KUAD: KU vs Pitt State pregame notes
Pitt State’s pre game notes
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“You would think that Tarik (Black), Perry (Ellis), Wayne (Selden), Andrew (Wiggins) and Naadir (Tharpe) would probably have a head start on everybody, because that’s kind of how we’ve viewed it, and that’s kind of how they’ve been since the first day,” KU coach Bill Self said Sunday at his Assists Foundation’s Fall Festival and Equipment Drive at Abe & Jake’s Landing.
“There’s other guys out there fighting hard.”
Barring some surprise, one senior (Black), one junior (Tharpe), one sophomore (Ellis) and two freshmen (Selden, Wiggins) will start Tuesday’s 7 p.m. exhibition opener against Pittsburg State.
“Don’t read into it who starts in our exhibition games. That to us is another practice, but obviously a choreographed practice,” Self noted.
…Self’s continued praise of Andrew White III puts to rest any thoughts out there that the 6-foot-6 sophomore guard from Richmond, Va., might red-shirt this season.
“Andrew’s going to play. I can’t imagine him not playing,” Self said. “I think he’s worked so hard. He’s been one of our most consistent performers, without question.”
Admittedly a bit flabby at the end of his final season at Memphis, Black became a lean, mean machine last June, shortly after entering KU’s weight program run by Andrea Hudy.
“To be honest, I haven’t stepped on a scale since I’ve gotten to KU. Actually I did step on a scale, but Hudy blocked it. She looked at the weight. I told her I didn’t want to see my weight,” Black said.
“I don’t really care about it anymore. I just want to feel good and feel comfortable with myself on the court. That’s more important.”
Pressed to describe his body this year versus last, he said: “I toned up. My jumping ability is a little better. I’m a little quicker on my feet. At small things, I’ve gotten better.”
He has impressed at early-season workouts by giving up his well toned body. He dives on the floor for loose balls, has been physical in the post and set a good example for KU’s large freshman class.
“He should be a great sealer,” KU coach Bill Self said. “We’ve not recruited anybody or had anybody who should be better at sealing and scoring with angles than what he can be. We actually try to play to that.
“He will have a huge impact on our program in (his) one year,” Self added.
…Examine closely the answer of the man — who is armed with an undergraduate degree in organizational leadership — when asked to identify one particular reason he chose KU over Duke, Oregon, Ohio State and Georgetown.
“I don’t know. I’ve always been kind of a subtle guy, not too extravagant, not too flamboyant, at the same time I always liked being a high-caliber person,” Black said. “That’s how Kansas is. It’s not on everybody’s radar. You have to respect Kansas. Kansas will always be one of the top teams in the country, no matter what. Especially with coach Self at the helm, because no matter what, they’ll be at the top. I like that. Coming to a program like this, there’s the humbleness, but also the expectancy of greatness. Put that together, and it’s perfect for me.”
Black, who averaged 8.1 points and 4.8 rebounds a game his junior year at Memphis, said he’s so intent on helping KU claim a 10th straight Big 12 crown and national title that he’s not dwelling on his dream of one day playing in the NBA.
“The irony is this is probably relieving pressure,” he said of being at KU. “I’m not thinking like that. This is not a final opportunity to make the NBA, it’s more so a breath of fresh air, being out here with my teammates. We laugh so much together. We have fun together. This thing is bigger than basketball to us.
“We’re a family. We say that for a reason. We really are a family, enjoying the family and all the accolades. We’ll put ourselves in coach Self’s hands and make it happen.”
Two of the top freshmen in the country won't have a whole lot of time to get acclimated to college basketball before squaring off in an early season showdown.
Try just four days each.
Andrew Wiggins is the headliner for the most heralded class at Kansas in years, while Jabari Parker is the biggest name headed to Duke. The two of them will face each other Nov. 12 at the United Center in Chicago as part of a doubleheader that also features Michigan State-Kentucky.
