3/6/13, 10:52 AM
Got luggage tag promoting POY candidate Ben McLemore. Kansas hopes to earn many FF miles on AirMclemore #marchmadness pic.twitter.com/pII87IS6Un
Also received the soundtrack to Jeff Withey Block Party. Hilarious.My fav song...Swat House shakeitdownshakeitdownnow pic.twitter.com/Nrd8jD6BL7
Happy birthday to the big fella @JeffWithey
- Withey 2nd Team All-American, McLemore 3rd Team
- DPOY Withey
- Iowa State in best game list, only mentions one ref call. Typical.
- Everyone dismisses RPI, unless it pertains to the loss to TCU. LOL.
- Big 12 POY Withey
Video: Jay Bilas picks league POYs (McLemore)
In each of Kansas's last three games, a different player has scored 20 or more points. In two of those games, a different player scored more than 35 points. Kevin Young has the best Afro in college basketball. Kansas's defense at its best is better than every other defense in the country. Perry Ellis is the front-runner for the Greg Oden Award, which is given to the freshman who most looks like he's 60 years old. Bill Self is one win away from his ninth-consecutive Big 12 title. The Jayhawks are the only major sports team to release a "Harlem Shake" video during the five-hour window when it was cool to do so. Travis Releford is the only basketball player in the world who still wears sweat bands on both wrists.
I guess what I'm saying is this: Don't sleep on Kansas.
Grantland Titus's Top 12 (always worth the click!)
So far, Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self has signed five high school basketball players in the recruiting Class of 2013 — guards Conner Frankamp, Frank Mason and Wayne Selden, forward Brannen Greene and center Joel Embiid.
Scholarship offers also have been extended to forwards Julius Randle and Andrew Wiggins.
In Self’s perfect world, those seven players would be making their KU debuts in 2013-14 with another newcomer — red-shirt freshman power forward Landen Lucas — who has practiced but not played in games this season.
“He’s doing great. He’s becoming more explosive,” Self said of Lucas on Tuesday’s “Hawk Talk” radio show. “He’s probably the toughest kid we have inside without question. He is a presence. He needs to get a little more athletic, quicker twitch in some areas, but he’s really gained on that. I think he’ll be a load. I think he’s going to be a really nice player.”
…Self joked about Kevin Young’s ever-expanding afro hairdo.
“I think he worries about his hair a little too much. Did you see his brother’s hair?” Self said of Free State High freshman Donovan Young, who also has an afro. “I told Kevin, ‘Your brother is kicking your butt (in hair-growing contest).’
“I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we have no headbands. I haven’t had to say anything about it, since nobody’s asked me (permission to wear them), but Kevin ... oh my gosh, he’s tested my patience with growing his hair out. You see it when it’s combed. I see it every day when it’s not (at practice).
“He is absolutely great,” Self added. “He loosens things up around the locker room.”
Two teams with talented players and recruits from across the country, but only one team has proven the tests of time with nine consecutive conference championships.
Not to say there have not been a few battles, but for the most part, the Jayhawks continue to dominate the series, losing only once outside of the Big 12 tournament to the Bears from Waco, Texas, since 1996.
For the second time in three days, the Kansas women's basketball team will face TCU on the hardwood. This time however, the stakes are much higher. The No. 7-seeded Jayhawks will open the 2013 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship with a first round game against the No. 10-seeded Horned Frogs. The game is scheduled to tip at 8:30 p.m. Friday night.
Lawrence city commissioners have approved agreements for a city-owned recreation center and tax abatements for a larger project that will include athletic facilities for the University of Kansas.
The commissioners Tuesday night approved a development agreement for a $25 million Rock Chalk recreation center. And they approved an ordinance to give a 100 percent property tax abatement for the next 10 years for the larger project, which includes privately owned athletic facilities for the university.
The commission approved the property tax abatement even after its key advisory board on economic development failed to recommend it earlier Tuesday.
VOTE for Wooden Award nominees McLemore & Withey
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)
Big 12/College News
Oklahoma State’s difficult week took on a sense of urgency Wednesday night.
