It won't be long until we're back with a daily curation of KU news and basketball notes.
Rock Chalk Jayhawks!
I'll love ku 4 ever !!
Great day at coach selfs camp always good to come back and help these baby jayhawks #rockchalk
8/17/13, 12:10 PM
Working the Bill Self Pro Camp at the Fieldhouse with @humb1e_hungry23 and Thomas Robinson!
If Robinson wants to feel at home, he can always come back to Lawrence, where he’s still the same indestructible power forward who led Kansas to the Final Four.
“I was just thinking about that the other day — walking on campus, coming to games, getting ready before the season, the Big 12 Tournament, everything I miss about here,” said Robinson, who was back in Lawrence on Sunday to help with a youth basketball camp run by Academy Sports.
The NBA has been a dose of cold reality for Robinson, who averaged 4.8 points and 4.5 rebounds during what he described as the “rookie roller coaster.”
The Kings moved on from their top pick midway through his rookie season, sending Robinson to the Rockets for a package of players that included Toney Douglas, Patrick Patterson and former Jayhawk Cole Aldrich.
Robinson was on the move again after the 2013 draft as the Rockets tried to clear space to sign free agent Dwight Howard. Now on his third team, Robinson has barely had time to unpack his things in each city.
“You don’t feel settled at all,” he said. “Before I even got settled, I was being traded. It’s a unique situation, but unique things tend to happen to me, man. I’ll be fine.”
“I think he (now) realizes who he is. He is a rebounder who can score as opposed to a scorer who can rebound,” Self said Sunday. “If he can just worry about the things he can control, he’ll become an even better shooter.”
Robinson hit 43 percent of his shots and 52.3 percent of his free throws for the Kings and Rockets after canning 50 percent of his shots and 68.2 percent of his charities his final season at KU.
“Thomas can shoot,” Self said. “Thomas for me was a volume shooter, though. Since he had the green light his last year, he knew if he missed it didn’t matter because he was supposed to keep shooting.
“In the NBA, it’s a little bit different when you are not the first option,” Self added. “So he has to be able to make one out of two wherever he shoots from.”
Of course, it’s hard for a rookie to make shots when he’s constantly on the trading block.
“I think his head is right, not that his head was ever bad. Sometimes when things don’t go well, you get (put) in different spots, you get a little down,” Self said. “I think his batteries are charged. He’s excited to be in Portland. He had a great summer league. He was probably the best rebounder in the summer league. That’s what I’ve been told. He’s excited to get started. He has new representation. It seems to me he has a new lease on everything.”
..Self said it was great to work with former KU guard Ben McLemore on Saturday and Robinson on Sunday at his pro camp. “I didn’t have to convince them. They want to come back,” Self said. “These guys love coming back. They look for an excuse all the time to come back.”
“I feel I come in with a chip on my shoulder,” former Kansas University guard McLemore, top pick of the Sacramento Kings in the June draft, said Saturday at the Bill Self Basketball Pro Camp for youths in Allen Fieldhouse. He is working the camp with former KU forward Thomas Robinson of the Portland Trail Blazers.
“I feel I’ve been through a lot. I feel I am going to work hard to get Rookie of the Year. I know the mindset I’m going to come in and show everybody I could be the alpha dog and win that Rookie of the Year. I’m definitely going to work hard to get that,” McLemore added.
…Since the early-August transition program, McLemore has been shopping for a house for his mother “somewhere outside of St. Louis” and also a house or condo where he’ll live in Sacramento. He didn’t want to miss the opportunity to attend Self’s camp in Lawrence.
“Coach Self ... after I entered the draft he said he’d love for me to come back and work his camp. I told him I would and I’m here,” he said. “The beauty of it is getting to know different types of kids and having fun with the kids. That’s the type of person I am. I like to have fun, enjoy myself and interact with kids.
“I love coming back here,” added McLemore, who turned pro after his red-shirt freshman season. “There’s nothing (better) than coming back to Lawrence, having all your fans and friends here supporting you all the way. Being back and being able to be around coach Self is a blessing. I loved my time being here with coach Self and being coached by him.”
He said next year’s hot NBA prospect, freshman Andrew Wiggins, also will benefit from working with KU’s coaches.
“I met him when he first got here (June). We played pickup and stuff. He was nice,” McLemore said. “It’s a great opportunity for him picking KU. He’s in a perfect spot with coach Self.”
Like his Jayhawk basketball players, Self has taken some time off following the conclusion of summer school on Aug. 1.
“I went to Northern Ireland in the Belfast area with a group of guys, had a blast, then Cindy (wife) and I took vacation this past week. We just got back from the Caribbean. It’s been a pretty tough two out of the last three weeks for me,” joked Self.
