11/19/13, 9:04 PM
You all know that Perry Ellis has been Kansas' best player right? Just checking.
11/20/13, 6:19 AM
Joel Embid is coming. He gets better every time I watch him. His upside makes Kansas elite
ESPN Video highlights
The gentleman dressed in the finely tailored suit, sitting among the teeming throng of Kansas fans inside Allen Fieldhouse, had never seen a real basketball game in person.
He knew enough to cheer when Joel Embiid dunked the ball, and the 7-foot freshman did it plenty of times Tuesday night.
Embiid finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds in a breakout performance, helping the third-ranked Jayhawks to an 86-66 victory over Iona — one made all the sweeter by the center's father in the stands.
"I don't think I played good because he was there," Embiid said. "I just felt more confident, and Coach always gives me his trust, so I just felt more confident."
…The Gaels (1-2), using a maddening 2-2-1 zone and pouring in 3-pointers, managed to hang within single digits until midway through the second half. That's when Kansas went on a 19-4 surge fueled by its freshmen to finally put the game away.
…The 6-foot-8 Ellis scored on a variety of nifty spin moves and soft floaters in the lane, while Embiid used his massive size advantage to go 7 for 7 from the field.
Much to the delight of his father, Thomas Embiid.
"It was the first time we've met him in person," Self said. "That's the first basketball game he's ever seen. He'll be here 'til Saturday or Sunday, so it'll be good to see Joel play again. But it has to be cool, you've come over here and your first experience is Allen Fieldhouse."
“I am very proud of Joel,” Thomas Embiid said as he descended 10 rows of bleachers behind Iona’s bench after watching his 7-foot son explode for 16 points and 13 rebounds in the Jayhawks’ 86-66 victory over the Gaels in Allen Fieldhouse.
“Before he left Cameroon (in 2011 for high school in U.S.), I watched him play volleyball, but never basketball,” added Thomas, who played professional handball in Yaounde, Cameroon, but also dabbled in soccer and basketball.
“It was very exciting especially in front of all the fans. This is a fantastic public. I have noticed they love Joel. There is a fanclub of Joel (in student section),” Thomas observed.
…“It’s a surprise, a good surprise,” Thomas said of his son’s success in hoops. “He came here to improve himself first and do what he wanted to do. After the game I was proud. I told him congratulations to play at a high level.”
LJW Keegan Ratings: Embiid tops ratings with double-double
On Tuesday, the same night that Embiid, a 6-footer’s feet attached to a 7-foot body, put on a vastly entertaining show that screamed future stardom, Ellis was right where he always is, the foundation holding up a mansion.
Ellis is steady, all right, but leaving it at that comes up short. He’s steadily spectacular. His patient footwork, which enables him to cover so much territory in every direction and eventually breaks down the defender, so often stands out. Against Iona, what he did when he was making mid-air adjustments and driving the baseline made him draw ovations.
Ellis went up in the lane for a shot, pump-faked in the air and shifted his release left, away from the defender, and kissed it off the glass for a bucket. On another play, again in the air in the lane, he shifted the ball from his right hand to his left and kissed off the glass. His quick baseline drive punctuated by a high-flying up-and-under was no routine play, either.
He consistently finds a way to score, and it’s so vital to every basketball team to have a scorer who never drifts away, can always be counted on to kill droughts and get big buckets.
Ellis, a 6-foot-8, 225-pound power forward with a ton of finesse, contributed 21 points and seven rebounds and did not turn it over against a variety of zone defenses used by the Gaels.
“Perry is the perfect answer to that because he can knock that mid-range shot constantly, and he can get to the cup,” freshman point guard Frank Mason said.
M.O.J. (Most Outstanding Jayhawk)
Joel Embiid showed amazing flashes, but Perry Ellis was KU’s best player. The sophomore posted 1.66 points per possession while taking on a slightly below-average offensive load (17.6 percent usage percentage) considering he played a team-high 32 minutes. Ellis’ offensive efficiency so far has been nothing short of spectacular: Through three games, he’s made 21 of 29 field goals and posted an eFG% of 74.1 percent. To put that in perspective, the national leader in eFG% a year ago (minimum 60 percent of team’s minutes played) was Stephen F. Austin’s Taylor Smith at 69.4 percent.
…KU pulled down 83.8 percent of the available defensive rebounds against Iona, the third time this season the Jayhawks have been higher than 80 percent in the statistic (NCAA average is 67.8 percent). It’s first time in Self’s KU tenure that one of his teams has grabbed 80 percent or more of the available defensive rebounds in three straight games.
