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Saturday, November 2, 2013

ESPN hypes up KU foes, Wiggins

Kansas forward Andrew Wiggins delivers a dunk over Pittsburg State forward Trevor Gregory during the first half of an exhibition game on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Andrew Wiggins delivers a dunk over Pittsburg State forward Trevor Gregory during the first half of an exhibition game on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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College basketball notes. ...

ESPN’s current preseason power rankings, which were released on Friday, should serve as an effective way of hyping the upcoming Champions Classic, to be aired on the cable giant on Nov. 12.

ESPN has ranked Kentucky No. 1, Michigan State No. 2, Kansas University No. 3 and Duke No. 4 overall.

Coincidentally, Michigan State will play UK at 6:30 p.m., and Duke will tangle with KU at 8:30 in the one-day Classic doubleheader in Chicago’s United Center.

Both the Associated Press and USA Today polls have Louisville in the top four. KU is No. 5 in the AP and No. 6 in USA Today.

No kidding: ESPN is hyping ESPN the Magazine’s college preview cover story, which hit stores on Friday, with the angle that Andrew Wiggins will be playing at KU just one season.

ESPN.com posted a story on Friday afternoon titled, “Andrew Wiggins admits he’s planning to enter draft next year,” which has been a given since his signing with KU last May. He’s been deemed the obvious No. 1 pick in the draft by various websites and unnamed NBA officials. Wiggins in the past has even been asked his take about teams possible “tanking” the season to be able to have the best chance to select him first.

Anyhow ... Wiggins was asked by ESPN what he’s enjoyed most since he arrived at Kansas.

“I would say just being able to enjoy my last year of school,” the 6-8 freshman one-and-done from Canada told the magazine.

Asked his goals for this season, he said: “Win another championship, a national championship. Follow in Anthony Bennett’s footsteps of going No. 1 (in draft).”

CBSsports.com’s Gary Parrish joked about ESPN’s “breaking” news story on Friday.

“So perhaps I need to adjust my opinion of what qualifies as news, which is why I’d like to report, right here and right now, that Kentucky’s Julius Randle, Arizona’s Aaron Gordon and every other projected top-10 pick currently enrolled in college has a ‘plan’ to also enter the NBA Draft after this season. Credit CBSSports.com with the scoop, please,” Parrish wrote.

Poll: ESPN the Magazine polled 87 players on a variety of topics.

Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart edged Wiggins in the “best player in the country” category. Smart received 24 percent of the vote; Wiggins 23 percent and Louisville’s Russ Smith 18 percent. As far as best team, Kentucky landed 30 percent of the vote, Louisville 25 percent and KU 16 percent.

Time for Ted: Former KU hoops coach Ted Owens will host “An evening with former KU coach Ted Owens,” at 7 p.m., Sunday at the Kansas Union Ballroom, level 5 of the Kansas Union (1301 Jayhawk Blvd). He will sign copies of his book “At the Hang-Up: Seeking Your Purpose, Running the Race, Finishing Strong.”

Owens also will sign books on Tuesday from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Crown Automotive, 3430 Iowa. And he’ll sign books before and after Tuesday’s KU-Fort Hays State game, set for a 7 p.m., tip in Allen.

For Owens’ comments about his book and his life, see Sunday’s Journal-World and KUsports.com.

Cliff notes continue: Cliff Alexander, a 6-9 forward from Chicago’s Curie High, has eliminated Michigan State from his list of schools according to CBSsports.com. Alexander, who will announce on Nov. 15 on ESPN, has visited KU, Illinois, DePaul, Arizona and Memphis. He’s Rivals.com’s No. 4-rated player nationally.

“Some word behind the scenes has indicated DePaul has a shot, but it looks like the Jayhawks and Illini are in a battle,” wrote Jeff Borzello of CBSsports.com.

