So we're breaking down Kansas, en route to its 10th straight Big 12 title and God only knows what else beyond that, and a Big 12 assistant basketball coach, unprompted, blurts out this:
"Perry Ellis gets the shaft more than any player I've ever seen."
"Right, right," Ellis said after you tell him about this coach, and this comment, an hour or so after he lit Texas Christian up for 32 points, eight rebounds and five assists in a 95-65 laugher at Allen Fieldhouse. "I mean, it's something I try not to really worry about (if), I mean, I don't get the recognition.
"I just really want to help my team win. As long as we're winning, good things will happen. So I just try not to worry about that."
Andrew Wiggins gets magazine covers and rap songs and hype, then backlash, then hype again. Joel Embiid, for the past six weeks or so, has become the "thinking man's" No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, a rocket stock, the king of the midseason.
And then there's Ellis, the 6-foot-8, 225-pound sophomore, quietly cleaning up everybody else's messes, quietly setting up his teammates to bring the house down, or quietly making life an absolute bear for the other team on the boards. Quiet, quiet, quiet. A mouse in front of a microphone, Godzilla in the paint.
…TCU Weekend is the Big 12 hoops equivalent of football homecoming: Entertain somebody you know you'll beat, bring the alumni back, a few celebrities, and let the good times roll. And the celebrities were in full-force, a guest list that included former KU stars Nick Collison, Jeff Withey and Kevin Young -- and even actress/'60s icon Barbara Eden, star of "I Dream of Jeannie." Eden's husband, Jon Eicholtz, is a KU grad and big-time Jayhawk fan.
But it was Perry -- not Jeannie -- who had the magic touch Saturday. He scored under the hoop. He scored on putbacks. He scored on jumpers. He scored on treys. He had the wherewithal several times to drop short passes over to teammates cutting through the lane for easy looks.
"He always involves his teammates," noted Wiggins, who converted one of those assists into an alley-oop slam. "He gave me the alley-oop, and I would do the same for him. He's aggressive the whole game attacking the hoop and making plays. He's doing everything."
Fox Sports Keeler
KUAD: Kansas shuts down TCU, 95-65 post game notes
KUAD: Box Score
AUDIO: Davis/Gurley TCU highlights
UDK Photos 1
UDK Photos 2
KC Star Photos
How can you not just love Phog Allen Fieldhouse !? #WorldsBestFans
How about my boy @PElliz today !! Balled out!
2/11/14, 6:12 PM
Had a 10 yr old kid come up today to tell me how we should have guarded the high pick&roll at the end last night lol That's Kansas for you.
According to @jppalmCBS Kansas has played most difficult schedule in 20 years by a significant margin.
Instagram Vid: Bonnie Bernstein visits KU practice
2/14/14, 3:34 PM
Great to see @JeffWithey @waynesimien and @riochitown23 at practice today.
LJW Keegan: Ellis top ratings again
Fonda Ellis sent a text message to her son, Perry, just before Saturday’s tipoff.
“Go get another double-double,” it read.
Forgive Fonda if she wasn't upset following No. 7 Kansas’ 95-65 rout against TCU on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.
“We’ll take 32,” she said with a grin.
Ellis smashed his previous career high of 24 points set against Duke earlier in the season, scoring 32 points on 13-for-15 shooting.
No, he didn’t get to double-digit rebounds (he ended with eight), but for good measure, he added a career-high five assists to go with two steals in 31 minutes.
“I thought he played a terrific all-around game,” Perry’s father, Will, said. “He did a little bit of everything.”
…Following a TCU timeout, the crowd showed its appreciation by chanting, “Per-ry! Per-ry!”
Even the normally stoic Perry seemed to be enjoying himself, as he leapt up to back-bump his teammates near the bench.
“I think he cracked a smile,” Fonda said with a laugh.
In another Year of the Freshmen, where the highlight reels and daily debates are often focused on the rookies, it’s been easy to ignore Ellis — both here in Kansas and nationally.
Maybe that’s partially an Ellis problem, of course. He can be quiet and smooth, and nothing about his game has a real high decibel-level.
