The Big 12 leader in softball batting average, the NCAA Indoor Triple Jump National Champion, the national leader in assists per game in women’s college basketball and a starter on KU’s Final Four team are among the nominees for four awards to be presented at the Rock Chalk Choice Awards on Sept. 9 at the Lied Center of Kansas.
Maggie Hull, Andrea Geubelle, Angel Goodrich and Travis Releford are among 20 nominees for the Jayhawker, Best Jayhawk in a Supporting Role, The Crimson Climb Award and the True Blue Award as announced by the Kansas Athletics Student-Athlete Development Office Wednesday. The winners will be announced, along with a male and female athlete of the year and a Rock Chalk Moment of the Year, at the Academy Awards-like celebration next month. Due to space limitations at the Lied Center the event is by invitation only and limited to athletic department staff, student-athletes, KU faculty and selected dignitaries.
Hull, Geubelle, Goodrich, Releford and men’s track and field hurdler Michael Stigler have been nominated by coaches and their peers for the Jayhawker Award, presented in honor of the pioneers who held true to their values through devastation and hardship while founding the state of Kansas. The nominees of this award have exhibited a commitment to Kansas principles and demonstrate mental toughness in the face of adversity and competition while making a positive contribution to Kansas Athletics.
…The Crimson Climb Award is presented to a student-athlete who has overcome academic challenges and has made consistent academic progress. This year’s nominees include football’s Anthony Davis, softball’s Alex Jones, Liebetrau, men’s basketball’s Ben McLemore and football’s Corrigan Powell.
For the last two weeks, the 6-foot-9 Wesley has been playing the role of Wilt Chamberlain, the greatest player ever to wear a Jayhawk uniform and arguably the most dominant force in college basketball history. Shooting began in Lawrence on Aug. 15 for the independent film "Jayhawkers," which chronicles Chamberlain's recruitment to the University of Kansas from Philadelphia in 1955 by then-KU coach Phog Allen and how Wilt The Stilt changed the campus and the town -- both on and off the court.
But especially off.
"I'm mainly doing it for the history of it," explains Wesley, who appeared in 38 contests and averaged 10 minutes per game off the bench last season for the NCAA runners-up. "The movie has a lot of controversy and that's the main reason why I'm doing it. It's kind of fun, like, learning the backstory -- to be a part of that is so exciting.
"The backstory of the movie is the different reasons that Phog wanted Wilt here, (while) the chancellor (Franklin Murphy) wanted Wilt here to change segregation in Lawrence. He felt like Wilt would change the whole outlook (of the city), and Phog wanted him to change basketball."
…To give it an authentic, early '50s, docu-drama feel, they're shooting the picture in black and white, largely around Lawrence and Topeka. Former Jayhawk big man Scot Pollard is an associate producer and is slated to play the role of another ex-Kansas great, B.H. Born, who'd helped recruit Chamberlain to Lawrence. Back in the spring, it was Jayhawks coach Bill Self who'd actually helped recruit Wesley for the role of Wilt.
"I looked at interviews with him and I could tell with his interviews that (Wesley) was very articulate, very confident and carries himself very well." Willmott says. "He's very relaxed in front of the cameras. And that goes a long way. And he can do his own stunts. That's a big deal, too."
…Meanwhile, Wesley -- who really does look the part -- has been taking more than his fair share of good-natured ribbing from his Kansas teammates.
"All the time," Wesley chuckles. "I mean, every day. Whenever I do something in practice … score, or block a shot, or get a rebound, the players are saying, 'Wilt!' Or the coaches are saying, 'Wilt!' They can't get enough of it."
Fox Sports Midwest
Former University of Kansas basketball player Scot Pollard sat quietly in an old telephone booth Wednesday morning at the Jayhawk Tower in downtown Topeka.
“Action,” someone said loudly.
Dressed in a 1950s hat cocked to the side, Pollard recited his lines for “Jayhawkers,” a movie being filmed in Lawrence and Topeka that tells the story of legendary KU coach Forrest “Phog” Allen.
Milton Doyle, an All-State guard from Marshall who left Kansas before the start of his freshman year earlier this month, has landed at Loyola.
Doyle committed to Loyola coach Porter Moser on Wednesday night, choosing the Ramblers over Wisconsin-Green Bay and several other Division I and junior college offers.
"We are relieved it's over," Doyle's mother, Lisa Green, said. "He wanted to stay close to home and Loyola is a good school. It's great that I'll be able to go to his games. He'll have a whole lot of support."
…He will enroll immediately at Loyola but may not be eligible to play this year because he took two sessions of summer school at Kansas.
"They're not sure," Green said. "They are going to check and see what the NCAA says."
Earlier this summer, an NBA transaction occurred that most people hardly noticed. But to a group in Clearwater, this was both groundbreaking and amazing.
The group is the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization and the transaction involved one of their own.
At 6’ 3” Tyshawn Taylor was drafted by the Portland Trailblazers and traded to the Brooklyn Nets. Tyshawn was a “little brother” in Clearwater, and he is the first one to thank Big Brothers Big Sisters for making it possible to fulfill his dream.
In 1999, when Taylor, then 9 years old, became a little brother. He was soon linked up with 49-year-old Tom Spencer, who had retired after selling his computer company.
“Suddenly I realized I could do what I wanted,” Spencer said. “It provided me with a spiritual awakening, and I realized I had to do something to give back.”
Spencer, then of Safety Harbor, sought out the Big Brothers Big Sisters, became a “Big,” and soon met Taylor.
“I discovered he really needed a role model,” Spencer said. “He was being raised by a single mother with his two sisters. They lived in the projects and there were some rough kids around. He had told me he liked basketball and in fact told me, when he was 9 years old, that he wanted to play in the NBA. I told him to hold onto the dream, but I knew he faced long odds.”
