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Originally published November 26, 2012 at 10:31p.m., updated November 27, 2012 at 12:20a.m.

Notebook: Zach Peters to leave KU basketball program because of health issues

Kansas freshman Zach Peters poses for a photo inside Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas freshman Zach Peters poses for a photo inside Allen Fieldhouse.

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KU-SJSU

Zach Peters’ basketball career at Kansas University is over.

Peters, a 6-foot-9 freshman from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas, has health concerns that include four concussions in the last two years and a rotator cuff injury that has kept him from practicing this season.

“Zach and I met today after he went home to meet with his family for Thanksgiving, and he has informed us that he will be leaving the basketball program effective at the end of the semester,” KU coach Bill Self said. “Zach has labored with health issues since he has been here. His shoulder has improved but he’s also been dealing with multiple concussions that have become a big source of frustration and concern for him.”

Peters, who played football and basketball his senior year of high school, suffered two concussions last school year, as well as one in July and one in September at KU, Self said.

He was cleared to resume play after a period of time following both concussions at KU, Self indicated.

“Our medical staff did MRIs and all that,” Self said. “He cleared all the medical tests,”

Self said Peters, whose shoulder “has improved but is not 100 percent.” Peters has decided to give up sports at least for now to return to Plano at semester.

“He’s not leaving here to go play (elsewhere) but be done. I don’t think he’s going to try to play sports, at least for a while,” Self said. “The fact he has had that many (concussions) in this short amount of time, plus the shoulder, I think he got pretty discouraged. He wants to move in a different direction, which to be honest, if it was my son, I’d tell him to do the same thing. I don’t think this is a bad move on his part at all. I know his family was hoping it could work out differently. There was too much concern about getting hit again.”

Self added: “We have had numerous contacts with his family about this and we are all in total agreement that before Zach could move forward with any type of athletic endeavors, he needs to be in a situation where he can address his health issues.”

Peters, who committed to KU before his junior year of high school, said: “I hate that this is happening. I have really enjoyed my time at KU. I was looking forward to having a great college experience here but with all the injuries, including the concussions, that I have dealt with lately, I feel like in order for me to move on and be able to get over all this, I need to go home and basically heal.

“I really like all my teammates. This was the best situation I could have put myself in to excel in basketball,” he added. “I want to say thank you to KU, the coaches, staff, teammates and fans that have supported me. I wish it didn’t have to end up like this, but it's important for me to do so for my future. I plan on continuing to take classes while I'm home but I will not be playing sports in the near future.”

Tempers flare: KU’s Elijah Johnson was whistled for a technical foul along with San Jose State’s La Vanne Pennington in the second half. The two barked at each other after Xavier Jones was called for an intentional foul on a breakaway by KU’s Andrew White.

“I felt that was dangerous for him to grab Drew like that,” Johnson said. “I asked him, ‘Can he watch those kind of plays with my teammate?’ The referee felt it was more a hostile conversation.”

Self was upset that a point guard received a technical for standing up for a teammate, not a big man.

“That’s the first thing I said (to team), ‘Why are you letting him (Johnson) do that? I mean that’s ridiculous,’’’ Self said. “We haven’t had teams here in the past act that way, ever. It should have been a big guy go get it. C’mon, if you are going to say something to somebody it shouldn’t be your point guard doing it, it is one of your enforcers. So our point guard did it.”

Self, by the way, said Johnson “nicked up” his knee during a game in last week’s CBE Classic and as a result “had no juice.” Self said Johnson should not miss any time.

This, that: KU senior Travis Releford, who was named MVP of last week’s CBE Hall of Fame Classic, on Monday earned Big 12 player of the week honors Monday for the second time in his career. ... Julius Randle, a 6-9, 240-pound senior from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas, will be sidelined the next three months because of a fractured right foot. Randle, the No. 2-ranked prospect in the Class of 2013 has a final list of KU, Kentucky, N.C. State, Florida, Texas and Oklahoma. ... Jeff Withey has 202 career blocks, good for sixth on KU’s all-time list. ... SJSU’s James Kinney scored 30 points, most by a KU opponent in Allen since Texas’ J’Covan Brown hit for 33 last season. ... KU's 16 blocks were most by a Jayhawk team since blocked shots were officially recognized by the NCAA in 1974-75. It passes the 15 blocks KU recorded against Toledo in 2006.

Comments

Michael Auchard 1 year, 10 months ago

Bad news. Wish you the best going forward, Zach.