“The way that he plays,” sophomore wing Andrew White III said, “he gets a lot of sneaky buckets, sneaky rebounds.”
“Subtle points,” Tarik Black said.
But for one afternoon, no one could overlook Ellis. He finished 13 of 15 from the floor. He demolished his previous career high of 24, set earlier this year against Duke. (It was the most points by a Kansas player since Ben McLemore had 36 last season against West Virginia.)
Ellis grabbed eight rebounds and dished out a career-high five assists while carving up TCU’s zone defense. And he did it all with freshman center Joel Embiid sitting out, recovering from knee and back injuries. By the end, when Ellis finally exited the game with under four minutes left, the Allen Fieldhouse crowd had come to its feet and the student section was chanting: “Perry, Perry!”
“I definitely felt in a rhythm,” Ellis said. “I wasn’t taking rushed shots. I was just trying to take the most shots in rhythm. That’s when most of them go in.”
Last Monday, in the moments after Kansas’ overtime loss in Manhattan, K-State coach Bruce Weber had called Ellis his choice for Big 12 player of the year. On a team with a handful of future millionaires, maybe it was a little surprising. But Self said Ellis provides something that Andrew Wiggins and Embiid can’t — at least not yet: offensive consistency.
Wiggins and Selden scored efficiently Saturday afternoon, just one game after struggling at Kansas State. It was the kind of recovery you don’t always see from freshmen after they struggle, particularly with Selden, who scored just two points in the Wildcats’ 85-82 overtime win against the Jayhawks.
“We knew we had to prepare ourselves, and get back on our feet, and ready for the next game,” Wiggins said. “Good teams never let one game decide how they’re going to play for the rest of the season.
Then again, facing a TCU team that hasn’t won a game in conference play all season can make for the kind of recovery Selden had Saturday against the Horned Frogs. After sitting on the bench for much of the second half and overtime against Kansas State, Selden played 33 minutes and scored 15 points for KU.
Kansas coach Bill Self complimented Selden’s play, particularly his 11-point, 19-minute first half.
“When you go on the road there’s a good chance not everybody’s going to play well,” Self said in reference to the Kansas State game. “Wayne will be fine.”
The other freshman was more than fine. Wiggins shot 7-for-11 from the floor, including multiple finishes at the rim in his 17-point outing. Wiggins has gained somewhat of a reputation for not being able to finish at the rim, which was a non-issue against the Horned Frogs’ 2-3 zone.
Combined, Wiggins and Selden scored 32 points, grabbed 8 rebounds with 8 assists and committed just one turnover.
It had been more than two years since Bill Self and Brandon Rush saw one another, so when the former Kansas star walked into the locker room after Saturday’s rout of TCU, it was —more than anything, perhaps — simply a nice moment for the two to reconnect.
But it was Rush, after all, the lanky, 6-foot-6 forward Self considers the best defensive player he’s coached in his 11 seasons in Lawrence.
Now, Rush isn’t regarded as the most vocal guy, so Self didn’t tap him to deliver his team a defensive seminar. He did, however, go ahead and ask Rush — a standout from KU's 2008 national title team — how he thought Jayhawks guarded.
“Not great,” was Rush’s reply.
“Very profound,” Self would later say.
…Self, in revealing the PG-version of his halftime message, said he wanted his team to maybe, “try a little harder.”
Got it, coach.
In a smothering five-minute span to begin the second half, KU forced four turnovers and TCU went 0-for-4 from the field — not scoring until Amric Field’s free throw at the 16:18 mark. During that span, the Jayhawks raced and dunked their way to a 13-1 run that pushed their lead to 60-41.
“They came out with a lot of intensity on defense, and it led to easy baskets,” Anderson said. “That’s what good teams do.”
…Freshman guard Brannen Greene was held out of the game due to what KU officials called “a pattern of irresponsible behavior” just before tipoff.
After the game, Self didn’t offer any details about why Greene sat, but said he expects Greene to play moving forward.
“We can have slippage from a responsibility standpoint,” Self said, “and that’s basically what happened.”
