Self’s 10th Kansas team features a deep frontcourt stocked with skilled big men, athletic bodies, shot-blockers, bangers and shooters.
It’s in the backcourt where this edition will have a different look than his last seven teams.
“We’ve got some talented kids back there, but getting the pieces to fit, it’s a lot easier making the pieces fit if you’re playing with two point guards than it is when you’re playing maybe with half a point guard,” Self said. “To put our best team out there right now, you’re looking at a team that’s not a great ballhandling and passing team. There’s going to be some pressure on Elijah to play well this year.”
It’s not too difficult to find reasons to believe Johnson will be up to the task. He’s a blur leading the break, has a good feel for where the ball should go, has a nice passing touch and limits careless turnovers.
After that, when looking at the likely starting five of Johnson, Ben McLemore, Travis Releford, Perry Ellis and Jeff Withey, it’s a little unsettling to try to identify the second-best ballhandler.
“It’s probably Travis,” Self said. “But Ben’s getting better. But that’s the whole thing, we’ve always had guys who can make plays out there. Even on our championship team, we had three point guards out of our four perimeter players.”
… Naturally, Self’s ever-intense mind is pondering ways to maximize the efficiency of a backcourt that, at least compared to most of his, has an unconventional makeup.
“We don’t really change much how we play, but we tweak a lot more than what people think,” he said. “In the past, I didn’t care who fed the post. Now we might have to set it up where Elijah’s the one feeding the post, much like we did with Aaron Miles because we had a similar type situation with Aaron, Keith (Langford) and J.R. (Giddens). You know, it’s kind of similar.”
Kansas' men's basketball team will participate in the pregame football activities by making an appearance at the Hy-Vee Hawk Zone Saturday, Sept. 1.
KU players will be available for autographs at the Hy-Vee Hawk Zone from 4:30-5:30 p.m. prior to the 6 p.m. KU football kickoff against South Dakota State. The Zone is located on the football practice fields - south of Memorial Stadium, east side. Fans are asked one item per person to be autographed.
Champions Classic ticket presale for Alumni Association members:
The KU men's basketball team is headed to Atlanta this November, and Jayhawks from across the country will converge on the Georgia Dome to support their team. KU will play Michigan State (game time is tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. EST) on Tuesday, Nov. 13, with a Duke-Kentucky matchup immediately following.
Kansas Athletics and the KU Alumni Association are offering a special ticket presale for Association members. Reserved tickets are $125 each in Tier 1, $90 in Tier 2 and $75 in Tier 3. There also is a $25 handling fee on all orders. To order tickets, please call Kansas Athletics at 785.864.3141 . Be sure to have your Alumni Association member ID number ready to give the ticket representative. A maximum of 12 tickets can be ordered at once, with the possibility of large orders to be split. The deadline for priority seating is Sept. 11.
Every August for the past four years, former Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor was in Lawrence, starting a new school year and preparing for a run at the Big 12 title in the upcoming basketball season.
Now a guard for the Brooklyn Nets, Taylor found himself back in town, except this time he was at the new Dillons on Massachusetts Street, chatting, smiling and posing for pictures with his fans before his return to New Jersey, where he will prepare for his first season in the NBA.
…In Brooklyn, Taylor shares a bond with the player Deron Williams, whom he will back-up this season, as both guards played their college career under coach Bill Self, Williams at Illinois and Taylor at Kansas.
When the two first met, Williams asked Taylor how he liked playing for Self. Taylor responded: “I love coach Self, man. He’s crazy, but I love him.”
Taylor said Williams understood what Taylor was talking about, and the players had a long conversation about Self and the respect the two men share for the coach.
…While Taylor is excited for the chance to play in the new Barclays Center this season, he knows where his true home court will always be.
“There’s just no comparing anything to the Fieldhouse,” Taylor said. “There’s never going to be anything like that.”
He made a couple of trips to Brooklyn to see the brand-new Barclays Center at the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues. (“Literally in the heart of Brooklyn,” Taylor says.) And he also spent a few minutes getting acquainted with Nets guard Deron Williams, an Olympic gold medalist. Breaking the ice was easy, Taylor says, and that was mostly because Williams spent his first college season playing for Bill Self at Illinois.
