Friday, October 4, 2013

Late Night offers first look at KU stars

Lights flash throughout the student section as basketball fever sets in during Late Night in the Phog, Friday, Oct. 15, 2010.

Lights flash throughout the student section as basketball fever sets in during Late Night in the Phog, Friday, Oct. 15, 2010.


Bill Self stood outside the northwest tunnel of Allen Fieldhouse at 3:45 p.m., Thursday, checking his phone for the forecast on

“It’s going to be hot in here tomorrow night,” Self, Kansas University’s 11th-year basketball coach, exclaimed.

He, of course, was referring to KU’s tradition-rich building, which, following an upper 80-degree day, figures to be filled to 16,300 capacity — and sizzling for the 29th-annual Late Night in the Phog.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. today, for a show set to run from 6:30 to about 9:30. Admission is free. Any overflow fans can watch on the videoboard at KU’s Hoglund Ballpark.

“My first year was unbelievable. We brought back the ‘88 team. I think they turned a lot of people away at the door,” Self said. “Every year it’s full. I do anticipate this being one of the most anticipated Late Nights we’ve had.”

KU fans are itching to get an up-close look at eight newcomers, including freshman sensation Andrew Wiggins, who is expected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-8 Thornhill, Ontario, native, who is known for his athleticism, hasn’t disappointed during the first handful of practices of the 2013-14 preseason.

“The last practice we had, he actually had this dunk on the baseline. Me and coach looked at each other. I said, ‘That’s not normal,’” junior point guard Naadir Tharpe said with a smile.

“When you play with someone that good, you kind of get stuck in passing. You want to watch and see what he’s going to do. You can’t be like that. I have to make sure the ball is moving and nothing sticks,” Tharpe added.

Wiggins — he has impressed teammates by showing no signs of ego — figures to become a fan favorite sooner rather than later.

“Yes, Drew can live up to ... it depends on what expectations we’re talking about,” said senior power forward Tarik Black. “Some expectations are just inhumane, like c’mon now, he’s a human being. He’s not going to be perfection. But at the same time if you are just holding him to a higher standard that he’s going to be a great player, yes, Andrew can achieve that, no problem. He has potential that is through the roof,” Black added.

Wiggins awed 800 youths, plus a couple hundred adult fans when he raced in and dunked to open a Bill Self campers game in June in Horejsi Center.

“He blew me away from the first time he stepped on the court,” Black said of Wiggins, whose parents will be here tonight, visiting from Canada.

“The video is on YouTube. It was the first play of the camp game. He took off on Cole Aldrich and Cole looked up like, ‘No, I’m not jumping.’ You are talking about an NBA guy in Cole Aldrich and a good shot blocker. From day one it’s been like, ‘Wow we got him.’ It’s a matter of him making up his mind, ‘I can never plateau. I can never be as good as what people are saying. I have to continue to get better,’” Black added.

Wiggins acknowledged he might be a tad bit nervous tonight.

“A good nervous, not bad,” he said.

“I’m pretty sure everybody will be nervous, even me a little bit,” said sophomore Perry Ellis. “It shows you care.”

The players will perform a skit or two — word is broadcasting legend Max Falkenstien is in one of them — scrimmage for 20 minutes and of course, do some dancing.

“When we got introduced and came out (during Midnight Madness his three seasons at University of Memphis) we had the opportunity to do our own dance, came out to our own little song. It wasn’t choreographed like it is this year. Man ... our choreographers think we’re Chris Brown backup dancers,” Black said, smiling. “They think we’re professionals but we’re going to get it down. We’re going to have fun and make it an eventful evening.”

As far as Black’s own dancing ability ...

“I have a move or two. I’m not too bad contrary to what it may look like,” the 260-pounder said.

And as far as his teammates ... “We’ve got some guys you wouldn’t expect to be able to dance that actually can dance,” he said. “A guy like Perry. I didn’t think Perry had it in him but Perry has moves. I can’t wait to see him tomorrow night,” Black said.

