Joel Embiid is probably a year ahead of Gorgui Dieng was when he arrived at Louisville. Long, gangly big man. Will anchor pivot for Kansas
Based on the schedule that is taking shape, nonconference play could be a trial by fire for Kansas and its five new starters next season.
KU hasn’t released its 2013-14 basketball slate, but the schedule could be finalized within the next week, said Larry Keating, who handles hoops scheduling as a special assistant to athletic director Sheahon Zenger.
The Jayhawks are waiting for an eighth team to join the Battle 4 Atlantis field, Keating said, plus another date or two. Several games already have been announced, including matchups against Georgetown, San Diego State, Duke and Colorado.
Factor in the Big 12/SEC Challenge (anticipated opponent: Florida), and it’s clear the Jayhawks will learn a lot about their young roster in the first two months of the season.
Coach Bill Self hasn’t raised any objections, Keating said, even though the Jayhawks will have at least five freshmen and only one experienced upperclassman in junior Naadir Tharpe.
“Every game that we do he OKs, so I think he's OK with it,” Keating said. “I think it's a good test for our kids. I also think we're going to be a lot better than people think we're going to be.”
The first big date will be Nov. 12 against Duke in the Champions Classic at the United Center in Chicago, followed by a trip to the Bahamas for three games in the Battle 4 Atlantis from Nov. 28-30. The Atlantis field also includes Tennessee, Xavier, UTEP, Villanova, Wake Forest, Southern Cal and an eighth team still to be announced.
In addition to playing at Colorado, the Jayhawks will play host to Georgetown on Dec. 21 and San Diego State on the first weekend of January. The San Diego State game could be either Saturday, Jan. 4 or Sunday, Jan. 5 depending on the NFL playoff schedule.
“We've done it almost every year,” Keating said. “We've played a national game, usually on CBS, that sometimes swings to Sunday based on the NFL schedule. We've done that for years just to get a good game on national TV.”
KU hasn’t confirmed the game at Florida because the Big 12/SEC Challenge has yet to be announced. It initially was reported that KU and Florida couldn’t work out a date, but Florida reportedly has told ticket holders it will play host to a “historic powerhouse from the Big 12.”
KU also will play its customary nonconference game at Sprint Center against an opponent that has yet to be announced. The Jayhawks faced Oregon State in Kansas City this past season, and Keating said next year’s Sprint Center opponent will be a recognizable name.
There's nothing like one last experience to extend the memories of college teammates.
Kevin Young, Jeff Withey, Travis Releford and Elijah Johnson — all graduating seniors from the University of Kansas men's basketball team — are living proof of that.
Saturday night at The New Garden at Garden City High School, the KU Barnstorming Tour came to town and thrilled approximately 1,500 fans and likely even more who lined up for hours awaiting to get autographs of some of their favorite Jayhawks.
…"This has been amazing," said Young, a 6-8 forward from Perris, Calif., who came to KU after two seasons at Loyola-Marymount (Calif.) before sitting out a year as a red-shirt. "The fans have been incredible to us so far. Driving out here, it's just incredible how far the (state) line is from Lawrence. The crowds show how much the team has touched the state of Kansas and how much over the years people have been following us. It's just crazy, crazy!"
…"It means a lot for us to be able to come out here and interact with fans who don't get a chance to come and watch us play live," Releford said. "It shows how much they appreciate us and it's our way of giving something back. The love they've shown us is incredible."
…"It doesn't get any better than that, playing in the national championship game," the 7-0 center Withey said. "It's meant a lot to play at KU. You gotta wait your turn. It's hard getting playing time as a freshman when you're playing behind great players. I'm happy I waited my turn. I'm a better player, a better man because of my experience at KU."
…"No question, that is something that I'll always have a fond memory of," Johnson said of the 108-96 win over the Cyclones. "Lots of other great memories. Playing in Allen Fieldhouse, which is the best place to play basketball in the country. There's nowhere like it."
Johnson said he had enjoyed this final opportunity to be with his senior teammates.
"It's fun for us to make this last trip together," Johnson said. "We're enjoying doing something together for the last time. The fans have been great. It's cool to see how much they care and that we can give them something back."
