Kansas and adidas used tradition as the guide in putting together a uniform to honor the program's past and present legacies. KU's NCAA Championship victory in 1952 gave seven Jayhawk players a chance to play on the 1952 U.S. Olympic team in Helsinki, Finland the following summer. Joined by Phog Allen, who was selected as an assistant coach, they helped the U.S. win the Gold medal in basketball.
Using design inspiration from the 1952 Kansas and Olympic basketball teams, the seven stars sublimated on the back of the jersey pay homage to the seven Jayhawks on that team who represented their school and country in the 1952 Olympics. The stripes on the shorts are meant to be a tie to the American flag.
True to form, adidas added its touch of athlete-driven technology as the modern side panels and more breathable mesh were utilized.
While the uniforms themselves will not be available at retail, KU fans will soon get their chance at select offerings of tees that hook to the uniforms as well as the shooting shirts that the team will be wearing while representing the United States in the 2015 World University Games.
In preparation for the World University Games, the USA National Team will host Team Canada June 23 and June 26 at 7 p.m. at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Cost of the tickets is $27 for the Tuesday, June 23 contest, $37 for the Friday, June 26 matchup or both games for $50. Fans can purchase tickets online at Sprint Center Box Office by calling the Kansas Athletics ticket office at 800-34-HAWKS. There are also group ticket opportunities for the contests, which can be accessed by calling 785.864.6216 for those options.
University of Alberta coach Barnaby Craddock, who has been following Kansas University basketball “since Danny Manning was doing his thing back in the day,” had his 12 Team Canada players pose for a group photo Monday afternoon in Allen Fieldhouse.
“It’s an honor to come down here and play basketball. Playing in the Sprint Center will be an exciting experience. We’d love to have been here in ‘The Phog’ as well, but it’s a little hot here in the summer,” Craddock said with a smile.
Absence of air conditioning in Allen Fieldhouse has made it necessary to play today’s KU-Canada World University Games exhibition in Kansas City’s Sprint Center. Tipoff is 7 p.m. The game is not televised, but is available on Lawrence’s KLWN radio.
Canada’s World University Games team, which is led by 6-7 shooting guard Aaron Baker and 6-0 point guard Jahmal Jones, has been practicing twice a day since Saturday when it assembled for the first time in Lawrence. The Jayhawks have been practicing since June 7, though the team has changed a bit since point guard Nic Moore’s arrival on the 12th and combo guard Julian DeBose’s on Sunday.
…About 7,000 tickets had been sold as of noon Monday. Tickets will be on sale up until game time with walk-ups encouraged.
…Team Canada figures to provide a stern test for the Jayhawks tonight and Friday. Canada placed fourth; the U.S. ninth at the 2013 World University Games. In 2011, Canada placed second and the U.S. fifth. In 2009, the U.S. notched third and Canada ninth.
“As far as having a good book on them I know nothing,” Self said. “They’re big (6-10 Mikeal Andrews, 6-9 Chris McLaughlin, 6-8 Josh Wolfram). I’m sure they will be competitive.”
Noted Craddock: “Our guys have been working really hard. It’s a great group of guys (picked by committee of coaches in Canada), very talented. Hopefully we’ll be able to give the Jayhawks a decent game on Tuesday night.”
Florida Gulf Coast senior guard Julian DeBose was briefed by his coach, Joe Dooley, on Saturday on what to expect in playing for Kansas University’s Bill Self the next several weeks.
“He said, ‘You think I’m a problem, wait ‘til you meet Bill Self,’’’ DeBose said with a laugh on Sunday in Allen Fieldhouse before working out with his World University Games teammates for the first time.
“He (Dooley) basically said, ‘Same rules here as there. Play hard and there’s not too much else he can ask for from me. As long as you play hard, you’re fine,’’’ DeBose added.
“I’m a versatile player. I can do pretty much everything on the court. I’m a pretty good leader,” said DeBose, who averaged 11.6 points (off 43.2 percent shooting) and 3.9 rebounds a game last season for the 22-11 Eagles. “(I’m a) very positive person, always in my teammates’ ears, letting ‘em know, ‘You can do it no matter what.’ I also like to lead by example.”
It’s definitely been a whirlwind couple of days for DeBose.
“Well I received the call about 12 a.m., on Friday morning from my coach saying, ‘Do you still want to go down to Kansas and compete with them in the University World Games for sure?’ I said, ‘Of course I want to.’ That’s how the conversation ended,” DeBose said Sunday.
“The next day (later Friday) he (Dooley) texted me and said, ‘Looks like it’s a go.’ From that point on he said, ‘Pack your bags.’ From that point on coach Q (Fred Quartlebaum, KU director of student/athlete development) called me, set up a few things, set up a flight. I was out the next day (Saturday) at 10 a.m.”
DeBose has been quite impressed with what he’s seen here so far.
