Posted on: May 12, 2011 4:06 pm

Warren and his "old man's game" attract suitors


Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – Some say T.J. Warren has an “old man’s game” or is coasting through games, but Warren doesn’t let that bother him.

He simply continues to get the job done.

Warren, a 6-foot-7 forward from Word of God (N.C.), starred this past season alongside Torian Graham and Joseph Uchebo and continues to impress on the AAU circuit with Garner Road. He has a versatile offensive game, with the ability to knock down mid-range jumpers and also finish at the rim with his strength. Warren has good hands and runs the floor well.

His skill set makes him a difficult match-up for most opponents.

“It’s because of my size,” Warren said. “I can put it on the floor, I have the ability to handle and I can shoot.”

While he is currently a combo forward who can play inside, Warren is looking to make the transformation to a wing.

“Colleges see me as a three,” he said. “I’m improving my foot speed and my 3-point shooting. I’m trying to get a killer instinct.”

Warren has seen his recruiting take off recently, picking up offers and interest from a variety of schools.

“Right now, in no order, it’s Florida, North Carolina State, Georgetown, Kansas, Ohio State and Louisville,” he said.

Warren also mentioned Arizona State, Arizona and Virginia Tech at one point.

He said he has no favorites or a timeline for a decision.

“I’m wide open,” Warren said. “I’m looking for style of play and location.”

Photo: Highschoolhoop.com

Posted on: May 12, 2011 11:57 am
Edited on: May 12, 2011 12:39 pm

KU coach Bill gets down with his bad Self - again

Posted by Matt Norlander and Eric Angevine

Bill Self has a near-immaculate sense of how to win, be charismatic and choose the right certain something to give his appearance a confident look.

Dancing is another thing altogether. But the Kansas coach has figured out how to fund-raise through the form of boogie, which has been successful for a number of years. Bill's Basketball Boogie is a fundraising event that the Kansas coach puts on for the benefit of his Assists Foundation. So Self is preparing and promoting another Boogie to help raise money. Last year's promotion was all good and fun, but this year he got members of Kansas' team (not featured: Josh Selby) to don costumes and channel their inner BeeGee to help promote the event. Doing charity work is always nice, but getting Thomas Robinson to dress up like a refugee from Soul Train is a gift beyond measure.

The result was this. The look Self flashes at the 35-second mark is a keeper, one recycled from footage of last year's promotional video. This year's event takes place June 4 in Kansas City, and also in the late 1970's.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: May 12, 2011 11:51 am
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Posted on: April 25, 2011 2:37 pm

Which schools are most overvalued in NBA draft?

Posted by Matt Jones

This is not a new story, but with the NBA draft deadline having just passed and little happening in the post-Easter weekend sports world, I found it interesting. Two years ago, the blog 82games.com sought to determine which schools were most overvalued and undervalued by the NBA in the draft process. The process for making the determination was by no means scientific. The author utilized only the past 20 years and by starting in 2009, the older players' careers and their longer careers were ultimately given more weight. Still, the methodology, while not perfect, was adequate for determining whether players from certain schools are more consistently over or under valued by NBA teams. 

The blog compared a players' career per-game average in points/rebounds/assists versus the average totals for other players who were also picked in the same slot in those 20 NBA drafts. A per-game comparison (as opposed to a per-minute method) is not a good way to evaluate an individual player, but it is a decent method for an enterprise such as this, which is seeking to make a macro judgment about a larger pool of players. After determining the difference from the average person selected at the same pick, a particular player would be categorized as either a star, role player, etc and then rated versus the other colleges. Only schools with five or more players were ranked in the total school comparison.

Amongst all teams, these ten schools were ranked as the most consistently undervalued by NBA teams (number of NBA picks during selected period in parentheses):

1. Wake Forest  (7)

2. UTEP   (5)

3. Marquette (7)

4. Xavier  (8)

5. Clemson (6)

6. Kentucky (15)

7. Alabama (13)

8. Depaul (6)

9. Purdue (6)

10. Pittsburgh (6)

In a bit of a surprise, Wake Forest took the top spot, thanks in large part to the three superstars it has produced, Tim Duncan, Chris Paul and Josh Howard (who is a superstar relative to his No. 29 overall draft status). Spots 2 and 3 are taken by UTEP and Marquette, both of which are helped in large part by having produced Tim Hardaway and Dwayne Wade. What is most striking is that, with the exception of Kentucky, none of the top 10 are traditional powerhouse schools, showcasing that the NBA is very likely to undervalue many second-tier programs, just as most fans do as well.

