A Long Ride

Ask Royce Woolridge about his journey to the University of Kansas, and he'll tell you it's been a long one – and in more ways than one.

The talented shooting guard from Phoenix arrived in Lawrence a little more than a week ago to begin his college career, after committing to the Jayhawks during his sophomore year of high school.

While two years is a long time to wait, he said, in some ways the actual road trip from Arizona to Lawrence – stretched out over three days –  felt even longer.

"We drove like six hours a day, and it was hot," Royce Woolridge said Wednesday afternoon, laughing. "We drove the whole way. It was terrible, my knees were killing me. We stopped in Albuquerque (NM) and Oklahoma City, but we finally got here. That was a long, terrible trip."

It was worth it, however. Since he hit campus, he's been adjusting to life on Mount Oread, and while the whole experience was a little overwhelming at first, he said, he's happy to be settling in.

"It's crazy that it's finally here, because I've been waiting since I was a sophomore in high school," Woolridge explained. "So it's like it's not real, it's like I'm not actually here yet. It has to sink in. But it's great to be here."

Woolridge comes to Kansas with a reputation as a scoring machine, one of the most prolific scoring guards in the state of Arizona and the summer AAU circuit throughout his high school career.

Wednesday, Kansas fans got their first glimpse of the 6-foot-2 athlete in Crimson and Blue, and he didn't disappoint.

Playing for the Red Team during the second Alumni Scrimmage of the summer, Woolridge made the most of his time on the court, pouring in seven points in a matter of minutes.

His first performance in front of Jayhawk Nation was a great experience, Woolridge said, but now he's getting down to the business of improving his game – a task which will include a great deal of time in the weight room with strength coach Andrea Hudy.

"I'm definitely trying to get bigger, and trying to get fully healthy and get my knees right," he said. "Being able to be conditioned, but mostly just getting bigger so I can be to where everybody else is. Because I feel like I'm a lot smaller than everybody else."

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