The University of Kansas men's and women's basketball teams will ceremoniously tip off their 2015-16 seasons at the 31st annual Late Night in the Phog Friday, Oct. 9, in Allen Fieldhouse.
The 2015 Late Night in the Phog, presented by Hy-Vee, will run from 6:30 p.m., to approximately 9:30 p.m. In a twist from previous Late Nights, like men's basketball home games, KU students will be allowed to enter Allen Fieldhouse two hours prior to Late Night festivities, at approximately 4:30 p.m. As on game nights, KU students will enter through their customary separate entrance on the northeast side of Allen Fieldhouse. Doors will be open to the general public at 5 p.m.
Admission is free and Late Night will remain a ticketless, first-come, first-served event; no re-entry passes will be distributed. Children 12 and under will not be admitted without an accompanying adult. The Fieldhouse doors will be closed when the arena reaches capacity.
Kansas Athletics will use Wham City Lights, integrated into the official Kansas Athletics App, for "Late Night Lights" for added effect during the evening and Jayhawk fans will be able to participate in the activities should they bring a smart phone. By downloading the Kansas Athletics App - which is free and includes news, rosters, schedules, stats, periodic Jayhawk alerts and other helpful information - fans will assist in turning "Late Night Lights" into a hand-held light show.
With the construction of the DeBruce Center at the northeast corner of Allen Fieldhouse, workers have installed fencing that restricts access to some sidewalks adjacent to the Fieldhouse. The best way for students to access their entrance, therefore, is to approach that entrance from the west side of the parking garage.
With school in session Oct. 9, university parking lots will be restricted by permit until 5 p.m., with the exception of Lot 90 located across Naismith Drive from Allen Fieldhouse; that lot will be available for public parking at no charge starting at noon. Public parking will also be available in the parking garage just north of Allen Fieldhouse for Late Night in the Phog after 5 p.m.; cost will be $5 per vehicle.
As is the tradition at Late Night, fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items, which Kansas Athletics will donate to "Just Food" of Douglas County. Just Food will also be ouside Allen Fieldhouse taking cash donations for those not able to bring a food item.
Time Warner Cable SportsChannel will oversee the television production of Late Night, which will be seen live on the Jayhawk TV Network, including ESPN3. Additionally, KLWN Radio in Lawrence will provide coverage of the festivities.
3) Can Kansas win its 12th Big 12 regular season title in a row?
What a remarkable stat that is. It’s not as if the Big 12 is full of pushovers. Seven Big 12 schools made the NCAA Tournament last year. But with Perry Ellis, Wayne Selden and Frank Mason all returning, combined with stud freshman Carlton Bragg, it’s going to be tough to de-throne the Jayhawks in 2015-16.
Still, several schools have a shot. Iowa State must replace Fred Hoiberg, but they return most of a 25-win team from a year ago. Oklahoma looks to be quite formidable, too, as do West Virginia, Baylor and others.
Bill Self’s squad will get opponents' best shot this season.
So after a season in which his shot abandoned him, hijacking his confidence, Rush says he spent the summer hunting for both. He believes he rediscovered himself on the courts of Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
“I played a lot of pickup games,” Rush said. “When I talked to coach Kerr in the exit interview, he just told me, straight up, ‘You need to play. You need to get your rhythm and confidence back.’ So for the last few months, I’ve been playing pickup and working out.
“I’ve shot in the mid-40s for most of my career. To be able to go out there last year and not be able to make a shot, not be able to play . . . it made me hungry to get into the gym and go hard this summer.”
Rush, 30, says his confidence is back. His physique appears sleeker. With training camp getting under way next week, he hopes to make an impression. He wants to remind people he has something to offer. He was, after all, a remarkably good sixth man – the best two-way player on Mark Jackson’s first team with the Warriors in 2011-12.
“I want to get out there bad,” Rush said. “This was one of the best summers I’ve ever had. I was just putting in work, getting my legs stronger. I’m ready to be the old B-Rush.”
