TCU opens a stretch of three games in six days Wednesday when it welcomes No. 5/5 Kansas to a sold-out Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The matchup, which will be televised live by ESPNU, is set to tip off at 8 p.m.
The Horned Frogs, 9-12 overall and 0-8 in conference play, are still looking for their first Big 12 victory and will face a strong challenge against the Jayhawks, who are 19-2 overall and top the Big 12 standings at 7-1. KU brings a one-game cushion in the league race into the week despite having suffered its first conference loss at home Saturday to Oklahoma State.
TCU will play in front of a home sellout crowd Wednesday for the first time since Feb. 19, 2011 vs. No. 7 BYU. The Jayhawks will be the highest-ranked opponent to visit the DMC since TCU played host to then-top-ranked KU on Dec. 1, 2003 (L, 85-66). The two teams will face each other for the fifth time in the all-time series and the first time since a home-and-home set in December of 2003 and 2004.
ESPNU (DirecTV 208; Dish 141) will televise Wednesday's contest with the broadcast duo of Mitch Holthus (play-by-play) and Matt Doherty (analyst) calling the action. The telecast also will be offered online at WatchESPN.com to qualified cable subscribers.
Brian Estridge (play-by-play) and John Denton (analyst) will handle the TCU-IMG Sports Network radio broadcast, which will air live in the DFW Metroplex on both 570 KLIF AM and 88.7 FM KTCU as well as nationally on satellite radio via Sirius channel 92 and XM 192. Live stats will be available for free via GameTracker at GoFrogs.com
TCU Athletics: Pregame Notes
Few teams in all of sports -- pro or college -- carry more tradition and historical reverence than Kansas basketball.
And when it comes to NCAA basketball, only a few schools across the nation deserve to be in the conversation. Only Kentucky has won more games than Kansas (2,105 wins to 2,089 as of Tuesday night). Only four teams have played in more Final Fours. And no team is close to the Jayhawks' 23-year streak of consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
The fifth-ranked Jayhawks (19-2, 7-1 Big 12) return to Daniel-Meyer Coliseum at 8 tonight for the first time since Dec. 1, 2003, when the largest crowd in DMC history at the time (7,267) saw top-ranked KU beat the Horned Frogs 85-66.
Three weeks later the Jayhawks -- who eventually reached the Elite Eight that season -- were stifled by a Nevada team coached by Trent Johnson, who's now in his first season at TCU (9-12, 0-8).
"I'm not going back in the past," he said before Tuesday's practice, half-jokingly preferring to keep that bit of nostalgia to himself. "I just know [tonight] we have to be awfully damn good and play awful hard and be loose and make some shots."
Tonight's game is sold out for the first time since BYU and Jimmer Fredette came to Fort Worth in February 2011. Despite the Frogs' struggles in their first season in the Big 12, guard and North Crowley ex Kyan Anderson said playing a team such as Kansas in front of a large home crowd was the dream scenario.
"This is what everybody wants growing up," Anderson said. "You want a sold-out crowd and a team like this to come in and play, just to see where we're at. When you played a college video game you always picked Kansas first. They are who they are. They've always been a very good team and a fan favorite. But once you step on the court, it's basketball. It doesn't matter what's on the front of the jersey; it's a competition, and we're going to fight no matter who it is."
FW Star Telegram
LJW Newell: Close shots partly to blame for EJ's offensive struggles
In facing an apparent mismatch on paper, Johnson said: “We’ll go into the game like we always would. Our preparation will be the same. For me personally it will be neat for our kids to see what elite basketball, elite players and elite coaching is like. Kansas has been one of the premier programs since (James) Naismith invented the game. What Bill has done since he’s been there is very impressive. I echo what a lot of coaches in this league, a lot of coaches across the country have said, that they play the game the right way. Physically they are tough. Mentally they are tough. He’s going to get their attention (after loss).”
Johnson noted that it is “a supreme challenge for us and our fans. I think it’s going to be great for them to get an opportunity to see what it’s like to have one of the elite teams on our home floor. Am I personally looking forward to it? No. I’ve been in situations like that before where I’ve been on the side where you won and on the side where you lost. We’ll prepare like we have always prepared and we will try to get guys play confident and fight through some things.”
