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1/28/15, 11:16 PM
Wasn't pretty but we got the road W !! On to K-State!
1/28/15, 10:31 PM
Kyan Anderson from TCU said it was the best atmosphere then added it was Kansas and that's what you always get from the crowd
It's better to be good than lucky. The Jayhawks are still more the former than the latter, no matter what anybody tries to tell you otherwise.
There's a method to this, an edge, the kind of little thing coach Bill Self probably never gets enough credit for because the focus in Lawrence, like the expectations, are so tied to the big picture. There's a reason Self wants Brannen Greene (14 for 15 on those "clutch" free throws before Wednesday) on the floor, despite his defensive issues, late in close games; ditto Perry Ellis (15 for 16); Devonte' Graham (22 for 24); Wayne Selden (seven for eight); and Frank Mason (19 for 23), although Mason, who whiffed badly on two attempts with four seconds left that would've made the prayer from Charles Hill that ended the game irrelevant, is starting raise the blood pressure a tad.
In football parlance, they're Self's "hands" team. And the last thing he wants is a Green Bay-Seattle moment at the end of the evening.
Although, if it got tight -- and it did, thanks to a 13-7 TCU run that started with eight minutes left in the contest and KU up nine -- you could already draw up how this was likely going to end. The Jayhawks went into Wednesday night ranked 100th nationally in free-throw percentage (71.3); TCU rolled up at No. 341 (61.4).
Sure enough: KU, 13 for 20. Frogs: 15 for 29.
TCU is 0-3 in games decided by six points or less. Iowa State is 5-3; West Virginia, 4-2. Sometimes, in order to get separation, or to move up a peg, you have to go out and make your own damn luck.
Fox Sports Keeler
After TCU started the second half on a seven-point run to take the lead, Kansas coach Bill Self turned his attention to point guard Frank Mason inside the team huddle during a timeout.
After telling him his backside was going to sit if he didn’t play better, Self referenced Mason’s backside when telling the point guard that he was in the process of getting his rear kicked by TCU’s Kyan Anderson as well.
Mason responded to the challenge.
The sophomore scored a driving layup on KU’s next possession, and he was the main offensive contributor for the ninth-ranked Jayhawks in the second half of a 64-61 road victory over TCU.
"He was just attacking," KU guard Brannen Greene said. "Coach was mad at him for not getting into the lane as much as he should have and not turning the corner. He just helps all of us out, and that’s basically what he did from that point forward."
Using his quickness to drive by multiple TCU defenders, Mason led KU with 16 points on 8-for-12 shooting, which included 10 points after halftime.
…Afterwards, Self was critical of his team's effort, especially on the glass. TCU came away with 26 offensive rebounds — the most ever against a Self-coached team at KU.
"We were non-energetic and soft," Self said, "and that’s not a very good combination on the road."
…"I don’t think there’s any question that — and I’ll say ‘we’ because coaching staff, everybody is included — (we) were a little full of ourself," Self said. "Because we did play very, very well at Austin.
"I’m OK with the outcome. I just was not OK with our energy or our attention to detail at all."
The Jayhawks led 59-48 when Mason made his last jumper. They didn't score again until Brannen Greene made five free throws in the final 37 seconds.
TCU, looking for another memorable victory over the top-10 Jayhawks, pulled to 59-57 on Trey Zeigler's three-point play when he grabbed a rebound of his own miss and made the putback while being fouled.
"The whole game was frustrating. I thought they played harder and obviously they were quicker to balls," Self said. "Yeah, it was a frustrating game and very fortunate that we won because I think that they outplayed us."
Nothing about Wednesday night was fun or easy for Kansas. Not the flow of the offense, which was awful throughout. Not the way TCU kept punishing the Jayhawks on the offensive glass. The Horned Frogs finished with an astounding 26 offensive rebounds. Oubre was playing through illness — though it didn’t keep him from avoiding the wrath of Self on the sideline. The frontcourt battled foul trouble, with Ellis, Cliff Alexander and Jamari Traylor all picking up two fouls in the first half.
