Former Kansas University power forward Thomas Robinson, who is projected as the No. 2 pick overall in the NBA Draft by nbadraft.net and Hoopsworld.com — and No. 4 selection by draftexpress.com — still thinks he has a shot at the top spot.
“I think I’m very capable of being the No. 1 pick,” Robinson told Hoopsworld.com on Tuesday following a workout at an undisclosed location. “No disrespect to Anthony Davis (of Kentucky). He’s a great player. But at the same time, as a competitor, I do feel that I’m worthy of the No. 1 pick.”
In a private workout on Tuesday afternoon, Robinson displayed his full skill set and showed why there are NBA executives around the league raving about his game. Not only is Robinson an athletic freak with a relentless motor, he also displayed an improved jump-shot that extends out to the NBA three-point line.
“It’s just a confidence thing,” Robinson said. “I feel like I’ve been a good shooter, I just needed the time and reps to get it up and now is the time to do it since I’m going to the next level. I just want to show people that I can step out and hit the shot too.”
Robinson was one of the most productive players in the nation last season, averaging 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds at Kansas. He led the Jayhawks to the national championship game, was named the 2012 Big 12 Player of the Year and received First Team All-American honors.
Now, after a successful college career, he’s looking forward to taking his game to the next level and focusing primarily on basketball.
“It’s a great feeling,” Robinson said. “Nobody who’s doing what they love to do every day should feel bad about it. This is what I love to do and I get to do it for a job now. This is definitely a great feeling. No matter how hard the work is, I’ll get through it.”
KU’s Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor are two of 60 college players invited to the NBA Draft combine June 7-8 in Chicago, according to zagsblog.com. Missouri’s Marcus Denmon and Kim English, Baylor’s Quincy Acy, Quincy Miller and Perry Jones, Texas’ J’Covan Brown, A&M’s Khris Middleton and Iowa State’s Royce White have also been invited.
NBA Draft Combine participants list
…The fourth-annual Rock Chalk Roundball Classic will be held at 7 p.m., June 14, at Free State High’s gym.
Over 20 former KU basketball players will participate in a game to raise money for three local families fighting cancer. There will be a pregame concert beginning at 5:30 p.m. and a postgame autograph and pictures session, plus a chance to win a car at half-time from BriggsAuto.com. For information go to www.facebook.com/rockchalkroundballclassic
The 2011-12 lockout-shortened season had its fair share of ups and downs for second-year guard/forward Xavier Henry. Henry, who was acquired by the Hornets on Jan. 4 from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for a 2013 second-round pick, began the season missing the first 17 games, mostly due to a lingering injury suffered a season ago.
Henry made his Hornets debut coincidentally in his hometown, Oklahoma City, on Jan. 25. Throughout the 45 games that Henry played in he averaged 5.3 points and 2.4 rebounds in 16.5 minutes of play, recording double-digit points on six different occasions.
The 45-game season was the most games Henry has seen in his short NBA career, as he only played in 38 games his first season with Memphis, missing 34 due to a right knee injury.
…As the Hornets push toward the future with two draft picks in the lottery portion of the draft, ‘X’ has plans to remain with the young franchise, while continuing to improve his overall game and participate in NBA Summer League in Las Vegas coming up in July. “I plan on working on everything,” Henry said. “Once I get back into it, I start working on everything that I’ve noticed throughout the year that I can get better at and so it should be a good summer for me. I’m going to take a little bit of time off right after the season, pretty much how everybody does because their body’s recovering after the season. I plan on playing summer league with the team, so it should be a fun summer for us.”
Big 12/College News
Announced in January 2012, ICYMI big change for summer sessions, practices now allowed:
The Division I Leadership Council approved the final elements of the men’s basketball recruiting model and will forward its recommendations for both summer access and on-campus evaluations to the Division I Board of Directors for its consideration Saturday.
The Council approved a summer access model that will allow an entering or continuing men’s basketball student-athlete a maximum of eight hours of athletics activities per week during the summer in which institutional staff members may conduct or supervise. Of that, no more than two hours can involve skill-related instruction, for a maximum of eight weeks, under the following conditions:
• All entering freshman and transfer (two-year or four-year) students must be enrolled in summer school to be eligible for summer access.
• After completion of the first year, access would be permissible to student-athletes enrolled in summer school or those who are not enrolled in summer school but have met the following academic standards:
• After the freshman year: 2.2 GPA and 30 credit hours.
• After the sophomore year: 2.2 GPA and successfully completed 50 percent of degree program requirements.
• After the junior year: 2.2 GPA and successfully completed 75 percent of degree program requirements.
Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds said Tuesday he is fine with a 10-team Big 12 conference, but also admitted the Big 12 has approached Notre Dame about joining the league.
"I don't think it needs to expand," Dodds told CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd. "It certainly can expand because there will be people that will want to be a part of it. That's another good thing."
Andy Haggard, FSU's Board of Trustees chairman, said recently FSU needs to look into moving to the Big 12. Since then other ACC schools -- Clemson, Miami and Virginia Tech -- have been speculated as possible Big 12 targets along with Louisville of the Big East.
"We could expand to some number," Dodds said. "You name the number -- 12, 14, 16. We could expand but the question is 'do we need to expand?' In my mind, 10 is perfect because you play everybody in football and there is a double-round-robin in basketball.
"When we get into whatever system we get in for a championship, I think those coaches that play in a conference championship are going to say 'What in the world are we doing?' "
One expansion target of the Big 12 remains Notre Dame. On Monday, Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey told CBSSports.com that the Fighting Irish have "contingency plans" if they decide to leave the Big East.
