April 8-15: News Headlines

  • ###H.H. prep guard Graham plans Kansas visit###

    Devonte Graham, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound senior point guard from Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, will make an official recruiting visit to Kansas University on Friday, Brewster coach Jason Smith reported Sunday on Twitter.

    Graham, who recently was released from his letter-of-intent at Appalachian State, will visit North Carolina State a week from today. Graham also is considering Virginia, Virginia Tech, Providence and Xavier. Graham is currently unranked in the Class of 2014 by Rivals.com.

    ###KU signees help USA squad to victory at Summit###

    Kansas University basketball signee Kelly Oubre scored 14 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished three assists in the United States Junior National Select Team’s 84-73 victory over an international 19-and-under squad at Saturday’s Nike Hoops Summit in Portland, Ore.

    Oubre, a senior shooting guard from Findlay Prep High in Henderson, Nev., hit five of 11 shots and was 2-of-7 from three-point range.

    ###Kansas hoops signees reach Summit###

    The United States Junior National Select Basketball Team will try to snap a two-year losing streak against a collection of international high school players 19 and under during tonight’s Nike Hoops Summit, set for a 6 p.m. tip on ESPN2, in Portland, Ore.

    “Everybody knows that we have to come out here and win Saturday,” KU signee Cliff Alexander told USAbasketball.com.

    ###Signees Alexander, Oubre add to awards###

    Kansas University signees Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre have been named first-team All-America by USA Today, the paper announced this week.

    Oubre and Alexander were joined on the first team by national player of the year Jahlil Okafor, a Duke signee from Chicago’s Whitney Young High; Emmanuel Mudiay, a SMU signee from Dallas’ Prime Prep Academy and Stanley Johnson, an Arizona signee from Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, Calif.

    ###Replacing Joel Embiid, KU’s point guard problem, and Frank Haith’s problems###

    You saw where Joel Embiid will enter the NBA draft, which really wasn’t a tough decision, and often this is where a college program can spin its wheels a bit. It’s easy when you sign Andrew Wiggins, and everybody knows going in that he’s gone after a year. It’s harder when you sign Embiid, think he’ll be there two or three, but then the kid takes off so quick it’s only one.

    ###Jay Bilas ranks next seasons top title contenders###

    No. 3. Kansas Jayhawks If Andrew Wiggins comes back … isn’t that fun?! Wiggins and Joel Embiid are gone, and Wayne Selden Jr. is probably thinking about it, too. It doesn’t matter. The only guy Kansas needs to worry about returning every season is Bill Self. Selden will come back, have a monster season, and Perry Ellis will be one of the best big guys in the Big 12. With freshmen Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre coming in, Kansas will still be very good.>

    ###Self: Embiid would have been focus###

    Joel Embiid would have been the focal point of Kansas University’s basketball team his sophomore season … had the 7-footer from Cameroon stuck around for a sophomore season.

    “I think he could do anything,” KU coach Bill Self said of the 20-year-old Embiid, who Wednesday declared for the 2014 NBA Draft. “He could be our best pick-and-pop guy. He could be maybe our best passer. He would have had many opportunities to show what he could do. If you saw him practice on a daily basis, you’d be amazed on how quick he picks stuff up. I think with a little bit of time he can do a little bit of everything, a lot of everything.”

    ###Playing it ‘safe’:Embiid chooses NBA’s millions###

    Kansas University freshman Joel Embiid spoke several times the past couple of weeks with his friend and mentor, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

    He chatted once with retired NBA Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon, as well as Nicolas Batum of the Portland Trail Blazers.

    ###Joel Embiid top 5? Puh-lease###

    Every time I hear someone say that Joel Embiid will be a top-five pick in the next NBA Draft, I wonder if I have missed something.

    ###Bye bye JoJo###

    Kansas University freshman center Joel Embiid has put himself in position to make a prophet out of KU coach Bill Self by tossing his name into the ring for the 2014 NBA Draft.

    Embiid, a 7-footer from Cameroon who averaged 11.2 points and 8.1 rebounds for KU in 28 games during the 2013-14 season, announced his intention to turn pro at the Allen Fieldhouse media room this afternoon with several coaches and teammates in attendance.

