KU will next meet Siena at 7 p.m. Friday in Allen Fieldhouse in the first game of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic. The Jayhawks move to the Sprint Center in Kansas City to meet UAB at approximately 8:30 p.m. Monday and face either George Washington or Georgia at either 6:30 p.m. or 9 p.m. Tuesday.
A victory by KU on Friday would make 14th-year KU coach Self the winningest coach in Allen Fieldhouse history. His teams have a 206-9 record in Allen.
Ted Owens’ squads won 206 games against 47 losses in the building. The Jayhawks were 201-17 at home under Roy Williams, 71-5 under Larry Brown, 51-29 under Dick Harp and 9-2 under Phog Allen.
“It’ll be nice,” Self said, “but I don’t think it’s going on anyone’s tombstone by any stretch.”
LJW: Kansas vs Siena Breakdown
kuhoops.com: The Matchup
KUAD: Pregame Notes
It’s always tough comparing one basketball player to another, but Kansas freshman Josh Jackson will inevitably get juxtaposed to Andrew Wiggins. Both are 6-foot-8 wings.
Both signed on to play for Kansas coach Bill Self. And Jackson is expected to be a one-and-done in Lawrence just as Wiggins was.
“It’s a fair comparison,” ESPN’s Jay Bilas told me before Jackson went for 15 points before fouling out of Kansas’ epic 77-75 win over No. 1 Duke on Tuesday in the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden. “[Jackson] is more skilled with the ball and he’s a better passer. And he’s got a better feel for the game. Wiggins was a better shooter, although Josh is a pretty decent shooter. He’s better than I thought. He’s got a little hitch as he gets it up into his shooting pocket. But once it gets here it’s good and he shoots a good ball. So he’s gonna be fine.
“He’s the real thing, he’s gonna be good.”
…“Both [Jackson and Wiggins] are great athletes and special talents built for the game,” one NBA scout said. “Both have good offensive skillsets at a relatively early age. They are good guys with an unlimited future.”
“Jackson will get better as the year continues,” said a second scout. “He’s still a top-5 pick regardless of his inconsistent shooting.”
For all the talk about Bill Self's physical down-low style of basketball not fitting well with the talents of top-rated recruit Josh Jackson, Jay Bilas isn't buying it.
The ESPN analyst spoke to the media ahead of the Champions Classic Tuesday afternoon and said Jackson has every opportunity to succeed at Kansas.
"Bill Self's style doesn't hamper anybody," Bilas said. "If you can play, you'll play. And Josh Jackson can play."
Bilas echoed the words of Bill Self, who said after Kansas' second exhibition win over Emporia State that he'd like to see Jackson driving more instead of settling for jumpshots. Bilas criticized Jackson's tendency to shoot the jump shot during Kansas' 103-99 loss to Indiana on Friday, but there's plenty of time for Jackson to improve his game.
"Bill Self's style didn't force him to take jump shots against Indiana," Bilas said. "If he can put the ball on the floor and create more, he's capable of doing that."
In that 3-minute sequence, Jackson scored nine of his 15 points and asserted that all the discussion about him ranking among the very best freshmen in the 2016 national recruiting class might have been a bit too conservative. He is the sort of game-changing talent KU lacked when it narrowly missed beating eventual NCAA champion Villanova in the 2016 Elite Eight.
“I think he played with more freedom tonight than he has been,” coach Bill Self told Sporting News. “He’s been probably a little timid, not to screw up. He got on a little bit of a roll. There’s no telling how good he could be if he could just control his emotions a little. He’s got to get where he does that better.
“This was an unfair deal for him this week, in my opinion, to have the two games being Indiana and Duke on this stage when the expectations are so high for him. It would have been nice if we could have played two buy games first, for us to be comfortable. I think in some ways, he handled it well, and in some ways he didn’t handle it well. He is one competitive dude, though.”
The Sporting News Mike DeCourcy
…Later, in the second half, Jackson poked the ball away for a potential steal before picking up his third whistle on a reach-in violation. He threw his head back in disgust, before slapping the floor with both hands.
And this is where Self earned his paycheck even if the cameras didn’t catch it. The coach screamed to Jackson, holding up three fingers to let him know he needed to play smarter while dealing with foul trouble.
Self didn’t like the body language he received back. So quickly, he subbed in Svi Mykhailiuk, wrapping his arm around Jackson’s waist while talking with him for about 30 seconds.
…Self’s correct read ended up being an important moment, as a composed Jackson checked back in two minutes later.
An aggressive drive resulted in a short jumper. Then another attacking of the basket led to a left-handed finish.
