Kansas University’s basketball players don’t compete in a formal dunk contest during Late Night in the Phog festivities in Allen Fieldhouse. Sometimes they do, however, rattle the rims in the layup lines prior to a short scrimmage that concludes the three-hour proceedings.
“I try to tell the dudes on the team I think the best dunker is Wayne Selden,” said KU junior point guard Naadir Tharpe, assessing skywalking talent on the 2013-14 squad entering Friday’s 2013 Late Night, to run from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in Allen.
“Wiggs (Andrew Wiggins) jumps real high. His athleticism is out of the question. He’s had a couple dunks already that made me want to call a timeout, stop play in the gym. When it comes down to tricks, though, I think my man Wayne has got it.”
Those aren’t the only two Jayhawks who likely will dunk with flair at the 29th Late Night.
“‘Mari’ definitely ... we’ve got Justin Wesley as well, too,” Tharpe said, rattling off a list of KU’s athletic slammers that include sophomore Jamari Traylor and senior Wesley. “But I’ve got to go with my man, Wayne (as best on team). He’s got a couple tricks up his sleeve.”
…“Andrew hits jumpers, he is ridiculously fast getting up the floor, and a lot of people say he can’t shoot the ball very well, but from what I’ve seen, he can shoot the ball really well,” Tharpe added of Wiggins.
Tharpe says Wiggins is definitely worthy of his status as an elite player in college basketball.
“He’s really good. I’m not going to give everybody the full scoop. You’ve got to wait for the season to start,” Tharpe said. “He’s real athletic, plays really hard. He’s going to be able to play a lot of positions for us on the court. I think that’s what’s going to be most important.”
Wiggins, 6-8 from Thornhill, Ontario, and the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2013, said he’s ready to roll in making his KU debut.
“Late Night ... yeah, that’ll be fun,” Wiggins said with a smile, “everybody dancing, having fun, scrimmaging. I’m ready to step out here in front of everybody for the first time. I’ll be nervous — a good nervous, not bad.”
Kansas coach Bill Self had micro-fracture knee surgery last week. Without rehab, his vertical leap remains unchanged.
Throwback Thursday! Who remembers the 'giant jerseys?'
Kansas University women’s basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson stopped a morning practice Wednesday to talk about flare screens, explaining to freshman guard Dakota Gonzalez that when one came her way, she needed to go under the screener instead of following the person she was guarding.
On the next play, freshman forward Jada Brown made the same mistake … and practice was stopped again.
Speaking at Wednesday’s media day, Henrickson says she has had to re-emphasize patience — even to herself — as it will be especially important with a 2013-14 team that lost three 1,000-point scorers while adding five freshmen who all should compete for immediate playing time.
“I continue to tell myself, ‘Enjoy the process,’” Henrickson said, “because it will be a process to put this all together.”
It’s definitely different from the last two years, when KU rode experienced squads to a pair of Sweet 16 appearances.
This season, with so many newcomers and inexperienced veterans, Henrickson likens her team’s identity to Silly Putty, saying it’s still in the process of taking shape.
KUAD WBB Media Day News, Quotes
Junior outside hitters Sara McClinton and Chelsea Albers combined for 25 kills to lead a confident Kansas team to a sweep at Kansas State, Wednesday night inside Ahearn Fieldhouse, 31-29, 26-24, 25-19.
In the 100th all-time meeting between the rivals, Kansas (12-3, 2-0) weathered consistent battling from a resilient Kansas State (12-3, 0-2) squad, fighting off tied scores 33 times and 15 different lead changes. Yet, the Jayhawks never faltered, holding on for the sweep in Manhattan for just the third time in series history (Oct. 17, 2009; Sept. 11, 1981).
“We seem to be pretty composed late,” head coach Ray Bechard said. “They stayed the game plan and made big plays. I think that’s a combination of being both experienced and being in that situation before on the road against good teams. It’s obviously a great win to beat a high-level team on the road, and obviously, there’s some added interest in this match.”
Kansas tied the fifth-longest all-time win streak with its eighth-straight on Wednesday, but it also stands as a notable streak against the Wildcats. The win marked the first time since 1993 that KU has knocked off its in-state rival three times in a row (Nov. 11, 1992; Oct. 6, 1993; Nov. 17, 1993).
Big 12/College News
Boeheim spoke at a New York State Associated Press symposium Wednesday, and was asked about this unceasing issue of compensating the current college athlete. Via Syracuse.com, here's a hearty portion of the rant, which I've trimmed down by about half.
