A cast of veterans had left. Some puppy-dog newcomers had arrived on campus. And as Chalmers surveyed the premises, taking part in an afternoon sweat in the KU practice facility, the Jayhawks’ crew of freshmen kept drilling Chalmers with a rather important question.
“They were just asking me what it takes to win a championship,” Chalmers said. “I was like: ‘With coach (Bill) Self, just listen.’”
…Still basking in the glow of the Miami Heat’s second straight NBA title, Chalmers returned to the area this week for some downtime and a loaded schedule of charity events. Chalmers will play host to his fifth annual National Championship golf tournament this weekend at Alvamar Golf Club in Lawrence, and he’s organizing a celebrity all-star game tonight at Olathe East. (Chalmers is slated to coach, and admission is $20).
But Wednesday, Chalmers was busy at his camp in Olathe. His foundation had provided scholarships for three kids from the Urban Rangers Corps in Kansas City, and Chalmers had spent the previous two days hanging out with Nik Tanner, Zion Piper and Michael Graham.
“The coolest thing was actually him teaching me how to shoot the ball,” said Tanner, a seventh-grader from Kansas City. “Because I wasn’t making my shots and he was just like: ‘Put faith into it.’”
KC Star (Video at the link)
Mario Chalmers talking on The Drive: " He's at the top. One of the best coaches, I've ever had." on where Bill Self Ranks in coaching.
During the camp, The NCAA champion guard said he spoke with the current KU basketball team about what it takes to win a title.
"I told them, with Coach (Bill) Self, just listen. He told us just play defense and we could do whatever we want on offense. Once we figured that out and how to get our defense going, just clicked and we were able to play together and just have fun," Chalmers said.
Last month, Chalmers won his second straight NBA title with the Miami Heat. He says while he is still enjoying his time off, next year with returning league MVP Lebron James, looks promising.
"We are going for the three-peat. Then next summer, basically the contracts of our whole team are up. This might be our last hoorah together, so we want to go out with a bang," he said.
Chalmers said his second NBA title may have required more sweat than the first.
“The amount of work it took to beat the Spurs (seven games) was a lot different than the Thunder (five games). I’d say the second championship was a little bit harder to win than the first,” Chalmers said.
He scored 20 points a pivotal, series-tying, 103-100 Game 6 victory in Miami.
”My mindset was (to) attack from the beginning. I had three games in San Antonio I didn’t play well at all,” Chalmers said. “I felt I let my team down. I wanted to bounce back and give my team a boost, have my confidence back.”
Chalmers said it was great to have KU coach Bill Self in the stands for two of the Heat’s playoff games — one versus the Spurs in San Antonio and one against the Indiana Pacers in Miami.
“It means a lot. Coming to watch me play at the next level shows he still cares,” said Chalmers, who was in Lawrence earlier this week working out and speaking to KU’s six-player freshman class.
…Chalmers’ four-day camp concludes today at Olathe East. An all-star game that features former KU players Nick Bradford, Jeff Graves, Jeff Hawkins, Brady Morningstar, Russell Robinson, Conner Teahan and perhaps Travis Releford is set for 7 p.m. today, at the O-East gym. Admission is $20. For information on signing up for Chalmers’ fifth-annual golf tournament set for Monday at Alvamar, click here.
Young players from around central Kansas were in Great Bend Tuesday hoping to hone their hoops skills with help form a former KU basketball great.
“This was a camp that I started about seven years ago while I was still playing for the Miami Heat, and really our goal in the camp was not just to teach kids how to dribble, pass or shoot a basketball, but to really teach them what it means to live a life of greatness in following Jesus Christ,” said Wayne Simien, former KU player.
Although he’s no longer a professional basketball player, Wayne Simien is now a minister and his call to greatness camps have allowed him to combine his two loves of basketball and the Lord.
…“We usually have around 70 to 200 kids in each location. We really enjoy serving the kids. We offer tons of scholarships because we don’t want kids to be turned away from this opportunity.
Probably my favorite to work with here in this community is the kids who are in the foster care system that don’t have a lot of opportunities outside of their schools to play sports, and so they come here, and we get a chance to engage and interact and encourage them over the next two days, and it’s been really fun.”
