Kelly Oubre Jr., a versatile 6-foot-7, 200-pound shooting guard/small forward from Findlay Prep High in Henderson, Nev., on Wednesday signed a letter of intent with Kansas University on the first day of the week-long early signing period.
Oubre, who is ranked No. 12 overall in the Class of 2014 by Rivals.com, committed to KU on Oct. 8. He chose KU over Kentucky and Florida.
Oubre was born in New Orleans, moving to Richmond, Texas with his dad, Kelly Sr., in fourth grade in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
“Kelly comes from a great program at Findlay,” Self said of Oubre, who has averaged 23.0 points and 7.4 rebounds per game in Findlay’s first five games of the 2013-14 season. “He’s been coached by Jerome Williams, who is an ex-NBA player and has really helped Kelly a lot.
“Coach (Norm) Roberts did a great job recruiting Kelly and his father, Kelly Sr.,” Self added. “We think Kelly has a chance to impact our program in a way that very few freshmen have. He’s very well rounded. He’s an outstanding student, and we all believe and know he will be a tremendous addition to our program.”
Oubre, who averaged 22.7 points a game his junior year at Richmond’s Bush High, played for USA Basketball in October in the Developmental National Team Mini-Camp in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“I was up (at KU) a couple days. I could see the brotherhood they have. I see how in coach (Bill) Self’s program, they are all for it. They treat everybody like there’s nothing bigger than the team, even the guys who are one-and-done. Nobody is bigger than the program,” said Oubre Jr., who visited KU for Late Night in the Phog.
"Kelly had an unbelievable spring and summer and really worked hard to elevate his national ranking," Self said. "He has great length but is a true wing. He can play either guard slot, the two or the three, and maybe some emergency point. He's very skilled, explosive and what we like most about him is his toughness. We think he will be able to compete at this level from a toughness standpoint from day one."
KUAD Press Release
It would perhaps be unfair to declare Kelly Oubre as Kansas’ de facto replacement for Andrew Wiggins, who will almost certainly enter the NBA Draft after this season.
But it is fair to say that KU coach Bill Self has high expectations for Oubre, a 6-foot-7 small forward who officially signed with Kansas on Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period.
…Self, of course, has become familiar with the unjust hype and expectations that can accompany a top recruit. But Oubre’s pedigree suggests he’ll likely play a role from day one in Lawrence.
While watching that KU vs. Duke game Tuesday night, I was amazed at what Bill Self means to not just Kansas basketball, but the university itself and how it’s perceived.
They had more than 22,000 people in Chicago and a national TV audience.
Self put on a coaching clinic; the man is unbelievable.
Mike Krzyzewski, recognized as of the top three coaches in America, got out coached by Self.
KU went on a 15-4 run down the stretch-- game over. Sure, Andrew Wiggins and Wayne Selden and Perry Ellis are really good, but Self makes it all happen.
His players get better every day, every game, year after year. He breaks out a new starting five and two games into the season, takes out Duke on a neutral floor.
KU fans can forget about the crappy football program. It's an embarrassment to the school and the conference.
Jayhawk fans had to endure through Lew Perkins and that multi-million dollar ticket scandal. Then Turner Gill and now Charlie Weis.
When basketball season rolls around, everything changes faster than the falling leaves at Mt. Oread. Everybody becomes a KU fan again. The Jayhawks get their swagger back.
You can see that sense of entitlement start creeping back in. Nine straight league titles can do that.
This team is good. Really good.
Watching Self operate, I can only wonder how painful it must be for Missouri fans.
Bill Self wanted to be the head coach of the Missouri tigers in the worst way, but Mike Alden shot him down in favor of Quin Snyder.
It goes down as the greatest coaching blunder in Tiger history. KU got really lucky.
That’s Jack’s Smack. (LOL good ol' jack. No need to click, every envy-filled word is here.)
For Self, the matchup really boiled down to a simple formula. If Kansas handled the Blue Devils’ pressure and pounded them in the paint, the Jayhawks would be in position to win in the final minutes. Duke was armed with a cadre of veteran guards — and a polished offensive sniper in freshman forward Jabair Parker — but Kansas had the edge in size and depth in the post. Self just wanted to make sure that Ellis was ready to take advantage.
