Late in the first half, with the game tied, Kansas coach Bill Self was called for a technical after Cameron Clark drew a foul going to the basket against Andrew Wiggins.
Self wanted a charge call, though he might've been looking for the drawn charge on Joel Embiid instead of Wiggins.
“I can't really recall, but I thought I saw a seven-footer standing there for maybe north of a minute and then a guy run into him,” Self said. “I could be wrong. Maybe it was 30 seconds, but he may have been moving. I don't know. I could be wrong. I'll have to watch the tape. But at the time, I thought it was not a good call, but it may have been a good call. He's a good official.”
Embiid is the only 7-foot player on Kansas' roster.
The Sooners made all four free throws to go up by four points, but they scored just one more free throw the rest of the half.
Thunder owner Clay Bennett sat front row mid court Wednesday night at the Lloyd Noble Center.
Thunder general manager Sam Presti was three rows off the floor across from the Oklahoma bench.
And Bobcats general manager Rich Cho was next to fellow NBA talent scouts representing the Rockets, Cavaliers and Pelicans.
With Kansas in town to play Oklahoma, the NBA types came out in force to watch some of the top talent in the country. Future first-rounders Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid were supposed to be the stars, but the best player on the floor was neither of those Jayhawk freshmen.
Sooner senior Cameron Clark stole the show.
Even in a 90-83 loss, he served notice that he’s one of the best players around and that his team could make some noise in the Big 12.
Clark scored 32 points on only 18 shots in just 29 minutes.
“Obviously, I’m just glad he only played 29 minutes,” Kansas coach Bill Self said, “because if he’d played 35 minutes, he would’ve got 40.
“We couldn’t guard him.”
…Brian Hamilton, who covers college basketball for SI.com, tweeted while watching the game telecast: “I forget, was Cameron Clark the guaranteed No. 1 pick or was it the guy he just dusted on an iso?”
Listen, Andrew Wiggins is a great player, but he’s no Kevin Durant. Everyone needs to stop with those ridiculous comparisons. Durant was on another level or four as a freshman at Texas.
Wiggins managed only nine points on 2-of-9 shooting Wednesday. He didn’t take control of the game. He didn’t dominate.
He didn’t steal the show like Cam Clark.
Everything but a win. That’s what Oklahoma got Wednesday night at Lloyd Noble Center.
On the night Kansas, that underachieving Big 12 program that had lost to San Diego State inside Allen Fieldhouse — San Diego State inside Allen Fieldhouse! — got well, the Sooners were as close as four points when Buddy Hield missed a great look from 3-point land with 1:19 remaining.
They were within four points despite having little clue how to slow down the Jayhawks, little size to slow them down even if they’d had a clue and, one would have thought, little chance to knock off the Jayhawks on the night Bill Self’s team played its best game in many moons and hit 54.7 percent of its shots.
…The fans seemed to get it. Even though they were late arriving, even though way too many still didn’t arrive at all, failing to show up or give away their season tickets in the lower ring on an important night, many of those who made it stood and applauded as the buzzer sounded.
So did the Kansas fans, who seem to just appear wherever the their team is playing, making it all about right.
On the night the Jayhawks broke free from their chains, the Sooners proved they’re right there with them and a few stops away from beating them.
It was Tuesday, the night before his team’s Big 12 opener against Oklahoma, and Kansas coach Bill Self showed his team the play over and over and over.
Here was Ohio State guard Aaron Craft, in the closing minutes of his team’s game against Michigan State, recklessly diving headfirst in front of a 245-pound forward to grab a loose ball and call timeout in a crucial possession for his team.
These were the plays that Self’s young KU team, for whatever reason, simply hadn’t been making in its first 13 games.
And it’s why Self was so encouraged following his team’s 90-83 victory over Oklahoma on Wednesday night in its Big 12 opener at Lloyd Noble Center.
“We got on the floor a lot,” Self said.
The best example came with 6:03 remaining.
On a loose ball at KU’s end, Perry Ellis sprawled out to keep alive a loose ball, then Wayne Selden Jr. did his own Craft impression, jumping under an OU player to gain possession before calling timeout.