Self said his Jayhawks need a bounce-back win.
“They guard,” Self said. “We need to have great focus and hopefully get a little ‘mojo’ back if we’ve lost any. I’m not saying we have. We need to go play well together as a unit. Going on the road, you can’t take anything for granted. We need to give a great effort.”
Is tonight the night?: KU senior center Jeff Withey needs four blocked shots to tie, five to pass Greg Ostertag as KU’s all-time leader in blocks. Ostertag, who played from 1992-95, had 258 blocks; Withey has 254. Withey is 10 blocks from the Big 12 career record of 264 (Chris Mihm, Texas, 1998-2000).
Withey has recorded most of his stats the past two seasons.
“We’ve had a lot of guys come far. Travis Releford or certainly, Thomas Robinson. Or Cole Aldrich. We’ve had some guys come a long ways,” Self said. “But Jeff has probably surprised me, pleasantly, as much as anybody we’ve had. He’s just been terrific.”
Asked about Withey’s development, Self said: “I would say he is stronger, which breeds confidence. But the biggest thing is that he’s fallen in love with basketball. When you’re not in love with it and you play because you’re tall or whatever, then you go through it and start seeing some success. He’s fallen in love with that. And I think that has as much to do with it as anything.”
BOTTOM LINE: Let’s put it this way: Considering the circumstances, a loss tonight would rank as one of the most shocking during the Self era. Still, with Oklahoma and K-State looming on the schedule, the Jayhawks need a performance they can be proud of.
McLemore. Can shoot as well but much better athlete RT @j_uy: who will turn out to be a better pro? Mclemore or Bradley Beal?
ESPN NBA Draft analyst Chad Ford recently updated his Big Board and Kansas freshman guard Ben McLemore, whose stock has skyrocketed since the beginning of the season, had risen all the way to No. 2, behind only another freshman, Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel.
Seeing Noel’s name at the top of Ford’s Big Board would not have been all that surprising a few months ago. Noel was, after all, the top-ranked Class of 2012 prospect, according to ESPN. McLemore didn’t play at all last season because of academic issues but has steadily proven to be one of the top players in college basketball this year.
In fact, when ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla compiled a list of the top 25 impact players in the country, McLemore was at No. 3, tops among freshmen. Only Michigan sophomore Trey Burke and Creighton junior Greg McDermott were ranked ahead of McLemore while Noel checked in at No. 8.
“You could describe McLemore as a reluctant star for the Jayhawks because, while he has tried to fit in during his first season, it’s clear that he is a special talent and the best freshman who has played at Kansas since Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce,” Fraschilla wrote. “While McLemore is a different type of scorer than McDermott, he mirrors his offensive efficiency and he too is almost a member of the ’180 shooter’ club.”
McLemore made a huge leap in Fraschilla’s impact players list, going from No. 24 in the previous rankings to No. 3. Teammate Jeff Withey was No. 6 as the top senior on Fraschilla’s list. Noel may be the better NBA prospect now, at least according to Ford, but McLemore is playing for a team contending for a national title. Noel’s Kentucky team, the defending national champs that captured last year’s title by beating Kansas in the NCAA Tournament championship game, could miss the Big Dance altogether.
“While the freshman is one of the most athletic players in the country, it is his pure shooting stroke that has electrified NBA scouts,” Fraschilla continued. “On a balanced Kansas team, McLemore is averaging 16 points on just over 10 shots a game, shooting 51 percent from the field, 46 percent from deep and 88 percent from the line. His 33 points against Iowa State were the most by a Kansas freshman since Danny Manning scored 35 in 1985.”
Dallas Morning News
As a candidate for Kansas Senate, Michael O’Donnell argued that “government is the problem, not the answer.” As if to demonstrate his point, the Statehouse newbie offered a bill Tuesday to mandate that the University of Kansas and Kansas State University play Wichita State University in men’s basketball each year starting in 2014-15.
As great as it would be to watch the No. 22 Shockers play the No. 5 Jayhawks or the No. 13 Wildcats about now, preferably at Wichita’s Intrust Bank Arena, sports scheduling is not a job for state government. Kansas’ teams need all the booking flexibility they can get to stay competitive in the current NCAA, and KU finds it “hard to play games away from Allen Fieldhouse since that’s our main source of budget every year,” as coach Bill Self told ESPN last week. Lawmakers should not be micromanaging what are important financial decisions for these schools and their athletic departments. At least O’Donnell dropped his worse idea of making KU’s state funding contingent on playing WSU.
