Following the first draft as the Sacramento Kings’ new brain trust, Pete D’Alessandro, Vivek Ranadivé and Michael Malone all swore that Ben McLemore was their dream pick. Lip service fine, but video evidence is better.
Yesterday, the Kings released video of their war room celebrating the pick of Nerlens Noel with the sixth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. The team had tried throughout the day to move up to select McLemore to no avail, but the high flying shooting guard fell to them anyway with the seventh pick.
Interesting enough, former NBA player and executive Chris Mullin is seen celebrating with Pete D’Alessandro, Mike Bratz, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, George McCloud, Mitch Richmond, Vivek Ranadivé and members of the Kings ownership group inside the war room. Rumors of Mullin joining the management team as a consultant have persisted since the D’Alessandro hiring, but the team has declined to make an official announcement.
That feeling hasn't quite hit new Kings rookie Ben McLemore, who was drafted by Sacramento with the seventh overall selection in last Thursday's NBA Draft.
The feeling of knowing he and his family will be leaving his poverty stricken neighborhood in the inner-city of St. Louis for the fame and fortune that awaits him in the NBA.
News10's Bryan May met up with McLemore on Sunday afternoon, following his first visit with his new Kings team, after arriving in Sacramento for the first time, in the wee morning hours.
The second-team All-American from Kansas was found clutching his new Kings jersey during the interview, with the No. 16 sewn into it, just below his last name.
McLemore will be officially introduced at a Monday morning press conference alongside the Kings second round selection Ray McCallum, who was picked with the 36th overall pick.
Video at the link
UDK: Dispatch from the Draft: Jayhawks in Brooklyn share their story of attending the NBA draft
Kansas coach Bill Self was in the Green Room with Ben McLemore – who went No. 7 to the Sacramento Kings — and said he expects Wiggins to be a perennial NBA All-Star.
“I would be disappointed if by the time he’s 24, 25 years old that he doesn’t have a chance to be a perennial All-Star,” Self told SNY.tv.
“I think it’ll happen for him. I think it’ll happen fast. He’s gotta get stronger, he’s gotta tighten some things up. But there’s just not too many people anywhere that can do the things athletically [that he can].
“Even Ben’s a freak and Ben’s going, ‘God, I thought I was athletic.’ He’s just a phenomenal athlete.”
Self said he’s excited to help Wiggins live up to his potential.
“It is exciting,” the Kansas coach said. “It’s exciting and pressure to make sure that he lives up to what so many believe he can be.”
Gettin Wiggi wit it 💪 @22wiggins working on that mobility. #overheadsquat pic.twitter.com/hDm6shhqDK
The story that will accompany Andrew Wiggins' first game at Kansas, an impromptu exhibition during coach Bill Self's summer camp, has already taken on a decidedly Paul Bunyan-esque quality.
Those who were in the gym last week, and the thousands of people who have seen video of the game, know the real story. But when is reality as much fun as folklore? And the play that Wiggins made in the first couple of minutes against current and former Jayhawks lends itself to a tall tale.
What's fact is that the top high school prospect in the country, the odds-on No. 1 pick in next year's NBA draft — the next LeBron James, as he's been called — found himself in the open court with the ball in his hands and only NBA center Cole Aldrich standing in his way.
From there, the folk-hero version goes like this: Wiggins elevated from beyond the 3-point arc, posed midair for a couple of photos, autographed the ball and then slammed it down.
The truth: Aldrich stepped aside and watched as Wiggins effortlessly dunked it.
Either way, the play was enough to send Jayhawks fans into a tizzy, light up Internet message boards and burnish the almost mythical aura that already accompanies the 6-foot-7 swingman.
"I let loose of all my nerves," Wiggins said afterward, "so I felt good after that dunk. I just let my game come to me. That's what happened. That's what the fans wanted to see."
They'll want to see plenty more of it this season.
…When asked whether all the expectations might be too much, Wiggins just shakes his head.
"It's an experience I can enjoy," he said. "A lot of former players always say that college was their greatest basketball experience, all the fans and going to school and being on campus. It's just a great vibe. That's what I'm looking forward to."
“Wait ’til you see his explosiveness,” Vitale said. “And what a great kid.”
Vitale drove with two grandsons, twins Connor and Jake Krug, from his home in Sarasota to Fort Myers to watch Wiggins play for his high school, Huntington (W.Va.) Prep.
“He’s for real,” Vitale said. “Explosive. Great first step to the basket. And a great disposition. Almost like LeBron. He could care less if he gets 30. He just wants to win. Same with Wiggins. Not a kid who has to get the ball all the time. Just wants to win. My grandkids were sitting under the basket, and they couldn’t believe it. His jumping ability. Wait ’til those Jayhawk fans see this kid. They’re going to go nuts.”