Kevin Studer 1 year, 10 months ago

This is too bad. I am really hoping more information is coming.

parrothead8 1 year, 10 months ago

It's clear you've had your share of concussions also.

yates33333 1 year, 10 months ago

Can't believe it was possible, but a new low for ahpersecoachingexperienceas$hole.

Dan Pawlowski 1 year, 10 months ago

You are definitely showing signs of a concussion. Fall off your couch one too many times?

Jack Jones 1 year, 10 months ago

This is a personal medical issue, for God's sake!!

MrPilot 1 year, 10 months ago

I hope you have a speedy recovery from any health problems you are facing, Zach. Good luck with the future and thanks for being a Jayhawk, if only for a short time.

Alohahawk 1 year, 10 months ago

Zach will be a Jayhawk for life (at least in my mind), even if he attends another college. My heart feels for the guy. He chose KU early on, and, IMHO, would have been a starter down the road. May you soon overcome your health issues, Zach. And best luck in the future.

eastcoasthawk 1 year, 10 months ago

So sorry to hear this. Wishing you all the best Zach. Multiple concussions are serious and have to be dealt with. You always knew where you wanted to go to school. You will always be one of us. RCJH!

ahpersecoachingexperience 1 year, 10 months ago

Brock Berglund thinks there is more to this story.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

Brock only acted like he had multiple concussions.

Brianna Zaleski 1 year, 10 months ago

Well this sucks. Too bad for a kid who had been committed to us since his soph year... On the bright side, does this get us closer to one of our big recruits? Randle perhaps?

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

I think the only point he has is his nose.

Chris Baker 1 year, 10 months ago

We hope you get well soon and can come back to Lawrence to show the world what you can do! So long for now, see you soon?

milehighhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

Always a Jayhawk - best wishes moving forward, ZP!

Joe Joseph 1 year, 10 months ago

I don't know the kid and don't mean to judge, but why not take a medical redshirt?

texashawk10 1 year, 10 months ago

4 concussions in less than a year is very serious issue. Multiple concussions close together have ended many great athletes careers. Steve Young and Troy Aikman both had their careers ended by multiple concussions.

Ethan Berger 1 year, 10 months ago

It might be a few years and maybe not return at all to sports.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

That is essentially what it is. He is just doing it from home without taking KU's $ or scholi space. The article says he is still taking classes.

Jeff Soisson 1 year, 10 months ago

Your Jayhawk Family to me, always will be, stay involved. Can't wait until your son is a Jayhawk!

79ictjhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

Zach - totally agree, your health has to come first. Wish you best.

akgjenkintown 1 year, 10 months ago

This is a real shame, but you could see this coming. Zac would have been the starting center next year. I think this will have a ripple effect this year and in years to come. He could of helped bring the toughness that this year's team needs now, which was very evident based on tonights game. He can rebound and get those 50:50 balls. He will be a star where ever he eventually plays. Unfortunately, it will not be at KU. There has to be more to the story.

archercc 1 year, 10 months ago

Well if he never was able to heal up then he wouldnt have been much of an enforcer. Going home and hopefully not getting any more concussions might help him out. The shoulder will heal, it just takes time.

Is this really a guarantee that he wont be back at KU? If he sits out why couldn't he play at a D1 school again? The fact that he committed considerably earlier than he had to shows that is intent all along was KU, so it wouldn't be odd if he came back once he got right.

mom_of_three 1 year, 10 months ago

multiple concussions is enough to keep an athlete off the court - dizziness, headaches and it can lead to memory problems. If the concussions are serious enough, it can affect the rest of his life.

Emery 1 year, 10 months ago

Bummer! Good luck, Zach. We would have loved you!

741hawk 1 year, 10 months ago

Playing football his senior year in high school might have been a VERY bad decision, more than we ever imagined.

Great young man. Great family. Very much a Bill Self-type of player. He will be missed.

texashawk10 1 year, 10 months ago

Sucks that Zach has to leave because he definitely had the potential to be a significant contributor at KU during his career, but when it comes to health it's definitely better to play it safe. Bill Self did not throw out KU potentially having 8 scholarships this class just for the heck of it. With the way McLemore's playing, will anybody realistically be surprised if he leaves after this year? If McLemore goes, that makes 7 and I don't think anybody will be shocked to see someone transfer after this year either.

Matt Kenton 1 year, 10 months ago

2 concussions playing HS football I get, but 2 more since arriving at KU? You don't hear of basketball players getting concussions.

texashawk10 1 year, 10 months ago

It happens more frequently than you might think. I played football and basketball throughout high school and the worst concussion I had was playing basketball. Some guy was trying to block my shot and caught me across the bridge of my nose and I missed a week of school because the lights were more than I could handle. It also ended my basketball season that year and made me miss spring football because I was still having headache issues and some sensitivity to light.

