Former Kansas University basketball standouts Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid soon will know a lot more about where they might be playing basketball next season.
The NBA will hold its annual lottery at 7 tonight on ESPN, before an Eastern Conference final game between Indiana and Miami.
…Wiggins, who also appeared on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” on Monday, spoke glowingly about his one year in college.
“It was my happiest year on the planet since I was born,” Wiggins told Van Pelt and Russillo of his time in Lawrence. “That’s like home to me, really. Walking in the fieldhouse gives you chill bumps. It’s a crazy feeling to be there, in that situation, be under a legendary coach like Bill Self and play with the teammates I had. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. I’ll never forget anything about it.
“I can understand why players stay all four years in college. College is fun. There’s nothing like it at all,” Wiggins added. “If I could erase time and replay every day back in Kansas, I would. You know that can’t happen. That’s how fun Kansas is to me.”
Wiggins was asked on “SportsCenter” if part of him wishes there were a rule requiring him to stay at KU another year. “Yeah. I’m only 19. Every day I think about college. It really was the best time of my life at Kansas. I enjoyed it so much. It was one of a kind,” he said.
“I couldn’t really picture myself going to the NBA after high school. I think that would have been a mess for me. I wouldn’t have been (ready).”
Asked to sum up what he learned at KU, Wiggins said: “I was always a good on-the-ball defender, but I learned how to play defense off the ball. I learned the pick-and-roll game, just how to take advantage of certain situations. Also a lot of the mental part. Staying true to who I am. Coach Self at the end of the year really brought out the dog in me. That’s why I started playing better at the end of the year. He really made me just get focused.”
On Tuesday at 4pm ET I'm chatting with @Rickafox about the #NBADraft! Tweet questions for me using #AmexNBA. http://www.nba.com/offthecourt/live.html
#Suns announce Morris twins @Keefmorris @MookMorris2 will represent the team at next weeks NBA Draft Lottery in New York
There is no lock No. 1 pick in this draft after talking to about 30 NBA guys. Will completely depend on team & GM that wins lottery tonight.
“Everyone is talking about a great draft class this year,” Golden State consultant Jerry West told ESPN Radio. “I think it’s just the opposite. I think it’s a poor one, myself.”
“It’s not even close to one of the best draft classes in the last 10 years,” Celtic GM Danny Ainge told the Boston Globe.
If there’s no consensus No. 1 pick in the press, one super prospect emerged in the minds of the NBA people I talked to. That was Embiid, the 7-0, 250-pound (as listed by Kansas) freshman who started around No. 5 on sheer size and raw potential and realized enough of it to to rocket to No. 1 in mid-season when a GM told me, “His ceiling is Hakeem Olajuwon. His basement is Serge Ibaka.”
Unfortunately, Embiid missed the NCAA Tournament with a stress fracture in his back, a recurrence of an injury he suffered in high school which prompted Kansas to send him to Los Angeles for a second opinion, Stress fractures which are hard to diagnose can be be devastating, having truncated great careers like those of Bill Walton and Doug Collins. If a team can’t, at least, see Embiid’s medical records—which Tellem may withhold–taking him No. 1 goes from a no-brainer to problematic or impossible.
(Not that’s it hard to understand from Tellem’s standpoint. “You can hire the best back doctor in the country who gives him a clean bill of health,” says a GM. “Then you go to Chicago and 30 teams’ doctors poke and prod you. It only takes one to red-flag something and that becomes the story. That’s what happened to [Oklahoma City's] Perry Jones. He was supposed to go in the lottery in 2012 and he got red-flagged. He went No. 28 and hasn’t had a problem since.”)
Yes, many Jazz fans would love to have Duke forward Jabari Parker. But Wiggins could possibly be the best NBA draft pick since Kevin Durant, and morph into transcendent talent like Durant and LeBron James before his career is over.
Any NBA general manager will have trouble passing on Wiggins’ athleticism, two-way potential and ability to explode. And while this is a draft that will likely produce multiple all-stars, Wiggins stands out as the one player most likely to become a superstar.
Utah sits in the fourth position, with a likelihood of either moving into the top three, or dropping out of the top five all together. The good news: Should the Jazz drop as far as seventh, they can still leave the draft with a guy who will project as an impact player, It’s a testament to how strong and talented the top seven players in this draft are.