“I’ve been on Perry quite a bit to be more aggressive,” Self said, “and he was more aggressive. And I thought he was terrific.”
While KU freshmen guards Frank Mason (15 points in 23 minutes) and Wayne Selden (15 points) appeared mature and unfazed by the spotlight, Ellis had his breakout performance on a national stage. And the timing came with an interesting twist.
Earlier in the day on Tuesday, three Kansas freshmen — Wiggins, Wayne Selden and Joel Embiid — appeared on the 50-man preseason watch list for the Wooden Award, given annually to the national player of the year. Ellis, meanwhile, was left out, perhaps a little unusual for a forward who could be a leading scorer on a top-five team.
Kansas University freshman guard Andrew Wiggins had his shaggy Afro clipped before Tuesday’s Champions Classic battle against Duke.
It’s made inquiring minds wonder about the 6-foot-8 freshman’s motivation for sitting in the barber chair prior to such a big game.
“Maybe all of the above,” KU coach Bill Self joked Wednesday on his Hawk Talk radio show when asked if Wiggins shed his hair because (A) it was such a big game, (B) the coach suggested it or (C) Wiggins’ mom suggested it.
“He looks good,” Self added of Wiggins, who erupted for 22 points including four big ones down the stretch of KU’s 94-83 victory over the Blue Devils at the United Center in Chicago.
“I think it’s fine either way. He’s always thought he looks like he is really, really young with his hair cut. With his hair, he thought he looked at least six, eight months older. So that’s the reason he wanted to grow his hair out, because it makes him look older.”
Wiggins is 18.
“I (initially) told him I think he should keep his hair, with the thinking he’ll never do what the coach wants him to do, so he’d want to cut it,” Self stated. “Maybe I shouldn’t have told him that, because he said, ‘OK, coach, if you think I need to keep it.’
“There was some consultation basically (before Chicago trip): ‘Are you sure you want to do this (leave it long)? You are going to cut it over Christmas. Why don’t you get it cut now if you are going to cut it anyway?’”
Self said when Wiggins arrived for a team meal with short hair ... “I’m serious. I didn’t recognize him at all. I said, ‘Who is that? That’s a good-looking kid.’
…“The thing I like the most,” Self went on, “is the excitement level of our kids after he (Wiggins) made the play (dunk). Those kids had fun last night. Sometimes when you are young and don’t really know anything, you put yourself in a situation you act cool or act like the stage isn’t too big. The kids did that a little bit, but when the game was on the line, there were some happy kids out there playing. It was fun to watch. I love to see them play with more of their personality each and every game as opposed to being this stoic-type figure. I thought it was good they showed that.”
…“I talked to several NBA guys today,” Self said Wednesday. “I didn’t see much of the first game. The second game was a great game. I didn’t think it was the most artistic. They (NBA scouts) were raving of the quality of the players and the games this early in the season. It made me feel pretty good, because I know our guys stuck it out and performed pretty well. We haven’t been performing consistently great at all. We did get excited to play. It will be a teaching moment to know if we are geeked up and energized what this team can potentially do if everybody is on the same page. It was a great starting point.”
Wiggins: He showed a willingness and desire to take over the game. He demanded the ball, found a way to impact the game and did it under the bright lights in crunch time. My concerns have been whether he plays hard every possession, but this is an area that will continue to improve -- especially playing for Bill Self. He’s obviously gifted with his length and athleticism, but he showed me that he’s stronger than I thought mentally, being able to come back from first-half foul trouble and make his presence felt with the game on the line.
ESPN Goodman ($)
I expected the word tentative to pop into my brain during the nightcap to Tuesday night’s fascinating doubleheader in United Center, but it never did.
From the moment the locker room door flew open to when the celebratory basketball was tossed skyward, the young Kansas University basketball team stayed in confident attack mode, keeping seriously skilled Duke from taking control and then burying the Blue Devils with a flurry at the end.
