Kansas University basketball assistant coach Kurtis Townsend was happy to support a former Jayhawk on Friday, attending Mario Chalmers’ National Championship Classic golf tournament at Alvamar with new KU director of basketball operations Doc Sadler.
“It’s huge, not only because (Mario) comes back and it’s a great organization and a great cause, but the fact that these people here just love him,” Townsend said. “To come back and make this like his second or third home now … it means a lot to the program and to our guys.”
Chalmers’ tournament benefits cancer research and community-based youth programs.
Former KU basketball players Brady Morningstar and Jeff Hawkins also joined Chalmers at the event.
“Everyone around here looks up to him,” Townsend said of Chalmers. “It’s just great to have him back. I would support anything he ever did here. I haven’t been able to make it because of recruiting, but I just happened to have today off, so it worked out well.”
Speaking of recruiting ... Townsend played a big part in the Jayhawks’ landing 6-foot-3 guard Rio Adams from Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, serving as his lead recruiter.
...“It’s great to have him here. He had a long journey,” Townsend said. “I think he’s still not out of the woods yet academically and stuff, but it’s great that he’s here, and he’s happy to be here. I think he’s going to do a good job for us.”
One of Townsend’s most vivid memories of Adams came while watching him at a tournament in Las Vegas.
“I think he had about 38 (points). He couldn’t miss, and he had already committed here,” Townsend said. “He just kept looking at me after every shot. What I did realize is that he was one of those guys that wasn’t afraid to take a big shot.
“He was like a cornerback in football — didn’t remember the play before. He could just flick water off his back, and he could just go. But (he was) a clutch player, and more than that, a great kid.”
…“He had an unbelievable game, because I was kind of always putting in his head, ‘Hey, we may want to play you at the point,’” Townsend said. “He made some unbelievable no-look passes and made sure that I saw him to let me know that, ‘Hey, I’ll play wherever you need me to play.’”
Townsend, who will begin his ninth year on KU’s bench in the fall, believes Adams will provide the Jayhawks with depth.
“He gives us a guy that can play both (guard) positions. He’s a scorer,” Townsend said. “He’s athletic, but he can also play the backup point. If, God forbid, something happened to Elijah (Johnson) or Naadir (Tharpe), he can play both spots.
“He just gives you another athletic, tough, strong, good kid.”
KU AD: Mario V. Chalmers Golf Classic (video at link)
Earlier this week, Sports Media Watch compiled a list of the 50-most watched sporting events from the first half of the sports calendar. (Sports Media Watch used the All-Star Break as the unofficial cut-off point.)
If you peel back from the obvious — the NFL is an unstoppable juggernaut — there’s at least one local story to glean. For the Kansas basketball program, March and April were a pretty good month of exposure.
KU appeared on the list three times, with the Jayhawks’ final three NCAA tourney games being watched by nearly 50 million fans combined. In all, there were seven college basketball games on the list.
No. 15: KU-Kentucky, NCAA title game, 12.3 rating, 20.869 million viewers
No. 21: KU-Ohio State, Final Four, 9.6 rating, 16.603 million
No. 32: KU-North Carolina, Elite Eight, 7.1 rating, 11.683 million
Wilt Chamberlain could do just about anything on the basketball court. Score, rebound, block shots, anything. He even led the NBA in assists one season.
That one-of-a-kind talent played a key role off the court, too. An upcoming movie focusing on Chamberlain’s recruitment to Kansas in the mid-1950s casts him as the ideal person to spark social change in Lawrence.
KU’s very own Jackie Robinson but on a slightly smaller scale.
“Jayhawkers” takes its title from the familiar KU mascot. But that’s not its origin. It’s a reminder of “Bleeding Kansas” when abolitionists from the territory were referred to as “jayhawkers.” The anti-slavery term carried over into the Civil War as any Union troops from Kansas earned the moniker. That tolerance didn’t last, though.
