Overall, Bill Self likes what he’s seen at practice 10 days into the 2012-13 college basketball season.
“I think things have gone above average, (but) I’m not giddy at all,” Self, Kansas University’s 10th-year coach, said Monday, commenting on progress made since the Oct. 12 Late Night in the Phog.
“We don’t have enough stuff in. We have so many young kids (seven scholarship freshmen), we’re probably going too slow. I need to trust them to learn a whole bunch of stuff real fast so we can get closer to being prepared to play when the real season starts.
“I like our guys,” Self added. “The ball moves (on offense). We move pretty well defensively together. I think we can become really good defensively with the ability to pressure. Offensively, we don’t have two guys that can go get you 35 every night. We have a nice collection of young kids, some nice veterans. They just have to get some experience.”
“We don’t have that star power. We don’t have a lottery pick next year. If we do, it means we’ll win a lot of games because that means somebody will emerge,” Self told 810-WHB radio in Kansas City.
“Until our young guys get some experience, we’re going to rely on those veterans (seniors Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford, Jeff Withey, Kevin Young) probably to be the mainstays, the consistent guys. I like our veterans. A lot of people would like to return the three starters we have.”
KU’s older and younger players, “like each other,” Self said. “The ball moves, but we turn it over way too often. Hopefully this team will reflect the past team’s toughness because that’s one intangible I don’t think people get. That team last year liked it when you had to get four stops in a row or you knew you had no chance. Hopefully this team will get to that level, too.”
When freshmen Ben McLemore and Jamari Traylor made the two hour and 43 minute drive from Lawrence to Columbia, Mo. last Februrary to watch their teammates play, they saw firsthand how fierce the rivalry could be. The Missouri fans routinely honked and flipped off the car with a Jayhawk license plate as they traveled on the highway.
It was one of many drives the duo, who are also roommates, undertook to watch their teammates in games after the NCAA ruled them ineligible to play last season, and kept them from practicing with the team until the spring semester.
“They took a negative and made it into a positive,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “And it’s really not bad for their life at all.”
McLemore and Traylor responded to the ruling by working hard in the classroom, with each of them posting above a 3.0 GPA.
The ruling also helped the players on the court. In the spring semester, McLemore was charged with defending the explosive Tyshawn Taylor, and Traylor had to match-up every day with National Player of the Year candidate, Thomas Robinson.
“Jamari actually held his own with Thomas three out of five days,” Self said. “Then the other two he’d get murdered. But I think it was really great for those guys to play against pros last year.”
The Bill Self Kansas Basketball Coaches Clinic will run Oct. 26-27 with clinicians watching the No. 7 Jayhawks practice twice on Friday afternoon (Oct. 26) and Saturday morning (Oct. 27) in Allen Fieldhouse.
Check in is Friday at 2 p.m. and those attending the clinic – open to all coaches at all levels – will be able to watch Kansas’ men’s basketball in the weight room, then practice at 3:30 p.m. Former Georgia Tech head coach Bobby Cremins and Bill Self will then address the clinicians following practice. Presentations by Cremins, Self and his staff along with an inside look at a Kansas Basketball practice will highlight the event.
The matter of compensating student athletes will be just one of many pressing issues discussed when Self plays host to “A Courtside View” — a roundtable of some of college basketball’s most important voices and analysts. The upcoming event, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Nov. 1 at Crown Toyota Pavilion in Lawrence, will include Self, national writer Mike DeCourcy, ESPN commentators Jay Bilas and Fran Fraschilla and Star college columnist Blair Kerkhoff.
Self said he also expects the group to address issues such as the one-and-done rule, NCAA academic reform and the business side of college athletics, among others. The proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Self’s Assists Foundation.
“It’s a chance to bring some very knowledgeable people in to talk about important issues affecting our sport," Self said.
But it’s likely that the debate over paying college athletes — and the idea of amateurism in college sports — will get ample time. Bilas has been an outspoken critic of the NCAA’s convoluted rulebook, suggesting that NCAA athletes should be able to use their name or likeness to earn money from outside channels — a model similar to that of the Olympics.
Self, meanwhile, joins a growing list of high-profile college coaches who have expressed concern with the current model.
