Late Night defeats Late Night, None-None

  • 6:30 p.m., Oct. 14, 2011
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Saturday, October 15, 2011

All revved up: Jayhawks fired up at Late Night

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson is introduced to the Fieldhouse crowd as he enters the court during Late Night in the Phog on Friday, Oct. 14, 2011.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson is introduced to the Fieldhouse crowd as he enters the court during Late Night in the Phog on Friday, Oct. 14, 2011.



2011 Late Night in the Phog

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The Kansas men's and women's basketball teams performed skits and scrimmaged at Late Night in the Phog on Friday, Oct. 14, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

2011 Kansas Basketball: Dream On

The 2011 Kansas basketball "Dream On" video, shown at Late Night in the Phog on Friday, Oct. 14.

2011 Late Night in the Phog

Late Night in the Phog kicked off the 2011-12 basketball season Friday, Oct. 14, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse. Coach Bill Self rides in on a motorcycle, the men's team performs a skit on the evolution of dance and boxer Victor Ortiz lands a KO punch.

Donning a black leather jacket and chaps — with sunglasses draped over his eyes — Bill Self drove a custom-made motorcycle onto the Allen Fieldhouse floor Friday night.

“What’s happening, Jayhawks?” Self, KU’s ninth-year basketball coach, bellowed to 16,300 cheering fans, revving the motor of the bike to ear-splitting levels.

What was happening, of course, was the start of the men’s hoops portion of the 27th-annual Late Night in the Phog, the official opening of the 2011-12 season.

“Just so you know, I did not pick this outfit out. I am not a wannabee member of the Village People,” Self said, noting it was the first time he’d ridden a motorbike since a “Suzuki 50” in the third grade.

“A Suzuki 50 is this high,” Self added, placing his hand near his knees in explanation.

He spoke to the fans about his 2011-12 Jayhawks.

“We lost a lot of folks last year,” Self said of seven players off a 35-3 team. “Last year with all those guys here, the coaches in the league picked us third. We lose all those guys, and now they pick us to win it again. Even though faces change, personality of teams change, one thing about coaching here, expectations should never change.

“We are going to be good, but you have to enjoy the process. You’ll be looking up a year or two down the road and be so thankful you enjoyed it and called these players your very own because we are getting ready to have a lot of fun.”

Prior to a scrimmage, which was highlighted by Tyshawn Taylor’s 17 points and Travis Releford’s 16, frivolity included a surprise appearance by actor Rob Riggle, a KU grad who served as a judge in a boxing match between KU staff member Barry Hinson and KU fan “Vicious” Victor Ortiz.

“Protect yourself at all times,” Riggle jokingly warned Ortiz before the fight, referring to Victor’s being surprised by a knockout punch by Floyd Mayweather in a recent title fight.

Ortiz, of course, won by knockout Friday in a fake fight in which he was assisted by corner men Self, Cole Aldrich and Xavier Henry. KU’s current players stood in Hinson’s corner.

“I feel I was unstoppable the whole time. I walked away with the victory Rock Chalk-style, baby,” Ortiz said.

Back to the 20-minute scrimmage …

Releford hit six of eight shots, including three of four threes in helping the Blue team grab a 40-33 victory over the Taylor-led Red squad. Taylor hit six of 10 shots and also had two assists.

Thomas Robinson had 13 for the Blue. He hit five of 10 shots, including one of three from three. Elijah Johnson and Jeff Withey each had nine points. The Blue team hit 50 percent of its shots, the Reds 48.

“The guys tonight actually made shots. We shoot the ball like that, we’ll be fine,” Self said. “I think scoring will be our biggest challenge. Defensively we’ll have to be great.”


Two top prospects in the Class of 2012 attended Late Night as part of official campus visits: Perry Ellis, a 6-foot-8 forward from Wichita Heights who has orally committed to KU, and Kaleb Tarczewski, 7-foot from St. Mark’s High in Southborough, Mass., who is down to KU and Arizona. Tarczewski, who will visit Arizona next weekend, is ranked No. 20 overall and Ellis No. 24 nationally by

Several players from the Class of 2013 were at Late Night on unofficial visits: No. 8-ranked Chris Walker, 6-9 forward, Holmes County High, Bonifay, Fla.; No. 24 Allerik Freeman, 6-4 guard, Olympic High, Charlotte, N.C.; No. 35 Brannen Greene, 6-7 forward, Mary Persons High, Forsyth, Ga.; No. 71 Karviar Shepherd, 6-9, center, DeSoto (Texas) High; and Shepherd’s prep teammate Jordan Mickey, 6-7 forward, ranked No. 75. Also unranked Peter Jok, 6-3 guard from Roosevelt High in DesMoines attended.

This, that

Former KU players Henry, Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers, Russell Robinson, Brady Morningstar and Keith Langford attended. ... Former KU forward Scot Pollard was emcee. ... The Jayhawks were to practice today before an evening football game against Oklahoma. The practice is closed to the public. ... Self was thrilled with Friday’s crowd. “Late Night is great. We come out and basically do the same thing year in and year out. It amazes me every year. There’s 16,300 in here every year.”


ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 7 months ago

More fans at late night or tonight's football game?

jhox 8 years, 7 months ago

With 30,000 OU fans in the stadium, I'm guessing the football game.

Lindsey Buscher 8 years, 7 months ago

Okay, rephrase...

More KU phans at Late Night or the Foozball game?

I say Late Night.

Jhawk59 8 years, 7 months ago

After halftime late night might be the winning answer

jhox 8 years, 7 months ago

Does anyone have impressions of the freshmen they care to share, after watching the scrimmage?

I'm predicting a big season for Releford. He's a natural scorer, and he's finally going to get significant playing time. I would not be at all suprised if he leads the team in scoring this year. I'm happy he's been patient and has stayed in the program. I believe that patience is about to pay off big.

Robert Brock 8 years, 7 months ago

I hope that Releford can step it up a little. Opponents are going to sag down on the post and let Taylor and Johnson shoot all they like since they are inconsistent. Releford and Young will have to be scorers.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 7 months ago

A rephrase is needed here as well, since most of the freshmen are gone (Tharpe, Lindsey?), but first year player Young could/should be the biggest addition. That is the biggest besides keeping Withey and Releford healthy.

That's 6 when combined with the fairly well known commodity of TT, EJ & TRob. Really only need another player, maybe 2 aside from injuries, and even the 7 & 8 players can oft be hidden (by good coaching) amongst the others.

baldwinjhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Releford will have a stellar season. Also whithey didn't look as goofey and awkward as last season. He looks like he's gained weight!

REHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

3 years ago Bill Self spoke of Releford as a player who would accumulate lotsa points before leaving KU. This could be the year he assaults the alltime Jayhawk charts. Good point re his patience. Must have been rough on him, watching younger sybling start and star right from the getgo at Alabama. Now is the moment for Travis to show his game and become a memorable figure in KU lore.

flyingfinn 8 years, 7 months ago

Finally some fun, positive KU news. I love and played football but this season has been pure agony. I really believe, though there will be peaks and valleys, this KU basketball team will surprise a lot of people so as Coach Self says "enjoy the process" it will be fun to watch.

Ethan Berger 8 years, 7 months ago

We are going to be a extremely young team next year.

KEITHMILES05 8 years, 7 months ago

None of the freshman did much at all. They are very, very raw but then again there was only Tharpe and Young (who is technically not a freshman) who are elgible.

Chris Shaw 8 years, 7 months ago

Let's not forget about the Merv! That would be Merv Lindsay!

Chris Shaw 8 years, 7 months ago

You know, from the last couple kusport articles I've read since McLemore and Traylor were officially inelgible for the 2011-2012 season.........I sense some anxiety and nervousness through Jayhawk nation.

Yes, this team doesn't have the "Star Power" of previous Self teams, but this is the kind of team that Self built his reputation on and climbed the career ladder while at Oral Roberts and Tulsa and to some extent Ilinois.

I Like this team and I haven't seen them play or practice yet! What I mean is that this team already has adversity surrounding them...........a thin bench with inelgible players.

Yes, this team may struggle, but unlike many Self teams over the last 8 years, I am actually somewhat relieved to see "Growing Pains" with a team. I don't mean that in a negative manner either. I'm okay with not winning as many games. I think you find your identity as a team through some adversity and there is some of that already circulating this squad.

Everyone places so much emphasis on rankings, recruiting 5 stars, and talent, but what it boils down to is the guys in that Jayhawk locker room stepping up to the challenge and accepting the fact they have a legacy to carry. It's amazing no matter how talented you are, how much players can raise their level of play, understand their roles, and take on that added responsibility because not only is the spotlight on them, but they are going to have to contribute because there isn't anybody else.

It's not always going to be stellar or pretty, but I expect good things from this squad. I'm not going to compare this squad to the 1991 team because that squad had a lot of depth, but the expectations with that 1991 squad were not known. There definitely was some uncertainity as I look back and everything seem to work out very well. That is my hope for this squad.

Tyshawn Taylor-Up and down career-He doesn't have anybody looking over his shoulder anymore.........No Selby, No Collins! He has all the minutes in the world to prove himself to the NBA! Show him that he is loved and wanted and Taylor will have a breakout season IMO

Elijah Jonhson-Big Rep, lot's of talent, a fanbase screaming for his success and nobody in front or behind him on the depth chart. Nothing wrong with having a sensitive personality or being the nice guy, but it's EJ's time. He doesn't have to look to the bench anymore when he makes a mistake. Self has to depend on him and that is a powerful boost of confidence for a player like EJ. Give him minutes, give him confidence, show him he's wanted and Pow! Woop Woop!

T-Rob-Spotlight is on the Big Fella! He's Hungry! No need to say anything else! We know T-Rob! We know!

tical523 8 years, 7 months ago

Well said, I agree with that assessment.

Chris Shaw 8 years, 7 months ago

T-Relly-A lot like EJ! Going to surprise people! Take care of the basketball, don't look over your shoulder, go get your minutes, prove people wrong! Go get that 1500 points for your career! It's possible and very attainable! Don't shoot for that 1000 points! You're better than that!