…Willmott cast current Jayhawk Justin Wesley to play Chamberlain. The 6-foot-9 Kansas junior doesn’t have The Stilt’s height, but his facial features and lean build are perfect. They’ll use high school players around him, so he’ll probably appear just as dominant as Chamberlain without a ton of movie magic. With any luck, it’ll resemble a movie like “Hoosiers,” which not only had great hoops sequences but nailed the basketball style of 1950s Indiana. Fittingly, the climax is the 1957 NCAA tournament championship against North Carolina that went three overtimes and is often hailed as one of the sport’s greatest games.
“That’s a big challenge of the film, to get the basketball right,” Willmott says. “You have to get the script correct for the social change, but the selling part of the film is the basketball.”
For that, former Kansas star Scot Pollard will be helping Wesley with his low-post moves and playing style of the ‘50s.
The film won’t focus entirely on Chamberlain, though. He’s simply the agent of change. It’s also a tribute to former Kansas Chancellor Franklin Murphy and legendary coach Phog Allen, the two men who coaxed Chamberlain to leave Philadelphia for the Sunflower State.
…Shooting starts in mid-August and will run about four weeks. Once he’s done editing it (about six months), it could be ready for a premiere during March Madness.
Perhaps just in time for another Kansas run to the Final Four?
“Maybe we’ll get lucky there,” Willmott says.
The Brooklyn Nets summer league team had already had its video session. Another one was set aside for Tyshawn Taylor.
Assistant coach Popeye Jones, in charge of the week's activities, focused on showing the rookie from Kansas some defensive techniques. How to deliver pressure. Getting over ball screens.
Taylor, 22, who played high school ball at Jersey City St. Anthony, soaked it all in.
"They were just telling me that the NBA game is a game of angles. It's a learning process," Taylor said. "There's so much more to this NBA game than in college, and I'm just learning as I go."
The learning curve is fast. A few hours later, when the Nets faced the Oklahoma City Thunder, Taylor anticipated a pass, made the steal and went coast to coast. The early success bred additional success, and Taylor finished the day with a game-high 23 points.
"You've got to let him learn," Jones said. "He's played basketball long enough."
…"I like the way Taylor has stepped up," said Brooks, who lit up the Indiana Pacers for 34 points in the Nets' only win Friday. "He's done a good job of learning the game, slowing it down and let it come to him."
Taylor is excited about serving under Williams' tutelage. Both had the same college coach; Bill Self was at Illinois before Kansas.
"There's probably some similarities we have, and that'll be interesting," Taylor said. "How could I not be excited about playing with Deron? There's a lot I can learn. This is still basketball, but there's more to it. I have to be ready for understanding my role and understanding my team, but I'm open to the challenge. All rookies go through the process."
Former Kansas basketball player Josh Selby scored a game-high 20 points on 7-for-11 shooting, leading the Memphis Grizzlies’ summer league team to a 93-77 victory over the New York Knicks on Saturday.
Selby was 5-for-7 from three-point range and added a steal and rebound to go with two turnovers in 25 minutes.
The Phoenix Suns didn’t have to wait long on Sunday to see a little bit of everything they were hoping to see out of second-year power forward Markieff Morris.
During the first 10-minute quarter of play Sunday at the Suns’ opening game of the 2012 NBA Summer League, Morris got the Suns off to a fast start and the lead with 10 points, three rebounds and a monster block.
He finished the game with a team-best 21 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots.
Morris’ effort was the leading reason why the Suns beat the New York Knicks 99-74 at UNLV’s Cox Pavilion.
“I told (Morris) that I was going to go to him a lot this year, especially in the post, in the summer league, and he took it to heart and did a great job,” said Dan Majerle, the “Summer Suns” head coach.
Morris credited the work he has done thus far in the offseason while hanging around Phoenix for his fast start to summer league action.
Robinson was energetic and involved, and receiving little help from his teammates, clearly tried to do too much.
