Forward Thomas Robinson, a preseason All-American selection, is nursing a hyperextended knee and might be out according to Head Coach Bill Self Robinson is about a week away from being 100 percent.
"We'll see at practice today how he's getting up and down the floor,"
Self said Monday when he addressed the media. "Yesterday he was staying
at half court. I think there's a chance he'll play, but I'm not going
to put him out there unless the training staff tells us that we should
put him out there."
As if being without your top inside presence isn't enough, guards
Tyshawn Taylor and Elijah Johnson have been suspended for the team's
first two exhibition games. KU Head Coach Bill Self stated it was a
team rule that was violated over the summer provoking this penalty.
"I'm not doing it to embarrass them but this is what needs to be done
and they're totally in agreement with me," Self continued but not
releasing what rule was violated. "I warned them and they did it so
that's the penalty. We're here to win the battle over time, not to
appease the situation and make it seem like something didn't occur."
"These guys have been great. It's unbelievable how good they've been
from an effort standpoint and a discipline standpoint. So maybe the
discipline is actually helping them. I'm not going to apologize for
Hmmm, so it's game 1 possibly without three of its top players creating
an interesting scenario against an experienced Pittsburg State squad.
"My expectations will change with this (game)," Self admitted. "If you
don't have a healthy Thomas (Robinson) and if you don't have your
starting backcourt then obviously it's not the same team. 60 percent of
your stuff is gone. Tyshawn (Taylor) and Elijah (Johnson) are going to
be playing 32-35 minutes a game each so it'll be a totally different
"My expectations are that we go out there and play with some energy and
enthusiasm and play tough. I'll look forward to see how some of the
newcomers play when they have to play a lot."
It may honestly give Kansas a harsh early dose of reality. Let's face
it this roster isn't deep with eight scholarship players and now just
five might suit up Tuesday. And what if, just what if, KU lost a couple
of players during the season whether it be injury or some other
unforeseen issue? Well, no time like the present to give some of these
players a chance to perform.
"I think it's going to be an opportunity for a lot of guys on the
team," said Conner Teahan. "I think I would have had the opportunity no
matter what, but there are probably some guys we need to depend on in
So let's see how the newest Jayhawks perform when they have to. This
makes for a much more interesting exhibition game vs. The normal 40-50
Time for freshman Nadir Tharpe to show what he can do. Teahan, who
normally plays the three will probably see time at the four. On Monday,
he joked with reporters about his inside moves but what would make
Teahan lethal at the four is his shooting prowess. He and Travis Releford, haven't been part of the meat of the rotation over the last
few years but suddenly they are standing front and center, and Jeff Withey will likely be the big body in the middle for most of this one.
"If he (Robinson) can't go then Travis, Conner, some of the other
returning guys and me are going to have to step up. I think we'll be
able to take that role on," said a confident Withey.
"It's exciting to know I'm going to be able to contribute, because I
haven't really been able to do that in the past," said the sharpshooter
Teahan. "It's something I'm looking forward to and hopefully I can step
into some of the guys' shoes who left last year."
So if Robinson doesn't play the starting lineup could be Tharpe,
Teahan, Releford, Withey and according to Self, possibly Justin Wesley.
Kansas has won 37 straight exhibition games and you can be sure that
NOW Pittsburg State will have KU's attention Tuesday.
Here We Go!
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