Kansas redshirt freshman Ben McLemore has been named to the Sporting News Mid-Season All-America First Team it was announced Tuesday.
McLemore is joined on the first team by Oklahoma State freshman Marcus Smart, Michigan sophomore Trey Burke, Creighton junior Doug McDermott and Duke senior Mason Plumlee.
A 6-foot-5, guard from St. Louis, McLemore ranks second in the Big 12 in scoring at 16.4 points per game and with an 87.7 free throw percentage. He has five games of 20 points or more including 22 in KU’s victory at Ohio State (Dec. 22) and 33 in Kansas’ overtime win against Iowa State on Jan. 9. His 33-point effort is the most scored by a Big 12 player this season and the most by a Kansas freshman since All-American Danny Manning scored 35 against Oklahoma State in 1985.
Sporting News reporter Mike DeCourcy wrote this about McLemore: “It has taken some prompting to get McLemore to understand how important he is to the offense. The nature of the KU system does not put the ball in his hands a ton, so he has to look to score when he gets it. He has gone through eight games with single-digit shot attempts, which is a lot for a player who clearly is his team’s best scorer. He has made the difference when necessary, though: in a tough road game at Ohio State, in a closer-than imagined overtime home win over Iowa State.”
This is the second straight year in which an elite college freshman has been compared by draftniks and TV announcers to former UConn star Ray Allen. Last season it was Florida's Brad Beal, who was drafted third overall by the Wizards. This season it's Kansas' Ben McLemore, who's shooting up draft boards and could very well land in the top three in June. The problem with the Beal-Allen comps was that Beal was/is not nearly as good of a shooter as the guy with the NBA's prettiest stroke, whereas McLemore may actually have Allen-level potential. Below is a chart of each player's freshman-year stats; you'll see that in a small-ish sample, McLemore is ahead of where Allen was on threes and free throws, while Beal lagged well behind from beyond the arc.
SI Luke Winn Power Rankings (KU #2)
Infiniti today announced that it will once again partner with the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), the NCAA® and ESPN as the sponsor of the "Infiniti Coaches' Charity Challenge." Now in its third year, Infiniti, an official corporate partner of the NCAA, will make a $100,000 donation to the winning coach's designated charity. The program, expanded last year, pits 48 NABC coaches from the nation's top NCAA Division I men's basketball programs in a fan-vote challenge, with the total Infiniti contribution of $335,000.
Fan participation will determine the ultimate winner over an eight-week period beginning January 14 by registering and voting on a custom microsite on www.ESPN.com/Infiniti. For the first six weeks, four brackets of 12 coaches will be paired against each other, with the winners from each group moving onto the next round in week seven and the final round in week eight. Fans can vote for one coach per region per day. The winning coach will be announced March 11, 2013.
Among the participating coaches, and their charities are: Mike Krzyzewski, Duke, Emily Krzyzewski Center; John Beilein, Michigan, The St. Louis Center; Sean Miller, Arizona, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Southern Arizona; and Bill Self, Kansas, Assists Foundation. All 48 coaches' charities are guaranteed at least $5,000 from Infiniti.
VOTE FOR COACH SELF (West Region, Sean Miller currently leading)
Wichita Heights valedictorian Perry Ellis didn’t disappoint in the classroom his first semester at Kansas University.
“I did pretty well. I got three A’s and two B’s. I tried my best. That’s all you can do,” said Ellis, a 6-foot-8, 225-pound freshman forward.
…KU freshman Ben McLemore, who sprained his right ankle late in Monday’s game against Baylor, will return to practice today, Self reported Wednesday. McLemore shot on the side at practice on Wednesday. Barring any setbacks, he’s expected to play in Saturday’s 1 p.m. game at Texas.
KU’s Travis Releford was called for a Flagrant 1 foul for elbowing BU’s Deuce Bello late in the first half. Bello missed a pair of free throws. BU was awarded the ball and failed to score on the ensuing possession.
KU assistant Kurtis Townsend explained the ‘Flagrant 1’ vs. ‘Flagrant 2’ foul rule on Tuesday’s Hawk Talk radio show.
