Josh Jackson seriously considered playing basketball at the University of Arizona for Sean Miller, who coached Jackson’s Team USA squad to an Under 19 world championship title in Greece.
He pondered picking Michigan State, a team he rooted for as a kid — and one that had already signed one of his good buddies, Miles Bridges.
…“When I took my official visit ... when I stepped in that gym, it was the loudest gym I’d ever been in my entire life,” said Jackson, a 6-foot-8 guard out of Prolific Prep in Napa, Calif.
Originally from Detroit, Jackson was awestruck by Allen Fieldhouse as KU beat Texas 76-67 on Jan. 23.
“I was just the whole time thinking, ‘Man, I would hate to be the opposing team right now, but I would love to be playing for Kansas right now,’ Jackson said. “One major thing is (KU’s) fans. Their fans are amazing, probably the best fans in college basketball. Coach (Bill) Self is a great coach. He coaches the players really hard, pushes them to make them better.”
Even though Jackson had known Miller the longest of all the college coaches recruiting him, he also liked what Self had to offer.
“I felt the team had a real family feel. Everybody was together. There was a lot of trust in the building,” Jackson said. “Coach Self pushes the players and makes them better no matter who they are. (Andrew) Wiggins ... last year, he pushed him a lot.”
Townsend's resume speaks for itself. It started with Jamal Crawford back when he was at Michigan and has continued every year with the Jayhawks. Townsend recruited Andrew Wiggins, Ben McLemore and many others -- and also was the point man in getting elite prospect Josh Jackson to commit to Kansas in 2016.
ESPN: Top Recruiter on Top 25 Teams
Devonté Graham was spotted tossing a football with a grade-school Kansas fan before the Jayhawks’ April 9 spring game outside Memorial Stadium. A few hours later, he could be seen lobbing a baseball with another wide-eyed youngster before a KU-TCU contest at Hoglund Ballpark.
“I think I’m maybe too friendly, as my teammates would say. I’ll speak to everybody,” Graham said. “I just try to have fun with people ... anybody. You could say I’m one of the biggest kids on the team.”
…“When he visited, I told him, ‘You’ll own this place if you come in and just try hard and act right,’” Self said. “(It’s) because I love his personality as much as any kid we’ve ever had. And I think that’s accurate.
“He’s played so well for us, but his mindset and attitude ... he’s one of those guys that actually looks forward to getting up and going to class and just being a kid. I mean, it’s not one of these things, ‘Oh, we’ve got to do this again.’ It’s one of these things: ‘We get to do this again.’
…“He reminds me of, and I say this to Aaron ... to me he reminds me of an Aaron Miles who can shoot,” Self said. Miles worked on KU’s staff last season, giving pointers to Mason and Graham. Miles has since joined former KU coach Joe Dooley at Florida Gulf Coast.
“Aaron was a better passer,” Self said. “Aaron wasn’t a great shooter until game point. Aaron was an unbelievable shooter the last five to eight minutes of the game. In those minutes, it seemed like he shot 60, 70 percent. He was such a winner. Aaron will go down as one of the special guards who played here.
“I think Devonté is a little quicker. Aaron had such feel for the game and was such a great leader. Devonté has similar qualities. He keeps getting better. He’s scratching the surface of what he can become.”
Freshmen Udoka Azubuike, Josh Jackson and Mitch Lightfoot have done all that’s been asked, Lucas said, noting he’s spent the most time with fellow big man Azubuike.
“He’s such a gifted young man,” the 6-foot-10, 245-pound Lucas said of 7-foot, 275-pound Azubuike, who turned 17 on Saturday. He must play at least two seasons at KU because of NBA age requirements.
“I mean I wish I had some of the tools that he has. If he can just kind of learn some small things — how to use his body, how to get position and angles and stuff like that … teams will either have to foul him or it’s a bucket kinda thing. I’m looking forward to seeing him develop throughout this year. He’ll be a problem (for opposing big men),” Lucas said.
Lucas said he likes the attitude of the team shown so far during individual workouts, pick-up games and Boot Camp conditioning.
“With the core we have back and just the personality of the younger guys like Carlton (Bragg, sophomore forward), Lagerald (Vick, sophomore guard) and Svi (Mykhailiuk, junior guard), we’ve got some guys who don’t act as young as their age,” Lucas said.
“You add that with the guys who are coming back … it really has a vibe in the locker room,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ve really been to this level (in his KU career) as far as the focus and understanding of what needs to be done. I think that the teams right before I came here kind of had that feeling to it, and I’m happy we’ve kind of got that culture back in the locker room and around the team.”
A year removed from the public eye, Dwight Coleby provided a scouting report on what fans should expect from the Jayhawks’ 6-foot-9 transfer from the Bahamas and, more recently, Mississippi.
“Probably rebounding (and) playing tough in the post,” said Coleby, who spent 2015-16 as a redshirt, rehabbing from left knee surgery and sitting out a season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules. “Being physical, protect the rim, play hard,” he added.
