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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

7th annual Ladies Night Out with Bill Self another rousing success

Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self conducts as Scouting seminar with a group of women at Wednesday's 7th annual Ladies Night Out event at KU.

Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self conducts as Scouting seminar with a group of women at Wednesday's 7th annual Ladies Night Out event at KU.

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Whether it was Bill Self’s comedy, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk’s singing or all of the photo shoots, autograph sessions and behind-the-scenes exposure more than 400 women got to their favorite college basketball team, Wednesday night’s 7th annual Ladies Night Out with Kansas basketball was a rousing success.

“Yeah, this is fun,” Self said during Wednesday’s event. “And the ladies seem like they’re into it and this is a good group. Plus, it’s for a great cause.”

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Julie Foster, of Shawnee Mission, spends a minute imagining what life is like in KU freshman Mitch Lightfoot's jersey during Wednesday's Ladies Night Out with Kansas basketball.

That cause is to support Lawrence Memorial Hospital and Jayhawks For a Cure as part of October’s breast cancer awareness month.

After a short video celebrating Kansas basketball, Self introduced his coaching staff and mixed in material more suited to stand-up comedians, cracking jokes at the expense of his coaches and players that had the crowd rolling.

After quickly introducing themselves, the Jayhawks opened the floor for a Q&A; with KU freshmen Udoka Azubuike, Josh Jackson and Mitch Lightfoot delivering the microphone and a hug to the women asking the questions. The questions inquired about everything from superstitions and excitement about the season to where the seniors see themselves one year from now and a request for an update on hospitalized academic advisor Scott “Scooter” Ward, whom Self said continued to do remarkably well and eventually was expected to make a full recovery.

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Jana Weltmer, of Olathe, shares a fun moment with Kansas freshman Josh Jackson during Wednesday's Ladies Night Out with Kansas basketball event at Allen Fieldhouse.

One woman who raised her hand and took the mic from Jackson, quickly revealed that she did not have a question but simply wanted a hug. Another asked Self why he blows into his hands while taking the court before home games.

Self joked, “It’s cold in here,” before revealing the superstition dates back to his days at Tulsa and Illinois and it helped win a bunch of games.

“Until it doesn’t work, I guess we’ll keep going with it,” he added.

From there, the women broke into groups and went to various stations including a photo-and-autograph experience in the practice gym, Scouting 101 with Self and an introduction to strength and conditioning with Andrea Hudy.

While the women in attendance clearly enjoyed themselves, the night was fun for more than just those who coughed up money for a good cause to be there.

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Kansas sophomore Carlton Bragg Jr. poses for a fun photo with a group of women who attended Wednesday's Ladies Night Out with Kansas basketball event at Allen Fieldhouse.

“It’s always fun for us to see all the people and talk to them and make it fun for them and fun for us,” said junior Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, who was asked to lead the team in a rendition of “Happy Birthday” to around 20 women in attendance who have birthdays this week. “I’m not a really good singer, but I guess I had to do it. (Coach Self) was happy and funny like he always is.”

None by Matt Tait

Practice update

The Jayhawks on Sunday held their first scrimmage of the 2016-17 season, complete with officials, a clock and a scoreboard.

Even though Self said the team had improved from the start of practice, he was not all that impressed by his team’s performance during the scrimmage.

“It’s been better,” Self said of practice. “We scrimmaged Sunday and we did not look good at all. But it was a great teaching tape because the guys saw how poorly we executed and really how we didn’t play with near as much effort as I thought we would. We’re certainly a lot better than we looked that day, but that tape was pretty eye-opening for a lot of our guys. We did not look like a very good team in our first scrimmage.”

Asked for his read on why Sunday was a little sluggish, Mykhailiuk pointed to the ongoing process of bringing newcomers into the system.

“We’ve got a lot of young guys and we just need to practice and make them feel better with our offense and defense,” Mykhailiuk said. “Just try hard, try to learn a lot, like always.”

Bragg sits

Self said sophomore forward Carlton Bragg missed Wednesday’s practice because of a minor back problem.

Bragg, who was a full participant at Wednesday night’s Ladies Night Out event, appeared to be moving around well on Wednesday night and Self said the issue was not a concern.

“Yeah, he just had back spasms or whatever,” Self said when asked if Bragg was OK. “It just locked up on him.”

Comments

Mallory Briggans 4 years, 11 months ago

I know this is a bit off topic but i feel is something that i have to comment on in regards to the big 12 not expanding.......it is obvious that the networks had a hand in the decision but what does that mean to the legacy of KU basketball?.....The fact that KU has done what only UCLA and Gonzaga have done in regards to consecutive conference championships......I would hate to think that what KU has done now be a footnote in the history of a conference that no longer exists....the team that has an asterisk behind what it did ....in a league that is no more.Does that mean the banners hanging in the rafters have less meaning........To think that all the meaningful records and highlights of a conference that once was will be stored in some old dusty warehouse somewhere.I will enjoy this run and this program as long as the big 12 is still the big 12......we cant take what did with us to a new league ......it will be like starting over again ....but we will be o.k..........where ever we go...