Although he's yet to join the Phoenix Suns for voluntary workouts, forward Markieff Morris has been spotted around Phoenix. And even though he's not in the gym with his teammates, he's still getting his workouts on -- at Grand Canyon University, where former Suns great (and assistant coach) Dan Majerle is the men's basketball head coach, according to a report from Arizona Sports 98.7 FM's Craig Grialou.
Majerle was on the Suns bench for the first half of Morris' rookie season in Phoenix before the Suns' decision to replace Alvin Gentry with Lindsey Hunter led to Majerle's departure. Majerle told Grialou that both Morris twins reached out and asked if they could workout at the GCU gym before Marcus was sent to Detroit.
And Majerle makes it sound as if he'd like to see Markieff Morris rejoin the Suns and work past their issues:
No. 15 Kansas Volleyball went to Kelsie Payne early and often in the Big 12 opener on Wednesday night in front of a capacity crowd at Horejsi Family Athletics Center. The sophomore right-side hitter finished with 20 kills to lead the undefeated Jayhawks to a 3-1 (25-23, 19-25, 25-22, 25-21) win over Kansas State in the Dillons Sunflower Showdown.
Kansas (13-0) built upon its unprecedented winning streak -- the longest to begin a season in program history -- with four Jayhawks reaching double-figure kills and five reaching double-figure digs. Kansas and K-State combined for 37 ties and 17 lead changes and each set was decided by an average margin of 3.8 points.
“Pay Heed. The game you love began here. Respect those who came before you. Make their legacy your own. Because destiny favors the dedicated. And rings don’t replace work. In this game you don’t get what you want. You get what you earn. We are Kansas. Together we rise. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
Big 12 / College News
9. Kansas at San Diego State, Dec. 22, Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl, San Diego, Calif.
Two of the nation’s most consistent programs complete a home-and-home series that saw San Diego State pull the shocker at Allen Fieldhouse in Jan. 2014. When SDSU knocked off KU last January, they ended the Jayhawks 68-game inning streak against non-conference opponents. The Aztecs return leading scorer Winston Shepard (11.1 ppg) but have questions elsewhere with little proven scoring back from a 31-5 squad that reached the NCAA tournament round of 32. This game should offer a firm road test for Kansas before it pursues an amazing 12th consecutive Big 12 regular season championship under coach Bill Self. To no one’s surprise, the Jayhawks are loaded again. Perry Ellis led the Jayhawks in scoring last season (13.8 ppg) and the 6-8 senior returns, joined by junior guards Frank Mason III (12.6 ppg) and Wayne Selden Jr. (9.4 ppg). Chieck Diallo (6-9, 218) is one of the nation’s most promising freshmen.
NCAA.com 10 must watch early games
A former Iowa State basketball player's lawsuit against a woman who accused him of sexual abuse has been settled.
A news release from the Des Moines law firm of Parrish Kruidenier says Bubu Palo's lawsuit was "resolved to the mutual satisfaction of both parties" on Tuesday. The firm declined to comment further.
Palo had sued the woman and her mother in May 2014, saying his reputation had been damaged.
In July, the Iowa Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal filed by the university, which argued the discipline against Palo was appropriate for his actions toward the female student in 2012. The decision left in place a ruling that threw out the university's sanctions against Palo and questioned the accuser's credibility.
Palo had been kicked off the team.
The Big 12 may consider applying to incoming freshmen a rule that would ban schools from taking players that have engaged in violent and sexual misconduct, league commissioner Bob Bowlsby said this week.
The conference is already well down the road to adopting said rule for transfer players, one similar to what the SEC enacted earlier this year. That rule does not allow schools to take transfers who have engaged in serious misconduct. The SEC defines serious misconduct to mean sexual assault domestic violence or other forms of sexual violence.
The Big 12 is still in the process of developing its definition of misconduct.
However, commissioner Bob Bowlsby said at the conclusion of Big 12 athletic director meetings this week that the league may have to consider adding incoming high school recruits to that list.
"It's really about doing due diligence," Bowlsby said. "It's really about the right questions being asked. There are some schools that do background checks [on players]."