Jackson looked every bit the nation’s top recruit. Self could sense it, and he called his team’s “4 up” play to get Jackson the ball in space at the top of the key. Jackson followed by hitting a three.
A minute later, “4 up” again. This time, Jackson swished an 18-footer.
“I felt like coach did a really good job of putting me in the right positions of where I’m comfortable, exposing mismatch problems,” Jackson said. “I felt like once one shot went in, I felt like I could hit another one and I could hit another one.”
“He’s about where we thought (he’d be),” Self said. “I think he’s improving so much so quickly, and we thought that would happen, so I’d say he’s right on schedule for where we thought he’d be.”
Azubuike also had a rare steal and dunk on the other end, though it did not come without first an awkward (at best) drive up court and missed layup. He got his own offensive rebound, though, and followed through on the jam that gave the Jayhawks a comfortable nine-point lead with 11:36 to play.
Jackson admits to feeling some nervousness watching the sequence from across the court.
“Oh the steal? It was definitely scary,” Jackson said with a smile. “I was biting my fingernails watching that play. But you know, he got the two points, he had a great game — 12 rebounds, I think — but his potential is just through the roof.
“Once we get him remembering plays and just moving his feet a little bit faster, he’s going to be a monster.”
…Self said he thinks Azubuike learned “a lot” against the Blue Devils, particularly how important conditioning is in the college game.
“Although he’s worked his tail off in conditioning, he’s got another step he can take there,” Self said. “Offensively, all of our bigs are too slow to catch, gather and go. They’re catching and gathering and allowing small guys to basically become a defender on him. So he’s got to get better at that, obviously.”
KU junior Devonté Graham, who had 13 points in 40 minutes (Self said he asked to come out because of cramps with five minutes left, but the coach instructed him to remain and ‘go stand in the corner’) was happy for his backcourt partner, Mason.
“That was the exact play coach drew up,” said Graham, who hit one of six threes on a night the Jayhawks made two of 17 to Duke’s eight of 19. KU hit nine of 19 free throws to Duke’s 21 of 30 and still won. “I was super confident (in Mason). The last three minutes we were wasting time (trying to get the clock to run out), putting it in his (Mason’s) hands. It’s hard enough for guards to guard him much less bigger guys out there.”
Will opponents figure that out? They already have. Stopping Mason is the issue, which he can exasperate even more by finding open teammates who convert off his penetration.
The season is in its early stages obviously. Still, a reminder is worthwhile after opening against the likes of Indiana and Duke.
Despite the wattage in those matchups, the outcomes probably weren’t going to influence impressions of Kansas at the end, when the NCAA Selection Committee pours through seeding considerations.
Beating Duke, though, with that kind of ending, despite injuries that left three key freshmen to watch from the Blue Devils bench, provides additional swagger the Jayhawks can carry all season.
No one knows how to tap that resource quite like Mason, which made his insistence that the Jayhawks improve on various flaws as much a leadership quality as his go-to reliability.
Jackson, grinning ear-to-ear, hoisted Mason up in the air for several seconds in a reverse bear hug. Carlton Bragg gave Mason a hard shove into the team locker room, where the players formed an impromptu mosh pit around Tuesday’s hero and chanted the chorus to the infamous “(Expletive) I’m Frank Mason” song.
Kansas senior Frank Mason III, junior Devonte' Graham and freshman Josh Jackson have been named to the John R. Wooden Award® presented by Wendy's® Preseason Top 50, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Tuesday.
Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for John R. Wooden Award. The same three Jayhawks were named to the Naismith Trophy Men's College Player of the Year Preseason Watch List on Nov. 10.
With three Jayhawks on the Wooden list, Kansas has tied for the most by any school on the preseason watch. Duke, Kentucky and Oregon also have three each on the preseason top 50. Jackson joins six other freshmen on the list as well.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2017 John R. Wooden Award All-America Team presented by Wendy's. Players not chosen to the preseason list are eligible for the Wooden Award mid-season list, late season list and the national ballot. The national ballot consists of 15 top players.
How KU defended Grayson Allen
kuhoops.com Jesse Newell
No matter who you think the “best” player on Duke’s roster is, Allen is clearly the heart and soul of the team, and Duke needed him to step up against Kansas. If we’re drawing parallels between Allen in 2016–17 and J.J. Redick in 2005–06 — and we are — the stars were aligned for this to be Allen’s version of Redick’s 41-point outburst against Texas in December 2005. This was his chance to show the world how big his balls are as he single-handedly slayed a giant. Instead, Luke Kennard led the Blue Devils in scoring, Duke turned to Frank Jackson in the clutch, and Allen just sort of went through the motions all night.