Impressive. And so was the lack of silly mistakes.
…So far, Self has expanded his rotation and it’s working. I can’t imagine anyone walking out of the home court of the Chicago Bulls less bullish on KU than when walking into the arena.
Better game? You tell me from these examples.
• Game one: In a back-and-forth, up-tempo game, college basketball powerhouses combine for 177 points, but commit 51 fouls and attempt 63 free throws.
• Game two: In a tense contest not decided until the final minute, the teams combine for 129 points. There are 37 fouls called in a grinder of a game, where the teams attempt a total of 37 free throws.
Game one was Kansas-Duke on Tuesday in Chicago. The Jayhawks won 94-83 and the contest produced some terrific individual performances from the Jayhawks’ Perry Ellis (24 points), Andrew Wiggins (22) and the Blue Devils’ Jabari Parker (27).
It also featured an abundance of rhythm-stopping free-throw attempts.
Game two was Kansas-Duke in Maui two years earlier, won by the Blue Devils 68-61. The game featured bangers such as the Jayhawks’ Thomas Robinson and Duke’s Mason Plumlee. Each finished with three fouls and were not in foul trouble.
Again, your preference?
…The Jayhawks have fantastic depth. Off the bench come Joel Embiid, Brannen Greene, Frank Mason and Jamari Traylor. All contributed big moments on Tuesday. Wiggins on the bench didn’t hurt Kansas the way Parker on the bench affected the Blue Devils.
The thought of the Jayhawks’ having too much talent and finding enough minutes to keep everybody happen has evaporated. Nobody will redshirt. In this whistle-stop environment, the Jayhawks will need them all.
…The call that seemed to most perturb Self was a Wiggins’ blocking foul. It appeared Wiggins had position in time to draw the charge.
But so far this season, a charge is a rare call.
What isn’t rare is a free throw. Until teams learn to live with the new order, the free ones will pile up, like it or not.
KC Star Kerkhoff
Clearly, there will be an adjustment period to the new hand-check rules, which Rasheed Sulaimon said have been difficult to get used to. Kansas scored 50 points in the paint, 30 coming in the second half, and the Jayhawks added 12 on the fast break. Once Parker picked up his fourth foul with four minutes left, Kansas starting driving at him.
The rule works both ways, and given the Blue Devils’ speed and athleticism, they should be able to drive and cause opposing teams defensive and foul troubles, too. Duke put up 42 points in the paint but just four on the fast break. There were several key possessions where the Blue Devils forced shots or took quick shots, which fed into some defensive struggles.
“Our offense hurt our defense,” Thornton said. “We can’t take bad shots, we have to make our free throws, those things separate the game.”
The Devils shot 51.7 percent from the line, which Thornton attributed to young guys putting too much pressure on themselves and overthinking. That pressure transferred to the defensive end, and by the time the second half began to draw to a close, the Blue Devils were tired, emotionally from the big-game atmosphere and physically from the Jayhawks’ size, especially in the frontcourt.
“I called a timeout at (6:24),” Krzyzewski said. “We were staggering. We were tired. I just told them, ‘Try to get angry. Try to push one another.’ That’s what we have to learn from a game like this. In winning big games, you have to have waves of emotion. ... And how do you create those waves of emotion? A steal, something somebody says, a loose ball or whatever. It’s learning how to win.”
VIDEO: Bill Reiter, Mike Freeman, Jim Rome discuss Wiggins, Parker
The hype-masters were out in force on Tuesday night in Chicago. If you heard about how “special,” this season’s college basketball freshman class was once, you heard about it 100 times.
Different masters of hype took turns drooling over Kentucky’s Julius Randle and his freshman teammates; Kansas’s Andrew Wiggins and his fellow frosh and Duke’s Jabari Parker, whose classmates are merely good players who may actually have to go through the torture of returning to college for a second year.
Of course the hype-masters barely noticed that the best team in The United Center — a proper venue for what was an NBA draft audition — was Michigan State, which has to settle for having tough-minded, veteran players and a future Hall of Fame coach.
