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Late Night defeats Late Night, None-None

  • 6:30 p.m., Oct. 12, 2012
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A banner day: Final Four flag highlights Jayhawks’ Late Night

Crimson Team center Jeff Withey looks to defend a shot from Blue Team guard Naadir Tharpe during Late Night in the Phog on Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Crimson Team center Jeff Withey looks to defend a shot from Blue Team guard Naadir Tharpe during Late Night in the Phog on Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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It was not an actor or a rapper but a banner that stole the show at the 28th annual Late Night in the Phog on Friday night in jam-packed Allen Fieldhouse.

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Late Night, including quick highlights

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Late Night videos, including quick highlights, from the festivities on Oct. 12, 2012.

A 9:14 p.m. unveiling of KU’s 2012 Final Four flag, located in the rafters just north of the center videoboard, had 16,300 fans stomping their feet in a rumble that rivaled the 2008 Late Night when the NCAA title banner was unfurled.

“I thought it was pretty cool. To do the ‘Dream On’ video that long (prior to banner unveiling) and be able to highlight that kind of stuff ... I think that’s pretty nice,” said KU coach Bill Self, who was thoroughly impressed with the fans’ reaction throughout the three-hour, 15-minute show.

“The biggest highlight of the night was the crowd. That you could turn away people to watch that practice, I think, is pretty cool. People can talk about their respective schools and how good they’ve got it. Nobody’s got it as good as we do right here in Lawrence, Kansas,” Self added.

KU officials indicated that 200 to 300 fans had to be turned away after the arena was deemed filled to capacity. It was the first time in several years some fans were denied entry.

The fans on hand were treated to a show with more of a local flavor than recent years. There was no Rob Riggle or Victor Ortiz to perform like last year, leaving a dance number by KU’s seniors as this year’s highlight.

Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford , Kevin Young and Jeff Withey wore powder blue sports jackets, white shirts, black bow ties and sunglasses in dancing to viral internet hit “Gangnam Style” by artist PSY.

“The dancing obviously was real fun, a tradition,” Withey said.

“I think they give us the dance so late (to rehearse) so it looks so bad,” Johnson added with a smile.

KU’s freshmen players performed a dance number in which they wore all black outfits, with black KU caps worn backward. The number ended with Perry Ellis and Zach Peters picking up walk-on Tyler Self and throwing him into the air in a gymnastics-like dismount.

The second-year players and juniors, who wore white jerseys, ended their dance number when Naadir Tharpe removed a shoe and fired it to Niko Roberts who caught it and used it as a phone.

“I thought it was hilarious personally,” Self stated, making a face to show he was joking. “I thought they were OK. I don’t know the music and I don’t know the dances and I don’t know all that stuff like younger people probably do. I thought all of them did fine.”

He said he especially enjoyed a video of fans celebrating during games last season and postseason.

“We never get to see that stuff, how the fans get into it at the local bars. To me that was cool,” Self said. “If I’m a recruit, that to me was the most impressive thing. I thought it was all good.”

The players concluded the night with a 20-minute intrasquad scrimmage.

Seniors Johnson and Withey scored 11 and 10 points respectively to pace the Crimson team to a 36-28 victory over the Blue squad. Senior Young had nine points, while red-shirt freshmen Ben McLemore and Jamari Traylor had six points each for the Blue team. Withey had seven rebounds and Young four.

“Pretty athletic,” Self said of what he thought of the action. “We didn’t shoot it well (Crimson team 53.6 percent; Blue team 41.4). I didn’t anticipate we would. It was fine. We’ll never watch the video or anything. It’s not real ball. The guys did fine.”

As far as the freshmen ... “I think they were nervous,” Self said. “Ben (McLemore, 3-8 shooting) is so nervous. I think it’s good to get it out of their system. Hopefully when we play the first exhibition game it’ll be a more relaxed feel. They’ve never been in front of a crowd like that. To do that when they feel they are on the stage ... it looks easy from the cheap seats, but it’s a little harder than people think.”