Also watch some of those elbows that get thrown when players are trying to clear out some space after getting a rebound. Catching one of those to the side of the head is a pretty easy way to get a concussion as well. Concussions are more common in football, but it's not that difficult to get one in basketball either.

jhox 1 year, 10 months ago

I had at least 3 significant concussions playing basketball, as well. There are a lot of sharp elbows and no head gear. I'm surprised, frankly, that we don't hear of this sort od thing more often.

archercc 1 year, 10 months ago

It happens (it is a contact sport after all) and its more likely to happen if youve suffered one before.

mom_of_three 1 year, 10 months ago

Basketball players get them pretty often, when heads hit the floor on a loose ball, a hard foul, or a charge or when a knee hits a head. There is an article of a high school girl who got a concussion on a hard foul and is still seeing stars, loss of memory and coordination. Its more common than you think.

justanotherfan 1 year, 10 months ago

Once you get one concussion, it's easier to get others in the future because the brain can react to the trauma differently.

I got a concussion playing basketball in high school as well, and though I didn't miss any time (stupid on my part), I was pretty woozy for a couple of days.

4 in a years time is a lot and probably a wise move on his part to hang it up while he can still function.

Woody Cragg 1 year, 10 months ago

From personal experience the shoulder issue in itself led me to believe that he might not play again. The concussion issues are not just career ending, but have even life altering effects as well. NOT playing is the wisest avenue to travel. If all things happen for reasons we can't forsee, perhaps this young man will go on to even greater things of this world, while in the truest aspects of all we encounter, sports is most often just a sideline. Good luck & recover well young man.

KEITHMILES05 1 year, 10 months ago

Too bad he's walking out on the team. The official "concussion" reason will have to do. But at the end of the day he has to do what he wants and not what others want him to do.

RJ King 1 year, 10 months ago

So, you are insinuating that Self is lying about the concussions? Would that be a first (for Self to blatantly lie about facts)? How many concussions are you saying that he has had? One? Two? Three? None?

What is it that Zach wants to do? You're accusing an 18-yr-old kid of having a selfish agenda. You hint of things that you know that we don't. Please enlighten.

RJ King 1 year, 10 months ago

Lots of time has passed since the shoulder injury. Zach obviously didn't come to this decision easily. Playing for KU was his dream since his sophomore year. This has to be devastating for him and his family. They sounded great, and Zach showed both skill and heart in Europe.

We know nothing of his pain, headaches, difficulty concentrating on schoolwork, and with whatever else he must be struggling. He sure seems like a smart kid with a great attitude and family support. He will likely someday be a star in some other arena.

Zach will be dearly missed at Kansas.

jgkojak 1 year, 10 months ago

His doctors told him he could cause himself lifetime issues with another head injury -

he may now even have issues they're not discussing -

basically, he has no business playing any sports for a few years.

If he's cleared by the age of 24 or so maybe he can enroll at BYU (lol).

Jack Jones 1 year, 10 months ago

Zach,

I wish you the very best as you, hopefully, are successful in dealing with these multiple health issues. This decision made by you and your family is without question the proper one - and as Coach Self put it spot on - is " the one he would make, if it were his son." As you already know, the serious medical issues are but one part of the equation - for the athlete there is also the enormous disappointment in having to put aside, again hopefully temporarily, the joy and thrill of competing in a sport you love.

As others have said so well, I was proud and excited when you chose to become one of our Jayhawk Family and to have had you be a member of our basketball team. Once a Jayhawk - Always A Jayhawk! Love to you and to your family.

moonlightschlademan 1 year, 10 months ago

Post-concussion syndrome can be daunting. Best wishes for a full recovery. Personallly, I am glad to see the focus on his long term health.
While this may be a tough time and transition, I liked his dad's quote in discussing his brother's athletic career ending leg injuries from his signing article: “Enjoy every day of your life.”

moonlightschlademan 1 year, 10 months ago

Post-concussion syndrome can be daunting. Best wishes for a full recovery. Personally, I am glad to see the focus on his long term health.
While this may be a tough time and transition, I liked his dad's quote in discussing his brother's athletic career ending leg injuries from his signing article: “Enjoy every day of your life.”

Nathan Scholl 1 year, 10 months ago

Big time bummer. I wish the best for Zach Peters, and hope he excels at whatever he decides to pursue in his life. Was really looking forward to this kid playing at KU, we need more big men (especially after Withey leaves), but his long term health is MUCH MORE IMPORTANT than a basketball career. Even at the best college basketball program in the country. Get well big man.