“It happened in a game at Michigan a couple years ago ... a guy came over the top and hit a guy right in the jaw (with elbow) and about knocked him out. In response to that, they made a rule any contact with the elbow above the shoulders, whether deliberate or not, is a flagrant foul,” Townsend said. “They get two shots and the ball back and your guy gets a foul assessed.
“A Flagrant 2 is where you try to hit a guy intentionally. You hit a guy on purpose, you’ll be tossed from the game. Travis’ was unintentional. We were trying to argue he got him with the backside of his arm and not the elbow. We watched it today (on tape). I think the refs made the right call. Travis didn’t try to do it intentionally. We teach guys instead of ripping it (ball) across the top, they have to do it below their waist and be strong with it and it takes away that call,” Townsend added.
T-Rob OK after crash: Former KU forward Thomas Robinson of the Sacramento Kings was not injured in a one-car accident after Monday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Robinson told cowbellkingdom.com he turned his Porsche Panamera too wide and too late at the intersection of Del Paso Boulevard and Broadgate Drive.
“It’s not that bad. The car’s not totaled,” Robinson told the website. “I messed the bottom part of my bumper up. I probably busted something inside the engine probably, but I’m not sure. I’m breathing right now,” he added. “I don’t care too much about the car.”
Baylor coach Scott Drew gave up.
A year ago, after the introduction of starting lineups at Kansas' Allen Fieldhouse, Drew huddled the Bears into a tight circle near their bench and attempted to offer a final few words of encouragement. Just as he started to speak, though, a pregame video chronicling KU's rich history began to play on the arena's mammoth four-sided video board.
"Coach's mouth was moving," guard Gary Franklin says, "but we couldn't hear any of the words that were coming out of it. Eventually he just stopped talking and waited."
Franklin pauses. "It was just so loud," he says.
Not that things got any easier during the game. Guard Pierre Jackson still remembers the feeling he experienced on the bench after Kansas' Thomas Robinson soared for a pass above the rim from Tyshawn Taylor. Robinson speared it with one hand and threw it down for an alley-oop dunk.
"The floor," Jackson says, "started shaking."
Allen Fieldhouse and Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium are generally regarded as the two most intimidating environments in college basketball -- and not just because of the noise. Six Division I coaches interviewed this week helped identify the five factors that go into creating a daunting home court.
1/16/13, 10:44 AM
Re-ranking top two lines after IU loss: 01-LOUISVILLE, 02-Duke, 03-KANSAS, 04-Michigan, 05-Arizona, 06-Indiana, 07-Syracuse, 08-Gonzaga.
The Kansas University football and soccer teams set academic records during the fall semester in 2012.
The football program’s 2.83 team grade-point average was the highest for a fall semester since the school began keeping track of such numbers in 1986.
The record-setting semester for the football team comes on the heels of a giant leap last spring, when KU coach Charlie Weis helped his squad jump more than half a letter grade from 2.46 to 3.0 during the spring semester.
Soccer, meanwhile, recorded a 3.46 GPA, an all-time best for the sport and the highest of all of KU’s sports last fall.
Seven other teams eclipsed the 3.0 mark, including: women’s golf (3.42), swimming and diving (3.31), volleyball (3.27), men’s cross country (3.17), tennis (3.17), women’s cross country (3.17) and rowing (3.06).
The KU men’s basketball program recorded a 2.66 team GPA and the athletic department’s combined GPA came in at 2.94, with 29 student-athletes recording a 4.0 GPA and 195 others finishing above 3.0.
The Kansas men's basketball team ranks 17th in Ken Pomeroy's adjusted offensive efficiency — a measure that takes into account a team's points per possession while adjusting for schedule strength. A year ago, the Jayhawks finished 19th nationally in the stat.
So the Jayhawks are following the same offensive formula for success, right?
Actually, what's interesting is that this year's team varies greatly from last year's in the way it produces offense.
Let's take a look. The following chart takes a look at 10 advanced statistical measures: adjusted offensive efficiency, effective field-goal percentage (shooting), turnover percentage, offensive rebound percentage, free throw rate (the frequency a team gets to the free throw line), two-point percentage, three-point percentage, free throw percentage, three-point attempt percentage (the percentage of field goals shot that are three-pointers) and assist percentage.
