The top-ranked Jayhawks celebrated their first women’s national track team title by alternately screaming at the top of their lungs, hugging everyone in sight and, unfortunately, singing the alma mater song quite horribly.
“Stick to track,” one man joked.
“I thought we sounded pretty on pitch,” Kansas senior Andrea Geubelle said with a mischievous grin.
Geubelle, who attended Curtis High School in the Tacoma suburb of University Place, produced a team-high 16 points with her runner-up finishes in the long and triple jumps. She said a team title was not a possibility when she first arrived at Kansas.
“We weren’t ranked in the top 25 my first year here,” Geubelle recalled. “When I visited Kansas, they had a passion for their athletes that no other school has ever had, or schools I visited at least.
“I saw in every single coach here that they (eventually) wanted that national championship. They didn’t have the athletes at the time to do it, so I hoped that maybe my recruiting class could change the face of track and field for KU, and we definitely have.”
The fiery Geubelle was left in tears Wednesday and Friday after failing to capture her first NCAA outdoors title. She won the long and triple jumps at the NCAA indoor meet in March, and she owns the best outdoor triple jump mark in the nation this year (45 feet, 5 1/4 inches).
“I had a rough meet, obviously. … I put a lot of pressure on myself,” Geubelle said.
She was quick to add, “No individual title could feel any better than a team title.”
On Friday, sophomore heptathlete Lindsay Vollmer became the only woman in Kansas history to win an individual NCAA outdoor title, yet the Jayhawks ran away with the team race. Kansas finished with 60 points, well ahead of second-place Texas A&M (44) and third-place Oregon (43).
Kansas University athletic director Sheahon Zenger shook the hand of women’s track coach Stanley Redwine and hugged him after Redwine’s Jayhawks on Saturday won the NCAA Outdoor title at University of Oregon’s track.
“I told him how proud I was of him,” Zenger said in a phone interview with the Journal-World. “From where I sit, it was a great effort from coach Redwine to his staff to every last kid on that team — just an awful lot of hard work, heart. It was a group effort.”
It was the first women’s team national championship of any kind in KU history.
“I’m practically speechless,” Zenger said. “I had the opportunity to get to know some of these young ladies. They are as good as gold. Their heart, soul, their work ethic makes you proud to be in the business of education and college athletics.”
He recognized how special it is for a team to win a national title.
“There are only so many sports and so many national championships,” Zenger said. “From my vantage point, it’s certainly not about me, but I’ve always felt track and field is the purest of all sports. It goes back to the history of humankind. To win a championship in that ... we’ve all grown up watching the Olympics.
“This is a special moment, it is what we strive for each and every day — championships and particularly national championships.”
Andrew Wiggins has decided to spend the summer preparing for his upcoming year at University of Kansas.
Wiggins, who is entering his freshman year, has been a member of the Canadian national team in both 2010 and 2012. Last year, the Junior Men's National Team captured the bronze medal at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship to secure a berth at this year's FIBA U19 World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic at the end of June. Head coach Roy Rana will begin training camp this Sunday to prepare the team for this competition.
Andrew's presence with the junior team will be missed, but Canada Basketball is confident that with the depth of talent and the excellent staff leading the team, Canada will be prepared for the World Championship tournament.
Rowan Barrett, executive vice-president and assistant general manager of Canada Basketball's Senior Men's program, commented that, "at 18 years old, Andrew has a long basketball career ahead of him. Andrew’s decision to prepare himself this summer for the upcoming season is a decision we acknowledge. Our team will miss Andrew this summer, but we remain focused on Andrew's long-term development and our organizational goals for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and beyond”.
One unexpected piece of news at Bill’s Basketball Boogie raised the party atmosphere to a fever pitch on Saturday night at Abe & Jake’s Landing.
During introductions of his players, Kansas University coach Bill Self reported that Canadian freshman sensation Andrew Wiggins likely would be on campus for summer school Monday or Tuesday.
…Wiggins, who is skipping the Under 19 championships with Canada’s junior national team, conceivably still could play for the senior team later this summer.