Comments

David Leathers 8 years, 3 months ago

"He said he especially enjoyed a video of fans celebrating during games last season and postseason.

'We never get to see that stuff, how the fans get into it at the local bars. To me that was cool,' Self said. 'If I’m a recruit, that to me was the most impressive thing. I thought it was all good.'"

I'm originally from Kansas (Topeka), but I moved to California in 2008 when I was 21 (actually 2 months before we won the title - I remember celebrating with my brother in the living room, just him and I).

Back in late March/early April my wife and I were back in Topeka visiting my family. While there, we went to a party just 2 blocks off of Mass. St. to watch the Ohio State Final Four game with some of my old high school buddies. Sure enough, as we all know, KU pulled off the upset and all of us (probably around 30) took off in a dead sprint for the madness on Mass. We were there so fast, in fact, that when we got there, we looked around and all you could see were fans running toward you from all directions.

Talk about an experience. My wife will forever be an addicted Jayhawk fan.

Brandon Snook 8 years, 3 months ago

This article is entitled: "A banner day: Final Four flag highlights Jayhawks’ Late Night". Yet, in all the photos the LJW has provided from tonight's Late Night in the Phog, there is not ONE photo showing us the new banner being raised/unveiled/shown. You're killing me, Smalls!

Ann Oneill 8 years, 3 months ago

From the picture, Withey looks like he has added some weight.

yates33333 8 years, 3 months ago

From the picture, he doesn't even look like Withey!!!

champs528808 8 years, 3 months ago

Well... then from Norm, Kurtis and Doc to LJW - C'mon Man!!

KUbsee69 8 years, 3 months ago

The main scoreboard said "Crimson" and "Blue" teams. The photo shows the corner board.

Jerry Rockhold 8 years, 3 months ago

Anybody have a copy of the Dream On video from last night they can post? RCJH, GO KU!!!

Jocelyn Kennedy 8 years, 3 months ago

Cried during this last night - cried watching it again...awesome!!! Thanks for posting!

TexasHawk44 8 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for posting the video. Great stuff!

Rock Chalk 8 years, 3 months ago

Best way to start the day. Fabulous! Thanks for posting.

flyingfinn 8 years, 3 months ago

Hmmmmmmm Zack Peters helped throw a player in the air, maybe the rotator culf is getting better???

sawman3333 8 years, 3 months ago

Charlie Weis: "Come and get wet with me tomorrow."

jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago

So: how did Naadir Tharpe look?

Someone please weigh in here.

So much hinges on Naadir.

Does he look stronger and quicker in the legs on defense? Like a freshman become viable sophomore? Or is he still a year away?

We need you now, Naadir!

You may not think backup PG is the most critical thing in the world, because you want to be a starter like all players do, but to this team, this year, you may be the most critical piece in the puzzle. If you are a 10-20 minute man, now, then Self can develop the rest of the pieces by February and and mask and steal the wins in the development process.

But if you can't give EJ the blows he needs, it means we have to go back to sand bagging to keep it close in order to go for a win the last ten minutes of the second half. It was a clinic in coaches and players finding ways to win last season, but enough of that already.

I believe in those short legs of yours, Naadir!

After I saw Hudy add a bunch of inches to The Twins' hops, and I saw her help Tyrel's agility catch up with his straight line speed, I believe she can help you get strong enough on top and in the legs to muscle these opponents enough to stay in front of them, and turn and burn, when they get by.

It is apparent that you have the mind, the ball handling, and the offensive fluidity. All you need is better anticipation, a bit more upper body strength, and greater leg strength on defense and you da point man.

Keep getting better all season. Year in and year out, Naadir, it is the guys that are the best at getting better, not the guys with the most talent, that wind up playing the most.

Talent is a plateau.

Getting better is a line trending up.

Go, Naadir, go!!!!!

jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago

Dang, next time the uniforms get a new look, consider the Crimson team's practice uniforms for inspiration. I love the crimson jersey on the blue shorts!!!!!!! Especially for away uniforms. Keep the white silks at home.

