Lucas riding the wave

Lucas riding the wave

Less than 72 hours ago, Landen Lucas was still a high school student eagerly awaiting his graduation. Wednesday, running on fumes, he not only attended his first college class - having arrived at Kansas the night before - but also saw his first action in a Jayhawks uniform during the Bill Self Basketball Camp alumni scrimmage.

Less than 72 hours ago, Landen Lucas was still a high school student eagerly awaiting graduation.

Wednesday, not long after attending his first college class, he found himself bodying up Kansas senior Jeff Withey, while wearing the Crimson and Blue of the Jayhawks, in front of hundreds of enthusiastic fans at Head Coach Bill Self's basketball camp.

A lot can change in three days.

"You know, it's hard," a smiling Lucas said. "I mean, I just had graduation and Senior All Night where we were up all night celebrating the graduation. Then I came right here with the time change and stuff, so it's going to take a minute for me to catch my breath and get my legs under me. But that will all come."

A prep star out of Portland Westview High, Lucas was immediately impressed with Withey, who is coming off a dominant defensive performance during the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

And honestly, he wasn't just impressed with the lanky seven-footer. It was immediately apparent to him how much bigger and more athletic everyone is at the Kansas level, which he said would probably be his biggest adjustment.

"There's no weaknesses," Lucas explained. "You can usually find a weakness in a big in high school, but everyone is all-around out here. So getting adjusted to the tempo, that will eventually come with just playing."

Having the chance to spend the summer working against Withey during frequent pick-up games will only serve to make him better as well.

"He's good," Lucas said. "He's really big and long. I'm just starting to figure him out now so hopefully in the following open gyms and stuff I can do some little things. I'm trying to see exactly how I can do some work against him. But he's really good. I can see why he got all those blocks."

It's in relief of Withey that the 6-foot-8, 240-pound big man sees perhaps his best chance to making an immediate impact to the team, and he's ready to put int he work to make that happen.

"I really think that this next year I just really need to know my role and know that big gap is when Withey comes out as someone who needs to be an anchor to the team," Lucas said. "So any way that I can help and come in for him, hold it down in the paint, I'll do."

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