Saturday, July 20, 2013

Prep big men gather at Summer Jam


Three of the top 10 big men in the recruiting Class of 2014 — Kansas University targets Cliff Alexander and Myles Turner, plus Kentucky commit Karl Towns — competed at the Under Armour Summer Jam last week in Milwaukee.

Alexander, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound senior from Chicago Curie High who is ranked No. 4 nationally by, led Mac Irvin Fire to a 59-36 victory over No. 6-rated Turner’s Texas Select team, 59-36. Turner is a 6-11, 225-pound senior from Trinity High in Euless, Texas.

Alexander’s Mac Irvin Fire also defeated No. 9-rated Towns’ Sports U squad, 75-67. Towns is a 6-10, 225-pound senior from St. Joseph’s High in Metuchen, N.J.

Alexander scored 10 points with eight rebounds and two blocks in the victory over Turner’s team. Turner countered with nine points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.

“Defensively, Alexander powerfully blocks shots like a volleyball spike both on the ball and away from the ball. His powerful athletic ability is a thing of beauty,” wrote Reggie Rankin of “Turner’s consistent motor, energy and effort allow him to grab rebounds in and out of his area. And his shot-blocking is simply sensational because his length, athletic ability and timing are special. He is also alert away from the ball and can start a fast break because his blocked shots are almost like outlet passes,” Rankin added. “Alexander gets it done with strength, power and improved offensive skill, while Turner does it with length and skill. Both have great motors and don’t take any possessions off.”

Chicagoan Alexander, who has said he has developed a great relationship with KU assistant coach Jerrance Howard, scored 19 points, with 13 rebounds and three blocks in the win over Kentucky commit Towns’ team. Towns had 14 points, six boards and two blocks.

“Alexander played strong with his grown-man strength and did everything with great power and intensity, while Towns took advantage of his tremendous size and made plays with the ball like a perimeter player. Both players have holes in their games to fill but their talent, production and determination to be special players is very evident,” Rankin wrote.

Alexander has a list of 11: Kansas, Florida, Michigan State, Kentucky, Louisville, Illinois, DePaul, Indiana, Memphis, Baylor and Arizona. Turner lists KU, Arizona, Arkansas, Baylor, Connecticut, Duke, Georgetown, Indiana, Kansas State, Kentucky, Louisville, Marquette, Miami (FL), North Carolina, N.C. State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, SMU, Stanford, Texas, Texas A&M;, UT-Arlington, UCLA and UNLV.

Junior impresses: Antonio Blakeney, a 6-2 junior shooting guard from Oak Ridge High in Orlando, Fla., was scouted by KU’s coaches at the Best of the South tourney in Suwanee, Ga. The No. 53-rated player in the Class of 2015 by is also considering Florida, Clemson, Louisville, Texas and Vanderbilt.

“The attraction to Blakeney is that he scores. He drains it from deep, is beginning to score off the drive and he’s always been a good shooter inside the arc. This is a simple game: Prove you can get buckets and they offer you big-time scholarships,” wrote’s Dave Telep.

Summer league: Twins Markieff and Marcus Morris had identical shooting stats in the Phoenix Suns’ 103-98 NBA Summer League quarterfinal playoff victory over Toronto on Saturday in Las Vegas.

Former KU small forward Marcus hit eight of 11 shots en route to 23 points, while power forward Markieff went for 16 points, courtesy of his own 8-of-11 marksmanship.

Marcus hit three of four threes and four of six free throws with six rebounds in 19 minutes. Markieff grabbed five boards in 24 minutes.

Former KU forward Darnell Jackson scored 12 points off 4-of-8 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds while playing 23 minutes in the NBA Development League’s 85-75 quarterfinal loss to Charlotte.

Pelicans shop for centers: The New Orleans Pelicans are not acting like a team that is counting on KU center Jeff Withey contributing much his rookie season. The Pelicans, who have Anthony Davis on the roster, last week signed center Greg Stiemsma to a one year, $2.7 million contract. Now there are reports they are after oft-injured free-agent big man Greg Oden.