O’Donnell, who decided after just 14 months on the Wichita City Council that he was ready to run for the Senate, needs to slow down and learn what constitutes worthy legislation. In the meantime, his colleagues should pay no attention to his basketball bill and concentrate on their real work, such as closing next year’s budget gap.
Wichita Eagle editorial
The last time the Kansas University women’s basketball team faced top-ranked Baylor, KU coach Bonnie Henrickson listed everything the Jayhawks would have to do to have success against BU center Brittney Griner, the reigning national player of the year.
No drives. Make open jump shots. Box out. Play tough defense.
Although the underdog Jayhawks succeeded in some areas of their gameplan, Griner’s final line — 33 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks — told much of the story in the Bears’ 22-point victory on Jan. 13 at Allen Fieldhouse.
As is the case in most games she plays, the 6-foot-8 senior was by far the most dominant player on the floor. Despite the Bears’ owning a double-digit lead throughout most of the game, Griner played all 40 minutes and shot 14-of-24 from the floor and 5-of-7 from the free throw line.
“I didn’t recruit ’em to sit,” said Baylor coach Kim Mulkey following the Bears’ 82-60 victory. “There was no need to rest Brittney; she was pretty much dominating the game.”
Griner does that. A lot. But the KU women — more than familiar with the Baylor star’s dominance after four seasons — think they know how to minimize the damage in tonight’s match-up at 7 in Waco, Texas.
“There’s not much you can do,” KU forward Carolyn Davis said. “At the end of the day, you have to try to limit the production of the players around her.”
The Jayhawks did a fair job of that in the first meeting. Only two other BU players reached double digits in scoring and, without Griner’s numbers, the Bears shot just 39 percent from the floor.
Unfortunately for the Jayhawks (14-6 overall, 5-4 Big 12), it’s Griner’s defense and presence around the basket that often have the biggest impact.
The 2013 William Allen White Foundation National Citation will go to one of the most versatile journalists in the United States. Frank Deford will receive the citation Friday at the University of Kansas.
The lecture is free to the public and will be at 10:30 a.m. in Woodruff Auditorium of the Kansas Union. The citation has been awarded annually since 1950.
Deford is an author of 18 books, including his most recent New York Times best-seller, his memoir, "Over Time: My Life As A Sportswriter." He also is known for his National Public Radio commentaries.
VOTE for Wooden Award nominees McLemore & Withey
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Big 12/College News
Apparently, Florida wasn't meant to be the No. 1 overall seed. Ooops....
Austin Statesman: Big 12 midseason review
Here are the Big 12′s RPI and strength of schedule:
Kansas: No. 7 in the RPI, No. 7 in strength of schedule. The Jayhawks are headed for an elite seed.
OU: No. 23 in the RPI, No. 6 in strength of schedule. If the Sooners can finish strong, they will be amply rewarded. That strength of schedule is impressive. However, if OU stumbles down the stretch, finishes 9-9 or even 10-8 in the Big 12, that strength of schedule won’t necessarily lift OU to a better seed.
Kansas State: No. 25 in the RPI, No. 48 in strength of schedule. Interesting. KSU’s RPI is solid, but its strength of schedule is just OK.
OSU: No. 32 in the RPI, No. 47 in strength of schedule. Same as K-State. However, that win at Kansas will trump a lot of strength of schedule slots.
Iowa State: No. 36 in the RPI, No. 63 in strength of schedule. The Cyclones’ RPI would get ISU into the field of 68. There are 37 at-large berths available. However, that strength of schedule is a little problematic. Iowa State definitely needs to finish strong to avoid anxious moments on Selection Sunday.
Baylor: No. 50 in the RPI, No. 22 in strength of schedule. The Bears are the opposite of Iowa State. That RPI is a problem — 50 often can be bubble land — but the strength of schedule is impressive. Generally, though, a team from a power conference improves its RPI as the season goes on. So just through general osmosis, Baylor will rise in the RPI as long as it plays halfway decently.