KEITHMILES05 1 year, 10 months ago

All this bathering on and on about "missing" Peters is really nonsense. He hasn't played an official game nor been on the team for weeks. So, stop "we are going to miss" you as he isn't a team member. A team member who we will remember is somebody who has been here at least a year. Some of you act like just because he sign a scholarship we are indebted to him. Not hardly!

Is it a bad thing for him to have happen? That depends on how you wish to view it. This isn't as straight forward as is being said. I highly doubt he is all that regretable with leaving. It's his wish and his alone and for that we must respect.

Very interesting seeing him in public him raising his arms and stuff. If he had this serious shoulder injury why would he be doing that? As I said this isn't what it is made out to be however, he has said he wants to walk and that is what Self he would do.......he is leaving.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

Trojan - Unfortunately, the multiple comments indicate that Keith is serious, but that's alright because he actually knows more than anyone else as well. Pathetic.

Nathan Scholl 1 year, 10 months ago

Hmm, Keith, I agree in principle with MOST of what you say, but you do seem to be very harsh and insensitive. People are just wishing him well. He COULD have been a good player. I don't think anyone is arguing he "contributed" much in his minuscule time as a Jayhawk, just that he recovers and gets healthy. Moot point I suppose, but a point nonetheless.

Matt Kenton 1 year, 10 months ago

I'm going with KEITHMILES on this one. He called it weeks ago. Back then it was all "shoulder injury" and now out of nowhere "concussions." These may be true and I am sympathetic for anyone with injuries that are shattering their dreams of playing for KU, but this does not seem to be the case here.

And if it was simply a matter of not being good enough, he would transfer a la Jeremy Case, Royce Woolridge, etc.

VancouverHawk 1 year, 10 months ago

Doesn't the fact that he's not transferring suggest he does have serious health issues? I don't get the skepticism here. Concussions can be very serious.

Jesse Johnson 1 year, 10 months ago

I guess this is why Self was still recruiting Randle after we filled up our slots with Embiid. He must have anticipated this. I feel bad when players who were committed to Kansas for seemingly an eternity end up not spending their career here (i.e. Royce Woolridge). Hopefully we can use the scholarship he opens up to land one of the remaining top rated big men. Wish you the best Zach :)

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

The 4th concussion was in Sept, so you know Self was fully aware of this for a long time. I guess some, like Miles, might not believe that he is walking away from athletics altogether because it has had such a negative impact on his life. It is sad that you would draw a comparison to Royce. Royce did choose to leave the team. Zach is being forced to for medical reasons.

coloradojayhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

I think his point is that people who are committed for a long time to KU would hopefully get to play at their heart's desire, but can't, for whatever reason.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

My point was there is a difference between can't and choosing not to. Most any other injury, and a point could be made for Zach also choosing not to. 4 concussion in a year, and 2 in the first half year at KU - I think the choice was essentially made for Zach.

championhawks 1 year, 10 months ago

How isn't this as straight forward as what is being said? Do you know something else that isn't being reported that you would like to share with the rest of us?

Just because he is moving his arm around doesn't mean that there isn't some lingering effect from his shoulder injury. As Self said in the article, it has improved. So he may have range of motion back but some other issues. Not that it is any of our business!

And I think a lot of the "we will miss you" comments are for what could have been. A lot of people, myself included, thought he would be a very productive player over the next 4 years. Unfortunately, things haven't worked out and he is moving on, and people will miss the opportunity to get to see him play and grow as a player.

Michael Luby 1 year, 10 months ago

Get well Big P. All of your faithful Jayhawks are behind you. I sincerely hope you can recover fully and come back to KU!!! RCJH

Michael Sillman 1 year, 10 months ago

Wow, there are a few sick puppies posting on this website.

Best of luck to Peters on a full recovery and getting on with his life. He looked like he might have been the combination of banger and scorer that this team really could use.

Considering the concussions, that would clearly not be a safe role for him.

JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 10 months ago

This kid wanted to be a Jayhawk for a long, long time. I have to believe that the health issues in question are likely more serious than what we have been told. Lets all wish him a prompt recovery and hopefully someday he might still wear the crimson and blue. Rock Chalk Jayhawk Zack!!!

overseashawk 1 year, 10 months ago

Best of luck Zach!

