"We agreed with adidas several months ago to sport that uniform as part of their marketing campaign in the Big 12 tournament," Self said. "Now, how much we wear them in the Big 12 tournament will probably depend on how we play in them or whatever. But we will sport them in the Big 12 tournament at some point in time."
KU officials said that no money was involved in the Jayhawks' decision to wear the uniforms.
"Sometimes, you've got to be a team player, and adidas has certainly been good to us, there's no question," Self said. "And this is something that was important to them, that they are able to market it with some other schools that they feel that can help them in this area. Certainly, we're going to do that to try to help them, but it's not going to go any further past the Big 12 tournament."
Self was non-committal on whether KU would wear the uniforms for more than one game in the Big 12 tourney.
Of wearing the alternate jerseys for a game or two, he said, "I don't think it's that big of a deal in the Big 12 tournament."
"As everyone here knows, Kansas tradition and history should be what is promoted in our look, and we've done that for years," Self said. "But this is the one game or whatever that we will make that exception for adidas."
…KU's players had mixed reaction to the alternate uniforms.
"I don't think too much of ‘em. They are jerseys at the end of the day. You can't go out there with no clothes on," KU senior guard Elijah Johnson said with a smile. "That’s all that really is. When Coach says, 'Put 'em on and go play,' we’ll put em on and go play, whether it’s a practice jersey, a new jersey or old jersey. It’s about the game and not how we look out there."
Added KU senior Travis Releford: "I've seen a few pictures of them. I think they're all right."
A petition started by KU fans on the White House's website to not allow the uniforms was removed Thursday afternoon for violating "Terms of Participation."
2/28/13, 5:59 PM
The New uni's are tough they will half to get some getting used to but hey they are nice
2/28/13, 5:52 PM
“@jbarkley87: @J_mari31 What do you think of the uni's...whites look good but blue.. :/” same here lol
2/28/13, 9:45 PM
Who does Joe Harris think he is, Elijah Johnson?
“I knew our guys liked Elijah, but I didn’t realize how much they respected him and liked him until after the game. I have never seen a group of guys more happy for one guy than they were for Elijah,” KU coach Bill Self said of senior point guard Johnson, who was mobbed by his buddies behind closed doors after conducting a postgame ESPN interview.
Johnson, who scored 39 points in KU’s overtime victory against Iowa State, admits he was touched by the mob scene.
“A lot of times I’m trying to be the one to hype somebody up or shoot good feelings to somebody else. I’m usually not the one everybody’s doing it for. I’m not used to it being me,” Johnson said. “My team made me feel good. They cheered me on the whole time, told me, ‘good job.’ That’s all I had to hear from them at the time.”
Johnson has received a batch of text messages and phone calls since his explosive scoring effort.
“It might sound simple and boring but my dad. That was a person I was looking forward to hearing from,” Johnson said of his most special call. “He knows how to get that smile out of me and make me feel a certain way, I guess you could say.”
While feeling love from Jayhawk nation, Johnson experienced hate from two Cyclone students who sent him racist and threatening Twitter messages. Amid an ISU investigation into the students’ behavior, ISU student government president Jared Knight sent an apology to KU’s chancellor and athletic department on Wednesday.
“Definitely,” Johnson said, asked if he accepted the apology. “I mean at the end of the day they are fans. They care. I am past it. I think we all should be past it. I think it’s in the past.
“I honestly am not having a hard time dealing with it because I am real good with blocking out the negative stuff,” he added “It’s something about being able to man up and not pay attention to certain things. That’s what I’ve always been able to do. My dad taught me that at a young age so I don’t feed into certain things you’d think the average person would. I think it’s that simple honestly.”
KU coach Bill Self also accepts the apology. “The Iowa State student body has responded in a way that left no doubt where they stood on the things that were said and the issues. That’s good enough for me,” Self said.
Kansas coach Bill Self didn’t go as far as to say the Big 12 blew the call when it acknowledged officiating errors in Monday’s game between the Jayhawks and Iowa State, but he found the precedent a bit troubling.
“I’m concerned that now have we opened up Pandora’s Box, and now any time something happens in the future we have to make a comment about it,” Self said Thursday at his weekly news conference. “I’ve always thought you handled your situations in-house.
