Entries from blogs tagged with “Jayhawks”

Bill Self told KU football players they can build something special

Kansas head coach Bill Self applauds the Jayhawks as they widen their lead during the second half on Saturday, March 19, 2016 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Kansas head coach Bill Self applauds the Jayhawks as they widen their lead during the second half on Saturday, March 19, 2016 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. by Nick Krug

At the beginning of the month, when the Kansas football team reported to Lawrence for preseason camp, David Beaty invited another head coach on campus to give the Jayhawks a pep talk.

Behind closed doors, KU basketball coach Bill Self didn’t gloss over the football program’s struggles. He instead referenced the present as a place to start assembling a product that will make Kansas fans proud.

We know this now thanks to Time Warner Cable Sports Channel - Kansas City, which tweeted out a video of Self’s speech Thursday morning.

While Self hailed the importance of the football players being a part of the “Jayhawk family” he also informed them that he and the rest of the basketball program want to see them succeed.

“Get this in your head: We want you to win and win big,” Self said.

The way the 14th-year KU hoops coach explained it, the university’s storied basketball program has reached a place where their jobs as players and coaches are pretty obvious, and they’re constantly trying to match their historical predecessors.

“I’m never gonna be the best coach ever here,” Self told the KU football team. “Phog Allen coached here. And whoever we recruit is never gonna be the best player that ever played here. Hell, Wilt (Chamberlain) played here, OK.

“Our job is to maintain,” he continued. “You know what your job is? To build.”

While the first season under Beaty didn’t produce a victory, Self asked the players whether that difficult fall also served as the starting line for establishing a new culture.

“Now, deep in your core, if you’re worth your salt at all, would it mean more to you to be a builder or a maintainer? Think about it,” Self said. “Being a builder means maybe going 0-12 your first year, ’cause you don’t have as many bullets, all right? But being a builder is developing a culture. How are you gonna work? How responsible are you gonna be? How hard are you gonna study film? How good of leadership you’re gonna have. Are we gonna pick each other up? How good a teammate you’re gonna be. That’s the culture. That’s how you have a program.”

None by Kansas Football

Before wishing the Jayhawks luck in the coming months, Self rattled off some of the universities where basketball and football have had great success, referencing Ohio State, Oklahoma, Florida and Michigan State. Then the basketball coach reminded the players it wasn’t that long ago that KU football was great, too.

“That means it can be done again. You guys agree?” Self asked. “There’s been some brothers pave the way before, OK. Now you’ll get to pave the way for future teams coming.”

If the players in the football program now can lay the groundwork for another successful run like Kansas experienced with Todd Reesing, Aqib Talib, Mark Mangino and company, Self said they too will be “remembered forever” and understand what it’s like to be a part of the “Jayhawk family.”

— Watch TWC Sports Channel KC’s entire video below.

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Former LSU receiver Tyron Johnson has KU connection

This is a strange new world for Kansas football.

Former Alabama players are transferring to play for the Jayhawks. Like THE Alabama. Not South Alabama. Not Alabama-Birmingham. The Alabama with Nick Saban and all those national championships.

First, former ’Bama receiver Daylon Charlot announced his intentions to move on to KU. Shortly after, former Crimson Tide offensive lineman Charles Baldwin did the same.

Charlot already has participated in preseason practices at KU and Baldwin is expected to do so soon. While neither Alabama transfer will be able to help Kansas win games until the 2017 season, they join junior receiver LaQuvionte Gonzalez (Texas A&M), junior running back Denzell Evans (Arkansas) and senior linebacker Marcquis Roberts (South Carolina) as former players from the mighty SEC who have relocated to KU.

So what are we to make of this? Do we need to pay attention to every single SEC player who decides to move on?

No. But it’s at least an intriguing trend and another reminder that second-year coach David Beaty and his staff are doing the right things in recruiting.

Which brings us to the case of former LSU receiver Tyron Johnson. On Thursday, Johnson announced on Twitter he’s transferring from LSU. What does this have to do with Kansas? Funny you should ask.

FILE — LSU wide receiver Tyron Johnson (3) receives a pass during warm-ups before playing Texas Tech in the Texas Bowl NCAA football game Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, in Houston. Johnson announced less than a month before the start of the 2016 season his intentions to transfer. (AP Photo/Bob Levey)

FILE — LSU wide receiver Tyron Johnson (3) receives a pass during warm-ups before playing Texas Tech in the Texas Bowl NCAA football game Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, in Houston. Johnson announced less than a month before the start of the 2016 season his intentions to transfer. (AP Photo/Bob Levey)

Johnson, a sophomore who had nine receptions, 150 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers as a freshman, was a five-star receiver at Warren Easton High in New Orleans. If that school sounds familiar to you, it’s because first-year KU running backs coach Tony Hull used to coach there.

So a 6-foot-1 receiver ranked 11th nationally in the Class of 2015 who received scholarship offers from LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon and others is available.

I wonder if Kansas would have any interest in that kind of talented player?

Obviously this doesn’t guarantee anything for KU. Johnson seems to be the type of athlete who could choose to go just about anywhere in the country at this point, even if things didn’t work out for him at LSU.

But given Johnson’s connection with Hull and the way recruits seem to believe in Beaty and his staff, it’s definitely a plot worth watching.

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Piecing together KU football’s preseason progress thus far

Kansas linemen go through stretches as they warm up  during practice on Aug. 8, 2016.

Kansas linemen go through stretches as they warm up during practice on Aug. 8, 2016. by John Young

The Kansas football team is now a week into its preseason camp. How do the Jayhawks, who went 0-12 a year ago, look? Let’s try to piece some clues together.

Second-year head coach David Beaty, his assistants and the players meet with media for interviews a couple times a week in August. So that definitely helps. One can get a sense of the vibe at the football complex through those sessions and Beaty divulges enough that it’s easy to tell the Jayhawks are upbeat about their progress. All the while, the coaches are smart enough to know they haven’t made some miraculous turnaround over the course of one offseason that will have them contending for bowl berths this winter.

