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16,000+ screaming fans packed into Allen Fieldhouse for the Legends of the Phog game, and whatever they were expecting, that game exceeded expectations.
It started with personalized intro videos for all of the players, and got better from there. As you would expect, there wasn't a ton of defense played, with the score 63-61 at halftime, and ending 111-111, but Mario Chalmers had 5 steals, which you would expect from one of the best perimeter defenders in KU history. Nick Collison made some great defensive plays as well.
During timeouts, players would give speeches about their time at KU. Paul Pierce undoubtedly gave the best one, remarking that no school other than KU could have put on this type of event this successfully, discussing how great the school is, etc. With the number of recruits in the building, it had to resonate with them having an NBA superstar say glowing things about KU. That, coupled with the overall atmosphere, combined to produce the best recruiting event possible. If kids don't want to come here after that, it just wasn't meant to be.
Speaking of Pierce, he hit a three with 5 seconds left to make it 111-108. On the ensuing possession, some guy named Mario Chalmers hit a three pointer at the buzzer reminiscent of the one on April 7th, 2008. Of course the game could end no other way.
Last but not least, the old font was back! Best thing I saw all day.
Some player notes after the jump:
- Sure it was an exhibition, but Cole Aldrich looked mighty impressive. He looked slimmed down, and it didn't hurt his abilities down low: he had a game high 19 rebounds, the only guy in double digits. And he did it in 23 minutes.
- Xavier Henry had a game high 23 points on 8-13 shooting, and was 3-6 from three.
- Brandon Rush attempted the most shots (19), making 8 of them.
- Paul Pierce took 14 shots, 10 of them threes, most likely because Danny Ainge would see to it that the Boston mafia dumped Bill Self's body in the river if Pierce had gotten hurt.
- Nick Collison had 10 (!) assists and only 1 turnover. Step aside, Russ Westbrook!
- Julian Wright was the only player to have a perfect day, going 7-7
- The white team only shot 25% from the line, so I am assuming they had to run stairs after.