Tickets to Coach Self's "Courtside View"
Kansas 2012-13 Schedule
More fine work from the KU video dept, this time for WBB.
Big 12/College News
CBS Top 50 point guards (EJ #14)
CBS Goodman, Parrish's Wooden preseason Top 50 ballots (Withey, Johnson)
Bob Knight gave us the shot fake and three years of sometimes coherent Big Monday basketball broadcasts.
Some people tuned in for the entertainment value, but no one accused Knight of being polished behind the microphone. His unorthodox commentary wasn’t a hit with everyone in the Big 12 demographic, although one guy with an excuse to complain opted for the high road instead.
“You know, it’s like being replaced in the lineup by a Hall of Famer,” said ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla, who teamed with Ron Franklin on the Big Monday broadcast before Knight and Brent Musburger took over three years ago. “They just move you to another position. I still got my at-bats.”
Big 12 fans will be happy to know Fraschilla is returning to the Big Monday lineup this season. The former coach at St. John’s and New Mexico will team with Musburger on the Monday night showcase after splitting time between Big 12 and Big East broadcasts the past three years, while Knight will call Thursday night games in the SEC.
“What excites me is, I know the league so well that I know how to promote the players and the coaches and the competition of the league without being a shill for the league,” Fraschilla said. “Ultimately I’ve still got to call them the way I see them, but there’s definitely a familiarity I have with the conference that I think is apparent when I get to broadcast a Big 12 game.”
TCJ (some Q&A at the link)
Jéan-Paul Olukemi understands his college basketball playing days are numbered.
He just hopes the number extends into 2013.
Olukemi's eligibility for the second semester remains in question, due to him unknowingly starting his NCAA eligibility clock as a prep school player. OSU has appealed to the NCAA, which initially denied a request for an added semester.
Now all Olukemi and the Cowboys can do is wait for a final ruling.
Defending national champion Kentucky is the preseason favorite to win the Southeastern Conference title.
The Wildcats received 17 of the 24 first-place votes in balloting by a panel of media members despite losing six NBA draft picks, including national player of the year and No. 1 selection Anthony Davis. Kentucky went 38-2 last season and won all 16 SEC games, and coach John Calipari brought in a highly rated recruiting class.
Florida was first on five ballots while Missouri and Tennessee got one first-place vote apiece.
Missouri point guard Phil Pressey is preseason player of the year. His six votes outpaced Florida’s Kenny Boynton (five). Arkansas’ BJ Young, Tennessee’s Jarnell Stokes and Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel each got three votes.
Those five are first-team preseason All-SEC picks.
ESPN: Can the Pac-12 be saved?
LeBron cheating on Cal with K (ooh, UK fan gonna be mad lol)
Big 12 Composite Schedule
ESPN Tip-Off Marathon schedule
2012-13 Early Season Events List
Meet Cameroon-native and Gainesville (Fla.) The Rock School center Joel Embiid. While you may not have heard of him before, this is almost certainly not the last time his name will be prominent in the elite hoops scene now that his presence is finally being felt in the U.S.
As reported by Rivals.com's Eric Bossi and others, Embiid first began playing basketball just a year ago, at the age of 16. Despite his late adoption of the sport, the Cameroonian has shown few of the typical struggles with coordination and dexterity that often plague other 7-footers.
In fact, as the AAU highlight reel above showcases, Embiid has gone to the other end of the spectrum, flashing the kind of athleticism that one rarely sees from big men at any level, let alone those who have yet to officially tip off in high school basketball.
According to multiple sources, Wiggins has pretty much asked for UNC and other schools to start recruiting him and UNC is turning it up on Wiggins. Rumors of an in home visit with Carolina TODAY have also made the rounds. Wiggins has stated that his recruiting is “wide open” and that he doesn’t favor other any program despite the rumors adding that many programs have not been recruiting him because of what they think.
Wiggins is now receiving interest from Kansas, Ohio State and Syracuse along with Carolina. This is huge news and a very unexpected twist of events after almost everyone considered it a foregone conclusion that he was going to end up with FSU or UK. Now it seems as if it’s anybody’s ballgame.
Heel fan blog
My 2012 KU Alumni games, 2011-12 Border War, Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos, Late Night in the Phog, and more now on YouTube