While the Called to Greatness Camps are now all over Kansas, Wayne Simien is hoping to expand them into Missouri and Nebraska in the near future.
KSN (Video at the link)
Space is still available for those interested in Kansas Athletics Williams Education Fund (WEF) travel packages to experience one of the best tournaments in college basketball, the 2013 Battle 4 Atlantis, Nov. 28-30 at Nassau, Bahamas.
The three-game guarantee brackets have yet to be announced for the Thanksgiving-weekend tourney, but the eight confirmed teams participating in the event include: Kansas, Villanova, Tennessee, Iowa, UTEP, Xavier, USC and Wake Forest. The world-renowned Atlantis Resort will serve as the backdrop for the Battle 4 Atlantis.
SLAM: So you’re already at Kansas. What are your first impressions?
AW: I like it a lot. Lawrence is a college town, people there don’t show you nothing but love. The practices are really hard. We have the best strength and conditioning coach in the country. Every day in practice we go hard. I’m a freshman so I’m trying to take someone’s minutes and they’re not just going to let me take their minutes. So I have to go out there and go hard and be hungry. I think we will be a special team.
SLAM: What are some of your favorite shoes? What basketball sneakers have you been rocking this summer?
AW: On the court, I wear what the team wears.
SLAM: Really? I find that hard to believe, Andrew.
AW: Yeah. But off the court, that’s where I like to…I like Jordans, LeBrons, KDs—I like to have stuff that nobody else has.
SLAM Q&A with Andrew Wiggins
But what separates NBA superstar and global sporting icon Lebron James from Darius Miles, the athletically gifted, next-big-thing in the NBA that never was (don’t remember him? exactly) is character. And Wiggins has it.
Gus Gymnopoulos knows the family well. The Vaughan Secondary School phys. ed. teacher and basketball coach has schooled most of the Wiggins clan on the basics of the hard court for the better part of a decade.
“Andrew has been around basketball his whole life,” says Gymnopoulos, whose team won an Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations Basketball Championship in 2011 with Wiggins at the helm. “You can’t make that stuff up. It was almost a perfect environment.”
But, it is the stuff in between Wiggins’ ears that continues to impress Gymnopoulos, who still keeps in touch with his former student and welcomes him back into the school gym whenever he’s in town, as he does with all former players.
“I think he has the perfect character and demeanour to handle the toughest situations,” he says. “He doesn’t care what other people say. He has the ability to deflect. No one trained him; it’s just the way the kid is. He has the mental makeup to be able to handle any situation.”
Post City Magazine
Brannen Greene, a freshman on the Kansas basketball team, is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 7 after being cited for leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage and failure to report an accident.
According to a Lawrence Police accident report, a dark SUV struck a vehicle parked in a driveway around 3:15 a.m. July 13 in the 2000 Block of Ousdahl Road in Lawrence. The accident caused significant damage to the parked car’s trunk.
Greene, 18, was later found by police to be driving the SUV, which was identified as a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer, and was owned by another Lawrence man who was riding in the car. Officers reported that the SUV left tire tracks that continued through adjacent yards.
According to a follow-up accident report, Greene later contacted police and reported on July 17 that he had been driving the vehicle. Greene told police that he had been out at a Lawrence bar and consumed “one drink.”
Former Kansas player Travis Releford played with the Denver Nuggets at the Las Vegas summer league and it's now a waiting game on NBA training camp options. Releford averaged 2.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 0.6 assists in 13.8 minutes a night through five games for the Nuggets in Vegas.
"For the time that I got, I think I did all right," said Releford after the Nuggets wrapped up play against the Memphis Grizzlies. "I don't think I got to show much of my strengths, but for the time I got in I felt like I competed and did the things the coaches asked of me."
…He has been working on adding strength since moving on from Kansas. Releford didn't get a chance to show off his three-point range with the Nuggets as he didn't attempt a single three, but he did shoot 5-11 from the field and feels confident about his three-point stroke.