…Wiggins may be the most recognizable name, but combo guard Wayne Selden and raw 7-footer Joel Embiid have the potential to be lottery picks. They're joined by a group of freshmen that includes sharpshooters Conner Frankamp, Frank Mason and Brannen Greene.
"There's as much hype around this year as any," Jayhawks coach Bill Self said, "and I think it's a large part because of the unknown. We've had other good players and other good teams return and this team hasn't proven itself at all. But the unknown has everyone excited."
Kansas opens the season against Louisiana Monroe on Nov. 8, the same day Duke opens its season against Davidson. The two blue bloods -- and their blue chippers -- collide four days later.
On the same floor that night will be Kentucky coach John Calipari's latest bumper crop, which some
pundits believe could be the best recruiting class in college basketball history.
It's college basketball preview season, and you know what that means: tons of preseason info to get you primed for 2013-14. But what do you really need to know? Each day for the past month, we've highlighted the most important, interesting or just plain amusing thing each conference has to offer this season -- from great teams to thrilling players to wild fans and anything in between. Up last: The Wiggins has landed.
…And then there is Kansas. And then there is Andrew Wiggins.
If all of the above were true, and Wiggins wasn't so naturally gifted at the game of basketball, I'd still hold the highest of hopes for the coming season. But his presence, like Batman's, changes things. It has sent, and will send, NBA franchises racing to the bottom. It brings everyone to the table: NBA fans fostering obsessions; causal observers who'd normally just wait for March; that dude you know who only watches the NBA when LeBron James is playing; GIF enthusiasts; people who don't care about basketball at all. You name it. College basketball can often be confused for a niche sport. Sometimes it is. Not this season. Not with Wiggins. If the monoculture still exists, it will be watching.
What that means for Wiggins himself -- a shy, reserved kid who seems equal parts bemused and exhausted by all the attention -- is yet to be seen. As Smart said recently, the burden of proof is impossibly high. But if Wiggins is even 60 percent of what everyone who has ever watched him play the game says he is, then he is the marquee attraction in a sport suddenly chock full of them.
At worst, it is going to be a very fun year. At best, it's the dawn of a new era. How's that for expectation?
Outlook: You all know the stat by now: in each of the last nine seasons, Kansas has won at least a share of the Big 12 regular season title. It’s a phenomenal run, and despite the talent up in Stillwater, Kansas will once again head into the season as the Big 12 favorite. That’s just the way it goes when you’re the nine-time champs; you’re picked to win it until you don’t.
But that’s anything but a guarantee. As mentioned early, Kansas still has plenty of question marks heading into the season, not the least of which is Wiggins himself. As talented and gifted as he is physically, there are still some question marks about how much his offensive repertoire is developed. There are concerns about his aggressiveness, about whether or not he has the killer instinct required to be able to take over game after game after game. His ceiling is nonexistent, but it’s also five years down the road. Will he be Kevin Durant or Harrison Barnes? That’s the difference between Kansas being really good, and Kansas potentially being a title contender.
NBC Season Preview: #6 Kansas
Digital Kansas Basketball Preview
The Phoenix Suns exercised their 2014-15 options on forwards Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris and center Miles Plumlee, the club announced today.
In two seasons with the Suns, Markieff Morris has averaged 7.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in 145 games. The 13th overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft, he closed the 2012-13 season strongly as he averaged 11.8 points and 6.9 rebounds in April, the best scoring and rebounding month of his young career.
Marcus Morris joined the Suns in a midseason trade with Houston and averaged 5.7 points in 23 games with Phoenix last season. Originally the 14th overall pick of the 2011 draft, he led the Suns with an average of 14.3 points in seven contests at the 2013 Las Vegas Summer League.
Portland Police cited Thomas Earl Robinson, of the Portland Trail Blazers, for driving his Porsche 107 miles per hour on Interstate 5 on Friday, Oct. 25.