TCJ Newell Post
One that the Gaels planned on winning.
After all, Iona has made two straight NCAA tournaments, and has won at least 20 games in four consecutive seasons. So there was reason for Armand to feel confident, and he had started to look downright prophetic through the first 30 minutes of the game.
"We didn't come here on vacation," Iona coach Tim Cluess said. "We came to play a great team and give it the best shot we could."
As for Armand's comments, well, Cluess appreciated the confidence.
"Sean said this: 'Every game we play in we go into win. This is not going to be any different,'" Cluess said. "We respect Kansas, we know how good they are but if we were here to lose, we shouldn't be playing the game.'"
…The Gaels kept within striking distance with their perimeter shooting early in the second half, much to the chagrin of Self, who kept burning timeouts. But once the outside shots stopped dropping, the Jayhawks were able to start running -- and use their superior athleticism.
"Watching Kansas for plenty of years, that's what they do," English said.
Tharpe served as the conductor orchestrating the Kansas offense, delivering crisp passes to set up easy baskets. The sophomore guard threw a pretty alley-oop pass to Wiggins to start the second half, and then tossed up another to Embiid on the next possession.
"It gave them a lot of momentum," English said. "The crowd went crazy off of the lobs. Every lob that they caught you could tell that's what the crowd was waiting for."
Kansas finally buried the Gaels with its big run later in the half. Embiid and Ellis did most of the work, but the highlight came when Tharpe threw up another lob -- this time to 5-foot-11 freshman Frank Mason, who showed enough hops to slam it down.
By the time Wayne Selden, another of the Jayhawks' sensational freshmen, scored on a nifty reverse layup with just over 4 minutes to play, the lead had grown to 80-59.
"The key was just defense," Ellis said, "the little things we weren't doing, and we still have to work on that, be more aggressive defensively."
The 7-foot freshman with the graceful feet and balletic moves was supposed to need time. Joel Embiid could be great, Bill Self had said. Maybe even a young Hakeem Olajuwon. But even the great ones need to learn, even the winners of life’s genetic lottery need some time to master their gifts.
…But in the midst of the growing pains, there was Embiid, gliding across the lane from the right block and finishing a elegant scoop at the rim. It was almost ballet, a 7-footer pulling off a post move right from the coaching manual. It wasn’t his only move, either.
There was a baby hook, an easy drop step, a couple of nice passes into the lane to slashing cutters. When Embiid finally exited the game in the final minutes, he was a perfect seven of seven from the floor.
In the stands, Embiid’s father, Thomas, watched while in town from their native Cameroon. If he hadn’t already grasped the nature of his son’s basketball ability, it was on full display Tuesday.
“I’m not sure he had an idea,” Embiid said. “I’m not great, I’m not good right now, I’m still working.
“But I don’t think he had an idea I could have a chance.”
…“You guys saw just a small glimpse of how good his feet are,” Self said. “And he’s smart, and he gets it, and he’s just figuring stuff out all the time. I’m real pleased with his development, but I still think we’re not even scratching the surface of what he can become.”
Hey y all I had a dream.I had a dunk and my dad started running on the floor for the game against Townson et s see if it s happening Friday
Got the W tonight that's all that matters! 3-0! Proud of everyone! #RCJH
Kansas University freshman Brannen Greene was the only Jayhawk to not play in Tuesday’s 86-66 victory over Iona in Allen Fieldhouse.
KU coach Bill Self was asked Greene’s inactivity was injury related.
“Not really. He has had a minor injury that’s been nagging him, (but) that was my decision,” Self said of sitting the wing. “I love Brannen Greene, but he needs to be more responsible taking care of some responsibilities off the court. By no means is he in trouble or anything like that. We just need to make sure we are all on the same page,” Self added.
…“Conner was our best defender the first half. He did the best job on Armand (Sean, 14 points) when he was guarding him the first half,” Self said. “I told him after the game I wish I’d played him the second half. I thought he was good the first half.”
Big 12/College News
Marcus Smart looked right at home in his return to the national stage.
Smart scored a career-high 39 points and No. 7 Oklahoma State raced past No. 11 Memphis for a 101-80 win on Tuesday night in a one-sided matchup of top teams.
Smart, who bypassed the NBA draft after last season's early exit from the NCAA tournament, had 26 points in the first half and finished with five 3-pointers.
The sophomore was 11 of 21 from the floor _ easily topping his previous career high of 28 points, which he set last season against Oklahoma.
Markel Brown added 20 points and Brian Williams 15 for Oklahoma State (4-0).
