Dec 29, 2012 5:22 PM EST
Kevin Ollie and the University of Connecticut have agreed upon a contract extension that runs through the 17-18 season.
Ollie's deal is worth just over $7 million.
"As I said in my first press conference, I want to be here a lifetime and this is a step, hopefully a great step, in the program moving forward," Ollie said in a news release announcing the deal.
Ollie had been working under a one-year, $625,000 contract since September, when he was hired to replace the retired Jim Calhoun.
Dec 27, 2012 1:25 PM EST
Ben McLemore models his game after Paul Pierce and LeBron James.
“Junior year in high school, I went to LeBron James’ camp and to Paul Pierce’s camp,” McLemore said. “First time meeting Paul Pierce, watching his footwork and style of play, I said, ‘That’s how I play. That’s my game.’ I started moving in slow motion just like him, told myself, ‘I need to imitate his game and see how far I can go with this.’
“My senior year in high school, I tried to put those two (Pierce and James) together and play my game of basketball,” McLemore added. “I have the same mind-set of both players, and I try to put them together as me.”
McLemore also has studied LeBron’s game.
“He’s such a great player, offensively and defensively, giving 110 percent every night,” McLemore said. “He’s just aggressive every night. He’s 6-8, what, 250? And he’s so quick on his feet. Awesome player. I really like his game. He’s always in attack mode. He’s strong, and he’s fast, and he’s ready to play every time.”
Dec 27, 2012 1:02 PM EST
John Calipari wants Alex Poythress to play with greater focus for longer stretches of games.
“Play the whole game the way you’re playing in spurts,” Calipari said. “Just do it.”
Poythress has looked nearly unstoppable at times.
“I see where he’s coming from,” Poythress said. “Sometimes I do have mental lapses. I’ve just got to decrease those mental lapses and I should be fine. (During such lapses) I’m just thinking more instead of reacting.”
Dec 22, 2012 10:00 PM EST
Michael Carter-Williams shot just 3-of-17 from the floor as Temple focused its entire defense on turning the 6-foot-6 point guard into a scorer.
“They were denying the wings and not letting me kick it out,’’ Carter-Williams said. “They were trying to force me to finish and that’s what I tried to do.’’
Carter-Williams finished with 13 points for the Orange, who struggled to find space outside and consequently shot just 2-for-12 from beyond the arc.
“They didn’t try to come off to help,’’ coach Jim Boeheim said. “He’s got to finish those. He missed some good looks. He got some good opportunities.’’
Carter-Williams won’t be surprised if more teams dare him to score.
“I think a lot of teams are going to start doing that,’’ the sophomore guard said. “They see that I pass the ball. I’ve got to get used to it.’’
Dec 22, 2012 12:59 PM EST
John Calipari took issue with an NCAA regulation that limits players to one “training meal” per day while school is in session.
"Yeah, it's stupid," Calipari said.
Calipari noted that athletes burn up a higher-than-average amount of calories, and he wants their nutritional needs to be met.
"If you want to eat six times a day, that's fine," he said. "Every individual is different. I just don't understand it, but then again, there's a lot of stuff I don't understand."
Calipari believes the rule is in place because the NCAA is worried about competitive balance and whether every school could offer the same amount of meals to their athletes.
"Now, what I imagine they're afraid of is some team go over-the-top and feed their kids too much," he said sarcastically, "and have a fat team."
Dec 22, 2012 12:21 PM EST
Michigan ranks fifth nationally in overall field goal percentage at 51.1 percent.
"I don't like to compare teams because all the other guys get mad at me," Wolverines coach John Beilein said Thursday. "But this is a good shooting team, as good as some other teams we've had. The ones that were really good could shoot."
Michigan’s overall shooting is boosted by Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. having career years.
Burke is shooting 8 percent higher than last year (52 percent) and Hardaway Jr. 5 percent higher than ever before (47 percent).
"I will say I never coached against a team who can shoot the ball at such a high rate as Michigan does," Eastern Michigan coach Rob Murphy said after the Wolverines’ 93-54 win over the Eagles on Thursday. "Every position except for the five man (center) can really shoot the basketball."
Dec 22, 2012 12:18 PM EST
Ben Howland dismissed a report that indicated his job was in jeopardy.
"I can’t help you in substantiating anything that is written on the boards," Howland said.
Howland, now in his tenth season at UCLA, expects to be evaluated at the end of this season.
"Everything at UCLA since I’ve been here has been very much the same in that you are evaluated at the end of every season,” he said.
Dec 22, 2012 12:12 PM EST
Illinois ranks fourth in three-point attempts per game (25.9) through 12 games while employing coach John Groce’s philosophy to take “the first available shot that we can make.”
“There aren’t too many bad shots in his offense,” said forward Tyler Griffey, who’s shooting 43 percent from three-point range. “He knows we can shoot. He just really instills the confidence.”
Illinois is shooting 38.6 percent beyond the arc as a team, which ranks 39th nationally.
Groce said his team, which sits 12-0 on the season and ranks No. 10 nationally, needs to expand its scoring to keep defenses honest.
“We’re starting to drive it a little more to complement our perimeter shooting, and that’s important moving forward,” he said. “We have to have that, but we are a good shooting team and we’re not going to shy away from that.”
Dec 21, 2012 10:19 PM EST
Myck Kabongo's suspension has been reduced to 23 games.
Kabongo, sophomore guard for Texas, had been suspended for the entire season.
Kabongo is eligible to return to the Longhorns on Feb. 13 against Iowa State with eight games remaining in the conference schedule.
"Kabongo accepted airfare, personal training instruction and then provided false and misleading information during two separate interviews with university officials," the NCAA said in a statement.
Dec 21, 2012 7:28 PM EST
Ben McLemore is shooting 68.8 percent over his last four games on catch-and-shoot jumpers, a 39.6 percent increase over his first six games of the season.
McLemore has connected on 11 of his last 16 catch-and-shoot attempts, with the vast majority being uncontested.
In his first six games, McLemore was guarded on two-thirds of his catch-and-shoot jumpers and often misfired, making just 7-of-24 attempts.
McLemore is a projected lottery pick on some boards.
Nerlens Noel ranks fifth in the country in blocks at 3.9 per game.
Julius Randle has yet to choose a school.
Jabari Parker might play two or three seasons at Duke.
Nerlens Noel is making a strong push to grab the No. 1 spot overall in the 2013 NBA draft.
Trey Burke is helping to bring out the best in his teammates.
UCLA dropped three of five games during a recent stretch.
Jabari Parker also considered Michigan State, Florida, Stanford and BYU.
Tyus Jones is the top-ranked player in the class of 2014.
Tony Mitchell and C.J. McCollum are projected as potential lottery picks in the 2013 draft.
The NCAA has investigated whether Myck Kabongo received impermissible benefits from agent Rich Paul.
Andrew Wiggins was heckled at a tournament in Ashland, Kent.
Joshua Smith intends to transfer from UCLA.
Bill Self envisions a larger role for Perry Ellis.
Nerlens Noel is on pace to etch his name in the Kentucky record book.
Billy Donovan has two years remaining on his contract with Florida.
Jabari Parker is still recovering from a fractured right foot.
Roy Williams attended Huntington Prepís game against the University of Charleston JV team.
Shabazz Muhammad is down to 222 pounds and seems to be rediscovering his athleticism.
Dec 14, 2012 | Chad Ford/ESPN
Cody Zeller is in the top-3 of every NBA general manager and scout that ESPN's Chad Ford has communicated with.
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Anthony Bennett is leading UNLV in scoring and rebounding.
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