An officer “observed a white 2013 Porsche Panamera traveling at a high rate of speed on the freeway,” said Sgt. Pete Simpson, Portland Police Bureau, in an email. “The officer’s LIDAR would clock the vehicle at 107 MPH in a 55 MPH zone.”
Robinson, 22, a power forward, was acquired by the Blazers in June during a trade with the Houston Rockets.
Robinson was cited for violation of the Basic Rule (100 MPH +), which carries a fine of $1,150, Simpson said.
Robinson was polite and cooperative during the encounter, Simpson said.
On Sunday morning, Robinson tweeted the following: "Apologies for that speeding ticket rip city gotta be more careful with watching the speed limit my first and last one tho for sure"
Cole Aldrich added to Knicks roster
Hard to believe, but it's been 25 years since that magical season. One thing hasn't changed. Piper still can legitimately chant "We're No. 1," although it will sound a bit different these days.
Piper's three-person T-shirt company has evolved into Grandstand Sportswear and Glassware, a company that may be under the radar for some Lawrence residents.
It shouldn't be. These days the company is a powerhouse in the world of microbreweries. So far this year the company has produced 1.3 million amber glass growlers — the big, brown jugs that patrons of breweries such as Free State Brewing Co. use to tote beer home.
And yes, if he wanted to, Piper could break out the "We're No. 1" chant about it. Grandstand is the largest producer of the amber glass growlers in the country. And while the city may not throw a parade on Massachusetts Street for the accomplishment, local leaders ought to care. As it has risen to No. 1, the company has grown from three employees in 1988 to 104 today.
"We have grown at 45 percent a year for the last four years, and we see another 45 percent this year," Piper said. "To be honest, it has caught us a little bit by surprise. For the last two months, we've been running three shifts, seven days a week to keep up."
A celebrity baby Jayhawk is on the way
Big 12/College News
But Katz, who always seems to have access to Calipari, is reporting that the big news Calipari has been hinting at for several weeks is that the UK coach is nearing a deal to have North Carolina, UCLA and Ohio State join Kentucky in a three-year deal much like the Champions Classic.
"According to multiple sources, the four-team, doubleheader event with UK, UNC, UCLA and Ohio State would follow the same format of the current Champions Classic with a three-year rotation of matchups and sites," Katz posted on ESPN.com.
The games would be played in Brooklyn — UK is playing Providence there this year — along with Indianapolis and Las Vegas starting with the 2014-15 season.
If the series becomes a reality, that would give UK a non-conference game annually with Louisville along with one against North Carolina in the year the teams did not meet in this new event. UK would also play either Kansas, Duke or Michigan State in each of the next three seasons starting in 2014 along with a game against Ohio State or UCLA in the year it did not play North Carolin in the event.
With three potential Blue Devils sitting behind the bench, Duke took the floor for the first time against outside competition Saturday.
Led by 19 points from Rodney Hood and 16 points from Jabari Parker, the Blue Devils rolled Bowie State 103-67 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
"It was exciting, getting a chance to assimilate into the season, get a chance to see different opponents instead of our own teammates during practices," Parker said. "I think we picked it up during the second half and we came through with a big win."
In the early going, it was all Parker. He accounted for Duke's first six points, scoring in a variety of ways. The freshman drilled his first 3-point attempt, hit 1-of-2 free throws and threw down a thunderous dunk over a Bulldog defender.
…With Class of 2014 recruits Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow in attendance, Krzyzewski credited the fans with creating an exciting atmosphere, even for an exhibition game.
"They're part of us. That's been the beauty of coaching here," Krzyzewski said. "They're a huge part of what we do. They're known worldwide."
