McLemore, who is working out in Lawrence this summer to prepare for his second season with the Sacramento Kings, oftentimes has found himself matched up against KU sophomore Wayne Selden.
The one-on-one battles have been fun and also competitive.
“After that (knee) surgery, he’s definitely getting his bounce back,” McLemore said. “He’s been looking very good.”
…McLemore also has been able to get a close look at KU’s three freshmen on campus.
That includes Devonte’ Graham, a 6-foot-1½ point guard from Raleigh, N.C.
“Devonte’ … oh man. Speed, quickness,” McLemore said. “And that’s one thing, he can shoot the ball pretty good. He can shoot.
“To be that small, he’s pretty long and a quick defender. He’ll stay in front of his man pretty good.”
…A day after 6-8½ freshman forward Cliff Alexander described himself as a player built on his power, McLemore agreed with the assessment.
“He’s a big guy,” McLemore said. “He can do a lot of damage on this college level and also with this program, he can help a lot. The big body that he has, athleticism … he’s going to be good.”
Kelly Oubre, a 6-foot-7 wing, is KU’s third freshman on campus.
“When we first started, I didn’t know he was left-handed. I didn’t know he was left-handed until he shot the ball. I was like, ‘Wow ...’” McLemore said. “He’s going to be good. Once he gets to learn how to play the game and the system and stuff, he’s definitely going to be good. He can shoot the ball.”
VIDEO: Wayne's bounce is back!
McLemore addressed a variety of topics with the media and the campers.
Of his one-day summer event in Lawrence to raise funds for the fight against childhood hunger, he said: “It’s something I thought of to be part of for the people of Lawrence. Everybody can have fun and just enjoy it.” The day includes a “Brunch with Ben” and a basketball run and dribbling event down Mass Street.
“It’s going to be good,” he added.
Of getting dunked on by LeBron James in a video that went viral last season, he said: “It wasn’t that bad. I mean that’s LeBron James, right? Everybody in the league gets dunked on once in a while. I was making a basketball play at the wrong time. At the same time, I had fun out there playing against one of my role models. I felt kind of bad after I was getting texts and pictures of me getting dunked on by LeBron. He told reporters he hated it had to be me, but at the same time, it’s basketball.”
On James being one of his childhood idols: “I was trying to mimic my game just like his. LeBron and Paul Pierce, another guy from Kansas, are two guys I looked up to. Just the little things they did.”
Of Joel Embiid’s chances of being a dominant NBA center: “If he keeps working he can definitely be. I think Joel has that potential to be great, one of the best kids in the NBA. Not too many freshmen show a showcase like that early in a season like that. He definitely did it early.”
Alexander arrives after a senior season in which he averaged 24 points, 15 rebounds and six assists a game for Curie High.
“One word ... power,” the McDonald’s All-American exclaimed, asked how to characterize his game.
KU coach Bill Self would agree with that assertion.
“He’s a guy who will definitely attack the rim,” Self said Sunday at camp. “I’d say right now he is a hybrid. He’s a post that can play away from the basket or he’s a 4-man that can post. He’s kind of both of those guys. He’s certainly got some work to do offensively and defensively ... but offensively, as far as developing some go-to moves because he’s used to being more athletic than people and overpowering them. Of course, at this level, he won’t be able to do that quite as easy.”
…Self on Sunday said all players are on campus for summer school with the exception of Ukraine’s Mykhailiuk, who will work out with his national team this summer.
For now, Alexander is enjoying his first days in the Kansas program. He’s bonded with fellow freshmen Kelly Oubre Jr. and Devonte’ Graham and began to explore the campus. He’s rooming with sophomore guard Conner Frankamp.
Earlier this spring, Self was quite bullish on his latest freshman class, comparing them with some of his best. Alexander is not going to argue.
“Hopefully it comes true, if we come in and do what we need to do,” Alexander said.
There was a moment during four-on-four drills Tuesday when wing Kelly Oubre was blocked (and hacked, really) by junior forward Jamari Traylor.
