Back from vacation, let's get caught up!
Cole Aldrich says he has almost felt guilty when scrimmaging against some of the current Kansas University basketball players in recent weeks.
Though he's going into his fourth year in the NBA, Aldrich, a former KU center, says he feels like one of the least-athletic guys in the building.
“It’s just like, ‘Wow.’ They fit right in with the guys in the league (NBA),” Aldrich said of the current Jayhawks. “They all can jump. They can run. That’s going to be a fun season to watch them this year.”
Aldrich — he talked during a break at his Cole Aldrich Basketball Camp held Monday at Olathe Northwest High — said the biggest surprise for him had been the play of 6-foot-9 Memphis transfer Tarik Black.
“He kind of reminds me of (former KU foward) Darnell Jackson. He really does,” Aldrich said. “A guy that’s not necessarily overly skilled, but really works hard. And he’s a big body.
“Darnell didn’t quite like to hit people like Tarik does, but I’ve had a good time going against him. It’s been fun.”
Aldrich also has been playing alongside the nation’s top-ranked recruit: 6-foot-7 wing Andrew Wiggins.
“Obviously, athletically, he’s one of the best. He’d be one of the most athletic guys in the league right now if he was there,” Aldrich said. “Skill-wise, it’s still early. The kid is 18 years old. He just came from high school. How do you expect him to be the next LeBron (James) or the Kobe (Bryant) or whoever? You put a lot of pressure on a kid like that.
“The good thing is, what I’ve noticed so far, is that he works hard. He has a good head on him. He’s a little quiet, shy kid, but I think once the time comes, he’s going to open up and feel more comfortable, and things are going to come, and he’s going to really excel.”
Aldrich has been linked quite a bit to Wiggins recently after the freshman skied for a dunk in a KU summer scrimmage Wednesday at Horejsi Center. Aldrich — the last player back — chose not to challenge the slam, though he has still received some flak on social media from people telling him that Wiggins dunked on him.
“Did I jump? Did I try to go block it?” Aldrich asked with a grin. “It’s a camp game. You get a bunch of kids that are anywhere between the ages of 8 and 16, and all they want to see is dunks. But it was having a good time.”
Aldrich said he hadn’t lost any sleep over the jabs he’s received, saying if he had challenged the shot, there also could have been a risk of injury for both players.
“If it happened in October, I might have tried to go and block it. Who knows?” Aldrich said. “It’s fun. It’s summertime. It’s for the show for the kids.”
My Bill Self Camp Games videos
As long as the Big 12/SEC Challenge goes on in men’s basketball, Kansas University will not be facing the Missouri Tigers.
KU coach Bill Self reiterated that point Tuesday during a Big 12 teleconference, responding with a simple “No” when asked if he anticipated playing MU in the conference agreement.
Self later was asked if anyone had approached KU about playing MU in the series.
“That would never come up,” Self said. “I don’t think Texas is going to play (Texas) A&M either.”
The two conferences have not yet determined how many years the Big 12/SEC Challenge will take place.
Perry Ellis, Evan Manning, Tyler Self & Andrew White III named to inaugural Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team
No basketball player worth his weight likes sitting on the bench.
Riding the pine is a frustrating, occasionally vexing happening, in particular when the player is talented and resourceful enough to compete in game action.
Former Sunset and Westview hoops star Landen Lucas didn't sign with the University of Kansas in 2012 to be the over-exuberant dude at the end of the bench, madly waving towels, enticing the crowd, cheering on the Jayhawks to victory.
Lucas committed to Kansas because he wanted to be an impact player on the highest level, the post shining on ESPN and CBS every week, getting the pub that accompanies being part of one of the nations' blue-blood programs.
Kansas coach Bill Self and the coaching staff said they thought the world of Lucas' potential to be a key contributor in the Big 12 Conference. After all, 6-foot-10, 240-pound power forwards who can pass the rock from the pivot, knock down jumpers from the outside but don't back down from contact don't grow on trees.
Yet, when Lucas sat down with Self toward the end of Kansas' preseason practices in October and discussed the future, the option of redshirting came up. Redshirting, in a nutshell, means delaying an athlete's participation to lengthen their period of eligibility. In a redshirt year, a student-athlete may attend classes at the college or university, practice with an athletic team and dress for play, but can't compete during the game.
At first, Lucas was reticent to the idea. He couldn't remember the last time he'd missed back-to-back games, let alone an entire season of play. The thought of running into the roaring Phog Allen Fieldhouse before a rabid crowd would have to wait. Playing in the NCAA Tournament, getting on “One Shining Moment,” would be put on ice. The lure of the game wouldn't be there to go after, that carrot to chase.
Then, after a few days talking it over with his dad Richard, who played for the University of Oregon in the late 1980s, and looking at the freight of posts entrenched on the Jayhawk roster, Lucas signed off on the redshirt.
It wasn't an easy decision, nor a very popular one at the time in Lucas' eyes. He's a player who relishes the atmosphere of a big game and the adrenaline that comes with it.
Looking back, Lucas said it might not have been the sought-after, glamorous conclusion that'd he dreamed of on National Signing Day at Westview High, but it was the right one with fathomless, long-lasting rewards.