The red line is the 2011-12 season (final stats), while the blue is 2012-13. The higher up the dot, the better the team's national rank in that category.
Nick Collison's blog for GQ
On the eve of his 2013 season debut, PGA touring pro Gary Woodland had an unsettled mind badly in need of soothing.
“How’s Ben McLemore’s ankle?” Woodland asked early in a telephone interview he conducted from La Quinta, Calif., where he is playing in the Humana Challenge, formerly known as the Bob Hope Classic.
Woodland was relieved to hear that McLemore appears to be on course to play Saturday against Texas in Austin.
Like so many Kansas graduates, the state of the basketball team never strays far from his mind. He said he will have a Jayhawk back on his bag this season and two of his clubs will be protected by Jayhawk head covers.
Despite all his own fame, acquired by winning The Transitions, a PGA tour event in Orlando two years ago, and by competing so well in the four major tournaments in 2011, Woodland is no less wowed than the average fan by KU’s freshman guard from St. Louis.
“I’ve never seen anyone like him,” Woodland said of McLemore. “I went to a couple of practices last year and I couldn’t believe how active he was defensively. He was all over Tyshawn (Taylor) and you just don’t see that from a freshman. You could tell he was having a blast and that’s carried over into this year. He’s definitely at a different level.”
Once Woodland’s mind was put at ease as to the status of KU’s mega-talented guard, it was time to ask about the health of the most talented golfer ever to play for the Jayhawks.
Lawrence Journal-World sports editor Tom Keegan, now in his eighth year leading the sports department, has been named the Kansas sportswriter of the year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
The NSSA recognizes one writer and one broadcaster from each state every year and also hands out several national awards annually.
Keegan joins Journal-World sports writer Gary Bedore (2005) as current members of the staff to have won the honor. He will be recognized at the 54th Annual NSSA Awards Weekend, June 8-10 in Salisbury, N.C.
LJW New Schedule Wallpapers
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VOTE for Kansas players, team, and moment in NCAA 75th Anniversary of March Madness (Vote for Wilt, Clyde, Danny, 51-52 Kansas, Mario's Miracle)
Kansas 2012-13 MBB Schedule
Kansas 2012-13 WBB Schedule
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Rodney McGruder is getting ever more comfortable in new Kansas State coach Bruce Weber's offense and Martavious Irving knows how to respond to a challenge.
McGruder scored 21 points, Irving forced 10-second and 5-second calls against TCU players and the 16th-ranked Wildcats stretched their winning streak to seven games with a 67-54 victory over the Big 12 newcomer Wednesday night.
"It is fun, a lot of movement, not really set plays, so it's hard to learn," McGruder said. "I like the confidence everyone has."
The Wildcats (14-2, 3-0 Big 12) got off to a slow start before taking control with a 19-4 run midway through the first half.
Senior forward Romero Osby put together a monster second half in the OU men’s basketball team’s 81-63 victory over Texas Tech on Wednesday night at Lloyd Noble Center.
After only recording two points and one rebound in the first period, Osby came alive after halftime to end up with 17 points and six rebounds.
“Coach and my teammates just did a good job of running stuff for me,” Osby said. “I was just trying to post [the Texas Tech players] up real deep so that they wouldn’t have time to double team me.”
"In the last seven, eight years, I have coached teams that have absolutely whomped on people, and this ain’t one of ‘em Every game, we are going to be in is going to be a dogfight." -- Kentucky coach John Calipari after his team's come-from-behind 75-65 home win over Tennessee. In their previous two SEC games, the Wildcats lost at home to Texas A&M and needed a missed shot clock violation to win at Vanderbilt.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said the scuffle between roommates Branden Dawson and Adreian Payne that took place Wednesday at the team hotel was over practice gear.
Izzo, in an interview on the Big Ten Network prior to tipoff of Wednesday night's game at Penn State, was apologetic for his players' actions and said he would hold the players responsible.
"They are roommates back in East Lansing and they got in an argument over practice gear,'' Izzo said. "They got in a pushing and shoving altercation, go back dent a wall, and with Twitter and everything else it becomes a story of its own.''
Brad Stevens is used to hearing his name mentioned along with Shaka Smart's, and when it happens, he does something college basketball coaches don't normally do when asked about competitors: He gushes.