“I think he has the ability to make plays for us on the defensive end like nobody else that we have,’’ Pelicans coach Monty Williams said of Withey to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “His length and instincts to block shots can help us out, but he’s going have to get stronger. I think he can shoot the ball a little better than what people give him credit. He can’t shoot it like Jason Smith or Ryan Anderson, but his ability to step to the free-throw line and knock down a shot was pretty eye-opening for us because he looked comfortable (in summer league).”

“He can protect the rim and can run,’’ Pelicans summer league coach Bryan Gates told the Times-Picayune. “The game is obviously fast for him right now, but defensively he’s really trying.”

Happy wedding day: Former KU center Cole Aldrich and fellow KU graduate Britt Claflin were married in the Promenade Ballroom of the Saint Paul Hotel on Saturday in St. Paul, Minn. KU coach Bill Self and several of Aldrich’s former teammates attended.


s6u6r6f 8 years, 4 months ago

The Pelicans are interested in Greg Oden because orthopedic surgeons in Nawlins need work. Rock chalk.

Andy Godwin 8 years, 4 months ago

"but he’s going have to get stronger". Who would have thought. Self tried for years to get Withey to bulk up, but Jeff thought better.

Steve Reigle 8 years, 4 months ago

I remember an article saying he was doing everything he could to put on weight but his metabolism said otherwise. Hudy spent a lot of time trying to help him gain weight as well as strength. I think he gained a little weight and quite a bit of strength but... At his age I was a pretty skinny kid, too. Ate everything and anything I wanted and never gained. Until about age 29. Now I have to be careful not to pack them on.

REHawk 8 years, 4 months ago

I seem to recall Jeff looking mighty strong the last time he faced Anthony Davis in a televised match-up of the nation's premiere blockers.

jaybate 8 years, 4 months ago

Me too.

But I did see a pic of Anthony recently and he looks like he has bulled-up on top.

Anyway, the Pellian coach sounds like he is gung ho on Jeff and just wants him to get a bit stronger, which can happen even without a lot of weight gain.

Jeff's still just entering the man-stage of his body.

Go, Jeff, go!!

jaybate 8 years, 4 months ago

Look at Anthony's upper body. He may be skinny from the waist down, but he's more barrel chested than he used to be at UK, or else the photo I saw was deceptive.

Dee Shaw 8 years, 4 months ago

Basically Myles Turner's list of possible schools he is interested in is every legit D1 school. Can't imagine as a young man having that many schools to choose from for a full ride scholarship. Hope these kids realize how blessed they are.

jaybate 8 years, 4 months ago

Wouldn't it be awesome to have Coach Self fill out his relentless schedule to include one's wedding?!!

Way to do, Coach.

Former players walking down the aisle need even more moral support than they do on draft night.

Rock Chalk!

jaybate 8 years, 4 months ago

Hope Alexander signs, but at 6-8, he is not a substitute for 6-11 Myles Turner.

Sign them both, Coach.

Turner would be great to push Embiid.

Yo, Jerrance. Dose Myles with some P-O-S-I-T-V-I-T-Y!!


jaybate 8 years, 4 months ago

I always loved Marcus Morris being the older brother to Kieff with only a minute lead time down love canal!

I always loved that Marcus, who had so much game, could transmute into a definitive garbage man four that first season. So few talented. players can really subordinate themselves and be good at it.

But I've always felt that Marcus' older brother role with Kieff was going to be something that could hold him back some until he and Kieff truly individuated.

It sounds like Marcus may be finally coming into his own.

It is an irony, but not an unusual one, that the older brother that adopted the role of the care giver and list maker and organizer, actually finds that role styming to his own self actualization. It gets him so many strokes and so much responsibility that he actually often times substitutes being responsible for self-actualizing for awhile. In turn, it makes him self actualize later, more slowly, than the younger sibling. Marcus may be in just such a situation and the Twins coming together agains, after Kieff has grown so much, as a person/player, is almost the perfect situation for Marcus to see that he is free at last, free at last, of that role (except in a certain family matters in which the pecking order can never really be dissolved).

Kieff has a great chance to free his brother in Phoenix by being his own man and playing like a champ. It will free Marcus to come full y alive at last.

Marcus Morris has a ton of talent and the heart of a leopard that has had to act like a great bear for Kieff and many coaches.

Now it is Marcus turn to become the leopard he has always been and really prowl the floor in all his grandeur.

