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.


Alohahawk 9 years 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!!!

Bobby Burch 9 years ago

Agreed! We'll need a lot of leadership this season. I can't wait to see this team play!

Quick question, though: the article mentions KU's "four returnees (Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford, Jeff Withey and Kevin Young.)" What about Justin Wesley?

jaybate 9 years ago

Rio speaking up for Landon.

Landon fighting thru.

Peters talking truth.

Lt. Prophet and Sergeant Releford leading the platoon.

BC is working.

jaybate 9 years ago

serialDisclaimer: Ralster has expressed his indignation on multiple occasions about Turner Gill's hiring.

jaybate 9 years ago

jaybate also thought his hiring was not a good idea, but once hired, thought Turner deserved 3-4 years to turn it around, just as Coach Weis deserves same, too.

Turner is really taking his lumps right now. He is 0-4 at Liberty this season. But three of the four losses have been a touchdown, or less. Turner is rebuilding at Liberty. I sure hope they give him 3-4 years to turn the corner.

And I sure hope KU gives Coach Weis 3-4 years to turn the corner.

Rebuilding hurts.


hawk316 9 years ago

Great sentiments, jaybate. I totally agree.

burnmu 9 years ago

ralster, did you forget to take your meds again?

stinkybulldog 9 years ago

Is that CJ Giles on the left? Bwhaha!

farnamjayhawk 9 years ago

I see Darnell on the left. CJ was probably taking a smoke break

Robin Smith 9 years ago

Just an FYI, but it is Giles on the left, then Kleinmann below him, then Bechard and Collins supporting Arthur, with Chalmers shirtless and Kaun with head down in front of them, then Wright bent over (obstructed by Collins' head), Case below him, and then Robinson in bottom right, bent over (obstructed by Collins' body)

Tony Bandle 9 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

John Boyle 9 years ago

Look at the jaw line. It is definitely not Jackson.

Joel Thomas 9 years ago

I have to agree with jhwksrock and say it's Giles.

KUFan90 9 years ago

While I think it's a great photo, and funny that it's used year after year, it would be nice to get a picture of this year's team.

Ron Franklin 9 years ago

I like the pic. It's a close up of ground zero for our champions to come.

That is where it all started.

Ron Franklin 9 years 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.

Alohahawk 9 years ago

That would be a fantastic way to watch the games. I doubt it would fit in my apartment though. Nor could I afford the electric bill to light it up for a few hours!

soapisurfriend 9 years 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.

Jeremy Bolinger 9 years ago

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

Chris Shaw 9 years ago

You mean, much in the same manner Jeff Withey entered last season with all the doubt? I agree, but let the kid get some experience and have some growing pains first. He is only a sophomore.

Jeremy Bolinger 9 years ago

"But let the kid get some experience and have some growing pains first"

All I said was we need him to step up. Nothing more, nothing less. Some of you guys read way too much into comments. Take some Xanax.

HawkKlaw 9 years ago

I think he'll step up a little bit, but I doubt he'll be a dominant PG in the NCAA yet. Last year told us that he needs more reps. This year he will get them and sure-up his game.

I think Naadir will really start to shine in the 2013-14 season, when he gets a little more freedom to facilitate the offense.

REHawk 9 years 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!

HawkKlaw 9 years ago

Good post, I totally agree. Naadir is one of those four-year players that will be dominant as a Junior and Senior, but he's got another year of learning ahead of him.

However, I think Elijah will also be better than expected, and look out for Zach Peters. I think he'll play about as much as Ellis (though Ellis will start). If Self's assessment of those overseas summer games is any indication, Peters is about on par (or maybe even ahead of) Ellis in his development. Then again, Self could have just been praising Peters a lot this summer to motivate Ellis to step up and be the clear-cut starter at that position. You never know with Bill Self and his subtle strategies to develop mental toughness in players.

