Thursday, October 3, 2013

Dunks to be on display at Late Night

Jayhawk fans get psyched up Friday while packing into Allen Fieldhouse for Late Night in the Phog.

Jayhawk fans get psyched up Friday while packing into Allen Fieldhouse for Late Night in the Phog.


Kansas University’s basketball players don’t compete in a formal dunk contest during Late Night in the Phog festivities in Allen Fieldhouse. Sometimes they do, however, rattle the rims in the layup lines prior to a short scrimmage that concludes the three-hour proceedings.

“I try to tell the dudes on the team I think the best dunker is Wayne Selden,” said KU junior point guard Naadir Tharpe, assessing skywalking talent on the 2013-14 squad entering Friday’s 2013 Late Night, to run from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in Allen.

“Wiggs (Andrew Wiggins) jumps real high. His athleticism is out of the question. He’s had a couple dunks already that made me want to call a timeout, stop play in the gym. When it comes down to tricks, though, I think my man Wayne has got it.”

Those aren’t the only two Jayhawks who likely will dunk with flair at the 29th Late Night.

“‘Mari’ definitely ... we’ve got Justin Wesley as well, too,” Tharpe said, rattling off a list of KU’s athletic slammers that include sophomore Jamari Traylor and senior Wesley. “But I’ve got to go with my man, Wayne (as best on team). He’s got a couple tricks up his sleeve.”

Suffice it to say, 16,300 fans will be anxious for the dunking — and shooting — debuts of freshmen Wiggins, Selden, Brannen Greene, Conner Frankamp, Frank Mason and Joel Embiid on Friday. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with the show starting an hour later.

“I feel like people are definitely sleeping on him, not talking about him as much,” Tharpe said of Selden, 6-foot-5 from Roxbury, Mass., and the No. 12 recruit in the Class of 2013 by “I feel he’s just as great a player as Wiggins. Both together will only help us out.

“Andrew hits jumpers, he is ridiculously fast getting up the floor, and a lot of people say he can’t shoot the ball very well, but from what I’ve seen, he can shoot the ball really well,” Tharpe added of Wiggins.

Tharpe says Wiggins is definitely worthy of his status as an elite player in college basketball.

“He’s really good. I’m not going to give everybody the full scoop. You’ve got to wait for the season to start,” Tharpe said. “He’s real athletic, plays really hard. He’s going to be able to play a lot of positions for us on the court. I think that’s what’s going to be most important.”

Wiggins, 6-8 from Thornhill, Ontario, and the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2013, said he’s ready to roll in making his KU debut.

“Late Night ... yeah, that’ll be fun,” Wiggins said with a smile, “everybody dancing, having fun, scrimmaging. I’m ready to step out here in front of everybody for the first time. I’ll be nervous — a good nervous, not bad.”

Asked whom the fans should look forward to seeing dunk the basketball, besides himself on Friday, he said: “Eh, Wayne, J. Wes (Wesley), Mari, Perry (Ellis).”

Will he outdo his new teammates? “I don’t know. We’re going to have to see. I don’t know,” Wiggins said.

Vaughn update: Rashad Vaughn, a 6-5 senior shooting guard from Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., will visit UNLV on Nov. 25, reports. The No. 7-ranked player in the Class of 2014 will reschedule a trip to North Carolina, originally set for last weekend. KU coach Bill Self on Sunday was in Vaughn’s hometown of Minneapolis to visit with Vaughn’s family members. KU and Arizona hope to secure official visits for the player who also has Minnesota, Kentucky, UCLA and Iowa State on his list.


Michael Luby 9 years ago

Heck ya, I get to break this one in first. Question; Will FGCU have to concede the "Dunk City" label to KU this year?

nuleafjhawk 9 years ago

Maybe we could dig up one from the past: Phi Slamma Jamma

Displayhawk 9 years ago

Rock Chalk Rim-Rattler's or Rock Chalk Rim-Rippers

Phil Leister 9 years ago

The attitude and humility of Wiggins continue to amaze me.

RJ King 9 years ago

Yeah. Shame on all the knee-jerk, "we don't want Wiggins," blowhards on this site who prematurely labeled him as an arrogant attention-seeking kid before letting his official announcement, summer, and fall speak for itself. Fortunately their negative attitude, lack of patience, and judgmental nature has been overshadowed by Wiggins' exceptional personality and character.

hawk316 9 years ago

It appears more and more that Mr. Wiggins is no Prima Donna. How refreshing to see a kid so grounded in a world filled with such ridiculous hype.

jvhawk22 9 years ago

I agree overseas. Never heard of a kid writing a letter to the town he played high school ball in thanking them for their support. Pretty humble kid for the next lebron

Machawk 9 years ago

Does anyone know if Late Night is being televised on Friday night? If it is, what channel can it be viewed on in the Wichita area? Thanks.

