The Wooden Award All American Team, consisting of the nation’s top 10 players, will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament. The John R. Wooden Award Player of the Year presented by Wendy’s will be announced on ESPN during the Final Four Weekend in Atlanta. The 2013 Wooden Award Gala presented by Wendy’s will take place April 11-13, 2013, at The Los Angeles Athletic Club. The Gala will honor the Men’s and Women’s Wooden Award winners, All Americans and the Legends of Coaching Award winner, Kansas Head Coach Bill Self.
Among the student-athletes chosen to the Wooden Award ballot were three players who did not make the Midseason Top 25: Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynyk, Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, and Miami’s Shane Larkin. Other notable selections include the nation’s top scorer, Erick Green of Virginia Tech (25.0 ppg), and three freshmen: Anthony Bennett of UNLV, redshirt freshman Ben McLemore of Kansas, and Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart.
Indiana (Oladipo and Cody Zeller) and Kansas (McLemore and Jeff Withey), both ranked in the Associated Press Top 5 this week, were the only programs with more than one player selected to the ballot. In terms of conferences, the Big Ten had four selections, followed by the ACC and Big 12 each with three.
VOTE for Wooden Award nominees McLemore & Withey (Ends March 17)
There’s no wrong choice here, but The Star’s Big 12 Player of the Year call goes to Withey, who has as much to do with the Jayhawks leading the nation in field-goal percentage defense as anybody by averaging 4.1 blocked shots per game and altering countless others.
Withey, a senior who averages 13.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and shoots 58 percent from the field, is having the best season of his career.
The Star’s All-Big 12 selections
• PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jeff Withey, Kansas
• COACH OF THE YEAR: Bruce Weber, Kansas State
• Pierre Jackson, Baylor
• Rodney McGruder, Kansas State
• Ben McLemore, Kansas
• Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
• Jeff Withey, Kansas
• Markel Brown, Oklahoma State
• Melvin Ejim, Iowa State
• Romero Osby, Oklahoma
• Travis Releford, Kansas
• Angel Rodriguez, Kansas State
Big 12 Coaches Awards (Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own players.)
• PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Marcus Smart; Oklahoma State; G
• DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jeff Withey; Kansas; C
• NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Will Clyburn; Iowa State; G
• FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Marcus Smart; Oklahoma State; G
• SIXTH MAN AWARD: Tyrus McGee; Iowa State; G
• SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Melvin Ejim; Iowa State; F;
• COACH OF THE YEAR: Bruce Weber; Kansas State
Player Team Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl.
Ben McLemore Kansas G 6-5 185 Fr.
Jeff Withey Kansas C 7-0 235 Sr.
Rodney McGruder Kansas State G 6-4 205 Sr.
Romero Osby Oklahoma F 6-8 232 Sr.
Marcus Smart Oklahoma State G 6-4 225 Fr.
Player Team Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl.
Pierre Jackson Baylor G 5-10 180 Sr.
Will Clyburn Iowa State G 6-7 205 Sr.
Travis Releford Kansas G 6-6 210 Sr.
Angel Rodriguez Kansas State G 5-11 180 So.
Markel Brown Oklahoma State G 6-3 190 Jr.
Player Team Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl.
Isaiah Austin Baylor C 7-1 220 Fr.
Melvin Ejim Iowa State F 6-6 220 Jr.
Amath M’Baye Oklahoma F 6-9 208 Jr.
Steven Pledger Oklahoma G 6-4 219 Sr.
Le’Bryan Nash Oklahoma State G/F 6-7 230 So.
(Listed alphabetically by school)
Cory Jefferson (Baylor), Korie Lucious (Iowa State), Tyrus McGee (Iowa State), Elijah Johnson (Kansas), Shane Southwell (Kansas State), Michael Cobbins (Oklahoma State), Jaye Crockett (Texas Tech), Eron Harris (West Virginia), Deniz Kilicli (West Virginia)
Player Team Pos Ht. Wt. Cl.
Chris Babb Iowa State G 6-5 225 Sr.
Travis Releford Kansas G 6-6 210 Sr.
Jeff Withey* Kansas C 7-0 235 Sr.
