Entries from blogs tagged with “KU”

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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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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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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Twins train hogs for Douglas County Fair

Video by Journal-World photographer Richard Gwin:

Twin brothers Lane and Tate Anderson, 13, walk their hogs "Big Large" and "Mr. Pig" Tuesday in preparation for the Douglas County Fair, which takes place July 25 to July 31. The Andersons are members of the Palmyra 4-H club.

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KU’s new plan for desk-side trash cans hinges on personal responsibility — and the fruit flies probably know it

In an effort to increase recycling and reallocate janitor hours, Kansas University has a new plan for employees’ workstation trash cans. However, its success will hinge on employees taking out their own trash.

Started already at the new Capitol Federal Hall and rolling out building by building, desk-side trash cans will be replaced with recycling bins affixed with mini-sized trash receptacles, according to a recent KU announcement. Employees are being asked to empty both containers from their offices into larger nearby recycling and landfill bins. They’re also supposed to bring their own liners, ideally repurposed plastic grocery sacks and such.

Facilities Services and KU Recycling are working together on the effort, and officials said the routine has been shown at other academic institutions to “increase personal responsibility for and awareness of both waste generation and reduction by individuals,” according to KU. Also according to KU’s announcement, managers will be able to “redirect” more than 160 hours a week of custodial labor to “other cleaning responsibilities more essential to campus health and beauty.”

A photo of the new desk-side recycling and trash receptacles being put into use at Kansas University. (Photo courtesy of KU)

A photo of the new desk-side recycling and trash receptacles being put into use at Kansas University. (Photo courtesy of KU) by Sara Shepherd

A former employer of mine once tried something similar, albeit with trash only. Ask me sometime about the great newsroom fruit fly infestation of 2009ish.

OK, I’ll just tell you now. Janitors had always emptied each staffer’s desk-side trash can nightly, but in an effort to save money the employer cut that out of their duties. Employees were told to either get rid of their personal trash cans and take garbage directly to a large one across the room, or keep their personal trash cans but provide their own plastic liners and empty them into the large bin themselves.

If memory serves, I got rid of my trash can. Never put much in it anyway — I'm not into smelling my trashed pad thai takeout box all afternoon, plus I figured I should be getting up from my desk and walking more anyway, right?

A lot of people did not get rid of their trash cans. And they didn’t stay on top of dumping them, either.

It was like a fruit fly’s wildest dream come true. Swarms emanated from beneath certain desks when the trash can they were feasting (and probably multiplying) in got kicked or more trash tossed into it. I think it took weeks, not to mention some quality office drama, to clear up the infestation.

KU’s plan has several obvious advantages over that one, including the trash receptacles being lidded and too small to go long without emptying. Plus if it results in increased recycling as hoped, that’s good for the environment.

It probably helps, too, that many KU employees have their own offices instead of elbow-to-elbow open cubicles like the typical newsroom. But if you do have an office neighbor you worry may have a high tolerance for flies, my advice is be prepared to have a talk.


— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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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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Postcard from KU: Photos of major things being built, dug up while you’re away for the summer

For the Kansas University community members who’ve left campus for the summer, here are just a few snapshots of what’s going on construction-wise while you’re away.

This should enable you a glimpse of the unusually high amount of construction activity without having to maneuver the labyrinth that is campus with all its summer road closures and dead ends — or hiking up the hill in the seemingly incessant heat advisories we’ve had lately in Lawrence.

Framing is up on the EEEC building, which is dramatically going to change the look of the corner of 15th and Naismith. It used to be a parking lot.

Construction on KU's new Earth, Energy and Environment Center, or EEEC, on the northeast corner of 15th Street and Naismith Drive, is pictured on Wednesday, July 6, 2016. Adjacent to Lindley Hall, the building — featuring two towers, Ritchie Hall and Slawson Hall — is scheduled for completion in fall 2017.

Construction on KU's new Earth, Energy and Environment Center, or EEEC, on the northeast corner of 15th Street and Naismith Drive, is pictured on Wednesday, July 6, 2016. Adjacent to Lindley Hall, the building — featuring two towers, Ritchie Hall and Slawson Hall — is scheduled for completion in fall 2017. by Sara Shepherd

This is the vacant field on Daisy Hill formerly home to McCollum Hall. Look close and you can see curbs for a parking lot taking shape.

Debris has been hauled off and crews are working to build a parking lot in the space on Daisy Hill where McCollum Hall once stood, pictured Wednesday, July 6, 2016.

Debris has been hauled off and crews are working to build a parking lot in the space on Daisy Hill where McCollum Hall once stood, pictured Wednesday, July 6, 2016. by Sara Shepherd

There’s a lot of activity in KU’s Central District where the old Burge Union used to be, just west of Anschutz Sports Pavilion. This sea of dirt will eventually be home to a new student union, an integrated science building and a parking garage.

Construction in KU's Central District is pictured Wednesday, July 6, 2016. This area will be home to a new student union and integrated science building.

Construction in KU's Central District is pictured Wednesday, July 6, 2016. This area will be home to a new student union and integrated science building. by Sara Shepherd

Concrete has been poured for the new Central District residence and dining hall, going up behind Oliver Hall. (There’s also a new student apartment complex going up at 19th and Ousdahl, but with 19th Street closed and construction fences blocking the area from the other side, I couldn’t very well get over there to see its status.)

Work has begun on the new residence and dining hall behind Oliver Hall on the KU campus, pictured Wednesday, July 6, 2016.

Work has begun on the new residence and dining hall behind Oliver Hall on the KU campus, pictured Wednesday, July 6, 2016. by Sara Shepherd

Finally, Memorial Drive is out of commission this summer as crews work to reconstruct it, along with the portion of West Campus Road just past the Chi Omega Fountain.

The Memorial Drive reconstruction project is pictured Wednesday, July 6, 2016.

The Memorial Drive reconstruction project is pictured Wednesday, July 6, 2016. by Sara Shepherd


— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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Professor leaving KU to lead new OU School of Biomedical Engineering; updates on a few other Jayhawks

Around this time last year, I visited the lab of Kansas University professor Michael Detamore, where he oh-so-patiently answered questions for a feature on what he does there: tissue engineering. At least to a nonscientist like me, the concept of creating replacement body parts from combinations of biological and synthetic material is pretty mind-blowing, so his patience was much appreciated. (New jawbones, regenerative cartilage plugs, trachea patches — click here to read that story.)