After Oubre came down with the ball, Traylor swarmed him again. The two struggled a bit until Oubre finally secured possession, pushing Traylor away before the two finally separated.
Welcome to the rough-and-tumble life of a freshman trying to earn his keep on the KU basketball team.
“As you can tell by the way we practice, we’re all savages on the court. Nobody wants to get anything easy,” Oubre said. “We all are going to go after every dead ball like it’s something to eat, like we’re starving.”
…Oubre, who arrived at KU two weeks ago, didn’t stay on campus for long. He immediately made his way to Wichita, where he helped with a youth basketball camp run by Washburn coach Bob Chipman.
“It was beautiful man. Playing with the kids, putting a smile on their faces, making their day every day,” Oubre said. “It’s just a blessing to be able to do that with this name (Kansas) across my chest.”
As for his immediate goals, Oubre said he hopes he can being a positive attitude and also some grit to KU’s program.
“I don’t take no for an answer,” Oubre said. “I’m going to go as hard as I can while I’m on the court, and I’m going to give coach everything I have.”
If you listen to what Bill Self is saying about his team’s point-guard position, it may sound as if he’s embracing some kind of radical innovation.
“I don’t want to play a point guard anymore,” Self is saying.
But let him explain: What Self is really hoping for is a return to a style that often defined some of his best teams at Kansas: Multiple combo guards on the floor, versatile playmakers in the backcourt, and a shared responsibility at the point guard spot.
“I want to play, ‘You play three guards and whoever gets it brings it,’” Self says. “That’s how we’ve always had our best teams.”
For the last two seasons, of course, Kansas didn’t have the personnel to play like a classic Self backcourt. Two years ago, Elijah Johnson was the primary ball handler while playing alongside bigger wings in Ben McLemore and Travis Releford. And Naadir Tharpe was thrust into a similar role last season. Self had other options in freshmen guards Frank Mason and Conner Frankamp, but more often than not, the Jayhawks were stuck with one ball handler on the floor.
…“Last year, it was obviously Naadir and we didn’t have any primary handlers besides him,” Self said. “I want Wayne to be able to play the point. I want Frank, I want Conner, I want Devonte’, I want Svi when he gets here. I want all these guys to be able to be a guy that can get it and bring it, so we’re playing a bunch of combo guards that can all play point.”
The template, of course, looks something like the 2008 backcourt, which featured Russell Robinson, Mario Chalmers and Sherron Collins, or the 2010 backcourt with Collins and Tyshawn Taylor.
“Late-game situations, you need a guy that can be a closer and do certain things,” Self said. “But up until the last five to seven minutes, I hope we can have three point guards out there, or at least the appearance of three.”
KU sophomore forward Landen Lucas bumped his knee Monday and is ticketed to miss a day or two of workouts and pick-up action, Self said. ... KU soph Mason did a series of five backflips for Self’s campers. “In the NCAA (practice) he did three in a row then dunked it,” Self said. ... Self said NBA representatives of the Cavaliers, Bucks and Sixers all have been to town to talk about Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins. “From what I’ve heard, they all have a chance to go in the top three,” Self cracked. ... Self said Mykhailiuk would be playing for Ukraine’s junior national team then hopefully work out with the senior national team, which is coached by Mike Fratella and assisted by former KU coach Bob Hill. He could arrive at KU as late as September if he plays for the national team. “I know he’s in the gym, no question about that,” Self said. ... Self was happy with his two spring signees — Mykhailiuk and Graham. “What we got was more of the (KU) needs than even getting the big kid from Texas (Myles Turner),” Self said. “He (Turner, UT) is going to be a terrific player, but I felt if we could get an unbelievable shooter and true point guard I think that would probably offset maybe not having so much standing height inside.”
LJW Video: Cliff Alexander block and dunk
LJW Video: Jayhawks go through drills at Bill Self’s camp
A week after Curie High School won the city basketball championship, a Chicago Public Schools investigation revealed that seven Curie basketball players had been ineligible for the entire season because the correct paperwork hadn’t been filed. The Sun-Times’ No. 1-ranked team was stripped of its city title and 24 victories for the season.