The recruiting process for five-star, Top 20-ranked high school boys basketball players can be long, drawn out, excruciatingly painful for those players, their parents and fans.
Not always, however.
“It was never stressful for me,” said Wayne Selden, Kansas University’s 6-foot-5, 220-pound freshman shooting guard from Tilton School in New Hampshire, who, instead of milking the process for months as the country’s No. 12-rated player, announced his commitment to Kansas University last Oct. 15.
That was exactly one day after the conclusion of his only official campus visit.
He revealed his decision to a handful of media members before his first class of the week at Tilton.
“I took the process slow. My circle was able to control it well. I was taking it as it goes and able to make my decision,” Selden said.
…“It came down to a few schools. After my visit (for Late Night in Phog) I was pretty solidified I wanted to come here,” Selden said during a Thursday interview in Allen Fieldhouse. “My parents loved it. During the in-home visit, coach (Bill) Self had made the best impression on my mother, my parents. I wanted to come here.”
Selden actually committed to Self on the Saturday night of his weekend visit, but wanted to return to his hometown of Roxbury, Mass., with his parents so he could phone coaches of his finalists before making the news public.
Coincidentally, the only other freshman in KU’s recruiting class of 2013 who is ranked higher than Selden — No. 1 Andrew Wiggins — also had a low-key recruitment that ended with an announcement on Twitter, not on national TV.
“I was sitting in my dorm (at Tilton). We were all watching ESPN, flipping the channel. Somebody tweeted at me saying ‘Andrew Wiggins to Kansas,’” Selden said of the May 14 morning announcement. “Me and the guys in the dorm were excited. We knew how versatile a player he is and the athlete he is. He’s a great player.
“Before he decided, I was like, ‘We’re trying to win games, do this and that.’ When he decided to come here, I was like, ‘We’re REALLY trying to win games.’” Selden added.
The University of Kansas men’s and women’s basketball teams will celebrate the beginning of the 2013-14 season at the 29th annual Late Night in the Phog Friday, Oct. 4, in Allen Fieldhouse.
The 2013 Late Night in the Phog coincides with Kansas’ football Homecoming and K Club weekend when the Jayhawks will host Texas Tech at Memorial Stadium on Oct. 5.
The Oct. 4 date is earlier than past Late Nights as the NCAA recently moved the start of fall men’s basketball practice up by two weeks. Traditionally, the first men’s practice of the season has come on or around the weekend of Oct. 15. Women’s basketball practice moved to an earlier start for practice two seasons ago.
Late Night in the Phog is one of the most well-attended ‘midnight madness’ events in all of college basketball. Each year, some 16,000 fans pack into Allen Fieldhouse to catch an off-beat look at the Jayhawks and to get a sneak peek at the highly-touted newcomers. The first Late Night was in 1985 and called Late Night with Larry Brown.
College basketball analyst Doug Gottlieb, who this year was co-host of the Boogie with Self, envisions a two-team race for the 2013-14 Big 12 basketball title.
The nine-time defending champion Kansas Jayhawks and Gottlieb and Self’s alma mater, Oklahoma State, which will be led by sophomore standout Marcus Smart.
“It feels like back in the mid-’90s, where you have Oklahoma State and Kansas — two really talented clubs kind of lining up for two, maybe three match-ups to decide who is the Big 12 champion,” Gottlieb said Saturday at Abe & Jake’s.
Gottlieb says the big challenge for OSU is “handling expectations. It’s a lot harder to do when everybody expects you to be great.”
…On the reason he co-hosted the Boogie, Gottlieb said: “Bill called. Bill calls ... you go, ‘Yes, sir.’ Between my appreciation for the program and of course what he does with the foundation ... also our Oklahoma State ties.
“I feel like they are going to present me with some ‘shorts on backwards’ or something or there will be a chant coming tonight,” Gottlieb joked of the party.
6/7/13, 4:29 PM
Had a great time at the camp with the kids out in Ulysses, Kansas today
6/9/13, 2:09 PM
First day of Bill Self Basketball Camp - registering and getting autographs!