Quinn Cook started at point guard, Rasheed Sulaimon and Hood on the wings and Jefferson and Parker in the post. ... On hand making their official campus visits were three of the nation’s top high school seniors — 6-10, 265 Jahlil Okafor of Chicago, 6-1, 171 point guard Tyus Jones of Apple Valley, Minn., and 6-5, 208 wing Justise Winslow of Houston. In the ESPN Top 100 ranking of high school senior prospects, Okafor is No. 1, Jones No. 4 and Winslow No. 14. Jones and Okafor are the top-rated players at their positions on the list.
The Duke student body was very much aware of the visitors, chanting their names repeatedly, each time followed by “Come to Duke.”
Villanova guard Dylan Ennis, who sat out last season after transferring from Rice, will miss at least the next month after suffering a fractured bone in his shooting hand in practice on Thursday.
Wildcats spokesman Mike Sheridan confirmed the injury to ESPN.com.
"We're disappointed for Dylan because we know how excited he was about being out there with his teammates," stated Villanova head coach Jay Wright. "But we know that Dylan will work hard during this time so that he is ready to help us as soon as his injury has healed."
The 6-foot-2 Ennis, the older brother of Syracuse freshman Tyler Ennis, averaged 8.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game at Rice as a freshman in 2011-12.
The Cowboys had a hard time maintaining an appetite Sunday, mostly due to the appetizer status of the opposition — exhibition opener foe Campbellsville, an NAIA team from Kentucky — which OSU dispatched in an 80-70 win at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
Still, none of it sat well with Cowboys coach Travis Ford.
“There's not a whole lot to be proud about with our team, that I thought we did particularly well at all,” Ford said.
An OSU team ranked No. 12 in the USA Today Coaches Poll led from the early moments on and was never in any danger of losing, with the final score more indicative of a late Campbellsville surge. The Cowboys led 45-28 at intermission and by as many as 26 points in the second half, with 10 players scoring.
Yet the effort and intensity was uneven, and 14 turnovers and a slim 41-38 edge on the boards clearly irritated Ford. And he said it's a trend he'd been seeing in the days leading into the exhibition.
…Brown led the Cowboys with 13 points, while Kamari Murphy added 11 and Michael Cobbins and freshman Stevie Clark had 10 each. Marcus Smart produced a typical stat line: nine points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals.
The second half was a letdown, however, with OSU shooting just 34.8 percent from the floor over the final 20 minutes, including a 1-for-8 showing on 3-point tries.
“We didn't come with our A-game today,” Cobbins said. “It was definitely a wake-up call for a few of us. If you come out with a big head, then you see what can happen to you.
“It was a wake-up call, we have to get it right or it will continue to happen to us. It's a good thing that it was early and we get to fix it right away.”
Notes: Junior forward Le'Bryan Nash didn't start and was held out the entire first half, due to a minor violation of team rules. Nash played 15 minutes in the second half, finishing with seven points and four rebounds.
Kansas State knows how to throw a basketball-themed party.
On Friday, the Wildcats hyped the upcoming season at Bramlage Coliseum with a public celebration that featured everything from scrimmages and a dunk contest to pump-up videos and new banners.
The event, dubbed Madness in Manhattan, attracted an estimated crowd of 5,500 that cheered throughout the evening affair.
Fans also took plenty of photos of the new landscape. As fun as it was to watch the K-State basketball teams in action, the biggest hit of the evening might have resided in the rafters. For years, the Wildcats have honored their achievements by painting them on the upper walls of the arena.
Final Four berths, conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearances are now listed on purple-and-white banners that give Bramlage Coliseum a new look and feel.
K-State has held basketball kickoff events sporadically in the past, but it used this one as a recruiting tool. Marvin Clark a 6-foot-7 small forward who plays for Sunrise Christian Academy and the Mokan Elite AAU program, was in attendance on an official visit. So was Tre Harris, a 6-foot-5 combo guard, from Edwardsville, Ill.
K-State has held October basketball celebrations sporadically in the past. If the dates line up and the Wildcats can have a basketball night on Friday followed by a home football game on Saturday, they consider it. If not, they don’t worry about it.
