Pleased with his team’s work at Boot Camp the last week and a half, Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self concluded this year’s early-morning conditioning program after Wednesday’s session.
Initially, the plan was to gather from 7 to 8 a.m. through Friday. This year’s camp ends with two days to spare.
“I decided the guys were doing such a good job and everybody was exactly where we hoped they’d be from a conditioning standpoint (that) I didn’t think there was any reason we should go any longer,” Self said Wednesday morning. “Now we can use the ball some the rest of the week.”
Self said the Jayhawk players who were healthy enough to participate in running drills all made their times during the last drill of boot camp: a sprint in which players run halfcourt back to the end line; 3/4 back to the end line and fullcourt back anywhere between 22 and 28 seconds.
“Everybody did very well,” Self said. “Actually I think it’s of the best (Boot Camps) I can remember in at least in recent memory. We not only had guys get though it but had guys get stronger as camp went on.”
Senior point guard Remy Martin (left ankle sprain) and freshman combo guard Kyle Cuffe (arthroscopic knee surgery last week) were the only two to not compete in running drills at the 2021 Boot Camp, Self said.
The guard duo did attend the early-morning Boot Camp sessions, however.
“Kyle Cuffe had arthroscopic surgery on the knee that was bothering him (last week). He’ll probably be out a couple more weeks,” Self said of the 6-foot-2 native of Harlem, New York. “Remy was very limited at Boot Camp with an ankle sprain, but was able to do things other than running to make sure he stays in shape.”
Self said he is “anticipating” Martin, a 6-0 native of Burbank, California, will be able to play during the intrasquad scrimmage to be held at the Oct. 1 Late Night in the Phog. The Jayhawks are planning on officially starting the season next Wednesday. KU is allowed to hold 30 practices in the 42 days leading up to the Nov. 9 Champions Classic.
“His ankle is nicked to the point he is not close to 100% as of today,” Self said of former Arizona State guard Martin. “We think that will be soon. When I say soon, hopefully within the next week,” of Martin being 100%.
Full fieldhouse expected for Late Night in Phog
Self said the plan remains for 100% capacity in Allen Fieldhouse for the Oct. 1 Late Night. That would mean 16,300 fans in the building for the first time since the 2019-20 season.
“We anticipate that. Absolutely we anticipate a full house. We wouldn’t have Run-DMC coming if it wasn’t going to be a full house,” Self said. Run-DMC’s musical performance will conclude the 37th annual Late Night show.
“We need to follow all protocols (regarding COVID) they put out and we will,” he added of county health officials. “I don’t believe social distancing is part of it at this point in time. If there is a mask requirement we’ll do it. If there’s not we won’t but we anticipate full capacity.”
KU’s athletic department said last week that fans will be required to wear a mask while attending the event, set for a 6:30 p.m. start a week from Friday. According to the University of Kansas mask policy, masks “will be required to be properly worn over one’s mouth and nose at all times while inside Allen Fieldhouse.”
KU to travel to Tulsa for scrimmage
Self has decided the Jayhawks will play one exhibition game (Emporia State on Nov. 3) and instead of holding a second exhibition will scrimmage against a fellow Division I team in preparation for the Champions Classic.
The scrimmage will be against the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes in late October (likely Saturday, Oct. 30) in Tulsa, Self told The Star.
“We wanted to do a road game,” Self said. “Tulsa is going to be good. Frank (Haith, coach) and I have a good relationship. We think it’ll be good, plus driving distance. We don’t have to spend X amount of dollars chartering a plane for a scrimmage. This was a lot easier.”
Teams are allowed to hold either two exhibition contests or one exhibition as well as a scrimmage that is closed to the public.