"With the line being back a little further I had to adjust to it the first three or four weeks out of school [Kansas], but after that I felt like I didn't have a problem with it at all," said Releford. "It has got a lot better as I've gotten stronger. It's different shooting it consistently, like every now and then you'd shoot an NBA three [in college]."
His defense could lead him to training camp. He finished second to Jordan Hamilton (6 steals) with 5 steals on the summer league squad and played well on the defensive end. He stuck with his man, read pick-and-roll coverage well, closed out on shooters, and showed a knack for making plays on defense. Releford was always active when he was on the court and he considers that a strength of his.
So apparently Jason Sudeikis was waiting for a bigger audience to announce that he has left “Saturday Night Live," which begins its 39th season in September.
During an appearance on the “The Late Show” Wednesday, he confirmed the news to host David Letterman.
“I’m definitely done. Yeah, I'm gonna leave. Yeah, I’m not coming back next fall," he told Letterman as the audience groaned at the news.
Big 12/College News
Marcus Smart knows firsthand the impact cancer can have on a family.
He was just 9 when his 33-year-old brother, Todd, died after battling leukemia.
The Oklahoma State star sophomore guard will pay tribute to his brother when his Cowboys face Colorado as part of the MGM Grand Showcase on Dec. 21. Proceeds from the college basketball doubleheader, which also features New Mexico playing Marquette, will go to Coaches vs. Cancer.
“It’s a big-time game for us and for an important cause,” said Smart, who spent the first part of this week training with USA Basketball at UNLV’s Mendenhall Center. “When you lose someone to cancer the way I did with my brother, it stays with you forever. So if we can raise money to help fight (cancer), count me in.”
Tickets, priced from $30 to $250, go on sale at 10 a.m. today at Ticketmaster.com and at all Ticketmaster outlets. Both games will be televised nationally — New Mexico-Marquette on ESPNU and Colorado-Oklahoma State on ESPN2.
Smart told Yahoo! Sports that, barring injury, he will enter and stay in the 2014 NBA draft following his sophomore season. He was projected to be a candidate for the No. 1 pick in last month's draft, but decided to stay in school.
Smart, 19, said he has told Oklahoma State athletic department officials that he plans to go to the NBA after this coming season.
"It's safe to say that if, by the grace of God I'm healthy and everything, this will be my last year at Oklahoma State," Smart said after USA Basketball's mini-camp practice Tuesday at UNLV. "Nothing will change my mind on that. [Oklahoma State] understands. They didn't figure I was coming back this year. They were just as surprised as everyone else."
On Tuesday afternoon, the Louisville men's basketball team concluded its championship victory tour of sorts with the customary trip to the White House.
Members and coaches of the 2013 national championship team met with the President of the United States. With a horde of press, friends and family waiting in the East Wing, Louisville marched out and took a group photo. Pitino then came out, flanked by Barack Obama.
Obama congratulated Kentucky senator/University of Louisville alumnus Mitch McConnell, who was in the building. As presidents tend to be at these congratulatory conferences for American championship teams, Obama was in a gregarious mood. Even jocular. He took a couple of good-natured shots at Pitino.
"[Louisville] always played hard, worked together and worked on one singular goal: to bust my bracket," Obama said.
He also referenced Pitino's tattoo, ink he got in April after fulfilling a promise to his team. Obama promised not to make the 60-year-old coach display it in the White House, but then added, "You have something that will stay with you forever: a shirtless picture on the Internet. That will never be erased."
During a news conference that was professorial, meandering and far more understated than the ones given by his colleagues in recent days, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany added credence Wednesday to the notion that fundamental changes to the NCAA structure are on the way and likely to be implemented within a year.
But unlike Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby and even Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive, Delany downplayed the threat of breaking away from the NCAA and characterized the momentum toward a so-called "super division" of high-revenue schools as a more natural evolution that all of college athletics would embrace.
2013-14 Early-season events schedule
Orlando watching Tyus Jones. RT @SEsco10: @ebosshoops Where is Self?
