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Kansas adds five-star freshman forward Silvio De Sousa to roster

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Kansas could be getting frontcourt help in the immediate future.

Talented five-star freshman Silvio De Sousa has been added the Jayhawks’ roster and will begin practicing with the team on Dec. 26th, according to a release from the school. Regarded as the No. 18 overall prospect in the Rivals national Class of 2018 rankings, the 6-foot-9 De Sousa is a high-motor forward who can crash the glass and provide athleticism.

Since Kansas is so thin up front, even if De Sousa can play 10 to 15 quality minutes a game, it would be a huge boost. Udoka Azubuike has been the only Jayhawks big man playing heavy minutes this season. If De Sousa can be more than a role player, than a talented Jayhawk team gets another piece to a team with deep NCAA tournament aspirations.

“Silvio has completed the required coursework that will enable him to graduate from IMG Academy and report to KU,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said in the release. “He is eligible to practice immediately and will join our team December 26th. We are now working through the NCAA’s amateurism process and hope to have him certified as soon as possible for game competition.”

Kansas opens the Big 12 season on Dec. 29th with a road game at Texas.

Kansas still without freshman Billy Preston

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Kansas freshman Billy Preston has yet to make his debut for the Jayhawks and it appears he’ll have to wait a bit longer before that happens.

Head coach Bill Self met with media earlier this week to discuss the Preston situation, saying that nothing has changed about his status quite yet. Preston was previously suspended for violating a team rule when he missed the game against Tennessee State. Before Preston was set to debut against Kentucky in the Champions Classic he was also withheld from the contest after the revelation that Preston had been in a single-vehicle accident the previous weekend.

“I have actually been out, until I just pulled back in, so as of this morning, there was no movement. The last time you guys asked me was Friday and so you don’t work on Saturday or Sunday, so there is nothing new on that situation,” Self said.

“Sure, I’m worried,” Self also added. “I’m concerned and I do think that it can work itself, based on what I’ve been told. I also think that it obviously hadn’t happened yet.”

It’s uncertain when the next step in any of this will play out but Self doesn’t appear to be too concerned over it. Kansas has won without Preston so far but they could definitely use his size, scoring punch and overall depth to a team that isn’t very deep right now.

A matchup nightmare, Preston could help the Jayhawk offense while also giving Udoka Azubuike additional help on the glass and protecting the rim.

(H/t: Jesse Newell, Kansas City Star)

Hot shooting leads No. 3 Kansas past Texas Southern, 114-71

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas shot the ball from 3-point range better than it ever has in its illustrious history.

Once the Jayhawks found their rhythm from deep, their offense was virtually impossible to stop. Texas Southern coach Mike Davis was in awe.

“I’ve never seen a team pass the ball and shoot the basketball as well as they do,” Davis said.

Svi Mykhailiuk scored 21 points, Udoka Azubuike added 20 and No. 3 Kansas cruised to a resounding 114-71 victory over Texas Southern on Tuesday night in the Jayhawks’ first game of the Hoophall Miami Invitational.

They got after it early, as with just under 5 minutes remaining in the first half Lagerald Vick hit the team’s seventh 3 of the half — a program record. A similar feat was achieved in the second half, when Devonte’ Graham hit No. 17, the record for 3s in a game.

“It’s super fun,” Graham said. “Being active, sharing the ball, it’s contagious. Just making that extra pass, and when the ball’s going through the hoop like that, it just feeds energy into us.”

Graham, Vick and Marcus Garrett all finished with a double-double for Kansas, as Vick posted 19 points and 10 rebounds, Graham had 17 points and 11 assists, and Garrett logged 13 points and 11 boards.

Texas Southern’s Demontrae Jefferson led all scorers with 24 points. Donte Clark added 19 and had a game-high 14 rebounds as well.

Davis has seen plenty of high-powered offenses run by Bill Self, as the pair used to meet regularly when they coached at Illinois and Indiana, respectively. After watching a performance like this, he has no doubts over his former rival’s future chances.

“I’ve been around for a long time,” Davis said. “If you play basketball like they play basketball, they’ll be cutting the net down in April.”

BIG PICTURE

Kansas continues to thrive without freshman Billy Preston, who remains benched as the school investigates a single-car on-campus incident involving him earlier in the month. His absence has left Self with just two big men, but the lack of depth has yet to truly hurt the Jayhawks.

Texas Southern is still searching for its first win after facing a daunting schedule to start the season. Even though the Tigers have yet to find themselves in the win column, games against bigger schools like Kansas will continue to provide invaluable experience regardless of the score.

“It was a great opportunity for us,” Davis said. “We leave tomorrow to go play Clemson on Friday, and this game right here will get us ready for our next game.”

T’ED UP

Azubuike earned a technical foul midway through the first half when he hung on the rim following a thunderous dunk.

