KUAD Kansas defeats UCSB postgame notes, box score, photos, more)
AUDIO: Highlights from the game with Bob Davis and Greg Gurley
Yet the half was anything but routine for the No. 5 Jayhawks, except that is was, after all, the season opener. KU’s offense was ragged attempting to solve UC Santa Barbara’s zone. KU’s defense was a bit too eager and guilty of careless fouls.
So with the Jayhawks trailing by one point, Graham re-entered at the 8:47 mark. He scored eight of the his team’s next 13 points, canning mid-range jumpers and giving Kansas the spark it needed to bounce the Gauchos, 69-59, at Allen Fieldhouse.
On one play in the first half of their 69-59 victory over UC-Santa Barbara, the freshman guard was whistled for a technical foul after he walloped a defender with an elbow. Graham walked sheepishly back to the bench, where Kansas coach Bill Self proceeded to — ah, instruct him.
"He wasn't happy," Graham said with a grin. "He was mad."
Truth of the matter? There wasn't much for Self to be happy about Friday night.
Graham finished with 14 points, Perry Ellis had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Frank Mason III finished with 12 points. But the Jayhawks also committed 16 turnovers, struggled with their shooting and didn't put away the pesky Gauchos until a big second-half run.
The defending Big 12 champions had better solve their ills in a hurry. They have a date with top-ranked Kentucky on Tuesday night in Indianapolis.
"We need to develop an identity," Self said. "We're going to need to win games muddy."
Alan Williams led Santa Barbara with 22 points and 13 rebounds, frustrating the Jayhawks with some veteran guile. The Big West's top returning scorer also had four blocked shots.
"We just didn't make enough shots," he said. "We're a better shooting team than that."
The Jayhawks won their 42nd straight season opener at Allen Fieldhouse, but it certainly wasn't easy. A team that lost freshmen sensations Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid to the NBA draft had to rely on a bevy of freshmen, and it showed throughout the first half.
Michael Bryson took a dribble toward the 3-point line and hesitated before finally shooting up a long-range shot midway through the second half.
Like many other possessions, getting it past half-court had been a challenge against Kansas’ defense, so one could almost recognize Bryson’s thought process as he went up for the attempt.
“Well, this is better than a turnover, right?”
The shot clanged away, and after UC Santa Barbara picked off the rebound, DaJuan Smith replicated Bryson’s previous play, putting up a half-hearted 3-pointer that bricked off the iron.
The possession was just one example of the effectiveness of KU’s new-look pressure defense, as the Jayhawks pulled away in the second half for a 69-59 victory over UC Santa Barbara on Friday at Allen Fieldhouse.
…The Jayhawks forced 15 total turnovers, but also equally important was the fact they coaxed the Gauchos into quick shots. UCSB made just 41 percent of its field goals, which included 4-for-19 shooting from 3-point range.
“We knew they were going to pressure the ball, go up the lanes and try to get easy steals,” UCSB guard John Green said. “They rushed us just a little bit.”
KU allowed just 0.81 points per possession — a number that would have ranked as the team’s second-best defensive effort a year ago.
…KU freshman Kelly Oubre played just four minutes in his debut against UCSB, scoring no points with two rebounds to go with an assist and a turnover.
“It was coach’s decision, just trying to do what’s best for our team,” Self said. “It’s not a knock to Kelly. He’s just young.”
“I hurt my wrist last game,” the 6-foot-8 Alexander said, bruising his wrist off a violent dunk in the second exhibition game against Emporia State. “It’s OK though.”
During Friday's 69-59 victory over UC Santa Barbara, Alexander had nine points and four boards in 12 minutes. He showed a nice touch on a 15-footer the second half.
“It was ‘No, no, Good shot Cliff,’’’ KU coach Bill Self said with a smile. “Cliff ... he acted like he knew what he was doing. Cliff played well. He got two quick fouls early, but I thought Cliff did some good things,” Self added.
“Now we can talk about the Wildcats of Kentucky,” Kansas University coach Bill Self said after the Jayhawks’ 69-59 victory on Friday night in Allen Fieldhouse.
…“I don’t want to say it will be just a toughness game, because it’s not, but when you’re as big as them (7-foot Willie Cauley-Stein, 6-11 Karl Towns, 6-8 Alex Poythress in starting lineup; 6-9 Marcus Lee, 6-10 Trey Lyles, 7-0 Dakari Johnson off bench) and a lot of times looking at their rebounding stats, their best offense is just getting on the glass, and go run get it,” Self said.
“We’re going to have to do a much better job of being tougher in rotation rebounding and really paying attention to that, because they’re really good. They’re long, and they’re going to be hard to score against. Cal (John Calipari, UK head coach) is a good defensive coach, and they’ve got so much length. So we need to be sure we’re really good rebounding on the defensive end ourselves.”
Self wasn’t overly impressed with the Jayhawks’ opening win.