Detamore will be leaving KU to lead a unit at the University of Oklahoma dedicated solely to work in this scientific area.

He has been named founding director of the Peggy and Charles Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma, The Oklahoman reports. According to the newspaper the newly established school — to be based in a new academic building — will integrate engineering and medicine and will further develop three areas of existing strength in OU’s College of Engineering: biomedical imaging, nanomedicine and neuroengineering.

"It will be a showcase school for OU that will attract top talent to the region and invigorate health care discovery and innovation. I'm proud to be a part of the school's beginnings," Detamore said in the article.

At KU, Detamore — a biomedical engineer — is a professor in the Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Department. KU does have a bioengineering graduate program, but it does not have a biomedical engineering program.

Michael Detamore, director of the biomaterials and tissue Engineering Laboratory at KU, describes how 3-D printing technology is being researched at KU in tissue engineering efforts focused mainly on bone and cartilage regeneration. In background working with a 3D printer at left is Stefan Lohfeld, Marie Curie Visiting Scientist at KU, and incoming freshman Mason Wilde, Louisburg.

Michael Detamore, director of the biomaterials and tissue Engineering Laboratory at KU, describes how 3-D printing technology is being researched at KU in tissue engineering efforts focused mainly on bone and cartilage regeneration. In background working with a 3D printer at left is Stefan Lohfeld, Marie Curie Visiting Scientist at KU, and incoming freshman Mason Wilde, Louisburg. by Mike Yoder

I didn't catch Detamore this afternoon to ask more questions, including when he starts at OU.

A couple other quick KU people updates:

• Paralyzed student tackling classes: At last word Tom Babb, the KU freshman who was paralyzed from the neck down over winter break, had moved from Craig Hospital back home with his parents in Colorado and was catching up on college coursework there, according to his “Prayers for Tom Babb” Facebook page, which his family updates.

“In May he was busy with a two week, three credit public speaking class, which kept him busy with a lot of school and homework on top of everything else. He somehow pulled of a perfect balance that landed him a B in the class and a better social life than I’ll ever have,” Babb’s sister recently wrote. “He had about a week break before starting the writing class that he is taking throughout the rest of the summer, which means he now spends two days a week at Craig and two days a week in class. He is learning to use adaptive technology that allows him to participate in class like a mostly-normal student. Using a software called Dragon, he is able to fully control his computer by wearing a baseball cap with a little metal chip on it that tracks his head motion. He can then click and type using voice control, which I would argue might be more efficient than typing with your fingers. It’s a huge learning curve, but in typical Tommy fashion, he already has it figured out!”

Fifty members of Kansas University's Beta Theta Pi fraternity took an overnight bus ride to Evergreen, Colo., where they initiated freshman Tom Babb in a special ceremony Feb. 20, 2016. The rest of Babb's pledge class had been initiated Feb. 7 in Lawrence, but Babb could not be there. While on a family vacation in Hawaii over winter break, Babb was paralyzed in an accident and hospitalized more than three months following. Babb hopes to return to KU for the fall 2016 semester.

Fifty members of Kansas University's Beta Theta Pi fraternity took an overnight bus ride to Evergreen, Colo., where they initiated freshman Tom Babb in a special ceremony Feb. 20, 2016. The rest of Babb's pledge class had been initiated Feb. 7 in Lawrence, but Babb could not be there. While on a family vacation in Hawaii over winter break, Babb was paralyzed in an accident and hospitalized more than three months following. Babb hopes to return to KU for the fall 2016 semester.

• Jayhawks in the Olympics: At least one Jayhawk has qualified to compete in the summer Olympics in Rio. KU senior Daina Levy won the hammer throw at the Jamaican National Championships on Saturday, making her the first Jamaican female to compete in the Olympic hammer throw. Olympic trials are ongoing; watch kusports.com for word on other KU athletes who are competing.

Kansas University's Daina Levy spins through her rotation during an attempt in the Women's Hammer Throw event of the NCAA Track and Field West Regionals at Rock Chalk Park on Friday, May 27, 2016.

Kansas University's Daina Levy spins through her rotation during an attempt in the Women's Hammer Throw event of the NCAA Track and Field West Regionals at Rock Chalk Park on Friday, May 27, 2016. by Nick Krug

• Perry Ellis and Perry Ellis, together at last: This is kind of old news now, but in case you missed it on the sports blogs, you should know that Perry Ellis menswear is now sponsoring recently graduated KU men’s basketball player Perry Ellis. I love that this is happening.


— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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Plaintiff adds new complaints against KU coach in Jayhawker Towers rape lawsuit

Former Kansas University rower Daisy Tackett has added a couple of new allegations to her lawsuit against KU, in which she said a football player raped her in Jayhawker Towers and that KU failed to comply with Title IX after she reported the incident. Specifically the new accusations take aim at the KU rowing coach and his “history of Title IX gender discrimination.”

Title IX is the federal law prohibiting gender-based discrimination in education, including sexual harassment and sexual violence. Tackett, in her suit, says KU took too long to investigate her rape report and allowed her attacker to intimidate her on campus and her rowing coach to retaliate against her after she reported, in October 2015, about a year after the incident occurred (and about the same time fellow KU rower Sarah McClure — who also has since sued KU under the name Jane Doe 7 — reported to KU that the same football player had raped her).

Tackett's new filing says KU knew that rowing coach Rob Catloth systematically denied her opportunities to participate on the rowing team after she reported her rape, and that KU knew of Catloth's prior gender-based discrimination against female rowers, specifically inappropriately calling them “fat.” On Friday, Tackett filed amendments to her original complaint saying that:

• KU officials had actual knowledge that, prior to October 2015, KU medical staff had attempted to implement a policy requiring Coach Catloth to refer female rowing teams members to a nutritionist if he viewed their weight as a performance issue, instead of calling them “fat.”

• KU officials had actual knowledge that Coach Catloth was not abiding by the policy.

