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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Little breaks bone in left hand

KU junior Mario Little, center, takes a breather with his Blue team teammates Cole Aldrich (left) and Brady Morningstar.

KU junior Mario Little, center, takes a breather with his Blue team teammates Cole Aldrich (left) and Brady Morningstar.

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Little out two more weeks with broken hand

Mario Little has yet to play this season for the Jayhawks. He'll have to wait a little bit longer.

Kansas University junior basketball guard Mario Little, who has yet to play in a game this season because of a stress fracture in his lower left leg, will not be making his debut anytime soon.

Little on Tuesday suffered a broken fourth metacarpal in his left hand after getting it caught in a teammate’s jersey at practice, KU coach Bill Self indicated Tuesday night.

He said juco transfer Little would be out two to four weeks.

“It’ll be two weeks before he could do anything realistically,” Self said, then explaining what happened.

“He got it caught in a jersey switching directions. His hand caught and pulled his fingers apart and broke it. As of now we’ll splint it and he’ll hopefully be back full speed real soon. He probably would not have played before Christmas anyway with his leg. I didn’t think he’d be ready for the Temple game (Saturday). It may be the first week of January. He’ll be out a bit.”

Self said there’s a chance he may red-shirt Little, but that is not in the immediate plans.

“Even if we don’t get him to the first of the year, he could play 18 regular season games and the conference tournament and whatever happens after that. He could still conceivably play two-thirds of the season,” Self said.

Self acknowledged it was a tough turn of events for Little, who on Dec. 5 returned to practice after being shut down since late October to let his stress fracture heal.

“We don’t need this now. It’s part of the game all teams go through,” Self said, adding, “we’re disappointed for Mario. He’s fighting through a bit of adversity.”

Little was ranked the No. 1 junior college player in the country last year while at Chipola (Fla.) College where he averaged 15.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. He averaged 12.7 points off 62.5 percent shooting in KU’s three exhibition games in Canada over Labor Day weekend. He had a game-high 21 points off 9-of-11 shooting against Ottawa University.

Comments

anaill 11 years, 2 months ago

Ugh, poor guy can't catch a break. Selfishly, I was hoping to see him in person playing at the only game I can make it to Saturday. Oh well...

Dale Kroening 11 years, 2 months ago

This really blows.Sorry to hear for Mario and our young Jayhawks.While we really could use him,a redshirt might not be a bad idea depending on when he can actually be game ready.

hawkfanatic 11 years, 2 months ago

Hopefully we get him back before conference. Crossing my fingers!

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

Glass half full: this will make sure his leg heals.Glass half empty: we need his D for this intense stretch coming up.

Scott Wood 11 years, 2 months ago

This just makes me sick to my stomach. This kid can flat play some ball. We need to get him on the court, because he is going to make us so much better. We have a brutal stretch coming up where we could lose 3 or 4 games, we could of really used him.

hawkfanatic 11 years, 2 months ago

If he is ready and gets to play 18 regular season games, then he would have just missed the Tennessee game. I have heard so much about him, but have not seen him in action yet. Sucks that I have to wait even longer now.

Joe Joseph 11 years, 2 months ago

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!DAMMIT!!!!!

Matt Mann 11 years, 2 months ago

I'm assuming it would be a medical redshirt. Is this true? If so, it may not be all that bad...

RL 11 years, 2 months ago

How about we change the heading to "Mario breaks his finger"

Nick Cole 11 years, 2 months ago

Maybe the kids should quit wearing jerseys that are 12 sizes too big on them and this would have never happened. If he broke his hand by just getting it caught in a jersey, I am suddenly wondering about this kids durability. Was he injury prone in HS or at the JuCo level? Also, I just watched Tennessee run away from Marquette. Tenn looks like they could be scary. I am not excited about KU's upcoming schedule. I think we will be looking at a close call between the NIT and NCAAs this year unless our young players start acting like they actually give a crap about the fact that they are playing Division 1 ball at the University of Kansas. I am not impressed with any of these young players yet. I know they are young, but that is no excuse when you play for KU. HCBS has better get it in their heads that someone other than Collins is going to have to step up and lead this team. Collins is a head case and thinks that he needs to take the ball up the floor and shoot it without even looking to pass the ball inside or around the perimeter. Unacceptable. So far, I am not enjoying this year. I hope that changes real soon.

actorman 11 years, 2 months ago

What difference does it make whether or not it's a medical redshirt? Either way he'd still have two years of eligibility left. Or am I missing something?

actorman 11 years, 2 months ago

I still have faith that Self can turn this team around in time to make the tournament. And BleedCandB, I don't see how you can say you're not impressed with ANY of the young players. Most of them, yes. But how can you not be impressed with Tyshawn Taylor? He's had some pretty good games so far.

