Jayhawk Insider: Late Night scrimmage just a glimpse of squad’s potential
LAWRENCE, Kan.- The KU men’s basketball team took part in the 35th annual Late Night in the Phog on Friday, Oct. 4, to kick off the 2019-20 basketball season. After a day of activities on the front lawn of Allen Fieldhouse and an evening of skits and dancing, the team capped off the day by participating in a 12-minute scrimmage on James Naismith Court.
Following the contest, which Team Crimson won, 32-30, head coach Bill Self was quick to point out the two Jayhawks that caught his eye, sophomores Ochai Agbji and David McCormack.
"David and Ochai have had a great fall. I think that they were our most improved players."Bill Self
McCormack exhibited the areas where he’s expanded his game during the brief showcase on James Naismith Court Friday night, scoring 10 points, and with three of those points coming from beyond the arc. McCormack shooting one in from deep isn’t something Self thinks KU fans should grow accustomed to, but the 17-year head man is excited about the prospect of his 6-10 big man expanding his shooting range.
“That’s the worst thing, have a 16 guy make a three in front of [a crowed],” said Self. “David has expanded his game and he can shoot the ball and score a little bit better than he has in the past. David is a good shooter … He can make that shot. I don’t know about 3-pointers. He did look really good tonight.”
While the KU coaches were impressed with McCormack’s improved shooting, it was the dribbling and ball-handling of Agbaji that the Jayhawk staff think could be an added asset to this season’s roster.
"Ochai needs to become our third hand, no question about that. So then if one of those guys would get hurt, then Ochai would have to become the second handler."Bill Self
While Late Night in the Phog gives fans a glimpse of the 2019-20 Jayhawks in action, Self believes Friday’s contest was just a glimpse of both the offensive and defensive abilities of this season’s squad.
“I do believe that there is some potential to score the ball,” Self concluded. “There should be more potential to defend it, and; you didn’t get to see any of that tonight.”
After two weeks of practice, the Jayhawks will return to James Naismith Court to take part in the first of two preseason exhibitions when they meet Fort Hays State on Thursday, Oct. 24. Tip off from Allen Fieldhouse is slated for 7 p.m. on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.