Nobody was yawning after Kansas University's 83-76 men's basketball victory over Wake Forest on Wednesday night at Allen Fieldhouse.
But that might only be because a loud crowd kept the Jayhawks awake in what KU junior Nick Collison called "kind of an ugly win."
"The first half was the loudest I've heard it," KU junior Drew Gooden said after the Jayhawks' fifth victory in six tries. "The crowd was really fired up tonight."
Added senior guard Jeff Boschee, "They were great. We were playing the No. 23 team in the nation. It was a fun atmosphere."
Also a draining atmosphere.
"It was extremely hot in that building," Boschee said. "For it to be December and that hot is really unusual. At one point, I told one of the guys, 'I'm so tired. I feel faint.'"
Boschee who scored 15 points on 4-of-8 shooting, including hitting three of six three-pointers had to stretch on the side at one point, his body stiffening in the incredibly hot gym.
"We played extremely hard on the defensive end," Boschee said. "We kept fighting the whole game. I never felt it was in doubt, but I was a little worried because we missed a lot of free throws (20 of 40). It's something we've got to be able to do, step up and make free throws."
KU did hold Wake to 6-of-18 three-point shooting and 41.4 percent marksmanship overall. Darius Songaila scored 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting. Craig Dawson hit for 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting.
"It was a hard-fought game," Collison said. "Saturday (at Arizona) was a game we played so great on offense. Tonight we did it with defense and rebounding. It's good to be able to win two different ways. It's good to win some ugly ones too."
The Jayhawks had wanted a 20- or 30-point victory to gain revenge on the Deacs, who beat KU by 31 last year.
"It's not enough to classify as revenge, but it feels good," Boschee said.
Not looking ahead: KU coach Roy Williams bristled a bit when a TV reporter asked him if he had any early thoughts about the nonconference clash against the Kangaroos on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.
"Not the frickin' vaguest idea and don't care. I'm gonna enjoy the crap out of this one tonight," the coach said. "We'll play when they show up Saturday night or Saturday afternoon, I don't even know when the game is. You gotta coach the game you are playing. I'm just barely alive. If they (Roos) want to use that as fuel that's all right, you've got to frickin' go on the court and play. I have no idea. They could be a hundred and zero right now for all I know."
For the record, tipoff is 7 p.m.
Freidinger in the house: Former KU assistant coach Mark Freidinger, who worked for Larry Brown for two seasons (1986-87), serves as color analyst on the Wake Forest radio network.
Freidinger, who is tournament director for the Vantage Championship golf tournament, has been in Lawrence just twice since leaving KU.
"I was here for the 100 Year reunion," Freidinger said before the game. "What I'm looking forward to is hearing the Rock Chalk chant. The only time I heard it (when he was at KU) was at an exhibition against the Russians. Every other time we were in the locker room.
"This is one of the great places in the country, if not the greatest, to see a game. I've never been part of a loss here. We won every home game in my two years. I've got great memories of this place."
Freidinger was a Wake Forest assistant coach from 1980-85.
Gooden's honor: KU coach Williams was happy to hear that Gooden had been named Big 12 player of the week. He scored 26 points versus Pittsburg State and had 23 points and 15 rebounds versus Arizona.
"I've said several times this year that the biggest improvement in Drew is what he's doing on the defensive end of the floor," Williams said. "He's paying much more attention to that and he does have some skills that enable him to be a really, really good defender. I think he's buying into that much more than he ever bought into it.
"He's still doing a good job on the backboard and I think the best news for us is he can still get a heck of a lot better."
Williams on big nonconference games early: "It's pretty big in December. I don't know how big it will be in January or February or March. I've always operated on we're going to try to do the best we can every day in practice and in every game and keep trying to improve. If you do that every day, you are playing your best basketball at the end.
"There will be highs and lows emotionally. Some games you're going to be into more mentally than others. Your play will fluctuate somewhat with that."
Stats, facts: KU is 5-1 for the first time since the 1998-99 season. KU has won five straight at home. KU has a two-game win streak over ranked opponents for the first time since beating No. 24 Texas Christian on Dec. 20, 1997, and No. 25 Oklahoma State on March 1, 1998. It's the first time since '97 KU played consecutive games against ranked teams with both games resulting in a win. KU beat No. 24 Florida State and No. 4 Arizona in 1997. Williams now has a record of 360-90. Collison grabbed his 500th rebound. Wayne Simien's 11 rebounds were the most in a career debut in the Williams era. Previous high was nine by Collison and Paul Pierce both. Kirk Hinrich had eight turnovers, a season-high by a Jayhawk. KU had six players score in double figures and two double figure rebounders.