“I would rather try to have their heads right or whatever early in their career than I would being lax and trying to get them back later,” he added. “I would rather just address this and get it out of the way and now (Greene) will know better.”
EMBIID UPDATE — Self was optimistic when asked about center Joel Embiid’s status for Tuesday’s game at Texas Tech.
“He should be able to play Tuesday,” Self said. “Hopefully he’ll be able to practice (Sunday) and play Tuesday. He could’ve played today if he needed to, but he wasn’t pain-free, so we’ll get him back out there tomorrow and see what he can do.”
FORMER JAYHAWKS RETURN — It’s NBA All-Star weekend and all, so many former Jayhawks were in attendance. Among the faces in the crowd were Nick Collison (Oklahoma City Thunder), Mario Little, Rush (Utah Jazz), Jeff Withey (New Orleans Pelicans) and Kevin Young, as well as former KU football standout and current Denver Broncos linebacker Steven Johnson.
Traylor, meanwhile, appeared motivated to make up for whatever transgressions led to his benching. He finished with a career-high 10 points and eight rebounds in 22 minutes.
“I feel like I did something to let my team down,” Traylor said. “So I wanted to get out there and (light) a spark.”
Traylor, who is now shooting 77.4 percent (24 of 31) in Big 12 games, said he felt personally responsible when he was on the bench for KU’s loss at K-State last Monday.
“If it was up to me, I wouldn’t want to have to sat out,” Traylor said. “But that’s between me and coach. … It was definitely a physical game at K-State, and I think if I was out there, we would have had a better chance to have won.”
Traylor and Self talked Thursday afternoon, and Traylor said they came to a mutual understanding.
“Pretty much,” Traylor said. “I’m not going to screw up anymore.”
Kansas University sophomore Andrew White III, who hadn’t scored a point since Thanksgiving Day, busted the drought with four points in five minutes in Saturday’s 95-65 victory over TCU in Allen Fieldhouse.
“It felt good. I think those were my first points in conference play,” said White, who entered having played eight minutes total in Big 12 action.
“Coach (Bill Self) has been stressing to be aggressive. That’s what I want to do. Although I was cold and stiff, I knew I had (the last) four minutes to give it everything I’ve got. I went out there and played hard. It’s all I can do at this point. I think I blended in with the other walk-ons. Every opportunity I get I’m going to play hard regardless of how much time it is or what the score is.”
White, who is on scholarship, had hoped for more this season.
“It’s been real frustrating,” the 6-6 guard from Richmond, Va., said. “Although there’s a lot of talent here, everybody kind of has their own expectations when the year starts. That’s usually them planning to play well and get playing time. It didn’t go accordingly. I’m not happy about it obviously but I don’t complain. I don’t make phone calls home complaining. I just do what I can and that’s work hard in practice every day and try to be ready when and if coach calls on me. It’s been a big down point but I’ll recover.”
White stressed: “I’ve not been slacking in practice. Me being on the court (sparingly) isn’t an indication of what I’m doing off the court. I’ve been practicing hard. I’ve been putting in extra time. I’ve been competing with guys at my position as if I was playing. It’s a matter of getting there. That’s in coach’s hands, not mine.”
Senior Tarik Black was happy to see White get on the board.
“Andrew is one of the hardest workers we have on our team by far,” Black said. “It was good to see him out there. He was doing his thing. He was knocking down shots and playing defense. I’m happy for him.”
…Actress Barbara Eden, best known for her role as a genie in the 1960s TV series, “I Dream of Jeannie” attended with her husband, KU grad Jon Eicholtz, and sat next to KU’s chancellor. Eden was shown on the scoreboard at various junctures and even performed her trademark head nod and blink for the fans, who gave her a loud ovation.
The reality of it was, TCU basketball coach Trent Johnson was not all that upset with his team after a 95-65 loss to No. 7 Kansas University on Saturday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse.
Not that you'd know that from listening to a few of Johnson's post-game soundbites following the loss.
After first talking about how proud he was of the effort his overmatched players gave and how impressed he was by the way the Horned Frogs played tough for a half and trailed just 47-40 at halftime, Johnson put a dark twist rooted in dry humor on an otherwise pleasant five minutes with the media before he left the room.
