New-look Lagerald Vick leads KU blue team during his final Late Night scrimmage

By Gary Bedore gbedore@kcstar.com

Wearing jersey No. 24 instead of 2 while sporting a closely-cropped hair style compared to longer locks of a year ago, Kansas senior guard Lagerald Vick celebrated the start of his final collegiate season by scoring a team-leading 10 points in the Blue squad’s 46-37 loss to the Red team during Friday’s Late Night in the Phog scrimmage at Allen Fieldhouse.

Vick, a 6-foot-5 Memphis native who placed his name in the 2018 NBA Draft at the conclusion of his junior season only to negotiate a return with KU coach Bill Self after receiving little interest from pro teams, hit two threes in four tries and dished three assists.

The Jayhawks’ new No. 24 (Charlie Moore acquired No. 2 once it appeared Vick was leaving KU) had a big smile on his face during a dance number, while watching musical guest 2 Chainz perform, and postgame.

“Definitely this means a lot being back with my family and being able to graduate, finish up a great career,” Vick said after KU’s 34th-annual Late Night. “I guess it was on me talking to Coach. It just took some time. We discussed things and I just made the decision (to return rather than playing overseas).”

Vick was KU’s second-leading scorer during Friday’s 15-minute scrimmage, trailing only sophomore K.J. Lawson, who hit three three-pointers in four tries and scored 11 points with four boards for the winning Red team.

Lawson’s brother, junior forward Dedric Lawson, scored eight points and grabbed six boards, while freshman guard Quentin Grimes and junior center Udoka Azubuike contributed seven points apiece for the winners.

Sophomore forward Silvio De Sousa scored eight points on 4-of-4 shooting with four boards, while sophomore guard Moore and freshman guard Ochai Agbaji netted seven points apiece.

“Definitely, we feel so much younger,” Vick said of the squad’s make-up between this year and last. “We do not have a lot of experience, but it definitely feels different.”

Self said Vick has played well since returning to school last summer.

“Lagerald I think has been our best shooter. His attitude has been terrific,” Self said. “He’s played in big games where none of the other guards really have at game point. I think if he can stay focused and hungry and humble and those intangible things, I think he’s going to have a really really nice senior year.”

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Vick says he’s determined to take on leadership duties. One reporter asked Self if Vick was team captain in 2018-19.

“I haven’t had captains here,” 16th-year KU coach Self stated. “We have captains, but it’s kind of determined over time. We don’t make a big deal (out of designation). In football if you are a captain it’s a huge deal. Our deal is that’s never been anything that registered. Hopefully we’ve got more than one or two who want to have that role. I’d assume everybody feel like they are (a captain) rather than designate anybody.”

Agbaji fares well

KU freshman Agbaji, a 6-5, 210 guard out of Oak Park High School, hit 3 of 4 shots for seven points. He cashed a three and threw down a dunk in his debut.

“I mean I expected a big crowd, expected it to be really hyped, loud. That’s what I got. It was fun. It was a good experience,” Agbaji said.

“We are really deep. We have a lot of talent,” he added. “We’re really big this year. It’s cool to learn from these guys every single day, work hard with them.”

KU coach Self has said the Jayhawks indeed have a lot of players capable of earning minutes.

“I think the team will hopefully have a little depth,” Self said. “Different guys can step up hopefully to give us something that maybe we don’t expect.”

2 Chainz impresses

KU’s Vick and Agbaji were asked which Jayhawks player most enjoyed the performance of rapper 2 Chainz on Friday night.

“Probably Teahan,” Agbaji said of walk-on Chris Teahan, who was rapping along with 2 Chainz, seemingly knowing all the words to his songs.

“Yeah, Teahan or Elijah (Elliott),” Vick said. Freshman walk-on Elliott hit two threes and had six points, while sophomore walk-on Teahan missed two threes and didn’t score.

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