FearlessJayhawk 9 years ago

I can hear the rims rattling already and I live in Ohio.

Mick Allen 9 years ago

It is on Metro[37] on WOW in the Lawrence area.

wrwlumpy 9 years ago

“I feel like people are definitely sleeping on him, not talking about him as much,” Tharpe said of Selden, 6-foot-5 from Roxbury, Mass., and the No. 12 recruit in the Class of 2013 by “I feel he’s just as great a player as Wiggins. Both together will only help us out.

I just slipped this quote back in, because the man who will be distributing the ball could easily lead the BIG12 in assist.

Joe Baker 9 years ago

I just want the recruits to hear the enthusiasm, team concept, and relationships from this squad. It just seems this group has grown really well together. You can have talent and hype, but if they don't "buy" into the team idea, you've got nothing. They have to believe it deep down in their hearts for it to impact. You can say it, but to actually do it, is two totally different ideas. This team concept wins games and championships. The interesting thing about HCBS and KU's system is that it almost over emphasizes unselfish play. Many times, players are hesitant to step up for fear of being too selfish. Many of Self's teams and key players have been a bit too hesitant to dominate. The team needs to recognize key players each game, feed off their play, and allow them to take games over. It might be Wigs, Selden, Ellis, Tharpe, or a few other players that are producing the most and the team needs to allow that player to maximize their production during that night. That key player needs to realize the team is leaning on them and be accounted when they're needed to produce, but also recognize when to take advantage and when to yield. It's hard for these guys who are very humble to dominate when they're in the spotlight at this level. They're already a great team and have extraordinary chemistry early. HCBS and Co are to be commended so far on their team building progress. This should show on the court.

Have fun guys and Rock Chalk Jayhawk

Joe Baker 9 years ago

After posting and remembering Selden's style of play, something tells me he's not going to be too bashful when it comes to stepping up to the moment. Wigs can step up too, especially after over his "over rated" experience.

Who are winners and who wants the ball?

Benz Junque 9 years ago

Selden is going to go Marshawn Lynch "Beast Mode" this year. He looks like a guy that is going to simply truck a few opponents this season. This is going to be a very entertaining year. I have no expectations as far as wins or titles or Final Fours; I just expect this team to be one of the most enjoyable KU teams in recent history (which is tough considering that I LOVED watching last year's team).

Let's hope that Wiggins and Selden have a "friendly" battle between the two of them as to who can make the most jawdropping plays over course of the season.

Robin Smith 9 years ago

Well said.

Golly it's hard to pick from all these amazing seasons. They've each been so special in so many ways. We could have a fun game trying to rate our favorite seasons in the Bill Self era -- and that game could go on and on.

RJ King 9 years ago

Great visual. I'd seen some pretty good runners at Cal, most recently Justin Forsett, Shane Vereen, Jahvid Best and Deshawn Jackson at WR.

But the first time I saw Marshawn break through, I said, "oh . . . my . . . God." Stunning. Let's hope there are no sprained ankles. Here's to a healthy, injury-free season.

REHawk 9 years ago

truehawk93, speaking of "over rated" chants, I'd like to see some bonehead crowd like that Villanova fanbase back in Self's early years at KU try to ridicule THIS bunch. We might find as many as 3 members of this squad laying 25+ eggs on their flappers.

Michael Luby 9 years ago

hahaha! Yah that was Sick when Chalmers and Robinson got some payback against them in the 08 tourney.

jaybate 9 years ago

• Naa has been to the Coach Self Media Camp.

• Naa is giving Wigs the greatest gift he could give a potential superstar, like Wigs: strokes at his possible weakness (shooting) and a challenge for his strength (run and jump). Imagine how Jordan would have responded to a PG saying he was a good shooter, but Pippen was a little better on the dunk. Jordan would have gone over the scoreboard and then ripped off the rim.

• If Naa can keep pumping Selden an Wiggins, they are going to give him so much help on D that he won't have to worry about Marcus Smart.

REHawk 9 years ago

jb, a coupla days ago posters were in heavy debate about team leadership. Tharpe is certainly stepping into that role with shiny shoes.

jaybate 9 years ago

Part 1

I never worry a whit about leadership. Leadership always emerges among a team. I worry about skills and ability on offense and defense. :-)

If Naa is as accomplished on defense, as he is with the media, then we are startdust, we are golden...

