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Originally published February 23, 2009 at 02:03p.m., updated February 23, 2009 at 02:30p.m.

Griffin ruled out tonight against No. 15 Jayhawks

Oklahoma's Blake Griffin (23) looks to make a move against UT's Dexter Pittman on Saturday in Austin, Texas.

Oklahoma's Blake Griffin (23) looks to make a move against UT's Dexter Pittman on Saturday in Austin, Texas.

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No. 3 Oklahoma's star forward Blake Griffin won't play in tonight's 8 p.m. match-up against No. 15 Kansas, according to a report by the Daily Oklahoman in Oklahoma City.

The decision was made after consulting with the OU medical staff, which suggested Griffin needed more time to heal after sustaining a concussion in Saturday's 73-68 loss to Texas.

OU coach Jeff Capel gave no timetable for how many games Griffin would miss. He mentioned earlier today on the Big 12 coaches teleconference that the Sooners would take no chances on rushing Griffin back for tonight's game at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.

"He won't have any (say)," Capel said of Griffin. "It's the medical staff when it's a situation like this. Blake would play. He wanted to come back in the second half (Saturday) and at least give it another try. But you dont mess around with something like this."

Coincidentally, the Jayhawks didn't see much of Griffin last year either. Griffin played only five minutes in KU's 85-55 rout of Oklahoma in Allen Fieldhouse before injuring his knee. He didn't score and was 0-for-2 from the field.

Griffin leads the country with 13.8 rebounds per game and leads the Big 12 with 22 points per game. He has 22 double-doubles this season, which is tops in the nation.

In Griffin's absence, look for Oklahoma to start Juan Pattillo or UCLA transfer Ryan Wright. On Saturday, Wright started the second half against Texas after Griffin suffered the injury. Pattillo averages 14 minutes a game, 6.3 points and 3.1 rebounds, while Wright averages 8.7 minutes per game, 2.2 points and 2.2 rebounds.

The winner of tonight's game will take sole possession of first place in the Big 12. Kansas enters at 22-5 overall and 11-1 in the conference. Oklahoma is 25-2 and 11-1.

Comments

Dan Harris 5 years, 1 month ago

rockchalkjeff- whats up with the negativity towards 100? I think tonight's game comes down to 1 thing, the trifecta. If OU is hitting them(primarily WW, and Johnson) we lose, if they are only mediocre we win and I won't give a damn that BG didn't play! GO HAWKS!!!

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Robert Brock 5 years, 1 month ago

The key is Austin Johnson. Shut his down, pick his pocket, whatever. Don't let him feed the post, dish out dimes, or shoot without some pressure.

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curlyqkm15 5 years, 1 month ago

That sucks! I was really hoping that he would be able to play. I hope that he gets well soon!

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JayViking 5 years, 1 month ago

Eric, KU62,

thanks. I didn't see!

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William Blake 5 years, 1 month ago

Sherron is going to burn OU tonight. They don't have anyone to match up on him...

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johnballa 5 years, 1 month ago

Win= everyone complains about how Blake Griffin didn't play and KU got bailed out Loss= "God KU sucks, they can't beat OU without Blake Griffin!"

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100 5 years, 1 month ago

RckChkJeff,

Nice comment, wishing a fellow KU fan to be "not OK".

Have you ever had a head injury? I hope not.

This is nothing to make light of. This is a kid's brain we're talking about.

The basketball game tonight is just a sidenote -- may the best team win, but the real story is the lifelong health of Blake Griffin.

Rock Chalk, Jeff

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John Randall 5 years, 1 month ago

"I saw Warren get hurt in the game. He is OK now apparently ??"

He wasn't 'hurt' hurt. He was just hurting from a leg cramp. He came back in and finished the game in fine shape.

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Fred Davis 5 years, 1 month ago

I agree with most here - while Griffin playing would be nice - tonight is a Big Boy's game and guess who's Big Boy will be there tonight?

Sherron Freaking Collins...

