Bill Self will spend a good portion of the six-month 2012-13 college basketball season stressing defense to his freshmen-laden Kansas University hoops squad.
For now, however, during the dog days of summer — and 10 bonus practices allowed by the NCAA in advance of next week’s European tour — it’s offense that’s getting all of the reps.
“I will say this ... we’re not going to work on defense one possession,” Self said. “We’re not going to talk about it because if our defense is good that means we’ll never score, and I have to somehow get these guys some confidence scoring the ball.
“I haven’t said one word about defense yet,” he added. “I am pretty confident we can teach them how to guard and that kind of stuff. That’s never been an issue, but scoring the ball with these young kids and getting them in the right place ... I think that is pretty important.”
…“It’s doing to be different,” Self said. “Twenty-four seconds isn’t a lot of time (to get shot off). Only having five seconds to shoot a free throw is a little bit different. Advancing the ball late-game situation on a time out is like the NBA rule,” he added of inbounding past halfcourt instead of the end line.
“I have to study up on it myself. I don’t know all the differences, but to be honest with you, we are not going to worry about that. We are going to go over there and play. I guarantee you we’ll get called for some violations where I’m going to say (to refs), ‘What did we do wrong?’ I don’t want to screw our guys up too much. If our guys think they’ve got to shoot it in 24 seconds, I guarantee you we’ll have problems when we come back to the States.”
…“If Jeff wants to shoot threes, he can shoot them. This will be a good time for him to get them out of his system,” Self joked of 7-foot inside player Withey perhaps launching a shot or two past the three-point arc.
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Kansas 2012-13 Schedule
Big 12/College News
Through the last two weeks, Athlon Sports ranked each coach in the ACC, Atlantic 10, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC along with the top 20 coaches from outside those seven conferences.
The rankings presented a difficult task. The job of a college coach is multi-faceted. The best coaches in college basketball excel in a handful of areas -- recruiting, talent development, teaching and preparation, game-day tactics and motivation. The best coaches tend to be well-rounded, able to do handle all with equal skill.
Those were the factors we weighed in our conference-by-conference rankings, and that continues in our national rankings. We also examined each coach’s success in the regular season and the postseason. In many cases, we took into account what the coach has done with his current program in addition to previous stops in his career.
In addition to a coach’s track record, we asked ourselves: Which coaches would their peers prefer not to face. We’re also keeping an eye on the future. In short, can we expect these coaches to continue to produce similar or better results over the next five seasons or so?
All those factors led us to name Michigan State’s Tom Izzo the top coach in the country, as the best mix of all the aforementioned characteristics of a college basketball coach -- sustained success during the regular season against a high level of competition, advancing in the NCAA Tournament, recruiting players to fit his system, ability to teach and develop his roster.
Izzo does not struggle to find talented players to play in East Lansing, but he rarely grabs the elite NBA-ready talent that goes to Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas or even Ohio State in his own conference. Just look at the rate of Spartans leaving early to the Draft, listed below. Despite this strategy, Michigan State often puts up equal or better results compared to programs churning through NBA lottery picks on a yearly basis
It’s a tough call to rank the best of the best, but here’s our best attempt:
4. Bill Self, Kansas
Overall record: 476-158 (33-13 in the NCAA Tournament)
Record at Kansas: 269-53 (124-24 Big 12)
Great players come and go in Lawrence, but Self is leading one of the most consistent winners in the country. Thomas Robinson replaces the Morris twins, the Morris twins replaced Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich, Collins and Aldrich replaced Brandon Rush and Mario Chalmers. Despite the turnover, Kansas has won a share of the Big 12 in eight consecutive seasons, four consecutive outright titles and five of the last seven Big 12 Tournament titles. Self once had the stigma of losing early in March, but Kansas is 17-4 in the NCAA Tournament, including the 2008 title, in the last five seasons.
Ken Caldwell took to Twitter shortly after the NCAA announced on Tuesday that it had hit UCF with severe penalties for its involvement with him, and the "third-party recruiter" promised a response that would set the record straight.
So I couldn't wait.
In fact, I tweeted exactly that.
And I was thrilled Wednesday when the video posted to YouTube.
