Monthly Archives: May 2013

Weis answers some questions

By Rustin Dodd

Kansas football coach Charlie Weis says he’s finishing some spring recruiting before his team returns to campus for summer conditioning. The Jayhawks are expecting a handful of junior-college players to report this summer — Weis said they’d come in three waves — and all members from the 2013 recruiting class are expected to be on campus by the end of the summer.

Weis also addressed a number of issues regarding his program. Those included the expected renovation at Memorial Stadium, with the removal of the track in the near future; in-state recruiting; and the perception of Kansas football after his first year on the job.

Q: Is there maybe a higher comfort level with you and your staff? You’ve been through a year in the Big 12 Conference (and) you’ve been through another session of spring ball. How is the comfort level?

Charlie Weis: Anytime you’ve been around … it all starts, when you come into a program, with infrastructure. You have to establish your infrastructure so you have everything sound. I believe there’s a way of doing business, and once you get everything set, it makes everything easier.

But still, at the end of the day, it’s all implementing new players and developing your current players and trying to win more football games.

Q: You mentioned infrastructure, from a facilities standpoint, what are your priorities, what would you like to see?

CW: I don’t complain too much about our facilities. Obviously, there’s going to be some form of renovation in the stadium done in the not-too-distant future. And as it happens, it happens. But what you can’t do, is sit there and use anything like that as a crux. Our practice facility is great. It’s not good, it’s great. That’s where we spend the majority of the time.

We all know that Memorial Stadium is gonna get a facelift, and whenever it happens, it happens.

Q: Where is your team right now, compared to where you want them in the fall?

CW: First of all, they finished finals and they’re far away from here right now. But I think that everything’s different this year. They’ve been through a year of this system. They’ve been (in the strength and conditioning program) for a year. They know our way of doing business now. There aren’t as many questions. There’s not a feeling-out process. The only ones you’re doing that with are the new guys you’re interjecting into your system.

Q: You moved the spring game up with the idea of being able to get out and see some junior college guys in action? Did you get out what you hoped to get out of that time?

CW: It was definitely a very good move, because a lot of the junior college spring games are the last week of April, and that was when we were playing our spring game (last year). So it gave us an opportunity to get (to those junior colleges).

And then we took the first week of May, and we hit the high schools really hard. And then actually, the next week, we took a week off and came back and watched all those tapes.

Q: You’ve been out on the road recruiting, have you seen the perception of Kansas football change over the last year?

CW: Well, there’s two factions when you say that. There’s one faction of high school kids and the other faction of junior college kids. I think we definitely got the attentions of the in-state high school kids, and that’s a good place to start. If you can’t get some of the best kids from your own state to jump on board, then you’re missing the boat. But I think that until you start winning on a regular basis, the high school kids from around the country aren’t going to be lining up, saying “God, I really want to go to Kansas.”

Now that mentality is totally different for a junior college guy, because a junior college guy wants to go somewhere where they can play right now.

Now that the draft lottery has a winner

By Rustin Dodd

Late last week, as the NBA’s top prospects assembled for the league’s draft combine in Chicago, former Kansas guard Ben McLemore expressed his desire to be the No. 1 pick in the draft.

It’s been decades since a true shooting guard went No. 1 overall. (Depending on how you categorize Allen Iverson, you probably have to go back to David Thompson in 1975.) And McLemore would be the first Jayhawk to go first overall since Danny Manning in 1988. But does McLemore have a chance?

The NBA Draft lottery took place on Tuesday night, and the Cleveland Cavaliers walked away with the top pick for the second time in three years. Last season, the Cavs used the No. 4 overall pick on former Syracuse shooting guard Dion Waiters (he averaged 14.7 points in 61 games), while point guard Kyrie Irving continues to emerge as one of the league’s best young players.

So perhaps the Cavaliers will find McLemore appealing, but they certainly don’t have a gaping hole at the guard spot.

