Duke signee Semi Ojeleye named Parade Magazine Player of the Year

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For all the accolades heaped upon Kansas signee Andrew Wiggins (and deservedly so), Parade Magazine went with another player for its 2012-13 Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year.

Semi Ojeleye, a Duke signee from Ottawa, Kansas, averaged more than 38 points per game this season while also getting the job done in the classroom to the tune of a 4.0 grade-point average.

Because of those achievements, Ojeleye was named the recipient of Parade’s highest individual honor on Saturday.

This past season, Ojeleye’s high school team went 25-0 and captured its state title, while he set career and senior-year scoring records (2,763 and 952 points, respectively) for the state of Kansas. No mean feat, especially when you consider that the career mark had stood for 17 years. Along with his ability to score, he also averaged nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals a game. He also shot 38 percent from 3-point range and 82 percent from the free-throw line.

The other finalists for the honor were Wiggins, fellow Kansas signee Conner Frankamp, Arizona signee Aaron Gordon, and Oklahoma State signee Stevie Clark.

Parade also announced its All-America Team, which traditionally is a long list that includes players headed to a variety of schools. While nationally-known powers such as Duke, Kansas and Kentucky show up annually, colleges such as North Dakota State, South Dakota State and UC Irvine are also represented on the 2013 list.

The tallest member on the Parade All-America Team is UC Irvine signee Mamadou Ndiaye, who is 7-5 and has the potential to be an impact player in the Big West next season.

And if you’re keeping count as to which college has the highest number of future players on the team, that honor goes to Kentucky. The Wildcats have four players on the list: guards Aaron Harrison and Dominique Hawkins, wing James Young and forward Marcus Lee.

The full list of Parade All-Americans:

Name Pos. High School Ht. College*
A.J. Jacobson F Shanley (Fargo, N.D.) 6-6 North Dakota St.
Aaron Gordon F Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) 6-8 Arizona
Aaron Harrison G Travis (Richmond, Texas) 6-5 Kentucky
Anders Broman G Lakeview Christian Academy (Duluth, Minn.) 6-1 South Dakota St.
Andrew Wiggins F Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.V.) 6-8 Kansas
Austin Nichols F Briarcrest Christian (Eads, Tenn.) 6-8 Memphis
Bobby Portis F Hall (Little Rock, Ark.) 6-10 Arkansas
Brannen Greene G Tift County (Tifton, Ga.) 6-7 Kansas
Bryce Alford G La Cueva (Albuquerque, N.M.) 6-3 UCLA
Chris Walker F Holmes County (Bonifay, Fla.) 6-9 Florida
Conner Frankamp G North (Wichita, Kan.) 6-1 Kansas
Cullen Neal G Eldorado (Albuquerque, N.M.) 6-4 New Mexico
Derrick Walton Jr. G Chandler Park Academy (Harper Woods, Mich.) 6-1 Michigan
De’Runnya Wilson F Wenonah (Birmingham, Ala.) 6-6 Mississippi State
Dominique Hawkins G Madison Central (Richmond, Ky.) 6-1 Kentucky
Garet Beal F Jonesport-Beals (Jonesport, Maine) 6-6 Maine
Isaiah Hicks F J.F. Webb (Oxford, N.C.) 6-8 North Carolina
Jabari Parker F Simeon (Chicago, Ill.) 6-8 Duke
James Young G Rochester (Rochester Hills, Mich.) 6-6 Kentucky
Jarell Martin F Madison Prep Academy (Baton Rouge, La.) 6-8 LSU
Jon Severe G Christ The King (Queens, N.Y.) 6-2 Fordham
Luke Fischer C Germantown (Wis.) 6-10 Indiana
Mamadou Ndiaye C Brethren Christian (Huntington Beach, Calif.) 7-5 Cal-Irvine
Marc Loving F St. John’s (Toledo, Ohio) 6-8 Ohio State
Marcus Allen G Centennial (Las Vegas, Nev.) 6-4 Stanford
Marcus Foster G Hirschi (Wichita Falls (Texas) 6-2 Kansas State
Marcus Lee F Deer Valley (Antioch, Calif.) 6-9 Kentucky
Monte Morris G Beecher (Flint, Mich.) 6-1 Iowa State
Nick King F Memphis East (Memphis, Tenn.) 6-7 Memphis
Nigel Williams-Goss G Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) 6-3 Washington
Peter Jok F Valley (West Des Moines, Iowa) 6-6 Iowa
Ricky Seals-Jones F Sealy (Texas) 6-5 Texas A&M
Roschon Prince G Poly (Long Beach, Cali.) 6-5 USC
Rysheed Jordan G Vaux (Philadelphia) 6-3 St. John’s
Semi Ojeleye F Ottawa (Kan.) 6-6 Duke
Steve Vasturia G St. Joseph’s (Philadelphia, Pa.) 6-5 Notre Dame
Stevie Clark G Douglass (Oklahoma City) 5-10 Oklahoma State
Tyler Ennis G St. Benedict’s Prep (Newark, N.J.) 6-2 Syracuse
Zach LaVine G Bothell (Wash.) 6-4 UCLA
Zak Irvin G Hamilton Southeastern (Fishers, Ind.) 6-6 Michigan

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Sunday’s NCAA Tournament Elite Eight schedule, tip times, and announcer pairings

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Regional Finals – Sunday, March 26

2:20 p.m.,CBS, New York
No. 7 South Carolina vs. No. 4 Florida (Verne Lundquist, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce)

5:05 p.m., CBS, Memphis
No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 2 Kentucky (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)

Steve Alford: ‘I’m very happy at UCLA’

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UCLA head coach Steve Alford was still processing an 86-75 season-ending loss to Kentucky in the Sweet 16 on Friday night when he had to answer questions about another blueblood program.