• KU officials, including Debbie Van Saun, the administrator who was supposed to have the duty to monitor Title IX compliance and gender equity, chose not to make Coach Catloth comply with the policy.

KU has moved to dismiss the lawsuit, saying that university isn’t liable unless it’s aware of ongoing peer-on-peer sexual harassment and remains “deliberately indifferent” to it. KU investigated and ultimately expelled the football player.

In addition to the amendments Tackett filed Friday, she also responded to KU’s motion to dismiss. Tackett, who withdrew from KU early in the spring 2016 semester before the football player was expelled, says the harassment she experienced was “severe and offensive” enough to deprive her of her educational opportunity.

“This is not a quibble with the punishment KU ultimately agreed to dole out to this KU football player (after permitting him to finish out the football season); it is a critique of KU’s failure to implement specific available options to protect Daisy Tackett on campus and indeed the other women forced to bear the cost of KU’s deliberate indifference,” wrote her attorneys, Sarah Brown and Dan Curry of Brown and Curry LLC in Kansas City, Mo.

KU is expected to file another response later this summer, before the court rules on whether to dismiss or proceed with the lawsuit, according to federal court records.

Daisy Tackett

Daisy Tackett


• In K-State Title IX lawsuit news: The federal government, in “statement of interest” documents filed Friday, has come down hard against K-State’s argument that it’s not responsible for investigating student-on-student rape at off-campus fraternity houses. (Two women have sued K-State, both saying they were raped at fraternities but that K-State refused to investigate their reports.)

The New York Times has a full story here. I read the filing in the Weckhorst case, and it’s quite clear that the authors — including U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division attorneys and U.S. Department of Education attorneys — think K-State was in the wrong by claiming the fraternity houses are outside its jurisdiction for sexual violence investigations. They spend nearly 40 pages explaining why.


— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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Josh Jackson brings ‘alpha dog mentality’ to court, doesn’t mind talking trash

Blue Team guard Josh Jackson comes in for a dunk.

Blue Team guard Josh Jackson comes in for a dunk. by Nick Krug

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self has to love bringing in some of the country’s top-ranked freshmen year after year.

Naturally, some first-year players are more exciting than others — even if Self, like a proud father, wouldn’t admit it. As a coach, few recruiting experiences could possibly match the satisfaction of landing the No. 1 overall high school senior.

And the more you hear about Josh Jackson, the top prep in the Class of 2016, the more it seems Self will be gushing about him for years to come.

Self enjoys coaching talented Jayhawks who possess an array of skills, sure, but he also values toughness and competitive drive — perhaps even more than other discernible traits.

Jackson already has drawn comparisons to the likes of Andrew Wiggins. His wingspan stretches 6 feet, 9 inches, and he’s a 6-foot-8 wing who can handle the ball, finish inside and make plays for his teammates.

But there’s more to Jackson than that. By many accounts, he might end up becoming the most passionate competitor Self has coached at KU. You probably read or heard about ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla claiming back in March that Jackson approaches the game with the motor of one of the NBA’s all-time ruthless spirits, Kevin Garnett.

None by Fran Fraschilla

Well, according to a profile written by Marc J. Spears for The Undefeated, Jackson is so cutthroat he trash-talked a hall of famer during a high school game earlier this year.

One of the NBA’s legendary distributors of dis, Gary Payton sat in the bleachers watching Jackson play against his son, Julian Payton. Jackson, so the story goes, gave the elder Payton a look after blocking his son’s shot. And things escalated from there.

Seattle SuperSonics' Gary Payton leans in to have a word with referees Michael Krom, left, and Leroy Richardson in the first quarter as Payton insists Seattle should have possession Tuesday, Dec. 5, 1995, in Seattle. Payton and teammates won the baseline call against the Toronto Raptors. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Seattle SuperSonics' Gary Payton leans in to have a word with referees Michael Krom, left, and Leroy Richardson in the first quarter as Payton insists Seattle should have possession Tuesday, Dec. 5, 1995, in Seattle. Payton and teammates won the baseline call against the Toronto Raptors. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

“It was crazy,” Jackson recalled, speaking to The Undefeated. “It was real funny. In my years I never thought I would be in a gym talking smack to Gary Payton.”

Jot it down as just another glimpse at what Fraschilla calls Jackson’s “alpha dog mentality,” which should only help his stock during what is expected to be a one-and-done season at Kansas, followed by a spot among the top five picks in the 2017 NBA Draft. Fraschilla said Jackson is as intense a player as he has seen in the past five to 10 seasons.

Where does he get that volatile alter ego? Jackson explained his penchant for basketball gab and vehement behavior to The Undefeated.

“I want to win. I feel like any player, if you play the sport of basketball, on the court you have to be a tough guy no matter what,” said Jackson, who hails from Southfield, Mich. “I don’t care who you are. Off the court, I don’t necessarily need to be that guy. But you do on the court.”

Just how fervent is Jackson? He actually considers Golden State forward Draymond Green “a big brother” of sorts after the two matched up in a pickup game in Detroit a couple years back.

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) have words during the second half of Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals in Cleveland, Friday, June 10, 2016. The Warriors won 108-97. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) have words during the second half of Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals in Cleveland, Friday, June 10, 2016. The Warriors won 108-97. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

As hardcore a trash-talker and villain as exists in the NBA, Green left the chance encounter a fan of Jackson’s, too.

“He just got that dog in him,” Green told The Undefeated. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he were the No. 1 pick next year.”

And we shouldn’t be surprised if Jackson quickly becomes one of Self’s favorite Jayhawks.

— Read The Undefeated’s entire profile on Josh Jackson: He’s got a game to match his mouth

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Malik Newman’s MSU highlights reveal much about his game

Mississippi State guard Malik Newman (14) leaps toward the basket and between the triple-team of Mississippi defenders Sam Finley (10), Tomasz Gielo (12), and Donte Fitzpatrick-Dorsey (20) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Mississippi in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Jim Lytle)

Mississippi State guard Malik Newman (14) leaps toward the basket and between the triple-team of Mississippi defenders Sam Finley (10), Tomasz Gielo (12), and Donte Fitzpatrick-Dorsey (20) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Mississippi in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Jim Lytle)

Kansas basketball fans will have to wait a while to see the team’s newest member, Malik Newman, suit up and contribute for the Jayhawks. NCAA transfer rules dictate Newman, a guard who spent his freshman year with Mississippi State, won’t be eligible to play for KU until the 2017-18 season.

