Now, no one is ever going to deputize me into the morality police. But when that kind of chant is condoned, and to some extent encouraged, over a period of two-plus hours, the vitriol can potentially turn into something more serious.
In the end, the court-storming supplanted the upset as a storyline…
[Above video from 2014 Kirk! Glad you got this in check.]
Opportunities to be on national broadcasts are not common and serve to shape our national reputation as a top public research university. Athletic Director John Currie and his staff members work extremely hard to provide a world-class fan experience. We ask that you be aware of what the national audience sees and hears on these broadcasts and help us make a great impression for K-State. This includes avoiding the use of profanity in cheers during the game.
Good reputations are hard won and easily lost. We believe the Wildcat Way is to create a family friendly atmosphere at all of our athletic events. Let’s put on the purple and represent our university with pride in all of our upcoming athletic events.
2/25/15 Letter from K-State prez
[Kirk's take circa 2014.Is this what you call "putting on your purple Kirk?]
OK, here’s vid from the TV of a K-State student just missing Mason
As the sophomore is walking off the court, it appears as if a K-State student takes a swipe at him from a few feet away. The swing misses, though, and the student goes on to celebrate at mid-court while Mason walks off.
Obviously the Traylor incident didn't look good on film, but a flailing hand from a K-State student would have been even worse had it connected. It didn't, though, which kept the situation from getting crazier than it already was.
…Because of the lack of security, the fan came from behind KU's bench and was next to the players within seconds. After running close to KU's walk-ons, the fan came with middle fingers flying and hovered in front of KU's players for a few seconds.
I'm sure if Townsend had to do it over again, he wouldn't have grabbed the fan high like he did. Still, from what I'm seeing, Townsend had every right to try to remove a potential instigator.
"I want to take this moment to share a sincere apology in breaking from the Wildcat way and stepping outside what is acceptable in the spirit of the game," Power wrote. "Following the basketball game, I simply let my emotions get the best of me in all of the chaos."
...During the postgame chain of events, in which a swarm of students and fans stormed the court after the win over their main rival and eighth-ranked Jayhawks, Power can be seen running across the floor and slamming into Traylor with a hard shoulder to the junior's shoulder, thereby knocking him off-balance before the fan is quickly grabbed by someone else.
Kansas State University Athletic Director John Currie told a radio program Wednesday morning that a student who bumped a University of Kansas basketball player is going through a legal process.
“A legal process has started with that particular person,” Currie said on the “The Dan Patrick Show.”
In Wednesday’s Riley County Police Department arrest report, Powers wasn’t listed.
Major Don Stubbings, the public information officer for the Kansas State Police Department, said around 10 a.m. Wednesday he couldn’t comment on the situation but that a news release was going to be released soon.
Kansas State’s 70-63 victory over Kansas has become a national topic because of the controversial court-storming that took place Monday at Bramlage Coliseum when it was over.
Tuesday was filled with news of reactions.
First, K-State athletic director John Currie issued an apology, saying the Wildcats “fell short” of their security responsibilities while students sprinted onto the court to celebrate. Then K-State police asked for help in identifying a K-State fan who appeared to deliberately collide shoulder-first with University of Kansas junior Jamari Traylor.
Police said later in the day they were no longer looking for the fan, adding he cooperated with authorities. No arrests were made, and a K-State student apologized for the incident in a letter to the campus newspaper.
After that, KU officials issued a statement in support of assistant Kurtis Townsend for grabbing a K-State fan who was taunting and gesturing at a group of KU players trying to exit the floor, calling it appropriate protection.
ESPN – which broadcast Monday’s game – dedicated the entirety of its “Outside the Lines” broadcast to the incident, with host Andy Katz wondering whether it could serve as a tipping point for change.
“I apologize to athletics director Sheahon Zenger, Coach Bill Self and the KU basketball team for the unfortunate situation in which they were placed last night at the conclusion of our basketball game,” Currie said in a statement. “Our security staff, which in similar past postgame celebrations has, according to our procedures and rehearsals, provided a solid human barrier to allow the teams to conduct a postgame handshake and safely leave the court, was unable to get into proper position quickly enough last night and was overwhelmed by the fans rushing the floor.
