Q Was losing the championship game hard, since no one expected KU to be there?
A No. Kentucky was loaded. But the way the game went, it was set up for us to have a shot. We fell behind early, which was probably good, because they played not to lose late.
We’re down 7 with 3 1/2 minutes left. We were down more with less time left against Memphis (in 2008).
But I was so proud because the most shocked people in the world that we lost that night were our players. They were crushed. They thought they were better than Kentucky. And if they had not had that attitude we would never have been playing in that game.
Star Magazine Q & A with Coach Self
The question is: If you could pick any active coach to lead your program, who would it be?
Tom Izzo (Michigan State): 27 percent
Bill Self (Kansas): 23 percent
Mike Krzyzewski (Duke): 10 percent
Rick Pitino (Louisville): 8 percent
Billy Donovan (Florida): 8 percent
John Calipari (Kentucky): 6 percent
Sean Miller (Arizona): 6 percent
Brad Stevens (Butler): 4 percent
Roy Williams (North Carolina): 4 percent
CBS series Critical Coaches
ESPN 50 in 50 rankings: No. 5 Kansas
Using a point system devised by the ESPN Stats & Information department, ESPN.com is counting down the 50 most successful programs of the past 50 years. A running list of the top 50 can be found here. For an explanation of the scoring system, read our intro. If you disagree with the order -- and we're sure you do -- re-arrange our Top 25 here.
Sasha Kaun and 11 of his closest friends piled on top of each other at the top of the key in Olympic Park Basketball Arena after the final horn sounded in Russia’s 81-77 bronze medal victory over Argentina on Aug. 12 in London.
The Russian National Team members celebrated wildly after assuring their country’s first top-three finish in an Olympic Games since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991.
“I was so happy. It means everything,” said Kaun, a member of Kansas University’s 2008 national championship team. “To be the first team in Russia history to go and win a medal is unbelievable. The way basketball has grown in Russia is fantastic,” added the 6-foot-11, 255-pound center from Tomsk.
The 27-year-old Kaun, who has three years remaining on a contract with CSKA Moscow that pays him over $1 million a year, averaged 7.8 points and 3.6 rebounds for Russia, which amassed a record of 6-2 and became one of the surprise success stories of the entire Games.
…Kaun became the 10th KU men’s basketball player of all time to earn a medal and first since Danny Manning (also a bronze) in 1988.
“I am so fortunate to be considered with Danny. To be the first since Danny is phenomenal,” said Kaun, whose inside presence was vital in the victory over Argentina and its power forward deluxe Luis Scola.
“As soon as we won, I got texts. I heard from all the guys (on KU’s 2008 title team). The coaches all texted me. They were in Europe (Paris playing exhibition games).”
Kaun also was supported by a handful of KU fans who made their way into the London arena.
“There was a guy there who had a sign,” Kaun said. “After we got our medal, I posed for a picture (with KU fans) with him and his son. I think once you become a Jayhawk you are always a Jayhawk. I’m very proud to be part of the organization. It’s big.”
Kaun has not been able to squeeze in a trip to Lawrence this summer. He and wife Taylor (former KU soccer player Taylor Blue) recently moved into a house in Evergreen, Colo., which will be their new offseason home.
“Going through Allen Fieldhouse ... it is a classic venue, and the things that have been done around it are really spectacular,” Bowlsby said. “The support facilities, administrative facilities, the new football complex ... all of that is as good as there is anyplace in college athletics.
“I think men’s and women’s basketball and football are in great shape. The baseball diamond is terrific. Developmental facilities are great. I think KU probably has as good of weight-room facilities in terms of both quality and volume as I’ve ever seen. There are an awful lot of pieces of the puzzle in place. It sounds like plans are in place for improvements in a lot of other areas that will support the Olympic sports,” he added.
Former University of Kansas point guard Sherron Collins will be in Hutchinson on Saturday for a book signing at the Sports Shack, 119 N. Main Street.
VOTE for KU
Kansas 2012-13 Schedule
Big 12/College News
After a long period of uncertainty, the Big 12 is poised to announce several deals in the coming weeks that should underscore its newfound solidarity.
Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said during a stop at Kansas on Wednesday that a multiyear television deal that could be worth as much as $2.6 billion should be finalized soon, and that progress on a TV deal and location for the newly created Champions Bowl are coming along quickly.
The recently hired commissioner is touring member schools this week, hitting nine of 10 in the coming days. Bowlsby plans to visit West Virginia in late September.
The new TV deal is expected to cover 13 years with an arrangement for FOX and ABC/ESPN to share over-the-air and cable rights. Bowlsby said the league was working within the framework of the contract when it released a schedule for the first three weeks of the season.
"The exposure for our football programs, for men's and women's basketball and our Olympic sports, will be unprecedented," Bowlsby said. "We'll be much more widely distributed."
Bowlsby said he'd prefer the contract to be done by the start of the football season next Saturday, but pointed out that when he was athletic director at Iowa, the Big Ten and ABC operated without a signed deal for the better part of three years.
