Thursday, October 9, 2014

Talent show: Top preps expected for Late Night

Jayhawk fans look to draw the attention of the cameras during Late Night in the Phog, Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Jayhawk fans look to draw the attention of the cameras during Late Night in the Phog, Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.


If it weren’t against NCAA rules, Kansas University could hold a heck of a high school all-star basketball game Friday night in Allen Fieldhouse.

A whopping 16 senior, junior and sophomore blue-chip recruits have said they will be in the stands for the 30th-annual Late Night in the Phog, which will start at 6:30 p.m. Doors open at 3 p.m. for the event. Admission is free.

Five of the prep seniors —’s No. 2-rated Jaylen Brown, No. 10 Stephen Zimmerman, No. 14 Carlton Bragg, No. 18 Brandon Ingram and No. 19 Tyler Dorsey — are making official visits. The rest are on unofficial visits.

“Obviously, you can’t bring in 10 officials (visitors), but we bring in a few or several,” KU coach Bill Self said Wednesday on KC 610 radio. He has spoken with at least three radio stations, two TV stations and a batch of print reporters this week publicizing Late Night, which he hopes again fills Allen Fieldhouse to capacity.

“If you look at our situation from a selling standpoint, if kids are going to sign before their senior season starts, then really we and most schools have only one chance to get a really hyped atmosphere basketball-wise, where they (prospects) can see people in the building. That’s what we are selling a lot — the building, the atmosphere. Guys want to know what it’s like to play there on game day,” Self added.

Brown is a 6-foot-7 wing from Wheeler High in Marietta, Georgia; Zimmerman a 7-foot center from Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman High; Bragg a 6-9 forward from Cleveland’s Villa Angela St. Joseph High; Ingram a 6-8 wing from Kinston (North Carolina) High; and Dorsey, a 6-4 guard from Maranatha High in Pasadena, California.

Juniors to attend: No 4 Jayson Tatum, 6-7 guard, St. Louis Chaminade; No. 6 Malik Monk, 6-3 guard, Bentonville (Arkansas) High; No. 13 De’Aaron Fox, 6-3 point guard, Cypress Lakes High, Katy, Texas; No. 28 Marques Bolden, 6-9 forward, DeSoto (Texas) High; No. 42 Schnider Herard, 6-10 center, Prestonwood Christian, Plano Texas; No. 66 Nick Rakocevic, 6-10 forward, St. Joseph’s, Westchester, Illinois; and No. 93 Tyler Cook, 6-8 forward, St. Louis Chaminade.

Sophomores to attend: No. 2 Troy Brown, 6-6 point guard, Las Vegas Centennial; No. 24 Mitchell Ballock, 6-4 combo guard, Eudora High; unranked Trae Young, 6-1 combo guard, Norman (Oklahoma) High; and unranked DaMonte Williams, 6-2 point guard, Peoria (Illinois) Manuel. Williams is the son of former Illinois guard Frank Williams, who played for Self at U of I.

Self, who did not mention any recruits by name in accordance with NCAA rules, said Late Night is more than a recruiting tool. He stated it’s big for fans, especially those who can’t land tickets to games during the season, and of course his players, who love the reaction to their scrimmaging and their skits and dancing.

“I think it’s good preparation for the young guys, to see how they react in front of a crowd the first time,” Self said. “From an excitement standpoint, this is something our players look forward to each and every year. I know they are excited about it.

“There doesn’t seem quite as much hype around it this year as there was last year with Wigs (Andrew Wiggins). We’ve got four good young players (Cliff Alexander, Devonté Graham, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Kelly Oubre Jr.), and our fans are really, really going to enjoy watching those guys play the first time out.

“We encourage everybody to get there and get there early. They’ve eliminated any problems with the people not being able to get in and kind of bum-rushing the doors. That’s been eliminated. This is going to be a great event and hopefully as good as we’ve ever had.”

An early 3 p.m. entrance time should allow for a less hectic scene than last year, when students rushed the doors and pushed fans out of the way to enter the building at 5:30 p.m. for the 6:30 show.

