KC Live! Stage with appearances by Kansas head football coach David Beaty, the KU pep band, Kansas spirit squad and mascots.
March 12, 10:30 a.m.
Stop inside Johnny’s Tavern in the Kansas City Power & Light District and visit the Kansas Athletics and KU Alumni tables. Tables at Johnny’s are first come, first served.
March 12, 7:30 – 11 a.m.
KUAD Postseason Info
Perry Ellis named to USBWA District VI All-District Team
After practicing on Tuesday, Kansas junior forward Perry Ellis is “on schedule” in his recovery from a knee sprain and could play Thursday in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals, KUcoach Bill Self said Tuesday.
“Perry was evaluated today and the doctors feel that he is right on schedule,” Self said. “He did some basketball activity on Monday. He practiced today, but is still on a limited basis.”
“It will still be a game-day decision on whether or not he plays,” Self said, “but he is progressing nicely.”
Traylor has been around the KU program so long that he is now starting to recycle his roles. Last season, Traylor was insurance for a future pro when Joel Embiid’s back went lame in the weeks leading up to the NCAA Tournament. This year, Traylor has been thrust into a similar situation, picking up the slack for another KU freshman big man who could be sidelined for the rest of March.
While the Jayhawks wait for clarity on the NCAA investigation into Cliff Alexander’s eligibility, Kansas coach Bill Self says he will make do with what he has, a group of frontcourt reinforcements that begins with a smallish, quick-twitch power forward from Chicago.
“Everybody has to step up,” Traylor says.
In the Kansas locker room, Traylor can play a lot of roles as well. He is part court jester, part stabilizing force, his well-documented backstory of childhood hardship providing the room with a quiet source of inspiration, a thick outer layer of grit. Traylor once spent nights sleeping in rusted-out cars on the south side of Chicago. He now spends his Mondays on the hilly KU campus, logging onto his Twitter account and documenting his various run-ins and selfies with Kansas fans in a series titled “Mari Monday.”
But as Kansas enters the most important stretch of its season, Traylor can perhaps be something more: He can be a veteran presence at a time when experience often seems to trump talent. A player starting to play his best basketball of the year, averaging 13 points and 5.5 rebounds in his last two games.
“Jamari,” Self says, “he’s gone through different things.”
ESPN Video: Andy Katz on Kansas’ conference streak
“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
Well, this is not one of those years.
Of all the conference tournaments that ensue this week nationwide, none may match the event here in terms of competitiveness and unpredictability. Seven potential NCAA tournament teams, all of which rate among the top 45 in the Ratings Percentage Index, comprise the nation's strongest and deepest conference.
Fran Fraschilla, the ESPN analyst, said at least six or seven of the league's 10 teams have a realistic chance to win the Big 12 tournament.
…One of the youngest teams in the nation, the 10th-ranked Jayhawks lack a true interior presence.
"It's not quite where it has been in the past," Self added. "But the guys do try hard. They compete hard. They think they are going to win every game."
Fraschilla said Self has gotten more out of this Kansas team than any he has had. But winning the conference tournament title will be a formidable task.
Most of the league teams are capable of knocking off an elite team. Among the 15 teams in the nation that have the most wins against top 25 opponents this year, seven are from the Big 12. And for the first time in Big 12 history, every team in the league has at least one win against a top 25 team.
The Wildcats need him in top form at the Big 12 Tournament. This is their last opportunity to salvage an up-and-down season that has featured five victories against ranked teams along with humiliating losses. At 15-16, they need two wins to feel good about a NIT berth. And their only hope of reaching the NCAA Tournament for a sixth straight season is to win the tournament trophy at the Sprint Center.
“If we want to take the next step,” senior forward Thomas Gipson said, “we have to go there expecting to win the whole thing.”
Foster added: “Honestly, I think we can win the whole tournament.”
The Wildcats certainly have wild-card potential, perhaps more than any No. 8 seed in the tournament’s history. K-State was 5-3 against the top four seeds this season and tends to play well at the Sprint Center.
