Sunday, August 11, 2013

KU staying in soon-to-be-renewed Champions Classic


It looks as if the popular early-season Champions Classic — a one-day, one-site doubleheader matching college basketball powerhouses Kansas University, Kentucky, Duke and Michigan State in a round-robin format — will be renewed for another three years.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said Friday on Lansing, Mich., radio station WVFN, that he believed Kentucky had “a little problem (with scheduling)” that had been resolved. Izzo said “I think they (Wildcats) just re-upped. I think it’s all but moving forward.

“We definitely wanted to sign up for another three years,” Izzo added. “It’s been a great event, good for our fans, alumni in those areas (New York, Atlanta and this year, Chicago). I don’t know where it’ll be at. There are rumors Atlanta, Indianapolis and Chicago. I’ve heard different rumors where.”

Larry Keating, who is in charge of KU’s scheduling as special assistant to the athletic director, said Sunday that KU has agreed to continue being a part of the four-team Classic. KU which lost to Kentucky in 2011 in New York and fell to Michigan State last season in Atlanta, will meet Duke at 8:30 p.m., Nov. 12 at Chicago’s United Center. UK meets MSU in the early game.

“I think everybody’s happy with it,” Keating said of the four schools. “There have been discussions for a year about renewing it. It’s a matter of everybody filling their schedules, (ESPN) getting the cities and facilities lined up (before anything is announced). I do believe it’ll stay the first Tuesday of the season, anchoring ESPN’s 24 hours of basketball.”

Keating said the event has been great for KU alumni in New York and Atlanta. “And we expect a large crowd in Chicago,” Keating said of the Jayhawks’ massive alumni base in the Windy City.

KU will also play in the Battle 4 Atlantis Nov. 28-30 in Nassau, Bahamas. The Jayhawks will play in the Old Spice Classic in 2014 in Orlando, Fla.; Maui Invitational in 2015, a yet-to-be-determined tourney in 2016 and likely back to Atlantis in 2017.

Snider has KU on list: Quentin Snider, a 6-1 senior point guard from Louisville, who is ranked No. 31 in the Class of 2014 by, recently decided to re-open his recruitment after committing to Louisville on Aug. 4, 2011. Snider’s dad, Scott, told that schools on his new list include KU, Indiana, Louisville, Minnesota, Marquette, West Virginia, USC, Illinois, UConn, UCLA, Memphis, Oklahoma State, Michigan State, Xavier, Cincinnati and Vanderbilt.

Oubre MVP: Kelly Oubre, a 6-5 senior from Bush High in Richmond, Texas, who has KU on his list of prospective schools, scored 22 points and dished seven assists, earning MVP honors at the Big Strick Classic all-star game on Saturday in New York City. He is ranked No. 19 in the Class of 2014 by Oubre has a list of KU, Florida, Kentucky, Georgetown, Louisville, Oregon, UConn and UNLV.

Cheick Diallo, 6-9 junior from Our Savior New American High in Centereach, N.Y., who is ranked No. 6 in the Class of 2015, had 21 points and 13 rebounds. Diallo has scholarship offers from KU, UConn, Texas, Louisville, Syracuse, Villanova and others, indicates. Stephen Zimmerman, a 7-foot junior from Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas, who is considering KU and many others, had 19 points and seven boards. He’s ranked No. 2 in the Class of 2015.

Elite prospects: Several KU targets will be playing in the Elite 24 game on Aug. 24 in Brooklyn (6 p.m., ESPNU). They include: Tyus Jones, Stanley Johnson, Emmanuel Mudiay, Malik Newman, Oubre, Rashad Vaughn, Myles Turner, Justise Winslow and Zimmerman.


Kevin Huffman 8 months, 1 week ago

Yeah, when I was at the game in Norman it was probably ~ 20% or so KU fans. Having said that the OU fans were MUCH nicer than I thought they'd be. Less animositiy seemingly than when KU plays at OSU....maybe becase Self used to play there & spurned them when Pickens came calling with the $s after that '08 season.


David Gisi 8 months, 2 weeks ago

In the last few years I have been to games at Michigan, MichState and Depaul. People have been friendly, and some even interested in talking about KU, especially in Lansing. Real college basketball fans usually have respect for a program like KU. Probably a bit different than a rivalry type game. At Depaul, KU fans were the majority, so it was more like a neutral site game. Just make sure your ticket isn't in the middle of the student section.


Kevin Huffman 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Yeah, I've never gone to a true away game. Been to Allen, been to a KU neutral-site game in K.C. and been to three Round of 32 games (in '94, '10 & '11 in Lexington, KY (win over Wake Forest), in Oklahoma City, OK (loss to UNI! :() & in Tulsa, OK (win over Illinois) respectively).

Also, been to some non-KU games at Saint Louis, Mizzou, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Oral Roberts and Tulsa.


Have to correct myself. Went to our loss in Norman last year! :(


Joe Satterwhite 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I will be at the KU vs Florida game in December. It's my first ever college basketball game so if anyone could give me any advice on the proper procedures for going to an away game, that would be great.


joeloveshawks 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I love that we are going to continue on with the Champions Classic. That said, it is more important that we start winning games in it. If we lose again this year that would be a bit embarrassing to be 0-3. God I hate Duke.


Kevin Huffman 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Only could see us getting M. Turner if Embiid's OAD. Sounding to more and more people like that could happen. If we're pretty certain that Selden's going to be an OAD, R. Vaughn would be the best quick replacement for him....although MAYBE Br. Greene as a Soph. could fit there.


Kevin Huffman 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I seriously thought they were going to start over with 4 more different teams from 4 other different conferences. I was suspecting that it was going to be Georgetown, UCLA, Indiana & North Carolina.

