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Whether it was Bill Self’s comedy, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk’s singing or all of the photo shoots, autograph sessions and behind-the-scenes exposure more than 400 women got to their favorite college basketball team, Wednesday night’s 7th annual Ladies Night Out with Kansas basketball was a rousing success.
“Yeah, this is fun,” Self said during Wednesday’s event. “And the ladies seem like they’re into it and this is a good group. Plus, it’s for a great cause.”
That cause is to support Lawrence Memorial Hospital and Jayhawks For a Cure as part of October’s breast cancer awareness month.
…The Jayhawks on Sunday held their first scrimmage of the 2016-17 season, complete with officials, a clock and a scoreboard.
Even though Self said the team had improved from the start of practice, he was not all that impressed by his team’s performance during the scrimmage.
“It’s been better,” Self said of practice. “We scrimmaged Sunday and we did not look good at all. But it was a great teaching tape because the guys saw how poorly we executed and really how we didn’t play with near as much effort as I thought we would. We’re certainly a lot better than we looked that day, but that tape was pretty eye-opening for a lot of our guys. We did not look like a very good team in our first scrimmage.”
Self said sophomore forward Carlton Bragg missed Wednesday’s practice because of a minor back problem.
Bragg, who was a full participant at Wednesday night’s Ladies Night Out event, appeared to be moving around well on Wednesday night and Self said the issue was not a concern.
“Yeah, he just had back spasms or whatever,” Self said when asked if Bragg was OK. “It just locked up on him.”
Self singled out transfer guard Malik Newman when asked if anybody in the scrimmage resembled a “natural scorer.”
“He can score. He did it pretty well the whole time,” Self said of Newman putting the ball in the basket.
Asked about the freshmen, Self said they “are getting more comfortable. Udoka (Azubuike) has probably made more progress than anybody since he’s been starting (to play after missing time with a strained groin). He has to get in better shape. Missing Boot Camp hurt him. Josh (Jackson) I think is getting more comfortable every day.”
Of guards Devonté Graham and Frank Mason, Self said: “Well, they’re studs. You take great pride in everybody getting up to their ceiling. I’d say their ceiling is far higher than we thought it was probably when we recruited them. NBA people come around here. They’re saying, ‘We like your guards a lot. Things are going to have to go right for them (to make league).’ But as far as college guards and experience and toughness, I mean there’s nobody out there that’s more experienced or tougher than what these two are,” Self added.
Kansas sophomore Carlton Bragg Jr., has been named one of 20 candidates for the 2017 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Thursday.
Named after Hall of Famer and two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Karl Malone, the annual honor in its third year recognizes the top power forwards in NCAA Division I men's college basketball. A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.
Bragg is the third Jayhawk to be named to a Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame award watch list this week. On Monday, senior guard Frank Mason III was named to the 2017 Bob Cousy Point Guard Award list and on Tuesday Devonte' Graham was named to the 2017 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award list.
A Cleveland native, Bragg should play more of a key role for the Jayhawks this upcoming season with the departure of All-American Perry Ellis. Bragg, who averaged 3.8 points and 2.5 rebounds per game, played in all 38 games for KU in 2015-16 in a backup role to Ellis. Ellis was one of five finalists for the Karl Malone Power Forward Award each of the last two seasons.
WHY THEY CAN WIN: Because Josh Jackson will be everything that Andrew Wiggins was without the unrealistic expectations or the pressure of having to carry a team as a freshman.
A quick refresher before we move forward: In a vacuum, Andrew Wiggins was awesome in college. He averaged 17.7 points as the leading scorer and the best perimeter defender on a top five team that probably would have gotten to the Final Four if Joel Embiid’s two-and-a-half year run of injuries hadn’t started that February. The problem for Wiggins was the expectations. He wasn’t the second-coming of Kevin Durant. He didn’t have the same impact as LeBron James would have. In hindsight, it was totally unfair to expect him to be either of those guys, and just because he wasn’t a legend as a freshman there was almost a sense of failure regarding his one year in Lawrence.
The other part of it was that Wiggins wasn’t ready to takeover games or handle the pressure that comes with being the go-to star on one of the most high-profile teams in the country. That’s just not who he was at that point in his basketball development.
Jackson, on the other hand, has that mentality. Think about all the clichés we, the media, love to label the best hoopers in the world with: he’s a killer, he’s a closer, he wants the big shot, he lives to the big moments, he’s clutch. Jackson’s reputation in the high school ranks would fill all of those narratives. He’s got that competitive streak, that alpha-dog mentality that Wiggins needed to develop.
And perhaps the most promising part is that Jackson isn’t going to have to be the leader on this team. Senior point guard Frank Mason is. Junior guard Devonte’ Graham could be as well. Landen Lucas, this team’s front court anchor, is a senior as well. The veterans on Wiggins’ Kansas team? Naadir Tharpe, who was more or less forced out of the program after the season, and … a sophomore year version of Perry Ellis?