Angel Rodriguez Kansas State G 5-11 180 So.
Michael Cobbins Oklahoma State F 6-8 220 So.
Marcus Smart* Oklahoma State G 6-4 225 Fr.
Ties in voting account for six players on some teams.
AP All-Big 12 Awards
The Associated Press All-Big 12 men's basketball team for the 2012-13 season, as chosen by a panel of media representatives who cover the conference on a regular basis. Players listed in alphabetical order by name, school, height, weight, class and hometown:
Pierre Jackson, Baylor, 5-10, 180, senior, Las Vegas.
Rodney McGruder, Kansas St., 6-4, 205, senior, Washington, D.C.
Ben McLemore, Kansas, 6-5, 185, freshman, St. Louis.
Marcus Smart, Oklahoma St., 6-4, 225, freshman, Flower Mound, Texas.
Jeff Withey, Kansas, 7-0, 235, senior, San Diego.
Isaiah Austin, Baylor, 7-1, 220, freshman, Arlington, Texas. C
Markel Brown, Oklahoma St., 6-3, 190, junior, Alexandria, La.
Will Clyburn, Iowa St., 6-7, 205, senior, Detroit.
Romero Osby, Oklahoma, 6-8, 232, senior, Meridian, Miss.
Angel Rodriguez, Kansas St., 5-11, 180, sophomore, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Melvin Ejim, Iowa St.; Cory Jefferson, Baylor; Korie Lucious, Iowa St.; Tyrus McGee, Iowa St.; Le'Bryan Nash, Oklahoma St.; Travis Releford, Kansas.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Bruce Weber, Kansas St.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Marcus Smart, Oklahoma St.
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Will Clyburn, Iowa St.
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Marcus Smart, Oklahoma St.
Kansas coach Bill Self likes to refer to this time of year as the “third season”, the weeks on the calendar where a good season can become great, or a great season can become special.
Self, of course, is not the first coach to divide seasons into segment, and his are pretty simple. There’s the first season: the non-conference schedule. Season two: the conference season. And now there’s the third: the postseason.
Then again, maybe the next week should really be considered something closer to Season 2 ½, the awkward warmup for madness.
The fourth-ranked Jayhawks will bus to Kansas City for the Big 12 tournament, where they’ll open in the quarterfinals on Thursday against the winner of No. 8 West Virginia and No. 9 Texas Tech.
Kansas can gain a few things this week, seeding for instance. After Saturday’s loss at Baylor, the Jayhawks are probably a few lengths back in the clumsy national dash for a No. 1 seed. Most likely: They're leaning toward a No. 2. Win three games at Sprint Center, and the Jayhawks should be a lock for the second line — with an outside shot at a No. 1. But lose early, and KU will risk sliding toward a No. 3.
“The bottom line is our second season is done,” Self said on Saturday in Waco. “And now the third season starts, and everybody’s starting fresh, and I can’t imagine that we wouldn’t be fresh and excited and confident moving forward.”
…During KU’s last seven Final Four runs, the Jayhawks only won the league tournament during one of those seasons (2008). By pure logic, it may indeed be easier to win six straight games than it is to win, say, 11, which is what you would have to do if you enter the NCAA tourney on a five-game winning streak.
But in the end, there’s nothing to suggest that conference tourney success is beneficial or detrimental, positive or negative.
The Big 12 doesn’t recognize any sort of tiebreaker except for seeding purposes, so the Jayhawks are heading to Sprint Center with the goal of determining a definitive champ.
KU will be motivated, too, after seeing the outright championship slip away with an 81-58 loss Saturday at Baylor. The Jayhawks weren’t satisfied with the outcome or the title split, but hoisting the trophy in Kansas City could be a nice consolation.
“I’m not happy, but I’m a lot happier than I would be if it was different and we finished second,” coach Bill Self said. “Now we go to Kansas City and see who the best team is.”
This scenario only works if KU or K-State wins the tournament title, which isn’t a guarantee based on how the league has been this season. If any team is a good bet to advance, it might be the Wildcats, who won the Big 12 primarily by avoiding upsets. KU beat K-State twice in the regular season but also lost at TCU and Baylor, defeats that ultimately cost the Jayhawks the chance to be sole champions.
