Jayhawks dance in 2017-18 at 33rd annual Late Night in the Phog
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Grammy-nominated recording artist Lil Yachty highlighted a day full of activities, dancing and basketball as the Kansas men’s and women’s teams officially kicked off their 2017-18 seasons at the 33rd annual Late Night in the Phog presented by Hy-Vee.
The Late Night activities began with the championship round of a 2K basketball tournament broadcast on the jumbotron in Allen Fieldhouse. The 2K champion beat out 128 other competitors took home an autographed basketball and a copy of NBA 2K18.
Following the 2K tournament championship, the final women’s and men’s 3 on 3 basketball teams out of more than 70 that entered, played their championship rounds on James Naismith court. The women’s 3 on 3 champions included four members of the Kansas softball team.
Video entertainment by KU’s award-winning Rock Chalk Video department was displayed throughout the night along with performances by the KU Spirit Squad and Rock Chalk Dance team.
The Kansas newcomers showcased their dance moves to start things off for the women’s basketball team, followed by dance routines from the junior and senior classes before finally coming together for a team routine.
After the Jayhawks’ performance, head coach Brandon Schneider presented the 2017-18 team and welcomed home former KU standout and All-Big 12 point guard Angel Goodrich.
“With my office 137 steps away from the original rules of basketball and standing on James Naismith Court tonight, there is no time more exciting than now to be a Jayhawk,” said Schneider. “This season, you will find 14 players that through their play, their passion and their intensity will show you how proud they are to be a Jayhawk.”
Goodrich felt right at home at Late Night 2017.
“It’s a great feeling to be back in Allen Fieldhouse,” said Goodrich. “You are the best fans in the nation and this will always be my second home. Thank you, KU and coach (Brandon) for having me back and letting me relive Late Night in the Phog.”
After the women’s team completed their festivities, it was the men’s turn to take center stage. It all started with basketball director of operations Brennan Bechard’s attempt for his third-straight half-court shot in hopes of winning a KU student $10,000 from head coach Bill Self. For the first time in three years, Bechard missed.
Memphis Grizzlies guard and 2008 National Champion Mario Chalmers was next up for the $10,000 challenge, however he too narrowly missed on his half-court heave.
Chalmers was welcomed home along with his Grizzlies teammates and fellow Jayhawks Ben McLemore and Wayne Selden Jr.
Following the half-court challenge, the men’s basketball team performed a face-off style routine to finish off the dances for the night.
Lil Yachty highlighted the night’s events with performances of five of his original songs and features. His performance lit up Allen Fieldhouse, literally with the fans using their cell phones to illuminate the 16,300-seat arena.
Men’s basketball finished the night off with a 20-minute scrimmage, which ended in a 45-45 tie. Senior guard Devonte’ Graham finished with 22 points for the blue team and junior guard Lagerald Vick notched 17 points for the crimson team.
Kansas women’s basketball takes on Emporia State on Sunday, October 29 at 2 p.m. in the first of two exhibitions. The men’s team will face off with Pittsburg State on Tuesday, October 31 inside Allen Fieldhouse, also in exhibition play.