“K-State prides itself on providing a great game atmosphere in a safe environment and did successfully execute our security plan when we defeated KU last year in Bramlage as well as in 2011. Although no one was hurt last night, we fell short of our expectations for securing the court and escorting KU to its locker room without incident. We are disappointed that we did not do better.”
…In a text message, Townsend said he was trying to protect KU’s players as they exited the court and directed The Eagle to a statement released by KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony.
“Kurtis Townsend was appropriately attempting to protect KU players from a fan who appeared to be approaching several of our players,” Marchiony said in the release. “The safety of our players was our No. 1 concern last night, and one fan had already deliberately body-checked Jamari Traylor. (Kudos to our players, incidentally, for keeping their cool.)
“I’ve seen in a couple of instances Kurtis’ action called a ‘headlock.’ That’s a stretch, considering that he had his hands on the fan for all of about two seconds.”
Currie said fans who deliberately made contact with a KU player will face consequences, including criminal charges and banishment from future K-State sporting events.
“We are actively reviewing video and working in concert with law enforcement to identify any fan who intentionally touched visiting players or personnel,” Currie said. “We will take appropriate action with such identified persons, including turning over all evidence to law enforcement so that any applicable charges can be filed.”
Link to above ESPN video
At first, I believed Kansas coach Bill Self was overreacting to the storming of the court by Kansas State students after the Wildcats’ 70-63 win over the No. 8 Jayhawks on Monday night at Bramlage Coliseum.
But after watching video from the scene. Self was right in criticizing the students. And hopefully other coaches and administrators from across the country will chime in.
Getting the Kansas players and coaching staff immediately to their locker room after Monday’s game would have been a wise move. Everybody knew what was coming, yet the Jayhawks hung around for the post-game handshake. I’m all for sportsmanship, but the prudent thing to do Monday night would have been to get KU off the floor as quickly as possible. I’m surprised K-State game officials didn’t make that happen.
The bottom line is that it’s time for these storming incidents to disappear. Students and fans in general don’t belong on the floor, ever. Not before, during or after a game. Ever.
It should not be that difficult to eliminate these court and field rushes. It takes a collective mindset among college athletic administrators and perhaps even the NCAA. Rushing the floor or the field after a big win isn’t good for anyone.
Let’s stop talking about banning these ridiculous and faked show of emotions and sink our teeth into finding a solution. Mandate penalties for schools whose students rush the field or court after wins. Make them increasingly severe for multiple offenses.
Lip service doesn’t get it done. The “kids will be kids” excuse doesn’t apply here. Kids don’t need to be idiots. And while I’m sure most of the K-State students who rushed the floor after Monday’s win behaved themselves, a few didn’t. And it only takes one to create a crisis.
Stop this nonsense. Now.
Wichita Eagle Lutz
“It’s been a bad day for Kansas State ... I’m not going to be one to pile on,” KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger said Tuesday on the Jayhawk Sports Weekly radio show, his word the last during a day in which KSU AD John Currie apologized to Jayhawk nation in a lengthy statement, the Big 12 indicated it was looking into the matter and KSU police asked fans for help in identifying the student who hit Traylor (mission accomplished as by the end of Tuesday the repentant student wrote a letter of apology to KSU’s student newspaper).
“Our top priority is the security and safety of our coaches and our student-athletes. Last night that was at risk. We believe that’s being addressed,” added Zenger, who said he spent “most of the day on the phone with Big 12 officials and the Kansas State administration and feel satisfied that this time next year this shouldn’t be a concern.”
Zenger said there would be further conversations between the schools and with the Big 12 “between now and next year.”
“For me, it’s about the University of Kansas. It’s about our student-athletes and coaches. That basketball team is our pride and joy. I have to stop short before I would get too dramatic or intense. We deserve, every team deserves and expects a certain kind of treatment when you are on the road. We feel we provide that. We ask that of others. You never know what can happen in your own house, your turf (but) we take great pride in Allen Fieldhouse, our students, our fans, the way they comport themselves.”
As far as Townsend being shown on tape flinging a KSU student out of the way, the KU aide asked the Journal-World to speak with associate AD Jim Marchiony about the matter, saying only that he was trying to protect KU’s players.