There haven’t been many easy games for KU in Big 12 play, which Self said could make for an unpredictable conference tournament.
“I think it’s been harder to win games in this year’s league than it has been other years for us,” he said. “I think the road games have been monsters. We usually get other team’s good effort when we go on the road, but there were some teams out there that could all easily have beaten K-State or beaten Kansas or beaten Oklahoma State.”
Winning is always the goal for KU in Kansas City, but there are years when a loss in the Big 12 Tournament isn’t a terrible alternative if it means the Jayhawks get it out of their system.
This year, the Jayhawks are focused on regaining whatever rhythm was lost in their most lopsided loss since an 80-55 drubbing at Texas in 2006. Losing to Baylor wasn’t the way KU wanted to segue into postseason play, but Self hopes it’s only a blip.
“Guys, we’ve done pretty good here for the last month or so,” he said. “I don’t think (confidence) should be shaken. I think we got punched in mouth today without question, but we’ll get up. Teams do this all the time.”
“They were terrific and had a lot to do with us not being very good.” Self said. “And of course two players played about as well as any two players against us in a long, long time.”
Those two players were Pierre Jackson and Cory Jefferson, who each hit 11 of 13 field goals and burned the Jayhawks inside and out. Making a senior day statement like no other, Jackson scored 28 points and dished out 10 assists while racing down the court so quickly that no one could catch him.
Jefferson pumped up the crowd with his powerful dunks, but the real surprise were his three 3-pointers since he had gone 0-for-7 beyond the arc in his Baylor career.
“If he was going to do that, it was going to be a hard win for us no matter what,” Self said.
Twenty-five years after their impossible run, Danny and the Miracles are getting the sports documentary treatment.
The new film — “The Miracles: The 1988 Kansas Jayhawks” — tells the story of the Jayhawks’ second NCAA title and will debut at 7 p.m. Monday on the CBS Sports Network*.
The brainchild of producer Kurt Messersmith, who was a Kansas student during the 1988 season, the film was shot and edited by Erik Ashel, who works at Metro Sports in Kansas City and previously created a documentary on the Kansas-Missouri rivalry (“Border War”). The film is narrated by local journalist Jeff Chadiha, and Tamiko Bullock also served as a producer on the project.
All the main characters appear, including Manning and coach Larry Brown, who arrived in Kansas for the 1983-84 season.
“We thought it was important to go all the way back to when Larry was hired,” Ashel said. “At that point, the program was kind of down, and we discuss how the fieldhouse was empty, and people couldn’t imagine what it looked like.”
Others interviewed for the film include former Oklahoma coach Billy Tubbs, former Oklahoma star Stacey King, current Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger and ESPN analyst and former Duke player Jay Bilas, who faced off against Kansas in the 1986 Final Four.
The film is slated to be re-aired throughout the month of March before being shown locally on Metro Sports on Sunday, April 7, the day before the NCAA championship game.
*CBS Sports Network is available in Kansas City on AT&T U-Verse Channel 643, Charter Channel 207, Comcast Channel 274 or 871, Time Warner Channel 322, DirecTV Channel 613 and DISH Network Channel 158.
The previous attorney for a former University of Kansas athletics consultant is expected to testify Monday at an evidentiary hearing to determine whether he did a poor job in defending his client during the prosecution of a $2 million ticket scalping conspiracy.
U.S. District Judge Monti Belot wants to hear from Thomas Blubaugh’s defense attorney as he considers whether to grant the convicted man’s request for a shorter sentence. Blubaugh was sentenced in April 2011 to 46 months in prison after previously pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States through wire fraud, tax obstruction and interstate transportation of stolen property.
Blubaugh, who has been serving time at a federal prison in Oklahoma, has asked a judge to reduce his prison sentence to no more than 33 months.
He contends the court improperly considered the value of tickets for sporting events that had passed, so-called deadwood files, which he had hidden in a private storage facility. Blubaugh also claims he had ineffective counsel, saying his attorney assured him that the prosecutor had promised he would get probation in return for helping the government — even if all the defendants pleaded guilty and the case never went to trial.
