Brennan Bechard is master of half-court shot at Late Night in the Phog

Kansas director of basketball operations Brennan Bechard hit the shot in consecutive years for students Jerrod Martin Castro of Topeka and Jordan Stiers of Independence, Mo., making each student $10,000 richer during Late Night in the Phog in Lawr
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Kansas director of basketball operations Brennan Bechard hit the shot in consecutive years for students Jerrod Martin Castro of Topeka and Jordan Stiers of Independence, Mo., making each student $10,000 richer during Late Night in the Phog in Lawr
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University of Kansas

KU’s Late Night in the Phog: Time, TV, parking details & the $10,000 half-court shot

By Gary Bedore And Jesse Newell

The Kansas City Star

September 28, 2017 11:54 AM

2017 Late Night in the Phog

Date: Saturday, Sept. 30

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Doors open: 4:30 for students, 5 for general public

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Admission: Free

Parking: Free outside of the parking garage adjacent to Allen Fieldhouse; lower levels of the garage will be reserved, while upper levels will be open to the public

TV: Spectrum Sports Chs. 30 and 323 in Kansas City area

Online stream: ESPN3 (Available outside Kansas/KC metro)

Phog Festival: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Allen Fieldhouse lawn; includes videoboard, live DJ, food trucks and giveaways

Event Entertainment:

▪ KU student 3-on-3 basketball tournaments

▪ Rapper Lil Yachty performs

▪ Two half-court shots for $10,000

More on half-court attempts:

Two University of Kansas students, one male, one female, will have the opportunity to win $10,000 of Bill Self’s money by making a half- court shot at the 33rd annual Late Night in the Phog on Saturday night at Allen Fieldhouse.

To improve their chances, they’re allowed to pick anybody in the building to shoot for them — with the exception of current players.

“I don’t know. I may get called. I may not. I’d have no problem if I didn’t, (but) I think there’s a pretty good possibility I may get my name called,” said modest KU director of basketball operations/former Jayhawks guard Brennan Bechard.

He’s made the half-court shot each of the last two Late Nights: last year for Jordan Stiers of Independence and in 2015 for Jerrod Martin Castro of Topeka.

It’s all but a certainty one or both of the fans will choose Bechard to hoist the half-court shot Saturday. He’s 2 for 2 under the bright lights, which is not bad for a guy who said he normally makes “one or two out of 10.”

“I hope that’s not what the expectation is,” Bechard said, “just automatically going in, because there’s a way better chance it’s not going to go in than is (going to go in). Hopefully there’s no letdown. I’ll just throw it up there and see what happens.”

Bechard has been practicing a bit in advance of Late Night 2017.

“I hadn’t shot one basically all year since last year. I put a couple up just in case my name gets called,” Bechard said. “I saw a couple go in, so that was good to see. I mean I can’t spend too much time worrying about it. Obviously you don’t want to let anybody down. But all you can do is throw it up there if they choose me and see what happens.”

He knows he has the support of his fellow staff members and current players.

“Coach (Self) said, ‘Try to make it,’ which is pretty cool. He wants to see it go in and give those students something to remember,” Bechard said of Self’s words prior to last year’s half-court attempt.

He’s been mobbed by players after making shots both years.

“I was getting a little nervous when I saw ’Doke running at me,” the 6-foot, 183-pound Bechard said of the 7-foot, 273-pound Udoka Azubuike. “It’s cool. Those guys coming out and sharing the moment is pretty exciting.”

Just in case one of the contestants wants to fire up his or her own half-court shot, here’s Bechard’s technique:

“I do kind of a one-leg running,” he said. “I definitely land over the line, but as long as I take off (before center line), I should be good.”

Gary Bedore: 816-234-4068, @garybedore

Jesse Newell: 816-234-4759, @jessenewell