Thursday, October 3, 2013

Dunks to be on display at Late Night

Jayhawk fans get psyched up Friday while packing into Allen Fieldhouse for Late Night in the Phog.

Jayhawk fans get psyched up Friday while packing into Allen Fieldhouse for Late Night in the Phog.


Kansas University’s basketball players don’t compete in a formal dunk contest during Late Night in the Phog festivities in Allen Fieldhouse. Sometimes they do, however, rattle the rims in the layup lines prior to a short scrimmage that concludes the three-hour proceedings.

“I try to tell the dudes on the team I think the best dunker is Wayne Selden,” said KU junior point guard Naadir Tharpe, assessing skywalking talent on the 2013-14 squad entering Friday’s 2013 Late Night, to run from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in Allen.

“Wiggs (Andrew Wiggins) jumps real high. His athleticism is out of the question. He’s had a couple dunks already that made me want to call a timeout, stop play in the gym. When it comes down to tricks, though, I think my man Wayne has got it.”

Those aren’t the only two Jayhawks who likely will dunk with flair at the 29th Late Night.

“‘Mari’ definitely ... we’ve got Justin Wesley as well, too,” Tharpe said, rattling off a list of KU’s athletic slammers that include sophomore Jamari Traylor and senior Wesley. “But I’ve got to go with my man, Wayne (as best on team). He’s got a couple tricks up his sleeve.”

Suffice it to say, 16,300 fans will be anxious for the dunking — and shooting — debuts of freshmen Wiggins, Selden, Brannen Greene, Conner Frankamp, Frank Mason and Joel Embiid on Friday. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with the show starting an hour later.

“I feel like people are definitely sleeping on him, not talking about him as much,” Tharpe said of Selden, 6-foot-5 from Roxbury, Mass., and the No. 12 recruit in the Class of 2013 by “I feel he’s just as great a player as Wiggins. Both together will only help us out.

“Andrew hits jumpers, he is ridiculously fast getting up the floor, and a lot of people say he can’t shoot the ball very well, but from what I’ve seen, he can shoot the ball really well,” Tharpe added of Wiggins.

Tharpe says Wiggins is definitely worthy of his status as an elite player in college basketball.

“He’s really good. I’m not going to give everybody the full scoop. You’ve got to wait for the season to start,” Tharpe said. “He’s real athletic, plays really hard. He’s going to be able to play a lot of positions for us on the court. I think that’s what’s going to be most important.”

Wiggins, 6-8 from Thornhill, Ontario, and the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2013, said he’s ready to roll in making his KU debut.

“Late Night ... yeah, that’ll be fun,” Wiggins said with a smile, “everybody dancing, having fun, scrimmaging. I’m ready to step out here in front of everybody for the first time. I’ll be nervous — a good nervous, not bad.”

Asked whom the fans should look forward to seeing dunk the basketball, besides himself on Friday, he said: “Eh, Wayne, J. Wes (Wesley), Mari, Perry (Ellis).”

Will he outdo his new teammates? “I don’t know. We’re going to have to see. I don’t know,” Wiggins said.

Vaughn update: Rashad Vaughn, a 6-5 senior shooting guard from Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., will visit UNLV on Nov. 25, reports. The No. 7-ranked player in the Class of 2014 will reschedule a trip to North Carolina, originally set for last weekend. KU coach Bill Self on Sunday was in Vaughn’s hometown of Minneapolis to visit with Vaughn’s family members. KU and Arizona hope to secure official visits for the player who also has Minnesota, Kentucky, UCLA and Iowa State on his list.


DoubleDD 6 months, 2 weeks ago

A little shout to the Jayhawk football team. I'm a believer come on guys. As for the Basketball man o man. Man o man, Man o man, no really Man o Man. Yes I'm excited.


FarSideHawk 6 months, 2 weeks ago

What happened to the KU vs UK, position by position analysis? That was keeping me going until tomorrow!


Chris1955 6 months, 2 weeks ago

The martini grail. I like that. It's always 5 o'clock somewhere.


Steve Gantz 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Sometimes this feels like a junior high newspaper. The headline "Dunks to be Displayed at Late Night" sounds very amateurish. Cool, 6' 10" guys dunking! With nobody guarding their paths to the hoop? Awesome! Or another way to look at it: Really? They'll dunk?

Sometimes I get tired of the rah rah nature of some of these articles.


Sparko 6 months, 2 weeks ago

The most important thing for this team to learn is defense. And as much talent as is here, there is still much to learn. Self will be on them, and rightly. With some athletic dee, the athletic offense will be stunning. But defense is what wins basketball games.


VailHawk 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Just had a crazy thought...if we go thru non-con undefeated will sports talk radio start asking if we're one of the best teams ever and could we beat the Bobcats?


Tony Bandle 6 months, 2 weeks ago


1] In the front row, have all girls only with the K-A-N-S-A-S-J-H-A-W-K-S painted on their chests. [Sports bras optional]!!!

2] The hell with the Fire Marshal....cram another 1000 folks into that big old barn.

3] Play the KU Video continuously throughout the entire game!!

4] Set off pyrotechnics after each KU Dunk!!.

5] Make sure Olivia Wilde has a front row seat for every game....and show her on the big board constantly!!

6] Have all the rich, old alums actually get up and cheer!!!

7] Have the KU Marching Band join the KU Jazz Band in the stands.

8] Only let in students to sit courtside on all four sides.

9] Serve beer in mass quantities!!