Looking to stay in the hunt for a share of a Big 12 Conference championship, the No. 13 Cowboys instead absorbed an 87-76 loss at IowaState, leaving them locked into third place in the league race.
Returning home for a Saturday date with No. 9 Kansas State, OSU may now need a win to avoid sharing third place.
And such a tie – with rival Oklahoma – would be way worse than any sisterly smooch.
Beyond that scenario, however, the Cowboys simply don’t want to limp to the finish.
“We want to finish out strong,” said OSU captain Markel Brown. “We don’t want to end on a bad note.
“In this league, every game is a big game. We’ll move on and play KansasState and give it all we’ve got. We’re still trying to get wins.”
Miami, with the outright ACC title on the line and a 1-seed in the NCAAs looming as a prize, gacked away a double-digit halftime lead and lost. At home. To Georgia Tech. For their third loss in four games. This little losing skid (solid effort at Cameron aside) is also starting to undermine Miami claims for injury credit for the losses to Florida Gulf Coast (without Durand Scott) and in Hawaii (without Reggie Johnson). Johnson has mostly been a non-factor since his return from injury, which is really hurting the Canes at this point.
OK, what else…
Oh, goodie. UCLA, a co-leader in the Pac-12 with control of its own destiny for that league title, lost at Washington State for the first time in two decades. By double digits. Leaving Oregon alone in first. At least until the Ducks play at Colorado tomorrow night. And Cal, which is playing Stanford tonight, has a chance to grab a share of the league title out of nowhere. (Update: No, they almost certainly don’t. Ick.)
What’s that? Oh, sweet. Atlantic 10 mayhem! Saint Louis fell at Xavier in overtime, moving VCU into a tie for first in the conference and opening the door for a possible co-championship for … La Salle? La Salle!!
So is this what March is going to be like? Every night, someone drops? Every night, we’re left scratching our heads and picking through the carnage? Every night, we’re reassessing just about everything we thought we knew about the NCAA tournament picture and which teams we can trust?
Yes? Well, sign me up.
More than 100,000 fans flock to most Longhorns football games but, at least for now, aren’t allowed to have alcohol at Darrell K Royal Texas-Memorial Stadium.
That could soon change. UT is considering selling alcohol at football, basketball and baseball games, according to men’s athletics director DeLoss Dodds. Texas would become the third Big 12 school to serve alcohol at football games after Iowa State and West Virginia.
“We talk about it constantly,” Dodds told The Daily Texan. “If we ever did it, we’d probably start with baseball. There’s something about it that doesn’t quite feel right, but there’s people telling me that it might be safer to serve it than not serve it. It’s an issue. I guarantee you we talk about it at almost every other staff meeting.”
The NCAA does not have any rules or policies regulating alcohol sales at regular season games. About 20 major college venues sell alcohol to general fans — and many more only offer it in stadium suites and luxury boxes — according to a 2011 survey by USA Today.
West Virginia began serving alcohol at football games in 2011 and at basketball games last year. It generated $520,000 in revenue from alcohol sales that year, according to an Associated Press report.
The NCAA has lifted a recent ban against New Jersey schools being allowed to host tournament games or championships sanctioned by college sports' governing body.
The NCAA informed its member schools of the decision in a memo after U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp in Trenton issued a permanent injunction Thursday barring New Jersey from offering sports betting in the state.
Gov. Chris Christie signed a sports wagering law last year, but the NCAA and four major sports leagues challenged it.
Carol Blazejowski, the associate vice president for university advancement at Montclair State University, said she had received the NCAA memo.
The NCAA did not return calls or respond to an email seeking comment. The memorandum written by Mark Lewis, the NCAA executive vice president of championships and alliances, said the ban would be reinstated if the state successfully appeals Shipp's ruling.
The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), an affiliate of IMG College, and the Atlanta Tipoff Club today announced Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) as the winner of the second annual Naismith Student Section of the Year Award.
A total of 158 schools representing 25 conferences submitted entries for the award, which was launched nationally on Jan. 17. The VCU basketball student section, named the Rowdy Rams, was selected after two rounds of public Facebook votes, combined with a scoring of finalists by the Naismith Awards Board of Selectors. Selection criteria for the top eight finalists included the student section's name and attendance, photos, video, a write-up submitted by the nominating school, a weighted score based on the public vote. VCU led the way into the final round of scoring with the highest vote tally throughout the first and second rounds of the public vote.