After Tuesday’s lottery, draft expert Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com projected McLemore to go No. 2 to the Orlando Magic, while ESPN’s Chad Ford pegged McLemore to go No. 4 to the Charlotte Bobcats. Both Givony and Ford projected former Kentucky center Nerlens Noel to go No. 1 overall.

(Meanwhile, Givony projects former KU center Jeff Withey to go No. 22 overall to the Brooklyn Nets, and former MU guard Phil Pressey to go to Atlanta with the 50th pick.)

If McLemore doesn’t go to Cleveland, here are four other places he could land.

No. 2 Orlando Magic

A possibility, mostly because the Magic, coached by former KU guard Jacque Vaughn, has holes all over its roster. Arron Afflalo, a 27-year-old shooting guard, led the Magic with 16.5 points per game last season.

No. 3 Washington Wizards

Probably not a great fit. The Wizards selected shooting guard Brad Beal (McLemore’s old AAU teammate in St. Louis) in the first round last year.

No. 4 Charlotte Bobcats

The perpetually moribund Bobcats are still looking for a spark. Kemba Walker hasn’t been able to lift the franchise. And the Bobcats have few answers … inside or out.

No. 5 Phoenix Suns

If McLemore would slide outside the top four, he could become teammates with former Jayhawks Marcus and Markieff Morris.

Breaking down the Jayhawks’ 2013-14 schedule

LAWRENCE — It could be the most daunting non-conference schedule that KU coach Bill Self has ever encountered. Duke. Florida. Georgetown. And a month-long span without a game at Allen Fieldhouse in November and December.

Did we mention Kansas will have five new starters next season?

Self, of course, is optimistic that the challenging schedule will accelerate the learning curve of a young team. But for now, here’s a breakdown of the Jayhawks’ non-conference schedule in 2013-14:

Date (Day) – Opponent, Site

Nov. 8 (Friday) – LOUISIANA-MONROE, Lawrence, Kan.

Louisiana-Monroe finished 4-23 overall and 3-17 in the Sun Belt Conference last season. Kansas won the only all-time meeting with ULM, topping the Redhawks 107-78 on Nov. 9, 2007, at Allen Fieldhouse.

Nov. 12 (Tuesday) – Duke, Chicago, Ill. (Champions Classic, United Center)

Duke loses seniors Mason Plumlee, Seth Curry and Ryan Kelly, but there should be plenty of future pros on the floor at the United Center this November. In the third Champions Classic, Kentucky will take on Michigan State in a matchup of likely top-five teams. And then there’s Duke and Kansas. Junior point guard Quinn Cook and sophomore guard Rasheed Sulaimon return, while incoming freshman (and former SI cover boy) Jabari Parker will return to his hometown.

Nov. 19 (Tuesday) – IONA, Lawrence, Kan.

The first of some difficult mid-major tests. Iona won the MAAC tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season, losing to Ohio State in the opening round. The Gaels have won 20 games the last four seasons.

Nov. 22 (Friday) – TOWSON, Lawrence, Kan.

Towson had the largest turnaround in NCAA history last season, finishing 18-13 in 2012-13 after skidding to a 1-31 record in 2011-12. Fun fact: Incoming KU guard Frank Mason nearly chose Towson out of high school before spending a year at a prep school and committing to KU.

Nov. 28-30, Battle 4 Atlantis (Three games), Paradise Island, Bahamas

The field: Villanova, Tennessee, Iowa, UTEP, Xavier, USC and Wake Forest. Tennessee, Villanova and Iowa would all be tough draws, while UTEP continues to build under former Iowa State coach Tim Floyd.

Dec. 7 (Saturday) – at Colorado, Boulder, Colo.

The Buffaloes suffered a major blow when leading rebounder Andre Roberson, a junior forward, left early for the NBA Draft. Still, leading scorer Spencer Dinwiddie is back for his junior season under CU coach Tad Boyle, a former KU guard. The Jayhawks have won 21 straight against Colorado, a former Big 12 foe, including a 90-54 win in Allen Fieldhouse last season.

