A 10-3 lead, however, quickly morphed into a 24-10 deficit, courtesy of a 21-0 Gators’ run. The outcome was never really in doubt after that, the No. 13-ranked Jayhawks ultimately falling to the No. 19 Gators, 67-61.
“I mean we all watched it and played in that game. It wasn’t pretty at all,” KU sophomore forward Landen Lucas said Wednesday. “To be able to play them again is going to be fun for us and definitely something we’re looking forward to.”
The Jayhawks, who return six players, and Gators, who bring back four who played in last year’s game, will tangle again in a Big 12/SEC Challenge rematch at 8 p.m., Friday, in Allen Fieldhouse.
“We started the game out all right. They went to a 1-3-1 and gave us problems. We turned the ball over a lot and they broke out the lead crazy,” recalled KU junior Jamari Traylor. “We made plays down the stretch with Andrew (Wiggins, 26 points). It was not as close a game as the score was.”
KUAD: Kansas hosts Florida pregame notes
KUAD VIDEO and Transcript: Coach Self presser, previews Florida
UFAD VIDEO: Kansas Hype (Hey, where are the hype shots of Kansas?)
This marks the Gators’ first true road game of the season. UF finished 2013-14 with wins in its last nine road games, the longest such streak in school history. It is also the second- longest active road winning streak in the nation, trailing only Wichita State with 13.
UFAD: Pregame notes (WSU streak is ovah!)
In the meantime, you have to hand it to Ellis for how he’s played since he was humiliated by Kentucky two weeks ago. Following that game, I wondered if a team led by Ellis could make a Final Four. I questioned whether Ellis was just destined to be a top-notch role player. In the four games since, Ellis has averaged 18.8 points and 7.5 rebounds, and Kansas has gone 4-0 with wins over Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Michigan State. Best of all, Ellis is playing great defense, which Kansas fans know is anything but a guarantee. Ellis vs. Branden Dawson was the matchup to watch in the Michigan State game, and Ellis dominated it on both ends.
Kansas isn’t there yet. Wayne Selden is learning exactly what the Jayhawks need him to do on the wing. Frank Mason is getting better at balancing his point guard duties of scoring and facilitating the offense. Cliff Alexander remains pretty raw. Kelly Oubre is more of a myth than an actual contributor at this point. And we don’t need to be reminded that Sviatoslav “The Ukrainmaker” Mykhailiuk is only 17, because he makes a few boneheaded plays every game that do the reminding for us. But Kansas is coming around after the Kentucky beatdown, and it should put up a serious fight in the Big 12.
Grantland Mark Titus: Power Rankings
Florida could be without starting guard Eli Carter for Friday's game at No. 11 Kansas.
Coach Billy Donovan says Carter did not practice Wednesday because of a sprained left foot. Carter was hurt in practice Nov. 20 and has missed two of four games since. In the two games he did play, he missed 16 of 18 shots, including nine of 10 from 3-point range.
Donovan says, "I would say he's not playing. That could change. ... He says he wants to try it. He wants to go. I've talked to him and he does not feel, right now with his foot, that he can get through a practice, and if you can't get through a practice, it's awful hard to play."
Carter started Florida's first two games, averaging 14.5 points on 10-of-16 shooting.
ABOUT FLORIDA (3-3): One year after finishing 36-3 and advancing to the Final Four, the Gators are off to a sluggish 3-3 start. After losing a deep senior class, including point guard Scottie Wilbekin, the SEC player of the year, Florida coach Billy Donovan has reloaded around junior guard Michael Frazier and sophomore guard Kasey Hill. For now, it’s still coming together. The Gators lost to Miami at home, and then went 1-2 at the Battle 4 Atlantis, losing to Georgetown and North Carolina. Florida also needed overtime to defeat Louisiana-Monroe. Now it’s round two of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Last season, the Gators used a 1-3-1 defense to contain Kansas in a 67-61 victory in Gainesville, Fla. But this season, Florida has struggled on the offensive end. The Gators rank 59th in the country in offensive efficiency and they shoot 29.5 percent from three-point range. Sophomore power forward Chris Walker, a former McDonald’s All-American, is still settling into an expanded role. He’s averaging 5.0 points in 16.8 minutes per game. Donovan, in his 19th season at Florida, made his last trip to Allen Fieldhouse as a Kentucky assistant in 1989, when Kansas defeated the Wildcats 150-95.
