Archive for Thursday, October 15, 1998


October 15, 1998


Late Night With Roy will be held on Friday night. Or is it really Late Night With Ray?

``I think everybody knows the answer to that,'' first-year Kansas volleyball coach Ray Bechard said, cracking a smile.

As a person who has attended Late Night With Roy Williams as a spectator, Bechard knows most of the 16,300 fans at Friday's Late Night will be there for men's basketball.

Early-arriving fans also figure to be fired-up for Kansas' volleyball match against Iowa State. First serve between the Jayhawks (11-7, 1-5 Big 12) and Cyclones (2-16, 0-6) is 7:30 p.m. -- two and a half hours after doors open for Late Night.

``Any time we can be involved with an event like that, we are excited. It's a great opportunity for our players,'' Bechard said. ``There will be a lot of excitement in the gym.''

Kansas volleyball has played twice before on Late Night. The Jayhawks defeated Missouri 15-12, 15-12, 15-10 on Oct. 18, 1996 before 14,800 fans. It is regarded as the largest crowd to watch a collegiate volleyball match.

The Jayhawks lost to Kansas State 12-15, 11-15, 12-15, on Oct. 14, 1995 before 14,300 fans.

``I've seen volleyball at Late Night before. It's a great setting,'' Bechard said. ``I guess you could get caught up in the win/loss side of it. Certainly a win would be valuable for them (players). They want to show people Kansas volleyball is a good product. Hopefully in that process, a victory will come out.''

On Saturday, KU will play Missouri in another 7:30 p.m. match at Allen Fieldhouse. That's billed as ``Barton County Night.'' Bechard compiled a record of 716-60 as head coach at Barton County CC. MU is 11-8, 2-4.

``There are a lot of special people there who throughout the years were very supportive of what I was doing,'' Bechard said of fans at his former school, Barton County CC in Great Bend. ``Again it would be nice to play well. It doesn't impact the standings any differently, but (winning this weekend) might impact how our program is viewed and the direction it is going.''

On Friday, the net will come down right after the KU-ISU match.

Sometime after 10 p.m., KU's women's basketball team will be honored for last year's Sweet 16 showing. The women's basketball players also will be involved in skit and dance numbers with the men's players about 10:45 p.m.

``It will be great for them. They've really earned it,'' KU women's coach Marian Washington said. ``I think the team will do a little bit of that (dancing). They've really made an effort to spice it (Late Night) up for our team.''

Of course the men's players also will dance and act in skits.

``Probably Nick Bradford,'' center Eric Chenowith said, asked who was the best dancer on the team. ``Maybe T.J. (Pugh). T.J. can dance, but Nick has really got the moves.''

A men's basketball scrimmage will conclude Late Night. It will start shortly after midnight.

Washington said some women's basketball recruits will be in attendance and there's a good chance at least one might commit to KU this weekend.

Two men's basketball recruits who have already verbally committed to KU -- Nick Collison of Iowa Falls, Iowa and Kirk Hinrich of Sioux City, Iowa -- are expected to attend.

-- Gary Bedore's phone number is 832-7186. His e-mail address is

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