“Sometimes, you get a false sense of who you are by playing against each other,” Self said. “Playing against other people put a totally different spin on it that shows us there’s a lot of work to be done.”
That doesn’t mean the 10th-year coach thinks his team won’t improve between now and November.
“Don’t get me wrong. We’re going to be good,” Self said. “But there’s a lot of preparation, a lot of work that has to go into us being good. The old guys have got to teach the young guys, and the young guys have got to grow up.”
The Jayhawks spent their final full day in Paris on Monday, walking through the Louvre Museum before taking part in a dinner cruise on the Seine River.
KU is scheduled to leave Paris early this morning before arriving back in Lawrence late in the afternoon.
Self said one focus going forward would be to work on the basics.
“We’ve got to improve our skill level — dribbling and passing. Very evident that it’s not very high with our newcomers,” Self said. “ ... To me, I think we need to get back to work, get back to being who we are, and that’s got to be a very tough-minded, physical, aggressive basketball team, which right now, we’re not.
“But I didn’t anticipate us being that way. We’ve only practiced 10 times. I can’t be mad at them for what they don’t know.”
As a follow-up to last Friday’s post, here’s the story of getting “busted” by security with our Jayhawk flag atop the Arc de Triomphe. I’m not sure what isn’t to love about a Jayhawk flag, but after taking several photos with friends beautifully posed with the Eiffel Tower in the background, security advised that no flags were allowed. With a smile and a wave, we tucked the flag safely away and proceeded with photos sans flag. The flag is safe for additional ventures.
KU Alumni Euro blog
Who’s the next Olympic basketball coach?
Mike Krzyzewski has hinted that’s he’s done, and, if that’s the case, the first two-time gold-medal winning coach since Henry Iba will be remembered as the leader who got U.S. basketball back on track.
Dominating on the world’s stage is impossible because of the game’s international popularity, so it’s a just win, baby, approach. Even with LeBron, Kobe and K.D. on your roster. Coach K did that. Twice.
Plenty of successor possibilities will surface. From the NBA ranks, Doc Rivers, Gregg Popovich and Erik Spoelstra are prominently mentioned.
But if the choice comes from the college ranks, why not Bill Self?
The Kansas coach is one of the game’s greats with a national championship and eight straight conference titles to his credit. He’s 49, so age isn’t an issue. His personality should allow him to command respect from an NBA all-star team – perhaps Krzyzewski’s greatest gift as the national team coach since 2005.
Self briefly addressed the topic recently before the Jayhawks headed to Europe for exhibition games, and he wondered how recruiting could be maintained during the time required of national team coaches. But in the Olympics, the timing works better for a college rather than a pro coach.
He’s active in USA Basketball as a member of the competition committee, but three of the last four Olympic head coaches – Krzyzewski, Larry Brown and Lenny Wilkens – had served on Olympic staffs. Self has not.
But, hey, Kansas was the school that pushed basketball into the Olympics in the first place. Phog Allen, armed with information provided to fellow KU staffer James Naismith about the growth of the game internationally, convinced American officials that basketball was worth pursuing as an Olympic sport.
The Kansas influence in the Olympics has been strong, especially early on, when half of the the 1952 gold-medal winning team were Jayhawks. Former KU players or coaches have won medals in seven Olympics, including this one when Sasha Kaun won a bronze for Russia.
Just about every role in the Olympics -- player, assistant coach, trainer, manager – has been filled, except head coach. Maybe that will be Self.
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After becoming the first KU track and field athlete to win a gold medal since 1968, Diamond Dixon received a warm welcome home Sunday from family and friends at Kansas City International Airport.
Dixon was part of the gold-medal winning United States team that won the 1,600-meter relay on Saturday at the London Olympics. The U.S. women ran the fifth-fastest time ever, finishing in 3 minutes, 16.87 seconds.
Although Dixon and Keshia Baker didn’t run Saturday, they got medals as part of the semifinal team. Allyson Felix and Richards-Ross took their spots Saturday. Dixon received her medal on Monday.
Dixon became the eighth KU track and field gold medalist and first since Al Oerter won the discus at the 1968 Mexico City Games.
Danielle McCray is flip-flopping on the merits of the Olympics-necessitated break in the WNBA season.
On the one hand, McCray says, “It’s nice to have a little mental break and everything.”
On the other, there’s the danger the hiatus will kill any momentum McCray’s league-leading Connecticut Sun had built during their current five-game winning streak.
…After the 2010 WNBA season, McCray averaged 17.6 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists for Hapoel Rishon Le-Zion in Israel. She spent the 2011-12 offseason with Good Angels Kosice of the FIBA Euroleague.
Once this WNBA season is done, she plans to play for another Euroleague team, this time in Italy.
“The travel can be a drag after a while,” McCray said. “But I love it over there.”
The Sun, who are tied with Minnesota with the best record (15-4) in the WNBA, will resume play Thursday at New York.
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Bruce Weber’s first official game with Kansas State is still a few months away, but it’s hard to imagine the Wildcats’ new basketball coach experiencing anything more bizarre than he did on Monday in Rio de Janeiro.
Weber was ejected in the fourth quarter of a 74-72 exhibition loss to Tijuca Club, a professional Brazilian team.
He was escorted away from the sidelines with about 6 minutes remaining when game officials slapped him with a technical foul. It was the fourth technical called in the game.
The teams combined to shoot 78 free throws, 47 by the home team.