Don't get me wrong, winning three games in four days against good competition is no easy feat, but, the way I see it, the best thing for the KU men's basketball program is that the victories came without the Jayhawks playing their best basketball. They were plenty good, of course. And a couple of individuals — namely Perry Ellis, Frank Mason and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk — delivered pretty solid performances day in and day out, but, for the most part, the Jayhawks still showed some room to improve in plenty of areas. Most notable among them were KU's transition offense, freshmen still trying to find their way. It's early, so that's to be expected. But if/when the Jayhawks start to put those things together and stack them upon their already solid foundation, this team has a chance to be scary good.
LJW Tait: Day After Blog
Life is pretty good for Kasey Hill these days
…Still just a sophomore, Hill is a former McDonald’s All-American playing for the best basketball program in his home state. He’s one year removed from playing in a Final Four, and if he doesn’t end up as an NBA player down the road, he’ll have to settle for getting a free education while competing for SEC championships and national titles these next three years.
Things could be a lot worse, which, unfortunately, is a fact that Hill is well aware of. If it wasn’t for the Simmons family (Jeff, Jennie and their two kids) … well, that’s something that Hill would rather not dwell on.
“I don’t know [where I’d be]. That’s tough,” Hill told NBCSports.com earlier this month. “I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for them helping me out.”
11/14 NBC Sports
12/4/14, 8:28 AM
Between Mykhailiuk, Sabonis, Poeltl, Ristic, this season shows more colleges need to try convince young European studs to come to the States
Pillars of the Program - Kansas Basketball
Wiggins, the first pick in June's Draft, ranked second among all first-year players in scoring (11.6 ppg) and first in three-point field goal percentage (.440). Among Western Conference rookies, he ranked first in steals (1.13 spg) and minutes played (28.7 mpg). On Nov. 22 vs. the Sacramento Kings, he led Minnesota with a career-high 29 points during a 113-101 loss.
It’s hard to think of a recent young wing that had more two-way potential than Andrew Wiggins. Players with his combination of athleticism, size, defensive disposition, and raw skills are few and far between. Watch the 19 year-old show off his immense natural ability against the Philadelphia 76ers by jumping a passing lane for a steal and finishing with a dunk on the other end – while being victim of a foul that went uncalled.
Also, watch where Wiggins is in relation to Michael Carter-Williams as he intercepts the pass. But no matter; he’s plenty quick and strong enough to blow by Philly’s speedy point guard, take contact, and still finish with a dunk.
The depleted ‘Wolves are in a battle with the win-less Sixers late, by the way. We’d say it’s a #leaguepassalert, but feel uncomfortable subjecting anyone to such horrendous basketball.
Ben McLemore has arrived. After a difficult first season that showed flashes of promise but was mostly filled with frustration, Ben has arrived as a different player this year. Confidence, ball handling, defensive awareness, shooting, passing, they all seem dramatically improved. It's very early in the season, but it's been long enough now to know that the change is legitimate, rather than another flash in the pan. But how, specifically, has Ben improved? The numbers show us two key areas. Let's take a look.
Houston rookie Tarik Black was booed in his hometown of Memphis when the Rockets played there earlier this season.
On Wednesday night, Black got plenty of cheers in helping the Rockets to a 105-96 win over the Grizzlies.
Black, who played at the University of Memphis, started in place of injured Dwight Howard and had 10 points and a season-high 11 rebounds for the first double-double of his young NBA career.
“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
The Big 12 has announced it will cover the full cost of a student-athlete's attendance and offer multiyear scholarships.
The league announced Monday that Big 12 schools will cover expenses beyond tuition and fees, room and board and supplies that they deem "reasonably related" to attendance.
The league will hand out scholarships that run at least as long as an athlete's period of eligibility.
The Big 12 will also offer aid to former student-athletes seeking to return to school and earn their degree.