Naa is in a situation somewhat reminsicient of Mike Warren on UCLA's first Jabbar team. There is enough length on this team that being 5-10/6-0 at the point is not a defensive problem if he can just stay in front of his guy enough, while crowding a bit out side that his guy has to go around him, rather than fake him out of position and blow right by him. Warren was a great athlete, who could both crowd taller guys on the perimeter and force them to go around him. So could Jaque Vaughn. So could Aaron Miles. So could Sherron. But those three KU guys were bulls and Naa seems much more a finesse type player, despite the increase in his cut'n'buffness last season and this; that is why I recalled Mike Warren; that and you and I are old enough to remember Mike. :-)

Naa does not have a Jabbar behind him on this team, but in TAR-ik and the center committee behind TAR-ik, he has guys that can muscle and give fouls and some that can get up and swat, too. These are not guys Marcus Smart is going to want to see much of up close.

Add Perry, Wigs, Selden, and the rest on the wings, and there is a lot of length that can close from the wings on anyone trying to score via an in between game on Naa, too.

And whether Naa shoots .33 from 3 again does not matter. He just needs to develop the same kind of court vision and sense of required buffer between he and his opponent when he is on defense that he evidences on offense.

But I reckon he will get some open looks and knock a few down, too.

Which brings me to the backup issue.

Frank Mason will be a fine backup for staying small, if Self says so, and he does.

But Self is going to have to figure out a long backup. I hope Selden and Wiggins both get some backup time on point in pre-conference, so that teams at least have to prepare for it.


I know Slayer and many others have tired of the TOs and indiosyncracies of tall point guards after Tyshawn and EJ, but IMHO that fatigue should not be directed at tall point guards, but rather at the two that we have just had. Tyshawn and EJ each had shortcomings that being 6-0, or 5-10, would not have cured.

jaybate 9 years ago

Part 2

And it is even somewhat deceptive to talk about Tyshawn and EJ having been tall point guards. Tyshawn was at most 6-3. EJ, though promoted at KU as being a rangy 6-4 point guard, was we learned subsequently just another 6-2 college point guard that was battling a lot of limitations unrelated to height.

Naa and Mason are both listed a 5-11 in Self Inches, which means they are both probably 5-9.

5-9 is incredibly short in today's game.

5-11 is a little short.

You can get away with these short heights on offense, if your job is water bugging and dishing, especially if you are strong as a bull on top.

But on the defensive end, you are at a huge disadvantage in team-oriented m2m defense every time down the floor and you are eventually schemed on and exploited by a good offensive guard standing even just 6-2.

Self faces a serious decision on defense with these two short point guards, and with green perimeter defenders that probably cannot be counted on for much help defense till much later in the season.

Either he has to use Selden or Wiggins at the point for stretches of m2m, or when Naa and Mason cannot control their longer opponent, or Self has to do the same, but for less time, while playing zone.

Self can play some zone with Naa and Mason in the game at point and stem the tide on scheming on Naa's and Mason's short heights. And he can also put Selden, or Wiggins, on point, and play zone and sit both Naa and Mason. Long zones are the most effective zones. Probably KU's best long zone will be a 3-2 with Selden, White and Wiggins outside, and Perry and the committee at the 5 inside.

But for 9 of 10 opponents, KU can get by with Naa and Mason at the point despite the lack of height.

Or so it seems to me without having seen any of them play a lick yet.

Michael Luby 9 years ago

+1 man. Im excited about Smart vs Selden. Selden goes beast mode on Smart and Wigs rips the rim off.

bradynsdad 9 years ago

Does anyone know if it's on Direct TV?

bad_dog 9 years ago

There is a "Smart Search" function available on DT.

REHawk 9 years ago

What with Black/Embiid/Lucas and all this speed and jump power, we might find our block stats topping last year's fine production.

Michael Luby 9 years ago

Nah, that is Withey's legacy and his record and his alone for quite some time. Not that I wouldn't like to see a repeat this year.

jaybate 9 years ago

Naa might as well dawn a chef's hat and apron. He's a cook now with a lot of fresh ingredients. Combined correctly, he's going to be able to say bon a petit and mean it!

REHawk 9 years ago

Got his own recipes. No Barilla Pasta.

jaybate 9 years ago

Now, coach, you can't be writing things like that and expect to be treated nicely by the caribineri on your next trip to Italy!

But I get the point.

Dirtyphog 9 years ago

I don't think I'll be able to sleep tonight, I'm heading down to field house after class, camping all day for late night. Basketball officially begins!! This should be a huge shock for recruits, one of the most anticipated late nights in a few years, a lot of excitement and a lot questions,. There will be growing pains but it's going to be a fun year

Evan Bilyeu 9 years ago

Do you think coming around 3 is a little late?

jaybate 9 years ago

Justin gets a stroke at last.

Justin is the forgotten 6-9 225 lb big with athleticism.