First of all, Lucas said there wasn't any outside pressure to improve rapidly or take on a role that he wasn't comfortable embracing. He adapted to the speed of the college game at his own pace, and enhanced his skills with the help of the Jayhawk staff while gaining swagger and strength via marathon workout sessions in the Kansas weight room.
“It's paid off big,” Lucas says. “I had to make things fun and competitive. It really gave me a new appreciation for practice that I hope to carry into this year.
"Basketball's a game of confidence, and now I go out there, and it's just a whole new game, everything's a lot slower. It's a lot calmer on the court, and that's a great feeling to have going into my first year of playing.”
…The constant change made the modification of moving from the West Coast to the plains of Lawrence smoother than most freshmen would experience. Lucas says it didn't hurt that Kansas fans treat the players like kings on campus.
The best part about Lucas' redshirt, perhaps, is that he still has four years of eligibility to lace up for Kansas, including next season.
Kansas has Final Four talent, and Lucas is a big piece of the puzzle. The Jayhawks have scoring, rebounding, size, and the ability to lock up opponents both in the halfcourt and fullcourt.
As Lucas sees it, Kansas' overflowing, lavish roster is perfect for him. He won't be asked to score 20 points a game, haul in 10 boards and be the second coming of former All-American Thomas Robinson.
Lucas wants to do the little things, such as playing solid defense in the post and getting primal on the glass. Those are duties that don't necessarily show up in the stat sheet or on SportsCenter but are invaluable on a possible national championship-caliber team.
Fulfilling these commitments could endear Lucas both to the coaching staff and the passionate Jayhawk fan base.
…"You couldn't ask for a better place to play.”
The idea of playing in Phog Allen Fieldhouse — one of college basketball's best and loudest arenas — kept Lucas' flame kindled as he worked his fingers to the bone prepping for his redshirt freshman season.
“There are very few schools in the country where you would get that at, so I'm very happy to be a part of one of them,” he says. “It's a great environment to be a part of. I'm ready to get out there. The season's going to be here before I know, so I just have to make sure I'm prepared and ready to go.”
During Tuesday morning’s Big 12 summer media teleconference, Self didn’t avoid the projections about Wiggins’ potential impact in Lawrence.
“I think his ceiling’s high. ... I would hope he’s as talented as any player in the country,” Self said. “From a raw, athletic-ability standpoint, he can do some things that I’ve never had a player be able to do physically.”
That’s coming from a coach who had Ben McLemore -- a probable top-five pick in Thursday’s NBA draft -- last season and multiple lottery picks prior to that.
Wiggins’ arrival is unlike any we’ve ever seen in college basketball. He’s not the first unanimous No. 1 prep to create a frenzy. But he’s the first recruit who’s emerged with this level of anticipation within the social media era, which has added another level of scrutiny and emotion to the entire recruitment process.
These kids are more tangible now as a result.
It’s not like Self said something that wasn’t already apparent beforehand. But it’s always intriguing when a coach confirms the unrivaled buildup.
Self, however, also inserted necessary alerts about Wiggins.
“He’s still just 18 years old,” Self said during the teleconference. “Hopefully by midseason he’s totally comfortable to really just play and not think. … Early in most kids’ freshman campaigns, they’re thinkers instead of reactors.”
When the obvious team goal question was asked during the 6-8 forward's first meeting with the media since arriving in Lawrence, Wiggins delivered an answer that will certainly be music to Jayhawks fans' ears.
"I want to win. I want me and my teammates to be the best players that we can be. ...and hopefully, win a national championship," Wiggins said. "That's my main goal."
"I know that college is a big step from high school and coming (to Kansas) early (in the summer) would (raise) my chances of being ready. ...I just take my life day by day. I just try to stay grounded, keep my circle tight, stay close to my family and friends."
In the pickup game against former Kansas players, including Sherron Collins, Wiggins didn't take long to exhilarate the crowd — throwing down a monster slam just 10 seconds into the contest.
"That felt good," Wiggins said, smiling. "It loosened up my nerves."
While he only got a small dose of the fanfare, Wiggins said he's most excited to play in front of a packed arena.
"I've never played in front of 30,000 fans before," he said. "I can tell (KU students) are loyal fans."
"It's been a great vibe since I've been here," Wiggins added. "Everyone in Lawrence has been showing me nothing but love."
Who do you see as the most likely redshirt candidates? AWIII (Andrew White)? Frank Mason?
It’s June, of course, which means it’s about four months too early for this question. But this is the summer mailbag, and these questions must be considered. We know one thing: The Jayhawks are not going to have 12 guys in their rotation (Hunter Mickelson, the Jayhawks’ 13th scholarship player, has to sit out after transferring from Arkansas.) But here’s another: KU certainly doesn’t NEED to redshirt anybody.
In the frontcourt, there aren’t many candidates. Jamari Traylor and Landen Lucas have already burned their redshirts; Tarik Black is a graduate transfer; and Perry Ellis and freshman Joel Embiid are out of this discussion.
So we turn to the backcourt, where Andrew Wiggins has added to a logjam of talented wings.