That away look would leap off the TV screens in a beautiful, striking and powerful way. It would completely counter the eye-hogging flourescent uglies of Baylor and others.

Benjamin Piehler 8 years, 3 months ago

K State is over ranked. Oklahoma played awful against them... I don't think they've really been tested yet.

Steve Gantz 8 years, 3 months ago

Did KU 'invent' the late night first practice tradition that everyone seems to copy now? My biased memory from when I was a student is that we were the first, but if someone could confirm, or deny this I'd appreciate it.

Gotta love coach Self saying he's a little concerned that they didn't shoot it very well in the scrimmage!

Curtis Stutz 8 years, 3 months ago

Supposedly Lefty Driesell at Maryland. If it had originated at KU it wouldn't be called Late Night in the Phog, we'd still be calling it Midnight Madness.

Kay Jensen 8 years, 3 months ago

Midnight madness started at Maryland but Kentucky and Kansas made it what it is today.

FarSideHawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Can we please get a player by player assessment from the late night? I keep coming back to the site in hopes that Jesse or Gary would have posted an eye-witness report on the new guys.

PegLegg 8 years, 3 months ago

Can we get a photo of the "banner" and "final four flag" up? For something dominating the headline and "highlighting" the night, it would be nice to snag a peek of it.

jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago

"KU's Very Own Pike Bishop"

Part I

A great weekend to be a Jayhawk.

Basketball starts.

And Coach Weis and his football team turned the corner, nearly stealing a victory from Oklahoma State!

Go, Charlie, go!!!!!!

Here's what I think about Coach Weis.

While all the yahoos that had ridiculously overoptimistic fantasies about a sudden turnaround grow suddenly less vocal and confident, Coach Weis has, behind the 20-14 L, and the 1-4, or is it 1-5, W&L statement, TURNED THE CORNER.

They are going to get the snot beaten out of them the rest of the season, but Weis, his staff and his players know that know that with a few more players, this sunken hulk can be raised, rebuilt and sent out as a valid fighting ship.

I think Weis was a helluva an offensive coordinator once upon a time.

I think he blew his chance at Notre Dame big time.

I think he licked his wounds and hung with the Chiefs and Florida.

And I think some times some men get one last chance at redemption late in their careers.

Hard-case movie director Sam Peckinpaugh made a career of mythologizing the one last shot at redemption story. Sometimes both of his heroes survive, as in The Getaway. Some times one of his heroes makes it, as in Ride the High Country. Sometimes no one does, as in The Wild Bunch, or Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. But always, these men with one last chance for redemption transcend what they have been in the past, they transcend the scum and gutter trash that stalk and try to undo them, and finally, with a few good men, and maybe a good, but problematic woman who still believes in them, they achieve a kind of redemption, maybe not what they expected, but real nonetheless.

What made Peckinpaugh a great artist and not just another violence monger was the truth of the myth that he seized upon and rode into his own oblivion in dreck like the Ostermann Weekend hoping for his one last shot at redemption. Sometimes the messenger can't do what his heroes can.

jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago

Part 2

In real life, in the worlds we all live in, from time to time we see real men leaving it all on the field, in the office, in the White House, on the battle field, in the stock market, at the grocery store cash register, on the assembly line, in the court room, etc., in the human quest for one last shot at redemption.

I think these real men, and Peckinpaugh's mythical ones, have a kind of steel and focus and determination that young men lack; that old men that have always been successful lack. They have an inner grimness coxisting with an inner awareness that that this is it and the kind of biting, defiant, humor that lets them say something like: "Stay at home and be warm, or come out and get wet with me."

That statement that at first seems so awkward, on the verge of embarrassing is redeemed by utter lack of pretense of it. These are the words of a man who has tried to be a good little coach and do things the way coaches are supposed to do things...and it hasn't worked for him. He's a pro, but he got beat out by the weasels of his profession and some bad breaks. These are the words of a man who knows how desperate the situation he is in really is, both career wise, KU wise, and life wise.