Yet, most of the times when the RPI is cited, it is presented as a team’s general ranking, as in “their RPI [rank] is 52.” It is more relevant to use the RPI to break down a team’s schedule the way the committee does it, which is to organize how a team did against the top 50 of the RPI, the top 100, the bottom 100, etcetera. When the committee discusses a team's profile, its RPI rank is barely noticeable and hardly discussed.
The RPI discussion is just a starting point, not an endgame.
…S Curve. According to this myth, when it comes to placing teams in the bracket, the committee pairs the top No. 2 seed (the overall No. 5) with the bottom No. 1 seed (overall No. 4) in the same region. The next-best 2-seed gets paired with the third-best 1-seed, and right on down the line.
Sorry. Not true.
In reality, the main factor that dictates all this is geography. The committee assigns teams to be as close to their natural regions as possible.
…The Big 12 is the only member of the Power Five that still plays a double round robin, so not only does the committee have a hard time comparing teams from separate conferences, it is harder to compare teams from the same conference. So what do they do? They ignore the conference affiliations and compare overall résumés—as well they should.
…The committee has been very clear that a win is a win is a win, no matter when it happened. This is a smart philosophy for two reasons. First of all, if you look at game results over the years, you will find no correlation between how a team plays late in the regular season and how it performs in the tournament. Just last season, UConn ended its regular season with a 31-point loss at Louisville. Four weeks later, the Huskies were cutting down the nets in North Texas.
…Whenever I ask fellow media colleagues to name their biggest takeaways from the mock selection exercise, this is the one that comes up most. Not only does the committee not create matchups, it’s almost impossible to do so even if they wanted.
…They punish high-major teams with weak nonconference schedules (such as SMU last year), and they go out of their way to find a mid- to low-major team that doesn’t have as many “quality wins” and throw them a bone (such as Middle Tennessee two years ago).
SI Seth Davis: Selection Sunday Myths
While the NCAA publishes a "true seed" list that ranks all 68 teams, it does not abide by a so-called S curve. Instead, in the committee room, geography trumps competitive balance. While teams are slotted into the bracket in the order of their true seeds, their regional placement is determined by proximity to home ahead of relative strength. In other words, the top No. 2 seed will not necessarily be placed with the worst No. 1 seed, but will instead end up in the region closest to home -- even if the best No. 1 seed already resides there.
According to David Worlock, the media coordinator for the men's basketball championship, that prioritization of geography "comes from feedback that we've received from coaches that they don't want to have to travel further." Certain coaches surely would choose a tougher Elite Eight opponent if it meant playing 500 miles closer to home. But not all would. So why is the committee deciding for them? Because, as we've established, that's what the NCAA does.
Clearly, then, it's time for change -- a change so dramatically brilliant that it could turn Selection Sunday into an all-day bracket-thon that demolishes ratings records and couch springs. It's time to usher in an age of individual responsibility. Simply put, each team should choose its own slot in the bracket.
USA Today All-American Teams
It’s a slideshow, so ….
“The whole concept of having people to hate on? We need that in sports, we do. Absolutely. And I don’t think you’re a real sports fan unless you have someone to hate on. The problem is when you beat them and of course, they defy their expectations.
“And I think to be that type of a lightning rod for people’s emotions, I think you have to have the … ‘I don’t give a (expletive),'” he said of Laettner. “You have to have that in you to be a lightning rod for people’s emotions in that way.”
There’s been dozens of villains and heroes in hoops since Laettner’s era at Duke, but without question he’s still despised and hated by fans all around the world. What Lowe said he found while working with him on the film was the amount of hatred that still materialized especially every March when the tournament begins for a player and program that was hated for winning. It’s also something that with the changes in college basketball, may never be replicated.
“The one-and-done era has so changed college basketball and not in a good way and one of the things that’s gone forever is that personal connection that you get to a player that is not on a team that you root for,” he pointed out. “If you only get to see a guy play your team twice in a season, you can’t really hate on them.
“It takes awhile to build the kind of relationships that inspire that kind of emotions and you can’t do that in a one-and-done era.”
USA Today: Rob Lowe, producer “I Hate Christian Laettner”
Oh, sports, you can be so good for the soul when you want to be.
