VIDEO: Gameday: The Allen Fieldhouse Experience
With the departure of Tyrel Reed and Brady Morningstar and the ineligibility of freshman guard Ben McLemore, the three-point shooting threats for Kansas entering this season were noticeably thin. The team seemed to count on senior guard Conner Teahan and junior guard Elijah Johnson to knock down jump shots and open up the floor for junior center Jeff Withey and junior forward Thomas Robinson. Even with a 17-3 record and a No. 5 ranking in the latest polls, the three-point shooting has been off and on for most the season. And lately, it’s been mostly off.
“We’re just shooting the ball so bad,” coach Bill Self said after defeating Texas A&M Monday. “I mean, good gosh. If it’s not for Tyshawn here of late, who’s making shots?”
In the 64-54 victory against the Aggies, Kansas was 4-for-20 from beyond the three-point line. In seven Big 12 games, the Jayhawks are shooting 32.8 percent from the three-point line. Those numbers can largely be attributed to Tyshawn Taylor, a seemingly unlikely three-point threat. Since conference play began, Taylor is fifth in three-point shooting percentage (.40) and eighth in threes made (14). Teahan and Johnson are absent from both lists on the Big 12 website, which rank just the top 15 in each category. But the shots the duo are taking can be considered good attempts.
“That’s the coaches fault if they’re shooting the shot you want and they don’t go in,” Self said. “And that’s basically what they’re doing for the most part.”
…“I thought Elijah went kind of haywire, brain dead in the first half with a couple he clipped off,” Self said. “But for the most part, those are shots we want to take.”
With the somewhat surprising three-point efficiency from Taylor and the All-American season from Thomas Robinson, the shooting difficulties haven’t proved too costly yet.
“We’re better shooters than that,” Self said. “Conner and Elijah are good shooters, we’re just not making them right now.”
Iowa State forward Royce White knows his free throw shooting is a problem.
So does coach Fred Hoiberg.
So what’s the key to fixing it?
“It got to be a confidence issue,” Hoiberg said. “That’s a huge thing with free throw shooting. It gets mental.”
White scored 15 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in a 62-55 loss to Texas on Tuesday, but he went 1 for 7 at the line. He missed his final six free throws, which included an airball and one shot where the ball slipped out of his hand.
Hoiberg could tell White’s body position at the foul line wasn’t the same against the Longhorns as in recent games.
“He’s been good in practice,” Hoiberg said. “He hit a couple last game, game before that. The stroke has looked much better.”
White is hitting 51.2 percent at the line this season. He’s shooting only 38.8 percent in conference play.
After the Texas loss, White felt his free throws played a big role in the outcome.
This season, the Cyclones already have four Big 12 victories, and while they don’t necessarily look like an NCAA tourney team, that could change in the next week. Iowa State plays host to Kansas on Saturday and Kansas State on Tuesday; a sweep, while unlikely, would provide a huge boost to their NCAA hopes, but getting swept could end them.
Iowa State lacks a marquee win, but has a shot at getting a few of those down the stretch. There are two games remaining against K-State and Baylor, along with Saturday’s game with Kansas and a Feb. 29 meeting against Missouri.
Even if the Cyclones don’t get that marquee win, they have a legit shot at an NIT bid, somewhat surprising considering the state of the program last season.
And, hey, more help is on the horizon for next season in the form of – what else? – two more transfers, guard Korie Lucious from Michigan State and forward Will Clyburn from Utah.
3 to watch
Kansas at Iowa State, Saturday, 1 p.m., ESPN: Kansas has won 10 in a row overall and is 4-0 in true road games this season. Iowa State would love to end the winning streak.
Conner Teahan didn’t need a stack of box scores to give an evaluation of his recent three-point shooting stats.
“They’re not good,” the senior guard said following KU’s 64-54 victory over Texas A&M on Monday. “You know what? I don’t even know what the numbers are, but when was the last time I made more than two threes in a game? I can’t remember.”
It’s actually been four games since Teahan put in a pair of treys, as he went 2-for-6 from three in KU’s 81-46 victory over Texas Tech on Jan. 11.
Against Texas A&M, the Leawood native made one of five threes to drop his season average to 36 percent (32 of 88).
“It is frustrating, because you know that’s what you’re supposed to do. That’s what you bring to the team,” Teahan said. “I’m a three-point shooter. It’s not that I don’t do too much else, but that’s my key cornerstone I need to bring to the team. When I’m not knocking it down, I’m frustrated with myself, and I know my teammates have to get frustrated.”