Garden City Telegram
T.J. Sparr was present when the players arrived on Friday for the 2013 Kansas Barnstorming Tour stop at Wichita East.
“It’s crazy. They pulled up in this huge van, and we were like, ‘These are real celebrities,’ ” Sparr said. “When they put on our baseball hats, it was really cool. All these KU all-star basketball players wearing East High baseball hats. It seemed like they loved it.”
Sparr, a member of East’s baseball team, helped greet five former Kansas basketball players to the school for an autograph session, auction and scrimmage to help raise money for East’s baseball program.
“We are just thankful that KU can do this,” East baseball coach Ryan Bensch said. “The facilities that we have, the uniforms that we have, the things that we get to do, are unlike any other City League schools. We are very fortunate for that.”
This was the eighth year the tour has come to Wichita, all at East High. KU fans started lining up as early as 3:30 p.m. for autographs even though the doors didn’t open until 6 p.m.
Representing the Jayhawks were four seniors from this year’s team: Jeff Withey, Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford and Kevin Young. Conner Teahan, a 2012 KU graduate, joined them as the fifth player and coach for the scrimmage.
For the first time since 1947 White Auditorium will have members of the Emporia State Hornets and Kansas Jayhawks competing with each other when the Kansas Barnstormers make a stop in Emporia. The Barnstormers are represented by Kansas University men's basketball seniors Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford and Kevin Young along with Emporia State seniors Taylor Euler and Chris Sights. They will take on a team made up of former Emporia State players including Wes Book and Troy Pierce.T
Tickets are $10 and all general admission. They can be purchased in advance at the Emporia State Athletic Ticket Office in the Memorial Union, Reeble's Country Mart, Price Chopper.
The ticket booth at White Auditorium will open at 6:00 p.m. on game night with an autograph session with the players on Slaymaker Court going from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
There will be a limited number of VIP passes available that will allow access to a special autograph session in the Little Theater of White Auditorium from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Contact the Emporia State Ticket Office at (877) 341-6378 for more information.
Fort Scott Community College and Fort Scott High School are teaming up to sponsor the University of Kansas Barnstormers appearance April 28 at the Fort Scott High Gymnasium. The event starts at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 5 p.m. for an pre-game autograph session.
Eight former Kansas men’s basketball players begin their quest for an NBA title.
The eight Jayhawks – Darrell Arthur (Memphis), Mario Chalmers (Miami), Nick Collison (Oklahoma City), Drew Gooden (Milwaukee), Kirk Hinrich (Chicago), Paul Pierce (Boston), Thomas Robinson (Houston) and Tyshawn Taylor (Brooklyn) – represent eight of the 16 teams in the 2013 NBA playoffs. Former Jayhawk Brandon Rush’s Golden State team also qualified, however Rush sat out the 2012-13 season recovering from a torn ACL.
Hinrich’s Chicago Bulls and Taylor’s Brooklyn Nets, and Gooden’s Milwaukee Bucks and Chalmers’ Miami Heat will square off in the East quarterfinals, guaranteeing a Jayhawk matchup in the East bracket semifinal. In the West quarterfinals, Collison’s Oklahoma City Thunder and Robinson’s Houston Rockets will meet, which means a Jayhawk will be in the West semifinal round.
Last year, Chalmers joined elite company when his Miami Heat team won the 2012 NBA title.
Chalmers joined former KU great Clyde Lovellette in becoming only the second Jayhawk to win both an NCAA National Championship and an NBA title.
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They’re all in.
Florida Gulf Coast University officially unveiled new men’s basketball coach Joe Dooley during a Monday afternoon Alico Arena news conference, five days after the decade-long Kansas assistant to Bill Self accepted the position.
Despite it being the week before finals, nine of the eligible Eagles were present and they gave Dooley, 47, a grinning standing ovation. So did holdover assistants Marty Richter and Michael Fly and Joey Cantens, the director of basketball operations.
They’re all staying and it looks like highly regarded signees Logan Hovey, a 6-foot-6, 200-pound small forward from Oviedo-Hagerty, and Jordan Neff, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound power forward from North Cobb (Ga.) High, will join them.
