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Archive for Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Late Night’ name pays homage to Phog

September 30, 2003

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Kansas University has renamed its annual season-opening basketball extravaganza "Late Night in the Phog."

The new name -- KU's midnight practice was called "Late Night With Larry Brown" and "Late Night With Roy Williams" during the regimes of the past two KU coaches -- has a nice ring to it, says first-year KU coach Bill Self.

"I think it's great. When you walk in the building, one of the first things you notice is 'Pay heed all who enter,''' Self said of the "Beware of the Phog" sign on a fieldhouse wall.

"I didn't come up with it, but certainly I think it's better than 'Late Night With Bill.' I would think this is something that would stick and be a good name no matter who is the coach. Obviously they can make cool shirts and they'd be ones a lot of people would want."

Self, who had Midnight Madness at Illinois, didn't necessarily want his name on KU's Late Night, which will be Oct. 17 at Allen Fieldhouse.

"Some people thought it was important to put your name and your stamp on it," Self said. "I've always been one to maybe call it something else where it can become a tradition no matter who is in charge."

One might say Self is drawing the attention away from himself at Late Night.

"When we were talking about the name, Bill said, 'I don't need my name on it.' I think some people would say that and not mean it. He meant it," associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said. "Knowing that this wasn't about Bill putting his name on something gave the marketing department the freedom to be a little creative and to have something that could last no matter who was coach.

"I think this is a very creative name and one the fans will really attach themselves to. Every Kansas fan can attach him or herself to Allen Fieldhouse."

Doors for Late Night will open at 7 p.m. with pre-show entertainment scheduled to run from 7:30 p.m. until 9:45 p.m. Skits will begin about 10 p.m. with a short men's scrimmage to take place at midnight.

No seats are reserved. Admission is free, but fans are urged to bring a can of food that will be donated to area shelters.

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Boot Camp under way: Self was happy to note Monday that all 16 Jayhawks reported on time for the first day of his Boot Camp -- two weeks of team conditioning.

On time means 6 a.m. sharp.

"We had a great first day and probably did a little bit more than what I had originally anticipated just because guys need to make times (in drills) and those sorts of things," Self said.

Of the attitude of the players reporting at such an early hour, he said: "Not bad. It was not bad today. I wouldn't say great," Self said. "I'd call it a good first day."

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