“We got to do better,” Greene said. “We can’t play like that. We thought we were building from Texas. We still are, but if we want to keep building, we can’t have performances like this.”
By the end, though, it didn’t matter. The Jayhawks improved to 17-3 overall and 6-1 in the Big 12, maintaining sole possession of first place entering Saturday’s Sunflower Showdown with Kansas State at Allen Fieldhouse. More important, perhaps: Kansas is now 3-1 on the road in a conference where road wins are precious and scarce — ask Iowa State.
“I feel like if we knocked down half of the ones we missed, it would have been a different outcome the past two games,” Anderson said. “I just don’t want it to be something that’s in the back of everyone’s heads, that we have a free-throw problem.”
Anderson did a decent job of checking Frank Mason III, until Mason took over for a long stretch midway through the second half.
“He played pretty well,” Anderson said of Mason. “He’s one of the more elite guards in the conference, so you expect to get that out of him. We just had to find a way to slow him down and we didn’t do it all the way throughout the game and it hurt us.”
Anderson said it was the best atmosphere of the year for a home game.
“I mean, it’s Kansas, so you’re always going to get that,” he said.
Freshman guard Devonte’ Graham aggravated his sprained right toe during Wednesday’s game. Graham said teammate Landen Lucas stepped on his foot, which caused some momentary discomfort. But after getting looked at by Kansas’ training staff, he was able to finish the game.
▪ Coach Bill Self said freshman wing Kelly Oubre was “under the weather” on Wednesday, but he didn’t seem interested in using it as an excuse. Oubre finished with zero points and one rebound in 28 minutes.
This one came down to the final possession. Frank Mason III (16 points) missed two free throws with 4.7 ticks left, TCU having a chance to tie. Hill misfired, KU electing not to foul him to send him to the line instead of launching the trey.
“In that situation, I don’t think he should have (fouled) because he (Hill) ended up hoisting a half-court shot almost. You’ve got to take chances on that,” Self said. “If we could have fouled before half-court, that’s fine. The way we rebounded, who knows if get the rebound on the free throw (with intentional miss). We were fortunate he missed.”
Self did say he and his players were at least pleased to leave with a victory that keeps KU alone atop the league standings.
“We’re always happy with a win. It was an ugly win in our eyes,” Mason said. “We can get better. We did a lot of things wrong. We’ll look at the tape and get better.”
Noted Lucas, who responded well after not playing the previous two games: “It was not the best victory but we’ll take a win. Really we got outplayed in many ways. We came out with a win, that’s all that matters. Coach warned us how good they are and can beat us. We came in and understood that.”
Of his effort, that included seven rebounds and three blocks, Lucas said: “I stay with it, practice my game when I’m not playing. Coach talked with Svi (Mykhailiuk, three points) and myself and some guys about staying ready when your number is called.”
On the topic of rebounds, TCU had 26 offensive boards, an alarming number.
“Some of that was my fault,” Greene said. “Some of that was other players’ fault. We should have done better. We didn’t come out with the energy and focus we should have, like coach said.”
Greene’s not ever a guy you don’t notice on the floor. He makes plays, good ones and bad ones, but he never fades into the background, especially late in close games.
“Brannen made a couple of plays, but he also, not just him, the whole team, just didn’t play very smart,” Kansas coach Bill Self said.
“It’s hard for me to get excited about anybody who played tonight. For us to say, ‘Let’s point out positives,’ the best player in the game for us per minute was Landen Lucas.”
Or Frank Mason III, who took over the game for a stretch, looking like Barry Sanders darting through tiny holes on his way to the hoop, where he angled his body to finish, or like Mario Chalmers perfectly arcing teardrops and hitting a couple of jumpers.
But the man who seldom misses a free throw late in the game, missed a pair. Nobody, it seemed, was immune from mental lapses.
