When Releford burned Oklahoma on Jan. 7 for 28 points -- 12 more than his previous career high -- he sounded as if he wasn't quite sure what to make of it. "I come into games trying to stop the opponent's top scorer, the best player on their team," Releford said afterward. "I don't really look to score."
If you take away that outburst, Releford has averaged a modest 7.8 points this season for the Jayhawks, but his performance against the Sooners underscores what Releford has sacrificed to get playing time. Though he was a coveted recruit coming out of Bishop Miege High in Kansas City, Releford ran into such a logjam in Lawrence that KU coach Bill Self convinced him to redshirt his sophomore season. Releford has never been an outstanding shooter, but he is a strong, explosive athlete who has develop what Self affectionately calls an "old man's game."
"I've tried to convince him to be the best perimeter defender in our league, and he takes pride in that," Self says. "He's not a bad shooter, but he knows when you're surrounded by that much offensive talent, you have to find other ways to help us."
Self points out that Releford's willingness to lock down the opponent's best perimeter scorer enables senior guard Tyshawn Taylor to conserve energy. Releford is also averaging 4.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.2 steals per game, and while he is not a big scorer he makes enough baskets to make opponents pay for overplaying Taylor and Thomas Robinson.
"He gets every junk basket for Kansas," says Kansas State coach Frank Martin. "You focus on Tyshawn Taylor in the open court, and Releford comes flying in there and scores. If you double down on Thomas Robinson, he attacks the offensive glass. He does all the little things his team needs him to do, and he doesn't get care who gets credit for playing the piano."
Taylor and Robinson have struck all the right notes for Kansas this season, but Martin knows how much credit Releford deserves for helping the Jayhawks win their eighth consecutive Big 12 title. Says Martin, "Nobody has a glue guy on a losing team."
SI All-Glue Team
With ballots already due or with deadlines within the next week, the National Player of the Year race remains way too close to call.
Kentucky freshman forward Anthony Davis and Kansas junior Thomas Robinson are still in a virtual tie in the final ESPN.com Player of the Year poll. Robinson led the first three straw polls and was overtaken in the fourth by Davis.
The latter increased his lead -- barely -- in the final poll, which is composed of actual POY voters. After a three-point lead in last week’s vote, Davis now leads Robinson by seven points, 134-127.
The rules for the poll are a first-place vote gets three points, a second-place vote gets two points and a third-place vote gets one vote.
Davis and Robinson, who were named on all 53 ballots received for the final poll, are separated by nine first-place votes. But considering there are four different awards that have four different due dates, it still means there is a better-than-decent chance there is either a split in Player of the Year awards or the award is shared in some instances.
The Robertson ballots were due Sunday. The Naismith is due Friday and Associated Press this coming Sunday. The Wooden ballots are due following the first weekend of the NCAA tournament.
In 2002-03, there was a split award when Xavier’s David West won the Robertson and Associated Press Player of the Year awards and Texas guard T.J. Ford won the Naismith and Wooden.
The Naismith and Wooden awards haven’t been split since 1994-95, when Maryland’s Joe Smith won the Naismith and AP and UCLA’s Ed O’Bannon won the Wooden and Robertson. The only time a major award was shared was in 2005-06, when Gonzaga’s Adam Morrison and Duke’s J.J. Redick shared the Robertson Award.
So depending what happens over the next two weeks, there still could be enough fluctuation for ballots to change.
That said, here’s a look at the 53 ballots that comprise the closest POY race in recent memory:
ESPN Final Straw Poll
Thomas Robinson or Anthony Davis.
Anthony Davis or Thomas Robinson
There isn’t a wrong answer, so whoever wins this year’s Wooden Award will be more than deserving.
As an official voter, I’ve thought long and hard about that ballot I’ll be casting in a few weeks. After three months of indecisiveness -- you’ve seen how I’ve waffled from week to week -- I’ve decided on Robinson.
Here’s why: Robinson’s phenomenal season has been achieved under an immense amount of pressure. He enters each game knowing that, if he doesn’t perform well, his team will likely lose. Other than ESPN.com third-team All-American Tyshawn Taylor, Robinson isn’t surrounded by a wealth of standout players. The Jayhawks went 16-2 in the Big 12 with a walk-on (Conner Teahan) as their sixth man and a transfer from Loyola Marymount (Kevin Young) as their seventh man. This is as thin of a team as Bill Self has ever had in Lawrence.