Explosive. Wiggins, the Canadian sensation whose mother ran in the Olympics for Canada and whose father played in the NBA, sounds a little like Ben McLemore, eh? Vitale smiled a smile that suggested he didn’t think I quite was getting what he was telling me, a look that said this time he wanted me to listen to what he was saying and listen closely.
“McLemore’s really good,” Vitale said. “Very good. But this is another level. Another level.”
He nodded his head, as if to ask, “Now do you get it?”
Vitale said Wiggins asked him to meet with him after the game to impart advice. With his grandchildren listening, Vitale warned him about bloodsuckers who will angle to attach themselves to him.
“I told him, ‘Wherever you go to school is going to be a great school, but I want you to understand, a lot of people are going to be around you, nobody gives you anything without wanting something in return,’” Vitale said. “So make good decisions.”
Andrew Wiggins is the consensus top prospect for the 2014 NBA Draft, but it will be an incredibly deep class.
Julius Randle is currently trending as the second best prospect, but Jabari Parker, Aaron Gordon and Andrew Harrison are also expected to be high picks.
"In a normal, non-Wiggins year, he would easily be the No. 1 pick," said one scout about Randle.
…In the 2008 draft, a record seven freshmen went in the lottery. In 2014, we're projecting another seven freshmen as potential lottery picks. They include Wiggins, Randle, Parker, Harrison, Arizona's Aaron Gordon, Kansas' Joel Embiid and Florida's Chris Walker.
ESPN Chad Ford ($)
Ellis was a four-time state champion and a McDonald’s All-American at Wichita Heights, two accomplishments that eluded Frankamp at Wichita North. But it’s Frankamp who owns the Wichita City League’s career scoring record, a fact KU coach Bill Self occasionally mentions if he wants to get under Ellis’ skin.
“He’ll give (Ellis) crap sometimes, but not too much,” Frankamp said. “I don’t. Not me.”
The record was a meaningful accomplishment for Frankamp given all the legends preceding him, though he gladly would have traded it for a state title.
“We won a lot of games,” said Frankamp, whose high school career ended with a loss to Blue Valley West in the state quarterfinals. “My senior year we had a good team. It sucked that we lost so early in state, but I felt like we had a good chance to win state going into it.”
Missing out of the McDonald’s All-American game also stung, but Frankamp got a measure of revenge by winning a nationally televised 3-point contest at the Final Four in Atlanta.
“I didn’t think too much of it,” Frankamp said of the McDonald’s snub. “I didn’t let it get to me too much. I just had to keep working. It was a motivator for me, for sure.”
Frankamp is known as a deadeye shooter, a skill that could create immediate opportunities at KU. He remembers hitting 400 of 410 shots during one high school workout — “We just said it was a good shooting days and moved on,” he said — and developed his deep range as a way to counter constant defensive denials.
Hours before meeting with Dwight Howard, the Houston Rockets reached an agreement to trade Thomas Robinson to the Portland Trail Blazers and clear the necessary space to offer the star free-agent center a max contract, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
6/28/13, 9:34 PM
KU's Travis Releford told me tonite he will be playing for both the Nuggets n Pacers this summer. Pacers play in Orlando; Nuggets in Vegas.
Kansas men's basketball 2012-13 senior guards Travis Releford and Elijah Johnson have been selected to play for upcoming NBA summer camp teams.
Releford will compete in both NBA summer leagues with the Indiana Pacers, July 7-12 in Orlando, and with the Denver Nuggets, July 12-22 in Las Vegas. Johnson will participate on the Los Angeles Clippers summer team which will play in the Las Vegas league, Johnson's hometown.
Additionally, Releford has agreed that should his NBA tryouts not work out he will play for Okapi Aalstar in Belgian-Ethias league's first basketball division located in Aalsat, Belgium.
6/28/13, 2:58 PM
Great day @nbacares Big ups to @HBarnes and @tyshawntaylor for coming out to help and show the kids that giving back is important #weekend
Why did Cliff Chestnut attend the Warriors Basketball Camp?
"My mom made me do it," the 8-year-old said.
While he may not be the next big NBA player, the Santa Cruz student beamed with his vibrant blue glasses as he stood next to Golden State Warriors' Brandon Rush to get the forward's autograph.
Rush surprised the youngsters with a visit Wednesday to Kaiser Permanente Arena, home of the D-League Santa Cruz Warriors. The weeklong camp, with 110 campers in attendance, was hosted by the Golden State Warriors. The camp concludes Friday.