The new bylaws will go into effect on August 1, 2015.
1. Which conference will win the SEC/Big 12 Challenge?
Andy Katz: The Big 12, and it won't be close. The Big 12 could have the highest percentage of teams to make the NCAA tournament. The SEC could be one of the lowest. The SEC's best chance for a breakthrough win could be Arkansas over Iowa State in Ames. Kentucky is the one outlier with the Wildcats facing a stiff test from Texas, but they're expected to win at home.
Myron Medcalf: The Big 12. I think the Big 12, pound-for-pound, is one of the toughest conferences in the country again. The SEC is strong at the top (see: Kentucky) but mediocre overall. Battles between Texas-Kentucky, Florida-Kansas and Arkansas-Iowa State could go either way. But I think the Big 12 will win the Challenge by a one- or two-game margin.
Dana O'Neil: The Big 12 is a deceptively deep league and the SEC is a transparently thin one. This is no contest. Kentucky, the lone legit favorite, will even have its hands full with Texas.
ESPN Daily World
Best players in SEC/Big 12 Challenge (Ellis #3)
12/4/14, 7:44 AM
Oklahoma State's Phil Forte dropped 32 points in Wednesday night's win over North Texas. 8-13 FG's, 5-9 from 3. Straight gunslinger.
Le'Bryan Nash is leading like he needs to so far this season.
He's averaging 18.3 points per game in just 28.2 minutes of action. That's major production, ranking second in the Big 12. He'll have to keep producing to lead a young Cowboys team.
And Nash is revealing new tricks, too, like a reliable fadeaway jumper that could present major problems for defenses, considering defenders must be aware of his ability to drive and finish at the rim.
…"I don't have to do everything, like people think," Nash said. "All I see in the articles and stuff is, 'LB has to carry this team.' I'm like the least player you have to think of.
"We've got so many players. We're like Kentucky. We don't have the name they have, but we can go nine deep, 10 deep. That's the great thing about our team. We have a whole lot of weapons and we can be a great team on defense."
Utah forward Jordan Loveridge will miss at the least the next month following knee surgery, a school spokesman said Thursday.
The 6-foot-6 forward was averaging 11.5 points and is a potential All-Pac 12 player.
In Loveridge's absence, look for redshirt freshman Kyle Kuzma to step into an expanded role.
Utah (6-1) beat Wichita State on Wednesday night in overtime.
At Georgetown, the problem is especially pronounced. The student body isn’t huge to begin with. The team plays in a large off-campus arena. The region is filled with other college programs, and with NFL, NBA and NHL franchises. And a huge percentage of Georgetown students live out of the area, and are thus hundreds of miles from Verizon Center over the holidays.
The schedule doesn’t wait, though. The Hoyas have a home game against Charlotte on Dec. 20, and their Big East opener against Creighton on Jan. 3. Those are big games, best played in front of standing and screaming fans.
And so the Hoyas are debuting a new promotion this season: the ‘Student-for-a-Day’ promotion. For both games, the school has set aside 150 of its typical 800-seat student allotment to sell through a Living Social package.
People who buy those seats will get the ‘We Are Georgetown’ T-shirts that students wear. They’ll get a cheer sheet from the student fan club with information on the opponents, and suggested chants. They’ll get the lanyard and campus map a freshman student might use, and they’ll get a ‘Student of Georgetown Basketball’ degree from the school’s Jack the Bulldog mascot.
“A lot of schools just release those seats and sell them to the general public, and then you’ll get people who will sit on their hands,” said Chris Grosse, the Hoyas’ new director of marketing. “So I thought why don’t we create a package for people and kind of entice them to get loud and make some noise and relieve that whole college time, when they could act like that?”
Davis: Utah. Larry Krystowiak came to Salt Lake City with a four-year plan to revive the program. It’s happening right on pace. The Utes went .500 in Pac-12 play last season and made the NIT. Now, behind rising star Delon Wright, a 6-foot-5 senior guard, the Utes are poised to be Arizona’s top challenger in the conference. That says something about the strength (or lack thereof) of the conference, but there’s no doubt Krystowiak has done an excellent job establishing a winning culture.