Nick King had 23 points for Memphis, and Shaq Goodwin finished with 13. The Tigers (1-1) shot 41.2 percent (28 of 68).
Memphis had played just once before the trip to Stillwater, a 95-69 home win over Austin Peay. And the Tigers appeared to be ill prepared for their first hostile road environment.
More specifically, they weren't prepared for Smart _ who added five steals, four rebounds, four assists and a pair of blocks in an outstanding all-around performance.
Surprisingly, Smart didn't even enter the game as the leading scorer for the Cowboys.
In fact, the sophomore was third on Oklahoma State _ behind sixth-man Phil Forte and Brown _ with an average of 13.7 points through the team's opening three blowout victories.
Smart, however, played up to the competition in the Cowboys' return to the national spotlight after last season's crushing loss against Oregon in the NCAA tournament.
In front of a host of NBA scouts and Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant, Smart scored 12 of the Cowboys' first 14 points.
One torrid night won't change scouting reports, but the confidence in which Smart pulled up in transition with no hesitation suggests his improved outside shooting is no fluke. If so, that's a scary thought for opposing defenders because Smart's combination of strength and quickness already made it difficult to keep from getting to the rim or the foul line even when teams played him to drive.
If Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Julius Randle have hogged the national spotlight during the opening two weeks of the season, Smart's dominance served as a reminder that he should not be overshadowed. He is just as strong an early candidate for national player of the year as any of the freshmen.
Smart’s improvement has placed Kansas’ Big 12 dominance in serious jeopardy.
Yes, I know all about The Streak. Bill Self and the Jayhawks have Rock-Chalked their way to nine consecutive regular-season league titles. I also know all about the coaching matchup. Self and his two Final Four appearances versus Travis Ford and his lone NCAA tournament victory. It’s a major mismatch.
Self might have more overall talent, but Ford has that X factor, and his name is Marcus Smart. He's unique, a throwback -- and he’s no longer all about toughness and intangibles. Now, Smart has become comfortable as a point guard, and he has showed he can make shots from the perimeter.
…Kansas is loaded with talent. Self has the front-runner for the No. 1 pick in Wiggins, and two more freshmen -- Joel Embiid and Wayne Selden -- who also could be taken in the NBA draft lottery. Perry Ellis is the team’s leading scorer, and he gets virtually no hype. There’s plenty of depth with guys such as Tarik Black, Andrew White, Jamari Traylor, Brannen Greene and Conner Frankamp.
But Oklahoma State has Smart -- and enough pieces to pose a formidable challenge to The Streak.
ESPN Goodman ($)
11/19/13, 9:25 PM
Watching the Memphis game and seeing ur starting PG laughing and having fun on the bench down 30 is always a good sign
Duke pulled away from East Carolina late in the game for an 83-74 win on Tuesday, but head coach Mike Krzyzewski wasn't totally happy in the postgame press conference.
And it had nothing to do with his team.
(Quotes start around the two-minute mark.)
“I wish that more people could have attended. One sidenote: I don't know how they do the seating for the NIT, but it stinks. Because however they did it, it ruins the atmosphere for Cameron," Krzyzewski said. "Where people want to get in here, and it costs so much to come in for this tournament. There should never be an empty seat here, and it's not the fault of our students. It's not. We're allocated a certain amount of tickets, and that's what we get. Because more people should have witnessed this game; that's what I'm saying.”
The Cameron Crazies are known as one of the best student sections in the country, but the lack of energy and the empty seats were noticeable the past two nights.
Officials at the University of North Carolina are talking about making renovations to the Dean E. Smith Center, and the school is also looking at building a new men's basketball arena.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports (http://bit.ly/18jdXOP) UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said a new arena is part of the discussion. He says both ideas have to be looked at.
"And I think as just part of your due diligence you need to look at renovation of existing facilities or even dreaming about a new facility and what that would bring," Cunningham said.
UNC has shared the most significant discussions, Cunningham said, with Kansas City-based 360 Architecture, a firm whose portfolio includes more than a dozen sports arenas and stadiums.
The University of Louisville’s compliance office has completed its review of guard Kevin Ware’s situation involving a borrowed car and found no wrongdoing, athletic department spokesman Kenny Klein said.
“We were doing our due diligence and we have gone through the process and have not found any issues at all with Kevin,” Klein said by phone Tuesday. “(The compliance department) is satisfied and (the case) is closed.”
Big XII composite schedule
ESPN College GameDay Schedule
2013-14 TV Schedule
2013-14 Early-season events schedule