I think there’s a good chance both Baylor and Iowa State get in. I think OU will have to play its way out of the NCAA Tournament. I think OSU and Kansas State are virtual locks. Plus Kansas. So the Big 12 very well could be looking at six teams in the NCAAs.
With the entire Kansas State basketball team looking to him for instructions during a timeout early in the second half Tuesday night at United Spirit Arena, Bruce Weber chose not to speak. Instead, he forcefully slammed his clipboard into the top of a metal chair.
His frustration was understandable.
Though K-State went on to beat Texas Tech, 68-59, it did not do so easily. Despite a strong start, it was never able to pull away from the struggling Red Raiders in front of a half-empty arena, and needed some second-half heroics to survive.
"I didn't think we were ready to play," Weber said. "We had some guys foul in the first half. When you foul, I asked them at halftime, 'What does that mean?' It means you're not in position, which means you are probably not ready and doing the things you normally do. I said, 'We have got to change that. We have got to have more energy.' It didn't happen. That was disappointing."
Rodney McGruder made sure the Wildcats did enough the rest of the way to win by scoring a team-high 18 points, while Angel Rodriguez added 13, Thomas Gipson had 12 and Martavious Irving contributed 10. With K-State dominating the glass - it out-rebounded Texas Tech 38-20 ï¿½ that should have been enough for a comfortable victory. But the lack of a killer instinct and poor defense kept the game close.
Ohio State played its best game of the season start to finish -- and beyond even regulation -- but it wasn’t good enough.
Tim Hardaway Jr. had five three-point baskets in the second half, and No.3 ranked Michigan made 14 for the game tonight, enough for the Wolverines to escape the Crisler Center with a 76-74 overtime victory over No.10 Ohio State.
Dick Vitale will call Final Four games for the first time this year, when a voice synonymous with college basketball will be heard only outside the United States.
ESPN announced Tuesday that the excitable announcer will work a semifinal and the championship for ESPN International. The telecasts go to 150 countries and territories across 35 broadcast networks in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Canada.
The 73-year-old Hall of Famer has called more than 2,000 college basketball games since joining ESPN in 1979. He has been a studio analyst for the network's NCAA tournament coverage every year since — but never announced a Final Four game because NBC and then CBS have owned the rights.
Brad Nessler will handle play-by-play from Atlanta alongside Vitale on April 6 and 8. Jay Bilas will be the analyst for the other semifinal.
I have seen the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and they are wearing Nike’s Hyper Elite Road Uniform (left), Adidas’ “Bleed Out” jerseys (right), and two of whatever chintzy unis Under Armour comes out with next.
Yes, College Basketball’s Uniform Armageddon officially descended upon us during last night’s game between the Michigan Human Highlighters and the Ohio State Ketchup Popsicles. Surely it can’t get any worse than two of the most storied and traditional college sports programs in the country wearing the uniform equivalents of clown suits as a battle between Top 10 teams was overshadowed in the first half by constant ridicule over the ridiculous apparel each was wearing.
It was only a matter of time until college basketball got swept up in the “Uniform Arms Race” that has pervaded college football the last couple years in a constant effort to receive free publicity and appease 18-year-old kids. And this winter has seen the three major college sports apparel companies – Nike, Adidas and Under Armour – lose their minds with a dizzying array of terrible hardwood uniforms.
This all goes back to Nike.
A company that built its brand like Apple with a clean and crisp look has apparently applied its slogan of “Just do it” to every ridiculous uniform design concocted in Beaverton, OR. As a result, the awful “Hyper Elite Road Uniforms” being worn by over 10 teams this season are exactly like the logo uniforms worn by schools like North Carolina and Michigan during the 1999-2000 season that were shouted down from the rooftops.
Did the first go-round teach The Swoosh nothing? Bringing the uniforms back in Chapel Hill and replacing college hoops’ best uniforms again in the process with this buffoonery is a slap in the face to Tar Heel fans. Unsurprisingly, the uniforms don’t look any better now than they did then. Because while fashion is always changing, the practice jersey look will never work.
Point-shaving is real, and apparently, it still happens. Mitchell “Ed” Karam, a fellow from the Detroit area, pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a point-shaving investigation . The investigation of was the Toledo Rockets football and basketball programs dating back from 2004 until 2006.