Preseason rank: Unranked
Before this season, I was going around saying that I wasn't sure Frank Mason could ever be the answer for Kansas at point guard. As a freshman, Mason was a solid bench scorer who attacked the basket without fear. Sometimes recklessly. My thought was he would continue to be best utilized as a change-of-pace scorer off the bench—like a flamethrower pitcher out of the bullpen.
Boy do I feel stupid.
Mason has transformed into a real point guard who makes guys around him better and has a great feel for when to attack or when to facilitate. He's matured. He's consistent. He's been KU's rock. And it's a good thing, as some of the more-heralded Jayhawks have had up-and-down years.
Mason is without a doubt the team's MVP and the reason the Jayhawks once again sit atop the Big 12.
CJ Moore CBB Best Point Guards
I spent a large chunk of Monday and Tuesday talking to four NBA scouts about a handful of the nation's top draft prospects. I gave each eight to 10 different names and asked them to comment on each. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, here's what they had to say.
Alexander scares me. He's a question mark. Is he Darnell Jackson? That's who he reminds me of. He's undersized, and he can't really step out away from the basket [on offense]. He doesn't really have offensive skills. I'm not sure about character issues yet. I don't have a solid feel for him. He's a really good college player who has been doing well lately. But I don't know what hole you plug him in. He's got to be a power forward, I guess. Saying all that, I think he'll be a first-round pick this year. But I just don't know how his game is going to translate.
I'm getting on board with Oubre. He came into school with a reputation that was impossible to live up to. He's got really good potential. He's a high-level player, although I think he's years away. If he comes out, I think he's a potential lottery guy. I'm just not sure about his motor.
I've mentioned that to people, and some of them respond by saying, "Oh, he's got a motor. He's just so smooth that he doesn't look like he's playing hard."
I'm just not sure, though. I'm lukewarm on his energy level. I know some people that have coached him and they say he settles way too much for jump shots instead of using his athleticism instead and going to the goal. Nevertheless, he's pretty much what was advertised. He's got star potential down the road.
I'm just not a big fan. As a guy that values defense, I love him. I think he can guard. He's the prototypical shooting guard in that he's strong and athletic with the size you need for that position. But I don't know what he gives you offensively. He's just so inconsistent—not just as a shooter, but at everything. I've seen him have some big games, and as much as anyone I've seen, he has a chance to be drafted too high.
He's one of those guys that you better be careful with if you're going to take him in the first round. He's got some serious bust potential.
Grant land Titus Power Rankings Kansas #9
Self said on his Hawk Talk radio show he’s not yet put a lot of thought into the Jayhawks’ upcoming appearance in the World University Games in July, in South Korea.
“We’ve gotten more familiar with the rules,” Self said. “It’s not the first time we’ve been over there (international basketball) to coach. It’s the first time in a while. I must become familiar with the rules and how everything goes.
“I’ve not thought about it except to use it for recruiting. I’d think freshmen coming in ... ‘If I’m only going to be there a while I can go (to KU) and get unlimited contact with the coach in the summer and play eight games where I can’t do that anywhere else.’ Hopefully in the thought process will be (players wanting) accelerated development. But we’ve done nothing other than organizational things for the trip.”
Chelsea Gardner’s double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds carried Kansas University’s women’s basketball team to a 61-56 victory over Iowa State on Wednesday.
It was KU’s third straight Big 12 victory, its first win in Ames since the 2005-06 season and the Cyclones’ first home loss this season.
“I’m just really, really proud,” KU coach Bonnie Henrickson said. “It was a gut-check, to be down eight on the road and to come back and find a way to win.”
Asia Boyd came off the bench to contribute 15 points for KU (12-9 overall, 3-5 Big 12), and Natalie Knight had 11 points.