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JayhawkLova7 5 years, 1 month ago

I totally agree with KUbsee69,

I don't want anyone to get hurt, but we really can't do anything about it. I mean none of the KU players hurt Griffin or anything so I mean seriously it isn't are fault he has a concussion. What do they all want us to do? Postpone the game. I mean seriously. OU is a good team with or without Blake Griffin. I think KU has a chance with Blake on the court and with Blake off the court as well. We need to take this opportunity and get the Sooners real good tonight.

Go KU!!!

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KUbsee69 5 years, 1 month ago

I don't like to see any kid get hurt ... BUT:

I don't rememeber anyone saying "I'd rather wait until Germany and Japan get the bomb so we can see who's really the toughest". Patton never said "lets exploit their strengths".

I agree that nobody looking at our Big XII Champions banner in the coming years will see 2009 and say "that doesn't count because Griffin was hurt". If that's the case, then 2008 doesn't count because Griffin was hurt.

So, let's just take advantage of whatever (good fortune?) is handed to us and beat OU!!!

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RckChalkJeff 5 years, 1 month ago

100, I hope you're not ok...

As far as the Gooners go, I dont care who plays or doesnt play...jst want them to get their a$$ kicked by anyone and everyone..

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100 5 years, 1 month ago

I just hope Griffin is OK.

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tis4tim 5 years, 1 month ago

I too would have liked to see both teams at full strength. But, the situation is what it is and a win here is a solid accomplishment.

However, I agree with those who say the pressure has now been volleyed back to KU in this one.

As for the lose/lose thing, Gottlieb and Bilas are the only ones who tout KU with any frequency anyway, so good, bad or ugly tonight I don't think that's an issue.

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Matt1958 5 years, 1 month ago

Blake is a great kid, just went to the wrong school. So did Willie Warren. We'll still have to play well to win. You can bet OU won't lay down. Win or loose, our kids are showing more and more toughness. I'm damn proud of them!

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truefan 5 years, 1 month ago

Really the only thing that I've thought about is if Blake Griffin might have a more serious problem if he can get a concussion from such a light tap on the nose. I don't feel bad for OU yet, the game hasn't been played yet and OU hasn't lost yet. If we win, then I'll feel bad for OU, but if OU wins, the media will be singing their praises. Seriously, if OU wins tonight without Griffin it will be the best thing that could have ever happened to them this season. It will give the rest of the team some confidence to to score and defend without him, then they'll get him back and will be all the better team for it.

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OKJAYHAWK5 5 years, 1 month ago

I live in OKC, and the talk is already starting about if KU wins it wont matter because they arent at full strength. Man I wish he was playing so we could go in there and get a W to shut these bandwagons up!!

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JayCeph 5 years, 1 month ago

Let's worry about how people/fans/media will view KU after the game is played. There is still a game @ 8:00 tonight if I'm not mistaken.

Never look ahead. Griffin or not, KU will need to play focused and as a team. If they get riled by the fans... ugh.

Who cares about all that other crap? Come on. Play the game.

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Ed Fox 5 years, 1 month ago

This is part of athletics. If it helps us get our 52nd conference championship, so be it. He will be fine after some rest and a year from now no one will remember the circumstances of the game tonight.

I appreciate all the comments about how sorry people are, but a lot of people are secretly ok with this happening - if it makes it easier for us to get this win, that translates into a chance for the title, it also helps get a higher seed in the tournament, which may mean playing in KC - all win's for KU.

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d_prowess 5 years, 1 month ago

The line has dropped again. Now KU is just a +2.5

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AzHawk97 5 years, 1 month ago

Years from now I don't think anyone is going to dwell on how we won our 52nd conference championship. That being said, we still have some work to do.

Rock F'n Chalk Jayhawks!

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William Blake 5 years, 1 month ago

There is no asterick in the end of season standings saying "should have won but suffered an injury"...

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TheShot122293 5 years, 1 month ago

Even though the national media, as well as the MUKSU idiots, are going to call this less of a win because Griffin didn't play, I agree with the previous several posts that this is not a lose-lose situation. Winning the conference is winning the conference, and as jwliddell and 4jhawks4ku said, injuries are a part of the game. I think a 100% healthy Jerod Haase would have been worth at least three points in 1997, but Arizona probably doesn't think any less about their national championship run.