In other words, Jackson can be a leader at this level and at this age, but he won’t have to be. Wiggins wasn’t ready for the role but was forced into it.
...That’s all a long way of saying that I love the makeup of this team on paper.
…There is one other minor issue I wanted to touch on: Depth. The Jayhawks don’t have a ton of it in their back court. Mason and Graham are the only two point guards on the roster, and both of them are going to be starting. Jackson isn’t quite ready to be a pure two-guard just yet, while Svi and LaGerald Vick are yet unproven.
Mason and Graham averaged 34 minutes apiece in league play last season, and Kansas should be able to survive the 10-12 minutes that Bill Self tries to steal with one or both of them on the bench. My concern is what happens if, say, Mason sprains and ankle or if Graham takes a knee to the thigh.
The margin for error there is limited.
PREDICTION: I’m all in on the Jayhawks this season, probably more than any other member of the media. I think they’re closer to being the best team in the country than they are to being the No. 3 team in the country.
NBCsports Rob Dauster
At 41, Haase takes over a Stanford program that had atrophied under his predecessor, Johnny Dawkins. The Cardinal made the NCAA Tournament just once in Dawkins’ eight years and haven’t won a conference title since 2004. They finished ninth in the Pac-12 last season and were blown out of the conference tournament by Washington in the first round.
In announcing Haase’s hiring March 25, athletic director Bernard Muir set the bar high. “I have no doubt that Jerod will soon lead our program to Pac-12 championships and that we will be a regular participant in the NCAA Tournament,” Muir said.
Note the words “soon” and “regular.” That’s fine with Haase.
“As much as I had always dreamed of being at Stanford and as much as I wanted to be in California, I would not have taken this job if I didn’t think we could compete at the highest level,” Haase says. “If we can’t compete and chase championships, it’s not something I want to be part of.”
Haase went from South Tahoe High School to Cal, but it was at the University of Kansas where he made his name as a player. He made so many headlong dives for loose balls and absorbed so many charging fouls that the school created a statistic called “floor burns” in his honor. One season, he had 167. The Jayhawks still keeps track of players’ floor burns.
Born on April Fool’s Day, Haase didn’t joke around when it came to basketball. In fact, he played his entire senior season at Kansas with a broken wrist on his shooting arm.
Thomas Robinson was the last player off the court after the Lakers’ midday practice Tuesday, just as he has been after nearly every practice this fall. So if Robinson is the last player cut before next week’s regular-season opener, it won’t be for a lack of effort.
“It’s out of my hands now,” Robinson said after slumping wearily into a folding chair, his uniform soaked in sweat. “I feel like I’ve done everything I can to this point to give myself the best shot that I can to make this team. It’s up to the front office now.”
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BIG 12/COLLEGE NEWS
“When I hear people say Texas and Oklahoma this, I laugh because I’m in the room and that isn’t the case,” Pollard said. “The Big 12 exists because we have Texas and Oklahoma in the room. If we take Texas and Oklahoma out of the room, we are in the Mountain West Conference and we are going to get $3 million.”
ISU AD Jamie Pollard
Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino has been charged with failing to monitor his basketball program, but Louisville otherwise escaped potentially serious penalties stemming from an NCAA investigation into allegations made by a former escort.
The NCAA's notice of allegations, released Thursday, include four Level I charges with two of those directed at former director of basketball operations Andre McGee and a third aimed at former assistant Brandon Williams. The university as a whole was not charged with any violations, including a lack of institutional control or failure to monitor, the two most egregious NCAA infractions.
Pitino, however, could face a steep penalty. Though the NCAA did not say that Pitino was complicit nor is he charged with committing a violation himself, it alleges that the coach "did not monitor" McGee and failed to "spot check" his program, including "actively looking for red flags."
…In a joint statement, acting university president Dr. Neville Pinto and athletic director Tom Jurich said they intend to dispute the charges lobbied at Pitino.
"We believe that Mr. McGee acted furtively and note that the NOA does not indicate that any other university employee besides Mr. McGee had knowledge of these activities," the statement reads. "We are confident in Coach Pitino and we know he is and always has been committed to NCAA compliance."
McGee, who had moved on to and was later fired by Missouri-Kansas City, refused to talk to NCAA investigators. Williams, who was on the Louisville staff for one year as a program assistant, refused to turn over phone records. Refusing to cooperate with NCAA investigators, considered major breaches of ethical conduct, are typically dealt the harshest penalties.
What have we learned in the more than 12 months since the NCAA came running to investigate Katina Powell’s claims that she helped turn the University of Louisville basketball dorm into the Mustang Ranch?
