Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Fall break won’t faze ‘Phog’

KU officials hope for full house for hoops showcase despite student vacation


Doors will swing open at 8 p.m. Friday for "Late Night in the Phog" at Allen Fieldhouse.

Admission is free, and seating is first-come, first-served for Kansas University basketball fans, who are encouraged to bring canned foods to be donated to area food shelters. Children 12 and under will not be admitted without an adult.

Fieldhouse doors will be closed when the building reaches capacity, and it's expected the arena will reach capacity for the season-opening basketball celebration despite the fact Friday is the second day of fall break on the KU campus.

"We'd love for it to be full, and I think it will be because of the way the fans here have attached themselves to the program," KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said. "The fans here consider themselves a part of it. It's unfortunate it's fall break, but I think it'll still be very well attended."

Fall break is the reason the doors will open an hour later than Late Night 2003.

"It gives us enough time to get everything done we want to get done," Marchiony said. "Because a lot of the elements are produced by students, there will be fewer elements to Late Night. We feel it won't get too long. We think it'll be just right."

The men's squad will scrimmage at midnight. Before that, entertainment will include skits and dancing by KU's men's and women's teams, with music provided by the pep band. NBA hypnotist Tom Silver and the Dallas Mavericks mascot, Mavs Man, will perform.

There also will be a $20,000 on-court contest and many giveaways, including ThunderStix.

In a new twist, KU's women's players will scrimmage at Late Night. They will take the court at 11 p.m. for a short workout, which is permissible if the Jayhawk women's coaches are not present. The men's scrimmage should begin shortly after midnight.

"I think the fans will love it," Marchiony said of Late Night. "They come to see the skits and hear Bill (Self) and watch the teams play, and I know they will warm up to Bonnie in a big way."

Bonnie is first-year women's coach Bonnie Henrickson, who is looking forward to her first Late Night.

"I hear it's phenomenal, with tremendous excitement," Henrickson said. "We're certainly anxious to take part in our first one. This event speaks volumes for the love of basketball in this community. If it's half of what we had at the football game (Saturday's win over Kansas State), that will be really something."

The Jayhawk players are looking forward to Late Night, too.

"I'm really excited. I've got a lot of family coming in. A lot of guys do," junior forward Christian Moody said. "Even though it's on fall break a lot of students will be there, because the fans are awesome here. I hope I can pull out some new (dance) moves I've been learning from Moulaye (Niang) and Nick Bahe."

  • Wildcats lose in Canada: Kansas State's basketball team fell to University of British Columbia, 89-84, in overtime on Sunday night in Vancouver, British Columbia. Kansas thumped UBC, 82-51, Sept. 4.

Earlier, Kansas State beat Langara, 68-55, and Simon Fraser, 80-73. On its tour of Canada, KU annihilated Langara, 102-46, and had its toughest game against Simon Fraser, 98-76.

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