Posted by Taylor Erickson on October 30th, 2013
- Kansas kicked off the exhibition portion of their schedule on Tuesday evening with a 97-57 win over MIAA opponent Pittsburg State in Allen Fieldhouse. Most notably, this game featured the much anticipated debut of Andrew Wiggins, who along with Perry Ellis lead the Jayhawks in scoring with 16 points. Wiggins appeared to be nervous and a little passive for a good chunk of the first half before settling into the flow of the game. It wasn’t until late in the first half that Kansas fans got their first taste of the athleticism of Wiggins that has been so widely discussed leading up to this season as he threw down an impressive alley-oop at the expense of a Pittsburg State player. It wouldn’t be surprising to see more highlights like this regularly throughout the course of the year.
- Despite the flashy play from Andrew Wiggins and other Jayhawks, perhaps the biggest take away from the game was the impact the new “hand checking” rules had on the contest itself. As Rustin Dodd of the Wichita Eagle explains, during the first half Kansas and Pittsburg State combined for a total of 27 fouls and 39 free throw attempts. The intention of the new rule in college basketball is to prevent defenders from impeding the offensive player’s movement with this ball in his hands, but it appears in the eyes of officials this rule translates to a significantly tighter called game all over the floor. There will be many early season non-conference games that well exceed two hours in duration because of the number of stoppages in play.
- We mentioned yesterday that Texas head coach Rick Barnes was among those entering the 2013-2014 season on the proverbial “hot seat” in college basketball. On Tuesday, the Dallas Morning News reported that according to multiple sources, West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck is the leading candidate to replace DeLoss Dodds as the Texas AD next season. If true, it would appear that Luck would be the one to decide Barnes’ fate with the Longhorn basketball program. If you feel like you’ve heard the name before, Oliver Luck is the father of Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck. It’s unclear as to when the timetable for a new head coach will be set, but perhaps you could consider this season a year-long job interview for Rick Barnes.
- At the TCU media day, head coach Trent Johnson said the team has still yet to receive word from the NCAA if UTEP transfer Chris Washburn will be allowed to suit up for the Horned Frogs this season. Washburn figures to be an important piece for Johnson’s squad after forward Devonta Abron tore his achilles earlier this year as Washburn would provide TCU with a nice 1-2 punch alongside 6’10″ big man Karviar Shepherd. This is yet another example of the NCAA struggling to make an eligibility decision in a timely manner like we have come accustomed to the last several seasons.
- On Tuesday, Canadian sports network TSN announced that the station will cover every game Kansas plays this season in an effort to allow further access to Andrew Wiggins for folks across Canada. As Brian Goodman noted in his article yesterday examining the impact of this announcement and how it affects the interpretation of the amateurism of college athletics. For Kansas, this announcement in-turn allows further access to the program and will provide exposure to kids throughout the northern country to the Jayhawk program. With recent emerging talents from Canada like Wiggins and Anthony Bennett last season, it would appear this deal could position Kansas with a leg up on future Canadian talent.