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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).

Bill Self’s stance on Kansas/Missouri series remains unchanged

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Sunday afternoon in Kansas City, bitter rivals Kansas and Missouri got together on the basketball court for the first time since 2012, with the Showdown for Relief raising $1.75 million for recent hurricane victims. In what was an entertaining game, the Jayhawks won by the final score of 93-87 with point guard Devonté Graham leading the way for the winners with 25 points and ten rebounds.

Kansas finished the game with five players in double figures, including Mississippi State transfer Malik Newman (17 points) and center Udoka Azubuike (16). On the other side freshman Michael Porter Jr. paced four Tigers in double figures with 21 points while younger brother Jontay grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds off the bench.

However despite the excitement for the two rivals being on the same court in any capacity, Sunday’s meeting was different given the circumstances. Following the game Kansas head coach Bill Self was asked about the possibility of the two teams meeting in a regular season game, and he maintained the stance he’s held since Missouri left the Big 12 for the SEC.

“I’m not going to say never, but I don’t think there’s been any change in our position as far as the university goes,” Self said following Sunday’s exhibition. “I’m the spokesman, I guess, on this but trust me, I’m not the only one that feels that way.”

While it would certainly benefit college basketball if Kansas and Missouri were to renew acquaintances down the line, it is understandable that Self — and maybe some others on the Kansas side of things — would have reservations. The programs, even with the arrival of Cuonzo Martin in Columbia and the freshman class led by the aforementioned Michael Porter Jr., are in different places right now.

The Jayhawks have their sights set on a 14th consecutive Big 12 title and a run at their first national title since 2008, Missouri is looking to fast-track a rebuilding process after struggling mightily under former head coach Kim Anderson. Yet with that being said, the state of the two athletic departments during realignment likely has more to do with the teams not playing each other.

Missouri was a school with options earlier this decade before joining the SEC, but that was not the case for Kansas. Had the Big 12 broken up as some believed would be the case, where would the Jayhawks have landed? Fortunately for the school the Big 12 survived the realignment craze, losing four schools (Missouri and Texas A&M to the SEC, Colorado to the Pac-12 and Nebraska to the Big Ten) and adding TCU and West Virginia to get their membership number to ten.

Given that, the best bet for college basketball fans who want to see this rivalry played during the regular season may be to hope for the programs wind up in the same in-season tournament. Even better, how about the same NCAA tournament region?

Mizzou-Kansas benefit game raises nearly 2M for charity

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While there’s still a demand that longtime rivals Missouri and Kansas resume their basketball series at some point, Sunday’s exhibition game in Kansas City helped whet the appetites of many in attendance. But more important than the series and the opportunity for head coaches Cuonzo Martin and Bill Self to get an early evaluation of their teams against outside competition was the cause.

The rivals, separated by conference realignment that led Missouri to the SEC and the Big 12 to the brink of collapse, got together to raise money for hurricane relief. Multiple hurricanes hit the United States, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and other portions of the Caribbean earlier this fall, with some areas still in the early stages of getting things back in order.

The Showdown for Relief came about to help those in need, and it sparked a movement across college basketball as well.

It was announced at halftime of Sunday’s exhibition that the schools and their supporters managed to raise an impressive $1.75 million for hurricane relief.

According to Gary Bedore of the Kansas City Star more than $600,000 of the money raised came by way of pay-per-view sales for the game, which cost $40 for those unable to get to the Sprint Center.

Kansas has backcourt of the future after commitment from five-star guard Devon Dotson

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Kansas reloaded its future backcourt on Friday as five-star point guard Devon Dotson pledged to the Jayhawks.

The 6-foot-1 native of Charlotte is considered the No. 17 overall prospect in the national Class of 2018, according to Rivals. An aggressive, attacking guard who likes to play downhill, Dotson should step in and contribute immediately for Kansas, especially since the Jayhawks could be losing both Devonte’ Graham and Malik Newman after this season.

Even if Kansas loses this season’s starting backcourt, head coach Bill Self now has reinforcements in Dotson and Cal transfer Charlie Moore, a former four-star lead guard who is sitting out this season due to NCAA transfer regulations.

Not only does Self have the two-point guard lineup that he’s liked using lately, but Dotson and Moore compliment each other pretty well. While Dotson is aggressive getting to the rim and setting up others, Moore is a very talented spot-up shooter who can either wait on the perimeter once Dotson drives or attack off the bounce on his own when he gets the ball.

The combination of Dotson and Moore, the Lawson brothers, five-star forward Silvio de Sousa and four-star center David McCormack already gives the Jayhawks six talented pieces for next season as Kansas already has the makings of a very strong roster — especially when you don’t consider returning pieces.

Dotson’s commitment has another interesting angle for Kansas, since the North Carolina-native is close with five-star forward and YouTube sensation Zion Williamson. Teammates for the final AAU event of the summer in Las Vegas, Dotson will undoubtedly be in Williamson’s ear to join him in Lawrence next season. Williamson has already taken an official visit to Kansas as he continues his tour of programs.

VIDEO: Kansas coach Bill Self enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame

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Kansas head coach Bill Self was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday night.

Leading off the night’s festivities as the first speaker, the 54-year-old Self gave a solid speech detailing his family, friends and rise through the coaching ranks at stops including Oral Roberts, Tulsa, Illinois and Kansas.

Self has helped the Jayhawks to 13 consecutive Big 12 regular season championships a national championship and two Final Four appearances.

Brought to the stage by former boss and Hall of Famer Larry Brown, Self thanked numerous coaches, former players and family during his speech, including moments reflecting on working for Leonard Hamilton and Eddie Sutton. North Carolina head coach Roy Williams also had a brief video praising Self for his career achievements.

Among the personal highlights Self included were his playing days at Oklahoma State, including a shoutout to former colleague and San Antonio Spurs general manager R.C. Buford. Self also reflected on his parents, sister, wife, daughter and son, talking at one point about the past five years with his son Tyler playing for him at Kansas.

One of 11 inductees on the night, Self is the fifth Hall of Fame coach from the University of Kansas, joining James Naismith, Phog Allen, Larry Brown and Roy Williams. Of the eight head coaches in the history of Kansas men’s basketball, five have now been inducted into the Hall of Fame.