Bill Self: Late Night 2017 to feature entertainment young people will 'absolutely love'


Kansas students go wild as they watch a highlighting video during Late Night in the Phog on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas students go wild as they watch a highlighting video during Late Night in the Phog on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

With Late Night in the Phog now just five days away, the anticipation and preparation for the annual season tip-off event are beginning to reach new levels.

While the week leading up to Late Night typically drags for Kansas fans who have been counting down the days since the end of the previous season, it also brings with it a flood of memories from Late Nights past.

While those memories include celebrity appearances, on-court highlights and even memorable skits, musical guests and wild entrances, Kansas coach Bill Self said a couple of times this week that what the program has in store for this year’s event could rival anything that has come before it.

“We’ve got something planned this year that’ll have the line as long as it’s been to get in,” Self said during a television interview with Spectrum Sports, before adding on Rock Chalk Sports Talk on KLWN, “We’re gonna have well-known, live entertainment and young people will absolutely love it.”

Who, or perhaps what, that is remains to be seen (Self said he thought an announcement from KU was planned for Tuesday), but there is absolutely no uncertainty about the importance of Late Night to this program, its fans or the Jayhawks themselves.

“Our players love it,” Self told Spectrum. “There’s one thing about this place, and it’s this way at a lot of places, but there’s a lot of times where players, during the grind, they’re going, ‘Why are we doing this?’ We’re going through boot camp now and it ain’t easy. ‘Why are we doing this, why are we doing this?’ And then the second Late Night hits, ‘Ohhh, now I understand why we’re doing it.’ There’s a price to pay to be treated like that. And our guys certainly appreciate that.”

The other major piece of Late Night that goes beyond the current team or fun with the fans is the recruiting aspect, which, for the future of the program, is absolutely as important as any other part of the opening-night extravaganza.

Nearly two dozen prospects from multiple recruiting classes will be at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday — most of them as unofficial visitors — to get a feel for one of the biggest basketball nights in Lawrence each year.

“It’s a great tip-off to our season,” Self said on Rock Chalk Sports Talk. “And then, of course, from a recruiting perspective, it never hurts to have 16,000 in there watching the guys. So I’m excited to get going.”

For those of you who are right there with him and need something to help kill time while you count down the final hours, here’s a quick and brief look back at some of the highlights from every year of Late Night since the beginning with Larry Brown back in 1985.

Stay in touch with throughout the week for much more on this year's Late Night in the Phog.


Robert Brock 12 months ago

Surprise, surprise, surprise: The secret entertainer will be Ted Nugent.

Clara Westphal 12 months ago

It will not have to be much to eclipse what the last few years have been - mostly people on the floor wiggling around and calling is dancing. There used to be funny skits by the players and coaches. Not any more. Late night has become boring to watch.

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