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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Notebook: Late Night skits and videos were ‘one of the best’

Kansas guard Josh Jackson spins his dancing partner during the "Dancing With the Jayhawks" portion of Late Night in the Phog on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Josh Jackson spins his dancing partner during the "Dancing With the Jayhawks" portion of Late Night in the Phog on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Kansas coach Bill Self may have given his son Tyler a perfect 10 during Saturday’s Dancing with the Jayhawks portion of Late Night in the Phog.

But the 16,300 wild and crazy fans who packed Allen Fieldhouse for the 32nd annual season kickoff and voted for the winner via text messages proved that Self was not merely showing favoritism toward his son.

Joined by seniors Landen Lucas and Frank Mason III, Tyler formed Team Extreme, which shimmied and shook with three Rock Chalk Dancers to a song with a salsa vibe and the Dancing with the Jayhawks title.

“I think it’s very obvious to everyone in the building that all three of these youngsters come from parents with great rhythm and moves,” Self joked.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Late Night Q&A: Bill Self discusses KU basketball scrimmage

After the men's basketball Late Night in the Phog scrimmage ended in a 48-48 tie, KU coach Bill Self spoke to the media about the play from Carlton Bragg, Lagerald Vick and why he thinks this team has a ton of potential.

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After the evening’s festivities, which featured scrimmages from the men’s and women’s basketball teams, a performance by Kansas City-based rapper Tech N9ne and all of the energy and excitement that typically comes with Lawrence ushering in another season of Kansas basketball, Self offered more serious thoughts about his 14th Late Night in the Phog.

“I thought it was one of the best ones we’ve had,” he said, tipping his cap to KU’s marketing department. “To be real candid, it’s hard to keep coming up with something new. I think Josh (Jackson) being here adds to the excitement. I think the students being in school, rather than fall break, adds to it. I think the football team not playing tonight adds to it.

“What they did out there to entertain fans during the day (with the Phog Festival) was really cool. There’s not many places that can do it like that.”

As for the rest of the Dancing with the Stars spin-off the Jayhawks participated in, Team Fresh, featuring KU freshmen Jackson, Udoka Azubuike and Mitch Lightfoot, along with transfers Evan Maxwell, Malik Newman and Tucker Vang, came in a distant third, with KU assistant coach Norm Roberts saying during the judging, “They were awful. I don’t know what Udoka was doing.”

The Dream Team of Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Devonte’ Graham, Lagerald Vick, Carlton Bragg, Dwight Coleby and Clay Young pushed Team Extreme for the title, dancing to a remix version of Marvin Gaye’s “My Girl.”

After KU assistant Jerrance Howard gave it up to the group for their song selection, fellow assistant Kurtis Townsend pointed out that he spotted KU’s “first turnover of the year,” which came when Vick nearly dropped one of the Rock Chalk Dancers.

Self on Tech N9ne

As was publicized earlier this week, Tech N9ne performed for 20-30 minutes at Saturday’s Late Night, rocking the crowd and the student section at mid-court under a light show that featured crimson and blue lights and yellow strobes.

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Kansas City hip-hop artist Tech N9ne performs during Late Night in the Phog on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Asked what they thought about Tech N9ne’s performance, the Jayhawks who spoke with the media after the scrimmage had positive things to say.

“I was feeling it,” Bragg said.

Added Self when asked if he played a role in getting Tech N9ne to come. “That was marketing, although I will say, I know most of their hits by heart.”

He continued: “When we won it in ’08, they actually did a short album over our team that won the national championship. So I had that. I remember them coming up to me at Salty Iguana saying, ‘Hey, we did this for you.’ And I didn’t know who they were. It was Tech N9ne. There were about six songs on there that called out players name and stuff like that all throughout the deal. So I’ve been fans of theirs ever since they did that.”

Bill Self for President?

Late Night in an election year would not be complete without KU touting Bill Self for president. And judging from the sound of things when Self’s “political ad” popped up on the video board, the KU coach would have had unanimous support from those in attendance Saturday night.

Still, just for good measure, Self went ahead and pointed out a few of the reasons he would make a good president.

He pointed to the foreign policy experience he got with KU’s trip to Korea last summer and also pointed out how he had been to the White House after the 2008 NCAA title and his meeting with president Barack Obama on campus in Lawrence.

“I’ll let my record speak for itself,” Self said.

Bill Self for President, the promotional video uttered. “A winning tradition America can count on.”

The video was capped off with the classic line, “I’m Bill Self and I approved this message.”

Pregame honorees

Several Jayhawks were honored on the Allen Fieldhouse floor before Saturday’s skits, dances and scrimmages, most for academic achievement.

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Kansas track and field coach Stanley Redwine, left, stands with 2016 Olympic athletes Daina Levy, Kyle Clemons and Andrea Geubelle as they are honored before the Fieldhouse during Late Night in the Phog on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016.

Included among them, however, were three of the four Jayhawks who represented the United States in the Rio Olympics this summer, Andrea Geubelle (triple jump), Daina Levy (hammer throw) and gold medalist Kyle Clemons (4x400 relay).

Successful food drive

KU fans who filled Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday night made sure to bring a little compassion with them.

The food drive conducted at the doors to Allen Fieldhouse raised $1,910 and collected 2,100 pounds of food. All of the money and donations will benefit Just Food, the food bank based in Lawrence and serving Douglas County.

— See what people were saying about Late Night in the Phog during KUsports.com’s live coverage.


More news and notes from Late Night in the Phog


Comments

Joe Ross 5 years, 10 months ago

This was one of the best Late Night's I've ever been to, and I've been to a lot. The 3-on-3 tournament was surprisingly interesting. The dancing by the women was great, and the men's take on Dancing With the Stars was not terrible. Tech 9 was a hit!!! Im convinced that we need to do something like that every single year. Im sure the recruits enjoyed it. LaGerald Vick has SAUCE, man! Swag coming out of his ears. The Bill Self for President skit was not only timely, but it was his best thus far...clearly. No negatives tonight, and much to be very proud about. I think we have some things we can build on, but this just might be the best I've been to.

Curious why Beaty didn't show up though. Of course the other coaches weren't featured either (besides Schneider) but this seems like a departure from normal. When football becomes respectable again, I hope they will have the coach speak.

Nice seeing Matt again, and being officially introduced to Benton.

Oh, and if Carlton Bragg plays the rest of the season like he did at Late Night, not only will it be a magical season for the Hawks, but the kid could play himself into the first round on draft night.

Joe Ross 5 years, 10 months ago

One thing Ive never seen before at our Late Nite nor heard of from anyone else's is a crowd-participation line dance. Turn Naismith Court into a dance floor. We could do the electric slide, the wobble, or the cupid shuffle. It requires NO rehearsal, gets a crowd fired up, and would provide transition time for producers of late nite between major sections of the show. Basically zero dead time. AND A LOT OF FUN!

Again with the singers. I hope that the great performance by Tech 9 was not lost on KU. Amazing! It was the highlight of LN apart from the men's scrimmage.

Joe Ross 5 years, 10 months ago

Just spoke to a friend who went who said that besides the dancing, it looks like Kansas is "starting to get it" with it's Late Nite program. And he added that even though the dancing was terrible, the comments by the judges (Self, Howard, Roberts, Townsend) were hilarious!

Dillon Davis 5 years, 10 months ago

Still would have liked to see the 'Dream On' video worked in there but I agree, it was probably the best that I've ever been to. And the Phog Fest was awesome.

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