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Archive for Wednesday, November 12, 1997

PRACTICES MUST PICK UP

November 12, 1997

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It has been established that Kansas' men's basketball players are not practicing well this preseason.

"They have been sorry practices," KU coach Roy Williams said, blaming himself for not "finding the right buttons to push" at KU workouts.

Practices witnessed by media members have been long and seemingly intense with bodies flying all over the place.

So what's been the problem?

"Whether it's myself or the other guys, the team doesn't quite grasp how important practice is. We need to get that point across," junior point guard Ryan Robertson said.

The Jayhawks were to practice twice today and again Thursday in preparation for Friday's regular-season opener against Santa Clara. Tip is 7:05 p.m. at Allen Fieldhouse.

"I don't think it's lack of effort or concentration," Robertson said. "We've got some new guys who don't quite understand what it's like to play here at KU. It's a different level. We need to pick it up."

Williams reached the boiling point during the second half of Monday's 98-79 exhibition victory over Pella Windows AAU. KU's 32-point lead dipped to 14 late.

"I know that we played sharp, really aggressive and enthusiastic basketball the first half. We played the first six minutes of the second half, then it really went downhill," Robertson said.

"I think coach wants to get the point across we need to play a full 40 minutes. For us to win games in the regular season, we need to pick it up."

The Jayhawks, who have new players in Eric Chenowith, Kenny Gregory, Jelani Janisse and Jeff Carey, have been hampered by injuries and illness to Janisse (ankle), Chenowith and Carey (mono).

Also, senior Raef LaFrentz has been frustrated by a nasty thigh bruise and Gregory hampered at times by his bad back.

"I don't see anything different in what we're doing. Things just aren't clicking right now," senior guard C.B. McGrath said, noting KU has already had three 7 a.m. practices this season, compared to "two or three" his first three years combined.

Williams resorts to two-a-day practices, including the early-bird specials, when he's not convinced the team is progressing on schedule.

"We've got a lot of new guys, youngsters. Nobody is worried. It's a long season," McGrath said.

"I think we'll be learning all year," Robertson said. "But are we ready for a game? I think so. I think we have enough talent and coaching to be ready for the challenge of the regular season."

Haase to sign books: Jerod Haase will be in town this weekend to sign his new book, "Floor Burns: Inside the Life of a Kansas Jayhawk."

Haase, a former KU shooting guard from South Lake Tahoe, Calif., will sign the book from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. Friday at the KU bookshop in the Kansas Union. He will also sign books at Friday night's KU-Santa Clara game.

And on Sunday, he'll sign from 12 p.m. until 2 p.m. at the St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center, 1631 Crescent Road. A book purchase is required for autographs.

Banner blues: Darren Cook, KU director of facilities, has filed a police report over the five banners lifted from Allen Fieldhouse sometime Monday. Nobody has returned the Lynette Woodard and Danny Manning banners representing KU's retired jersey numbers, or three 100 Years of Kansas Basketball banners.ies, has filed a police report over the five banners lifted from Allen Fieldhouse sometime Monday. Nobody has returned the Lynette Woodard and Danny Manning banners representing KU's retired jersey numbers, or three 100 Years of Kansas Basketball banners.

-- Gary Bedore's phone message number is 832-7186. His e-mail address is bedore@ljworld.com.

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