The public relations machine that is the TV networks and the big-name coaches and many in the basketball media, will tell you that the one-and-done rule is a good thing because it means that players like Randle, Wiggins and Parker will at least make a one-season cameo in college uniforms and that’s good for the college game.
Being honest, I bought into that line of thinking once. When the rule was first passed seven seasons ago, I thought watching Derrick Rose in a Memphis uniform or Kevin Love in a UCLA uniform for one season was better than having them go directly from high school to the pro game. I even thought there might be something to all the drivel about how good it was to “expose,” these guys to a year of college before they headed for the NBA.
Boy was I wrong. All Rose did was get Memphis’s trip to the national championship game in 2008 vacated because someone decided he needed some help with his SAT’s in order to be eligible for one college season. Rose got caught — not punished in any way, but caught. How many other one-and-dones do you think have done the same thing or something similar to make sure they spend their one college season on the court as opposed to, say, inside the classroom? Plenty. They just haven’t been caught — yet.
If you want to be a professional basketball player and, like Randle, Wiggins and Parker you are plenty good enough to do it coming out of high school, go do it. If it doesn’t work out for some reason, they will have plenty of money to go to college if they decide that’s the next road they want to go down.
I’m a Duke graduate. Personally, I take no joy in seeing Parker in a Duke uniform. He’s never going to get a degree and — being fair — he’s not going to need one. When I see hype coming out of Duke about the accomplishments of “Duke alumni,” like Kyrie Irving, Austin Rivers, Luol Deng and Corey Maggette, I blanche. None ever made it back to Duke for a second year. I don’t blame any of them for taking the money when it was there but I also don’t think Duke should be taking credit — or blame — for any of them either.
…Stern’s right. If the colleges had any backbone at all, they’d make freshmen ineligible. Let those who are gifted and ONLY want to play basketball play in the NBA-DL for a year or overseas. Let those who want to play basketball and, perhaps get a college degree along the way, play college basketball. The game will be just fine and it won’t be dominated by mercenaries passing through because a rule says they have to.
If you knew what you were doing as a sports fan Tuesday night, you at least caught a glimpse of some of the finest early-season college basketball match-ups that I've seen in a long time. Number one and number two played each other (Kentucky lost to Michigan State), but perhaps the most entertaining game was between powerhouses Kansas and Duke. Kansas won by a 94-83 final, but the game saw numerous lead-changes and was within a 10 point margin until the final minute.
Something you might not know is that while the big-time games last night didn't really involve any local teams (no disrespect to UMass, who improved to 2-0 against LSU), there were Massachusetts ties. Namely, two fifths of Kansas' starting five. Junior point guard Naadir Tharpe is from Worcester, and freshman guard Wayne Selden Jr. is from Roxbury.
Both Tharpe and Selden Jr. were highly recruited (and both attended academies in New Hampshire), though unfortunately for local college basketball fans, neither opted for Boston College or UMass.
Still, their geographic proximity to New England is no reason not to root for them, or at the very least, notice how incredibly talented they are.
In the game Tuesday night, Tharpe tied for the team lead in assists with five, and contributed seven points. Selden Jr. added 15 points himself and also pulled down six rebounds. Even though most of the talk around Kansas will innevitably drift towards possible number one NBA draft pick Andrew Wiggins, both Mass. players will be critical to the midwest college's chances in the NCAA tournament next spring.
A day before many of the NBA's most recognizable GMs and a reported 80 league scouts descended upon Chicago to watch four of the top five ranked teams in college basketball, the Champions Classic already had an organic nickname: The Convention.
The NBA doesn't just gather in unison to prepare for the next draft over seven months in advance every year. They were here because the talent on the floor was the culmination of at least two years of hype surrounding the most heralded freshman class since 2007. That class brought Derrick Rose, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and James Harden to college basketball, among others. This one has Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle and Jabari Parker. On Wednesday night, they were all in Chicago, and the NBA pressed the pause button to take it all in.
…While Jabari stole the show, it was Wiggins and the Jayhawks who took the game.
