Lots of links to get to after top prospect Andrew Wiggins announced Tuesday that he was coming to Kansas ...
• In his notes column about the signing, ESPN.com's Andy Katz talked to some other Big 12 coaches to get their reaction.
Here was what Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said:
"He's the best high school player who has come around in a long time. He's freakishly athletic and has great size and great length. He's a special player and a special talent in our conference."
• How good is Wiggins? ESPN.com's Chad Ford talked about Wiggins' reputation among NBA folks in this column (subscription required).
Here's a snippet from Ford:
"Every GM and scout in the league with whom I've spoken believes Wiggins would be the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA draft if he were eligible. Every one."
• Here's a long feature on Wiggins from Feb. 7 written by SI.com's Pete Thamel that discusses Wiggins' past. It also includes a quote from recruiting analyst Tom Konchalski who says Wiggins could be the "Michael Jordan of Canada."
• After Kansas signed Wiggins, CBSsports.com moved the Jayhawks up 10 spots to No. 9 in its 2013-14 preseason poll. ESPN.com's Jason King moved KU up from No. 21 to No. 5.
• ESPN.com's Paul Biancardi believes Wiggins' decision to go to KU will help him prepare for a pro career (subscription required), with Biancardi saying:
Wiggins already is viewed as a potential No. 1 pick, but looking at how Kansas made a top-5 player out of McLemore, Self’s staff could work wonders in preparing him for instant success as an NBA rookie.
• Yahoo! Sports' Pat Forde shared an interesting story about Bill Self in his column about Wiggins committing to KU:
When I saw Bill Self at the Final Four in Atlanta, I speculated that it was down to Florida State and Kentucky for the top player in the Class of 2013, Andrew Wiggins. "We're still in it," the Kansas coach replied.
• CBSsports.com's Jeff Goodman is just happy that Wiggins didn't go to Kentucky, as he explains in his column:
Kentucky remains the most talented team in the land, but Wiggins would have put the Wildcats in a different stratosphere. That's not what college basketball needed.
• CBSsports.com also put together the basics on Wiggins for those who didn't know much about him before this week.
• 810 WHB sports radio had KU assistant coach Kurtis Townsend on the Border Patrol, and at the 6:20 mark, Townsend talks about the first time he saw Wiggins play at an AAU event following his freshman year:
"This kid single-handedly did stuff that I hadn't seen since Vince Carter."
Here's a small slice of it:
So on Monday night, Mitchell and Marita Wiggins arrived at a hotel here knowing that their son had selected a college, yet still unsure which one. Wiggins drove to the hotel, entered his parents' room and flashed a wide smile. "I know where I want to go," he said. "Guess!"
Himmelsbach also said on his Twitter account that a Vine video from Kentucky's Andrew Harrison might have steered Wiggins away from the Wildcats.
• Buzzfeed gathered together 21 of the best Andrew Wiggins GIFs, including this one.
• Grant Traylor of the Herald-Dispatch — the one print reporter allowed to go to Wiggins' press conference — had some good quotes from Andrew's father, Mitchell, about why he decided to go to KU:
“They run a lot of pick and-roll, pick-and-pop — a lot of stuff as he goes to the next level, he’s already ready for. The system was probably the biggest thing and the coach. (Kansas) Coach (Bill) Self is a very good coach and Andrew had a good feel for him. I think it’s going to be a great fit.”
• The Herald-Dispatch also has a nice photo gallery from Tuesday's signing.
• ViewfromVegas says that KU went from 25-to-1 to win it all earlier this week to 10-to-1 after signing Wiggins. KU has the second-best odds, only behind Kentucky.
• The Sporting News' Mike DeCourcy outlines how much time Wiggins could be away from KU in summer/fall because of his commitments to play for Team Canada in two different FIBA championships. DeCourcy also compiled reaction to the signing from other analysts in this story, which includes this quote from talent analyst at Hot 100 Hoops Van Coleman:
"Andrew has similar tools to a young Carmelo Anthony, He, like Anthony can dominate the game with his ability to make plays on both ends of the court."
• ESPN.com's Dana O'Neil says now it's time to see if Wiggins can live up to the hype.
• SI's Andy Glockner ponders five questions about college basketball now that Wiggins has signed with KU.
He ends the piece with this:
We don’t know exactly what we’ll see from him next season, but we do know it’s just the start of what should be a sensational basketball career. He’s that kind of prospect, and it’s that kind of celebratory day for Kansas.