“We’ve all talked, and I think we’re all going to be here and we’re going to keep progressing and keep the same recruits we have coming in and add on and get even better,” said FGCU sophomore point guard Brett Comer, who attended “a couple” Jayhawks camps when he lived in Overland Park, Kan., from his eighth-grade year through his sophomore high school season.
Dooley said he last spoke to Hovey and Neff on Sunday and, “They seem to be onboard.” Comer has spoken with Hovey and junior forward Chase Fieler has talked with both signees. He even texted with them during the news conference. Comer and Fieler agreed with Dooley’s assessment.
The Eagles campaigned hard for the 36-year-old Richter, who was a viable candidate and who served as the interim head coach after Andy Enfield took the USC job on April 2 after leading FGCU to a stunning Sweet 16 run in his second season.
“My first impression was I was mad,” Comer said. “I wanted Marty to get the job because I wanted to keep what we had. But after talking to Dooley and realizing I know the guy, I’m happy. I’m happy with him and what’s going to happen here. It’s going to be exciting and it’s going to be an advancement to big things.”
“He was a big part it,” said Chalmers, who called Dooley to congratulate him on the FGCU job, of the national title. “He was a guy that always kept us working, motivated us, kept us going.”
Some might even say Dooley pulled off his own miracle, convincing Chalmers to come to Lawrence.
Dooley recruited Chalmers, an Anchorage, Alaska, native who was considered one of the best guards in the country, persuading him to pick Kansas over the likes of Arizona and North Carolina.
“I think he’s going to be a great head coach,” said Chalmers, who was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2008 National Championship game played at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
“He’s going to be a guy who’s going to get some players. With players who have a lot of talent, you can do anything, especially if you’re a good coach like that.”
“Besides my dad (Ronnie, Kansas’ new director of operations at the time), that’s the person I trusted most when I first got there,” Chalmers said. “And over the years, we developed a close relationship. To this day we have a close relationship.”
During his NBA summers, Chalmers worked out with Dooley at Kansas.
“On those days that you’re tired and don’t really feel right about working out, he was the guy who motivated you and changed your mindset to want to be out there,” Chalmers said. “He’s definitely a player’s coach. He’s going to teach you a lot of things about the game, and he just wants what’s best for you.”
The Kansas women's basketball team will travel to the Virgin Islands for three games in the Paradise Jam next season.
The Jayhawks will face Central Michigan on Nov. 28, followed by Xavier on Nov. 29 and Duke on Nov. 30. The Chippewas and Blue Devils both played in the NCAA Tournament this past season, with Duke going 33-3 and advancing to the Elite Eight.
"This is a terrific trip for our players and fans," coach Bonnie Henrickson said. "We will face some quality opponents on a neutral floor. It will be a great trip and a chance for a young team to grow and prepare for Big 12 Conference play."
Big 12/College News
Rodriguez was a two-year starter for the Wildcats, earning second team All-Big 12 honors this past season and a spot on the all-conference defensive team. The distance between himself and his mother and siblings prompted him to request his release from K-State.
“It is important that everyone understands that this was a really difficult decision,” Rodriguez said in a statement released by K-State. “I have really enjoyed my time here and this decision was based entirely on my family and has nothing to do with Kansas State, basketball or the coaching staff. It’s unfortunate after the year we just had, but I just feel right now this is the best thing for me and my family. Whether it is the right choice or not, family has and always will be first with me.”
Alabama guard Trevor Lacey, who led the team in assists and 3-pointers, is transferring before his junior season.
Crimson Tide coach Anthony Grant said Tuesday that he has granted the two-year starter a release from his scholarship.
"It was a family decision to pursue other opportunities," Lacey said in a release from the university. "This definitely was not an easy decision to make. It's been great at Alabama during my two years. It was tough my freshman year coming off surgery and having to work my way back. I wanted to improve during my sophomore season and I thought I did that. I want to thank the coaches and staff, my teammates and all the fans for their support."
The push for a 30-second clock is a reaction to a season in which offensive production was episodically horrific—who can forget Tennessee failing to reach the 40-point mark in consecutive games, or Northern Illinois scoring four points in a half?—and statistically depressed.
