VOTE for Ben
Self said Tuesday that McLemore had some soreness in the ankle, and his status remained day to day. For now, all signs point to him being available Saturday when KU (15-1, 3-0 Big 12) plays at Texas, 8-8. The Jayhawks, who played their fourth game in eight days on Monday, weren’t scheduled to practice Tuesday.
…Even if McLemore isn’t 100 percent on Saturday, the Jayhawks would still likely be considerable favorites against Texas. With standout guard Myck Kabongo serving an NCAA suspension, the Longhorns have started the Big 12 season 0-3 with losses at Baylor, at home to West Virginia and at Iowa State.
A grade-1 sprain is the least severe — it includes mild damage to the ankle ligaments without major damage to the joint. Before the ankle twist, McLemore was in the midst of another standout performance in a breakout freshman season. He finished with a team-high 17 points, increasing his season average to 16.4 points per game. He’s also shooting 50 percent from the field and 43.5 from three-point range.
Kansas men’s basketball is the most successful brand name in the Big 12.
Sure, Oklahoma wins a lot in football. And Texas is a marketing giant. But nobody dominates like Bill Self’s Jayhawks. Through the Big 12 years, they have the most of everything, including victories, star players and fans.
Fourth-ranked Kansas, which plays the struggling Longhorns on Saturday at the Erwin Center, is gunning for its ninth consecutive Big 12 championship.
“It’s a pretty good mark, and we’re proud of it,” said Self, whose career record is 283-54. “I don’t think our players in any way, shape or form are ever satisfied or relaxed or overconfident when it comes to the Big 12, because that’s part of a stepping stone to where we want to go.”
The Jayhawks have the longest streak of consecutive NCAA tournament appearances at 23, the longest string of winning seasons at 29, and then there’s that crowd support.
While Texas, which averages 10,128 tickets sold, hopes to draw 14,000-15,000 for its marquee game against KU, the Jayhawks average 16,549 per home game — far and away the Big 12 leader and in the top 10 nationally.
“No question, they set the standard, and that bar is set pretty high,” said Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, whose team took KU to overtime before losing a week ago.
“Like other years, they’re scary good. They do such a great job of making teams uncomfortable, with the way they pressure, force turnovers, execute and get out in transition.”
…Texas and Kansas rank 1-2 nationally in field-goal percentage defense. This year, that’s about where the similarities end.
Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self is one of seven individuals in the 2013 induction class for the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb announced Tuesday.
Self will be inducted August 5, 2013, at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City along with Wayne Baughman (University of Oklahoma wrestling), Clay Bennett (owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder), Nadia Comaneci (Olympic gold medal gymnast), LeRoy Gutowski (Oklahoma City University and NFL standout), Jimmy Harris (Oklahoma football) and John Henry Ward (Oklahoma State University two-sport All-American).
“I don’t think I’ve ever been inducted into anything like that. It’s a great honor,” Self said. “I’m really proud of my state and respect all the people in different sports and different areas that have contributed to the rich sports history of Oklahoma.”
A native of Edmond, Okla., Self was named the Oklahoma High School Basketball Player of the Year in 1981 while at Edmond Memorial High School. Born in Okmulgee, Okla., Self went on to play at Oklahoma State University under coach Paul Hansen from 1982-85. While at OSU, he was a four-year letterwinner and was an All-Big Eight freshman selection.
Allen Fieldhouse is one of this country’s great sports cathedrals, college basketball’s version of Wrigley Field or Fenway Park.
History seeps through the old building’s brick and mortar, and it’s decorated with five national championship banners. When you walk through the hallways surrounding the court, you see photos and memorabilia of the Kansas Jayhawks players who helped make the program one of the greatest in history.
Even as you drive up to the place, you get a sense of the basketball history enveloping Kansas. The road leading to Allen Fieldhouse is named after James Naismith, the man who invented basketball and the Jayhawks’ first coach.
With 16,300 fans jammed into the bleachers, the night begins with a loud, rousing pregame introduction video that shows Jayhawk legends like Wilt Chamberlain and Danny Manning. The noise hits a crescendo when the big screen shows Mario Chalmers hitting the game-winning 3-point shot against Memphis to win the 2008 national championship.
Then you look down the Kansas bench and see one of the best teams in college basketball and one of the premier coaches in Bill Self.
It all got to me, and I was just there to write about it.
Kansas has announced plans to begin construction on a track, soccer and softball facility following approval by the Lawrence City Commission.
KU’s Rock Chalk Park will be located near the intersection of 6th Street and George Williams Way in west Lawrence. The school hopes construction will be completed in time for the 2014 Kansas Relays.
“This will address longstanding needs that we have been trying to fill for well over a decade and probably should have addressed as many as 20 years ago,” KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger said.