“Since we put out that there will be some type of disciplinary action possibly, now the next thing is, all you guys are going to wonder, ‘Tell us what that is. When is it?’ All it does is open up for more questions.”
…The Big 12 didn’t say which calls were erroneous, and Self said he hadn’t been informed, either.
“I have talked to the Big 12 office, but not about that,” Self said. “I’m not speaking behind the Big 12 office’s back, but I think we’re on the verge of crossing a line that I think isn’t good.”
…“We benefitted from a no-call in a big-time game,” Self said. “I’m not going to make light of that. We were the beneficiary of that one play. There were other plays in the game, too, but we were the beneficiary of the one play that received all the attention because it was game point.”
Self said most coaches would support having a centralized officiating pool instead of making conferences responsible for coordinating their own crews. Officials get accustomed to the style of play in certain conferences, Self said, which can create inconsistency in the NCAA Tournament.
“The rules are the same — it’s just that style sometimes dictates a little differently how it’s called,” Self said. “You get to the NCAA Tournament and there’s no more style. You call the game the way the rules are written.”
2/28/13, 5:25 PM
This is all the time I have left. Smh.. where did the time go?!? instagr.am/p/WSv4uESYeU/
The senior class of Releford, guard Elijah Johnson, forward Kevin Young and center Jeff Withey have two games remaining in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks host West Virginia Saturday at 1 p.m. and Texas Tech Monday at 6 p.m.
But Kansas can’t get sentimental about its four graduating seniors just yet. A West Virginia team that sits 13-15 overall and 6-9 in the Big 12 comes to Lawrence Saturday. When the teams first met in January, the Mountaineers used 16 Kansas turnovers to whittle the Jayhawks’ 15-point lead to only two points midway through the second half.
“We played great early, got off to a great start, then puttered around,” coach Bill Self said. “We played pretty well for about 15 minutes and then kind of labored the last 25. We turned the ball over and their pressure did bother us.”
The past two games Kansas has done some of its better work of the season distributing the ball, and much of that has to do with Johnson’s resurgence at point guard. The Jayhawks finished with more assists than turnovers in four of their past five games. In its first 10 conference games, Kansas finished with more assists than turnovers only twice.
With Johnson taking care of the ball, nabbing 11 assists and committing only four turnovers in the past two games, and now shooting the ball well, he said it raises his expectation for himself.
“To apply pressure at all times,” Johnson said. “To make it harder to face guard Ben. To make it harder to just sit in the lane on Jeff. I feel like I can help everybody now and I can stretch the defense.”
For Self, Johnson’s attitude embodies what all four seniors have worked toward all year. Although they have a combined 14 seasons of at Kansas, Self said he liked how they want freshman Ben McLemore to be the team’s best weapon, because it gives them the best chance to win.
“Our (older) guys want Ben to be the best player,” Self said. “I think it’s pretty cool to have guys who bust their butt for four or five years and get to their senior year and they just want to win and so they want all those young kids to do well.”
KUAD: Kansas hosts WVU Pregame Notes
Life’s not getting any easier for the West Virginia men’s basketball team.
A tough, late-game loss to Baylor Wednesday night handed the Mountaineers their third-straight defeat – their second three-game losing streak of the season.
Now, the struggling Mountaineers (13-15, 6-9) will travel to Allen Fieldhouse, one of the toughest places in the country to play, to earn a road victory in the country to face No. 6 Kansas (24-4, 12-3) Saturday afternoon in Lawrence, Kan.
Allen Fieldhouse has nearly reached 200-consecutive sellouts, and head coach Bill Self has a home record of 159-8 as head coach of the Jayhawks, giving Self as many home losses (8) as Big 12 Championships (8) in 10 seasons in Lawrence.
West Virginia will look to build on some flashes of offensive success shown against the Bears Wednesday.
"I thought the guys that we had on the floor really did execute. We just didn’t make the shots," said West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins.
It was the crucial moments down the stretch that ultimately doomed the Mountaineers.
"It’s frustrating," Huggins said. "We don’t get any stops when we need to get stops. We don’t make any shots when we need to make shots."
Freshman guard Eron Harris will enter the Kansas game fresh off his most impressive game of the season.