But he was much too hard on himself. He hit midrange jumpers and deep balls from the corner. He showed a quick first step, a variety of offensive moves, and provided a safety valve when Jimmer Fredette labored against fullcourt pressure. And he showed off better-than-advertised passing skills.
"He brings energy and toughness," said Bobby Jackson, who is coaching the Kings squad, "and he plays hard all the time. All the time. But his passing has probably impressed me more than anything. He can take the ball off the rim and dribble the length of the court like a point guard."
Robinson's summer league debut lured several of the Maloofs and a few of his new teammates to the Cox Pavilion.
Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Thornton sat at the end of the Kings' bench, with DeMarcus Cousins and his 6-foot-11, 290-body squeezed in the middle. The Kings' third-year center, who remained in town after completing his impressive weeklong training camp with the Men's USA Select Team, recalled his own struggles during his summer league debut two offseasons ago.
Unlike the Bobcats from a night ago, the Los Angeles Lakers did not bring their starting five to summer league and it showed.
Looking to bounce back from last night’s debacle, the Kings pulled away from the Lakers late, beating the purple and gold by a score of 84-72.
While the fans were waiting for Jimmer Fredette or Thomas Robinson to blow up, it was the 5-foot-11 Josh Akognon who looked unstoppable. The 26-year old out of Cal State Fullerton led all scorers with 25, shooting 10-for-16 from the field, including 4-for-8 from distance.
Jimmer scored 15 points and handed out four assists, but shot only 3-for-11 from the field. Robinson finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds for his first double-double of the summer, but again, shot a less than stellar 3-for-13.
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The University of Connecticut men’s basketball team will not compete in the 2013 NCAA tournament due to poor academic performance from its athletes, reports the Hartford Courant. The NCAA Committee on Academic Performance met Friday without making any changes in policies saying that the 826 score the team acquired for the 2009-10 season was simply not good enough.
The County of Maui is pleased to announce that the license agreement for the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Basketball Tournament was amended by the County Council on July 6, extending the tournament for eight years.
"The EA Sports Maui Invitational has made our island a household name when it comes to college basketball," said Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa. "It has also established Lahaina as a fun and exciting sports venue for the nation's premier early-season college basketball tournament. It has been a pleasure to work closely with representatives at KemperLesnik to ensure that this sports tradition continues here for many years to come."
In addition to contributing approximately $8.1 million to the local economy in 2011 with visitor spending and global marketing for Maui, the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational also has an annual average direct spend with local businesses of approximately $1 million.
Bill Walton is a basketball legend. But physically, he has seen better days.
Rather than complain, Walton has decided to get on with his life after numerous surgeries, beginning this fall when he will return to duty as a basketball analyst for ESPN.
It hasn't been an easy road back for Walton, the former UCLA standout whose injuries began in college and shortened his NBA career. Walton turns 60 in November.
It has been five years since Walton collapsed because of spine problems. In that time, he said, he believed his life was over.
This fall, he starts over in doing Pac-12 games for ESPN. In an interview with USA Today, he described his nightmare of physical breakdown and 36 surgeries, including spinal fusion and ankle fusion.
The Big Ten's scheduling partnership with the Pac-12 isn't happening after all, and the fans of both leagues will pay the price.
The two leagues announced Friday that their pact, which initially called for 12 football games per season, has been called off. The reason: At least four Pac-12 schools were unwilling to agree to mandatory scheduling, ESPN.com has learned. A key sticking point is that Pac-12 teams play nine conference games while Big Ten teams play only eight. Adding in traditional non-league series like USC-Notre Dame, Stanford-Notre Dame and Utah-BYU, and it makes the scheduling situation tougher for those in the Pac-12.
The Detroit Pistons announced today that the club has signed second round draft selection Kim English to a contract. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
English, who was selected with the 44th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, played four seasons at Missouri and averaged 14.1 points (.521 FG), 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists as a senior.
