Kansas celebrates 60 years of Allen Fieldhouse on 10/27. What an incredible line-up of coaches! #bewareofthephog pic.twitter.com/qqhr4AR5f8
9/22/14, 2:18 AM
Watching KU v. IU in the '93 Elite 8. Man, I Love You CPearl! We got it done that night Jayhawkers.
@USFBBallCoach (Rex Walters)
Perry Ellis — is receiving his share of preseason pub, appearing on the covers of Sporting News and Athlon’s, not to mention the soon-to-be-released Journal-World 2014-15 Magazine, of which Ellis and sophomore Wayne Selden adorn the cover.
“I mean, it’s definitely an honor,” said Ellis, KU’s leading returning scorer (13.5 ppg) and rebounder (6.7 rpg) off last year’s 25-10 team.
“Just keep working hard. It’s been paying off ... from my freshman to my sophomore to my junior year. I’m just going to continue to work. It’s going to be more responsibility on my end, but I’m looking forward to it.”
Ellis, a 6-foot-8, 225-pounder from Wichita Heights, drew rave reviews from those who attended this summer’s Nike Big Man, LeBron James and Adidas Nations camps at which he worked as a counselor and took part in drills and pickup games.
CBSsports.com’s Jeff Borzello named Ellis as the most improved player at the James camp from a year ago.
“And I thought he was very good last year,” Borzello wrote.
The Sporting News this summer ranked Ellis the No. 3 power forward in the country behind Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell and Kentucky’s Karl Towns.
“Relatively speaking, Bill Self had a down year as far as his defense was concerned in 2013-14,” writes ESPN’s John Gasaway. “True, KU was tied for first on that side of the ball with Oklahoma State in Big 12 play. The Jayhawks, however, are accustomed to unchallenged preeminence on D, and a return to form this season won’t surprise me. Who knows, if he can crack the rotation maybe Arkansas transfer Hunter Mickelson can be the next Jeff Withey, albeit a less awesome version thereof. As a freshman with the Razorbacks in 2011-12, Mickelson posted one of the best block percentages in D-I.”
ESPN.com ranks KU’s offense fourth-best behind Wisconsin, Duke and Kentucky.
“Since last we saw KU, the Jayhawks generously donated two starters to the very, very top of the NBA draft and watched a third starter call it a career a year early,” writes Gasaway. “In such circumstances, a step back would ordinarily be expected. We are talking about a program, however, that has won 10 consecutive Big 12 titles. And in Perry Ellis, Wayne Selden, Kelly Oubre and Cliff Alexander, Bill Self will have a nucleus capable of putting a high number of points on the board.”
Some people are worried about the Jayhawks’ point guard situation, but I think that concern is overstated. Throughout the last four seasons the Jayhawks’ PG position has been in flux, and Kansas has had no trouble extending their Big 12 regular season title streak.
Devonte Graham’s consensus recruiting ranking was 65th according to RSCI. And even if Graham is not ready, Kansas has other options. Frank Mason was better last year than most people appreciate, and as the #89 RSCI recruit he still hasn’t reached his ceiling. Conner Frankamp played more off the ball last year, but the former #40 recruit also has some PG skills. With Mason and Frankamp likely to benefit from the sophomore leap, Kansas has options.
Syracuse is another team with PG questions, and I would argue unambiguously that Kansas is in better shape, even if Kaleb Joseph was ranked slightly higher than Graham in this year’s recruiting class. Joseph is going to play almost every minute (because Syracuse doesn’t have other options), so his stats might be better. But Syracuse simply has no options if Joseph suffers a minor injury or falls into a slump. Kansas on the other hand, will use the competition to be the starting PG to keep Graham and Mason sharp in practice, and ultimately the better player will be finishing key games at the end of the year.