“The first one (trip) was for golf — the second one wasn’t. Cindy wasn’t that interested in playing golf. We had a lot of fun, though, both trips,” Self added.
He’ll be welcoming his players back to campus in days leading up to the start of fall semester, which is Aug. 26.
Believe it or not ... basketball season this year starts just a month and a day later, on Sept. 27. A new NCAA rule allows teams to have 30 days of practice in the six weeks prior to the first game. The old rule permitted practice four weeks before the first game.
“You’ve got to take at least two days off a week if you are going to do it that way,” Self said of starting practice the 27th with Late Night in the Phog Oct. 4.
“If you start that early, you don’t have to be quite as accelerated. It’ll probably be a situation we maybe go a little bit slower, get more stuff in, then by the time Oct. 15 or whatever rolls around we’ll be ready to roll.”
He will hold one week of Boot Camp conditioning this season, not two.
“We’ll probably do it the week of Sept. 16 because two weeks of Boot Camp with a young team, plus starting basically three weeks earlier ... that may be too much,” Self said.
…“For a bunch of freshmen, they probably impressed me as much with their work ethic as anything else,” Self added. “We’ll make a lot of mistakes. I’ll be very nervous about the last four minutes of games because we don’t really have anybody that’s ever been a closer before, but as far as throwing the ball up and having guys go get it, this will be the best team we’ve had to do that.”
As far as individuals ... “Wayne and Perry have been our best two consistent performers all summer long,” Self said of Wayne Selden and Perry Ellis. “He’s hungry. He’s got a college body or a pro body or a man’s body already. He has a chance to be really good early on,” he added of 6-5, 230-pound Selden, who spent much of the allotted two hours of practice time a week (as well as unsupervised pick-up games) guarding frosh phenom Andrew Wiggins.
As far as what Wiggins has been doing of late, Self said he returned to his native Canada after attending the Gatorade Player of the Year ceremony in Los Angeles on July 16.
“He was able to finish his classwork and take care of that. Since he’s been home we’ve basically trusted him to work on his own,” Self said.
2. Wayne Selden, Kansas Jayhawks
All the talk in Lawrence and throughout the country will be about Andrew Wiggins, the top-ranked freshman in the nation. That's understandable. But Selden is a power guard who will give Bill Self and the Jayhawks much-needed toughness. He’s big, strong, can finish around the basket and is also able to make 3s. Don’t be shocked if the Boston native winds up leading Kansas in scoring this season and also soars up the draft boards.
ESPN Under the radar players
As if this program isn't already suffering from an embarrassment of riches, Self told me he has a real hidden gem in Frank Mason, a 6-foot freshman point guard from Petersburg, Va. Mason originally signed with Towson out of high school, but when he didn't qualify academically he ended up in prep school. KU assistant coach Kurtis Townsend happened to see Mason play on the recruiting circuit and locked him up before anyone else noticed he could play. Self told me that he believes Mason can push Tharpe for playing time at the point. And this being Self, he's not going to hold back a player just because he's young. In this program, the best players will play. "It's going to take [Mason] some time to figure out how to run the team, but he's without question a guy who will impact practice intensity more than anyone. He's a pit bull," Self said. "Basically, we were lucky to get him."
Isn't it funny how when it comes to stockpiling talent, Self always seems to have the most luck?
SI Seth Davis
A national nonprofit military foundation is teaming up with University of Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self and two former KU basketball players for a weekend basketball camp for children from McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita.
Ben McLemore, of the Sacramento Kings, and Thomas Robinson, of the Portland Trailblazers, will host the camp, which is put on by the Armed Forces Foundation and ProCamps and directed by Self. It runs Saturday through Sunday at Allen Fieldhouse.
Last year, Bill Self’s prospect party was talent-laden; it always tends to be that way. The Jayhawks hosted seniors Wayne Selden, Joel Embiid and Aaron Gordon. Junior big man Elbert Robinson was also in Lawrence for last year’s festivities. Gordon wiggled off the hook but Selden and Embiid didn’t stray. This time around, KU is hoping for similar results.
One could argue that the Jayhawks are involved with more high-level talent than any other program in the country. Even though Stanley Johnson opted to attend USA Basketball’s Fall Workout instead of Late Night, Self’s party will still be a rager. Johnson, by the way, is visiting Kansas but needs a new date. The Late Night crowd tentatively reads center Myles Turner, wingKelly Oubre and big man Cliff Alexander. Point guard Jordan McLaughlin is also on the visit list. The Jayhawks love bringing in underclassmen for the festivities and their list will grow as we get closer to the event. Expect junior guard Charles Matthews and scorer King McClure to rep the Class of 2015.
