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.


ksuscott 8 years, 2 months ago

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

Steven Mathew 8 years, 2 months ago

The sad part is that our 0-2 record doesn't indicate how we played those two games. Maybe we should've lost to Kentucky, but that was a close game. But Michigan St was a game we could've won. Even if we play Duke close, and still lose, I still think these 4 teams have as much parity as any other top 4 programs.

Benz Junque 8 years, 2 months ago

It doesn't even matter what KU's record is in these games. The results mean nothing that early in the year. It just puts KU basketball on the national stage for elite recruits to see and puts some extra money in the KU coffers to continue to pay elite coaches and pursue elite players. It takes a lot of money to fly coaches all over the map to watch as many good players as KU is in on.

Scott MacWilliams 8 years, 2 months 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!!

jaybate 8 years, 2 months ago

BTW, isn't it about time for Fizzouri to give Snyder another shot?

Let's start a fund raiser org called:

The Committee for MU Making the Same Mistake Twice.

No, on second thought, I wouldn't want to give them a red cent.

Brad Farha 8 years, 2 months ago

I'd be all for long as we could earmark the funds to only be spent on bringing Quinn back to MU!

jaybate 8 years, 2 months 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!!!

jaybate 8 years, 2 months ago

The extra length outside has to help. But as we learned last year, the best way to stop outside shooting is with a human erasure inside (Jeff Withey) that lets the wing defenders forget about denying penetration and concentrate on overplaying flare screens and ball screens outside. Even though 260 pound Tarik can punish penetrators, Tarik, at 6-9, does not seem the human erasure type against all comers, the way Jeff was.

So: with Tarik in, despite our perimeter length, our perimeter defense could be something of a wash with last year (not a bad thing at all, by the way). Greater length this season makes us more stifling than last season, when we our defenders don't have to lay off to deny penetration, but there will be a lot more times when our wing defenders will have to lay off, because neither Tarik, nor The Designer are human erasures.

The potentially great news is: if Joe-El Em-Beeeeeeeed were to catch on to D1 speeds by January, or even February, we would have a footer with even more strength and mobility than Jeff, and with similar springs. Note: Jeff was a vastly better jumper than most gave him credit. Study the pics last year and there were many situations where Jeff had as much ground clearance as the supposedly springy guys.

Steve Brown 8 years, 2 months 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 years, 2 months ago

Non sequiturs make the bong rip longer? :-)

texashawk10 8 years, 2 months ago

That sounds like a perfect description of KSU football fans lighthawk.

texashawk10 8 years, 2 months 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.

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 2 months ago

Yes, the OADs on this year's team might be a shock to us.

texashawk10 8 years, 2 months ago

I've been 50/50 on Selden being OAD since April. Physically, he is already there in regards to being an NBA 2. His shooting will be what determines if he stays or not. If he shoots 48%+ from the field and 38%+ from 3, he will absolutely be the top 5 pick some are now projecting him to be. If he's under those numbers, I think there is a good chance he comes back like Smart did and works on his shooting.

Michael Luby 8 years, 2 months 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.

Michael Luby 8 years, 2 months ago

Oh! I wonder if I'll get flagged by the fbi for saying that?

Ron Prichard 8 years, 2 months ago

Most years I would agree with you, but this year I am equally excited for football. I hope the team plays well enough to keep that excitement level up for the entire season, but I really can't wait for this entire year of KU sports. It could be a really, really fun year.

joeloveshawks 8 years, 2 months ago

When can we get tickets to this years game?

Nick Kersting 8 years, 2 months ago

Go on there and sign up for the news. The will email you when tickets become available. Last year it was about a month out

bennettcl 8 years, 2 months 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.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 2 months 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.

Andrew Horigan 8 years, 2 months ago

I'm gonna be a bit selfish and hope for another Chicago date. There are so many Jayhawk fans up here, I love it.

Bryce Landon 8 years, 2 months ago

Or bring it to Kansas City or Wichita. Sprint Center? Intrust Bank Arena? Hellooooooooo???

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 2 months 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.

mikehawk 8 years, 2 months 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.

Benz Junque 8 years, 2 months ago

It's in the sponsors best interest to sign the four teams that have the most consistently large fanbase that put eyes on the TV and butts in the seats. The four that are signed are those four teams. MAYBE Carolina could replace Michigan State but that's it. Any other teams would make it a smaller event.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 2 months ago

Indiana? Louisville? I would think that at least those two could be in the discussion along with UNC. Of course, UNC & Louisville will be in the same conference as Duke & Indiana the same as Michigan State.

mikehawk 8 years, 2 months ago

Two, my point is through the eyes of the sponsor, is there a way I'd be thinking a change could benefit my event? What if I'm the sponsor and I decide maybe we slide Duke out this time and slide NC in? Or Louisville? or Syracuse? I guess because I run a business, that is how I think. Would you take the same position if we were one of the schools on the outside looking in, or would you be trying to justify how we should be in the four and one of the others should not be? Are the NC fans rolling over and saying "darn, I hate it they got the best four schools, but geez, were not one of those so we shouldn't be surprised by the selection of those four." Check with your friendly NC fan for their opinion on that one. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad we are one of the four. But I am surprised they are renewing it with the exact same four

Jack Wilson 8 years, 2 months 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?

