At midnight last Saturday morning in Lawrence, Kansas, a tradition as prestigious as they come took place. The legendary “Late Night at the Phog” did not disappoint the 15 thousand plus Kansas basketball fans in attendance. This of course is not including the approximately ten thousand that could not get in due to Allen Fieldhouse’s capacity of 16,300. Fans witnessed a wide array of dancing, basketball, and comedy during this majestic show. If this was any sign of the year to come for arguably head coach Bill Self’s most anticipated year as Kansas’s leader, things look promising.
Self tried to get fans to realize what they are going to see this year. This was more or less the theme of the night. With all the talent he has brought to Lawrence, the expectations are unfathomable in some minds. He is trying to instill in the minds of Jayhawk fans to be patient with this team, considering they lost all five of their starters from last year. This is a completely new team that has never played together, and will take some time to mesh.
“I know expectations are high,” Self said according to a Kansas press release. “But as a fan, you’ll drive yourself nuts if you’re not somewhat patient.”
Every fan was more than anxious to catch their first glimpse at highly talented freshman Andrew Wiggins. Fans first memory of him will not be an amazing dunk, or a no look pass, or hitting a game winning shot, but rather an image of him in a suit. He entered the court dressed in a black and white suit with “Suit & Tie” by Justin Timberlake lingering in the background. He was beyond nervous, but hopefully his dance moves are not a sign of his play on the floor.
“He was just sweating bullets,” Kansas sophomore guard Andrew White III said according to a Kansas press release. “(He was) telling me he wasn’t ready and all that. I was just trying to relax him”
The actual game play was sloppy and resembled little or no defense. Everyone knows that will get fixed quick, fast and in a hurry. The “Blue” team finished the morning with a convincing 66-40 win against the “Crimson” team. Sophomore forward Perry Ellis led the “blue” team with 14 points. “Crimson” team led by freshman Joel Embiid and Wayne Selden.
The most comedic and memorable quote of the night did not come from Self or any of his players. It came from former alum Rob Riggle, who is as avid a Jayhawk fan as they come.
“Kansas is where basketball is perfected. K-State is where basketball is attempted.” Riggle says according to a Kansas press release.