This Kansas team is going to be a problem: they're huge and athletic and as talented as any team in the country, including Kentucky. Wiggins and Wayne Selden were McDonald's All-Americans and Joel Embiid would have been if he was allowed to play out of his prep school. That Kansas' offense already looked as good as it did while UK was plagued by turnovers suggests the Jayhawks are going to be around for the long haul in March.
Wiggins sat much of the first half because of foul trouble, but he found his footing after halftime. He scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half, including a step-back jumper and and-one dunk on consecutive possessions to ice the game. There's the temptation to call Wiggins overhyped because of just how much publicity he's received, but it's pretty clear he's going to be an amazing pro player. By the time he's 25 years old, I don't think it would surprise anyone if he's one of the five or 10 best basketball players in the world.
On The Contenders:
“[Kansas does] such a good job of getting the ball inside and they play angles real well,” said Bilas. “They reverse the ball and as they do their big guys will move you up the lane. So if you get up the high side of them, they’re going to reverse the ball and they’re gonna spin you up the lane and they’re going to throw the ball to the corner of the backboard. And they get so many easy opportunities as a result of that and pick up a lot of fouls. They do a great job of it. I was just really impressed with their transition game, they can really run.”
“Uber-talented; he’s so athletic. I don’t think he’s quite as skilled as some of these other guys, but his growth curve is gigantic. I think he’s going to continue to get better. And he’s a really nice kid. He doesn’t seem to have the dominant personality yet. But heck, he’s averaging 19 points and shooting 58% in his first two guys. Not a lot of guys are doing that out of the gate. He’s gonna be really good.”
AUDIO: Jay Bilas interview CBS Charlotte
ESPN's coverage of No. 2 Michigan State defeating No. 1 Kentucky 78-74 on Tuesday, Nov. 12, is the network's second most-viewed, non-conference men's college basketball game. The first telecast of the marquee State Farm Champions Classic doubleheader - which also saw No. 5 Kansas upend No. 4 Duke 94-83 - averaged 4,002,000 viewers and a 2.6 HH US rating. ESPN's most-viewed game - also a matchup of the top two teams with No. 2 Tennessee defeating No. 1 Memphis 66-62 on February 23, 2008 - averaged 5,281,000 viewers and a 3.2 HH US rating.
· Kansas vs. Duke also garnered a large audience, averaging 2,977,000 viewers and a 2.1 HH US rating.
· The two games averaged a combined 3,509,000 viewers and a 2.4 HH US rating, making it the most-viewed and highest rated Champions Classic, surpassing 2,504,000 viewers and a 1.6 HH US rating in 2012 and 2,514,000 viewers and 1.7 HH US rating in 2011.
Champions Classic Top 10 Metered Markets
Seven metered markets were among the top 10 highest rated for both games of the Champions Classic doubleheader: Louisville, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Greensboro, Greenville, Kansas City and Raleigh-Durham.
· Louisville led all markets for coverage of Michigan State's win over Kentucky with a 20.3 rating followed by Detroit (8.6), Cincinnati (7.4), Greensboro (7.2), Kansas City (6.8), Raleigh-Durham (6.2), Dayton (6.2), Knoxville (5.9), Charlotte (5.4), Greenville (4.2) and Columbus (4.2).
· Kansas City was the highest rated market for Kansas' victory over Duke with a 13.5 rating followed by Raleigh-Durham (7.8), Greensboro (7.6), Louisville (7.3), Charlotte (4.4), Norfolk (4.0), Cincinnati (3.9), Greenville (3.8), Memphis (3.8), Chicago (3.7) and Birmingham (3.7).
Louisville (with a 13.8 rating) and Kansas City (10.1 rating) were the top two markets for the doubleheader, followed by Greensboro (7.4), Raleigh-Durham (7.0), Cincinnati (5.6), Detroit (5.6), Dayton (4.8), Greenville (4.0) and Memphis (3.9).
Thomas Robinson threw down a vicious putback dunk during Portland’s 90-89 home win over Phoenix on Wednesday night.