The trickier part in all this, though, is determining exactly how much more smoothly things are running during practices. Kansas lets media check out portions twice a week this time of year, but those only last around 15 minutes and include warmups and stretching.

That’s definitely better than nothing, but we’re not exactly watching the first-string offense and defense square off — at least not yet. On Monday afternoon, following some special teams work at the opening of KU’s first practice in full pads, red-shirt freshman quarterback Carter Stanley took the field for some reps and repeatedly handed off to junior running back Denzell Evans (the transfer from Arkansas). Evans ran low to the ground and picked up nice chunks of yardage each time.

Next came the most interesting play of camp thus far — during the windows open to the media at least. Freshman running back Khalil Herbert checked in and on his first touch the 5-foot-9 newcomer from Coral Springs, Fla., bursted up the middle for a 25-yard touchdown.

Kansas freshman running back Khalil Herbert bursts through the line and into the secondary  during practice on Aug. 8, 2016.

Kansas freshman running back Khalil Herbert bursts through the line and into the secondary during practice on Aug. 8, 2016. by John Young

Before the Jayhawks got back to their behind-the-scenes progress, sophomore running back Taylor Martin and junior QB Deondre Ford picked up a few yards on an option and Ford connected with sophomore receiver Tyler Patrick on a quick-hitter for a short gain.

Obviously it would be far more interesting to see how sophomore QB Ryan Willis, the favorite to start at this point, looks in Beaty’s Air Raid, as well as how the offense will incorporate the likes of junior receiver LaQuvionte Gonzalez, senior running back Ke’aun Kinner and the rest of the skill players.

Maybe those peeks will come, but in the meantime we’ll have to rely upon KU-produced practice reports that are sent out to the media for nuggets of information.

Thursday was a two-practice day for the Jayhawks, and the first one began early in the morning. Here are the notes from that session, courtesy of the KU media relations department:

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  • Willis hit red-shirt freshman tight end Jace Sternberger for a 17-yard gain over the middle during 7-on-7

  • Willis found senior receiver Shakiem Barbel for 20 yards along the sideline

  • Red-shirt freshman receiver Chase Harrell jumped up to haul in a 25-yard pass form red-shirt junior QB Montell Cozart

  • Cozart came away with back-to-back touchdown passes — one to sophomore receiver Jeremiah Booker and another to Barbel

  • Sophomore receiver Daylon Charlot, a transfer from Alabama who will have to sit out this season, took several reps and has “speed to burn” and a “great work ethic,” according to the KU-produced report

  • The following defensive players recorded tackles for loss: senior safety Tevin Shaw, junior defensive tackle Isi Holani and sophomore defensive tackle Daniel Wise

  • Both Wise and senior linebacker Cameron Rosser had a sack

Kansas sophomore defensive tackle Daniel Wise (96) breaks past offensive lineman Joe Gibson and into the backfield to disrupt a running play during practice on Aug. 8, 2016.

Kansas sophomore defensive tackle Daniel Wise (96) breaks past offensive lineman Joe Gibson and into the backfield to disrupt a running play during practice on Aug. 8, 2016. by John Young

There you have it. KU’s first Thursday practice delivered some highlights, it sounds like. Of course, we don’t know the things that broke down for Kansas during the practice, because KU has no reason to include those in its press release, but it’s a starting point.

We’ll continue to try and fill in the blanks in the weeks to come. In the meantime, here’s special teams coordinator Joe DeForest speaking with new KU play-by-play man Brian Hanni about the the Jayhawks who will play critical roles in between possessions. DeForest says freshman Kyle Thompson and junior Cole Moos are battling for the starting punter spot, while incumbent place kicker Matt Wyman, a senior, is competing with junior Gabriel Rui.

Beaty and the Jayhawks will speak with the media on Friday, which also includes another peek into practice.

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Tough lessons have changed free agent Thomas Robinson’s approach

Cleveland Cavaliers' Timofey Mozgov, left, from Russia, and Brooklyn Nets' Thomas Robinson battle for a rebound in the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 31, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Cleveland Cavaliers' Timofey Mozgov, left, from Russia, and Brooklyn Nets' Thomas Robinson battle for a rebound in the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 31, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Thirty-plus days into free agency, former Kansas star Thomas Robinson remains a man without a team.

The fifth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Robinson spent all of last season with Brooklyn, a rarity for the backup power forward who already has played for five different franchises.

If demand for his services was high enough, Robinson already would have signed a new contract. Still, a report from BasketballInsiders.com suggests the 25-year-old big man also wants to take his time and find the right fit. After all, neither Sacramento, Houston, Portland, Philadelphia nor Brooklyn worked out for Robinson, who left KU with so much promise.

In Robinson’s rookie season with the Kings, he averaged 4.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in 51 games. Then Sacramento traded him to Houston, where, in 19 games, Robinson averaged 4.5 points and 4.1 rebounds.

Year No. 2 in the NBA for Robinson, while more stable — thanks to Portland adding him in the offseason and keeping him around for the duration of the year — didn’t bring more production: 4.8 points, 4.4 rebounds.

In 2014-15, Robinson was back on the move, but at least got to better show off his skills on an awful Philadelphia team, averaging 8.8 points and 7.7 rebounds in 22 appearances after the trade deadline.

However, after signing as a free agent with Brooklyn last summer, Robinson only got to play 12.9 minutes, putting up 4.3 points and 5.1 boards in his most recent campaign.

All of those stops around the league and tough lessons learned along the way have changed Robinson’s approach, he told Basketball Insiders. Now he understands he can still make an impact in the NBA, and earn the respect of his peers, by becoming a reliable, role-playing big, such as Bismack Biyombo or Tristan Thompson.

“I’ve matured so much,” Robinson said. “I see things completely different now. Coming in young, I’ll be honest, I didn’t want to hear, ‘Be a defender! Be a rebounder! That’s all you need to do!’ I didn’t want to hear those things. I’m okay at doing things other than just rebounding and defending, so I didn’t want to just do that. But after all of the trades and constantly hearing that, it sold me. I think the biggest sign of my maturity is the fact that I’m not striving for the same things that I was when I came into the league.”