The KU women, who will scrimmage, dance and act, also have five freshmen newcomers raring to go.

“We came here last year on our visit,” said freshman Dylan Gonzalez, who joins Bonnie Henrickson’s squad with twin Dakota. “We were like, ‘We can not wait to be part of this.’ The dancing, the traditions, the people.

“We like to think we have better dance moves than the men, but I think they think they have the upper hand on us,” she added.

The three-hour show figures to be ... “craziness,” Black said. “I’ve heard so much about it. I’ve been through some (Midnight) Madnesses. I’m expecting this to be another level because of how highly-touted it is.”

By the way, the first four fans started lining up outside the fieldhouse doors at 6 p.m., Thursday.

Self on KU’s early-season practices: “OK. It hasn’t been great. I don’t think anybody (in coaching) is too excited right now about their team. Obviously we’ve got some good players, some good athletes, but the pieces don’t quite fit yet. We’ve got another five or six weeks to figure it out.”

He said KU’s youngsters are thinking too much. “ I think we’re going through a phase right now; we’re throwing a lot at them and we’re kind of paralyzed right now,” Self said.

On the point guard battle: “It’s not Naadir versus Frank (Mason) ... it’s whoever makes our team better,” Self said. “Naadir is ahead if it was a contest, in large part because he knows what he’s doing and he’s been around. Frank is one of those kids who tries real hard. When he gets it, he’ll get it. It’s a situation where he’s thinking a lot.”

Interviews: Self is planning on reducing the interview load on Wiggins, who has met with several national outlets and done two group sessions with local reporters this summer and fall.

“I don’t know if it’s a set-in-stone plan, but we’re cutting it off. He’s not going to do basically anything until ... right before the Champions Classic (Nov. 12). He’s done too much already. The thing about it is, we’ve got some other good players, too, and everybody just wants to talk to Andrew. That’s not right. That’s not representative of who we are,” Self said.

“He’s handled it pretty well. He doesn’t enjoy it like you would think a normal 18-year-old kid would. He’s tired. He’s come to us and asked, ‘Do I have to do GQ (Magazine)? Do I have to do Sports Illustrated? Why do I have to do these?’ Well there’s some you do have to do. Those are two of them. As far as local stuff, no disrespect to anybody, but he’s not going to be available every day for interviews.

“We’re not protecting him; there’s a lot of coaches out there who don’t let your kids talk ‘til Christmas. It’s a long season. There’s no reason for a kid who’s never gone through anything before with extended practices to get worn out before you really ever get started.”

Recruiting: KU will have three senior recruits on campus today — No. 4 Cliff Alexander, 6-8 power forward from Chicago Curie High; No. 12 Kelly Oubre, 6-7 shooting guard from Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev.; and No. 17 Malik Pope, 6-8 small forward from Laguna Creek High in Elk Grove, Calif. Juniors likely to attend Late Night as identified by No. 11-rated (in Class of 2015) Charles Matthews, 6-4, combo guard, Chicago St. Rita; No. 14 King McClure, 6-3 combo guard, Dallas Triple A Academy; No. 39 William Jackson, 6-4 point guard, Athens (Ga) Christian School and No. 68 Jarvis Johnson, 6-1 point guard, Minneapolis (Minn.) De La Salle. No. 9 Elijah Thomas, 6-9 forward, Lancaster (Texas) High, hopes he’ll be able to attend.

“It would have been perfect (recruiting weekend) but USA Basketball scheduled their young future star weekend to work out this weekend. Of course I have a good relationship with those guys,” Self said of USA hoops officials. “That was disappointing. We probably would have had four or five more guys here. We’re obviously using it as a recruiting weekend. I can’t talk about it (specific recruits). I hope everybody leaves impressed.”


Bill Skeet 4 years ago

“The last practice we had, he actually had this dunk on the baseline. Me and coach looked at each other. I said, ‘That’s not normal,’” junior point guard Naadir Tharpe said with a smile.

^^^^^^^ Best quote ever?!!?!