“That was the first conversation we had,” said Taylor, a former Kansas point guard. “He loves coach Self to death and has the utmost respect for him; he feels like coach Self got him to the person that he is, and I feel the same way.”
On Monday, Taylor was back in Lawrence, starting a week of appearances at a few businesses throughout the state. And for a player who had no guarantees of an NBA future when he graduated from KU in May, Taylor thinks he’s in a good spot. He averaged 15.5 points in four summer-league games and signed a guaranteed two-year contract for the league minimum in July. And he’ll have the opportunity to learn under Williams and Nets coach Avery Johnson, a former undrafted player who carved out a lengthy NBA career.
Former Kansas University recruit Milton Doyle visited UWGB on Tuesday and has the Phoenix on a short list of schools after he decided to leave the Jayhawks last week.
The Phoenix has a connection to the 6-foot-4 freshman guard. He went to the same high school, Chicago Marshall, as UWGB players Keifer Sykes and Alfonzo McKinnie (who transferred from Eastern Illinois).
Green Bay Express
VOTE for KU
Kansas 2012-13 Schedule
Big 12/College News
There are a few strange things about amateur basketball in this country, but one of the strangest is the lack of rule uniformity between various levels of the game. High school, college and NBA rules differ in game duration, the length of the 3-point shot, the number of fouls an individual player can commit, team penalties -- you name it.
But probably the biggest discrepancy -- and the one that would be easiest to erase -- is the varying length between NBA and college possessions.
It's time for college hoops to finally, mercifully adopt the 24-second shot clock.
Why? Two reasons:
1. College basketball would become a faster and therefore more entertaining game, and would do so overnight.
2. College basketball coaches could better prepare NBA hopefuls for at least one of the adjustments of the professional game.
1. Pitt plans on making a statement in its final season in the Big East by resuming its traditional role under Jamie Dixon as a title contender after last season’s NCAA miss. To tipoff the campaign, the Panthers are doing something out of the box for the more maligned Panthers by hosting a Midnight Madness event --- outside. The unique event will be a part of the school’s 225-year anniversary celebration. The men’s and women’s teams will play on a wooden outdoor floor, near the Pitt Union. Lights, bleachers and a video board will be brought in for the free event that should begin after a fireworks display at 9:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12. If the weather doesn’t cooperate then the teams will go inside at the Petersen Events Center. The Panthers return guard Tray Woodall and add two big-time newcomers in James Robinson and Central Michigan transfer Trey Zeigler.
2. The NIT Season Tip-Off is still looking for a team to fill its field, affecting the final schedules of hosts Kansas State, Virginia, Michigan and Pitt. The 2K Sports Classic benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project and the Gotham Classic have their teams, but don't have signed contracts and that’s why teams haven't been assigned on schedules released for the host schools. The 2K Sports Classic's four hosts that will meet at Madison Square Garden Nov. 15-16 are Oregon State, Alabama, Purdue and Villanova, with the first two and latter two playing against each other in the semifinals. But the first two games of the event on the respective campus sites are still listed as TBD. The Gotham Classic is a five-team tournament with a set final of Syracuse-Temple on Dec. 22 at MSG. The three other teams haven’t been announced yet, either. Each of the five teams gets four games out of the event.
Requests for proposals for future Southeastern Conference basketball tournaments have been sent to Kansas City and St. Louis among other cities. It’s up to the cities to put in bids.
The first years available are 2017 and 2018. The Big 12 is set in Kansas City through 2016, and the league has a deal with Sprint Center for the right of first refusal in future years.
Essentially, the Big 12 has first dibs on Sprint Center for the traditional tournament dates beyond 2016, and that makes it unlikely that Kansas City will submit a bid for the SEC event, said Kansas City Sports Commission president Kathy Nelson.
"The Big 12 has until March, 2015 to decide it if wants to extend, and that would make it difficult," to put in an SEC bid, Nelson said.
Alden said Missouri continues to look into bringing a football game to Arrowhead, but probably not until at least 2014. The Tigers want to maintain an annual men's basketball presence at Sprint Center.
*As for the football championship game, don’t expect Missouri to suggest a destination other than Atlanta. “You don’t want to mess with that model,” Alden said.
