Now that former Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers has been traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, Grizz fans, who also happen to be Memphis Tigers fans, are taking a stand.
One such fan started a Change.org petition asking NBA broadcasters to not show clips of then-Jayhawks guard Chalmer’s overtime-forcing 3-pointer from the Kansas-Memphis 2008 National Championship Game. From the petition:
We already have to suffer through the embarrassment that is the Matt Barnes media circus. Please don’t make us suffer through constant “Steve, take a look at this (clip from 2008 title game): That’s current Memphis Grizzlies back-up PG standing over the entire city of Memphis, dropping his shorts, and pooping on the hopes and dreams of 676,660 people.”
“Wow, Clark, I wonder how many Memphis fans remember this…(clip rolls).”
We all remember it, and have been collectively flinching at the mention of the most commonly forgotten state ever since.
Also, what Memphis fan would pass up an opportunity to rag on John Calipari?
While I have you here, it should also be noted that Hall of Fame coach John Calipari DIDN’T FOUL CHALMERS ON THE POSSESSION LEADING TO THE 3. YOU HAD A FOUL TO GIVE, CAL. WTF BUDDY.
Anyway, please sign this petition. We, as a city, and as a fan base, would greatly appreciate it if we didn’t have to hear about this.
The petition didn’t have much steam (it was only asking for a 100 signatures, which doesn’t feel like a lot), so sorry Memphis fans. You’ll just have to grin and bear it.
Don Jackson, the attorney who is representing the guardian of Kansas University freshman basketball forward Cheick Diallo in Diallo’s eligibility case with the NCAA, said Wednesday that he is confident Diallo will play for the Jayhawks this season.
“I think his chances of playing for Kansas this year are excellent,” Alabama-based attorney Jackson said to Kansas City 610 Radio, acknowledging there are two components to this case — initial academic eligibility of Diallo as well as possible amateurism violations regarding Diallo’s legal guardian, Tidiane Drame.
“There’s no reason as to why he wouldn’t (play in games). I think that’s almost a certainty. A timeline? That will be determined over the next day or so. Candidly, at a certain point, when it becomes quite clear that all administrative possibilities have been exhausted, then legal action becomes more of a possibility,” Jackson added.
…As far as the initial eligibility side of the case, Jackson is shocked the NCAA is reportedly looking into classes Diallo took in Mali as far back as the sixth grade. He said normally the cutoff is ninth grade.
Jackson called it an “intentional effort to delay and somewhat of a witch-hunt.”
"If you don’t have coursework in your high school algebra class or 9th grade biology class or 10th grade geometry class (at Our Savior New American High in New York which Diallo attended three years) to satisfy them it was academically rigorous enough they’ll disallow that course as a core course. There’s been an element of that involved in this case,” Jackson said.
“This young man has been subjected to an exhaustive review that lasted for almost six months on both of issues both on amateurism side and academic side. Candidly the vast majority of these cases end late August or early September. Quite often you’ll find cases that will linger into the season. Once that occurs it’s nothing more than a de-facto suspension which essentially the young man is serving right now.”
But as Diallo waits in limbo at Kansas, as the prospect of lawsuits and a bitter legal fight looms, as a chorus of criticism builds to a steady rumble, some believe that these aren’t even the most pertinent questions involving the NCAA’s latest high-profile eligibility case.
The real question, according to Jay Bilas, a longtime college basketball analyst and dogged critic of the NCAA, is why an organization that functions as the governing body for the highest level of collegiate athletics is in the business of determining initial athletic eligibility in the first place.
“The NCAA should be about administering and governing athletic competition, not anything else,” Bilas said. “And this is totally out of its lane.”
…“It’s absurd and it’s unreasonable,” Bilas said.
The alternative, Bilas says, is simple: Allow the NCAA’s individual schools to do what they were built to do.
“These are accredited institutions of higher learning that evaluate and admit students as part of their core function,” Bilas said. “And the NCAA has no business in that area. They’re not equipped to do it; they’re not qualified to do it. And it’s a function that makes no difference at all in the operation of a university or in the conduct of athletics.”
In the cases of Diallo and Fall, both were admitted by their respective universities. Both have completed college coursework. Both speak multiple languages. Diallo was accepted to Kansas, arrived on campus in the middle of summer and completed six credit hours during KU’s second session of summer school. He is currently enrolled in the fall semester and a month away from completing another block of college courses.
“Every year, it’s a constant embarrassment to the NCAA,” Bilas said. “They just keep embarrassing themselves. But most people just want their games, so they don’t care.”
…In the court of public opinion, the standard is also a tough sell. With the college basketball season set to open Friday, the cases of both Diallo and Fall have become causes célèbre on social media. On Tuesday night, ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt used his platform on “SportsCenter” to advocate for Fall. On Monday, Diallo’s legal guardian in the United States, Tidian Drame, hired legal representation and prepared for a possible legal fight.