Now, a Sun-Times investigation has found that CPS officials can’t say for sure that basketball players at every school — including the top teams — were eligible. That’s because the school district is missing most of the paperwork required to show team and player eligibility, documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show. The district ignored initial requests for the data and later released it.
The lack of accountability regarding the academic eligibility of student-athletes raises serious questions about the academic success of the students, the lessons the students are learning from school leaders and what it means for the future of the players, education experts said. Though the CPS sports administration department is required by CPS bylaws to have official computer-generated eligibility sheets on file for each team for every game, the district only could provide 46 of those sheets on file — despite the 460 scheduled conference games this school year that should have produced 920 certificates.
But there is at least one instance where each team in the game followed the rules and submitted the correct paperwork, according to CPS records. That game was played by Roosevelt and North-Grand high schools. Apparently, no forms were on file for any of the 31 games in the city championship tournament, which Curie was forced to forfeit. CPS officials only could provide the Central Office Records Sheet, a form submitted at the start of the season listing eligible players, for 30 of the 96 CPS boys basketball teams. Some of the documents, which were redacted by CPS, appeared to be unsigned. None of the forms appear to be from teams in the top conferences, the Red South and Red West. At least two teams from the Red Central, DuSable and King high schools, submitted the forms.
…“We played four games in front of all the CPS administrators, and not one time did anyone check,” Curie coach Mike Oliver said. “Why are we the only team being penalized? Why out of all these years were we the only ones getting penalized for not turning in sheets? No one turned anything in.” Oliver said he has paid a substantial personal price for the scandal. “Everywhere I go, people point and say, ‘That’s the coach that cheated,’ ” he said. “I was waiting on that city championship for 22 years. To go through that, and they don’t have eligibility stuff for any of the teams? Wow.”
…An anonymous tip to CPS just hours before Curie faced Young on Feb. 21 triggered an investigation into the eligibility of the Curie players, whose names have not been released. Despite the allegations, CPS officials encouraged the game be played. It drew thousands of spectators, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, to Chicago State University, the neutral site where the game was played. It was televised locally on WCIU-Channel 26.2 and was available live on ESPN3.com. CPS officials opened an investigation and a week later determined seven players had been ineligible since the beginning of the season. That same investigation found that the players would have been deemed eligible if the proper paperwork had been filed, CPS said at the time. Before every game, teams are supposed to exchange computer-generated eligibility sheets, according to CPS policy. But the rule rarely is followed or enforced, coaches told the Sun-Times. Those sheets also are supposed to be filed with CPS. To play sports, CPS students must maintain a 2.0 grade-point average or be in an “individual study plan” and have a form certifying that. Curie had none of the required forms on file, CPS officials said. For Oliver and his team, it “feels personal.”
"I picked KU because I clicked more with the coaches and the fans. Walking in the Fieldhouse it's hard to say no" Andrew Wiggins on KU
6/10/14, 6:44 PM
Joel Embiid has arrived in Cleveland, will work out & undergo medical eval for Cavs. Could decide whether he's No. 1 pick, source told ESPN.
Here is SI.com's Mock Draft 2.0, which features a new name at the top:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers -- Joel Embiid, C, Kansas freshman, 7-foot-0, 250 pounds
Cleveland isn't tipping its hand, but league sources continue to believe that the decision is down to Embiid and Andrew Wiggins. Embiid alleviated some concerns about his back during a workout for teams last month, when executives in attendance came away impressed with his superior athleticism and two-way potential. New Cavs general manager David Griffin has the luxury of being able to draft a player who needs time to develop like the 20-year-old Embiid, who started playing at age 16.
2. Milwaukee Bucks -- Andrew Wiggins, F/G, Kansas freshman, 6-8, 200
There is conflicting information here, with sources indicating that the Bucks like both Wiggins and Jabari Parker -- if Embiid is off the board. The guess here is that they settle on Wiggins, whose ceiling, many executives believe, is slightly higher than Parker's. The rebuilding Bucks need a franchise player, and Wiggins has that potential.