Besides, we would have won even with a fully operational Blake Griffin.

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William Blake 5 years, 1 month ago

This is disappointing but the show must go on. We still have to beat a tough OU team at home. It will still take the same effort to win as it would if Blake was playing...

...and I wouldn't get too upset about Mizzou's standings...all the merrier for their little trip to The Phog... Then they can prove they are a Top 10 team. If KU wins both of these games, they'll probably land in or near the Top 10 and Mizzou will bump down to about 18. This time of year always shakes up the ratings...

It's all in the hands of KU!

Rock Chalk! Bring home the "W" hawks!

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C_CHALK 5 years, 1 month ago

This is a bummer. I was hoping that he would be able to play so we could play OU at their strongest. I hope he gets better soon. Hopefully he will be ready to play in the big 12 tournament.

Lets play well tonight Jayhawks!!! Rock Chalk!!!

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4jhawks4ku 5 years, 1 month ago

Pretenders? .....This Lose, Lose,situation is bullst. Who cares how we win tonight?. You think Miseree felt bad about beating us with our center having to wear a funky mask he couldnt see out of?. Think we've never had injuries? Think anyone ever remembers who came in second in the big twelve?. H* no they dont. Wins and Losses, baby, wins and losses.Right here is where we separate from the pack. Lets go out and rack up another win and let our wives feel sorry for poor Blake Griffin while we cheer on Collins and Aldrich to another Big Twelve title.

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John Liddell 5 years, 1 month ago

I hear ya, stravinsky - W/o Griffin' this is still the best team we have faced this year. Injuries are part of sports, it's unfortunate for Blake that he can't play such a big game, but it comes with the territory. If someone wants to argue that we aren't playing a tough team because Griffin is out, then I blame Griffin for having such a soft dome. lol

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stravinsky 5 years, 1 month ago

Anytime a game can give KU a win over a top 5 opponent and sole possession of the Big 12 (especially in a rebuilding year...) I have a hard time seeing how it's lose-lose.

Besides, we're gonna get to play them again in Oklahoma for the Big 12 tourney title game.

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JerryWestFan 5 years, 1 month ago

I know we have the team to beat Griffin and the Sooners, but we have to win tonight. We can't let an opportunity like this pass us by in a close Big 12. And seriously how is Missouri number 8 in the newest rankings? Yes they did in fact beat us, but they are not a top ten caliber team; not by any measure. And yes they will have to play Blake Griffin unlike us, yesssssss!

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John Liddell 5 years, 1 month ago

I don't like the lose-lose mentality. Do you think OU is thinking lose-lose? No, they are thinking we're a great TEAM going against another great conference opponent. That should be our mindset, regardless of what the media throws up. It will be a tough game. OU is a complete team with or without Griffin. I'm sure they would still be in the same position without Griffin, he is just icing on the cake for a really good team. Who cares what the media thinks anyway - in the media's eyes last year, we were the weakest one seed in the tourney. Ask Roy Williams if that was true or not.

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kuboyjoe 5 years, 1 month ago

This sucks. I know we have the potential to beat a full-strength OU team, and a win against them with out Blake just won't look as good unless we by like 20 something. Of course I want a win and all but still. If we win we don't get enough credit and if we lose, we look bad and get dissed. Oh great, just wonderful.

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Rivethead 5 years, 1 month ago

Eurekahwk:

When we win and I look in the win column the next day, I'll see a bigger number. And there won't be an asterisk by it or anything.

How is that lose-lose?

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Eurekahwk 5 years, 1 month ago

This is not cool. We HAVE to win tonight. And win big. If we can't beat OU going away without their National POY, then that says we are a complete pretender. And should we win, then we didn't beat the real Oklahoma. This a lose-lose situation. Let's pray we get them in the Big 12 tourney at full strength.

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Eric Sorrentino 5 years, 1 month ago

Hey Jayviking, Warren just suffered a cramp against Texas. He stretched on the sidelines and returned to the game later. He should be fine for tonight.