The former King, Rocket, Blazer, Sixer and Net no longer has visions of becoming a superstar or, as he put it, trying to play like Kobe Bryant.

“I know that my job is strictly to be a solid rebounder and defender. I want to make it clear to everybody: that’s all I want to do,” Robinson told Basketball Insiders. “I want to be one of the best rebounders in the league and lock down anyone who comes my way.”

Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders suggests Robinson just needs minutes in order to produce, citing the athletic forward’s averages in seven starts for the Nets this past season: 14.6 points, 12.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.6 steal to go with 54.4% shooting.

And while Robinson himself admits some people around the NBA might have a misinformed opinion of him — that he’s “standoffish” or a bad person — some of his former co-workers gave him glowing reviews. On BasketballInsiders.com coaches and players used words such as “coachable,” “I loved working with him,” “great competitor,” “fearless rebounder,” and “always a very positive teammate” while describing the free-agent power forward.

Portland guard C.J. McCollum said he connected with “T-Rob” easily, because of the big man’s passion.

“I think he can help every team in this league with his skill set and motor,” McCollum added. “He just needs to get the right opportunity.”

So where will Robinson play in his fifth NBA season? Many teams have used up the bulk of their space under the league’s salary cap. According to sportrac.com, the organizations that still have plenty of wiggle room for larger contracts are Philadelphia, Denver, Brooklyn, Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Utah, Minnesota and Indiana. Now, that doesn’t mean those teams have the roster space or a need for Robinson. They could just afford to pay him more.

Other franchises, though, could still bring Robinson in on a veteran’s minimum deal. One such team reported to have interest in Robinson is the San Antonio Spurs.

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Training camp doesn’t open until September, so there is still plenty of time for Robinson to find a new (or perhaps former) team to join.

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A video posted by Thomas Robinson (@trobinson_foe) on

#FOEinc @8eyemedia @chuck_ellis by trobinson_foe

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Perry Ellis talks NBA Summer League experience and his future

After spending a few weeks in early July playing for the Dallas Mavericks’ NBA Summer League team, former Kansas basketball star Perry Ellis describes how his first few months as a professional have been different than his college experience.

“It’s different, you know,” Ellis says. “Everybody’s fighting for a job. When I got the opportunity, I tried to make the most of it when I was out there…

“It’s just all a process,” Ellis adds. “I just want to keep working and just keep fighting and try to get a place.”

Undrafted out of KU, Ellis, doesn’t have an NBA contract. Nor has he officially received an invitation to be a part of an organization’s training camp.

According to the four-year Kansas standout, he will weigh his options in the weeks ahead. Ellis says one possible path could be playing overseas.

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Healthy JaCorey Shepherd enters Eagles training camp inexperienced, but well educated

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback JaCorey Shepherd looks to catch the ball during practice at NFL football training camp, Monday, July 25, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback JaCorey Shepherd looks to catch the ball during practice at NFL football training camp, Monday, July 25, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

It’s been close to 20 months since JaCorey Shepherd last played in a football game. Yet the former Kansas defensive back feels more prepared than ever as he embarks on the first true season of his professional career.

Poised to start as a rookie nickel corner for Philadelphia last year, Shepherd tore his right anterior cruciate ligament in preseason camp and, instead, spent all of 2015 as an observer.

A 2015 sixth-round draft pick still awaiting to make his NFL debut, Shepherd at least sensed the next portion of his football life inching closer Monday, when the 23-year-old corner reported early to Philadelphia’s training camp.

“I never had to miss a season,” Shepherd told CSNPhilly.com upon arriving with rookies, quarterbacks and other returning players who finished last season on injured reserve. “I never had to really miss a game. Missed two games in college but other than that, I never missed anything.

“Game days were the toughest — sitting on the sideline and I couldn’t do anything,” Shepherd recalled. “Practice was tough, but I got used to it. But games? That was the hardest.”

Still, according to one Eagles veteran, Shepherd found a way to grow as a player while injured. Nolan Carroll told CSNPhilly former head coach Chip Kelly allowed wounded players to watch games on the sidelines and even travel with the team for away games. Carroll said he would leave the field after a series and always notice Shepherd listening closely as the secondary reviewed its performance and made necessary adjustments.

“You could see that he wanted to make the best of his situation,” Carroll shared, “and learn as much as possible, even though he couldn’t play. That’s not always easy for a young guy to do, but JaCorey, you could tell he just wanted to learn as much as possible.”

Although Kelly and Philadelphia parted ways following a 7-9 season, new Eagles head coach Doug Pederson retained defensive backs coach Cory Undlin, who kept Shepherd engaged as an inactive participant on game days.

“The older guys would always question me to make sure I was on my P’s and Q’s,” Shepherd said of Undlin’s approach, which allowed the rookie corner to absorb NFL-level defensive knowledge, “so that way when I got back, I had the mental part down and it was really just a matter of getting my feet down under me, and I’d be ready to go.”

The 5-foot-11 corner, as planned, arrived at preseason training camp knee-brace free. Shepherd told NJ.com he kept training in the brace back home up until the last couple of weeks. Now he feels like he’s back at 100 percent, just in time to fully prepare for the upcoming season.

"I'm just getting my groove back, getting my feet back under me,” Shepherd said. “It's really just learning the playbook. It's kind of different getting out there, making the calls and trying to be consistent.”

Of course, the competitor in Shepherd has him gunning for a No. 1 spot on the depth chart, too. He told The Inquirer he doesn’t want the Eagles to relegate him to a role within specific packages. He aims to win one of the starting spots as an outside cornerback.

"Hell, yeah. It's open, baby," Shepherd told The Inquirer of the competition. "No job is taken yet, and that's the way I'm going to attack it. Regardless of how many [defensive backs] we have in the room, I know I'm going for a starting spot."

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Surely the Eagles’ other corners will take the same approach. Along with Carroll, Philadelphia has Leodis McKelvin, Eric Rowe, Ron Brooks, rookie Jalen Mills, Randall Evans, Jaylen Walker and Denzel Rice to consider at corner.

