The end of KU’s always-dreaded preseason boot camp finally arrived Wednesday morning, after eight grueling, early-morning sessions during the past two weeks, with every member of the 2017-18 Kansas basketball roster smiling and still in one piece.
“They did well,” KU coach Bill Self told the Journal-World Wednesday afternoon. “Everyone completed everything and did well.”
Seven of the 14 players on KU’s roster participated in boot camp for the first time, making Self’s confirmation that everyone survived all the more impressive.
While KU’s official basketball Twitter account posted pictures of the final day, along with a group shot of the team standing tall after it was all over, KU senior Devonte’ Graham took to Snapchat to post a celebratory video of him and his teammates relaxing in the locker room after the final day of this year’s boot camp and the final boot camp run of Graham’s career.
With that, the Jayhawks now will get a few days off to relax and recover before officially opening the 2017-18 season Saturday night with Late Night in the Phog.
Despite their crazy schedule of boot camp, class, tutoring and work in the weight room, the Jayhawks still have found time during the past couple of weeks to fit in Late Night practices, not for the basketball portion but for the skits and dancing that comes before it.
The year’s event, which will be headlined by Grammy-nominated rap star Lil Yachty, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m. for KU students and 5 p.m. for the general public, and all seats are handed out on a first-come-first-served basis until Allen Fieldhouse reaches capacity.
Checking in on Carey
According to Corey Evans, a national basketball analyst at Rivals.com, members of the Kansas coaching staff were in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, on Wednesday to check in on forward Vernon Carey, the No. 1 overall prospect in the Class of 2019.
Carey, a 6-foot-10, 230-pound athletic and powerful forward from University High, is regarded by Rivals.com’s Eric Bossi as a “strong and skilled” big man who also is a solid shooter. Bossi calls Carey “the most skilled, most polished” big man in the 2019 class and adds that “he has a college-ready body.”
Landing Carey will be an absolute battle, with the talented junior already holding an impressive list of offers from the likes of Kentucky, Louisville, Florida, North Carolina and UCLA, along with KU.
Shortly after placing head coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich on administrative leave, Louisville learned that two Top 100 players in the Class of 2018 who had pledged their services to the university had elected to de-commit.
Guards Anfernee Simons (No. 16 in the class per Rivals.com) and Courtney Ramey (No. 39) both announced their intentions to reopen their recruitments.
Pitino and Jurich were placed on administrative leave after the school acknowledged on Tuesday that its men's basketball program is part of a federal investigation into alleged bribery of recruits.
According to multiple reports, Simons, a 6-2, 175-pound, five-star guard from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida (the same school as KU commitment Silvio De Sousa), was one of the more impressive players on the Under Armor AAU circuit this summer.
At the time of his commitment, Simons did not have an offer from KU, according to Rivals.
Ramey, a 6-3, 170-pound, four-star point guard from Webster Groves High in Missouri also did not have a KU offer according to the Rivals database.
The Cardinals now have zero commitments in the 2018 recruiting class.