Salt Lake Tribune
THE SIXERS will be taking part in their 15th lottery tonight. And if history has a say in anything, they will either be enjoying a jump from their second spot or staying put.
And that's good news for the franchise. It means they will get a shot at either Kansas' Joel Embiid or Andrew Wiggins, or Duke's Jabari Parker. Of course, the team has been rumored to have targeted Wiggins since trading All-Star Jrue Holiday to New Orleans last draft night, but all that could change quickly. Embiid came on like gangbusters, jumping from a mid-lottery pick to the very top in a lot of mock drafts. If the Milwaukee Bucks, who own the worst record, gain the top spot, they might take Embiid, leaving Parker and Wiggins available for the Sixers.
Using the draft odds going into Tuesday night's lottery, ESPN has put together a program that predicts which team will end up picking where. After running it 100 times, the Sixers ended up with the No. 4 overall pick -- dropping two spots -- and drafting Kansas center Joel Embiid.
1. Milwaukee Bucks – Andrew Wiggins 6-8, 200 lbs. SF Kansas, Fr. At this point the pick is a coin flip for the Bucks, for some teams it will be a three-sided dice role, but for the Bucks they benefit from drafting either Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker. The organization has a new owner and needs to bring on a head coach, but they have begun to create a style in recent years. They drafted Larry Sanders, John Henson, and Giannis Antetokounmpo giving them elite length and athleticism in the front court. Parker gives them a pure, natural scorer, but also creates a logjam at the 3/4 on the roster. Wiggins is free to play the two or the three and can potentially play with those three and give the Bucks a potential franchise star at the same time.
4. Utah Jazz – Joel Embiid 7-0, 250 lbs. C Kansas, Fr. With question marks about his back and the league becoming smaller and smaller Embiid has the potential to fall, but at the same time could also be the No. 1 Overall Pick. The Jazz have slowly put together a quality young roster where Embiid could fit in with Trey Burke, Gordon Hayward, and Derrick Favors as a core going forward. Embiid has the unique ability to impact the game on both ends of the floor at a high level and is a more fluid athlete than most players his size. Still very raw, but at Kansas he showed that his learning curve is well above average as he got better and better literally game by game.
2. If you were starting a team from scratch, who would you take with the No. 1 pick?
Mahoney: Joel Embiid. With no other factors to account for — and assuming his back is OK — I’m taking the athletic, free-moving 7-footer with loads of defensive potential. It will take some time for the late-blooming Embiid to mature as a player, but in the interim he’s plenty big and resourceful enough to stay on the court and gain practical experience. The former Kansas big man is not a project — he’s simply a work in progress, capable of contributing throughout his developmental process. I trust that good scorers can be found elsewhere, be it in other draft classes, the trade block or the free-agent pool. Embiid, though, has a chance to develop into a very special defensive asset. I’ll gladly take the plunge.
Golliver: Andrew Wiggins. You could have asked me this question at any point from the World Team’s first practice at the 2012 Hoop Summit until today and the answer would be the same. Wiggins’ performance that week as a high school sophomore — before his reclassification and his one and only year at Kansas — was Bobby Fischer-esque. What other word than “prodigy” applies when a sophomore clearly stands out from the best and brightest juniors and seniors?
Skipping a year of high school surely cost Wiggins some acclaim at the NCAA level. Who cares about that? He fast-tracked his way to the NBA so that he can get a jump on the lengthy process of developing into a franchise player. I trust Wiggins’ out-of-this-world physical gifts, feel for the game and mental makeup more than any other option in this year’s class. The knocks on him — that he floats through games, that his shooting range could improve — are nitpicks at this point and not red flags. If my mythical team wants to have a chance at winning a title someday, Wiggins is the prospect from this year’s class I want leading the way.
According to a Sporting News report, Wiggins will take part in a group workout planned by his agency, BDA Sports, on Friday in Los Angeles. Wiggins is represented by agent Bill Duffy.
And Wiggins nearly upstaged the Chicago camp when an Instagram photo was released showing his 44-inch vertical jump at the Peak Performance Project.
The photo was eye-popping evidence of an amazing athleticism that has put the 6-foot-8 former Kansas player in prime position to be selected No. 1 overall.
