Friday, September 28, 2012

KU freshmen feeling pain of first basketball Boot Camp

KU coach Bill Self huddles with the Jayhawks after a Boot Camp conditioning session in this file photo from 2006.

KU coach Bill Self huddles with the Jayhawks after a Boot Camp conditioning session in this file photo from 2006.


There’s a four-letter word that best describes Bill Self’s Kansas University basketball Boot Camp.

“Pain,” KU freshman guard Rio Adams said Thursday with a smile. “It’s pain you don’t mind going through,” the 6-foot-3 Seattle native quickly added.

Adams and his 16 Jayhawk teammates were to gather in KU’s hoops practice facility from 6 a.m. until shortly after 7 a.m., today, for the sixth of 11 Boot Camp workouts of the 2012-13 preseason. KU had two-a-days on Monday after a sub-par opening session.

After a two-day break, the players will be back in the gym for the start of the second and final week of Boot Camp bright and early Monday.

“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’m not going to lie,” said KU freshman power forward Zach Peters.

“But it’s good. Everybody is going in there working on things you don’t do in a normal basketball practice,” the 6-9, 240-pounder from Plano, Texas, added of sprints, defensive slides, backboard touches and the like. “Getting that done, you get in the best shape of your life. You don’t like it while you are doing it, but it’s good afterward and it pays off in the long run.”

KU red-shirt freshman guard Ben McLemore says his first Boot Camp has been an eye-opening experience. The 6-5 St. Louis native was on campus a year ago, but unable to participate as he awaited word from the NCAA on his eligibility.

“I mean it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life as far as conditioning and getting into shape,” McLemore said. “Just getting up at 5:30 in the morning for running, doing defensive slides and backboard touches. The hardest part is getting up. It’s what all the upperclassmen told us was the hardest. They were right.”

As far as individual stars so far ...

“I’d say Landen Lucas is doing a great job. For his size ... he’s getting through it (by) working really hard,” McLemore said of the 6-foot-10, 230 pound freshman center from Portland.

Adams said he’s been impressed with “the four returnees (Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford, Jeff Withey and Kevin Young). They are really pushing us and getting us out of our element and our comfort zone which is really important so we can be prepared for the season.”

Peters cited ... “Travis Releford. He’s in really good shape. He is one of the hardest workers I’ve seen.”

Others are following the seniors’ lead.

“This brings you together and makes you stronger,” Peters said of the team. “Everyone realizes how much they can do, how many walls they can break through mentally and stuff like that.

“Everybody definitely has a positive attitude. We’re working hard trying to get through the first week and push onto the next week.”

“We definitely are here for business and to win for the city,” Adams noted. “That’s what we’re going to do.”

New scoreboard: A new high-definition video board is being installed in Allen Fieldhouse in time for the Oct. 12 Late Night in the Phog.

The Daktronics center-hung scoreboard will remain as the same structure as the old board. However, the new video portion will increase to 18 feet wide and nearly 10 feet tall with HD resolution, which is three feet wider and a foot taller than the previous standard definition board.

A new Alpha Video control room, built in the same location as the current control room, will feature five HD studio cameras, a production switcher, an audio and video routing switcher with integrated multi-image viewers, an 8-channel slow-motion system, a dual channel clip server, a character generator and playback/recording equipment.

Recruiting: Frank Mason, a 5-11, 160-pound senior point guard from Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, Va., is scheduled to visit KU this weekend. Mason, who is ranked No. 131 nationally by, signed with Towson last November, but elected to attend prep school for academic reasons. He now has KU, South Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech and others on his list. Mason averaged 27 points a game last season at Petersburg (Va.) High. He was region player of the year for the two-time state runner-up team. ... Demetrius Jackson, a 6-1 point guard from Mishawaka, Ind., on Thursday committed to Notre Dame over runner-up Illinois. At one point he had KU on his list.


phogphan2000 1 year, 6 months ago

Definitely glad to hear good things about any of the younger bigs, and good to hear Lucas is bringing the effort. With his size and a willingness to work hard and be in shape, definitely a good guy to have on the roster.