Dodds said league representatives have had discussions with Notre Dame as far back as August 2010 about putting the Irish's Olympic sports in the Big 12. Notre Dame's Olympic sports have been in the Big East since 1995.
"Notre Dame has options," Dodds said. "I think they love their position. I certainly think they can continue to do what they're doing and do it well and be a major player. But they have options.
"We've talked to Notre Dame about the Big 12 ... They could put some football here [by playing a few non-conference games against Big 12 opponents]."
In realignment politics, college basketball programs are the constituents with less cash, and therefore the constituents with little-to-no juice. They are forced to operate within the conference framework that football has wrought -- and football does not care about the quality of any other sport. All of this short-sighted gerrymandering is bound to have a serious effect on the hoops landscape.
What I aim to do, at least before Clemson and Florida State get lassoed up by the Big 12, is use the 2013-14 alignments to forecast a new conference pecking order in college basketball. Will there still be six dominant leagues, cycling in and out of power? Will the gains made by a few conferences offset the losses of others?
My preferred measure of conference strength is using the Pythagorean expectations formula from kenpom.com, which averages the adjusted offensive and defensive efficiencies for an entire league, and generates a projected winning percentage. (There are other, less scientific methods -- say, comparing leagues' NCAA tournament bids and wins each season -- but this is the best way to gauge top-to-bottom quality of play.) The idea is to compare what actually happened over the past 10 seasons against what the stats say would have happened, had the past 10 seasons played out under the new alignments. Would the realigned Big East have been in the same ballpark as the actual Big East? No, it turns out, not at all.
SI Luke Winn
Don't be surprised if Kansas State becomes next year's Missouri. Wildcats return a ton of key parts + should flourish under Bruce Weber.
It's not identical but Bruce Weber's situation in taking over Kansas State is similar to when he took over Illinois. Both teams ready 2 win.
TSN Mike DeCourcy's preseason Top 25 (KU #15? OK Mike. Did you sleep through 2011-12?)
Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford embraced the expectations when he was named men's basketball coach.
So, when those expectations are not met, Ford is the first to admit it.
"I wanted to do better," said Ford during an interview following the season.
OSU suffered through its first losing season in 24 years.
The Cowboys were wrecked by what seemed to be an unending number of injuries and got hammered during a challenging nonconference schedule.
"It was too much," said Ford.
Ford gets mixed reviews after four years as OSU's coach.
Expectations for next year's team are likely to be rather lofty. OSU's got a handful of talented players coming back to go with another highly regarded recruiting class.
Next year's Cowboys will have two high school All-Americans (Le'Bryan Nash and Marcus Smart) for only the second time in school history (Byron Eaton and James Anderson played together for two years).
Although OSU loses Keiton Page, the Cowboys should have their most athletic team since perhaps the 2005 Sweet Sixteen team.
SI: Top 10 impact transfers
A year after a late-game fight between rivals Cincinnati and Xavier led to multiple suspensions, the two sides will meet on a neutral court, according to a report by the Cincinnati Enquirer‘s Bill Koch.
The game will be held in U.S. Bank Arena in mid-December and broadcast on ESPN, Koch reported.
After last season’s brawl, the schools agreed to move the game to a neutral court for two years and then reevaluate the situation.
2012-13 Early Season Events List
One of Trinity Christian basketball coach Heath Vandevender's young daughters, Aubrey, is sitting on the front row of bleachers in the Pine Forest High School gym on a recent weekday night.
She looks at the court, then turns back to face her father, who is a few rows higher.
"It's like a family reunion," Aubrey says.
Wearing dark jerseys are members of the North Carolina Force travel team, a group of rising seniors coached by Rodney Scott. The players in white Force T-shirts are noticeably bigger and older. Many are alums of both Trinity Christian and the Force, guys who are home from college and in Pine Forest's gym for a friendly scrimmage.
The standoff for the opening tip involves Damontre Harris and Dalvon McDaniel, the first a 6-foot-9 Division I standout and the latter a 6-6 prospect with Division I potential.
Past vs. present.
Not surprisingly, Harris wins the tip, although Scott, acting as an official, calls Harris' team for a three-second violation on the first possession.
…Harris throws down a two-handed dunk to put his team ahead 13-7. He subs out shortly thereafter, sitting alone near the baseline on the fourth row of bleachers.
He's the shining example of what's possible, a role model for many of these teenagers, some who have had missteps along the way but continue to chase their dreams.
Harris earned a scholarship to South Carolina and made the SEC all-defensive team as a sophomore. A coaching change precipitated his decision to transfer, and here he is, one day after his 21st birthday, playing pickup ball with old friends while a life-changing decision looms.
He's choosing between Kansas and Florida, major-conference powers that have combined for three of the last seven national championships.
"They're both great programs," Harris says. "Wherever my heart takes me, wherever my heart feels I need to be, that's what I'm going to go with."
When Jabari Parker walks onto a basketball court, all eyes turn his way. Fans, media and coaches from all the major college powers are not far away when he’s playing on the AAU circuit.
“I’m getting used to it,” Parker said with a smile.
The Chicago Simeon Career Academy forward is rated the No. 1 player in the 2013 class by all the major scouting services, some analysts even calling him the best high school player in any class.
All the elite colleges want Parker, but he doesn’t often talk about recruiting and has not floated a list of favorites. He confirmed he is considering “about 15” schools, including Duke, Michigan State, Kentucky, Kansas and Louisville. He says it is “too early to say” he has a leader.
Spring/Summer Event Schedule
adidas Grassroots schedule
Nike EYBL Schedule
Check here for the NCAA Recruiting Calendar
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