Saturday, October 18, 2008

Let the good times roll

Unfurling title banner highlights fun, emotional night

Kansas University basketball players Sherron Collins, left, Tyrone Appleton, back, Brady Morningstar, center, and Mario Little bust out some dance moves at Friday's Late Night in the Phog in Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas University basketball players Sherron Collins, left, Tyrone Appleton, back, Brady Morningstar, center, and Mario Little bust out some dance moves at Friday's Late Night in the Phog in Allen Fieldhouse.


Allen Fieldhouse hosts 'Late Night in the Phog'

It's the annual advent of basketball season here in Lawrence. It was a highly-anticipated night as KU basketball fans stood in line for hours on end just to be part of 'Late Night in the Phog' - and of course their first glimpse of the National Champs.

Late Night in the Phog highlights

We look at a few highlights from 'Late Night in the Phog' 2008.

Audio clips

2008 Late Night

And at 8:56 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 17, a national title banner was unfurled in the south rafters of tradition-rich Allen Fieldhouse.

"I almost started crying. I don't think I was the only one. I almost did," sixth-year Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self said after a highly emotional, memorable 2008 Late Night in the Phog.

"That was a big-time deal. I can't imagine it being any better than that."

Self and 16,300 fans watched with great interest as Big 12 title and Final Four banners were put on display.

Finally, at the conclusion of a dramatic NCAA Tournament highlight video, a temporary 2008 NCAA championship banner was unwrapped underneath the Kansas state flag, smack in the center of the south rafters.

An official 2008 NCAA title banner will be hoisted in the north end next to KU's other four NCAA title banners before the KU-Florida Gulf Coast game on Nov. 18.

"I watched every bit of it," KU junior guard Sherron Collins said of the video as well as the banner ceremony. "I think me, Cole (Aldrich) and a couple others off last year's team ... it was more emotional for us.

"It all came back," Collins added of KU's overtime victory over Memphis that gave the Jayhawks the '08 crown. "It was a great year."

The ceremony took place after one dance skit involving all of the current players.

KU's seniors danced the Charleston from the '20s, recognizing KU's titles in '22 and '23.

The sophomores boogeyed to "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" from the '50s, signifying KU's title in 1952.

The freshmen danced to "The Way You Make Me Feel" from the '80s, recognizing KU's '88 championship. Finally, the juniors danced to "Ching a Ling: Ain't no Money in the Bank," for the 2008 crown.

Juco transfer Mario Little by far was the Jayhawks' top dancer, gyrating wildly with Brady Morningstar, Tyrone Appleton and Sherron Collins during their performance.

"I've been working with the guys on different things," Self joked.

On basketball, not dancing.

The coach watched a 20-minute scrimmage with interest, one in which the Tyshawn Taylor-led Red team stopped the Blue squad, 48-34.

Freshman guard Taylor scored 17 points off 4-of-7 shooting - he hit three threes in three tries - and also dished two assists against four turnovers with two steals.

"Yeah, he is pretty good," Self said of the New Jersey native. "(But) guys should make shots when nobody is within five to six feet of them.

"He's good. They are all good players. You guys can see there's more depth maybe than we've had, maybe not as much star-type status right now. Put 10 or 11 out there, and you can't really tell them apart right now."

Tyrel Reed scored eight points with three assists. Conner Teahan tallied seven points, while Marcus Morris and Aldrich had six in a winning cause.

Markieff Morris, who had two points for the Red team before switching to the Blues, had 13 points and six boards for the losing squad. Collins had eight points and Travis Releford seven.

Brady Morningstar had three assists.

"Marcus ... you can see how skilled he is for a big guy," Self said of the 6-8 freshman. "That is a skilled guy. He'll be a tough matchup, especially at the 4 (power forward). Markieff got down there and knocked and banged. Cole was good," he said of Aldrich, who also had four rebounds. Mario Little (four points, two boards) did some nice things as well," Self added.

Self said he didn't learn much from the scrimmage. Remember, he already has taken the team to Canada, minus the twins, for three games.

"I told the guys we didn't play bad," Self said. "We looked decent out there, (playing) brother-in-law ball, no defense. Guys are tired and all that stuff. I don't think we got much out of it except to get out there under the lights, see how guys react. What we got out of it ... it's a pretty good way to sell your program.

"Look at all the media here tonight, television-wise. It'll all be on YouTube, ESPN highlights. Of course as far as recruiting, it couldn't have been much better."

The team was to practice for real this morning.

The first exhibition game is Nov. 4 versus Washburn.


jeffreyjensen 12 years, 7 months ago

that banner is ugly. Why the poorly designed corporate cowboy hat logo? Not the traditional vibe one would expect at Allen-TACKY. Same as the ridiculously giant mid court hawk. UGLY. Cringe-inducing. Get it together. Don't let the McCain-supporting-strip-mall-loving JOCO idiots make aesthetic decisions. It's making the rest of us look stupid.

featherlover 12 years, 7 months ago

Thank you KU for the live streaming video. I live in OK and have not been to Late Night since '95. It brought back a great deal of memories. The video was THE HIGHLIGHT. Great Job!

Drew Bender 12 years, 7 months ago

justanotherfan,"Markieff Morris ended with 13 points and six rebounds. All six of his rebounds were on the offensive end."Did you not see the 6'-10" PF step out and hit the 3 also??? He was the second leading scorer last night

jman18562 12 years, 7 months ago

The Banner Unveiling.... memories for a lifetime. Chills. I brought my friend from k-state. HE IS NOW OFFICIALLY A JAYHAWK. Rock Chalk.

NH_JHawk 12 years, 7 months ago

I almost started crying just reading this. AWESOME!Now, on to Norman to topple the raging giant.

Lance Hobson 12 years, 7 months ago

Anyone have a link the the video they showed?

truefan 12 years, 7 months ago

The recruits really seemed to enjoy it too. That was the best Late Night ever.

justanotherfan 12 years, 7 months ago

Late night thoughts...The videos were awesome. The KU marketing department really did a great job of promoting what we have here at KU as a basketball program.As for the players...Collins - he looked pretty quick. His jumper looked good, but I wonder if he can be our #1 scorer given the difficulty of shots he may have to take on a nightly basis. He did look healthy, though, which is great.Aldrich - Wasn't thrilled with his offensive progression, but his defensive ability is unquestioned. He will no doubt anchor our defense inside. That's a luxury for our perimeter guys to know that Cole can shut the door if they make a mistake.Appleton - sight unseen, so I really don't know what he brings to the table.Marcus Morris - He looks highly skilled. He may be the inside scoring presence that we covet.Markieff Morris - He's a banger at least, although his offensive skill set looked raw last night.Taylor - The more I watch him, the more I love this guy's game. He will help us win, sometimes by scoring, sometimes by passing, sometimes by defending, sometimes by rebounding. Releford - Another athletic glue guy. Not real clear on whether or not he can be a big time scorer, but he can get it done in the other facets of the game.Thomas - Another raw offensive player, but he can rebound and will at least provide us with another big body.Little - He will be the difference between whether this team is solid, or very good. If he can score and defend at a high level, he makes us very good. If he doesn't play at a high level, we will just be solid.Between Morningstar, Reed, Teahan and others, only one will get even spot minutes on a regular basis. They all looked decent last night, but its pretty clear that the incoming players have passed them talentwise.

KUbsee69 12 years, 7 months ago

OK, I'll ignore it ... I usually ignore anything said / posted by a Moron.

Robin Smith 12 years, 6 months ago

he apparently is unfamiliar with the official logo of the 2008 Final Four being used on the temporary banner.

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