Diallo is only one player on a Kansas team that goes 12 players deep, but his eligibility is absolutely key for Kansas. If he’s eligible, Kansas gets what Self terms a “difference-maker” – an elite athlete with a motor that always runs hot, a nose for rebounds and a talent at blocking shots. If he’s not eligible, Kansas has to get a bit more creative down low, which would mean patching the only hole on a team that otherwise is as balanced as any in college basketball.
Here are the reasons I believe Kansas will be the next national champion in a season that appears as wide open as any in recent memory:
1. Self’s best teams have typically had two point guards. In Frank Mason and Devonte’ Graham, Self plans to have two point guards who start every game together. Mason, in particular, has come into his own over the past year and ought to be considered one of the top point guards in college hoops.
2. Self has two dead-eye three-point shooters who’ll likely come off the bench in Mykhailiuk – another possible lottery pick, and still one of the youngest players in college basketball in his second season – and Greene, who Self calls the best pure shooter in college hoops. Here’s what Self recently said about the Ukrainian Mykhailiuk: “He can get on a roll. I think he made 27 threes in a row in a shooting drill. I was just going, ‘Are you kidding me?’ And this was a drill, game speed.”
3. Junior Wayne Selden, who was considered a one-and-done possibility before his freshman season, is finally healthy, and coaches believe he’s primed for a breakout season. Expect him to play as a slashing wing who crashes the glass instead of a player who too often lacked aggressiveness and settled for outside shots the past two years. Self called Selden the most important player on this team.
4. What senior forward Perry Ellis lacks in flash he makes up for in dependability. By the end of this year he very well could be an 1,800-point scorer for his career, which would put him in the top 10 at Kansas all time. Death, taxes, Perry Ellis.
5. Every coach on the Kansas staff seemed excited about the team’s other elite freshman, Carlton Bragg, an athletic power forward with perimeter skills. Self compared him to a player who brings up pleasant basketball memories for Kansas fans: Marcus Morris.
“It was a good game. I got in a rhythm and kept shooting the ball,” Mykhailiuk said. “This year will be easier for me. I’ve got more confidence.”
After he knocked in the first 3 early in the game, Mykhailiuk saw an opportunity to build his confidence. He said when he saw the first one go in, he wanted to keep shooting while getting good looks.
The native of Cherkasy, Ukraine, attributed a lot of his success from deep to his point guards, as junior Frank Mason and sophomore Devonte’ Graham finished with 10 combined assists. The two guards drove the lane frequently, creating space and shots for open shooters. KU finished with 27 assists on its 32 buckets.
…“The reality is, that will be their role, to come in and make shots,” Self said. “There’s not too many teams that can potentially have two shooters like that coming off the bench.”
Last season, Greene and Mykhailiuk made a combined 42 of 99 3-point shots, good for 42 percent. Mason said it is important to have shooters like that to spread the floor and create movement for the offense.
“With the new rules, it’s easier to get into the paint and suck up the defense,” Mason said. “When you kick it out to a great shooter, it’s a high-percentage shot.”
Brannen Greene, who missed Tuesday’s 89-66 exhibition victory over Fort Hays State because of discomfort and stiffness in his surgically repaired hip, practiced on Wednesday.
“He couldn’t go Tuesday and today he was 100 percent. It’s going to be like that for a while (as Greene continues recovery),” coach Bill Self said on his Hawk Talk radio show.
SI: Season Preview Kansas Jayhawks
Carlton Bragg appears to have the best shoe game of any college basketball player in the country.
Kansas’ five-star freshman forward showed off his customized, Jayhawk-themed Air Jordan 11s (the best basketball shoe of all-time) on Instagram this afternoon.
“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
Time to start the long march to March, not to mention April. The college basketball season begins Friday, from Manhattan in the morning to Honolulu at night.
Someone has to be first. That would be Vermont at Eastern Michigan and Kean College at Columbia, both tipping off at 11 a.m., hoping to draw in some local school groups at lunch time. And then come 154 more games. Here are nine to liven up the first day on the road to Houston.
To the surprise of no one, the Gus Johnson/Bill Raftery duo returns once again as Fox’s top broadcast duo. As announced over the summer, Steve Lavin will also serve as both a studio and game analyst, making his Fox debut in the studio during that aforementioned Wagner-St. John’s game. Plenty of play-by-play commentators will return for the 2015-16 season, including Brian Anderson, Tim Brando, newly-minted Dodgers broadcaster Joe Davis, Kevin Kugler, and Justin Kutcher. New Padres play-by-play broadcaster Don Orsillo will also jump into the fold for college hoops games.
Game analysts include Nick Bahe, Stephen Bardo, Dickey Simpkins, Jim Spanarkel, Ron Thompson, and Tarik Turner, while Jim Jackson, the aforementioned Lavin, and Donny Marshall will work as both game and studio analysts. In the studio, Rob Stone (of course) takes on the role of lead studio host, while Kevin Burkhardt, Ryan Field, Mike Hill, and Greg Wolf will also host on occasion.