Here is the list of the most overvalued programs in the NBA draft:

1. Louisville (11)

2. Vanderbilt (5)

3. Colorado (5)

4. Gonzaga (5)

5. Indiana (13)

6. Mississippi State (6)

7. NC State (9)

8. Missouri (9)

9. Iowa  (10)

10. Texas Tech (5)

During the 20 year period studied, Louisville had the most players consistently overvalued by the NBA. Pervis Ellison, Samaki Walker, Reece Gaines, Felton Spencer and Cliff Rozier were all picked in the lottery during this period and none averaged more points than the average player picked at their position. Also disappointing is Indiana, which produced few top players during the end of the Bob Knight era and has seen its overall status as a program drop during the same period.

Finally, the blog ranked the top powerhouse programs based upon NBA draft performance as well. Because a school that produces only five players in 20 years can have its status changed by one high profile star or bust (see Marquette with Wade or Gonzaga with Adam Morrison), the higher sample size makes this a bit of a better comparison. Here was the ranking of top programs with 15 or more players selected during the 20 year period:

1. Kentucky (15)

2. Michigan  (16)

3. Connecticut  (21)

4. Arizona  (28)

5. UCLA  (26)

6. Syracuse (15)

7. Georgia Tech (19)

8. Michigan State (16)

9. North Carolina (22)

10. Maryland (16)

11. Texas (16)

12. Kansas (22)

13. Duke (28)

Amongst the programs with the most picks in the draft, Kentucky players have been the most consistently undervalued. The production by players such as Jamaal Magloire, Tayshaun Prince, Chuck Hayes and Rajon Rondo from low draft spots, places Kentucky at the top of the list. The biggest surprise of the list (with the exception of Georgia Tech having 19 players drafted during that period) is the school at the bottom of the list, Duke. The Blue Devils are the most overvalued group of players in the NBA draft by a substantial margin, with the greatest number of players performing below the average player at their position. Also interestingly, North Carolina's players are valued exactly at the correct point according to the scale. With the 22 players the Tar Heels have produced for the NBA during that period, their final NBA production has been exactly average for any player picked at their positions.

What does all this mean? Probably not much. Potentially NBA teams should consider Brandon Knight or Deandre Liggins a few picks higher or Kyrie Irving a couple of picks lower. But probably what it does mostly is give college basketball fans something to argue about during the offseason. And that in and of itself is productive.
Posted on: April 21, 2011 1:18 pm

Too soon? A look at next season's holiday games

Posted by Eric Angevine

Our season just ended, but it's never too soon to start thinking about what will happen next. Certainly not for the organizers of early season tournaments, those resume-building events that often give us meaningful matchups. Recall that UConn and Kentucky met on Maui on November 24, 2010 in a preview of an eventual Final Four game. These early battles usually play out in front of few specatators, but they get a lot of scrutiny come Selection Sunday.

So, with that in mind, let's look at some of the evolving fields that organizers are putting together. Not all participants are settled as of right now, and personnel may change radically over the next month or so, but you can keep track of any changes by visiting the CBSSports.com early season tournament guide.

Some highlights:

Coaches vs. Cancer, Nov. 7-11 and 17-18: The automatic qualifiers -- meaning the four power conference teams that advance even if they lose in the first round -- are set. Arizona will be trying to carry over some momentum without Derrick Williams, and they'll be thrown into a field that includes Mississippi State, St. John's and Texas A&M. MSU was an absolute shambles last season, so it will be interesting to see if that's a thing of the past, or if Rick Stansbury is in a downward spiral in Starkville. SJU will be looking to prove that this season's resurgence was no fluke, and A&M has just been consistently good under Mark Turgeon.