*Missouri’s men’s basketball schedule is expected to be released on Wednesday.
…Alden’s stance on Border War games with Kansas, suspended by the Jayhawks when the Tigers joined the SEC, hasn’t changed. “I’ll say the same thing I’ve said since Nov. 6,” Alden said. “Our hope is that it will take place. Those are generational decisions. I think when we start making decisions based on this moment in time that we’ve ignored a century of history. Our hope is that we have the opportunity to renew one of the oldest rivalries west of the Mississippi.”
SEC Press Pass host (see video below) puts "We are Mizzou" crew in their place. I can save you the click, here are the highlights lol.
SEC She: I notice you are all wearing basketball clothes and making bball references, you do realize the SEC is a football conference, right?
SEC She: In the new video you're calling out Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Arkansas. When I say 130 do you know what 130 is?
SEC She: That's the number of consensus All-Americans those schools have had combined. Missouri has had 11.
SEC She: What about 20? That's the number of national titles that those four teams have had. I looked for Missouri and I still can't find one.
Rivals updates R150
Future Kansas University small forward Brannen Greene’s national recruiting ranking improved nine slots — from No. 31 to 22 overall — Rivals.com announced on Tuesday.
The rise of Greene, a 6-foot-7, 200-pound senior from Tift County High in Forsyth, Ga., means KU and Florida currently are the only two schools in the country with at least two verbal commitments in the top 30 in the Class of 2013.
Conner Frankamp, a 6-0 senior guard from Wichita North, remains at No. 28 overall entering his senior season.
…Forwards Julius Randle and Jabari Parker flip-flopped their Nos. 1 and 2 national rankings. Randle, 6-9 from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas, who is now ranked No. 1, lists KU, Baylor, Duke, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, N.C. State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas.
Parker, 6-8 from Chicago Simeon, who is No. 2, lists KU, BYU, DePaul, Duke, Florida, Georgetown, Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina, Stanford and Illinois.
…Aaron Gordon, a 6-8 forward from Archbishop Mitty High in San Jose, Calif., who is considering KU, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Kentucky and Cal, remained at No. 5.
Anthony “Cat” Barber, a 6-2 point guard from Hampton (Va) High, remained No. 9. He will visit KU this weekend. He also lists N.C. State, Alabama and Louisville.
Marcus Lee, a 6-9 power forward from Deer Valley High in Antioch, Calif., improved from No. 33 to No. 15. He lists KU, Cal, Duke, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville and UCLA.
Jermaine Lawrence, a 6-9 power forward from Pope John XXIII in Sparta, N.J. improved from 19 to 18. He lists KU, Kentucky, UCLA, St. Johns, Cincinnati, Syracuse and UNLV.
Wayne Selden, a 6-5 shooting guard from Tilton (N.H.) School, saw his ranking fall to 23 from No. 21. He lists KU, Florida, Missouri, UCLA, Syracuse and Ohio State.
Demetrius Jackson, a 6-1 point guard from Marian High in Mishawaka, Ind., jumped from No. 70 to No. 27. Emerging as one of the best players in the entire class, Jackson now lists KU, Butler, Florida State, Illinois, Louisville, Memphis, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Xavier.
Tyler Roberson, a 6-8 forward from Roselle (N.J.) Catholic, improved from No. 53 to No. 29. He lists KU, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Rutgers, Seton Hall, South Carolina, SMU, Syracuse and Villanova. He has said he will visit KU the weekend of Sept. 7, but told Rivals.com on Tuesday he may yet change the date.
Troy Williams, a 6-6 forward from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., and good buddy of point guard Barber, improved from No. 41 to No. 35. He lists KU, Kentucky, North Carolina, Alabama, Louisville, Georgetown, South Carolina, Ohio State, Arkansas and Memphis.
Karviar Shepherd, a 6-10 center from Prime Prep Academy in Dallas fell from No. 34 to No. 43. He lists KU, SMU, Texas, Texas A&M, LSU, Oklahoma, TCU and Marquette. His prep teammate, Jordan Mickey, a 6-7 forward who also lists KU, improved from No. 51 to No. 38.
