35th Late Night in the Phog

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Late Night in the Phog once again started the men’s and women’s basketball campaigns off with a bang as the Jayhawks hosted the 35th installment of the season-opening event Friday night inside historic Allen Fieldhouse. The night was be full of skits, competition, and a performance by the popular music artist, Snoop Dog.

Despite rain storms moving through Lawrence, students and fans started lining up for Late Night at 11 a.m., Friday as the Phog Festival kick-started the day with a host of activities. Music, food trucks, games, and even a custom basketball court headlined the event just before doors open for fans for the evening’s festivities.

The night’s activities began with the 3-on-3 men’s and women’s finals which pitted KU students against one another on James Naismith Court. All Kansas athletes were then introduced to a standing ovation.

Both the women’s and men’s basketball teams were introduced to the crowd as they showcased their dance moves shortly after. Coaches and players from each team performed skits and took part in videos to showcase their dance moves.

Women’s head coach Brandon Schneider addressed the 16,300 fans and discussed the positives of being a Jayhawk and how his team plans to compete this season.

“Man it’s great to be a Jayhawk,” Schneider opened with. “We’ve got a group that is well coached and plays hard. I think you’ll enjoy watching them compete.”

Before the Jayhawks hit the hardwood to compete, three young Kansas fans participated in the Wendy’s dunk challenge. The KU women then faced off in a three point contest as Zakiyah Franklin and Mariane De Carvalho tied in final round. De Carvalho was declared the winner.

Once the women’s team was introduced, the squad competed in a three-point contest. Shortly after, the team took to the court for a ten-minute scrimmage. The Jayhawks beat their practice squad, 34-13.

Moments later, it was the men’s turn to take center stage.

After a lively dance session from the Jayhawks, head coach Bill Self spoke to the crowd and let them know the bar of expectations is as high as its ever been.

“We’re going through some choppy waters right now but I want everyone to listen to me. This is our 17th year and I can say I’ve never been more proud to be the coach at the University of Kansas than I am right now. Without stating the obvious, I’ve never felt like we could have more support from administration than we do at Kansas, I tell our players all the time we could never have more support from our fans.Last year wasn’t disappointing because we still did pretty well, but here at Kansas the faces change not expectations. I think the expectations should be off the chart for this year’s team.”

"This is why this is best place to play and coach in America."

Bill Self, Head Men's Basketball Coach

After failed attempts by Kansas coach Brennan Bechard, former Kansas All-American Sherron Collins sank his second try from half court earning two fans a $5,000 check a piece from Bill self.

The Jayhawks then went head-to-head in a 20 minute scrimmage. Game highlights included a rim rocking dunk by senior Mitch Lightfoot and an alley-oop from junior Marcus Garrett to fellow junior Silvio De Sousa. Senior center Udoka Azubuike flashed his ball handling skills as the big went coast-to-coast following a rebound and ending with a jam. The crimson squad topped the blue team 32-30 with a game winning bucket from sophomore big David McCormack. The leading scorer in the contest was sophomore guard Devon Dotson who finished with 12 points off a 4-for-8 shooting performance. McCormack led the crimson squad with 10 points going 4-for-5 from the field.

Following the scrimmage Azubuike spoke to the crowd thanking the 16,300 for coming out and supporting the team.

Grammy winning rapper, Snoop Dog, then brought the Phog to a roar with a live performance that featured many of his hits. Snoop Dog also danced with both the men’s and women’s teams while giving out several Rock Chalk chants.

The Kansas men will meet Fort Hays State in a preseason exhibition on Thursday, October 24th at 7 p.m., from inside Allen Fieldhouse, while the Jayhawk women will square off in a preseason game against Pittsburg State on Sunday, October 27th at 2 p.m.