Dec. 10 (Tuesday) – at Florida, Gainesville, Fla.

If there’s a game that wasn’t anticipated, it’s this one. The new Big 12-SEC challenge came together in the last year or so, and the Jayhawks were matched up with a Florida squad coming off an appearance in the Elite Eight. The Gators lost their three leading scorers — Kenny Boynton, Mike Rosario and Erik Murphy — but Billy Donovan adds five-star freshman forward Chris Walker to go along with senior Patric Young.

Dec. 14 (Saturday) – NEW MEXICO, Kansas City, Mo. (Sprint Center)

Here’s what the Lobos lost: Head coach Steve Alford to UCLA, and junior guard Tony Snell (12.5 ppg) to the NBA Draft. Here’s what they have: Leading scorer Kendall Williams (13.3 points), 7-footer Alex Kirk and assistant-turned-head coach Craig Neal. Add it up, and New Mexico will likely be favored to defend its Mountain West title.

Dec. 21 (Saturday) – GEORGETOWN, Lawrence, Kan.

Another team that lost an early entry to the NBA, the Hoyas will explore life without forward Otto Porter Jr. Georgetown will likely begin the season outside the top 25, but they won’t be too far away.

Dec. 30 (Monday) – TOLEDO, Lawrence, Kan.

The Rockets posted a 15-13 overall record and a 10-6 mark in the Mid-America Conference last season. KU owned its only meeting with Toledo, a 68-58 victory on Dec. 9, 2006, at Kemper Arena.

Jan. 5 (Sunday) – SAN DIEGO STATE, Lawrence, Kan.

This is a San Diego State program that finished 23-11 and handled Oklahoma in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament last season. By this point, with conference season right around the corner, the young Jayhawks will certainly be tested.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/05/03/4215611/breaking-down-kansas-non-conference.html#storylink=cpy

McLemore part of big underclassmen list

When Kansas freshman Ben McLemore declared for the NBA Draft on April 9, he became just the third Jayhawk to leave school after just one season in Lawrence. (The others: Xavier Henry and Josh Selby)

McLemore’s decision was expected… and sound. He is a projected top-five pick (maybe even higher) and actually spent two seasons at Kansas after taking a redshirt for academic reasons in 2011-12.

But even after projected first-round picks Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), Isaiah Austin (Baylor) and Adreian Payne (Michigan State) returned to school, the list of early NBA Draft entries is long and crowded. Missouri junior guard Phil Pressey also declared early for the draft — and so did more than 40 other college players.

The list, which was released by the NBA on Wednesday, includes 46 players from U.S. colleges and 31 international players. The draft, which will take place on June 27, features just two rounds and 60 selections.

Players from U.S. colleges or prep schools

Juniors (23)

C.J. Aiken, St. Joseph’s, 6-9, Junior

Vander Blue, Marquette, 6-4, Junior

Lorenzo Brown, North Carolina State, 6-5, Junior

Reggie Bullock, North Carolina, 6-7, Junior

Adrien Coleman, Bethune-Cookman, 6-5, Junior

Allen Crabbe, California, 6-6, Junior

Dewayne Dedmon, Southern California, 7-0, Junior

Gorgui Dieng, Louisville, 6-11, Junior

Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State, 6-5, Junior

Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan, 6-6, Junior

C.J. Leslie, North Carolina State, 6-9, Junior

Nurideen Lindsey, Rider, 6-3, Junior

Amath M’Baye, Oklahoma, 6-9, Junior

Ray McCallum, Detroit, 6-3, Junior

Victor Oladipo, Indiana, 6-5, Junior

Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga, 7-0, Junior

Marshawn Powell, Arkansas, 6-7, Junior

Phil Pressey, Missouri, 5-11, Junior

Andre Roberson, Colorado, 6-7, Junior

Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State, 6-7, Junior

Trevis Simpson, North Carolina-Greensboro, 6-4, Junior

Tony Snell, New Mexico, 6-7, Junior

John Taylor, Fresno Pacific, 6-1, Junior

Sophomores (13)