3/8/13, 10:42 PM
Markieff and Marcus Morris became the first twins in NBA history to start together tonight, according to @SunsStats.
3/11/13, 4:19 AM
Poland - VTB League: Russell Robinsons 21 points are not enough for PGE Turow: Spartak SP - PGE Turow 76:74
Russia center Sasha Kaun has hinted that he may need a rest this summer after a long couple of years but believes his country features some strong young talent ready to take a big role.
Kaun helped Russia qualify for the 2012 Olympics and then averaged 7.8 points and 3.6 rebounds as Russia captured the bronze medal at the London Games.
"It was definitely a blast, probably something I will remember for the rest of my life, right up there with my national championship in the NCAA," said Kaun of the bronze medal, referring back to his NCAA title with the University of Kansas in 2008.
The 27-year-old Tomsk native said he really hasn't thought much about EuroBasket 2013. But he did hint that he may not show up in Slovenia, where Russia have been drawn into Group D with Italy, Greece, Sweden, Finland and Turkey. Despite playing at the Olympics and the World Championship, Kaun is yet to play in a European Championship.
"Right now I'm in the season and I'm just trying to focus on that. When the time comes, I'll see how I feel and see what's going on because it's been a long couple years. Last year [club season] and then the summer and now this year. My body is definitely wearing down. So, we'll see," said Kaun, who missed EuroBasket 2011 with minor groin surgery.
VOTE for Kansas players, team, and moment in NCAA 75th Anniversary of March Madness (Vote for Wilt, Clyde, Danny, 51-52 Kansas, Mario's Miracle)
Big 12/College News
BIG 12 TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
At the Sprint Center
First-round games: Wednesday, March 13
• No. 8 seed West Virginia vs. No. 9 seed Texas Tech, 6 p.m. on KMCI (Ch. 38)
• No. 7 seed Texas vs. No. 10 seed TCU, 8:30 p.m. on KMCI (Ch. 38)
Quarterfinals: Thursday, March 14
• No. 4 seed Oklahoma vs. No. 5 seed Iowa State, 11:30 a.m. on KMCI (Ch. 38)
• No. 1 seed Kansas vs. West Virginia-Texas Tech winner, 2 p.m. on KMCI (Ch. 38)
• No. 2 seed Kansas State vs. Texas-TCU winner, 6 p.m. on KMCI (Ch. 38)
• No. 3 seed Oklahoma State vs. No. 6 seed Baylor, 8:30 p.m. on KMCI (Ch. 38)
Semifinals: Friday, March 15
• 6:30 and 9 p.m. on ESPNU and KMCI (Ch. 38)
Championship: Saturday, March 16
• 5 p.m. on ESPN
Big 12 Tourney Info for KC Visitors
If you’re looking for something to do between the Big 12 men’s basketball games this week, the Kansas City Club will have a speaker who may be of interest.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby will be at the club, which is located at 918 Baltimore Ave., on Friday as part of its Kansas City Conversations.
The doors open at 11:30 a.m. for informal socializing, lunch is at noon and the program is finished by 1 p.m.
K-State to Hold Big 12 Title Celebration Monday
After clinching the school’s first league title since 1977, Kansas State will hold a special Big 12 Championship celebration for Wildcat fans at 6 p.m. Monday at Bramlage Coliseum.
The event, which will also air live world-wide on K-StateHD.TV, is open to the general public with doors to the northwest and northeast entrances of the arena opening at 5:30 p.m. Due to West Stadium Center construction traffic, fans are encouraged to utilize Gate 1 on College Avenue when parking on the west side of Bramlage Coliseum or park on the east side of the arena. Seating will be open on both the east and west sides of Bramlage Coliseum.
Emceed by the Voice of the Wildcats, Wyatt Thompson, the celebration will include a celebratory net-cutting ceremony, performances by the K-State pep band and spirit groups and Willie Wildcat followed by remarks from university president Kirk Schulz, athletics director John Currie, head coach Bruce Weber and seniors Jordan Henriquez, Martavious Irving and Rodney McGruder.