Bill Self has traditionally played a rotation with four “smalls” — and maybe a fifth playing spot minutes. Wiggins and freshman Wayne Selden appear capable of holding down starting spots, and Naadir Tharpe is the only guard with any semblance of experience. Add in freshman sharpshooters Conner Frankamp, Brannen Greene, and Frank Mason, who provides some point-guard skills, and yes, it appears that Andrew White could have difficulty breaking into the rotation.
Let’s pause for a historical footnote: Self has said that his current roster might be his deepest since the 2009-10 team, which featured about eight players that have played (or will play) a minute in the NBA. That KU team had Jeff Withey as its sixth-best big man, and a backcourt that featured Sherron Collins, Tyshawn Taylor, Xavier Henry, Brady Morningstar, Tyrel Reed and Elijah Johnson. The end result was that Travis Releford redshirted … and he eventually turned into an all-Big 12 second-team wing.
At the moment, it looks like KU will have loads of depth in the backcourt again. Would White benefit from a year on the sideline, following the Releford blueprint? A solid argument could certainly be made.
Of course, it looked like Kansas would be deeper last year as well. And for a while, Self could only count on his five starters. So, yes, we’ll remind again: It’s early.
Who makes the bigger impact this season: Tarik Black or Conner Frankamp?
Based on the competition at the respective positions, we’ll lean toward Black for now. On a young team, Black can bring some experience and toughness. These are important traits to Self, of course. And while his raw rebounding numbers were never eye-popping at Memphis, Black has always been effective at scoring around the basket. All that said, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Black begin the season in the starting lineup alongside Ellis in the frontcourt.
Last week, Frankamp, a 6-foot guard from Wichita, said he wanted to improve his lateral quickness this summer. Frankamp obviously had defense on his mind, and he admitted as such. His shooting ability is a rare gift, but he’ll have to prove he can guard to Self’s liking to command major minutes as a freshman.
KC Star Rustin Dodd mailbag
It will be fascinating to watch how much Self can tap into Wiggins' potential in one season before he is expected to be one of the top picks in the 2014 NBA draft. Wiggins will need to refine his jump shot in time.
And he no longer has to be bored against some competition, as he was at times at Huntington Prep (W.Va.), even when that competition included many future Division I college basketball players. His coaches had to nudge him or find various ways to motivate him because dominating, when he wanted to, came so easy for him.
Wiggins' nutrition has come a long way in two years, since the days when he would crave five Eggo waffles each meal while staying with his host family – Scott and Lesley Thomas – in a 5,000-square-foot home in the tranquil neighborhood of Proctorville, Ohio. And he has started to come out of his shell after being extremely shy earlier in high school, according to other students at Huntington Prep.
Despite his unassuming manner, Wiggins does not lack confidence. He was motivated to outplay Julius Randle during a highly anticipated showdown at an event in North Augusta, S.C., last July because it "solidified" his reputation as the nation's best high school player. And his high school coach Rob Fulford said Wiggins had been "very upset" that touted Jabari Parker was not at the same event because Wiggins was "tired of hearing about him," Fulford said.
Now he is poised to shine on a much larger stage.
College basketball fans are rightly eagerly awaiting the college debut of Wiggins, who blends supreme talent with genuine humility. And some lucky Kansas fans this week were given a sneak preview of a reluctant rock star ready to invigorate the next college basketball season.
Kansas Athletics and ESPN have agreed to a seven-year agreement, beginning with the 2013-14 academic year, under which ESPN3 annually will carry a minimum of 70 live events distributed nationally, one of the largest deals the multiscreen network has signed to date.
Kansas Athletics announced recently an agreement under which Time Warner Cable will annually air 50 KU contests - including two exhibition and four non-conference men's basketball games - exclusively on Metro Sports in Kansas City and in the state of Kansas. ESPN3 will deliver those 50 events nationally outside that territory. ESPN3 will also carry - exclusively - a minimum of 20 additional contests nationally, including in Kansas City and the state of Kansas. ESPN3 currently reaches more than 85 million homes nationwide to fans that receive their Internet or video subscription from an affiliated provider. It is accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold Members and on Apple TV.
The 70 events include one regular-season football game, the football spring game, six men's basketball games (including two exhibition games) and basketball's Late Night in the Phog, as well as 16 women's basketball games. ESPN3 will also deliver the Kansas Relays and multiple volleyball, baseball, softball and women's soccer games.
"ESPN3 continues to serve as a destination for college sports fans, and our agreement with Kansas Athletics extends that commitment," said John Lasker, vice president of programming and acquisitions, ESPN. "We look forward to delivering these live events to the KU fan base."
"From the start of this process, our goals were to saturate the Kansas City market, distribute Kansas programming throughout the state and make our live events available nationally," Kansas Director of Athletics Sheahon Zenger said. "We are meeting these goals through agreements like these with ESPN and Time Warner Cable. Both are significant steps for Kansas Athletics and we are excited about the future for all Jayhawk fans - wherever they may be watching."
While the new Tier-3 deals will put KU athletics in more homes than Texas’ more highly publicized Longhorn Network, they leave in question the availability of six early-season men’s basketball games that KU fans across Kansas have become accustomed to seeing: two exhibition games and four regular-season, non-conference games.