When Rush first entered the arena, the campers turned their heads to watch the tattooed 6-foot-6-inch forward walk onto the court. He grabbed the net hanging from the basket with ease and looked out on the anxious crowd.
"I've come today to tell y'all just put in the hard work," said Rush, 27.
A Warrior since 2011, Rush described playing for the University of Kansas from 2005 to 2008, followed by the Portland Trail Blazers from 2008-2011.
Rush said he tries to speak at one or two basketball camps per summer because he remembers NBA players speaking at camps he attended as a youngster.
"I was in this position before," Rush said. "It was always a good experience."
This KU deal is similar to the Longhorn Network except, in this case, there is no mewling about availability, distribution or clearance. It can be argued at this moment that those six Kansas men's basketball games and one football game are the most valuable pieces of college programming available until the Big Ten's current contract runs out in 2016.
That's the year the Big Ten probably sets a new bar and becomes No. 1 in revenue. Until then, everyone else's TV rights are basically spoken for. Schools in the Pac-12, ACC, SEC and Big Ten have turned over those third-tier rights to their conferences in part to provide content for conference networks. (The ACC is still considering a network.)
There is no such deal in the Big 12 because of the LHN. Remember the controversy caused by Texas wanting to monetize those rights? That also meant the rest of the conference could do the same. Kansas State has a digital network. Oklahoma has a deal with Fox regional sports networks. That left those Kansas basketball games as the most valuable college property left until the Big Ten comes to market.
…Imagine that. More folks might be able to watch Weekly Jayhawk Insider in Austin than the Mack Brown Show on LHN.
CBS Dennis Dodd
Big 12/College News
FGCU men’s basketball coach Joe Dooley signed his contract Wednesday, making the five-year deal official.
As reported earlier by the Naples Daily News, the former Kansas assistant will make $225,000 a year with a built in $5,000 raise after each season.
If Dooley left his position after one season, the buyout of his contract starts at $200,000 and decreases by $25,000 each year until April 22, 2017, when there will be no buyout fee.
One and done could not be less relevant to the Big 12 Conference.
Only four of the 12 from the Big 12 entering the NBA draft today are leaving college early: Kansas freshman Ben McLemore, Kansas State sophomore Rodney McGruder, Oklahoma junior Amath M’Baye and Texas sophomore Myck Kabongo.
For Oklahoma State, freshman phenom Marcus Smart as well as Phil Forte decided to stay for their sophomore seasons, and Le’Bryan Nash stayed for his junior season.
Baylor lost point guard Pierre Jackson, but fifth-year senior Cory Jefferson and freshman Isaiah Austin decided to continue their careers in Waco.
While Kansas lost McLemore and four seniors to the draft, incoming freshman Andrew Wiggins, the No. 1 recruit in the country, is expected to keep things going in Allen Fieldhouse.
“Big 12 fans should be excited with how things finished up in the past couple of months with recruiting and people deciding to come back,” Baylor head coach Scott Drew said, during a coaches’ conference call this week. “That’s a credit to the Big 12 and college basketball.”
Prior to this upcoming season, teams in the league usually fell into one of three categories — the good, the bad and the ugly.
With the experience each team has returning for 2013-14, wins are expected be harder to earn.
“Buckets won’t be easy to come by,” Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger said. “Certainly that’s the case in the Big 12.”
Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg added, “There are no nights off.”
Furthermore, the strength of the players for the 2013-14 season matches the experience and ability of each coach in the conference.
A Wednesday night in March, 10:46 p.m.
March Madness had gripped Kansas City as it does every year. Teams from across the country were battling downtown at the Sprint Center. This year was particularly exciting for KU Jayhawk fans — not so much for MU Tiger fans . . .
Meanwhile, over at the opulent new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the Kansas City Ballet was winding up a performance of its landmark production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Many dance troupes dance to recorded music, but the KC Ballet performs to the accompaniment of the entire Kansas City Symphony.
…Welcome to Kansas City!
The citizens of St. Louis can talk all they want but Kansas Citians know their city is the genuine Gateway to the West. Three principal trails — the California, Oregon and Santa Fe — all began here. Ruts from the wagon wheels can still be seen across the state line, in Kansas. The Pony Express began a few miles north, also in St. Joseph, and Lewis and Clark cruised by in 1804 on their way to discover the elusive Northwest Passage.
New Yorkers who have been to Kansas City almost unanimously say about the town, “It’s a really cool place.” If they haven’t visited, they often look dumbstruck, consulting Google Maps. Let us help: In this case, we mean Kansas City, Mo.
