Kansas Assistant Athletics Director for Sport Performance, Andrea Hudy, as well as the University of Kansas Health, Sports and Exercise Science Department is hosting Marine Sgt. Michael Pride this week for instruction and conditioning on the KU campus. Sgt. Pride, who was a member of and is now a coach for the Armed Services’ Wounded Warrior Project, is working with Hudy and her strength and conditioning staff to learn techniques and philosophies of training that can be transferred to his athletes at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo.
The Department of Health, Sport and Exercise Science and Office of Graduate Military Programs coordinated Pride’s visit to KU. While on the hill, Pride has visited classrooms and worked with faculty, as well as Hudy and the KU Athletics strength and conditioning coaches, to get tips on everything from motivating athletes to coaching philosophies and strength and conditioning to recovering from athletic injuries.
“It’s been great getting to know Coach Hudy,” said the Kansas City, Mo., native. “She has the mentality of a Marine; that’s why I’ve clicked and worked so well with her during my time here.”
Sgt. Michael Pride, a 33-year-old Marine from Kansas City, Mo., who has been awarded the Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Medal and Good Conduct Medal, has been in Lawrence the past several days for instruction and conditioning — Andrea Hudy-style — on Kansas University’s campus.
The superbly conditioned former Wounded Warrior track standout’s goal has not only been to survive the workouts of KU strength-and-conditioning coach Hudy, but pick up pointers regarding techniques and philosophies of training to be used with Marines in general at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and athletes in the Armed Services’ Wounded Warrior Project, for which he is a coach.
“A week before I was told I’d be working with her, I read up on her, and, wow, I was surprised she’s not a Marine herself,” Pride said of Hudy, who is known as one of the most demanding strength-and-conditioning coaches in the business.
“She has a mentality of being a Marine. That’s probably why I clicked with her so quickly and so easily. Everything she says makes sense. You can see her results in all of the athletes that are here at Kansas University. I will take everything she has given me and try my best to give to the Marines back there.”
…Pride, who actually grew up a Missouri fan who also roots for KU, said he has been quite impressed with KU’s men’s basketball players — athletes he has met as part of this program made possible because of a research grant to KU’s Health, Sports and Exercise Department to work with the Marines.
“They are loaded with future NBA players. For them to reach out like they have has been impressive to me. They treat me like family,” he said.
“I would like to thank Kansas University for opening its doors to me and giving me something to give back to the Marines and just to say hoorah to those Marines out there that will see this story,” Pride said.
Research is a major component of KU’s strength program, Hudy said, and the school has some cutting-edge technology to aid the process. That includes something called a Kistler force plate, a computerized sensor that delivers precise measurements during each phase of an athlete’s vertical jump.
The force plate technology, which cost in excess of $20,000, allows KU’s strength coaches to detect fatigue, identify areas of weakness and tailor workouts to an athlete’s needs.
“We can create a better athlete by (knowing) whether they need work on deceleration, acceleration or just overall stability,” Hudy said.
Pride had plenty to learn inside KU’s high-tech weight room, but he also had lessons to teach.
“He almost gave up his life for the good of our country,” Hudy said. “How his team of Marines came in and saved his life, the leadership skills are parallel.”
@WayneSeldenJr w/ the poster dunk on the Lil camper #NoMercy
@J_mari31 Instagram Video
His career is just starting and it's already impressive, congrats @22wiggins on being named @Gatorade Athlete of the Year. #GatoradePOY
Wiggins response to the NBA player he would want to play 1on1: 'Kobe. he's the closest thing to Jordan & Jordan's the greatest of all time'
Bill Self sat in the restaurant at the Augusta Marriott and couldn’t stop smiling. It was one of those smirks you see from someone who has gotten away with something.
In a way, Self has. Despite winning 98 games over the past three years and going to the national title game, an Elite Eight and a Sweet 16, he was well aware that recruiting wasn’t up to par. Not with what’s expected in Lawrence, Kan.
Over a three-year span, four players transferred out of the program (none were good enough to play key roles for the Kansas Jayhawks) and there have been just a pair of McDonald’s All Americans added. That’s subpar by KU standards.
Besides Josh Selby, who turned out to be a bust, the highest-rated recruit Self had brought to Lawrence in the past three years was Perry Ellis, who made the McDonald’s Game despite being ranked No. 35 in the nation (yes, recruiting analysts missed on Ben McLemore). Royce Woolridge (Washington State), Merv Lindsay (New Mexico), Anrio Adams (Ohio) and Zach Peters (Arizona) all bolted, and there were also players such as Jamari Traylor, Naadir Tharpe, Landen Lucas and even Andrew White, who are supporting pieces (at best) for an elite program such as Kansas.
Self is smiling now because he knows the talent level in Lawrence is finally where it should be again -- and that’s not solely because of the arrival of the No. 1 recruit in the nation, Canadian forward Andrew Wiggins.
Make no mistake, Self is very excited about what Wiggins will bring to Kansas' lineup this season. “I love his potential,” Self said of Wiggins. “He’s still getting his feet wet and his legs under him.” But it's the supporting talent around Wiggins that solidifies the Jayhawks as a legitimate Final Four contender.
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Thomas Robinson set a Trail Blazers summer league record by pulling down 18 rebounds, to go with 12 points.
Portland, the No. 19 seed, will face No. 14 Atlanta Hawks Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center as summer league moves to tournament play.
Paul Pierce says classy goodby to the city of Boston
Big 12/College News
Over the last couple of days, ESPN has released the fields and matchups for this year’s holiday basketball tournaments. The full press release for ESPN-owned events is here, but there’s more to all of these events than just initial matchups.
