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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Possible top pick Embiid kills lyin’ once and for all

Kansas center Joel Embiid laughs after jokingly being asked to put to bed a rumor that he once killed a lion while growing up in Cameroon, during a news conference on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan.

Kansas center Joel Embiid laughs after jokingly being asked to put to bed a rumor that he once killed a lion while growing up in Cameroon, during a news conference on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan.

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Basketball notes. ...

ESPN the Magazine’s five-person “ESPN NBA Front Office” predicts former Kansas University players Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins will be selected 1-2 (in that order) in the June 26 NBA Draft, while Duke’s Jabari Parker will be tapped third overall.

The panel consists of Chad Ford, ESPN draft analyst; Tom Penn, former assistant GM, Portland Trailblazers; Amin Elhassan, former assistant director basketball operations, Phoenix Suns; Kevin Pelton, former analytics consultant, Indiana Pacers; and George Karl, former NBA head coach of five teams.

In its story on Embiid, reporter Eli Saslow gets to the bottom of the 7-footer’s tall tale in which he said many times last season he’d once killed a lion in his native Cameroon. ESPN wrote Embiid admitted to “inventing a story about having thrown a spear tipped with poison then carrying a lion on his back for a mile.”

“Most of those guys (Jayhawks) still think that story is true,” Embiid told the magazine. “It started as a joke but then they respected me after that.”

Embiid, Wiggins and Parker are all pictured wearing expensive suits on the cover of the June 23 edition of ESPN the Magazine.

Wiggins schedule: ESPN’s Ford reports that Wiggins worked out for the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday and will work out in Philadelphia on Monday, Cleveland on Wednesday and Milwaukee again on Friday. In order, Cleveland, Milwaukee and Philly own the top three picks in the draft.

Weight work: KU sophomore wing Brannen Greene is proof that KU players do more than work on their upper bodies during lifting workouts.

Greene, 6-7 from Juliette, Ga., explained: “In college, there’s a lot more stuff you have to pay attention to on the defensive end. I had to get in with Hudy (Andrea, strength coach) and get my lower body stronger so I could get around screens. That’s my biggest thing.

“We do tests once a week. I’ve been seeing improvement,” Greene added. “Tests help a lot of areas we need to improve. Mine was the core hamstring type area. It’s lateral quickness and core strength, being able to plant. When guys cross over, being able to get in front of them, that was my biggest thing. My feet would always cross. I’d always cross my feet first before I slid. That would slow me down a little bit. I’d get my feet tangled up.”

High praise: KU soph Wayne Selden on sharpshooter Greene’s progress: “He’s playing really well. He’s really shooting it well. He’s being really aggressive and that’s what we need him to do.”

Robertsons at camp: Former KU guard Ryan Robertson attended Bill Self’s parent-child camp Friday and Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse with children Kylie (9) and J.D. (7). “It was a blast,” said Robertson, who lives with his family in St. Charles, Mo.

Reesing optimistic: Former KU football quarterback Todd Reesing, who scored 11 points in Thursday’s Rock Chalk Roundball Classic basketball game at Lawrence High, has high hopes for KU football in the third year of the Charlie Weis era.

He was asked about the last time he spoke to the team.

“I didn’t talk this past year. The year before, when we played Texas at home, I talked to them then. They were having a tough season. I told them we’ve got to keep fighting, keep listening to what the coaches say and eventually it’ll get turned around.

“The message (now) would be the same. I think they made vast improvements this past year. I think the defense played great the vast majority of the year. They really kept the team in the game. We have to try to get the offense to get things corrected a little bit and start to put points on the board. I have confidence in those guys. I think we have a great coaching staff, great athletic director. I’m looking forward to the season. I can’t wait to get back and watch football games,” added Reesing, who works in his hometown of Austin, Texas, for KU graduate and Lawrence native David Booth at Booth’s company, Dimensional Fund Advisors.

