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Monday, May 2, 2016

KU signee Lightfoot lights up all-star game

Gilbert Christian High's Mitch Lightfoot slams against Arcadia in the Div. II basketball championship game on March 2, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. Lightfoot committed to Kansas University on Saturday.

Gilbert Christian High's Mitch Lightfoot slams against Arcadia in the Div. II basketball championship game on March 2, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. Lightfoot committed to Kansas University on Saturday.

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Future Kansas University forward Mitch Lightfoot erupted for 32 points to lead all scorers in Saturday’s Ballislife All-America game at Long Beach (Calif.) City College.

Lightfoot, a 6-foot-8, 210-pound senior from Gilbert (Ariz.) Christian High, combined with future Auburn guard Mustapha Heron (31 points) to lift Team Elite to a 152-134 victory over Team Future. Heron was voted MVP of Team Elite on a night Lightfoot, who had 27 points the second half, racked up the second-most points in the six-year history of the event.

Stanley Johnson scored 39 in 2014.

“I realized I had five points, and I’m going to Kansas. That doesn’t cut it. I had to put the ball in the hole more, so I did,” Lightfoot said in a Sunday night phone conversation with the Journal-World.

He also had six rebounds for the winners in a game that became pretty sloppy the second half, with breakaway layups and dunks the norm.

“Obviously, there is going to be a lack of defense in an all-star game. No one is trying to go hard (on defense). That’s my key. I like to go hard as often as I can. I was trying to help my guys crank it up. It’s so hard to have a competitive spirit (in all-star games). You are letting people get layups. That’s not for me, obviously,” added Lightfoot, known for his intensity on the court.

Future UCLA guard Lonzo Ball was MVP of Team Future after collecting 17 points, 15 assists and eight rebounds. Future Michigan State forward Miles Bridges scored 25 points and incoming Arizona guard Rawle Alkins 20 for the losing team. Andrew Jones, a future University of Texas guard, had 21 points for the winning team.

Future Arizona guard Terrance Ferguson won the dunk contest and Marquette guard Markus Howard the three-point shootout.

“From my personal experience I’ve never seen someone jump like that. That kid can fly,” Lightfoot said of Ferguson, a 6-6 senior from Dallas Advanced Prep. Like Michael Jordan, he dunked after taking off from the free-throw line. He also did a 360 spin while catching the ball off the side of the backboard and finishing.

“Put your head on the rim. You don’t see that often,” Lightfoot said.

Howard, a 5-11 senior from Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., converted 16 of 20 shots in the final round. He made his last eight tries. ,

Lightfoot, Arizona’s Gatorade Player of the Year finished the season as ESPN.com’s No. 67-rated player nationally. He’s ranked No. 118 by Rivals.com, which is expected to release its final rankings soon. The J-W will have more of its late-night conversation with Lightfoot in coming days.

Pierce undecided: Former KU forward Paul Pierce, who has two years and $7 million remaining on his three-year deal with the Los Angeles Clippers, has not yet decided whether he’ll return for a 19th NBA season.

He told ESPN he’s “50/50” on whether he will return after averaging a career-low 6.1 points a game off 36 percent shooting in 18.1 minutes per contest.

“Each and every year for the last couple years, I’ve thought long and hard about walking away from the game,” Pierce told the Orange County Register after the Clippers were eliminated Friday in their first-round series with Portland. “The process is going to continue this summer, as I think long and hard, step closer to getting older in age. (It’s) seeing how my body feels, talk to my family. I just don’t want to make an emotional decision right now.

Trent likes KU: Gary Trent, a 6-4 junior guard from Apple Valley (Minn.) High who is ranked No. 15 in the recruiting Class of 2017 by Rivals.com, told Jayhawkslant.com at last weekend’s Jayhawk Invitational that KU is on his list of schools. Others: Michigan State, Ohio State, Kentucky, Duke, UCLA and Minnesota.