“It’s an amazing experience of course. I’ve never been to Kansas. I’ve never seen a locker room like this or seen any facilities like this,” DeBose said. “I’m just glad and blessed and completely thankful to coach Dooley and coach Self to allow me to be on the team.”
Landen Lucas can see the opportunity that lies ahead not only for himself but for his team. And he plans on making the most of it.
Despite the fact that KU brought in highly-touted freshmen Carlton Bragg and Cheick Diallo, the 6-foot-10, 240-pound junior forward is looking for a bigger role this season.
“Offensively I’ve always been a type of guy who knows where to catch the ball and how to catch the ball in position to score,” Lucas said. “Right now I’m just working on becoming more of a threat with the basketball — to drive or score. And if I don’t have anything, I’ll hand it off and try to get a teammate a shot. That’s something I’ve been working on a lot.”
…During Monday’s Big 12 teleconference, KU coach Bill Self was asked if the league needs to validate itself again after a disappointing NCAA Tournament.
“No. I don’t think so,” Self said. “We did not have an exceptional league. We had an unbelievably good and well-balanced league that had to come to play every night. By that I mean we had probably seven or eight teams in our league that were capable of beating any No. 2 or No. 3 seed in the tournament. But you also had teams that were definitely capable of losing to teams other people thought of as maybe being not quite as strong because there wasn’t as much margin for error.
“I think our league will once again be great. You stop and look at it with the potential of having two or three teams preseason top 10, I don’t think our league will take a step backwards at all.”
Bill Self clutched a microphone in his palm and stood before a gymnasium full of basketball campers on a steamy day in early June. It was the final day of Self’s camp, and inside the Horesji Family Athletics Center, the Kansas men’s basketball team had gathered to scrimmage for the young faces in attendance.
But first, in adherence of tradition, the Jayhawks lined up near midcourt while Self went through introductions. One by one, Self cycled through his players, stopping to add some encouraging words about their college careers or their hometown. But then Self made it to senior forward Perry Ellis. He stopped for a second, then said something that caught the ear of everybody in the gym.
“He’s gonna be the player of the year in the Big 12 next year,” Self said, as a few hundred campers responded with screams and cheers.
Here, of course, it’s worth pointing out that Self is always overwhelmingly positive during these public introductions. It’s the summer, after all, a time for hope and optimism. What coach wouldn’t hype up their best player in a gym full of young KU fans?
A few days later, however, Self stood outside the KU practice gym as the Jayhawks prepared for their upcoming trip to the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea. Surrounded by a handful of reporters, Self was asked about Ellis again. He backed up his earlier comments.
“He’s been our best player so far (this summer),” Self said. “I think he’s ready to have a breakout-type year — a player-of-the-year-type year.”
…“He doesn’t get deterred as much any more,” Selden said. “Our first year together, he would get down on himself. But now he can miss a shot, and you know he’s going to put up the same shot, because he knows he’s going to make it the next time.”
Ellis concedes this point. He is more confident now. He is no longer the quiet freshman who rationed his words with his teammates and coaches. Well, he is still quiet, of course. That hasn’t changed too much. But he’s a senior now, too, which means the words are starting to come a little easier.
“The thing is, it’s my last time, and I just want to make it my best,” Ellis said. “So I’m going to go out there and do my best and work as hard as I can.”
ESPN’s Andy Katz says KU’s Kelly Oubre, Jr., has been invited to attend the NBA Draft along with 19 other top prospects. The draft is Thursday in Brooklyn, New York. ESPN’s Chad Ford says Oubre will be tapped No. 16 overall by Boston. Draftexpress.com and NBAdraft.net say the guard will be taken No. 15 (by Atlanta) and No. 25 (Memphis) respectively. KU’s Cliff Alexander will not be invited to the draft. ESPN’s Ford has him going 14th in the second round to Phoenix. Draftexpress.com and NBAdraft.net have the forward taken in the second round: No. 10 (by Miami) and No. 5 (by Philadelphia) respectively.
…Former KU forward Paul Pierce will pass on his player option with the Washington Wizards that is valued at $5.54 million, ESPN.com reports. The Washington Post says Pierce will either re-sign a new deal with the Wizards or join the Los Angeles Clippers to be reunited with his former coach, Doc Rivers. Ten-time all-star Pierce, 37, has played 17 seasons in the NBA. If it is money above everything else, Pierce won’t be going to his hometown Clippers. L.A. can offer him a $3.37 million mini mid-level exemption, ESPN says. Washington could actually give Pierce a raise and go to about $6 million.
World University Games Schedule
“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
Regular Hoop Thinkers know all about Finch, but for the uninitiated, allow me to explain. Once again, in advance of the NBA draft, I interviewed four NBA scouts and two general managers. In each conversation, I ticked off the names of 50 available college players. (I did not include any international guys, except for Emmanuel Mudiay, who originally committed to play at SMU.) In exchange for their candor, I offered my guys total anonymity.