Per team scoring fell from 68.01 points per game in 2011-12 to 67.50 this past season, the lowest average of the shot-clock era—in fact, the lowest since 1952.
The knee-jerk solution to this concern is to assume a shorter shot-clock cycle will create more possessions, and that more possessions will lead to higher scoring totals.
It’s really not that simple. As explained by Jeff Waksman, proprietor of the Basketball Predictions website, scoring plunged in college basketball soon after the shot-clock cycle was trimmed from 45 seconds to 35, from a 45-second high of 76.7 in 1991 to 70.2 in 1997. That’s a dozen fewer points per game between the two teams.
“Once you start reducing the clock close to 24, you’re going to make the basketball sloppier. You’re going to have more turnovers and more missed shots,” Wakman said. “I’m not sure it’s going to make total scoring go up significantly, and it’s going to make the basketball uglier.”
There's no doubt West Virginia was a bigger and better football brand than Louisville was/is, and had a team that got folks everywhere excited for Year 1 in the league. The latter doesn't matter all that much, but when people talk Louisville, they always talk about them instead of West Virginia. Talking about them in addition to West Virginia is a much more interesting conversation. There was a case to be made for Louisville last year, but I agreed with the Big 12's move to go with WVU instead.
A year and a half after that decision was made, it's easy to say, "Well, come on, Big 12?! Why didn't you let 'em in? Now they're headed to the ACC!"
For one, I do think the prospect of Louisville being big enough to add $26 million in value to the Big 12 is doubtful now and was doubtful then. It's not crazy, but I don't think it's worth the risk for a Big 12 that's experiencing some serious unity lately and a major lack of drama off the field.
Does Louisville still even play its way into a BCS game if it's in the Big 12? I would definitely argue no on that front. The BCS team that whooped up on Florida is the same team that went to the wire with Southern Miss, (who was 0-12 last season) South Florida, North Carolina and Rutgers. It went 10-2 with losses to Syracuse and UConn, and I'm betting they would have lost at least a couple more in a super-deep Big 12. That means no BCS.
So, I really don't think Louisville's recent year of success is enough reason to rethink the Big 12's position. Basketball is mostly irrelevant, and WVU's success on the field put it in a much more advantageous position to grab a ticket to a much better conference. It's hard for any program in an AQ conference to match WVU's six conference titles since 2003.
The Big 12 wouldn't necessarily have made a huge mistake with bringing Louisville in the league, but 11 teams posed some logistical issues that the Big Ten dealt with that the Big 12 didn't necessarily want. West Virginia was pretty close to a home run when you consider the caliber of the program that came into the league, not considering its failures in 2012. WVU went 7-5. I'm betting Louisville goes 8-4 in the Big 12 last season and doesn't sniff a BCS game. That's not a huge difference. '
College basketball's offseason could be shortening.
The informative John Infante, he of the Bylaw Blog, passed along word this weekend that some legislation could go through that would move up the start of college basketball's first practice. As it stands, the NCAA permits teams to start formally playing on Oct. 15 of each year. That date could get bumped up by a few weeks, snuggling into September.
The Legislative Council -- a group whose power includes deciding what rules go into effect for Division I sports -- is proposing teams be able to practice as a group, with coaches, earlier in order to better adapt for the season ahead.
Hmm. Too soon? Infante explains.
This was to ensure that the start of practice would fall on a Friday for Midnight Madness events, rather than on a Sunday which it would have without the change. Women's basketball has had this rule for a couple of years. It basically moves the start of practice up two weeks, but requires two days off per week before the first game. This creates a period of acclimatization rather than the abrupt jump from 8 hours per week straight to 20 hours per week with just one day off.
In essence, the players wouldn't be drastically upping their practice time. Instead, this is seen as the natural segue from offseason, informal workouts to full-blown learning/practice time with the program. But it won't be as intense or heavy as a mid-November practice schedule. This doesn't mean most players will spend any more time in the gym than they already do.
