Alonzo Jamison has been catching some good-natured ribbing a week and a half after Kansas' season-opening "Late Night With Roy Williams" basketball practice.
"People call me `Arsenio' instead of Alonzo. I had a professor call me `Arsenio,''' said KU's junior forward who played talk-show host Arsenio Hall during a pre-practice skit at Allen Fieldhouse.
Will ``Arsenio'' become his official nickname?
"I hope not," the Santa Ana, Calif., product said. "I have a nickname."
"Bam Bam," Jamison said. "The guys say I don't know my own strength."
The 6-5, 235-pounder's strength has been tapped at recent practices. Daily two-hour workouts under third-year coach Roy Williams have been tough.
"IT'S TOUGH every year so I'm used to it in that respect," Jamison said. "I think it's more intense this year. It has to be because of all the newcomers."
The Jayhawks have been working on conditioning and basic fundamentals.
"It's mostly defensive drills," said Jamison, looking forward to the next KU scrimmage on Tuesday night at Lee's Summit, Mo. "We're trying to get the technique down. Things like the passing game evolve now. From what I've seen we'll be very competitive. We will not roll over for anybody."
Northwestern transfer Rex Walters says preseason workouts here have been more involved here than those at the Big Ten school.
"I think the big difference is there aren't as many water breaks here," he said, grinning. "The coaches push you hard, harder than I've ever been pushed before including high school. It's basically business. You don't talk back. You listen and you do it."
EVEN WARMUPS are intense.
"Practice is really two and a half hours because it takes a half hour to stretch," Walters said. "When practice starts, there's a greater pace and emphasis on teaching. The coaches are teaching us basic offensive and defensive philosophy. Fundamentals like catching, turning, pivoting, blocking out, defensive stance. It's not just going out and playing your hardest. You have to do the basic things well."
Walters admits it's been tough practicing knowing he can't play in games this season in accordance with NCAA rules.
"It is tough. Coach Williams pulled me over after a practice and said `It's up to you how good a defensive player you want to be.' He said if I didn't improve on defense I probably wouldn't play much here. I kind of took it to heart."
KU basketball notes
Forward Mike Maddox, who has a strained back, has been doing some running and court-work during practice sessions, but is not full-speed yet. . .
KU will scrimmage Nov. 4 in Dodge City. The first game is an exhibition against the Australian Nationals Nov. 9 at Allen Fieldhouse. . .
KU still has two verbal commitments from SM South's Greg Gurley and Texan Greg Ostertag. The early signing period begins Nov. 15. . .
Calvin Rayford, a 5-9 guard from Milwaukee, visited the campus last weekend. . .