• Bloguin shows us that Wiggins' decision brought out some of the worst of people on Twitter, as Wiggins had fans of other schools wishing him harm and also calling him some pretty awful names on the social media site (Warning: Harsh language/Viewer discretion advised).
• Self was on CBSsports radio with Doug Gottlieb, and the coach was asked how he felt about his chances with Wiggins the night before he committed.
"I didn't think it was great, because I kept texting him and couldn't get him to respond."
• To gauge Wiggins' potential against the top KU players ever, USA Today's Scott Gleeson ranks the top 10 KU basketball players of all-time.
• ESPN.com's Eamonn Brennan says the Wiggins addition instantly makes KU a Final Four contender again.
• And finally, ESPN.com's Reggie Rankin says the Wiggins signing makes the young Jayhawks scary (subscription required).
Here's more from Rankin:
If KU fans thought Ben McLemore was exciting in transition, wait until they get an up-close look at Wiggins, who often appears to be looking down at the rim on finishes.
The Kansas University athletic department and Jeff Forbes have released the latest installment of the "Pay Heed" video series, and it's definitely worth a look, especially with the locker room footage shown from the men's basketball team's 2012-13 season.
I won't ruin KU coach Bill Self's postgame speeches (there are some memorable words in there, so you'll have to watch), but a few of the dancing highlights are below.
After Oklahoma State win
4:34 mark of video
After Iowa State win
Big 12 tournament
A few links for your Thursday ...
• The "Man of Steel" movie trailer was released Tuesday, and already it has caused a lot of buzz around Lawrence.
If you pause the trailer above at the 2:21 mark, you can see that Clark Kent, aka Superman, is wearing a "Kansas Athletics" shirt.
In the comic books and movies, Superman is raised by a family in Kansas, but this is the first time I've seen him linked to an actual university.
As of Thursday afternoon, the trailer had more than 8 million views on YouTube.
• KU assistant coach Joe Dooley officially accepted the Florida Gulf Coast head coaching position on Wednesday, and so far, the hire appears to be getting good reviews.
That included the Fort Myers News-Press' Dan DeLuca, who opened his column about Dooley by saying this:
There’s only one emotion FGCU’s hiring of Joe Dooley as its men’s basketball coach should elicit from the Eagles players, fans and supporters.
Total, complete, absolute elation.
A program precious few outside of Southwest Florida and — let’s be honest, not all that many inside of — knew or cared much about one month ago just got its coach from the University of Kansas.
Rock Chalk Jayhawk Kansas.
Phog Allen Kansas.
Wilt Chamberlain Kansas.
This is also a good time to look back to a nicely written story by our own Gary Bedore about Dooley in 2008.
I thought it was interesting that, at the time, Dooley said this about becoming a head coach again:
"Right now, the big thing is it has to be a good situation, a top-half-of-the-league job. It doesn't make sense to take a bad job. If there's no commitment to the program, there's no sense to take it to tell you the truth."
I'd think that FGCU, coming off its Sweet 16 appearance this past year, was about as good of a situation as Dooley could have hoped for.
• In case you missed it, former KU guard Tyshawn Taylor had a great game Monday for the Brooklyn Nets, scoring 14 points in his team's 106-101 victory over Washington.
That included this three-pointer that helped ice the game with 22 seconds left.
Taylor, who scored his 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting in 24 minutes, received the extended playing time with the Nets resting four of their starters.
• And finally, this Andrea Geubelle "More Than a Number" feature from KU Athletics is worth checking out, as it outlines all of her emotions when she won — and then lost — the NCAA outdoor triple jump title a year ago.
Here's Tom Keegan's story from the NCAA Championships last June if you'd like more info on Geubelle's triple-jump controversy.
A few links for your Friday ...
• Matt Lombardi, the editor-in-chief for the blog College Spun, did a study to try to determine the most successful men's college basketball NCAA Tournament teams in the 21st century.
He used this point system:
Round of 64 loss = 0 points
Round of 32 loss = 1 point
Sweet 16 loss = 2 points
Elite Eight loss = 4 points
Final Four loss = 8 points
Championship Game loss = 12 points
National Champions = 16 points
After adding up all the numbers, KU was No. 1 in the rankings with 68 points. North Carolina was second with 64 points.