As things stand today — and KU officials were careful to point out that there are a lot of moving parts still associated with this situation — fans without Time Warner or ESPN3 may miss those six games. Even those who have the subscription-based ESPN Full Court service, which only includes regular-season college basketball contests, will miss the two exhibition games.
All other games — basketball and football normally broadcast through KU and Big 12 Tier-1 and Tier-2 partners on ESPN, ESPN 2, CBS, Fox and others — will be unaffected.
Here’s a quick breakdown, by region, of what is required to see the four regular-season games in question:
• In Lawrence and throughout Kansas — The games will be available for customers who have Metro Sports or Full Court, but will be blacked out on ESPN3.
• In Kansas City — The games will be available for customers with Time Warner, Comcast or Full Court, but not ESPN3.
• Across the country — The games will be available via ESPN3 and Full Court, as has been the case during the past several years. Because of the Big 12 Conference’s television agreement with ESPN and Fox Sports, the live-game broadcasts on Metro Sports will be offered only to viewers in Kansas and the Kansas City metro area, but the new shoulder programing, which includes pre- and post-game content as well as weekly features about KU sports, will be available to Time Warner’s millions of customers nationwide.
While those scenarios appear to leave some Kansas cities in the dark, KU officials said today’s reality could change in the future. For example, if Cox Cable in Wichita were to broker a deal with Time Warner to bring Metro Sports to its channel lineup, KU fans in Wichita would be able to see the six games in question along with the more than two dozen others on national television each year.
“With this deal and the excitement and the discussion that it’s causing, it’s possible that developments are going to continue to unfold,” said Jim Marchiony, KU’s associate athletic director for public affairs. “If it happens that a very small minority of Kansas fans are somehow inconvenienced for two exhibition games and four non-conference basketball games, we think those fans would agree that the national exposure for the entire program is well worth it. And I stress that a small minority of fans may be inconvenienced, because the full story may not have been written yet.”
As recently as a year ago, I would have read the press release about the seven-year deal Kansas made with ESPN and yawned. The Jayhawks sold their local third-tier broadcast rights to a cable company (Time Warner Cable) and their national third-tier broadcast rights to ESPN, which will place those games (one football game, six men's basketball games and more than 50 other games involving Kansas teams) on ESPN3. ESPN3, for those furiously scrolling through their channel guides, is ESPN's web-only streaming service.
Only 12 months ago, I would have said something like this: "Wow. Nice Internet deal. Enjoy all the buffering." Yet on Tuesday, when I read the release, I thought about the way my own family's consumption of media has changed. If the TV is on at home, it's probably streaming an episode of Wonder Pets! for the kids through the PlayStation 3 on Amazon Instant Video. If my wife and I want to rent a movie, we download it from iTunes and play it on our television through AppleTV. If I'm on the road for work, I don't flip through channels on the hotel TV, I call up Netflix on my computer or iPad or phone and watch old episodes of Sons of Anarchy or Breaking Bad or some other show I missed the first time around.
I do this because, with an acceptable Internet connection, these programs don't look much different from the HD feed that comes through a satellite dish or a cable wire. What does this mean for Kansas fans? It means that for those who live outside of Kansas or the Kansas City metro area, the first look at top hoops recruit Andrew Wiggins -- the two hoops exhibition games are included in this deal -- will come over the web. The great preponderance of college sports fans probably won't tune in to watch the 2014 Jayhawks football spring game, but this deal and the next few like it should give us a much better idea about the next step for college sports at large.
There will be another wave of realignment. The ACC's agreement to a Grant of Rights for the remainder of its media rights deal with ESPN merely pressed the pause button. This wave of realignment was defined by cable subscriber fees and new markets. What will define the next one? We're about to find out.
At the end of the third quarter of Game 7 of the NBA Finals, Mario Chalmers ran the length of the court, pulled up and drained a 3-pointer off the glass to put the Heat up one headed into the fourth. Miami would hold on and win its second NBA title of the Triad Era and the third in franchise history, in part behind Chalmers' 14 points.
To make the shot, Chalmers had to have the athleticism to get up the court, the awareness to anticipate the clock, the ability to take and make the shot and the luck to use the backboard to bank the shot in.
Standing drenched in sweat and champagne against a wall outside the Heat locker room, Chalmers said, with no doubt or confusion:
"I thought it was nothing but net when it left my hand."
That's Mario Chalmers.
The little brother who now at age 27 is one of the longest-tenured Heat, who has come of age as the starting point guard for this superstar team, the guy who thinks the Big 3 is the Big 4, now has his second NBA championship to go with his 2008 national championship at Kansas. Mario Chalmers has three rings now. Think about that.
"I'm a winner," Chalmers said. "I've been blessed to be in a position to win, and I want to keep winning."
In truth, Chalmers was truly a huge part of these Finals. He had games in which he vanished, most notably in San Antonio. In wins, Chalmers averaged 15 points on 50-percent shooting, in the three losses, just five points on 20 percent.
Chalmers is considered the little brother of the Heat, the player whom guys yell at constantly. But in truth, he has become a reliable shooter, a pick-and-roll ball-handler and most notably an excellent defender. He's a worthy starter on a championship team and has earned the trust that Erik Spoelstra has granted him.