VCU's students outlasted the remaining candidates including Gonzaga, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Pitt, Purdue, and Saint Bonaventure, the Board of Selectors said, noting the 2,000-seat student section's unique traditions, including a the Rowdy Rams student section membership, screaming for the black and gold alert, the "Let's Go VCU" chant, and students waiting in line all day prior to tip-off.
More bets have been placed on Michigan State to win the NCAA Tournament than any other team at the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino SuperBook. But it’s close.
With top-ranked teams losing weekly, we’re witnessing one of the most wide-open college basketball seasons in recent memory – and the betting market reflects that.
As of Tuesday, 161 bets had been placed on Tom Izzo’s Spartans to win it all at the SuperBook, according to head oddsmakers and assistant manager Ed Salmons.
A wad of five teams sits right behind Michigan State, each trailing Sparty by less than 20 bets. Indiana is second by just a few tickets, followed by a tie between Kansas and Duke. More than a dozen teams have more than 100 bets on them to win it all.
Normally, at this point, a clear-cut favorite has separated itself from the pack, like Kentucky did last season.
Not this year.
“This is the most-wide open the tournament has ever been that I can remember in my lifetime,” Salmons, a 20-plus-year veteran Vegas oddsmaker, said in a Tuesday phone interview. “We’ve got money all over the place. It’s funny to watch people bet the tournament futures, because they try to cover every base.”
Last April, the SuperBook offered odds on 98 eligible teams to win the 2013 NCAA Tournament. As of Wednesday, 95 of those teams had received at least one bet on them to win it. Seton Hall, St. Bonaventure and Nevada are the only teams that had not received a single bet (Central Florida was listed on the opening odds, but has since been ruled ineligible to compete in the Big Dance).
While bettors are spreading their money out on multiple teams, some players have put four-figure wagers down on specific teams, including on No. 1 Gonzaga. Salmons took a four-figure wager on the Zags at 15-to-1.
Syracuse had to do some damage control after a tweet sent from the university’s official Twitter account suggested that basketball coach Jim Boeheim would be retiring.
Here’s the tweet sent following Syracuse’s 78-57 home win over DePaul on Wednesday that caused the confusion:
…The tweet links to a post on a Syracuse blog that was written by a Florida community college student, who says the longtime coach was asked by the school to retire.
The tweet was later deleted, and the school moved quickly to clarify:
As Iowa State plans its travel to the Big 12 tournament this week, it will have to go a bit farther south than it has in the past three seasons.
After spending the previous three seasons playing in the Big 12 tournament at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo., the Cyclones and the rest of the Big 12 will instead travel to American Airlines Center in Dallas for the 2013 tournament.
ISU coach Bill Fennelly, who has been vocal in his opposition from moving the tournament away from Kansas City, feels that while it is certainly disappointing for him, it is also disappointing for ISU fans.
"I've never understood when things are going really well and people really like it, why you change it," Fennelly said. "I thought it was a great thing the way it was for everyone. It was a great event and I'm sure it will be a great event in Dallas. I know they're working really hard and it will be fun but for me personally and Iowa State people, there's something missing and something different."
Big 12 Tourney Info for KC Visitors
Big 12 Composite Schedule & Results
RPI and SOS Team Comparison Calculator
NHS Scores & Stats (@NorthHighSS)
3/6/13, 8:03 PM
Conner Frankamp finishes his career with 2,295 points, 26.7ppg. Senior season, 655 points, a 31.2 avg.
The basketball season that became an Iron Man Triathlon for North senior guard Conner Frankamp is over. Two games earlier than expected.
Blue Valley West junk-defensed the Redskins right out of the Class 6A tournament Wednesday night at Koch Arena, 41-35. They locked a box-and-one defense on North and made the Redskins squirm from start to finish.
Frankamp had the worst night of his high school career, in more ways than one. He was hounded like he’s always hounded, only this time he didn’t hound back. He made 4 of 13 shots and 3 of 11 three-pointers.