The complex will feature a 1,500-seat softball stadium, a 2,500-seat soccer stadium and a track facility with the capacity to seat up to 10,000 fans. Existing facilities were substandard, Zenger said, and the project ensures KU will be in compliance with Title IX, which guarantees gender equity in college sports.
“Even if we weren’t under review, even if Title IX weren’t involved, the right thing to do is to build facilities for those young women in soccer and softball that are equal to their peers in the Big 12 Conference,” Zenger said. “To put it bluntly, we are not equal to our peer institutions in the Big 12 Conference in regards to our soccer and softball facilities.”
The track facility will rank among the top three or four in the nation, Zenger said, and the school has a goal of hosting NCAA championships there. The upgrade comes at an opportune time for KU’s track program, with the women’s team finishing fourth and the men’s team finishing in the top 25 at last year’s NCAA Outdoor.
“Track and field is back at Kansas,” Zenger said, “and it’s time to put that stake in the ground and treat those young men and women and coaches correctly. If we give them one of the top tracks in the nation, can you imagine what we can do here at the University of Kansas?”
More than 60 Douglas County Special Olympics athletes and their families took the court with the Kansas women’s basketball team during a basketball clinic at Allen Fieldhouse Tuesday night.
Following a brief shoot around and introduction from Kansas head coach Bonnie Henrickson, the participants were split up into groups to stretch and travel from station to station. Jayhawk student-athletes guided the groups through various basketball related drills, working on skills such as form shooting, layups, footwork, defensive stances, rebounding and passing.
The clinic continued with several basketball games involving the participants and Kansas players.
“We get to do a lot of special things throughout the year but if you asked any one of us, they’d tell you this is one of their favorite,” Henrickson said. “To be able to come out here and give back to young men and women who love the game like we do and embrace how much celebration after a single basket or a nice pass – just the energy and love they have, it’s fun to be able to share that with them. It’s an opportunity to teach a little bit, but as much as anything just share some time with them.”
A federal judge has refused to amend his finding that the ex-wife of a University of Kansas official convicted in a ticket scalping scandal cannot keep assets fraudulently transferred to her in the couple’s divorce settlement.
U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten on Tuesday again ruled for the government in its lawsuit against Ben Kirtland and his ex-wife, Mary Jean Kirtland. Ben Kirtland is the former Kansas associate athletic director in charge of development.
The government is now trying to collect more than $55,000 from Mary Kirtland. Marten also refused to allow her to appeal the judgment without posting any bond.
Ben Kirtland was one of seven Kansas athletics officials convicted for the unlawful sale of Jayhawk football and basketball season tickets.
VOTE for Kansas players, team, and moment in NCAA 75th Anniversary of March Madness (Vote for Wilt, Clyde, Danny, 51-52 Kansas, Mario's Miracle)
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Wisconsin played Tuesday night like it always does - defended everything, made big shots and limited the turnovers.
Indiana looked like anything but its usual self.
It was just another chapter in a series filled with strange twists.
Ryan Evans scored 13 points, Traevon Jackson added 11 and the unranked Badgers moved into sole possession of the Big Ten lead with a 64-59 upset at No. 2 Indiana.
"We're feeling good about ourselves right now," Badgers forward Jared Berggren said. "It shows we can beat anyone, anywhere, anytime; so I think it shows what we're capable of."
Especially if the Badgers (13-4, 4-0) keep playing this way.
Wisconsin has won seven straight and has beaten two top-15 teams in four days. It is the last unbeaten team in Big Ten play.
All the Badgers needed to do against Indiana was hold the nation's highest-scoring team to its fewest points of the season, its worst shooting performance of the season and end its 18-game home winning streak.
A wheelchair-bound basketball fan said today he owed his life to the quick-thinking actions of his team's star player who plucked him from the ground and protected him from a wildly celebrating crowd.
Storming towards the players as the buzzer sounded for Saturday's stunning 84-76 win for North Carolina State over No.1 Duke in Raleigh, die-hard fan Will Privette suddenly found himself trapped in the middle of a crowd of hundreds.
Coming to his rescue, six-foot-nine C.J. Leslie spotted the stricken fan, scooped him up from the floor making sure he didn't get crushed to death: 'He held me for a couple of minutes. I was screaming and yelling,' said the fortunate basketball fan.
Link with video
An employee of the Syracuse University athletics department was working Dec. 6 on a football highlight video when he discovered about 15 minutes of footage showing football players leaving the shower after a game.
That discovery led authorities today to accuse former SU athletics department media director Roger Springfield of secretly recording more than 100 male athletes from three sports in the locker room at the Carrier Dome and out-of-state facilities over the past 10 years. The camera’s red light that would indicate it was on was covered during the tapings, authorities said.
Springfield, whose real name is Roger Cahak, was arraigned this morning in Onondaga County Court on an indictment charging him with four felony counts of second-degree unlawful surveillance.