Under Armour Inc. has agreed to a six-year contract with St. John's University that catapults it into the upper echelon of college basketball schools in terms of apparel deals, the New York Post reported.
Neither Under Armour (NYSE: UA) nor New York-based St. John's are confirming the report. But, according to the Post, the value of the deal would put St. John's among the "top 5 percent of Division I basketball programs that don't play full-scholarship football." St. John's plays in the Big East.
The Post did not specify financial terms of the deal, which has yet to be signed, but it reported the deal would include shoes, apparel and marketing money.
Since Frank Haith arrived at Missouri, the Tigers have built their program with a number of transfers. And it looks like that trend isn't stopping soon.
Former Louisville big man Zach Price announced via Twitter on Sunday that he was heading to Missouri.
For the first 20 years of his life, almost every time Shabazz Muhammad turned around on a basketball court, his father was right there behind him.
Ron Holmes meticulously planned out and cultivated his son’s playing career, from Muhammad’s very first days in sneakers, through the construction of AAU teams that allowed his son to become one of the most heavily recruited prep stars in the nation and during his one and only season at UCLA.
Now that Muhammad is preparing to make the long-anticipated jump from college to the pros, he is telling his famously involved — and occasionally trouble-making — father to take a seat on the bench. Muhammad said the two had a conversation last month setting new ground rules for their relationship going forward.
“I talk to him now as a dad,” Muhammad said on Friday after being introduced as one of the Minnesota Timberwolves’ two first-round draft picks. “He’s not really in my basketball (life) anymore.
“I still love the guy. I talk to him about basketball and life. But he doesn’t really come around with basketball anymore. I think that’s the appropriate thing to do. It’s really helping me out a lot.”
2013-14 Early-season events schedule
6/30/13, 11:13 PM
Getting ready for July recruiting!!! Will wear a different pair of KU exclusive Adidas each day.… instagram.com/p/bNZcgFgHdg/
6/28/13, 5:03 PM
2-0 out here in Prague. On the right path to a gold medal. Beat China tonight, big one against Russia tomorrow night. #teamUSA #GoldMedal
The youngest member of the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Championship Team that will tip-off play at the FIBA U19 World Championship on June 27 against the Ivory Coast (2:15 p.m. EDT), Justise Winslow is also one of the most internationally experienced athletes on the 12-member squad.
Last summer the 6’6” forward from Houston, Texas, not only played on the 2012 USA U17 World Championship Team, aiding the U.S. to a perfect 8-0 record and gold medal, he started five of eight games and averaged 9.9 points, ranked fourth among all competitors in the 12-team tournament with 8.8 rebounds a game and finished tied for a tournament second-best 2.6 steals a contest.
Further, Winslow, who also helped the USA claim exhibition victories over U17 squads from Australia and Latvia, was named to the five-member FIBA U17 World Championship All-Tournament Team.
Even after all that, earning an invitation to this year’s U19 training camp was a bit of a surprise for the 17-year-old defensive specialist.
“I was definitely surprised, but at the same time I thought I deserved it,” he said. “I was working hard during the offseason, during my school basketball season and the beginning of AAU. It’s definitely an honor to be able to come out here and practice before they made the cuts. It means so much to just be out here playing and representing your country.”
USA Basketball (USA faces Brazil today)
One of the top big men in the country, Skal Labissiere has gone from mystery man to valued prospect this summer.
A 6-foot-10 rising junior at Evangelical Christian School, just outside of Memphis, Labissiere is a player many heard about but few had seen -- at least until this spring and summer.
Labissiere hadn't played much on the summer circuit previously. This year he's been playing in the Nike EYBL and highly visible at camps such as Nike's Elite 100 and the NBPA Top 100 Camp.
Ranking No. 6 in the class of 2015, Labissiere has been backing up the hype and this scouting video from the NBPA camp shows much of what he's capable.
The native of Haiti is a long and skilled post player with soft hands. He scores with either hand around the basket, runs the floor extremely well and is a very good shot-blocker who uses timing and feel instead of raw athleticism. He is on the lean side, but he's not afraid to tangle with bigger and stronger players and he's shown that he won't back down from a fight in the post.
College coaches certainly know all about him as Labissiere has already drawn offers from Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Memphis, Ole Miss and Tennessee.
In July he'll be touring with the Arkansas Wings 16U team and he'll be among the most-watched players around.
Rivals (Free video at the link)
ESPN 2014 Top 100
New England Elite 75 Showcase begins today
2013 Spring/Summer AAU & Camp Schedule
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