Those weren’t the only guilty pleas that Karam obliged to give the courts. Other than the conspiracy plea, he also plead guilty to conspiring to fix real life horse racing in Florida and Delaware Downs in 2005 and 2006. The guilty plea also covers a fraud charge from another, separate, real estate investigation.
Karam was not alone in his aspiring journey to be as good at fixing stuff as the soccer match fixers, Ghazi “Gary” Manni was indicted with Karam four years ago when the charges were originally filed.
The government has stated that these two gentlemen paid players for inside information and/or to actually affect the outcome of games(Tony from Blue Chips, where you at?). According to prosecutors, Karam and Manni bet roughly $331,000 on basketball and football games. As of this writing, four Toledo Rocket athletes have been arrested and subsequently plead guilty in this point-shaving scandal.
So two individuals were involved in affecting the outcome of multiple collegiate sporting events. Since the NCAA does such a swell job of investigating, I wonder if they will use this new evidence to wield their unjust hammer and penalize the Toledo program any further than these reports already have.
However, one question does remain after the guilty pleas. How is a point-shaving more mid-major friendly(As in, it is even done at Toledo) than the BCS and the NCAA as an organization?
Games on TV: Feb 4-10 schedule w/network info
Big 12 Composite Schedule & Results
RPI and SOS Team Comparison Calculator
Congrats to North's Conner Frankamp on his 48 points in a win over East. He was 11-20 FG, 5-12 3s, 21-22 FT. #vkscores
When Conner Frankamp wants to light it up, he can light it up.
The North senior dropped in 48 points against East, Tuesday night in a 71-63 win at home.
The Redskins (13-2) remained in front in the City League race over second place East with the win.
Despite his 48 points, Frankamp and North had to contend East's offense and sophomore Samajae Jones. He dropped in back to back triples in the second quarter to give East an eight point lead, it's largest over North all night.
It was all Frankamp and the rest of the offense needed to come back, started by Zach Beard intercepting a pass and taking to the rim. Followed by a pop up three-pointer from Frankamp, giving them a 34-30 lead at halftime.
During postgame interviews, North boys coach Gary Squires consistently references the key contributions of any player not named Conner Frankamp.
So after Tuesday’s 71-63 win over visiting East, Squires pointed out how well juniosr Zach Beard (10 points), Tarius Williams (10) and Sean Bernard (four rebounds) played.
And then the conversation returned to where it began, with Frankamp, who scored a game-high 48 points, his third game this season of 40 or more points. He has seven games of more than 40 points in his career, the most in City League history, including the top two point totals (52 and 48).
“He’s been shooting it well in practice lately,” said Squires, whose team improved to 13-2 overall, 10-1 in the City League. “I knew that one of these nights, he’d just go for a big night because in our shooting drills and stuff, he’s been lighting it up. When he gets it going….”
Frankamp hit 11 of 20 field goals, 5 of 12 three-pointers and 21 of 22 free throws. He scored all 10 of North’s first-quarter points and 19 of its 21 fourth-quarter points. East scored 11 in the final period.
He awed the fans with his five threes, most from deep beyond the three-point line. He used a cross-over move to drive inside for a basket.
But his free throws were near perfect. He made 12 straight in the fourth quarter.
“He gets it up on his fingertips,” Squires said. “He arches it. He has a soft touch, and the other thing, he’s so confident and he works at it, too.”
After every practice, Frankamp shoots to make 25 straight. If he misses, he starts over.
“I try to keep my technique and shoot with arch,” Frankamp said. “I feel that’s the most important thing with free throws…. I just try to keep my elbow under the ball and keep my feet squared to the goal.”
@JennBates12 Perry finished with 2,231, while Conner sits at 2,081 after tonight. Frankamp avg 34.0 on the season, 27.0 career.
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The talk of the Kansas basketball world is not the Jayhawks or Shockers, it's two-year-old Titus Ashby of Derby.
Titus' parents posted a video of him making shot after shot on YouTube. It shows Titus between the ages of 18 months and 24 months making sinking every shot with a basketball. His parents say be started sinking baskets shortly after learning to walk, and has already mastered a number of trick shots.