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lance1jhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

This game is not a definite W in our column. I'm personally worried that the rest of the OU team will rally around there fallen leader and give us hell. If OU uses this as a "we want to show the world, that we are not a one man team" It could be a long night.

I'm confident that HCBS will be on his A game tonight, and not allow big runs and momentum shifts to OU to last very long.

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Ben Kane 5 years, 1 month ago

I don't think OU has time to throw in any new offensive wrinkles. They will play their same game with other names filling in the spot of Griffin. I agree that this now becomes more of a game that we must win to prove ourselves. My guess is we take it to them early in the first half then let them slowly back in the game. Final goes down to the wire with KU hitting free throws to put it away.

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d_prowess 5 years, 1 month ago

Good point 4jhawks, while I think we are in a position to potentially have a lose/lose situation in the eyes of many as other here have said, I think if we were to win by 15 and have it be comfortable at the end, we will get the respect of outsiders because it shows that even with Griffin, it probably would have been a toss up with a top 5 team in the country. So here's to us winning big tonight!!

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4jhawks4ku 5 years, 1 month ago

Too bad we have to beat OU without their superstar. Pound em by 10 and we get the respect we deserve. Lock and Load, Boys , Lock and Load..........Take no prisoners tonight.

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JayViking 5 years, 1 month ago

I saw Warren get hurt in the game. He is OK now apparently ??

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d_prowess 5 years, 1 month ago

dsmith, that line has started to slip but not as much as I thought. It is just KU +4 now on centsports.com. I would imagine it will continue to fall as this news filters through the betting world and by game time it is closer to pick'em.

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Lance Hobson 5 years, 1 month ago

That's too bad, we don't want to win the conference this way. It will still be a tough game, but hopefully we'll pull it out and get a share of the title and another chance at Blake in the Big 12 tourney.

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AtlantaHawk 5 years, 1 month ago

You know Self prepared our team to play with or without Griffin. I don't think it will change the mindset of what we need to do tonight. Stop W2 from bombin' us deep, and rebound aggressively. The games where we haven't executed either, we've lost (Cuse, MSU, Mizzou). Don't be fooled with Blake out, this will still be one of the toughest games we've played all year. If we go in with the "either way it's a lose/lose" mindset, we'll go home with an L. We win, and we're in 1st place in the Big XII. Screw the media, because nothing else matters. Rock Chalk.

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Drew Alan 5 years, 1 month ago

without Griffin, OU will be as good as Warren and Johnson's 3 point shot. If they are both hitting, OU wins, both not hitting, KU wins, one on/one off, coin flip. I think Vegas knew something because KU was only a 4.5 point dog as of 10:30 this morning.

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kumax77 5 years, 1 month ago

Its always fun to speculate. What if BG plays? What if he's out? All the pressure is on KU... no, all the pressure is on OU, cuz they're a top five team. I am glad they still have to play the game of bball on the court. I think everyone's tended to under-estimate the 'hawks all year (myself included).

What I'm beginning to realize (yes, thick- headed) is that Self continues to get his teams up for pretty much every game and seems to have them prepared. I always have to remind myself to sit back, relax and enjoy watching an emerging young team learn and develop. This team is talented and coach Self may just be the national coach of the year (for putting it together when no one expected much)... this, my friends, is impressive- no matter the outcome. Having said all that- my homer instincts still say- knock 'em down, 'hawks and show us what you can do!

RCJHGKU

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Scott Smetana 5 years, 1 month ago

Sdoyal, I agree... tonight is a lose, lose situation as far as national respect goes.
However, this is a good night to see us IMPROVE! I'd like to see more polish... less turnovers, great defense. I'd also like to see MC, MK, Tyshawn, and Little also be consistent tonight. Here's to a great game! Rock Chalk!

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Jaminrawk 5 years, 1 month ago

Why do I smell a 40+ point game from Willie Warren coming? I just have the awful feeling that OU pulls it out at home and the last thing we see is the ESPN correspondent interviewing Warren and him saying that "no one gave them a chance w/o Griffin". I hope my feeling is wrong.