With a little more than eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and the Suns leading 77-68, Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge tossed up a mid-range jumper. By the time the shot rebounded off the front rim, Robinson was already in hot pursuit. Stepping to his left to avoid Markieff Morris before coming back in front of him to the right, Robinson then jumped high enough to clear Marcus Morris and secure the ball with his right hand.
From there, it was pure strength, as Robinson held on to slam home the putback dunk as he came back to the court at a leaning angle. The No. 5 pick in the 2012 draft whipped his mouthguard out to celebrate.
…Robinson finished with 15 points (on 6-for-9 shooting), which tied his career-high. He also grabbed eight rebounds.
Hospitality is overrated. Kansas University’s women’s basketball team showed Wednesday night they prefer making their opponents uncomfortable at Allen Fieldhouse.
After winning the season-opener at the free-throw line three days earlier, KU earned its second victory of the young season with its defense. The Jayhawks forced SIU-Edwardsville to commit 26 turnovers and turned their foe’s miscues into 31 points in a 72-56 victory.
Junior guard Asia Boyd set her second career-high this week with 18 points to help Kansas (2-0) top SIU-Edwardsville (0-2). The Detroit, Mich. native, also set career-best marks in field-goals made (six), and three-point field goals made (four), to set the tone for the Jayhawks offensively.
Big 12/College News
These two barely-in-college guys did stuff you see only in the NBA. Dunks, three-pointers, step-back jumpers — all there. Indeed, the notoriously humble Parker already has an un-humble ‘‘Who, me?’’ pro look after fouls. Plus, he wears No. 1, never for the shrinking violet. One more thing: As good as he is, he got posterized by Wiggins on a breakaway dunk with less than 90 seconds left. And the foul. It happens to the best.
But the amazing thing was this: Four great college basketball teams played a doubleheader in front of a crazed, sellout crowd of 21,000, and the school closest to Chicago was Michigan State — 230 miles away in East Lansing, Mich.
You think Chicago can’t support college hoops mania?
The next thought is: How would we know? From Northwestern to Loyola to DePaul, Chicago has been a college hoops desert for a long time now.
But this mini-tournament was more than only two games early in the season. This was something that might be better than the Final Four matchups we’ll get next spring.
…But this was a treat unlike any we’ve seen this early in a season. There were NBA scouts, general managers and executives everywhere, including Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau and GM Gar Forman. As one exec from out of town said — and I’m not making this up, only protecting him from getting his hand slapped: ‘‘There are 31 NBA teams here, plus Kentucky.’’
…Then there was the Parker-Wiggins matchup, which was sort of like an NBA lottery-pick tryout. Those two might go first and second in the draft next spring.
Flip Saunders, the president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves, said the top three picks — Parker, Wiggins and Randle — were on the floor at the United Center.
‘‘This is something,’’ Saunders said.
And Chicago ate it up.
Chicago Sun Times
Grantland: 10 takeaways from a wonderful, frustrating night of college basketball
WSJ: College basketball’s freshman obsession
Dick Vitale: Randle, Parker and Wiggins, oh my!
Michigan State hasn’t produced an NBA first-round pick since 2006, when Shannon Brown and Mo Ager both heard their names called. The Spartans did of course send four first-rounders to the next level in just two seasons at the dawn of the century (Mateen Cleaves, Morris Peterson, Jason Richardson and Zach Randolph), and to be sure in more recent years there’s been at least one near-draft-miss. (Draymond Green was selected with the 35th pick in 2012.) Nevertheless, the fact remains that in Chicago this evening one of these things is really not like the others pipeline-wise in the 2000s.
Not that it seems to matter, of course. Since the 2006 NBA draft all Izzo has done is go to five Sweet 16s and two Final Fours. Tom Izzo, I salute you!
For the rest of us mere mortals, recruiting the best players in the country is important. And John Calipari, Mike Krzyzewski and Bill Self may be three of the best recruiters ever. (Yes, ever! See below.)
