Preseason look at this year’s team
The mood is much different then Late Night. And the aim is different. The KU Men’s basketball team hosted an open scrimmage early Saturday morning in order to give fans another look at the much talked about 2013-2014 team. Head coach Bill Self was unhappy with the play of the team at Late Night in the Phog, “We didn’t show much at all during Late Night (in the Phog) other than 20 minutes of bad ball.
The open scrimmage comes just 10 days before the first game of the season against Pitt State at home. The scrimmage featured three ten minute scrimmages.
The starting line ups for the first scrimmage might have been a look at what the starting line up could be when the season starts. The blue team started Naadir Tharpe, Wayne Selden, Andrew Wiggins, Perry Ellis, and Tarik Black. The red team started Frank Mason, Conner Frankamp, Brannen Greene, Andrew White III, and Joel Embiid.
The blue team dominated through the first scrimmage. The opening possession saw an aggressive drive from Wiggins to draw a foul. Which he drained both free throws. The blue team dominated the first scrimmage winning 27-12.
Through all three scrimmages, Wiggins led all scorers with 21 points. That included an alley-oop from Tharpe as well as a couple of three pointers.
Perry Ellis showed savvy veteran skills by scoring 19 points and grabbing seven rebounds.
Overall the team looked much better then Late Night. They were out and running after rebounds (getting encouraged by the coaches as to do so), and attacking the basket.
Coach Self commented, “Naadir will be our starting point guard” due to him “understanding what we are doing.” While Frank Mason played extremely well, making shots and smart passes, Self wants the veteran leadership out on the court to start games.
“We are starting to get it but we still don’t play hard every possession, compete every possession,” said coach Self.
A couple of recruits also attended the practice including the #1 player in the country Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones the 4th ranked player. These players have made it known that they want to play together next year. Landing them would be huge for Kansas.
The team has more work to do before the season kicks off. But the progress the team has made over the past few weeks is apparent. There is a tough schedule coming up for the Jayhawks, but the talented group of freshman and veterans will do all they can to prepare themselves for it.
The season will kick off with an exhibition game October 29th against Pitt State at home.