Still, plenty of intrigue surrounds the 6-foot-3 guard from Jackson, Miss., who Rivals.com ranked the eighth-best player in the Class of 2015.

Considering Newman’s Bulldogs went 14-17 and weren’t exactly on the national radar, now is the perfect time to catch up on what you missed from his freshman season. Playing in 29 games, Newman averaged 11.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists for MSU, while making 61 of 161 3-pointers (37.9%).

Statistics are a nice starting point for any player, but thanks to the power of YouTube we also can get a glimpse of his strengths and weaknesses after one season of college basketball in the SEC.

One of the first things that jumps out about Newman in his highlight reels is his natural feel for the transition game. He is able to attack and score inside with the ball or space the floor on the fly and drift out to the 3-point line to score from there.

Plus, Newman seems to be a strong finisher against bigs at the rim for someone his size.

At the NBA Draft Combine, the 19-year-old guard had the following measurements: 6-foot-3.5 in shoes, 182 pounds, 6-foot-5.75 wingspan and a 35.5-inch maximum vertical. Honestly, the numbers kind of surprised me, because I thought he might be closer to a Wayne Selden Jr. type. Selden obviously has some years and weight-room experience on Newman, but also some size: Selden measured 6-5.75 in shoes, 232 pounds, with a 6-10.5 wingspan.

But you can see some similarities in their games, so maybe Newman can occupy a Selden-type role when he finally plays for Kansas over a year from now.

One of the coolest things you’ll find on Newman is DraftExpress.com’s breakdown of his one meeting with Kentucky this past season. He put together 14 points, 4 assists, 1 rebound and 1 turnover in 27 minutes of what turned out to be an 80-74 loss at Rupp Arena. Newman shot 1-for-3 inside the arc and 2-for-4 from deep, while going 6-for-6 at the foul line.

The greatest part of this particular clip, though, is that DraftExpress breaks down the positives and negatives of Newman’s game against the Wildcats — remember, Newman was expected to be a one-and-done college player and did test out the draft process before returning and transferring to Kansas.

As detailed in the DraftExpress video (posted below), here is how Newman looked against the SEC’s best program.

POSTIIVES

  • Showed the ability to put pressure on a retreating transition defense, and either scored or got to the free-throw line early in the shot clock.

  • Moved without the ball after penetrating to set himself up for a wide-open 3-pointer.

  • With time running out in the first half, turned a ball-screen up top into a successful 3-pointer.

  • On an in-bound set, remained patient when he didn’t have an angle or shot on the catch, then prodded and created a lane to drive for a layup.

  • Caught a swing pass for what would’ve been a great look at a 3-pointer but blew by the closing out defender instead and exploded to the rim to draw a foul.

  • Though Newman isn’t a traditional point guard, he made plays to set up teammates .

  • Threw the ball ahead to a big man running the floor in transition.

  • Attacked off the dribble to draw the defense’s attention and kicked out a pass for an open 3.

  • Got to the paint off the bounce and created a passing lane for a post player, who finished inside.



NEGATIVES

  • Showed some defensive lapses in the half court, even though Mississippi State was playing a 2-3 zone at the time.

  • Didn’t prepare himself to properly defend a screen away from the ball, then couldn’t recover to stop his man.

  • Failed to help defensively as a weak-side defender when a UK player drove in for a layup.

  • Court vision wasn’t always 20/20, and missed some chances to drive and kick, instead forcing missed layups.


Obviously no player is perfect, but you can see why Bill Self would want to bring in someone with Newman’s skills. Self and his staff will develop Newman behind the scenes next year at KU practices in preparation for what will be Newman’s sophomore season.

By the time Newman finally plays for Kansas, he won’t look like a freshman anymore, and just might play like a junior.

The Malik Newman we just met should be a more complete product by then. And you know he’ll be hungry to get back on the floor and prove he’s good enough to live up to that top-10 ranking he had coming out of high school.

— For more discussion about KU's latest addition, check out our latest Spodcasters episode.

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Last single-gender dorm standing: $13.5 million ‘restoration’ will maintain Corbin’s all-women tradition

As Kansas University constructs new residence halls and renovates older ones, the buildings are all moving in the same direction: going co-ed, with increasingly more privacy and suite-style living. But there’s going to be one holdout.

Corbin Hall is KU’s sole remaining all-women’s residence hall, and even after an extensive $13.5 million renovation planned during the 2017-18 school year it will stay that way. The hall’s variety of room and sink configurations also will stay (South Corbin was built “prior to room standardization,” the KU Student Housing website notes). The building, capacity 149, has one-, two- and three-person rooms, some with one sink, some with two, some sharing a sink area with another room.

“They’re all different,” KU Student Housing director Diana Robertson said. “That’s the part that we want to preserve.”

In that sense, Robertson said, the Corbin Hall project is really more of a “restoration” than a renovation.

PHOTO: The original Corbin Hall, built in 1923, is pictured in this 1925 photo from the University Archives collection at Kansas University’s Kenneth Spencer Research Library.

PHOTO: The original Corbin Hall, built in 1923, is pictured in this 1925 photo from the University Archives collection at Kansas University’s Kenneth Spencer Research Library.

Corbin Hall, 420 West 11th St. on the Kansas University campus.

Corbin Hall, 420 West 11th St. on the Kansas University campus. by Sara Shepherd

South Corbin, built in 1923, is campus' oldest student residential facility. North Corbin, a separate but connected wing, was constructed in 1951. Corbin shares the hilltop at 11th and Louisiana streets with Gertrude Sellards Pearson (GSP) Hall, which also was all-women’s until it was renovated in 2012.

The decision to keep Corbin all female was — like many other KU Student Housing changes I’ve reported on over the past year — based on demand, Robertson said.

“We’re still filling it,” she said. “That wasn’t the case with GSP. We had trouble filling that as an all-female hall.”