Because of that, teams almost always elected to double-team -- and sometimes triple-team -- Robinson. The 6-foot-9 junior almost always maintained his composure and responded with a double-double. He had 22 of them in Kansas’ 31 games. Along with averaging 18 points, Robinson ranked second in the nation in rebounds with 11.9 per contest. His numbers were achieved against significantly better competition than Davis faced at Kentucky. Kansas played a much tougher nonconference schedule, and let’s be honest, the Big 12 is better than the SEC.
Take Davis off Kentucky’s roster and the Wildcats would’ve still been one of the top five teams in the country. I realize that’s not Davis’ fault and that he shouldn’t be penalized for being surrounded by supreme talent. But it is what it is. Without Robinson, the Jayhawks would’ve struggled to make the NIT. That’s not an exaggeration. The pressure on Robinson to carry one of the nation’s elite programs in what was supposed to be a “down” year was immense. But the junior responded.
ESPN Jason King
Wooden Award 15 finalists announced
Kansas forward Thomas Robinson has collected another award as his stellar junior season heads into the postseason. He was named the District VI Player of the Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Tuesday, March 6.
The junior from Washington, D.C., also joins teammate Tyshawn Taylor on the District VI All-District Team. There are nine regions from coast to coast and a player and coach of the year are selected in each. District VI consists of the states: Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Robinson is the sixth Jayhawk to be named the AP Big 12 Player of the Year.
“He’s obviously had a fabulous year and he’s been so consistent from a production standpoint throughout the season,” Self said. “Even when he doesn’t have his best game, he still finds a way to get 15 and 10 on a bad night. ... He’s had some monster games for us.”
Kansas had back-to-back Player of the Year winners only one other time. Jacque Vaughn won the award in 1997 and Raef LaFrentz in 1998, the league’s first two seasons.
“A guy that kind of size, obviously a lot of his points are point-blank range, but he can step away from the basket. He can make the 15-footer, and he’s just a man on the boards,” Haith said of Robinson, who had 53 points and 25 rebounds in two games against the Tigers this season. “When that ball goes on the rim, it’s hand-to-hand combat with him”
One showed up at a prestigious offseason camp, the LeBron James Skills Academy, ready to make the jump from role player to Rolls Royce.
“We all acknowledged that even with Anthony Davis and the Plumlees and Jared Sullinger,” ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla said, “he was the best player on the court.”
The other showed up this past offseason hoping to erase any doubt surrounding his ability to handle starting in the Big 12.
“Honestly,” Fraschilla said, “there were times over the last two years where I thought he would never play at Kansas.”
Yet here the two are now, vital organs of No. 3 Kansas and owners of newly announced hardware.
Thomas Robinson fended off teammate Tyshawn Taylor to win the conference’s player of the year award. Jeff Withey turned himself from afterthought into stalwart, earning the league’s defensive player of the year award.
Robinson has parlayed his success into becoming one of 15 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award.
What the two cases show is a fact that has held true during Bill Self’s nine years: Big men at Kansas develop over time, and big men at Kansas get drafted.
With eight former Kansas big men getting drafted in the NBA since 2003, including six in the first round, Kansas under Self and Danny Manning is quickly turning into Big Man U.
“They do a better job with their post players than anybody in the country,” Fraschilla said.
…“Bill and his staff coach intensity so it’s not only that they teach well, but they teach work ethic too,” Fraschilla said. “So when you come out of Kansas’ program, you don’t go to an NBA camp and the coaches are looking at you like you have three heads because you don’t know how to work.”
LostLettermen debate the POY
Kentucky coach John Calipari pointed to the fact Robinson takes nearly five shots more on average per game (12.9 to 8.3) than Davis as a reason for the disparity in scoring.
“Could you imagine if we went at Davis every possession?” Calipari said. “Could you imagine if he shot 22 times a game? Could you imagine? You got to imagine because they're saying it as an imagine: (Davis) doesn't have to because he has all these guys and he doesn't.”
Although Calipari has allowed the 6-foot-10 Davis to put more of his offensive arsenal on display the past few weeks, the freshman forward still plays within a team concept that doesn't demand he dominate the basketball.
“Could you imagine if he played that way, how good he would be?” Calipari said. “Could you imagine the shots he would then take, the three-(pointers) he would have taken well before (now)? The behind-the-back dribbles you would have seen out of a kid 6-11? You will see it. He'll do a little. He did a behind-the-back, he'll probably do a between-the-legs. He's a special player.”