LOLOLOLOLOLOL (Soon to follow, Day of Dominance, the DVD)
The most important game of the week might be the third-seeded Cowboys vs. sixth-seeded Baylor in the late quarterfinal Thursday. The Bears, fresh off conquering Kansas, must pull off the upset to have a decent chance at landing an NCAA invitation.
No. 4 seed Oklahoma faces No. 5 Iowa State in the first quarterfinal Thursday. While the Sooners are in good shape to secure an NCAA berth, the Cyclones could use one more victory to be on the right side of the bubble.
Texas is a long, long shot, given about a 1 percent chance of winning the tournament, according to teamrankings.com. But the Longhorns come in having won back-to-back games for the first time in the entire conference season.
The Longhorns moved up from the No. 8 to the No. 7 seed and will face hapless TCU in a first-round game Wednesday night (8:30, KBVO). The Horns will be a heavy favorite in that game.
By climbing a notch, Texas avoids a quarterfinal game against Kansas. Not that facing No. 2 seed K-State is more appealing. The Horns were swept by both Kansas schools - blown out 83-57 and 81-69 by the Wildcats.
The only way Texas can extend its streak of 14 straight NCAA appearances is to win the Big 12 tourney.
Through NCAA financial disclosures and tax returns for the 2011-12 financial year, which ended June 30 but recently became available through open records requests, we have a better understanding of the cost of embarking on new paths.
Missouri received $13.1 million less than Oklahoma in Big 12 revenue distribution. According to conference tax returns, the Sooners received the greatest chunk at $14.5 million, the Tigers earned $1.4 million. The withholding served as the Tigers’ penalty for departing the Big 12.
Kansas and Kansas State remained in a newly structured and financially healthy and stable Big 12 but still felt changes in their pocketbooks.
Kansas reported an $8.7 million loss for the school year, mostly because of severance payments to fired football coach Turner Gill and the assistant coaches.
Kansas State, meanwhile, reported about $6.7 million less in operating revenue than the previous year. But the Wildcats took in $12.3 million more than they spent, making K-State the only one of the three major Division I athletic departments in the area that reported a 2011-12 bottom line — revenue minus expenses — in the black.
The Wildcats’ financial performance has helped keep $93 million worth of improvement projects such as the recently completed basketball practice facility and the current luxury boxes and press box on the west side of Snyder Family Stadium chugging along.
“It’s so important to have the revenue streams, the ticket sales, the conference distribution, the gifts, increasing,” K-State athletic director John Currie said.
At Kansas, basketball ticket revenue for 2011-12 of about $12 million nearly doubled football ticket sales of $6.5 million. That was the 2011 football season, Gill’s second and final year. By firing Gill after the 2011 season, Kansas was on the hook for the remainder of Gill’s deal, $2 million annually for three years, plus the contracts of the assistant coaches.
Add in the severance for former coach Mark Mangino, who resigned under pressure following the 2009 season, KU has paid $9 million in contracts to football coaches after they were no longer coaching the Jayhawks.
The buyout money was mostly raised through donors. For the past six years, the school has paid its head football coach between $2.2 million and $2.5 million annually.
Current coach Charlie Weis is in the second of a five-year deal that pays him $2.5 million per year.
“Football has always been critical, and conference realignment had just reinforced how much football is the lifeblood of college athletics,” Zenger said.
But Kansas also pays for success. The salary and benefits of basketball coach Bill Self climbed to $4,757,526 for 2011-12, the season that ended with the Jayhawks playing for the national championship.
Kansas State reported a record amount of revenue from conference and NCAA sources — $22 million.
Currie said the Wildcats included income from additional sources on that ledger, such as bowl expense reimbursement from the conference and student-athlete opportunity income from the NCAA.
The Big 12 portion of that income was announced at last year’s annual spring meeting as a record $19 million payout. The money distributed by the Big 12, in almost equal shares, comes from television contracts, bowl games and the NCAA Tournament, most prominently men’s basketball.
But the Big 12’s 2011-12 tax return shows no more than $14.5 million was paid to any school, and Kansas State’s take was a shade less than $14 million.