If incoming freshmen are included, the Big 12 would be the first FBS league to have a conference-wide policy regarding recruits' conduct.
NBA coaches, such as Steve Kerr, started to realize something. Having five players on the floor who can dribble, pass, shoot and cut interchangeably all over the floor is virtually impossible to stop. It’s the defensive end where ‘small ball’ can kill you, but find guys like Green who have no problem guarding bigger players, and you could really have something special.
It will be fascinating to see if this trend will find its way into the college game. In a way, it already has.
Villanova, a No. 1 seed in last year’s NCAA Tournament, would often play four guards around big men Daniel Ochefu and Jayvaughn Pinkston. They finished last season 33-3. Duke would often use Justise Winslow as a small-ball 4 to generate offense during its title run. One could say that worked out pretty well.
…Perhaps the best way to combat the size of programs like perennial powers Kentucky, Kansas and North Carolina isn’t to try and fight fire with fire. Maybe some of these schools’ best shot is to throw out a lineup of speedy shooters than can force the opposition’s bigs off the floor. It would not be at all surprising to see more college coaches toy with smaller lineups in 2015-16.
So, which teams can put together the most devastating small-ball lineups for the coming season? Here are five squads that come to mind.
…Small ball critics will probably point to Indiana last season as ‘Exhibit A’ of why you need bigs to win in college basketball. Indiana didn’t need bigs to win last season; they just needed one big. Because they quite literally had zero. Williams was Indiana’s center by default a year ago, and though he averaged an admirable 7.4 rebounds per game, he didn’t have much help on the glass.
Williams is undersized as a power forward, too, but he has the athleticism to make up for it. Now, he’ll get to play alongside Thomas Bryant, one of the best freshman centers in the country. Surrounding those two with Johnson, Blackmon Jr. and Ferrell, who are all very good shooters, will make the Hoosiers awfully tough to stop.
It’s on the defensive end that Bryant needs to impact the game most, though. IU surrendered 71.7 points per game last season, which was 299th in the nation. That needs to improve for Indiana to make serious noise.
KU coach Bill Self and assistant Norm Roberts went to see Allen on Wednesday, according to Jayhawkslant.com.
…Rawle Alkins, a 6-4, 205-pound senior shooting guard from Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Wednesday also Tweeted a final list of eight schools.
They are: KU, Kentucky, Indiana, Louisville, North Carolina, N.C. State, UNLV and St. John’s. Rivals.com’s Eric Bossi said Wednesday that coaches from KU, Kentucky and Louisville have not yet made in-home visits.
…Udoka Azubuike, a 6-10 senior center from Potter’s House Christian in Jacksonville, Florida who visited KU last weekend, received a visit from KU coaches Self and Roberts on Wednesday, Jayhawkslant.com reported. He had an in-home visit Tuesday with coaches from Florida, Zagsblog.com reports.
Azubuike’s mentor, Harry Coxsome, told Zagsblog.com that an official visit to Florida is possible.
Coxsome told Zagsblog that the visit to KU, “went well. We definitely enjoyed the visit, we definitely enjoyed the atmosphere their campus provided. We definitely felt good about it.
“It was pretty much their system, how they would use Udoka, they would get him the ball,” Coxsome added of the message of KU coach Self. “They play an inside/out game and he would be the focal point of their offense.”
Azubuike is ranked No. 27 in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.com.
…KU coach Self on Tuesday met with Trae Young, a 6-1 junior guard from Norman (Oklahoma) North, who is ranked No. 26 in the Class of 2017.
“We liked that he had a plan for Trae if he went there,” said Young’s dad, former Texas Tech standout Rayford Young in an interview with Zagsblog. “He recognizes Trae’s ability to play on and off the ball with his shooting and passing ability.”
Young is hearing from KU, Kentucky, Texas, Arizona, TCU, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
Recruiting Calendar (updated for 2015-16)
Late Night in the Phog
Bill Self Camp KU Alumni games
60 Years of AFH Celebration
Legends of the Phog game
2011-12 Final Border War
KC Prep Invitational
and more, now on YouTube