There apparently is no team dissension over Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self's decision to remove troubled C.J. Giles from the team.
"I think everybody is OK with it," junior power forward Darnell Jackson said after scoring 11 points and grabbing seven rebounds in KU's 90-55 exhibition victory against Emporia State on Tuesday at Allen Fieldhouse.
"Nobody has said anything about it or seems mad about it. We've just got to go with it."
Self booted Giles from the squad following the junior center's being cited by police for battering a female student Monday night. The coach told the team at shootaround at 2 p.m. Tuesday that Giles, who had last Friday just returned from suspension, would not be back again.
"I was not stunned I lost a teammate," Jackson said. "It's just like we're losing a good defensive post player who can block a lot of shots, alter shots. It'll be tough. C.J. is long. On floaters, it's hard to shoot over him because of his long wing span."
Freshman guard Sherron Collins, who didn't know Giles as well as some of the veterans, said he'd miss the lanky forward.
"I knew him from the summer. He was fun to be around, a great teammate (but) coach did what he had to do," Collins said. "We are all we've got now. We've got to go out and play."
Self told his team at shootaround that though it hurt him to release Giles, "At least we know what we're dealing with now. One thing about coaches : we hate surprises. I can deal with anything if I can see it coming head on. : This will remove the element of potentially having a distraction later on.
"We didn't think it'd come to that. In some weird way, we won't put ourselves in that position (of uncertainly regarding Giles), which will be a positive for our team."
Giles will remain on scholarship this semester and second semester if he decides to remain in Lawrence.
"For C.J.'s own benefit, I can't imagine he wouldn't want to go somewhere and try to do something rather than hang out here," Self said. "We are not throwing C.J. under the bus. We will support him academically the rest of the semester if he so chooses to do that. If he chooses not to, it's not because of us saying he has to go today. It's strictly his decision."
Though Giles could transfer to somewhere close to his Seattle home or head overseas to start a pro career, Self doesn't want to speculate and won't in coming days and weeks.
"To be candid, I care that he does well, but not at Kansas," Self said. "That's my focus. I care. I want him to be successful. I want him to accept the responsibility he has incurred. As far as tracking C.J. Giles, this is not a transfer situation where you guys (media) should ask me, 'Have you heard anything?' I don't want to talk about C.J. Giles again after tonight because he is no longer with us."