So, what’s the difference?
It’s the bonus money, the income that Missouri didn’t receive.
Steve Pace, the Big 12’s chief financial officer, said the $45 million up-front money is considered deferred revenue. The Big 12 agreed to a 13-year deal with Fox in 2011, and last year reached agreements with Fox and ESPN to run concurrently through 2025 with a combined value of about $2.5 billion.
But $45 million of that was paid up front. The eight schools that remained in the Big 12 received the money in 2011-12, which pushed their league-distributed income to about $19 million each.
Deferred revenue is counted differently, Pace said. It’s money that would have to be returned if terms of the contract aren’t fulfilled.
Kansas only reported $14 million in conference revenue in 2011-12 but actually received $19.6 million in cash distributions from the Big 12. KU will recognize the $5.3 million in deferred revenue over the life of the 13-year TV contract instead of in one lump sum.
Indiana coach Tom Crean exchanged words with Michigan assistant Jeff Meyer after Sunday's dramatic 72-71 victory at Crisler Center and had to be restrained by a staff member before walking away with a smirk.
So what happened?
"I'm not talking about any of that," Crean said. "Ask him."
Michigan officials did not make Meyer available for comment. But it should be noted that Meyer is a former Indiana assistant who worked under Kelvin Sampson from 2006-08 -- an era best remembered for NCAA violations that led to Sampson's forced resignation and placed the Hoosiers program in a total rebuilding mode.
Consequently, Crean won only eight Big Ten games in his first three years at Indiana.
That's the back story.
And it might be why Crean yelled "You helped wreck our program!" at Meyer, according to the above video. (Seriously, check the video. It's great. Crean is intense.)
CBS (Intense? Insane.)
Active officials are reticent to speak with the media about any phase of their jobs, especially during the season. But John Higgins, who works mostly in the Big 12 and Missouri Valley Conference and is among the national leaders in games called this season, said the great majority of referees are like people with other occupations.
"If (refs) work four or five days out of seven, it's no different," he said. "The only thing is, ours is a two-hour day and everybody else's is eight."
While declining to comment further, Higgins did acknowledge travel can take a physical and mental toll.
Hess and Roger Ayers — both of whom work mostly in the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big East — started the week as the national co-leaders in games worked this season, at 79, or an average of 5.1 a week.
Tim Higgins (no relation to John), who retired from officiating after last season following 30-plus years in the Big East, Big Ten and ACC, said the media and athletic administrators seem more concerned about fatigue than the officials themselves.
"There is a reason the (same) guys are there every night," Tim Higgins said. "Even if a guy is tired, he probably still is better than anyone else you get."
3/11/13, 8:01 AM
Strange to see media types continue to push this "draft isn't strong" mantra regarding why borderline prospects might enter. Its false.
RPI and SOS Team Comparison Calculator
Next step KU #kubball
VOTE for Kansas and Julius Randle
Funny tweet during Andrew Wiggins' visit to UNC:
3/9/13, 10:50 PM
Me and wiggins trying to find something to do somebody save us
You have to go way back to Sam Jacobson to remember a player that created this much basketball buzz.
Tyus Jones is that player. They come to watch him, and he’s such a draw that they worry about getting in the gym.
“People are constantly concerned that if they come, they’re going to lock the doors,” coach Zach Goring said. “They say, ‘Am I going to get in?’ I get those emails all the time. I tell them, just come.”
The junior has been worth the ticket, in large part because of the way he plays the game. He runs the show, and he’s in charge.
“Basketball is a game and you’re supposed to have fun playing the game,” Jones said.
Through it all he’s trying to remember he’s still a high school student. A celebrity, but still a kid.
“I still go about school the right way and have fun with my teachers,” he said.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo has been a frequent visitor, because Jones is the No. 1-ranked point guard in the country, and that means every great program has visited.
Now, he’s narrowed that list to seven.
“Baylor, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan State, Minnesota and Ohio State,” he said.
My 2012 KU Alumni games, 2011-12 Border War, Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos, Late Night in the Phog, and more now on YouTube