"I pretty much think I can get out there and cover whoever," Shepherd said. "I'm big enough, fast enough. It's just getting thrown out there and playing."

A draft pick from the previous regime, Shepherd told CSNPhilly he can’t afford to worry about Pederson or new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz perhaps holding a different opinion of him than Kelly and other former staff members.

“All I can do is continue to do what I do, and control what I can control,” he said. “You know? That’s the way the game is. There’s always going to be competition. Frankly, I love competition, so that doesn’t bother me at all. I’ve never been worried about competition, and I’m not going to start now…

“If there’s not a job here, there’s a job somewhere else,” Shepherd added. “All I can control is give it my all on every play.”

If nothing else, Shepherd enters his second season in the NFL as a more patient player, thanks to his injury-forced apprenticeship.

“I feel like I’m a lot smarter than last year after sitting on the sideline for a year, having to pay attention and learn,” Shepherd said. “I feel like I’m a better player this year than last year, even though I didn’t play a snap.”

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Watch Joel Embiid arm-wrestle Justin Bieber in a night club

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid of Cameroon (21) reacts prior to the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, in Philadelphia. The Clippers won 98-92 in overtime. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid of Cameroon (21) reacts prior to the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, in Philadelphia. The Clippers won 98-92 in overtime. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Joel Embiid, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft, has yet to play an NBA game, due to significant foot injuries.

Because of the aforementioned two seasons worth of missed action, Embiid tends to be the butt of social media jokes — sometimes just for the fun of it and other times in response to those who still believe there is greatness on the horizon for Philadelphia’s 7-foot-2 rookie-to-be.

So if you happened to see Embiid’s name pop up on Twitter today it would’ve been safe to assume some wisecracking fan thought it would be funny to say Embiid is so far removed from the actual sport of basketball that he spends his time arm-wrestling Justin Bieber.

But apparently that actually happened.

As detailed by a Twitter account called JustinBieberCrew.com, the fun-loving Embiid began this past weekend by not only kicking it at a club with an international pop star, but proceeding to dominate the much smaller multimillionaire in an impromptu battle of strength.

Check out the video below. I mean, this is why the Internet exists, right? (Embiid is the one who doesn’t look like a Canadian teenager.)

None by JustinBieberCrew.com

All jokes aside, Embiid, still just 22, has been cleared for actual basketball activities with the Philadelphia 76ers, and just a few days ago showed up on social media doing much more impressive things than defeating a tiny singer/dancer/whatever in arm-wrestling.

Embiid’s offseason hoops trainer, Drew Hanlen, posted an Instagram video of a recent Embiid workout. The Cameroon native not only looks to be in great physical shape, but back to his old ways of incorporating fancy footwork into monster dunks.

On and off the court, Embiid appears to be well on his way to becoming the NBA’s most entertaining big man.

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Behind the scenes at Big 12 Media Days with Joe Dineen

Lawrence native Joe Dineen, who grew up watching Kansas football, represented his hometown program in Dallas at Big 12 Football Media Days this week.

Dineen, a junior linebacker, took pride in wearing a Jayhawk lapel pin on his suit and talking KU football with sports reporters from around the country, with teammates Montell Cozart and Fish Smithson by his side.

“It’s awesome for me,” Dineen said of the experience. “… I grew up (in Lawrence) and to be able to represent the school and my hometown, it’s a lot of fun.”

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at Dineen’s Monday at the Omni Dallas Hotel.

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Golden memories: Relive the Jayhawks’ world championship in South Korea

In the summer of 2015, the Kansas men's basketball team captured the gold medal as Team USA at the World University Games in South Korea.

Journal-World photographer Mike Yoder followed the team throughout its stay in South Korea and compiled these highlights for the anniversary of the games:

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KU Sports Extra: Jayhawks at Big 12 Football Media Days

Second-year Kansas football coach David Beaty and three of his players — quarterback Montell Cozart, linebacker Joe Dineen and safety Fish Smithson — are in Dallas for Big 12 Football Media Days.

KUsports.com’s Matt Tait and Benton Smith preview what’s in store for the group of Jayhawks, as well as what we might learn about the 2016 season from the KU representatives this week.

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Wayne Selden Jr. trying to move past disappointment of going undrafted

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) reacts after a foul was called against the Jayhawks during the first half, Thursday, March 10, 2016 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) reacts after a foul was called against the Jayhawks during the first half, Thursday, March 10, 2016 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. by Nick Krug

Projected as a mid- to late-second-round pick after leaving Kansas a year early to enter the NBA Draft, Wayne Selden Jr. remained mostly silent in the days following what had to be a disappointing night for the 21-year-old guard, who watched from afar as 60 other players realized their dreams of being drafted into the world’s best basketball league.

In perhaps an even more surprising development for the undrafted Selden, no news regarding a free-agent deal or summer league assignment popped up for him after the June 23 draft, while his KU teammates Perry Ellis, Brannen Greene, Jamari Traylor and Hunter Mickelson filled out summer rosters for various organizations.

A week after posting a photo on Instagram of what looked to be a shot taken inside the Memphis Grizzlies’ locker room, Selden finally took to Twitter Friday afternoon to share what has been on his mind, as a pro basketball player in limbo.

“You know, I was real frustrated when I didn’t hear my name called on draft night,” Selden wrote in the note he posted, along with the hashtag: TrustTheProcess. “Something I worked my whole life for, something I dreamed of. But I didn’t just work to hear my name called, I worked and continue to work to have a successful NBA career.

“After draft night, I felt like everything I worked for was a waste and got real down,” Selden continued in the note. “But now as I sit back and put everything into perspective, I’m truly blessed to be in this position I’m in. I know there are others out there that would kill to be where I’m at.

“Growing up coming where I’m from, all we wanted was an opportunity, a chance,” Selden added. “And the Memphis Grizzlies did just that by giving me a chance. God bless.”

According to The Commercial Appeal, Selden will be a non-roster player with the Grizzlies, meaning he’ll be a part of their preseason training camp in the fall, and the organization will decide from there how or if they want to move forward with the former KU guard, who averaged 13.6 points and shot 38.3% from 3-point range during his junior season.