Frank Mason and his Kansas University basketball teammates good-naturedly signed shirts, shoes, basketballs, posters and plain sheets of paper for hundreds of KU coach Bill Self’s basketball campers during a marathon 2 1⁄2-hour orientation session Sunday in Booth Family Hall of Athletics.
“It’s amazing. This is my first event doing something like this. I’m just happy to see all the kids smiling,” said Mason, KU’s 5-foot-11, 180-pound freshman point guard out of Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, Va.
“I knew it would be like this,” Mason added, “because the tradition is very great here. It’s the fans. They are wonderful. I hope to have a lot more events like this.”
Mason has all the makings of a future fan favorite at KU. Self calls the speedy point guard, who averaged 17 points and eight assists a year ago for 30-4 Massanutten, a “jet.”
“I think my strength is getting my teammates involved, getting in the paint, but most of all on the defensive end, being a good defender,” said Mason.
Also ... “being a point guard, being a leader, controlling the tempo,” he added.
…“My goals my first year are to compete every day, work hard and do what I can to help the team win,” said Mason, who is roommate of freshman shooting guard Brannen Greene. ”I have wonderful teammates. Everyone loves to compete. We are going for the national title and no less — Big 12 champs and more.”
For now, Mason is just happy to be here.
“I absolutely love this place. I love the program, everything about it,” he said.
…In other KU newcomer news, freshman Andrew Wiggins, who has decided to not play for Canada’s Under 19 team this summer so he can work out with his teammates in Lawrence, will be here “probably mid-week,” Self said Sunday on the first day of his Sunday-Thursday camp.
Former Kansas big man Jeff Withey will work out for both New York teams this week and could be an attractive option in the first round.
The 7-foot, 235-pound center visits the Knicks Monday and the Nets Tuesday. The Nets pick No. 22 and the Knicks choose No. 24 in the June 27 NBA Draft.
As a fifth-year senior under coach Bill Self, Withey averaged 13.7 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.9 blocks.
One advisor to Withey spoke with SNY.tv about the upcoming workouts but requested anonymity because he prefers to stay behind the scenes.
“He’s got New York on Monday,” the advisor said. “I just think how defensive-minded as a coach Mike Woodson is, I think Jeff Withey” can “fit in there.” That’s what makes the Knicks a very attractive fit for Jeff and for the Knicks.”
The Orlando Magic are shopping around the No. 2 pick, reports Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel.
That No. 2 pick is probably going to be Ben McLemore out of Kansas, but guys like Otto Porter or Victor Oladipo could jump up into that spot. If you’re a GM in the lower lottery and really want one of those guys, and you have an asset you can throw in to swap picks, it could happen.
Thing is, there are not teams willing to give up much of anything to move up in this draft. There are no franchise changing players in this draft, and GMs are not going to give up two assets to get one unless there is something special.
Which is to say, the Magic are going to shop this around but it’s not likely going to matter much.
This is why he’s here. And this is why, with the Heat holding his $4 million option this summer, he’ll stick around. This is what makes him different, what makes his value impossible to measure by conventional statistics, what allows the Heat to tolerate his lapses in concentration, his consistent inconsistency.
This is what Mario Chalmers does. This, at this point, is who he is.
“You can’t teach that quality, that big-game guts,” coach Erik Spoelstra said after Chalmers catalyzed the Heat’s 103-84 victory in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
You can’t teach, and you don’t question.
Not at this stage.
Not on this stage.
Not after he etched himself into Kansas history, with the shot that sent the NCAA Final to overtime.
Not after he scored 18 points in Game 6 of the 2011 NBA Finals against Dallas, nearly saving the Heat after Spoelstra waited too long to re-insert him as a starter.
Not after he scored 25 points in Game 4 of the 2012 NBA Finals against Oklahoma City, supplying Miami with the secondary offense to take control of the series.
Not after his strong play against Indiana in the 2013 Eastern Conference finals, picking up some of the slack for the struggling Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
And certainly not after what he did Sunday night, with 19 points, no turnovers and a plus-30.
“In their run, it was Chalmers who scored,” Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said.