ESPN Tip-Off Marathon schedule
2012-13 Early Season Events List
North senior Conner Frankamp injured the big toe on his left foot during a basketball tournament in St. Louis on Sunday. North coach Gary Squires said Frankamp, who just returned from a stint with the U17 USA Basketball team last week, will have his foot checked out on Tuesday.
Future Kansas University basketball player Conner Frankamp suffered a hairline fracture in a bone in his left foot in an AAU basketball tournament Sunday in St. Louis.
Frankamp, a 6-foot-1 senior point guard from Wichita North who plays for KC Run GMC, told the Journal-World in a phone interview that he is expected to miss four to eight weeks of basketball. He’s going to be re-examined on Tuesday, but at this point thinks he’ll definitely miss the rest of the summer season.
“I went up for a layup, and a kid (from Oklahoma team in third-place game) took me out,” Frankamp said. “I came down, and my foot went backwards. It’s a good time for me to rest, but I sure will miss playing.”
Frankamp recently helped the U.S. Under 17 basketball team to a gold medal at the FIBA world championships in Lithuania.
“It was an unbelievable summer, a dream come true. It’s been one of the best summers of my life even though I hurt my foot,” Frankamp said.
Earlier Sunday, Frankamp joked on Twitter: “Well a broken bone in my foot isn’t a good present the day before my birthday. I can’t believe I turn 17 tomorrow (today).”
Chris Walker (Florida Elite 2013) – Walker’s contributions may not have jumped off the page the way they do at times but he controlled an individual matchup against one of 2014’s best forwards, Noah Vonleh. He drew 4 fouls on Vonleh in the 1st half alone by attacking the rim every chance he got and cleaning up the offensive glass. Walker is an elite rebounder, an elite finisher, and an elite athlete so once the skill package catches up, he can be scary good.
…The nation’s elite are after the super talented big man and he mentioned Florida, Kansas, Louisville, and Syracuse as his top 4 offers. He is still interested in Kentucky as he has been for some time but seems less focused on waiting for a Wildcat offer to come than he has in the past. While he wouldn’t name a leader, it sure sounded like Florida was out in front from listening to Walker talk about the Gators. He mentioned a great relationship with Billy Donovan and the way he’s treated as family by the entire Gator staff. Walker is also intrigued by the idea of continuing to play with current Florida Elite teammate Kasey Hill (Florida commit) at the next level.
…Karviar Shepard (Urban DFW Elite 2013) – Shepard’s play both on Saturday and throughout the week have catapulted him into the discussion for top center in the 2013 class. He scores with both hands, makes great passes from the post, and has refined footwork that most college big men would be jealous of. Shepard also protects the rim and rebounds both ends of the floor at an elite level. If he develops a nasty streak on the block, Shepard can become a dominant low post college scorer.
7/14/12 11:03 AM
More coaches for Canada/USA East: Bill Self, Rick Pitino, Roy Williams, Mark Gottfried, Buzz Williams, Danny Manning
Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria)
7/13/12 10:31 AM
Heavyweights rolling in to Nike Global Challenge: Bill Self, Jim Calhoun & Kevin Ollie, Tom Izzo, Jamie Dixon, Leonard Hamilon, Mike Rice
Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria)
Anthony Barber is a top ten recruit in the class of 2013 and, along with Andrew Harrison and Kasey Hill, considered among the best high school point guards in the country.
Standing 6-foot-1, Barber is lightening quick with a tight handle, which makes him a nightmare to try and stay in front of. On the defensive end of the floor, he uses those quick feet and quicker hands to make trying to bring the ball up the floor about as pleasant as getting a tooth pulled.
And while Barber spent the weekend in DC at the Nike Global Challenge proving to Alabama’s Anthony Grant, Louisville’s Rick Pitino and Kansas’ Bill Self — who were all front and center for every game he played — that he is, indeed, worth the recruiting effort, he may not answer if you call him Anthony.