…Still, all of the above numbers lead me to two conclusions:
1. Calipari, Krzyzewski, Self, and Williams may be even better at recruiting than commonly understood. In the last nine NBA drafts 227 of the first-round selections have come from the college ranks, and these four coaches alone have produced 21 percent of those picks. It’s no mistake these four guys won five national championships in those nine seasons.
You hear the hype all throughout November, on ESPN and throughout the college basketball￼ world.
Maui Invitational. Coaches vs. Cancer. Bahamas. Puerto Rico. Virgin Islands. Cancun. This Classic. That Classic. And, the early season event the Arizona Wildcats will participate in this season, the NIT Season Tip-Off.
But first, the No. 6 Wildcats will face a different challenge Thursday night at San Diego￼ State, playing the kind of difficult true road game that often isn’t seen until December.
“There’s not a lot of teams like us that, I believe, play a true road￼ game (in November),” UA coach Sean Miller said. “Everybody makes a big deal out of the huge neutral-site venues, and I understand that. But that doesn’t count. What counts is when you play a team in their own arena.
“That’s when you’re going up against a very good team under conditions that favor them. You learn a lot about your own team, but those are games that aren’t easy to win. We know that.”
Although he won’t be able to play against his former teammates tonight when the Aztecs host the Wildcats — (Angelo) Chol must sit out the redshirt year required of transfers — maybe that’s OK.
Chol has plenty to work, not only on the court, but in the weight room, with Fisher’s system … and, maybe most of all, in his head.
Chol’s playing time shrank from 12.2 to 8.5 minutes as a sophomore last season, and he didn’t play at all in seven games, hovering mostly on the outside of Miller’s rotation.
Toward the end of the season, he said he knew, and that the UA coaches knew, he would leave.
“It was the situation,” Chol said. Miller “was doing what was best for the team. I was going to do what’s best for me by transferring. I didn’t want to be just a role player.”
He had given it two years, after all, longer than many of today’s transfers need before deciding to try something else.
Chol even stuck around last season knowing minutes would be harder to earn with high school All-Americans Brandon Ashley, Kaleb Tarczewski and Grant Jerrett arriving.
“I didn’t want to run from that,” Chol said.
But ultimately, the lack of playing time in games left a scar. Except for flashes, when his sometimes aggressive play would light up a McKale Center crowd that appeared to appreciate him, Chol was no longer the same hard-charging, sure-of-himself player he was at Hoover High School.
“When you don’t get to play, sometimes you begin to wonder a little bit,” Fisher said. “I’m sure he might have wondered, ‘I might have screwed it up. I’m not as good as I thought I was a year ago. Why am I not playing more?’ Things cross your mind, and it can have an impact.”
Arizona Daily Star
ESPN: Uni Watch
Yahoo: 30 for 30 parody Space Jam
Two established Kansas City entrepreneurs are hoping their new technology will make a name for Kansas in another area of basketball.
From the invention of basketball by James Naismith, a former University of Kansas coach, to the invention and manufacturing of the Pop-A-Shot basketball game in Salina, Kan., co-founders Bruce Ianni and Davyeon Ross are taking ShotTracker to market with a crowdfunding campaign that launches Wednesday.
ShotTracker is a wearable form of technology that tracks basketball shot attempts and gives real-time statistics. It follows in the footsteps of technology that's existed for years in other athletic endeavors — from running to cycling — but has yet to emerge with this kind of automatic functionality.
"The whole goal of the ShotTracker is to be unobtrusive and let players focus on their shot — not tracking it — so it's very invisible to the user," Ross said.
Nike has a patent on a device that attaches a smartphone to users' arm and requires them to swipe once for a successful shot and twice for a miss. The ShotTracker, on the other hand, automatically tracks shots with a small unobtrusive piece of technology in a sleeve the shooter wears. The sleeve communicates via Bluetooth with an accelerometer device attached to the net, which tracks a specific pattern of power and speed to determine whether a shot is made.
"What we're seeing is the evolution of the data-driven athlete," Ross said. "Being able to utilize data can help you become a better shooter. You can't improve what you can't measure."