JayDocMD 8 years, 2 months ago

For this year? The answer to both questions is yes.

In the future? "You do not know what life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away."

Moral of the story? Carpe diem

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 2 months ago

I would love that outcome. Can you imagine if we landed both and Selden & Embiid still stayed as well?!?!?! OMG, we'd probably be the heavy favorite.

Mudiay / Tharpe / F. Mason

Selden / Br. Greene / Frankamp

P. Ellis (slide down to SF) / White III

M. Turner / Traylor / Mickelson

Embiid / L. Lucas

Look at the SIZE on that team!!!! If that all were to happen, they'd probably lose 6 player off of that team after the '14/'15 season.

texashawk10 8 years, 2 months ago

Perry Ellis will NEVER play a meaningful minute at the three for KU under Bill Self. It is simply too big of a liability on defense unless Bill Self suddenly started running a 2-3 zone defense because Ellis is not quick enough to guard a 6-5 or 6-6 super athletic wing that he would have to against elite teams.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 2 months ago

This proposed lineup is exactly why we'll have a tough time landing a top big guy.

texashawk10 is exactly right. Ellis isn't, and never will be, a three. Not at the college level anyway. There is always lots of speculation in that regard, but it's never happened with Self. Marcus was much more the "3" but didn't play it here.

We're in that tough spot where we have both starting post spots spoken for heading into 2014. Assuming the post guys want to come in and start (good assumption) our best chance is for a kid to wait to make his decision until May/2014. To see how things shake out with guys that might turn pro.

We have lots of the proverbial road blocks. But after the 2013 recruiting coup, no one's complaining.

Really, we could miss on all of the top post guys. I kind of expect it.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 2 months ago

Not only that ideally we get a PG who might benefit from tutelage and be a 2-3 year guy who come Year 2 or 3 is NBA-ready. MAYBE Josh Perkins (though he seems to be leaning to OAD lately)...maybe Jordan McLaughlin - actually more likely as he needs to add on some weight before leaving to go to the league. I still like Oubre due to his versatility. Can play the 2 or 3, supposedly good defensively. Often you see his box scores and he goes for something like 22 pts., 6 Rebs., 7 assists w/ 2 steals while playing the "3" spot. They're saying his strength is shooting the 3 and weakness is driving to the basket. Sounds like a taller, more well-rounded McLemore.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 2 months ago

Totally only comment though is that it should be the real true "blue bloods..#1 in victories, UK..#2 in victories, KU...#3 in victories, North Carolina...#4 in victories, Duke.

Michigan State is a TV audience add-on to garner the Big 10 crowd!!

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 2 months ago

Could've pluggen in UConn for Michigan State.

texashawk10 8 years, 2 months ago

Two teams from the same conference will not end up in this field. Syracuse would've been a nice add, but since they are no in the ACC with Duke, we won't see them or UNC in the field until Duke no longer decides to do this. I do think a second Champions Classic could be made with UNC/Syracuse, Indiana, UCLA, and Florida and rotate that around 3 other cities.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 2 months 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.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 2 months 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.

jaybate 8 years, 2 months ago

Remember, khuff, Self has said he is thinking of playing Embiid out of position at the point guard for a season or two, to round him out.

Well, not really. :-)

joeloveshawks 8 years, 2 months 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.

KANSTUCKY 8 years, 2 months ago

That which doth not kill ye maketh thou stronger... or something. I would rather get my eye-opener out of the way early than be shell shocked late in the season.

Joe Satterwhite 8 years, 2 months 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.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 2 months ago

Just be sure to start a chorus of Rock Chalk Jayhawk with about 30 seconds left ...

Nick Kersting 8 years, 2 months ago

hit me up,, I will be driving down from Columbus GA to watch as well

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 2 months 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! :(

David Gisi 8 years, 2 months 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.

David Gisi 8 years, 2 months ago

There are quite a few IU grads and fans in northern Indiana, but anything IU still takes a back seat to all things Notre Dame in these parts. Most IU people I've been around don't quite have the confidence that current success is here to stay. But definitely, the closer you get to Bloomington, the more rabid and delusional they get.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 2 months 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.

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