Allerik Freeman, a 6-4 guard from Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., fell from No. 39 to No. 52. He lists KU, Duke, Ohio State, UCLA and Villanova.
James Young, the leading candidate for the 2013 Mr. Basketball Award, transferred from Troy High to Rochester on Tuesday.
Young, a 6-foot-6 guard/forward entering his senior year, was named to The Detroit News Dream Team last season after averaging 25.1 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists.
Young is rated a five-star prospect and the No. 2 small forward in the nation by Scout.com. He has scholarship offers from Michigan State, Kentucky, Kansas, Arizona, Louisville and Syracuse, among others.
"I got a text this morning from my athletic director (Vic Fournier) saying (Young) enrolled in school," Rochester coach John Pleasant said. "I've never had any conversations with James about coming to Rochester.
"I heard rumblings during the summer about him transferring. I understand his family has moved into the Rochester school system and he would be (immediately) eligible."
Said Troy coach Gary Fralick: "If it is true, I would be disappointed."
“It was a tough decision,” said Eric Bossi, Rivals.com’s national recruiting analyst. “Everyone knows Jabari had some injury issues so we didn’t see him in July as much as the other guys.
“I try not to drop a guy because he was injured, but looking at the level Julius Randle was playing at versus a healthy Jabari, I thought for right now I liked Julius a little bit better.”
Jabari’s father, Sonny Parker, wasn’t too pleased about the news.
“My son fell because he was injured,” Parker said. “He’s still ranked number one everywhere else. He’s national player of the year with two gold medals, three state championships. What more could he do? The rankings are overrated anyway. In that trophy cabinet at Simeon there are trophies that have nothing to do with rankings.”
Parker said that his son is friends with Randle and acknowledged that Randle “played really well this summer.”
“This stuff doesn’t mean anything to Jabari,” Parker said. “He doesn’t get caught up in rankings and all that stuff. His goal this year is to win a state championship.”
Chicago Sun Times
Randle will play host to five schools for in-home visits beginning on Sep. 9. As of right now, these are the only in-home visits that have been planned.
Kentucky and North Carolina State will visit Randle on Sunday, Sep. 9, while North Carolina will take its turn on Monday, Sep. 10. The schedule continues on Tuesday, Sep. 11 with Duke and ends with Kansas on Wednesday, Sep. 12. Jerry Meyer of 247Sports was the first to tweet the news on Tuesday.
Five visitors in four days will certainly be enough to keep Randle busy, and that’s only half of the schools that remain on his radar.
Bob Gibbons is arguably the most respected and most knowledgeable basketball recruiting analyst from sea to shining sea. Based in Lenoir, N.C., he has been evaluating high school players since the late 1970s, before the Internet and ESPN and blogs and Dick Vitale.
You might not agree with everything he says, but you have to admit that he has acquired the expertise to say it. Some of the most renowned college coaches in the country swear by -- and sometimes swear at -- his evaluations.
…The best player he saw was 6-foot-8 Andrew Wiggins, a Canadian-born player who attends Huntington Prep in Huntington, West Virginia. Wiggins universally is regarded as the No. 1 player in the class of 2014. Gibbons argues that Wiggins is the best player in the nation regardless of class, even better than Simeon's Jabari Parker.
In the Nike Peach Jam in North Augusta, Georgia, Wiggins outplayed 6-foot-9, 250-pound Julius Randle, whom Gibbons rates as the top player in the class of 2013. He claims Randle is physically more talented and more dominant than Parker. But Randle was no match for Wiggins.
…A player to watch is 6-foot-7, 210-pound wing forward James Young of Troy, Michigan, whom Gibbons describes as the "biggest rapid-riser among the seniors." All of the big-time schools, including Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Michigan State and Syracuse, are pursuing him. But Gibbons said no one knew he would emerge as one of the top five prospects in the nation in his class.
The reports aren't so good for Parker and Whitney Young's Jahlil Okafor. Gibbons rates Parker behind Randle in the class of 2013 and rates Okafor behind Wiggins in the class of 2014. After observing both, however, he has misgivings about Parker's consistency and physicality and Okafor's work ethic and aggressiveness.
My 2012 KU Alumni games, 2011-12 Border War, Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos and more now on Youtube