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Maybe you knew this, but still surprised me: #KUbball been ranked in top 10 every year but one (05-06) since 89-90.
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Since conference season began, the women’s basketball team has not had a convincing win inside Allen Fieldhouse.
That all changed on Wednesday night when Kansas dismantled No. 21 Texas Tech 62-43 to give the team its second conference home victory.
“I thought we got off to good start finally at home,” coach Bonnie Henrickson said. “We talked about how we played with a great sense of urgency on the road and built leads and were able to withstand some leads on the road and hadn’t done that at home.”
Texas Tech’s Red Raiders coach Kristy Curry also pointed out that defending the home court is the most important factor in the Big 12.
“The bottom line is that Kansas played great tonight,” Curry said. They defended their home court like you have to do in this league.”
After dropping two of their last three games at home to Kansas State and Texas A&M, the Jayhawks felt like they needed to make a statement to move their season in a positive direction.
“We are more mature,” Henrickson said. “We are, I think, playing more of a sense of urgency and responsibility.”
Texas Tech had no answer for Carolyn Davis on Wednesday night.
The Lady Raiders were without senior forward Kierra Mallard, who stayed home with an undisclosed injury, and Davis took advantage. The 6-foot-3 forward scored 20 of her game-high 34 points in the first half to lead the Jayhawks to a 62-43 victory at Allen Fieldhouse.
“She’s so tough to defend,” Tech coach Kristy Curry said of Davis. “No matter who you’re trying to defend her with, if you give up dribble penetration and don’t have great help and great ball pressure you’re going to have some problems. That’s where we broke down.”
The loss is the fifth in a row for No. 21 Tech (14-5, 2-5), which is likely to lose its spot in the top 25 when the next poll comes out Monday. The Lady Raiders have been ranked for 10 consecutive weeks and reached as high as No. 10 two weeks ago.
It was an effortless performance for Davis, whose shots went largely uncontested. Her 17 field goals were two shy of Tech’s total for the game, and her 34 points were the most by a Big 12 Conference player this season. She shot 71 percent in just 29 minutes, relegated to the Kansas bench after picking up her third foul early in the second half.
One of the more impressive parts about Davis’ night was the fact that all of her points came off of field goals. Davis, who averages nearly six trips to the free throw line per game, shot — and missed — just one free throw on Wednesday. Henrickson said seeing that kind of point total with just one trip to the free throw line was unusual.
“There’s a thing in the NBA, with high volume scorers, that says for every three points a guy scores, there’s a free throw,” Henrickson said. “That’s the ratio. So for her to have 34 points and none from the free throw line, that’s amazing.”
Davis now has scored more than 30 points in a game seven times in her KU career. Wednesday’s total was four off of her career-high of 38, which she recorded against Duquesne in March of 2011.
Big 12/College News
Years of basketball experience have taught Kansas power forward Thomas Robinson to respect the guards who are his teammates the way a quarterback values his offensive linemen, or a singer treasures that perfectly tuned accompanist. One cannot shine without the other.
"The ball has to go through them first," Robinson says, "before it comes to me."
Playing last season with All-American center Jared Sullinger taught Ohio State's shooting seniors how much easier their jobs could become with more room to operate. Jon Diebler and David Lighty saw their 3-point accuracy grow dramatically as defenders drifted inside, fretting about the damage Sullinger might inflict in the post.
"Honestly, Jon and Dave, they always said thank you," Sullinger says. "What made us special — it really didn't matter who shot the ball, who was the leading scorer. We wanted to succeed."
…If ever there were a season in which that "March is for guards" theory should be discredited, it is this one. If a team must rely on superior guard play to win the 2012 NCAA championship, the title might be left vacant.
There is no more Kyrie Irving, Jimmer Fredette or Kemba Walker in Division I, and no reasonable facsimile. The teams that appear to be most powerful are built around big men.
Sporting News (Video at the link, analysis of TRob)
Big 12 Schedule & Results
The whistle blew, the crowd hissed and for a while, it seemed like the Missouri Tigers, the nation’s No. 2 team, would do the same thing they’ve done all season long — find a way to win.
This was Wednesday, the second half of what turned out to be a 79-72 loss, and what should have been a momentum-turning play in favor of Oklahoma State — a ridiculous alley-oop slam by guard Markel Brown that had cut the Cowboys’ deficit to three with seven minutes left — appeared to swing Missouri’s way when Brown was issued his second technical foul of the game for taunting.