In all likelihood Davis and Robinson will split most of the major National Player of the Year awards but Calipari wasn't going to miss an opportunity to stump for his own guy.
“I'm not taking anything away from Thomas Robinson,” Calipari said. “He's and outstanding player. He's tough, hard nosed, he's led their team. He wills them to win. He's outstanding. (But) I like my guy.”
Lost wallet with my ID and all credit cards at Ks City airport Sun. Turned in in envelope with "Rock Chalk" written on it. WOW # KUfansclassy
Holly Rowe @ sportsiren
UDK: Jayhawks in the NBA
University of Kansas basketball legend Clyde Lovellette will be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame it was announced Tuesday. Lovellette, who played for the Jayhawks from 1950-52, was a three-time All-American for KU and was a key piece in Kansas' march to its first NCAA title in 1952.
Playing for Hall of Fame coach Dr. Forrest C. "Phog" Allen at Kansas, Lovellette was the first player to win championships in the NCAA, AAU, NBA and Olympic Games. The 6-9 center was a three-time All-America selection for the Jayhawks and led the Big Seven Conference in scoring in each of his three seasons. He was the nation's top scorer in 1952 with 28.6 points per game and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 1952 NCAA Tournament.
Today, Lovellette ranks as the fourth all-time leading scorer in KU history with 1,979 career points in 80 games (24.7 ppg) and as the No. 10 all-time leading rebounder with 813 (10.2 rpg). In addition to his All-America selections, he was a three-time All-Big Seven center and capped his career by leading the United States to the gold medal in basketball at the 1952 Olympic games in Helsinki, Finland. Following his career at KU, Lovellette played one year of AAU ball then embarked on a 12-year NBA career with stops at Minneapolis, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Boston. Since retiring from professional basketball following the 1964 season, he has worked in the area of law enforcement and juvenile counseling in his native state of Indiana. He was elected to the Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame in May, 1988.
Lovellette is joined in the induction class of 2012 by Georgetown's dominating center Patrick Ewing, North Carolina's star guard Phil Ford, coaches Joe B. Hall and Dave Robbins, players Kenny Sailors, Earl Monroe and Willis Reed and contributors Jim Host and Joe Dean.
The group will be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, at the Midland Theatre in Kansas City as part of a three-day celebration of college basketball. The hall of fame is located in the College Basketball Experience, a world-class entertainment facility that provides a multi-faceted interactive experience for fans of the game. Included in the festivities induction weekend will be the CBE Classic held at Sprint Center Nov. 19-20. Kansas will compete in the event along with Saint Louis, Texas A&M and Washington State.
Former KU player Delvy Lewis died on Monday after a nine-year battle with cancer. He was 68. Topeka native Lewis, who attended Washburn Rural High School, was a three-year starter at point guard at KU from 1964-66. During his senior season (1965-66) he directed KU to the Big Eight regular-season title. He was a starting guard on the team that lost to Texas Western in the 1966 NCAA Midwest Regional Final in Lubbock, Texas.
“Delvy was a great leader and a great competitor,” said former KU coach Ted Owens, “By sheer force of hard work he made himself an all-league player. His courage and his faith are what I’ll remember about him. I’m so glad he was able to come to our (1965-66 team) reunion at Allen Fieldhouse in December.”
Kansas is a well-oiled machine on the road.
And the Jayhawks have their share of success on the basketball floor away from Allen Fieldhouse as well.
But making sure things run smoothly when the team travels is the responsibility of one man, director of basketball operations Barry Hinson.
It takes an incredible amount of planning and attention to detail to ensure the traveling party of 35 or so is transported, lodged and fed and players’ school assignments completed.
How much detail?
Here’s the menu for the team’s dinner on Wednesday, to be served at 5:45 p.m...
…Hinson has more head coaching experience than anybody on the staff other than Self, but he’s waiting for the right opportunity to return to the sideline. Until then, he’ll approach these duties with the same effort he gave to coaching.
“It’s like going from the CEO of a company for 11 years as a head coach back to the mail room,” Hinson said. “Even though it’s humbling, I’m reminded of the old quote by Dr. Martin Luther King about the street cleaner.”
The quote: “If you are called to be a street sweeper, sweep streaks even as Michelangelo painted, of Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth paused to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’”
…Chris Piper followed a legend in his role as color analyst for the Kansas basketball radio broadcasts. In 2006, Piper took over for Max Falkenstien, who had called KU games for 50 years and had won Curt Gowdy Award presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
But nobody better represented the Jayhawks than Piper. He was a starter on the 1988 national championship team and earlier won a Kansas 6A championship at Lawrence High. He had worked on the Jayhawk Television Network for 14 years and had been a studio analyst for Big 12 games.
