Jayhawk Insider: Kansas’ Depth Apparent at Late Night in the Phog
By Bryce Reedy
LAWRENCE, Kan. – It was the 34th Annual Late Night in the Phog Friday, representing the start of the 2018-19 men’s and basketball season. Following all of the festivities of the night, the squad closed out the event by stepping onto the court for the first time this season in front of a 16,300 raucous Jayhawk fans.
While it was only a mere 15-minute scrimmage and not the most polished brand of basketball seen at Kansas, there were a lot of positive signs to come from the limited time spent on James Naismith court.
“We made a couple of shots,” Self explained when asked about his thoughts on the scrimmage. “We made 12 of 29 from three, which is pretty good for this group.”
Not only did the two scrimmage squads combine to make 41 percent of their threes, but they also had eight different players finish with at least one 3-pointer on the night. That included a trio of treys from redshirt sophomore K.J. Lawson and two apiece from senior Lagerald Vick and freshman Elijah Elliott.
The depth was readily apparent during the event. Of the 15 players to step on the court, 13 put points on the board.
“I think that the team will have some depth,” Self said. “Different guys can step up hopefully to give us something that maybe we don’t expect.”
The amount of youth and depth that this team possesses moving into the 2018-19 season is something that is a change from any Kansas team in recent memory.
“The team feels so much younger and it definitely feels different [from previous years],” Vick said.
With the number of new faces, there are going to be some opportunities moving forward for this team to shock some people with the number of different guys that can have an impact on a nightly basis.
“We are really deep and have a lot of talent,” freshman Ochai Agbaji said. “A lot of people really don’t know us and who we are, but we are going to surprise some people.”
Despite all the new faces, there is still one familiar to Kansas’ faithful that has made his presence known over the last three seasons, and he did it again on Friday night. Vick finished as one of two players in double figures going 4-7 from the field for 10 points in the 15-minute scrimmage. He also threw in three assists, which included an alley-oop to Agbaji on the first possession of the night.
“Lagerald, I think, has been our best shooter,” Self said. “His attitude has been terrific. He has played in big games where none of the other guards really have. I think if he can stay focused and hungry and humble then I think he is going to have a really nice senior year.”
The Jayhawks will have two exhibition games toward the end of October before their season opener against Michigan State. That game will be a part of the State Farm Champions Classic in Indianapolis and is scheduled for Nov. 6 at 6 p.m.
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