The Sixers apparently aren't satisfied with having the Nos. 3 and 10 picks in this year's draft.
They, not surprisingly, reportedly have been trying to get No. 1 from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
According to ESPN NBA Insider Chad Ford's mock draft, the Sixers have "engaged the Cavs about moving to No. 1" -- and presumably using the first overall pick to take Andrew Wiggins. Ford has the Sixers' selecting Wiggins with the third pick but admits it's a "dream scenario" and a "godsend" and then says the Sixers have inquired about the top pick.
According to Ford, the Sixers "aren't willing" to give up both the No. 3 and No. 10 picks to land the No. 1 pick but could be willing to part with a package of the No. 3 pick and Thaddeus Young.
But that's just one interesting nugget in Ford's mock.
He also mentions that the "camp" for Wiggins prefers the Sixers as the "best possible fit." And if the Sixers can't land the top pick or Wiggins, Ford says "he's told" the Sixers will take either Joel Embiid or Jabari Parker.
Excited to get back to Lawrence
Russell Robinson (ex-KU) put Big Apple Ballers into the TBT semis on a buzzer-beating 3. W/ no Chalmers around, Russ gets to take that shot.
SI Luke Winn: More on The Basketball Tournament
UDK: Student seating reduced at AFH
ICYMI: DeBruce Center renderings
A special Thank You to @49_Degrees for our new locker room renovations! #WeLoveIt #KUWBB
Rock Chalk Roundball Classic is June 12th
“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
USA Today: Top colleges athletic finances
Rashad McCants, who starred on the 2005 North Carolina championship team, comes clean about his experience at UNC—and says academics could hardly have been more of a sham. He claims he skipped classes, had his papers written for him, and that Roy Williams and the athletic department "100 percent" knew what the school was doing to keep athletes eligible.
McCants opened up to Outside The Lines yesterday, and everything he said backs up what's been reported about UNC's Department of African and Afro-American Studies over the last few years. But it's something very different to hear it coming out of a player's mouth.
Williams responded to McCants’ claims – claims backed by a transcript – by saying, basically, I didn’t do it and I didn’t know.
That’s a response, but not a defense. On the issue of revising the transcript, it will remain a case of conflicting accounts until new information, if any, surfaces. On the issue of sham classes, Williams would seem to be at fault if he didn’t know or if he did.
If he didn’t know, it raises questions: How can a coach who is paid millions of dollars and provided assistant coaches and extensive academic support staff be unaware when one of his top players goes from borderline ineligible to the Dean’s List?
If he was aware of McCants’ academic transformation, didn’t the coach wonder whether the system was being abused? Shouldn’t he have asked questions and tried to protect the university from damage to its academic reputation and a possible NCAA investigation into the eligibility of players ?
And it wasn’t as if McCants got lost in the shuffle. Most of the team’s top players were taking no-show classes. Whistleblower Mary Willingham, who tutored athletes during that period, provided data to The N&O last week that show that five members of the 2005 team accounted for a combined 39 enrollments in classes that never met.
McCants, who left UNC after his junior year for the NBA, told ESPN that Williams and the athletic department knew “100 percent” about what was going on. “We had to run sprints for missing classes if we got caught, so you know, they were very aware of what was going on.”
Williams didn’t refute McCants. Instead, he turned to parsing language. He said he would never say, as McCants alleges, that grades should be “swapped out.” Williams said, “I know I would not have that kind of conversation. I don’t know what swapping out means, and I have never suggested that anybody take any course.”
And the coach said he was confused by what was meant by “paper” classes that required no attendance, only a final paper.
Nowhere in his response or throughout the years of this scandal has Williams expressed disgust or at least dismay that his players were not receiving a true education in return for the athletic skills they provided for the enrichment of UNC and Williams. Instead, the coach has fallen back on legalistic statements that the players “did the work” even when the sham courses required virtually no work.