At Corbin, nostalgia is almost certainly responsible for at least some of that demand, Robertson said. Generations of women have lived there, and many like that atmosphere.

Unlike the atmosphere and the variety of rooms, probably no one will feel nostalgic for another of Corbin Hall’s current features: window air-conditioners and radiators in every room.

Robertson said that’s primarily what the renovation is for. Work will re-do Corbin’s infrastructure, getting rid of window and radiator units and replacing them with central heat and air, upgrading lighting and putting new paint, furniture and fixtures in rooms.

Corbin Hall will close in May after the 2017 semester ends and reopen in fall of 2018.

Corbin Hall, 420 West 11th St. on the Kansas University campus. South Corbin, the original building which opened in 1923, is on the right. North Corbin, at left, was added in 1951.

Corbin Hall, 420 West 11th St. on the Kansas University campus. South Corbin, the original building which opened in 1923, is on the right. North Corbin, at left, was added in 1951. by Sara Shepherd

Of KU's on-campus apartment buildings, one is single-gender. McCarthy Hall is home to the KU men's basketball team and about 20 non-athlete upperclassmen. KU's 12 scholarship halls all are single-gender.


— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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Original owner shares ‘last rites’ for Jayhawk Bookstore, says building now up for sale or lease

The owner of the Jayhawk Bookstore building says it’s up for sale or lease.

Bill Muggy owns the building at 1420 Crescent Road, just off the Kansas University campus at Crescent and Naismith Drive. On Thursday, the Jayhawk Bookstore will close its doors for good, leaving the prime spot “at the top of the hill” that the bookstore has occupied since 1978 ripe for something new.

Jayhawk Bookstore is located at 1420 Crescent Road, just off the KU campus at Crescent and Naismith Drive.

Jayhawk Bookstore is located at 1420 Crescent Road, just off the KU campus at Crescent and Naismith Drive. by Sara Shepherd

Muggy also is the man who first started the Jayhawk Bookstore all those years ago. I didn’t reach him Tuesday in time to include in my story reporting that the bookstore — now owned by the Levin family of Manhattan, which also owns Varney’s bookstore there — is going out of business.

But Wednesday Muggy shared some additional history.

In 1978 Muggy bought out a six-month-old business called University Shop, which sold KU garments and some school supplies, and turned it into Jayhawk Bookstore, carrying texts for all courses. (Originally 1,800 square feet, he said, it’s now 9,500.) In 2010 Muggy sold the business to Nebraska Book Company, which sold it to the Levin family in 2013.

“Daily buyback, best selection of used books on campus, personal customer service, a broad selection of course supply needs, seven-day-a-week hours and working with instructors for reorders, late orders, and special requests were the elements of succeeding from the beginning,” Muggy said.

In the 30-plus years Muggy ran Jayhawk Bookstore, he recalls promotions and milestones including but not limited to purchasing a double-decker bus called “The Briti Bus,” selling the first Kansas lottery ticket, sponsoring the University Daily Kansan’s game-day satire pages, selling Pepsi products when campus-proper was all-Coke and an ongoing rivalry with the KU Memorial Union-operated, on-campus KU Bookstore.

“Anytime the KU Bookstore imitated one of my ideas, I created two more,” Muggy said.

Sandwiched between a nice residential neighborhood, a historic sorority house and KU academic buildings, the Jayhawk Bookstore property also dealt with zoning battles through the years, he said. Muggy said two restricted expansions and an eventual rezoning for sustainable commercial use were attained, “but not without years of struggle and legal hassles.”

A going out of business banner outside Jayhawk Bookstore, 1420 Crescent Road, is pictured on June 28, 2016.

A going out of business banner outside Jayhawk Bookstore, 1420 Crescent Road, is pictured on June 28, 2016. by Sara Shepherd

For Jayhawk Bookstore's last day, Muggy said he wanted to share these “last rites”:

I was blessed with hundreds of dedicated employees who lived their work and accomplishments to my philosophy of "convey your work like a proud artist signing his work." Hundreds of thousands of customers opened our doors hopefully finding our personal attention to their needs and service above their expectations. We strived to provide faculty staff and visitors with solutions to needs and suggestions if we could not accommodate them. To all of the above individuals, my sincere thanks and appreciation for being part of our nearly four decades of business.

Being a maverick, I delighted in creating promotions, competitive challenges, non-traditional events and commissioning a stick-in-your-head jingle...

But the bookstore industry and class materials have imploded through the internet sales and e-media resources. As the doors are locked and the last customer leaves today I join the current Jayhawk Bookstore owners Jon, Jeff and Steve Levin in a quiet sorrow and mourning for the end of a Lawrence and KU landmark.


— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

Reply 3 comments from David Holroyd Kevin Kelly

Making a case for Joel Embiid as the NBA’s 2017 Rookie of the Year

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, center, poses for photos with prospective NBA draft picks Buddy Hield, left, Kris Dunn, right, Ben Simmons, third from left, and Brandon Ingram, second from right, before the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 23, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, center, poses for photos with prospective NBA draft picks Buddy Hield, left, Kris Dunn, right, Ben Simmons, third from left, and Brandon Ingram, second from right, before the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 23, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

No offense, Ben Simmons. Sorry, Brandon Ingram. Nothing personal, Buddy Hield. Don’t get upset, Kris Dunn.

With all due respect to those lottery picks and the other big names from the 2016 NBA Draft class, if you asked me right now who I would pick to win Rookie of the Year in 2017, I’d lean toward a former Kansas basketball player, instead.

No, not second-round pick Cheick Diallo. Neither Perry Ellis, Wayne Selden Jr. nor Brannen Greene.

None of those former KU players are a threat to secure that trophy, which typically ends up in the hands of players who turn out to be all-stars or superstars. But there is one Jayhawk set to make his NBA debut next season who could easily become a force in the league for years to come.

True, Joel Embiid has not played basketball in more than two years due to injuries. But the man possesses undeniable talent.

Now reportedly 7-foot-2, the center at times during his freshman season at Kansas showed off footwork and shooting touch akin to a young Hakeem Olajuwon. So far, the No. 3 pick in the 2014 draft has been a disappointment for Philadelphia, but it will take only one spectacular, injury-free rookie season for all to be forgiven.