…Here’s my theory: Bill Self didn’t want to beat Duke. Anyone who knows anything about Self knows he loves his teams most when he hates them. That sounds weird, of course, but it’s true. Self is the one coach in college basketball who genuinely likes to dislike his team. And there’s a nuanced difference between that quality in Self and in someone like Bob Knight, whose screaming came from a place of rage. When Self looks mad on the outside, he’s actually really happy on the inside. He loves being in a perpetual state of conflicting emotions, which is why he’s always got that goddamn smirk on his face.
This also explains why Kansas regularly plays one of the toughest nonconference schedules in the country. Self wants to lose early so he can have ammunition to throw at his players. He basically tries to neg his own team. He’s schedule negging, if you will.
…First, Mason and Devonte’ Graham make up the best backcourt in the country. Maybe I’m overreacting, but I swear I could watch those two run a three-man weave with my grandma.
The Ringer Mark Titus
The Day After
LJW Matt Tait
Because Lucas, the 6-foot-10 forward from Portland who finished the 2015-16 season as one of the most consistently solid players on one of the country’s best teams, played so well down the stretch a year ago, the belief among many Kansas fans was that he was bound to pick up where he left off and build on that strong junior season.
And if Wayne Selden, Perry Ellis, Brannen Greene and Cheick Diallo all were back as a part of Bill Self’s rotation, Lucas may have done just that.
But this is a different team, one with different strengths and weaknesses, and it looks as if it’s going to take Lucas — and just about everyone else for that matter — a little bit of time to find out exactly how he fits and what his role is with this bunch.
Searching for those answers against the likes of Indiana and Duke to kick off the season only magnified the process that lies ahead. Had KU opened with a couple of patsies, Lucas likely would have performed much better and looked a lot more like the player he was as a junior. But the fact that he hasn’t is not necessarily a bad thing for him or the Jayhawks.
Lucas is arguably the smartest guy on this roster and he, perhaps more than anyone, goes to work throughout each day by studying himself as much as he studies opponents. Getting the opportunity to face two Top 10 teams out of the gate will expedite his opportunity to learn what he’s all about with this year’s squad and there’s no doubt in my mind that the lessons he learned in the two high-profile games to start the season will serve him well along the way and late in the season, when he thinks back on what went right and what went wrong in order to prepare for similar opponents on other big stages.
It’s not as if Lucas has a notebook he keeps on the bench and he jots down little nuggets and tidbits into it along the way. But it would not surprise me for a second if he had one in his dorm room.
Two games into the season, reserve post player Dwight Coleby still hasn’t made his Kansas debut.
A 6-foot-9, 240-pound junior who transferred to Kansas from Ole Miss, Coleby tore the ACL in his left knee in Sept., 2015, and spent his redshirt season undergoing therapy.
He is cleared to play, but as is common with athletes in their first year back from reconstructive knee surgery, he hasn’t regained all of his previous form.
“There’s nothing that’s kept him from playing from my standpoint,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “We’re listing him as healthy. He’s practicing every day, it’s just that he doesn’t have the same bounce and quickness as he had last year prior to injury. He’s still working on getting it back. It’s not anything I’ve got against Dwight, but it’s really not fair for him or fair for the team if he really can’t move to the point that he needs to.”
A Hawk Talk caller asked Self for a report on Scott “Scooter” Ward, KU’s associate athletic director for academic and career counseling, who had surgery to repair a torn aorta on Oct. 7 and additional surgery to repair another tear in the aorta last Sunday at University of Kansas Hospital.
“I talked to Scooter last night. His text said to me, ‘Gosh you guys need to get (it) together. You are going to give me a heart attack,’ which I thought was pretty good because he’s struggling with that,” Self said.
Self noted that Ward figures to face at least six more weeks of recovery time because doctors had to crack his sternum a second time to repair the heart.
Indiana’s primetime win over No. 3 Kansas on Friday night drew a record viewing audience for the Armed Forces Classic, ESPN announced on Monday.
According to ESPN, the live viewing audience for Indiana-Kansas was 1,592,000, which includes television and streaming.
…Armed Forces Classic Top-10 Metered Markets
Indianapolis, Kansas City and Louisville were among the top metered markets for both games of the Armed Forces doubleheader:
– Kansas City was the highest-rated market for Arizona’s win over Michigan State with a 2.9 rating followed by Indianapolis (2.8), Detroit (2.5), Dayton (1.8), Louisville (1.7) and Phoenix (1.6).