Mario Chalmers always had mixed feelings about this time of year back during his AAU playing days with Pump 'N Run (Alaska) in 2004. The AAU season winding down meant no more traveling around the country to tournaments and showcases leaving Chalmers wondering "what's next?"
"There was nothing to do around this time," Chalmers said. "I always wanted to AAU season to last a little longer, but I typically tried to just use this time to get better and prepare for my school year. It always came really fast after AAU was done."
Fresh off of his second consecutive NBA title, we caught up with the Miami Heat point guard and talked about everything from his foundation to how high school hoopers should fill their time post-AAU to how big an impact he thinks Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins will have this coming season.
…USAT: You've seen him up close and you've gone through college and had great success, obviously; how good will Andrew be? The hype is such that you can't help but ask: Best Jayhawk ever?
MC: Well, that's a tough thing to say when you've got the type of great players that we've had here at Kansas. I think it's a fair question and I know what you mean. I think he'll be up there with the greats, but the best ever? That's tough to say.
USAT: What do you anticipate his biggest hurdle being as a freshman?
MC: I think just trying to stay levelheaded and not putting too much pressure on himself. He can't try and please everybody; just gotta stick to his game and stick to doing what he does.
USAT: I know it's early, but my guess is that you could predict the 2014 NCAA champ right now?
MC: Kansas! I pick Kansas every year no matter what. We've definitely got a shot!
Mario Chalmers, the former University of Kansas basketball darling, gained another round of accolades at the end of last month when he presented a $2,500 check to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Kansas.
The presentation was on behalf of the Miami Heat point guard’s charity, the Mario V. Chalmers Foundation, which supports programs concerned with breast cancer treatment and research. The proceeds were from the charity’s annual golf tournament in Lawrence, which also contributed $5,000 to Mario’s Closet at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
8/15/13, 12:01 PM
Appreciate the #kubball staff for coming to watch practice today #FOE
Former Kansas University women’s basketball forward Tania Jackson has been added to the Missouri women’s basketball roster, MU announced Thursday.
Jackson, who is a Lawrence native and attended Lawrence High, will be able to play immediately with one year of eligibility left after earning her undergraduate degree at KU.
The 6-foot-3 Jackson played in 14 games for the Jayhawks last season, averaging 6.9 points and 6.4 rebounds before leaving KU’s program in January.
The photo you see above, which was magically dug up by Sports Illustrated photo vault curator Andy Gray, depicts the fourth grade class at Brooks Elementary School in 1945. That particular class included one Wilt Chamberlain, who would go on to be one of the most dominant basketball players of all-time.
If you can't pick Wilt out in that photo, you're either A) blind, or B) have forgotten that by the time he reached the NBA, he stood 7-foot tall.
What's most amazing about this photo isn't just that it exists, though that is remarkable in itself. Rather, it's that at age 9, Wilt was already a monster. He's almost twice the size of some of his classmates in this photo (check out the girl in the front row on the far left). That's absolutely ridiculous.
In 1954, before his senior year of high school, Wilt Chamberlain took a summer job as a bellhop at Kutsher's Country Club, a Jewish resort in the Catskill Mountains. By day he was making $2 an hour and getting great tips from the awestruck guests as he lifted their luggage through a second-floor window … while standing outside on the ground. At night, he played on the Kutsher's basketball team and was coached by the resort's athletic director, Celtics coach Red Auerbach. Mixing rarely seen archival video and interviews with people who lived and worked with Wilt, this short chronicles a pivotal chapter in the life of one of the game's greatest players, and gives a fascinating glimpse into a time when basketball met the Borscht Belt in its heyday.
VIDEO: 30 for 30 Shorts: Wilt Chamberlain: Borscht Belt Bellhop
The University of Kansas and University of Missouri do not even play each other in sports anymore, but there is an event coming up on Wednesday that has the rivalry reaching new heights.
This week, people in Lawrence, Kan., are marking the 150th anniversary of William Quantrill's raid on the town.
Almost 200 men and boys died in the massacre in 1863 and much of the town was burned to the ground.
The commemorations have been mostly somber. A ceremony on Sunday recognized each person who died.
But on Wednesday, if you go to the Black and Gold Tavern in Kansas City, the MU alum owner Zach Cartwright wants to celebrate the anniversary.
"The border war gave birth to a great sports rivalry. If you look at it from an MU / KU rivalry then Quantrill is our guy because he burned Lawrence," Cartwright said.