None by Joel Embiid

Bearing in mind Embiid’s checkered injury history — low-lighted by back trauma that robbed him from finishing his one-and-done season at KU and a fracture of the navicular bone in his right foot (which he later re-injured) keeping him sidelined since — obviously nothing about his future is guaranteed. However, the 22-year-old from Cameroon appears to be healthier now than he has been since he left Kansas.

Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo told reporters Embiid, who will be held out of NBA Summer League games for precautionary reasons, has been cleared for five-on-five basketball.

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid shoots during warmups before his team plays the New York Knicks, Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, in Philadelphia. (Yong Kim/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid shoots during warmups before his team plays the New York Knicks, Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, in Philadelphia. (Yong Kim/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP) by Yong Kim | The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP

Let us assume the seemingly never-ending rehab is over, all goes to plan, and Embiid plays, say, somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 regular-season games next season with Philadelphia. The big man, with his powerful finishing ability and shooting range, will be given the opportunity to put up big numbers for a rebuilding franchise coming off a woeful 10-72 season.

The Sixers have no established star or face of the franchise returning to feature offensively. That role is open to be filled. While the organization likely has to temper its expectations publicly regarding Embiid because of the uncertainty that accompanies his string of injuries, you get the sense the team’s decision-makers are as excited about the potential of their inexperienced center as they are 2016’s No. 1 overall pick, Simmons.

The upcoming rookie of the year race very well could come down to the Sixers’ duo of the future, Simmons and Embiid. According to Bovada, an online sportsbook, Simmons, a 6-foot-10 ball-handling forward out of LSU, is the early favorite with 13/4 odds. Embiid is listed seventh, at 14/1, behind New Orleans’ Hield (11/2), the Los Angeles Lakers’ Ingram (13/2), Minnesota’s Dunn (15/2), Denver’s Jamal Murray (12/1) and Chicago’s Denzel Valentine (12/1).

None by Keith Pompey

Simmons’ biggest asset at the next level might be his combination of passing ability and size. When he drives to create for teammates, the 19-year-old Australian will find a willing and able shooter and finisher in Embiid. As a matter of fact, the two even know each other a little bit. Now teammates in Philly, they once scrimmaged together as high schoolers in Florida, according to a story from The Inquirer’s Keith Pompey.

"He has great footwork and can score inside," Simmons said of Embiid. "I know how to get the ball to bigger guys down low.”

Turnovers, defensive breakdowns and losses all are on the horizon for both Simmons and Embiid as featured first-year players on a bad team. But when you look at the history of NBA Rookies of the Year, winning the award basically comes down to individual scoring numbers, not wins and losses.

Here are the previous 10 winners:

  • 2015-16: Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota, 18.3 points

  • 2014-15: Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota, 16.9 points

  • 2013-14: Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia, 16.7 points

  • 2012-13: Damian Lillard, Portland, 19.0 points

  • 2011-12: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland, 18.5 points

  • 2010-11: Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers, 22.5 points

  • 2009-10: Tyreke Evans, Sacramento, 20.1 points

  • 2008-09: Derrick Rose, Chicago, 16.8 points

  • 2007-08: Kevin Durant, Seattle, 20.3 points

  • 2006-07: Brandon Roy, Portland, 16.8 points

Philadelphia’s other recent lottery big men, Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor, have been the subject of trade rumors, so you can figure the 76ers won’t mind featuring a healthy Embiid ahead of those two, should they both remain with the team.

Plus, Embiid is taller, more athletic and more versatile on both ends of the floor than Okafor, who averaged 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks for Philly while playing just 53 games this past season. It’s not too difficult to envision Embiid replicating or surpassing that production in his first season in the league, putting him firmly in the mix for the NBA’s rookie hardware.

Embiid wouldn’t be the first behind-schedule rookie to bring home the honor, either. Griffin, the No. 1 overall pick in 2009, missed the following season with the L.A. Clippers due to a broken left knee cap, only to return to the court in striking fashion a year later.

Can Embiid do the same after spending even more time away from competition? Can he out-shine his thoroughly hyped teammate, Simmons? Heck, can he just play an NBA game?

We’ll know soon enough. Personally, I’d answer yes to all of the above.

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Examining Perry Ellis’ chances with the Dallas Mavericks

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) gets up for a shot over Villanova guard Ryan Arcidiacono (15) during the first half, Saturday, March 26, 2016 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) gets up for a shot over Villanova guard Ryan Arcidiacono (15) during the first half, Saturday, March 26, 2016 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky. by Nick Krug

When the 2016 NBA Draft came and went without Kansas forward Perry Ellis getting selected in the two-round, 60-pick extravaganza, there was no need for the 6-foot-8 prospect to panic.

A rookie free agent, Ellis knew he would soon be weighing his options as his agent tracked down possible contract offers or opportunities to play in the NBA Summer League. Sure enough, Dallas added the Wichita native to its summer roster less than 24 hours after the conclusion of the draft.

A summer position, of course, doesn’t mean Ellis will play for the Mavericks during the 2016-17 season. It’s more like an internship. It’s simply a step in the right direction as the 22-year-old, who averaged 17.0 points and 5.8 rebounds in his final season with KU, chases after his professional dream.

Ellis’ next few weeks playing for Dallas will determine what comes next, whether that turns out to be an invite to training camp, a guaranteed contract or playing professional basketball outside of the NBA.

So as we try and figure out, before the summer league even begins, just how likely Ellis is to stay with the Mavs and help out owner Mark Cuban and legendary forward Dirk Nowitzki, let us check out previous Dallas summer rosters to try and get a feel for how the organization utilizes those players following their July auditions.

Upon scouring the Mavericks’ teams from the previous five summer leagues, players in Ellis’ situation haven’t stuck around. The Dallas players who have turned offseason playing time in Las Vegas into actual regular-season minutes the following season have been draft picks or young guys in the earliest stages of their career who already had played for the Mavs.

Plus, the undrafted rookie free agents Dallas brought in between 2010 and 2015 (summer league was canceled in 2011 due to an anticipated lockout) never played a single minute for the organization during the ensuing season.