“Just the tradition and how they win,” he said of what he liked about KU. “They are always successful, take players to the next level. A lot of things they do are great.” He said he planned to trim his list this summer.

Comments

Suzi Marshall 3 years, 8 months ago

Happy that Lightfoot got 32 but good grief that was a poorly played game. If we miss on Allen, Kansas has PT available for him. However, he's going to need to bring some serious D and rebounding to get on the court. If Allen signs, he might want to redshirt his freshman year.

I can think of 2.3 million reasons for Pierce to return the next two seasons for the Lakers. If the Lakers want to pay him $$4.6MM over the next two seasons to sit on the bench.....that will keep his body healthy will making a significant contribution to his retirement account. I don't know about Pierce, but I'd NEVER retire under those conditions.

John Boyle 3 years, 8 months ago

Are the Lakers going to offer him a two year deal? Wouldn't he have to get out of his contract with the Clippers first??

John Boyle 3 years, 8 months ago

Just messing with you Suzi. I knew you meant Clippers.

Ryan Zimmerman 3 years, 8 months ago

I don't think we have a chance at Allen, honestly I think UT has that one wrapped up. I'd love it, but kid isn't looking to work for playing time. He wants a guarantee and that's what UT will give him in a solid conference with solid exposure.

Aaron Paisley 3 years, 8 months ago

Jarrett Allen is a potential OAD and is not going to redshirt regardless of where he goes including Kansas.

Jay Scott 3 years, 8 months ago

I think Suzi meant that Lightfoot might RS if Allen signs...

Allen isn't any more of an OAD candidate than Bragg was...He's ranked 20 (Bragg was 21)

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 8 months ago

Paul Pierce has career earnings over 190 million not counting this season. I really don't think another 4 million will make that much of a difference to him. I would hate to see Paul Pierce end his career like Kobe did.

Suzi Marshall 3 years, 8 months ago

$4.6 MM is $4.6MM more than he will make by not playing...and $4.6MM is still nothing to sneeze over.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 8 months ago

Your words "a significant contribution"...2.3% NOT counting endorsements is anything but significant.

Your words "If the Lakers want to pay him $$4.6MM over the next two seasons to sit on the bench..." MAYBE Doc Rivers can persuade Piece to stay but Rivers would be the reason not the money. If you really think Pierce wants to sit on the bench for the money than I don't think you appreciate the competitiveness in Paul Pierce.

Mallory Briggans 3 years, 8 months ago

Aaron why would the thought of Allen even come up......2 weeks ago the discussion was redshirting Lightfoot........we need to fill the roster before the talk of redshirting anyone......

Mallory Briggans 3 years, 8 months ago

i didnt get to watch Lightfoot but given the score ......defense was not a part of it....Lightfoot commented on wanting to score which is great .....but this kids dont think defense matters.......You want to impress Coach Self.....play lock down defense even in an all-star game....because when the games really matter it will be expected.......

RJ King 3 years, 8 months ago

"You are letting people get layups. That’s not for me, obviously,” added Lightfoot, known for his intensity on the court."

I think he was saying that he was trying to play some defense. It can be frustrating if you are the only one.

Mick Allen 3 years, 8 months ago

Gordon Lightmind, "If I could read your foot"?

Steve Zimmerman 3 years, 8 months ago

Lightfoot will definitely see a lot of minutes in PT. So many times the Ballislife commentators mentioned how he encouraged his team to practice hard. I can see his work ethic by the look of his body. He's gained some muscle. Can' wait to watch him play for KU.

Michael Johnson 3 years, 8 months ago

What am I missing here? Allen has cut Kansas.

John Randall 3 years, 8 months ago

Allen strikes me as the kind of adolescent who will milk all the publicity he can get for as long as it lasts. It's certainly the most limelight he has ever held – indeed, may well be the most he will ever have, unless he develops attitude that enhances instead of detracting from natural ability.

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