Russell Robinson, who played nine ineffective minutes the first half, sat the entire second half with warmups wrapped around his body, and, at times, his head.
He was hit hard by a case of the intestinal flu bug all day Saturday.
"Russell caught the flu that Brandon had," KU coach Bill Self said of Brandon Rush, who had the flu earlier in the week. "He (Robinson) had two bags of IVs before the game. He couldn't go."
KU junior Jeremy Case, who had an assist in 10 minutes, felt for his teammate.
"Man, he was really sick. He threw up at halftime. Russell is really tough. He'll be all right," Case said.
"I could tell warming up before the game he had no energy," noted junior Rodrick Stewart, who made his first start in place of Julian Wright, who was benched to start the game for being tardy to Friday's practice.
"The thing about Russell, he'll go until he can't go any more. He's really tough."
¢ Rodrick's first start: Self on his decision to start Stewart, who had one assist in six minutes.
"It was a good game for Rodrick to start. They played a perimeter 4-man," Self said of Darrell Harris, who stands 6-foot-10 to Stewart's 6-4. "Rodrick did a good job against their zone."
Stewart was told he'd start at shootaround. It marked the first start of his KU career. He started 17 games at USC before transferring.
"Coach said to make sure I was ready to play, make the easy play," Stewart said. "It was my first start at KU. I enjoyed it. The hard work pays off."
¢ More on tardiness: Self set a precedent for not starting players who were tardy in the Winston-Salem State game, when Darnell Jackson came off the bench for showing late.
¢ OK performance: Rush, who had 19 points, thought the Jayhawks played "pretty well. I think we came out the right way and got up and down the floor. We missed a couple of open shots, but other than that, I thought we played well. The second half we didn't defend very well. They shot 50 percent (18 of 32 for 56.3 percent) the second half in our house, and that's not good."
¢ Stats, facts: KU held the Rams to a season-low 20.5 percent shooting the first half. : The Rams' 13 turnovers were fewest by a KU foe this season. KU had a season-low nine turnovers. It was fewest since committing seven against Kansas State in 2004. : Rhode Island's 32 first-half boards were most by a KU foe since Indiana pulled down 32 in the first half on Dec. 17, 1994. : Wright's 19 second-half points were most by a Jayhawk since Nick Collison had 21 versus Duke on March 27, 2003.
¢ Guarantee: Rhode Island received $55,000 plus expenses for playing at KU. The Rams, who played at Ohio on Wednesday, have been in town since Thursday. KU will not return the trip to Kingston, R.I.
¢ St. Bonnie grads: Rhode Island coach Jim Baron was a classmate of KU assistant athletic director Jim Marchiony at St. Bonaventure. Baron played on the St. Bonaventure team that won the 1977 NIT, defeating Houston and Otis Birdsong in the finals.
¢ Low in league: Rhode Island was picked to finish 11th of 14 teams in the Atlantic-10 preseason poll. Yes, the league has 14 teams.
¢ Rams vs. ranked: Rhode Island entered the game 9-70 against ranked opponents. Earlier this season, the Rams lost at No. 23 Boston College, 86-68. The Rams' last victory over a ranked foe was against KU on March 15, 1998 in a second-round NCAA Tournament game in Oklahoma City. Rhode Island entered with nine straight losses against ranked foes.