Kansas University’s basketball players are not taking it easy during Monday/Tuesday Fall Break.
“I’m actually enjoying Fall Break. I don’t know if our players are as much,” Jayhawk coach Bill Self said Monday. “Break gives us a chance to go twice a day.
“It gives us a chance to have our first intense chalk-talk of the season,” he added of instruction between the sessions.
Self had been taking it slow and easy on the 2013-14 Jayhawks the first week-and-a-half of the season, which began Sept. 27 in accordance with new NCAA rules. It’s time to step it up, however, with the first of two exhibition games approaching on Oct. 29 (Pittsburg State, Allen Fieldhouse).
“We’ll go twice again (today),” Self said, indicating he has been pleased with the effort of his squad. “We can get a lot done over two days. It’s the same thing we’ve been doing, get as much repetition in as possible. We still are in the infant stages. We can add some things as we go. It’s meat and potatoes now.”
Self said freshman guard Wayne Selden, “has been as consistent a player as we had since school started.” Of freshman point guard Frank Mason, he noted: “He’s been thinking more than playing. He’s starting to come around. He’s starting to get it.”
Senior forward Justin Wesley, who has been wearing a walking boot, has a strained foot, Self said. He did practice Monday. Also, red-shirt freshman center Landen Lucas has been slowed by the flu.
Assists event coming: Self and his players will host a Fall Festival and Equipment Drive from 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 27 at Abe and Jake’s Landing, 8 East Sixth Street, in downtown Lawrence. Admission is free and open to the public.
Fans are asked to donate new and gently used sporting goods and equipment. Attendees who donate equipment will be entered into a drawing to win four tickets to the KU vs. Iona game on Nov. 19th.
The event will feature appearances by the KU men’s basketball players and coaches. The players will participate in games with attendees including Pop A Shot and Dance Dance Revolution. There also will be a photo booth.
“We’re excited about hosting an event that the entire family can participate in” Self said. “To my knowledge, there hasn’t been a community-wide equipment drive in Lawrence, so we’re hopeful that we can collect a lot of items for the Boys and Girls Club. Every child should have the opportunity to reap the benefits of being involved in sports and leading an active life and not be held back by the cost of participating.”
Self added: “The Boys and Girls Club provides a great service to our community. Our Assists Foundation is looking forward to joining in to promote kids being active through this drive. We want to have interaction between our players and kids in the community. We primarily want to try to help promote kids’ active lifestyles through the donations of many.”
The types of equipment to donate can be found at http://bit.ly/15pzeBu
Polls: CBSsports.com’s writers have revealed their Top 25 picks for the coming season.
Jerry Palm ranked KU No. 3 in the country. Gary Parrish has KU No. 4; John Rothstein No. 5; Jeff Borzello and Matt Norlander No. 6; Doug Gottlieb No. 9. Overall, CBS has Kentucky No. 1, followed by Louisville, Michigan State, Duke, Arizona, KU, Florida, Oklahoma State, Ohio State and Michigan.
Selby off to China: Former KU guard Josh Selby, who played sparingly for the Memphis Grizzlies and in the NBA Developmental League the past two years, will be playing for Qingdao Eagle, a pro team in China this season. Terms of his contract were not disclosed.
Recruits: The Nos. 1- and 5-rated high school senior prospects in the country are scheduled to visit KU this weekend and should be at the Jayhawks’ open practice at 9:45 a.m. Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse. They are: Jahlil Okafor, 6-10, from Chicago’s Whitney Young, and Tyus Jones, 6-1, Apple Valley (Minn.) High. They plan to attend the same college, with KU, Duke, Baylor and Kentucky the finalists. Jones also has Minnesota on his list.