In the end, Williams’ defense is an appeal for sympathy. He said of McCants’ statements about him, “As a coach, and especially a coach who has probably thin skin like I do, it’s hurtful, it’s harmful, it makes you think...”
Hurtful or not, Williams’ character has been questioned. He needs to provide better answers.
Before finalizing a contract extension with the University of Kentucky late last week, John Calipari had gone deep in discussions with the Cleveland Cavaliers on a seven-year, $60 million-plus contract to become president and coach, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert had been persistent in his pursuit and kept returning to Calipari in an effort to deliver full control of basketball operations, sources said.
Gilbert and Calipari had discussed a package in the range of $8 million-plus a year, sources said, and it wasn't until midweek that Calipari finally rejected Cleveland and fully committed to his seven-year, $52 million extension at Kentucky.
If Calipari had gone to Cleveland, the plan would've been for new general manager David Griffin to work with Calipari in the front office, but he would've ceded final decisions on personnel matters to Calipari, sources said.
Beyond the considerable length of the proposed contract – with an annual salary that would've moved Calipari among the highest-paid executives/coaches in the NBA – Calipari had some intrigue with the infrastructure of All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving and the possibility of the No. 1 overall pick in the June draft.
Calipari has remained intrigued about a return to the NBA in the right situation, and it's unclear how well he believed he could've co-existed with Gilbert, a hands-on owner.
In one setting or another, whether we were shopping for the latest in front-loading washer-and-dryer combos or a new four-pack of all-weather Michelins, we’ve all been on the business end of an aggressive salesman desperate to get product off the floor. Bronco Mendenhall was that sales guy, selling hard last week.
Selling BYU football.
He latched onto the leg of a writer at the Austin American-Statesman on Thursday like a schnauzer loose at the company picnic, making plain and public what BYU football has been pushing privately for months now: It wants into the Big 12 and wants in badly.
What he said and how he said it deserves further review:
"We would love to be in the Big 12," Mendenhall said. "I would love to be a member of that conference. I think that would make a lot of sense. In fact, if that was your headline, that would be great."
He continued: "We have a chip on our shoulder. I could have given you that instead of the longer answer. I’m just wondering who fights for us as an independent? Between myself and my basketball coaches, there’s no two featured programs that have won more games. Our attendance is high enough. And our winning percentage is high enough.
"We have the entire Salt Lake City and Utah market as well as a worldwide following because of the church. There’d be a ton to offer the Big 12, because it’s a money-generated world right now. You’re talking about an amazing kind of brand. I bet I’d have the first plane ticket to whoever I have to see to present our case. How ’bout us?"
Salt Lake Tribune
Kansas State's John Currie and West Virginia's Oliver Luck both said the Big 12 has not had any expansion discussions, nor is it interested in doing so.
"Expansion is one thing we're not talking about," Luck said.
Added Currie: "We see how strong and productive our league is with 10 members. The camaraderie is really good."
Luck and Currie were attending the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA) convention at the Marriott's Orlando World Center.
West Virginia University has announced that men's head basketball coach Bob Huggins is recovering following surgery to replace his right hip.
In released issued by the athletic department, the university stated that Huggins underwent surgery Monday morning.
The Huggins family says the surgery went well and that the coach is ”doing fine.”
The NCAA announced Monday that it will pay $20 million to former football and basketball players who had their images and likenesses used in video games, hoping the settlement will help keep amateurism rules intact for college sports.
Hours before the O'Bannon trial began in California challenging the NCAA's the authority to restrict or prohibit payments to athletes, the largest governing body in college sports said it had settled another potentially damaging lawsuit scheduled to go to trial next March. Keller's attorneys filed the class-action suit in May 2009 and contended the NCAA unfairly deprived college players of revenue.