Self leaped off the bench and pumped both fists with a roar — a celebration typically saved for emotional victories at home.
The schedule presented Kansas with a new opportunity. Conference play. A time of year the Jayhawks rule like no other team in the land.
By splitting the season into thirds and convincing his Jayhawks they were getting a fresh start with their Big 12 debut, Self provided his young team a fresh step. Rather than feel pressure over defending the conference title for a 10th straight time, Kansas looked eager and primed for the challenge.
“We had a lot of downfalls as a team and we even lost at home,” said guard Naadir Tharpe. “Everybody on the team took a chance to look at themselves in the mirror and understood this is not Kansas basketball. We need to put forth more effort and show more on the court.’’
The player who looked the most inspired was Selden.
…“That’s just Kansas basketball is what I think,” Selden said. “We’re trying to start off Big 12 play on the right foot, so we thought we needed to get to all the loose balls and pick up our defensive intensity.”
For Selden, meeting expectations means picking up on just about everything. He came into the game with just an 8.5-point average, including only 12 makes from 3-point range, despite averaging 26 minutes and starting every game.
Teammates encouraged Selden. Coaches implored him to be more aggressive.
He even heard the message at the Jayhawks’ shootaround on Wednesday.
“I felt like I wasn’t playing the best I could play,” Selden said.
Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self chose Wednesday’s day-of-the-Oklahoma game shoot-around to tell one of his prize freshmen to look for his shot more in games.
“He’s really been encouraging me. He actually said it today, too,” Wayne Selden said after exploding for a career-high 24 points off 9-of-17 shooting — five of 10 from three — in the Jayhawks’ 90-83 Big 12-opening victory over the Sooners in sold-out Noble Center.
“The confidence my teammates and coaches have in me ... that’s the main thing and being out there just playing, not thinking,” Selden added, when asked about the key to surpassing his previous high of 15 points, set against Duke in November.
Selden’s previous high in shot attempts was 10, also versus Duke. The most threes he’d hit in any game was two against both UTEP and Georgetown. The most he’d attempted in a game was four, three different times.
“I don’t know if he needed it, but we needed it,” Self said of Selden being given an order to shoot. “We need him to be more aggressive looking to score, to be a threat. He’s a starting two guard in our league that has played a lot of minutes in a lot of big games. He’s made 12 threes for the year (coming in). That’s not enough.
Selden finished with a career-high 24 points, shaking off a season full of inconsistency and a head full of doubt. Tharpe helped the Jayhawks close out Oklahoma with 13 of his 17 points in the second half. Sophomore forward Perry Ellis finished with 22 points on six-of-eight shooting.
For Kansas, which was beginning its quest for a 10th straight Big 12 title, it was more than a confidence-building road victory. It was closer to a reset. Self had stopped his team for a moment this week, hoping to deliver an important message. Forget what happened during a frustrating non-conference season.
He also told Selden he needed more offense. Here was a freshman that had arrived as a McDonald’s All-American combo guard with much promise. And in 13 games, he was averaging just 8.5 points while making just 12 of 32 from three-point range.
“That’s not enough,” Self said. “I told all our guys: ‘New stats, new season.’ We won’t even talk about stats from the (nonconference) season.”
So here it was: One game after shooting a season-low 29.8 percent against San Diego State, KU responded with an efficient 54.7 percent shooting against Oklahoma.
…Self also inserted freshman guard Conner Frankamp into the game after Tharpe had picked up three fouls in the first half.
Frankamp had played just six total minutes in KU’s previous five games, but he responded by hitting a three-pointer and long jumper in the final minutes of the first half.
In the locker room at halftime, Tharpe found his coach. Stick with Conner for a while, Tharpe said, give him some confidence.
The move worked. In its Big 12 opener, with a stretch of four games against four ranked teams looming, the Jayhawks found some confidence.
“Everything is fresh and new from this point forward,” Self said. “And I think it kind of gave them a little bit of a new life.”
Accustomed to dominating games in high school, Frankamp came into Wednesday night’s Big 12 opener in Noble Center riding a streak during which he had not scored in KU’s past eight games, three of which he never was called off the bench. He totaled 17 minutes in the other five and misfired on all seven shots, five of them three-pointers.