Self said Kansas City Royals fans shouldn’t be scared away. KC will play Baltimore in Game One of the ALCS at 7:10 p.m. Friday.

“We’ll be doing things from the big screen to keep everybody posted,” he said of progress of that game. He’s even suggested it could be a “basketball and baseball pep-rally this year.”


Mike Riches 8 years, 1 month ago

College basketball is fortunate to have several incredible venues, but there is only one Phog! Rock Chalk!

Rodney Crain 8 years, 1 month ago

For the love of everything holy, let's get a commitment from someone!

Gerry Butler 8 years, 1 month ago

well seein as how a lot of the higher recruits have stated they will not commit-sign until late don't hold your breath on getting any commitments right after or shortly after late night. GREAT RECRUITING tool for the hawks and yes several schools hold their late nights but I don't believe very many can draw any kind of comparison to the late night in the phog and yes this night will stick in these recruits minds, they won't forget the atmosphere and see what its like at KU on a game night. BUT having said that several have said they are not going to commit till late. now can things change? can they change their minds? hell ya, they are 17, 18 yr old kids but with a lot of these same recruits also going to big blue madness just don't hold your breath that they are going to just commit right after the phog. just chill out, relax the HAWKS are going to be just fine. coach self will get players, and he will get good players, there seems to be this sense of panic because no one has committed and that's a little extreme I think. you remember when coach self first started he wasn't getting the caliber players we are now ad we still did just fine. we have had 4 yr players that did a great job for us, they all don't have to be in the top 10 ranked players for KU to be successful. Zimmerman isn't signing a LOI at all. we will be fine, we always will when you have the caliber of coaching staf we have. lookin forward to another great season. GO HAWKS

Rodney Crain 8 years, 1 month ago

Are you sober when you post these rambling circular posts that contradict points you just made? Let's see how Cal does after his big night a week later. There are only 24 top 70 recruits who have not committed. Time to panic, no, but the music is winding down and there are only so many chairs left. If you want a top 30-70 player ther are 8. Those are the players that are likely going to be around your program for a few years.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 1 month ago

Ok Gerry I am going to guess and say maybe your elevator does not make it all the way to the top floors. I think you are using a derivative of some kind of English but it is really hard to follow with so many words missing a g? I was going to write that off to your keyboard missing the g key, but that is not the case either. You actually have to bypass spellcheck to spell it wrong so it appears you are doing it on purpose. Unusual use or lack of cApS too. Back to my point, your posts are very hard to follow with the unusual grammar/spelling/caps. You also make a point than say "having said that ...." Where you contradict what you just said. Do you just not want anyone to read or reply to your posts? No need to reply I am good either way.

Adam Collins 8 years, 1 month ago

Late Night will be on Watch ESPN ( If you have a cable subscription that includes ESPN, you can get it there. Personally, I'm going out to watch the Royals game then coming back to stream the replay on Watch ESPN. Looks like it's a benefit from that huge deal KU signed with ESPN a year or two ago.

Zach Mitts 8 years, 1 month ago

I'm guessing that this is the same deal, where if you live in within the state of Kansas, or the KC Metro area, you have to have the specific cable provider (eg. Time Warner if you're in KC) to see this on ESPN3, otherwise it will be blacked out. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Shannon Gustafson 8 years, 1 month ago

That is correct. I've got U-Verse and it's blacked out (as were all of the ESPN3 games last year). I'll be relying on the replay, hoping it's available Saturday.

Chris Nieto 8 years, 1 month ago

You forgot Marcus LoVett Jr. from Chicago. Ranked # 90 (Rivals) class of 2015 PG. 5-10 170 lb.

Gary Bedore 8 years, 1 month ago

LoVett is not attending. That visit is not happening after all, at least at this time.

Stan Unruh 8 years, 1 month ago

The Royals playoff game may get rain …and rained out..… Go to the Phog early.

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