Comments

Ian Emerson 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I can't imagin Cliff Alexander, if he indeed has a real interest in developing himself into an NBA post talent, to choose anyone on his list but KU. He be a one man show at DePaul but lets see their coaching staff. Lets see Illinois offer the talented competition in practice that KU can offer. NEXT

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Doc Roach 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Yes, because KU is the only school that can develop talent...which is why we have a total of two championships in the past 25 years....lets deliver sharp posts here, come on now.

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Ethan Berger 9 months, 3 weeks ago

We also have the longest NCAA tourney appearance streak and have been in the title game 6 times in 25 years. And back to Alexander, when it comes to one and done, no body really develops guys. However the list with Alexander, who would be better at getting him in the NBA if he stays 1+ years? DePaul? Illini?

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Ian Emerson 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Are you kidding me? Have you ever heard of us referred to as Big Man U? We have an excellent history of grooming big me. Can anyone say Thomas Robinson? The fact that we have 2 championships in the past 25 years is an absolute irrelevant point, you insult me with your stupid reply and please continue arguing with me about the point that his biggest chance at the NBA level would be anything but picking Kansas.

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Walter Bridges 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Like it or not..Doc Roach has a point. It's not the total of two championships, when you look at victories, NCAA appearances, Final Fours, you could not disparage the high-level of play at KU.

But when it comes to developing talent, I have to agree at least to some level. KU has put a lot of players into the NBA going back to the Coach Brown era but have not had too many players get past the supporting role talent. Even Manning didn't have the success most of us expected. You can't predict injuries and even though never back to 100%, Manning was an NBA success but no championship rings or NBA MVP awards. The biggest star from KU during this period has to be Paul Pierce. I think Pierce is a future HOF inductee but not guaranteed.

We have had a lot of NBA draft picks (including lottery picks) who haven't done much at the next level. A perfect example is Cole Aldrich. Drafted at the 11th spot, he has averaged 2.7 rebounds per game and 2.2 points per game. After only three years, he barely made the Knicks roster at the NBA minimum and has already been called out for his lack of toughness. Julian Wright, another lottery pick, lasted a total of four seasons and so far I wouldn't call the Morris twins Xavier Henry or TRob great pics either. Henry may be finally ready to play up to expectations but he was close to being out of the league before the Lakers took a chance.Other players have had success but again more as supporting players.

I think part of the reason is because we have had coaches and in particular HCBS, who have developed players who might not have even been drafted if they had played for other coaches. I don't see Withey ever getting into the NBA if he had stayed at Arizona. Even unranked Brady Morningstar was given a shot in the D League.

I think/hope that this team might very well produce a few NBA stars even though I'm not much of a fan of recruiting OADs. Bill Self will have a chance to work with and develop players who would have been drafted into the NBA in the first round. No other coach then Self could have gotten our 2011 team into the Final Four championship and that was done by a coach who knew how to develop players.

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Ian Emerson 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Everyone is generalization my argument and turning it into something so much bigger then was intended to be. Im saying that combined with our coaching staff, facilities and exposure we have the best chance out of his final 4 to develop him into a high lottery pick. Of course other schools can develop talent and I am well aware of our past lackluster recruiting that has directly influenced our players successes in the NBA. However this is now and we are in a recruiting hay day that the school has almost never seen. This isn't Roy refusing to tap into the east coast and Bill is finally getting recruits that can make waves in the NBA.

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Walter Bridges 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Wasn't intended. I agree with your comment but wonder how it will hold up without D Manning. My reply was more to the comment made by Doc Roach. I think Embiid came here just for the reasons you made regarding Alexander.

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Aaron Paisley 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Don't count out Illinois because John Groce is a good coach. He did pull 14-3 and 13-4 upsets in the NCAA tournament at Ohio. How good he is at developing talent at the major conference level is still up in the air, but he is a good coach. Cliff Alexander would also start from day 1 at Illinois and that's not guaranteed to be the case at KU and won't be known when he makes his decision in a couple of weeks. I still think Alexander comes to KU, but Illinois is a serious player.

