Monday, July 15, 2013

Andrew Wiggins awaits award fate


Kansas University freshman basketball sensation Andrew Wiggins arrived in Los Angeles on Monday for tonight’s Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year awards ceremony in Hollywood.

Wiggins, who was named boys basketball player of the year after averaging 23.4 points and 11.2 rebounds a game his senior season at Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, is a finalist with baseball player of the year Clint Frazier (Loganville, Ga., High), football player of the year Max Browne (Skyline, Wash., High), cross country runner of the year Edward Cheserek (St. Benedict Prep, Newark, N.J.), soccer player of the year Christian Roldan (El Rancho High, Pico Rivera, Calif.) and track athlete of the year Trayvon Bromell (Gibbs High, St. Petersburg, Fla).

The athletes’ first big event of the week was bowling Monday night at Lucky Strike in Hollywood.

Browne, who is headed to USC, passed for 4,526 yards and 49 touchdowns his senior season.

Bromell, who signed with Baylor, has the fastest 100-meter time of any U.S. high school runner in history (9.99).

Cheserek, who is headed to Oregon, is two-time winner of the Foot Locker National CC championships.

Frazier, a first-round pick of the Cleveland Indians, has signed and begun his pro career. The outfielder hit .485 with 17 home runs and 45 RBIs his senior year.

Roldan, who is attending the University of Washington, had 54 goals his senior campaign.

Wiggins received his national basketball player of the award from former NBA great Alonzo Mourning during a surprise visit to Huntington Prep last spring.

“Zo walked in, and, yeah, I stopped yawning,” Wiggins told USA Today. “I really owe thanks to my teammates and coaches and this whole community that’s made me feel so welcome over the past two years.

“This is big for Canada, and it’s big for me. This award definitely stands out,” the Toronto native added.

The male and female athletes of the year also will attend the ESPY Awards on Wednesday in L.A.

Block party: Former KU center Jeff Withey had five points, three blocked shots and three rebounds in New Orleans’ 66-62 NBA summer-league vitory over Cleveland on Monday in Las Vegas. He was 2-for-2 from the field while playing 15 minutes.

Withey had two straight rejections of 6-6 guard Carrick Felix, the ball bounding from the paint almost all the way to midcourt after the second block.

“He got his own rebound. I knew what was coming. I don’t know how to explain it, I can picture it happening before it actually happens,” Withey told

“Coach (Monty) Williams is all into defense. That’s perfect for me, all I do is play defense,” 7-footer Withey added. “I think me and Anthony (Davis, second-year pro out of Kentucky) can go well together. I’m not going to make any assumptions, just go to work every day.”

Morris twins excel: Former KU forwards Markieff and Marcus Morris scored 22 and 18 points respectively in the Phoenix Suns’ 91-89 victory over Minnesota. Markieff had six boards and Marcus four.

Marcus Morris hit the game-winning jumper. He accepted an inbounds pass from P.J. Tucker, dribbled past the three-point line, then went up for a deep jumper in front of the Suns’ own bench for the swish.

“I told ’em (teammates) earlier I’ve been hitting a lot of clutch shots in practice,” Marcus Morris told “I’m happy ‘H’ gave me the ball and I was able to put it in,” he added, apparently referring to Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek, who drew up the play for Marcus.

Eight points for Johnson: Former KU guard Elijah Johnson scored eight points off 3-of-6 shooting with three assists, three steals and three turnovers while playing 16 minutes in the Los Angeles Clippers’ 77-65 loss to the L.A. Lakers. Former KU guard Josh Selby had two points off 1-of-6 shooting with three turnovers against one assist in 11 minutes for the Lakers.

McLemore goes 4-of-12: Former KU guard Ben McLemore had 14 points off 4-of-12 shooting with four rebounds, four turnovers and no assists while playing 32 minutes in Sacramento’s 80-66 loss to Golden State. He was 1-of-7 from three.


David Leathers 9 years, 2 months ago

Could you imagine both Withey and Anthony Davis guarding the lane? That would be tough for anyone to score, let alone rebound. It would make for some interesting poster opportunities though from players like LeBron, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan. Who knows, the Pelicans could be one of the better defensive teams in a few years.

jayhawkmike 9 years, 2 months ago

I'm sure the NBA is shaking in their boots at that duo. Lol

Scott MacWilliams 9 years, 2 months ago

For some reason, I can't get excited about a team called the Pelicans. I mean, does their mascot walk the sidelines swallowing a 10 lb. mackerel whole???
Yikes!! Oh Sushi Q, Baby I love You!!!