April 9: NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee Application Deadline
April 14: NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee Response Deadline
April 15: NCAA Early Entry “Withdrawal” Deadline
April 27: NBA Draft Early Entry Eligibility Deadline (11:59 pm ET)
May 2: NBA Draft Early Entry Candidates Released – Underclassmen Contact Permitted
May 14-18: NBA Draft Combine (Chicago)
May 20: NBA Draft Lottery
June 16: NBA Draft Early Entry Withdrawal Deadline (5:00 pm ET)
June 26: 2014 NBA Draft
draftexpress.com: Testing the NBA Draft Waters in 2014
“The reclassifying, I don’t know yet but it’s a possibility,” Maker told Steve Kyler of BasketballInsiders.com in this video from the Adidas Eurocamp in Italy where Maker went for 22 points and six rebounds in his first game with Team USA.
Asked if he was leaning toward reclassifying, Maker said, “Fifty-fifty right now.”
Each 1 Teach 1’s Daniel Giddens will announce his college choice July 4th, his birthday.
The 6-foot-10, 215-pound Giddens out of Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler cut his list in February to six schools: Kansas, Georgia, Ohio State, Arizona, Indiana and Florida.
He recently received an offer from Arkansas as well.
“Arkansas was a good offer. I’m still listening to some other colleges, but my list still stays the same,” Giddens told SNY.tv recently.
The prohibitive favorite has been Ohio State by most accounts, and the Buckeyes are still hard on the trail for the big man.
“I talk to them every week; twice, three times a week maybe. There is a great relationship with Coach [Thad] Matta,” Giddens told SNY.tv. “They just [have] really told me how they are going to use me in the system.”
Chase Jeter is officially listing six schools, but says four of them are recruiting him the hardest at the moment.
“At this point, the ones that have gotten on me the hardest since I’ve cut down my list are UNLV, Arizona, Duke and UCLA,” the 7-foot, 225-pound Jeter out of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman told SNY.tv by phone from the USA Basketball U18 trials in Colorado Springs, Colo. “Those are the schools I talk to the most.”
Jeter also lists Kansas and Oregon, and says he’s still considering both of those as well.
“Yeah, definitely,” he said.
Callaway's Malik Newman dropped to No. 3 in ESPN's updated rankings for the Class of 2015.
Formerly the ESPN 60, the rankings have been expanded to include the top 100 players in the nation and were released on Wednesday afternoon.
Bishop O'Dowd (Calif.) power forward Ivan Rabb retained his spot as the top player in ESPN's rankings followed by Montverde Academy(Fla.) power forward Ben Simmons, who moves up to No. 2 after a big showing on the Nike EYBL spring circuit.
Newman is still ranked as the top player in the country by 247Sports and Rivals.com and is considered to the most prolific scorer in his class.
"In a class full of scoring guards, Malik Newman stands out as the most talented of them all, and very likely the best pure scorers in the ESPN 100," ESPN recruiting analyst Adam Finklestein wrote.
During his junior season, Newman averaged 29.2 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game on Callaway's 5A state championship team. This spring, the combo guard rejoined the Jackson Tigers on the EYBL circuit and averaged 22.5 points per game and 5.0 rebounds per game.
While the top-10 of the ESPN 100 is saturated with power forwards and centers, Newman is the sole guard among the best and most highly recruited prospects in 2015, which was taken into consideration when ESPN updated its rankings.
"When you look at the Class of 2015, there really was no clear cut choice for the No. 1 player, ESPN recruiting analyst Paul Biancardi said. "Ben Simmons, Malik Newman and Diamond Stone were all in the conversation but at the end of the day Ivan Rabb earned himself the No. 1 spot and when you look at the value and the depth of the class, it's the shooting guard and small forward position."
2014 Peach Jam Schedule
adidas Uprising Spring/Summer Events
2014 Spring/Summer AAU and camp schedule (compiled by CBS Sports)
NBC College basketball fan’s guide to current grassroots basketball scene
WITH THE ADOPTION OF RWG-14-1, the legislation governing all-star games was eliminated. Consequently there is no longer a two game limit for prospects, so in this scenario it would be permissible for Slam to participate in all three games.
This piece of legislation is effective August 1, 2013, so it will apply to all prospects that enroll at your institution on or after that date.
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