Christian Moody felt added bounce in his step during Boot Camp workouts the past three days at Allen Fieldhouse.
It's had nothing to do with the amount of sleep the 6-foot-8, 220-pound senior has been getting each night during the second week of Kansas University's preseason basketball conditioning program.
It's had everything to do with the fieldhouse's new, springy maple-hardwood floor.
"Maybe it's just that you know how new it is. With the new paint, I feel I can just lift off this so much higher than the old floor," Moody said Wednesday, referring to the surface put down several weeks ago and deemed ready for use Monday.
It's hoped the new floor will cut down on stress fractures sustained by players.
"I don't think it's improved any of the coaches' verticals much. The players think it's softer," KU coach Bill Self quipped.
The floor is softer and the fieldhouse is brighter. The building's footcandle reading has increased from 45 a year ago to 235 for this season.
"The bright lights might be a lot more fun to play in. It's more like a stage," Moody said, indicating it felt like a spotlight was shining on the court.
Self said the lighting was vastly improved.
"Fans will notice a huge difference," he said. "If pitch black is zero and our lighting now is a 10, last year's lighting was a 4 or 5 at best. It has really brightened up the entire place.
"It needed to be done," Self said. "Last year, when somebody came in to play, when we were warming up, their coaches asked our people, 'When do you want to turn the lights up?'
"You get used to what you have, but now that we have something else, I think it's something everybody is going to notice. It will make a better viewing of the game."
"The lighting is great," freshman Julian Wright said. "I think the fans will enjoy the atmosphere. It's a great atmosphere. Adding this makes it even better."
¢ Wright's knee OK: Wright, who missed two days of Boot Camp last week after suffering a bruised left knee, has taken part in all workouts this week. "I bumped (knees) twice with C.J. (Giles) and once with Darnell (Jackson) on the exact same spot," Wright said. "I continue to ice it. It's not swollen. It's coming along."
¢ Boot Camp tolerable: Moody said the players had responded well with two days remaining in Boot Camp. "We are definitely figuring out this test is good for the team," he said. "As tough as it's been the last week and a half, we're still alive. We're sore and really wouldn't mind a break, but everybody still has a smile on their face and even more excited about the season coming up."
¢ Late Night update: Late Night in the Phog will be held a week from Friday at Allen Fieldhouse. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the action to run from 6:30 to about 9:30 p.m. Self is hoping for the usual packed house, despite the fact many students will be out of town on fall break. "This year we feel it'll be as good as it's ever been," Self said. "We hope the townspeople and children will want to come out with the early start. It's a great way to start the season. It's a big deal."
¢ Self's schedule: Self and assistant coach Tim Jankovich spoke Wednesday at the Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Assn. Clinic. ... Tonight, Self will help "roast" Missouri State coach Barry Hinson in Springfield, Mo. Former KU aide Joe Holladay, who is now at North Carolina, also is on the panel ... Self will host his coaching clinic on Nov. 4-5. Any interested coaches (junior high, high school, junior college, college) are welcome. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday Nov. 5 in Allen.