Preparing for a bigger role in his sophomore season, Kansas forward Mitch Lightfoot wants to continue adding strength and adding to his game.
Showcasing his touch from behind the 3-point line, Lightfoot scored 22 points in Bill Self's camp scrimmage on Wednesday at Horejsi Center.
"I talked with coach (Self) after the season, I'm going to have to be able to stretch the floor," Lightfoot said. "As a stretch-four man, that's a big part of my game. But I also have to be able to guard the big guys. I was guarding Udoka (Azubuike) in there and stuff like that. I have to be able to do both."
Confident in KU's frontcourt — Lightfoot, Azubuike, Jack Whitman, Billy Preston — Lightfoot said depth won't be an issue in the upcoming season.
"He's picked up where he left off, if not more," Lightfoot said of Azubuike. "Athletic as all gets out. I think he's just going to be a monster this year."
After scoring 17 points in Wednesday's camp scrimmage at Horejsi Center, Kansas freshman forward Billy Preston talked about his role of playing in the paint and on the perimeter.
"Coach (Bill) Self in practice don't let me take any breaks," Preston said. "Any time I'm just roaming around the perimeter, any time I find myself doing that, he's the first to say something to me, get me in a position he needs or he feels would be best for the team."
Preston showcased all parts of his game Wednesday, hitting a 3-pointer, mid-range jumpers and driving to the rim for dunks.
After a quiet performance in last week's scrimmage, he admitted he made it a focus for himself to play better.
"Last week, I was kind of nervous," Preston said. "First time playing with the guys, playing against the alumni. I didn't play so well, but this following week, I made a commitment to myself to play harder and better."
Playing for the second straight week in a camp scrimmage Wednesday, Kansas sophomores Malik Newman and Udoka Azubuike made several highlight-reel plays to lead the Crimson squad to a victory against their teammates.
Heating up from behind the 3-point line, Newman scored a team-high 21 points while Azubuike added 18 points with his dominance in the paint.
Check out more highlights from the intrasquad scrimmage provided by Devonte Graham, Billy Preston, Mitch Lightfoot, Charlie Moore, Lagerald Vick and others.
It may have been mostly drills, but Kansas freshmen Billy Preston and Marcus Garrett made several highlight plays in a practice in front of Bill Self campers on Tuesday at Horejsi Center.
Along with plays from Preston and Garrett, check out a few of the highlights provided by seniors Devonte’ Graham and Jack Whitman, juniors Lagerald Vick and Dedric Lawson, sophomores Udoka Azubuike, Malik Newman, Mitch Lightfoot and Charlie Moore.
After practicing against the Kansas men's basketball team, including a scrimmage in Bill Self's camp game, former KU guard Elijah Johnson is happy with what he's seen from the Jayhawks' backcourt.
Headlined by Devonte' Graham and Malik Newman, Johnson believes there's tons of potential for the upcoming season.
"I think we've got some weapons," Johnson said. "Although a lot of people haven't been on the floor for us yet, I think coach will whip them up. I don't think this team is going to be one step behind any other team."
Johnson played overseas in several countries last season, finishing in Turkey, which gave him an opportunity to face off against former teammate Tyshawn Taylor — where they both scored more than 30 points.
Back in Lawrence for a pair of scrimmages, former Kansas guard Mario Chalmers had an opportunity to run up and down the court against many of the current Jayhawks.
That included matching up against KU's potential starting backcourt of Devonté Graham and Malik Newman, who impressed him with their play.
"They are going to be great. I have high expectations for both of them, especially Malik Newman. They’ve got to pick up the slack from Frank (Mason) and they are two good guards that we need up top.”
The Blue squad came up just short of a victory at the 2017 Rock Chalk Roundball Classic, but the former Kansas basketball players who returned to Lawrence to raise money for families impacted by cancer provided plenty of highlights for the fans who packed Free State High.
Check out some of the dunks, 3-pointers and baskets scored by Ben McLemore, Jeff Withey, Tyshawn Taylor, Tyrel Reed, Perry Ellis and other members of the Blue team in a 104-101 loss to the Crimson squad.
Rock Chalk Roundball Classic scoring:
CRIMSON (104): Mario Chalmers 22, Wayne Selden 16, Cole Aldrich 15, Mario Little 4, Drew Gooden 2, Sherron Collins 18, Elijah Johnson 10, Billy Thomas 6, Brady Morningstar 4, Nick Bradford 2, Guest Jayhawk 5.
BLUE (101): Ben McLemore 32, Tyshawn Taylor 20, Perry Ellis 11, Jeff Withey 12, Tyrel Reed 7, Tyler Self 3, Christian Garrett 4, Darnell Jackson 2, Kenny Gregory 2, Jeff Graves 2, Jeremy Case 6.
Back in the Rock Chalk Roundball Classic for another year, former Kansas guard Ben McLemore highlighted the charity event with several dunks en route to a game-high 32 points.
Prior to the event, McLemore reached out to Brian Hanni, who organizes the game, about returning this season because it’s a chance to give back to kids.
“When I made it to the NBA, it’s giving back to the community and the kids because it starts with the youth and helping them guys,” McLemore said.
Heading into his fifth season in the NBA — he averaged 8.1 points per game this year with the Sacramento Kings — McLemore is eager to showcase his potential.
“Obviously you guys can see what I can do,” he said. “I hope everybody around the world and the league knows what I can do as well.”
Former Kansas players returned to Lawrence to put on a show for the ninth-annual Rock Chalk Roundball Classic at Lawrence Free State High.
The Crimson Team, which won 104-101, featured plenty of highlights from Wayne Selden, Mario Chalmers, Cole Aldrich, Mario Little, Billy Thomas, Sherron Collins, Elijah Johnson and many others.
Chalmers scored a team-high 22 points.
Back on the court after a transfer season, Kansas redshirt sophomore Malik Newman was thrilled to return to action in a scrimmage against former KU players Wednesday afternoon.
Newman, who transferred from Mississippi State, scored 18 points in the scrimmage at Horejsi Center. With high expectations for the upcoming year, Newman was happy to showcase some of the skills he's been working on.
"I just feel wiser," Newman said afterward. "I'm more confident. I think I'm probably the most confident that I've ever been right now. I just feel like the guys that I have around me, they want me to succeed and I want them to succeed."
Newman is expected to headline KU's backcourt alongside senior Devonte Graham. Newman averaged 11.3 points during his freshman season at Mississippi State.