"It's a very somber event, that's about a terrible thing that happened. I mean innocent people were gunned down and some while holding their children's hands.” KU Associate Professor of History Jonathan Earle said. “I would think it should not be celebrated."
The Black and Gold Tavern expects a crowd on Wednesday to celebrate Quantrill.
8/21/13, 7:10 AM
150 years ago today, Quantrill's men burned Lawrence. The raid is being re-enacted via Twitter right now. Follow #QR1863. #kualumni
Lawrence, KS #17 Forbes Best Small Places for Business and Careers
The ownership group of Varney's — the self-proclaimed world's largest retailer of Kansas State merchandise — has purchased the Jayhawk Bookstore at 1420 Crescent Road.
But the store's new owners said diehard KU fans don't have to worry about Kansas State merchandise or sentiments infiltrating the longtime Jayhawk Bookstore at the top of the hill.
"Think of it like a marriage but with separate bank accounts," Steve Levin, general manager of Varney's and the corporate entity University Book Store Inc., said with a laugh. "That first day I got to the Lawrence store, I put on a beautiful blue shirt with a Jayhawk on it. But when I wore it back to the store in Manhattan, you would have thought I was a leper."
The Varney's brand-name certainly won't be making an appearance in Lawrence, Levin said. The new owners are keeping the Jayhawk Bookstore brand, and plan to turn around some struggles at the store — which previously was owned by Nebraska Book Co., a Lincoln-based company that has been shedding a few properties since emerging from bankruptcy.
"We're a Kansas company," Levin said from the company's Manhattan headquarters. "We understand what Kansas and Lawrence people expect. We know we can bring a good product and a fair price."
Big 12/College News
Big XII composite schedule
ESPN College GameDay Schedule
ESPN NCAA Bucket List Map
Texas' leading returning scorer, Ioannis Papapetrou, has signed a lucrative deal to play overseas with Olympiacos BC.
Texas has confirmed Papapetrou's departure, which was reported earlier by Eurohoops.net.
Olympiacos also posted a story on its website that Papapetrou, a native of Athens, has inked a five-year deal. A source told ESPN.com the deal was worth approximately $2 million.
The 6-foot-8, 225-pound Papapetrou's departure is the latest hit for coach Rick Barnes and the Longhorns' program, which has lost Avery Bradley, Jordan Hamilton, Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph early to the NBA and also watched as Sheldon McClellan, Julien Lewis and Jaylen Bond all transferred out of the program following last season.
With more than one month until practice can start, Oklahoma is getting nothing but bad news. Earlier this week, it was confirmed that junior college transfer Edson Avila would not be eligible to enroll at Oklahoma this season.
And on Wednesday night, the school announced via its Twitter account that starting guard Je'lon Hornbeak had foot surgery and could miss up to two months.
Hornbeak, a 6-foot-3 sophomore from Texas, started 29 games last season, averaging 5.6 points and 2.7 rebounds. He is slated to once again start on the perimeter for the Sooners. The latter part of his timetable would slot his return a couple of weeks before the season, so Hornbeak should be healthy for the season opener against Alabama on Nov. 8.
We’ve already polled college basketball coaches for the most feared recruiters, both assistants and head coaches.
But now it’s time to look at the top X’s and O’s guys in the country, regardless of level. The coaches who scare their counterparts with their ability to diagram plays and have their players carry out those plays.
We polled about two-thirds (around 250) of the Division I head coaches, and some opted to vote more than once. There were more than 300 total votes cast and there was a clear separation at the top.
Michigan State’s Tom Izzo was the runaway winner, with one of his Big Ten rivals finishing in second. Brad Stevens still received plenty of votes (14 in total) despite the fact that he’s now in the NBA, and former UCLA head man Ben Howland also got his share (four votes) even though he’s unemployed.
…4. Bill Self, Kansas Jayhawks (17)
Record: 507-164 (20 seasons)
NCAA tournament record: 35-14
“Bill is really good in getting quality shots in late-game situations. You have to have good X’s and O’s, good personnel and good presence. Bill has all three.” -- San Francisco coach Rex Walters
Illinois men’s basketball assistant coach Jamall Walker received a public reprimand and a two-game tournament suspension for his misconduct during the 2013 Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.
Specifically, Walker made inappropriate contact with a game official and verbally confronted the game officials and a police officer following Illinois’ loss to Miami (Fla.) on March 24 in the third round of the East Region. Walker’s misconduct led the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee to issue him a two-game NCAA postseason championship suspension. The suspension shall apply to the next NCAA postseason opportunity that Walker will have as a coach, regardless of what school he represents.
