Kansas University’s basketball team will play Temple in a home-and-home series starting with a game next season in Allen Fieldhouse.
The return game will be played not the following season, but in 2014-15 at Wells Fargo Center, home of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers.
“Temple is a top 25 team and this takes us back to the East Coast,” said KU schedule-maker Larry Keating, referring to fertile recruiting ground.
Coach Fran Dunphy’s Atlantic 10 champs return two starters off a 24-8 team that fell to South Florida in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. KU is looking for one additional marquee home game. A proposed series with Indiana has not materialized.
“We’re talking to a couple of different people,” said Keating.
KU next season will travel to Ohio State and meet Michigan State on Nov. 13 in the Champions Classic in Atlanta. KU will play in the CBE Classic on Nov. 19-20 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., with Washington State, St. Louis and Texas A&M. No match-ups have yet been set.
The Jayhawks also plan to take a foreign exhibition tour in August. The destination will be somewhere in Europe. KU will release details once tour stops are finalized.
Keating is the point man in charge of piecing together KU’s schedule, and he told The Star on Wednesday that the potential series was no more. It appears Indiana was hesitant to schedule another major (road) game. The Hoosiers have reportedly been haggling with Kentucky over the renewal of that series — do they play on or off campus? — but Indiana also has a loaded schedule (It features Butler, the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, and a four-team tourney at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn that includes UCLA and Georgetown).
So here’s the first look at KU’s opponents in 2012-13. Just add on 18 league games against a re-constituted Big 12, six more guarantee games against lesser competition at Allen Fieldhouse, and one game at the Sprint Center*.
Conner Teahan and Jordan Juenemann felt right at home at Jayhawk-Linn High School.
The school’s name gives it way.
While the colors for the University of Kansas and Jayhawk-Linn differ, the mascot is the same: Jayhawks.
“We noticed that right as we came into town,” Teahan said. “We thought it was awesome that the school was Jayhawk-Linn.”
…The large turnout provided a big sense of relief for event organizer and Jayhawk-Linn assistant principal Jim Dillon. He had planned the event since the beginning of the year, but with NCAA rules prohibiting him from publicly announcing the event until the conclusion of the basketball season, he had only 2-1/2 weeks to prepare.
Fortunately for Dillon, he had previous experience to help him get through the process. He had organized four previous stops in Louisburg for the Barnstormers. He also thanked principal David Brown and local business owner Matt Casner for spreading word of the event throughout the community. “The turnout was great,” Dillon said. “I thought we could get 1,000. Our pre-sales were 900 or so and we’ve had walk-ups tonight. Anywhere from 900 to 1,200 is great for this size of a community. They told us of all the venues, this is the smallest venue, but we still have sold the second most number of tickets.”
The large turnout has Teahan excited about the next eight stops for the Barnstormers.
“My expectations are extremely high after this one,” he said. “This has been a great event so far. It’s been a lot of fun.”
Shawnee Parks and Recreation is sponsoring a May 19 bus trip to Lawrence with none other than James Naismith (portrayed by historical re-enactor Bill Nicks).
During the trip, participants will learn about Naismith, the inventor of basketball and the first Kansas University basketball coach, and the obstacles he overcame en route to giving the world March Madness.
The tour will depart from the Shawnee Civic Centre at 9:30 a.m. and return at 3 p.m. Stops will include Allen Field House, and lunch will be on your own on Massachusetts Street.
The cost is $40 per person, and registration may be made by calling Kate Kincaid at 913-742-6403.
James Naismith could have been the Tim Tebow of his generation.
That’s what Michael Zogry, director of Indigenous Studies and Associate Professor of religious studies, plans to explore in “Religion and Basketball: Naismith’s Game”: a book about Naismith’s connection to Christianity. The University awarded Zogry an sabbatical for next fall to work on the book, which will focus on how religion influenced Naismith’s life, his creation of basketball and his eventual legacy.
“His religious beliefs were foundational to the creation of the game,” Zogry said.
Zogry said that Naismith originally wanted to be a minister but decided to teach physical education at the YMCA International Training College in Springfield, Mass. He said, apart from a basketball coach, the University hired Naismith as a chapel director and director of physical education in 1898. Zogry said it is not widely known that Naismith was a founding member of the Kansas School of Religion, which later became the University’s department of religious studies.
Jim Marchiony, associate athletic director, said Naismith’s connection to Christianity is not secrete among those who have studied him.
“Anyone familiar with Naismith would be well aware of the influence,” Marchiony said. “He was universally known for his character.”
Marchiony, who has read a few Naismith biographies, said he had read accounts that Naismith actually officiated games his team was playing in.
The University of Kansas is still reaching for its ultimate goal: to be recognized nationally among the top-tier research institutions in the country.