For two straight seasons he seemed at least a long shot to edge into some backup PT, because of lack of depth, but apparently could not cut it. Last season an injury hung him up. And he appears to lack much back to the basket game. But he can Sky and dunk and by now likely guard the post some without fouling. These are likely all the starting and backup 5 will be asked to do this season. And regardless, Justin is the quintessential scout team big man.

So: this season, his last, seems to offer him least chance of all, and that, my fellow board rats is sometimes, when shizz cometh and opportunity knocketh and the meek with lion's hearts inherit the third rock from Sol, if only for a few minutes.

Ask Conner Teahan and Christian Moody.

I want no bad to befall any of our bigs. None at all. But...

Of all the guys that have gutted it out waiting their turns for a crack in the stage door, I most hope Lady Luck shines on this senior.

I believe in you Justin. I believe you have been on this team for a reason beyond being a scout team big man. I do not know if your destiny is one key minute, or 5 minutes, or a half, or more. I just know that guys like you sooner or later are called on for something unforeseen and important. Stay ready. It seems impossible now. But it always seems impossible.

And then it happens.

Rock Chalk!

Michael Luby 9 years ago

Dr. Moody. Nice guy. Met him at KUMC when he was making rounds.

wrwlumpy 9 years ago

Jaybate, may I suggest this for your new avatar?

jaybate 9 years ago

Thanks for the thought, wrw, but Nimitz was too great of a man for me to use his picture.

Jack Wilson 9 years ago

Oh, and the cup of Christ is reasonable then??

jaybate 9 years ago


To get all anal on you, HEM, my old avatar was not THE cup of Christ. It was the grail of the basketball Christ. :-)

I made a new temporary avatar, until I can find something more permanent. Think of it as the basketball martini grail. :-)

Phoggy_Notion 9 years ago

I don't know if this has been touched on yet, but I like the connection.

Hawk8086 9 years ago

Note that Self was just out to see Vaughn. A head coach's work is never done. I know it is not year round, and obviously he makes a great living. But to juggle practive, recruiting (with it's own internal juggling act) he earns his money.

Tony Bandle 9 years ago

That's why KU has two private aircraft and crews..Bill and Charlie are constantly on the miove.

Tony Bandle 9 years ago


1] In the front row, have all girls only with the K-A-N-S-A-S-J-H-A-W-K-S painted on their chests. [Sports bras optional]!!!

2] The hell with the Fire Marshal....cram another 1000 folks into that big old barn.

3] Play the KU Video continuously throughout the entire game!!

4] Set off pyrotechnics after each KU Dunk!!.

5] Make sure Olivia Wilde has a front row seat for every game....and show her on the big board constantly!!

6] Have all the rich, old alums actually get up and cheer!!!

7] Have the KU Marching Band join the KU Jazz Band in the stands.

8] Only let in students to sit courtside on all four sides.

9] Serve beer in mass quantities!!

Michael Luby 9 years ago

For real. Brilliant. Especially #'s 1 and 5

VailHawk 9 years ago

Just had a crazy thought...if we go thru non-con undefeated will sports talk radio start asking if we're one of the best teams ever and could we beat the Bobcats?

Hawk8086 9 years ago

I like your thinking.........but yes it is crazy.......not gonna happen. We're too young.

Sparko 9 years ago

The most important thing for this team to learn is defense. And as much talent as is here, there is still much to learn. Self will be on them, and rightly. With some athletic dee, the athletic offense will be stunning. But defense is what wins basketball games.

Steve Gantz 9 years ago

Sometimes this feels like a junior high newspaper. The headline "Dunks to be Displayed at Late Night" sounds very amateurish. Cool, 6' 10" guys dunking! With nobody guarding their paths to the hoop? Awesome! Or another way to look at it: Really? They'll dunk?

Sometimes I get tired of the rah rah nature of some of these articles.

Jonathan Allison 9 years ago

Sometimes I get tired of the boo bah nature of some of these comments.

nuleafjhawk 9 years ago

I'm tired, sick and tired of love

I've had my fill of love

From below and above

Tired, tired of being admired

Tired of love uninspired

Let's face it I'm tired

RJ King 9 years ago

Stop. Yer givin' me a Chick Hearnia.

RJ King 9 years ago

Massive Mustard Slide to be Displayed.

Chris1955 9 years ago

The martini grail. I like that. It's always 5 o'clock somewhere.

FarSideHawk 9 years ago

What happened to the KU vs UK, position by position analysis? That was keeping me going until tomorrow!

FarSideHawk 9 years ago

I am really enjoying these Drgnslayr. Looking forward to the three spot where you can finally write pages on the higher ranked prodigy instead of BBall. :)

DoubleDD 9 years ago

A little shout to the Jayhawk football team. I'm a believer come on guys. As for the Basketball man o man. Man o man, Man o man, no really Man o Man. Yes I'm excited.

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