’re not going down there hopeful to make that many or wishing to make that many (as in first meeting in Allen), but I would say this, without an inside post scorer like Perry (Ellis, knee sprain), without his ability to score in tight, I would say it would probably behoove us to make a couple of perimeter shots Saturday,” coach Bill Self said.
…Wayne Selden Jr., who sprained an ankle in Tuesday’s win over West Virginia, practiced on a limited basis on Friday and is listed as questionable for today’s game, Self said Friday. Ellis (sprained knee) is definitely out today, and Cliff Alexander (eligibility issue) figures to miss his third straight game, meaning KU could be without three starters.
However, the Council approved a rule that broadens the definition of agents to include third-party influences, including family members, who market student-athletes’ athletics ability or reputation for personal financial gain. The rule, sponsored by the Amateurism Cabinet, would include individuals who either directly or indirectly:
• Represent or attempt to represent a prospective or current student-athlete in the marketing of his or her athletics ability or reputation for financial gain; or
• Seek to obtain any type of financial gain or benefit from securing a prospect’s enrollment at an institution or a student-athlete’s potential earnings as a professional athlete.
The new definition would include certified contract advisors, financial advisors, marketing representatives, brand managers or anyone who is employed by or associated with such individuals.
Campbell-McGovern said the new rule was in line with the division’s principles and simply “closed a loophole.”
In the past, the agent definition applied generally to third parties marketing an athlete’s skills to a professional sports team. The new rule expands the definition to include people, including parents, marketing athletics skills to a collegiate institution for personal gain.
The rule is not intended to capture parents or legal guardians, athletics department staff members, former teammates or those individuals who have the best interests of a prospective student-athlete or student-athlete in mind from assisting or providing information to a prospective or enrolled student-athlete, provided they do not intend to receive a financial gain for their assistance.
Kansas University rallied from a 13-point first-half deficit to take a late lead, but Kansas State came up big down the stretch for a 57-49 victory Friday night in the first round of the Big 12 women’s basketball tournament.
KU went on a 26-8 run and claimed a 46-44 lead on a three-pointer by Lauren Aldridge with 4:29 remaining. But K-State outscored the Jayhawks 13-3 the rest of the game.
“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!
Big 12 / College News
The point guard from Montreal then came out hot from 3-point range to help offset a career night from Texas Tech's Devaugntah Williams, and fellow senior Royce O'Neale finished a stirring rally against the last-place Red Raiders.
Taurean Prince scored a career-high 24 points, Chery and Rico Gathers scored 18 apiece and the first of consecutive 3-pointers by O'Neale gave the Bears their first lead in the final 3 minutes after trailing by 12 in the second half of a 77-74 win over Texas Tech on Friday night.
"It's real tough when you're pressing," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "Everybody wanted to win for Royce. They wanted to win for Kenny. The only thing that I really got to credit is the perseverance to stay within the game because we could have gotten more frustrated and we didn't."
For awhile, James Fraschilla thought he’d be alone on his Senior Day.
He came in as the lone freshman for Oklahoma in his first season and has been with Sooners from their sub-.500 season, his first season, to contending for the Big 12 title until their next-to-last regular-season game as a senior.
Fraschilla won’t be honored alone Saturday afternoon before Oklahoma’s game against Kansas (3 p.m., ESPN). He’ll be joined by D.J. Bennett and TaShawn Thomas.
Fraschilla rarely plays, Bennett is a role player off the bench and Thomas is a starter but playing in his only season for the Sooners after playing his first three years at Houston.
But while Senior Day might not carry the same heft with fans that it once did, it doesn’t mean any less to the players who do get there.
“I think with the kind of culture change in college basketball — guys leaving early and one-and-dones and transfers and all that kind of stuff, it’s changed a little bit,” Fraschilla said. “But for guys that stay in school, it definitely has a lot of meaning to the players themselves.”
There has been a lot of hand-wringing lately about college basketball's increasing bent toward a more plodding, physical style of play. But the season's biggest foul was committed off the court Friday by someone who should know better.
As the NCAA penalized the Syracuse men's basketball program and head coach Jim Boeheim for a litany of infractions over the course of a decade, the school's chancellor issued a 17-paragraph statement that should embarrass Orange alums and everyone who cares about the sport.
Let me summarize Kent Syverud's propaganda, so you don't have to suffer through it: Yeah we did some stuff wrong, but it's not Boeheim's fault, and by the way this was a witch hunt.
The NCAA disagrees, and posted a 94-page report explaining why it suspended Boeheim for nine games next season, rescinded a bunch of victories, revoked 12 scholarships over the next few years and reduced the number of Orange coaches who can recruit off campus.
The painstakingly detailed violations, which recurred over several years, included "Academic misconduct, extra benefits, the failure to follow its drug testing policy and impermissible booster activity . . . impermissible academic assistance and services . . . the head basketball coach's failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance and monitor his staff."
Here's how the Socrates running Syracuse responded:
"By comparison, the investigation into the fixing of the 1919 World Series took two months and the 2007 investigation of steroid use in baseball took 21 months."
"The University strongly disagrees that it failed to maintain institutional control over its athletics programs, or that Men's Basketball Head Coach Jim Boeheim has taken actions that justify a finding that he was responsible for the rules violations."
"As we move forward, we can celebrate the many positive changes we have made, the academic success of our student-athletes, and the scholarly achievements of each one of our 21,000 students."
That's great. So let's blame everyone but the cash cow with 900 wins, or whatever Boeheim has now. Hey chancellor, thanks for handing a sledgehammer to those who want to tear down the college sports model. Instead of fully accepting the mountain of evidence that your prized program treated the rules like suggestions, you invoked the Black Sox scandal from a century ago.
Big 12 Bracket Generator
Big 12 Seeding and Tiebreaker Procedures
Big 12 Composite Schedule & Results
Other highly rated prospects who have traditionally been affiliated with adidas grassroots programs that did not get invited to the Jordan Brand Classic include Chase Jeter (Duke) and Carlton Bragg (Kansas).
With that said, two players who did get into Jordan Brand, despite being “adidas guys” are Jaylen Brown and Tyler Dorsey. Brown, arguably the #1 player in his class, is currently uncommitted to a college and holds offers from two Nike powerhouse programs: Kentucky and North Carolina. If Nike were to make an exception for any player, it would certainly be for him and the star power he brings to the event. Tyler Dorsey recently committed to Oregon, which may have helped his cause here.
McDONALD’S ALL-AMERICAN GAME
April 1, United Center, Chicago
ESPN NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIP
April 2-4, Christ the King, Queens, N.Y. & Madison Square Garden
NIKE HOOP SUMMIT
April 11, Moda Center, Portland
KENTUCKY DERBY FESTIVAL
April 11, Freedom Hall, Lexington, KY
JORDAN BRAND CLASSIC
Friday April 17, Barclays Center 7p.m,
Regional Games (4:00 pm) All times Eastern
My Late Night in the Phog videos, 60 Years of AFH Celebration videos, KU Alumni games videos, 2011-12 Final Border War videos, Legends of the Phog videos, KC Prep Invitational, Jayhawk Invitational Videos and more, now on YouTube