Winn: Utah. The Utes were 21-12 last season despite losing five one-possession games and two others in overtime. If their luck (and/or crunch-time competency level) improves, they should be the second-best team in the Pac-12. Look for senior Delon Wright, who contributes to every column in the box score, to emerge as one of the nation's best all-around perimeter players.
Hamilton: Georgetown. Last year’s 18-15 showing, which included a sub-.500 finish, in the Big East should be a distant memory by spring. The Hoyas’ veteran core revolves around guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, the league's player of the year favorite after averaging 17.6 points per game last season. Then they add five-star talent like 6-foot-9 freshman Isaac Copeland to add scoring pop for a team that could go to the Sweet 16.
SI Final Four predictions, POY, more
12/4/14, 7:41 AM
Joe Dooley quietly has Florida Gulf Coast off to a strong 7-1 start. Eagles with big opportunity on Sunday @ UMass. Atlantic Sun favorites.
Complete ESPN Networks schedule
Big 12 Composite Schedule & Results
Callaway 82, Provine 70: At Jackson, Callaway led Provine by 18 points at the half and held on to win by 12. Malik Newman led all scorers with 34 points while Provine's Allen Rouse had 19 points and Dandy Dozen member Jerekius Davis added 17 for the Rams.
Clarion_Ledger (Video above can also be found at this link)
As first impressions go, Tyler Dorsey made quite an impact on Tuesday in his debut for Pasadena Maranatha.
Besides scoring 30 points in a victory over St. Anthony, Dorsey contributed a crowd-pleasing dunk. He's a senior transfer from St. John Bosco.
Maranatha advanced to the quarterfinals of its own tournament and will play Oak Park on Thursday.
A superstar lineup of top basketball recruits, including University of Kentucky signee Skal Labissiere and several key UK targets, will be playing over the next three days at the Marshall County Hoop Fest, annually one of the nation's premier showcase events for elite prospects.
Seniors Malik Newman (Callaway High School of Mississippi) and Thomas Bryant (Huntington Prep of West Virginia) and junior Thon Maker (Orangeville Prep of Canada), all of whom have UK scholarship offers, will play two games at the 19th annual Hoop Fest, which runs Thursday through Saturday at Marshall County High School (5,200 capacity) in Benton. Labissiere (Reach Your Dream Prep of Tennessee) and five-star UK targets Cheick Diallo (Our Savior New American of New York) and Carlton Bragg (Villa Angela St. Joseph of Ohio) will play once each during the Hoop Fest, which has 20 games spread over four sessions.
…All-session tickets are $35. Individual sessions are $10. Benton, in the Central time zone, is about a three-hour drive from Louisville.
UK coach John Calipari is expected to be at the Hoop Fest at least one night. Kansas, Oregon, Auburn, Oklahoma State and Murray State have said they play to have coaches on hand for part of the event as well. U of L may attend, too.
Maker, who visited Kentucky on Sunday and Louisville on Tuesday, and Orangeville will play on Thursday and Saturday nights.
Labissiere's Memphis-based Reach Your Dream Prep will face Arlington Country Day of Florida at 11 p.m. EST Friday. Labissiere, a skilled center rated No. 3 nationally by Scout.com, attends Lausanne Collegiate School, which is also in the Hoop Fest, but was not eligible to play on that team after transferring there this year. His guardian set up the Reach Your Dream squad so he'd have a team his senior year.
Newman, the high-scoring shooting guard, will face UNLV signee and former UK target Derrick Jones of Philadelphia-area Archbishop Carroll at 8 p.m. EST. Callaway plays Maker's Orangeville team at 9:30 EST Saturday in one of the premier games of the weekend.
Powerhouse teams from Oak Hill Academy of Virginia, La Lumiere of Indiana and Sunrise Christian of Kansas are others that will play.
My Late Night in the Phog videos, 60 Years of AFH Celebration videos, KU Alumni games videos, 2011-12 Final Border War videos, Legends of the Phog videos, KC Prep Invitational, Jayhawk Invitational Videos and more, now on YouTube