I have taken all of their comments and condensed them as if they were spoken by a single person. The name of this amazing amalgam is Finch, designated so because that was Scout’s surname in To Kill A Mockingbird. (As usual, I would like to credit my longtime colleague Alex Wolff for coming up with the name Finch. He used Finch as a pseudonym for an Sports Illustrated story on an NBA scout way back when.)
…Cliff Alexander, 6’9” forward, Kansas: “He’s really long, but he’s still an undersized four. My gut tells me there’s something missing there. Usually freshmen stand out at Kansas and this kid did not. He’s very raw and very athletic. Not a real smart player and doesn’t have a real high motor. Whoever drafts him better be prepared to spend a lot of time developing his game.”
…Kelly Oubre Jr., 6’7” forward, Kansas: “Kelly’s a real enigma in this draft. He’ll probably go right outside the lottery, but he’s still a long ways away from being a contributor at the NBA level. I want to like him, but I don’t trust his shot at all. He can’t guard anybody. Drove Bill Self out of his mind. Very intriguing athlete, but he doesn’t have any game off the dribble. He had a fairly disappointing season at a place where freshmen usually succeed.”
Oklahoma's seasoned group of veterans has been tested and tormented by the terribly competitive Big 12 and dealt with tough non-Big 12 slates in recent years.
This season's out-of-conference schedule, however, takes the cake in terms of strength.
…Kansas and Iowa State have kept OU from usurping the Big 12 throne, but Kruger finally has his team winning meaningful games and he's re-energized a fan base.
The head coach has transformed OU into a respectable program again, and the Sooners are proving it by scheduling the best competition.
Texas is the second wealthiest athletic department in the country, but Patterson has been stingy at times while voicing the desire to have Texas play games in Dubai. He also said there is a better chance of Texas playing in Mexico City than a revival of its rivalry with Texas A&M.
According to Brown, everything about Patterson's athletic department at Texas has a price. Patterson had the school charge former players $25 each just to be honored on the field during games.
From the report:
"He has turned the Horns 'brand' into a commodity to be sold."
Lehr said she and her classmates, even former football players, were initially told it would be $15 per person before it was upped to $25. They never made it onto the football field at DKR that weekend.
Before Patterson took over as athletic director in November 2013, reunion classes were taken through UT's football stadium free of charge as part of their weekend by the Texas Exes (UT's alumni association).
Again, Texas is among the nation's wealthiest athletic departments. But under Patterson, coaches have to pay money to eat lunch with their own players at the athletic dining halls.
Coaches used to be allowed to go into the athletic dining hall whenever they wanted under Dodds, often to bond with their student-athletes or have a one-on-one conversation. Under Patterson, coaches are only allowed 30 visits per year. If coaches go to the athletic dining hall more than that, they have to pay $10 for each visit out of their own pocket.
And then there was a clash with the city of Austin. Patterson demanded a new basketball arena on public funds, which is common, but this was not the way to ask for it.
Patterson said in an interview with Texas Monthly last September, the city of Austin should help pay for UT's new basketball arena because the city had gotten a free ride for 30 years by not having to bear any of the costs of the Erwin Center (a campus events facility), which is planned for demolition in 5-8 years as part of UT's new medical school.
Patterson had to apologize for those comments.
Norman North's Trae Young is going to have a heck of a choice to make in just a couple of years.
Young received an offer from Mike Krzyzewski and Duke, that according to a picture he posted on his Twitter page on Sunday. Young has also reportedly received offers from other powerhouses such as North Carolina, Kansas and Arizona.
The 6-foot-8 wing out of Prolific Prep (CA) is on his third go-round with USA Basketball and is hoping to make the final cut and head to the U19 World Championship in Crete, Greece that runs June 27-July 5.
“It’s the best feeling ever to win a gold medal,” he told SNY.tv by phone. “I know what it feels like and most of the guys here know what it feels like as well. Everybody here’s willing to do whatever they can to have that feeling again.”
…Jackson…reiterated that he has no plans to end up overseas instead of college.
“No, it’s not true at all,” he said, reiterating comments he made to The Sporting News.
In terms of colleges, Jackson said, “Working the hardest [are] probably Arizona and Kansas.”
He broke down his thoughts on each.
“Kansas is a great program,” he said. “They always have a great team year in and year out. I love Bill Self, he’s a great coach, and I like the way they play. They always have a real athletic team that can run out in transition, and I feel that’s the best part of my game.”
Five-star shooting guard Josh Langford, who is No. 13 overall in the ESPN 100, has informed ESPN.com that he has committed to coach Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans on Monday.
Langford had also considered Auburn, Georgia, Arizona, Duke, Kentucky, Alabama, Stanford, Mississippi State and Texas.
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