Congrats to justin and niko. They've been great ambassadors for our school and program. Proud of you.
Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little told the crowd at Memorial Stadium to “strive to be something bigger than your selfie.” Gray-Little then turned her back to the crowd and snapped a selfie of her own. In the background behind her thousands of Kansas graduates cheered.
Officially done with freshman year... Myea
I love this place! Had an amazing year. #RockChalk
Next step Lawrence
Fans using their smartphones during events at Allen Fieldhouse and Memorial Stadium could receive a nice boost in the upcoming year.
The University of Kansas recently reached an agreement with AT&T, which is installing new Distributed Antenna Systems in both locations.
“The benefit for KU is that it provides greater capacity for our students, faculty and staff and visitors to campus,” said David Day, communications manager for KU information technology, “but there’s also that benefit for people who live in surrounding areas.”
The main issue is this: When fans try to use their smartphones at the same time in one location, it can often overtax cellphone towers in the area, which causes slow load times and also broken connections.
Putting Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) in a location increases the capacity for cellphone users in that area. So instead of those fans using a nearby tower for service, they’ll instead be able to use mini-antennas placed by AT&T in both Allen Fieldhouse and Memorial Stadium.
The result should be better coverage both for those people in the event locations and also Lawrence residents, whose primary phone towers should be less bombarded on game days.
An improvement was needed, especially at Allen Fieldhouse. In a Wall Street Journal study done in March, Allen Fieldhouse ranked 18th out of 23 college basketball venues in terms of mobile reception.
VIDEO: BMac’s Top 10 Plays of the Season
Paul Pierce noncommittal when asked if he wanted to come back and play for #Nets next season. Said he'd talk to his family, weigh options.
5/17/14, 7:32 AM
Happy B-Day to former @utahjazz man @CoachDManning from all of us @ slcdunk.com #Neverforget
Former KU player Keith Langford, explained to the Journal-World how he would be eligible to play for Turkey’s next Olympic team if that’s what he decides to do. He has decided to play for the Turkish National Team in the upcoming FIBA World Cup.
Langford played for Armani Milan of Italy this past season. He won the Euroleague’s Alphonso Ford Award, which goes to the leading scorer in the Euroleague (17.5 ppg).
“The process is pretty simple actually. If a country wants help on their team, they can come and ask an American who has never played national team for another country to play for them,” Langford said. “You draw up a contract, agree to terms and then you get a passport and become a naturalized citizen. It’s also beneficial as a player in Europe, too, because you become more valuable as an American who plays like a European. That’s because there are limits to how many Americans can be on teams.
“So especially in a country like Turkey it’s huge because their national team is very visible and their league/country is one of the highest paying.”
Look at my career. I'm viewed as a guy who does the little things that help a team win. I have a niche, even a little bit of a cult following. But if I were on a losing team, no one would talk about that. And the reason for that is Kevin, and Russell Westbrook. Their success raises all of us.
We don't talk about Kevin's place in history, but I think about that a lot. I remember growing up watching Michael Jordan and all those guys who played with him. When you play with a guy like that, you play on a special team. It's cool to think that someday people might remember me the same way they do [former Bulls role players] Cliff Levingston or Luc Longley. And it's cool to think that I'll be able to say that not only did I play with Kevin but that I also liked the guy.
SI Nick Collison: Durant is ultimate teammate
TCJ: Plaque seals Dean Smith’s legacy at Topeka High
Vying for its second-ever women's NCAA Championship, the Kansas women's golf team will compete for the national title at the Tulsa Country Club, May 20-23, in Tulsa.
Kansas, whose only other women's national championship came in track and field in 2013, is one of 24 teams, and six individuals, which advanced through NCAA Regional play May 8-10. Following practice rounds May 18-19, Jayhawks will be playing their first two of four championship rounds with Virginia and Big 12 member Iowa State. The three teams will start on hole No. 1, May 20, at 8:36 a.m. and on hole No. 10, May 21, at 12:56 p.m. The final two rounds pairings and tee times will be determined on how teams finish the first two rounds. Tulsa Country Club measures 6,194 yards with a par of 70 for the NCAA Championship.