Tyler Adams, a Georgetown recruit, had to give up his dream of playing basketball because it was discovered several years ago he had a heart ailment.
But he kept coming to games and being a good teammate — an assistant coach, really.
“He’s someone that has not pouted,” his coach, John Thompson III, said. “He’s someone that has found a way to help this team, to make his teammates better in a totally different way than what any of us envisioned. We just wanted to give him a chance to get back out there.”
Georgetown, to its credit, didn’t pull his scholarship after his heart problem was discovered in 2011.
So yesterday — senior day — he was put in the starting lineup, thanks to a waiver from NCAA.
Turner Sports + CBS Sports Announce 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship Programming Schedule. “TeamCasts” of Final Four National Semifinal Games Return to TNT and truTV.
Bing is turning its predilection for making predictions toward March Madness.
Microsoft has partnered with the NCAA to become the “official bracket data partner for March Madness,” and will help college basketball fans fill out their brackets after the tournament brackets are announced this Sunday.
As part of this partnership, NCAA has pulled 10 years of raw historical data about teams, tournaments, win loss ratio, home vs. away stats, etc. and provided it to Microsoft’s Walter Sun, principal applied science manager, to analyze and review. After culling through the information, running through Bing’s algorithms and leveraging machine learning, Walter and his team have been able to identify key patterns over the years that contribute to a team’s success.
Following the “Selection Sunday” TV broadcast, Bing will use that data to help fans pick the winners of each game via an online bracket-building tool.
And that’s not all. Bing will also offer its own predictions for the entire tournament, so we’ll all get to see whether man or machine is better at navigating the unpredictability of March Madness.
Link to above Clarion-Ledger video of Newman
Newman said that the run towards his fourth championship would be the hardest of high high school career.
Teams like Laurel are why he still believes that.
With two fouls in the first two minutes of the game and being held to seven points at the half, Newman aggressively battled against Laurel's defense en route to a double-double, recording 26 points and 11 rebounds.
Newman, too, played big on the big stage, living up to his nickname "The Machine" when Callaway saw its chance to make it to the title game come into jeopardy.
With two players trapping the five-star guard on the perimeter with less than three minutes to play, Newman broke the press, dribbled around four defenders and went the length of the court to make a lay up.
"You see a team like Laurel, a team full of football guys that can also play basketball and they make the game physical, fast and hard for us," Newman said. "You just have to go out there and grit and grind all game."
VIDEO: Game highlights
Highly recruited senior forward Brandon Ingram led five Kinston starters in double figure scoring with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocked shots as the Vikings rolled past Fairmont 86-59 in the 2A Eastern Regional Final game.
Darnell Dunn scored 16 points, Jaquan Artis scored 14 points, while Mykel Hart and Dy'quan Waters each added 12 points.
Kinston advances to the Saturday March 14th 2A State Title Game where the Vikings will take on East Lincoln. The Game will take place at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill at 2:30pm.
Brandon Ingram was named the Eastern Regional Final Most Valuable Player.
WITN (Video at the link)
Is Tom Izzo's Michigan State basketball roster lighter on talent because he wouldn't cheat to stack it? That's what one analyst and former coach suggested this week, in a rant on the state of college hoops.
…Izzo suffered several high-profile recruiting losses in the 2013 and 2014 classes, including Kansas freshman forward Cliff Alexander, who is being held out while the NCAA reportedly investigates whether his family received impermissible benefits from an NBA agent.
MSU reportedly was the longtime leader for the Chicago big man, but Alexander abruptly cut off contact in the fall of 2013 and committed to Kansas. Shortly after that, Izzo was asked at Big Ten basketball media day in Chicago about recruiting in that city. (He also had lost out on Chicagoans Jabari Parker (Duke, class of 2013), Jahlil Okafor (Duke, 2014) and Tyler Ulis (Kentucky, 2014)).
"Good players, a lot of coaches, a lot of coaches and good players," Izzo said of recruiting Chicago, then added: "There's a lot of middlemen."
Moments later, Izzo clarified that Parker and his family "were fair and honest with us."
…Fraschilla made the point that cheating "is not a victimless crime" because it means "a coach that doesn't cheat gets fired."
