Oklahoma State v Kansas

Did those technical fouls cost No. 9 Oklahoma State a win at No. 15 Kansas?

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It’s hard not to come away from No. 9 Oklahoma State’s 80-78 loss to No. 15 Kansas incredibly impressed with the way that the Jayhawks are progressing this season.

I wrote all about it here.

But it’s also difficult to watch that game and have anything other than respect for the Pokes.

Oklahoma State was down 14 points midway through the first half. They were down 17 points at the break. Marcus Smart didn’t make a field goal until there was 6:01 left in the game, and that came after the Pokes had cut that 17 point lead to three and seen the Jayhawks push it right back up to 11. And despite all of that, Oklahoma State still had the ball with 5.4 seconds left and a chance to either tie or win the game.

I’d say that’s a pretty impressive performance.

And it makes you wonder: what would’ve happened if Oklahoma State had been able to keep their composure throughout the game?

It started midway through the first half, when Markel Brown didn’t hear the whistle for a timeout and ran into Jamari Traylor, throwing out an elbow in the process and nearly providing the spark for an ugly, ugly scene in Phog Allen. Double technicals were given out for that little brouhaha. Two minutes later, after Smart went crashing to the ground on a drive to the basket, Stevie Clark picked up a technical for pushing Wayne Selden, who was straddling Smart on the ground. Le’Bryan Nash came dangerously close to picking up a technical, which would have been his fifth foul, about three minutes before Brown picked up his second technical foul arguing a call.

Stating the obvious: take away the foul shots that Kansas made after those technicals and Oklahoma State wins.

I know, it doesn’t actually work that way.

But you have to think head coach Travis Ford would have loved to have Brown on the floor on the final possession, when Nash was unable to get off a final shot. Or maybe have him on the court for that second-to-last possession, when Oklahoma State ran 30 seconds off the clock before Phil Forte his a three with 7.8 seconds remaining. Maybe his presence on the floor defensively helps the Pokes get an extra stop.

Oklahoma State cannot let their emotions get the best of them.

Losing Michael Cobbins made an already-thin front line that much more of a liability. They no longer have that margin for error.

Texas lands four-star Class of 2017 guard Jase Febres

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Texas and head coach Shaka Smart continue to recruit at a high level, especially in the state of Texas, as the Longhorns landed a commitment from Class of 2017 four-star guard Jase Febres on Friday night.

The 6-foot-5 Febres is considered the No. 63 overall prospect in the Rivals national Class of 2017 rankings as he burst on the national radar this summer with some strong shooting performances. Febres shot over 40 percent from three-point range during the month of July after battling through injury during the spring. Besides owning good size for a wing shooter, Febres also takes pride in defending and he can rebound a bit from the wing as well.

Febres is going to have to improve his overall offensive package if a defense plays him off the three-point line, but he has upside as a three-and-D guy with the Longhorns.

The Class of 2017 is starting to round into shape for Texas as Febres joins four-star power forward Jericho Sims and four-star forward Royce Hamm. Since taking over the Texas job, Smart has done a great job of keeping local talent home as he now has five four- and five-star prospects from the state in the last two classes.

 

VIDEO: Kentucky fans get married in the ticket line for Big Blue Madness

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Kentucky fans have unique ways of making their annual Big Blue Madness event the most chaotic tip-off event of the season. While Big Blue Nation is waiting in line for tickets to this year’s festivities in Tent City, one couple decided to go the extra mile.

After securing the first spot in line for tickets, Ray Branham and Vicki Harvey opted to get married. According to a post from Drew Franklin of Kentucky Sports Radio, the couple had already been talking about tying the knot, but decided to make the move once they had the top spot in line. As you can see by the wedding video, it was a very Kentucky-themed ceremony as the duo got married in front of friends and other Kentucky fans.

I can’t say I’m surprised two Kentucky fans decided to get married in line for something like Big Blue Madness and this (unplanned) wedding gives this year’s event something unique that we will always remember.

Penn State loses freshman on day practice starts

Patrick Chambers
AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato
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On the day that college basketball practice is to start, Penn State head coach Pat Chambers announced that his roster would be changing.

Joe Hampton, a 6-foot-8, 290 pound power forward from Maryland, will be leaving the program.

“Joe has made the decision to leave the program based on personal reasons,” Chambers said. “We wish him the best of luck with his future endeavors.”

Hampton was a three-star prospect that missed his senior season at Oak Hill Academy with torn ACL, but he reportedly enrolled at Penn State in May, before the rest of the Nittany Lion recruit class.

Michigan State lands second Class of 2017 commitment

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 22:  Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans reacts against the Virginia Cavaliers during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 22, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
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Tom Izzo landed his second commitment in the Class of 2017 as big man Xavier Tillman announced that he will be attending Michigan State.

A 6-foot-7, 235 pound power forward, Tillman is a physical-if-undersized player that is rated as a three-star prospect. He’s not a one-and-done player, but he’s should be a good program guy for the Spartans.

“Tillman is another big and strong interior presence for Michigan State,” said NBCSports.com recruiting analyst Scott Phillips. “What separates Tillman from a lot of big men his size is his passing ability. Tillman is an intelligent player on the offensive end and he rebounds his area well.”

Tillman joins Jaren Jackson, his AAU teammate for Speice Indy Heat, in Michigan State’s recruiting class.

He picked Michigan State over Purdue and Marquette.

PHOTO: Arizona’s Kobi Simmons puts his chin above the rim

TREVISO, ITALY - JUNE 06:  Kobi Simmons in action during adidas Euriocamp Day 1 at La Ghirada sports center on June 6, 2015 in Treviso, Italy.  (Photo by Roberto Serra/Iguana Press/Getty Images)
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Kobi Simmons has some ridiculous hops.

How ridiculous?

Well, take a look at this tweet:

His vertical is … 45 inches? That’s pretty impressive, but not quite as impressive as the pictures that he tweeted out, the full effect of which you cannot receive until you see the picture in it’s entirety:

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1. Look how high he is off the court.

2. Look at where his hand is in relation to the top of the back board.

3. … LOOK AT HIS CHIN!

I know that the angle of this picture is probably playing some visual tricks on us, but think about how high you have to be able to jump just to have a camera visually trick someone’s eyes into thinking your chin is above the backboard.