Here are 10 things that stood out to me when I combed through the event brackets:
On Tuesday and Wednesday, ESPN revealed the draws for most of next season's premier holiday tournaments. Now that the matchups are set, here's some initial thoughts, from the best and worst draws, to the most intriguing tournament, to the most appealing potential title game:
Yahoo Sports Eisenberg
Wichita State’s basketball team will play DePaul at 9 p.m. Nov. 25 in the CBE Classic at Kansas City’s Sprint Center.
Texas meets BYU at 6:30 p.m. in the opening game. The Nov. 26 doubleheader begins with the third-place game at 6:30 p.m., followed by the championship game.
Gonzaga, the No. 1 team in last season's final AP college basketball poll, will face Dayton in the opening round of the EA Sports Maui Invitational while Final Four participant Syracuse will meet Minnesota and first-year coach Richard Pitino.
The other first-round games on Nov. 25 at the Lahaina Civic Center will have California against Arkansas and Baylor facing Division II host Chaminade, it was announced Wednesday.
The Gonzaga-Dayton and Chaminade-Baylor winners will meet in one semifinal with the Syracuse-Minnesota and Arkansas-California winners in the other. The championship game is Nov. 27.
The NCAA said Wednesday it will no longer allow Electronic Arts Inc. to use its logo starting next year. The move ends a lucrative business deal with the gaming industry giant and comes as the NCAA fights a high-profile lawsuit that says the governing body owes billions of dollars to former players for allowing their likenesses to be used for free.
In the days after Kansas won the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes in early May, KU coach Bill Self was hopeful that one recruiting jackpot would turn into another. Maybe it’s just superstitious hooey, of course, but Self believes recruiting can run in cycles. Sometimes you hit a roll, and why not try to hit another home run in the Jayhawks’ 2014 class?
That’s the thinking, at least, and while it’s still early in the 2014 recruiting process, college coaches hit the road this past weekend for the first of three five-day recruiting windows during the month of July. (Coaches can also evaluate from 5 p.m. July 17 to 5 p.m. July 21, and from July 24-28.)
Here’s a look at some of KU’s top targets in the 2014 class,
7/17/13, 12:33 PM
headed out to Vegas with the team today. Can't wait to play in the Big Foot Las Vegas Classic!
It's not often the two best post players in the country play on the same AAU team, but that was the case last week with Mac Irvin Fire at the Peach Jam. Jahlil Okafor, the nation's No. 1-ranked prospect, was joined by Cliff Alexander, No. 4 in the 2014. Okafor didn't have much to prove -- he just finished dominating for the U-19 National team and is pretty firmly entrenched at the top of the class.
Alexander, on the other hand, showed off an expanded offensive game and held up fine when compared to Okafor. He averaged 14.5 points and 9.6 rebounds at the Peach Jam, demonstrating an effective face-up jumper.
"I was in the gym 24/7 working on that," Alexander said. "My high school coach said that's what I have to do if I want to play at the next level. That baseline jumper. So that's what I've been working on."
The 6-foot-9 power forward from Curie (Ill.) recently released a list of his top 10 schools. It included Kansas, Michigan State, Kentucky, Louisville, Illinois, DePaul, Indiana, Memphis, Baylor and Arizona.
Myles Turner, a 6-11, 225-pound senior center from Trinity High in Euless, Texas, will visit KU for the Oct. 4 Late Night in the Phog, Turner’s dad, David, told JayhawkSlant.com. Turner is Rivals.com’s No. 6-ranked player in the recruiting Class of 2014. ... Chase Jeter, a 6-9, 215-pound junior forward from Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman High, who is ranked No. 33 in the Class of 2015, tells Rivals.com he is planning on making an unofficial visit to KU. He’s a teammate of Stephen Zimmerman, a 7-foot, 215-pound center, who is ranked No. 2 in the class of 2015.
For Rashad Vaughn, Findlay Prep’s newest star, competing against the best high school basketball players in the country is a breeze.
“Now that my transfer’s over, I’m relieved and there’s no pressure at all,” said the 6-foot-6-inch, 200-pound Minneapolis native, widely ranked as the top shooting guard in the Class of 2014. “I can just come out here, have fun and compete on the court.”
Vaughn headlined a large Las Vegas contingent invited to the Reebok Classic Breakout from Wednesday through Friday at Philadelphia University. He was the region’s only All-Star at one of the most prestigious camps on the summer recruiting circuit.
…“There’s been so much success over the past few years. I watched Shabazz come out strong,” Vaughn said. “And Bennett went No. 1. He’s a Findlay guy.
“There’s a lot of good basketball played in Vegas, and Findlay is one of the best in the country. I’m honored to be able to attend there.”
Vaughn has given no hints about where he plans to play in college. He has offers from several elite programs, including defending champion Louisville and Kansas, and won’t make a decision without his family involved.
“I’ll sit down and think about it whenever I have a chance to go home,” he said.
Under Armour NY2LA Sports Summer Jam
When: July 17-21
Where: Mequon, Wisc.
Why it’s important: Combine high-quality exposure and elite talent from coast-to-coast in a competitive arena and you have the UA Summer Jam.
What makes it unique: This event is unique because it allows players and travel programs of all levels to compete in an elite and exclusive tournament to maximize their exposure to hundreds of college coaches.
PF/SF Kevon Looney, PF/C Myles Turner and PG Dominique Collier
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
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The Metro Sports / KC Prep Invitational, July 25-28, 2013.
2013 Spring/Summer AAU & Camp Schedule