On a lighter note I can't believe that Jaybate hasn't already posted a 5 page summary of some sort of made up insight as to why Zach is leaving...c

Martin Rosenblum 1 year, 10 months ago

I think I hear that Remington typewriter now! He's on his first draft.It's coming...sooner or later.

s6u6r6f 1 year, 10 months ago

Sad, and too bad. Thanks for the commitment and the time spent with us. Best regards and luck. Rock chalk.

DRsmith 1 year, 10 months ago

KeithMile is about the only poster that has it right. Peters was never going to be able to make an impact at KU once the recruiting got back on a KU level. Unfortunately there are a few more guys that have no business being on the KU roster. I don't buy the concussion reason but at the end of the day it is what is best for the student athlete. Hope he has success elsewhere.

RJ King 1 year, 10 months ago

Since you are a UK troll, take a look at your own team past the 7th or 8th spot, and you'll find a few more guys that have no business being on the Wildcat roster. I can see why you don't buy the concussion reason. After all, you're still able to type.

DRsmith 1 year, 10 months ago

And you were probably one of the posters who thought Peters would be a stud despite his ranking. It is ok to be wrong.

RJ King 1 year, 10 months ago

I did not think the Peters would be a stud. I HOPED he would be. There is a difference. Comments made by Zach and his family indicated a class act - very coach-able, likeable, physically gifted, and intelligent. I thought he had POTENTIAL to be an impact player, and I was happy he chose Kansas.

You thought you could read my mind. It's OK to be wrong.

VancouverHawk 1 year, 10 months ago

You overestimate the quality of our recruits. We don't recruit like Kentucky - many of our most important contributors are seniors. There's every reason to think Zach would've been a very good player for us.

Robert Rauktis 1 year, 10 months ago

You know, ya don't have to play sports to go to KU and even learn something and get a degree.

ccarp 1 year, 10 months ago

Man, I was really hoping for a red shirt. I've been excited to see if he would turn out as the next grind it out big man, a la Sasha and Cole. Hope the best for him and that he is able to return to the hardwood. Hoping he can return as a Jayhawk, but understand if new paths are pursued.

Stan Unruh 1 year, 10 months ago

I had really looked forward to seeing Zach play for the Jayhawks. The head injuries are nothing to ignore. I'm sure they had an impact on his work on class too. I know this was a very tough decision.

Jeff Suther 1 year, 10 months ago

He does realize he doesn't have to play football right?

Jim Stauffer 1 year, 10 months ago

Whether you agree with apherse or not, it does seem we are either emphasizing concussions too much or there are a lot of guys walking around whose problems stem from this very thing over the years going unnoticed.

I, as all the others, wish Zach a speedy recovery and an excellent future. His game would be affected by concussion syndrome because he was to be an aggressive power forward.

yates33333 1 year, 10 months ago

Multiple concussions are dangerous matters. Recent research suggests that some people are genetically predisposed to concussion. Further, the brain is such that a person who has a concussion can more easily have future brain damage (concussions) than would otherwise be so. When the medical doctors did the C-Scan did they discover past bleeding or other types of damage to the brain?

I agree with Self. If he were my son his basketball playing days, or play in any other contact sport, would be over. How very sad this is. He is such a fine looking athlete with what seemed to be such potential. He was a high school standout.

Likewise, this is a tragic commentary on what basketball has become. If Mr. Naismith is watching he must be in agony for what has happened to his game. I suspect someday someone will devise helmets and other similar gear to be worn by BB players. Who knows? Given our predisposition to gladiatorial sports volleyball may become dangerous.

yates33333 1 year, 10 months ago

P.S. I too like football and bull fighting!! Dreadful admission.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 10 months ago

Weren't they teammates last year? Maybe Zach can go back and negotiate his own trade :-)

RJ King 1 year, 10 months ago

He'll have plenty of time to talk, since he's out with a fractured foot for the next 3 months.

Vernon Riggs 1 year, 10 months ago

Sorry about Zach. Once a Jayhawk always a Jayhawk. Maybe time to take the red shirt off of LL. Inserting LL into the 4 rotation may help this year. Plus it will help his game for next year to get real time playing experience.

63Jayhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

Best of luck in the future, Zach. May god bless you, heal you and bring you an abundant life. Thanks for joining the Jayhawk nation.

Curtis Stutz 1 year, 10 months ago

Best of luck Zach, clear up your health issues and get a degree, with or without an athletic scholarship. As much as he loves sports, I really hope he's able to compete in college at some point down the road.

PayHeedAll 1 year, 10 months ago

Not sure why he has to go home in order to heal, you'd think our trainers could take care of him just fine in Lawrence. I really thought he was going to be beast for us, so I'm pretty disappointed. Oh well, I wish him the best!

