Dirty Laundry

Student manager Shannon O'Connor may have the best seat in the house for Kansas matchups. But she is generally too busy taking stats, fetching water, and wiping sweat to really focus on a game. Shannon answers questions from fans about the team's attitude, the players, and smelly laundry.

Talk about the health of the team, as well as their attitude.

We're banged up right now, but we play physically and practice physically. Keith's knee is a bad one. Wayne is in the worst pain but he can't do anything but rest.

The attitude of the team is really upbeat right now. We are playing so well right now, and we are a bit surprised that we are playing well at this point. The hard work has really paid off.

It's helped us that we are underestimated. They have the attitude of "we'll show them." It's different from past years.

Are there any other ways the attitude is different?

That's a hard question. I think with Coach Williams, they wanted to win it for Coach Williams. They didn't want to let him down. This year, maybe they want to win it for each other.

Are there any big differences between Roy Williams and Bill Self?

They are both great people. The main difference is that Coach Williams was very structured Self is much more "go with the flow." With Roy you always knew what was coming next

The team is definitely looser. I've noticed a lot. I think it has to do with Coach Self and how they run thing. I prefer the structure more for my benefit. I always knew where I had to be and when, but it's so much more fun with Coach Self.

Self has done a great job of working w/ these kids. They appreciate Self's ability to make the game easy to understand

I worked Roy's camp last summer. I really get along with him so well but I haven't been in touch all season. Roy isn't a father figure to me but I respect him greatly. I'm really fortunate to have worked under his leadership. He's really in control.

What is the worst part about your job?

There are a lot of aspects to my job that people wouldn't like. It really sucks when the laundry sits. It is wet and smells awful and I have to reach into that bin. But I love my job, I really do. Wiping up sweat isn't even that bad.

Do the freshmen have any "tasks" to do as freshmen?

Yes, they do. At team send-offs the brownie lady gives the brownies to the best player from the previous game and the freshman have to take care of them. Also the freshmen have to carry the gear.

Who do you think will have a breakout year next season?

Hmmm. I hope Jeremy Case because this kid can shoot the ball in practice. He really knows how to shoot. I'd expect him to be the one. All the guys coming in are going to be great.

What's Sasha Kaun like?

Sasha is a great kid. We spent some time together. He's brilliant, down to earth, and he's going to be a beast. This summer, he was bigger than Collison. The guy is going to be HUGE.

Tell us something we wouldn't know about...say...Langford.

Langford blows his nose more than anyone ever should need to. He goes through a box of kleenex every practice. Also he loves his dog big time.

Who are your favorite players and/or families?

I love Nick Bahe and Omar Wilkes. They are such good guys and always optimistic. I love the Simiens. Grandma Graves is the best! I wish she was on our staff.

Anything else on the players?

JR amazes me. Sometimes I want to just give him a hug and tell him not to talk. He is also probably the best dancer - he dances all the time. The walk ons are the worst. Dancers, that is. The walk ons probably work the hardest in practice.

Niang has definitely gained weight. It's a long way for him but I expect him to get some serious time. Junior year is fill out year.

My claim to fame is getting all the guys to use body wash and loofahs.

How cool is it to have Danny Manning on staff this year?

Danny is such a great influence. He's so knowledgeable about the game the players love to go to him for advice. They totally trust him. He really helps out Coach Self.

Aaron just seems like a great guy. What's he like in person?

He's very funny, always joking around and super smart. He works hard every practice and comes to play.

Ask me about Moody.

Tell us about Christian Moody.

I love Moody. He is a great player and has a great personality. He is really intelligent. He's really improved and works his butt off in practice. Moody has his own fan club.

Are you going to go into sideline reporting after you graduate?

When I was in high school, I thought that's what I wanted to do. I did an internship in NYC and didn't like it so much. It's not a fun business.

Last question. Will we win the National Championship?

I'm feeling it. I really am. Everything is working out this year. I really want it but I really feel it.


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