Caldwell titled it "The Truth Part 1."
It was nine minutes of taped ridiculousness.
"I want to address all these allegations and keep it real," Caldwell said in the first minute, and, boy, did he ever keep it real ... even if he didn't say much that matters. On Twitter, he claimed he had "proof" and that "now it is time to show it." But Caldwell never said what he had proof of, and watching the video -- I've seen it three times -- provided no insight.
Caldwell never mentioned a coach by name.
He never incriminated himself or anybody else.
He mostly just rambled and rambled and rambled, and UCF's Donnie Jones must be sitting somewhere wondering, "Why in the world did I ever take this clown's call?" Simply put, the video is hilarious. Caldwell starts by acknowledging that he does indeed have an affiliation with a sports agent, and though I appreciated his honesty it really wasn't necessary on this point because Pete Thamel sorta proved that more than a year ago with an article in the New York Times, which is what got all this started in the first place. But I'm not here to split hairs. Let's move on.
"I know everyone in basketball," Caldwell said. "People know me."
Among the people who know him: NCAA director of enforcement LuAnn Humphrey. But all jokes aside, if Caldwell genuinely does "know everyone in basketball," I might be interested in trying to get him hired to run our Eye On College Basketball blog. (Move over, Norlander!) I mean, relationships are crucial in the world of reporting. So I'm not sure there's a better hire to be made than one that involves bringing on board a man who KNOWS EVERYONE IN BASKETBALL ... and understands how to post videos on the internet.
Caldwell's main point of contention, best I can tell, is that it shouldn't be against NCAA rules for him -- i.e., a convicted felon with acknowledged ties to a sports agent -- to tell prospects how great UCF is because, well, I'll just let him explain in his own analogy challenged words.
"Don't get mad at me because I promoted something that I like," Caldwell said. "People out here promote everything that they like. You hear rappers all the time talking about Bentleys. But is that a violation?"
Good point, Ken.
Rick Ross rapping about a Bentley is in fact not an NCAA violation -- mostly because Rick Ross is not a runner for a sports agent, and a Bentley is not an NCAA institution. Ricky Rozay is hustling everyday, sure. But it's not the same kind of hustle, and it has nothing to do with the NCAA, and I could write about this all night, but I think you get the point.
Ken Caldwell is a babbling danger to himself and college basketball programs.
ESPN Tip-Off Marathon schedule
2012-13 Early Season Events List
8/1/12 11:51 AM
.@troywilliams_ tells @SNYtv Memphis has also offered him and Kansas is involved
Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria)
8/1/12 10:19 AM
Brannen Greene has NBA length and shooting ability for a wing. Jumps well and is improving as a ball handler, creator and rebounder. Top 20.
Jerry Meyer (@jerrymeyer247)
10:17 PM - 1 Aug
Adidas Nations tomorrow! The grind really never stops...
Brannen Greene @b_breene14
adidas NATIONS Aug 2 - 6
ESPN: What's it like to be Kennedy Meeks?
SLAM: Q&A with Marcus Lee
You might remember, if you've been following the summer circuit for a while, that Vaccaro was once considered the Bogeyman of July. He was the so-called Thing in the Dark -- somebody who, for so many people for so many years, represented everything that was wrong with summer basketball, and the common belief among the common folk was that removing the Godfather of Grassroots Hoops would eliminate most of the issues of this sport.
Were you one of the ones who thought that?
If so, you must feel silly now. Because Vaccaro removed himself from the scene six years ago and ever since has been merely watching from a distance from his home in Monterey, Calif., and yet we still just experienced a July that featured every bad stereotype of summer basketball.
…Vaccaro might've started it all, sure. But at some point things got bigger than him, and, in his absence, everybody has, as Gottlieb put it, taken that next step with it. The money is greater, the characters are more sketchy and the cheating -- not to mention "legalized" cheating -- is more rampant than it ever has been, and there's still enough silliness happening on and off the court to make a reasonable man roll his eyes as he hops in his car and watches two limos full of prospects drive off into the Las Vegas desert.
Check here for the 2012-13 NCAA Recruiting Calendar
My 2012 KU Alumni games, 2011-12 Border War, Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos and more now on Youtube