Nick Cole 11 years, 2 months ago

Oh yes, and tell Morningstar and the Twins to quit wearing stupid t-shirts under their jerseys. They look like idiots with those on and I personally think players look like trash with a t-shirt on underneath. My vote, lets go back to the 1980's and wear the short shorts and jerseys that actually fit. I am sick of players thinking that playing basketball should be a fashion statement with their oversized jerseys and shorts hanging down to their ankles. OK, I'm done ranting. Get better FAST Mr. Little.

Nick Cole 11 years, 2 months ago

Tyshawn Taylor has impressed me in a few games. And then he is extremely disappointing in a few others. To me, inconsistency is not impressive. However, when he is on, he is ON! The kid has the potential to be great, he just needs to play well on a regular basis. I think it is too early in the season to tell if he will be consistent. Impressed with Taylor's potential, absolutely. Impressed by him as a consistent player, TBD (although I think I will be come the end of the season because I am sure the kid will be flat out ridiculous).

jaybech 11 years, 2 months ago

Coach Self and his staff will pull this team through. That is what this season is going to come down to: coaching. Like it or not, we are just going to have to be patient. I am a die-hard Chiefs fan too, and I can tell you, I am feeling pretty patient with the setup in Lawrence. We are fresh off of a national title and lost the WHOLE nucleus of that team. We will be back. We may lose 15 games this year, but we will be back.

KGphoto 11 years, 2 months ago

Short shorts? I think you just want a glimpse, Bleed.And could we quit bagging Sherron? The haircut was strange. Especially since he recruited a freshman to join him. But he's obviously been asked to shoot the ball and find ways to score. Which he is doing. Not efficiently, but he's posting a pretty high average for a Self coached team. And Self made it very clear before the season, that he wants Sherron to shoot.I definitely think a Mario red shirt is in order. No way we get him mid January and expect to make a big run. Besides, it's been proven that Jr transfers have a hard time adjusting to a new system. The extra year would go a long way towards a big '09 '10 season.

Nick Cole 11 years, 2 months ago

A glimpse indeed. Not quite KG. However, I do like the NBA rule not allowing players shorts to go past the knee. Why can't the NCAA do something like that? And about Sherron, I know Self wants him to shoot a lot and be a leader. That is fine. But he needs to remember that he should not take the ball down court and shoot it 10 times a game without at least passing the ball around first. Ball movement helps break down a defense and creates shots and driving lanes. Collins is a good and explosive player, but in order for him get off clean quality shots, he needs to learn to share the rock. Also, a leader will help his young players develop, and if Sherron doesn't pass the ball around and trust his teammates to make plays, how are they supposed to develop? I like Collins and without him we probably would not be 7-2 right now. But if he continues to do what he has been doing, we will not make the NCAAs this year. Let's hope that is not the case.

Kman_blue 11 years, 2 months ago

That's it! This kid is off the team! You can't stay healthy enough to play, you shouldn't be on the team!Seriously though, this kid sounds like he's snake bit. I predict another freak injury the 2nd game he's back after this injury, assuming he doesn't get red-shirted now.

KEITHMILES05 11 years, 2 months ago

Devastating blow to Mario personally and KU as a team. However, the team must continue forward and stay focused.This is certainly going to be a very interesting year.

KEITHMILES05 11 years, 2 months ago

Hey Bleed........RELAX. Why do you think all these freshman are going to play like "grown" men at hoops? That is silly to think. However, to see them mature and play is a joy.Stop hating.

jhawk162 11 years, 2 months ago

Way to step up and support our tam everyone!! lets be a little more negative after a national championship. This team will be fine. Dont forget we have one of the top coaches in college basketball. I guess if we win saturday maybe these young kids can get some support! I AGREE WITH KEITHMILE

yates33333 11 years, 2 months ago

The best JuCo player in the country, but accident prone?. They need to check his bone density, calcium intake, or something to avoid sh*t like this. The season is not off to an auspicious start. Let's hope it changes.

Carter Patterson 11 years, 2 months ago

Hey guys....STUFF happens....to GREAT players. The boys are not playing tiddlywinks.Mario....looking forward to watching you play. Get healthy, get in shape, and dive right in.

Benjamin Clay Jones 11 years, 2 months ago

Bleed, if you think wearing T-shirts under jerseys looks stupid you should have seen the fashion look I pioneered in Scotland in 1980. I played for a Scottish university, and the gym was so cold I wore long woolen underwear (the tops, at least) under my "strip" (what they call a uniform over there). Even so, it took half the game before my wrist would unthaw enough to shoot the ball.