Maui Invitational, Nov. 21-23: You don't need my persuasive arguments to see the value in this field. Duke, Kansas, Memphis, Michigan, Tennessee, UCLA, Georgetown and, of course, plucky Chaminade. One thing that jumps out, however, is Michigan getting another shot at one or more of the programs they faced during their growing season last year. Obviously, this will be quite the melee of blue-blood programs.

Diamond Head Classic, Dec. 22-25 & 25: This one isn't as loaded as the first two we looked at, but it has some intriguing possibilities. There are a couple of big-name programs looking for early statement games in Clemson and Kansas State, plus the always-intriguing mid-majors UTEP and Xavier.

Those three tourneys represent the best fields to date. There are several interesting teams in weak fields elsewhere, such as Marquette showing up in the Paradise Jam, experienced Notre Dame in a field of transitioning programs in the CBE Classic and defending national champs UConn slumming it in the amusingly-named Battle 4 Atlantis. The Puerto Rico Tip-Off throws Purdue in with a whole slew of NIT teams like Alabama, Colorado and Wichita State. Both VCU and Richmond show up as unexpected heavy-hitters in off-off-Broadway productions, as well.

These early tournaments are often just something to have on in the background while digesting heavy holiday meals and conversing dutifully with relatives, but there's usually a little intrigue if you scratch past the surface. There will be new coaches, new players and, best of all, a new basketball season coming, just as the weather starts to turn chilly again this year.

Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: April 19, 2011 1:32 pm
Edited on: April 19, 2011 1:35 pm

Kansas' Robinson handed down an assault charge

Posted by Matt Norlander

More bad news with basketball players and battery charges. Earlier today we posted about Vander Blue's issues at Marquette, and now we've got a similar situation coming out of Lawrence, Kansas.

According to the Kansas City Star, Kansas sophomore forward Thomas Robinson has been cited with a misdemeanor battery charge. This stems from an incident that took place nine days ago, on April 10, just outside The Cave, a night club in Lawrence. Robinson was allegedly part of a scuffle between patrons and bouncers near the club's closing time.

KUSports.com has more information on the matter, claiming
Police have said two suspects were accused of hitting bouncers at 2:05 a.m. April 10 outside The Cave after bar staff said they broke up a large fight inside the club. Capt. Paul Fellers in a statement said that police were called about a fight and that one bouncer, a 25-year-old Lawrence man, alleged that one suspect had struck him and then spit on him. A witness alleged a second suspect had hit another bouncer, a 23-year-old Lawrence man, Fellers said.
For the record, Robinson is 20, so still not legally allowed inside a bar at those hours.

City prosecutor Jerry Little said Robinson was served with his ticket Monday night, and he'll be due to appear Lawrence Municipal Court some time in the next few weeks.

“We're handling it internally, and Thomas is handling it appropriately," associate Kansas athletic director Jim Marchiony said Tuesday. "That's all we're going to say at this point.”

This is the second such charge Kansas and head coach Bill Self have had to deal with in the past five months. In December, Mario Little was suspended after a charge and subsequent arrest of abusing his girlfriend. Little was let back on to the team in January. Robinson's case doesn't seem as severe, but it is another Jayhawk running afoul with the law and getting in trouble.

What makes this somewhat surprising: Robinson made headlines last season due to the untimely death of his mother in Washington, D.C. He received tremendous support from his teammates, the community and people across the country. In the wake of his mother's death, Robinson took it upon himself to look after his 9-year-old sister, Jayla, who was uprooted and moved to Lawrence, as Thomas was the only family she had left.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 18, 2011 12:48 pm

Can Kansas reel in another Philly big man?

Aaric Murray is leaving Philly. Where will he end up?

Posted by Eric Angevine

With both Morris twins declaring for the NBA draft, Kansas is suddenly hurting on the interior. If the current roster stands, Bill Self will have only juniors Thomas Robinson and Jeff Withey alongside 6-foot-8 freshman Braeden Anderson in the post for next season. The Jayhawks will no doubt pursue other post options, including some freshmen and possibly JuCo transfers.