Suzi Marshall 4 years, 11 months ago

I've been thinking about this way more than a sane person should but have concluded there will always be a Big 12 or some variation of is so long as UT and OU want it to exist. KU, especially with Bill Self at the helm, will always be very tight with OU

I really believe the conference aligns along along a UT/OU/KU axis and those three schools are working behind the scenes, especially UT, to build a strong 20 team conference, which would include old partners like NU, MU, CU and perhaps TAMU. UH will also be included. There is just way too much firepower, money, and pride in Texas, Oklahoma and Houston to ever be anything other than the top tier in anything.

Our new Chancellor will be one of the most critical choices in the school's history, academically and athletically. KU's cause would certainly be enhanced if we can pull of a National Championship soon. We can all thank God we have Bill Self as our captain.

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 4 years, 11 months ago

Suzi - I enjoy your posts and passion. You're informed and respectful. I've got to ask though where you got this 20 team conference idea? I can't imagine at least two of those four that left the conference would have any interest at all in returning (TAM & NU) and the other two are probably feeling pretty good now as well.
I've not heard or seen anything at all that would lead me to believe that this is happening. Do you have some insider info?

Suzi Marshall 4 years, 11 months ago

Nobody associated with TAMU wants to come close to appearing like they are crawling back to UT, same for MU or even NU. However, all three of those schools fit best with the Big 12. NU left on principal. TAMU left because of years of abuse from UT. MU left because they were stupid. In the end, it's all about money and these guys, the KU/UT/OU triumvirate, will quietly work very hard on this and will never ever take a backseat to anyone when it comes to marketing and monetizing their products.

I'd love for KU to to play in the B1G and believe we'd be a great fit, especially with our huge Chicago Alumni base but our primary place is with OU/OSU/NE/ISU/CU even MU and Texas. Kansas should only leave the Big 12 if OU leaves, which they won't. OU will take OSU with them where ever they go. I'm not sure if KU has that kind of clout to drag along KSU.

No way do I have any inside information but like most every one else, have numerous close friends at KU/UT/OU that donate respectable amounts to their Williams Fund equivalents .... passionate about their schools.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 11 months ago

Karen, I can't remember the source, but I read about Texas and their 20-team super-conference a couple of weeks before the "vote". It may have been Kierkhoff with the Star - I do know that it was someone reputable enough that it got my attention.

I think that UT, if this is a serious issue, is living in a Texas-induced fog. The Horns think that they have way more pull than they actually have - especially nationally.

This conference officially ended on Monday. KU needs to get out and get into a real conference as quickly as it feasibly can.

Suzi Marshall 4 years, 11 months ago

Brett, like it our not UT is special. They have leveraged a unique 'Permanent University Fund' plus the value of many individual campus endowments built on individual donations into a prestigious university

The permanent fund, established in 1876, helps support the UT and Texas A&M University systems. The revenue of this fund comes from 2.1 million acres of West Texas lands that produces two streams of income -- oil and gas royalties and surface interests such as grazing leases. Annual distributions from the total return on all investment assets is transferred to the Available University Fund, with two thirds going to the UT System and one third to the A&M system. Here is an old article from 2012 that explains this way it works: http://alcalde.texasexes.org/2012/07/how-ut-shares-its-endowment/

You tell me what other University system has this kind of revenue base? Even in the most Socialist/Communist systems, the Golden Rule (He who has the Gold makes the Rules) has been operational through human history.

Jim Stauffer 4 years, 11 months ago

While I don't see this happening it is the best idea I have ever heard concerning the league. The payouts to the teams would also more than likely be pretty close to the SEC and Big 10 if you could get all those teams together.

Robert Brock 4 years, 11 months ago

Texas is just too full of itself; Texans want to resurrect the SWC. KU should say goodbye to Texas and hello to the B1G.

Jay Scott 4 years, 11 months ago

You think Texas wants to be in a conference with Rice and SMU....that's comically stupid.

Layne Pierce 4 years, 11 months ago

Kind of gets into the interesting topic of what is a conference anyway. It used to be teams with a certain geographical and cultural affinity. Now it is simply a corporate structure.

The distances and time that these conferences demand of student athletes are a mockery.

The Big 8 in its heyday was everybit of that, but Missouri, and Nebraska saw the writing on the wall. KU would be a good fit in the Big 10, because of academics and AAU status. I think Nebraska would help us get in, so they could kill us again in football.

Oklahoma likes its connections to KU, and so they could help us in post Big 12 breakup.

The fact is that if the networks already have their list of 64, and KU is not on it, then going to court for anti-trust is probably our only option.

Not expanding because networks don't like it, basically means that the Big 12, really as a conference, probably does not exist, it is at best a loose confederation of teams waiting to go somewhere else.

Jay Scott 4 years, 11 months ago

Those are some fine 80's shorts that Bragg is sporting..

Harlan Hobbs 4 years, 11 months ago

Since the article is about Ladies Night at KU (a marvelous tradition), it seems only fitting that the ladies take a bow for their posts. All of you have great insights on KU athletics and the future. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and thoughts.

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