University of Kansas Athletics

Report: Former Kansas forward Zach Peters headed to Arizona

1 Comment

In the aftermath of Solomon Hill’s graduation and Grant Jerrett’s decision to enter the 2013 NBA Draft the Arizona Wildcats found themselves in need of bodies to bolster their front court depth.

Sean Miller’s program certainly doesn’t lack for talent, with McDonald’s All American Aaron Gordon joining rising sophomores Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski to form a trio that has the potential to be one of the nation’s best next season.

However depth is a concern for this group, and Arizona received a boost in that regard as it was reported by Josh Gershon of that former Kansas forward Zach Peters will join the program.

Peters, a 6-9 power forward who attended Prestonwood Christian Academy in Texas before enrolling at Kansas, didn’t last too long in Lawrence due to multiple injuries.

The accumulation of four concussions suffered over a two-year period and a rotator cuff injury prevented Peters from practicing, and ultimately the decision was made in late November to return to his home in Plano, Texas to heal.

“Zach and I met today after he went home to meet with his family for Thanksgiving, and he has informed us that he will be leaving the basketball program effective at the end of the semester,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said when announcing Peters’ decision.

“Zach has labored with health issues since he has been here. His shoulder has improved but he’s also been dealing with multiple concussions that have become a big source of frustration and concern for him.”

The question now is when will Peters be eligible to play. Since he was enrolled at Kansas for the fall semester, in all likelihood he wouldn’t be able to play in games at Arizona until the end of the 2013 fall semester.

Could the fact that he never practiced much less played a game at Kansas improve Peters’ chances of being available at the start of the 2013-14 season? If so, adding Peters to the mix gives Arizona interior depth (there’s also redshirt junior Matt Korcheck) they lacked in the aftermath of Jerrett’s decision to leave school.

Peters is the second addition in as many days for the Wildcats, with 6-7 forward Eric Conklin (Chaparral HS, Scottsdale, Ariz.)  joining the program as a walk-on.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

No. 9 North Carolina rallies late to top Kansas State

Kennedy Meeks
Leave a comment

An already tough road trip almost got worse for No. 9 North Carolina as they rallied late to beat Kansas State, 80-70, on Tuesday night in the championship game of the CBE Classic.

Plagued by the perimeter shooting issues that hurt them last season, the Tar Heels shot only 28 percent (6-for-21) from 3-point range and also had difficulty defending the 3-point line as Kansas State shot 50 percent (8-for-16) from distance.

But the Tar Heels went on a 21-3 run over the final 4:24 to close out the game as Joel Berry II, Justin Jackson, Kennedy Meeks and Theo Pinson scored on four consecutive possessions to deliver the final blow for North Carolina.

Much like the loss to Northern Iowa over the weekend, North Carolina had a difficult time trailing talented perimeter shooters as Kansas State guard Kamau Stokes went 6-for-8 from 3-point range to finish with 24 points.

This time, however, the Tar Heels took the best shot that the Wildcats could deliver and stayed tough as Berry’s 3-pointer out of a baseline out-of-bounds play seemed to ignite the North Carolina offense with 3:03 left.

From there, Jackson delivered a clutch runner for the tie and Meeks’ steal and score on the ensuing Kansas State possession proved to be the go-ahead bucket. With Marcus Paige still out with injury, Jackson stepped up as the go-to guy for North Carolina once again as he finished with 22 points on 8-for-13 shooting. Meeks added 15 points while Pinson finished with 11 and Brice Johnson added 10 points.

Kansas State has to feel like they let this one slip away, especially with a strong contingent of fans in Kansas City for the game. Turnovers in key situations really hurt the Wildcats in the final minutes as they couldn’t free up shooters like Stokes after he was red-hot for most of the game.

Perimeter shooting will continue to be a major question for North Carolina as the season moves along, but that should hopefully improve for them once Paige returns to the lineup and gives them another floor spacer. North Carolina’s late burst on offense — fueled in-part by some turnovers created by the defense — was certainly impressive, but they can’t expect that kind of late and furious rally to happen against elite teams.

Sulaimon helps No. 2 Maryland beat Illinois State

Mark Turgeon
Leave a comment

PUERTO AVENTURAS, Mexico (AP) Rasheed Sulaimon scored 16 points and Melo Trimble added 15 to help No. 2 Maryland beat Illinois State 77-66 on Tuesday night in the Cancun Challenge.

With the game tied at 62, back-to-back 3-pointers by Jared Nickens and Sulaimon gave the Terrapins (4-0) a six-point cushion 3:45 left.

The Redbirds (2-3) tried to rally, but too many turnovers (17) stifled them.

MiKyle McIntosh scored 17 points and Paris Lee added 15 for Illinois State.

Maryland will face Rhode Island for the Riviera Division title on Wednesday. Illinois State plays TCU in the consolation game.