“Kurtis was appropriately attempting to protect KU players from a fan who appeared to be approaching several of our players,” Marchiony told the J-W. “The safety of our players was our No. 1 concern last night. And one fan had already deliberately body-checked Jamari Traylor. Kudos to our players for keeping their cool.”
…“There were seven seconds left. I told our players on the bench to make sure they just stay here and just exit. They did a good job with that. There were a couple players on our bench area that actually had some fans come to them. Jamari (Traylor) got hit. Everybody’s seen it (on video). He got hit, but it didn’t hurt him.
“Mari’s got a temper. I thought he handled it perfectly,” Self added. “We were down from losing the game. We weren’t trying to do anything else.
“I thought our players handled it well. K-State ... I know they were apologetic. I did not see Bruce after the game. I know he made an attempt to come and make sure everything was OK, which is what he should do. And it was classy to do that. It shouldn’t take away from the game, although it has in some people’s mind. In my mind, that’s over. I’m more concerned how do we play better?”
The problem, like everything else, is we -- and by we, the implication is college administrators and network programmers -- want it both ways, cake and all. A student section is expected to be reasonably civilized on one hand, while bouncing off the ceiling, shredding objects, waving signs and screaming like a pack of banshees for two-and-a-half hours on the other.
Tough line, that. They call it "home-court advantage." Lawyers might call it "inciting a riot."
Crowd control, as Monday night's Kansas-Kansas State game proved for the umpteenth time, is a tricky business. Lack a plan or lack the execution -- Wildcat officials claim the melee following K-State's 70-63 win was the latter -- and you get a free-for-all on national television. Hire the Hell's Angels for security, the way the Rolling Stones did to try and protect the stage at Altamont in 1969, and a bunch of teenagers end up getting brained by a pool cue.
"I think it's getting to the point where (court storming) needs to go away," Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall told FOXSportsKansasCity.com. "I mean, it's very flammable.
"And I thought coach (Bill) Self and his guys handled that (situation) very well, based on what I've seen or heard. They could've easily reacted -- I saw a kid run up or a kid push or shove or chicken-wing one of the players after the game. That's not a smart thing to do."
Smart kids do dumb things. Based on the footage from Bramlage Coliseum, repeated on a loop on the morning chat shows, some adults do dumb things, too.
…It's OK to hate the Kansas Jayhawks. It's not OK to walk over to Jamari Traylor or Bill Self and get in their respective grills. At that point, if you wind up on the floor, minus a few teeth, well -- that's on you, champ.
Or at least, it should be.
…K-State administrators said all the right things Tuesday. Their actions, from here on out, will speak twice as loudly.
Fox Sports Keeler
I would like to tell you why, unlike a large amount of college basketball pundits over the past 24 hours, I believe an all-out ban on court-storming is a terrible and misguided idea. And I’d like to do so by telling you a story
Fox Sports Reid Forgrave
One guy, the idiot campus police tweeted about, intentionally jumped and bumped Kansas forward Jamari Traylor. KU coach Bill Self was pushed up against the scorer's table. A Jayhawks assistant had to pull a Kansas State student away from his players because, it appeared, the Kansas State student was taunting the Kansas players. So on and so forth.
Nobody was hurt.
Nothing too bad happened.
But that has more to do with luck than anything else. And though I've said and written it before, it's worth repeating on a day like today: A court-storming in college basketball that leads to a high-profile brawl is just a matter of time.
There have been issues already.
Serious injuries have been documented.
Somehow, though, the sport has avoided a high-profile court-storming that results in a brawl or major injury. But it's coming. I promise, it's coming. And it could've come Monday night if Jamari Traylor were somebody with a shorter fuse.
Can we be sure other players would respond so civilly?
…Bottom line, it's past time for decision-makers to stop court-stormings, and don't tell me that's impossible. Because it's not. It's easy. In fact, I'll tell you exactly how to do it. Just announce any student/fan who walks or runs onto the playing surface during or immediately after a game will be expelled/arrested.
Pretty simple, right?
You don't even need extra security.
Just make the penalties clear, then enforce them.
The greatest danger and potential liability is the push of the crowd rushing down stairs, over tables and past posts to get to the court, Pope said.
“While you may be assuming your own risk, once you start having 200-300 people behind you pushing, that’s not a risk you assumed,” he said.