District Attorney William Fitzpatrick later spelled out how the investigation of Springfield, 57, of Manlius began and what authorities discovered.
On Dec. 6, another athletic department employee noticed an extended period of post-game locker-room footage – about 14 to 15 minutes - on the video from the Oct. 27 football game against South Florida in Tampa, Fla.
That employee, who Fitzpatrick did not identify, noticed the footage was “clearly inappropriate” and notified a supervisor.
On Dec. 8, the Syracuse University public safety office notified the Syracuse police department and DA’s office.
…Fitzpatrick said it appears Springfield made the recordings by positioning the camera at waist level and placing a piece of tape over the red light to conceal that it was recording. He said the authorities “quickly discounted” the possibility of that having been done accidentally.
Annual spending on sports by public universities in six big-time conferences like the SEC and Big 12 has passed $100,000 per athlete - about six to 12 times the amount those universities are spending per student on academics, according to a study released Wednesday to greet college presidents arriving at the NCAA's annual meeting in Texas.
The study finds the largest gap by far in the Southeastern Conference, which combines relatively low academic spending and explosive coaching salaries. Median athletic spending there totaled nearly $164,000 per athlete in 2010. That is more than 12 times the $13,390 that SEC schools spent per student for academic expenses, including instructional costs and student services.
The schools of the Pac-10 (now the Pac 12), Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten and Big East also averaged six-figure spending per student athlete in 2010, the study finds. Across Division I, athletic spending -though still smaller in absolute terms - rose twice as fast as academic spending between 2005 and 2010. During that period, the schools competing in the top-level Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the NCAA upped their athletic expenditures on average $6,200 per athlete each year, according to data compiled by the Delta Cost Project at American Institutes for Research as part of an ongoing project with the pro-reform Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics.
…Dunn says what's most alarming is the gap within conferences, not between them. Western Michigan competes in the Mid-American Conference, where he said spending ranges from about $19 million to $28 million, keeping the conference competitive (WMU has to subsidize about half its athletic budget). But in conferences like the Big 12, the gap between relatively low spenders like Iowa State and Kansas State, and mammoth programs like Texas and Oklahoma, is now around $80 million. Such gaps create big incentives to cut corners.
"It's a great deal of pressure, because people want to win," he said.
It’s not just that the Big Ten – historically a football powerhouse – is far and away the strongest basketball conference this year. Realignment is establishing the conference as the country’s premiere league.
…The disintegration of the Big East is helping catapult the Big Ten to the top. Long the dominant basketball conference – oftentimes merely because of its size – the Big East is slowly evaporating. Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Louisville and West Virginia are all exiting the conference, leaving UConn, Georgetown and Villanova as the remaining top teams. (And it’s even unclear whether those teams will all stick around.)
Meanwhile, teams are clamoring to join a conference that sits in the heart of the Midwest — rich with basketball recruits. Fans often forget about coaches like Tubby Smith, who’s quietly led the Minnesota Golden Gophers to a Top 10 ranking this year. Tom Izzo’s Spartans and Bo Ryan’s Badgers seem to reload every year and rarely miss a spot in March. And a handful of young coaches, including John Groce at Illinois (who built mid-major Ohio into a giant killer), round out a formidable coaching lineup.
The only other conference that could make an argument for elite status after conference realignment is the ACC, which has added Louisville, Notre Dame, Syracuse and Pittsburgh from the Big East to go along with favorites Duke, North Carolina and N.C. State. Both Louisville and Syracuse are ranked in the Top 10 this year – along with former No. 1 Duke.
A once mighty beacon of college athletics success over the last decade, USC has fallen from the pinnacle of college sport’s elite programs and into a self-inflicted morass of mediocrity. In an industry in which success can often be brought, USC’s yearly athletic budget had swelled to over $84 million, putting well into the top 5% of all Division I institutions. The university sunk more than $23,123,733 into football and $4,854,498 into basketball during the most recent fiscal year alone. Yet few programs have gone through the same turmoil as Southern California has in recent years.
…The institutional decline of Southern Cal, as business consultant and educator Jim Collins would put it, came like a staged disease; an initially unknown cancer that ate away silently at USC fed by its own gluttony for success. At first, it was almost impossible to detect but easily correctable. If the powers that be could have saw the writing on the wall and slowed the bleeding, the program might have been saved. Yet USC sunk deeper and deeper into the quicksand of its own arrogance, until it realized that all it had accomplished had only come about because of broken rules and scorched earth.
In discussing the fall of great organizations, Collins cautions that we must, “Consider the idea that charisma can be as much a liability as an asset. Your strength of personality can sow the seeds of problems, when people filter the brutal facts from you.” As Southern California became enamored by the glitz and glamour of larger than life personalities like Carroll and Bush, those that were tasked with control, like former athletic director Mike Garrett and president Steven Sample, lost their ability to slow down a train that was barreling down the tracks on a collision course with its own hubris. When Garret and Sample lost their ability to stand up to the very people they hired, USC simply never stood a chance.