Had the Cyclones (14-5, 5-3 Big 12) taken care of the ball, the game probably wouldn’t have come down to Moody’s turnaround 3-pointer, and the Cyclones may not have been stewing three days after celebrating a huge road win against then-No. 8 Texas. Against a team that’s ranked ninth in the Big 12 in steals, ahead of only ISU, the Cyclones turned the ball over 20 times, just one below their season high.
...Had the Cyclones defended Knight a little closer at the 3-point line a few minutes earlier, as the game plan suggested, ISU might have continued its hot start to the Big 12 season, the program’s best in the last decade.
…When asked whether energy was one of the issues that befell his team, Fennelly didn’t completely dismiss the question. And if it was, he thinks the Cyclones may have something to worry about.
“If that’s the case,” Fennelly said before taking an eight-second pause. “If that’s the case, there’s either something really wrong with the head coach or there’s something wrong with the players. If you’re not ready to play, or if you don’t have energy in this building, in this game, like I said, it’s the head coach that’s got to figure that out or the players. One of the two or both.”
Kansas 61, Iowa State 56
1/28/15, 9:58 PM
Got to see my bro @BenMcLemore play tonight. #RockChalk #Kings #F.O.E pic.twitter.com/Ew3NSVsAUT
Ben McLemore wanted to be a part of NBA All-Star Weekend, and he believed he’d done enough to earn a spot in the Rising Stars Challenge, which features first- and second-year players.
But when the rosters featuring 10 American players against 10 international players were announced Wednesday, the second-year Kings guard was not included.
It was disappointing news for McLemore, who has improved statistically in several categories this season.
“I think everybody was surprised about that,” McLemore said. “I thought I was going be able to participate, but it is what it is.”
Assistant coaches vote for the participants.
Entering Wednesday’s game against Toronto, McLemore was averaging 11.7 points, up from 8.8 points last season, when he also was bypassed. He participated in the Slam Dunk Contest last year but will not this time.
McLemore was shooting close to 50 percent from the field in November and December, but his accuracy tailed off in January. Entering Wednesday, he was shooting 38 percent this month and 45.3 percent for the season.
“I think he’s having a great year for a second-year guy,” Kings coach Tyrone Corbin said. “He’s played a lot of minutes for us, and he’s done a good job.
“I think he’s grown his game from last year, but you never know how those things go. But I love the improvements he’s made in a year’s time, and we look forward to him continuing to improve.”
The last King in the Rising Stars game was Isaiah Thomas in 2013. Thomas was a late addition to the roster, and McLemore said he would be willing to go under those circumstances.
The NBA announced the rosters for this year's Rising Stars Challenge on Wednesday. For the first time, the game will feature a USA vs. the world format. As in previous years, only first- and second-year players will participate.
The U.S. team is headlined by reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams, while the World team features No. 1 draft pick Andrew Wiggins. The four players participating in this year's slam dunk contest, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Zach LaVine, Victor Oladipo and Mason Plumlee, will all be playing in the game.
Immediately noticed this today on #ESPN someone is rocking the #RCJH love in the AZ
“Pay Heed. The game you love began here. Respect those who came before you. Make their legacy your own. Because destiny favors the dedicated. And rings don’t replace work. In this game you don’t get what you want. You get what you earn. We are Kansas. Together we rise. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
Big 12 / College News
Kentucky, obviously, has a better "winning percentage" than Kansas does: Kentucky's is 1.000 (15.4 "wins" divided by 15.4 possible wins), and Kansas's is, by my calculation, 0.776 (13.2 "wins," counting a game against Utah in Kansas City as a home win, divided by 17.0 available). And that margin is actually larger than the difference between the two teams in raw winning percentage -- Kentucky's 19-0 mark obviously keeps the 'Cats at 1.000, while 16-3 Kansas would be at 0.842.
But that adjusted winning percentage is only half as important to RPI as opponents' winning percentage, and exactly as important as opponents' opponents' winning percentage. This is where Kansas shines: Its "strength of schedule" (SOS) -- which includes a game against Kentucky that the Jayhawks lost by 32 points -- is No. 1 nationally.