Every state has different recreational-use immunities, Pope said. Kansas’s laws say that if a state facility is being used for recreation, for the most part the state is immune from lawsuits unless there is gross negligence or a wanton act. That immunity may not apply if it is determined that a college basketball game is fan-based, like going to a concert or theater.
The legal approach would also vary depending on who got hurt. A student, at the game as a player or on a discounted fan ticket, may have different legal claims than a person with no affiliation to the university.
Lastly, states also have different levels for claims. In Kansas, there is a $250,000 cap on compensation for physical and emotional damages.
The debate over court-storming’s place in college basketball has intensified in the past few seasons. Last year, New Mexico State players brawled with Utah Valley fans when they ran onto the court to celebrate a five-point victory that put them atop the league standings.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, whose 1,007 wins are most in men’s college basketball history, said in 2013 that allowing fans onto the court creates a potentially volatile situation.
“Just put yourself in the position of one of our players or coaches,” Krzyzewski said, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. “The potential is there all the time for a fan to just go up to you and say, ’Coach, you’re a (expletive),’ or push you or hit you. And what do you do? What if you did something? That would be the story. We deserve that type of protection.”
2/24/15, 4:27 PM
People are stupid. One person puts out a rumor that I hit a girl with a ball and everyone jumps on the bandwagon... Lies!
[Rumor started by a KSU fan]
The evening College GameDay show, beginning at 4 p.m. on ESPN, will originate from Lawrence, Kan., prior to the No. 8 Kansas vs. Texas game.
ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith will join College GameDay host Rece Davis and analysts Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams for the morning editions. Davis, Bilas, Williams and Smith will then travel to Lawrence for the evening show.
The tendency when it comes to basketball, more than most sports it seems, is to search for psychological reasons for a player’s slump, an underdog’s upset, even a team leading a race and falling back to the pack.
Sometimes the answer does not dance in the mysterious realm of intangibles. Sometimes it’s standing right there in the center of the room.
Has it ever occurred to anybody that maybe, just maybe, this Kansas University basketball team doesn’t have enough talent to win the Big 12 title?
By that I don’t mean talented potential. I mean players good enough to compete well in the Big 12 right now.
KU doesn’t have a defender equipped to keep quick point guards, of which there are so many in the Big 12, from getting to the paint. And those quick guards don’t hesitate heading there because unlike in most years, a shot-blocker isn’t standing there waiting for them.
Even a non-shot blocker in the mold of Sasha Kaun, leaning on guys, defending them before they catch the ball, would change this team in such a big way. Kansas doesn’t have that player and Cliff Alexander doesn’t appear nearly developed enough to become that guy any time soon.
Might a lineup with Perry Ellis at center, Frank Mason at point and wings Brannen Greene, Kelly Oubre and Wayne Selden be the the way to go against some lineups? The mere fact that I can ask that question without in any way joking shows how much KU lacks at the post position opposite Ellis, even more so offensively than defensively.
As Kansas nears yet another Big 12 regular-season title with Bill Self at the helm, it’s an ideal time to debate whether the 52-year-old head coach can lay claim to the title of best Kansas coach of all time.
At first I scoffed at the notion. How could Self -- who has won only one national title and boasts a pair of Final Four appearances -- be considered the best coach in Kansas' history? However, a closer look shows one can make a valid case that Self already has passed his predecessor, Roy Williams, and stacks up against legendary Phog Allen.
…The Self-Williams comparison is much closer, with Williams winning more overall games and having two more Final Four appearances on his résumé while at the school. However, Self’s record is on pace to be more impressive -- and he has that national championship to his credit that Williams' Kansas stint lacks.
Really, it comes down to Bill Self vs. Phog Allen -- and it’s not easy to come to a clear-cut conclusion. Remember, Allen coached at KU 1907-09 and 1919-56 but there wasn’t an NCAA tournament for his first 21 seasons.
…The only way Self doesn’t continue to add to his totals and ultimately run away with this conversation in time is if he’s plucked by an NBA team. And there are plenty of interested teams. He was contacted by the Cleveland Cavaliers last offseason before LeBron James made his decision to return to Cleveland, and there might be other opportunities in the future.
But Self will continue to rack up victories as long as he remains in Lawrence -- and he should be in the hunt for the Final Four just about every season. Sure, there will be early exits -- as was the case a year ago when the Jayhawks fell to Stanford -- but Self has taken Kansas past the first weekend in six of the past eight seasons.