The name he goes by is ‘Cat’. And the reason isn’t exactly what you would expect.
“When I was little, my sister said I used to run around and climb on stuff,” Barber told NBCSports.com. “I guess she said I was like a cat, so they just started calling me that.”
So it had nothing to do with the fact that, you know, you’re quick as a cat?
“That could be too, but I just used to move a lot, so she called me that.”
The Troy Williams saga continues. Now Boo’s nephew is saying that Kentucky and North Carolina are no longer the two favorites for his services. In case you forgot or have been in off season hibernation, let me remind you of this twisted tale.
Troy narrowed his list down to two schools UNC and UK in late April. He announced he would make his decision known after school on May 1st. Then he woke up with a change of heart and announced he would be delaying his decision to an unknown date in the future. Later Troy let it out that he was going to commit to Kentucky but woke up with mixed feelings. Then he added four teams to his list (Florida, Louisville, Alabama and Georgetown), but said UK and UNC were still above the rest.
And now we have this quote from yesterday:
"If Troy & Cat do commit together, Troy says it’s either Alabama or Louisville that they’ll end up"
Keeping it heel
Led by James Young's 29 points and 10 rebounds, USA Midwest defeated Canada 100-86 Sunday to win the Nike Global Challenge.
The event came during the first of three five-day evaluation periods this month for Division I men's basketball coaches, 37 of whom attended at least a portion of the three-day tournament. Included in that number were all the coaches from the 2012 Final Four.
However, none was able to see the end of every game Sunday. The evaluation period officially ended at 5 p.m. ET, which came with about 39 seconds left in Midwest's win.
Tournament organizers alerted the coaches to the deadline, leading to a quick exodus of those still around,
Rivals.com released its updated 2013 basketball recruiting rankings earlier this month, and Kansas commit Conner Frankamp moved up from No. 42 to 28 while fellow KU commit Brannen Greene remained at No. 31.
Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Eric Bossi, who has been on the road more than 50 days since mid-March evaluating high-school players, took some time to talk about the new rankings and also the potential for KU coach Bill Self to have a strong recruiting class in 2013.
Rivals Recap: Reebok Showdown Day 1
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CBS AI: Day three recap
Rivals AI: Stars of 2013 step up
Rivals video: Chris Walker vs Noah Vonleh
NBC Nike Global Challenge Recap
Speculation throughout this past basketball season had Troy forward and the state’s top senior-to-be James Young going to a prep school out east or transferring to some other school for his senior year.
Well, it looks like Young is staying put. Troy coach Gary Fralick said Young participated in 16 of Troy’s 20 team camp games and is looking forward to his senior year in Oakland County. Troy will have seven of its top nine players back. That might have been a factor. Troy will also move up a division in the OAA and be paired with teams like Clarkston and Pontiac. The competition has increased.
Selfishly, I’m happy Young is coming back to Troy. He’s a tremendous talent and is good enough to lead the Colts to the Breslin Center. Young will be the top candidate for the Mr. Basketball award and, no, he has yet to decide what college he will attend.
Kentucky and Michigan State appear to be in the lead for Young but it’s early.
July is supposed to be the month when high school players prove themselves nationally.
But for Montrose Christian’s Ishmail Wainright, July will be spent on the mend. Wainright, who is ranked 18th by ESPN in the Class of 2013, has a stress fracture in his left ankle and will be undergoing surgery next weekend.
“I’m out all of July,” Wainright told NBCSports.com. He was scheduled to play in Nike’s Skills University event in Alexandria, VA, during the first live evaluation period in July.
The 6-foot-6, 220 lb forward has already been out a month, but he says he is still in shape and has actually added a couple pounds of muscle — “good weight”, he called it — to his already sturdy frame. The time off has also allowed him to focus on schoolwork.
Indy Star: Coaches can be seen but not heard by recruiting targets
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