A total of six Kansas Jayhawk teams, including two that advanced to NCAA postseason play, recorded perfect single-year NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores during the 2014-15 school year. That number ties the athletic department's record for the fourth time in the 11 years the NCAA has compiled APR figures. Additionally, five KU teams scored a 980 or above (out of a perfect 1,000) for the multi-year APR rate, according to statistics the NCAA released Wednesday.
Kansas men's basketball and volleyball, both NCAA Tournament participants during the 2014-15 school year, were joined by men's golf, women's basketball, women's cross country and women's tennis as teams scoring a perfect 1000. The APR accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation, providing a measure of each team's academic performance. It is intended to provide a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete on scholarship.
Men's golf and women's cross country tied for the top multi-year rate by a Kansas team as each tallied a 993, with men's basketball and volleyball close behind at 990. The most recent multi-year APRs are based on scores from the 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years.
In order to remain in good standing, teams must achieve either a 930 multi-year APR or a 940 average over the most recent two years – criteria every Kansas program exceeded.
Searchable Database for APR
Every time Blake Griffin arrived early to the practice facility at the beginning of the season, he’d hear a sound.
The treadmill was running, and on top of it stood Cole Aldrich. This was before the Clippers’ backup center ever joined the rotation.
“He’d be the first guy in here,” Griffin said. “Doc (Rivers) challenged him to get into better shape, and he accepted it and it paid off.”
Rivers said he felt like Aldrich had more to give, and he believed conditioning played a part.
Aldrich, to his credit, responded.
Griffin said Aldrich lost 25 pounds from the beginning of the year, a fact Aldrich confirmed as he sat at his locker nibbling on orange slices before Game 2 against Portland.
…Aldrich’s production continues to rise, averaging 9.4 points and 8.6 rebounds to close out the year in April, including a masterful 21-point, 18-rebound, five-steal performance when called upon to start in Utah.
“He’s blocking everything that comes in the paint,” said DeAndre Jordan. “He’s gobbling up every rebound, he’s running, he’s dunking now, which is nice to see. He definitely helped our second unit out a lot.”
That was evident again Wednesday in Game 2 against Portland, as Aldrich and the backups helped propel the Clippers to a 2-0 lead, outscoring the Trail Blazers’ reserves by 33 points. Aldrich chipped in with eight points, eight rebounds and two blocks in just 12 minutes.
Former Kansas University guard Nick Bradford has been hired as head boys basketball coach at Mexico (Mo.) High School.
The 6-foot-7, 37-year-old Bradford, who played at KU for Roy Williams from 1997 to 2000, currently is coach of the Missouri Phenom girls AAU team, based in Blue Springs, Mo. He has been an assistant men’s coach at Missouri Southern State in Joplin, Mo., and Labette County Community College in Parsons. He has also coached for many years in Kansas City’s Run GMC AAU program.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Bradford told the Journal-World on Wednesday. “This was my first year since I was a little kid not being part of a school team or pro team playing or coaching. I’m ready to get back in the everyday basketball grind.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” added Bradford, who spent the last year training athletes while working as a substitute teacher in his hometown of Fayetteville, Ark. He returned to the KC area to start coaching the Phenom again this spring.
Bradford joked that “Mexico is 10, 15 miles east of Columbia — (Missouri) Tiger country. But the AD is kind of a big Kansas guy,” he added with a laugh referring to Jeff Anderson, who last week was named athletic director of the year by the Missouri Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Assn.
Congratulations to the members of the 2016-17 University of Kansas Cheer Squad who were announced Wednesday afternoon by Spirit Squad Coordinator Cathy Jarzemkoski.
Cheer head coach Jimmy Godfrey and assistant coach Lyndsay Marriott guided candidates from across the country through a recent, three-day tryout process. The skill level was very high, along with character and academic success. The following candidates were selected for the cheer team by a panel of judges consisting of alumni, athletic staff and cheer experts.
BIG 12/COLLEGE NEWS
TCU announced the hiring of David Patrick as an assistant men’s basketball coach, joining new head coach Jamie Dixon’s staff.
Patrick spent the past four years at LSU, where his recruiting helped the Tigers land the nation’s top recruit, Ben Simmons, the national freshman of the year in college basketball last season.
LSU basketball coach Johnny Jones on Wednesday announced the hiring of former LSU assistant coach Robert Kirby to be his top assistant and recruiting coordinator, replacing David Patrick, who recently left for the same job at Texas Christian University.
Kirby, 55, recruited much of the last LSU team to reach the NCAA Tournament, including star forwards Jordan Mickey and Jarell Martin.
The world needs salesmen just as it needs lawyers and journalists and any number of other professional irritants. Calipari might be a good man or he might be a bad one — I don’t know him — but his gift for salesmanship doesn’t inform the case one way or another.
What it does tell us, however, is that it’s usually safe to assume he’s working an angle.
I bring this up because Calipari made a daft and amusing point today about one-and-done basketball players that needs to be stricken from the record in the court of public opinion.
But Calipari’s rhetorical question misses a critical difference between college golf and college basketball: One of them is a TV show.
When people say college basketball is being ruined by early defections, they are talking about the (subjective) value of the sport as an entertainment product, in comparison to the past. Their reasoning is that the level of play is lower today than it has been in the past, because the best players don’t stick around as long as they used to, and this makes the game less entertaining.
…The reason nobody says Jordan Spieth ruined college golf isn’t because early departures don’t hurt it, it’s because nobody says anything about college golf at all.
Big Lead Tully Corcoran
The Pearl was bigger than life, and that's so much of why it agonized everyone to watch brain cancer slowly, surely take Dwayne Washington. He passed on Wednesday morning, 52 years old, and is still remembered for three glorious seasons in snowy upstate New York that forever impacted college basketball.
He never had it better than with the Orange, and neither did college basketball: Pearl Washington made the Big East Conference, the Syracuse Carrier Dome, and it never mattered that he was bust in the NBA. No one ever held it against him.
NBA Draft/Early Entry Guidelines for 2016
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Former Duke point guard Derryck Thornton has narrowed his list of schools to four — KU, USC, Miami and Washington.
The 6-foot-2 freshman, who announced plans to transfer after averaging 7.1 points and 2.6 assists per game this past season, told Scout.com: “Kansas has a terrific tradition and (coach) Bill Self runs a great program. I have a great relationship with (assistant) Kurtis Townsend. They win the Big 12 every year and I know they’re going to be in the national championship hunt.”
Jeremiah Tilmon is the latest recruit drawing big buzz about whether the five-star recruit lands at Illinois or a blue blood program like Kansas, Kentucky or North Carolina.
The former East St. Louis product is now at La Lumiere, a boarding school in LaPorte, Ind., and former home of current Illinois guard Jalen Coleman-Lands.
What would a commitment from the 6-foot-10, 235-pound post player mean for the Illini?
Our beat writer, Scott Richey, offered up the following when it comes to Tilmon's potential:
"If Jeremiah Tilmon picks Illinois, it does open up the idea of five-star prospects choosing the Illini. But that only gets reinforced if Tilmon picks Illinois and then the Illini play well and succeed with him. Those other top prospects have to not only see Illinois as a destination, but also a destination they can use as a stepping stone to the next level. Not sure you can say Illinois has that cachet at the moment considering Deron Williams and Meyers Leonard are the only former Illini in the NBA."
Recruiting Calendar (updated for 2016)
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