“It was an ugly win, but we’ll take it. I’m not embarrassed beating Santa Barbara by 10 because I knew they were capable of giving us some problems,” Self said.
Predictably, the super prospects Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker were listed at the top. They were certain lottery picks, guaranteed to make millions as rookies in the league.
Down the list, names like Wayne Selden Jr. popped up — players with loads of potential, but not sure things. While Selden showed glimpses of his talent during his freshman season at Kansas, his stock never rose much as the season progressed.
So, about the time his teammate Wiggins was opting for the N.B.A. after one college season, Selden was making a tough decision: He would stay for at least one more year.
“We didn’t accomplish what we wanted,” he said. “I wanted more.”
He was referring to Kansas’s elimination in the first weekend of the N.C.A.A. tournament, as well as the way he played. Selden struggled with a nagging knee injury, only rarely showing his skills. He thought another year in college could help his draft stock.
He wasn’t alone in deciding to stick around.
The Harrison twins, Aaron and Andrew, made the same choice after leading Kentucky within one victory of a national title. So did their teammate Dakari Johnson, the Arizona small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, the Arkansas power forward Bobby Portis and the Louisiana State power forward Jarell Martin.
Each was a potential draft pick, and some might have gone late in the first round, receiving the guaranteed contract that is not afforded to second-round picks. But they opted instead for one more season in college.
New York Times
More than 60 NBA personnel are expected at the Champions Classic Tuesday in Indianapolis, sources told SNY.tv.
Kansas plays Kentucky in one game and Michigan State meets Duke in the other.
DraftExpress.com has Duke’s Jahlil Okafor as the projected No. 1 pick in 2015, Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns at No. 3 and Kansas’s Kelly Oubre and Cliff Alexander at 4 and 5, respectively.
Duke’s Justise Winslow is projected as the No. 8 pick, Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein is No. 10, Duke’s Justise Winslow is No. 14, Kentucky’s Dakari Johnson is No. 19, Kansas’s Wayne Selden is No. 25, Kentucky’s Andrew Harrison is No. 26 and Aaron Harrison No. 28.
That makes 11 of the projected first 30 picks coming from Kentucky (5), Kansas (3) and Duke (3).
“There will be lots of prospects, lots of scouts and a great tip-off doubleheader in the heartland,” one veteran NBA scout told SNY.tv.
“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
Marathon schedule, matches
CBS Sports Top 25 +1
Top five teams in Big 12 might be best top five in any league.
HUGE news with Oklahoma getting Houston transfer TaShawn Thomas cleared to play this season by NCAA. Sooners were one of my Final 4 picks.
Houston transfer TaShawn Thomas has received a waiver from the NCAA and will be eligible immediately this season.
The 6-8, 240 pound power forward averaged 15.4 points and 8.1 rebounds last season for the Cougars and should be an immediate starter for Oklahoma next to Ryan Spangler up front.
The Sooners went 23-10 last season and lost to North Dakota State in the Round of 32.
Even though he struggled in his debut today -- scoring only four points and grabbing three rebounds as he shook off the practice rust -- Thomas is a double-double machine that averaged 18.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game last season for Houston.
At 6-foot-8, 240 pounds, he's the physical, back-to-the-basket presence that the Sooners lacked to match up with players like Cliff Alexander, Cameron Ridley or Myles Turner in the Big 12. Possessing excellent footwork and a wide variety of spin moves and hook shots, Thomas is one of the better low-post scorers in the country. He's also an excellent rebounder and defender who uses his length and size to move throughout the paint and contest shots.
…It's hard to distinguish between any of these four teams, but given the way things are shaking out I might pick Oklahoma as my choice to win the Big 12. And even if OU doesn't win the league, as a talented team with boatloads of experience, the Sooners profile well to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament.
This is going to be an incredibly fun year in the Big 12, which will challenge the ACC as the strongest conference in America.
#TakeNOTICE of @buddyhield's record-setting 3-point shooting today. bit.ly/1uuWdey
Texas players have long insisted their game has some shooting touch, not just size.
They showed some of it Sunday night, making 12 3-pointers in an 85-53 win over Alcorn State, the No. 10 Longhorns' second romp through the early rounds of the 2K Classic tournament. Eight players made 3-pointers for the Longhorns.
''A lot of teams don't really think we can shoot,'' senior forward Jonathan Holmes said. ''A lot of teams would like to go zone ... but we've got shooters out there. That will make it even harder to defend us.
Isaiah Taylor scored 12 points and freshman Myles Turner had six of Texas' nine blocks. Demarcus Holland and Turner each scored 10 points for the Longhorns (2-0).
Back in the Top 25 to start the season for the first time since 2009, Texas has won its first two games by an average of 34 points.
Kentucky played a sleepy first half Sunday against Buffalo, allowing the Bulls to get out to a 38-33 halftime lead before pulling away in the second half and winning 71-52.