    ###Should Embiid go #1?###

    Kansas freshman Joel Embiid announced on Wednesday his intention to enter the 2014 NBA draft. Embiid isn’t a lock for the No. 1 pick overall, but it’s very likely he’ll go in the top three. To help readers get to know top NBA draft prospects, Insider offers a 360-degree look at many of them in a scouting report featuring three expert perspectives: Kevin Pelton (analytics), Amin Elhassan (scouting) and Chad Ford (NBA front offices).

    ###Joel Embiid to announce future plans at 2pm news conference wednesday###

    Kansas University freshman center Joel Embiid will hold a news conference to announce his future plans at 2 p.m. Wednesday, coach Bill Self said Tuesday night.

    The news conference, which will be held in the media room in Allen Fieldhouse, is closed to the public.

    ###Myles Turner###

    Myles Turner is currently the best high school basketball player in the country who is not committed to college, and it seems he is getting nearer to a decision.

    “After the Jordan Brand Classic, I’m going to sit down with my family and do my best to set a date to commit,” Turner said Wednesday during the McDonald’s All American Game.

    ###Embiid waits; public wonders###

    In most cities, “Hello, how are you?” is the most commonly asked question, although it’s really more of a greeting than a question. Nobody listens to the auto-answer.

    In Lawrence, it ranks a distant second to the runaway winner: “Why hasn’t Joel Embiid announced his decision yet?” The implied, though not stated, finish to that sentence is, “so that I can get on with my life already.”

    ###Most likely 2014-15 All-Americans###

    Now that the 2013-14 season is behind us, we’ll wave goodbye to stars such as Shabazz Napier and Doug McDermott. So who will fill their shoes as the best players in the game in 2014-15?

    It’s time to look at the top potential All-American teams for the upcoming campaign. We’re not including guys such as Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood, Willie Cauley-Stein and even Nick Johnson and Jordan Adams, as we anticipate they will take a shot at the NBA.

    ###Too early top 25 recruiting primer###

    Nine. Kansas Jayhawks The bad news for the Jayhawks is that they are losing Andrew Wiggins – and possibly Joel Embiid – to the NBA. The good news is that they have two impact players coming to Lawrence next season. Cliff Alexander, the nation’s No. 1 power forward, will bring Bill Self a post who will be able to impact games right away with his rebounding, shot-blocking and scoring in the paint. Kelly Oubre is a big wing who will defend with his 7-foot-3 wing span and convert to offense to finish a play with explosion and flare. Oubre can beat opponents at the rim and also behind the arc, knocking down open 3-pointers. With the country’s No. 8 recruiting class already in tow, the Jayhawks are still pursuing No. 2 prospect Myles Turner, who recently visited Lawrence. If they land him, they could be a Final Four team in 2015. – Paul Biancardi

    ###College basketball coaches adapt Jayhawk go-to-play###

    The play that resulted in Mario Chalmers’ overtime-inducing three-point basket in Kansas University’s 2008 NCAA title-game victory over Memphis now is referred to as “America’s Play.”

    ESPN announcer Fran Fraschilla devised that term for KU coach Bill Self’s “Chop” play — one that was featured on Monday in a story at Deadspin.com.

    ###2014 NBA draft big board 8.0###

    The men’s NCAA season ended on Monday night and the Connecticut Huskies are the national champions.

    A lot has happened since our previous Big Board update, which was in February. NBA draft stock has risen and fallen thanks to a number of factors such as injuries, conference play, and performance in the NCAA tournament.

    ###Markieff Morris a leading candidate for the NBA sixth man award###

    Don’t be surprised in a few weeks if you see the following phrase scroll across the bottom of your television screen or pop up on your social media feeds: Phoenix’s Markieff Morris named NBA Sixth Man of the Year.

    All season long, the Suns — expected by some to be one of the worst teams in the league — have surprised the rest of the Association. But it didn’t take long for it to become abundantly clear their early-season success wasn’t a fluke. Now Phoenix (46-31), fresh off a 122-115 home win over Oklahoma City on Sunday night, has a legit shot at claiming one of the final three playoff spots in the highly competitive Western Conference.