"There are some elements that need to be worked out, some of it by the end of today, but we're not working under any sort of deadline," he said. "We're moving forward as if we have an agreement, and we do have an agreement on almost all elements of it."
If you have followed college basketball for any stretch of time, you have or know of a Rick Majerus story. There was the time he smacked one of his Utah players in the groin while imploring him to have some balls. Or when he'd invite his players up to his hotel room and show up in a towel, which sometimes fell to the floor. Or the one where a Salt Lake City woman dropped a baby off at his hotel residence, figuring Majerus would be better positioned to find someone who could properly care for the child. Or how he compared Ashley Judd favorably to watching porn during a segment as a studio analyst.
But when news broke Friday afternoon that a heart condition was going to force Majerus yet again from the sideline, this time for the duration of the 2012-13 season, my first thought was to a colleague's random brush with Majerus in 2005 at Wake Forest's Lawrence Joel Coliseum. Majerus, a larger-than-life presence in every figurative and literal term, was already relieving himself in the men's room after calling the game for ESPN when my friend entered. Majerus looked at him and immediately blurted, "My fly is stuck, I'm not trying to flash you." After assuring Majerus that he hadn't assumed he was, my friend mentioned that he was there covering the visiting Princeton Tigers. Majerus instantly give an unsolicited projection of Princeton's multi-year program rebuild, then blurted "Gotta go!" and rushed out, leaving my friend in mid-response (and mid-relief).
That story, to me, sums up Rick Majerus. Odd, unique, unmistakable, irreverent ... and always thinking about basketball. For this season, at least, the college game has lost a tremendous character, but it also will be missing one of its best coaching minds. You don't win more than 70 percent of your games over more than two decades by accident, especially when you've never been at a glamour program.
8/24/12 9:06 PM
Marquette announced earlier tonight that assistant Scott Monarch has been dimisssed and HC Buzz Williams will sit out first BE game.
Another coach has lost his job for providing misleading information.
This time it's Marquette assistant Scott Monarch.
He provided misleading information when asked about the fact that he gave a recruit apparel and a ride somewhere in violation of NCAA rules. And, yes, those are violations of NCAA rules. But they are relatively small violations. And they would've almost certainly been survivable violations if not for Monarch providing misleading information about them.
But, inexplicably, he lied.
And now he's fired on a Friday night in August.
Washington coach Lorenzo Romar has added a second new assistant coach in a week after announcing the hiring of Lamont Smith.
The school made the announcement Thursday, saying the hiring was still pending a background check. Romar also hired former Western Washington head coach Brad Jackson last week to replace Raphael Chillious, who left for Villanova.
Smith has been on the staff at Arizona State for the last four years, but his connection with Romar goes much deeper. Romar gave Smith his first job as a graduate assistant at Saint Louis in 1999.
The ability to add Smith to the staff came when assistant Paul Fortier moved to director of player personnel and player development. Fortier has been an assistant under Romar for the last seven seasons.
ESPN Tip-Off Marathon schedule
2012-13 Early Season Events List
8/24/12 6:23 PM
S/o @CFrankcamp_23 aka #bottomofthenet winner of the @UAbasketball 3-Point Contest #Kansas #Jayhawks instagr.am/p/OuqkYpghMU/
8/24/12 6:17 PM
Aw, yeah. Conner Frankamp with 19 three pointers to win the Under Armour contest. Awesome.
8/24/12 6:23 PM
Nice to see no matter indoor or outdoor it doesn't alter Conner's stroke. Nice to see him take home the crown.
8/24/12 7:30 PM
S/o to @CFrankamp_23 for winning the 3-point contest EASILY!!! Y'all don't understand how windy it was and he still made shots...
Brannen Greene with some impressive dunks as well. The future looks bright for Kansas. Video to come #jayhawks
Conner frankamp making shots from everywhere at elite 24 practice run. Definitely the best shooter in 2013
Best nickname of #elite24 is the one @Keith_Frazier gave Connor Frankcamp. "He Don't Miss Bruh".
Fit right in! “@CFrankamp_23: Just got done playing pick up with James Harden,Brandon Jennings,and Demar Derozen #Elite24”
8/24/12 8:11 PM
@CFrankamp_23 was so clutch. Won the 3PT contest from the favorite position. Skilled craftsman.
8/24/12 7:56 PM
Living the dream right now
8/24/12 6:53 PM
Julius Randle wins the Under Armor Elite 24 dunk contest w a perfect score of 50. Tells ESPN will cut list to 9 or 10 schools soon
8/24/12 7:00 PM
S/o to Julius Randle (@J30_RANDLE) aka #manchild 2012 @UAbasketball #Elite24 Slam Dunk Champion instagr.am/p/Ouub6TghPe/
Randle has not set any official visits, but a childhood friend, Matt Jones, is a Duke commit. He says he’ll likely schedule his visits after the Elite 24 is done. However, his plan remains to make his decision in the spring, not during the early signing period in November.
…Randle says he wants to “study systems” of the schools he is considering in the months ahead.