And it's not even close.
Kansas's strength of schedule -- which is just the last two elements of the RPI, and which you'll also see described as "two thirds a team's opponents' winning percentage (with games against said team stripped out), one third opponents' opponents' winning percentage" -- is an incredible 0.6586, more than four hundreths greater than No. 2 VCU, which boasts a stellar 0.6174 mark. The gap is larger between Kansas and VCU than the one between VCU and Villanova, which ranks No. 32 in SOS with an 0.5774 mark.
That strength of schedule could be historic, not just astronomical. Last year's Kansas team played what was eventually seen as one of the toughest schedules in the history of the sport (it produced a final strength of schedule of 0.6244, monstrous at the time), with non-conference games against Duke, Florida, San Diego State, and Villanova, and a murderous Big 12 gauntlet to run. This year's team, which played Florida, Georgetown, Michigan State, and Utah in non-conference play in addition to its game with Kentucky, is already on pace to face a much harder slate -- and the Big 12 is even better this season.
That is what's buoying the Jayhawks, who hold a very slight edge over Kentucky -- somewhere between three and five thousandths of a point -- in RPI at the moment. (Another confusing thing about the RPI: The NCAA keeps an official RPI standings, but does not release its raw numbers -- so sites like ESPN, CBS, WarrenNolan.com, and RealTimeRPI all calculate RPI on their own, and often come up with slightly different numbers, for whatever reason. All of those reports, including the NCAA's, have Kansas leading Kentucky for now.)
So, yes, Kansas is ahead of Kentucky in RPI, and it makes sense: Kansas has played an absolutely ridiculous schedule, and is being richly rewarded for that. But no one, not even the Selection Committee that consults RPI like gospel, thinks that Kansas is better than Kentucky.
…Still: Kansas running the gauntlet that is the rugged Big 12 (with five teams in the top 30 of the NCAA's current RPI other than Kansas) is only going to help its strength of schedule, and Kentucky playing in an SEC that has one team in the RPI top 30 (Arkansas) outside of the Wildcats isn't going to help much. Kansas probably needs to run the table from here until the NCAA Tournament to pull it off, but there's a chance that even an undefeated Kentucky could stay behind Kansas in RPI.
The debate over which conference is the nation’s best is fairly low on my list of priorities this time of year, mainly because there’s no accepted way of measuring conference strength. At least when comparing teams, one might agree on a method of comparison. Or the teams in question might actually play each other, providing some evidence to guide the discussion. Conferences don’t actually play each other and figuring out how to compare one group of teams to another is a challenge.
…Regardless of what quality of tournament team we are talking about, the Big 12 is the toughest conference to navigate. Though there’s a reasonable debate to be had between the Big 12 and ACC when considering the difficulty for an elite-level team.
There are many different ways to measure the quality of a conference, but just about any reasonable method is going to identify the Big 12 as the best in the land. Only if one ignores the size of each league and focuses exclusively on the very best teams in each conference can the ACC emerge as the nation’s top league.
Complete ESPN Networks schedule
Big 12 Composite Schedule & Results
1/28/15, 6:57 PM
Blessed to be a McDonalds All-American
Carlton Bragg, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Cleveland who has committed to Kansas, was selected to the McDonald’s All-American team on Wednesday, as rosters for the prestigious high school all-star game were unveiled. Bragg, a senior at Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School, will play for the West team on April 1 at the United Center in Chicago
Bragg, who is averaging 21.3 points and 7.3 rebounds for his high school team, is rated as the 14th- best recruit in the country, according to Rivals.com. After committing to Kansas in early January, Bragg becomes at least the sixth McDonald’s All-American for Kansas and head coach Bill Self since 2012.