The guy who was once regarded as "only" a recruiter has now proved he can also coach. Although the current KU squad doesn’t have the look and feel of a national title contender, as long as the Jayhawks avoid Kentucky they have as good a shot as anyone of getting to Indianapolis.
That would give Self as many Final Four appearances as Allen, with plenty more left in the tank.
ESPN Goodman ($)
Kansas freshman Cliff Alexander wouldn't mind meeting Illinois, the program whose fans he broke the hearts of, on the basketball court.
"I would love to face Illinois, perhaps in the NCAA Tournament," Alexander told DNAinfo in an email late Sunday night.
…Alexander said he's enjoying campus life at Kansas.
"The difference between Chicago and Lawrence is that Lawrence is a lot smaller than Chicago. Everybody knows everybody here. I love campus," he said. "Campus is great. Every time I walk around someone will recognize me, ask for a picture or just say ‘What’s up?’ or something like that. I enjoy being here."
Alexander's biggest fan in Lawrence has been his mother, Latillia, a frequent spectator at his games.
"She means a lot to me, prepping me and talking me through everything," Alexander said. "It’s a great feeling to have my mom here with her love and support."
And asked what he wanted to say to his fans in Chicago, Alexander responded: "Thanks for the support. I love you all and appreciate the support from back home. Keep fighting with me."
The Nuggets agreed to buy out Thomas Robinson.
The Nets agreed to sign him.
But Sam Hinkie agreed to nothing.
The 76ers interfered with the plans of Denver, Robinson and Brooklyn by claiming Robinson off waivers.
As usual with cases like this, the answer is money.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement requires all teams to end the regular season with a team salary of at least 90 percent the salary cap.
Prior claiming Robinson, the 76ers were $3,023,771 below the salary floor using data from Basketball Insiders.
Of course, there’s no real punishment for failing to reach the salary floor. The team must just pay its players the shortfall. One way or another, teams are supposed to pay at least 90 percent of the salary cap.
But the 76ers found a loophole.
Robinson’s $3,678,360 salary lifts them above the salary floor. However, because the Trail Blazers and Nuggets (but mostly the Trail Blazers) have already paid most of Robinson’s salary this season, Philadelphia is required to pay Robinson just the remaining $1,103,508 he’s owed.
So, instead of paying their players $3,023,771 for failing to meet the salary floor, the 76ers will pay Robinson just $1,103,508. It’s a savings of $1,920,263.
Not bad for the team that ranks 29th in home attendance and has alienated some fans with its tanking strategy.
Of course, money probably isn’t the only reason the 76ers claimed Robinson. They also get a free – really, better than fee – look at a player who was the No. 5 overall pick just three years ago. Robinson has failed to meet expectations, but there’s still a place for him in the NBA. Maybe’s that’s Philadelphia, and Hinkie will have a chance to evaluate him up-close.
Robinson will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, and the 76ers will hold his Early Bird Rights. I doubt there’s a long-term fit here, but since Philadelphia saved money by claiming him, why not give it a whirl?
2/24/15, 11:09 AM
Josh Selby - voted an All-Star guard in Israel - is the No. 2 scorer with 17.6 points per, also leads his team to playoffs.
“Pay Heed. The game you love began here. Respect those who came before you. Make their legacy your own. Because destiny favors the dedicated. And rings don’t replace work. In this game you don’t get what you want. You get what you earn. We are Kansas. Together we rise. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
Big 12 / College News
Needing to steal a road win tonight in Morgantown to have a realistic shot at finishing .500 in conference play, Texas suffered an atrocious opening half that saw them fall into an 18-point deficit. The Horns would rally all the way back to within 2 points in the second half, but couldn't quite complete the comeback, falling 71-64 to West Virginia (22-6, 10-5).
The loss was Texas' third straight following defeats at OU and versus Iowa State, leaving the Longhorns at just 17-11 overall, 6-9 in Big 12 play. With a road match up versus Kansas next up on the slate, this team is almost certain to suffer a sweaty Selection Sunday as a team hoping to slide in to the NCAA Tournament with a losing conference record.