Surprisingly, my bigger question for Kansas is on defense. Bill Self has been the top defensive coach in the nation in the tempo-free era, but last year was his worst defensive team. Evidence suggests that the change in the way fouls were called may have hurt Bill Self more than other coaches. Typically opposing teams earn 31 to 35 free throws per 100 shots against a Bill Self coached team. But last year Self’s team allowed 45 free throws per 100 shots. The NCAA average increased by about 4 free throw attempts per 100 shots, so this was a larger than expected increase. Bill Self’s teams have been known for their physical aggressive defense, and there is a real question whether the new foul rules hurt Kansas more because Kansas players don’t shy away from contact.
If not the foul rules, another explanation for Kansas’ proclivity to foul last year may have been the team’s extreme youth. This year Kansas will be young again with super-recruits Cliff Alexander, Kelly Oubre, and Graham all expected to play major minutes. But Kansas was unbelievably young last year with six freshmen in their ten man rotation. With an addition like transfer Hunter Mickelson complimenting veterans Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden, Kansas is unlikely to make quite as many freshmen mistakes on defense as they did last year.
SI: Best Teams Not To Win A Title (1997 & 2010 Kansas listed)
Dimensional Innovations recently completed what CEO Tucker Trotter called a dream job at the University of Kansas.
The Overland Park-based design and fabrication company just completed renovation and branding work for the university’s basketball program in Lawrence. In less than six weeks, Dimensional Innovations performed work on about 5,000-square-feet of facilities, including upgrades to the player’s locker room, film room, training room and lounge area along with other spaces the program uses.
Trotter said the company added thematic elements that reflect on the program’s legacy of success and its more recent history under current Head Coach Bill Self.
In the locker room, Dimensional Innovations added light boxes with each player’s name and photo into the individual lockers. It also made various aesthetic improvements around the rest of the basketball facilities. Trotter said the company added tributes to the program’s historic figures, magazine covers featuring KU players, jerseys of alumni who went on to play in the National Basketball Association and inspirational quotes to surfaces around those areas, too.
Trotter said that Self gave personal input on the upgrades and that the branding work should help the school land top players. Trotter, a Kansas alumni, said the project was a dream job for him and plenty of the workers at his company.
One moment, Andrew Wiggins was instigating the Timberwolves' offense. The next, he was posting up against a phantom defender, working from the center position.
Flip Saunders isn't planning to use the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, projected as the league's next superstar swingman, so heinously out of position. But this is the time of year for teaching, and the coaching staff is grooming Wiggins and the rest of Minnesota's youth movement for the manifold adjustments that await them.
"A little glimpse of what it's going to be like," Wiggins called it.
"It's good to get a head start knowing their roles, their sets, because a lot of rookies, early, mentally, they get exhausted trying to remember the plays, which kind of takes away from their playing ability," general manager Milt Newton said. "So for them to come in early and learn a lot of the sets will help them as training camp goes on."
That's why Wiggins, fellow under-contract rookies Zach LaVine and Glenn Robinson III, second-year forward Robbie Hummel and training camp invitees Brady Heslip and Kyrylo Fesenko have been working out at the Target Center's Lifetime Fitness private practice facility since early last week. For the rookies, it presents some rapid-fire learning -- not just their own responsibilities, but those of everyone else on the floor.
Vine: Wiggs tosses first pitch at Twins game
Last year’s addition, Thomas Robinson, is well on his way to filling the void.
Much like Faried, Robinson is predominantly an energy guy. He is called upon to do the same things that Faried is, but in a more limited capacity. He fills lanes, crashes boards, blocks shots in transition, and looks for second chance opportunities at the rim; generally without a play called for him. Robinson’s growth has been much slower than Faried’s, but I suspect that has something to do with landing behind all-pro power forward, LaMarcus Aldridge, instead of starting. In a universe where Portland drafted differently in 2011, Faried would be facing the same problem.
Robinson also entered the league one year younger than Faried. Some growing pains should be expected, but he has more room for improvement at this stage of his career. This is why a statistical comparison is so encouraging. Robinson averaged 14.0 points and 12.7 rebounds per 36 minutes of play during his second season, where Faried averaged a highly comparable 14.8 and 11.3 per 36 in his second season.
Rip City Project
The University of Kansas Endowment provided a record $124.1 million in direct financial support for KU and The University of Kansas Hospital in fiscal year 2014, which ended June 30, it was announced Monday by KU officials.