Thunder, Spurs jobs not open yet: One never knows what the future will hold, but it appears KU fans won’t have to worry about coach Bill Self leaving for the NBA this year. The Oklahoma City Thunder recently said they will bring back coach Scott Brooks. Meanwhile, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said Saturday he’d like to continue coaching after this season. It’s been speculated that both teams may come calling for Self the next time they change coaches.

“I don’t feel tired. I mean, I’m tired today, but I mean in general. I’d like to continue to coach,” Popovich said Saturday as quoted by ESPN.com.

“Sure,” Popovich said, asked if he meant coaching beyond this season. “I didn’t think I was going to have to answer those kind of questions today.”

Popovich has said in the past he’d retire at the same time center Tim Duncan quits. He’s coached Duncan the last 17 seasons.

On Saturday, Duncan told ESPN: “I’ve always said if I feel like I’m effective, if I feel like I can contribute, I’ll continue to play. Right now I feel that way, so we’ll see what happens.”

ESPN reported that Duncan has until June 24 to inform the Spurs whether he intends to pick up his $10.3 million player option for next season.

Dorsey opens recruitment: Tyler Dorsey, a 6-4 senior-to-be shooting guard from John Bosco High in Bellflower, California, has decommitted from Arizona, CBSsports.com reports. Dorsey, who is ranked No. 7 in the class of 2015 by Rivals.com, will now consider not only Arizona but KU, UConn, Duke, UCLA, Washington, Cal, Arizona State, Louisville, Texas, SMU, UNLV, Marquette, St. John’s, Florida State, Oregon, Oregon State and Tulsa, his AAU coach tells CBS.

Roy on top coaches list: Former KU coach Roy Williams of North Carolina on Saturday was rated the country’s 16th-best coach in ESPN’s countdown of the top 50 coaches in the country. Coaches with KU ties on the list thus far include Colorado’s Tad Boyle at No. 34 and SMU’s Larry Brown at 21. Big 12 coaches on the list thus far include Baylor’s Scott Drew at 50, Texas’ Rick Barnes at 44, Kansas State’s Bruce Weber at 40, Texas Tech’s Tubby Smith at 39, Oklahoma’s Lon Kruger at 31, West Virginia’s Bob Huggins at 30.

Bad news for Danny: Wake Forest sophomore Tyler Cavanaugh, a 6-9 forward from Albany, New York, has decided to leave Danny Manning’s program. Zagsblog.com reports that Baylor, California, Dayton and George Washington are the first schools to contact Cavanaugh’s representatives. He averaged 8.8 points and 3.8 boards in 21.2 minutes a game his soph season.

White works out: Former KU wing Andrew White III hasn’t announced yet where he’ll be playing basketball the final two years of his college career. An impressive mixtape of his summer workout regimen can be seen on YouTube.

YouTube

Andrew White workout video

Comments

Suzi Marshall 3 months, 1 week ago

Happy Father's Day to all the dads.

UNC will have a big year. #16 seems awfully low for a coach with his resume.

I hope AWIII finds a place where his skills can be best utilized and becomes as big success on-the-court as he is off-the-course. AWIII is a Virginia gentleman.

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Brett McCabe 3 months, 1 week ago

Agreed....16? Kind of ridiculous, frankly.

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Andy Tweedy 3 months, 1 week ago

I still get a little happy when I see the name Todd Reesing!

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Jack Wilson 3 months, 1 week ago

Reesing was nice, but it's Mangino that created the success. I miss Mangino. He made KU football relevant. Everyone should remember that.

And he got throw out of here on witch hunt created by our chancellor and AD the minute he had a rough season. We needed a player friendly coach, we were told. One that could relate to the players. So we hired Turner Gill. All the progress in the toilet.