RJ King 1 year, 10 months ago

From a parental point of view, there is certain criteria that needs to be met in order to be comfortable with children far away. For me it is:

1) Are they physically safe?

2) Are they (perhaps not "happy," but) at least hopeful?

3) Are they making progress towards something that will serve them well in the future?

Zach's family needs to know that he is safe, hopeful, and making progress. For whatever reasons, the scale became tipped in favor of him being close by.

Tomas 1 year, 10 months ago

Globaljaybird...spot on!!!

Zach: Heal up and live well. You're a Jayhawk forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NotWiller 1 year, 10 months ago

Total bummer. Guaranteed that he wanted this more than anyone, and I'm sure it takes a lot to derail that. Heck, he came in with two concussions and then got two MORE.... I got a pretty bad one late in high school, and according to eye witnesses, I stumbled about two miles to get home (drooling no small amount) and didn't stop until I got to my mom's living room floor. She says that when I saw her I said "Help me to the hospital," then I just sat down. The point is that when you're really in need you find a way to get where you feel like you need to be.

Go home and heal, man. Lots and lots and lots of great directions life can take you when you have a healthy motor. Best of luck finding your new direction.

Jack Wilson 1 year, 10 months ago

Too bad for Peters. Wish him the best of luck.

Note that his transfer at this points makes him eligible to return to another program, and play, effective the end of the first semester in 2013. Bank on it.

Oak called this one over the weekend on it being something other than the shoulder ... where there's smoke, there's fire. Nice work there, Oak.

The long anticipated battle between Traylor/Lucas/Peters for the roster spots has concluded.But don't think that there still isn't a chance that Lucas transfers before the break. There still is. Though it is now very, very minor. Lucas is in a great spot right now.

But, unfortunately, I can't say that for a big man situation on this team. It's really undermanned and underskilled heading for 2013. Trying to just state this as I see it -- it's rough right now. Sure, it could be Julius Randle, or Dakari Johnson. I don't think anyone will suggest that our chances of getting one of them .. only one .. is over 25%.

-Traylor: He had a year to "get ready", practice vs. TRob, and he can only garner 7 minutes vs. SJSU? We see his limitations. He has some potential. But it does seem obvious that he has an approaching ceiling. An adequate 3rd but preferably 4th post player.

-Ellis: A legit 4 guy. No issues there.

-Lucas: Seriously, who knows? What we do know - he's not better than Traylor now, or he would be playing. He is a low ranked/unranked project. Appears to have skills to develop. But a guy we should expect to be a solid rotation guy by year three (2014), and maybe a starter in years four and five. Given his ranking, he will need to exceed his ranking to justify being a starter at KU. What will he be in year two (2013)? Better than Traylor? Not probably worth betting on there.

-Embiid: He's the wildcard. But we should not and cannot expect a guy that has played less than two years of basketball to contribute significantly his first year in the program. That's unfair to expect. He may make quick leaps, and be a starter by his sophomore year. But 2013 is a question, even if we are optimistic. But could he surprise and be a legit starter in 2013? Sure, I guess.

-Wesley: If he is on the floor, ever, during meaningful minutes, it means we're lacking in depth. That seems fair to say.

Not trying to be too dramatic, but objectively, is this as bare as the cupboard has been in the post?

Ok, if so, then we really, really need Randle or Johnson. Did I say REALLY?

(cont)

RJ King 1 year, 10 months ago

"is this as bare as the cupboard has been in the post? "

Jeff Carey + Eric Chenowith, when Gooden & Collison were freshmen?

Jack Wilson 1 year, 10 months ago

Agreed .. good point. I guess I only did a rewind during the Self era.

But would love to have Collison and/or Gooden as freshmen again, right? We might have one in Ellis.

Jack Wilson 1 year, 10 months ago

(cont)

So what's out there beyond a Randle or Johnson spring Christmas present? Junior Etou. #142. He's been on our list, has not committed to lesser schools. Was he waiting to see if something opened at Kansas? Go look him up at rivals. I've provided the link before. Also, Juco guy Luke Cothron. May have eligibility issues. Just don't be surprised if Peters' spot is filled with an underwhelming replacement just based solely on the inability to bag the big one. I'd be interested if anyone is aware of any other possibilities for 2013. Some may open up if guys transfer at semester.

Now, this is why I felt a guy like Tyler Roberson was such a big "get." That would give us a skilled 4, at least closer to "starter ready." But that didn't happen. Let's hope that there's a good answer on the horizon.