Between then and now, no 2014-15 team has fallen further than Texas. The Longhorns -- the same Longhorns who went toe-to-toe with still-unbeaten Kentucky -- are now 17-10 overall, 6-8 in the Big 12, 1-9 against the RPI top 50 and 5-10 against the top 100. If that sounds like the résumé of a bubble team, well, that's because it is.
So what happened? Where does Texas stand right now? And where does Texas go from here?
Answering the first question requires moderation. Fine, let's just say it: Rick Barnes has not done a particularly good job with this team. There are plenty of specific examples (see: the easy, high-ball screen Oklahoma State used to get Phil Forte on the line in a Feb. 4 loss, 65-63 in overtime), but they're less important than the big picture, which is that this talented Longhorns team too often appears disjointed and even lost. Worse, most of the Longhorns haven't improved. After returning from injury, Taylor has been essentially the same (good, not great) player he was as a freshman. Jonathan Holmes, who ended November on every award watchlist, has gradually faded to the background. Cameron Ridley has been less effective in fewer minutes. Even Turner -- a legitimate NBA prospect posting quality efficiency numbers -- has been inconsistent at best against top competition.
It's hardly that simple, though. Texas hasn't been great, but it hasn't been terrible, either. The Longhorns allow the lowest 2-point field goal percentage of any team in the country, including Kentucky. They block a higher percentage of opponents' shots than any team in the country, including Kentucky. They have the highest defensive rebounding rate in the Big 12 and the ninth-highest offensive rate in college hoops. This is a team that uses it size to its advantage, protecting the rim on defense and crashing the glass on offense. It would be unfair to ignore all of that -- and that the Longhorns lost by three at Iowa State and by two at Oklahoma -- when considering their current predicament. If those two games end with a bucket in the other direction, UT is 19-8 and 8-6 in league play, and we're not even broaching this conversation. That matters.
So does this: Maybe Texas was never as good as its nonconference performance suggested. UConn certainly isn't. Neither is Iowa. Neither is Cal. Meanwhile, it's worth noting just how brutal this edition of the Big 12 is. Playing good teams is hard enough; playing this many, with no respite between them, is especially so.
All of which is why the Longhorns, despite five of their six Big 12 wins coming against TCU, Kansas State, and Texas Tech, aren't quite dead yet. There are no bad losses on their résumé, and the committee notices good performances in close losses. If the field were seeded today, Texas would get in, and it probably wouldn't be close.
Texas Longhorns forward Jonathan Holmes was ejected after earning a Flagrant 2 foul for throwing an elbow at an opposing player in the first half of his team's matchup at West Virginia.
Mountaineers forward Devin Williams shoved Holmes in the back with 20 seconds to play in the first half of the game as the Texas senior tried to block him out.
Holmes responded by throwing a hard elbow that hit Williams in the face.
Officials reviewed the play, whistled Holmes for a Flagrant 2 foul and ejected him.
Per NCAA rules, a Flagrant 2 foul is "a personal foul that involves contact with an opponent that is not only excessive, but also severe or extreme while the ball is live."
The Cyclones now control their own fate for at least a share of the Big 12 title, an honor Kansas has won for 10 consecutive years.
“We know we have to win out in order to win this league,” guard Naz Long said Monday before the Jayhawks tumbled. “I feel like we’re right there.”
That goal to win out starts with Baylor tonight (8 p.m.; ESPNU) at Hilton Coliseum. The 19th-ranked Bears outlasted No. 12 ISU on a last-second jumper from Kenny Chery after the Cyclones erased a 14-point deficit earlier.
“The Texas Tech loss was a big one,” Long said, “but a lot of people aren’t really realizing how big that loss (to Baylor) was. That hurt, especially because it was a game-winner.
“We thought we clawed back and had it in the bag, but we fell just a little short. That’s definitely a game we want to get back at home. We know we have to do it. “
…And if the Cyclones can defeat the Bears, who have never won in Ames, it won’t be just Kansas atop the Big 12 with three games to play.
Kansas State has been a thorn in the flesh of OU basketball this season. Marcus Foster hit game-winners in both Norman and Manhattan, giving the Wildcats a season sweep of the Sooners.
But K-State finally did OU a solid Monday night. The 'Cats beat Kansas, putting some drama back into the Big 12 race.