The proposal also includes a separate, smaller side proposal that would allow teams to begin practice at any point on the first allowed day of the season. Currently, the practice has to begin at 5 p.m. or later on the earnest opening to the season. (This could allow teams more flexibility to have a true Midnight Madness -- at midnight -- if they wanted.)
"The rule creates a flexible preseason practice schedule that allows practice days and off days instead of the current schedule that leads to practice occurring every possible day," according to the NCAA. "The more flexible approach provides coaches with the ability to determine how to use practice opportunities."
The Board of Directors will have the choice to approve or deny this change on May 2. If no strikes are taken against it, the new season timeline will be in effect for the 2013-14 season.
College football's most powerful entities will assemble in Pasadena, Calif., this week for meetings that will determine several aspects of the new playoff system that begins in 2014. It will be a celebration of progress and riches for the schools involved and a validation of the bowl industry, which kept its seat at the table despite heavy criticism in recent years.
One group, though, will surely dominate the cocktail party and golf course conversations, even while its influence in the future of college football further weakens: the NCAA.
As college athletics sifts through an avalanche of foundational issues, the credibility and viability of its governing body has never been more in question. Among realignment that has deepened separation of the haves and have-nots, the legal challenges to the NCAA's amateurism model, an explosion in football and television money and embarrassing misconduct in the NCAA's enforcement arm, the calls to start over are louder than ever.
Although the notion that big football schools might eventually break away from the NCAA is not new, the overwhelming sense within the industry is that some sort of major change is on the horizon. Whether that change includes the NCAA completely, in part or not at all is now talked about openly and frequently among administrators, according to conversations with more than two dozen high-ranking college athletics officials across a spectrum of Division I conferences.
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Reggie Rankin: I have to go with Kansas. The Jayhawks have added excellent perimeter talent with ESPN 100 prospects Wayne Selden, Brannen Greene and Conner Frankamp. Frankamp is a smaller version of former Kansas star Kirk Hinrich, Greene has excellent size and deep shooting range, and Selden is a powerful wing who attacks the rim and scores through contact with a college-ready body. In addition, ESPN 100 center Joel Embiid is a long, athletic, above-the-rim finisher, rebounder and shot-blocker who has great size and is improving daily. Coach Bill Self will plug these immediate-impact freshmen into the KU system with a few personnel tweaks, and the Jayhawks will not miss a beat next season.
Adam Finkelstein: Kansas has the second-best recruiting class in the country, in my opinion. Not only do the Jayhawks have great depth and balance, they also have two prospects in Wayne Selden and Joel Embiid who have distinguished themselves against the best prospects in the nation in recent weeks. Selden is the most capable of putting up big numbers right away next season, but when it comes to long-term potential, Embiid is off the charts. Surround those two with a pair of shot-makers to stretch the floor in Brannen Greene and Conner Frankamp and a defensive-oriented lead guard in Frank Mason, and the Jayhawks haven't just accumulated talent -- they've strategically built a class with complementary parts.
Joel Francisco: In reality, you can't go wrong going with either Memphis or Kansas for the most impressive recruiting class other than Kentucky. In a normal recruiting season, either of these two classes would be, in all probability, a No. 1 class. Under John Calipari, however, Kentucky is revolutionizing the recruiting process. With that said, Kansas appears to have the most complete class when comparing it against Memphis' class. The difference for me is in the backcourt. Lightning-quick Frank Mason teaming up with one of the most prolific shooters in high school in Conner Frankamp trumps Memphis signee Rashawn Powell at the point guard spot. There's Kansas-bound center Joel Embiid, who is the best unknown talent in the nation with an extremely high ceiling. Nevertheless, both Kansas (Wayne Selden, Brannen Greene) and Memphis (Austin Nichols, Kuran Iverson) are bringing in elite, deep classes that deserve more attention outside Kentucky's shadow.
ESPN Insider Top recruiting class after Kentucky's($)
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Joel Embiid, C, Kansas Jayhawks The 7-foot Embiid, who hails from Cameroon, was very impressive in the Jordan Brand game a week ago in Brooklyn, and although he played only 16 minutes in the win over the U.S., he contributed 7 points and 7 rebounds.
