Saturday, January 3, 2009

Little might play today vs. Tennessee

John Henry/Journal-World Photo.KU junior Mario Little scrimmages with his team during Late Night in the Phog at Allen Fieldhouse.

John Henry/Journal-World Photo.KU junior Mario Little scrimmages with his team during Late Night in the Phog at Allen Fieldhouse.



Kansas vs. Tennessee

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Complete coverage of Saturday's game against Tennessee.

Mario Little does not want to red-shirt this season.

“I came here to play,” said Little, last year’s top-ranked junior college player out of Chipola (Fla.) College.

The 6-foot-5 guard, who has been kept off the court by a stress fracture in his left leg and most recently a broken bone in his left hand, is hoping to make his major-college debut today against No. 14-ranked Tennessee.

Tipoff is 1 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse.

“Of course I want to play. It’s up to coach (Bill) Self and our trainers,” Little said Friday.

Little, who has practiced with contact the past two days, is a game-day decision, Self said Friday.

“I don’t know. It’s not coach-speak. I’d like to play him if we could,” Self said. “It depends on practice and how he feels tomorrow (before game). I’d say right now there’s more chance ‘no’ than ‘yes.’’’

Self knows Little wants to start contributing in games sooner rather than later.

“I think Mario, when his juices get flowing, there’s a chance he can play,” Self said, “even though it’s hard to play a guy when he’s had one full day of practice going against the 14th-ranked team in the country in a speed game when he’s not played at that speed in six months. That’s a little bit different. We’ll see what happens with him.”

If Little does play, he’ll be wearing a protective glove on his left hand.

“Not like a snowball glove, like a little stretch baseball, football glove (with padding),” Little said.

As far as his immediate future ... “if I can play and help the team I’ll play. If not I’ll red-shirt,” Little said, noting the topic “has been a big deal. A lot of people I know are suggesting I red-shirt. A lot want to see what I can do.”


Nick Cole 12 years, 9 months ago

First Comment, Yes!Anyway, I would like to see him in there. B-Rush was not in "game shape" and helped us beat Zona last year in AFH. Maybe Little could do the same for us against Tenn. We will find out very soon.

Lance Hobson 12 years, 9 months ago

Just go out there and let it rip, Mario! This is a big game for us today, we'll certainly need all the help we can get.

FlaHawk 12 years, 9 months ago

Since Little did not play in first semester thisyear, soes this mean he still has 4 sesesters of legibility?Thirty years ago it was not uncommon to run across elgibility situations like this. I can not think of a similar situation at KU?

Nick Cole 12 years, 9 months ago

I think eligibility is on a yearly basis, not per semester. Correct me if I am wrong. Little would have to red-shirt before Jan. 13th(ish) in order to be eligible to play after next season. Also, why would you want a player for the first half of a season anyway? That would be pointless.

John Brown 12 years, 9 months ago

I think he should red-shirt. This will not be a big year for this team. The next two years offer greater potential. You want to have the player in the first half of the season to prepare for the second. You get your timing down and get in sync with the team.

Ben Kane 12 years, 9 months ago

I understand the desire to play. Put me in coach and all that. I just feel it will take so long for him to feel comfortable on the floor and for our team to be used to him out there. We don't need a scorer right now, we need defense and rebounds. Take the redshirt Little.

63Jayhawk 12 years, 9 months ago

It seems to me that for the team's sake, it is better if Little plays. This team is young. If all or most of the team stays through their senior years, the number of scholarships available in the near future is very limited. We already have one committment from 2010 freshman, Royce Woolridge. Mario Little is a talented player who can help this year and next. His contribution was planned for this year and next, not next year and the following year. It is time for him to play if he is able.

Dyrk Dugan 12 years, 9 months ago

he should and needs to play....and he will be on the court today...if only for a bit.

Scott Smetana 12 years, 9 months ago

Wow, I'm hoping our expectations for Little aren't too high. He's gotta be a bit nervous. However, I don't see us as a powerhouse with both Morningstar and Reed on the floor at the same time.. he's gotta help! Have we yet to have a stud Juco transfer? Maybe Graves? Seems like so many fizzle. I'll never forget Darren Hancock.I still think the key to this year (and next year's) team is the Twins. Go ahead, blast me, but I think Collins is overrated. He is an awesome, but inconsistent spark plug. Am I alone?? I don't see him playing in the NBA. We need Taylor to develop as our guard leader.

KUFan90 12 years, 9 months ago

I think Hancock was a D1 transfer not a JUCO? For some reason I'm remembering from Indiana perhaps?

worrynotjhawk 12 years, 9 months ago

His name is Mario - put him in. He probably won't help on D, but I bet that guy can help us generate some offense (which we have been having trouble with as of late). I think his presence can easily put Reed, Morningstar, and Taylor into double digit scoring. It'll be exciting to see him in action (fingers-crossed). Rock Chalk!

LAJayhawk 12 years, 9 months ago

Eligibility is per semester, I believe, which is why that 7-footer from Zona who is transfering will be eligible in December 2009.Gary, correct me if I'm wrong.

Ben Kane 12 years, 9 months ago

no, eligibility is not per semester. The Zona transfer can't play until december because you must sit a year when you transfer.

Ben Kane 12 years, 9 months ago

have you ever heard of someone running out of eligibility in mid-season?

PAhawkfan15 12 years, 9 months ago

Pikes i couldnt agree more. Nobody has disappointed me more than Collins. He looks absolutely out of control sometimes and Taylor's looking much better than i expected

lovethegame 12 years, 9 months ago

Darrin Hancock played at Garden City Community College.

ShepHawk 12 years, 9 months ago

For everyone who continuously bashes Sherron Collins, you should probably throw your National Championship gear in the trash. He made play after play in the tournament, and there is no way we are wearing National Championship T-shirts without him.He is a great player (who struggles at times) on a very young team. Try being a little realistic.

RICHARD143 12 years, 9 months ago

I will bet my brothers paycheck that Mario will play today. He will contribute and contribute well. Play agressive Mario and show us what you got. Good luck

Greg Lux 12 years, 9 months ago

isn't Rust Red ... he has lots of it .. if he cant shake the Rust off he better red shirt ..

KUbsee69 12 years, 9 months ago

chuckberry32, etal:Jo Jo White's eligibility ran out mid-season during the 68-69 season. He originally became eligible second semester of '66.

FlaHawk 12 years, 9 months ago

Mario was very rusty today. It will take him 3-4 weeks to catch up. My concern is a foot stress factor tends to reoccur without surgery or total rest. I wonder what the limit on games played to still redshirt, if reinjury?

Rick Arnoldy 12 years, 9 months ago

You guys rippin' on Collins are a joke. Coach gave him the green light because he knew Sherron was the only potent weapon we have in the backcourt. He has been a stud with the ball. Along with that comes a few mistakes but without him being a leader we are NOTHING. Get your head out of the clouds and be thankful for what you have. He was the 2nd MVP last year and THE MVP this year.

LAJayhawk 12 years, 9 months ago

ohioburg,You are absolutely correct. Certainly he has made a few mistakes, but he is also extraordinarily important to this team. He does force some plays sometimes, but he also opens up the floor and makes tremendous plays which force defenses to play him strong opening up the rest of the team. You have to take the good with the bad.And lets not kid ourselves, without Sherron we would have lost A LOT more than 3 games so far... including today. The expectations you people put on this kid are simply ridiculous. Sherron is a fantastic basketball player, and he is constantly improving just like everyone else on the floor. Only his mistakes are magnified 100 fold.Appreciate what you have in Sherron Collins.

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