For those of you who get to attend in person, treasure it. I envy you and will be watching on espn3. I have to take solace in my memories (and t-shirts) from the first couple of Late Nights with Larry.

They were great, but this year, Late Night is really at a different level.

Chris Shaw 4 years ago

Uh-oh! Guess what day it is?? Guess what day it is! Huh…anybody? Jaybate! Hey…guess what day it is?? Ah come on, I know you can hear me. HEM HEM HEM HEM HEM HEM… What day is it HEM? Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Oakville/Ralster, guess what today is?

Whoot Whoot!

grenck 4 years ago

Settle down big fella. The old folks are in bed.

Jack Wilson 4 years ago

Yes, I hear you BigMan .. It is THAT day!

jaybate 4 years ago

• Trust me, KU women, no man has better dance moves than a woman...even if they don't dance.

• “The thing about it is, we’ve got some other good players, too, and everybody just wants to talk to Andrew. That’s not right. That’s not representative of who we are,” Self said.

Self is about to learn why John Wooden was eager and relieved the seasons after Jabbar and Walton left. On the other hand, Self is about to taste greatness. Stay grateful everyone.

• The officials are out to subvert our recruiting? Nice to see Coach Self getting out the sarcasm fonts already.

Ken Sedgwick 4 years ago

jaybate I hardly recognize you in your new duds.

kennethst 4 years ago

Always comforting to come back on this webpage in the fall and see good old faithful Jaybate! Some things never change.....and in his case I'm thankful for it!! 3 year old will soon be a 4 year old.......She keeps asking when the Jayhawks will play again. She still can't quite figure out where they went in March.

jaybate 4 years ago

She is obviously a deep thinker.

Tell her they went away to "get better" and now they are coming back.

LaFriends 4 years ago

And a 3 year old will ask, "Were they sick?" ;)

DDDHawk 4 years ago

Is tonight on any other TV station besides espn 3? I have Cox and live in Wichita. Thanks

Christopher Hauser 4 years ago

Channel 2122 in wichita if you have cox. Cox has two cox kansas stations now. 2022 and 2122.

kerbyd 4 years ago

I think channel 22 will also carry it on cox.

Christopher Hauser 4 years ago

22 non digital and 2022 have the kansas high school game of the week on tonight so looking on my television guide Late Night is only listed on 2122. Salina is the same way so I am assuming if one has cox digital throughout the state that is the station. Dont know if there is an analog station for 2122, I guess it could be 122, not sure though.

nuleafjhawk 4 years ago

“My first year was unbelievable. We brought back the ‘88 team. I think they turned a lot of people away at the door,” Self said. "

I think that was very disrespectful of the '88 team to turn away a lot of people at the door.......... * Danny and the Bouncers *

Do I have to make some sort of sarcasm disclaimer now?

VailHawk 4 years ago

We recognized the sarcastic font

JayHawkFanToo 4 years ago

There is a big difference between a period and a semicolon; as written, the paragraph shows separate sentences. Had he used a semicolon instead of a period it would have tied the '88 team to people being turned away. Slow day nuleafhawk?

nuleafjhawk 4 years ago

lol - someone is having a slow day, but it's not me. I'm just having fun, like usual.

(sorry if that ain't puntualizated and grammawterzided correctly)

Jack Jones 4 years ago

Yeah ~ it may have bee helpful to some of us old,"slow" folks.

Danny Hernandez 4 years ago

Anyone think Coach K scheduled the USA Basketball practice/event to conflict with our Late Night event thus depriving Coach Self of having additional seniors on hand?

Joe Baker 4 years ago

Maybe, but who cares. If that's what "they" have to do by gaining a slight edge in recruiting, then let him play politics. It won't work.

Robert Brock 4 years ago

Of the 2015 kids who MAY attend, I hope that McClure and Thomas actually make it to Allen Fieldhouse. Bedore never checks out the likelihood of their attendance or affirms their attendance. Maybe he will let us know what happens next week (he'll have to check with Shea Wildeboor).