NCAA guidelines define misconduct as “any act of dishonesty, unsportsmanlike conduct, unprofessional behavior or breach of law, occurring from the time the championship field is announced through the end of the championship that discredits the event or intercollegiate athletics.”
Jereme Richmond, who was a four-star, top-30 player coming out of high school and played one season at Illinois (2010-11) faces up to seven years in federal prison.
According to the Associated Press, Richmond has been convicted of threatening a probation officer. A Waukegan, Ill., jury found Richmond guilty Thursday; he'll be sentenced on Sept. 26. Per Richmond's attorney, there remains a possibility he will avoid jail time and receive even more probation. Richmond, who in 2011 declared for the NBA Draft -- and went undrafted -- is 21 years old.
Richmond was arrested in April after telling a probation officer to "be real safe," according to police reports. He also allegedly mimed the act of holding a gun to the female officer. The arrest came 14 months into an 18-month probation period.
…The probation stemmed from a guilty plea in 2012 after Richmond copped to "unlawful use of a weapon," according to the AP. That case saw allegations against Richmond of physical abuse toward a 17-year-old girl that also included allegations of violence against the girl's family.
Richmond was a McDonald's All-American and named Mr. Basketball in Illinois in his senior year of high school. While at Illinois, he averaged 7.6 points and 5.0 rebounds.
A report released by a University of Maryland commission on Tuesday detailed an athletic department that continues to operate at a significant deficit and is projected to do so until at least the 2017-18 academic year, even as the school prepares to jump from the ACC to the more lucrative Big Ten in 2014.
The commission found that the Maryland athletic department operated at a deficit of more than $21 million for the past academic year because of two reasons: “past financial decisions” that led to continuing debt and the ACC’s withholding of roughly $15 million in revenue. The conference began withholding the revenue last year as part of its efforts to collect a $52 million exit fee from the school, which maintains that the fee is illegal.
Which 2014 prospect will struggle most at the college level?
• Goodluck Okonoboh: 14 percent
• Trey Lyles: 11 percent
• Daniel Hamilton: 8 percent
• Kevon Looney: 6 percent
• Cliff Alexander: 6 percent
• Joel Berry: 6 percent
• Emmanuel Mudiay: 6 percent
Others receiving votes: Karl Towns, Myles Turner, Josh Perkins, Devin Booker, Theo Pinson, D'Angelo Russell, Malik Pope, Justin Jackson, Leron Black, Tyus Jones, Craig Victor, Chris McCullough, Justise Winslow, JaQuan lyle, Jordan McLaughlin, Devin Robinson
Iowa fans who have never forgiven Pierre Pierce now have a new reason to loathe the disgraced ex-Hawkeyes star.
Pierce scored game-high 19 points and sank a game-winning shot in overtime against his former school on Monday night to hand Iowa its first loss in five games on its exhibition tour of England and France.
"Felt pretty good hitting my first game winner today lol," Pierce tweeted after Hyeres-Toulon's 84-82 victory. "Wish the #hawkeyes best of luck this season and safe travels back."
A two-point exhibition loss to a French pro team wouldn't normally bother Iowa fans, but it has to sting a bit that Pierce is the one who delivered it. Pierce was accused of sexual assault twice during his Iowa career, sparking perhaps the most divisive controversy in Hawkeyes basketball history.
2013-14 Early-season events schedule
Under Armour today announced the teams for Saturday night’s Elite 24 game at the Tobacco Warehouse under the Brooklyn Bridge.
The game airs live on ESPNU at 7 p.m. ET Saturday, while the Slam Dunk Contest and Skills Competition will air Friday at 7 p.m. on ESPNU.