Lombardi said at first he was surprised that the Jayhawks ended up on top, but he then cited the Jayhawks' consistency as the reason they took the No. 1 spot.
• The Jordan Brand Classic high school all-star game is taking place Saturday in New York City, and in the last day, there have been some highlight videos posted of KU signees from the pregame workouts.
Here's cued-up video of Wayne Selden's dunks, including an impressive alley-oop slam:
Also, here's Joel Embiid putting in some dunks of his own:
• Speaking of Selden, here are some of his highlights from last week's McDonald's All-American game, in case you missed them:
• One last recruiting item: KU remains in the race for the class of 2013's No. 1 overall player Andrew Wiggins, who is also considering Florida State, Kentucky and North Carolina.
His highlight film is worth a look if you haven't seen it yet.
• College basketball analyst Ken Pomeroy points out a statistical oddity that relates to KU in his latest ESPN column (subscription required).
Remember when KU freshman guard Rio Adams exploded for 11 points on 4-for-5 shooting in KU's 91-63 victory over Texas Tech in the Big 12 tournament?
According to Pomeroy, it "was the shortest appearance this season for a player scoring in double figures."
Adams needed just 4 minutes, 43 seconds to put in his 11 points.
• SI.com's Seth Davis has KU ranked No. 13 in his not-too-early college basketball preseason poll for 2013-14.
Davis, who admits in the article much of KU's high ranking is based on coach Bill Self's history of churning out winning teams, does not have any other Big 12 schools ranked in his top 25.
• And finally, a couple months ago I was introduced to the song "Withey, Without You" via a friend on social media.
I watched it once, forgot about it, then had it reverberate again in my head once again this week.
Maybe it's the "We can't win ... Withey without you" lyric. I don't know.
But here it is. Good luck getting it out of your head.
Though he’s paid most, Bill Self 7th in Big 12 in dollars/win; the best GIFs, buzzer-beaters of 2012-13
A lot of links for your Tuesday ...
• Journal-World news reporter Shaun Hittle posed an interesting question to me earlier in the week: Which Big 12 coach produces the best value when comparing his salary to his wins?
If you remember, USA Today did a similar study a few months ago with college football showing KU had the highest cost-per-win ratio in the nation ($2.5 million/win).
With help from Hittle and the Des Moines Register, which pulled each Big 12 coach's salary for a piece it did last week, here's a look at the Big 12 coaches and their wins compared to their salaries.
Note: We previously had 30 wins for KU, which was one too many. It should be fixed now with 29.
Though KU coach Bill Self is easily the highest-paid coach in the Big 12, he ranks seventh in cost per win because of the Jayhawks' success. Obviously, West Virginia and Texas can't be happy with the results they received from their well-paid coaches this season.
• While we're on the topic of money, a study by Forbes Magazine finds Kansas has the second-most valuable basketball team at $32.9 million, trailing only Louisville ($38.5 million).
KU was third last year on the Forbes list but passed North Carolina, which checked in right behind KU at $32.8 million.
• This is one of the best blogs I've seen all year: Barstoolsports put together the top 14 GIFs of the college basketball season. (Warning: There's some language in the link above that might not be appropriate for the workplace.)
KU makes three separate appearances on the list, with KU guard Ben McLemore's locker room dance earning the No. 3 spot.
Seriously, though, it'll be tough to have a bad day if you take a few minutes to watch all of these (and especially No. 1, which is mesmerizing).
• Here's a video showing the top 26 buzzer-beaters of the college basketball season. CBS's Gregg Doyel described the video well on Twitter, saying, "My goosebumps have goosebumps."
• New York Times' statistician Nate Silver gives his analysis of the NCAA brackets in this column, and he also does a good job of explaining why statistical models like the third-seeded Florida Gators so much.
The answer boils down to margin of victory. Florida’s losses came by margins of 1, 3, 3, 4, 6, 6 and 11 points. By contrast, its wins came in blowouts; the Gators didn’t win a single game by fewer than 10 points.
As much as the conventional wisdom might chide Florida for having performed poorly in the clutch, there is an abundance of statistical evidence that a team’s record in close games is mostly a matter of luck, and that this luck turns around often enough. Had Florida split its single-digit games, for instance, it would have gone 29-4 this year, which may be a better indication of its strength.
• Facebook has released some color-coded maps based on people "liking" the teams in the NCAA Tournament. KU seems to be well-represented in the Midwest, especially when compared to the other No. 1 seeds. The final map also compared KU basketball fans to Kansas State basketball fans ... and the result isn't surprising.