With apologies to "Thunder" Dan Majerle and Grand Canyon, this was the first time the Wildcats have really been pushed in this young season. While UK coach John Calipari won't be pleased that this was a five-point game with 11 minutes to go, I think his Kentucky team passed this first test with flying colors by ratcheting up the defensive intensity in the second half.
The Wildcats forced 10 turnovers and held Buffalo to 3-of-18 shooting in the second half. It was a close game for awhile, but Kentucky's skill is such that they came remarkably close to covering the 26-point spread in a 12-minute span. Kentucky used its length advantage to disrupt passing lanes and affect shots, and that caused a lot of problems for the Bulls.
…Looking forward, Kentucky plays Kansas on Tuesday at the Champions Classic in Indianapolis. That will be an interesting test for both teams, but especially for the Wildcats as they haven't yet seen a team that can come close to matching their athleticism like the Jayhawks can. The backcourt matchups are especially interesting, as we'll get to see the long Harrison twins go up against smaller, jitterbug-type guards in Devonte Graham and Frank Mason as Poythress is forced into duty against Wayne Selden.
At some point, Calipari is going to have to mix up his guys again and find the right fit. I wonder if at some point we see Ulis playing with the Harrison twins together to match up against the relative speed of the Jayhawks. That would be a fun lineup, and one that could force turnovers and really get out in transition for easy baskets.
Fans say pre-game parties are KU - Tomlinson Tap Room, UK - Tin Roof and Spartans pregame party at Slippery Noodle starting at 5pm.
11/16/14, 2:25 AM
Salute to Georgetown freshman L.J. Peak: 9-for-9 vs. St. Francis NY. Joshua Smith lives: 4 fouls in 19 minutes.
The chants began reverberating throughout Verizon Center early in the second half Saturday afternoon. The Georgetown student section got it going, then the rest of the arena soon joined in with a chorus of “L-J-Peak, L-J-Peak.”
All this was for a freshman, but the 6-foot-5 forward played with flair well beyond his years. Take for instance his steal followed by a two-handed dunk that punctuated a decisive run to open the second half and sent the Hoyas on their way to an 83-62 triumph over St. Francis of New York in the season opener.
Martez Harrison scored 26 points and Shayok Shayok added 10 to help Missouri-Kansas City stun Missouri 69-61 in the season opener Friday for both teams.
UMKC used two 10-2 runs in the opening half to help build a 33-24 halftime lead and then nursed its advantage throughout the final 20 minutes. The Kangaroos last beat a power conference team in December 2003 (Kansas State) and haven't finished above .500 in a season since 2004-05.
Florida guard Dillon Graham will transfer after the fall semester.
The seventh-ranked Gators announced Graham's decision Sunday, two days after the third-year sophomore played just three minutes in the season opener.
Coach Billy Donovan says Graham's "heart wasn't in it." Graham says he is "moving on to the next chapter in my life and my basketball career" and will "always have positive memories from my years with the Gators."
Graham played in 25 games, finishing with 11 points, five assists and four rebounds.
His departure leaves the Gators with seven scholarship players available Monday against Miami. Forwards Chris Walker and Alex Murphy won't play. Murphy is suspended for two games, and Murphy must sit out the first 10 games because of NCAA transfers rules.
So Jim Boeheim turns 70 today, which is swell. He still isn't the oldest active head coach. He's not the oldest active Hall of Famer (that would be Southern Methodist's Larry Brown).
And while Boeheim is the oldest coach in the ACC, it's not as if Duke's Mike Krzyzewski (67, turns 68 in February) and Florida State's Leonard Hamilton (66, quite possibly with the help of a fountain of youth) are even half-a-generation away from him.
Still, it's not as if many men coach into their 70s, for a variety of obvious concerns. And while it would be difficult to come up with an exhaustive list of septuagenarians who led teams to the NCAA tournament (tracking down the date of birth of every coach to every reach the postseason would be, well, exhausting), it's not too hard to come up with a rundown of a handful of coaches who have.
University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona will host the Final Four in 2017, which makes the first western city to hold the tournament finals since the Final Four was held in Seattle in 1995.
San Antonio's Alamodome, which has hosted the finals three times previously, is the site for the 2018 Final Four. The 2019 Final Four will be played in the now-under-construction stadium in downtown Minneapolis, which, for now, is known as Vikings Stadium.
Atlanta hosts the 2020 Final Four.
The committee's selections were only intended to run the four years through the 2020 Final Four, but during Friday's meeting, they opted to award the 2021 Final Four to Indianapolis, noting the special relationship that city has with the NCAA as the home of that organization.
Zimmerman completes visit to UNLV, watches Rebels squeak by Sam Houston State 59-57
Las Vegas Sun feature includes Zimmerman
11/16/14, 5:59 PM
Brandon Ingram's high school coach confirms he's at North Carolina tonight. Was at Duke last night.
PSA Cardinals C Cheick Diallo (@cheick_diallo13) is on a visit to Pitt, just took in the Panthers' 63-56 win over Samford
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