A BV West team that finished 7-7 in the Eastern Kansas League — and 13-9 overall — shockingly ousted a 20-2 North team, the City League champion, from this tournament.
Frankamp blamed himself for not making shots. He was frustrated all night by the tight first-line defense of BV West’s Conley Wilkins, then harassed by other defenders anytime he broke free.
Wilkins had one assignment Wednesday and he chose to accept it. It was to get in Frankamp’s face, to stare him down, to make him clench his teeth and even his fists. Wilkins, a running back for BV West’s football team, never gave Frankamp a hole to run through.
The North icon, the leading scorer in the best league in the state, goes out with an 11-point game. He goes out with tears of frustration and anger, not of joy. He goes into the dark of the night with some people now questioning what kind of player he’ll be at Kansas.
It takes four years to build a career like Frankamp built at North and four minutes to start tearing it down.
Frankamp was terrible Wednesday. But he was never put into a position to be great.
The Redskins allowed BV West to dictate the tempo of the game. They let a box-and-one defense box them in. They never got a transition game going, rarely got to the free-throw line, struggled to score inside and shot 32.4 percent.
Against a team that was 7-7 in the Eastern Kansas League. I repeated that fact for effect.
While the box-and-one was tremendously effective, it wasn’t a stroke of genius. You can’t convince me BV West coach Donnie Campbell expected it to work for 32 minutes. A quarter, maybe. A half at the most.
But North was forced to do everything it tried from the perimeter. Its two interior starters, Beau Shockley and Sean Bernard, took a total of six shots. The starting guards took 31.
Frankamp had a bad night and so did his teammates. The Redskins were left to try to hang on for dear life instead of delivering a knockout blow.
“It’s sad,’’ Frankamp said outside of North’s locker room. “We had a great season. I thought we had a great team, a team good enough to win state. It just didn’t happen for us.’’
North led most of the way, actually. It was never a comfortable lead, but one that could have made them numb to a BV West comeback.
But the comeback ensued. North led 20-14 at halftime, then came out in the third quarter and held the ball. That’s not what City League basketball teams do. It’s not what North has done anytime this season.
North coach Gary Squires, though, believed it was the best way to preserve the lead.
Instead, BV West outscored North 27-15 in the second half and Squires’ decision to stall will now be classified under “strategy that failed miserably.”
Normally, Frankamp can bail the Redskins out of even the toughest predicaments. He makes shots. He makes tough, guarded shots that few high school players can.
Not in this one, though. Several of his shots rimmed out. He missed the only free throw he took. That tells another story, because Frankamp normally makes camp at the free-throw line.
But North didn’t attack. North played cautiously, tentatively. The Redskins, Frankamp included, looked tight and agitated.
In other words, BV West’s plan worked. A gimmick box-and-one worked for a whole game. Has that ever happened?
Frankamp blamed himself for missing shots. I think he missed shots because he became distracted. He will strongly disagree.
But he’s still a young player. He doesn’t need to acknowledge a student section or the intimidation attempt of a defensive player. Wilkins not only guarded Frankamp, he stared him down. It was uncomfortable to watch unless you were sitting on the BV West bench.
Give credit to the Jaguars. They pulled this box-and-one thing off. But not without a lot of help from North, which played out of character.
So many great City League players from the past have departed their high school careers with state championships. It’s part of their greatness.
Frankamp never played in a state championship game, even. There’s something terribly unjust about that.
His next stop is Kansas and now the Frankamp doubters are having a field day. I’m not one of them. His high school career ended badly, but there are other chapters to be written.
Wichita Eagle Bob Lutz
T-Rob is a beast. I'm glad he's on the rockets now! #RedNation
Julius Randle, a top-five basketball recruit in the Class of 2013, was added to the McDonald's All-American Game on Wednesday. According to a report, though, he's no longer considering N.C. State.
Adam Zagoria, who covers recruiting for SNY.tv, tweeted that Randle has removed the Wolfpack and Oklahoma from his list of six finalists, leaving Kentucky, Kansas, Texas and Florida.
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