Withey-Awful quiet from the Big Fella on the Phog front this offseason. Not much info on this guy, not many expectations. Hell, I don't expect much from Withey except 5 or 6 points and 8-10 rebounds. I don't think that's asking too much to be a defensive specialist! That's why I think Withey is going to surprise! He's been dogged his whole career by two fanbases (Jayhawks and Zona). He's been hiding behind other big men. Guess what Withey, no more hiding! You either put in the work or you didn't! We'll know pretty quickly, but guess what?????????...........the expectations are low for you! Soak it up and enjoy that role! I expect big things from you, Withey!

Tharpe-The true unselfish floor general KU has been missing the last couple of years. You won't steal the rock from this kid, but it's his decision making that will propel or prevent this Jayhawk squad from taking giant leaps. No pressure, huh? For some reason, I think this kid thrives off that kind of pressure and there is no better type of peson to handle that role than Nadir! Unlike EJ in his freshman campaign, "Timing" is everything with a player and Tharpe landed a lottery ticket for significant playing time as Freshman! Respect it and own it!

Kevin Young-The Jack of all trades type of guy!

Self- "KY (Yes KY), I need you stop Perry Jones tonight!" KY- "Okay Coach!"

Self- "KY, I need you to go dunk on Gilchrist and completely ruin his confidence" KY- "Okay Coach!"

Self -"KY, I need to you go out there and flop against Sullinger's behind and draw a charge!"

KY- "Okay Coach!"

Self-"KY, I need you to steal a pass from Austin River's and show Julian Wright how to do a windmill dunk!"

KY- "Okay Coach!"

Chris Shaw 8 years, 7 months ago

Merv Lindsay-Guess what? Timing is everything, huh Merv Lindsay? You're licking your chops and can hardly contain your excitement ! Welcome to big time basketball and you've just punched your ticket into the rotation whether you like it or not.

We know you have the stroke, but work on those handles beause we are going to need you to take care of the ball. Well, if you thought you weren't respected before how about now? Even with McLemore out, nobody thinks you'll step up and be a contributor on this team. Guess what? I expect big things out of you, Merv! It's your time! Take advantage of it. Even 5 star recruits don't often see a rotation lineup open up the way it has for this 2011-2012 Jayhawk squad so cherish it, enjoy it, and don't look back taking advantage of it.

TeaTrey-It's your time Connor. You've been waiting 4 years for this opportunity. I'm ready to see a mid-major stellar performance out of you, but unlike the past you'll be playing for the Jayhawks! You're going to be that buster on the Jayhawks that leaves other squads shaking their heads! Do your thing! Take care of the basketall, be aggressive when needed, and stroke that sheeeaaattttttt like Downtown Terry Brown!

Now! Let's get it on! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

AsadZ 8 years, 7 months ago

Well said Shaw. I fully agree with your comments

tical523 8 years, 7 months ago

I think that if Withey simply focuses on being a defensive force and rebounding machine he will affect the game in a huge way, and the offense will come in time. If he takes care of this stuff he will have a breakout season.

DaNeille Dani Davis 8 years, 7 months ago

OMG!! Just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the DREAM ON video! Here's to another great season and Big 12 Championship! Rock Chalk! Now, if the football team can just beat the Wildcats on Saturday! I'm not driving 10 hours to see us lose! I was at the CO game last year and stayed til the glorious end! I'm hoping for another great win next Saturday and hoping I'm a good luck charm! Go KU!!

Dirk Medema 8 years, 7 months ago

Check your calendar. The kitties aren't in town this weekend.

Benjamin Piehler 8 years, 7 months ago

If we somehow get T-Rob back for a senior year, unlikely I know.... I think we'd be pretty darn good. I'm expecting a lot of improvement from EJ this year and having Perry and Ben next year will be nice.

Plus you have any extra recruits Bill signs.

This year could be trying, but I expect everyone will improve a lot. Hopefully some of our lockout hawks are wishing they could have played one more year on the collegiate level....

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 7 months ago

They would be better off going to a Jr College..Anderson was actually lucky that the Big 12 ADs screwed him.

KUbsee69 8 years, 7 months ago

Cole was also there, but not listed here.

AsadZ 8 years, 7 months ago

Any word on B Anderson? has he enrolled in any other school?

JHWK 8 years, 7 months ago

Rock Chalk! That Dream On video (despite its choppiness) finds the soul of the KU fan in everyone! After the 3rd time I had to get on to reading more about this overall inexperienced team.

There will be struggles as everyone finds their footing and understands how to play defense as a team. But when they do, we may not be the biggest team, but we should be VERY fast.

There's no doubt it is the Season of Big Opportunities, or SOBO! (Feel free to use it) Who will take SOBO's hand? Mr.Withey? (My less-PC and diverse friends have come to call him 'Whitey' b/c moving a letter three spaces is an option) Mr. Johnson? Mr. Releford? Mr. Young?

We all expect big things out of TT and TRobot, and it should be their team.

I'm looking forward to it! Rock Chalk!!

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