"He'd be a blast to play for; there's no doubt about it," Stevens said.
"I've known him since we were both assistants — he was at Akron and I was at Butler. We'd sit on the road together, and I've gotten to know him more as time has gone on. I have always a great deal of respect for him. He's incredibly intelligent.
"He has the best pulse on his team as anybody that I know as far as, like, he's always thinking about how to make the next guy on his team feel better and play better."
Though they had met frequently on the road, the two young coaches — Stevens is 36, Smart 35 — had a more public meeting in 2011, on the court in the Final Four. Stevens' Bulldogs were an eight seed; Smart's Rams began their run in the First Four, essentially an NCAA tournament play-in game.
And until it came time to face Smart, Stevens rooted for VCU.
"I am No. 1 employed by Butler and try like heck to make this the best program it can be," said Stevens, in his sixth year as the Bulldogs' coach. "No. 2, (I'm) a fan that roots for underdogs, just like everybody else."
After being introduced to the NCAA convention as Dr. Shaquille O'Neal, the four-time NBA champion talked about the importance of education, saying in the age of one-and-done basketball players that they should have to stay in school at least three years before going pro, such as the rule for NCAA football players.
"A lot of guys do it because of their financial situation and they need to do it," O'Neal said. "That's the only way to provide a better means for their family. So when you look at it from that aspect, I understand it."
For players who do leave early, O'Neal's advice is to make sure they go back and finish their education — not to make more money, but to know how to keep what they've made.
O'Neal, who called his three years as an LSU player the best time of his life, recalled spending "$1 million in about 30 minutes" after he got his first check as the NBA's first overall pick in 1992. He quickly realized he wasn't as smart as he thought about money despite a few business and accounting classes.
He went back to LSU to complete his undergraduate work, then added an online MBA from the University of Phoenix in 2005, and earned a doctoral degree from Barry University in Florida last May.
O'Neal's business interests include owning 42 health and fitness clubs and 155 hamburger restaurants.
Hours before tipoff Wednesday night between UNLV and No. 15 San Diego State, the Aztecs announced they were staying in the Mountain West Conference.
That was great news for coach Steve Fisher, even if his Aztecs were upset 82-75 by the Runnin' Rebels.
Anthony Marshall scored a season-high 20 points, and Justin Hawkins and Khem Birch scored off rebounds on consecutive possessions over the final 1:18 to help UNLV win.
Bryce Dejean-Jones scored 14 points and Birch had 12 for the Runnin' Rebels (15-3, 2-1 Mountain West Conference), who fell out of the AP Top 25 on Monday after losing at New Mexico and going to overtime against Air Force before winning.
The Runnin' Rebels outrebounded the Aztecs 43-31.
Matthew Dellavedova launched a 35-foot 3-pointer that went in as time expired to give Saint Mary's a stunning 70-69 win over BYU on Wednesday night in Provo, Utah.
The game was close down the stretch, with the Cougars' Tyler Haws and Dellavedova exchanging baskets in the final minute to leave the game tied at 67. Haws then hit another jumper to put BYU (14-5, 4-1 West Coast Conference) ahead with 2.5 seconds left.
But Dellavedova took a long inbound pass and made his shot to give the Gaels (14-4, 3-1) the win.
"We got a little lucky, and the shot went in," Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said.
Attorney Michael L. Buckner also told The Miami Herald that Haith “has given the NCAA thousands of pages of documents at Coach Haith’s own expense,’’ and that “the bill for him acquiring these documents has cost well into the thousands of dollars.
Buckner, based in Pompano Beach, would not say whether the NCAA had contacted them this week about if and when the notice would arrive, and what the specific allegations might be for Haith in the case involving former Miami booster and convicted Ponzi-schemer Nevin Shapiro.
“We talk to the NCAA all the time about the case and any pending issues coming up,” Buckner said, when asked if they were warned about forthcoming NCAA accusations involving Haith. “But I’m not going to comment on any communication we’ve had. We haven’t received a notice of allegations from the NCAA and based upon our understanding of the evidence, we’re hopeful we won’t.
“The NCAA asked Coach Haith to produce documents and he did so on his own dime. We have been as transparent as possible to provide the NCAA what they wanted. He has nothing to hide.’’