Harris scored a career-high 25 points on 7-of-14 shooting against Baylor. Harris, though, was 0-of-5 from the field and registered just two points in the first matchup between the Mountaineers and Jayhawks.
But Harris’ role has changed since late January.
"They didn’t guard him before. He was the guy they helped off of," Huggins said. "Now that can’t help off him. He’s been a focal point of everyone’s game preparation for the last seven or eight games."
Finally, I don't usually use this space to plug my television work, but I wanted to let you know about a very cool two-hour special that is premiering on CBS Sports Network this Saturday at 7 p.m. It's called "The Ultimate Bracket." In honor of the 75th anniversary of the NCAA tournament, the producers took statistical information for all 74 NCAA champs and fed them into a computer program which simulated 50,000 tournaments played between those teams. They then squared off round by round until we had one ultimate champion. I can't tell you who won, but here is the bracket whittled down to the round of 64.
SI Seth Davis
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The Catholic 7 plus two or three to form the old/new Big East (you following?) needs to apply for new-conference status by June 1 and the NCAA board of directors has to vote the new league in by Sept. 1 so it could get an automatic qualifying spot in the 2014 NCAA tournament. All of that is doable. The remaining Big East would be eligible to keep its automatic-qualifier status since it would have at least seven members (even if it dropped below that number, since there is a two-year grace period). The teams don't have to have a history of playing together. If the split occurs -- as expected -- with Georgetown, St. John's, Villanova, DePaul, Marquette, Seton Hall and Providence joining Butler and Xavier out of the Atlantic 10 and likely Creighton from the Missouri Valley to form a new league, the remaining Big East would have eight members. Connecticut, Cincinnati, South Florida, Central Florida, Houston, SMU, Memphis and Temple would populate the new league in 2014. The league is expecting Tulane in 2014 and possibly East Carolina for all sports (though just football for now). There is a chance those moves could be expedited. If the AQs go through, in 2014 there would be 32 automatic bids and one less at-large than now, at 36, for a 68-team NCAA tournament bracket.
"When we've lost in the last 20 years, everybody rushes the court," Krzyzewski said, as quoted by The Associated Press, insisting he was raising a concern but not trying to take away from Virginia's victory. "Whatever you're doing, you need to get the team off first. Celebrate, have fun, obviously you won. That's cool, but just get our team off the court and our coaching staff before students come on."
Duke has lost four games this season, each on the road -- defeats at North Carolina State, at Miami and at Maryland preceded Thursday's loss. Fans stormed the court at every venue.
"Look, do you know how close you are to -- just put yourself in the position of one of our players or coaches," Krzyzewski said, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. "I'm not saying any fan did this, but the potential is there all the time for a fan to just go up to you and say, 'Coach you're a [expletive],' or push you or hit you. And what do you do? What if you did something? That would be the story. We deserve that type of protection.
"I'm always concerned about stuff like that, especially at this time of the year. What if that happened and we get a kid suspended? That becomes the national story. It's not all fun and games when people are rushing the court, especially for the team that lost. Again, congratulations to them, and they should have fun and burn benches and do all that stuff. I'm all for that. They have a great school, great kids, but get us off the court. That's the bottom line."
The Miami Hurricanes qualify as one of the biggest surprises of the 2012-13 college basketball season. Picked to finish fifth in the ACC in the preseason, the Canes are in sole possession of first place, having gotten off to a 23-4 start overall, 14-1 in conference play. They have a chance to extend that league lead Saturday night at Duke (6 p.m. ET -- ESPN), as the Blue Devils look to get revenge for the 27-point beatdown Miami put on them in January.
There are several reasons for Miami's surprising success this season, but one that stands out is the Hurricanes' experience. Or, more specifically, the fact that the Canes are simply older than every team they line up against this season.
The Canes rank eighth nationally in Ken Pomeroy's experience metric, which is first among major conference teams and clearly the highest among teams that can be considered legitimate national title contenders (the next contender on the list, Florida, ranks 27th). But that number doesn't even tell the whole story. Check out the ages of five of Miami's top seven leaders in minutes per game:
Kenny Kadji -- 24
Julian Gamble -- 23
Reggie Johnson -- 23
Durand Scott -- 23
Trey McKinney Jones -- 22
Even Miami's "young guys" are on the more mature side: Rion Brown is 21, and Shane Larkin is 20.