Jacobpaul81 11 years, 2 months ago

Everyone has opinion. Jeez.Mario, best wishes and a speedy recovery!

InfiniteJ 11 years, 2 months ago

F'ing great! Might as well redshirt the dude.

Dirk Medema 11 years, 2 months ago

RL - The headline doesn't say finger (phalanges) because it wasn't. The metacarpal is the hand, with the carpals being the wrist. The headline is correct.The next few games will be challenging, but is still just practice for the conference season. Little being out just means extra practice/game time for the young players. It will mean that he can ease his leg back into condition, and because it is in his left hand it means that he can still work on FT's. When DJ sat out the beginning of '06, he came back as an 80+% FT shooter, and that could really make a difference when the games really count.We could lose the next "big" games, and all it would do is effect the seeding, and maybe give some other team something to whine about. The Dance committee takes things like this into consideration when setting up the dance card. The team just needs to continue to learn from the great coaches we have, and they will certainly get better.What an exciting season. Rock Chalk!

Jaminrawk 11 years, 2 months ago

It could be a blessing in disguise. With Mario out, it means the freshmen will have to pick up the slack. Maybe they can get better until he comes back.

KUFan90 11 years, 2 months ago

Any bets on who is older...Bill Mayer or BleedCandB? You guys should form your own "back in my day" club.I think the T under the jersey isn't a bad look at all.

keeb1211 11 years, 2 months ago

For all the downers out there did you hear the stat the other day during the UMass game?Since starting 3-4 in 05-06 when Chalmers, Rush, Downs, Wright were freshmen KU has gone 92-12 since with 3 Big 12 regular season titles, 3 Big 12 tournamnet titles and who could forget a National Championship to boot. Was anyone impressed with Chalmers 7 turnovers against Arizona in Maui? Was anyone impressed with our offense then? All I am saying is we should judge this team when the season is over not after 10 games.

8808 11 years, 2 months ago

The t-shirt under the jersey look worked for Paul, if you recall. And while it only adds to the grumpy old man routine, the twins are wearing them to cover their tats, which you can read now in the era of HDTV. I realize this only confuses the grumpy old men, but so will the new landscape of KU players from diploma mills like APEX, just so we can keep up with Memphis.

kubasketball0809 11 years, 2 months ago

I agree way to help the team out is there anymore negative talk that can be said.... If you are a true fan show some support... They are very young and i believe self can get them in shape fast... Mario cant get any luck which sucks but we will have to live with it

johnballa 11 years, 2 months ago

You have to actually be good to make the jersey under the t-shirt look good. Brady Morningstar isn't even in the same atmosphere as Patrick Ewing or Paul Pierce. Neither are the twins.

Dan Harris 11 years, 2 months ago

Who friggen cares if they wear a t-shirt under their jersies! Geeze people get a life!

michaelaho 11 years, 2 months ago

Look on the brightside...now we'll get to see more of Morningstar. Yes!!!

rawkhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

I remember thinking that Rodrick Stewart's injury was trouble for KU going into Final Four play last season. Perhaps Little's injury will have the effect of bonding the current players and will allow Mario a bigger role 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 years from now. This team will take more losses this year, but I sense that we will see real improvement.

Lance Hobson 11 years, 2 months ago

That's tough, Mario has to be frustrated. On the upside, I do agree that this may be a positive for getting his leg healed.He's already been hurt so I certainly don't see this as some sort of Rod Stewart motivational event. Just another punch we'll have to roll with.

mbmerriman 11 years, 2 months ago

hey bleed,just because they are kansas freshmen doesnt make them 21, yes theyre inconsistent just like every other freshmen in the history of college basketball, it sounds like someone is spoiled

cklarock 11 years, 2 months ago

Tough break (npi). Keep your head up, Mario -- you're still a Jayhawk!

thesquad 11 years, 2 months ago

this blows.hope he comes back soon as possible

LAJayhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

Wow. That just sucks.And to several of the posters: opinions are like a-holes; everyone's got one and most of them stink.

Chris Teegarden 11 years, 2 months ago

I'm not really sure when this turned into a fashion website, but there is more talk about peoples hair the shirts and there shorts than any thing that actually has to do w/ b-ball

yovoy 11 years, 2 months ago

a redshirt wouldn't be a "bad" thing, and keeb makes the same point i was going to make as i read through these comments. both the twins are as good as darrell was as a frosh - on both ends of the floor. they just need some seasoning even though they have as much grit AND flash as arthur. tyshawn doesn't have mario's speed nor the passing ability of russrob or mario, but he's still young, and looks to have a decent combination of their abilities on both ends of the floor. we don't have a guy that can do it all, like we had w/ rush - yet. i think we will. both morningstar and reed can play, and i can vouch for the instincts of morningstar. he will surprise you. sherron is doing what his coach has told him to do. he doesn't need to be "open" to score. scorer score outside with someone in their face, in traffic in the lane, and everywhere. sherron is a scorer. the biggest problem is that others are deferring to him a little bit too much, and i think he has a lot to do w/ that. we'll be okay through the adversity. have faith. we'll be there, and we won't lose 15 games. we'll be in the dance.