Selden is not playing for the Grizzlies’ summer league entry in Las Vegas, a couple months removed from a “small” meniscus tear in his right knee, which kept him from participating in drills and scrimmages at the NBA Draft Combine. So he can’t even use July as a springboard for something bigger a few months from now.

Obviously, this path to the NBA isn’t an easy one. Nor is it what Selden envisioned when he decided to leave Kansas a year early. But if the thoughts highlighted in his note are genuine, he at least now has harnessed the right approach to work toward making that dream come true.

Although, as the Commercial Appeal’s Chris Herrington’s projected Grizzlies depth chart highlights, Selden truly will have to impress Memphis to stick around, because they’re not desperate to add a wing. The Grizzlies already have Tony Allen, Troy Daniels and Jordan Adams at shooting guard, and Chandler Parsons, James Ennis and Vince Carter at small forward.

The process and timeline for Selden reaching the NBA appear to be lengthy. Perhaps now that he understands that, he’ll become even more inspired to make it happen.

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Cole Aldrich thrilled to play for hometown T’wolves, with other Jayhawks

FILE — Los Angeles Clippers center Cole Aldrich (45) on the bench during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. The former Kansas big man was introduced Thursday as a new member of his hometown Minnesota Timberwolves. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

FILE — Los Angeles Clippers center Cole Aldrich (45) on the bench during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. The former Kansas big man was introduced Thursday as a new member of his hometown Minnesota Timberwolves. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

By all accounts, Cole Aldrich, the newest member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, has no say in the NBA franchise’s uniform design. Still, the former Kansas center couldn’t help offering up a slight adjustment to the team’s look during his introductory press conference Thursday.

Seeing as how Aldrich is one of three Jayhawks on the roster, along with rising star Andrew Wiggins and recently signed veteran Brandon Rush, the 6-foot-11 big man suggested the Wolves add a Kansas patch to their jerseys, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Admittedly, the Burnsville, Minn., native feels pretty good about life in general these days, what with that freshly signed three-year $22 million contract to play for his hometown organization. As Aldrich, a six-year NBA veteran who already has played for Oklahoma City, Houston, Sacramento, New York and the Los Angeles Clippers pointed out, the free-agent deals he reached over the past few years were neither longterm nor as lucrative as his new contract with Minnesota.

“It’s great to have security, in a sense, where I have a three-year deal,” Aldrich said in the Star Tribune’s report. “For me, I’ve gone through pretty much my career on one-year deals (since a guaranteed contract as a first-round pick).”

A backup post player since leaving KU to become the 11th overall pick in the 2010 draft, Aldrich never averaged more than 3.3 points a game until the 2014-15 season, with the Knicks, when he put up 5.5 points in just 16.0 minutes. He matched that 5.5 average with the Clippers this past year, despite playing fewer minutes (13.3 a game).

“I finished six years in [the NBA] and sometimes I wonder how the hell I even made it this long,” Aldrich said. “Because the average career is three and a half. It’s just a blessing.”

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A self-proclaimed lifelong T’wolves fan, Aldrich also considers himself lucky to be back home. He recalled attending several games during the 2004 playoffs, when Kevin Garnett led the franchise to its first Western Conference Finals berth. Minnesota hasn’t qualified for the playoffs since, but Aldrich said his affinity for the organization never wavered.

“Whether it was in another city, playing for New York or Oklahoma City or wherever, I always tried to keep tabs. You root for your city,” Aldrich told the Star Tribune. “For me to be home, I’m going to go out there and play hard. I’m not going to guarantee a championship or anything like LeBron [James], but I’m going to try to do all I can to help us win games.”

Minnesota’s addition this offseason of Tom Thibodeau, new head coach and president of basketball operations, is expected to give the middling franchise a significant boost as all-stars-in-the-making Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns continue to expand their games. Aldrich, a projected backup center with the T’wolves, said he’s eager to work for the famously tough-minded coach.

“The grit and the grind basketball,” Aldrich responded, when asked why he will fit in well with his hometown team. “I love to get my nose dirty. As you can tell, I’ve got a few scars, and I’ve got a missing tooth.”

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Andrew Wiggins reflects on how season at KU prepped him for NBA

Minnesota forward Andrew Wiggins, in Lawrence to co-host a youth basketball camp, says his one-and-done season at Kansas prepared him well for making the jump to the NBA.

“College teaches fundamentals and the basics of the game, and coach (Bill) Self taught me a lot,” Wiggins says, “whether that was help-side defense, cutting without the basketball… It was a lot of different things, even getting at it defensively. You know, he always challenged me to do better and be better.”

Headed into his third season in Minnesota, Wiggins also says he is excited to have a couple more former KU players joining him with the Timberwolves, with the offseason additions of Cole Aldrich and Brandon Rush.

“The best thing about it is now we get to play at the Sprint Center in the preseason and we get to play in front of the home crowd,” Wiggins adds.

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Undeterred Tarik Black ready to earn larger role with Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers center Tarik Black, right, tries to dunk and misses as Washington Wizards guard Garrett Temple defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 27, 2016, in Los Angeles. The Wizards won 101-88. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Lakers center Tarik Black, right, tries to dunk and misses as Washington Wizards guard Garrett Temple defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 27, 2016, in Los Angeles. The Wizards won 101-88. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Many NBA players would look back at a six-month-long season that included merely 104 shot attempts with contempt. Tarik Black isn’t wired that way, though.

During the young center’s second season with the Los Angeles Lakers, he only played in 39 games, logging just 12.7 minutes off the bench in those sparse appearances. But the former Kansas big man, who this summer agreed to a two-year deal to stay with L.A., thinks his trials should only help him.

“You can look at the negatives. You can look at the positives. I choose to look at the positives from every situation,” Black told the Los Angeles Daily News. “The positives of that was it built my character.”

