#4 Kansas Jayhawks: College Basketball 111 in 111

kansas jayhawk cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The Big 12 title has run through Lawrence as the Kansas Jayhawks have cut down the nets in each of the past nine seasons.  While Bill Self loses Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor, there is plenty of talent on this roster that should have KU once again competing for a trip to the Final Four.  Their first big test early on comes tonight versus Michigan State.

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19 College Basketball coaches to follow on Twitter

tom crean indiana

In the world of college sports, Twitter is a divisive subject. Many coaches go so far as to ban their players from using the social networking site for fear it will distract players or be used as a vehicle for trash talking.

Then there’s the ambivalent group, the coaches who don’t block players from using Twitter, but will probably go to their graves without ever sending a tweet themselves. But some forward-thinking coaches have embraced Twitter as a way to connect with die-hard fans and give them news and info that can’t be had anywhere else.

These 19 college basketball leaders are the ones who do that the best.

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Kentucky vs. Kansas: NCAA Tournament National Championship drinking game

2012 national title game

Welcome to the fourth annual NCAA Tournament Championship Drinking Game, one of our favorite articles every year here at The Sports Bank.  If you missed our first three editions, you can check out the 2009 Michigan State vs. North Carolina version, the 2010 Butler vs. Duke edition, or last year’s UConn vs. Butler.

Even if you do not have a rooting interest in tonight’s game between the Kentucky Wildcats and Kansas Jayhawks; invite some friends over, buy a heck of a lot of booze, follow our drinking rules, and it will be as much fun as if your own team was playing.

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Jayhawks Coach Bill Self has Shirt Deserving of its Own Post

bill self

Where do you begin upon looking at this picture of Kansas Jayhawks Coach Bill Self? Well, when you recruited Deron Williams and the rest of the guys who brought the Illini to the 2005 National title game, you can wear whatever shirt you want; no matter how Jersey Shore/ecto cooler in solid rayon form/homosexual environmentalist fund-raiser the shirt looks. (h/t to Kitchen KC)

We’ve had a lot of posts on college basketball, but we’ve never devoted a whole post to a shirt first.

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#2 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. #2 Kansas Jayhawks: everything you need to know

osu-girls

The eastern and western outskirts of what we call “the Midwest” will meet on Saturday in the prime time national semifinal game. The 2008 national champion Kansas Jayhawks will meet the 2007 runner-up Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2012 Final Four.

Let’s break it down!

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New Kansas Coach: Charlie Weis and his pooch are back baby!!

charlie_weis

He is back. The pooch and his schematic advantage will once again be the top dog while trolling, or more accurately, standing on the sideline.

The Kansas University Jayhawks have tapped Charlie Weis as the man to replace Turner Gill and revitalize the football program in Lawrence.

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#24 Kansas Jayhawks: College Basketball 111 in 111

kansas jayhawk cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The Big 12 title has run through Lawrence as the Kansas Jayhawks have cut down the nets in each of the past seven seasons.  However, Bill Self loses several key contributors from last season and only has eight scholarship players on his roster.  In other words, it could be a rare down year for a Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk team that has only lost six games the past two seasons.

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Bruce Weber Not Going to Oklahoma, but what would Illini do Without Him?

bruce-weber

Rumors released via the Twitter-verse that Illinois coach Bruce Weber is in talks with the Oklahoma Sooners on their head coaching vacancy.  Two newspapers in Oklahoma are apparently releasing statements about the rumor today.

Of course, it’s all about CYA in college basketball reporting, since no one wants to “pull a Bernie Miklasz,” but ironically, the same newspaper that employs Milkasz, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, was the one that squashed the rumors. Stu Durando texted Weber, and the coach told him all the reports were false.

A quick timeline of the Weber to OU rumors.

But if you’re an Illini fan, this probably got you thinking about what life would be like if Weber left.

Why would he leave Champaign?

