Hawkins Suspended Indefinitely, Other Notes

Monday afternoon, University of Kansas Head Basketball Coach Bill Self spent some time meeting with members of the media in his office. Among the topics of discussion were Jeff Hawkins indefinite suspension, Keith Langford's health and reprimand from the NCAA Division 1 Basketball Committee, the impact of the freshman and finalization of the schedule.

HAWKINS RECEIVES INDEFINITE SUSPENSION

According to the press release issued by University of Kansas media relations, junior guard Jeff Hawkins will not prepare for or attend the upcoming trip to Vancouver so that he could “address some team issues that demand immediate attention.”

Monday afternoon Coach Self took time to point out that the nature of Hawkins infractions were not altogether too serious, and that discussion of them would remain in house.

“He’s suspended indefinitely and he’s certainly not going to make the trip to Canada and what has transpired will stay definitely in our locker room,” said Self. “It’s certainly not behavior issues that I would consider extremely serious in nature but certainly issues that in our opinion are worth addressing and having him correct.”

LANGFORD RECEIVES REPRIMAND

Also on Monday the NCAA issued a press release that stated, “The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee has reprimanded University of Kansas student-athlete Keith Langford for inappropriate comments made during the 2004 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.”

The reprimand was in response to comments about officiating made by Langford to the media after Kansas’ loss to Georgia Tech in finals of the St. Louis region. According to the NCAA the comments were considered negative and in violation of NCAA policy.

Through the University Langford released and apology.

“I sincerely regret the comments I made after the Georgia Tech game last season regarding and official’s call. I have sent a letter of apology to the official involved. I hope my comments did not reflect poorly on the University of Kansas, my teammates, the Big 12 Conference or the NCAA basketball tournament.”

According to Self, the reprimand shouldn’t cause any concern and it won’t involve any suspension.

“I think it is probably a good lesson for everybody to learn because it potentially could be a bigger deal than what it is. If in fact somebody during tournament play would do something that was much more serious in nature to let everybody know that the committee is serious and they are holding guys accountable to whatever their rules and bylaws are.”

In regards to Langford’s health, Self commented that Langford is still one to two months away from being 100% healthy. However, he is expected to play on the Vancouver trip and a minor injury suffered during Sunday’s practice is not related to previous issues and there was no structural damage.

FRESHMAN MAKING AN IMPACT

Certainly there has been a lot of interest and excitement among fans of Kansas Basketball in regards to the freshman class of Russell Robinson, C.J. Giles, Darnell Jackson, Alex Galindo, Sasha Kaun and walk-on Matt Kleinmann. So far it looks like the freshman have been worthy of the pre-season hype and their contribution at practice has been noticeable.

“Their doing great, Matt Kleinmann included, their all six ahead of where I thought they would be. They don’t know what their doing yet but certainly you can see a lot of potential and a lot of fight in all of them,” said Self. “I think they’ve really helped elevate the practices. I think they are probably the biggest reason that we’ve had good workouts so far because they are so competitive and they try so hard and certainly are keeping heat on the older guys.”

Actually, Self has been pleased with the way workouts have progressed for everybody on the team.

“Practice last night was as good, or better, than 95% of all the practices that we had last year and I think the freshman have contributed to that and all the seniors, and Aaron wasn’t even here yesterday,” said Self. “The seniors have really from a vocal standpoint and from a leadership standpoint have stepped their game up I believe. They seem to be a pretty hungry bunch right now.”

OTHER NOTES OF INTEREST

The 2004-05 schedule has been finalized as the Jayhawks will entertain the University of Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday the 11th of December. The staff still hasn’t determined exactly which player or players will redshirt however it would be a surprise if one of the redshirts were a freshman on scholarship. According to Self the redshirt topic is one that will be revisited on Oct.1 and that in order to protect the possibility of sitting out the season some players will not see any action in Vancouver. He isn’t naming names just yet but it appears there are as many as three players who are being considered at this time.

The open public scrimmage is still on for this Saturday at the Horjesi Family Athletics Center. Doors will open at 2:30 pm for the 4:00 pm scrimmage and will be closed as soon as Horjesi reaches capacity. One interested observer for the scrimmage will be Dallas (TX) Skyline senior guard C.J. Miles who is scheduled to be in town for his official visit. As recently as last week it looked like his AAU teammate and friend Kevin Rogers would visit the same weekend, however it now appears that Rogers will visit at a later date.


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