Archive for Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Jayhawks can’t wait to get their groove on

Skits, dancing to take center stage at Late Night

October 10, 2006

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Kansas University's basketball players have more than studying, weightlifting and pick-up-game scrimmaging on their schedules this week.

Some time will be devoted to rehearsing for Friday's Late Night in the Phog at Allen Fieldhouse.

"I think we're going to do more skits. We've only got three classes this year. We'll let each class do a skit," KU coach Bill Self reported.

Separate skits featuring the three freshmen, five sophomores and six juniors - there are no seniors on the 2006-07 Jayhawk roster - figure to include dancing as Late Night tradition dictates.

"Certainly there could be some of that," Self said with a smile.

He's hoping the usual throng of 16,300 fans packs the fieldhouse for Late Night.

The event in theory could take an attendance hit with many students out of town for the Thursday-Sunday fall break.

"There's such a great tradition here of that," Self said of Late Night being packed.

"I think the players would be very disappointed - they look so forward to it - if there wasn't unbelievable support. I don't envision that (lack of support) happening at all. This is a great opportunity to see a pretty talented young group (by fans) that maybe don't have a chance to have season tickets."

Self realizes it's impossible to predict the number of fans, considering no tickets are issued. It takes 16,300 fans to walk up on the day of the event for a full house to be assured.

"Sometimes people may think, 'I'm not going to go because I'm not going to get a seat,''' Self said.

"That's not even a factor. Our first year here that was an issue. We brought back the '88 team and coach (Larry) Brown. The last two years that's not been an issue at all. Everybody that has wanted to come has gotten a seat. We're hopeful it's full. We think everybody will have a great time helping us tip off the season."

Late Night, which will include scrimmages by both the men's and women's teams, will begin at 6:45 p.m. Friday. Admission is free with doors for the general admission event opening at 6 p.m.

It kicks off a busy weekend for sports on the KU campus. On Saturday, the Jayhawk football team meets Oklahoma State in a 1 p.m. kickoff at Memorial Stadium. On Sunday, it's the Chicago Bulls-Seattle SuperSonics NBA exhibition game set for 1 p.m. at Allen.

"It's a great weekend if you are a Kansas fan," Self said. "You come to Late Night and it's not even late, now. It'll be over by 9:30 at the latest. I'd think this would be one of the most fun weekends, total package, that this university has had when you start talking about the events going on."

Several recruits will be in town for the weekend festivities, including undecided senior blue-chipper Kyle Singler.

The 6-foot-8 forward from South Medford, Ore., who has a list of KU, Duke, Arizona and UCLA, will arrive Thursday and return to Oregon on Saturday.

Tyrel Reed, a 6-3 senior guard from Burlington who is considering KU, North Carolina, Stanford, Wake Forest and others, will be on an unofficial visit.

Cole Aldrich, a 6-10 center from Bloomington, Minn., who has orally committed to KU, will be making his official campus visit.

Juniors who figure to attend Late Night: Anthony Crater, 6-1, Flint, Mich.; Malcolm Lee, 6-4, Riverside, Calif.; J'Mison Morgan, 6-10, Dallas; Travis Releford, 6-4, Overland Park; Jeff Withey, 7-0, San Diego; and Tyler Zeller, 6-10, Washington, Ind.

A sophomore in the house will be Tyler Griffey, 6-8, from Ballwin, Mo. Also on hand will be Jordan Dumars, a junior power forward from Detroit and the son of former NBA great Joe Dumars.

¢ Randolph headed to LSU: Anthony Randolph, a 6-10 senior forward from Dallas who once had KU on his list, has committed to LSU. He chose the Tigers over Texas.

¢ Downs hobbled: Gonzaga guard Micah Downs, who will be eligible to play in mid-December after transferring from KU, has a stress fracture in his right foot and will likely not practice this weekend, ESPN reported.

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