…“He’s hasn’t been playing ball forever, but there is definitely a foundation there, physically,” Self said. “Also, (there’s a) foundation from an intellect standpoint that is going to allow him to become a much better player fast. Without question, we think his best ball is well down the road.”
Coleby’s surgery repaired his left ACL as well as a torn meniscus and micro fracture.
Though relegated to a courtside seat last year, he enjoyed watching KU’s big men do their thing.
“They are all physical, tough, rebound, protect the rim. They are very good players,” Coleby said. “All the bigs were good. I feel I should continue doing what they were doing.”
He said the best thing about his redshirt season was “being able to see the fans and watch the games. Very exciting.”
Bill Self doesn’t hesitate when asked to name his all-time favorite Kansas basketball player.
It’s his son, Tyler, of course.
“I know there’s nothing I have enjoyed more in coaching than having my son on the team,” said Bill Self, KU’s 14th-year coach, of Tyler, a 6-foot-2 senior guard out of Free State High School.
It’s actually the fifth straight year Self has been able to enjoy working closely with his son. Tyler Self redshirted a year because of injury.
…On a serious note … “He’s done a nice job. He takes a lot of pride in what he does,” Bill Self said of his son. “He’s working on his MBA right now. He and Landen (Lucas) both are working on their MBAs. Next year he’ll start his career doing whatever he’s going to do and hopefully have time to work on his MBA on the side a little bit. I don’t know if coaching is his calling or what exactly.”
Of his career possibly being coaching, Tyler Self said: “I’d say it’s too early to predict. I’m not going to rule it out, but I don’t think it (coaching) is the path I want to take immediately.
“Whether it’s operations, coaching, whatever, I don’t know. I’m not going to rule anything out, but I do want to do something with basketball. That’s where my passion is.”
Tyler Self’s goal is to finish his studies while earning a paycheck at this time next year.
“That’s the thing,” he said. “The (MBA) program is all online. I can technically leave Lawrence and starting working somewhere and still finish it. As far as where I go, I have no idea.”
Blue Ribbon Top 25 released: Kansas #3
"I have a great relationship with Coach Dooley," Miles said. "I trust him and love him. It was one of those things where if I was going to do it, I wouldn't want to do it with anybody else."
Self said FGCU scored huge.
"FGCU just hit a home run with the hiring of Aaron Miles," Self said. "He's experienced beyond his years with his playing background and his ability to teach. He will work well under Joe and the system he has put in place. I think Aaron has the chance to be one of the stars in our profession moving forward."
Last year, Dooley actually wanted to add Miles, a former point guard who played briefly with Golden State as a rookie, when he instead hired Hawaii's Senque Carey, who's now at Long Beach State. Miles had been playing in Russia before tearing his labrum. The injury eventually ended his 10-year pro career. But neither Dooley nor Miles was sure of that then.
…Family means the world to Miles, who helped lead Kansas to two Finals Fours. And at FGCU, he already feels right at home.
"A big part of it is the fact that Coach Dooley understands what family is and he's family-oriented as well," Miles said. "In fact, we had boot camp (Tuesday morning) and his son, Max, had boot camp with us. That makes it easier on myself. My kids come up to the office and run around the gym and are able to be around. That makes a coach with a family feel good. Even though they can't be sitting there entertaining their kids, their kids are around and they see Daddy working."
The Los Angeles Lakers have signed veteran forward Thomas Robinson.
The Lakers announced the deal Wednesday.
Robinson played for five teams in his first four NBA seasons, averaging 4.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game over his career. He spent last season with Brooklyn, starting seven games in 71 appearances.
Kansas' Late Night in the Phog presented by Hy-Vee is a basketball tradition like no other, signaling the official start of KU's hoops season. The 32nd annual Late Night is set for Saturday, Oct. 1. This year's activities begin at 10 a.m. with a Phog Festival on the front lawn of historic Allen Fieldhouse.
The Phog Festival will have many activities for all fans to enjoy leading up to Late Night, including a Family Fun Zone, radio remotes, a mobile video board and a live DJ. The festival will also include food trucks, giveaways, interactive displays and much more throughout the day.
Doors open for Late Night at 5 p.m. for KU students and 5:30 p.m. for the general public; the program will start at 6:30 p.m. Kansas Athletics will take extra steps to ensure the fun and safety of all attending fans Late Night including:
- KU and Lawrence Public Safety personnel will provide an increased presence.
- Kansas Athletics will open the Allen Fieldhouse entrances early if warranted by a large-enough crowd of fans waiting to enter.
- Kansas Athletics will increase its communication with fans throughout the day, using social media, conventional media and on-site communication.
- As on game nights, KU students will enter through their customary separate entrance on the northeast side of Allen Fieldhouse.
- Though all parking lots are free, fans are encouraged to park south of Allen Fieldhouse in lots 71, 90, 125 and 127 due to a concurrent on-campus event. Lower levels of the parking garage just north of Allen Fieldhouse will be reserved with the upper levels open to the public for a fee.
As is the tradition at Late Night, fans are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items, which Kansas Athletics will donate to Just Food of Douglas County. Nonperishable food and monetary donations will be accepted throughout the day supporting Just Food.
Why Allen Fieldhouse is the BEST!