"Spo always tells me he'll go to war with me. I'll always go to war with Spo or anyone on this team. And that's what we did tonight. We went to war and we won."
The little brother, the three-time champion, the most confident player on the Heat. Mario Chalmers, the sub-superstar.
Ben McLemore 2013 NBA Draft Workout - Potential #1 Pick - Kansas Basketball. Everybody go check out my video
The NBA has issued 10 preliminary invitations to its "green room" for Thursday night's draft, according to multiple sources.
Those invited are Nerlens Noel (Kentucky), Victor Oladipo (Indiana), Otto Porter (Georgetown), Alex Len (Maryland), Anthony Bennett (UNLV), Ben McLemore (Kansas), Trey Burke (Michigan), Michael Carter-Williams (Syracuse), C.J. McCollum (Lehigh) and Cody Zeller (Indiana).
Self said Tuesday that he believes KU shooting guard Ben McLemore’s game will translate well to the next level.
McLemore is expected to be taken somewhere in the first seven picks of Thursday’s NBA Draft.
“Ben is one of those elite, elite shooters. The difference is, he’s a freak athlete, too,” Self said. “ ... Now, he’s got to get stronger. He’s got to be able to put it down (with the dribble). He’s got to be able to have a little bit better vision passing the ball, things like that, but those are things he’ll grow into.”
Self thinks that there might be a several-month adjustment period in the NBA before McLemore starts to show his potential.
“I tell everybody I’ve talked to, I think by January to February, he could be a guy that’s averaging 13 points a game for anybody who picks him,” Self said. “I do think he has that type of ability, and I do think he could be a potential All-Star.
“To me, he’s the one guy in the draft that — there’ll be somebody else emerge — but just looking at it on paper right now, he’s the one guy in the draft I think has the highest ceiling.”
...KU center Jeff Withey also could be taken with McLemore in the first round, and Self believes the best situation for the big man would be getting drafted by a winning team.
“I’ve seen San Antonio or Miami, these teams that are really, really good … good gosh, how nice would it be to have a shot-blocker that’s 7 foot that can come in and change the game and battle guys around the rim and that kind of stuff?” Self said. “He’s not a natural scorer yet. He’s not a guy that you can draft and say, ‘Well definitely, he’s got to give this team 13 points and eight rebounds or he’s going to be a flop.’ I don’t think that’s what he’s going to be.
“I think he’s going to — early in his career — be a very nice complementary guy that can have a role, but kind of find his way and grow into it until hopefully he can be a starter.”
...Former KU guard Ben McLemore has signed with NBA player agent Rodney Blackstock, who just recently was certified to become an agent, Sports Business Journal’s Liz Mullen reports. Blackstock is the man who allegedly paid McLemore’s former AAU coach, Darius Cobb, $10,000 and travel expenses last year in an attempt to be introduced to the KU player.
There was this 7-foot center from Kansas, a big white guy who can definitely block shots and rebound but has somewhat suspect offensive skills, who was working out for the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.
No, thankfully, it was not Greg Ostertag.
On this occasion, it was Jeff Withey, who averaged 13.7 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.9 blocked shots per game during his senior season for the Jayhawks in 2012-13.
Withey, a consensus second-team All-American, was one of six players who worked out for the Jazz at Zions Bank Basketball Center on Wednesday morning in hopes of hearing their names called during next week's NBA draft.
…"I thought it went really well," the slender 7-foot, 235-pound Withey said of Wednesday's workout. "I shot the ball very well. We went up and down (the floor) a little bit; the air's pretty thin up here and I'm not used to that. But overall I felt pretty good about the workout. ... They wanted to see how well I shot the ball, and I didn't get to play too much defense."
Withey admitted that his schedule leading up to next Thursday's NBA draft has been hectic to say the least.
"It's been a crazy little ride, you know. I've been all over the place," he said. "This is my 12th workout in about 2 1/2 weeks or maybe three weeks, so I've been all over the place flying.
"It's been a unique experience. A lot of the people that I've talked to just say, 'Have fun with it,' and that's the best advice I've gotten. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I'm trying to look at it like that, but at the same time it is very stressful because it's a job interview everywhere you go and you want to be the best that you can be. And the draft is right around the corner, so it's a pretty crazy time.
"The anticipation of not knowing where you're going to be is pretty tough to deal with," Withey said. "People all over the place are just, you know, (asking) 'Where are you gonna go? Where are you gonna go?' I don't have a choice, so wherever I go I'll be happy and it's going to be an exciting experience."
…Walt Perrin, the Jazz's vice president of player personnel who has overseen the team's workouts of almost 80 potential draft prospects over the past several weeks, was impressed with Withey's performance in Wednesday's session — particularly the big fella's un-Ostertag-like ability to shoot the ball.
"He's more than a back-to-the-basket player. He can really shoot the ball from about 15 feet," Perrin said. "We know he can protect the basket; we know he rebounds. He played extremely hard. But because you don't see him stepping away from the basket at Kansas, he showed us that he can knock down the 15-foot jump shot.