“It was tough, hard-fought loss tonight,” Weber said in the news release provided by K-State. “It was a foul-plagued game with lots of technicals and double-fouls. I have been on many international trips and you never know what type of officials you are going to get in these games and FIBA rules are pretty different. They let us play pretty physical in our first three games and tonight we had five guys foul out, but give our kids credit for coming back.”
Monday night, associate head coach Chris Lowery expressed concern on Twitter.
“Never been in a game where I was fearful that my players would get hurt,” he wrote.
Weber likely took solace in the fact that K-State responded well to his ejection. The Wildcats trailed 66-60 when Weber left the game, but scored seven straight points to have a chance late.
How's this for perfect timing: The Colorado men's basketball roster features six new scholarship players, and because of scheduling an upcoming exhibition tour of Europe, the Buffaloes were allotted 10 additional practices this summer.
"Had it all planned out," CU coach Tad Boyle said with a wink.
NCAA rules allow basketball teams to take a preseason exhibition tour once every four years. Colorado could have worked up a summer trip last season. But Boyle knew this season's squad would be better served by allowing a younger group to get a jump-start on the season.
The Buffs lost starters Carlon Brown, Austin Dufault and Nate Tomlinson from last season's 24-12 squad that won a game in the NCAA Tournament. The 2012-13 squad will depart this week for a five-game tour. They will play European professional teams based in France (Wednesday and Thursday in Paris), Belgium (Aug. 18 in Ghent and Aug. 19 in Antwerp) and the Netherlands (Aug. 20 in Rotterdam) — "guys that know the tricks of the trade," as Boyle described the level of competition.
The agent for Julius Peppers called the possible leak of his client's college transcript "irresponsible" and defended the Bears defensive end's academic background at the University of North Carolina.
"As his former academic advisor, I know what his academic experience was at the University of North Carolina," said Carl Carey, who was an academic advisor at UNC then became Peppers' agent. "So Julius and I are not concerned at all, with issues about courses or any of that.
"People, unfortunately, are trying to link a decades old transcript to some issues that are going on now and that's irresponsible."
The university said it was investigating how what appears to be a transcript for Peppers surfaced on its website. The link was removed and the university said it wouldn't discuss the student information, which is protected by federal privacy laws.
Chicago Sun Times
The link, which surfaced late Sunday, showed Peppers received some of his highest grades in classes in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM). A school investigation has since found fraud and poor oversight in 54 AFAM classes between summer 2007 and summer 2011, with football players making up more than a third of the enrollments and student-athletes making up 58 percent of the overall enrollments in those suspect classes.
Nine of the 10 classes in which Peppers earned a B+, B or B- that could've helped ensure his eligibility came in the AFAM department where he was majoring, according to the possible transcript. Three were listed as independent study classes, another problem area cited in the school's probe for a lack of supervision of work — often a research paper — performed by students.
The possible transcript lists a 1.824 GPA, beginning with classes in the summer of 1998 and finishing in the fall of 2001 during Peppers' last year on the football field for the Tar Heels under first-year coach John Bunting. The link lacked grades for five classes in summer and fall 2001 terms.
If authentic, the transcript would raise the possibility AFAM troubles go back much further than the four-year focus of the investigation, though the school's report in May acknowledged the misconduct could date before 2007.
…Peppers also played two seasons for the basketball team under Bill Guthridge and Matt Doherty, serving as a reserve on the team that reached the Final Four in 2000.
“This,” one BCS athletic director told me Monday, “is Pandora’s Box.”
And an ironic kick in the rear for the man who talked tough while his kingdom was crumbling around him. Guess what, Mr. Emmert?
You’re gonna need a bigger stick.
When he announced crippling sanctions against Penn State, when he stuck the governing body’s nose in a legal action, Emmert made it clear that he alone had been given power to ignore due process and NCAA bylaws to protect “the foundation of amateur sports.”
Meanwhile, in Chapel Hill, N.C., the entire university is complicit in a systemic charade of bogus, no-show classes for athletes; a scheme that—you’re gonna love this part—the NCAA missed while investigating North Carolina over the past two years.
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Just a few months ago, he was going to announce for Kentucky or North Carolina.
Now a slew of new schools, including Ohio State, Indiana, Kansas, Memphis, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgetown and Arkansas are in the mix for the 6-foot-6, high-flying athletic wing who had 10 points as the USA team beat the NYC team, 87-86, Saturday night in the Big Strick classic at City College of New York.
Williams, who will spend his senior season at Oak Hill Academy, plans to visit Alabama this coming weekend, and may trip to South Carolina on the way out.
“[Alabama] is a real get up-and-down team, uptempo,” Williams told SNY.tv in the above video. “They’re recruiting me and my point guard, Anthony ‘Cat’ Barber, so we’re looking at going to them.
“I’ve been talking to coach Anthony Grant a lot. He’s excited about me coming down to the campus next weekend.”
Williams and Barber, who missed the Big Strick game with an injury, are considering packaging at Alabama, Louisville or potentially Kansas.
“We’re about 50/50 on it,” Williams said. “We’re going to talk about it more. We’re going to try and either commit and sign in November. If not, we’re going to just wait until the spring.”
As for the other schools, Williams has no visits planned.
“With Kansas, they finished second last year,” Williams said. “I’ve been keeping in touch with Coach [Bill] Self and coach [Joe] Dooley a lot. They’re also recruiting Cat, too, so they’re looking to get us together.”
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