Howard Pulley (@PulleyHoops) PG Tyus Jones (@Tyusjones06) records 20 pts (8-12 FG), 8 ast in a 64-61 win over BABC #EYBL
Tyus Jones was the guy everyone was there to see, and he didn’t disappoint.
The 6-foot-1, 171-pound point guard led Howard Pulley to a 64-61 win over Bonzie Colsonand BABC on Wednesday night in the 17U Gold Super Showcase at the Wide World of Sports.
Ranked No. 2 in the country in the Class of 2014 by Rivals.com, and No. 3 by ESPN, Jones took the floor in front of Duke assistant Nate James, Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino, Kansas coach Bill Self, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and assistants from Ohio State, UCLA and Baylor.
The only visit Jones currently has scheduled is Baylor in late August. His connection there is that Jared Nunness, Baylor’s Director of Player Development, is his cousin.
Still, he plans on taking all of his visits coming up soon, with a decision coming soon thereafter.
“I plan on taking all of my visits in the fall,”Jones told SNY.tv. “I plan on making my decision at the end of the fall.”
Emmanuel Mudiay is a talent. Point guard with size and athleticism. Shooting it extremely well tonight. Has higher upside than Tyus Jones.
Playing in front of a crowd that included over 50 college coaches, most notably Tom Izzo of Michigan State, Bill Self of Kansas and Duke assistant Nate James, Justise Winslow helped Houston Hoops to a blowout win over Atlanta Xpress, 89-56, in the 17U Gold Super Showcase on Wednesday evening.
…Winslow recently cut his list to 10 schools – Arizona, Baylor, Duke, Florida, Houston, Kansas, North Carolina, Stanford, Texas A&M and UCLA.
Now Kentucky appears to be in the mix, too, but Winslow says that no school has taken an upper hand in his mind.
“I have about 11-12 schools right now that are equal,” Winslow said.
STANLEY JOHNSON, 6-6 SF, Santa Ana (CAL) Mater Dei
Johnson was named Co-MVP of the event after leading the USA West team to the title by posting 25 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in a 98-95 win over USA South this past Saturday. He is considering seven schools – Kentucky, Kansas, Florida, Oregon, Arizona, UCLA and USC – and will take official visits to the first five.
NBA Scout’s Take: “Really showed something bringing the ball up the floor. His perimeter game is improving, which is really going to help him big-time because he’s very good around the basket. With the perimeter game, his upside is much better than the first night I saw him. He’s got a real chance also. He understands how to play. He’s a winner.”
SheridanHoops Top 10 Nike Global Challenge Players
Newman and Mudiay alternated carrying the load for MWA Elite, with Mudiay demonstrating an elite penetration and playmaking ability. Mudiay had 22 points in the first half, finishing with 31. Newman banged in eight 3-pointers en route to a 32-point evening.
…Myles Turner vs. Cliff Alexander and Jahlil Okafor: We saw a preview of this last weekend in Milwaukee, when Turner went head-to-head against Alexander. Facing both of the Chicago big men was a tough challenge for Turner, although his length and ability to face-up and knock down shots was problematic for his opponents. Okafor and Alexander worked well together in the low post or in the high-low.
Isaiah Whitehead vs. Rashad Vaughn: One could make the case that these are the two best shooting guards in the class of 2014. While it was an undercard to the aforementioned big man battle, these two showed off a variety of offensive abilities on Wednesday night. Whitehead got the best of Vaughn, though, making shots from NBA-range and also finishing inside the arc off the bounce.
CBS Wednesday Vegas Recap
While the Hoops' trio of five-star prospects all shined in the blowout win, no one was more efficient as a scorer than Richmond (Texas) Bush wing Kelly Oubre.
The 6-foot-6 shooting guard, who can also comfortably play the small forward position, has been one of the most talked-about players this summer, after showing out at the Peach Jam and then the Nike Global Challenge last week in Washington D.C.
Wednesday night was no different as Oubre knocked down shots from behind the three-point arc with confidence, showed the ability to handle and finish in transition and played with his normal level of energetic and positive attitude.