  • Embiid has a difficult decision to make: be a local God or make millions in the NBA. What to do? You can only be a kid once (it gets creepy the older you get - Michael Jackson), but you also may only get one chance to be a top 3 pick in the NBA.

  • Good to see Markieff having a good season. I check the box scores most days of the former Jayhawks (and Badgers) out there.

    Things are generally looking up.

    Marcus has also earned more PT with production off the bench. He’s more than a benchwarmer for Phoenix.

    Xavier has had a sort of breakout season, but he’s done for the season.

    Darrell has been earning more PT at Denver, seems to be playing the best he has since his serious knee injury.

    Drew Gooden has been picked up by Washington. And he’s producing again. I’ve never understood why he’s been with so many teams, seemingly a new team every year.

    Withey has been earning more playing time, but is not being asked to score at all, just play defense and rebound.

    Which brings us to Nick. His PT is diminishing just a bit, but he seems to be the valuable off the bench guy he always has for that team. And I’d really like to see him get a ring this year before it’s too late.

    Kirk has been starting for the Bulls, recently stated he’d like to finish his career there. Thibidoux has got to be one of the top two coaches in the NBA I’d say for the job he’s done the last two seasons without their former MVP.

    Mario is near career highs in pts and asts. Another ring or two for him seems inevitable. Did anyone see where he said he would have liked to have gone to UNC but they didn’t offer him? It wasn’t a statement like he was disappointed to come to KU either, just reveals his choice at the time.

    Cole is earning a few minutes on that crappy Knick team.

    Paul is wrapping up a Hall of Fame career in NY with the Nets. Still producing, but not as much.

    BMac seems to be finding his shooting touch a bit but I’m guessing the Kings would like to see him much more consistent in his shooting.

    TRob has found a niche on a pretty good team and is producing some decent numbers for an off the bench guy. Not sure he’ll ever be a starter from what it looks like, but I hope I’m wrong.

    It seems I’m forgetting someone but our guys are all showing why they were great at KU and valuable to the NBA.

  • @wissoxfan83 Rock chalk NBA Jayhawks! Our tree of jhawk coaches seems to be growing too. Great group!!!

  • @wissoxfan83 Thanks for the rundown!

    As long as TRob is stuck behind Aldridge, you’re right he won’t be starting. But I could see him starting in the right situation.

    That’s what so much of the NBA is about (for non-stars anyway) - being on the right team at the right time. Think about Chalmers. If he had landed on a team with a great PG, his career could have turned out very different. Xavier finally got a shot at some decent PT this season and like you said was having a breakout season. I’m hoping at some point Tyshawn gets a shot at an extended look somewhere. Maybe that’s who you thought you were forgetting, but he’s down in the D-League right now

  • @icthawkfan316 I follow TT on twitter, I’m hoping he gets back on a team. He seems to be doing really well! I also wish Sherron could get something going.

  • I’m on pins and needles. Does anyone know if the full court press has been put on Turner (recruitment) yet? If not maybe there’s hope…

  • @dylans I think he’s been waiting on Embiids decision. Probably know soon! Sounds like everyone is saying Embiid is gone!

  • @icthawkfan316

    Brandon Rush, I was just looking at scores and realized.

    He has been struggling in his return from the knee injury. He’s such a good player I really hope he can get some more good years in. He remains one of my favorite Jayhawks of all time.

  • @wissoxfan83

    Rush was putting solid numbers for the Warriors until the ACL injury. His trade to Utah was disaster for him and I ma sure he will be playing somewhere else next season.

  • @icthawkfan316

    TRob will not be a scorer in the NBA. He seems to have found his niche playing defense and rebounding; many players have a very successful careers doing just that.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Agreed, he won’t be a prolific scorer. But doesn’t mean he couldn’t find somewhere to start, which was what I had said he could do if he found the right situation.

  • @icthawkfan316 he has to rebound, it’s the only way he can touch the ball!

  • Well, at least I no longer have to worry about Embiids back anymore. He had the potential to be an all-time great Jayhawk, now he’s just a former Jayhawk, I guess. Do you call Anrio Adams a former Jayhawk? He was available for more games than JoJo.

