Kansas Basketball Hosts Annual Late Night in the Phog
LAWRENCE, Kan. — The Kansas men’s and women’s basketball teams opened their official 2013-14 seasons Friday, Oct.4, with the 29th Annual Late Night in the Phog in a packed Allen Fieldhouse.
“It was ridiculous out there, I feel terrible for the people who couldn’t get in,” head coach Bill Self said.
Late Night commenced with a performance from the Kansas cheer squad. Following their performance Kansas Athletics introduced the baseball, men’s golf, women’s golf, softball, tennis and men’s track and field onto the middle of Naismith Court.
The 2013 National Champion women’s track and field team brought its championship trophy as the Jayahwks were welcomed onto the court. KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger presented the championship rings to the 15 women that to KU’s the national title.
In true Late Night fashion, the women’s head coaches introduced the first round of skits dressed head-to-toe in 80’s attire including the women’s head coach Bonnie Henrickson as Cher. The women’s team celebrated music through the decades starting with the 80’s and working their way to the 2000’s.
After their skits, the women got down to business in a scrimmage, Crimson vs. Blue. Junior Asia Boyd scored the first point of the scrimmage for the Blue team. Boyd led in scoring with four points as the Blue squad beat the Crimson 13-9. Junior Chelsea Gardner pulled down six rebounds, leading both squads. Sophomore Lamaria Cole was the lead scorer for the Crimson with seven points including an impressive three-point shot.
“For the young kids, we warned them today that the energy in the building would speed them up and make them feel different, and it helped them during the dance part,” said Henrickson.
Self addressed a screaming crowd before introducing the men’s team. His words encouraged fans to be patient with their incoming class which ranks as the No. 2 recruiting class nationally. Before the team arrived on Naismith Court, Self showed confidence in his team. “It’s time to hang one more banner up there,” Self said.
The men’s teams skits were presented by comedian and KU alum Rob Riggle, who arrived on an elevated white throne, sporting an all white tuxedo to the sounds of Thunderstruck. The comedy didn’t stop there. The men’s basketball team proceeded with their skits in a variety of genres.
Before the Jayhawks closed the evening with their scrimmage, the 2013 Big 12 Championship banner was dropped in the rafters of Allen Fieldhouse.
The scrimmage, like the women’s, favored the Blue team as they came out on top 66-40. The highly anticipated freshman guard Andrew Wiggins didn’t disappoint. Wiggins showed his skills for the Blue with a steal and dunk which resulted in a response from sophomore Andrew White who countered with a steal and dunk for the Crimson. The Crimson team also shined with an alley-oop from newcomer Frank Mason to White.
White led the Crimson team with 14 points, a result of two complete 3-point field goals.
The Blue team had five players with double-digit points with sophomore Perry Ellis leading the Blues with 14 and junior Nadiir Tharpe had seven assists.
The Kansas women will begin their 2013-14 season with an exhibition game against Pittsburg State on Oct. 30 at 8 p.m at home. The men’s team will also open its season against Pittsburg State at home in an exhibition game on Oct. 29 at 7 p.m.
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