Team Coney Island
Name Hometown ESPN Rank College
Joel Berry Apopka, FL 14 North Carolina
Devin Booker Ocean Springs, MS 16 Undecided
Cheick Diallo** Centereach, NY 10 (2015) Undecided
Harry Giles* Winstom-Salem, NC 1 (2016) Undecided
Stanley Johnson Fullerton, CA 12 Undecided
Chris McCullough Bronx, NY 7 Syracuse
Emmanuel Mudiay Dallas, TX 5 Undecided
Kelly Oubre Richmond, TX 20 Undecided
Theo Pinson Greensboro, NC 13 North Carolina
Reid Travis Minneapolis, MN 40 Undecided
Romelo Trimble Upper Marlboro, MD 45 Maryland
Rashad Vaughn Golden Valley, MN 11 Undecided
Stephen Zimmerman Las Vegas, NV 7 (2015) Undecided
**Replaced Karl Towns, Jr.
Name Hometown ESPN Rank College Commitment
Chris Chiozza Bartlett, TN 39 Florida
Justin Jackson Tomball, TX 8 North Carolina
Tyus Jones Apple Valley, MN 3 Undecided
Thon Maker Martinsville, VA 2 (2016) Undecided
Malik Newman Ridgeland, MS 2 (2015) Undecided
Goodluck Okonoboh Woburn, MA 19 Undecided
Ivan Rabb Oakland, CA 1 (2015) Undecided
D’Angelo Russell Lousiville, KY 23 Ohio State
Myles Turner Bedford, TX 10 Undecided
Isaiah Whitehead Brooklyn, NY 35 Undecided
Justice Winslow Houston, TX 15 Undecided
Dion Wiley Oxon Hill, MD 26 Maryland
S/O to KU pic.twitter.com/FDH0TSXZvt
Cliff Alexander has lived in the shadow of fellow Illinois big man Jahlil Okafor. Until recently. Now the 6-foot-9, 240-pound power forward has made his way into the conversation for the top spot in the Class of 2014 -- currently held by Okafor.
The two big men played together all summer, and are a contrast in styles. The 6-11 Okafor is exceptionally skilled, a true post player who uses finesse. Alexander (ESPN’s No. 2 recruit) is powerful, intimidating and also athletic. He brings back visions of a young, healthy Amare Stoudemire.
“He dominates a game with nastiness,” said one coach involved in the recruitment.
…1. Kansas Jayhawks
Most everyone agrees that Kansas is either the leader or the co-leader along with Michigan State, and it’s not just because Alexander is dating a member of the KU women’s basketball team, either. The Jayhawks will likely have a spot for a big man after losing fifth-year senior Tarik Black and also potentially -- even likely -- losing talented big man Joel Embiid after just one season in Lawrence. Bill Self’s track record of getting big men the ball also comes into play, and his ability to land the No. 1 player in the land, Andrew Wiggins, doesn’t hurt in terms of momentum. The Jayhawks also recently added Jerrance Howard to the coaching staff, a former Illinois player/coach who has strong ties in the city and is extremely well-liked in the area.
8/19/13, 1:04 PM
That article on me is not true i have no order I have messages to prove it
This leads us back to the original question posed by Fraschilla: Jones for possibly two seasons or Ulis for four? Fran, maybe the question should be Mudiay for one season or Jones for two?
Once you get to the NBA, the rules change. Size matters. Bigger, faster, stronger is the norm. The NBA game is ruled by giants at every position. The average size of the players at each position is significantly larger than those on the college level; naturally because it’s a step up.
While I’m not ready to say Mudiay is a lock to be a better NBA point than Jones, he is more prepared because of the size and athleticism for that level. Trust me, NBA guys will one day covet Jones for all the reasons we love him now, but the specter of Mudiay’s overall package looms too large to ignore long-term.
To fend off Mudiay and the NBA critics, Jones will need to continue to be a winning machine who directs traffic and shows himself capable of the occasional big scoring outbursts on the college level. Ulis will need years of producing and demonstrating proficiency with his perimeter game to warrant inclusion in this conversation long-term; that’s just the way it is for a sub-6-footer. His NBA ceiling is considerably lower because of his physical size.
For those interested in continuing this dialogue, watch the Elite 24 on Saturday and you’ll see Jones and Mudiay matched up against one another.
The Arizona Wildcats secured a verbal commitment from ESPN 100 power forward Craig Victor on Saturday afternoon.
The 6-foot-7, 205-pound New Orleans native -- ranked No. 31 nationally in the Class of 2014, No. 1 in Louisiana and No. 5 at his position -- picked the Wildcats over LSU, Kansas and Oklahoma State. Victor made the announcement at his travel team's season-ending banquet.
"For me, it was about going to a place that could develop me for the NBA," Victor said. "I also wanted a chance to win a national championship."
8/13/13, 11:40 AM
These are the final visits I'm taking.
Unofficial to MN today
Baylor Aug 30-Sept 1
UK Sept 27-29
KU Oct 18-20
Duke Oct 25-27
News: Tyus Jones (Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley) reaffirms his intent to go to school with Jahlil Okafor (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young)
In: Baylor, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, Ohio State
Real story: Minnesota is still on Jones' list of seven, but the Gophers aren't on Okafor's list. That, in addition to the fact Richard Pitino and his staff could be seen prioritizing other targets this summer, is indication enough that Jones isn't likely to be staying home next season. The latest twist in the story is Okafor's AAU coach, Mike Irvin, going on record saying there is a great chance Duke lands Jones, while Okafor's camp has denied the Blue Devils are the leader for the package deal.