Two people involved in the case told The Miami Herald on Saturday that they, and others as well, were asked by the NCAA to be available beginning Monday to discuss allegations against them.
Haith, the 2012 National Coach of the Year at Missouri, was accused by Shapiro “of having knowledge of a $10,000 payment the booster made [allegedly to an unnamed family member of Jones] to secure the commitment of basketball recruit DeQuan Jones,’’ according to Yahoo! Sports, which first revealed the allegation in August 2011. Shapiro said Haith later thanked him for it, but that former Miami assistant Jake Morton, to whom Shapiro said he gave the money for the transaction, eventually returned the $10,000.
Shapiro said he also paid for dinners and strip club visits for Haith.
Selection Sunday is just two months away, and there are plenty of interesting questions to be answered before then
Kentucky on the bubble? Wisconsin alone in the Big Ten lead? The RPI power ratings being flooded by that brute of a basketball conference ... the Mountain West?
And did the hottest team in the Pac-12 really once lose to Cal Poly?
USA Today Mike Lopresti
Big 12 Composite Schedule & Results
RPI and SOS Team Comparison Calculator
Wichita North's Conner Frankamp is one of three Kansans nominated to play in the 2013 McDonald's All American games.
Joining Frankamp, are nominees Katelyn Loecker from McPherson High School, and Tray Wheeler from Highland Park High School in Topeka.
McDonald’s has announced its list of 814 prep seniors who have
been nominated to play in the 2013 McDonald’s All American Games. This year’s list boasts players from 39 states and the District of Columbia who have been selected by high school coaches, athletic
directors, principals and members of the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee.
The final roster of 24 boys and 24 girls who will be selected to play in the 2013 Games will be announced during the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Show on ESPNU on February 14
at 4:00pm CT.
The 36th Annual Boys Game will tip-off on Wednesday, April 3 at 8:30 p.m. CT from Chicago’s United Center and will be broadcast on ESPN. The 12th Annual Girls Game will precede the Boys Game,
beginning at 6 p.m. CT and will broadcast live on ESPNU. Information regarding tickets for the 2013 McDonald’s All American Games is available at Ticketmaster. Net proceeds from the Games will
benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). The Games have raised more than $10 million for RMHC since its inception in 1978.
Off to a red-hot 8-0 season, the Men’s team will travel to the 17th annual Dodge City Tournament of Champions for their mid-season tournament (Jan 17-19). Currently, the Redskins are alone atop the City League standings along with No. 3 in class 6A. Two very large tests possibly awate them in the bracket. The No. 6 team in Class 6A, Derby, and Shawnee Mission South (No. 1 in Class 5A) are two of the top contending teams in the tournament, as well as Scott City, who is the No. 1 team in Class 3A, also undeafeted.
In their first game, Thursday Jan. 17 2pm, the Redskins will face off against the Crusaders of Buhler High School. In last year’s mid-season tournament in McPherson, North edged Buhler 73-72 in a nailbiting second game behind Conner Frankamp’s 38 point performance. Since then, the Crusaders are 1-7 this season and are seeded low in the tournament. With a win, North looks to play the winner of the Derby v. Scott City matchup, a game sought to be the toughest frist round matchup. Other teams include host Dodge City, Newton, and Wichita South.
All games are held at the United Wirless Arena located in Dodge City, KS. The championship game will be held at 6 p.m. on January 19, with the 3rd place game held at 4 p.m. You can keep up with the Redskins and their tournament play at Twitter.com/NorthHighSS.
Rashad Vaughn, a 6-4 junior shooting guard from Cooper High in Robbinsdale, Minn., will visit KU second semester, Zagsblog.com reports. Vaughn, who is ranked No. 12 in the Class of 2014, also is considering Iowa State, Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina, Florida, Minnesota, Texas, Maryland, Baylor, Tennessee and Georgetown. ... KU coach Self on Tuesday reportedly attended a game of Joshua Perkins, a 6-2 junior guard from Regis Jesuit High in Aurora, Colo. The No. 42-rated player in the Class of 2014 told Rivals.com he’s hearing the most from KU, Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Gonzaga, Houston, Minnesota, San Francisco, Stanford and Wake Forest.
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