Kansas University basketball coach/drill sergeant Bill Self won’t be issuing any marching orders at 6 this morning.
He’s ended the Jayhawks’ two-week Boot Camp one day ahead of schedule.
“It’s because they were doing so well,” Self, Kansas University’s eighth-year coach, said Thursday after the ninth and final early-morning team conditioning session of the preseason in the practice facility adjacent to Allen Fieldhouse.
“I’d certainly give a high passing grade for the entire team. It may have been the hardest-working group we’ve ever had (at Boot Camp),” Self added.
Boot Camp consisted of sprints, defensive slides, backboard touches and more sprints from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. Monday through Friday last week and four days this week.
“It was a really good two weeks,” Self said. “We had some guys who in a strange way really grew up. We had some really hard days. I feel we tested them and got the results we desired.
“The highlights may have been the lowlights,” Self added. “A couple days we really didn’t feel the effort and attitude was what it should be. We made life difficult on them (those days). There were no complaints. Nobody quit. They pulled together. It’s stuff we can draw from in the future.”
Self agreed with recent comments from the Jayhawk players that senior guard Tyrel Reed set the standard .
“Tyrel is obviously the best conditioned athlete we have,” Self said. “Tyrel is at another level. But we had other guys do well, too. Some guys are carrying 250 pounds. It’s a little hard for them to do the same things as guys that are carrying 180.”
As for four KU players going through their first Boot Camp ... they received a thumbs-up from the coach as well.
“They were good. Royce (Woolridge), Niko (Roberts), Justin (Wesley) did very well,” Self said. “Josh (Selby) was fighting asthma and bronchitis. He finished great. He is in the best shape of his life,” Self added of the guard from Baltimore who is allowed to practice and attend class while awaiting NCAA rulings on his academic eligibility and amateur status.
Reed was also impressed with the newcomers.
“The freshmen did great,” Reed said. “Royce came in there and was kind of a silent worker. He didn’t say a word. He just did his job, which was really good. The same with Justin and Niko. Josh came in and worked extremely hard. He did a great job.”
Reed said his streak of winning every single drill came to an end at his final Boot Camp.
“I don’t know if I could say I won every one. Coach on one of the last sprints said, ‘All right, I want to see everybody run as fast as you can.’ Tyshawn (Taylor) beat me one time and I think it could have been somebody else, too,” Reed said. “I know Tyshawn did. Tyshawn had a great Boot Camp and worked really hard, too.”
The 26th-annual Late Night in the Phog will run from 7:30 p.m. to approximately 10:30 p.m., a week from today, in Allen Fieldhouse. Admission is free. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Fans are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items, which will be donated to local food pantries. Metro Sports will air Late Night as part of its Midnight Madness show.