Kansas University junior center Markieff Morris will undergo hernia surgery today that will likely keep him out a week to 10 days, coach Bill Self said Wednesday night.
The 6-foot-10, 246-pounder from Philadelphia hasn’t missed any of KU’s first six practices because of the injury.
“Markieff is having the most minor of surgeries (today). You never want guys to miss any time, but we’re probably talking about missing seven days of practice. He should be able to run and shoot within days, be full-speed within seven to 10 days,” Self said.
“During that time we take two days off, so you are talking about missing seven days of practice. He should not miss any time during games. He’s going to get some time off here to give that a chance to heal,” Self added.
If all goes to plan, Morris should be available for the exhibition opener against Washburn on Nov. 2.
Self said sophomore center Jeff Withey (broken bone, right foot) should be full speed by early November.
As far as general impressions of practice, Self has been, well, impressed.
“It’s been good. They are trying hard,” Self said. “Right now, this early the three biggest things we don’t do too well is we are too careless. We’re throwing the ball all over the gym. We don’t guard consistently at all and our rebounding is poor right now.
“The positives are we’ve got quite a bit of stuff in, in a short amount of time. Guys are trying hard, are focused, conditioning is above average. We have the potential to get better in all areas as we tighten it up shortly.”
The Jayhawks are not as advanced as a year ago, the eighth-year coach said.
“Not close to being where we were at this stage after six days last year because we had Sherron (Collins) and Cole (Aldrich) obviously to go with the other guys. On the flip side, we see great potential. This team should be able to guard,” Self said.
As far as individuals ...
“I would say everybody has been pretty good,” Self said. “Brady (Morningstar) was the best one day; Tyshawn (Taylor) the best one day. The twins (Marcus, Markieff Morris) have been the most consistent so far. Josh (Selby) was the best player in practice today. Elijah (Johnson) has been very good.
“To me, Mario Little goes unnoticed but every day you think, ‘He played well.’ Travis (Releford) as well. Thomas (Robinson) has been the best in the gym a couple days or one day. Everybody’s shown potential. There have been no negatives (but) nobody is as consistent as they should be. Nobody has separated themselves.”
Self — who travels to Kansas City, Mo., for today’s Big 12 Media Day — said at last week’s KU Media Day that he’s fond of the team’s athleticism.
“I think we look short. I don’t think we look small,” Self said. “We look shorter than what we have in the past not only because of Cole’s length, but you go back to Sasha’s length as well,” he added of Sasha Kaun. “We’ve had two good fallbacks (for defense). But Jeff (Withey, 7-footer) will be back. It’ll take him some time since he’s been out a month, but when he comes back, he’ll be back. His length helps us.”
Nash to decide today: LeBryan Nash, a 6-foot-7, 230-pound senior forward from Dallas’ Lincoln High, today will orally commit to KU, Oklahoma State or Baylor on ESPNU’s college insider recruiting show, to start at 4 p.m., Central time.
Rivals.com’s No. 4-rated player is the half brother of former Cowboy guard Byron Eaton. In the past, he’s called himself a heavy OSU lean.
Nash, however, reported “all the schools are (now) equal,” after last weekend’s official visit to KU.
“Right away he would impact the (KU) program,” Rivals.com analyst Shay Wildeboor said of Nash, who averaged 17.8 points and 10.2 rebounds per game last year. “He is the No. 4-ranked player for a reason. He has handles, can shoot, has driving ability. At 230 pounds, he is a matchup nightmare. If he comes in and plays to his potential, he’ll be a one-and-done player.”
Fieldhouse not sold out: Allen Fieldhouse is not sold out for the coming season, KU officials reported Wednesday.
“More tickets are available due to several reasons: Some fans elected not to renew their tickets,” KU officials reported, with the economy one possible factor. “Some fans elected to purchase fewer tickets than last year. Due to the new safeguards implemented by Kansas Athletics and Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, Kansas Athletics now has the opportunity to put more tickets on sale.”
Season tickets are available (19 games Allen Fieldhouse, one game Sprint Center) in full packages and a pair of half-season packages. Single game tickets also will be on sale. Williams Fund members will have first priority.
Tickets have been available in past seasons, but this is the first time in more than a decade Jayhawk officials have reported the building not sold out.
Information on how to purchase several hundred reserved season tickets or many single-game tickets is available here.