“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
Indiana forward Collin Hartman injured his left knee during a non-contact workout.
Coach Tom Crean said Wednesday that the injury was still being evaluated.
Hartman, a 6-foot-7 senior from Indianapolis, has played a key role for the Hoosiers each of the past two seasons, especially on defense.
Last season, he started 24 times in 35 appearances and averaged 5.0 points and 3.1 rebounds on a team that reached the Sweet 16. As a sophomore, Hartman started 12 of 32 games and shot 50 percent from the field and 47.5 percent from 3-point range as he averaged 4.8 points and 3.1 rebounds.
Hartman tore the ACL in his right knee after his freshman season, in 2013-14.
South Bend Tribune
During his seven years in Tucson, Sean Miller has coached the Arizona Wildcats men's basketball team to three conference championships and several deep NCAA Tournament runs. He also just landed the nation's No. 1 recruit.
Miller is well compensated for those accomplishments. In fact, only seven public employees in the United States -- all of whom are also collegiate head coaches -- earned more than him last year, according to a study by 24/7 Wall St.
The 47-year-old Miller earned $4.95 million last year, making him Arizona's highest-paid public employee and the eighth-highest paid public employee in America.
He's also the second-highest paid among basketball coaches. The only basketball coach to earn more last year was Kentucky's John Calipari ($6.88 million).
The craziest part? Miller apparently could have made a lot more.
"Miller's pay is partly financed by an anonymous donation of oil shares the school received in 2014 and is therefore tied to the price of oil," the report said. "With oil prices falling by as much as 70 percent since then, Miller may have lost up to $2.6 million in potential compensation."
Alabama football coach Nick Saban is the nation's top-paid public employee; he earned $7.09 million last year. Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh ($7 million) is second, followed by Calipari, Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer ($5.86 million) and Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops ($5.86 million).
Rounding out the top 10 are Texas football coach Charlie Strong ($5.16 million), Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher ($5.15 million), Miller, Kansas basketball coach Bill Self ($4.94 million) and Penn State football coach James Franklin ($4.4 million).
The creation of PK80 – Phil Knight Invitational, a 16-team, early-season men’s college basketball tournament honoring Nike co-founder and 2012 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Phil Knight in advance of his 80th birthday, will take place over Thanksgiving week in 2017 from Portland, Ore.
One of the largest regular-season tournaments in college basketball history, sporting a field featuring some of the top schools in the nation, will be played Thursday, Nov. 23, Friday, Nov. 24 and Sunday, Nov. 26, from the Rose Quarter’s Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Participating schools include Arkansas, Butler, Connecticut, Duke, Florida, Georgetown, Gonzaga, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Portland, Portland State, Stanford and Texas.
For the third season in a row, one of the Wildcats’ preseason practices will be televised live nationally. This year’s event will take place Oct. 9 from 7-9 p.m.
The Wildcats will go through various agility and shooting drills in addition to 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 scrimmaging.
Doris Burke, Seth Greenberg and Fran Fraschilla will be on hand to call the action for ESPNU, along with Andy Katz, who will handle sideline reports.
Kentucky is coming off a 27-9 season that included both the Southeastern Conference regular-season and tournament championships. Coach John Calipari reloaded his roster with six newcomers: Bam Adebayo, Brad Calipari, De’Aaron Fox, Wenyen Gabriel, Sacha Killeya-Jones and Malik Monk.
In addition to its recruiting class, UK will welcome back experience with sophomores Isaiah Briscoe and Isaac Humphries, and seniors Derek Willis, Dominique Hawkins and Mychal Mulder.
NCAA Tournament Brackets and History interactive tool
CBS Interactive Tool: compare record, RPI and SOS details head to head.
Big 12 Composite Schedule & Results
…Shay Wildeboor of Rivals.com both reported that Preston will be the latest in a long line of marquee visitors who plan to attend this year's Late Night in the Phog, Oct. 1 at Allen Fieldhouse.
The 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward from Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, also has a visit scheduled for USC the weekend of Oct. 8.
Indiana, Maryland and North Carolina State round out his list of five finalists, though he has yet to set up visits with any of those three.
Preston will join key 2017 targets point guard Collin Sexton, wing Troy Brown, big man Cody Riley and several underclassmen from the Classes of 2018 and 2019 at this year's season-opening extravaganza.
Many recruiting analysts believe that USC is the team to beat for Preston, but the fact that his Kansas visit will come before his trip to Southern California certainly puts the Jayhawks in a good position.
…According to Rivals.com's Krysten Peek, Preston is in no hurry to make a decision and is enjoying the process of really taking a look at each school on his list.
“I talk to Coach (Bill) Self and Coach (Kurtis) Townsend on a regular basis,” Preston told Peek earlier this month. “I’m taking an official visit to Kansas sometime in October and I’m just going to take a deeper look into the program and what the relationship is like with the team.”
Annual Late Night in the Phog
Annual Bill Self Camp KU vs Alumni games
60 Years of AFH Celebration
Legends of the Phog game
2011-12 Final Border War
KC Prep Invitational
and more, now on YouTube