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Kansas Jayhawks Look to Rock-Chalk Their Way to Houston

kansas jayhawks cheerleaders

Choke artists. If there were two words to describe the Kansas Jayhawks under coach Bill Self those two may be it. The Jayhawks have ruined many brackets through the years from their first round losses to Bucknell and Bradley to their did-that-really-just-happen second round exit to Northern Iowa last year.

That’s why, when Kansas only led by four at halftime against 16th-seeded Boston University, people everywhere held their breath. KU, with the exception of the 2008 national title, has been known to choke in tourney time and what’s scary for those Jayhawk fans is that the Regional matchups look like the perfect trap games.

Starting with their Friday night game against Atlantic-10 postseason champion Richmond, Kansas could get to Houston by playing two Regional games against double-digit seeds. No number one seed has anything close to that easy but that’s not to say that Richmond is totally incapable.

By Zachary Wadley

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99 in 99: #7 Kansas Jayhawks

Kansas jayhawks cheerleaders

The Kansas Jayhawks were supposed to be the unstoppable beast heading into the NCAA Tournament and practically every expert’s pick to bring home the championship.  Instead, KU was upset in the second round by Northern Iowa and saw their title hopes vanish quicker than Bruce Pearl’s recruiting ethics in the past couple of months.

Despite losing three starters, the Jayhawks reload on talent and should be in Final Four conversations come March; assuming they finally get highly touted freshman Josh Selby’s status straightened out.

The Sports Bank’s “99 in 99” ranks the 72 power conference college basketball teams and top 27 mid-majors for the 2010-2011 season.  Click here if you missed teams #8-#99.

By: David Kay
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Top Ten Coaching Jobs in College Basketball

By: David K.

Billy Gillespie gets the boot at Kentucky after not meeting expectations in his two seasons.  John Calipari is attempting to pick up the pieces in Lexington as he bolts from Memphis to help re-build UK.  Tony Bennett leaves Washington State for Virginia while VCU’s Anthony Grant makes the jump from mid-major to major conference by taking the reigns at Alabama.  Ah yes, the college basketball coaching carousel is already spinning round and round.

When Tom Crean left Marquette to become the head coach at Indiana last year, his reasoning was simple; “Because It’s Indiana.  It’s Indiana.”  That sparked debate among my friends and me about the top ten coaching jobs in college basketball. Here is my list ranked 1-10, meaning if you left job #8 for job #6, it would be considered a step-up.

I took into consideration the following factors:
-the history of the program’s success
-success of the team under their current coach
-the longevity of past coach’s tenures
-recruiting abilities

10. Indiana-
This position has certainly taken a hit since the whole Kelvin Sampson debacle.  But as Tom Crean demonstrated when he left Marquette for IU, it is still a very desirable destination because “It’s Indiana.  It’s Indiana.”

Bob Knight not only left his stamp on this job by winning three NCAA Championships, but also because of his eccentric personality.  However, since the General took the Hoosiers to the Final Four in 1992, IU has only returned once (in 2002 as a five-seed in a season they finished with 12 losses.)  In fact, the program has had 13 double-digit loss seasons since 1994-’95 and have not made in past the second round of the tourney.

Long-term history helps Indiana’s stock, but if Crean does not get the Hoosiers back on the winning track soon, this job will continue to lose some of its glamour.

9. Arizona-

It is to be assumed that ‘Zona interim coach Russ Pennell will not retained after this off-season.   Arizona has already stated that they intend to hold a national search to fill the up-coming vacancy, and there should be a plethora of quality coaching candidates wanting to come to the desert this off-season.

The legendary Lute Olsen built the Wildcats into a national powerhouse before having to retire due to health reasons.  ‘Zona has made 25 straight trips to the tourney and because of it’s location out west, it is always a hotbed for high school recruits from all over the U.S.