Kansas is still recruiting several players who will also play in the McDonald’s game. On that list: 7-foot center Stephen Zimmerman of Las Vegas; 6-3 shooting guard Malik Newman of Jackson, Miss.; 6-7 wing Jaylen Brown of Marietta, Ga.; 6-8 wing Brandon Ingram of Kinston, N.C.; 6-10 forward Ivan Rabb of Oakland, Calif., and 6-9 big man Cheick Diallo of New York.
Bragg is the first Vikings player selected for the premier high school all-star game in the country since Treg Lee in 1987. Clark Kellogg in 1979 also represented St. Joseph/VASJ in the game.
“It means a lot, and it feels good because there was a lot of hard work that went into this,” Bragg told Bill Tilton of Varsity Chalk Talk. “I thought I had a good chance at it, but I didn’t want to jinx it. So I just put it to the side and went to work in practice and in the games for my team.”
Bragg is averaging 21.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game for the Vikings, who are No. 1 in Division III in the AP state poll.
“I felt like after the way Carlton played against Oak Hill, if he didn’t get in it would be a real shame, so I feel like he really earned this,” VASJ coach Babe Kwasniak said. “But I didn’t need to see his name on that list to know he is one of the top players in the country. I am just so proud of him as a player and as a person.”
When Villa Angela-St. Joseph senior Carlton Bragg heard he was selected to the McDonald's All-American Game on Wednesday, he could barely contain his emotions.
"I almost cried, but I held it in," Bragg said. "I was on the edge of being there and not being there. I was nervous all day. That's all I was thinking about."
Bragg, who committed to Kansas this month, will be on the West roster when the game takes place April 1 at the United Center in Chicago at 9 p.m. He was in the middle of a practice when he found out he had made the team.
"We were at practice, and we were running," Bragg said. "Coach stopped practice and said, 'Congratulations to my boy Carlton Bragg on making the McDonald's All-American team.' It's so exciting. It's amazing."
"It means a lot to put my school on the map again," Bragg said. "I love this school, and it feels great to put the name out there."
…While Bragg is thrilled to make the event, he isn't satisfied. He wants to use the game as a way to show the rest of the country how good he is.
"I worked hard for it," Bragg said. "Now I need to go even harder to show everybody what I can do, and that I am better than the top players in the nation."
Ivan Rabb (No. 6) is one of the more athletic post players in this game and displays outstanding footwork and a soft touch for his size. Rabb will run the floor, hit the glass hard and get his share of points.
Brandon Ingram (No. 12) is super-skilled with 3-point range, bounce and handle at the small forward spot. He must use his length on defense to contest and block shots.
Jaylen Brown (No. 2) is the nation's top uncommitted prize. Brown is a tremendous athlete and the most powerful driver, slasher and above-the-rim finisher high school basketball has to offer.
Power forwards Cheick Diallo (No. 11, uncommitted) and Thomas Bryant (No. 22, uncommitted) have nonstop motors that help them finish, rebound and block shots with great energy, effort and intensity.
Malik Newman (No. 4) brings versatility to this team as a primary shooting guard who has always been able to create points from the perimeter. He can serve as a point guard if needed, especially in pushing the pace on a miss, steal or turnover and executing a set play or ball screen. He draws so much attention with his scoring skill set, but he also has shown the ability to be a facilitator, too.
V.J. King, a 6-7 junior small forward from Paul VI High in Fairfax, Virginia, tells Rivals.com he has heard from college basketball coaches from Kansas University, Kentucky, UConn, Florida, North Carolina, Louisville, Maryland and North Carolina State.
Rivals.com’s No. 18-rated player in the recruiting Class of 2016 played his sophomore season at St. Vincent St. Mary in Akron, Ohio.
“I’ll probably be committed (to a college) by the beginning of next year’s season,” King tells Eric Bossi of Rivals.com. “I’ll have a final list by the beginning of the summer.”
Bossi says King is “a long and rangy wing who is a pull-up jump shot specialist. He has added some strength and has decided that he needs to make better use of his size advantage as much as possible.”
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