"That's really the most idiotic suggestion of all time. ... I think you have to understand something. It's really very clear. This is really clear. ... Our players get a $50,000 education. Some of them use Syracuse to develop their game, get the publicity they need, become a first-round pick and make money from basketball. Some of them like me get the scholarship, get the grades, get their education, get the chance to play basketball and then get to start life without any debt.
One point that's crucial here that people don't know. Every one of my kids that has a need-based need gets a full scholarship. If he has need he gets a Pell Grant. They get a $6,000 or $7,000 Pell Grant, plus a scholarship. People say that they should be getting compensated because there's 30,000 people in the Dome. That money all goes to pay for basketball, pays for field hockey, pays for volleyball, pays for soccer. We make no money at Syracuse University in the athletic department. Zero. We're lucky if we break even at the end of the year. The only reason we break even is because we're subsidized in some way for scholarships and we use fund raisers. Our basketball program might make 12 or 14 million (dollars) but it all goes to pay for the other sports.
The women's basketball program has the same budget I have. Exact same budget. So who pays for that? We do. Who pays for men's lacrosse? They pay for some of their own. Who pays for track and field? We do. So all that money that we make, it's not coming to basketball.
"A lot of you said, 'Well, coaches make a lot of money.' Yeah coaches make a lot of money. It's a big business. It's a $16 million business for Syracuse University and college basketball. Am I going to be compensated? Yeah, sure I am. When I started the first five years I made zero to coach full-time. The next five years I made $10,000 to coach full-time. As a head coach, the first year I made $25,000. So I didn't, obviously, those first 11 years I didn't get in this to make money.
...To answer your question, I don't believe players should be paid. I think they're getting a tremendous opportunity. If they're really good, they get to develop. They get the opportunity to play in the NBA. They make a lot of money or they play in Europe and make a good amount of money. And if they're not quite that good then they get free college education. And the kids that have need get a Pell Grant.
We tried last year to push through $150 a month stipend. We tried to push that through. The problem with the NCAA is 350 schools voted, 250 of them have no big-time programs. So we get the same vote as the few schools that have big budgets. We wanted to help our athletes. We can afford to pay them $150. Each one of those kids. Some of those schools at the bottom can't. They voted the legislation down. This has caused a little bit of a problem within the NCAA between the big schools and the small schools. The big schools are paying the bills. The small schools can veto the legislation that the big schools want. It's a bad system. It's a broken system that needs to be fixed. It will be fixed. It will be changed some day.
Stephen Hurt, a 6-foot-10, 285-pound power forward from Northwest Florida State College, gave a verbal commitment to Kansas State late Tuesday night. He is the Wildcats’ first commit for the 2014 recruiting class.
Hurt started his college career at Lipscomb, where he took a redshirt year after tearing knee ligaments before he could take the court. In his first season, he averaged 11.5 points and 7.8 rebounds, winning Atlantic Sun freshman of the year honors. But he transferred to Northwest Florida State, a junior college, when his coach lost his job after the year was over.
North Carolina State says key freshman Anthony "Cat" Barber is being held out of practice with a concussion.
Team spokesman Joshua Rattray issued a statement Wednesday saying the point guard was hurt during practice Tuesday when he collided with teammate T.J. Warren during a loose-ball scramble.
He is being evaluated under the school's concussion protocol, and is under the supervision of N.C. State's athletic training staff and team doctors.
Big XII composite schedule
ESPN College GameDay Schedule
2013-14 Early-season events schedule
Findlay Prep guard Rashad Vaughn will take an official visit to UNLV on Nov. 25-26, according to his mentor Pete Kaffey.
Vaughn is a five-star shooting guard in the class of 2014. The Minnesota native will play his senior season for a loaded Pilots team that also brought on Kaffey as an assistant coach this year.
The Rebels play at home against Illinois on Tuesday, Nov. 26. There was some speculation that Vaughn would make an unofficial visit to UNLV, but his parents, who met Rebels coach Dave Rice and Todd Simon during an in-home visit, would get a free trip to Las Vegas if he made it official.
“It’s his decision, but I know his parents have a big influence on his decision,” Kaffey said.
The added bonus is Vaughn and his parents will get to spend time together near Thanksgiving, which is on Thursday, Nov. 28.
…Vaughn also has scheduled official visits to Baylor and Iowa State. He hasn’t rescheduled a visit to North Carolina, but that’s expected to happen at some point. His fifth official visit — the maximum allowed by the NCAA — will likely be to Kansas, although Minnesota and Arizona also are in the mix.
Las Vegas Sun
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