Basketball Season Officially Underway in Lawrence
Oct. 12, 2007
LAWRENCE, Kan. – With performances from two NBA mascots, an appearance from former KU football legend John Riggins, a red carpet entrance by the men’s and women’s basketball teams and the sounds of a packed Allen Fieldhouse at the 23rd annual Late Night in the Phog on Friday night; it is officially basketball season at the University of Kansas.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
Jayhawk fans have had a lot to cheer about this fall as the KU football team has started 5-0 and are ranked in the national polls for the first time since 1995. However, despite the standing ovation for head coach Mark Mangino, Friday night’s festivities were all about basketball.
“The football team is having a great year and that’s the best thing that could have happened for this University, but isn’t it about time we start playing some basketball,” men’s basketball head coach Bill Self asked.
After mock “America’s Got Talent” performances, the 2007-08 women’s team kick started the season with the Blue-White scrimmage. The White squad slipped by the Blue with a narrow 18-17 victory in the 12-minute affair. Junior Ivana Catic led the White with eight points on 3-for-3 shooting including a pair of three-pointers. Anchoring the Blue, Chakeitha Weldon and Marija Zinic tallied five and four points, respectively.
The men took the floor for the Red-Blue scrimmage shortly after Russell Robinson capped off the men’s singing bee with Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.” The Red defeated the Blue, 44-34 in the 20-minute scrimmage. Senior Jeremy Case scored 12 points on 5-5 shooting, including 2-2 from three-point range to lead the Red. Fellow senior and Red teammate, Sasha Kaun, aided Case with nine points and six rebounds.
Sophomore Sherron Collins led all scorers with 13 points and senior Darnell Jackson had six points and six rebounds for the Blue.
The men’s basketball team starts the 2007-08 season on November 1, with an exhibition in Allen Fieldhouse against Pittsburg State at 7 p.m. while the women tip-off the new season at home on November 4, against Pittsburg State at 4 p.m.