With No. 5 Kansas riding high in the national basketball rankings, KU officials Thursday unveiled a set of player trading cards to satisfy zealous Jayhawk fans.
"The interest level is there," said Kip Helt, director of marketing for the KU athletic department. "We get all sorts of calls from people wanting to know if we have cards."
The 1991-92 series features 18 cards that will be sold by the athletic department in packets for $5. There are 4,000 sets available, Helt said.
"Our hope is that they'll go fairly quickly," Helt said. "It's a very classy set of cards."
Helt said this set is a notch above the KU basketball cards offered in 1987-88, the year KU won its last NCAA title, and in 1988-89. No set was produced by KU last year.
JEFF DOLEZAL of J.D.'s Baseball Card and Sports Nostalgia Shop said the new KU cards are "beautiful."
"These are the best I've seen yet," he said. "They'll sell well."
Dolezal said the 1987-88 set is worth $20 to $35, but the set made in 1988-89 isn't worth nearly as much because of inferior quality.
Thirteen of the 1991-92 cards are of players on the active roster. Each has a color action shot on front and career statistics and biographical information on back.
Head coach Roy Williams, in his fourth season at KU, is the only member of the coaching staff to have his own card.
Bonus cards are a reproduction of the official team photo and a copy of "The O-ZONE" basketball poster, featuring co-captain Alonzo Jamison.
THE SET also has cards for Sean Pearson and Calvin Rayford, who must sit out this season for academic reasons.
"Those guys are as much a part of this team as Alonzo and Adonis (Jordan)," Helt said.
Helt said cards can be purchased at the Allen Fieldhouse ticket office during business hours and during games or by mail.
"To be honest, this was not a deal to make money," Helt said. "We think it's nice for this team. It's something to enjoy now, but maybe more so down the road."
Helt expects the athletic department to coordinate production of cards for next season's KU football and basketball teams.