Great leadership in college athletics is defined by the same characteristics as it is in any organization; sometimes knowing what not to do is as equally important as what to do.
If a college basketball coach is judged by his body of work, Kevin O'Neill will be judged by 15 1/2 college seasons in which his teams won 46.4 percent of their games, two of them in the NCAA tournament.
That'll get anybody fired.
Do you know whose Pac-12 career record was also .464? The obtuse Henry Bibby. That puts O'Neill's Monday firing into perspective. Both were fired at midseason by USC. Both had personality quirks that made people around them uneasy.
Bibby wouldn't say two words. O'Neill wouldn't shut up.
Both were employed by ex-Trojan athletic director Mike Garrett, whose hiring practices often made you ask: What is he thinking?
Somehow, O'Neill lasted 113 games at USC, which is longer than he was tolerated at Northwestern (86 games), Tennessee (83), Arizona (34) and by the NBA's Toronto Raptors (82).
When you are asked to leave that often, it may be wise to work on a new act.
But that's not KO.
At 55, he'll stubbornly go to his basketball grave insisting he's smarter than everyone else in the arena.
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Is there a better team in Georgia than Tift County?
Maybe the Atlanta Hawks. Well, on a good night, maybe the Hawks.
The Blue Devils are the top-ranked team in the Peach State in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll and the Max Preps poll and are ranked 27th in the nation in ESPN’s poll -- and they have rolled over everyone they have played in Georgia.
…It took a career-tying 37-point night from Kansas-commit Brannen Greene to hold off Westover, which was led by Herald Super 6er T.J. Cromer, a former student at Tift County whose family moved to Albany last year. Cromer played with passion and heart and finished with 30 points, but it wasn't enough.
…It was the second time this year that Greene --- who had six 3-pointers, five dunks, and eight rebounds --- scored 37 points.
"I just found the open spots on the floor and my teammates got me the ball,'' Greene said modestly. "(Westover) made some shots and (played well). The difference in this game (from the first one) I think was the home court. They had a big crowd, and at the end of the game the crowd was into it.''
Still, Tift pulled it out.
"I think the difference at the end of the game was that we wore them down, and in the end we were the better team,'' Greene said. "But having a close game will help us. I don't foresee many close games in the future so having a close game will help us (in the playoffs).''
…Tift (13-2) will play national powerhouse St. Anthony on Monday on the court at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., in the Hall of Fame Tournament.
It will give Greene and his teammates another national spotlight. Greene plays the game as if he is ready for Division I right now. Greene, a 6-foot-7 forward, can play outside and is dangerous at the wing and deadly from 3-point range. He opened the game by hitting back-to-back 3s and just kept coming.
…The Patriots simply never quit and closed to 66-63 on a Cromer drive with 7:30 left. The game was stopped at that point and it took several minutes to work out a debate about the score. After a long discussion at the scorer’s table about the correct score, the issue --- the two scoring books didn’t match --- was finally settled.
After the delay, Greene took over and hit his fifth trey of the night to give Tift a 69-63 lead, then grabbed his seventh rebound and handed out a slick assist to D.J. Bryant, who hit a drive for a 71-63 lead with 5:11 left.
After a Westover turnover, Greene busted his sixth 3-pointer to give Tift a 74-63 lead with 4:49 left, and the Blue Devils knew what to do with the lead, hanging on to stay perfect in Georgia.
…Greene, who was averaging 26 points and five rebounds a game, went to halftime with 18 points with a pair of 3s and four dunks and just kept coming, dropping in 19 in the second half. In the end, he was the difference for Class AAAAAA Tift, which plays at Colquitt County on Friday.
But there’s more to the future of Canadian basketball than Wiggins and there’s more to Wiggins than what he’s able to do on the court and that’s what Drew Ebanks and Jay Irving wanted to show in their new documentary ‘Huntington Hopefuls’ which was released online Wednesday morning.
“We wanted to give people insight into the type of person Andrew is, he’s not the type of person who’s looking for the limelight,” Ebanks the co-creator of On Point basketball said in a phone interview Tuesday.
“He’s a kid who is very humble and you don’t just see that in kinds especially one’s who are highly touted like he is… I wanted to let people see the kind of pedigree he has, the kind of talent he has but also how great of a teammate and how great of a person he is. He’s got media requests coming at him, he’s got fans, they sign autographs after games and he really loves the kids so the kids have a connection to him and as you see in the documentary sometimes there’s an hour-long wait just to meet Andrew.”
My 2012 KU Alumni games, 2011-12 Border War, Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos, Late Night in the Phog, and more now on YouTube