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Jonathan Allison 9 months, 3 weeks ago

If we've learned anything from Wiggins' recruitment, it's that the recruiting experts don't know always know any more than the general public.

Somehow Borzello had discovered that Cliff's down to KU and Ill with an outside shot at DePaul.

I don't know much about Illinois since Big Bad Bruce moved to the little apple, but they seem to be the token "close to home" school in this equation, which means that they've probably been recruiting Cliff since he's been out of diapers. That said, he probably grew up a fan of the U of I. I think that actually helps KU's case in his recruitment. Didn't someone on KU's staff used to coach there? We have more than one beloved former Illini staff member at KU.

Why then also, does Cliff still list Arizona and Memphis. After his Memphis visit he had very good things to say about the staff and the school there. Probably more importantly though is that his mom loved the Memphis visit, and he has family in that area.

Whatever his final decision... he has 5 schools on his list, and if he didn't like those 5 schools then they wouldn't be there. U of I and KU make the most sense based on the limited information that we know. There's some publicly shared influence toward Memphis. Arizona has recently been a dark horse candidate for many top recruits, snagging Tarc and Gordon, among others. Their coach looks like Jimmy Kimmel, so that helps I guess. And Depaul is in his hometown. Everyone wants to be the hometown legend. The next hero of Chicago hoops... personally sounds more like a dream, but I'm sure that he knows everyone on the team, and is very familiar with the coaching staff, so it makes some sense.

If he wants to win a championship and play on ESPN twice a week, and be in a program that puts a PF or a C into the NBA every year, then Kansas is the best choice. But as a native Kansan I certainly understand that "there's no place like home".

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Doc Roach 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Jayhawk "wonder fan" here, but, based on your final paragraph...Kentucky is the best choice for him...lets try steering him towards KANSAS, shall we?

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Ethan Berger 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Kentucky puts guards in the NBA. Outside cousins, post guys haven't had much success at UK. True post guys, Noel doesn't have a body of work.

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Nick Cole 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Let's not forget about Anthony Davis

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Aaron Paisley 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Davis doesn't have enough of an NBA body of work to judge yet either.

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Ryan Houston 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Whatever Davis is a beast. A verging 23 points in has last 3 outings. If he keeps that up, he will be an ALL STAR this year. I am going to go ahead and say, that he will be an ALL STAR this year.

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Evan Bilyeu 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Davis is averaging 20ppg in his second season of the nba....

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Dale Kroening 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Someone correct me if Im wrong, but I also believe his girlfriend is attending KU. Id be surprised to see him pick the Illini over us, but then again nobody had Andrew going to KU, so you never really know. It has to help with his lady being at KU though.

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Ron Franklin 9 months, 3 weeks ago

If I see one more article about Wiggins' one-and-done status I'm going to puke. Seriously, this isn't news. Stop beating a dead horse and do some actual reporting please. The kid has a lot in his life that could be told as a compelling story. What is the deal with constantly reverting to the one and done angle.

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Brianna Zaleski 9 months, 3 weeks ago

You are so right Ron. Enough already! I think it is totally irresponsible journalism. What the hell are they going to say if he decides to stick around another year ala M. Smart? Can't we just enjoy his one year here and not have to mention how he is only here for a year, every time we write an article? Am I'm referring to G. Bedore here, not just the national guys. You would think GB is his agent or real estate broker. He's already got AW's bags packed and out the door. Mr. Bedore, you are a much better journalist then falling into this trap. Assume the kid reads your stories. Leave him with something other than the predictable drivel we get from the national pundits. Write something we haven't heard about him or his family. Write an article about his brother down the pike. Just quit writing about how he's leaving, he's leaving, he's leaving..... Smh

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Doc Roach 9 months, 3 weeks ago

This just in! Breaking! Exclusive!

Worlds greatest basketball player, Andrew Wiggins, turning pro after one year of college!!

