Saturday, August 16, 2008
The first day of school will be tougher than usual for Kansas University's men's basketball players this year.
The 2008-09 Jayhawks on Thursday not only will attend class, but also begin pre-Canada trip training camp.
The Jayhawks will practice Aug. 21-28 before flying to Ottawa, Ontario, Aug. 29 for exhibition games against McGill University and Carleton University on Aug. 30 and University of Ottawa on Aug. 31.
"They will be shellshocked," KU coach Bill Self said, referring to seven newcomers as well as eight returnees from last year's national title team.
"We plan to practice twice a day several days because we will not be in great shape. Rather than go long once, I'd rather go short twice and do as much teaching as we can so we'll be more prepared to practice come Oct. 17. That's my concern, that the guys are prepared for practice."
KU, by the way, could practice 10 days in accordance with NCAA rules. Self, however, will not open camp two days before the start of school because the seven newcomers are not allowed to practice until classes have begun. Only the eight returnees would be allowed in those practices.
"I would say the goal is first and foremost to develop a mindset and work ethic we'll use on a daily basis - to develop a responsibility and understanding of how we do things," Self said. "They'll learn 'We go at it this speed daily.'''
Self will use different combinations in the exhibition games.
"We'll play everybody," Self said. "You always try to win, but I will not put that as the sole objective.
"The objective will be to get guys experience for the season."
¢ Self on twins: Self said he expects to soon learn that freshmen Marcus and Markieff Morris are eligible to play this season.
"It has been a process. We do not anticipate a problem," Self said Friday. "They (NCAA clearinghouse officials) have received all the final documents. Hopefully we'll be hearing something soon. The delay has nothing to do with the eligibility center, just the timing (of when) they received all the final documents."
Generally the clearinghouse is swamped with eligibility requests this time of year.
¢ Collins to play some: Self hopes guard Sherron Collins, who had arthroscopic knee surgery on April 22, will be able to practice "limited reps" at the pre-Canada workouts.
"If we can use him 50 percent of the time I'd be happy," said Self, who plans on limiting Collins' minutes in Canada.