We caught up with Piper before the Jayhawks’ regular-season finale against Texas.
…Q: Has (Coach Self) ever surprised you with an answer?
• A: He did hit me a few years ago. The first year I did this, he talked about how the team didn’t hustle, and he asked me a question. He said, ‘What stat tells you about hustle?’ I wasn’t really listening to him cause I was trying to figure out what my next question would be. I was like, uh, er, um. He points on the stat sheet to rebounds. So I said rebounds. I’ve had to hear about that one for years.
Did you know John Wooden helped build KU's Memorial Stadium?
Big 12/College News
Big 12 Conference Tournament guide: Schedule, stats, media
KC Big 12 Tournament guide: Ticket, parking, lodging, entertainment info
KC Star: Inside the Big 12's top six seeds
ESPN Classic Wed 9am CT 2008 Big 12 Championship Kansas vs Texas
"If they want to count championships from 1922 and 1923, then that's fine," Missouri senior guard Kim English said. "I respect Kansas basketball to the fullest. I respect their players, respect their coaches big time.
"I just hate their fans. I hate them. Their fans kind of have a false sense of reality about what Kansas basketball is. It's not Kentucky. It's not UCLA."
In terms of championships, that much is certainly true. Kentucky has won seven NCAA tournament championships, and UCLA has won 11. Kansas has won three.
Kentucky has also won two Helms Foundation national championships. But unlike Allen Fieldhouse, Rupp Arena shows no mention of those championships.
Kansas Associate Athletics Director Jim Marchiony said he doesn't think there's anybody still at Kansas who was part of the process to include those championships.
"We've always counted them," he said.
…A quick look to the rafters of Mizzou Arena is all it takes to see that the Missouri men's basketball program never exaggerated its accomplishments. There isn't much up there.
But there could be. Believe it or not, Missouri actually won two mythical national championships of its own. The Helms Foundation never awarded one to Missouri, but a guy sitting in front of his computer in 1993 did.
Patrick Premo, a professor at St. Bonaventure, unveiled his Premo Power Polls in 1993. Like the Helms Foundation, the Premo Poll retroactively named national champions back to 1901. Missouri was named the champion for 1921 and 1922.
What better way to add more fuel to the Missouri-Kansas rivalry than to have both schools claim the 1922 national championship?
Legendary Kansas coach Phog Allen, after whom the Jayhawks' arena is named, wrote about the last game of the 1922 season in his book "Better Basketball." The game was between 16-0 Missouri and 15-2 Kansas in Columbia. Missouri had beat Kansas in Lawrence earlier in the season, but Kansas won the last game 26-16. (Clearly, teams have gotten better at scoring in the past 90 years.)
Without an NCAA tournament, the season ended there. There was no clear-cut winner then, and there will never be one.
…Again, Kansas is an offender. The KU athletics website says that the Jayhawks just won their eighth-straight Big 12 championship. This is true if the conference's regular season champion — and not the conference tournament champion — is the official Big 12 champion. Which it isn't.
Missouri and Kansas both call themselves the 2009 Big 12 basketball champion. Both teams have rings to show for it.
The Big 12, like just about every conference in the country, crowns a regular season champion and a conference tournament champion. In 2009, Kansas went 14-2 during the Big 12 regular season, the best record in the league. Missouri won three straight games at the Big 12 tournament in Oklahoma City.
Neither school bothers to clarify which championship it won.
…Some people, such as junior guard Michael Dixon, don't see the need to declare one championship any more important than the other.
"I guess it's two seasons," Dixon said. "I mean, we consider the tournament a season, a three-game season. Hopefully. So, I mean, it's two different champions, just like there's a conference champion and an NCAA champion."
Missouri lost out on the Big 12 regular season championship but has a chance to win the Big 12 tournament championship this weekend in Kansas City. The Tigers play their first game at 6 p.m. Thursday against the winner of Wednesday's game between Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.
If Missouri wins, it'll be sure to call itself the Big 12 Champion.
Haith recently paused for a rare moment to reflect on his journey over the past 11 months.
“He said, ‘Man, this season, God’s hand is all over everything we’re doing,’ ” Fuller said. “There’s a spiritual part of this. We’ve got faith in each other, faith that we’re doing the right things, and our kids are buying in.