"We had an opportunity to see Jeff shoot jump shots today. ... With the way we run our workouts, we want to take a look at different things so we're able to see if they can get away from the basket, (or) if a smaller guy can post up, (or) we can see how well they're going to work through the altitude, (or) are they going to finish strong.
"That's his main skill — he can protect the basket," Perrin said of Withey's shot-blocking ability. "He does a really good job from the weak side, and it would be intriguing having him and (promising young Jazz big man) Derrick (Favors). But you could say the same thing with some of the other big guys we've brought in, too, so we'll have to see."
Anrio Adams to Ohio
It isn't easy to overshadow rock stars, superheroes and soldiers, but the state of Kansas seemed to be the real star Friday night.
Five individuals and groups were inducted into the Kansas Hall of Fame Friday night at Washburn University's White Concert Hall.
The laureates were 70s rock band Kansas, which had seven current and former members present; James Naismith, inventor of basketball, represented by his grandson Jim Naismith; the First Kansas Colored Infantry, represented by Gen. Roosevelt Barfield; C.F., Karl and Will Menninger, represented by Roy and Walt Menninger; and Clark Kent/Superman represented by Hutchinson News publisher John Montgomery and Laura Siegel Larson.
Siegel Larson, daughter of Superman's co-creator, Jerry Siegel, said her father wanted to contrast the values of Superman's home planet, Krypton, with the compassion and humility Clark Kent learned growing up in the fictional Smallville, Kansas.
On Krypton “unfortunately they didn't use their intelligence wisely and their planet exploded," she said.
Historian Bill Worley portrayed Naismith, another immigrant to Kansas, though he came a slightly shorter distance from his native Ontario when he became chaplain at The University of Kansas.
"Kansas became our home," he said. "I thank God that Kansas has such fine educational institutions and supports them, and I pray that will always be the case."
It didn’t take Angel Goodrich long to learn the WNBA was a bit more rough-and-tumble than the brand of ball she played at Kansas University.
Just a few weeks into her pro career, Goodrich already has sat out one game nursing a sore knee, then most of a week — of practice, but no games — after suffering a concussion.
“It’s a lot faster, and the physicality ... it’s a lot more aggressive,” Goodrich said, comparing the pro to amateur game. “Everything’s bigger and faster and stronger. But these are the top players in the country, and it’s great to be one of them, great to be a part of it.”
That was no sure thing.
Tapped in the third round of the WNBA Draft (29th overall), Goodrich — an All-Big 12 pick and KU’s record-holder for career assists, with 771 — was the second point guard selected by the same team, the Tulsa Shock.
First-rounder Skylar Diggins, of Notre Dame, was penciled in as the starter. Goodrich had to make the team as a backup — the first time, she said, she could recall having to survive tryouts.
“It was definitely a new experience for me,” she said. “Camp was great, though. It was great getting that experience in camp.
“It was different for me, but a good difference. I really enjoyed the experience...."
Big 12/College News
An NCAA panel voted Monday to expand the use of replay review in college basketball, and instituted the 10-second backcourt rule for the women's game.
The Playing Rules Oversight Panel also approved a tweak to the charging-blocking foul in the men's game and gave referees leeway when it comes to penalties for accidentally elbowing an opponent above the shoulders.
The approved changes from the panel's conference call are effective immediately.
Under the replay change, officials can use video review to confirm a shot-clock violation or determine who caused the ball to go out of bounds on a deflection involving two or more players in the final two minutes of regulation or overtime.
Changes also were made for reviewing 3-pointers. For the first 36 minutes of play, officials must wait until the next media timeout to review whether a shot was a 3-point field goal. In the last four minutes of the game and the entire overtime, officials will go to the monitor immediately to determine whether a field goal was a 3.
Officials also can use the monitor to determine which player committed a foul. Previously, they were only allowed to use the monitor to determine the free-throw shooter.
The women's game will be played with a 10-second rule next season, meaning the team with possession must advance the ball past midcourt within 10 seconds or it's a turnover. Before the change was approved, teams could use as much of the 30-second shot clock as they wanted to move the ball past half-court.
The change to the charging-blocking foul and a list of points of emphasis for officials is designed to spark an offensive bump for the men's game. The scoring average in Division I last season was 67.5 points, the lowest since 1981-82. Scoring has declined each of the last four seasons in Division I.
The defender is no longer able to slide into the offensive player's path to the basket at the last moment and draw a charge. The defender has to be in position when the player on offense starts his upward motion with the ball. In addition, greater emphasis is being placed on calling fouls on defensive players who keep a hand or forearm on an opponent or use an arm bar to impede the progress of an opponent.
When it comes to an elbow above the shoulders, referees will be allowed to use a video monitor to determine the severity of the blow. If deemed inadvertent, the referee could call a player-control foul or even nothing.
Previously, a referee was required to call a flagrant-1 or flagrant-2. A flagrant-1 results in two free throws and possession for the offended team. A flagrant-2 adds an ejection for the offending player.
If O'Bannon, Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson and the other named plaintiffs are allowed to invite thousands of current and former players into the lawsuit -- expect a written decision delivered in the next month or so -- potential damages to the NCAA and its co-defendants from an adverse decision could grow into the billions. Even if they aren't, scenarios exist that still could force the NCAA to revise its ban on athletes receiving more than an athletic scholarship for their services.