“Appreciate it,” Johnson said. “It's nice being in Lawrence. Hopefully I'll be able to come back next year, if I don't kill myself in the meantime.”
If not for such heavy words, one might have thought Johnson was OK with the state of TCU basketball, which fell to 9-15 overall, and, more painfully, 0-12 in Big 12 play on Saturday. He's not. And it stings. But he also knows there is not a whole lot he or his injury-riddled team can do about it this season. So he mixes in metaphors and one-liners that take the focus off of the basketball ever so slightly.
“My guys play for an idiot, who's really competitive,” Johnson joked. “I'm not sure how bright he is.”
Then, getting back to basketball, Johnson equated TCU's task of trying to play with a Kansas team that is full of future pros to boxing.
“I'm all about respecting tradition,” he said. “But this is still a basketball game. It's not a boxing match. If you don't compete, you're gonna get knocked out. It's all about competing.”
…“They're good,” Johnson said. “They're really good. The thing I like about them is they're really competitive. They play for the jersey. They're selfless, real physical and they just wore us down.”
Rookies no more, Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins and center Joel Embiid have been named to the list of top 30 candidates for the 2014 Naismith Men's College Player of the Year award presented by AT&T, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Thursday.
…Last season, Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey made the top-30 candidate list as did Thomas Robinson the season prior to that. Danny Manning was the first, and only, Jayhawk to win the award which began in 1969.
Each year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors chooses the 50 preseason "Naismith Watch" list as well as the mid-season team of 30 candidates. The Naismith voting academy narrows that group down to four finalists who will make up the final ballot. The voting academy, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country, bases its criteria on player performance throughout the season. The 30 candidates will be narrowed to four finalists on March 23, with Naismith's Men's College Player of the Year announced April 6.
Jayhawk Nation can help as the fans' vote will account for 25 percent of the selection process for the Naismith Men's and Women's College Player of the Year. This program sets the standard in college athletics for integrating fans into the voting process and providing them with more input than with any other major collegiate sports award.
Vote for Wiggs for the Wooden Award
VOTE for Kansas at the NCAA 6th Fan Contest
Since we are on the topic of assists - the #McDAAG assist leader = Jacque Vaughn (West, ‘93) with 13 #NBAAllStar
Honored to be giving back in NOLA with @nbacares - cleaning up a school. So blessed to be at #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/syDnZJE7uh
Fox Sports: Scott Pollard impressed with Wesley, ‘Jayhawkers’
“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
Every week I get asked which is the best conference in the country. Every week the Big 12 convinces me more and more.
Sure Bramlage Coliseum is where KSU plays but I prefer to know it as home of 2A State Basketball.
K-State fans aren't booing, everybody has a long "u" sound in their name. #Fuster #Sprudling #Wulliams
After nearly two hours of watching Texas score in just about every way possible from all over the court, West Virginia coach Bob Huggins slumped into his seat and put his hand on his chin.
His challenge was to explain how a team that had looked ready to be a force over the second half of the Big 12 schedule could appear so helpless against the 19th-ranked Longhorns in an 88-71 loss Saturday night.
"We couldn't guard. Couldn't, didn't, wouldn't. Something," Huggins said. "You can't let people shoot that well, especially when you're not making shots."
Javan Felix scored 18 points and the Longhorns put five players in double figures. Texas shot nearly 60 percent for the game, outrebounded West Virginia 41-26 and dunked eight times in a romp that kept the Longhorns a game off the lead in the chase for the Big 12 title.
Cameron Ridley scored 17 points and was a force on defense with three of Texas' five blocks, including two in the final minute of the first half. Jonathan Holmes, the Longhorns' leading scorer, had 11 points in his return after missing a game with a knee injury.
Q: Along those lines, what's your level of optimism when it comes to your goal of raising the minimum age to 20 (years old from 19 when the next CBA is negotiated, likely when there's an opt-out after the 2016-17 season)?
