The Jayhawks survived the Kansas Basketball Boot Camp, and according to Bill Self this two-week series of early morning sprints was more difficult than the previous season.
“We went soft on them last year. I realize that was a mistake,” Self said in interview with Bob Davis and the Jayhawk Radio Network, which was later transcribed by Gary Bedore for KU Sports.
“This was hard. Our guys did really well,” Self added.
The boot camp consists of sprints and basketball-related drills, only with no uses of an actual basketball. To get a better idea of how grueling those conditioning sessions are check out Jamari Traylor’s Instagram page where he picked one his teammates as “Dead Man of the Day” with a photo of them either lying on the locker room floor or hugging a trash can.
One of the positive notes from the boot camp was that freshman point guard Devonte Graham has appeared to emerge as a leader. Graham, a addition after he got his release from Appalachian State — and after Naadir Tharpe left the program — could end up being a huge piece for the Jayhawks this season. Kansas will have plenty of talent on the perimeter with a healthy Wayne Selden and incoming Kelly Oubre. Still, KU will continue to have questions surrounding its point guards with Graham joining sophomores Frank Mason and Conner Frankamp. Graham earning praise for his leadership skills from U.S. Marines — who put the Jayhawks through a regimen called “The Program” — is a good sign.
Kansas is set to have a little fun in the coming weeks with Late Night at the Phog scheduled for Oct. 10.