This not only sent the crowd of 9,476 at Gallagher-Iba Arena into a tizzy, it also sent Brown — who glared at a Missouri player following the slam — to the locker room and Marcus Denmon to the free-throw line. Denmon made both, Ricardo Ratliffe added two more, and all of a sudden, the Tigers had a 60-53 lead with 6 minutes, 31 seconds remaining.
This was the moment when Missouri — a one-loss team fresh off an impressive road win over Baylor — should have pulled away, should have buried a team that was not only sitting with a 9-10 record but riding a three-game losing streak.
Only the Tigers didn’t, as Oklahoma State rallied to outscore Missouri 26-12 the rest of the way.
OSU students, who have been suffering through a difficult basketball season, rushed the floor to celebrate State's biggest victory since beating No. 1-ranked Kansas two years ago.
"That was a pretty great feeling, too," said OSU's Keiton Page, on the floor for both major upsets.
Nash scored 27 points, 19 in a fabulous second half, as the Cowboys dug out of an eight-point deficit in the final 14 minutes.
"He's a very good player who had a great night," said Missouri coach Frank Haith. "Oklahoma State played loose and easy. They were just trying to get a 'W' in the league.
"When you are on the road and you've got a bull's-eye on your chest, you're going to get everyone's best shot."
Following the Kansas State basketball team’s 69-47 victory over Texas Tech on Wednesday at United Spirit Arena, coach Frank Martin viewed his bench players the same way the rest of us look at auto insurance.
He had no idea when, where or why he would need them against the Red Raiders, but when he did he was awfully glad they were there.
“That’s something that you need as a team,” Martin said. “Your bench can’t be potluck, because then as a coach you don’t know what to do. You don’t know who to put in there and then you lose confidence.”
That didn’t happen here. Not even close. K-State’s reserves outscored Texas Tech’s starters 38-34, and, in a roundabout way, won the game.
The Wildcats’ starters took the court in front of mostly empty red seats, but made the mistakes of a team playing in front of a record road crowd. The reserves came on strong and scored 24 points in the first half to give No. 22 K-State a 31-20 lead at the break.
Not only did K-State’s bench prove it was capable of outplaying Texas Tech on its own, it sent a serious message to Angel Rodriguez, Rodney McGruder, Jamar Samuels, Thomas Gipson and Will Spradling, who opened the game on the floor.
Play better in the second half or don’t play at all.
More growth for the Big 12?
The subject gained steam on Wednesday when the league’s four-member expansion committee met during a teleconference.
According to a report in the Chronicle of Higher Education, which quoted two anonymous sources, Louisville and Brigham Young were back in play for league membership.
But Bob Burda, the Big 12’s associate commissioner for communications, said no action was taken.
“It was a routine call, with nothing of substance discussed,” Burda said. “No further calls or meetings are scheduled at this time.”
BYU and Louisville were considered by the Big 12 when the league looked to replenish after losing Missouri and Texas A&M to the Southeastern Conference.
The Big 12 added TCU and West Virginia and there had been no indication that further expansion was on the horizon.
Besides, West Virginia’s inclusion is more immediate concern.
The Mountaineers and Big 12 are planning the move that the Big East is blocking through the courts.
The Big 12 is expected to have its 2012 football schedule completed soon, perhaps by Feb. 1 and it’s expected to include the Mountaineers.
A judge in Rhode Island, where the Big East office is located, has ordered a non-binding mediation between the parties and scheduled a status conference for Feb. 9.
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said Tuesday that coming to Maryland was the best decision of his life. He said his family absolutely loves living in the D.C. area. He also is confident that he can get the Terps turned around. So, too, is Gary Williams. Williams had nothing but praise for Turgeon. Meanwhile, assistant coach Dalonte Hill will come off his two-game DUI suspension for the Terps' game against Virginia Tech on Saturday. Additional in-house penalties were assessed against Hill.
Despite having as impressive a resumé as there is in college athletics, Tom Izzo never has been one to grandstand his personal accomplishments. When asked earlier in the week, Izzo without a hint of humility said winning his 400th career game meant “nothing” to him.
But humility was the flavor of the week as Izzo walked off the court to a standing ovation by 14,797 fans after his No. 10 MSU basketball team beat Minnesota 68-52 on Wednesday. Humbled and holding back tears, Izzo waved to a fanbase that’s followed along as he elevated the Spartan basketball program to an elite level in his 17 years at the helm.