Four years ago, in the thick of the recession, KU launched a billion-dollar campaign to pay for the things it needs to climb up in the college rankings.
With $612 million now raised, KU announced this week that it is more than half way to achieving the largest fund-raising goal in school history. While the campaign among the biggest donors actually began in the summer of 2008, the public launch was just last month. The campaign is scheduled to end in June 2016.
“The campaign’s name, ‘Far Above,’ reflects our goal to elevate KU to new heights,” said KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.
The $1.2 billion goal is earmarked for $400 million for student scholarships, fellowships and opportunities outside the classroom; $325 million for academic programs, research, clinical and community engagement initiatives; $300 million for professorships and recruitment of top faculty and staff; and $175 million for construction and renovation of facilities.
To date, 246 scholarships and 14 professorships have been established using campaign money. Also, campaign funds have gone toward the KU Cancer Center’s quest for National Cancer Institute designation; a new educational pavilion at the Lied Center; a new School of Medicine in Salina; and expansion of the Wichita campus.
Federal prosecutors asked a Wichita judge Wednesday to deny a request for a shorter sentence filed last month by a defendant in the University of Kansas athletic ticket-skimming scandal.
Thomas Blubaugh, 48, had asked that his 46-month sentence be reduced to 33 months. Blubaugh, the husband of Charlette Faye Blubaugh, the university’s former ticket director, helped his wife steal tickets and then conceal the wide-ranging, $2 million scheme to divert tickets to the black market. His wife received a 57-month sentence.
Richard L. Hathaway, senior litigation counsel for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, noted in his response that Blubaugh had waived virtually all of his rights to appeal his conviction and sentence when he agreed to plead guilty last year.
Hathaway also quoted large hunks from the plea hearing, in which Judge Wesley E. Brown informed Blubaugh in fine detail about the possible sentences and what appeals rights he gave up by pleading.
“Judge Brown … took great pains to insure he understood the consequences of pleading guilty,” Hathaway wrote.
Big 12/College News
The Big 12 has offered its commissioner's job to Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby, multiple conference and industry sources told ESPN.com on Wednesday night.
The Big 12 has been searching for a replacement for Dan Beebe, who was fired last year. Chuck Neinas has been serving as the interim commissioner.
A source with knowledge of the situation said late Wednesday night that Bowlsby is expected to accept the job and a formal announcement from the conference could come as early as Friday.
Bowlsby was in Phoenix the past few days as the Big 12 and Pac 12 meetings overlapped. Bowlsby has a strong relationship with Pac 12 commissioner Larry Scott. Bowlsby was on the search committee that discovered Scott, with the aid of search firm executive Jed Hughes who has handled both searches for the Big 12 and Pac 12 commissioner's jobs. Hughes was at a different firm for the Pac 12 search firm than he is for the Big 12 search.
Bowlsby has been highly respected by his Pac 12 colleagues, and sources said he had a strong endorsement from Scott.
Bowlsby also was influential in the Pac 12 negotiating a new television agreement that will show all its games next season on a number of networks, from ESPN, to Fox, to the new Pac-12 network.
Bowlsby also is a former chairman of the NCAA men's basketball committee.
ESPN Andy Katz
If the most pressing issue for the Big 12 in its new configuration is how to schedule West Virginia road trips, there isn't much to be concerned about going forward.
The Big 12 men's basketball coaches wrapped up their meetings Tuesday in Phoenix with its new members -- West Virginia and TCU -- replacing the departed Missouri and Texas A&M.
Kansas is coming off an appearance in the national title game. Baylor made an Elite Eight trip for the second time in three years. And four others made the NCAA tournament, meaning 60 percent of the league went dancing. The odds are high that the Big 12 can duplicate that percentage going forward.
And keeping the conference at 10 teams also ensures that the round-robin schedule will continue. The Big 12 is now the only conference among the power six that plays a true round-robin.
"It's the best basketball league in the country," Barnes said. "Divisional play wasn't fair. [With the round-robin] you play everybody twice and the rivalries continue, so we can build our league."
Even though his team won the conference yet again last season, Kansas coach Bill Self said the 18-game, round-robin schedule was "tiring."
"I thought it was long. My opinion is that the perfect number of league games is 16," he said. "But it was still great and it was better from a fan perspective to play everybody twice. But it's a long season."
Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg called the league slate a "grind" but added that crowning a true champion was a "great format, and it really prepared you for the postseason."
New Kansas State coach Bruce Weber didn't have a true round-robin with Illinois in the Big Ten. But he did when he was at Southern Illinois in the Missouri Valley.
"As far as getting in the NCAA tournament, it helps your RPI and gets you more quality games," Weber said.
Trent Johnson, who came over from LSU to TCU, said he enjoyed the Pac-10's round-robin schedule while head coach at Stanford and that it "was the right way to determine a true champion."