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kc_wildfire 5 years, 1 month ago

OU: Griffin Out, KU: Pressure On

As most have already stated in previous posts, a win in Norman against a Top 10 team with a superstar player would be a tall task for the Jayhawks. Losing a hard fought, fairly close game on the road isn't the worst thing that could happen to a team. Many of the so called "experts" would predict and expect a loss for a young team like KU.

However, without Griffin this becomes a totally different game. One that the Jayhawks should probably win. The pressure is now on KU to pull out a win and not take a mighty stumble against a team without their best player. KU can (or some will say has) to prove they are Top 10 caliber by beating the Sooners or risk being banished back to the bottom rungs of the Top 25.

KU could not hold on for forty minutes of physical pressure against MU. Will they be able to handle forty minutes of mental pressure tonight?

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John Liddell 5 years, 1 month ago

I honestly think that without Griffin it presents more of an issue for us. After scouting, we knew that OU's offense runs through Griffin'. Now we have to worry about what new scheme they have laid out for a very potent supporting cast.

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sdoyel 5 years, 1 month ago

Lets not forget that this entire OU team lacks big-game experience (save any games they may have played this season). As a friend of mind said though, this game is a lose-lose for KU since Griffin is out.

We win, it's because Griffin didn't play.

We lose, it basically says we're overrated.

Still, a W by KU tonight will allow us to drop 1 more game and finish in at least a tie for the Big 12.

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mbmerriman 5 years, 1 month ago

wow, we have never played him, hopefully we will meet again in the big 12 tourney

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cklarock 5 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, that's a bummer -- you hate to see a guy of his caliber miss a game for any reason.

That said, good on the Oklahoma staff -- keeping Griffin out is the right thing to do if he did have a concussion, and considering their NCAA tourney hopes, they have bigger fish to fry.

The victory won't be quite as sweet without Griffin in the game, but if we can get this win, it looks like Coach Self will have exceeded even my (slightly unrealistic) high expectations.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

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Fred Davis 5 years, 1 month ago

I said we'd win with or without Griffin... Sure Warren will get his, but not having Griffin leaves a huge void, physically and mentally for OU... I don't see anyone on that team picking up Griffin's slack, and when you look at their schedule - they've lost their two toughest contests - at Arkansas and UT Saturday Night... KU - been there, done that... 71-68 Hawks tonight... And even with the win, KU will still get hated on because of no Griffin...

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tkramer 5 years, 1 month ago

This stinks. Since it's likely he'll be the #1 pick in the draft, we may have seen our last chance to play him. (Unless we meet up in the ncaa tourney or B12 tourney...)

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jkanev 5 years, 1 month ago

I was really rooting for Blake Griffin to be healthy. I like when we get to play top rated teams at full strength, to really see how the Hawks size up. Plus, it would have been a fun battle to watch between he and Aldrich.

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RonBurgandy 5 years, 1 month ago

As more meaningful as it would have been to beat OU on the road with Griffin, I was not all that confident we could win. I still think it will be a pretty tough game, but it definitely helps our chances that his is out.

Rock Chalk!

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Dyrk Dugan 5 years, 1 month ago

i hope he comes back as well...but boy, the pressure is on for us to win the game.

and OU will be loose as heck, since the stud player is not in. no pressure, no #1 ranking....they can go all out.

c'mon Jayhawks....let's just focus in...and get 'er done. dang, i wish Griffin hadn't gotten hurt. this will be interesting for sure.

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jcsmith 5 years, 1 month ago

Despite not being able to play the complete OU team, this will truely show everyone if OU is as talented as it seems. The team has been shadowed by Mr. Griffin and I for one have wondered just how good they would be without him. Looks like we're gonna get a glimpse of what I was wondering.

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Dirk Medema 5 years, 1 month ago

Stinks not to have them at full strength, tho little consideration seems to be given to such things after the first flurry of journalism and blogging. Hope he heals well and soon.

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tominkc 5 years, 1 month ago

That sucks. A KU win is still far from a certainty, but I'd hate to see the conference race potentially decided by something like this. Hope he gets well soon.

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