Jack Wilson 11 years, 2 months ago

Hmmm .. I wonder if we would be in a better position if Releford had been starting from day one? Now we have an inexperienced Releford, or Morningstar.Morningstar brings nothing to the 3 spot. Zero. 4th guy in a 4 man guard rotation, maybe. But he is not a 3.

Robert Lofthouse 11 years, 2 months ago

...gonna be a thrilling year! ...it could be good!

kusayzone 11 years, 2 months ago

This whole article made me think about the past and more of Wayne S, and all his trials and tribulations with injury. It never made him a bad player, did it? Life and KU basketball goes on. You have to play the cards you are dealt. Patience is a virtue.

Nick Cole 11 years, 2 months ago

No, I am not old. I am a recent grad. However I have watched KU since I was in diapers. About the twins just wanting to cover their tats, that is nonsense. We have other players with tats that don't want to cover them up. Why would they? I am pretty sure they showed them off in high school. To the guy who used to wear long sleeves under his jersey, it's all good if it has a purpose. These kids are wearing them b/c they think they are bada$$es, which they are not. To everyone who says we need to be patient, you are right. However, it is acceptable to be frustrated as a fan when The Hawks lose to a crappy UMass team when we are almost 20 point favorites and the game was in Kansas City. I am frustrated with the players b/c they were talking about how they have not been practicing with intensity. Why not? I was an athlete through college. I ALWAYS practiced with high intensity. Practice is a opportunity to improve and to prove to yourself and your coaches that you are a spectacular athlete. It seems like these kids think they are already good enough. If that is the case, then they should not be losing to UMass. I am allowed to upset about their poor attitudes. If I were HCBS, they would not like me this week. I coached high school wrestling and cross country and track while I was in college and if my athletes were slacking or thinking that they had already done enough to not work hard in practice because they deserved their spot on the team, they didn't participate in the race or meet that weekend. And that next week sucked for them. I did not give my athletes an opportunity to suck in a meet or race against equal competition. During the 5 total years I coached, I only had 2 athletes who didn't give it their all every day. I find it pathetic that our whole beloved KU Basketball team is having this issue, and I am a bit disturbed that it caused us to lose a game we should have handled with ease. We need every easy win we can get this year. We just let one slip through our fingers b/c our players think they deserve to win. You have to earn something to deserve it. As far as I am concerned, our players have not earned anything yet. Please, don't take what I am saying the wrong way. I have faith in HCBS and our players. I know everything will be alright. When Chalmers, Rush and Co. were all frosh's, they started the season 3-4 including a loss to Oral Roberts in AFH (which I was at) and ended up going 13-3 in conference play and winning the Big XII regular season and Tourney. I know our players have the same potential. I am not expecting that to happen (partially b/c the Big XII this year is better than it was at that time), but I know they are capable of doing it. It will be a fun season with ups and downs. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!

lance1jhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

BleedCanB- Your entire run-on/ giant paragraph is a gramatical nightmare. I doubt you ever went to college or even some sort of mid-level grade school. After wasting two minutes of my life reading that, I feel like I lost 20% of my brain cells and now have a degree from Methzzuri. Dude get a life.

sdoyel 11 years, 2 months ago

This is what happens when you rely on a JUCO transfer to make a big impact (see KU football's Jocque Crawford). I still say Self should redshirt Little.... This team isn't going anywhere this season anyway!

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

This team is about where it should be without Little. It is 7-2. It is an overtime loss to a ranked team and a one point loss on a bad shooting game to a struggling team from being 8-0. Their intensity is up and down, as it is with all young teams. The freshman in particular have now played a total of fourteen 40 minute games, counting the two exhibition games at AFH and the 3 in Canada, which equates to 17.2 32 minute highschool games. 17 games into a highschool season high schoolers are dragging and hoping for the state tournament to start. The frosh have also practiced more and harder as of mid December than they ever have before in an entire season of high school practices. The new of Lawrence has worn off. They have discovered parties and associated recreational activities and are dragging into practices without with the tank on empty. They are sweating the course load and fearing finals and wondering how they are ever going to make it. They have seen how playing games in clumps chops up your schedule and how whenever there's a week between games the coaches work you into the ground prepping for two or three teams at a time. The weather now sucks. The campus looks barren. They are wondering if they are ever going to get home to their families and friends. And they've got coaches who are just now really beginning to ramp it up in terms of getting on them now that they've gotten a little experience. They're thinking, "If I feel like this after 9 regular season games, how am I ever gonna make it to 30 games?"