Here is all you need to know about Embiid: He has played organized basketball for only 18 months. He will be a contributor for Bill Self as a Jayhawks freshman and is already a potential top-5 pick in the NBA draft as a sophomore.
...Andrew Wiggins, F, Undecided The 6-foot-8 Canadian, for the most part, played effortlessly in this game after three straight weeks on the road. He was the best athlete on the floor but played very unselfishly, picking his spots to show off his ability. He is considered the consensus No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA draft.
While Wiggins is an overwhelmingly right-handed driver, he rarely had an issue in getting to spots on the floor to create his own shot. His great jumping ability allows him to easily shoot over defenders. In addition, he has great head-on-the-rim and second-jump explosiveness around the basket.
While Wiggins will have little trouble scoring at the college level, his lack of a consistent outside shot is something he should look to iron out immediately. He should use the next year and a half to improve it before leaving for the NBA.
ESPN Insider ($)
No. 24-rated Craig Victor, a 6-8 junior power forward from St. Augustine High in New Orleans, tells Rivals.com that he’s being recruited by KU, Arizona, LSU, Oklahoma State, Kentucky, Miami and others. He competed in an adidas tourney in Duncanville, Texas, last weekend.
“Sometimes seen as a bit of a cruiser in the past, Victor put in serious work on the glass Saturday,” wrote Eric Bossi of Rivals.com. “He attacked the rim and got to the free-throw line in his first game and started hitting jumpers in his second.”
Mission on tap: Payton Dastrup, a 6-9 junior center from Mountain View High in Mesa, Ariz., tells Rivals.com he will take a Mormon mission and will not play college ball until 2016. He has a list of KU, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Florida, BYU, Virginia, Texas A&M and others.
“I’ll sign everything, but I’ll defer my scholarship for two years,” the No. 52-ranked Dastrup told Rivals.com at the EYBL Los Angeles tournament.
KU in top 10: Justise Winslow, a 6-5 junior small forward from St. John’s High in Houston, who is ranked No. 10 in the Class of 2014, has a list of 10 schools: KU, Baylor, Arizona, Duke, Florida, Houston, North Carolina, Texas A&M, Stanford and UCLA. Winslow, who averaged 29 points and 15 rebounds a game his junior season, made unofficial visits to KU, Duke and Arizona last winter.
McLaughlin likes KU: Jordan McLaughlin, a 5-11 junior point guard from Etiwanda (Calif.) High, who is ranked No. 33 in the Class of 2014, revealed a top seven to Rivals.com at the Los Angeles tournament: KU, USC, UCLA, San Diego State, UConn, Indiana and Gonzaga.
Upcoming visits: Tyus Jones, a 6-1 junior point guard from Apple Valley (Minn.) High, told Rivals.com in L.A. that he had in-home visits with Duke, Baylor, Ohio State and Michigan State last week, with KU coaches to enter his home Tuesday. He’s ranked No. 3 in the Class of 2014. Today, KU coach Self will visit Jahlil Okafor, 6-10 junior from Whitney Young High in Chicago and the No. 1-rated player in the Class of ’14.
Diamond eyes KU: Diamond Stone, a 6-10 sophomore from Dominican High in Milwaukee who has KU on his list, played on the Young Legends team that fell to KC Run GMC in Sunday’s 16-and-under title game of the NY2LA tourney in Minnesota. He’s ranked No. 4 in the Class of 2015. Jimmy Whitt, a 6-foot point guard from Columbia Hickman, had 15 points for KC. Another Run GMC standout is Kevin Puryear, a 6-7 sophomore from Blue Springs South High. Rivals.com’s Robin Washut says Puryear, “currently holds offers from Creighton and Miami (Ohio), but has been getting heavy interest from schools like Missouri (which he unofficially visited in January), Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Marquette, Wichita State and Arkansas.”
They never identified themselves, and their phone numbers were always blocked. But when they called Diamond Stone’s home, they were clear with their threats.
The intimidating correspondences were designed to steer the No. 2 prospect in the 2015 class per RecruitingNation to their favorite schools -- the nasty side of the recruiting battle for America’s best players.