Mavericks Summer League players
who played for Dallas following season
Mavericks Summer League players
who had just gone undrafted
(or drafted in Round 2)
and didn't make the team
2010 - Rodrigue Beaubois, 2nd-year guard
- Dominique Jones, 1st-round pick, South Florida
- Ian Mahinmi, 3rd-year center
- Mouhammad Faye, Southern Methodist
- Jeremy Lin, Harvard
- Omar Samhan, Saint Mary's
- Moussa Seck, Senegal
- DeShawn Sims, Michigan
- Eric Tramiel, North Texas
2012 - Jae Crowder, 2nd-round pick, Marquette
- Bernard James, 2nd-round pick, Florida State
- Jared Cunningham, 1st-round pick, Oregon State
(played 8 games)
- Justin Dentmon, undrafted in 2009, Washington
(played in 2 games)
- Dominique Jones, 3rd-year guard
- Drew Gordon, New Mexico
- Tu Holloway, Xavier
- David Jelinek, Spain
- Keith Wright, Harvard
2013 - Jae Crowder, 2nd-year forward
- Bernard James, 2nd-year center
- Shane Larkin, 1st-round pick, Miami (FL)
- Ricky Ledo, 2nd-round pick, Providence
- Alexandre Paranhos, Brazil
- Dewayne Dedmon, USC
- Jud Dillard, Tennessee Tech
- D.J. Stephens, Memphis
- Christian Watford, Indiana
2014
- Ricky Ledo, 2nd-year guard
(played 5 games)
- C.J. Fair, Syracuse
- Javon McCrea, Buffalo
- Yuki Togashi, Japan
- Axel Toupane, France
2015 - Justin Anderson, 1st-round pick, Virginia
- Dwight Powell, 2nd-year big man
- Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga
- 2nd-round pick Satnam Singh, India

Using recent history as an indicator, it doesn’t appear Ellis has much of a shot at becoming a full fledged member of the Mavericks. However, each player’s situation is unique and Ellis has some factors working in his favor.

For one thing, Ellis is a consensus All-American. That doesn’t mean an NBA team will just hand him a contract. But, given his pedigree and talent, he should enter this trial with confidence. Ellis is more than capable of producing in summer league games and reminding Dallas that he is a different player than most undrafted free agents the team has tried out in the past.

Also, this year the Mavericks only made one draft pick, taking Purdue center A.J. Hammons 46th overall, in the second round. The organization could take a different approach to rookie summer players now, because it wasn’t able to utilize the draft as well this time around. If the Mavs were bringing in two or three draft picks, it would be inherently more difficult to be swayed by a young free agent. But with fewer roster spots slotted to go to draftees, you could see Dallas taking a longer look at Ellis and Florida’s Dorian Finney-Smith, who is in the same boat.

Kansas Jayhawks forward Perry Ellis (34) gets to the bucket against Maryland forward Damonte Dodd (35) during the first half, Thursday, March 24, 2016 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

Kansas Jayhawks forward Perry Ellis (34) gets to the bucket against Maryland forward Damonte Dodd (35) during the first half, Thursday, March 24, 2016 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky. by Nick Krug

While Ellis spends the next several weeks putting in the work required to make an NBA roster, the Mavericks’ success in free agency could determine how likely they are to sign a rookie to an inexpensive deal. At this point, the only core players Dallas has under contract are Wesley Matthews, J.J. Barea, Devin Harris and Justin Anderson. That means Cuban has loads of room to spend, spend and spend some more in free agency. Every summer Dallas goes after the biggest names available, and if Cuban can land Hassan Whiteside and/or Mike Conley and he wants to bring back Dallas free agents Nowitzki (obviously) and Chandler Parsons, while also adding a few less expensive NBA veterans, there will only be so much money left under the cap to fill out the roster. The more the Mavs spend, the more attractive it becomes to sign a young bench player on a cheap contract.

On top of all that, Dallas isn’t the only NBA team that will be watching Ellis. Scouts, coaches and general managers from all 30 teams attend summer league games. If Ellis plays well and the Mavericks still don’t want to keep him around, another franchise can swoop in and sign him instead.

Case in point: the Mavericks summer squad in 2010 featured a little known guard out of Harvard named Jeremy Lin. Lin never played for Dallas. In fact, he only played 29 games for Golden State the following season. But the next year, Lin became a sensation in New York and has had no trouble finding work in the NBA since.

Ellis’ journey may begin with the Mavericks, but there’s no telling where it will go from here.

— PODCAST: What’s next for KU’s 2016 NBA Draft class?

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Trolley-inspired bus shelter on Jayhawk Boulevard not happening as hoped; KU turkey burger wants your vote; chancellor in NYT

In 1948 workmen removed what was believed to be the last 60 feet of trolley tracks from the KU Loop that operated on The Hill from 1910 to 1933, according to kuhistory.com. In 2014, work on the Jayhawk Boulevard reconstruction project uncovered more remaining track that had been buried under asphalt and dirt. Back in October KU Parking and Transit announced a plan to incorporate those old track pieces into a new bus shelter on Jayhawk Boulevard designed to commemorate the bygone trolley era.

Plans called for a bus shelter featuring stone, wood, the old trolley track pieces, a long wooden bench in the style of the old trolley shelter, as well as displays on the history of the trolley line and related topics, according to KU. The shelter would be located between Bailey and Strong halls, near where the trolley shelter once stood.

It was hoped the new shelter would be constructed and in use this fall, but that's not going to happen.

Building it was contingent on funding through the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Transportation Alternatives program, which would have provided 80 percent of the cost for the $250,000 project, according to KU. I recently checked with associate director of KU Parking and Transit Danny Kaiser, and he said KU did not get that money.

“Unfortunately, the grant application was not funded. The project is on hold,” he said. “We will try again next time.”

Kaiser said that may or may not be next year, depending on when KDOT announces the next grant opportunity.

Tim Caboni, vice chancellor for public affairs at KU, left, greets passengers exiting a motorized trolley car in front of Strong Hall Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. At right is KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. KU held a formal dedication ceremony for Jayhawk Boulevard, which is undergoing a four-year reconstruction project that includes rebuilding the roadway and replanting the historic tree canopy over it.

