“I cannot wait for Late Night. I’m ready for dancing. I’m also going to be playing the piano,” freshman forward Carlton Bragg stated at last week’s Media Day. “Everybody’s going to be shocked at how good I can play,” Bragg added, smiling.
…KU coach Bill Self stresses he’d welcome the usual Late Night sellout this year because “our players really love it” and also because it’s a good way to impress recruits who will be in town.
Top senior players expected to attend Friday’s Late Night are: No. 2-ranked (by Rivals.com) Harry Giles, No. 5 De’Aaron Fox, No. 6 Malik Monk, No. 16 Marques Bolden and No. 34 Schnider Herard.
“He has an ankle sprain. The only reason he is in a boot is to immobilize it when walking around,” Self said. “He has been practicing, yes. He’s not 100 percent, though. He sprained it three weeks ago. He’s about 60, 70 percent. We are hopeful by the end of the week he’ll be much closer to full speed. Doctors said we should work through it. We shouldn’t just give him total time off. He should be fine in a week or so.”
Self said junior Brannen Greene has been practicing.
…Diallo, as everybody knows, was cleared to practice last Thursday by the NCAA. “He’s cleared to practice pending on what they decide throughout the information we will submit to them (Eligibility Center) whenever it is all together,” Self said.
“A lot of people wonder ‘Why wouldn’t it (academic materials) all be together yet?’ There’s a lot of reasons why ... because they just told us recently some things they wanted. Instead of throwing it to them piece by piece, they requested we submit it all together. It may be a couple more weeks before we are able to submit everything. When you are talking about getting information from schools in Mali ... we hope within two weeks. It may be three weeks before we have a definite answer. Right now Cheick is like everybody else. He’s practicing. He needs the time. This is all new to him. The fact he could be out there with us now will not put him behind when hopefully we get good news on him in the future.”
It's not the most popular tool with the players, but if Self can manage to redshirt a player or two, it will really help them out down the road. Vick is an obvious choice to me, as I don't think he'll have a lot of opportunities to get in the game early on. If Diallo is unable to play for an extended length of time, I think he would be an ideal candidate, as well. If I were a coach, I would rather have him eligible for a whole year down the road than just a handful of games this year. Ole Miss transfer Dwight Coleby also is likely to take a medical redshirt after tearing his ACL last month.
TCJ: Bill Self Loaded with options
Losing to a Turkish team called Fenerbahçe Ulker is embarrassing, but the Brooklyn Nets can take one positive from a tough start to their preseason: Thomas Robinson played flat out outstanding. Robinson had 12 points, 16 rebounds and two blocks in 26 minutes of action. He showed off his ability to get out in transition and convert fast-break opportunities into dunks. Robinson’s energy was contagious and it gave the minimal Nets fans who were in attendance something to cheer about.
“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
Big 12 Composite Schedule
It varies depending on the school — the size of the city it’s located in, the popularity of the team, how recognizable the players are, etc. — but this is, more or less, how an official visit typically works at the high major level:
A recruit will fly into town with his family on a Friday. They’ll all be taken out to dinner by the coaching staff who will then leave the player with his host for the weekend. The staff is allowed to provide $40-per-day in cash to spend during the visit, but depending on how much of a priority that recruit is, the amount of cash that changes hands could be much higher.
If it’s a five-star recruit on the campus of a borderline top-25 team, there could a few hundred dollars given out by the coaching staff. If there are four or five recruits on an official visit at the same time, there might $1,000 that changes hands, all of it a step removed from the head coach, who is perfectly content to remain in the dark so long as it helps him get talent to coach down the road. What the host players choose to do with that money is up to them. Maybe they go to a club and ball out. Maybe they take the recruit to a strip club. Maybe they show the recruit how awesome it is to be a basketball player on a college campus by hopping from frat party to frat party. Some recruits are only interested in getting in the gym, opting to go workout with a teammate over hitting the party scene.
Whatever the case may be, what happens on those visits doesn’t differ all that much from what happens on any Friday or Saturday night on a college campus. Those players will have a few drinks, they’ll go to a few parties, they’ll flirt with a few girls and, at the end of the night, the recruit will head back to his hotel or he’ll crash with the player that is hosting him.
The next day follows a similar schedule. The recruit will usually get a tour of the campus, run pick-up with the team and have another meal with the coaching staff and his family. If the visit is in the fall it usually coincides with a home football game, meaning the recruit will get to experience a tailgate and a game from the student section.
It’s really no different than any other college weekend.
I say that to say this: the coaching staff goes out of their way to ensure that they don’t know what happens on these visits on the off chance it gets crazy. Taking the chance on a 17-year old drinking is bad enough. I’ve heard stories of recruits raiding collections of vintage Jordans, of recruits stealing laptops out of dorm rooms and cell phones out of the locker room of players that may potentially be their future teammates.
The staff wants the players and the recruits to have their fun. It is college after all.
They don’t, however, want to have their name involved if the recruit leaves with anything other than a hangover. And they certainly don’t want anyone letting the NCAA know about the cash that’s getting spread around.
…Back in 2010, when Powell said in her book this whole mess started, McGee was a graduate assistant. Graduate assistants don’t make much money. At all. One GA from a top-25 program described it like this: “all I eat is ramen while I wait for the staff to take me out to lunch.” It’s akin to being an intern on Wall Street. The money is flowing all around you while you earn peanuts fetching coffee, running errands and trying to build your network.
Which brings me back to Pitino and his coaching staff.