Bottom line: Jones and Okafor do want to go to school together, but they don't yet agree on where. Jones appears pretty set on Duke, but Okafor not quite as much at this point. ESPN 100 SF Justise Winslow (Houston/Saint John's) is also part of the conversation, making this potentially one of the biggest package deals in recent history.
News: Emmanuel Mudiay (Arlington, Texas/Prime Prep) cuts his list to five
In: Baylor, Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma State, SMU
Out: Arizona, Louisville, North Carolina State, St. John's, Texas
Real story: There's no real surprise in his final five. These are the schools that had recruited him the hardest throughout the summer. Moving forward, Kentucky and SMU appear to be the favorites, and both are willing to wait it out to get him. As for those who are out, Louisville in particular, backed off Mudiay as much as he backed off them when they made a strategic decision to target JaQuan Lyle.
Bottom line: Baylor, Kansas and Oklahoma State aren't giving up, but they know the time and the score, and they won't be able to turn down commitments from other top point guards. Ultimately, Mudiay likely will pick between Kentucky and SMU.
"I’m going to cut it down again," said Oubre. "I think I will cut it down to five before the season starts. I’m going to cut it to five so I can set up my visits."
No schools really stand out to him at this point but, he knows what schools will remain on his list when he cuts it down again.
"At this point not really," he said. "I did set my official visit to Kansas on October 4th and I will be visiting Kentucky shortly after. After that it is fair game and when I cut my list down I will see where the rest of those three are going to fit in."
When it comes to official visits he is going to take it as it goes.
"I am going to take it as it goes," the Findlay Prep bound shooting guard said. "I will play the process out the best way I can to make the best decision for me and my family to develop me to get me where I want to be and that is the pros."
Coaching has a lot to do with what he will base his decision off of.
"I will base it off of the longevity of the coach," said Oubre. "If the coach is going to push me to be the best that I can be and the playing style of the program."
He doesn't know when he will make his decision.
"I don’t right now," he told GNGB. "I will let everyone know when I know. I am going to play this process out the best way I can to make the best decision for me."
He also told GiveNGoBasketball.com something that some people might not know about him.
"I am weird," he said. "As you can tell by my hair I don’t like to be like everyone else. I like to be different. I like to set my own trends and be my own person."
Myles Turner (Bedford, Texas/Euless Trinity) was unknown and anonymous just a few months ago, heading into the April recruiting period. A broken ankle kept him off the summer circuit last season and kept him off the radar for most of the elite college programs.
But it has all changed in a hurry for the 6-foot-11, 225-pound Texan, who has made an Anthony Davis-esque rise up the rankings, elevating himself from outside the ESPN 100 to No. 10 overall in the Class of 2014 to now potentially challenging fellow big men Jahlil Okafor (Chicago/Whitney Young) and Cliff Alexander (Chicago/Curie) for the No. 1 spot. While Okafor is polished and skilled, no one in the 2014 class may have as much upside as Turner.
Turner recently cut his college list to eight and has set just one official visit thus far, to Lawrence, Kan., for the Jayhawks’ Midnight Madness on Oct. 4. Turner’s father, David, told ESPN.com that the family has also already set up in-home visits with Texas and Kentucky.
Here’s handicapping the race for Turner, ranking his finalists from 1-8 after talking to those involved in the recruitment:
1. Kansas: The Jayhawks are the perceived leaders for a variety of reasons. First of all, it’s Kansas and Bill Self has developed a well-earned reputation with big men. KU will lose Tarik Black after this season and could very well also watch raw but talented freshman center Joel Embiid depart after just one year in Lawrence. At Kansas, Turner could play for an elite-level program and wouldn’t have to travel all that far to do so. There’s also a strong connection between Turner’s trainer, who worked with former Jayhawks big man Darrell Arthur, and the KU program. Just about everyone I’ve spoken to feels as though KU is currently in the driver’s seat.
For years, Curtis Malone has been the head of DC Assault, a powerhouse D.C. area basketball program. The success of Malone's players has given Malone a national profile, including status as a go-between between players and the colleges that want them and sponsorship for the program from Adidas.
Malone, it seemed, had come a long way since 1991, when he was convicted for distributing crack cocaine. But according to documents filed in federal court today, what Malone once called his "last life" isn't so far behind him.
Malone was arrested Friday in D.C. as part of a year-long DEA investigation. Agents who searched his home found what's believed to be kilo of cocaine, 100 grams of suspected heroin, a handgun, and unnamed items associated with heroin sales, according to court documents. Malone and another alleged dealer have been charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin.
