RCW: Sport Spotlight 4.10 (Men's Basketball)
— Kansas Basketball (@KUHoops) November 1, 2017
A post shared by Kansas Basketball (@kuhoops) on Oct 31, 2017 at 6:10pm PDT
Practice makes perfect and in college basketball, exhibition games are practice for what is upcoming. For Kansas junior guard Lagerald Vick, these rehearsal contests for the regular season are paying dividends as he will play in his 21st exhibition game when the Jayhawks host Fort Hays State on Nov. 7 in Allen Fieldhouse at 7 p.m.
Most college programs play two exhibition games per season to show the fans the makeup of the current team. Since the arrival of Bill Self to Kansas in 2003-04, exhibition games have increased substantially. The NCAA allows teams to play foreign exhibition games once every four years. Under Self, KU has visited Canada twice, in 2004 and 2008, Switzerland and France in 2012 and Italy this past August.
In 2015, KU represented the USA at the World University Games (WUG) in Gwangju, South Korea, where the team won the gold medal. This just happened to be the freshman season for Vick and created 10 exhibition battles, all victories, for the Memphis, Tennessee, junior.
“Regular-season games are what it is about, but being at Kansas has allowed me to see the world,” said Vick, who started six games and averaged more than 24 minutes per contest in 2016-17 and has started KU’s last seven exhibition games since this past August. “There is no way I could have gone to all those places unless I played at Kansas. We practice against each other every day, so exhibition games are a good way to try our stuff (against other competition) and get better.”
KU seniors Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk have each played 12 exhibition games as Jayhawks. Graham was injured for the World University Games but did make the trip to Korea, bringing home a gold medal. Not being from America, the Cherkasy, Ukraine, Mykhailiuk, was not able to join his teammates at the WUG.
Kansas has had great success in exhibition games as the Jayhawks are 85-9 all-time, including 52-2 under Self since the 2003-04 season. Entering the upcoming Fort Hays State contest, the Jayhawks have won 26-straight exhibition games dating back to 2012. KU has also won 47-consecutive exhibition games in Allen Fieldhouse, a streak which started in 1994.