At 6-0, 165 pounds, the freshman from Wichita didn’t look in his first Big 12 game like a player wondering if he were in over his head, didn’t show the body language of a bench-warmer convinced his coach had it in for him. In his 13 minutes on the floor, he looked like a comfortable point guard, running the team with poise and shooting with confidence.
…“I’m at the best program in the country, I feel like,” Frankamp said out loud what he must tell himself constantly when he is forced to watch games instead of participate in them. “It’s an honor be here, so my head’s always high. I always have to be ready.”
Self told Frankamp before the game that because of the way the matchups looked, he should expect to play.
“He hadn’t had a chance, I hadn’t given him a chance,” Self said, explaining the size of opponents made some games tough fits for the freshman. “He delivered.”
Tharpe said he suggested to Self after the half ended that it would be a good idea to keep riding Frankamp to keep his confidence heading up.
“I thought he played so well to end the half,” Self said of Frankamp. “Somebody asked me if we were going to start Frank (in the second half). I said, ‘No, we'll go with Frankamp, because he played so well the first half.’ I knew we’d need Naa down the stretch. We didn’t want him to get his fourth (foul).”
In reserve of Tharpe, Mason’s a better defender, a better finisher at the hoop, but if the quicker Frankamp develops, the more options Self will have to choose from based on the opponents.
Frankamp explained his ticket to Wednesday’s opportunity: “I’m trying to not make any turnovers and focus on the defensive end, as well. I’ve improved quite a bit (defensively in practice) from when I first started.”
1 - Perry Ellis: Took eight shots from the field and totaled 22 points to go with 11 rebounds. Showcased a variety of offensive skills, using his strong handle to drive to the hoop, his patient, purposeful, creative footwork to get open shots down low and his soft touch at the line. He made 6 of 8 field goals, 10 of 12 free throws, picked up a steal and didn’t have a single turnover.
LJW Keegan Ratings
Kansas freshman center Joel Embiid idolizes and studies film of NBA Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon. But Embiid wasn’t too happy that he kind of looked like Olajuwon on Wednesday night while wearing a set of protective goggles. (The goggles were an 1980s Olajuwon trademark.)
Embiid was forced to wear them after injuring his left eye in practice this week. He caught a blow from transfer forward Hunter Mickelson during practice, and his eye was still swollen on Wednesday. Still, Embiid scored six points and grabbed six rebounds in 19 minutes. Embiid said he would likely wear them again Saturday against K-State.
“I can see,” Embiid said. “There is no major injury.”
"The Big 12 is going to be a monster," Self said. "Our league is great."
Just how tough? Kansas has to face No. 25 Kansas State, No. 9 Iowa State, No. 11 Oklahoma State and No. 7 Baylor in its next four games.
Oklahoma has a similar upcoming stretch. On Saturday, Iowa State comes to Norman before the Sooners go to Kansas State and Baylor.
There is nothing easy about anything in the Big 12 this year.
...Self admitted Kansas had to go to a smaller lineup when the Sooners loaded up the floor with shooters.
As a result, Embiid played just 19 minutes, which negated KU's huge edge on the interior. As a result, he scored just six points and grabbed six rebounds. Not exactly a showcase night for the player some now believe could be the No. 1 pick in this year's NBA draft.
Wiggins, who graced the covers of a handful of magazines before the season, was ineffective. He hit just 2 of 9 shots for nine points in 29 minutes.
Still, Kansas has a lot of very good players and kept throwing waves at them against the Sooners.
Plenty of dunking highlights but my fav @KUHoops play this season: @PElliz @jojo_embiid @WayneSeldenJr diving after the same loose ball!
Great win for my Jayhawks tonight. Nice way to start off conference play. #RockChalk
Congrats Kansas for handling OU, and for having the top arena. Other Champions' arenas are in the top 10. http://ht.ly/sp5XD
VOTE for Coach Self & his Assists Foundation (currently 22nd out of 48 coaches!)