• KU Athletics released its highlight video following the Jayhawks' 70-54 Big 12 championship victory over Kansas State. And for those fans of the "McLemore" dance, you'll want to be sure to make it to the 2:05 mark.
• Want to look at some unconventional brackets? Ecollegefinder.org took a look at how the current bracket would end up if teams won each game based on enrollment, tuition, student/faculty ratio and acceptance rate.
• And finally, in case you haven't heard, the Kansas women's basketball team made the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year, earning a No. 12 seed. The Jayhawks will take on fifth-seeded Colorado at 5:30 p.m. Saturday on ESPN2.
I love this photo from Journal-World photographer John Young of the players' reactions once they saw "Kansas" on the TV screen. The best facial expression is from KU guard CeCe Harper right in the middle of the front row.
Also, here's some video of the scene from KU Athletics. Be sure to pay attention to Carolyn Davis (back row, far left), who couldn't play in last year's NCAA run to the Sweet 16 because of a torn ACL. She gets the most congratulations, and at the end, she also wipes away a tear.
An abbreviated Seen It? blog for your Tuesday ...
• The regular-season finale trailer of the "Pay Heed" videos series from the KU Athletics department was released late Monday, and once again, dancing is the highlight.
This time it's from KU coach Bill Self after he receives his 500th win gameball in the locker room after the Jayhawks' overtime victory over Iowa State.
At first Self doesn't dance, and then he does, going into full Ben McLemore mode.
You'll definitely want to watch the video below (starting at the 1:32 mark) at least twice: once to watch Self's dance moves and another time to watch McLemore's face as Self is dancing.
• The Kansas City Star's Rustin Dodd points out in his latest "KU Chalkboard" blog that heading into the season, KU coach Bill Self had the same number of conference losses at KU as NCAA Tournament wins (23).
To keep that streak going, Self will have to get four NCAA wins with KU this season, meaning the Jayhawks would have to advance to the Final Four.
• The Jayhawk Talk blog had CBS senior blogger Matt Norlander on a podcast to discuss the NCAA Tournament and KU.
• Former Lawrence Journal-World staffer Alex Parker had a story last week about how backlash over the KU alternative adidas uniforms helped bring a spike in traffic for the Zubaz website ... even though Zubaz has no affiliation with the new uniforms.
• And finally, KSHB's Jack Harry — a well-known Missouri Tigers supporter — says that KU deserved the Big 12 title outright over Kansas State because it beat the Wildcats twice in his latest "Jack's Smack."
Update: Here are the Kansas senior speeches that I was able to record. I didn't get Travis Releford's at the end (iPhone ran out of free space), but it should be cued up to his speech in the bottom video below.
A few links for your Friday ...
• Give credit to the NBA's Miami Heat for giving its own take on the "Harlem Shake" dance craze.
Kansas basketball fans will be most interested in the left side of the screen, where former KU guard Mario Chalmers is dressed up as — appropriately — Nintendo's Super Mario.
Chalmers also was recently featured in Lifestyle magazine, with a lede I thought was great:
Mario Chalmers has a table reserved at his favorite restaurant in South Florida. It’s a place where he walks in and gets treated, like, well, LeBron James.
“I know the manager pretty well now that I’ve been going so much,” Chalmers says. “I just go in there, and they’ve got a table set up for me already.”
The video of that is below from KU Athletics. Skip to the 2:05 mark if you don't want to see the rest of the highlights from the game.
Self said this about the scene: "I knew our guys liked Elijah, but I didn’t realize how much they respected him and liked him until after the game. I have never seen a group of guys more happy for one guy than they were for Elijah."
• USA Today's Eric Prisbell had a nice feature story Thursday on KU guard Ben McLemore being able to overcome poverty on his way to college basketball stardom.
• Bleacher Report's C.J. Moore took a look at what teams are doing defensively to cause McLemore to disappear offensively for long stretches.
• The Boston Globe's Paul Lazdowski wrote an extended feature on KU basketball signee Wayne Selden. Some interesting nuggets in there, including the fact that a few times, Selden has played all five positions for his high school team in the same game.
• Speaking of KU basketball signees, here's a just-released video on future KU guard Conner Frankamp.
• It's March, which means baseball and softball seasons have already started.