Also an athlete who can find openings off the ball, Oubre showed a good understanding for the spacing game, beating his man on backdoor cuts and finding openings in the corners to get great looks at three-pointers. Finally, the five-star efficiently attacked the offensive glass, finishing multiple attempts through contact against physically inferior defenders.
After the game, Oubre talked about the latest in his recruitment, specifically what schools are making the biggest push.
Admitting that he was somewhat drawing a blank on naming his complete list, Oubre mentioned Kentucky, Kansas, Georgetown, Connecticut and Florida as schools that he has had contact with the most in the last few weeks. Now that all of the top programs in the nation have decided to make him a priority target in the 2014 class, Oubre is faced with the task of trimming his extensive list.
"The next step is sitting down with my dad and talking about which schools I can see myself playing at for however many years I play in college," said Oubre.
"I have to find the place that the coach can develop me to be the best that I can be. Where can they develop me to help me get to the next level?"
With more and more class of 2014 stars beginning to form recruiting alliances and discussing attending the same schools as package deals, the Houston-area native said that he is not exempt from those discussions.
"A couple big guys like Cliff Alexander and Myles Turner have all talked about going to school together, since most of the same places are recruiting all of us," said Oubre. "Stanley Johnson is another guy I've talked about playing with, but I'm not part of any type of package deal."
Rivals (Video at the link)
adidas Super 64
When: July 24-28
Where: Las Vegas
Why it’s important: We head back to Vegas for the final major July event as college coaches get a chance to make final evaluations at the end of the live period. It also allows coaches an opportunity to confirm what they saw at the two weeks earlier at the adidas Invitational.
What makes it unique: The field may be the largest coaches will see this month with close to 450-500 teams from various age groups and playing levels. Also, adidas welcomes players and teams from other shoe brand companies to make the talent base the best it can possibly be.
Players to watch: SG Jalen Coleman and PF
AAU Super Showcase and National Championship
When: July 24-29
Where: Orlando, Fla.
Why it’s important: More than 1,000 college coaches pack the first-class facilities at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports to take in some of the best AAU talent in the country.
What makes it unique: The nation’s premier AAU squad compete for a national championship after qualifying by winning their respective districts, meaning these teams truly have to earn the right to play at this event.
Players to watch: PG Tyus Jones, PG Joel Berry and PF Chris McCullough.
Las Vegas Fab 48
When: July 25-28
Where: Las Vegas
Why it’s important: The talent pool is extremely deep and attracts more than 1000 college coaches, providing prospects a packed arena to showcase their talents.
What makes it unique: There are over 300 reported teams participating with teams from all over the country and a spattering of international squads.
Players to watch: PG Jordan McLaughlin, SG/PG Tyler Dorsey and SG Daniel Hamilton.
Hal Pastner Bigfoot Hoops Las Vegas Classic
When: July 24-28
Where: Las Vegas
Why it’s important: Arguably the largest event of the month, the Las Vegas Classic draws 450 teams from America, New Zealand, Australia and Mexico to name a few.
What makes it unique: The sheer number of talented prospects from a wide range of ages essentially turns this setting into a buffet for college coaches to evaluate and for players to earn college scholarships.
Players to watch: C Jahlil Okafor, PF Ivan Rabb and SF Kameron Chatman
ESPN Insider ($)
The Metro Sports / KC Prep Invitational, July 25-28, 2013.
Jayson Tatum, a 6-foot-6 sophomore guard from St. Louis, already holds scholarship offers from Kansas and Missouri — and he’ll be in Kansas City this weekend for the KC Prep Invitational, which begins Thursday at the Mid-America Sports Complex in Shawnee.
Tatum, who plays for the St. Louis Eagles grassroots squad, will play his first game at 9:15 p.m. on Thursday. One of the top players in the 2016 class, he also holds scholarship offers from Kentucky, Michigan State and Florida, among others, according to Rivals.com.
Another intriguing player to watch is shooting guard Allonzo Trier of Tulsa, Okla., the 35th ranked player in the Class of 2015. The tournament runs through Sunday, and many games can be seen on Metro Sports in Kansas City.
My KU Alumni games, 2011-12 Border War, Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos, Late Night in the Phog, and more now on YouTube