The college basketball season kicked off around the country Friday night, and at the University of Kansas that means 'Late Night in the Phog.'
The annual celebration is typically one of the most potent recruiting weapons in Head Coach Bill Self's arsenal, as 16,000 fans fill Allen Fieldhouse to the rafters for skits, videos and a first look at the team they'll cheer for the next six months.
It's not unusual to see a cadre of top-flight recruits seated behind the bench, and the 2011 iteration of 'Late Night in the Phog' was no exception. Some of the top prospects from the Class of 2013 were in attendance, including Charlotte (N.C.) Olympic High point guard Allerik Freeman.
A five-star prospect currently tabbed as the No. 4 point guard in the class, Freeman was blown away by his first Kansas experience – particularly the moment when he and the other recruits walked out of the tunnel to take their seats.
Why that moment? It probably had a little to do with the thunderous applause the Crimson and Blue crowd put forth as they entered the arena.
"I thought it was great!" Freeman said, of the visit overall. "They love basketball."
During the trip, he had the chance to meet with members of the coaching staff, as well as spend time with the current team. Freeman came away impressed by both.
"They are all great guys and care about their players," he said, of the coaches. "And yeah, I feel I would fit right in."
Of the players, he added:
"I mean, the guys are cool, they treated me like I was already on the team. And on the court, I mean, I feel I can play with anyone and different positions."
Scout.com Evaluation: Freeman made some impressive strides with his game from his sophomore summer to his junior summer. The 6-foot-4 wing prospect developed his body and is significantly stronger. A talented passer, Freeman is especially effective in transition where he can make plays for himself and others. He still needs to develop his shot from long range, but he has the look of a high-major prospect.