This was the first Madness in Manhattan of the Bruce Weber era. Does he want to turn it into a yearly event?
“It’s a hard thing,” Weber said. “You obviously don’t make any money from it. It’s more of a fan-friendly thing. The players like it. It’s good for recruiting. We will see. If they want to keep doing it and they are going to be creative, it’s all right.”
…Maine transfer Justin Edwards (seen above winning the dunk contest) looked like the team’s best player. Of course, K-State fans will have to wait a year before they see him in a live game.
“This was his one shining moment this year,” Weber said. “He will have to wait until next November to do it again.”
Freshman Marcus Foster also looked ready for the season. Overall, K-State can push the ball and attack the basket with authority.
Best player in Wichita State-Baylor matchup was Cleanthony Early. Shockers got the best of the Bears -- who were w/o Freeman and Gathers.
There’s nothing illegal when teams gut their rosters for a long rebuilding project. In fact, the smart ones do it when a player of Wiggins’ vast potential looms on the horizon.
The commissioner knows tanking when he sees it, even if the league doesn’t have a history of doing anything about it. Tanking occurs when teams that have talent and can win start playing hanky-panky with their roster so that they improve their chances of losing to get a shot at a game-changer in the draft.
Think Houston in 1984, when the Rockets lost with the express purpose of securing Hakeem Olajuwon in the draft. Think San Antonio in 1997, when Gregg Popovich kept injured starters David Robinson and Sean Elliott as far away from the court as possible in an effort to get Tim Duncan.
That same season, the Celtics also viewed Duncan as the next franchise superstar and key to their rebuilding and tried to lose as much as humanly possible. As he latetr admitted, M.L. Carr sometimes pulled key players out of fourth quarters of winnable games, including once when David Wesley was hitting a million three’s, en route to 15 wins. But Rick Pitino saw the Ping-Pong balls bounce the wrong way, dooming his chances for Duncan and dooming his rebuilding campaign.
Despite their woeful roster, the 2002-03 Cavs were accused of tanking to get LeBron James when they won only 17 games. Now, it’s all going to be about having a shot to get Wiggins, son of former Rocket guard Mitchell Wiggins, and the most hyped player out of high school since James.
“One thing I’ve learned over the last 36 years is you better let the season play out and see what really happens,’’ Stern said. “Because sometimes, given the competitive nature of our players and given the high level at which the game is played, particularly after the top six or eight teams, we have teams that can surprise, and maybe there will be some surprises this year.’’
NY Daily News
A committee begins work Friday reviewing ways to strengthen the law that penalizes sports agents for providing gifts to college athletes and other improper conduct.
The drafting committee to revise the Uniform Athlete Agents Act will meet for two days in Chicago to consider changes, including several in a memo backed by schools across the country as well as five NFL agents.
Man... it's a beautiful day to be a Jayhawk, truly blessed #KUCMB
Cliff Alexander is announcing Nov. 15 b/c ESPNU has a Recruiting show that day
Talk to four well-respected recruiting analysts and a consensus is nearly reached in the Cliff Alexander sweepstakes.
The Chicago Curie power forward is heading to Kansas.
At least that’s the way it looks for one of the top uncommitted Class of 2014 prospects who will take an official visit at Illinois this weekend.
It is the fourth and final official visit for Alexander, who previously made official visits to Memphis (last weekend), Kansas (Oct. 4) and DePaul (Aug. 24) and who is set to announce his college choice on Nov. 16.
But don’t go putting Alexander on Bill Self’s roster just yet.
“I believe that Illinois is there just by everything I’ve gathered and is neck-and-neck with Kansas,” said Joe Henricksen, the publisher of the City/Suburban Hoops Report. “I still think Memphis is a sleeper.”
…But, even with all the stops Groce and his staff will pull out this weekend, they don’t have one person available who Alex Kline, publisher of TheRecruitScoop.com, said plays a key role in Alexander’s recruitment: former Illini Jerrance Howard, now an assistant to Self at Kansas.