Jack Wilson 1 year, 6 months ago

Frank Mason info from ESPN for anyone interested:

Strengths: Mason is a very confident true point guard. He is a true floor general that can run the team. He pushes that ball and can shoot the 3 with deep range. Weaknesses: Mason is an average to good athlete at best. He can make deep 3's but his shot is more of a set shot. He will need to improve his speed and quickness and work to be a better defender in addition to adding strength. Bottom Line: Mason is a true point guard that has swagger and can run the team and make deep J's. He must work to improve his athletism and add strength but Mason can be trusted with the ball and has great upside.


Jayhawk470 1 year, 6 months ago

This just in, Bill Self has a new contract that will keep him at Kansas through the 2021-22 season. So it looks like ten more years of Boot Camp for whoever dons the Crimson and Blue!


Tony Bandle 1 year, 6 months ago

Thanks, HighEliteMajor.... :} Next time it will be you and BigManU.

Hey, where's that little twerp Maginoatemynuts gone??


Jack Wilson 1 year, 6 months ago

What, no jaybate-konkeyDong bickering?


Scott MacWilliams 1 year, 6 months ago

Hey Jayhawk Nation -- Does anybody know if Boot Camp is exclusive to KU? I'm not seeing it, or anything similar, mentioned in reports of other teams starting their seasons.

Seems like all the other top teams would all be doing something similar, trying to get that extra edge in conditioning.

I live in Eugene, OR, and the Ducks football team is WAY serious about conditioning, but I haven't heard anything about the basketball team doing anything out of the ordinary. And they play like it....

What have folks heard about the rest of the hoops world on this??


hammerhawk 1 year, 6 months ago that we can be thinking and talking about basketball again...... Go Hawks....


notjustbread 1 year, 6 months ago

Do it for the local small business owners who sacrifice to keep our city maintaining


yates33333 1 year, 6 months ago

“We definitely are here for business and to win for the city,” WHAT??? Lawrence? I have been a lifelong KU fan, but never, never a fan of Lawrence. I hope boot camp hasn't caused Adams' confusion.


Scott Smetana 1 year, 6 months ago

Releford has such amazing athletic ability, great energy, and a good shot. I just hope his brain doesn't get in the way this season. I think he needs a huge shot of confidence. Go Travis!


KUFan90 1 year, 6 months ago

The new video board and equipment is sweet.

Maybe they will let Jayhawk TV borrorw the 5 HD video cameras so we can actually see what is happening in games they broadcast this year instead of watching a bunch of blurry blobs moving around randomly.


Tony Bandle 1 year, 6 months ago

Four letter words to describe Boot Camp:

  • Pain
  • Ache
  • Sore
  • Puke
  • More Puke
  • Beat
  • Hard
  • Agony [five sue me!!]

REHawk 1 year, 6 months ago

Just as Withey was a huge question mark going into last season, Tharpe represents the focal point for positive hope this year. When a crucial need exists, the inexperienced player with high potential garners boundless attention. Step up, Mr. Tharpe, and help lead this squad to another league title!


Jeremy Bolinger 1 year, 6 months ago

We really need Tharpe to step it up this year. Like, REALLY!


soapisurfriend 1 year, 6 months ago

I've heard that there's a strong possibility that Mason commits on his visit this weekend. Could be interesting to see if his commitment is accepted this early if he were to pledge.


Ron Franklin 1 year, 6 months ago

I've got a place in my living room for that old score board. Hook it up :)

This team, these fellas--they have a very nice aura about them.


jaybate 1 year, 6 months ago

Rio speaking up for Landon.

Landon fighting thru.

Peters talking truth.

Lt. Prophet and Sergeant Releford leading the platoon.

BC is working.


Alohahawk 1 year, 6 months ago

Senior leadership. Sounds like KU's four are taking that to heart, and that's what this inexperienced group of Jayhawks will need most this season. The youngsters have the physical attributes. Now they just need to meld that talent together with mental toughness. Ten untried bodies being run through the mill and learning from their elders past experiences. As the U.S.Marines are proud to say, "Esprit de Corps". Must be why Coach Self calls it "Boot Camp".

Rock Chalk, Jayhawks!!!


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