“I want to see what systems I like and see if I can relate to the coaches,” Randle said. “Then I will get all my family together and talk to them and it will be a joint decision then.”
UA Elite 24 Photos from Midnight Run
SLAM photos Elite 24 day one
The newly re-branded Elite 24 all-star game tips at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday (ESPNU) and is sponsored by Under Armour, having taken the game’s reins from Boost Mobile. The contest is unique in that August is usually a quiet month for high school stars, having been put through a grueling July evaluation period. The first year of Under Armour at the helm of the game is notable for a great crop of incoming senior and underclass stars, as well as NBA player coaching staffs.
The game has been a high-flying, dunk-filled affair in the past, and this year’s edition is expected to be no different
…Fans of Kansas (Conner Frankamp and Brannen Greene), Syracuse (Tyler Ennis), Washington (Nigel Williams-Goss) and North Carolina (Nate Britt) can get a glimpse into their futures, as they have players that have made non-binding verbal commitments participating in the game. Also, expect UCLA and possibly other programs to benefit from the game’s location with unofficial visits by some of the game’s participants.
8/24/12 7:02 PM
JC AA PG Chris Jones down to Baylor, Okla. St, Louisville, FLA St, & Kansas. Will visit in that order per Coach Steve Forbes.
Findlay Prep guard Allerik Freeman texted SNY.tv that he has set several official visits.
The 6-foot-4 shooting guard will visit UCLA (Sept. 8), Ohio State (Sept. 15), Villanova (Sept. 28) and Duke (Oct. 19). He will also visit Kansas sometime in November.
Freeman previously told SNY.tv it is possible he and Boo Williams teammate Cat Barber, who visits Kansas Aug. 31, could end up playing together.
“Oh man, I would love to play with Cat,” Freeman said at the Peach Jam. “Me and Cat play well together when we’re both getting in the lane and we’re both driving and dishing and we play well.
“If me and Cat wanted to go to Kansas together, then that would be great but I’m just trying to make decisions for myself.”
Mishawaka Marian senior guard Demetrius Jackson said tonight that will take an official visit to Illinois the weekend of Sept. 1 and has another official visit planned to Kansas for the weekend of Oct. 27, when the Jayhawks host Texas in football for homecoming.
The 6-1 Jackson, who figures to be one of the front-runners for Indiana Mr. Basketball going into his senior season, said he also plans to take an official visit to Kentucky, but hasn’t yet set a date.
“We’re still looking at which schools want me to come for an official,” said Jackson, who is ranked as the No. 18 prospect in the country in 2013 by ESPN.com. “I definitely want to get to Kentucky and Notre Dame. Notre Dame is right around the corner so I may not use an official there.”
Jackson said he doesn’t have an “set” list of schools he’s considering, but said Notre Dame, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky and Louisville are solidly in the mix at this point. He said Butler is no longer under consideration.
Though he plans to make a decision before his high school season and sign in the fall, Jackson didn’t completely close the door on a spring signing. He said he wants to have all of the information possible before making a decision.
“I definitely want to get it out of the way and be set for the season,” he said. “But a lot of things can happen. Look at the Penn State (football) situation and the kids that are there now. I really feel for them because it’s nothing they’ve done to be in that position. A big reason why I’ve waited this long is because I felt like I wasn’t educated enough. Through this process I’ve learned a lot.”
Jackson put himself in this position with a strong junior season and carried it over to a big showing this spring and summer. Kansas, Kentucky and Louisville each ramped up its recruitment of Jackson in July.
From the time college basketball adopted the early letter-of-intent period, which occurred more than a quarter-century ago, the rules restricting official visits to athletes in their senior years of high school began to decay toward obsolescence. It was virtually impossible for a high school senior to squeeze in five officials before the November signing date. A large percentage of recruits made their college choices long before they were allowed to make an official.
However, the rule change that will allow basketball players to make official visits after Jan. 1 of their junior years only went into effect just three weeks ago.
It is a significant step in cleaning up another part of the business that had been corrupted.
It’s not enough, though.
The next advance in this department: “Get rid of all unofficial visits,” Kentucky coach John Calipari told Sporting News on Thursday. “It’s not fair to the kid who doesn’t have the means to make all these trips.”
Obviously, it would be impossible and undesirable to declare that athletes are not allowed to visit campuses that are open to the general public. An athlete shouldn’t lose a bit of his freedom merely because he’s a targeted recruit.
It would not be at all complicated, however, to declare that coaches no longer could arrange to have a recruit visit campus unofficially and could not have contact with him during a campus tour. The recruit would not be allowed to see the areas that typically are reserved for varsity athletes: Locker rooms, training areas, video suites.
If an athlete wanted to visit a campus in the same manner as a prospective journalism major or pre-med student, he could contact the admissions office and arrange the same tour as everyone else.
My top 5 are Baylor, FSU, Uconn, Illinois and Texas no specific order
https://twitter.com/YungBoiMayes Xavier Rathan Mayes
My 2012 KU Alumni games, 2011-12 Border War, Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos and more now on Youtube