Kansas basketball coach Roy Williams meets his players at Memorial Stadium at the start of every school year.
The occasion is the team's annual 12-minute run. Players are required to
``I think it's the first time in 11 years we had everybody on the squad do seven laps in 12 minutes, so needless to say I was pleased from that viewpoint,'' Williams said Tuesday.
Horton freshman guard John Crider completed eight laps to pace the Jayhawks.
``Two freshmen, John Crider and Jeff Boschee, were first and second in that order. John made over eight laps. I always said if a kid makes over eight laps he is really in exceptional condition,'' Williams said.
``Some people would probably look at it and say it's useless. I am not saying it's real indicative of a good basketball player, but it does tell me what kind of condition they are in cardiovascular-wise and what they have done over the summer to maintain some conditioning.
``In some ways it also tells how tough they are. They've got to push that last minute and a half to two minutes to see how far they can go,'' Williams added.
Senior forward Lester Earl, who continues rehab following surgery of the joint surface of the left kneecap on May 21, did not run. Earl is expected to be close to full strength for the start of practice on Oct. 15.
``He can't do anything yet. As far as when he can, we'll have to wait and see,'' Williams said.
All-star tour review: Sophomore center Eric Chenowith recently averaged eight points a game for the Big 12 All-Star team, which went 4-2 on a tour of Europe.
``I talked to James Dickey (Texas Tech coach). James was pleased with Eric and Eric enjoyed himself,'' Williams said. ``To concentrate on basketball for 16 days, I hope it's something that will be helpful to Eric.''
Everybody shows: Yes, Texas transfer Luke Axtell has reported for fall semester.
``No surprises,'' Williams said. ``Nobody showed up that wasn't supposed to. The ones who were supposed to all did come. Michael Jordan didn't come back for his last year of college. T.J. Pugh did, which is about what I expected.''
Golf on tap: Williams will play in the Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Classic this weekend in Raleigh, N.C. The following week, he'll work Michael Jordan's fantasy basketball camp in Las Vegas.
``It's pretty hectic, but there's some fun in there, too,'' he said of his upcoming schedule. Recruiting in-home visits start on Sept. 9.
``I'll play in the Jimmy V Classic (cancer benefit) for personal reasons and I think it's a great cause, too.''
Williams' mother died following a bout with cancer.
``I'll have a chance to spend some time with Michael at the Moe/Smith golf tournament (in North Carolina) and also the fantasy camp. I will cut out the last two days of Michael's camp because we have a football game here (Sept. 5 against Oklahoma State). I told Michael no way I would miss a football game. If he needs me the whole time, I'd have to decline the invitation cause there's no way I'll miss our first football game.''
Dates: Basketball practice starts with Late Night With Roy Williams on Friday, Oct. 16. But there's a lot to be done before the annual lovefest in Allen Fieldhouse.
``I am anxious for September 5, the first football game. September 9 is the first day we can hit the road for home visits. We'll have a visitor in for the first football game and another visitor in for the second football game,'' Williams said.
Andrew Gooden, 6-foot-10 from El Cerrito, Calif., has said he'll be in for the Jayhawks' football opener against Oklahoma State. Nick Collison, 6-10 from Iowa Falls, Iowa, will be in for the Illinois State game the 19th.
Game change likely: Don't make plane reservations yet for KU's game against Penn on Nov. 16 in Philadelphia. KU officials likely will announce a new date for that game because of a broadcasting conflict. It may be played Nov. 18 in Philly.
-- Gary Bedore's phone number is 832-7186. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.