Robert Brock 4 years ago

There are sources other than the coaching staff. Bedore is lazy.

milehighhawk 4 years ago

Shay confirmed McClure will be there - total of 8 recruits in attendance

Martin Rosenblum 4 years ago

Put a seismic monitor near the resting places of Phog Allen and Dr. Naismith tonight. I bet there will be some tremors.

dtdjayhawk 4 years ago

Seismic activity is being felt here in Chicago, reports say it is coming from Allen Fieldhouse !

notjustbread 4 years ago

how long is the line this morning? I am in CO and think I can see the end of it over here in Denver.

Tim Orel 4 years ago

I'm with you in the virtual line. Just wish I could watch espn3. Major sad.

notjustbread 4 years ago

Stupid century link. Makes me want to kick rocks on their windows.

VailHawk 4 years ago

Line just reached me and it's snowing

Joe Baker 4 years ago

“It would have been perfect (recruiting weekend) but USA Basketball scheduled their young future star weekend to work out this weekend. Of course I have a good relationship with those guys,” Self said of USA hoops officials. “That was disappointing. We probably would have had four or five more guys here. We’re obviously using it as a recruiting weekend. I can’t talk about it (specific recruits). I hope everybody leaves impressed.”

Hmmm...this is intriguing to say the least. IT'S LATE NIGHT IN THE PHOG

Jack Wilson 4 years ago

kD - I always like your intel. It is too bad Turner isn't here. And it's a bit curious that Jaquan Lyle isn't here. Maybe the "Self isn't interested" info is correct.

Jack Wilson 4 years ago

Maybe he doesn't need a visit, given his comments. And maybe if Alexander comes, he comes. But it's weird that if they are joined at the hip, Lyle wouldn't join Alexander at late night.

Christopher Hauser 4 years ago

I am also in wichita and was told it will be on 2022 but it is not so i did a little searching online only to discover that their are actually two cox 22 digital stations. Late night is on 2122 in Wichita with cox at 630

Andrew Cox 4 years ago

MAN I AM PUMPED!!! I must say that it is a pleasure to read Tarik's interviews, he seems like a smart young man that is ready to play and knows what has to be done to win.

Kyle Cornish 4 years ago

Curious what the LJW staff or anyone knows on the expectations of Landen Lucas this year. I am excited to see what he can provide as Embiid learns and we need a breather for Black. Anyone know anything concrete on KU's staff thoughts? He seems to be lost in the shuffle.

Waylon Cook 4 years ago

Self stated he'd be a "load" this year. During an article last year on here.

Also UA transfer is banging inside in redshirt year.

Loaded is an understatement...

jajandera 4 years ago

i live in lincoln ne. this should be on kc metro station right?

Christopher Hauser 4 years ago

From what I have heard and read it will be on metro sports but I am not from KC so dont quote me on it. If you dont find it you can always go to espn 3 as well

Waylon Cook 4 years ago

Start of Championship run starts tonight!!!!!!!!!

Cody Stumma 4 years ago

Jeez, am I really the only one who finds Late Night boring?

I went to it 3 years ago and left because I felt it was a waste of my time.

KANSTUCKY 4 years ago

You should try the one in Lawrence, KS. Leno never really picked up after JC left.

4 years ago

Even though Late Night is going to be broadcast on ESPN3, isn't it still going to be blacked out in the KC Metro area as well as the state of Kansas, just like every other KU event?

Christopher Hauser 4 years ago

No, should be on metro sports in KC and if you have cox it will be on 2122, dont know about sat.

JayHawkFanToo 4 years ago

Only Time Warner and Comcast carry Metro sports in the Kansas City Metro area; Surewest ATT and Google do not. ESPN3 is showing the event as being scheduled but "subject to blackout."

If you click on the blackout map it says unavailable. For the first KU FBall game, it showed the entire state of Kansas and KC metro area blacked out. The concept of blackouts is so potential attendees will go to the event instead of watching it from home. Normally, when events are sold out, the blackout is lifted. Since this is a free event, I am hoping that the State of Kansas will not be blacked out; if it is, I will be very pi$$ed with Zenger.

jaybate 4 years ago

WigginsOfOz = best new alias!

