Kansas University basketball teammates Kelly Oubre Jr. and Landen Lucas meet with the media to discuss the first day of coach Bill Self's preseason Boot Camp.
Landen Lucas set the alarm clock next to his bed in Jayhawker Towers for 4:45 a.m. Monday.
“I had to make sure I got up and ate and all that,” Lucas, Kansas University’s 6-foot-10 sophomore forward from Portland, Oregon, said, assuming nutrition might help him during Bill Self Boot Camp sprints and drills from 6 to 7 a.m. in Allen Fieldhouse.
“I got up at 5. That extra 15 minutes will help me out,” 6-7 freshman guard Kelly Oubre, Jr., chimed in, sarcastically, with a smile.
The two Jayhawk basketball players were in the best of spirits Monday afternoon after surviving the first of nine or 10 Boot Camp workouts as well as a class or two on campus.
“It was great this morning. The team did well. As a freshman, I’m adjusting to the lifestyle that I’m living right now,” said Oubre, a New Orleans native who played last season at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada.
“I’m working hard, still trying to pave my way. It’s a great experience right now. I’m just loving life.”
The two weeks of Boot Camp precede the 2014-15 season. Practice begins on Oct. 3. Late Night in the Phog is Oct. 10.
“Everybody did great. No trash cans got used today, so we made it through day one just fine,” Lucas said, asked the inevitable question whether any Jayhawks puked during the workouts. There have been stories of Jayhawks losing their breakfast in past Boot Camps.
“I feel everybody is coming together as a team. People realize we are getting close to the season,” Lucas added. “Everybody is going to push through it. People are going to struggle, but that happens every year. I think this year people are very determined to get through it and get through it strong.”
Svi doing well: Oubre on KU freshman Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, a 6-8 freshman from Ukraine, who arrived on campus last week: “We love Svi, man. We welcomed him with open arms to the team just like we do everybody else. He’s been getting along great. He’s a young kid, but he’s maturing fast. That’s all we could really ask for.
“He’s in great shape. I don’t know what they feed him over there in Russia. He’s in great shape.”
Summer tour: Lucas averaged 10.5 points and 12.5 rebounds a game in four games for Athletes in Action in an August tour of the Baltic States.
“My challenge was to every game get a double-double. I knew points would come somehow, mainly from offensive rebounds, but I definitely wanted to lead the team in rebounding. I did that over there,” said Lucas, who had 16 boards in one of the games.
“I think it really helped with my confidence. I got clocked in about 25 to 30 minutes a game. It was good to really get in and see what it was like again. It was an adjustment playing with a different team and different coach, but it gives you a new appreciation for why you chose Kansas, the way we do things here. As far as off the court, it was great for my religion to get closer to God.”
Camps helped Oubre: Oubre drew rave reviews for his performance at three camps this summer — the Kevin Durant and LeBron James skills academies and Adidas Nations event.
“A lot of confidence came from those camps (with top college and high school players). I saw I could match up and be more spirited than these guys that are in college and have been in college for longer than I have,” Oubre said. “Going against the best guys at my position and other positions, it just helped me boost my confidence. It got me more excited to make this championship run, because I know we have a great team this year. I’m just ready for the season.”
Visits: Self was to hold an in-home visit with Stephen Zimmerman, a 7-foot senior center from Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas on Monday night. Today, he will visit with Ivan Rabb, 6-9 senior from Bishop O’Dowd High in Oakland, California. Rabb is ranked No. 7 and Zimmerman No. 10 in the Class of 2015 by Rivals.com.