REHawk 9 years ago

Please don't count out Kevin Young. With a nailbiter on the line, KY's energy can work some miracles.

HawkKlaw 9 years ago

Oh, I haven't counted out KY. I think he'll actually end up getting more minutes than Ellis or Peters, since he'll likely be the first guy off the bench for both Ellis and Withey. It'll be nice to have some depth down low this season.

Robert Brock 9 years ago

I can't believe that Peters will end up playing as much as Ellis this year. If that ends up being the case at the end of the year, it will most likely indicate Ellis struggled a bit to adjust to Self's game - the implications there are scary, because KU will need Ellis to be a legitimate scoring threat.

Peters could make it into the rotation as the fourth big after Withey, KY and Ellis - based on his play this summer and Self's comments, he may have the edge at this point.

Tony Bandle 9 years ago

Four letter words to describe Boot Camp:

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

justinryman 9 years ago

--Four --More --Conf. Cham- Pion- Ship! --True

TeaCakes 9 years ago

In this case, brevity is the soul of twit.

KUFan90 9 years 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.

Robin Smith 9 years ago

I'm thinking that's exactly what those cameras are intended to do.

Scott Smetana 9 years 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!

Tony Bandle 9 years ago

PPS..I'm not sure it was his brain but maybe that old foot injury but you are correct, no matter what, Travis could use a confidence boost, for sure and now, as a Senior Leader, I think he'll get it!!

yates33333 9 years 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.

Robin Smith 9 years ago

How are you not a fan of Lawrence? Every sports team is symbolic of its city. Lawrence is KU.

bayareajhawk 9 years ago

How can you be a fan of KU but not a fan of Lawrence? And what is wrong with you?

HawkKlaw 9 years ago

Hahaha! He likes Lawrence, so he's confused? Lawrence is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best city in Kansas. I've lived all over this state and that is my opinion, but there's not much competition out there (Wichita, maaaybe?). So much diversity, so much KU, so awesome. I mean, the traffic sometimes sucks and you can't really take left turns other than at stop lights, but other than that I have no problem with this lovely city.

Whether you accept it or not, the people of Lawrence cherish every single KU victory. And furthermore, there is only one city in Kansas (ahem, the world) where people flood the streets when KU wins the National Championship...

Tony Bandle 9 years ago

WHOOAA NELLY!! Lawrence is as charming as they get. Hell, it could serve as Mayberry RFD.

Trust me, I've traveled all over America doing projects in small towns and Lawrence, even if it was overrun with toads and raining steaming hail would still be better than Waco, Texas on Waco's best day!!!

texashawk10 9 years ago

Dr. Pepper museum is the only good thing in Waco.

milehighhawk 9 years ago

Not possible to be a "lifelong KU fan" and "never, never" a fan of Lawrence. Lawrence is KU and KU is Lawrence.

jaybate 9 years ago

Oakville in Waco?

God must have been testing you.

You will be asked to build a very great building if you passed the test.

notjustbread 9 years ago

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

hammerhawk 9 years ago that we can be thinking and talking about basketball again...... Go Hawks....

Scott MacWilliams 9 years 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??

Jack Wilson 9 years ago

What, no jaybate-konkeyDong bickering?

Ben Simonett 9 years ago

Forgot a few name calling /personal insults. but all in all, you got the jist of it.

John Boyle 9 years ago

Jaybate, Thank you for using up all my computer screen. Oh well, no one else was spewing anything of relevance anyway.

Tony Bandle 9 years ago

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

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

jaybate 9 years ago



P- H- O- F-

brooksmd 9 years ago

Actually it'll still only be 4 years, 5 at the most, for whoever dons the C and B. Although there will no doubt be some that would be great to keep 10 years. (tongue in cheek) Seriously, fantastic to have HCBS locked up for another 10.

Jack Wilson 9 years 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.

John Boyle 9 years ago

Sounds like a good fit for VCU.

Curtis Stutz 9 years 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.

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