In most of Miami's games, the Canes are playing against players anywhere from four to six years their junior. When they take the floor against the Blue Devils, for example (and keep in mind that Duke ranks higher than fellow contenders such as Indiana, Louisville, Arizona and Michigan in Pomeroy's experience metric), they'll be playing against a team that has two teenagers in the starting lineup (Quinn Cook and Rasheed Sulaimon) and a third playing significant minutes off the bench (Amile Jefferson).
The Canes have become the college basketball equivalent of the group of old guys in the park that doesn't look all that impressive at first but that the young guys can't figure out how to beat.
How does this age advantage contribute to Miami's success on the court, and how will it help the Hurricanes in the NCAA tournament? Let's take a look.
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Conner Frankamp was named the best three point shooter in highschool by ESPN
Soon it may be Paul Pierce who will want to meet Wayne Selden — the rugged, 6-foot-5-inch, 220-pound, five-star college basketball recruit from the Tilton School — and not the other way around.
“Not yet,” responded the Roxbury native when asked if he’d spoken with the Celtics forward since committing to Kansas, Pierce’s alma mater. “I wish. I wish I had.”
A McDonald’s All-American this season, Selden is regarded as one of the country’s best high school combo guards.
Pierce can expect a conversation with a humble, respectful, focused, and funny young man who has an intensely competitive spirit and unquenchable desire to improve on the court.
“Athletically, he makes probably the most spectacular plays of anybody we’ve had,” said Tilton coach Marcus O’Neil. “He’s [also] played 1 through 5 this year and there have been games where he’s played every single position.”
It’s Selden’s self-sacrifice that led Kansas coach Bill Self to remark, “He cares about winning. He’s unselfish. I think he’s mature beyond his years and we’re going to need mature guys when we will have arguably the youngest team in the country.”
…At Tilton, Selden has matured into what he describes with self-deprecating humor as a “decent young man for the time being.”
“I started off as an inner-city freshman, not really where I am now,” he said. “I would just play basketball and [in] school I would get by. But now I am a better social person. I do things here that I wouldn’t normally have done if I didn’t come here. It’s been a great opportunity.”
Selden said his academic performance has steadily improved each year.
On the court, Selden’s game and attitude also transformed.
Entering his senior season, Selden was regarded as a slasher who didn’t need a consistent outside shot. Scouts reasoned that once his jump shot improved, he would become a daunting matchup.
“I looked at the [criticism] in a positive way,” said Selden. “I put myself in position [where] I could get in the gym every day for some extra shooting.
“You’re not going to just wake up and it’s going to happen one day. I get into the gym every day with my friends and just get shots off. It’s paid off.”
…Selden has also matured emotionally. His intensity tended to overflow in years past following a questionable foul or missed call.
“Attitude is probably No. 1,” said Brockton native Jon Joseph, who’s known Selden since fourth grade and followed him from the Boston Amateur Basketball Club to Tilton. “It went from sour to great. You can see all the differences . . . all the changes he’s gone through to make him the guy he is now.”
A month ago, Tilton beat Lawrence Academy, 108-105, in a quadruple-overtime thriller. Though Selden finished with 29 points and 20 rebounds, he fouled out midway through the second OT. But he did not sulk. He was his team’s most vocal cheerleader.
…Last summer, Selden opted to work part time helping at-risk youth. He balanced those responsibilities with strong showings at numerous showcases and camps for top high school players.
“Wayne’s a really nice guy,” said O’Neil. “The last two years we’ve done some community service at the Spaulding Youth Center [in Northfield, N.H.]. We all go up there and run recreational activities in the fall and the spring. Wayne really embraces that.
“As a person I think that’s kind of a little less known. But that stuff is sincere for him. And he does a nice job with it. Kids that are less fortunate light up [around him].”
…At a Tilton girls’ varsity basketball game against rival New Hampton, Selden — wearing a Kansas sweat shirt and red-and-blue plaid pants — passionately led the crowd in cheers.