West Virginia coach Bob Huggins agreed.
"It just makes it hard if you don't play everybody twice," Huggins said. "It's more fair to play everybody home-and-home. I think we went to Syracuse 12 years in a row. Well, maybe it was three, maybe four."
Weber, Johnson and Huggins all said they were impressed by the growing sense of stability in the Big 12.
As long as an unforeseen problem doesn’t come up at the last minute, Kansas State and Gonzaga will play a series of neutral-court games in the next two years.
Wildcats coach Bruce Weber said today the series will begin in Seattle next season with Gonzaga making a return trip to Kansas City or Wichita during the 2013-14 season.
ESPN first reported that K-State was set to play Gonzaga in Seattle this morning.
“It hasn’t been finalized, but it is something we pursued,” Weber said. “We felt we needed to add something on to our nonconference schedule, that’s why we kind of scrambled and got the opportunity with Gonzaga. They will return to Kansas City or Wichita the next year.”
So which one will it be? The Sprint Center or Intrust Bank Arena? Weber isn’t sure.
North Carolina coach Roy Williams recently said that 14 former Tar Heel basketball players inquired about the vacancy on his coaching staff. But he was most interested in one of them, and on Wednesday, Williams announced he had hired his top choice.
Former UNC basketball player Hubert Davis, who worked the last seven seasons as a college basketball analyst for ESPN, will fill the vacancy left by Jerod Haase, the Tar Heels' former assistant coach who departed to become the head coach at Alabama-Birmingham. Davis played in 137 games with UNC between 1988 and 1992, and he was a first-round NBA draft pick of the New York Knicks after his senior season.
2012-13 Early Season Events List
Damontre Harris, a 6-9, 225-pound sophomore who has announced plans to transfer from South Carolina to either KU or Florida, today completes his visit to Gainesville and begins a three-day trip to Lawrence.
Harris averaged 6.8 points off 55 percent shooting and 80.4 percent free throwing and a team-best 5.5 rebounds last season. He was named to the SEC’s all-defensive team after blocking 71 shots in 31 games.
“Damontre wants to get a feel for each school and learn about each program before he makes a decision.” Harris’ mom, Sheronda, told jayhawkslant.com.
Harris was ranked No. 64 overall by Rivals.com as a senior at Trinity Christian High in Fayetteville, N.C.
Jordan offered: Rysheed Jordan, a 6-4 senior-to-be from Vaux Roberts High in Philadelphia, says KU has offered him a scholarship. The No. 12 player in the Class of 2013 is also considering Maryland, Villanova, Temple and others.
Florida Rams (@FloridaRams)
5/2/12 11:06 PM
Kasey Hill @KaHill11, Chris Walker @cwalkertime23, and Brannen Greene @b_greene14 will be representing the FL Rams at adidas Nations. #proud
Florida Rams (@FloridaRams)
5/2/12 10:58 PM
Congrats to Chris Walker @cwalkertime23 for getting invited to the 18U USA Basketball workout in June. Hard work pays off. #redwhiteblue
CBS Spring Stock Boosters: Which players are on the way up?
Live period allows regional schools to evaluate talent, find sleepers
At a time when elite recruits make their college choice at news conferences with a row of hats in front of them and their family at their side, one of the top available prospects in the Class of 2012 chose a school with considerably less fanfare.
Przemek Karnowski, a 7-foot Polish center unknown to all but the most diehard fans, said on Twitter on Wednesday morning that he will attend Gonzaga in the fall.
Karnowski's subdued announcement didn't draw the attention those of Nerlens Noel, Shabazz Muhammad or Tony Parker did last month, but the few who have seen him play insist he'll make a considerable impact as soon as next season at Gonzaga.
You don’t see this every day.
Two major-college basketball programs offered basketball scholarships on Monday to a middle schooler who is only 14 years old, is an eighth grader, and has yet to play in a high school game.
The young phenom is Chris Lewis, a 6-foot-7, 190-pound forward who has a mighty athletic pedigree: His father is former UGA football star Mo Lewis, who was an NFL Pro Bowl linebacker and played 13 seasons for the New York Jets.
After watching the young Lewis dominate in an AAU tournament over the weekend, both New Mexico (coached by former Georgia Tech guard Craig Neal) and Memphis offered extra early scholarships on Monday. Lewis plays for the Georgia Stars under-15 AAU team.
“Craig Neal was first, and then the next thing I know I’m hearing from Josh Pastner at Memphis,” Milton High School coach David Boyd told the AJC.
“They love the fact that he’s 6-7 at 14 years old, and has been playing at a high level on the AAU circuit for the last three years. He has an outstanding athletic pedigree with his father’s football accomplishments.
“I have been waiting for that first offer to arrive … and it finally came today. I knew it was coming because Chris is that good, has that much upside and that much potential.”
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