Turns out that before Robinson went out and most likely won his job back in the fourth quarter of Portland's 110-94 victory over Orlando, he holed up before the game near his locker eating one of those pillow-sized sleeves of blue, yellow and pink cotton candy. He washed that down with two bottles of orange juice.
Best we can tell, Robinson's teeth did not fall out. He remained tall. And he gave the Blazers the best 11 minutes of his tumultuous season, bouncing around Moda Center in that fourth quarter like a loose atom. Fans may have left the arena talking about Nic Batum's triple double (14 points, 14 assists, 10 rebounds) and LaMarcus Aldridge's 36 points, but there wasn't a more charming sight than seeing the soft-spoken Robinson try to hide that bag of cotton candy while pulling on his brown slacks and his bright orange jacket after work.
…The Blazers plus/minus didn't pencil out with him on the floor. They were better offensively, and defensively, with him benched. Nevermind the line of victories and the great start, we all know numbers don't lie. So they sat Robinson down, and maybe this is where a lot of people who have followed his career post-Kansas expected everything would come to a sad end.
"I've been so back and forth with myself mentally," Robinson said.
He continued to work hard, though. In fact, before recent games, Robinson looked determined in his workouts. He stayed positive. He won the mental battle with himself, even as some of his teammates were siphoning off his minutes. And on Wednesday, when Terry Stotts decided to insert Robinson again after sitting him for the first three quarters, the forward jumped off the bench and saved a game that was slipping away from the Blazers.
Robinson's line: 3 for 3 shooting, three rebounds, one block, one assist and cotton candy all over the ball.
Big 12/College News
1/8/14, 9:16 PM
You're never going to believe this, but a Frank Haith-coached team just blew a close game at home vs. a .500 team w/ 0 road/neutral wins.
Mark Fox, whose father died last week, is crying on the bench as his team knocks off No. 21 Missouri.
Marcus Smart didn’t start so hot.
Missed shots. Airballed a free throw. A free throw.
And his disgust clearly showed.
But not for long.
Smart turned it around by turning it on, sparking a surge late in the first half to rally the No. 11-ranked Cowboys into the lead against Texas, then continuing to deliver in the second half, finishing off a staggering stat line: 24 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, six steals and a blocked shot.
Playing like the star he is as the reigning Big 12 Player of the Year and a candidate for national honors this season, Smart impacted the game in every way to lead an 87-74 win before an estimated 8,000 at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
“The last couple of days, we've spent a lot of time together talking about what I expect and what he's capable of doing for this basketball team,” said Cowboys coach Travis Ford. “I thought he gave an incredible Marcus Smart performance tonight.
“You look at the stat line. The stat line is ridiculous.”
Markel Brown added 27 points and Phil Forte 14, involving some timely 3-pointers. And Kamari Murphy battled UT's big bodies inside, matching the nation's No. 7 shot-blocking team by himself with four blocks.
Mary Willingham who is currently employed at UNC as a clinical instructor and academic advisor, told WCHL that she has received death wishes and hate email since the CNN article was published. When contacted by WCHL, she said she didn’t want to comment further until the threats subsided.
Willingham spoke to CNN based on her encounters with Carolina athletes and is the source of the claims about the University.
Steve Farmer, Associate Provost and Director of Undergraduate Admissions, spoke with WCHL News to address the claims surrounding the admissions process at Carolina.
Farmer said he was not in the room when an alleged conversation between Willingham and an unidentified UNC player discussing his level of literacy occurred, so he cannot speculate about what was said.
Farmer did offer one guarantee.
“I can tell you, we do not admit students who we believe cannot read or write,” he said.
Willingham has been employed by UNC since October of 2003, according to her resume posted through the University’s Learning Center.
The basketball player who Willingham said could not read or write is believed to have played during the Roy Williams era; he became head basketball coach in the spring of 2003. Willingham started as a learning specialist/tutor at the University in the fall of this same year.
UNC released a statement Wednesday evening in response to the article:
In an excerpt: “We do not believe that claim and find it patently unfair to the many student-athletes who have worked hard in the classroom and on the court and represented our University with distinction.”
In the post game press conference following UNC’s loss against Miami Wednesday night, Coach Williams said the article was “not true.”