So much for that.


William Blake 8 months, 2 weeks ago

The Champions Classic is one of the perks I was talking about not long ago when discussing the separation of the blue blood programs from the rest of the D1 teams.

It is crucial for us to stay in this event, as it will become a bigger media event in years to come.


Jack Wilson 8 months, 2 weeks ago

mikehawk's post above regarding OADs presents the dilemma. If we secure top 5 recruits (really, presumed OADs), are we a better program?

Is our program actually better?

Do we actually increase our chances for a national title?


mikehawk 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I hate to admit this, but if Wiggins has a great year, excels in Self's system, lives up to the hype, and is #1 coming out, our chances of continuing to secure top 5 recruits will only accelerate. If it turns out otherwise, we may see that dry up for awhile.

Frankly, I'm really surprised the renewal of the Champions Classic involves the same four schools, again. I would think it would be in the sponsor's interest to rotate in some other teams. No matter. It is great for us. I am sure there are some teams and fans from the those teams very unhappy with the same four, i.e., North Carolina, Arizona, Florida, Ohio State, Indiana, Michigan folks. Would be interesting to understand better all of the factors that go into the selection of the four. Ratings potential would surely be up there. The one common denominator, all four are known year in and year out as "basketball schools," and all four will bring in big crowds on site. No sponsor wants televised, hyped up games with empty stands. Some of the others schools I listed are still very focused on football at the time this game is played. Maybe I've answered my own question.


Kevin Huffman 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Still think Oubre's one of the recruits we land from the Class of '14 and while not THE highest ranked recruit probably the most valuable for us.

BTW - I don't know if anyone else saw it, but there was a couple of articles saying that Josh Perkins had a final 5 or 6 which was mostly like Gonzaga, UCLA, UK, Minnesota and like two other schools....KU was not on it.

He came out a few days later and refuted that rumor and said that his larger list is still true and he has not eliminated those previously thought to be in the running for him.

I'd LOVE to have him, but I would NOT love to have him for just a year. Would MUCH rather have him for 2-3.

Us, Indiana - others that he must've eliminated, maybe got in touch with him to see if they were out and he wasn't willing to give up on the big "name" programs and commit to a Gonzaga yet at this time.

He'd be at UK immediately if they'd offer him, but they have not yet. UK holding out hopes for Jones, knows they'd likely get Mudiay.

Funny, too as while Perkins has said that he doesn't want to be anyone's 2nd or 3rd fiddle he's allowing for just that with UK, KU anyway.


Bewareofthephog Fifety-Five 8 months, 2 weeks ago

It would be fun if the champions classic were to replace Duke with Ohio State, Syracuse, or North Carolina.


Kevin Huffman 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Just hope they don't keep the same 3 cities....gotta' mix it up some.

So NYC, Atlanta, Chicago last time.

Go with like D.C. (or Philly), Indianapolis & Dallas this time.


bennettcl 8 months, 2 weeks ago

This would be awesome if they renew it. I went to the game in NYC with a group of 8 of us and we hope to go to Chicago this year, if we can manage to get tickets to the game. We didn't go to Atlanta though as no one was interested in going there. I hope they don't go back to Atlanta. I hope they go to New Orleans one year.


joeloveshawks 8 months, 2 weeks ago

When can we get tickets to this years game?


Michael Luby 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Whose got the inside connection to super top secret military technology that uses wormholes in spacetime to jump ahead to college basketball season? I am highly impatient for the season to start.


texashawk10 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Oubre is the kind of 5 star player KU needs. Not good enough to be OAD, but good enough to play from day 1 and be a 2-3 year player for KU.


Steve Brown 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I am a Kansas college basketball fan and I am spoiled, have a feeling of entitlement and feel superior to my rivals.


jaybate 8 months, 2 weeks ago

• Playing a good team very early is the best way for players to get a D1 reality check and make them start listening to coaches. A win or loss means less than each player getting an early wake-up call about how much getting better has to happen.

• Self has to feel good about being longer and stronger at 2, 3 and 5 just about every game. Not saying flat out better yet; that will take some time. saying longer and stronger. Selden at 2, and Wigs at 3 are self-explanatary. At the 5, Self can by comittee go wide body with Tarik, or long with Lucas, or longer with Embiid. And Perry, though not physically overwhelming for a 4, can match up even physically and out-skill them most games. That means Self can count on playing four of five positions straight up once the guys get the hang of team play. With only the PG position being a bit short, Self can focus more on strategy of attack and bringing overwhelming force and less on masking. It will be like the difference between America early in WWII and late in WWII. Just have to get battle hardened.

• Fred and Doc together worry me. Fred obviously had O wired. Doc wires D for him. ISU WILL BE SELF'S TOUGHEST CONFERENCE ADVERSARY!!!


Scott MacWilliams 8 months, 2 weeks ago

" Quentin Snider, a 6-1 senior point guard from Louisville,"

Hey, is it just me, or does this guy sound, at least in name, WAY too much like someone who was at Mizery coaching a few years ago? I read that and it just jumped out at me.

I'm sure he's a god kid, but maybe he'd change his name a bit if he came here??
Rock Chalk!!


Jay Dogger 8 months, 2 weeks ago


If we beat Duke (and with our superior front court I feel confident that we will) then that will mean all four teams go either 2-1 or 1-2. That would show that the four chosen have as much parity as possible (with few if any blow-outs). I'm sure it will be proven to be financially successful as well. And great for ESPN ratings, and a good start to college hoops witch often goes somewhat unnoticed by some during football season.


ksuscott 8 months, 2 weeks ago

It'd be nice to beat the Dukies this year...and in coming years as well ;)


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