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

But the real test of this team comes in the next 3-4 weeks. They are going to experience adversity like they have never known before. They are going to get the snot beaten out of them a time or two. Experienced opponents are going to humiliate and intimidate them. There are going to be more injuries, because they are going to be tired and scared. They are going to doubt themselves and their coaches. For them to come out of this blast furnace with even a little swagger, they are going to have to find some way to win one more than half the games they play; this means they are going to have to steal a win against teams that are probably better than they are right now. It means that when the experienced opponents begin to beat up on them at some point they are going to have to rise above the fear of being beaten and humiliated and beat and humiliate someone else. They are going to have to find their own mean streak. They are going to have to do more than talk about togetherness and haircuts. They are going to watch each others backs and learn that even if they don't believe the guy next to them is that good that he is a link in the chain that they and their entire season are hanging by. They are about to see for the first time just how ferocious Bill Self is when he is cornered. They are about to discover that gang fights in the hood and maker-take sucker punching and high school competition are nothing compared to Division I NCAA competition when a team's and a coach's seasons are in jeopardy. Bill Self has coached with nothing and won at ORU. He has coached with something and won at Tulsa. He coached with some pretty good players at Illinois and won big. He took over from the winningest coach and legend in his own time Roy Williams and won bigger than Roy did. These freshman are about to discover the kind of intensity that drives a man to do what Self has done. Up to now, they've heard him yell and ride them. But now they are going to Division 1 war...the real thing...basketball combat for all the marbles. The team that comes out of this next 3-4 weeks is either going to be a team that has a chance to win the B12, or it is going to be one that is crippled and about to be killed in B12 conference play. Right now, Bill Self is wishing this team had won that Syracuse game more than anything in the world. Why? Because that might have been this teams best nonconference chance to prove to themselves they can play with the big boys. This team could easily get butchered by Michigan State and Tennessee and outscored by Arizona, if Budinger is on. Without Little, KU has not one to stop Budhinger.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

Right now, Bill Self is a cornered animal. He's putting an aw shucks the Morris twins lost a lot of strength from the flu, and he knows that the flu could cost them another game if they're unlucky. But he knows that not just this season, but next season too could be riding on these next 3-4 weeks. If this team is demolished the next 3-4 weeks, regardless what happens the rest of this season, it will go into next season wondering if it can really compete against the best. And that is no way to build to a Final Four kind of year.Bill Self's intensity is apt to be fissile. He's apt to go nuclear several times the next 3-4 weeks. These players are headed into harms way and it is going to take a Sgt. Stryker to bring them through it without the entire team getting shot to pieces. I believe Self can hold up his end of the bargain.The question is: can the players? What are they made of? It is time to find out.

JayhawkCasey 11 years, 2 months ago

jaybate good stuff but way to much to read

stanfordstarter 11 years, 2 months ago

As I was scrolling down reading comments I wondered to myself why hasn't jaybate wrote anything and then BAM! 2 page article. jaybate does it again

Nick Cole 11 years, 2 months ago

lance1jhawk said..."BleedCanB- Your entire run-on/ giant paragraph is a gramatical nightmare. I doubt you ever went to college or even some sort of mid-level grade school. After wasting two minutes of my life reading that, I feel like I lost 20% of my brain cells and now have a degree from Methzzuri. Dude get a life."First off, you can't even spell my username correctly. Secondly, I was unaware that this was English class (I got A's in all of my English and Literature classes and never got worse than a B on any paper I wrote in college BTW). I don't proofread and/or edit my posts. That would be a waste of time. If you are having trouble understanding what I am saying, don't read my posts. Number 3, I have a life. A great one in case you were wondering. And finally, I found more than one grammatical/spelling errors in your post. I would suggest that if you are going to bash on someone's poor grammatical skills, you at least spell the word correctly.

Robert Lofthouse 11 years, 2 months ago

jaybate - good pep talk, it's about the journey and how they handle themselves through it all, isn't it? .. adversity refines a person - they'll step up to the challenge or they won't.. Bill Self has done a pretty good job of picking good people who want to be coached, so I'm counting on the boys becoming men.Hopefully, the Atlantic 10 is a rallying point (the UMass loss and Temple tomorrow), and this weeks' practice is a starting point.

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