Trey Burke, Michigan, 6-0, Sophomore

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia, 6-5, Sophomore

Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse, 6-5, Sophomore

Christian Kabongo, New Mexico State, 6-4, Sophomore

Myck Kabongo, Texas, 6-1, Sophomore

Shane Larkin, Miami, 5-11, Sophomore

Alex Len, Maryland, 7-1, Sophomore

Tony Mitchell, North Texas, 6-8, Sophomore

Otto Porter Jr., Georgetown, 6-8, Sophomore

Tahj Tate, Delaware State, 6-4, Sophomore

Adonis Thomas, Memphis, 6-7, Sophomore

B.J. Young, Arkansas, 6-3, Sophomore

Cody Zeller, Indiana, 6-11, Sophomore

Freshmen (and prep schools) (10)

Steven Adams, Pittsburgh, 7-0, Freshman

Anthony Bennett, UNLV, 6-8, Freshman

Archie Goodwin, Kentucky, 6-4, Freshman

Grant Jerrett, Arizona, 6-10, Freshman

Ricky Ledo, Providence, 6-7, Freshman

Ben McLemore, Kansas, 6-5, Freshman

Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA, 6-6, Freshman

Nerlens Noel, Kentucky, 6-10, Freshman

Joshua Simmons, Spartanburg Methodist (JC), 6-4, Freshman

Norvel Pelle, Los Angeles College Prep Academy, 6-9, Post-Graduate

International players (Year of birth)

Alejandro Abrines, Barcelona (Spain), 6-6, 1993

Giannis Adetokunbo, Filathlitikos (Greece), 6-9, 1994

Francois Affia Ambadiang, Geoplin Slovan (Slovenia), 6-11, 1993

Nemanja Besovic, Partizan (Serbia), 7-2, 1992

Bogdan Bogdanovic, Partizan (Serbia), 6-6, 1992

Matias Bortolin, Arkadia (Austria), 6-9, 1993

Linos Chrysikopoulos, PAOK (Greece), 6-9, 1992

Laszlo Dobos, Zaragoza (Spain), 7-3, 1993

Dorde Drenovac, Biancoblu (Italy), 6-8, 1992

Viktor Gaddefors, Oknoplast Bologna (Italy), 6-7, 1992

Rudy Gobert, Cholet (France), 7-0, 1992

Mouhammadou Jaiteh, Boulogne (France), 6-10, 1994

Livio Jean-Charles, ASVEL (France), 6-8, 1993

Sergey Karasev, Triumph (Russia), 6-7, 1993

Louis Labeyrie, Paris-Levallois (France), 6-10, 1992

Raul Neto, Lagun Aro GBC (Spain), 6-1, 1992

Philipp Neumann, Brose Baskets (Germany), 6-10, 1992

Lucas Riva Nogueira, Estudiantes (Spain), 7-0, 1992

Alexandre Paranhos, Flamengo (Brazil), 6-8, 1992

Artem Pustovyi, Khimik (Ukraine), 7-1, 1992

Bogdan Radosavljevic, Bayern Muenchen (Germany), 6-11, 1993

Marko Ramljak, Zadar (Croatia), 6-6, 1993

Dario Saric, Cibona (Croatia), 6-9, 1994

Dennis Schroder, New Yorker Phantoms (Germany), 6-1, 1993

Strahinja Stojacic, Smederevo (Serbia) , 6-5, 1992

Walter Tavares, Gran Canaria (Spain), 7-2, 1992

Daniel Theis, Ratiopharm (Germany), 6-8, 1992

Janis Timma, Ventspils (Latvia), 6-7, 1992

Marko Todorovic, Barcelona (Spain), 6-10, 1992

Axel Toupane, Strasbourg (France), 6-6, 1992

Adin Vrabac, Spars Sarajevo (Bosnia), 6-7, 1994