Enough details for me to advise parents the investigative report should be considered For Mature Audiences Only. That the NCAA has confirmed prostitutes and strippers indeed frolicked with recruits and players at Minardi Hall.
By my count about 14 strip shows, 11 sex acts, two declined sex acts. Party on.
It turns out that Katina Powell knew more about what was going on inside the dorm that coach Rick Pitino had constructed than Rick Pitino did.
…The report, like most NCAA reports, is sprinkled with gaps, enough gaps for Pitino and U of L to claim victory. That’s what the administration started doing in their press release when they noted the Notice of Allegations did not charge that Pitino had knowledge of anything McGee arranged.
Credit the silence of McGee, who, for the record, is a guy Pitino recruited, coached, re-recruited, hired, trained and promoted. U of L
The record shows Andre McGee scored 666 points and delivered 231 assists during four seasons as mostly a back-up guard for the University of Louisville from 2005-09.
But McGee never made a bigger play for the program than he did over the last 12 months. He helped U of L by not hurting the program any further by stiff-arming the NCAA with silence.
Cowardly? If you’re a fan of getting closer to the truth, it certainly is.
Disappointing? 110 percent if McGee has nothing to hide.
McGee’s best legal play? 1,110 percent.
McGee didn’t cooperate, talk or even whisper any discouraging words to the NCAA. When last heard from, McGee was waving off a reporter while driving an Uber vehicle in the Kansas City area.
"We're in competition," Calipari said. "We're competing. Not really for every kid. There are kids I think should go to Duke that should not come here. I'm fine with that. I mean there are other kids that they're the kind of kids that need to come here and do their thing. We get those kids. We've missed on a few kids to them. But we've missed on a few kids to Kansas, and we've missed on a few kids to Michigan State, and we've missed on a few kids to North Carolina, and we've missed on a few kids to Syracuse. We don't get every kid. Just how it is."
And that's the first thing any college basketball fan must understand about this season.
Yes, it's about Villanova's fight to win back-to-back national championships and Josh Jackson's bid to lead Kansas to its 13th consecutive Big 12 title and Arizona's Sean Miller's push for his first trip to the Final Four and UCLA's Steve Alford's job and the NBA prospects who could save it.
But everything about college basketball in 2016-17 begins -- and could end -- with the Duke-Kentucky cage match for supremacy on the court and in the eyes of America's most promising recruits.
ESPN Myron Medcalf
The NCAA announced new experimental rules in men’s basketball on Tuesday, which will drastically change how the final two minutes of games are officiated.
The new rules, applicable only to Big Ten and Mid-American teams during inter-conference matchups, give head coaches the option to challenge an official’s ruling during a play in the restricted area – such as a charge or goaltending call. Like the NFL, should a coaches challenge fail, a timeout will be charged. If it succeeds, the call will be reversed and no timeout will be taken away.
Here’s the full slate of new rules from the NCAA.
Instant replay can be used only in the last two minutes of the second half or the last two minutes of any overtime period.
Instant replay may be used only when an official has made a block/charge call in or around the restricted area arc, and the decision is based on whether the defensive player was in or outside the arc. Instant replay may not be used on no-calls.
Any review, whether by the officials or a coach’s appeal, must be recognized and corrected before the ball next becomes live.
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
Self, who has filled one scholarship in recruiting (Dallas combo guard Marcus Garrett), was asked how he feels about KU’s pursuit of top players as the November early signing period nears.
“I don’t think we’re worried, but we hope we’ll be getting good news here before too long on some guys,” Self said. “The majority of guys we’re recruiting the hardest … they haven’t made decisions yet. We’re just kind of hanging in there.”
KU has three scholarships available for players in the Class of 2017, more if any non-seniors turn pro.
Young — a 6-2 point guard from Norman, Okla. — will be at Kansas this weekend for what could be the final official visit of his recruitment. He has already taken official visits to Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Kentucky, so he will have one more left even after his trip to Kansas. It was expected that either Oklahoma State or Washington — two other schools still on his list — would get Young’s fifth visit, but his father, Ray Young, told the Herald-Leader on Tuesday that there “may not be a need to” take any more official visits after this weekend.
That doesn’t mean Trae is ready to make a decision. His father made it clear Tuesday that their timetable hasn’t changed. They’ve said in several interviews over the past few weeks that an announcement was likely to come in December, which would be too late for Trae to sign with a school early. UK and Oklahoma still appear to be the co-favorites.
ESPN 100 point guard Tremont Waters has committed to Georgetown.
Waters chose the Hoyas over Indiana, although he also took official visits to Kentucky and Kansas. Yale, Duke and UConn rounded out his final list of seven.
It appeared Indiana was the leader after the Hoosiers hosted him in late September, but Waters took a surprise unofficial visit to Georgetown on Friday for the Hoyas' Midnight Madness festivities. It was his second time visiting Georgetown in the last six weeks.
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