8. Michigan State-
Since 1976 only two men have been in charge of the MSU program, Jud Heathcoate and Tom Izzo.  Izzo took the reigns in ’95 as has led the Spartans to a National Title and eleven straight trips to the Big Dance.  State hasn’t finished with a below .500 record in more than twenty years.

Sparty has taken control as “the team” in the Big Ten due to their success and the recent downfall of Indiana meaning they are the top program in the Midwest.



7. Syracuse-

Jim Boeheim has put Syracuse on the national map.  In his 33 years with the Orange, Boeheim has won 20-plus games in all but one season, won one National Championship, and finished runner-up twice.  All Big East schools get an extra boost in these rankings because it the elite conference in the country.  A lot of players want to play in the Big East and a lot of coaches want to coach in it as well.

When Boeheim decides to hang it up, this job will likely draw interest from numerous major conference coaches.

6. UConn-
What helps the Huskies most is that they are consistently one of the top teams in the premiere country in America.  Year-in and year-out, they bring in some of the top talent in the nation as 13 Huskies are currently in the NBA.

Jim Calhoun deserves much of the credit for bringing UConn to the upper-echelon of college hoops.  Since taking over in 1986, Connecticut has been to ten Elite 8’s and brought home two NCAA Titles.  When Calhoun steps down, probably in the next couple years, expect to see a lot of interest in his job.

Footlocker.com

5. Kentucky-
Historically, Kentucky is the winningest college basketball program of all time.  But their “drought” during the past decade has decreased their current prominence.  They have not made the Final Four since 1998 when they won their seventh National Championship.

Adolf Rupp obviously put Kentucky on the map during his 42 year span as head coach.  Since then major names like Eddie Sutton and Rick Pitino have held the job.  But I think the recent defection of Tubby Smith to Minnesota and Billy Gillespie’s getting the quick pink slip hurts the value of this job a little bit.  Of course, with Calipari about to leave Memphis to head to UK, it also shows the value the position still holds.

4. Kansas-
When you look at KU’s coaches since 1983, it’s an impressive list; Larry Brown, Roy Williams, and Bill Self.  Consider that Brown left Kansas for the NBA and Williams for UNC, and it shows just how respected this position is in the college basketball world.  Add in that Bill Self left a prominent Big Ten school in Illinois to take the job, and you can see why it is listed at number four.

What puts Kansas ahead of Kentucky is their recent success; 20 straight NCAA Tourney berths, three Final Fours since 2002, and of course last year’s National Title.

3. UCLA-

I could see the argument that UCLA should be number one because of the success that John Wooden brought to the Bruins in the 1960’s and 70’s, including seven straight National Titles.  But since Wooden retired in 1975, UCLA has had eight head coaches.

The Bruins are still the cream of the crop out West, but despite having made three consecutive trips to the Final Four from 2006-2008, have fallen behind Duke and Carolina in desirable destinations.

2. Duke-
How anxious are Chris Collins and Steve Wojciechowski for the day that Mike Krzyzewski decides to retire.  While Duke does not have the historic success of a UCLA, or Kentucky, their recent success is second to none.  Since Coach K became head coach in 1981, Duke ranks number one in NCAA Championships (3), Final Fours (10), and NCAA Tournament wins (71).

Coach K has brought Duke to the top of the college basketball world.  Every coach will be drooling over this job when it finally becomes available.

1. North Carolina-
It was a major statement when Roy Williams left a Kansas team that he had just taken to the National Championship game to head to UNC.  Sure, Williams had been an assistant at Carolina under Dean Smith for 11 seasons, but to leave a year-in, year-out National Title contender where you had just spent the last 15 years as head coach to take over the Tar Heels certainly says something.

Dean Smith set the bar at North Carolina, piling up 879 wins in 37 years as head coach.  Carolina is second all-time with 17 Final Four appearances and has won four National Championships.  UNC is always a major player in the recruiting race, pulling in the top high school players from all around the country, including 50 McDonald’s All-Americans.

Honorable Mentions: Georgetown, Louisville, Memphis