“He’s a complete clown,” said Joseph. “You see him and what he’s wearing — he’s all for the team. He’s just that guy. He doesn’t worry about his basketball [image] off the court.”
The ever-appreciative Selden realizes just how lucky he has been.
“In seventh and eighth grade at O’Bryant, [I thought] I was going to be at O’Bryant and then who knows,” he said. “It’s just really a blessing. I just thank God to be able to come here and now I am headed off to Kansas. It’s just great.”
The dream season ended Wednesday night. The Tift County Blue Devils, ranked No. 1 for most the year in Class AAAAAA, saw their state championship hopes dashed by the North Cobb Warriors in the quarterfinals, 68-63. It took a perfect performance to top the Devils, who had led all night. North Cobb was 15-15 from the free throw line during the game and made nine three-pointers, which was enough to make up a a big deficit going into the fourth quarter.
Tift was up seven, 52-45, going into the final eight minutes, after having scored the final four points of the third period. North Cobb erased the deficit in two minutes, tying it at 52-all following a pair of free throws from Joe Beausejour and a three-pointer and dunk from Jordan Neff.
Ali Vaughn snatched the lead right back when he was fouled on a made basket, but was unable to push the margin to three. Two trips down the floor later and a defensive stop by the Warriors, they were up three and it was Tift's time to play catch-up. One flick of Brannen Greene's wrists knotted it back up at 57 and a minute later, he would make it 59-57. That would be the Devils' last lead of the game.
Moore made the score 60-59 after a basket and bonus free throw at 2:47, then gave his team some breathing room with two more charity shots. Tadric Jackson came the closest to making it even again, 62-61, with a pair of foul shots and two blocked shots by Jackson and Greene on the next Warrior possession almost pushed the momentum back in their favor, but North Cobb recovered and restored their lead to three with a minute left.
The Devils were down, but not done. D.J. Bryant's steal with 42 seconds left cut it to 64-63, but Neff closed the door seven seconds later with a thunderous dunk. He would finish with 22 points. Three-pointers refused to go down for Tift and fouling their opponent only resulted in two more made free throws, which made the deficit five, 68-63, with 21 seconds left and that would prove the be the final points of the game.
…Greene finished out his Blue Devils career with 22 points.
2/28/13, 10:11 AM
Frank Mason @F_Mason15 saw his share of double-teams last year. Mason is headed to Kansas (2013 signee) & was co-MVP with 50 points
From the 804 All Star game in 2012:
Mason’s 50 points, which included six 3-pointers, are a new 804 All-Star game record — and enough to garner co-MVP honors with Willie Mangum (John Marshall High School), who led the North in a 137-128 victory.
Mangum had 31 points and six rebounds.
But this was clearly Mason’s showcase.
“I knew I could score 50 points,” said Mason, who also recorded five assists. “I knew I was capable of scoring 50 points.”
Mason led Petersburg to two VHSL Group AAA championship game berths during his career with the Crimson Wave. His 1,901 career points are the second-most in school history. Only Moses Malone scored more.
“(Mason) can do this in almost any All-Star game,” South coach Rick Hite said. “He’s that talented. He’s that tough. ... He’s just a kid with a lot of heart. He has the heart of a lion.”
Hite should know. He was Mason’s coach at Petersburg.
As Wiggins finishes his high school career working on his outside shot from both mid range and long range, it is imperative to do so off the catch or from a rhythm dribble. The game comes easy to him now because of his superior physical tools, so staying highly competitive and engaged in practice and games is important for him to develop and create good habits for the. To perform at his best, he needs to be highly self-motivated as opposed to picking his spots when he wants to play hard; this will be challenging for him.
His learning curve in college won't be about the physicality or speed of the game as much as it will be about developing ball-handling and shooting skills. A jump stop and a floater will be essential at the next level as the floor will shrink because the players will be bigger and more athletic and help defenses will be more prevalent. Learning the little things such as getting open will lead him to great heights in scoring and prepare him well for the highest level.
As he moves on someday to the NBA, learning to create space for himself will be vital and developing his basketball IQ will be an adjustment as it is for all young players. However, all of the above should happen because Wiggins has a teachable sprit that will expand his abilities. By practicing hard he will sharpen and develop his already-enormous talent.
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