“I think Kansas is a clear-cut favorite right now,” Kline said. “Illinois has somewhat of a shot, but I just see Cliff going to Kansas where Jerrance is now. I think Kansas was minimally invovled earlier where they said, ‘We’ll recruit the kid and see what happens.’ When they brought Jerrance in, they got him on campus. His relationship with Jerrance being the first college coach to recruit him goes a long way. Just the way (Howard) interacts with the kids, his voice and his personality over the phone, he can really have that effect and impact on kids. Cliff is kind of shy and not willing to talk to reporters or coaches in that manner if he doesn’t know them that well. I think (Howard is) the reason, along with the fact that Kansas produces NBA guys on almost a yearly basis. Kansas is becoming the new Kentucky almost as it seems every year they bring in a few new guys, they produce and then they get them to the NBA.”
“Everybody gets their time to shine, and this is that time for him. To get to this point, you’ve earned it, and that’s just his way of handling it,” said Mike Irvin, the director of Alexander’s AAU program, the Mac Irvin Fire.
If you’re one of the more than 9,000 who follow Alexander on Twitter, chances are you’ve been entertained or intrigued by more than a few of his 8,000-plus tweets.
“I really need to change my number ... Some random white dude just called me on FaceTime,” Alexander tweeted earlier this month. That came an hour after he solicited someone to FaceTime him on Twitter.
Even innocuous tweets get traction.
When he wrote “Good morning” on Twitter last week, that inspired seven people to mark it as a favorite and another person retweeted it.
“I think he likes to have fun with it. I don’t think he takes it too seriously. Everyone takes everything a little too seriously, but he does like having fun with the process,” said Scott Burgess, who covers recruiting for ChicagoHoops.com. “I don’t think that’s going to change.”
…“I think he’s a kid who’s enjoyed it. To a degree, it’s his right to enjoy it. He has always been a coveted prospect, but he’s not been put on a pedestal like some of these other guys have. That just came about within the last six months,” said Joe Henricksen, publisher of City/Suburban Hoops Report. “Some of the guys have enjoyed it for two, three years at the maximum height where Cliff is kind of relatively new to all of the attention he’s getting — at least on a national stage. A lot of that comes with keeping the local schools (Illinois, DePaul) involved with a high-profile recruit until the end. It just maximizes the attention.”
Michael O’Brien has been covering high school basketball for the Chicago Sun-Times for more than a decade. He’s never seen anything quite like the recruitment of Alexander. The advancement of social media has changed the landscape tremendously, and Alexander is taking full advantage of his moment in the spotlight.
It used to be that when an athlete wanted to release a list of schools he was considering, he’d do it through the media. Now they serve as their own outlets.
“It’s really unbelievable. I’m so unnecessary compared to what I was. There are so many more media people dealing with recruiting, but most of it comes out directly through the kids now, especially with Twitter and a lot of other things,” O’Brien said. “You know people close to them and you hear things, but in a way it’s taken out the middle man with a lot of the kids.”
…Not everyone is a fan of this approach. Some recruiting analysts have labeled Alexander an overly dramatic diva.
“There’s no right way or wrong way to do it,” Mike Irvin said. “The main thing is just stay true to you, and that’s all you can really ask for from a guy.”
Tre Harris, a 6-foot-5 combo guard, enjoyed his official visit to Kansas State so much that he gave a verbal commitment to the Wildcats late Saturday night.
Harris is originally from Edwardsville, Ill. but currently plays basketball at Fishburne Military Academy in Virginia. Harris was lightly recruited out of high school and doesn’t even have a profile on Rivals. He chose to attend prep school in order to improve his body and earn more scholarship offers. The plan paid off, as he received interest from Toledo, Delaware and K-State. After visiting all three schools, he decided K-State was the obvious choice.
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