Just for you Blown. lol

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Jonathan Andrews 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm surprised that Memphis is barely mentioned in Alexander's recruitment. I like our chances with him, but he DID say he wants to attend college with JaQuan Lyle. The pair took a visit to UM together, while we haven't even offered Lyle. Cliff would be an awesome haul, but Lyle is no hanger-on. JaQuan would be a GREAT fit in the mold of Tyshawn and Elijah. But if we continue to drag our feet and not offer a schollie to BOTH, I don't see us landing either.

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Walter Bridges 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Other than both having poorly timed bouts of bonehead plays, I don't see Tyshawn and Elijah coming from the same mold.

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Greg Lux 9 months, 3 weeks ago

KU will find out this year if they are the new #1 school for the top recruits to attend. This is our time to shine and I believe we will achieve our goal.

Rock Chalk

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Doc Roach 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I don't care if we are the number 1 recruiting school. "Just win baby", being number one in recruiting does not necessarily translate to wins.

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Brett McCabe 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Anyone interested in knowing a little more about the difference between KU and OSU in terms of basketball should look at the photo in the Journal World today.

In their exhibition vs. Emporia State, Gallagher's upper deck is half-empty. This for a top-10 team with a preseason player-of-the-year. It really is hard to imagine.

Mr. Alexander, if you are OAD, come down to basketball heaven for a year. What could be better?

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Robert Wuerdeman 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Not only was their stadium not full, but a quick check at Stub Hub showed that tickets were available for $3. Cheapest tickets for KU first exhibition, $39.

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Ethan Berger 9 months, 3 weeks ago

It is funny how the tune of KU fans has changed. Just two years ago, we hated one and dones. Now we want them just as bad as UK. NBA needs for the sake of their game to adjust the rule. The peak of the NBA was the 80s into early 90s. One and done wasn't a thing yet. Magic, Bird,MJ, Hakeem, Clyde the Glyde, Pippen and many other super stars played multiple years and most played 3+ years. Now we have new examples of LeBron, KG, Kobe, Dwight as the poster boys for high school entries. Love, Irving, Anthony, Durant, Cousins all the poster boys for 1 and done. So Nba set up a committee that helps kids decide if they are ready for the nba. If they go to college 3 years, they can declare if they choose. But anything before that, have the players ask the committee if they can leap. Kids like Wiggins won't need a lot of college help so let them declare strait. But don't let any kid join. NBA stopped the high school jump because 20 kids were declaring and only 1 or 2 could play nba ball. If a committee is established and take cases one at a time, we can avoid to many kids declaring pre-maturely and kids who forced to go to college for 1 year.

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Suzi Marshall 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Self and Cal have the best ideas about this, IMO. If a kid is good enough to go pro out of HS, let him go. However, it he decided college, it should be a two (2) year committment.

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Ryan Houston 9 months, 3 weeks ago

This season is action pack for sure. The Michigan State vs. Kentucky game will be interesting to see. I believe MSU should be the favorite to win. Kentucky has a lot of young unproven talent. Plus Izzo is a far better coach then Calipari. On Wiggy going pro after one year. It sucks to lose such a good player after only one year. I guess if you are going to be a lottery pick I can understand it. Another thing, I wouldn’t pick Marcus Smart as the best player this year. The freshman class is loaded. The only reason ESPN would pick Smart is because he is the only returning lottery pick. 2014’s class is getting down to the last few players, so big daddy Cliff should totally come to Kansas. KU has the one of the best big man development programs in the country. Though, I always think every player with talent should come to Kansas. It is the nature of being a die hard fan I suppose

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Doc Roach 9 months, 3 weeks ago

How bold of you NOT to pick Smart when not a single game has been contested. Guy is tough as nails. You know the old saying..."all he does is win". You may be right, but, I think he deserves more respect than your giving him. Let these frosh play at least a few games before you crown them king.

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Evan Bilyeu 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Where else would he go? He should really stay away from Depaul. I can't really see him going anywhere else

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