FarSideHawk 1 year, 10 months ago

If we don't get Randle or Johnson, our best hope would be Embiid. Etou and Cothron won't do anything in 2013 and will be among the transfer rumors like Peters and Lucas this year. So why even go after them? We already have 5 bodies to throw in there (Perry, Jamari, Joel, Lucas, and Wesley) We need a full court press on Randle and Johnson. They can have all the playing time they want if they come here.
I don't think there is a chance in heck that we get both, but I'm hoping our chances of getting one of the two are better than 25%.

HawkKlaw 1 year, 10 months ago

I hear you. Next year's post-players (Ellis, Traylor, Lucas, Embiid, & Wesley) may even be more of a gamble than last year's (Withey, TRob, KY & Wesley). I didn't think that was possible. Just goes to show how spoiled we are, I guess.

I predict that we'll get another post-player before next season, but if we don't I could see Self mostly going with four guards and one forward on the court. We are fairly loaded with guards/small forwards (Naadir, Rio, Frankamp, Mason, AW3, Selden, Greene) and in the college game it's not always a weakness to only have one post-player on the court, especially if you have a guy like Selden who can play many positions.

texashawk10 1 year, 10 months ago

It's nice to have the open scholarship now in the recruiting of Randle and Johnson, but that said, I really hope if KU doesn't land either one of them (very likely), that Bill Self gives that scholarship back to Wesley or does something with it so that there's an open scholarship for 2014 since KU doesn't currently have one available. If Self ends up signing some 3 star 100+ ranked kid and then recruits over him and forces him into a transfer, that's something that can in the long run hurt Bill Self's recruiting efforts because other coaches will spin it into Bill Self will over recruit anyone and force any kid out to make room for the next class even if that's not the reality of the situation.

Kye Clark 1 year, 10 months ago

I agree with Farside, if we don't get Randle or Johnson, bag the scholarship.

1jhawk2 1 year, 10 months ago

Good luck ZP, hope you heal quickly. I'm surprised he didn't redshirt and try to heal for next year.

On another note, I apologize for thinking the Morris Twins and Robinson were acting like thugs for throwing elbows and stepping in for their mates. I've stepped up for others in the past as well, but it's somewhat different when that occured in high school and not at a top notch program, center stage, like Kansas. It's bvious Bill recruits the type of players that are tough and play with a mean streak. It's awesome to see the emotion encouraged by our head coach. As a fan, I hate to see us waste a foul on a Tech for getting in someone's face. Who knows what it will lead to, maybe a punch and then someone sits a game or two? I understand we're standing up for each other, but some stuff can be left alone and handled by an official. I believe Bill has used the situation to point out this is where we become more of a band of brothers that just playing ball. As a gaurd, it would be intimidating to have Traylor and Ellis getting in my face. Perry Ellis does not strike me as the guy to throw an elbow or stand up for a team mate yet, but he'll get there when someone stands up for him. This is going to be an awesome team when it's all said and done this year.

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 10 months ago

I've read this thread and comments about 4 hours ago and I want to echo the resounding sentiments that most feel.

It's truly sad that a guy who committed to KU so early and has been such a fan and even an ambassador for the school before he even set foot on campus will not get to live out his dream playing for KU.

Most students leave the program due to lack of playing time or "the writing on the wall" so to speak. And I always since some behind the scenes dealings in these scenarios as far as coaches encouraging their transfer for recruiting purposes etc.

I sense none of that in Zach's case. Perhaps he does end up going elsewhere and playing, but I believe that he and his family are doing this to protect him. Perhaps Bill Self even encouraged this, but it's my opinion that if he did encourage this, it was not because Self wanted to lose Zach (free up a scholarship) as much as Self knew that Zach would be better recovering without the limelight and the constant questions, etc.

Sure, Self will attempt to take advantage of this as an opportunity to secure another committment. He has to. It's his job. But I believe that Self really wanted to have Zach around. He offered Zach early. Even if it was part of his recruiting strategy for Randle, it wasn't like offering a scholarship to Zach was a last minute afterthought or a 9th inning pitch for Randle. Zach was offered early as a gamble based on his projected development either, as Royce may have been. Zach was offered because of his size and skill and the quality of his character. And even if Zach had played four years at KU and never was a major contributor he still would have been a positive influence in practice and in the locker room. That is why Self wanted Zach Peters in a KU jersey, and that is why I am disheartened to hear about his medical issues and his unforeseen departure.

Good luck Zach. May God bless you and keep you.

AsadZ 1 year, 10 months ago

I have one question.