Josh Galler 4 years ago

too bad I have Surewest I can not watch Late night tongiht as well as those games and plus is black out in the KC area.

Gary/Matt can one of you two take a look at why is KU is alinating many KU fansa nd ALumni in the KC Market?

Jack Wilson 4 years ago

Please tell me you're not a KU grad ...

Waylon Cook 4 years ago

If it said Mizzoualumn and couldn't spell I could believe it.


About what time would you need to get there to get a seat? about 5?

dtdjayhawk 4 years ago

Jason King just tweeted through ESPN that the lines are huge and more than 5,000 may end being turned away...


Already? How big is that baseball stadium?

dtdjayhawk 4 years ago

My guess is he just means not able to get into the Fieldhouse

David Leathers 4 years ago

KU Athletics reported that the Hoglund Ballpark Late Night viewing is cancelled. Might as well go home now and watch it

Ryan Houston 4 years ago

I have been to KC. Just hang out at that club across from the Sprint Center. They will probably broad cast it on that big screen. And the beers are only $7.


Is anyone going to that nba game at the sprint center next weekend?

ParisHawk 4 years ago

Well, 20$ a month is apparently not enough to get full ESPN3 service outside the US. If anyone knows where to bootleg the stream, and even better where to see an archive afterward, please let me know. Otherwise it's pray to Youtube...

Jack Jones 4 years ago

Richter report 5.8 here in Prescott, AZ ~ Oh, for a "pirated" source for the LIVE BROADCAST ~ almost worth a telephone link to someone who actually made it into the Center of the Basketball Universe ~ aka AFH. (316-734-4171) :-)

Jay Waxse 4 years ago

Anywhere to watch for someone without

Ben Berglund 4 years ago

It was streamed last year. I think I found a link for it on in someone's comments on here. Hopefully we'll be able to find it there again this year.

Marvin Blackburn 4 years ago

The clock just isn't moving fast enough... come on Late Night, hurry up!

Benz Junque 4 years ago

ESPN just SHUT OFF the live coverage of Late Night right in the middle of the women's scrimmage. Thank goodness I got to see the Women's golf team come out live but will miss the actual reason why ANYONE is tuning in to watch this. (Insert snarling sarcastic font here)

New Tier 3 rights contract with ESPN = EPIC FAILURE

What a friggin' joke. You suck, ESPN.

jnicho03 4 years ago

What a terrible night! I go to late night 4 hours before gates open and get in line for one of the side doors. Wasn't even close to getting in because everyone bum rushed the front doors and mobbed to get in. Not many tickets were handed out to determine if there is space or not.

I come home to watch on ESPN3 and since I have AT&T I am restricted from watching. KU better do something about this and fast! This is ridiculous. I have seen all but three games since I graduated in 1996. KU needs to provide everyone the opportunity to watch their games. I live in Comcast territory and they are the worst cable provider. When it rained I would be without service for a day or so. I would call and complain and they would usually get to it the next day or so.

Come on KU help us out that can't get Time Warner Cable!!!!!

Ryan Houston 4 years ago

D- E-F-E-N-S--E come on fellas. Good game otherwise


Waste of time. Some people who arrived about 5 rushed into the front doors in front of people who had been there at 10am in the morning. The athletic program needs to do a much better job of organizing this. Yeesh

Dale Stringer 4 years ago

I’m with you on this jnicho. The way they had the lines set up was terrible. It would have been better to not have lines at all and just let people crowd the doors to begin with. We got in line right by the statue and had worked our way back to the street and half way up to the next corner. Then the doors open and everyone behind us turns around and rushes to the doors. Two and half hours in line to be some of the farthest way. That's twice now that I got bumped out by line jumpers at a KU event (basketball team signing at SD football game). Z really needs to look into a way to keep order. I'm surprised no little kids were trampled. I mean it was like someone walked into the Mizzou Union and yelled that the clinic was giving out free penicillin shots, but only had 200 doses.

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