And during this OU lull -- no games between Saturday and Saturday -- the Sooners can chew on this. They again control their own destiny.
Win out, and OU finishes no worse than first in the Big 12 and will have the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 Tournament.
Easier said than done, but easier done now than what it looked a couple of weeks ago.
To court-storm or not to court-storm is rarely the question in College Park, seeing as how most every big victory for the Maryland men’s basketball team, and even the occasional not-so-big one, seems to draw students to the floor like moths to a flame.
The real intrigue is in seeing who says what afterward.
On Tuesday night, ESPN college basketball analyst Seth Greenberg, apparently perplexed by the Terps’ latest court storming and maybe emboldened by the new wave of anti-storming frenzy stirred up in the wake of Kansas State’s ugly mob scene, had a few thoughts. So not long after No. 14 Maryland’s 59-53 win over Wisconsin, he ranted.
"First off," host Adnan Virk said, "as Commissioner of the Court Storm, you were not in favor of that."
"Embarrassing," Greenberg said, cutting him off. "That’s an absolutely embarrassing court storming. You’re the University of Maryland. You’ve won a national championship. You’re playing in your home court against — so what are they? The second-, third-, fourth-, depending on where they’re ranked, team? You’re in the top 15. You do not storm the court. Illegal. Embarrassing. You’re the University of Maryland."
Arizona coach Sean Miller has a solution to stop college basketball crowds from court storming after the home team pulls off a big upset.
Fine the host school $100,000.
"If you punish a program $100,000 for court storming, I bet you (Kansas coach) Bill Self wouldn't have been jammed into the scores table," Miller said Tuesday afternoon, referring to Monday night's dangerous aftermath of Kansas State's upset victory over Kansas.
Self had to be assisted by Kansas State coach Bruce Weber to get out of the sea of KSU students celebrating the Wildcats' victory. Self later said some of his players had been hit during the celebration.
As coach of one of the nation's top programs, Miller has witnessed plenty of court stormings since arriving at Arizona. Almost any time the Wildcats lose, it's a monumental win for the opponent. One of the worst came two years ago, junior Brandon Ashley said, when Arizona lost at Colorado, 71-58 — the 'Cats visit the Buffaloes Thursday in Boulder, Colo.
"We were on the far side and had to walk all the way across the court through the crowd to get to the locker room," Ashley said.
Arizona's last six consecutive road losses have resulted in a storming of the court.
There have been no significant consequences, but one never knows what could happen in the future.
"To me it's unnecessary," Miller said. "There's really only one thing that could happen — and that's bad. I can name a lot of bad."
Northern Iowa's graduating class of 2014-15 was being recruited in 2010-11, months after Ali Farokhmanesh landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated following an NCAA Tournament upset of No. 1 Kansas.
The Panthers haven't visited Bracketville since then.
"That was the expectation, to continue that tradition," Singleton said. "Those guys (from 2010) were upperclassmen as well, so they probably went through their cycles.
"We went through ours, and had our ups and downs."
Northern Iowa went 20-14 in both 2010-11 and 2011-12, then finished 21-15 in 2012-13.
Then came a frustrating 16-15 mark last season, which included eight losses decided by six points or less, or in overtime.
"My junior year was probably the worst one," Mitchell said. "We didn't even get a 20-win season, and that was something we struggled with."
There were also individual struggles.
Tuttle, now a candiate for Valley player of the year and all-America status, developed a toughness to match his versatility.
…The farewell tour for Northern Iowa's departing five continues Saturday at Wichita State, where they'll play the Shockers in a 1 p.m. showdown on ESPN.
"I've appreciated this whole season," Singleton said. "It's kind of gone by fast, but I can't tell you I'm not having the most fun I've had since I've been in college."
Des Moines Register
North Carolina just never found its offensive groove against North Carolina State, particularly inside against BeeJay Anya and the Wolfpack's physical front line.
The 6-foot-9 Anya blocked six shots to lead a strong defensive performance, while the Tar Heels got nothing from Brice Johnson and frequently failed to finish in the lane during Tuesday's 58-46 loss.
…UNC had won 17 of 18 meetings overall and hadn't lost to N.C. State in Chapel Hill since 2003, the year before Williams left Kansas to take over at his alma mater.