“Anybody can make any statement they want to make, but that is not fair,” Williams said. “The University of North Carolina does not do that. The University of North Carolina does not stand for that. I don’t believe it is true, and I am really bothered by the whole thing. People have taken their chances and have beaten up on us for quite a while. We are going to survive this. I am really proud of my kids.”
Big XII composite schedule (includes results, highlights, stats)
ESPN College GameDay Schedule
2013-14 TV Schedule
In 2001, Lenny Cooke was the No. 1 ranked high school basketball player in America. The new film Lenny Cooke reveals why his promising career took a nose dive right as LeBron James' career took off.
Young NBA hopefuls today face similar pitfalls of hype and fame, and Cooke hopes his story will help steer players like Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker away from those career-ruining choices.
Cooke's longtime friend Joakim Noah wants to show the basketball world this cautionary tale and agreed to executive produce the film.
Lenny Cooke is directed by filmmaking brothers Joshua and Benny Safdie and is produced by Adam Shopkorn.
The film opens for a week in Louisville, January 10-16. It will continue to be shown in select cities through January and February
(see schedule and trailer at LennyCookeMovie.com).
Justise Winslow’s St. John’s team edged the Myles Turner-led Trinity squad 51-49 in overtime on Saturday in the high school hoops showcase at the legendary Fonde Recreation Center.
Winslow scored 34 points and added 16 rebounds with four steals. In two games at the Fonde showcase, the future Duke Blue Devil averaged 31.5 points and 19.5 rebounds. Even with all the points scored, it was his assist to Trey Lewis that led to the clinching bucket. Then, on the defensive end, Winslow blocked the last-chance shot attempt by Trinity.
This was a battle of two top-10 national recruits. Winslow is headed to Duke. Meanwhile, Turner is Rivals’ top uncommitted recruit. The seven-footer had 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and two blocks.
“Really, our defense at the end won us the game,” Winslow said. “So I’m really proud of the way our guys fought and I’m glad we got the win.”
On defense, the 6-6 Winslow actually had to guard the 7-0 Turner - two top recruits, regardless of size or usual position, going head to head.
“He’s a special player,” Winslow said. “Seven feet tall. He can shoot the three. He’s going to be great wherever he decides to go to school next year. Hopefully, it’s Duke, but he’s a special player. Hats off to Trinity and Myles. They played us tight.”
The respect was mutual. “I felt our teams matched up well,” Turner said. “Justise is great. He’s really strong, gets to the bucket well, and hopefully I can be his future teammate, but who knows?”
Numerous nationally ranked boys teams help to fill out the Mustang Madness roster.
From Max Preps website, ranked teams include No. 8 Our Savior New America (NY), No. 14 Arsenal Technical (Indianapolis), No. 11 Sunrise Christian Academy (Kan.) and No. 12 Curie (Chicago).
Ranked in the USA Today Top 25 poll is No. 18 Marian Catholic.
Other nationally known programs playing in the event: Huntington Prep (WV), Dallas Prime Prep (Tex.), Evangelical Christian (La.), Quality Education (NC), Villa Angela St. Joseph (OH), The Carlisle School (VA), Chicago Orr (IL) and Lausanne Collegiate (TN).
The showcase also will have the boys teams from Holmes (Covington), Webster County and Goreville (Ill.)
That means some of the top talent in the nation will be playing on the Strawberry Hills Pharmacy Arena floor, including (from Rivals.com rankings) the Class of 2014's No. 2 and SMU commit Emmanuel Mudiay (Dallas Prime Prep), No. 4 and Kansas commit Cliff Alexander (Curie), No. 7 and Kentucky commit Trey Lyles (Arsenal Technical), No. 22 and uncommitted Jaquan Lyle (Huntington Prep), No. 33 and Kentucky commit Tyler Ulis (Marian Catholic), No. 46 and Gonzaga commit Josh Perkins (Huntington Prep), No. 61 and Michigan St. commit Lourawis Nairn (Sunrise Christian Academy), and No. 68 and Providence commit Jalen Lindsey (Huntington Prep).
Mustang Madness Tournament starts today
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