Under former Lakers coach Byron Scott, Black saw his playing time with L.A. drop by about 9.0 minutes a game from the 21.7 he averaged as a rookie. Of course, his productivity took a hit, too. Black’s scoring with the Lakers went from 7.2 points a game in 2014-15 to 3.4 this past season, while his rebounding numbers dipped from 6.3 an outing to 4.0.

Still, Black prefers to plow ahead in his career with a minutes-half-full approach.

“It taught me so much and prepared me to be the player I’m going to be moving forward,” Black said. “I definitely learned patience and perseverance. It’s tough mentally to still work hard in all situations. Throughout the season, I continued to work and always stayed competitive when I got on the floor.”

What else would you expect from a guy who drove from L.A. to Las Vegas earlier this week just to support his young Lakers teammates at the NBA’s Summer League.

Black’s character and work ethic figure to serve him well as the Lakers try to change course, under new coach Luke Walton. When Black, a 6-foot-9 big, reached a deal to stay with the Lakers, an increased role next season seemed implied. At the very least, the 24-year-old backup has a pretty good idea of what he’s getting into with the new regime.

As Black told the Daily News, he already had a good relationship with Walton, from their days together with the Memphis Tigers. Walton served as an assistant one season during Black’s time there, before the sturdy post player transferred to KU. In fact, Black said he has kept in touch with Walton since.

That relationship had to help Black feel great about his chances moving forward. And it had to make it easier to have an honest conversation with his new head coach. The Daily News reported Black spoke candidly with Walton about his role for the upcoming season.

“‘I don’t ask to be given anything. I just ask for a fair shot,’” Black related. “‘If I earn something, give it to me.’”

Walton’s response?

“‘I respect that, appreciate that and will honor that,’” Black shared.

Of course, none of that means you’ll suddenly see Black playing 30 minutes a game for the rebuilding Lakers, who just went 17-65. There will be competition for frontcourt minutes, with newly acquired projected starting center Timofey Mosgov, as well as young forwards Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr.

Not that any obstacles would faze Black.

“I see a world of potential for myself,” he said. “I can’t wait to get back in the gym and get back to work. It’s going to be a whole lot of fun.”

None by Boom Boom

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Ben McLemore ponders what-if of teaming with Andrew Wiggins at KU

Sacramento Kings guard Ben McLemore, back in Lawrence to co-host a youth basketball camp, discusses missing out on teaming up with the camp’s other marquee name and former Kansas star, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins.

McLemore, who played one season at KU, left early to enter the NBA Draft the season before Wiggins and Joel Embiid arrived on campus.

“It would’ve been crazy playing with Wiggins and Joel and stuff like that,” McLemore said Wednesday. “But things happen for a reason. We’re both in a situation where we can give back to the kids and (try to) be one of the top players in the league, and work on our games and get better and play the game that we love, and that’s basketball.”

In the fall, McLemore will enter his fourth NBA season since being selected seventh overall by the Kings in the 2013 draft. The 23-year-old St. Louis, Mo., native said his confidence has reached another level this offseason as he tries to take the next step in his career.

“This summer I’ve been working my butt off and preparing myself for this upcoming season,” McLemore said.

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Paul Pierce gives coaching a shot in video feature

Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul Pierce looks for an open shot against the Orlando Magic during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul Pierce looks for an open shot against the Orlando Magic during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Paul Pierce, in his 18 NBA seasons following three years at Kansas, has seen it all in the game of basketball. The 38-year-old forward recently imparted some of his hoops wisdom with a young prep player for a feature on The Players’ Tribune.

Pierce, a contributing editor for the site, met with a high school guard named Oscar Lopez, who plays for a team in Pierce’s “The Truth” AAU program. The two of them broke down video and ran through some drills for a segment called “Scouting Myself.”

Before meeting Lopez for the recurring piece, which in the past has featured NFL players Greg Olsen and Clay Matthews, Pierce explained the origins of his interest in AAU basketball and how his own experiences led to him setting up a program.

“In the AAU circuit, you get to play against all type of players. You know, you’re playing against the best of the best,” Pierce said. “There’s some guys on my AAU team that I still talk to today, because we were able to develop that family atmosphere, and that’s what I want to have in my program.”

In particular, the Los Angeles Clippers forward said he wants to give kids a sense of direction.

“I just want to be somebody who they can come to who has no other agenda for them,” Pierce explained.

After surprising the youngster with a visit, Pierce turned into a coach of sorts, watched some game footage with Lopez and gave him some constructive criticism, while also praising him for his pump fake and balance on a move that led to an open jumper.

The two then went out to the court to work on some drills that Pierce told Lopez would help him in the long run. Among other tips, the veteran recommended the prep take jump shots with a band around his lower legs, forcing him to work on his balance.

The session closed with Pierce providing a pep talk, advising Lopez to focus off the court, as well, with an emphasis on the importance of staying on top of school work and “doing the right things.”

Pierce is reportedly leaning toward returning for a 19th season in the NBA, and has two years remaining on his contract with the Clippers.

None by Ben Bolch

— Watch The Players’ Tribune’s entire “Scouting Myself” video with Pierce below:

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Andrew Wiggins: Young T’wolves will be ‘a nightmare to play’

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins (22) goes up for a shot against Los Angeles Clippers forward Jeff Green (8) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Minneapolis, Wednesday, March 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins (22) goes up for a shot against Los Angeles Clippers forward Jeff Green (8) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Minneapolis, Wednesday, March 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

A regular at the draft lottery for more than a decade, Minnesota might finally be on the brink of NBA relevance again. Just ask one of the franchise’s young faces, 21-year-old forward Andrew Wiggins.

Since the dynamic wing left Kansas early and became the No. 1 pick in the 2014 draft, Wiggins trudged through a 16-66 campaign before experiencing a 29-53 season. But he doesn’t expect Year No. 3 to be so unbearable.

In an interview with NBA TV while attending the Las Vegas Summer League, Wiggins detailed how the team’s identity is in the midst of an overhaul.

“We are young, we’re gonna be playing hard, we’re going up and down, we’re gonna be all over the place on defense,” Wiggins said. “I feel like we’re gonna be a nightmare to play.”