Tim Caboni, vice chancellor for public affairs at KU, left, greets passengers exiting a motorized trolley car in front of Strong Hall Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. At right is KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. KU held a formal dedication ceremony for Jayhawk Boulevard, which is undergoing a four-year reconstruction project that includes rebuilding the roadway and replanting the historic tree canopy over it. by Mike Yoder

A few more notes from campus:

• Go, Gochujang Turkey Burger, go: It appears KU Dining is involved in another online contest for best entree. At a glance, this one does not seem to have the prominence of the great Crunchy Chicken Cheddar Wrap run of 2013, when that KU favorite made it to the Elite 8 of the Cooking Channel's college food bracket.

But KU Dining would love it if you would vote early, vote often for its Gochujang Turkey Burger, now a Top-10 Finalist in Jennie-O turkey’s “Who Burgered Better?” contest. The burger, served at Impromptu Café (the full-service restaurant inside the Kansas Union), is topped with a “tangy, spicy umami gochujang sauce (think BBQ with a Korean twist) and house-made rice wine pickled carrots,” according to the menu.

None by KU Dining Services

If I’m in the union at lunchtime I’m most likely by myself, eating a Crunchy Chicken Cheddar Wrap (with jalepeños and the spicy sauce) over my laptop. Maybe I should class it up, actually meet someone for a sit-down lunch sometime and try this burger?

• Chancellor in NYT: KU assistant professor of communication studies Andrea Quenette made the New York Times last week. So did KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, in a separate article.

Gray-Little was one of three educators interviewed for a Q&A piece with the headline, “How Public Universities Are Addressing Declines in State Funding.” The others were University of California president Janet Napolitano and University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of higher education Clifton Forbes Conrad.

Gray-Little didn’t share any details we haven’t previously reported in the Journal-World, but it was interesting to see some of KU’s steps alongside the other schools'. KU is not alone in efficiency efforts, pursuing international students, and faculty frustration.


— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

Reply 6 comments from Kevin Kelly Jeremy Arthur JM Andy Perrin Blackman

New Pelicans big man Cheick Diallo gets his first ‘last laugh’

Kansas Jayhawks forward Carlton Bragg Jr. smells an antiperspirant stick left in forward Cheick Diallo's locker as the two goof around while performing a mock commercial on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

Kansas Jayhawks forward Carlton Bragg Jr. smells an antiperspirant stick left in forward Cheick Diallo's locker as the two goof around while performing a mock commercial on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky. by Nick Krug

When freshman big men Cheick Diallo or Carlton Bragg Jr. barely played in a particular game this past season, Kansas basketball coach Bill Self liked to say after such an outing the two forwards would get the “last laugh.” Self knew both Diallo and Bragg would one day become NBA players, maybe even have long careers, but had his reasons for not giving the youngsters minutes in particular situations.

Diallo beat Bragg to the first “last laugh” Thursday night, when 6-foot-9 post player from Kayes, Mali, was taken 33rd overall in the NBA Draft, and the New Orleans Pelicans landed his draft rights. After playing all of 202 minutes and making 33 of his 58 field-goal attempts in college basketball during a one-and-done stop at KU, Diallo was off to the NBA.

The night, of course, didn’t go exactly as planned for Diallo, whose stock slipped enough for him to fall into the early second round. But he had to experience immeasurable satisfaction in proving to himself and his detractors that he was good enough to cash in on his dreams — despite his struggles to get on the court at Kansas.

Still, we’re still probably a couple of years away from Diallo doubling over, full belly laugh style, when thinking about how little he played for the Jayhawks.

He obviously has a long way to go as a player before earning enough respect from his Pelicans coaches and teammates to crack the rotation and execute his defensive intensity/high-energy role.

In the meantime, his position with New Orleans will look similar to the one he took with Kansas, often just cheering wildly from the bench during the most important stretches of games.

Kansas forward Cheick Diallo (13) and the Jayhawk bench celebrate a bucket and a foul by Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) during the second half, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Cheick Diallo (13) and the Jayhawk bench celebrate a bucket and a foul by Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) during the second half, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

In fact, don’t be surprised if Diallo plays even less during his rookie NBA season than he did as a KU freshman (7.5 minutes a game). Next year in particular, Diallo’s weaknesses will be magnified as he adjusts to a massive upward leap in level of competition. You saw how the 19-year-old struggled in the Big 12, and it will only look worse against veteran professional post players. The DNP-CD’s (did not play, coach’s decision) are coming for him as he eases his way into The Association.

The Pelicans knew Diallo would be a few years away from helping the team win games when they traded up to draft him. General manger Dell Demps said Thursday night they targeted the raw prospect anyway, and had him rated higher on their draft board than No. 33, leaving them surprised he even was available at that juncture.

“He’s a young player who is inexperienced,” Demps said. “There is going to be a growing curve. But one thing I can assure you is you’ll never see a lack of effort there. His motor is amazing.”

None by New Orleans Pelicans

It’s that same motor — or desire, or push, or however you want to label it — that should work in Diallo’s favor during the most difficult stage of his pro career, the beginning.

“I’m an energy guy,” Diallo said on draft night. “I box out, rebound the ball and protect the rim. That’s what I do. I just want to do everything to make my team look good. I just want to run the floor, block shots and get rebounds.”

He’ll mostly get his chances to do those things he does best during practices, at the NBA Summer League and in some D-League games next season.

Kansas forward Cheick Diallo (13) gets a hand up in front of a shot by Loyola forward Jarred Jones (21) during the first half, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Cheick Diallo (13) gets a hand up in front of a shot by Loyola forward Jarred Jones (21) during the first half, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Diallo clearly isn’t ready for the NBA yet. But he has the right attitude and thirst for basketball knowledge to get there. Though a second-round pick and a project, he doesn’t have the type of personality to take a half-hearted approach to anything.

As Diallo said before the draft about playing at the next level:

“It’s my dream. I’m trying to make this happen, so I don’t have a second option.”

In time, though, he might have a few laughs when thinking about how he used to play in garbage time at Allen Fieldhouse, with walk-ons Tyler Self and Evan Manning.

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