A: It's hard to tell. I never quite understood the player opposition. Of course it's a zero sum game in terms of numbers of jobs, and amount of salary we pay out. We pay out roughly 50% of BRI (basketball-related income), and that's divided among the players in the league. So there is absolutely, and by definition can't be, a financial savings to us by increasing the age to 20. It has been our belief that we have a better chance to grow the (financial) pie that gets divided 50-50 if we increase the age and create, in essence, a more competitive league. And it has been our sense for a long time that our draft would be more competitive if our teams had an opportunity to see these players play an additional year, whether it be in college or professionally in the Development League or overseas.
We believe the additional year of maturity would be meaningful. And increasingly, I've been told by many NBA coaches that one of the issues with the younger guys coming into the league is they've never had an opportunity to lead. By having come directly out of their first year of college, those are the moments in their lives where…they were put in positions as upper classmen, where they first learned how to lead teammates. And ultimately, if you look at our most successful teams, they're successful because they play as a team and I think that's one of the beauties of this game is that it's such an interesting mix of team play and at the same time individual (skill).
A team plays together with individual attributes. It's that blend that teams are always constantly trying to achieve, the perfect blend. Again though, it's one of those issues (where) it needs to be collectively bargained, and for good reason. It's something that during collective bargaining the last time, we had lots of discussions about it with the group of players who were representing the union at the time and I think it's something that we should continue to discuss. Let me just throw in that at the same time, I think maybe, just to broaden my horizons a little bit, I'm trying to look at it not just from the perspective of the NBA because I believe strong college basketball is also beneficial to the NBA and to the game generally. So even if it's not terrible for the NBA right now, at least talking to a lot of my college coaching friends and college (athletic director) friends, their view is (that) one and done is a disaster. I think this is one of these issues that the larger basketball community needs to come together and address, not just the NBA owners and our players. Youth basketball and college basketball should have a seat at the table as well.
USA Today: Q&A with NBA commissioner Adam Silver
CBS: Syracuse snafu. School tweets advertisements for Tyler Ennis jersey. NCAA violation, not their first for social media
NCAA: Annual mock tourney selection teaches media new bracketing principles
Raise your hand if the video below seems really familiar.
Imitation. The sincerest form of flattery?
...And here's the backstory for the above video.
For comparison’s sake, the cost of getting into a WSU game is higher than comparable seats at the University of Kansas, the state’s traditional basketball powerhouse.
The lowest-priced nosebleed seats for KU’s Feb. 22 matchup with Texas are $208 each, $14 less than a comparable seat for the same day’s Shocker game.
You can get a seat at KU’s March 5 season finale against Texas Tech for $106, less than half the cost for the WSU-Missouri State game.
The highest-priced seats for KU are much higher than Wichita State’s. Near-courtside tickets are on Stubhub as high as $1,936.
Bargain hunters might go for Kansas State University. The Wildcats’ last two home games of the season are March 1 against Iowa State – $60 for the lowest-priced ticket – and March 8 against Baylor, $52.55.
The more Wichita State wins, the more the university will be able to charge for tickets and TV rights. And increasingly, athletic departments are using the resale market to guide decisions on where to set the face value for tickets, Noble said.
Time and ongoing team success will tell whether the current ticket prices are a bubble or the start of an upward trend. A big part of it is reputation.
According to Noble, KU has that and remains a ticket in demand even though its current season – 19 wins and six losses as of Saturday – is not what its fans had hoped for when KU signed one of the nation’s top-rated recruiting classes.
Noble compares WSU to Gonzaga, a once-obscure university in Spokane, Wash., that has parlayed basketball to national prominence. The Zags had their best season in 1998-99, advancing to the Elite 8 in the March Madness tournament.
Big XII composite schedule (includes results, highlights, stats)
ESPN College GameDay Schedule
2013-14 TV Schedule
Kelly Oubre, Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.), SF, 2014 College: Kansas The weapon in my repertoire that I love the most is... "My athleticism. I love dunking on people. I will dunk on anybody!”