Many around the NBA expect the Timberwolves to be one of the breakout teams of the 2016-17 season. That optimism for a team that hasn’t reached the playoffs since 2004 began to swell when Minnesota brought on former Chicago head coach Tom Thibodeau as its new president and coach. With the fiery, defensive-minded Thibodeau pushing his young stars to new heights, the thinking goes, Wiggins and reigning Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns are poised to make a significant leap, and bring the rest of the team with them.

Wiggins isn’t making any bold proclamations or guaranteeing a playoff berth for the T’wolves in 2017. His first two years in the league have taught him just how difficult it is to compete night after night. Plus, he learned not to weigh himself down with the disappointment of all those losses.

“We’ve just got to trust in the process. Nothing was built, nothing was set in one day. It’s a process,” Wiggins told NBA TV. “And every day, with some new additions and players coming back, we’re gonna be even better this year. New coaching staff, we’re probably gonna have a different kind of style of play. It should be a good year for us.”

None by NBA.com

Since Thibodeau took over as the new boss this offseason, Wiggins said the team has shown interest in everything the players do, whether that’s with the organization or on their own time. He took that level of involvement as a sign the new regime wants its players constantly evolving during the offseason.

As for Wiggins’ personal growth as a player, he’s honing in on his defense.

“… Especially with a new coach coming in, Thibs, he’s gonna really push defense and playing hard and all of that,” Wiggins said. “We’re all looking forward to it, especially with the new addition, Kris Dunn (Minnesota’s No. 5 overall pick in the draft). He’s a great player, as you can see the last couple of games (in Las Vegas) he’s played. And defensively he’s great, too, so he’s gonna help us with a big push.”

In Minnesota next season, Wiggins will have a couple of new teammates who happen to be former KU players, too, in Cole Aldrich and Brandon Rush, both of whom signed with the T’wovles in free agency. Before too long, Wiggins might be asked to keep all of the Wolves, including his elder Jayhawks, in line. Those are the sorts of responsibilities that come with being one of the faces of the franchise. And Wiggins said he isn’t quite as soft-spoken as he used to be.

“It comes with growth, with experience. I’m going on my third year now, so I have a lot more responsibility than I did before,” said Wiggins, who averaged 20.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in his second season. “I’m becoming more vocal, becoming more of a leader.”

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Defensive response: Kelly Oubre Jr. adapting in second summer league trip

Washington Wizards' Kelly Oubre Jr., left, shoots around Atlanta Hawks' Edy Tavares during the first half of an NBA summer league basketball game, Sunday, July 10, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Washington Wizards' Kelly Oubre Jr., left, shoots around Atlanta Hawks' Edy Tavares during the first half of an NBA summer league basketball game, Sunday, July 10, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Kelly Oubre Jr. didn’t have the most exciting or memorable rookie season. But now that the NBA Summer League has arrived, the former Kansas wing can try to put that behind him and establish a new tone for Year No. 2.

Washington’s 6-foot-7 small forward went for 20 points, 8 rebounds and 4 steals in his Las Vegas debut Saturday, against Utah. The following day, Oubre posted 21 points, 2 assists and 2 steals versus Atlanta.

Shortly after Oubre’s first exhibition, he told CSN Mid-Atlantic why everything felt a lot easier for him this year, in his second trip to the Vegas summer league.

“Now I know what my defined role is, or can be, on this basketball team,” Oubre said. “I’m just trying to do that and perfect that. I’m just out here playing as hard as I can, trying to get wins. That’s the best I can do.”

Still just 20 years old, Oubre (3.7 points in 10.7 minutes during his first full season) appears to be a long way from molding himself into a valuable NBA shooter. So far this summer, he has attempted 15 3-pointers for the Wizards and connected on only 3 (20%). While appearing in 63 regular-season games as a rookie, Oubre made 25 of 79 long-range tries (31.6%).

But there are other ways to ensure yourself regular minutes, and, as Oubre told The Washington Post recently, this offseason he is treating personal defensive improvement as a necessity.

“I’m an energetic player,” Oubre said. “I come in and I try to first and foremost start on the defensive end because that’s what God blessed me with, length and athletic ability, so I feel that’s kind of my calling card, coming out and trying to get stops.”

Oubre showed off his 7-foot-2 wingspan in his first summer action, playing harassing defense that led to deflections and his 4 steals against the Jazz.

“Defense is the key to winning championships, to our offense, to everything,” Oubre told CSN Mid-Atlantic after that showing. “So if I can bring that, and bring that heart and bring that dog onto the court, then we’re gonna be successful.”

Oubre (as pointed out by The Post) is the only player on Washington’s July squad who has a roster spot for the 2016-17 season. Unlike some other former KU players participating in Las Vegas, such as undrafted rookies Perry Ellis (Dallas) and Brannen Greene (Memphis), Oubre is playing as an established commodity for his team. The 15th overall pick in the 2015 draft, the Wizards want him to squeeze as much development as humanly possible out of these summer outings.

Washington’s summer coach, Sidney Lowe, told CSN Mid-Atlantic after Oubre’s strong start in the opener he likes the way the second-year wing is approaching the game.

“He made a couple of big shots for us, but I thought his defense was outstanding,” Lowe said. “That's what he can do. He's long, he's athletic, he was able to get in the passing lanes and it generated some fast breaks for us."

Oubre and the Wizards play again Tuesday afternoon against Brooklyn.

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Immense opportunity awaits Perry Ellis at Las Vegas summer league

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) pulls back for a two-handed jam over Kansas State guard Barry Brown (5) during the second half on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) pulls back for a two-handed jam over Kansas State guard Barry Brown (5) during the second half on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Four years worth of work with Kansas basketball wasn’t enough to get Perry Ellis drafted into the NBA. Now the 22-year-old forward has a few days in Las Vegas to secure a spot in the league the hard way.

A free agent playing for the Mavericks’ summer league entry beginning Saturday night, Ellis will try to convince the same coaches and executives who passed on him on draft night that he actually belongs on a regular-season roster.

