Setting the Stage

Saturday afternoon's 4:00 pm scrimmage at the Horjesi Center is going to give Kansas fans an early, and perhaps unique, opportunity to get a look at the 2004-05 squad. Not only will the team play in an exhibition game type scrimmage, cheerleaders and the KU Band will be on hand to give it a true game feel.

Self is hoping that the limited seating (1300) of Horjesi won't scare any fans away.

"We have to do it in Horjesi, humidity is too bad in Allen right now. Just like tonight we'll practice over there (Allen) starting out but we'll have to move over here (Horjesi) just because of the perspiration," said Self.

"We obviously apologize to the fans that want to come but can't get in, but encourage everybody to get here early."

As for what fans can expect from the scrimmage.

"We'll basically play a regular game, I don't know about the number of minutes we'll play but it will basically be played like a regular game," said Self. "Even though we're not ready to play a regular game, I think that would be good for our players before we go to Canada and that will start right at four o'clock."

Most of all, Self is looking forward to the scrimmage giving his players another glimpse of what it is like to be a player at Kansas.

"One thing I'd want to get out (of the scrimmage) is to springboard this team and help them understand, especially the young guys, how special it is to be a basketball player at the University of Kansas," said Self.

"I would think, even in a scrimmage like this, these freshman will be shell-shocked on the atmosphere and everything like that. I think those type of things puts pressure on players "man I better work hard, I've got a lot of people counting on me," and I think those type of things are all positive."

MORE NEWS AND NOTES

Although nobody has suffered any major injuries through the early practice sessions, several Jayhawks have suffered various minor injuries. Keith Langford had the wrenching of his lower body while Christian Moody has been working his way through a minor hip problem. Darnell Jackson has been playing through a turned ankle and J.R. Giddens suffered a minor shoulder injury but none of the injuries should cause any loss of playing time.

Finally, the battle to play alongside senior Player of the Year candidate, six-foot-eight forward Wayne Simien, has been an intense one. According to Self, everybody from Moody, to Jackson to Moulaye Niang to Sasha Kaun has had their moments in practice. He's most happy with the intensity that each of his big men is bringing to the table and odds are that he won't settle on the other big man starter until the beginning of January. Regardless of who starts, Kansas fans can expect the big man rotation to give lots of minutes and lots of fouls.


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