“There’s a whole lot of chapters in this book.”
For decades, college basketball in the Lone Star State had been dormant. But awakened by a thriving recruiting base and stirred by bright, aggressive coaches, it became clear that the days of Texas schools dominating the Big 12 were inevitable.
But six years later, we're still waiting.
As the Big 12 convenes for its 16th tournament today in Kansas City, Mo., the geographic power structure looks an awful lot like it did for the first. In 1997, Kansas beat Missouri in the championship game, and no team from south of the Red River made it past the quarterfinals.
And if a team from Texas somehow outlasts the favorites and wins this week's tournament, it will be the state's first.
“I think it's just a matter of time,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said.
That has been the mantra most closely associated with the state's hoops renaissance for years now. With Texas high schools producing more elite Division I players than ever before, and with savvy recruiters at all four of the state's Big 12 outposts, the talent is here.
“Everybody in the world comes here to come recruit basketball,” said Gillispie, now at Tech.
But while all four programs have had their moments — each has made at least one Sweet 16 since 2005 — none have cut down the nets at the Big 12 tournament. And a couple of coaches argue a big reason for that has little to do with talent or strategy.
Instead, it's location.
“It's usually on an opponents' home court,” Gillispie said of a tournament that will be held in Kansas City for the 12th time. “Not that that's an excuse, but you're usually playing it like a road game.”
In Kansas City, the Sprint Center (like Kemper Arena before it) is packed with fans of KU, Missouri, Iowa State and Kansas State. The tournament is scheduled to remain there through 2014.
Said Drew: “That's an advantage, period.”
But UT coach Rick Barnes, whose teams have made the title game six times (twice in Dallas and once in Oklahoma City) said the home-court advantage is overrated.
“By this time of the year, I don't think that stuff matters,” Barnes said. “The team that wins the tournament, I think that's the team that's playing the best basketball.”
San Antonio Express News All-Big 12 Teams: POY Thomas Robinson, 1st Team, TRob, Tyshawn Taylor
Ft Worth Star Telegram All-Big 12 Teams: POY Thomas Robinson, 1st Team Trob, Tyshawn Taylor
Hoiberg’s third-seeded team opens the Big 12 Conference tournament against Texas at 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, opposite a team against whom Iowa State split games this season.
After the Big 12 tournament, it’s “Selection Sunday” for the NCAA Tournament, where the Cyclones are expected to be invited for the first time since 2005.
Later, it’s off to the doctor for Hoiberg, who will walk through a routine six-month checkup after undergoing open-heart surgery in 2005 to repair an aneurysm in his aortic root.
“I’ll know more in a month or so when I get checked out — I get checked a couple times a year,” Hoiberg said. “I haven’t had any issues.”
Hoiberg is mostly calm and business-like on the sidelines — not because of his condition, but because it’s his style.
He doesn’t holler just for the sake of hollering. “That’s who I am,” he said. “It has nothing to do with my heart condition. I really don’t have to watch myself. My condition wasn’t stress related. “It was a congenital defect that I got fixed. I have an aortic valve that’s leaking, that I have to get fixed, but hopefully that’s a ways off.”
Des Moines Register
University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari is not a fan of conference tournaments. He’s said so many times. Unlike many teams this time of year who are trying to punch their NCAA Tournament ticket by winning their league tournament, his top-ranked Wildcats (30-1) are already secure in their postseason positioning.
So the grind of a league clambake? Calipari would rather pass.
“You’re playing three games in three days. It doesn’t prepare you for anything,” he said. “Maybe one team can play in (to the NCAA Tournament). They had all season to play in.”
Duke forward Ryan Kelly will miss this week’s Atlantic Coast Conference tournament after spraining his right foot Tuesday during practice.
Team officials say Kelly will be monitored over the weekend and re-evaluated March 12.
The injury certainly will further test the focus of a team already trying to bounce back from a disheartening loss to North Carolina over the weekend that cost the Blue Devils the league’s regular-season championship and the No. 1 seed in the tournament.
Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops)
In case you haven't heard there will be a Hardcore Brackets show from 7-8 pm Sunday on TruTV. For first time committee will reveal 1 thru 68
Baylor fans react to new #adizero unit
Shabazz Muhammad, a 6-6 senior from Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas, visited Duke last weekend.
“Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) has invested three years recruiting me, and I feel extremely comfortable with him,” Muhammad told Rivals.com.
