Bill Self delivered some welcome news to his Kansas University men's basketball players Wednesday morning.
As a reward for their hard work during 6 a.m. conditioning drills the past week-and-a-half, Boot Camp ends today - a day ahead of schedule.
"I told them we'd speed up the process if they did everything they needed to do. They have done that. The guys did very, very well," said Self, noticing a look of joy on the Jayhawks' faces when informed they could sleep past 5 a.m. Friday.
"They kicked into another gear when I told them that."
Asked to identify the star of Boot Camp, Self said: "I don't know. I would say Russell (Robinson), Mario (Chalmers), Brandon (Rush), Sasha (Kaun), C.J. (Giles) and Jeremy (Case) were all terrific. Rodrick (Stewart) had a good Boot Camp. Those I mentioned are our best-conditioned athletes and toughest mentally.
"I'm really pleased with what a year's difference makes on Julian (Wright), Mario and Brandon," he added of the sophomores, who naturally struggled at times in their Boot Camp debuts a year ago.
As far as this year's newcomers :
"Much to my surprise, the young guys came through in a lot better shape than I thought they would," Self said. "The guys who did great that were unexpected were (freshmen) Brady (Morningstar), Darrell (Arthur) and Sherron (Collins). They did some things I'm sure they didn't think they could do a couple of weeks ago."
Self said the mission was accomplished at Boot Camp 2006.
"I'm dead serious : we are in above-average shape," Self said. "We don't want to be in game shape in early October. We are certainly in condition and ready to practice (on Oct. 13)."
¢ Recruiting: James Anderson, a 6-foot-5 senior small forward from Junction City (Ark.) High, will make an official recruiting trip to KU this weekend. Anderson, who visited Arkansas on Sept. 2, has scheduled trips to Florida (Oct. 13) and Oklahoma State (Oct. 20) . : Kansas has shown interest in Jai Lucas, a 5-10 senior guard from Houston's Bellaire High. Lucas, brother of former Oklahoma State guard John Lucas, has scheduled visits to Kentucky, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Maryland and might visit either Kansas or Indiana.
¢ Randolph to LSU?: Anthony Randolph, who canceled his visit to Late Night in the Phog upon narrowing his list to LSU and Texas, could be close to committing to LSU. A report circulated Wednesday the Dallas forward committed to LSU, but that report later was shot down.
¢ Competition rugged for Bulls' final spot: Former KU center Eric Chenowith's chances of making the Chicago Bulls roster do not appear promising. He's up against 7-footer Luke Schenscher, who played 23 games with the Bulls a year ago.
"He (Schenscher) is about two years away from being a legitimate NBA backup," Bulls coach Scott Skiles told the Chicago Sun Times.