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 2 months ago

But Knicks, Jazz & Lakers evoke something fearsome?

Suzi Marshall 9 years, 2 months ago

Boston is trying to set up for a chance for AW.

actorman 9 years, 2 months ago

I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, that EJ had 3 assists and 3 turnovers. That's so unlike him ...

REHawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Withey is endearing himself to the Pelicans coaches and players. His teammates will soon learn to anticipate his keeping the ball in play while blocking. That third block last night would probably have led to a Jayhawk fastbreak goal. Current teammates will adjust to his strengths after he has practiced and played with them awhile. He works well already at setting picks and blocking out. Even at this level, shorter opponents appear to learn quickly to avoid going to the rim when he is on the court. If his body holds up, I envision his playing 15 valuable minutes per game his rookie season. He is bound to bank a bundle of cash in 10+ seasons.

KGphoto 9 years, 2 months ago

I think he’ll continue to develop an offensive game around that instinctive defensive ability.

Footers who can hit 80% from the line don’t grow on trees. I think he has a shooting stroke, he just needs to work on getting his shot. He already finishes well around the rim. Dial in that jump hook. Get stronger. It should be easier now that being an athlete is a full-time job. The fact that he’s into his mid 20’s now should also make it easier to jack his weight up to around 250. Work on the offensive rebounding. Keep working, period.

He really could be a serviceable all-around center for many years.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 2 months ago

I think that Withey might have been the steal of this draft. I think he'll have a tough first couple of years, but the guy always finished at the rim and could shoot from about a foot or two from the FT line. He also shot above 75% from the FT line which is pretty uncommon for 7 footers.

I know people talk about his defense, but in the NBA defense isn't as important. The key is if you can score. If you can score consistently you'll be on the court. In the NBA these players can score at will and because they are so good offensively, defensive players still won't make a huge difference. Please don't interpret that I'm not saying defense isn't part of the game or that people like Hinrich and others don't stick around because they can stop players. What I am saying, is inside the game of the NBA all five players have to be able to score and most NBA players that make it past 3 years can score at will whether they have a good defender or not guarding them.

Preston Dwiggins 9 years, 2 months ago

I still have hope that one or both of the Morris twins will continue to excel in the league and be known by many fans nationwide.RCJH!

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 2 months ago

Looking more likely. Particularly, for Markieff.

championhawks 9 years, 2 months ago

I hope Withey stays on with the Pelicans (or any team for that matter), but I can see him having trouble guarding many of the centers in the league. I know he has gotten bigger and a little quicker since he arrived at KU, but IMO he will struggle. And with no offensive game (which he has admitted to in almost every interview that is quoted on this site since he has been drafted) I think he will head overseas and make a good living for himself.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 2 months ago

Ummm, how many teams have all that big of Centers any more though?

Al Jefferson on the Bobcats, Dwight Howard on the Rockets Bynum on the Cavs...maybe Varejao & maybe Noah.......Could say Pekovic once he likely resigns.

Is anyone else really all that "large" or "powerful"?

DanR 9 years, 2 months ago

That comment struck me as funny too. I guess Marcus still does the "five... four... three... two... one... he shoots, he scores, the crowd goes wild!" thing like a 10-year-old kid in the driveway.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 2 months ago

Looks like the lowlight was Mc - at least missed 11 less shots! :)

Looks like the highlight's Markieff Morris....22 & 6?!?!?

So - what was their planned starting lineup (the Suns):

E. Bledsoe (saw somehwere on their team site they're seeing him start over Dragic), ??? SG - maybe S. Brown???, ??? SF - maybe P.J. Turner?, Scola & Gortat??

Looks like in a lot of games against smaller lineups 'kieff would likely start at the "4" w/ Scola down low.

Marcus might be able to steal time at the "3".

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 2 months ago

Scola mostly came off the bench last season and likely will continue to do so. Gortat will play center and Alex Len will get plenty of time as well, more so than Scola who is getting to the end of his career.

Trey Hohman 9 years, 2 months ago

Twins looked awesome, like the two most polished offensive players in all of summer league. Withey was well, Withey. He disrupted everything on defensive end. Aside from three blocks, he also caused 5 turnovers just by getting himself back into perfect defensive position. His feet look faster too. Elijah Johnson looked awesome in limited minutes. Wow! They played him entirely off the ball and when he's hitting his 3's - he looked like the most versatile guard on the court. I think this last game solidified a Euro league contract for 2013-14 season.

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 2 months ago

McLemore scores 26 against Toronto. 8-14 FG, 3-6 3-points, 7-7 FT. That's more like it.

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