Right now, the people Ellis needs to impress the most are Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle and owner Mark Cuban. The Mavs’ Vegas team will focus on the development of second-year wing Justin Anderson and second-round draft pick A.J. Hammons, a 7-foot center out of Purdue. However, while speaking to media members earlier this week, Cuban made it sound as if the other summertime Mavericks won’t be an afterthought for the organization.

“We’ve got a bunch of roster spots,” Cuban said Wednesday, in a video posted on the Mavs’ website. “We put our money where our mouth is in cap room, so there’s a lot of spots for guys to make, and they know if they do what we expect them to do, probably three guys, maybe four, from this group are gonna make the team.”

Cuban made that statement as Ellis and other Dallas hopefuls worked behind him. It has to be a strange dynamic for all the players except Anderson and Hammons. The rest are not only trying to play well, but also, in a sense, beat out the guys next to them for a coveted roster spot or training camp invite.

So who is Ellis playing with/competing against? Here’s a look at the rest of the Mavericks’ Vegas lineup, excluding the aforementioned Anderson and Hammons:

  • Chane Behanan, 6-6 forward from Louisville

  • Vander Blue, 6-4 guard from Marquette, who has played in 5 NBA games (none since the 2014-15 season)

  • Kyle Collinsworth, 6-6 guard from BYU

  • Dorian Finney-Smith, 6-8 forward from Florida

  • Jonathan Gibson, 6-2 guard from New Mexico

  • Isaiah Miles, 6-7 forward from St. Joseph’s

  • McKenzie Moore, 6-6 guard from UTEP

  • Giovan Oniangue, 6-6 forward from Congo

  • Satnam Singh, 7-2 center from India (Mavs’ Round 2 pick in 2015)

  • Jameel Warney, 6-8 forward from Stony Brook

Dallas hasn’t retained undrafted rookies from its summer teams of late, but if what Cuban said is true, this year could be different.

Ellis, a 6-foot-8 All-American who averaged 17 points and shot 53.2% from the field in his senior season at Kansas, surely understands the scope of what he could do for his professional career in the days ahed.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) works against UCLA forward Tony Parker (23) and UCLA guard Isaac Hamilton during the second half, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015 at Lahaina Civic Center in Lahaina, Hawaii.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) works against UCLA forward Tony Parker (23) and UCLA guard Isaac Hamilton during the second half, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015 at Lahaina Civic Center in Lahaina, Hawaii. by Nick Krug

“You know, I’m just going to come out here and play hard,” Ellis told the Mavs’ website. “It’s a great opportunity for me. You know, it’s an honor to be here, and I just want to go out here and just play my game and play with a high energy.”

It sounds as if Dallas expects Ellis to fit in nicely with this makeshift unit that spent the past few days practicing together. The Mavericks’ summer league head coach, Jamahl Mosely, hailed the Jayhawk’s college résumé as a strength that should help Ellis and the Vegas version of the Mavs.

“He’s played a great amount of basketball,” Mosley said on the team’s website. “I mean, he played four years in college, and he’s very experienced. He knows how to play the game, so I think that’s going to be a big key for us. He knows how to play, he’s in the right position, and he makes the simple and easy play.”

Regardless of what transpires on the floor in Vegas, the Mavs likely won’t need any of these free agents to play critical roles in their regular-season rotation. But Cuban appears more inclined to give one or more of them a roster spot than he has in the past.

“We want to have a good crew of young guns that we develop,” the Dallas owner said.

If Ellis fits in as seamlessly as Mosley suggested and goes on scoring tears like he did at KU, the Wichita native just might land a spot in the NBA next season after all. And Ellis knows how significant this business trip to Las Vegas will be for his future. His first game is Saturday night against Miami (9 p.m., NBA TV).

In typical Perry Ellis fashion, he said his main focus for his summer league experience will be to play well and play hard.

“We’ll go from there,” he added, “and see what happens.”

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Veteran Drew Gooden waived by Washington

Washington Wizards forward Drew Gooden (90) reacts after a play in the first half of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinal NBA basketball playoff series against the Toronto Raptors, Sunday, April 26, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Washington Wizards forward Drew Gooden (90) reacts after a play in the first half of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinal NBA basketball playoff series against the Toronto Raptors, Sunday, April 26, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

There could be one less ’Hawk in the NBA for Kansas basketball fans to follow next season.

Washington waived veteran power forward Drew Gooden, a fan favorite in D.C., according to CSN Mid-Atlantic’s report on the move.

One of the league’s charismatic journeymen, Gooden has played for 10 different teams since leaving Kansas and becoming the fourth pick in the 2002 draft.

The Wizards, who signed Gooden late into the 2013-14 season, helped revitalize his career after he spent most of that season out of the NBA.

Now 34 years old (Gooden will turn 35 before next season begins), he only played in 30 games this past season with Washington. The backup big man was inactive for eight games during his 14th season — the other 44 he suited up but never checked in.

Gooden averaged just 10.2 minutes a game when he did play, contributing 2.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and a career-low mark of 32% shooting from the floor — impacted negatively by his 7-for-41 (17.1%) season from 3-point range.

CSN MId-Atlantic reported the Wizards waived Gooden to create salary cap space for the free agents they attained this summer. The franchise couldn’t afford to pay a seldom-used sub $3.6 million next season.

While what kind of market exists for Gooden remains to be seen, he told CSN Mid-Atlantic after the season ended he had no plans to retire.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Gooden said in April.

Now the question is: Will another team be interested in picking him up for what would be Gooden’s 15th season, and potentially 11th franchise.

According to ESPN's Marc J. Spears, Gooden had received inquiries from New York, Toronto, the Los Angeles Lakers and the L.A. Clippers within hours of being waived.

None by Marc J. Spears

The Wizards still have two other Jayhawks on their roster: outspoken power forward Markieff Morris, and second-year wing Kelly Oubre Jr.

After having more former KU players on its roster than any other team last season, Washington will relinquish that very unofficial title to Minnesota. The Timberwolves agreed to deals with Cole Aldrich and Brandon Rush in free agency, and, of course, they have third-year rising star Andrew Wiggins — the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft who went on to win rookie of the year.

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