VIDEO: Curie (Cliff Alexander) vs North Lawndale Charter game replay
In the past, the Sun-Times has selected an All-CPS team comprised of the top players in the Public League. This year we’re transitioning to an All-City team that will be selected from every school in the Chicago city limits. This year’s team will start with two of the most talented players that have ever played in the state of Illinois — Young’s 6-11 center, Jahlil Okafor and Curie’s 6-9 center, Cliff Alexander. The pair are currently rated nationally as the top two players in the class of 2014.
Kansas-bound Alexander is a defensive phenom. He currently has the Condors ranked No. 1 in the state and is averaging 25 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks. Curie coach Mike Oliver said Alexander is a one of a kind player who has worked hard to become the player that he is. “When he walked through the door you knew he could be good, but you would never imagine that he would grow into the player that he has become,” Oliver said. “He is without question the most dominate high school player in the country, but that is just part of who he is. He is an outstanding, humble kid who has put this school on the map because of the way he is on and off the court.”
Oklahoma St official 21-23 & Kansas official 24-26
Kansas asst Jerrance Howard was on hand when 2015 G @iammaliknewman went for 31 including a 3 from 20 seconds left
VIDEO: Beyond the Game (Malik Newman)
Myles Turner, the top remaining uncommitted prospect in the Class of 2014 is aiming to unofficially visit SMU next Wednesday (2/19) when the Mustangs host Houston, his father confirmed.
"We're hoping to go," Myles' father David said Friday morning. "SMU is in the conversation. There's no front-runners right now."
The 6-11 Turner has already taken official visits to Oklahoma State and Ohio State and can officially visit three other programs before making a decision.
David Turner said there's no update as to which other schools his son will visit.
"We have to sort that out," David Turner said. "We have too many schools still on the list."
The mixtape, produced by Ty Kish of CityLeagueHoopsTV, shows the 7-foot Maker of Carlise High School in Martinsville, Va., displaying the jaw-dropping length, athleticism and skill that has vaulted Maker into the consensus top-five discussion for basketball prospects in the 2016 class. Some services have even put Maker at No. 1 and it isn’t hard to see why based on some of the highlights seen in Maker’s latest mixtape.
But when media outlets begin to pick up on these high school mixtapes and start attaching NBA names to the equation — as happened with alarming regularity with the Maker mixtape over the weekend — that is when things start to get dicey. Websites such as Deadspin and The Big Lead mentioned Kevin Durant after watching Maker’s mixtape and that is when things start to get dangerous. One news organization even gave Maker the outrageous distinction of having the potential to be a hybrid of Kevin Durant and Chris Paul.
If you were to take the time to see Maker play — as I have in multiple events last spring and summer — or look at his stats on the grassroots circuit in the Nike EYBL, you’d see those Kevin Durant comparisons aren’t really all that close. Thon Maker played two grade levels up for prestigious AAU program Boo Williams and led the very difficult EYBL in blocked shots and blocked shots per game last spring. Maker also shot 40 percent from the field and 3-for-17 from the three-point line during EYBL play last season and averaged 8.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in 18 games for Boo Williams.
These numbers are impressive — especially for a sophomore playing guys two years older than him, in many cases — but how can you compare an elite shot blocker and questionable perimeter shooter to Kevin Durant, one of the top two players in the world?
And off of a two-to-three minute video of hand-picked highlight plays?
…What you don’t see in mixtapes is kids making bad decisions or bad basketball plays. You don’t get turnovers and blown defensive assignments on a mixtape. Want to see a mixtape of a kid curling around a screen and putting himself in position for a great catch-and-shoot jumper? Good luck.
Where is the mixtape footage of Thon Maker trying to assert himself physically on the interior and being manhandled inside of 10 feet as happened in multiple games last spring and summer?
This isn’t a knock on Maker, who, again, is a top-5 prospect in the sophomore class. But you have to paint a complete picture with a high school player when making a comparison model to NBA All-Stars and not just carelessly throwing names out there to bump up page views.
Highlight reels are fun to watch, but they don’t show the full and complete portrait of how a basketball player truly functions on the court.
My Late Night in the Phog videos, KU Alumni games videos, 2011-12 Border War videos, Legends of the Phog videos, KC Prep Invitational, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos and more now on YouTube