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Aaron Paisley 3 months, 1 week ago

Lew Perkins wanted Mangino gone after 2006 and had to be talked into bringing Mangino back for 2007. I've often wondered if KU football would've been better off long term had Perkins made that decision after 2006. KU likely doesn't get the Orange Bowl with a new coach thatbyear, but KU was in a position of trending upward that they could've gotten a good up and coming coach and maybe KU would've been a consistently better program post 2006 than what the reality has been.

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Greg Ledom 3 months, 1 week ago

Reesing was nice. I would suggest Reesing was great, and in fact one the top quarterbacks to ever put on a KU football uniform. Did Mangino laythe groundwork and stumble upon a diamond in the rough. Absolutely, but Reesing made it all work as planned. We don't go to the Orange Bowl without him. Of course, some would say we don't go to the Orange Bowl without Big Lou, but that's another story altogether. I agree with you that it was a witch hunt.

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Aaron Paisley 3 months, 1 week ago

I will also add that I agreed with getting rid of Mangino because KU was at a crucial point to try and sustain relevance and the team was backsliding under Mangino during 2009. I 100% agree that the method for getting rid of Mangino put KU in a very bad light and made hiring another tough guy coach impossible. Had Perkins just outright fired Mangino for his on field performance, it would've been justified and wouldn't have limited the pool of candidates the investigation did.

I'm grateful for what Mangino did, but it was time to move on because his effectiveness had run its course at KU.

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Scott Yessen 3 months, 1 week ago

Suzi...I read on espn that this list is strictly based on their coaching performance right now and has nothing to do with their past. I agree that is low for HCRW regardless

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Dirk Medema 3 months, 1 week ago

True about right now, though that doesn't explain Tubby being where he is relative to others. There are others along that line as well.

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Lance Cheney 3 months, 1 week ago

So Self's not one of the 50 best coaches in the country? I didn't see his name in this article. I didn't check the actual list.

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Lance Cheney 3 months ago

Never mind, I looked at it. Looks like they unveil a new coach each day. I'm guessing Self is in the top 5, so he won't be talked about for a another week or so.

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RJ King 3 months ago

It's a countdown. I don't think they're even to the top 10 yet. Relax and stay tuned.

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Scott Yessen 3 months, 1 week ago

I agree about tubby and it is true of others on their list. Steve Fisher is another that deserves to be higher

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Brett McCabe 3 months, 1 week ago

Jack: I respect your opinions on basketball, so please be as diligent when it comes to football. Mangino got lightning in a bottle with one of the all-time greatest players in KU football history. Check Mangino's record pre-Reesing and post-Reesing. It tells you everything you need to know.

Mangino may have been fired for the wrong reasons, but he already had the program on a hard-turn to the South when Lew let 'em go.

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Jack Wilson 3 months, 1 week ago

I'll be honest with you, I've never looked at it that way. So your belief is Reesing was the reason for KU's success, and not Mangino? Not his scheme, recruiting, and coaching?

Didn't he go to a bowl with Bill Wittemore, then with Jason Swanson at QB, before Reesing? What do you attribute that to?

We were basically a .500 team making low level bowls here and there but for the big season with Reesing. I'd take that.

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Jack Wilson 3 months, 1 week ago

And by the way, I am not as diligent with football .. not even close. I have been pretty distant since the Mangino firing.

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Suzi Marshall 3 months, 1 week ago

I totally agree with what you say about Reesing. During those years there is no denying the team was well coached. Also, we also had a pretty good D. I'll never forget how cool it was to be in the corner of the Orange Bowl at the start of the 4th Q. VaTech was on our offense when they changed sides coming down into the KU section. The fans were as rapid as during the BBall games. The band playing "We're not going to take it...anymore." Our D stuck it to them!

At the time, I remember all the excitement back at the Hotel after the game and several comments how cool it would be if our BBall team could do it. We did. Greatest year in Kansas Sports history.

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Jonathan Allison 3 months, 1 week ago

AWIII had a mental block at KU. I hope that he finds a great situation. If he finds himself in a place where he is comfortable he has the potential to be an NBA draft pick.

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