One name that has come up in recent days is that of LaSalle big man Aaric Murray. The 6-10 sophomore from Philadelphia has decided to leave his hometown, where he averaged 15.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game for the Explorers.

According to CBSSports.com's John Rothstein, Kansas must battle West Virginia for Murray's services. Murray came close to committing to West Virginia before he chose La Salle. He would be the heir apparent to Kevin Jones after sitting out a transfer year, but the sudden absence of size on the Kansas roster could make the Jayhawks a very attractive option as well. Murray would follow in the footsteps of other Philly giants like the Morris twins and Wilt Chamberlain should he take his game to Lawrence.

Bill Self will still need to find some depth inside for this season, but the situation may not be as dire as it looks. Recall that North Carolina lost a pair of towering twins to UCLA last season and still managed to cobble together a strong inside rotation.

Whether Murray is worth the wait is another question entirely. The Philadelphia Daily News had less-than-flattering commentary on Murray in a recent article, saying "La Salle coach John Giannini had a season-long struggle with Murray,” Jerardi wrote. “The mega-talent was not always interested in the game. In fact, Giannini said that Murray really does not like the sport. It often showed in Murray's performances. Murray had moments when he was great and other moments when he disappeared, sometimes in the same game. Giannini publicly defended his player, but anyone with eyes knew the coach was having a difficult time getting through to his star player.”

That said, the old saw is true: you can't coach height. Self already has a limited-use big man on his roster in Jeff Withey, but he'd certainly rather have two big bodies to work with rather than one or none.

If Murray is choosing between two taskmasters like Self and WVU's Bob Huggins, perhaps he knows he needs a kick in the seat of the pants. Give either of those future hall of fame coaches a year to mold a big man, and he'll either shape up or ship out permanently.

Photo: US Presswire
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 12, 2011 5:47 pm
Edited on: April 12, 2011 5:59 pm

Signs pointing to Selby not returning to Kansas

Posted by Matt Norlander

When you don't bother to show up to the end-of-year team banquet, that normally means you've effectively checked out. Checked out on your team, your program, everything.

So that's the situation now with freshman guard Josh Selby and Kansas. The Jayhawks had their annual April dinner last night, and when the freshman were recognized, Selby wasn't -- because he wasn't in the room.

He wasn't in the city, the state or the time zone. He was in Las Vegas. He still is. Selby's seen as a potential first-round draft pick, so he's currently missing classes (shocker!) and choosing to train/test the waters out in Sin City.

Picking NBA over team. It's not wrong, it's just actions speak louder than words. Here are some of Kansas coach Bill Self's words.

"I talked to (his mother) today, and that decision is coming real soon,” Self told the Kansas City Star. “He’s done the work he needs to do to academically pass his classes, but he’s been gone now six days. If he’s going to come back, then he’ll be coming back real soon. If not, then he won’t. But certainly he’s going to salvage the semester academically and pass his classes, which is good.”

Self has to hope that's true, because Self could face punishments from the NCAA down the road if Selby doesn't fulfill his academic obligations (it wouldn't just be on Selby; the issue would be compiled if other KU players didn't graduate/had bad grades/stopped going to class). Anyway, point is, Selby's most likely gone. It's becoming a weaker and weaker draft, and the reality is this: Selby may never have his stock higher than right now.

It's higher than it should be, too. He certainly didn't play like a top-five recruit, which was his evaluation upon choosing Kansas last season (Rivals.com rated him No. 1 overall), and didn't look like first-round material throughout the season's final three months.

Selby played 34.8 percent of available minutes last season, scoring less than a point per possession (not good) and averaging 7.9 points per game. He shot a 46.1 effective field goal percentage, a number that's adjusted for 3-pointers' impact. His traditional field goal percentage was 37.3

More truth about Selby: he was more of a pain that Self will ever publicly admit. He came into the Kansas program nine games into last season, after being punished for accepting impermissible benefits. The freshman sparked his team early, then flamed out. He wasn't a difference-maker and, largely, Kansas won in spite of him. It doesn't seem he'll be coming back, which is what seems best for both parties.

The Jayhawks have four-star point guard in Naadir Tharpe coming in next season.

Category: NCAAB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com