Muhammad will visit UCLA then make his college choice. He’s also considering KU, Kentucky and UNLV.
“I have one more visit and after that my family and I can figure this out and come to a decision within the next month,” he told Rivals.com.
The agenda item read “private school/public school championships,” but it quickly became clear Tuesday’s anticipated Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association board of control meeting was not about the separation of public and private schools for state events.
It was to address a growing issue at one school.
“Everybody wants to beat around the bush on this,” said Dan Phillips, Palo Verde principal and board vice president. “But the issue is not private schools. The issue is Gorman.”
For nearly two hours, officials from Bishop Gorman, the polarizing parochial school with deep-pocketed alumni, listened from the 17th floor of the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino to accusations of improper recruiting, displeasure with their tuition assistance policy, questions about their motives and whether the school or its boosters pays athletes’ tuition.
The discussion stemmed from mounting discontent from the rest of the state’s 4A classification over the Gaels’ recent dominance — which most athletic officials outside Gorman see as a continuing trend as opposed to a cyclical occurrence.
Gorman rolled to 17 state titles in football, boys basketball, girls basketball and baseball since 2006, including recent drubbings of Reed, by 44 points, and Hug, by 45, in the football and boys basketball state championship games.
“When you have the goal of national recognition, national ranking, that’s where our goals start to differ,” Phillips said. “If that’s your goal, to be a national power, to be on ESPN, to do whatever you need to do to be on the national stage, I will root for you every time. However, we in public schools are not going to be your cannon fodder to prepare you for that level. We’re just done.
“Findlay Prep comes here every year and tells us what they are and are up front. They’re a basketball school. ... I believe Bishop Gorman does the same thing but is not up front about it. It is my wish to see Bishop Gorman follow where their objectives are, go play on the national stage. We will never play you unless we have to.”
The family of Jabari Parker, who is the nation's top-ranked junior out of Chicago's Simeon Career Academy, is unsure if Illinois will remain among his college choices if coach Bruce Weber is fired.
Weber's job is thought to be in jeopardy -- Illinois is on the verge of not making the NCAA tournament for the third time in Weber's nine years. Jabari's father, Sonny Parker, said the family has developed a bond with Weber dating back to when Jabari began attending Illinois' summer basketball camps in fifth grade.
"It's going to very difficult to have a relationship right now," Sonny said if Illinois brings in a new coach. "This has been a 2-3 year process. Anybody they bring in, that's going to be very difficult to pick up where they left off in terms of where coach Weber was in recruiting. But you never know. You don't know who they're going to bring in."
Sonny, a former NBA player, said he recently reached out to Weber. Sonny was impressed Weber traveled to see Jabari play at Proviso West High School in the Chicago area just hours after Illinois lost by 23 points at Nebraska on Feb. 18.
"For him to fly to Proviso West from Nebraska to see my son and all he was going through, it really said a lot about him a person," Sonny said. "I've talked to coach Weber. He's still a person. He's a human being. He's a good coach. He's been knowing Jabari since fifth grade.
"We don't know what's going to happen with him. Regardless of where my son goes, we'll still have a relationship with him."
Featuring 10 elite high school seniors, USA Basketball today named the roster for the 2012 USA Junior National Select Team, which will take on the World Select Team in the 2012 Nike Hoop Summit.
Played at 7:00 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday, April 7 at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore., the 15th annual Nike Hoop Summit will be broadcast nationally by Fox Sports Net and its regional affiliates.
The Nike Hoop Summit is the country's premier annual basketball game for high-school boys and features America's top seniors playing against a World Team comprised of international players who are 19-years-old or younger.
Suiting up for the USA will be: Kyle Anderson (St. Anthony H.S./North Bergen, N.J.); Archie Goodwin (Sylvan Hills H.S./Little Rock, Ark.); Gary Harris (Hamilton Southeastern H.S./Fishers, Ind.); Mitch McGary (Brewster Academy/Porter, Ind.); Shabazz Muhammad (Bishop Gorman H.S./Las Vegas, Nev.); Nerlens Noel (The Tilton School, N.H./Everett, Ma.); Marcus Paige (Linn-Mar H.S./Marion, Iowa); Tony Parker (Miller Grove H.S./Lithonia, Ga.); Rasheed Sulaimon (Strake Jesuit College Prep/Houston, Texas); and Kaleb Tarczewski (St. Mark’s School, Mass./Claremont, N.H.).
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