The worst kept secret in college basketball these past few days came to light Monday as Texas Tech has formally agreed to hire Tubby Smith to be its new basketball coach. Smith won’t coach a game for the Red Raiders until November but he will enter the Big 12 as arguably the most decorated coach in a league with the likes of Bill Self and Bob Huggins. While it was unfortunate that interim coach Chris Walker did not get the job, hopefully this hire will give the basketball program some much needed stability.
The Associated Press released its list of first, second and third team All-Americans on Monday. For the fourth consecutive season, the Big 12 has a representative on the second team with Ben McLemore of Kansas there. The league had two others on the third team in McLemore’s teammate Jeff Withey and Oklahoma State superfrosh Marcus Smart. Kansas State’s Rodney McGruder was named an Honorable Mention recipient and yet nowhere to be found was Pierre Jackson (19.7 PPG, 6.9 APG) of Baylor. It’s not clear what more he could have done to please the AP.
Iowa State senior Will Clyburn has been invited to participate in Sunday’s College All-Star Game. The game, sponsored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, features 20 of the top seniors in all of college basketball. Clyburn of course came over from Utah to lead the Cyclones in scoring and was second on the team in rebounding. It also doesn’t hurt that Clyburn will play for ISU head coach Fred Hoiberg in this game.
Class of 2013 forward Julius Randle spurned Texas to join what may become the greatest recruiting class of all time at Kentucky. Instead, Dallas area prospect Kendal Yancy-Harriscommitted to the Longhorns on Saturday. The 6’4″ point guard is the third member of Rick Barnes’ recruiting class, joining Demarcus Croaker from Orlando and Isaiah Taylor of Houston. Yancy-Harris is the only ESPN Top 100 prospect, which is weird for Texas’ standards but was probably the best it could do at this point. With Sheldon McClellan and Jaylen Bond announcing their plans to transfer, how happy could the UT administration be with Rick Barnes right now?
Some sad news to pass along from the Kansas State family. Former K-State athletic director H.B. Lee passed away at his home in North Carolina. Lee became the youngest AD in the then-Big Seven when he took over in Manhattan at age 39. Before then he was a pretty good basketball coach at Colorado, taking the school to its one and only Final Four in 1955. He also played a role in establishing land for Bill Snyder Family Stadium and Bramlage Coliseum. While we are sad at has passing, he was 96 years old after all. He lived a full life.
Pitt’s Sam Young may be changing positions (from PF to SF) to shore up the Panthers’ three-point shooting.
Xavier’s presumptive PG, freshman Mark Lyons, was ruled ineligible to play this season, putting XU in a pinch at the PG position unless IU transfer Jordan Crawford’s waiver to play immediately is approved by the NCAA.
Sad news from Norman last night as former Oklahoma great Wayman Tisdale announced at the OU-TCU football game (via video message) that he is recovering well after a recent surgery requiring doctors to amputate part of his right leg. They discovered cancer below his knee last year after he had broken that leg in a fall at his home. On the one hand, we’re glad to hear that he’s doing well after surgery, but we’re disheartened to hear that such a seemingly nice guy who is still quite young is dealing with a very serious form of cancer. Regardless, it got us to thinking about Tisdale.
Tisdale Was Unstoppable at Oklahoma
While many people may remember Tisdale’s twelve seasons in the NBA as a serviceable big man with a 15/6 average, we always envision him in a blood red SOONERS jersey laying waste to the Big 8 during his three years in Norman. Seriously, Tisdale invented the word “beast” with his play on the low blocks at Oklahoma. Playing in an era (1982-85) when freshmen weren’t typically the best players on the team, Tisdale walked onto campus and immediately started dropping double-doubles (25/10) on anybody who got in his way, becoming the first freshman AP All-American in the history of the game. He carried that average throughout his three year OU career (first team all-american each year), leading the Sooners to two Big 8 regular season titles and one tournament title as Oklahoma became ascended to national prominence under Billy Tubbs. In fact, Tisdale remains the all-time leader in points scored as a Sooner, with 2,661 in his career.
Music Was Always Tisdale’s Truest Passion (photo credit: waymantisdale.com)
We always wondered what Tisdale could have done if he had been completely focused on basketball, because as it turned out, Tisdale’s other consuming passion of contemporary jazz has arguably made him more well-known in that arena than he ever was as a hoopster. Has any athlete ever been so accomplished in two completely different worlds as Wayman Tisdale? In addition to recording eight solo albums in the genre, he’s had several #1 hit records, numerous top ten albums and was named the Bassist of the Year in 2002 by the National Smooth Jazz Awards.
Take a listen to his triumphant return in the YouTube video below, and check out the music at the end of the clip. Not bad, not bad at all. Best of luck to Wayman as he fights to stay cancer-free.