Hawk8086 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Note that Self was just out to see Vaughn. A head coach's work is never done. I know it is not year round, and obviously he makes a great living. But to juggle practive, recruiting (with it's own internal juggling act) he earns his money.


Phoggy_Notion 6 months, 2 weeks ago

I don't know if this has been touched on yet, but I like the connection.


jaybate 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Justin gets a stroke at last.

Justin is the forgotten 6-9 225 lb big with athleticism.

For two straight seasons he seemed at least a long shot to edge into some backup PT, because of lack of depth, but apparently could not cut it. Last season an injury hung him up. And he appears to lack much back to the basket game. But he can Sky and dunk and by now likely guard the post some without fouling. These are likely all the starting and backup 5 will be asked to do this season. And regardless, Justin is the quintessential scout team big man.

So: this season, his last, seems to offer him least chance of all, and that, my fellow board rats is sometimes, when shizz cometh and opportunity knocketh and the meek with lion's hearts inherit the third rock from Sol, if only for a few minutes.

Ask Conner Teahan and Christian Moody.

I want no bad to befall any of our bigs. None at all. But...

Of all the guys that have gutted it out waiting their turns for a crack in the stage door, I most hope Lady Luck shines on this senior.

I believe in you Justin. I believe you have been on this team for a reason beyond being a scout team big man. I do not know if your destiny is one key minute, or 5 minutes, or a half, or more. I just know that guys like you sooner or later are called on for something unforeseen and important. Stay ready. It seems impossible now. But it always seems impossible.

And then it happens.

Rock Chalk!


Dirtyphog 6 months, 2 weeks ago

I don't think I'll be able to sleep tonight, I'm heading down to field house after class, camping all day for late night. Basketball officially begins!! This should be a huge shock for recruits, one of the most anticipated late nights in a few years, a lot of excitement and a lot questions,. There will be growing pains but it's going to be a fun year


jaybate 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Naa might as well dawn a chef's hat and apron. He's a cook now with a lot of fresh ingredients. Combined correctly, he's going to be able to say bon a petit and mean it!


REHawk 6 months, 2 weeks ago

What with Black/Embiid/Lucas and all this speed and jump power, we might find our block stats topping last year's fine production.


bradynsdad 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Does anyone know if it's on Direct TV?


jaybate 6 months, 2 weeks ago

• Naa has been to the Coach Self Media Camp.

• Naa is giving Wigs the greatest gift he could give a potential superstar, like Wigs: strokes at his possible weakness (shooting) and a challenge for his strength (run and jump). Imagine how Jordan would have responded to a PG saying he was a good shooter, but Pippen was a little better on the dunk. Jordan would have gone over the scoreboard and then ripped off the rim.

• If Naa can keep pumping Selden an Wiggins, they are going to give him so much help on D that he won't have to worry about Marcus Smart.


REHawk 6 months, 2 weeks ago

truehawk93, speaking of "over rated" chants, I'd like to see some bonehead crowd like that Villanova fanbase back in Self's early years at KU try to ridicule THIS bunch. We might find as many as 3 members of this squad laying 25+ eggs on their flappers.


Joe Baker 6 months, 2 weeks ago

I just want the recruits to hear the enthusiasm, team concept, and relationships from this squad. It just seems this group has grown really well together. You can have talent and hype, but if they don't "buy" into the team idea, you've got nothing. They have to believe it deep down in their hearts for it to impact. You can say it, but to actually do it, is two totally different ideas. This team concept wins games and championships. The interesting thing about HCBS and KU's system is that it almost over emphasizes unselfish play. Many times, players are hesitant to step up for fear of being too selfish. Many of Self's teams and key players have been a bit too hesitant to dominate. The team needs to recognize key players each game, feed off their play, and allow them to take games over. It might be Wigs, Selden, Ellis, Tharpe, or a few other players that are producing the most and the team needs to allow that player to maximize their production during that night. That key player needs to realize the team is leaning on them and be accounted when they're needed to produce, but also recognize when to take advantage and when to yield. It's hard for these guys who are very humble to dominate when they're in the spotlight at this level. They're already a great team and have extraordinary chemistry early. HCBS and Co are to be commended so far on their team building progress. This should show on the court.

Have fun guys and Rock Chalk Jayhawk


wrwlumpy 6 months, 2 weeks ago

“I feel like people are definitely sleeping on him, not talking about him as much,” Tharpe said of Selden, 6-foot-5 from Roxbury, Mass., and the No. 12 recruit in the Class of 2013 by “I feel he’s just as great a player as Wiggins. Both together will only help us out.

I just slipped this quote back in, because the man who will be distributing the ball could easily lead the BIG12 in assist.


romejhawk 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Mac, it's on Cox 2022 in Wichita.


FearlessJayhawk 6 months, 2 weeks ago

I can hear the rims rattling already and I live in Ohio.


Machawk 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Does anyone know if Late Night is being televised on Friday night? If it is, what channel can it be viewed on in the Wichita area? Thanks.


jvhawk22 6 months, 2 weeks ago

I agree overseas. Never heard of a kid writing a letter to the town he played high school ball in thanking them for their support. Pretty humble kid for the next lebron


Phil Leister 6 months, 2 weeks ago

The attitude and humility of Wiggins continue to amaze me.


Michael Luby 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Heck ya, I get to break this one in first. Question; Will FGCU have to concede the "Dunk City" label to KU this year?


Commenting has been disabled for this item.