“Sometimes we get phone calls, threats [from] college fans … ‘Come to my school’ and sometimes they just hang up,” said Stone, who competed at the NY2LA tournament in the Minneapolis suburbs over the weekend. “One time, [they said], ‘If you don’t choose this school, something will happen.’ It’s insane.”
…The coward(s) that has harassed the elite prospect, a player who’s received interest from every high major program in the country, represents college basketball fanaticism at its worst.
The incidents also demonstrate the ugliness that the recruiting game can entail for young men seeking the complicated balance between playing basketball, executing in school and enjoying their youth.
But it’s difficult to avoid the static.
Social media has created an unfiltered pipeline to these kids.
And in good times, it’s a tool that’s often used to attract those players.
And in bad times, it can become a cesspool of hatred that’s directed toward 16- and 17-year-olds who deserve better.
“That’s just craziness. That’s just America,” said Bob Stone, the father of Diamond Stone. “It gets crazy, man. …. He gets all kinds of crazy stuff. Tweets [like] ‘[Diamond], what’s cocaine like?’ Crazy stuff.”
DYK? - #Big12 MBB has 6 of the top 40 recruiting classes in ESPN.com rankings.
Bout to watch this Jackie Robinson movie. The reason why I wear #42 in school ball. #Legend
We basically just reiterated things we've talked about before like Coach K talked about he wanted to use me and how well he thinks I could run his team. Coach Izzo talked about how well things would play out if I came there. All of them basically were saying the same things they'd been saying for a while.
It was just fun to see them and hangout with them for a while. It was really laid back and chill. We had some appetizers for them. A lot of the coaches weren't really hungry so we didn't cook a whole meal.
I talked to my boy Jahlil (Okafor) after the visits to compare how his visits and my visits went. We talked about similarities and differences and things like that. And, yes, we're still planning to play together in college.
I don't plan to cut the list down anymore.
I'm looking at the early signing period in November, and I'm hoping to have a decision made by then. I mean you never know, but that's what I'm hoping for.
I want to take my five official visits in the fall. Not sure where to just yet though.
Now I'm looking forward to Kansas coming for an in-home either Monday or Wednesday of next week. I'm not sure which day yet. That's all that I've got planned as far as visits go.
Tyus Jones blog in USA Today
A slew of high-major coaches flocked to see Rashad Vaughn this weekend at the Nike EYBL stop in Los Angeles.
Playing for Wisconsin Playground Elite against ICP Elite, Vaughn went for 31 points in 26 minutes on 13-for-20 shooting while adding seven assists and five rebounds. He made four 3-pointers. (Here’s the boxscore.)
“He was the best player there,” one high-major assistant told SNY.tv. “He’s 6-5, shoots the hell out of it, is athletic and unselfish.”
“I feel I played really good,” Vaughn, the Rivals No. 6 player in the Class of 2014 out of Robbinsdale (MN) Cooper, told SNY.tv by phone. “We won, we went 3-1, my team played good, so overall it was a good weekend.”
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, North Carolina coach Roy Williams, Kansas coach Bill Self, Minnesota coach Richard Pitino, Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, Michigan coach John Beilein, Baylor coach Scott Drew, Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin, Oregon coach Dana Altman, Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton, Florida assistant Rashon Burno, Maryland assistant Bino Ranson, Louisville assistant Kevin Keatts and Georgetown assistant Kevin Broadus were among those watching Vaughn.
“I saw a couple,” Vaughn said. “I saw Coach Roy Williams. I saw Coach K. Yeah, there was a lot of coaches there. I don’t really pay attention to them, but it’s good to see all of them there.”
KU is expected to have an in-home visit this week with Elbert Robinson, a 6-10 junior from Lakeview Centennial High in Garland, Texas. He’s ranked No. 66 in the Class of 2014.
Former UCLA pledge Allerik Freeman has re-opened his recruitment
“Yes,” Findlay Prep coach Todd Simon told SNY.tv. “I think Al just wants to exercise all due dilegence in making this major life decision.”
Freeman initially pledged to former UCLA coach Ben Howland, who has since been fired and replaced by Steve Alford.
The 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Findlay Prep initially chose the Bruins over Ohio State, Villanova, Kansas and Duke.
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