DEA agents working through an informant were able to make several heroin purchases from a dealer who worked with Malone, according to prosecutors. That enabled them to put a wiretap on Malone's phone.
After pulling over an alleged customer of Malone's who had visited Malone's Upper Marlboro home, officers discovered a kilo of suspected cocaine in the car.
Stephen Zimmerman will fly back and forth to New York City from Las Vegas twice in August.
And that isn’t exactly good times for a guy his size.
“It’s really fun,” Zimmerman, the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2015, told SNY.tv in the above video at the Big Strick. “My only problem is the traveling coming down here. Being on planes isn’t fun for a 7-footer.”
That will culminate a tremendous summer in which Zimmerman picked up offers from a Who’s Who of high-major programs, including Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA, UConn and Arizona, to name a few.
…“Kansas works welll with big men,” Zimmerman said. “My main thing is to go to a school that’s going to help me get to be the best player that I can be and a school that works well with bigs is a good school.”
Looking forward to the Elite 24 and his junior season, Zimmerman has one goal mind.
He wants to show everyone “that I can be a lot more aggressive than I’m perceived to be.
“I’m not the strongest person,” he added. “I can be a lot stronger and I’ve been working on it so I’ve been going around that by using my skillset and working on my jump hook a lot but I need to be getting to the free throw line a lot more and showing that I’m more aggressive.”
Zags Blog (Video at the link)
Kelly Oubre came into New York City and won the MVP of the Big Strick Classic on Saturday night despite playing on a losing team.
The 6-foot-6 Findlay Prep wing scored 22 points for Team USA in the loss.
Before the big game, Oubre talked recruiting with SNY.tv and said he plans to visit Kansas Oct. 4 for “Late Night in the Phog” and could possibly visit Kentucky Oct. 18 for “Big Blue Madness.”
“Kansas visit, me and my dad were talking closely about Kentucky shortly after because everybody’s Midnight Madnesses are kind of close, so those visits are probably going to be back-to-back-to-back when we really sit down and talk about them,” he said.
Still, Oubre reiterated that he hasn’t nailed down the Kentucky visit. Stanley Johnson and Emmanuel Mudiay are among those who will visit UK Oct. 18.
Oubre, who had a breakout summer with Houston Hoops, is down to eight schools: Kansas, Florida, Kentucky, Georgetown, Louisville, Oregon, UConn and UNLV.
Zags Blog (Video at the link)
I've just got a whole new approach to the game these days. I've been reading Relentless, Living the Dream and Coach K's book Five Point Play and they've really inspired me to be the best that I can be.
I'm serious about it. I don't play around as much as I used to. I still have fun, but I'm all about business on the court. I am hungrier out there. I just want to be a better leader in all aspects.
What happened was that I got a call from Coach (Larry) Brown at SMU and he really pulled my card about not playing with a lot of passion and not playing to the best of my abilities. It really struck something in me because he's a legend and I really respect him.
I wanted to change my approach and my whole team's approach to every game and we had to have a team meeting about it. I feel like they understood where I was coming from. I came out and played hard and worked on all of the little things and, basically, just had fun out there.
I talked to Coach Brown later that night and he said he was really proud of how I responded. That made me feel really good.
We ended up losing to Ivan Rabb and Stanley Johnson's team by eight points. It was a fun game because those are my boys and it was competitive because we were going at each other.
…I'm going to Midnight Madness at Kansas and Oklahoma too. I can't wait for that! Plus I'll visit Texas A&M when they play Alabama this year. So I'm planning things out so I can get down there and see what campus life is like.
USA Today Blog Elijah Thomas
8/19/13, 12:18 PM
Change my Kansas visit to another date going to @usabasketball mini camp that weekend
8/19/13, 12:23 PM
my visit schedule so far is:
UK- Oct 18
Arizona- Sept 14
USC- 20th (unofficial)
UCLA,Oregon, Kansas- no date yet
LSU freshman Jordan Mickey and TCU frosh Karviar Shepherd were both academically cleared by the NCAA to play this season, but that doesn’t mean that Deion Sanders’ Prime Prep has been given the green light by the NCAA.
The NCAA cleared the players because it felt that both were given misleading information by the school, sources told ESPN.com.
Prime Prep, the Dallas-based school that boasts star 2014 point guard recruit Emmanuel Mudiay and talented junior big man Elijah Thomas, is still going through the process to be cleared.
Here’s the NCAA statement regarding Prime Prep on the eligibilitycenter.org website:
“This program is under an extended evaluation period to determine if it meets the academic requirements for NCAA cleared status. During this evaluation period, the courses listed below may be subject to further review on a case-by-case basis, which will require additional academic documentation.”
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