Coach Weis may have a big pot of money after even just a year of coaching KU, but the fact is it can't buy him redemption. It can by him a comfortable unredeemed life. if he doesn't succeed now...at KU...there are no more tomorrows for Charlie Weis. And the offensive strategist, the offensive big picture guy, seems to understand this probably more than most everyone else. Its not so much that no one would hire him. He's a pro who knows offensive coordination. He could get a job after failing at KU. The problem is he will be old enough he won't want another job by then. So this is existentially it.

I think a few of these men questing after one last chance at redemption finally transcend "the players" all around them. And I don't mean their football players. I mean all those making all the compromises and using the game and the system for a living and to keep hanging on. I think a few of these men have done the same thing in the past and the compromises they made have left such a bitter taste in their mouths that the only way to get it out is the crucible pursuit of one last chance at redemption.

jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago

Part 3

I think a few of these men look into the existential maw and say, "Christ, this is it; this is my last shot; I'm going to do it my way and the right way and I'm not compromising and I'm going to go down with guns blazing, or I'm going to succeed."

I think Coach Weis is one of these men.

These men are not always the best looking men. They are often not the smoothest. They come from all walks of life and all social strata. They share only a few things in common. They are really, really, really good at some aspect of their profession and they believe in professionalism. They have been sickened all their lives by all the players that have outplayed them, not out professional-ed them and got the pot of gold for making the compromises the professional was not willing to make.

These men are the men who, even when everything turns against them, even when all the shallow types and all the professional fakes look down their noses at them, know a few good men who still respect them for how good they are at what they do, how professional they are, and who will saddle up with them and ride with them one last time.

No one but some real pros that really know Charlie Weis would have saddled up and ridden with Weis one last time at KU. He was too far past his prime. He had suffered to many busted tries. He was never going to be the flavor of the month again. He was never going to be a hot property again, unless he took one last shot at redemption, and even then it might be too late.

I did not think he was one of these men when he was hired. I was wrong. But no one else thought he was one of these men either. All his starry eyed supporters thought he was a great coach, a former Notre Dame coach, a slam dunk to turn it around.

Wrong!

Weis a great coordinator. A solid professional highly skilled at what he knew. But a failed head coach.

Its even possible that he was not one of these men questing after one last shot at redemption, when he was hired.

Its possible that this condition hit Coach Weis after he got to KU.

Its hard to say.

But I believe now that Coach Weis and KU football were as made for each other as Coach Self and KU basketball were, but in completely different ways. Coach Self was on the way up and KU's mamothly successful basketball program was a perfect fit for Mr. Midwest.

But Coach Weis was at the last whistle stop. He has said so. Its here and now, or nowhere and never. And he's not even planning on milking the success he creates, if he succeeds. He plans on turning it over to a young assistant. And he's making the ride with his very own Ernest Borgnine--Dave Campo.

Charlie Weis is Pike Bishop.

Dave Campo is Dutch Engstrom.

Welcome to KU football's version of The Wild Bunch.

jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago

Part 4

I don't know who the hell will be the Robert Ryan character stalking them. Maybe some second division coach in the Big 12 trying to keep them from turning it around at KU.

But they're two old men looking for one last shot at redemption in a young man's game.

Defying even Cormac McCarthy's fatalistic No Country for Old Men America of today.

And its happening in the oldest, most archaic stadium that has long outlived the prairie populism and Main Street Republicanism that spawned it once upon a time in a Century far, far away.

There's nothing midwestern about Charlie. He's a Catholic kid from Trenton, New Jersey, not even blue collar, but from a prosperous background. He never even played college football. He is a fish out of water in Lawrence. He is Gil Westrum at the end of the west. He is Pike Ranger at the end of the west. He is Bennie at the end of the earth.

