Opening Night - CBE Hall of Fame Classic
Eight-time defending Big 12 Conference champion Kansas begins the 2012-13 season by hosting Southeast Missouri State in the opening round of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic. Ranked No. 7 preseason, Kansas is looking to win its 40th-straight home opener in Allen Fieldhouse dating back to the 1973-74 season. Since 2001-02, the Jayhawks have won their last 10 season openers. Southeast Missouri State is coming off a 15-16 season in which it placed fifth in the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) with a 9-7 record.
KUAD: Kansas vs Southeast Missouri State pregame notes
SI Preseason Top 25: Kansas #3
SDSU is close to finalizing a two-game deal with Kansas in men’s basketball, coach Steve Fisher confirmed Wednesday night. The plan is for the Aztecs to play in Lawrence, Kan., next season — most likely in early January — and host the Jayhawks at Viejas Arena in 2015-16.
“We’re looking to schedule some marquee games with national programs, and this opportunity presented itself,” Fisher said. “Kansas was looking for a big game, we said: ‘We’re ready.’ This speaks to what Kansas thinks of our program and the appeal it will have to a national audience.”
For an ascendant basketball program like SDSU, it doesn’t get much bigger than KU.
With the Topeka Jayhawk Club assembled Wednesday at the Ramada Inn, an appeal was issued.
“When you’re loud, it matters. We just need your help.’’
Kansas basketball fans were then encouraged to not only buy tickets, but to bring friends. Seats are available in Allen Fieldhouse.
What’s the catch, you’re asking? Well, the speaker was Bonnie Henrickson.
Still, there is reason to get excited about her KU women’s team, coming off a Sweet 16 appearance while returning a pair of senior standouts, Carolyn Davis and Angel Goodrich.
“We’re in the entertainment business,’’ Henrickson added, “and I would buy a ticket to see them play.’’
By the end of her presentation, several TJC members agreed to raise both hands, indicating they had never attended a KU women’s game but will go to one this season.
“They’re fast and they’re fun,’’ noted the other featured speaker, Bill Self. “She didn’t take over a program that was as healthy as the one I took over, so it’s been harder because she had further to go, and they’re playing in the toughest league in America.’’
With that, the sales pitch ended. Self was up. And he never has to plead for support.
The Jayhawks will open on Friday. But to hear their coach tell it, and to watch a final exhibition game played on Monday against Washburn, the team is not ready.
So Self expressed numerous concerns, and with his engaging charm, gained sympathy ... despite returning three starters from a national runner-up that posted KU’s third 30-win season in four years.
…Bank on the KU rotation involving eight, maybe nine guys. It always does.
And again, Self affirmed his streamlined preference.
“Just because you have bodies out there doesn’t mean you have depth,’’ he said. “When they come in the game they’ve gotta add to what we’re doing. They’ve gotta give us something, and I think it’s going take awhile for us to develop our depth.’’
Scorers have the best chance at gaining minutes. Finding a consistent source of points, however, is a concern.
“The way the pieces are fitting, we’re going to have to have someone in the game at all times who gives us an adequate scorer,’’ Self said. “That’s going to be our biggest weakness is whether we can score the ball or not.’’
Going for opportunities inside is usually a solution for KU. Self loves to play inside-out.
Recently, he traced his teams statistically against a couple of other national powers he did not identify. Over a five-year period, the Jayhawks’ bigs shot twice as many free throws as a result of more touches.
That was with Cole Aldrich, the Morris twins and Thomas Robinson. This year, that inside presence is not as obvious. Maybe Jeff Withey. Yet he must be assertive.
“Jeff’s physical stature isn’t one that allows him to post on the block the same way as those other guys did,’’ Self said. “So we’re going to have to move around. He needs to be a face-up jump shooter, a guy who plays in the high-post area and use him for dribble handoffs.
“I still think this: You’re 7-foot, you’re athletic, you’ve got unbelievable timing, there’s no reason you can’t effect a game every possession.’’
Freshmen outside that rotation could become redshirt candidates. Self already has broached the possibility with Landen Lucas, a 6-foot-10 forward from Portland, Ore., who averaged 7.5 minutes in KU’s two exhibitions.
Self hasn’t reached a decision but indicated Lucas might not play in Friday’s opener against Southeast Missouri State to preserve the redshirt possibility.
“We’ve had some discussions about that,” Self said. “My opinion is if guys are going to be in your rotation, they’ve got to play. If they’re not quite in your rotation, do you redshirt them or do you go ahead and play them and have them not play much? Which would be best for them? In my experience, a lot of times redshirting would be better.”
Zach Peters, a freshman forward sidelined by a shoulder injury, could be another redshirt candidate. Peters will be out until at least mid-November because of a rotator cuff injury, and Self isn’t banking on him for this season.
“I think it’s looking more and more like we probably won’t have him this year,” Self said. “I’m not saying that positively, but even if he does come back, he’s going to be so behind I don’t know how much we can really depend on him for a while.”
KU’s rotation definitely won’t include forward Kevin Young, at least not on Friday. The senior forward is out with a broken hand, but Self said Young has resumed shooting and could play Tuesday against Michigan State.