Frankly, I would not be surprised if the money that McGee was using for the escorts came, in some form, from the Louisville coaching staff. Powell alleges that it was as much as $10,000 over a four-year period. Maybe the cash came from boosters and maybe it came out of McGee’s own pocket, but my point here is that it’s very possible — likely, even — that the money came from the coaching staff without the coaching staff knowing what it was going to be used for.
If the NCAA is able to prove that the allegations Powell laid out in her book are true, Louisville and Pitino are going to get hammered, particularly if they can directly connect the program to the money that Powell and her girls were allegedly paid. For Pitino, plausible deniability is no longer a way out in the NCAA’s eyes. Whether or not the head coach was involved or even aware of what was happening does not matter. The buck stops with him. If it happens in his shop, he has to pay the price as well.
But there’s a different standard when it comes to Louisville parting ways with a coach they currently have under contract until he’s 73 years old.
Let me be clear: assuming the stories are true, if Pitino had any knowledge of what was happening with Powell, her daughers and his recruits, he should be fired with cause. If he OK’d what McGee was doing, he may end up facing some legal recourse. This was, after all, prostitution. And again, Powell is not very clear about how old the people involved in these accusations were at the time they occurred.
I don’t, however, believe that to be the case. I don’t believe that Pitino knew that this was happening. Whether or not he knew his players were partying with recruits is a different story, and Pitino would be foolish if he didn’t know that there were going to be girls around on these visits.
Powell contends she spoke with an NCAA representative about her work arranging parties featuring strippers and prostitutes for Louisville basketball players and recruits. However, the representative for the Indianapolis-based college sports association brushed her off, Powell claims.
“I called the NCAA in mid-March, I spoke with a young white guy, and I was telling him that I had a story about a college that was trading sex and all that stuff for money,” Powell told IBJ in September.
But her call to the NCAA’s main switchboard number at its headquarters was dismissed without action, she said.
“[The man who answered the phone] said he’s not allowed to take a story from somebody on the outside—you know, 'It’s heresay, I’m not doing that, I’m not taking the story.' I asked if there was anyone else I could possibly tell my story to, and he said, ‘No, there’s no one else. We can’t take outside stories.’ He hung up. I hung up."
Contacted by IBJ on Monday about the call, the NCAA declined to comment on whether it had been contacted by Powell.
Alabama made a serious run at Wichita State men’s basketball coach Gregg Marshall in late March. Wichita State and its boosters banded together to fight off the Crimson Tide and the result is a contract, signed Sept. 23 by Marshall and requested by The Eagle, that pays him $3 million plus numerous perks.
That represents a raise from his previous base salary of $1.85 million, plus bonuses, a deal that started after WSU’s 2013 Final Four. As of April 26, he received a salary of $3 million, a figure that will rise to $3.5 million in 2018. He will continue at that base salary until 2022, according to the current contract, at which raises will be decided by the athletic director.
That salary will likely rank Marshall among the nation’s top 10 or 15 coaches. According to USA Today’s 2015 database of salaries, a pay check of $3 million would rank just behind No. 9 Indiana’s Tom Crean ($3,046,250) and ahead of Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan ($2.9 million).
ESPNU will televise Kentucky's basketball practice on Sunday. The telecast will be from 7-9 p.m.
During the SEC Network telecast of UK's football game against Eastern Kentucky on Saturday, the announcers spoke of the upcoming basketball telecast, which they dubbed UK's "Pro Day."
Kentucky guard Dominique Hawkins will miss four weeks after breaking his right hand in practice over the weekend.
The junior will have surgery Tuesday to repair a broken bone in the hand and is expected to return in early November. A defensive specialist who provides energy off the bench, Hawkins has played in 56 games over two seasons.
4. Eron Harris, Michigan State (from West Virginia): If Tom Izzo didn't seem especially concerned by the graduation of leading scorer Travis Trice this spring, it's probably because he knew he had Harris ready to replace him at shooting guard. The 6-foot-3 junior averaged 17.2 points per game his final season at West Virginia and has the potential to be an elite shooter and defender for the Spartans.
Yahoo: 16 transfers who will make the biggest impact this season
While Tatum is probably the more polished basketball player right now, Jackson’s incredible blend of sheer talent, athleticism and competitive fire also stood out all weekend. While he played well at various points through the camp, the most exciting part about Jackson is how much better he’s going to get in the next couple of years. In the wake of Miles Bridges’ pledge to Michigan State, Jackson was being grilled about his interest in the Spartans all weekend long, but regardless of where he ends up, it’s going to be an absolute treat for that head coach to have a chance to mold such a unique, and yet in many ways still raw, talent.
…De'Aaron Fox made no bones about it -- he came here to prove he was the best, and he wasn’t talking about just the point guards either. Fox was very impressive on Saturday -- aggressively attacking the basket, seamlessly slipping through the smallest of cracks in the defense and simultaneously showing his superiority on the defensive end as well.
…Jarrett Allen (ESPN 100 No. 19) took a session to warm up but was playing at a high level by Saturday night and kept that going on Sunday as he protected the rim, scored inside the lane and got up and down the floor.
Class of 2016 five-star St. Stephen’s Episcopal, Texas forward Jarrett Allen is one of top uncommitted players left on the board nationally.
The 6-foot-10 forward recently announced his list of eight finalists, which includes Indiana. The Hoosiers are joined by Houston, Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Texas as schools still in the mix for Allen.
“I talk to them a lot. I have a really good relationship with coach (Tom) Crean,” Allen told Inside the Hall on Sunday. “I feel good about our relationship. They really just try to get to know me and see how I am in certain situations.”
Recruiting Calendar (updated for 2015-16)
Late Night in the Phog
Bill Self Camp KU 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