"When a coach gets caught cheating, they ought to throw the book at him," Fraschilla said. "Because there are a whole lot of other coaches out there, and I'll give you one example: The reason Tom Izzo doesn't have a great team right now is because he has not, quite frankly, he has lost some guys, at times, to schools that he wasn't willing to break rules for. And coaches who don't cheat will get fired if they don't win, and that's part of the problem I have with the NCAA. They ought to throw the book at all these guys that cheat."
…After Saturday's 74-72 win at Indiana, Izzo spoke out in defense of IU coach and former MSU assistant Tom Crean, taking issue with the "program is out of control" story line that has greeted some off-the-court issues for the Hoosiers.
"My program had problems a few years ago, too," Izzo said, likely referring to the 2010-11 season that saw guard Korie Lucious dismissed for rules violations and Izzo suspended a game because a coach who knew one of MSU's recruiting targets was paid to work an MSU camp. "As you look on the ticker, there's a lot of really good programs (with issues). Some keep them down a little more than others. Sooner or later, they come out."
Detroit Free Press
College basketball players deciding on early entry into the NBA draft may soon have more time to make their decisions if a proposal crafted by coaches and representatives of the NCAA, NABC and NBA goes through.
For the past three years, players have had to decide whether to enter their names into the NBA draft by the first day of college basketball's spring signing period. For players on teams that go deep into the NCAA tournament, there has been as little as one week between the end of their season and the deadline for a life-altering choice, hardly a sufficient amount of time to get realistic, unfiltered feedback about players' draft stock.
...The coalition is making public its series of recommendations it hopes will spark conversation among college athletic circles — and ideally end up in officially proposed legislation, submitted before Sept. 1, 2015. The concept would:
- Move the NCAA's deadline for underclassmen to withdraw from the NBA draft from the day before the NLI spring signing period (April 14 in 2015, for example) to late May — approximately five weeks later (May 21 in 2015, for example).
- Keep the NBA early application entry deadline 60 days prior to the NBA draft and unchanged – April 26, 2015, for example.
- Lead the NBA to send invitations to players by early May to participate in the NBA draft combine in mid-May. The invitations would be limited to qualified prospects — approximately 20-30% above the number of draft spots (about 70-80 total players). This is intended to make things more cut-and-dry for prospects who do not receive a combine invite, and they would still be able to return to school.
- Lead the NBA to provide after the combine and before the new NCAA early-entry withdrawal deadline specific and direct feedback to underclassmen who participated in the combine about their draft potential and projected landing spots.
"It's an exciting concept because it helps student-athletes and their families help hopefully the best-informed decisions they can make about their future — that should be what we're all trying to accomplish," Gavitt said.
The new timeline would allow players the ability to work out for various teams in addition to attending the competitive combine.
...There is, however, one downside to the new timeline, one that will affect college coaches most. By extending the withdrawal deadline about five weeks, some coaches will have a great deal of roster uncertainty throughout the spring signing period.
..."No system is perfect," Thompson said. "From the college coach's perspective, there will be some uncertainty. Decisions will have to be made – hold the scholarship, don't hold the scholarship. That is going to be difficult. That's not something that's just overlooked; it's going to have to be managed as well as it could be. I say manage, but it's not manageable. But it's important to move toward getting (players) better information."
VIDEO: 11-year old 5th grader Ashlyn Watkins throws down two-handed dunk
McDONALD’S ALL-AMERICAN GAME
April 1, United Center, Chicago
ESPN NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIP
April 2-4, Christ the King, Queens, N.Y. & Madison Square Garden
NIKE HOOP SUMMIT
April 11, Moda Center, Portland
KENTUCKY DERBY FESTIVAL
April 11, Freedom Hall, Lexington, KY
JORDAN BRAND CLASSIC
Friday April 17, Barclays Center 7p.m,
Regional Games (4:00 pm) All times Eastern
My Late Night in the Phog videos, 60 Years of AFH Celebration videos, KU Alumni games videos, 2011-12 Final Border War videos, Legends of the Phog videos, KC Prep Invitational, Jayhawk Invitational Videos and more, now on YouTube