McLemore's injury limits playing time on European trip

Thursday, August 9, 2012

— Kansas University red-shirt freshman Ben McLemore started but played just five minutes in Wednesday’s game because of a nagging injury.

The guard tweaked his groin on Saturday during KU’s last pre-European tourpractice in Lawrence.

“He wants to play,” KU coach Bill Self said. “He needs this more than maybe anybody on our team, and it doesn’t look like he’s going to get to have it.”

McLemore played 16 minutes in KU’s first game against Switzerland on Tuesday.

“He’s been trying to play, but I don’t think he’s going to be able to get out there much,” Self said. “We’ll give it another try in Paris (on Saturday) and see what happens.”

Young rejects free throw

KU forward Kevin Young came up with a big play with three minutes left and the Jayhawks trailing by three, batting away a Swiss player’s second free-throw attempt while it was above the rim.

Under international rules, players are allowed to go above the cylinder to touch a ball once it hits the rim.

The ball appeared to be on its way to bouncing in.

“Since we figured out we were going over (to Europe), I was like, ‘Oh yeah. I’m starting to tip everything off the glass in practice,’” Young said.. “Coach (Norm) Roberts was like, ‘No, don’t do that. Not yet. Not yet.’ So I think that was a really good play.”

Young said he’d accomplished the feat once before as a member of the Puerto Rico senior national team.

“Kevin has this thing where he likes to show you that he knows something, so I feel like he was waiting on that chance to show us, ‘Hey, this is legal.’ And at first, it kind of froze all of us,” KU guard Elijah Johnson said with a laugh. “It made us a little nervous, but Kevin knows what he’s doing for the most part.”

Taking it easy

KU’s players and coaches joined members of the KU alumni trip for a cruise of scenic Lake Brienz near Interlaken, Switzerland on Wednesday afternoon.

“It was really relaxing. That was only my second time being on a boat like that,” Johnson said. “It was a really big boat. We had a nice meal. It was the best meal, by far, we had out here.

“They treated us well. You had the sun and you had the shade. I preferred the shade and just relaxing, taking it all in.”

Young said it was his first time on a boat.

“It was all right,” Young said. “I’m just not too good in the water. I can swim, but I just don’t like the water that much.”

Other highlights

Besides Young and Andrew White, Self said a couple other players stood out in Wednesday’s victory.

“I thought Naadir (Tharpe) did some good things,” Self said. “I thought once again, if you’re going to rate our big guys, Zach (Peters) was definitely the best big guy we had in the game the first half and did some good things. Then he had three straight turnovers in a row.

“But there are some guys individually that are doing some good things.”

KU to host GameDay

KU’s basketball team will play host to ESPN’s College GameDay as was announced by the network Wednesday.

The GameDay crew will come to Lawrence on Feb. 16 when the Jayhawks meet Texas in a Big 12 Conference contest. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.

This marks ESPN’s College GameDay’s fifth visit to KU (2004-05, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2010-11), which would be the most of any program.

“This is great news,” Self said. “(ESPN) GameDay is a great way to showcase the best place in college basketball in Allen Fieldhouse and our program. Besides Allen (Fieldhouse), one of the reasons they keep coming back is our fans have rolled out every time we host.”

The Texas at KU contest will mark the fourth straight season the Jayhawks have appeared on ESPN’s Saturday night primetime event and will be KU’s eighth appearance since the show’s inception in 2005. KU has won three of its previous four games featured on College GameDay.

— Gary Bedore contributed to this report.