Kansas Hosts 27th Annual Late Night in the Phog

Oct. 14, 2011

  • Coach Self Interview
  • Coach Bonnie Interview
  • A. Sutherland Interview

Coach Self Quotes (.pdf) | Coach Henrickson Quotes (.pdf) | Watch Late Night Replay ($)

M. EngelmanThe Kansas men’s and women’s basketball teams kicked off their 2011-12 seasons in front of a full Allen Fieldhouse Friday night in the 27th edition of Late Night in the Phog.

The festivities began at 6:30 p.m. when the KU cheer squad took the floor to perform a routine. Then, it was the mascots’ turn to take center stage in a special celebration recognizing Baby Jay’s 40th birthday last week.

Slightly after 7:30 p.m., the 2011-12 women’s basketball team took James Naismith Court for the first time. The Jayhawks scrimmaged for 12 minutes with freshman guard Asia Boyd, the 39th-rated recruit in the nation, making the first basket for the Blue team in the first minute of action. Three-pointers by junior guard Monica Engelman and senior forward Aishah Sutherland broke open a 12-6 lead for the Blue team.

Engelman, who led the Big 12 Conference in three-point shooting at 43.1 percent in league play last year, tied Sutherland for a team-high five points for the Blue squad. Sutherland also added a buzzer beater for the White team to make the final score 19-17 in favor of the Blue team. Junior Carolyn Davis, one of only 25 players on the preseason “Wade Watch” list for national player of the year, led the White team with seven points.

After a performance by the Rock Chalk Dancers, the capacity crowd at the Fieldhouse rose to its feet and cheered as Kansas men’s basketball head coach entered on a one-of-a-kind motorcycle commemorating the 2008 NCAA National Championship. Bill Self thanked the fans for filling Allen Fieldhouse for yet another Late Night in the Phog and also encouraged fans to enjoy the process of seeing a young team develop in a year where the Big 12 coaches picked KU to win its eighth-straight regular-season conference title.

The loud cheers did not end there, though, as later the fans were treated to a celebrity boxing match between men’s basketball director of operations Barry Hinson and world-class lightweight boxer Victor “Vicious” Ortiz. KU alum Rob Riggle, who has appearances in “The Hangover” and “Saturday Night Live” among his credits, served as the guest referee. Ortiz knocked Hinson out in the first round.

After the fight, it was time for the men’s basketball team to command the spotlight. A long video featuring the history of the program was played before the 13 members of the 2011-12 roster were introduced for their 20-minute scrimmage.

K. YoungThe White team opened up a quick five-point lead over the Blue squad, 11-6, in the first four minutes thanks to five points by senior guard Tyshawn Taylor and two dunks by junior center Jeff Withey. Junior forward Thomas Robinson scored the first six points for the Blue team, which included a one-handed slam dunk on an alley-oop pass from junior guard Elijah Johnson.

Toward the end of the contest, the Blue team used an 8-0 run to take a 37-27 lead over the White team with 1:42 remaining. The run was capped off by a three-pointer by Robinson, who finished with 13 points and four rebounds. Junior guard Travis Releford led the Blue squad in its 40-33 victory with a team-high 16 points, including a 3-for-4 night from three-point range, and three steals.

Taylor led all scorers with 17 points on a 6-for-10 night from the field to go along with a perfect 4-for-4 mark at the free-throw line and one three-pointer. Junior forward Kevin Young led all participants with five rebounds for the White team, while Johnson notched a game-high seven assists in addition to his nine points for the Blue team.

The Kansas women’s basketball team will begin its 2011-12 season when it hosts Emporia State at Allen Fieldhouse in an exhibition game Monday, Oct. 31, at 7 p.m. The men’s basketball season will open one day later, Tuesday, Nov. 1, when the Jayhawks play Pittsburg State in an exhibition game. That game will also be played in Allen Fieldhouse and begin at 7 p.m.