For Taylor, contacted at the Nets’ training facility in Brooklyn, the experience of meeting Spencer was memorable.
“I think we had a connection right from the very beginning,” Taylor said. “But it was different, me a little African-American kid with this older white man. Yet it seemed natural, I was comfortable with him. We went out to eat a couple of times. My mom connected with him because he was so open, so she gave me the OK and after that we hit it out of the park.”
Knowing that Taylor was struggling with his studies and how much he loved basketball allowed Spencer to form a plan.
“We were able to use basketball as a motivation for him to get good grades,” Spencer said. “He went from barely passing to the honor role.”
…“My proudest day was May 13 of this year when Tyshawn graduated from the University of Kansas,” Spencer said.
…“I’m happy with the satisfaction of seeing him grow and ending up with control over his life rather than follow the path of his parents and cousins,” Spencer said.
Taylor returned the love.
“It was life changing,” Taylor said. “My Big Brother was the first one to see my passion. I’ll always be grateful to him for taking time out of his life and care for me. He didn’t have to do it.”
There is no place in sports quite like the intersection of ego and Chalmers. It is what makes the Heat point guard deliciously refreshing.
Then again, it takes quite the gumption to go back at LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in the face of criticism, moments that Mario Chalmers hardly has shied from amid the Heat's Big Three era.
So it hardly comes as a surprise, in the wake of the recent debate over Rajon Rondo putting himself at the head of the class of NBA point guards, that Chalmers stuck his nose into the conversation.
As in putting himself among, well, the top five.
It came out in a Bleacher Report interview at a recent Chalmers promotional event in Brooklyn.
Q: Rajon Rondo recently said that he's the NBA’s top point guard. What are your thoughts on that, and where do you think you rank among all the point guards in the NBA?
Chalmers: "He's not the best, but he's in the top five. There are a lot of great point guards in the league, Deron Williams, Chris Paul and Steve Nash. There are a lot of great guards in the NBA so for him to say he's the best is a pretty bold statement. I'd say that I am in the front end of the top 10."
It is pure Mario, from the heart, from that special place that allows him to step up to the moment.
Printable KU schedule
Kansas 2012-13 Schedule
Big 12/College News
Former OK State PG Cezar Guerrero Transfers to Fresno State
Florida State’s Michael Snaer, the Most Valuable Player of the 2012 ACC Tournament, has been named a pre-season First Team All-American by the editors of the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. Snaer averaged a career-high 14.0 points and made a career-high 67 3-point field goals in leading the Seminoles to their first ACC Championship, their school-record fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and to a 25-10 record during the 2011-12 season.
Snaer is the first Seminole in school history to earn pre-season First Team All-American honors.
Snaer was named to Blue Ribbon’s First Team All-America team along with center Cody Zeller of Indiana, forward Deshaun Thomas of Ohio State, forward Doug McDermott of Creighton and guard Peyton Siva of Louisville.
Here is some RPI data about Mizzou's schedule this year. I used last year's RPI from just before the NCAA tournament. Obviously, teams will have different RPIs than last year, but using last year's RPI is a reasonable guess. I've assumed that Mizzou will play the teams with the best RPIs (Louisville and Duke) in the Atlantis tournament.
Average RPI: 126
Games vs. teams ranked
Here is the data:
335 Alcorn State
298 Nicholls State
14 Louisville (best case)
5 Duke (best case)
258 Appalachian State
107 Tennessee State
343 South Carolina State
61 Ole Miss
194 South Carolina
165 Texas A&M
61 Ole Miss
75 Mississippi State
194 South Carolina
ESPN Tip-Off Marathon schedule
2012-13 Early Season Events List
KU coach Bill Self will hold an in-home recruiting visit with Damien Jones, a 6-9, 210-pound senior center from Scotlandville High in Baton Rouge, La., on Sept. 19, Rivals.com reports. Jones is ranked No. 73 nationally. He is considering KU, Duke, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Vanderbilt, LSU and others.
Former Olympic (Charlotte, N.C.) guard Allerik Freeman will join holdover Nigel Williams-Goss and Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) transfer Stanford Robinson to give Findlay Prep one of the nation's top backcourts.
With record numbers of college basketball players switching schools this offseason, perhaps it's no surprise that high school prospects are following suit in waves.
The most highly-touted star on the move this fall is 6-foot-6 Michigan wing James Young, a five-star talent ranked No. 6 in the MaxPreps Class of 2013 Top 100. The news broke Tuesday that the uncommitted senior will be leaving Troy for nearby Rochester (Rochester Hills).
Young is one of 20 Class of 2013 Top 100 prospects who will be at new schools this fall – and the trend isn't limited to the rising senior class. Over a dozen elite 2014 players are on the move, as well.
Phil Pressey still has two more years at Missouri, but head coach Frank Haith ensured the Tigers won't miss a beat when Pressey leaves.
Wesley Clark – who may have boosted his stock more than any other point guard during the summer – popped for Missouri on Wednesday.
“It was because of the coaching staff,” Clark told Scout.com. “I had a real good connection with them and I feel like it is a good spot for me.”
Clark's list was filled with regional schools like Cleveland State, Akron, Dayton, Bowling Green and others heading into the AAU season. Bigger schools were sniffing around, but most were not willing to extend scholarship offers.
That all changed during the summer, when Clark blew up at the LeBron James Skills Academy and then continued his stellar play throughout the month. Suddenly, there was plenty of high-majors pursuing Clark: Connecticut, Pittsburgh, San Diego State, Michigan State, Syracuse, Illinois.
My 2012 KU Alumni games, 2011-12 Border War, Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos and more now on Youtube