Go, Marcus, go!!!!

jaybate 8 years, 4 months ago

So, you don't STILL don't think Marcus has the heart of a leopard on the floor?

jaybate 8 years, 4 months ago


Thanks for correcting my memory. Get me a couple links to stories about the Twins birth order. I would really appreciate it. I remember reading about Marcus looking after his younger Twin, Markieff. This is even more interesting to me if Marcus were the younger Twin. Thanks.


Don't you think Marcus Morris has the gate and agility of a snow leopard?

David Leathers 8 years, 4 months ago


You have a bad memory. Everyone knows that 'Kief is older.

First paragraph states, "A 6-foot-9-inch center who is seven minutes older than his brother, Markieff averages 4.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game."

As for multiple links, they're everywhere. Get your lazy fingers to work, Bilbo.

jaybate 8 years, 4 months ago


Let's explore this, shall we?

First, this is the Website of Record for the KU Basketball Legacy, so I am grateful, whenever someone corrects a factual error by myself, or anyone else, no matter how minor.

Second, my recollection is unequivocally shown to be inaccurate about which Twin was born first. Thanks for correcting me.

Third, you are not the first to correct me and you will not be the last. I even correct myself, when I discover the mistake first. Accuracy is good.

Fourth, you come off a little like a knight charging a chocolate sundae, as Kurt Vonnegut once commented (if I recall correctly, and even if I don't, the remark still serves), but if that's what it takes for you to juice up to set the record straight, so be it.

Fifth, let me say thank you for calling me "Bilbo." These sorts of literary allusions always improve the level of discourse on the site. And I consider myself fortunate to be interacting with someone of your erudition.

For what little it is worth, I have always been a huge fan of Bilbo Baggins and frankly consider the Bilbo-way an indispensible element of a life well-lived. In fiction, Bilbo is right up there in my book with Ishmael, Jack Ryan, Kit Traverse, Claude Sylvanshine, and Metlox Holofield.

Be of good cheer.

RockChalkKalkiHawk, charge that sundae! :-)

jaybate 8 years, 4 months ago

P.S. RockChalkKalkiHawk,

I forgot one other point about your apparent tendency to overgeneralize, when charging a sundae.

"Everyone knows that 'Kief is older." --RockChalkKalkiHawk, while charging a jaybate sundae

Hmmmm, "everyone" seems a rather too broad generalization.

What evidence do you have that "everyone" knows that Kieff is older? The set of everyone is a big set.

Maybe you could create a serial alias called Everyone and have it say, "Hell, yes, jaybate, my name is Everyone and I knew, just like RockChalkKalkiHawk says I knew."

This would at least be good for a belly laugh. :-)

And it would be some work for you to do for me, too. :-)

I will even master the obvious here and point out that I am among the set of "everyone" last I checked and I did not know. :-)

Repeat after me: I, RockChalkKalkiHawk, will not overgeneralize when charging the next one of jaybate's sundaes about an error that he makes. I will correct him in a calm, cheerful way that does not leave me looking like a bigger ninny than jaybate made himself appear. I will not charge his sundaes like a knight. I will approach him collegially and together we will raise the level of hoops discourse, rather than compound the next error he makes with my own screw-ups.


jaybate 8 years, 4 months ago

Thank you InBillWeTrust. I really do appreciate it. Rock Chalk!!

brooksmd 8 years, 4 months ago

Hmmm, I seem to recall hearing that word "volleyball" during many KU basketball games the last 4 years.

Trifecta 8 years, 4 months ago

It's not witheys fault, no white American centers succeed period... It's amazing to me!

Cameron Cederlind 8 years, 4 months ago

Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Love would like a word with you . . .

justanotherfan 8 years, 4 months ago

The German national team would like a word with you on Dirk Nowitzki's national origin...

Not saying the original comment was correct (it's not), but that's a definite miss on Nowitzki.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 4 months ago

both PF's & besides that Nowitzki's German not American.

Kevin Huffman 8 years, 4 months ago

I would say that Pekovic is tantalizing and oozing with future All Star potential and with Love out last year was showing a LOT!!!! Oops...forgot he added the qualifier of "American".

Another one I was going to say too is Bogut and he's Austrailian though he went to school at the University of Utah.

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