“He deserved it,” Self said of the technical. “I told the official — he said ‘I hate calling that,’ I said ‘but you got to call it.’ I mean, that’s good for us … he has a bad habit of doing that, and I was glad they called it because that may end up not costing us where we really need it, in a close game.”

SARCASTIC SELF

While Self agreed that the Jayhawks shot the ball about as well as they possibly could have, he wasn’t overtly enthused by the record, as per usual.

“I couldn’t be happier. I think we should celebrate for a week,” Self said. “My reaction is we made shots. That doesn’t mean anything to me.”

MODEL FOR SUCCESS

“Love the way they play,” Davis said of the Jayhawks. “That’s the way I want my team to play. When we get to January and play in our conference, that’s the way we want to be playing basketball.”

UP NEXT

Kansas will continue Hoophall Miami Invitational play Friday night with another home game against Oakland, which has already dropped its first two games of the tournament.

Texas Southern will once again face an uphill battle for its first victory as it travels to Clemson on Friday.

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For more AP college basketball coverage: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Trayvon Reed ends up on wrong end of Udoka Azubuike dunk

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Listed at 7-feet, 280 pounds, Kansas redshirt freshman Udoka Azubuike is an imposing figure on the basketball court. If he gets his defender pinned underneath the basket, there’s a good chance that Azubuike is going to finish things off with a powerful dunk.

That’s exactly what happened in the first half of Kansas’ home game against Texas Southern, with 7-foot-2 center Trayvon Reed being on the receiving end of a vicious poster-worthy dunk. Had this been on a fast break maybe Reed has the opportunity to make a “business decision.” No such luck in a half-court set, however.

No. 3 Kansas outlasts No. 7 Kentucky in ugly Champions Classic game

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CHICAGO — Kansas used a late three-pointer from Malik Newman and some clutch free-throw shooting to outlast Kentucky, 65-61, on Tuesday night in a disjointed second game of the Champions Classic.

With both teams struggling to score in the half court for much of the night, Newman’s trey with 2:10 left proved to be a critical bucket for the No. 3 Jayhawks (2-0) as the redshirt sophomore also knocked down two important free throws late in the game. Svi Mykhailiuk paced the Jayhawks with 17 points to lead an ugly offensive effort while big man Udoka Azubuike tallied 13 points and eight rebounds on 5-for-5 shooting. Newman finished with 12 points.

Preseason All-American Devonte’ Graham had a sluggish 3-for-14 shooting night for Kansas but he iced the game with two free throws with 7.1 seconds left as he finished with 11 points and five assists.

The No. 7 Wildcats (2-1) had a solid effort from freshman Kevin Knox as the five-star wing looked like he was ready to play in a high-pressure game. Knox finished with a game-high 20 points as his perimeter shooting and ability to create his own shot were a bright spot for Kentucky.

Freshman guard Hamidou Diallo was the only other double-figure scorer for Kentucky as he ended with 14 points. Kentucky’s interior struggled much of the night as freshmen P.J. Washington and Nick Richards provided little-to-no help on either end of the floor.

 

 

Report | Cheating coaches encouraged to come forward by Bill Self and NABC

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With college basketball still dealing with the impact of the FBI’s ongoing investigation into corruption and bribery in basketball, with four Division I assistants among the ten people arrested last month, coaches across the country have needed to take stock of the way in which they do business.

According to a report by Dana O’Neil of The Athletic (subscription required), the NABC advised coaches who have participated in illegal activity to step forward during a conference call for the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).

While in the past cheating coaches could essentially operate with only the NCAA in mind when it came doing what was necessary to not get caught, the involvement of the FBI changes things. Instead of simply losing scholarships, receiving a postseason ban and/or a show-cause penalty, there’s now the possibility that wrongdoing could result in facing federal charges.

“You’re going to be found out, that’s all we wanted people to understand,” Kansas head coach Bill Self, who’s president of the NABC, said according to The Athletic.

With the investigation still in its early stages, how far this reaches depends upon what the already indicted parties say when questioned by the FBI. And given some of the possible sentences, ranging from 50 to 80 years depending upon the person and their involvement in the scheme, it would be fair to assume that the FBI will be able to acquire more information in time.

In addition to Arizona (Emanuel “Book” Richardson), Auburn (Chuck Person), Oklahoma State (Lamont Evans) and USC (Tony Bland) having coaches arrested as part of the probe, Louisville dismissed both head coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich.

While Louisville was cited in the FBI report, with a six-figure payment in exchange for the commitment of Brian Bowen being one of the actions documented, no one connected with the program has been indicted by the FBI.

Alabama and Miami also admitted to being investigated, with a member of Alabama’s support staff resigning in late September as a result. During a press conference last month Miami head coach Jim Larranaga said that he and his lawyers believe that he is cited in the FBI report (as Coach-3).