With that in mind, I thought KU Athletics did a nice job with this "More than a number" feature on KU softball player Maggie Hull, who is talented enough to 1) lead the Big 12 in hitting; and 2) put up with us in the Journal-World sports department during an internship a few summers back.
A few links for your snowy Tuesday ...
• A few minutes after Kansas' 108-96 overtime victory over Iowa State on Monday, I went up to photographer Nick Krug to ask him if he'd seen the angry ISU fan that had rushed at KU coach Bill Self after the game before getting pushed back by a police officer.
As I was finishing my sentence, Nick pulled up the photos above on his computer.
Yep, that answered my question.
It was a great crowd. It was a great game. I have no problem with what went on after the game.
Here's what Nick saw while shooting the photos above:
I noticed the fan charging Self about the same time the police officer noticed him. The fan got close up to Self and was pointing his finger, appearing furious while accusing Self of being classless. My guess is it had to do with Elijah Johnson's dunk and being completely caught up in the moment. The police officer quickly got between Self and the fan, grabbed his shirt, and removed him. Self obviously noticed the fan, but he had the presence of mind not to react while letting the officer intervene.
• The following GIF is not how the incident went down, but it still is a funny fake re-enactment that was sent to me via Twitter by stevedoyel.
• Though Self started later in coaching than many of the current wins leaders, he has a great chance of setting a new college basketball coaching wins mark if he decides to coach into his late 60s, according to this research a few weeks ago from Konza63 on RockChalk.com.
According to the study, if Self keeps up a pace similar to his recent win percentage and stays at KU, he could get to 1,000 wins sometime between his 65th and 67th birthday. For reference, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim is 72, while Duke's Mike Krzyzewski is 66, and neither is at the 1,000-win mark. Coach K is closest with 951 career wins, and he started coaching at age 28.
• ESPN's Myron Medcalf wrote more about Johnson's effort against ISU, saying the point guard handled criticism and through it all didn't whine, blame others or quit.
• And finally, here are the video highlights of the game from ESPN.
A few links on a snowy Thursday in Lawrence ...
• It's being called the Bill Self Shuffle.
Kansas coach Bill Self, in urging his team to get back on defense at the end of the first overtime in Wednesday night's 68-67 double-overtime victory over Oklahoma State, produced a dance move MC Hammer would be proud of.
A GIF of Self's shuffle already has been synced up with MC Hammer's hit, "Can't Touch This," and KU's Douthart Scholarship Hall already has done its own take of the dance during today's snow day.
• Here are the highlights from Wednesday night's game from ESPN.
Also, Deadspin has video of the final two possessions in double-overtime, which includes Naadir Tharpe's floater and Travis Releford's hustle play to run the clock out.
Of the 10 shots he attempted prior to Kansas' final possession, Tharpe missed all but one of them, drawing the ire of coach Bill Self and Jayhawks fans watching from home with his rushed perimeter jumpers early in the shot clock. Tharpe also made a key defensive blunder in the final minute of the first overtime, giving up a game-tying corner 3-pointer to Forte after he left the sharp shooter to help on a slashing Marcus Smart.
All was forgiven though when Tharpe redeemed himself ...
• KU has moved up to No. 6 in Mark Titus' Power Rankings on Grantland.com.
In the blog post, Titus — one of the funniest sports writers out there — gives his analysis of KU's YouTube Harlem Shake video.
Titus then says this about KU:
I'm not sure about Kansas's chances of winning the national title, but I know this much: No team in college basketball is having more fun this season than the Jayhawks.
• Speaking of Grantland, the site's founder Bill Simmons still is in shock at the NBA trade that sent former Kansas forward Thomas Robinson from Sacramento to Houston.
In his email exchange with Zach Lowe, Simmons says this:
You know I'm prone to hyperbole from time to time, but I truly believe this — that's the worst trade anyone's made in years. A lottery team giving up Robinson … I mean … it's unconscionable. No, he wasn't playing that well for the Kings, but can you think of a worse situation for him?
• And finally, I couldn't believe when a friend wrote to tell me this classic "Vishal! I'm in the TV!" KU video clip just celebrated its ninth anniversary.
I think most KU fans should remember it, but if not, there's an explanation of what happened in the comments under the video.
One of my favorite parts is at the end, when color man Jon Sundvold just keeps talking after the free throw like nothing happened. I'd have to think he was wondering what the heck was going on as well.