– Indianapolis was the highest-rated market for Indiana’s overtime, upset-win over Kansas with a 7.4 rating followed by Kansas City (7.3), Louisville (4.5), Raleigh-Durham (1.6). Richmond (1.3) and Seattle (1.3).
We thought we knew Embiid embraced Shirley Temples as his official drink of choice.
And now we know he’d like to combine the two to share with you, the consumer, in the form of “pre-bottled Shirley Temple drinks” under the trademarked name “The Process.” This is really happening.
The documentary of McLendon, who this year became the first person enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach and contributor, was directed by Kevin Willmott.
…The film reviews the remarkable life of McLendon, the first black student at Kansas to earn a physical education degree and study under basketball inventor and KU professor, James Naismith.
McLendon went to become one of basketball’s greatest coaches, winning three NAIA championships at Tennessee State and breaking racial barriers along the way.
BIG 12/COLLEGE NEWS
Kansas is one of four schools that has three players on the list. The Jayhawks are represented by Devonte’ Graham, Frank Mason III and Josh Jackson. The Big 12 has two of the 10 freshmen on the list – Jackson and Jarrett Allen of Texas.
Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for the prestigious college basketball individual honor.
Iowa State’s Monte Morris and Jawun Evans of Oklahoma State round out the Big 12 student-athletes that were recognized.
The Big 12 is third among all conferences with its six representatives, despite having the fewest teams among the major conferences.
Big 12 Sports
Baylor 66, No. 4 Oregon 49: This one says a lot more about the Bears than the Ducks, who were without the injured Dillon Brooks. But with big performances from Johnathan Motley, Manu Lecomte and Jo Lual-Acuil, Baylor announced itself as a player in the Big 12.
Find out the tournament history for specific seeds, teams, coaches or conferences.
NCAA Tournament Brackets and History interactive tool
CBS Interactive Tool: Pick two teams to compare record, RPI and SOS details head to head. By default, the top two teams in RPI are shown.
Big 12 Composite Schedule & Results
Billy Preston, No. 20 on the ESPN 100, is expected to make his college commitment announcement Friday, Nov. 18, during ESPNU’s SportsCenterU. Preston will be live from ESPNU studios in Charlotte, N.C. in the 4 p.m. ET hour, between the Tire Pros Invitational matchups. The 6’10’’ power forward from Oak Hill Academy (Va.) is expected to choose between Indiana, Kansas, Syracuse and USC.
“Billy is an exceptionally talented prospect and there isn’t much he can’t do during a game,” said Paul Biancardi, National Recruiting Director. “At 6’10’’, he is a multidimensional player, a natural power forward, and arguably one of the most talented athletes in his class.”
Preston and No. 2 Oak Hill will be playing in this year’s GEICO ESPN High School Basketball Showcase, comprised of 11 premier games across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, beginning Thursday, December 1. No. 2 Oak Hill is scheduled to face No. 3 Sierra Canyon (Thursday, Dec. 15, 9 p.m.) and No. 22 Nathan Hale (Monday, Jan. 16, 1 p.m.).
Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) forward Billy Preston is 19 spots too low with his No. 20 overall ranking in the ESPN 100, at least as far as he’s concerned.
“There aren’t 19 players in the country better than me,” Preston said. “I just don’t see that.”
He certainly has a case: At 6-foot-10, Preston has the skills of a polished guard, a solid jump shot and the type of athleticism that would make most NBA players green with envy.
“I’ve never coached a player at his size with his skills,” said Oak Hill coach Steve Smith, who has coached multiple NBA All-Stars such as Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant. “I don’t think he’s fully aware of how good he is, but he’s starting to realize it. He’s just happier now.”
Preston looked plenty jovial in the No. 2 Warriors’ 84-55 victory against Cannon School (Concord, N.C.) Saturday at the Phenom Hoops National Showcase. In two games at the event, Preston averaged 20 points and 15 rebounds a game.
…In the last three months since his arrival, Preston said he’s added 10 pounds of muscle, revamped his diet and improved his jump shot and agility.
“Coach Smith is a legend and he’s just someone I can look up to in a lot of different ways,” said Preston. “When I’m playing I don’t want to let him or my teammates down. I haven’t always been able to say that, but I know he cares about me. That’s big for me.”
Annual Late Night in the Phog
Annual Bill Self Camp KU vs Alumni games
60 Years of AFH Celebration
Legends of the Phog game
2011-12 Final Border War
KC Prep Invitational
and more, now on YouTube