If you thought Emmert has lost friends in high places lately, just wait if university presidents have to address an issue they've been able to duck for, well, forever.
Lost in the finger-pointing is the fact that the collective storm of crises confronting the NCAA today was inevitable. It began forming nearly 30 years ago. In 1984, the Supreme Court set the new course for college sports when it ruled on NCAA v. Board of Regents, an antitrust lawsuit brought by member schools who objected to the NCAA's control over television broadcast contracts.
The NCAA argued that if it lost, it would doom college sports.
The NCAA lost. Since then, the annual growth rate of Division I-A (FBS) college athletic departments has been 8.2 percent, fueled by growing TV contracts negotiated by conferences. Big-time college sports has grown faster than the U.S. economy (5.0 percent). Even McDonald's (7.7 percent) can't compete.
Billion hamburgers served? Try a billion first-and-goals served to grateful fans.
"If the 1984 case was settled differently, we wouldn't have these issues," said Gary Roberts, dean of Indiana University's Robert H. McKinney School of Law and a former NCAA faculty rep. "The NCAA wanted to limit commercialization of college basketball and football to one game a week, and one network. If that lid had been kept on, we wouldn't have the unleashed commercialization we see today."
On a spring day last year, Barry Hinson packed for a road trip. The drive would take just four hours, from his office in Carbondale, Ill., to NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis. Hinson, a basketball lifer, pointed his car north, toward Interstate 70. He had time to kill, and a message to refine.
He had recently been hired as the head men’s basketball coach at Southern Illinois, and a series of unexpected academic issues in his program had forced this trip. But Hinson, a veteran coach with an affable personality and good ol’ boy charm, was happy to have the ear of the suits in Indianapolis.
There was a relatively new strain of disease infecting college basketball, Hinson thought, and it was hitting home at the mid-major level. Players had begun to be recruited off their own campuses and were landing at more prestigious programs. And Hinson wanted NCAA officials to be aware. The practice, Hinson says, is one of the reasons for a record number of transfers over the previous two offseasons, and he’s not shy about using a one-word term for the trend.
“Poaching,” Hinson says.
“It’s already a mess,” he adds. “It’s just getting ready to be really bad for programs at the mid-major level.”
Hinson’s concerns are not limited to schools like Southern Illinois, but rather the transfer culture that has become a prominent component of college basketball.
After yearly transfer figures held steady in the 10-percent range for most of the past decade, college basketball has seen a moderate increase in the last two offseasons: Close to 11 percent of Division I basketball players transferred in the past two offseasons, with more than 400 players changing schools each season. According to NCAA records, more than 40 percent of college basketball players will switch programs before the end of their sophomore seasons.
Springtime has turned into college basketball’s version of free agency, with the list of transfers turning into unofficial waiver wire.
“Schools are recruiting kids right off of campus,” K-State coach Bruce Weber says.
With Jerrance Howard making the move to join Bill Self’s staff at Kansas, SMU head coach Larry Brown had a vacancy to fill. He’s officially done so, as SMU officially announced the hiring of former Wichita State assistant K.T. Turner.
The news that Turner would join Brown’s staff was reported by multiple outlets earlier in the week.
Turner spent one season at Wichita State but it was a successful one, as the Shockers went 30-9 and reached the Final Four. And with Howard being a valuable recruiter for the SMU program, Turner will certainly need to have an impact in that department.
Turner has coaching experience at both the Division I and junior college levels, with stops at places such as Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College. Turner joins associate head coach Tim Jankovich and Ulric Maligi on the SMU coaching staff, with Jankovich in line to be Brown’s successor whenever the head coach decides to retire.
2013-14 Early-season events schedule
Myles Turner (Euless, Texas/Trinity) C, 6-foot-11, 225 pounds
Turner went from unranked to No. 10 in the ESPN 100 and has a chance to continue rising. Turner, a LaMarcus Aldridge-type, established himself as the most dominant post player at the event and controlled the glass at both ends of the floor. Where he was truly special was with his elite shot-blocking skills. Turner can block his own man’s shots or come over from the weak side to reject the ball in help situations. His mobility allows him to cover ground quickly and shrink the floor as a true rim protector. He can also hit jumpers at the arc and is a smart passer from the low post.
Kelly Oubre (Fort Bend, Texas/Findlay Prep) SF, 6-6, 190
When it comes to catch-and-shoot 3s, few were better than Oubre. He was fantastic all camp from behind the line, but also made flash cuts to the mid-post area for closer looks. He was stellar finishing in transition and showed a knack for rebounding well in a crowd.
6/21/13, 10:37 AM
NO ORDER❗❗❗ TOP 10 School
@humblekid11 Cliff Alexander
Though Alexander did not begin playing basketball until eighth grade, he picked up offers from Michigan State and Kentucky before his junior year.
Those schools, with their high-profile coaches, were considered the clear leaders, but Alexander's affinity for Illinois coach John Groce is clear.
