Archive for Saturday, October 1, 2005

Self lauds Jayhawks for Boot Camp attitude

October 1, 2005

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Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self and his assistants trudged from Boot Camp on Friday morning to the recruiting trail Friday night.

The Jayhawk players, however, were granted a weekend reprieve and will report, bright and early Monday morning, to Horejsi Center for the final five days of the two-week conditioning program.

"No doubt about it. No question. It was the best first week (of Boot Camp) since we've been here," said Self, who is starting his third season at KU.

As far as reasons for that?

"Maybe the (returning) guys knew what to expect or the young guys were nervous enough about it they reported in better shape," he said, not singling out any players. "I don't know if there were a ton of highlights. Something very positive is guys were responsible and took care of business."

He said freshmen Mario Chalmers, Micah Downs, Brandon Rush and Julian Wright were not overwhelmed by the week's five 90-minute workouts that included sprints and various defensive, running and jumping drills.

"The young kids worked harder than they probably thought they could. Nobody was unable to do what was asked. Last year, we had a couple not able to do it," he said, not naming names. "I'm pleasantly surprised at how hard everybody competed and worked.

Almost here ...

Just two weeks until basketball. Late Night in the Phog begins at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 14 at Allen Fieldhouse. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

"I'd say they will be much better at it next year," he said of the freshmen.

The purpose of Boot Camp is building team unity and getting the players in shape for the season, which opens Oct. 14 with Late Night in the Phog.

"I'd say 'average,'" Self said of the physical condition of the 2005-06 Jayhawks. "I'd say we'll be good enough to practice by two weeks. It's never been our goal from a win standpoint to be in our best shape in September. By Oct. 14, we'll be in good shape. By November, we'll be in real good shape."

As far as leadership qualities developed in Week One. ...

"It's a big concern with our team - the ability to find somebody to lead that's vocal," Self said. "Everybody is doing a little bit. Unfortunately, right now the coaches have to do way too much talking."

Sophomore Sasha Kaun, who had been battling an ankle sprain, was working at full speed by the second day of Boot Camp. He and his 13 teammates will report ready for duty again Monday.

"It'll be a continuation of this week. We will not let up," Self said.

¢ Collins update: Sherron Collins, a 5-11 senior guard from Chicago's Crane High, on Oct. 14 will visit KU and Oct. 21 will visit Iowa. He's yet to schedule a visit to his other finalist, Illinois.

"Right now, out of the three, I don't think there is anyone who has turned up the heat more than Kansas has in terms of trying to seal the deal," Roy Schmidt of Illinois Prep Report told the Chicago Sun-Times. "I'm not saying that Illinois isn't working their tails off - they are - but, for whatever reason, Kansas is doing more right now in terms of trying to close the deal."

¢ Freshman lineup: Self realizes he'll be asked a zillion times between now and season's start how many freshmen will be in the starting lineup. His take Sept. 30? "We could start anywhere from no freshmen to four freshmen. Who knows? I anticipate it being wide open," he said.

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