Sine the dismal of Tom Crean at Indiana, Alford has been one of the names rumored to be in the mix for the coaching vacancy. A reporter in the press conference in Memphis didn’t even get a chance to finish his question before Alford cut him off and a publicly state that he was happy in Westwood.

“I said it last week, and I’ll reiterate it again even more so, I guess, that I love Los Angeles,” Alford said. “To begin with, it’s a beautiful place, and our family has fallen in love with it. I’ve got two sons now, Kory first and now Bryce, that have graduated. Bryce is done, so he’s graduating from UCLA, so I’ve got two sons that are graduates from there, a daughter that loves the school she’s going to in Thousand Oaks. I’m very happy. I’m at UCLA. I don’t know of a lot of people that are out there wanting to leave UCLA.

“This is a pretty special place. We’ve worked awfully hard. Our staff has worked hard. We’ve got the No. 2 recruiting class coming in next year. We’re opening a brand-new, state-of-the-art, 60-plus million practice facility, Mo Ostin Center, that is going to be spectacular that we’ve worked awfully hard to be a part of that, and I want to see that through, and we’ve got some special kids that are coming to join us.

“I’m very, very happy where I’m at, and hopefully, that’ll continue.”

Alford won a national championship with the Hoosiers in 1987, scoring more than 2,400 points in his career under head coach Bob Knight. He has been with UCLA since 2013, reaching the Sweet 16 in three of his four seasons with the Bruins.

Crean was fired on March 16 after nine season in Bloomington.

Lonzo Ball has officially declared for the 2017 NBA Draft

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Following a season-ending loss in the Sweet 16 of the 2017 NCAA Tournament, UCLA freshman point guard unsurprisingly announced that he will enter the NBA Draft.

“That was my final game for UCLA. I appreciate the fans,” Ball told reporters.

The 6-foot-6 point guard has a strong case to be the No. 1 overall pick. It could be almost too enticing for the Los Angeles Lakers to pass on a Southern Cal product if the ping pong balls fall in their favor. New Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka were in Memphis for Friday night’s Sweet 16 matchup with Kentucky.

Ball, in an All-American freshman season with the Bruins, averaged 14.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and a nation’s best 7.6 assists per game, while shooting 56 percent from the field and 42 percent from three.

He ended his college career with an 86-75 loss to the Wildcats, scoring 10 points, off 4-of-10 shooting, with eight assists.

VIDEO: Florida’s Chris Chiozza beats Wisconsin at the buzzer

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NEW YORK — So you didn’t think the NCAA Tournament had enough excitement this year?

Wisconsin and Florida solved that problem for you.

The Badgers started things, as they erased a 12-point deficit in the final 4:15 to force overtime, a stretch that included an 8-0 run at the end of regulation that was capped by a Zak Showalter running three with 2.5 seconds left on the clock to tie the game at 72.

Wisconsin jumped out to a lead in overtime, but the combination of an inability to make free throws and and this epic chasedown block from Canyon Barry left the door open for the Gators, who eventually won the game on this running three from Chris Chiozza:

What.

A.

Game.

If we get a better one than this, I just hope I’m courtside for it.

KeVaughn Allen led the way for the Gators with 35 points, and no one else on the Gators scored more than eight points, but it didn’t matter. The Gators are still headed to the Elite 8, and Mike White will have a chance to play for the right to go to the Final Four in his first NCAA Tournaments.

Replacing a legend like Billy Donovan was never going to be easy, but White is doing an admirable job.

The other subplot here: With the win, Florida becomes the third member of the SEC in the Elite 8, and with a regional final against South Carolina on Sunday afternoon, it guarantees that there will be at least one SEC team in the Final Four.

While there were celebrations in the Florida locker room, Wisconsin’s was one of devastation.

The Badgers started four seniors, including tournament stalwarts Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes, who played in their 17th career NCAA Tournament games.

Hayes had 22 points, but he’s going to be haunted by the free throws he missed. He was 7-for-14 from the line on the night, including four missed freebies in overtime. The end was similarly heart-breaking for Koenig, as he was a non-factor in overtime due to an injury he suffered on the possession before Showalter’s game-tying three.

Both of them are going to spend years thinking ‘What if?’ That’s how the NCAA Tournament works.

Everyone leaves in tears, either because they’re cutting down the nets at the Final Four or because their season — their career — just came to an end.

Hayes and Koenig were no different.

VIDEO: Canyon Barry saves Florida with epic chase down block

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Florida’s Canyon Berry had the best chase down block since LeBron James in the 2016 NBA Finals.

It kept Wisconsin’s lead at two points and gave the Gators a chance to tie and, eventually, win the game.

Look at this: