Monday, August 22, 2016

KU basketball takes next step toward 2016-17 season

Kansas head coach Bill Self has a chit-chat with point guard Frank Mason during the second half on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self has a chit-chat with point guard Frank Mason during the second half on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.


After holding a team meeting on Monday, Kansas coach Bill Self and his Jayhawks will officially begin preparations for the 2016-17 season on Tuesday.

As he expected, Self confirmed to the Journal-World on Monday afternoon that every player on his roster returned from summer break in time for Monday’s meeting and the team was now ready to begin turning it up a notch.

NCAA rules dictate that coaches can work with their players for up to two hours per week prior to the first official practice — 42 days before the regular season opener — and Self said recently that he planned to use that time to set the tone for what’s ahead.

“I don’t think it’s gonna be anything different than what we’ve been doing,” Self said Saturday. “But we’re gonna turn it up. We’ve actually had a pretty lax summer. We’ve had a good summer, we got a lot done, but they haven’t been stressed, so it’s time to start stressing ’em.”

Asked if he looked to anything specific as an indicator of what kind of shape his players returned in, Self pointed to the changing times as reason not to worry.

“Nothing,” he said. “I mean, we just saw ’em three weeks ago. Things are so different now. Even though the first official practice doesn’t start until a certain date (Oct. 1, Late Night), the rules allow you to still practice two hours a week until then so it’s kind of anticlimactic, the first practice.”

That doesn't figure to come as any kind of surprise to the KU players, many of whom are entering their third, fourth or even fifth seasons under Self.

During a Sunday interview with Fox Sports Kansas City, senior point guard Frank Mason III indicated that he and his teammates were well aware of what was headed their way during the next couple of months, a stretch that will include preseason conditioning, boot camp (Sept. 19-23), Late Night (Oct. 1) and the first official closed practice (Oct. 5).

“Expectations are still the same," Mason said. "The faces change, but like our coaches say, the expectations stay the same no matter who’s here at the program.”

Big 12’s new account

The Big 12 Conference officially unveiled its newest Twitter account on Monday, @Big12DN, a place where all of the conference’s digital content can be both featured and discussed with the creators themselves.

The Kansas basketball program was prominently displayed during the 42-second promo video announcing the new account. Video of a Wayne Selden three-pointer and ensuing bench eruption, one-on-one interview with Perry Ellis and wide shot of the sea of students at Allen Fieldhouse are packed into the announcement of the new Twitter handle. Only Oklahoma football, which opens the 2016 season ranked third in the Associated Press preseason poll, got as much love as Bill Self’s program.


Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 1 month ago

Love Frank's eyes. He looks like he is in full concentration practically all of the time. What a great team leader. Along with Devonte, they well could be the best guard combination in the country this year.

Humpy Helsel 6 years, 1 month ago

So let's imagine what Coach is saying to him. I'm going with, "Frank, number 22 out there is punking you. Can't believe you're letting him get away with that. Why don't you give him your girl friend while you're at it."

Dirk Medema 6 years, 1 month ago

Wish I could sit in on that first team meeting or any of them for that matter. Coach Self is such a master program, player manager.

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 1 month ago

Great comment, Humpy. You're probably right because Frank looks like he has daggers coming out of his eyes.

Dittos also, Dirk. That would undoubtedly be an eye-opening experience. It's clear that practically all players, past and present, are huge Bill Self fans.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 1 month ago

Another positive step toward the 2016-17 season would be to release the full schedule!

Humpy Helsel 6 years, 1 month ago

How about, "Frank, would you just smile out there once! We're up by 30 with 2 minutes left."

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 1 month ago

I hope you're right again, Humpy. If so, Coach could take a little of his own advice. Just kidding.

He has put out a smile or two from the bench at the proper time. I particularly remember Coach's enthusiasm when we came from behind to beat Mizzou in Lawrence in our National Championship game season with Thomas Robinson, et. al. leading the way.

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