Late Night Timeline
7:00 p.m. Doors open to public
7:30-9:45 p.m. Pre-show entertainment
10:00 p.m. Teams arrive, team activities begin
12:00 a.m. Men's team abbreviated scrimmage (20 minutes, running clock)
Late Night History
Just over 33 years ago at midnight on Oct. 15, 1970, Lefty Driesell opened the University of Maryland men's basketball practice at the earliest time teams could work out in accordance with NCAA rules, sparking what would become known as "Midnight Madness" at schools across the country.
At Kansas, former Jayhawk coach Larry Brown started the tradition in 1983, and dubbed it "Late Night With Larry Brown," after the popular late-night talk show Late Night With David Letterman.
Five years later, when former KU coach Roy Williams walked out of the tunnel for his first glimpse at "Late Night With Roy Williams," he received a standing ovation from the crowd, which chanted "Roy, Roy, Roy" as he made his way onto the court.
This season will be the first Late Night experience for first-year coach Bill Self. Re-named "Late Night In The Phog" at Self's urging, the event has become a celebration of all KU sports, highlighting the men's and women's basketball teams.
The Jayhawks return three starters and 11 letterwinners from a team which went 30-8 and lost in the NCAA title game last season. Jeff Graves, Keith Langford and Aaron Miles were all key components in KU's postseason run a year ago, and junior preseason All-American Wayne Simien is also back after missing 22 games last year due to a dislocated right shoulder. KU, however, must deal with the loss of two NBA lottery picks in Nick Collison and Kirk Hinrich, who provided excellent leadership on and off the floor. The Jayhawks welcome five newcomers to the squad, including two McDonald's High School All-Americans in freshmen J.R. Giddens and David Padgett.
Another new face on KU's bench this season is first-year coach Bill Self, who takes over at Kansas after successful coaching stints at Oral Roberts, Tulsa and Illinois. Self replaces Roy Williams, who left after 15 seasons to coach his alma mater, North Carolina.
KU has been unbelievable over the past two seasons, compiling a combined record of 63-12 overall and 30-2 in conference play. The Jayhawks have won two straight Big 12 Conference championships and have advanced to the NCAA Final Four the last two years. In addition, the Jayhawks have produced two consensus first-team All-Americans (Nick Collison and Drew Gooden) and three NBA Draft lottery picks (Collison, Gooden and Kirk Hinrich).
Jayhawk juniors Keith Langford and Wayne Simien are among 50 preseason candidates for the prestigious John R. Wooden Award, given to the nation's top player. In addition, Simien was named to Dick Vitale's preseason third-team All-America list and he is a member of CollegeInsider.com's 21-man preseason All-America team. KU boasts the NABC National Player of the Year the last two seasons in Drew Gooden (co-player with Duke's Jason Williams) and Nick Collison, and Gooden and Collison were also finalists for the 2002 and 2003 Wooden Award, respectively.
Bill Self Update
Kansas head coach Bill Self is in his first season guiding the Jayhawks. In 10 years of head coaching experience at Oral Roberts, Tulsa and Illinois, Self has compiled a career record of 207-105 (.663). He is a four-time finalist for the Naismith College Basketball Coach of the Year Award, and he was named The Sporting News National Coach of the Year in 2000. Self has been to the NCAA Tournament the past five seasons, including taking Tulsa to the 2000 Elite Eight and Illinois to the 2001 Elite Eight, making him the first coach since 1950 and 1951 (Tippy Dye at Ohio State and Washington) to lead two different schools to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament in successive seasons. He owns a record of 10-5 in NCAA Tournament play. A 1985 graduate of Oklahoma State University, Self began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Kansas under former KU mentor Larry Brown. He is assisted by Norm Roberts, Tim Jankovich and Joe Dooley.
The Jayhawks will hold their first official practice on Saturday. Bill Self, along with Keith Langford, Aaron Miles and Wayne Simien, will attend Big 12 Men's Basketball Media Day on Thursday, Oct. 30 at the Renaissance Hotel in Dallas, Texas. Self's first weekly press conference will be Monday, Nov. 3, at 12:00 p.m. in the John Hadl Auditorium. KU's first exhibition game is Tuesday, Nov. 4 against the EA Sports All-Stars at 7:00 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks have won 18 straight home exhibition games. KU opens the regular season on Friday, Nov. 21, against UT Chattanooga at 7:00 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas has won 30 straight home-openers.
Walk-On Try-Outs Slated For Oct. 20
The University of Kansas men's basketball team will conduct walk-on try-outs in Allen Fieldhouse beginning Monday, Oct. 20, at 8:00 p.m.
Any KU student interested in participating should show up Monday night ready to play with the following items: 1) proof of health insurance and 2) proof of a physical exam taken within the past year. Both items are needed in order to participate.
Students can receive physical exams at Watkins on campus. Any questions should be directed to the men's basketball office (864-3056).