    NBA success or failure will not make me like JoJo or Wiggins more or less. They are just flashes in the pan. My fondest memories are all of 3-4 year players so a second year probably wouldn’t be enough to make me remember them as fondly without a ring. i.e. I have more good memories about TJ Pugh than Xavier Henry.

    That being said, I wish them both success in the NBA and I hope that sends future recruits to KU.

    Will Oubre and Alexander with a more experienced core produce a better team than last year? Hell yes!!! Add in Turner and watch out.

    I hope 5 years from now we all all trying to remember the two OAD’s Bill recruited right before he went on a national title tear winning 3 of 5…I can dream.

  • Bill needs to get Dante Exum to skip the draft and come to KU next year! None of the PG transfers thrill me: Roddy Peters being the most high profile, so let’s get Exum. 🙂

  • @dylans " I hope 5 years from now we all all trying to remember the two OAD’s Bill recruited right before he went on a national title tear winning 3 of 5…I can dream. "

    That would be sweet,indeed.

    More likely we’ll be saying, " I remember the two OAD’s that got drafted #1 and #2 in the NBA and became the catalyst for a whole slew of OAD’s coming in to lead us to 10 loss seasons. "

  • @nuleafjhawk > More likely we’ll be saying, " I remember the two OAD’s that got drafted #1 and #2 in the NBA and became the catalyst for a whole slew of OAD’s coming in to lead us to 10 loss seasons. "

    That brings up a question. Are you better off being in a small class of freshman OAD ie Wiggins and Embiid than in a large class like what Kentucky had when it comes to where you are drafted?

    I know there is no true answer to it, 2012 KY has how many in the top 10 of the draft? But can players get lost in a large class like that over just being one or two guys?

  • @nuleafjhawk The truth will lie somewhere between the two I hope.

    I have a feeling the core group of freshmen will be on 2 final four teams. Wiggins was a stop gap to maintain excellence in what should have been a down year. If Black had performed to expectations we would be lamenting the loss of Turner because the unknown Embiid was still here. An alternate reality Bill had been able to pull off in the past with TRob for instance. Develop talent on the bench, convince them they aren’t good enough, then let them loose as Juniors. It’s a little different version of the OAD. A player with experience in the system that only gets one year to shine.

  • Here’s an artilcle about Calipari’s view on the NCAA demands pay cut for players.

  • @dylans He has proved that he is a bigger idiot that I originally had given him credit for and he has proved it too.

    He says he tried to go to the NCAA and help them, but they didn’t want to work with him. I wonder why?

    It would be a lot easier for him to pay players, cough cough wink wink, under the table if htey were already getting paid by the school. A kid gets $3000 a month it would be hard to tell if he was getting more or not.

    On that scale of $3000 a month that $750 a week. At $500 a month thats $1250 a week. There are a lot of people that work over 40 hours a week that do’t make that much.

    Hopefully the NCAA can find some garbage on him before they crumble.

  • New non-news recruiting story. Why would KU want Graham?

  • @dylans Maybe one Gram is better than Nada?

  • @Wishawk

    @dylans Maybe one Gram is better than Nada? Maybe.

    But seriously I don’t see immediate playing time at the point for any of the remaining unsigned talent. Frankamp could be a scoring machine, he was at the under 18 games. Mason could be come the ball handling bulldog we all want with more experience. Tharpe will be the senior starter at the beginning of the year and will have his moments. It would take a real quality point to steal minutes the next few years; if one is available come on down, if you’re not a real stud you’ll just warm AWIII old seat.

  • @dylans I’m sorry, did you say “Tharpe will be the senior starter …”?

  • @HighEliteMajor Yeah, I don’t want it to be true, but everything Bill has done up to this point leads me to the conclusion that Naa will start. 😞

  • @dylans You may be right … I hope not. I was kind of hoping that Tharpe might have graduated and he could transfer without sitting out. Being completely harsh here, we’d be better off without the distraction or temptation of even playing him.

  • full article

    Myles Turner, No. 2 in the ESPN 100, leads the way followed by No. 94 Elijah Stewart, who was released from his letter of intent to Loyola Marymount following the firing of coach Max Good, and No. 98 Josh Cunningham.

