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Archive for Friday, October 17, 2008

Gary Bedore’s KU basketball notebook

October 17, 2008

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Kansas basketball preps for season

The national champs can officially begin their title defense starting Friday. Of course, Bill Self's squad will do so minus the entire starting lineup from the 2008 title team. Enlarge video

Audio Clips
2008 KU men's basketball media day

Shoot the moon

Kansas University's basketball team is in more of a reloading than rebuilding mode this season.

"If I came in here and told you I thought we'd finish fifth in the league, that's a great message you are sending to your constituents," KU coach Bill Self joked Thursday at Media Day in Allen Fieldhouse.

"We won't change what our goals are. Every year our goal is to win the league. At the end of the day, we want to play as close to our ceiling as possible. There's nothing wrong with setting the bar high."

That's despite KU losing five starters off its title team.

"I don't know what the ceiling is," Self said. "We had a motto at Illinois when we started three freshmen and a sophomore: Youth is no excuse. We lost the Big Ten championship in the last second of the season. Just because we are young doesn't mean we can't be good. How good I have no idea. We don't want to bail guys out of lofty expectations just because we are young."

It could be like the freshman year of Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers and Julian Wright.

"I had a great time in Maui when we couldn't get the ball across halfcourt with the game on the line," Self said. "But we did beat Chaminade."

KU fell to Arizona and Arkansas in the early-season tourney. KU tied for the league title that season.

Watch your step

Doors open for tonight's Late Night in the Phog at 5:30 p.m., with proceedings to start at 6:30. Because of ongoing construction, fans are asked to enter through the east and north doors. The construction - part of a $38 million renovation project to KU's facilities - should not affect the fans once in the building. Tonight's Late Night will be televised by Metro Sports (Cable Channel 37). Portions will be shown on ESPNU (Ch. 141), starting at 8 p.m.

Appleton questionable

Junior guard Tyrone Appleton is questionable for tonight's Late Night scrimmage because of a hip-flexor injury.

Collins speaks

Sherron Collins was asked again about reporting to school overweight: "Coach told you all (media) in a nice way. He told me the other way," the 5-foot-11, 200-pound Collins said with a smile. "I looked at him and told him I'd get it done. That's what I did, and I'm here today."

Women's recruits visit

Kansas University's women's basketball program will play host to several top recruits at tonight's Late Night in the Phog.

Chynna Brown, a 5-9 guard from Lincoln High in Dallas, is considering KU and Texas Tech. Marisha Brown, 5-9 out of Kansas City Center High, currently at Arkansas-Fort Smith Junior college, also has Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Wichita State on her list.

Tania Jackson, 6-2 out of Lawrence High, and Monica Engleman, 5-10 from James Madison High San Antonio, who have orally committed to KU, will also attend.

Markieff on his court date

Markieff Morris has no public take on his Dec. 12 court date for allegedly shooting an Airsoft BB gun out of his university dorm room, allegedly hitting a woman in the courtyard below. Morris has entered a not-guilty plea in the case.

"That is in the past," he said. "I'm looking forward to the year."

Rutgers on tap next year?

The Bridgewater (N.J.) News quotes Rutgers officials as saying they hope to play KU in a home-and-home series starting next year.

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