Palm Beach Post
The fifth annual Rock Chalk Roundball Classic returns to Lawrence, Kan., on Thursday, June 13, at Free State High School. More than former 25 Jayhawks and celebrities will be playing and coaching in the event that raises money each year for local kids fighting cancer.
Beneficiaries of the 2013 Rock Chalk Roundball Classic are Calin Strahm, a four-year-old from Shawnee, Kan., and Jakob Askins, a 14-year-old from Topeka, Kan.
Not only will fans be treated to the exhibition basketball game featuring former KU players from the last three decades, but there’s also a free concert during the pregame, a 25-minute postgame autograph session and a chance to win a car from Crown Automotive of Lawrence. Doors open a Free State High School at 5:30 p.m. with the event starting at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $7 and can be purchased in advance at the 23rd St. Brewery in Lawrence, AAA on Wanamaker Ave. in Topeka and Dr. Leiszler’s Dentistry in Baldwin, Kan. Tickets are also available on game day at the gym.
RockChalk Roundball Classic on June 13
Big 12/College News
Things are now mostly settled in college basketball. We basically know who will be coaching where. We basically know who will be playing where. So this seems like as good of a time as any to reset everything and get caught up on all of the notable leagues.
That's the idea behind the CBSSports.com Conference Catchups.
We'll post one every other day over a four-week span. We're posting them in alphabetical order.
Up next is the Big 12.
FOUR OFFSEASON HEADLINES
1. Andrew Wiggins picks Kansas (so does Tarik Black): For most of Wiggins' recruitment, it was thought to be a battle between Florida State and Kentucky. Then North Carolina made a run. Yet, when it came time to make a decision, Wiggins went with the one that hit many of the spots on his checklist: Kansas. He has a chance to win a title, will be the go-to-guy, is closer to his brother at Wichita State, and has plenty of talent around him. Shortly after, Memphis transfer Black announced he was heading to Lawrence as well. With these two in the fold, Kansas went from a borderline top-25 team with too much unproven talent to a legitimate Final Four – and national title – threat.
2. Marcus Smart forgoes NBA for another year at Oklahoma State: In this year's weak draft class, Smart could have been a top-five pick and enjoyed quite the NBA contract. Instead, he decided he wanted another go-round in Stillwater – and as a result, the Cowboys are poised to be better than they were a year ago. In case you forgot, Oklahoma State – behind Smart's outstanding freshman campaign – went 24-8 and received a 5-seed in the NCAA tournament. Smart is a sure-fire All-American this season, and can make a case as the best point guard in the country. Another great year from Smart could mean a deep run for Oklahoma State – and Smart could be a top-five pick come 2014, too.
3. Tubby Smith is the new head coach at Texas Tech : After getting fired from Minnesota in late March, it was unclear what was the next move for Smith. Yet, not too much passed before Smith signed a contract to replace interim head coach Chris Walker – and Billy Gillispie – in Lubbock. The match is an interesting one, to say the least. On the positive side, Smith is a proven winner and a national name, and that's something most of the other candidates probably didn't have going for them. However, it's a difficult job for Smith. The Red Raiders haven't been a consistent winner the past several seasons, and it's going to be difficult to get top-notch talent to Texas Tech.
4. Texas enters make-or-break year for Rick Barnes: The Longhorns have been going backward the past few seasons, finishing better than fourth in the Big 12 just once since 2008. Last season was a struggle, as Barnes led them to a 16-18 campaign. And it didn't get better in the offseason. Myck Kabongo decided to go pro, while Sheldon McClellan, Julian Lewis and Jaylen Bond all transferred. That means Barnes will enter this season without his top three scorers – and the incoming recruiting class isn't to the caliber that people have come to expect in Austin. Barnes isn't getting the talent he used to, and he's had trouble locking down prospects from the state of Texas. The 2013-14 season – and recruiting calendar – is key for Barnes.
BIG QUESTION THAT REMAINS
How many teams can potentially make the NCAA tournament?
Longtime Miami (Ohio) basketball coach Charlie Coles, the school's all-time leader in victories, died Friday in Oxford, Ohio, the school said. He was 71.
No cause of death was reported immediately, but Coles had a long history of heart issues.