Welcome to The Bilastrator's 2015-16 College Hoops Opus. But before having your mind blown and your consciousness expanded by The Bilastrator's revealing vision of the future, The Bilastrator must caution you:
If you read this Opus, the mystery of the season will be gone. Upon reading The Opus -- the most comprehensive presaging forecast of what will happen in college basketball -- you will forever be educated in the game and no longer subject to surprise and wonder.
For example, in last season's Opus, The Bilastrator told all who could read that the top title contenders were Kentucky, Duke and Wisconsin, and The Bilastrator similarly told you that Arizona, Gonzaga, Michigan State and Louisville were Final Four favorites. All were in the Elite Eight or beyond. In addition, The Bilastrator told all that Georgia State was among the teams that could make some noise, which it did, and that R.J. Hunter was the nation's top shooter heading into the season. Seven of The Bilastrator's Impact Newcomers were selected in the first round of the 2015 NBA draft. Nostradamus didn't have anywhere near the accuracy of The Bilastrator.
Now that you have been properly warned, welcome to total consciousness of what can and will happen in college basketball. So, you have that going for you, which is trill. As always, there is no need to thank The Bilastrator. You're welcome.
The Bilastrator's super six won't-miss legit national title contenders
…The Jayhawks have no no-brainer NBA lottery picks, but have a stacked roster of vets and rookies that will win the Big 12 again (shocker) and give Bill Self another legit shot at a title. The only question: Will Wayne Selden give Kansas consistent scoring?
The Bilastrator's see-you-in-the-green-room impact freshmen
…8. Cheick Diallo, Kansas
How this man is not cleared yet is beyond comprehension, and defies common sense. He speaks four languages and he has successfully handled college work, and the NCAA is worried about classes in Mali? Really? Once Diallo is on the court, his size and motor will make him among the most productive rookies in the nation.
mlive.com: 8 predictions for Michigan State’s Season
Putting a fresh spin on one of the most anticipated weeks on the sports calendar, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee is relocating its selection, seeding and bracketing meeting this March to New York City. The move is intended to increase its exposure on the overall selection process, said Joseph R. Castiglione, chair of the committee and director of athletics at the University of Oklahoma.
Programs across college athletics change uniforms annually and, in the case of Oregon football, every game. Some have also turned to rappers and pop culture icons to help boost their standing with kids.
There's Big Sean taking pictures with Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh. Or Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj among the acts who have performed at Villanova's Hoops Mania. There's Drake shooting air balls in Kentucky's warm-up line. Duke's Mike Krzyzewski taking selfies with Beyoncé.
That's not how it goes down at Carolina.
"Kids today go for more of the fame and all that stuff," Meeks said. "...This is a traditional school, you're not going to have all the extra stuff with you -- whatever it may be."
In this case it sounds more like a word with a scarlet letter than a badge of honor. That's why the black uniforms, however simple, represent such a radical step. Many Heels fans -- including Williams -- would rather just stick to wearing Carolina blue and white.
"But he made an exception for this game. We'll see if he lets us wear them ever again after this game," sophomore forward Justin Jackson said. "We're really looking forward to wearing it that one game and we've already asked [to wear it more than once]. He said it depends on how we play."
Mitch Lightfoot, wearing a Kansas hat, can't wait to get to Lawrence.
The Gilbert Christian 6-foot-9 senior forward feels he will help the Jayhawks immediately.
"They wouldn’t be giving me a scholarship if they didn’t think I could come in and play,” Lightfoot said. “They’re losing three big guys who are seniors and, potentially, four or five to the NBA.
“They think I can come in and play good minutes as a freshman.”
Lightfoot joined about eight of his Arizona Power Academy club teammates at a Tempe restaurant on Wednesday to celebrate the start of the early signing period.
Lightfoot, who turned down Arizona, Stanford, Utah and St. John’s for Kansas, will officially sign his letter Thursday during a ceremony at Gilbert Christian.
Schools were off Wednesday for Veterans Day.
Lightfoot’s ability to go outside and hit the 3-pointers makes him a great fit at the “stretch 4,” he said.
“They want me to stretch the court, and, all the while, I can defend from the 5 to outside,” Lightfoot said.
…De’Aaron Fox, a 6-3 senior point guard from Cypress Lakes High in Katy, Texas, who is ranked No. 5 nationally by Rivals.com, is expected to announce for Kentucky over KU, Louisville and LSU today on ESPNU’s Signing Day Special, to run from 5 to 6 p.m., Central time.
Recruiting Calendar (updated for 2015-16)
Late Night in the Phog
Bill Self Camp KU Alumni games
60 Years of AFH Celebration
Legends of the Phog game
2011-12 Final Border War
KC Prep Invitational
and more, now on YouTube