Kansas' Josh Jackson asked Frank Mason about overcoming nervousness
ESPN.com’s Chad Ford has released his first mock draft of the college basketball postseason with many more to come leading up to the June 22 draft.
Kansas freshman Josh Jackson checks in at No. 3 overall, behind fellow freshman Markelle Fultz of Washington and Lonzo Ball of UCLA.
“Jackson certainly made his case for the No. 1 pick, especially over the last month of the season. … Jackson is the best two-way player in the draft and would bring an intensity, toughness and winning mentality that the (Los Angeles) Lakers desperately need,” writes Ford, who points out the Lakers currently have a 51.3 percent chance of landing a top-three pick in the draft lottery.
Jackson, 6-8 from Detroit, as of Wednesday night had not officially declared for the draft.
Enes Kanter’s brother lists KU
Kerem Kanter, a 6-10, 240-pound senior-to-be from Wisconsin-Green Bay who recently declared for the 2017 NBA Draft, tells ESPN’s Jeff Goodman he will visit Xavier this weekend as he keeps open college transfer options.
Kanter, who averaged 11.3 points and 6.3 rebounds this past season, has also heard from Kansas, Kansas State, Michigan State, UConn, N.C. State, Purdue, Baylor, Seton Hall, Pittsburgh, Boston College and others, Goodman reports.
According to USA Today, Kanter, the brother of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Enes Kanter, believes he can graduate by June and thus be immediately eligible as a graduate transfer. Kanter hit 50.7 percent of his shots and had nine double-doubles for Green Bay last season.
“My priority is the NBA Draft,” the Istanbul, Turkey native Kerem Kanter told ESPN in a recent interview. “If that doesn’t work out, I want to choose the best place to be able to get there next year.”
Selden’s hectic rookie season
Former KU guard Wayne Selden recently signed a three-year, non-guaranteed contract with the Memphis Grizzlies after his 10-day contract with the New Orleans Pelicans expired.
Terms were not disclosed.
Selden, who left KU after his junior season but was not taken in the 2016 NBA Draft, averaged 18.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 35 games for the Iowa Energy, the Grizzlies’ NBA Developmental League affiliate.
In three games with New Orleans, the 6-5 Selden averaged 5.3 points and 1.7 rebounds while logging 15.7 minutes per contest. He scored 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting (including three three-pointers) while playing 19 minutes in a Pelicans victory over the Houston Rockets.
“It’s just a blessing,” Selden told the Memphis Commercial-Appeal of reaching agreement with the Grizzlies.
Selden attended Grizzlies training cap but was sent to the squad’s D-League affiliate at the start of the season. He’d scored 21 points in seven games for Memphis heading into Wednesday’s game against Oklahoma City.
“He’s very confident in his game,” Grizzlies guard Vince Carter told the Commercial-Appeal. “He’s very skilled. He has a very high upside. He felt he deserved a spot.
“We really liked him,” Carter added of Selden at training camp. “When he walked in everybody was excited to see him just because he deserved to stay. It’s great to see that he got this opportunity.”
McGrath’s contract details revealed
Former Kansas guard C.B. McGrath, who will be introduced as UNC Wilmington head coach on Thursday, has agreed to a five-year contract worth $300,000 per year in guaranteed salary, according to the Wilmington (N.C.) Star News.
McGrath, who has worked the past 14 seasons on Roy Williams’ North Carolina coaching staff, will earn $100,000 of supplemental income his first year in Wilmington, N.C. In ensuing seasons he must fulfill several requirements to earn the supplemental income — appear on radio/TV shows, attend 10 alumni events and run the program within compliance guidelines, the Star News reported. McGrath can also net a bonus based on the sale of season tickets. He has a $300,000 buyout the first two years and $200,000 buyout after that should he choose to take another job.
“I couldn’t have scripted it better. In the last game I coached at Carolina as an assistant I go out with a win, a national championship. It does not get much better.” McGrath told wwaytv3.com. “I would not leave for many jobs, but this is one I have always wanted for a long time. Wilmington is a great place. It’s a great place for the family and the community, a great university. The basketball program is really good, too, so it’s a perfect situation.”
Hudy to sponsor conference
Andrea Hudy, KU’s assistant athletic director for sport performance, will hold the 2017 Midwest Sports Performance Conference on May 5 inside KU’s Anderson Family Strength & Conditioning Center and Capitol Federal Hall on KU’s campus. The Midwest Sports Performance Conference provides theory and instruction to strength and conditioning coaches of all levels. R.C. Buford, general manager of the San Antonio Spurs and a former KU assistant basketball coach, will be one of the keynote speakers. For information go to www.KUAthletics.com/MidwestConference.
Memphis rattled by transfer news
Tubby Smith’s Memphis basketball program was hit hard by transfer announcements on Wednesday. Memphis natives Dedric Lawson and his brother, K.J Lawson., said they plan to leave the school. Dedric, a 6-9 sophomore and first-team AAC selection, averaged 19.2 points and 9.9 boards a game last season. He will have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out a season in accordance with transfer rules. K.J., a 6-7 freshman, averaged 12.3 points and 8.1 boards. He received a medical redshirt in 2015-16 and also will have to sit out a year after transferring. CBSsports.com’s Gary Parrish says 6-5 Markl Crawford also may leave Memphis’ program as a graduate transfer. The 6-5 wing averaged 12.8 ppg last season.
“I am surprised and disappointed in the decision,” Smith said as quoted by the Commercial-Appeal.