And with DePaul landing local recruits Billy Garrett Jr. (Morgan Park), Myke Henry (Orr/Illinois) and Tommy Hamilton (Young/IMG Academy), the Blue Demons have remained in the picture.
“Of course with the Michigan State situation, (coach Tom) Izzo and the whole staff have been in there from day one, so you figure they definitely are going to be strong,” said Mike Irvin, Alexander's club coach on the Mac Irvin Fire. “They've done a great job to this point.
“And Kentucky is Kentucky. They are always going to remain solid. But Illinois and DePaul have come on. It is definitely a race.”
Like Alexander — who averaged 21.3 points, 13 rebounds and five blocked shots in earning first-team All-State honors from the Tribune as a junior — Irvin has been impressed with the job Groce has done since taking over in Champaign last spring.
The Chicago basketball establishment initially was skeptical of the hire, but the skepticism has long since disappeared.
“Once he got the job, he got right in there,” Irvin said. “He and (Illini assistant) Paris Parham have done a great job with Cliff and a great job in Chicago.
“They are in all the gyms, all the AAU games, all the high school games. They want to take the program to the next level, the Final Four. They've got their eyes on the prize.”
Alexander visited Kansas Friday and said the staff told him he could be like Markieff Morris.
“It was great,” he said. “Loved everything about it. Coaches are great. I would love to come and go back down there.”
Oklahoma State & Kansas offered 2015 PG Jalen Brunson of Mac Irvin Fire (IL).
Headed into Peach Jam our goal is to win it. I love this tournament because you get to play against the best players in the most competitive games of the summer. The mindset is to get out of our pool and take it one game at a time.
I've decided to not play with the USA U19 team this year because my grandpa got sick a few weeks back and I just want to stay around and be there for him. He's doing a little bit better. Slowly but surely he's getting better. I just want to be able to be here to help him keep fighting.
My recruitment is still going pretty well.
Right now the only official I've got lined up is to Baylor at the end of August. Me and my boy Jahlil (Okafor) are going together on that one. We'll probably do other visits together we just haven't set them up yet.
You guys already know that me and Jahlil are gonna play together in college, and now we're feeling pretty good about getting our boy Justise Winslow to come along with us as well.
It's looking pretty good for that. We're, all three, really great friends and we've got a close bond so we all like the idea of playing together in college.
USA Today Tyus Jones blog
The Bears have a unique hook in their pursuit of Jones. Jared Nuness is the director of player development for Scott Drew’s team. More importantly regarding Jones is the fact that Nuness and Jones are cousins. Nuness was the 1997 Gatorade Player of the Year in Minnesota and Jones won the award last year to keep it in the family. Nuness also played for Drew’s father, Homer, at Valparaiso.
So there you have it. If you’re looking for Baylor’s connection with the nation’s best point guard, call off the search. Word is that Jones will sign early. I looked at Baylor’s football schedule and there isn’t a good a home game in September that looks appealing. Their best weekend for an official visit looks like Oct. 5 when West Virginia comes to Waco.
ESPN Insider ($)
Justise Winslow has a fairly busy schedule over the next few weeks, what with the FIBA U19 World Championship running from June 27-July 7 in Prague.
Yet even as he practices and prepares for the big event, Winslow is eyeing his future college plans.
“At this point I really don’t have any leaders, everyone’s pretty equal,” the 6-foot-6 forward from Houston St. John’s told SNY.tv Thursday following U19 practice at the Verizon Center.
“I might just cut my list before the July period to help some of those coaches, so they know I’m interested and those that I’m not interested in.”
Winslow is currently considering 10 schools — Arizona, Baylor, Duke, Florida, Houston, Kansas, North Carolina, Stanford, Texas A&M and UCLA — and said he didn’t know which schools would definitely make the cut.
“Not yet, no,” he said.
Still, it would seem likely that Arizona and Duke and possibly Baylor and Kansas could all make the cut.
Arizona and Duke have been perceived as the frontrunners for his services, and Baylor, Duke and Kansas are the three schools that Winslow, Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones all share in common.
Okafor and Jones will take an official visit to Baylor in late August, but Winslow has not yet committed to that visit.
“I haven’t decided yet,” he said. “I don’t have any visits set up yet. I’m just trying to get through this USA experience first and maybe in July, during that live period, I can start thinking about stuff.”
Many observers believe Jones and Okafor will land at Duke, and Winslow is certainly considering the Blue Devils as well.
Twins Kayla and Chayla Cheadle, seniors from Rock Bridge High in Columbia, Mo., have orally committed to play volleyball and basketball at Kansas University, the Columbia Tribune reports.
Chayla, a 5-foot-11 guard, averaged 10.8 points while hitting 45 percent of her three-pointers for Rock Bridge’s Class 5 state championship team. Kayla, a 6-1 middle blocker, was named all-region as a junior. She also plays basketball.
“We wanted to go to school together,” Chayla Cheadle told the Tribune. “This is the place for us.”
Missouri and Alabama also offered scholarships to both players.
“We could still get away from home but still be really close to our family in Kansas City,” Kayla Cheadle told the Tribune. “We could still be independent away from home but still have each other there, too.”
2013 Spring/Summer AAU & Camp Schedule
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