Kansas Basketball

Andrew Wiggins takes flight during scrimmage at Kansas basketball camp (VIDEO)

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Much has been made about the reaction to Kansas freshman wing Andrew Wiggins’ first workouts for his new coaching staff, with an unnamed source stating to Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com that watching Wiggins was “like watching a video game.”

On Wednesday some lucky campers at the Kansas Basketball Camp got to watch Wiggins play some 5-on-5 with both new teammates and former Jayhawks. A full video recap of the proceedings isn’t available, but there is a clip of Wiggins taking flight with former Kansas center Cole Aldrich playing the role of spectator.

It’s likely safe to say that anyone who had the opportunity to watch Wiggins with either Huntington (W. Va.) Prep or the CIA Bounce grassroots program knew that he’s an elite athlete. But that dunk isn’t the most important thing to take out of the scrimmage.

Hearing positive things about Ellis and Black is certainly a positive, even though we’re still months away from teams playing games that have actual value.

With the graduation of Jeff Withey and Kevin Young, Kansas head coach Bill Self needs both Ellis and Black to be factors inside if the Jayhawks are to win a Big 12 regular season title for the tenth consecutive season (outright or shared).

As a freshman Ellis averaged 5.8 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, with three of his best outings coming in March. The Wichita native scored a career-high 23 points and grabbed six rebounds in the Jayhawks’ Big 12 semifinal victory over Iowa State. And for an encore Ellis tallied another 12 points and six rebounds in the Big 12 title game victory over Kansas State the following day.

In regards to Black, he certainly gives Kansas a boost in the experience department but a key for him (and one that can’t be measured in a scrimmage, obviously) is the ability to remain on the floor. As a junior at Memphis, Black (8.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg) averaged 3.3 fouls per game and fouled out of seven contests.

While Kansas won’t lack depth with redshirt sophomore Jamari Traylor and freshmen Joel Embiid and Landen Lucas (redshirt) also available, Black’s experience will be of value to Self’s young front court provided he avoids ending up in foul trouble on a consistent basis.

So while we can certainly enjoy the brief aerial display put on by Wiggins, the positive words regarding the play of Black and Ellis could prove to be even more important once game action begins.

h/t KUSportsTV

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Top-100 guard commits to Xavier

Chris Mack has Xavier back in the Sweet 16 (AP Photo)
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Xavier has added a top-100 prospect into its 2017 recruiting class Wednesday.

Elias Harden, a shooting guard from Georgia, pledged to the Musketeers via social media to become the second member of Chris Mack’s next class.

“The recruiting process was not EASY AT ALL,” Harden wrote on Twitter. “I wanna thank all the coaches that took time to recruit me.

“WIth that being said I will continue my academic and athletic career at Xavier University.”

The 6-foot-6 guard is ranked 92nd overall by 247Sports and had offers from Auburn, Maryland, Texas Tech and Ole Miss. He joins Jared Ridder, a Missouri guard, as part of the 2017 Xavier class.

The Musketeers return the bulk of last year’s 28-6 team that narrowly missed out on the Sweet 16.

Clemson recruit to enroll early

Brad Brownell
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Clemson will get a four-star recruit on campus a year earlier than it expected, though his on-court debut for the Tigers will remain on schedule.

A.J. Oliver, a guard from South Carolina, will enroll early at Clemson and redshirt this upcoming season, he announced via social media Wednesday.

“I woke up this morning and realized that the greatest opportunity for me is to enroll early into Clemson,” he wrote on Twitter. “I will redshirt a year & start my college career early.”

Oliver, whose mother is the head women’s basketball coach at Clemson, was a consensus top-100 player in the class of 2017 who committed to the Tigers last December. Texas Tech and the College of Charleston were involved before his commitment.

A three-star shooting guard, Scott Spencer of Virginia, was previously the only member coach Brad Brownell’s 2016 class. While Oliver’s decision to redshirt will keep him off the court for the 2016-17 season, he’ll have spent a full season in the Tiger program before making his debut in 2017

The cupboard isn’t bare in 2017 for the Tigers due to Oliver’s reclassification because Clemson received a commitment from power forward Malik Williams, a consensus top-150 player, earlier Wednesday.

Kentucky used Calipari-Chaney fight in media training

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Kentucky Sports Radio
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Kentucky held some media training sessions yesterday, and one of the topics that head coach John Calipari used to make a point was … his blow-up with John Chaney. The moment was captured on SnapChat by a trio of Kentucky newcomers.

You remember that incident. Chaney, then the head coach at Temple, and Cal, who was coaching Atlantic 10 rival UMass at the time, nearly came to blows over the way that Cal handled officials during the game. Before the video below picks up, the two shared this exchange:

“Could I say this to you, please?” Chaney said, before the video above picks up. “You’ve got a good ball club. But what you did with the officials out there is wrong, and I don’t want to be a party to that. You understand?”

Cal responded: “You weren’t out there, Coach. You don’t have any idea.”

Chaney fired back: “You got a game given to you by officials right here with G.W. on three bad calls, O.K.? Then you send your kids out there pushing and shoving. You had the best officiating you could ever get here. And for you to ride them, I don’t want to be a party to that.”

And that led to “I’ll kill you”:

(h/t KSR)

VIDEO: Shaq’s son, Shareef O’Neal, with monster dunk in Vegas

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Shareef O’Neal is a top 50 prospect in the Class of 2018. In Vegas this past weekend, he threw down a monster put-back dunk.

South Dakota State gets two commits

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Tuesday was a busy and productive one for South Dakota State on the recruiting trail.

The Jackrabbits secured two 2017 commitments from the state of Wisconsin in Ryan Krueger and Alex Arians, a source tells NBCSports.com.

Krueger is a 6-foot-5 wing player from New London, Wisc. while Arians is a 6-foot-4 guard from Madison, Wisc., who also held an offer from Wright State, which is coached by former SDSU coach Scott Nagy. Both players spend their summers playing for the Wisconsin Swing grassroots program.

The pair make it a trio of commits for the Jackrabbits in 2017 with another Wisconsinite, Alou Dillon, pledging to first-year Jackrabbits coach T.J. Otzelberger, himself a Wisconsin native, earlier this summer.

South Dakota State went 26-8 last year and the bulk of the team that made the NCAA tournament last year, including sophomore Mike Daum, who led the team in scoring and rebounding as a freshman.