“Hopefully he can practice this weekend,” Self said. “If he can practice this weekend, hopefully we can play him Tuesday.”
Fans and players show their support for Brandon Rush with #4BRush
In the hard road of ups and downs that has defined Marcus Morris’ brief NBA career, it can’t help but be an encouraging sign that he’s scored almost as many points in the Rockets’ first three games this season as he scored in his rookie season.
It’s a small body of work — 36 points in three games this season, 40 in 17 appearances last season — from a player for whom the Rockets had big hopes when they selected him in the first round of the 2011 NBA draft.
But after last year’s stretch of DNPs, which at one point stretched from Dec. 31 to Feb. 28, 60 minutes in three games is a godsend for a player who is determined to let better performance and improved attitude define his second NBA season.
“It definitely means a lot,” said Morris, a 6-9 forward. “I put in a lot of work during the summer to get in better shape and try to do what the coaches told me.
“The thing I’ve learned is that I’m stronger than I look. I’m in there against some strong guys, and I’m battling.”
After watching repeated replays of the elbow that rookie Thomas Robinson delivered to the throat of the Pistons' Jonas Jerebko with about 10 minutes remaining was absolutely inexcusable. The incident happened a few feet from where several of us media members were sitting, so we had a pretty good view. The two players jostled for position under the basket, and after Robinson tagged Jerebko, you could hear the thud as the Pistons forward hit the floor, grabbing his throat. His face turned red and he appeared to be struggling to breathe. Later, one member of the Pistons training staff said the reserve forward was fine. "Just stunned," he said.
* Robinson was charged with a Flagrant 2 foul and ejected. He faces a one-game suspension - at the very least - which means he would miss Friday's game against the San Antonio Spurs. It will be interesting to see whether he makes himself available after practice today to explain and/or apologize for his actions.
Apologize for my actions mistakes happen I take full responsibility lost my cool will never happen again !
Champions Classic: KU vs Michigan State
Kansas 2012-13 MBB Schedule
Kansas 2012-13 WBB Schedule
Big 12/College News
Big 12 Composite Schedule
CBS Big 12 Preview (POY Withey)
Pauley Pavilion is ready for it's close-up
ESPN: Coaches. From hot seat to hero. And back.
On the brink of a new basketball season, top-ranked Indiana has lost freshmen Hanner Mosquera-Perea (pictured) and Peter Jurkin for nine game each for accepting impermissible benefits, the NCAA and Indiana announced Tuesday.
“While in high school, Jurkin and Perea accepted approximately $6,000 and $8,000, respectively, in impermissible benefits from an Indiana University booster,” the NCAA announced in a statement. “These benefits included plane tickets, meals, housing, a laptop, cell phone and clothing. Jurkin will be required to repay $250 to a charity of his choice. Perea must repay approximately $1,590 to charity. In determining the amount of repayment, the staff considered the mitigation presented by the university.”
Indiana announced that each player will be “withheld from the first nine games of this basketball season.”
CBS Preview #6 Michigan State
Izzo said Wednesday that he is strongly considering going to the Battle 4 Atlantis where Kansas is also a headline team in November of 2013. The Spartans need to get out of another tournament commitment to make this happen. Izzo said he wanted to take his team to a traditional three-day event, and liked the thought of one closer to home (or at least easier to get to) next year. The Spartans are going from Germany to East Lansing to Atlanta to East Lansing and to Miami (for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge) in the first three weeks of November.
Michigan State to kick off the season, they will be flying all the way over to Germany to take on Connecticut in the Armed Forces Classic at the Ramstein Air Base.
This is not something completely out of the norm for Michigan State though, a school that has taken part in many unique sporting events over the past 12 years or so. After all, they have one of the most imaginative Athletic Directors in the country in Mark Hollis, who has had a large part in envisioning several of those unique sporting events over the years.
Some of these events include the “Cold War” hockey game played outdoors in 2001 at Spartan Stadium between Michigan and Michigan State, the “Basketbowl” game played between Michigan State and Kentucky at Ford Field in 2003, and culminating with the game played aboard the USS Carl Vinson last year, as well as the game this year played at the Ramstein Air Base.
“For our athletic director to come up with the things he comes up with, the guy is incredible. He’s incredible,” Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said of Hollis. “Michigan State is a better place because of what this guy has done.”
This looks like a transitional year in East Lansing for a program reminiscing about one departed star and pining for another. If Izzo's pursuit of 6-foot-7 Chicago prep star Jabari Parker -- the consensus top recruit for 2013 and the potential No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA draft -- pays off, he could have his best roster and the preseason No. 1 team in 2013-14.
If he loses Parker (Duke, Florida, BYU and Stanford are the other finalists) and MSU's underclassmen all stay and develop as hoped, it still may be a top-five team. But that's next year.
This year, there's a gaping void of leadership and clutch production, provided in 2011-12 by All-America forward Draymond Green. There's also enough talent, speed, depth and versatility on hand to supply immediate pursuits of Big Ten and Final Four banners.
But last week's two muddling exhibition performances showed why this team could be faced with some early struggles as it tries to put everything together.
For one thing, of MSU's top 12 players, one is a senior and two are juniors. The Spartans are young with some undefined roles.
"I just feel like we've got to know who we are as players," Nix said. "You know, this is not Kentucky, this is a system. And when you go outside the system, then you have done too much. You have to find a happy medium there."
Detroit Free Press
Guess we know whom Jason King will be pimping for his next book
College basketball season opens Friday with dozens of games featuring high-profile teams and memorable venues. Michigan State and Connecticut will tip off at a military base in Germany. Three games will take place on aircraft carriers. And defending national champion Kentucky will open its season against Maryland at the brand-new Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Some of these games could get lost in the shuffle, though. With college football, the NBA and the NFL all in high gear, casual sports fans might glance over the start of college hoops season — and tune back in around February. But if they do that, they might miss some of the best games.
Transfer Dez Wells will be able to play immediately this season, as an NCAA subcommittee approved his appeal, Maryland announced Wednesday.
So Gillispie was canned for secondary violations? Oh yeah, and he was so mean!
You have only one senior, but I guess that’s college basketball these days. That’s a shame, isn’t it?:
“It is. And the ironic part is this is our second straight season with only one senior. … It’s amazing how the dynamics have changed. It puts a lot of heat on your young players getting ready as quickly as they can. It is what it is. As a coach, you’re constantly pushing your guys and motivating them to get as ready as they can in the offseason.”
How do you replace a guy like Jared Sullinger?:
“You can’t replace a guy like Jared, from the standpoint that I think he’s one of the best that I’ve ever coached. … He had a great understanding of the game of basketball. … I don’t know if we’re going to have 18 and 10, but you’re hoping, collectively, you can get that night-in and night-out.”
Thad Matta interview
The NBA had The Jordan Rules. Chicago pickup games have The Secret Service Rules.
President Obama played his traditional Election Day pickup game Tuesday, and Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen was one of the most notable — if, in the grand scheme of the world, least important — players. Obama was a Bulls fan in the 1990s, when Pippen and Michael Jordan led Chicago to six championships.
Pippen, a Hall of Famer and Dream Team member, played on Obama's team and offered obligatory praise.
"He's not an overly aggressive player, but he takes what the defense gives him," Pippen told Bulls.com. "He's got a smooth game. He probably used to be a little more aggressive, but obviously he doesn't want to get hurt."
That said, he added Obama reminds him of the greatest player in NBA history in at least one way: No one wanted to hit him.
"I thought the lanes opened up when Michael Jordan used to drive," Pippen said. "I used to be like, wow. But when I saw the President drive, I thought they were bringing the whole motorcade through the lane it was so wide."
ESPN Tip-Off Marathon schedule
2012-13 Early Season Events List
Joel Embiid, a 7-foot, 220-pound senior center from the Rock School in Gainesville, Fla., has cut his list to three schools.
“Down to Florida, Kansas and Texas,” Embiid, who has been playing basketball for less than two years, texted SNY.tv Wednesday night after Tweeting it.
“Next week,” he responded, asked when he’d reveal his college choice.
Coaches from KU, Florida and Texas visited his high school on Wednesday, jayhawkslant.com reported.
No. 31-ranked Tyler Roberson, a 6-8 small forward from Roselle (N.J.) Catholic School, has not yet set a date to announce his decision. He’s down to KU, Villanova and Syracuse.
Julius Randle is on the phone recalling his recent trip to Gainesville, FL, where Billy Donovan and the UF Gators were the second of five programs to host an official visit from a guy many consider the best player in the Class of 2013. “Coach D was telling me, ‘I think our style and our system really fit you, but I’ve never had a player quite like you,’” Randle says. “I used to compare myself to other players, but I do think I have my own unique style.”
It’s a bold statement for any player, even one as good as Randle, a 6-9, 240-pound forward from Prestonwood Christian Academy just outside Dallas, who is a consensus top-three player in his class. A versatile lefty with post moves, range and athleticism—and a motor that maximizes all three—he is indeed hard to pigeonhole with an easy comparison. True as that may be, Donovan’s quote also reminds us that coaches will tell undecided, top-three prospects pretty much anything. This is a courtship, after all, something Randle and his mother, Carolyn Kyles, fully understand.
“With these coaches, it’s like we’re dating right now,” she says. “So everything is wonderful.”
Six head coaches/programs have managed to catch and hold Randle’s attention: Florida, NC State, Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Texas. Whoever wins his commitment will be blessed with a kid whose poise and perspective are rare at the prep level. Ask Randle his strengths?
“Leadership and versatility,” he says.
Don't ever underestimate how much fans follow recruiting -- even overseas. I was walking with Michigan State's Tom Izzo, Derrick Nix and Russell Byrd down a hallway at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center after visiting with wounded warriors when 1st LT Aaron Christensen caught Izzo's attention. Christensen is from Safford, Ariz., but is BYU fan. He said his parents are both alumni. He told Izzo how much he admired him, but said do not take top 2013 player Jabari Parker away from his beloved Cougars. Of course, Izzo chuckled. How could he not here in Germany if Parker's recruitment is that closely watched.
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