    Devonte Graham wasn’t ESPN 100 eligible by virtue of his post-graduate status, but there is no denying he is a wanted man after receiving his release from Appalachian State. He will take official visits to Kansas and North Carolina State while also considering Virginia, Virginia Tech, Xavier and Providence.

    So where are these remaining four prospects headed? No one knows for sure just yet, but here’s a few educated guesses:

    ####Myles Turner####

    Paul Biancardi: Texas The hard part begins as Turner must start to separate the schools in his mind and make one choice. The process has gone exactly how Turner had planned – take all his official visits then decide. Since he has waited – even though he could have committed at any time to the likes of Duke, Arizona and Kansas – makes me guess that he will stay home and be the face of the Longhorns program.

    Adam Finkelstein: Kansas I think the allure of replacing Joel Embiid at Kansas will ultimately be too much for Turner to pass up on given coach Bill Self’s track record of developing big men for the NBA. Turner will have as good an opportunity to be a one-and-done lottery pick as any player in the current ESPN 100, all while having an enforcer like Cliff Alexander next to him.

    Joel Francisco: Texas Turner has thoroughly investigated his options. He is one of the elite prospects in the class who will make an immediate impact due to his shot blocking and outside shooting touch. Though Kansas lost Embiid to the draft and has a glaring need at center, Texas is the school to beat, despite having everyone back along the front line. Turner has tremendous upside but still is far from a finished product as compared to Jahlil Okafor. Turner needs to work on getting stronger and his post skills are still raw as he enters college. Possibly coming off the bench will give Turner time to develop and Texas provides that as veterans Cameron Ridley and Jonathan Holmes could be excellent mentors.

    Reggie Rankin: Texas Turner is still evaluating programs and observing how he will fit in with other high-level players, but I am predicting he will select the Longhorns when it’s all said and done. Turner has visited Austin enough to connect with the coaches and players, and his family will be able to see him play on a consistent basis as well. The Longhorns are one of the youngest teams in the country, and with Turner they undoubtedly make another huge jump forward from a team that has already played in the NCAA tournament. I have nothing to base this on other than a gut feeling.

    John Stovall: Texas Turner is by far the most impactful recruit left on the board. He is a program changer and can make the right school an instant contender for the national title. His ability to take away the rim defensively and score both on the low post and perimeter make him a unique weapon in college basketball. After being pursued by every school under the sun, my guess is Turner chooses to stay close to home and attend Texas.

    ####Devonte Graham####

    Biancardi: Kansas The hardest and most important position on the floor to fill is the point guard. Graham’s combination of running a team with extended range on his jumper makes him so valuable. An explosive athlete who has come on as a late bloomer has coaches pouring in to Brewster Academy. In the mix are Kansas, NC State, Virginia, Providence , Xavier and Virginia Tech. He is visiting Kansas this weekend and then heading NC State soon. This one is just starting to heat up, and when it’s all said and done, look for Kansas to land Graham.

    Finkelstein: Kansas I’m a big believer in the importance of the first visit and Graham’s decision to see the Jayhawks first would seem to indicate that Kansas is in the driver’s seat. Combine that with the opportunity to play rotation minutes next season and then have a potential chance to start as a sophomore and Graham is going to hear a convincing sales pitch from Self.

    Francisco: NC State After signing with Appalachian State, Graham has seen his recruiting pick up steam at a remarkable rate. After getting his release from his LOI, the savvy lead guard now has the likes of Kansas, North Carolina State, and Providence chipping at his heels for his signature. Although the lure of being under the tutelage of Self and his staff is enticing, Graham will see a greater opportunity – after Tyler Lewis bolted to Butler – of returning to his hometown and suiting up for North Carolina State.

    Rankin: NC State Graham is a true point guard who is crafty and brings the ability to push the ball, run the offense and make plays off the bounce. He also can knock down open jumpers to keep the defense honest. When Graham was released by Appalachian State he became the most sought-after perimeter player at the most important position. I think he will take his talent back to his hometown of Raleigh, N.C., and sign with NC State. He will compete with Anthony Barber for the starting job.

    Stovall: Kansas Graham just became the most recruited player in the country after his release from Appalachian State. He will have a lot of great choices. History says Self and Kansas are tough to beat when they single in on one player. My guess is the Jayhawks.

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