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.

Kennesaw State blows eight-point lead in 16 seconds, loses to Elon

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Kennesaw State entered Monday night at 1-6 on the season, but with 19 seconds left, it looked like the Owls have their second of the season locked up. Kendrick Ray made a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left to put KSU up 89-81, and all they had to do was avoid a complete meltdown to get out with a win.

They couldn’t.

A Luke Eddy layup with 16 seconds left cut the lead to six, and after KSU’s Nigel Pruitt missed two free throws, Dainan Swoope his a three with seven seconds left to make the score 89-86.

On the ensuing inbounds, Kennesaw State threw the ball away … and then proceeded to foul Eddy when he was shooting a three. This is what that disaster looked like:

Eddy would hit all three threes before, shockingly, KSU turned the ball over again. Elon could not capitalize this time, sending the game to overtime, where the Phoenix outscored the Owls 14-4.

Elon won 104-94.

Here’s what the comeback looked like on the play-by-play:

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Rick Pitino: Louisville ‘just ignored’ in top 25 due of scandal

Rick Pitino
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Louisville beatdown Saint Louis at the Barclays Center on Sunday night, a 77-57 win that was much closer at halftime than the final score might indicate.

The win moved the Cardinals to 5-0 on the season, and that, in turn, got Louisville into the back end of both top 25 polls.

They’re 24th in the AP Poll and 22nd in the Coaches Poll, but that happened on Monday morning. On Sunday night, Pitino made sure to get a rant in about how this team is viewed and why pundits and voters should overlook the scandal currently plaguing his program.

“I think people are looking at that and they’re not really studying the team,” he said, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal, adding that he thinks the team is “just ignored” because of the accusations leveled by self-described madam Katina Powell in the book she published back in October.

And here’s the thing: he is 100 percent correct. Louisville was overlooked in the preseason because the scandal, when combined with the fact that the Cardinals are integrating so many new pieces into their rotation, made it tough to see how they would be able to compete at a level that we’ve come to expect out of Louisville teams.

I know that because it’s why my colleagues at NBCSports.com, against my wishes, refused to allow me to rank Louisville in the preseason top 25. In other words, I’ve had first-hand interactions with the haters. But if we’re going to be honest here, scandal or no scandal, Louisville probably wasn’t going to find their way into the preseason top 25, not when they had to replace Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell.

And scandal or no scandal, no team from outside the top 25 is going to play their way into the top 25 by beating the likes of North Florida and St. Francis (NY) without some shenanigans — like Fred VanVleet getting hurt, like Indiana collapsing, like Arizona and Cal and Notre Dame playing their way out of the top 20 — happening around the country.

So Pitino is right: the scandal probably did have an impact on how his team was viewed in the preseason.

But Pitino the scandal isn’t what kept them out of the top 25 until Monday.

That weak non-conference schedule and roster turnover was why.

And if we’re going to be honest here, it probably should have kept them out for another week.