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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Scrimmage serious business

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The loss seemed to hit former Kansas University basketball player Michael Lee a little harder - perhaps because it affected his pocketbook, as well.

"We weren't supposed to lose," Lee said. "I owe Mario (Chalmers) a dinner."

Though the wager was friendly, Lee and his teammates were anything but during the highly competitive Bill Self camp scrimmage Wednesday at Horejsi Center.

"It's always great. They motivate us," junior Russell Robinson said. "We're all one big family. While we're out there, we're just competing. That game right there is going to make us that much better."

Lee said he wasn't about to give in to the current Jayhawks, especially after having been taught a few lessons from the alumni during his playing days.

The guard left disappointed his red squad couldn't back up all the trash talk he had started.

"I've been talking since last night," Lee said. "Even before I left Portland, I was calling and saying, 'Hey, we're going to win that game.'"

The intensity especially picked up in the final minutes after the current squad rallied to take the lead.

On one play, Aaron Miles delivered a hard foul to a driving Darnell Jackson in the lane.

Though tempers flared for a moment, Miles said the emotions were part of the game.

"Darnell's my boy. It's a pickup game," Miles said. "We do that every day. It's competitive."

Miles and Billy Thomas also hassled some of the volunteer officials, with Thomas refusing to give up the ball until one call was overturned.

The teams were awarded an automatic point for non-shooting fouls and two points for shooting infractions.

"I wish we could have played with no officials out there," Miles said. "If you get fouled, take it up top, because otherwise you're just giving them points."

With the physical play increasing, Brandon Rush attempted to make a statement to end it.

The KU guard skied over defenders, attempting an athletic one-handed dunk before getting fouled by Lee.

"Thank God Brandon Rush missed that dunk," Lee said. "Oh man, that would have been bad for me."

Rush said he had taken it upon himself to win the game for his team.

KUsports.com video

Highlights from Wednesday's scrimmage at the Horejsi Center.

"Mike tackled me on that last dunk," Rush said. "It's more of a mind-set on trying to stay aggressive the whole game. When it's time to shine, you step up."

Chalmers later clinched it on a driving lay-in.

Robinson said the current players would be sure to make use of their bragging rights, especially when they gathered again today for more pickup.

"They might even win," Robinson said, "but it doesn't matter because the campers aren't there."

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