Chicken Knowles and the “Bring Chicken to the Bucket” Movement: A Timeline (Card Chronicle)
On Thursday night Houston visits the KFC Yum! Center to take on No. 18 Louisville, and the game is a special one for some Louisville fans. Why? Houston freshman forward Chicken Knowles will be on the floor, and back in 2011 he was the focus of a campaign of sorts to get him in a Louisville uniform. The “Bring Chicken to the Bucket” campaign comes to its rightful conclusion on Thursday, even if Knowles may not be a Cardinal.
The best college venues for NBA teams to scout games (Draft Express)
After giving this topic some publicity last week following the game between No. 1 Arizona and UCLA, with NBA scouts and executives in attendance none too thrilled with the way they were treated at Pauley Pavilion. Jonathan Givony of Draft Express gave a rundown of some of the best (and worst) venues for NBA decision-makers to scout college players.
When is it OK to storm the court in college basketball (Indianapolis Star)
With the decision of Indiana students to rush the floor after the Hoosiers beat No. 3 Wisconsin on Tuesday night, a few used the opportunity to climb up on their proverbial soapbox to discuss when such an event should occur. What are the “rules?” Should there even be “rules” when it comes to storming the court?
When Rowe became your coach, it was for life (Providence Journal)
If you want to stump the average college basketball fan, ask them who the head coach at UConn was before Jim Calhoun was hired in 1986. The answer is Dee Rowe, who just turned 85 years old and impacted the lives of many players he coached at various stops. One of those players was Providence Journal columnist Bill Reynolds, who played for Rowe at Worcester Academy.
Buffs preach cohesiveness on the court (Daily Camera)
No. 21 Colorado head coach Tad Boyle and his staff have preached cohesiveness all season long, and the results have been positive for the Buffaloes. And with Spencer Dinwiddie done for the season with a torn ACL and reserve guard Tre’Shaun Fletcher out 6-8 weeks, it’s even more important for the Buffaloes to heed those teachings with No. 25 UCLA visiting Boulder on Thursday night.
IPFW senior proving invaluable on, off of the court (Fort Wayne News-Sentinel)
IPFW senior guard Pierre Bland has been a valuable contributor for IPFW this season, leading the way in regards to both his production and his leadership qualities. With this being the case, Bland’s been a player held in high esteem by coaches and teammates alike.
Chemistry, maturity carrying top-ranked Cats into rivalry game (Arizona Daily Star)
While No. 1 Arizona is currently undefeated Sean Miller’s team hasn’t allowed the chatter to lead to overconfidence, and that’s key entering their game against in-state rival Arizona State on Thursday night. Two of the reasons why the Wildcats sit atop the polls and have yet to lose a game: good team chemistry, and players who have the maturity needed to properly handle the pressure that comes with a lofty ranking.
With the July Live Period coming to an end, it’s time for schools to starts deciding who they’re going to target, who they’re going to offer a scholarship to and who they’re going to cut bait with.
At the same time, we’re going to see a flurry of players starting whittling down the number of schools they’re actually considering.
D.J. Harvey was once considered a top ten prospect in the Class of 2017, and while the DeMatha product has seen his stock slide a bit in the last year, he’s still a top 50 player that has a number of power programs knocking on his door.
Over the weekend, he announced that he has cut his list to ten schools: Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Duke, Texas, Villanova, UConn, UCLA, Maryland, Arizona and Louisville.
Rick Pitino hopped on the air with 93.9 in Louisville recently and discussed the stuff you expect to hear a coach discuss on the radio in July.
He talked about the players that are improving (Jaylen Johnson). He talked about how he’s worried about how his team is going to score next season. He talked about the glut of big men on his roster and how none of them have done much to separate themselves from the pack.
It was all fairly typical.
But this line did catch my eye:
“Defensively, we’re going to press more than we’ve ever pressed,” Pitino said. “We’ve pressed a lot in the past but this team is very long, very athletic. I’m very bullish on this basketball team.”
Pitino’s teams have always pressed but he hasn’t been mentioned with the likes of Shaka Smart (Havoc) or Bobby Huggins (Press Virginia) because it isn’t an all-out press. Typically, the Cards run a 2-2-1 zone press that drops back to a half-zone/half-man amalgam that’s designed, in part, to confuse opponents as much as it is to force turnovers.
Is that going to change this year?
It would make some sense. This team is as athletic, long and versatile as any that he’s coached in recent memory. Think about the kind of physical tools that Ray Spalding and Jaylen Johnson and Deng Adel have. Think about what Donovan Mitchell can do if he’s allowed to ball-hawk the way Peyton Siva and Russ Smith did in the past.
This group can cause a lot of problems if they’re allowed to fly around the floor, and it sounds like Pitino may let them do just that.
Yesterday, when we released our July Live Period Superlatives, we listed Malik Williams as being the biggest stock riser in the country.
He went from being a kid that wasn’t playing in a shoe-company affiliated league in the spring to a five-star lock that has a bright future and NBA potential.
And on Monday, he announced that he has trimmed his list to eight schools:
N.C. State, Georgetown, Louisville, UCLA, Michigan State, Purdue, Iowa and Indiana.
In two seasons as a member of the Southern Miss basketball program from 2011-13, forward Jonathan Mills made an impression based on how hard he played the game. Monday afternoon it was reported that Mills was shot and killed in Chicago, not too far away from his alma mater of North Lawndale High School.
Before attending Eastern Utah CC and Southern Miss, Mills plied his trade at North Lawndale where he helped the school win a state title in 2008 and the Chicago Public League title as a senior in 2009. North Lawndale HS coach Lewis Thorpe told the Chicago Tribune that he and Mills had plans to work out at the school Monday afternoon, only for Thorpe to receive a phone call from his nephew informing him of Mills’ death.
Mills was going through workouts with his high school coach in preparation for a move overseas to play professionally.
The coach said he heard from witnesses at the scene that Mills had gone to a corner store with some friends and, when they came out, a car drove up and someone inside shot him.
“I’m so messed up. I am so shocked,” he said. “When I say he was well liked…everybody loved him.’’
Thorpe said Mills called him “Pops” when he coached him in high school.
After word of Mills’ death made the rounds many paid tribute to him via social media including Donnie Tyndall, who coached Mills at Southern Miss.
With the NCAA allowing college basketball programs to take one trip outside of the country every four years, some coaches look at it as an opportunity to get a head start on preparations for the upcoming season. Chris Mooney’s Richmond Spiders are one team taking a trip this summer, as they’re due to leave the United States for Europe on August 8 with three exhibitions scheduled for their 12-day tour.
The trip was originally scheduled to begin in France, with the Spiders spending their first week there before making stops in the Netherlands and Germany. Monday afternoon the program announced a change to the itinerary, with the Spiders now spending their first week in Ireland and not France.
“We continue to be excited about the opportunity to travel abroad this summer,” Mooney said in the release. “We were able to make some changes to our travel itinerary, and we believe that this new itinerary will give our team a great opportunity to grow together and see other parts of the world.”
It isn’t stated as the reason for the change in the release but this news comes just over a week after a man drove a truck into a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, claiming the lives of 84 people and leaving more than 200 others injured.
Richmond, which returns two of its top three scorers from a season ago in forward T.J. Cline and guard ShawnDre’ Jones, is schedule to return to the United States August 20. Per NCAA rules they’re also afforded the opportunity to practice for two weeks leading up to the trip, and heading to Europe can help the team build stronger connections in unfamiliar surroundings.