“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
CBS: Best and worst of APR (No major-conf program has done better in APR than Bill Self’s Jayhawks)
Coach Don Meyer passes away
During a sleepy morning in a mostly empty gymnasium last week, Marcus Smart bolted from the right wing to catch an inbounds pass thrown from the opposite sideline. After collecting the ball, Smart dribbled toward the left corner, turned over his right shoulder and swished a three-pointer while falling out of bounds. Quickly standing up, Smart expressed his outrage at an invisible referee. "And one! You gotta call that!" he said. "C'mon, ref. I know that's LeBron, but you gotta call that!"
The faux outburst injected some much-needed levity into an otherwise mundane workout at Saint Monica High School in Los Angeles. Since arriving here in early April, Smart, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound point guard who recently completed his sophomore season at Oklahoma State, has been put through paces twice each weekday alongside several other player-clients of the Wasserman Media Group.
The group, which includes Kansas center Joel Embiid, UCLA forward Kyle Anderson and Arizona State guard Jahii Carson, has been staying at an apartment complex nearby. When they're not toiling in the gym, they keep a busy schedule to prepare themselves for the NBA draft, which will be held June 26 in Brooklyn.
Dime Mag: Georges Niang and rapper Moufy, 2 Boston underdogs
Lincoln police ticketed Nebraska men's basketball coach Tim Miles for negligent driving after he was involved in a three-vehicle accident.
Miles was driving in southwest Lincoln about 4 p.m. Friday when his Cadillac Escalade struck a Honda Pilot that had slowed in front of him. The impact pushed the Honda into the back of a stopped pickup.
According to the accident report, Miles told police he had taken his eyes off the road, and when he looked up he was unable to avoid hitting the Honda. The Honda's driver said she went to a hospital to be examined for neck and back pain. There were no other injuries.
Estimated damage was $2,000 to Miles' vehicle, $4,000 to the Honda and $500 to the pickup. Alcohol was not a factor.
Contrary to FGCU's earlier version of events, former Eagles center Eric McKnight was kicked off the team after yet another violation of team rules — at least his third at the school — following the 2013-2014 season, FGCU coach Joe Dooley said Monday.
McKnight, who verbally committed to Tennessee on Monday, was suspended for 12 games prior to last season for at least one violation of team rules, although a minimum six-game suspension turned into 12 without further explanation from McKnight or FGCU.
The 6-foot-9 center from Raleigh, N.C., returned to average 6.9 points and 5.1 rebounds in 23 games after the suspension.
But following FGCU's first-round NIT loss at Florida State in March, Dooley said McKnight committed yet another infraction that forced his expulsion from the team.
"If he hadn't violated team rules he would have been back," Dooley said. "It was something separate from the 12 games."
In announcing McKnight's departure from the team last month, FGCU and McKnight said it was McKnight's decision, although the player's demeanor indicated otherwise.
"To be honest I'm just a bit overwhelmed," McKnight said. "It's sad because I feel like I was one of the co-founders of Dunk City. Now that I have to leave and I have to graduate, I just have to leave that legacy behind."
April 9: NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee Application Deadline
April 14: NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee Response Deadline
April 15: NCAA Early Entry “Withdrawal” Deadline
April 27: NBA Draft Early Entry Eligibility Deadline (11:59 pm ET)
May 2: NBA Draft Early Entry Candidates Released – Underclassmen Contact Permitted
May 14-18: NBA Draft Combine (Chicago)
May 20: NBA Draft Lottery
June 16: NBA Draft Early Entry Withdrawal Deadline (5:00 pm ET)
June 26: 2014 NBA Draft
draftexpress.com: Testing the NBA Draft Waters in 2014
S/O to @MilesBridges01 for the Kansas offer!
All is quiet on the Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk recruiting front. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard from Ukraine visited KU over the weekend and reportedly had a great visit. He headed to Virginia on Sunday with no word yet on his visit there. His coaches have yet to put out word if he’ll be making any more visits. Michigan, Oregon and North Carolina had been listed as possibilities. Reportedly, he still is seriously considering playing pro ball next season in Europe. KU has two scholarships left to give in recruiting.
Mac Irvin point guard Jalen Brunson is targeting a summer decision after recently announcing he had cut his list to eight schools.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Brunson will choose between Michigan State, UConn, Purdue, Illinois, Kansas, Villanova, Michigan and Temple.