KC Biz Journal
Big XII composite schedule
ESPN College GameDay Schedule
2013-14 TV Schedule
2013-14 Early-season events schedule
I'm definitely gonna sign after I announce too. I just want to get it all out of the way.
And yes, me and my boy Jahlil (Okafor) are definitely still going to the same school. That's 100 percent. We've always said that we were gonna play together in college and we haven't wavered on it. We're announcing together, but I don't know if it'll be split-screen or what. I don't have those details.
I know everyone has opinions about where we're headed. I know the other players had their predictions because we're around each other a lot. You kinda get a feel for how certain schools might fit certain players a little better and things like that.
The thing is, and I know people won't believe this, but I haven't made my mind up yet. I'm not worried about people believing that or not. I'm doing everything that I can to make the right decision for me.
It's a really tough decision to make. There are a lot of things that I like about all of the schools.
With Duke it's the opportunity to play for Coach K and the style that they play there. I love the way they use their guards, and I feel like I can make an impact right away. Plus they have a great fan base.
Minnesota would give me the chance to stay home and play in front of my family and friends. I really like Coach Pitino and I love their style of play. They really get up and down the floor, and that's how I like to play.
With Baylor I love the freedom that Coach Drew allows his players. They use a lot of ball screens and they put their point guard in a lot of great positions to make plays.
Then with Kansas they're similar with Baylor as far as having a lot of ball screens, especially for the point guard, which is a key for me. Of course I like Coach Self; we've built a great bond and I really like that their fans are crazy.
So, as you can see, this is a decision that will be really hard to make. And no the Kansas-Duke game will have no effect on the commitment on Friday.
USA Today: Tyus Jones blog
There have been many rumors around social media about which way Alexander is leaning, but he said earlier this week even he did not know for sure.
If Alexander signs with Illinois, this class would certainly jump into the top 10 nationally and maybe even crack the top five.
“It would be a statement that Groce can recruit the city of Chicago,” Snow said. “That’s not to say he can’t if he doesn’t get Cliff Alexander, but getting the elite kids out of Chicago has always been, I don’t know if challenge is the right word, but has always been the goal for the head coach at the University of Illinois.”
Illinois did not hold a signing press conference Wednesday to give Groce the first chance to talk about his recruiting class. The Illini didn’t want to interrupt preparation for their game Wednesday night against Valparaiso.
Schools are allowed to have only one such press conference, and by waiting until next week Illinois’ could be so much bigger.
To Alexander’s credit, he’s done a masterful job keeping fans enthralled.
He’s the puppet master, using the strings of the internet to bounce fans into a dizzying mess.
Again to Alexander’s credit, he has either done a wonderful job concealing his secret, or he is still mulling his decision and is yet to decide.
If a teenager can successfully keep a secret for any length of time, he certainly earns my respect. As Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “Three may keep a secret…if two of them are dead.”
At the risk of adding to the speculation, let me report this one nugget of fact:
Wednesday is “signing day” and for as long as I can recall, the University of Illinois has proudly held a press conference on this day to brag about the next basketball recruiting class. We already know that coach John Groce has three commitments for that class, Champaign’s Michael Finke, Memphis’ Leron Black and Louisville’s Quintin Snider. We’d been told there was a 75 percent likelihood that some kind of press conference would be held today, the only hangup being Groce’s schedule due to tonight’s game against Valparaiso.
But at mid-day on Tuesday we learned there will be no signing day press conference today.
The NCAA allows schools just one press conference specifically to announce a recruiting class. So if Groce had conducted a press conference to welcome the three commits today, he could not have staged another to announce an additional commitment. By deciding there will be no press conference today, it naturally makes one wonder.
Are they waiting to include Big Cliff?
Do they already know something?
I could pretend to know something, as some have, but I’m being honest when I say that Cliff is truly keeping everyone in the dark.
A leak could develop if he calls coaches of the three schools he won’t be picking and tells them the bad news. Once he shares the secret, it no longer becomes a secret.
But he may keep all the coaches hanging by a thread until he makes everyone twitch with one more pull of the strings on Friday.
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