As we reach the beginning of fall, the season is kicked off with college basketball midnight madness events around the country. The Kansas Jayhawks hold their Late Night in the Phog every year on the first weekend of October and once again it was quite the showing. Over the past few years, the Kansas Jayhawks have been able to bring in musical acts to put on concerts for the fans and players. It started with local rapper Tech N9ne a few years back. They were then able to bring in young rapper Lil Yachty around the time of his most popular and 2 Chainz stopped by last year. The Jayhawks are brought Snoop Dogg to perform this year marking their biggest landing yet.
— Kansas Basketball (@KUHoops) October 5, 2019
The event was full of the usual skits the coaches and players always put on as well as the ever-popular player dances. This year was different from the last 14 as it was the first year no conference banner was raised since the 2004 Late Night in the Phog. Their conference streak was snapped and with them bowing out in the second round last year no banner at all was raised at this year’s festivities.
Like every year, the Kansas Jayhawks brought in a crop of highly-rated high school recruits. It wasn’t quite as star-studded as most years as the recent Notice of Allegations has had a tough effect on recruiting. Still, most schools around the country would kill for a list of recruits with the prestige of the visitors at this year’s Late Night in the Phog.
Class of 2020
- 5-Star CG – Bryce Thompson
- 5-Star Big – Isaiah Todd
- 4-Star PG – KK Robinson
- 5-Star(JJC) Big – Marial Mading
Few high tier recruits in this bunch but none that many feel are leaning towards Kansas. Early in Thompson’s recruitment, Kansas had some momentum but it has slowly turned to Oklahoma over the past year. Todd is seen by many as a heavy Kentucky lean. With Azubuike departing as well as De Sousa possibly as well from the Jayhawks getting a junior college player like Mading be necessary for their frontcourt next year.
Class of 2021
- 5-Star Wing – Harrison Ingram
- 5-Star PG – Kennedy Chandler
- 5-Star Wing – Kendall Brown
- 4-Star Big – Zach Clemence
This far out it’s always tough to really know where a class like 2021 recruits may be leaning. Crystal Ball over at 247 Sports has Kendall Brown as 100% towards Kansas at this time though. Another local kid in Clemence is visiting as both him and Brown play at Sunrise Christian in Kansas. Ingram and Chandler are a pair of five-stars also in town this weekend, both of which are top 20 guys.
Class of 2022
- 5-Star Wing Tre White(committed)
- 4-Star Wing Mark Mitchell
- 4-Star Wing Gradey Dick
This group of three includes two Kansas kids in Dick and Mitchell and White who has already committed to the school. Bill Self has always done a nice job of keeping kids in state so monitoring how the two Kansas kids develop will be key. Getting a player like White committed so early is nice if he continues to stay committed and continues to develop. He recently said the notice the school received has not changed his mind on whether he wants to stay committed to the school or not.
Skits and Dances
Every year at Late Night in the Phog, the skits and dances are one of the fan’s favorite aspects of the night. Watching the players perform in a different way always gets a laugh from the fans. Bill Self always is good for a few good skits over the years and this year was no different. The college basketball world was abuzz a week before the night even begun when he filmed the video introducing Snoop as the performer in an Adidas logo shirt.
— Benton Smith (@BentonASmith) October 5, 2019
The night has also added a chance for a student to win $10,000 over the past few years. The success rate has been surprisingly high in its four-year run. This year the school added a second chance where former Kansas Jayhawks star Sherron Collins had one shot for the two students to win $5,000 apiece. Collins hit the attempt winning one guy and one girl student $5,000 and electrifying the Allen Fieldhouse crowd.
The dances always lead right into the scrimmage which ultimately is a 12-minute running clock pickup game. Kansas fans always take away something from the scrimmage while most fans also know Self will be disappointed in the player’s efforts. Getting a chance to watch the team for the first time get up and down is the biggest thing though. Watching guys improved jump shots, who’s added muscle, and which players may have made a jump is the most exciting part of what is usually the second to last part of the night before the concert.
With the scrimmage decreasing from its usual 20 to now 12 there was much less to take from it than in past years. David McCormick showed an extended range he didn’t have last year. Devon Dotson showed off his trademark speed and a cleaner jump shot. Marcus Garrett looked comfortable handling the ball as he will be the team’s backup point guard this season.
In terms of the scrimmage hearing Self’s thoughts while it is being played is really the best part. Hearing how practice is going so far and his plans for rotations and how some of the freshmen will be used is interesting. He seemed to rave about freshman Christian Braun, a player most Kansas Jayhawks fans haven’t talked much about in terms of minutes this year. Self is known for wanting to keep his rotation down to eight and sometimes nine guys. He seems interested in keeping it that way this year, mentioning “only one freshman will be in the rotation on a given night based on matchups.”
— Benton Smith (@BentonASmith) October 5, 2019
The concert this year with Snoop Dogg drew some controversy and thoughts around the country. Most years the performers come in sing songs that radio edited with no cursing and are fairly tame. Snoop’s concert had a different feel with him bringing out four stripper poles with exotic dancers manning those poles. In addition to the dancers, the concert also had profanity with Snoop not skipping the curse words in his songs. The concert was not what the Kansas administration thought it would be with athletic director Jeff Long apologizing shortly after it wrapped.
— Matt Tait (@mctait) October 5, 2019
Although the concert has become a national talking point among analysts, fans, and even last night’s Sportscenter it certainly didn’t ruin a great night put on by the Jayhawks. The fans once again we’re treated to another great Late Night in the Phog by their school and were given assurance from their coach that a special season is on the horizon. Even with the cloud of allegations hanging over the program.