“Before the [high school] season starts,” Brunson said of his timetable on a decision. “I think when I find the best fit for me, I will know.”
Two of the most highly-ranked recruits in the 2015 college basketball recruiting class—point guard Malik Newman and center Diamond Stone—will reportedly be a package deal, and will select a school together during the recruiting process.
While both players will likely wind up with offers from almost every top program, it’s not too easy to tell where these two wind up at this point.
According to Rivals, the two share Georgetown as a school that has offered each. Powers like Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, and UCLA are all involved with both players as well, but it seems a bit early to discern where the duo may lean.
Malik Newman didn't make the statement he had hoped to during his first game back on the EYBL Circuit last Saturday.
The nation's top-ranked guard was 2-for-12 from the floor, 0-for-3 from three, recording 10 points in 29 minutes of play.
The Jackson Tigers, Newman's AAU team, went on to win their first game of Nike tournament in Dallas 59-36, but if you took to Twitter afterwards, chances are you saw Tweets critiquing Newman's game with a repeated word articulating how he played.
During the Callaway Chargers 2013-14 season, Newman averaged 29.2 points per game. So the way he started back on the Circuit wasn't what he was expecting either.
"I wouldn't say it was a struggle," Newman said. "It just wasn't my day for scoring so I tried to contribute other ways.
"As far as the 'struggling' part? I don't really pay attention to that," he said. "I keep that word out of my vocabulary."
By the end of the weekend, Newman turned things around substantially, walking away averaging 19.8 points in the four games the Tigers played last Saturday and Sunday. But last weekend drew questions from several scouts who have seen him play for years – the same people that deemed him the consensus No. 1 player in the country last summer.
"I think at times he tries to settle for the contested three-pointer," said Jerry Meyer, the director of basketball scouting for 247Sports. "I'd like to see him attack a little more off the dribble, which he's capable of and has done a good bit. I'd also like to see him put the ball on the floor to the basket with the idea of creating for his teammates, not just getting his own shot."
…For the month of April, Newman competed with Mo Williams Elite AAU program on the Under Armor Association circuit but made the decision last week to finish out his summer in the Nike EYBL.
"I just think the competition (on the Under Armor circuit) wasn't the same as it is with Nike," he said. "I figured that if I was going to play I might as well do it against the best of the best like it is with Nike."
…As the month of June approaches, Newman said he will continue the process of narrowing down the list of schools he will consider attending. While he's not releasing a list now, his goal to play with Dominican (Wis.) big man Diamond Stone is still going strong.
"Our relationship is great," he said. "He has his list and I'm working on mine. There's like four or five teams that are right there on both of our lists, so that's a good thing."
Newman will travel to Hampton, Va. this weekend to compete in the third session on the EYBL Circuit. The Jackson Tigers are four wins away from qualifying for July's Peach Jam in North Augusta, S.C.
Each 1 Teach 1’s Daniel Giddens played under a different number than listed this weekend at Nike’s EYBL Session 3, but it was still the same dominant performance as those in attendance have come to expect.
As for his future basketball interests, the 6-foot-10, 215-pound Giddens out of Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler cut his list in February to six schools: Kansas, Georgia, Ohio State, Arizona, Indiana and Florida.
He recently received an offer from Arkansas as well.
“Arkansas was a good offer. I’m still listening to some other colleges, but my list still stays the same,” Giddens said when asked if the offer changed his list.
The prohibitive favorite has been Ohio State by most accounts, and the Buckeyes are still hard on the trail for the big man.
“I talk to them every week; twice, three times a week maybe. There is a great relationship with Coach [Thad] Matta,” Giddens told SNY.tv. “They just [have] really told me how they are going to use me in the system.”
adidas Uprising Spring/Summer Events
2014 Spring/Summer AAU and camp schedule (compiled by CBS Sports)
NBC College basketball fan’s guide to current grassroots basketball scene
WITH THE ADOPTION OF RWG-14-1, the legislation governing all-star games was eliminated. Consequently there is no longer a two game limit for prospects, so in this scenario it would be permissible for Slam to participate in all three games.
This piece of legislation is effective August 1, 2013, so it will apply to all prospects that enroll at your institution on or after that date.
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