KU football is the end of the nadir. It is over its history arguably the worst football program in America. KU football is as near to hopeless as KSU was when Snyder took it over. The stadium's not right. The culture is not right. The fans and alums don't know spit about how to win at football. Mark Mangino did a magic act no one including Mangino knew how to repeat. No one learned spit about sustaining winning from Mangino. No one ever learned spit about sustaining winning from Glenn Mason, or Franklin Pepper Rogers, or Jack Mitchell. KU football is the definition of making the same mistakes over and over and expecting things to change. There is a psychosis deep in KU football culture that keeps it locked up in a nut house of eternally recurring hopelessness. Its like the occassional great team's function is to prove again and again that KU has no clue how the great team happens. What other program in America could have had Gale Sayers and squandered him?

KU not only turns defeat into more defeat. It turns occassional greatness into more defeat. KU is the bitter end of football futility.

Had Albert Camus fled the Nazis, come to America instead of heroically joining the the then hopeless French underground, and in a fit of absurdity elected to become a football coach, there is almost no doubt that he would have wound up being hired by KU, gone 1-33, been s-canned and written The Myth of the Sysyphus about a guy futilely rolling a pig skin up an inclined plane for eternity.

But Coach Weis, who, though he had blown most of his chances for the brass ring as a head coach, could have stayed at Florida, and moved sideways to any number of fine programs till retirement--this Coach Weis willingly walked into this historically futile situation.

This is different than Turner Gill walking into it. Turner Gill was lucky to get the KU coaching job, even though he failed miserably and in an antic absurdity even Albert Camus could not have novelized, walk away with a cool $6M for botching things.

jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago

Part 5

Coach Weis, is, I tell ya, Pike Bishop.

And KU Pike has seen this situation get even worse while he has been here.

But now Coach Weis understands something that he couldn't have known when he was hired. He couldn't have known it until he was around KU for awhile.

It doesn't matter how much money he is being paid. Its not enough.

It doesn't matter that he sits with the Boothes. They can't change the mess for they are hopelessly a part of it themselves.

It doesn't matter that he has a great offensive football mind. The KU football black hole is about so much more than Xs and Os.

All that matters is:

a) KU needs saving as badly as the Irish did in the potato famine; and

b) Coach Weis needs one last shot at save something in order to redeem himself.

This is truly a match made in heaven, where heaven is in the human heart amidst a hellish outside world.

The man with one last chance at redemption saving the university with a seemingly perpetual series of last chances.

By god, I believe he is going to do it.

By god, I believe he is going to do it against all the odds.

By god, I believe he is going to do it against all the smart money.

Maybe even against those that might have been using him as a broom.

Coach Weis and KU are going to have the football equivalent of a Norman Dale experience in Hoosiers, if the KU alums and fan base will just give him time.

It won't happen in one year, or two.

But the third or fourth year from now, when everyone is about to give up on Coach Weis, the ghost of Norman Dale and Albert Camus, who by the way stuck and fought the lost cause of the French Underground at the darkest point of France's disgraceful retreat from self government and into the arms of fascism, well, our Coach Weis is going to Coach Weis up what will seem to many as his own private Golgotha, and instead it is going to be redemption, though it could feel like some of both getting there.

Go, Charlie, go!!!

Lance Hobson 8 years, 3 months ago

  1. You have really changed your tune on ol' Charlie.
  2. No Country for Old Men - eerie book and movie.

jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago

Yep, I changed. For the good of The Legacy and because I don't think Charlie wants to be a broom. Charlie's shown me some things that make me think he is right for KU. I may go into lengthy detail tomorrow, or just forget it and enjoy hoops. I don't like football, because of the scientifically proven brain damage issues. But we seem to be stuck with it for now. So: I just want it run at least well enough for it not to cause The Legacy any problems. I think Charlie can do it better than I thought he would. I never mind changing, when it makes sense to me, nor do I mind board rats noticing I change.

Jerry Rockhold 8 years, 3 months ago

mmann36, props to you for posting the 2012 Dream ON video. GREAT STUFF. RCJH, GO KU!!!

HawkKlaw 8 years, 3 months ago

"KU officials indicated that 200 to 300 fans had to be turned away after the arena was deemed filled to capacity."

I'd wager it was even more than that. We got there right at 6:30pm and got turned away. We saw hundreds of people still on their way up to the Fieldhouse at that time. I was pretty shocked, to be honest.

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