Known for his colorful wit and a coaching competitiveness as the mid-major RedHawks often scheduled national powers for their nonconference games, the two-time Mid-American Conference coach of the year had 263 victories at Miami. He also was the Mid-American Conference's all-time leader in conference wins with 218. He had a career record of 355-308 over 22 seasons at Miami and Central Michigan.
A lot can happen in 35 years, Ed Hightower can definitely attest to that in the Division I collegiate men’s basketball game.
Hightower, who announced to the Big Ten Conference on Monday that he would retire after officiating in November and December of the ‘13-14 season, has seen a definite evolution to the game in his 35 years as a referee.
He admitted the changes haven’t just happened on the floor either, but overall he thinks it’s made for a better product.
“The game is in good health,” Hightower said. “Look at the excitement of a game come March and that tells you it’s healthy enough. Has the game changed? Yes, over my career I’ve watched it change tremendously.
When I broke in there was a great deal of physicality in the game, it was a brute type of game. The game has evolved and it’s still evolving into more of a finesse game. You don’t just go out there and beat up players like you did when I first broke in.”
There are two major additions to the game on the floor that Hightower points to as really revolutionizing the game that is known today.
“The two biggest changes since I started college are the advent of the 3-point shot and the shot clock,” Hightower said. “Those are the two biggest changes that have changed the excitement. You’re never out of the game with the 3-point shot. You can be down 10 points with two minutes to go and you can go down, hit a three, get fouled, make the shot and you just got a four-point play. Get a steal, make another one and your back in the game in a matter of seconds. Then with the 35-second shot clock you can’t hold the ball, you can’t go into a long stall. Those are two things that have really caused the game to change during my time.”
Despite his friends’ and family’s doubts that a young Orthodox Jewish athlete could ever play college or professional basketball without compromising his religious values, between 1999 and 2009 the “Jewish Jordan” defied conventional wisdom and found his place on the court.
In his new memoir, Jewish Jordan’s Triple Threat, Tamir Goodman describes his triumphs and disappointments in life, crediting his practice of Judaism for shaping his identity as an athlete and his understanding of basketball as a team sport.
First nicknamed the “Jewish Jordan” after being ranked among the top 25 high school players in the country, Goodman was immediately swarmed by media attention. Many top college teams, including the University of Maryland, scouted his talent, but for a moment it seemed that no American institution could accommodate his special needs as an observant Jew.
Goodman, however, never gave up his dream. In 2000, he received an athletic scholarship from Towson University. A testament to his skill level, Goodman’s coaches at Towson made NCAA history when they reworked their team’s entire game schedule to accommodate his strict observance of the Sabbath and Jewish holidays. Goodman averaged 6 points, 4 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game in his freshman year. He was later recruited to play professionally for Maccabi Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa in Israel.
“I pushed myself to the limit each day because I sought to represent the Jewish people and Israel on the basketball court, and to attest that it is possible to play at the top levels of a very physical game while staying true to my spiritual identity,” Goodman writes.
2013-14 Early-season events schedule
6/7/13, 9:08 PM
Elijah Thomas (@EliCTMDThomas15) on KU hiring Jerrance Howard: "That's huge. Coach Howard is my man! Def makes Kansas even more attractive."
"Basically, every coach will tell you what you want to hear," Williams said. "And you can't really solely go through that. … It's like looking at a pretty girl. She has on nice makeup and dresses nice, but you get up to her in person and her breath stinks."
But even Larry Williams, who was the first of the five to commit, said he didn't know all of the consequences when he accepted ECU's offer.
"I wasn't really aware of how big a decision it as until a couple months after I said I was going to ECU," Williams said. "But it hit me that this is really important and I didn't want to do anything to mess that up. This could be something that changes the rest of my life."
While all five describe the recruiting process as "long" or "difficult," even the most arduous recruitment process couldn't kill all the excitement of the next step.
Star News: Recruiting process an eye-opener
2013 Spring/Summer AAU & Camp Schedule
My KU Alumni games, 2011-12 Border War, Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos, Late Night in the Phog, and more now on YouTube