The funds are used according to donors’ specifications and provide support for: scholarships, fellowships and awards for more than 6,000 students; academic programs in virtually all disciplines; faculty, including endowed professorships; construction of new facilities; and patient care. Funds also enhanced research opportunities, the arts, and library and museum acquisitions.
“It’s rewarding for us to be able to make a KU education affordable for so many students and to provide for the growing needs of the university and hospital,” Dale Seuferling, president of KU Endowment, said in a statement released by the university. “Philanthropic support benefits every student, faculty member and program. It helps propel the university and hospital forward and ensures their long-term vitality.”
“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
Bleacher Report says West Virginia’s Juwan Staten will lead the Big 12 in scoring this year; Texas’ Myles Turner will be freshman of the year in the conference; and KU will be third-best defensive team in the country behind No. 1 Louisville and No. 2 Arizona. ESPN.com, meanwhile, says KU will have the seventh-best defense in the country. Arizona is No. 1, followed by Virginia, Louisville, San Diego State, UConn and VCU.
"Please accept our apology” is how C-J editor Neil Budde began his open letter to the Kentucky coach, whose head was photoshopped onto the oversized body of an infant in a suggestion Calipari had been behaving like a baby.
Which was odd, because Sullivan’s column didn’t really suggest he had.
And Budde acknowledged as much in the text of his open letter to Calipari, published on the paper’s website Monday:
“The illustration reflected neither the tone of the column it accompanied nor our editorial standards.
“This was a failure in our procedures. We have reiterated to those involved and our entire staff that any illustration of this nature must be approved by senior editors, which did not happen in this case.
We regret that this episode cast a bad light on you and the University of Kentucky basketball team.”
The NCAA has ruled Jordan Hare eligible immediately following a 2013-14 season in which the Michigan native sat out due to personal reasons.
Jason Rabedeaux, who was a star player for Eau Claire Memorial basketball teams in the early 1980's and played college basketball at California-Davis, passed away on Monday.
Rabedeaux was the head coach of the Saigon Heat in the ASEAN basketball league. A press release by the league states that he passed away at his house in Ho Chi Minh City.
Prior to coaching the Saigon Heat, Rabedeaux was the Director of Basketball Operations for the Marquette University Men's Basketball team and head coach at UTEP from 1999-2002.
Lute Olson turns 80
Arizona Daily Star
Cheick Diallo, a 6-9 senior forward from Our Savior New American in Centereach, New York, had an excellent weekend visit to KU, a source close to Diallo told JayhawkSlant.com.
Sophomore guard Selden, a native of Roxbury, Massachusetts, was Diallo’s host on the visit.
“He loved the place and what they have to offer as far as his development,” the source told JayhawkSlant.com.
…Diallo is “leaning to (signing in) the spring, but it’s not final yet,” a source told Zagsblog.com.
“Similar to Kentucky, Kansas has a pretty solid group of big men that are already on campus but a few of them are threats to leave for the NBA after this season so landing elite guys to replace them is a priority,” writes Eric Bossi of Rivals.com. “Diallo doesn’t talk a lot about his recruitment but Kansas has positioned themselves nicely here and they are in position to set the bar high before Diallo makes visits to Iowa State and St. John’s.”
The customized logo, his initials disguised in an Optimus Prime-like figure, found on his headband and personal website tells you all about him. Beyond the impressive creative and its double-meaning is a story that dates back to when his father, Horatio Webster, played college ball at Mississippi State in the late ’90s.
For Malik Newman, aka “The Machine,” the logo and nickname remind him of who he is and why he’s doing it. Regarded unanimously as the top guard in the Class of 2015, the 6-4 senior from Jackson, MS, first received the moniker while playing for the 2013 U16 USA squad that he led to Gold at the FIBA Americas in Uruguay.
“Once I’m turned on and locked in and the ball is falling,” says Newman, “this machine is hard to stop or turn off.” The machine analogy doesn’t stop once he’s off the hardwood. It also defines his work ethic on days no one is watching.