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Archive for Sunday, May 5, 2013

Basketball notebook: KU players enjoying fantasy camp experience

May 5, 2013

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Kansas University basketball players/fantasy-camp assistant coaches Andrew White III and Landen Lucas have been more than willing to offer their input in one-on-one conversations with members of “Team Vaughn” during this weekend’s Bill Self Basketball Experience.

They’ve been pretty silent during huddles, however, letting former Wake Forest, Loyola and Army head coach Dino Gaudio orchestrate the offense and defense.

“It’s fun because he is coaching it seriously. He is drawing up plays in the huddle. He’s getting on guys, benching guys, so it’s for real,” said White III, KU’s freshman forward from Richmond, Va.

White said Self’s fantasy camp, “is fun just because they (players 35 and older) are so competitive. Everybody is taking it seriously. I’ve gotten to know all the guys by name. We know who does what well. We’re undefeated, 3-0 right now, just trying to win the championship.”

This is the first year White and Lucas have worked the camp. Gaudio, an ESPN color announcer, also was here a year ago.

“They are in the huddles,” Gaudio said of White and Lucas, a 6-foot-10 freshman from Portland, Ore. “I think what’s good is when they hear me telling our guys what we need to do, I’m certain it’s the same thing coach (Bill) Self is telling them in those huddles and environment.

“Hearing it from someone else (can be a positive),” he added. “Like when I was coaching, I’d love to bring other people in so they (players) were not listening to the same voice all the time, namely me. When they hear things from other people who have been successful, I think that’s good as well.”

Gaudio learned last year how badly the fantasy campers want to win. On Saturday, one camper, Randy Lothrop, dove head-first into the opposing bench for a loose ball, totally flattening a folding chair in the process. That sent his coach, Norm Roberts, racing over to help Lothrop up and make sure he was OK, which he was.

“They are taking it tremendously seriously,” Gaudio said of the campers. “If you are watching the games, we (coaches) are, too. These guys are competitive. They are some of the most successful business people, entrepreneurs in the country. The reason that they are is because in their line of work professionally and their vocations are very competitive. What you are seeing in their avocation, which is basketball, it’s just the same.”

Gaudio liking TV for now

Gaudio said he has enjoyed working as a broadcaster for ESPN.

“I really love it. It’s a great quality of life, but you never say never. If the right opportunity (in coaching) would come, I’d look at it hard. I love coaching. This (broadcasting) is a great way to keep me professionally in the business, still visible. It’s a wonderful quality of life.”

White working out

KU’s White, who didn’t make the rotation his freshman season, has been working overtime on his shot and conditioning. He has been spotted in KU’s practice facility during some late-night hours.

“I’ve been trying to put extra time into the gym, getting my skills back for next year,” White said. “I’ve been putting in extra effort.”

Of rumors he’s been in the gym at 2 a.m., he said: “I’ve been in there at 12 and out of the gym by 1 (a.m.),” he said, “but I’ve not started at 2 yet.”

Greene in town

Future KU player Brannen Greene, who was on his official visit to KU over the weekend, watched some of the fantasy camp action with coach Bill Self and former KU guard Sherron Collins. Greene is a 6-7 senior from Tift County High in Tifton, Ga., who averaged 27 points, nine rebounds, six assists and two steals his senior campaign.

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