…UNC has lost 5 of it’s last 7 games.
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Bacon, Brown, Newman, Simmons, Trier
6-foot-9, 225 pounds | Power forward
Centereach, New York | Our Savior New American School
No. 11 overall (No. 4 PF)
Best fit: Iowa State
Under Fred Hoiberg, Iowa State has built a reputation for a free-flowing, uptempo offensive system. Moreover, the Cyclones have been highly efficient offensively without having a true center or much size in the frontcourt. Hoiberg requires his post players to run the floor, attack and bring energy. Current big man Jameel McKay is averaging 15.5 points, 9.75 rebounds and three blocks in his last four games -- and Diallo could bring that same sort of production on a more consistent basis. He won’t be required to find ways to create offense with his back to the basket, or have the offense run through him. Diallo can use his terrific motor and nose for the ball to beat big men down the floor and finish in transition or get offensive boards. He also could have a point guard in Monte Morris who can get him the ball in position to make plays.
There’s only one thing left for Stephen Zimmerman to accomplish in his storied high school basketball career.
Bishop Gorman High is playing this week for its fourth straight Division I state championship, giving the 7-foot center a chance to cement his legacy by becoming the first large-school classification player to win four titles. Gorman plays Galena High of Reno at 8 p.m. Thursday in the state semifinals and two wins shy of becoming the first in classification history to win four consecutive crowns.
Zimmerman’s other records and personal accolades will eventually be broken or matched — maybe not in the next year or decade, but eventually another star player will come around. This honor, though, could only be equaled.
“It would be huge. It would top (my career) off,” he said of a fourth championship. “We can’t go out any other way than besides that.”
Zimmerman is a McDonald’s All-American, won a gold medal last summer with Team USA, participated in prestigious showcase games and camps, and has been honored multiple times as one of Las Vegas’ best players. He’s a five-star recruiting prospect who can handpick his college — Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and UNLV are his final five.
Las Vegas Sun
2/24/15, 8:11 PM
Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford and an assistant in Eudora, KS to see 2017 SG Mitch Ballock.
It is not by happenstance that toy basketball hoops are scattered about the house of 15-year-old Bol Bol, or that his bedroom in the basement is home to about 40 pairs of basketball shoes. His love for the game was passed down by his father, Manute Bol, the 7-foot-6 shot blocker whose impossibly long arms and lighthouse smile made him a fan favorite for 10 N.B.A. seasons before he died in 2010.
But Manute Bol’s on-court fame paled in comparison with the humanitarian work he did on behalf of his native Sudan, raising money and awareness for a country bloodied by civil war.
They are big shoes to fill in every way, and Bol Bol is struggling to do so.
“Everyone thinks that I’m probably going to be the one, so everything’s on me,” Bol said. “I want to finish what he didn’t do.”
Like his father, Bol is unnaturally tall: He is 6-10 as a high school freshman, and growing. He has the usual teenager preoccupations: regular hangouts at a nearby mall, a popular Instagram account and a devotion to the video game “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.” He is popular with students and teachers here at Bishop Miege High School, but he is still adjusting to wearing a uniform that does not really hang well on his splinter of a frame.
…“His skill set, the ball handling and shooting, is excellent for a kid his size,” said Zych, who has won two state titles at Bishop Miege. “When you look down the road, that’s what makes him so intriguing.”
Now, however, Bol is a work that needs a lot of progress. He is a natural gym rat who is just starting to build a work ethic. He is also headstrong and defiant, and he believes he is as good as online scouting reports say he is.
“Sometimes kids see themselves, Hey, I’m a three man at the next level,” Zych said. “High school coaches, their job is to put the best high school team out there. To be competitive at our level, our job is that we’re really trying to make him a quality post player and to utilize his size and agility. Sometimes, when kids have accolades, like it’s going to be handed to him.”
Bol’s A.A.U. team, KC Run GMC, which is based in Olathe, Kan., allows him more freedom to play how he wants: more long jumpers and slashing drives to the basket.
“You see his size and skill set and think he would not be as agile as he is, but he’s pretty gifted in that regard,” said Run GMC Coach L. J. Goolsby. “We had no idea that he was that good of a shooter. There’s work to be done, and he has a long ways to go. He actually does have a good post game when he uses it.”
New York Times
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