Will Barton and Tarik Black, two key players for Memphis, weren't around to see the end of Wednesday night's game against Rice.
Their departure after a second-half skirmish that saw multiple players ejected just meant they didn't see the ultimate margin of the Tigers victory over the Owls.
How many players does it take to make a women's college basketball team?
Fifteen. For now.
Women's basketball coaches around the country have been watching with concern the past few months after a committee recommended to the NCAA that the number of women's basketball scholarships drop from 15 to 13.
The recommendation was part of a larger proposal that included reducing Division I football and men's basketball scholarships as well. The measure was viewed as both cost-saving and a potential contributor to improved parity.
But the NCAA Division I Board of Directors rejected the proposal at last week's NCAA annual convention in Indianapolis by a narrow 8-7 vote.
The proposal may not be dead yet, however.
The board referred the recommendation to the Collegiate Model: Rules Working Group for further study, and it could well come back to the NCAA Division I presidents in the spring for another vote.
It was a record, quite frankly, that was thought to be untouchable.
After all, Nino Samuel’s McPherson Invitational record of 114 points in 1972 was 26 more than any other player in tournament history and even with Christian Ulsaker’s amazing tournament last year, he was still 34 points short.
But then along came Wichita North’s Conner Frankamp.
The KU verbal commit entered Saturday’s fifth-place game with Derby 48 points shy of Samuel’s record.
But in a jaw-dropping performance -- and not aware of what the record was -- Frankamp went out and dropped 48 points on the Panthers, though his Redskins wound up losing, 66-61.
If he’d had a decent start, Samuel’s single-game record of 54 could have been in jeopardy. Frankamp was just 2 of 5 for six points in the first period.
Then he started to heat up. He scored 15 in the second quarter to get to 21 by half, and added 10 more in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, he was unstoppable with 17.
Frankamp had scored 28 against Blue Valley West, then hit Buhler for 38, including the game-winning shot. He finished Saturday 16 of 28 from the field -- 6 of 13 from 3-point -- and made all 10 of his free throws. He played 32 minutes in every game.
The Grizzlies ended up outscoring the Redskins 21-5 in the second quarter and led 35-19 at halftime. Wichita North coach Gary Squires credited Northwest for controlling the boards and playing physical in the second quarter, but he also knew Frankamp didn’t have many scoring opportunities.
“We only scored five points that second quarter so obviously he wasn’t getting any touches,” Squires said.
Squires made sure Frankamp got more touches in the second half and the junior responded with 25 points, including 15 in the third quarter. Frankamp scored the Redskins’ first eight points of the third quarter and then the final seven points of the quarter.
“We told Conner, ‘You’ve got to go to work up top,’ ” Squires said. “We’ll give him the ball at the top of that zone or if they go man, we’ll go to our sets like we do for him.”
Squires also had the Redskins press full court and make the Grizzlies work before getting into their offense. The press and Frankamp’s third-quarter performance helped North (7-6) climb within nine heading into the final quarter.
The Redskins cut the deficit to eight twice in the fourth quarter and the final time came when Frankamp hit two free throws after the Grizzlies’ Spenser Gales was called for a personal foul and a technical foul, resulting in Gales fouling out.
…Frankamp finished with 37 points after scoring 19 in the teams’ first meeting of the year, which Northwest won 61-59.Video highlights at the link
Thirty of the country’s top prep school basketball teams, up to 100 college coaches on hand to evaluate prospects, and several NBA scouts will gather for the 14th annual National Prep School Invitational.
Held at Rhode Island College from Thursday, February 2 through Sunday, February 5, the nation’s elite exposure event during the school year will once again have its top games broadcasted on COX Sports.
With an upwards of 50 players impressively already committed to colleges, the event’s main goal is to provide a springboard for many more to join that group.
The featured young talent competing ranges all the way from the traditional powers of the New England Prep School Athletic Conference to as far as the Canarias Basketball Academy of the Canary Islands.
Highlighting the field is last year’s National Prep Championship Tournament winner St. Thomas More (CT) and NEPSAC champion Maine Central Institute (ME). Previous titleholders Brewster Academy (NH), Bridgton Academy (ME), Notre Dame Prep (MA) and Tilton School (NH) return as well.
Check here for the NCAA Recruiting Calendar
ESPN HS TV schedule
My 2011 Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, KU Alumni games, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos now on Youtube