Can Zach come back and play for KU if he wants to say after 1 or 2 years? Will it be allowed per NCAA rules?

VancouverHawk 1 year, 10 months ago

I don't think there's anything in the rules that prohibit this. But it seems unlikely.

AsadZ 1 year, 10 months ago

Thats good to know.

From what we are being told he is leaving on his own strictly for medical reason. He is not worried about PT, he is not unhappy with coaching staff and he gets along with temmates. And HCBS is not running him out.

Thus, say he goes back and gets well in a few months and has green light from doctors. With change in his heart he may decide to come back.

Question is whetehr KU will have a scholarship open for him.

I am still hoping that he is back at KU provided he is ready to play from physical and mental standpoint.

Joe Baker 1 year, 10 months ago

Heal fast and heal soon big man. You'll always be a Jayhawk regarless of what you do and we will pray for the best.

Zach out and Randle sidelined.

The timing of this situation is interesting.

Steve Reigle 1 year, 10 months ago

Best of luck to a fine young man, Zach Peters. I hope to see you back at KU one of these days, playing sports or not.

ku_foaf 1 year, 10 months ago

Very unfortunate for Zach. Everything I've read about him said he is a tough kid. He is wise not to risk his health. Good luck with everything, if you come back or not.

mrpint 1 year, 10 months ago

What a bummer for Zach and his family. If I remember correctly, I believe Zach has a brother that also had his playing career cut short due to injuries. Here's to a bright future.

KEITHMILES05 1 year, 10 months ago

Self would NEVER take him back. That is preposterous thinking. It's best he is gone and Self can now move forward and not have to worry about him and his problems. Trust me, Self is glad he is gone.

HawkKlaw 1 year, 10 months ago

Self may be relieved to finally shed some light on Zach's situation, but he's certainly not "glad" that Zach is leaving. And honestly, Bill Self is the head coach. Don't you think, if he really wanted Zach off the team that badly, that he could find some way to do it other than waiting for Zach to announce publicly that he's done at KU? No, I think Self let it play out because Zach was the best post-player on the team in Europe (according to Self) and Self held out a little bit of hope that Zach would return. We need all the help we can get in the post this year (and next year). If the right opportunity presented itself, HCBS would gladly have Zach back on the team.

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 10 months ago

Please shed some light on what of Zach's problems have caused Coach Self to wish him gone from the team. I am not indicating that I think Self will take Peters back; I'm just curious what rumors are circulating or what information you have about Zach's problems that is not public knowledge. I have read no other messageboards, blogs, or comments about Zach Peters and his health/personal issues to lead me know assume that Coach Self wants him gone. Granted Coach Self has seemed somewhat exasperated in some of his comments concerning Peters' shoulder injury.

RJ King 1 year, 10 months ago

And we should trust you because . . . .????

It's human nature to project our own thoughts and feelings on others. Might you be projecting your own spiteful, mean spirit and opportunist attitude on Bill Self?

Jeff Kilgore 1 year, 10 months ago

Lots of doubters here for no reason. We expect to be lied to by politicians and leaders in many facets of our lives, but I'm not willing to extend that doubt to Coach Self. He explained fully, more than need be what the problems have been, and because he's not transferring to another school, that should have some bearing on what people are thinking.

What I would like is to see the University offer Zach a full four-year scholarship based on his love for the school and and team, like a Chris Lindley offer.

Armen Kurdian 1 year, 10 months ago

That has got to suck for this guy. I remember when doctors told Steeler FB Merril Hoge that one more concussion could kill him. Once you get one, each follow-on concussion comes easier, obviously a bad thing. he might be suffering headaches, migraines, or other issues. To fulfil a dream to come to KU only to have to walk away has to have been a gut-wrenching decision. Good luck Zach.

Oh wait, really this is a consipiracy. He was secretly a spy for the Missouri Tigers and was going to tell everyone our plays and secrets, but when MU left the Big 12, they stopped paying him, and no one else was willing to meet his price, so he's going to transfer to a Patriot League team, figuring it's the perfect name of a conference for a turncoat. :-P

Kit Duncan 1 year, 10 months ago

To all the idiots (Keithmiles, Ahpers... etc.) who think this is some coverup and not a kid who instead wants to heal fully and live his life out without threat of serious medical issues down the road, don't go to this link:

http://espn.go.com/boston/nfl/story/_/id/7946834/former-new-england-patriot-ted-johnson-calls-death-junior-seau-tip-tipping-point

To the rest who want to understand why a young man like Zach Peters might want to survive to old age and not live a life in agony, maybe the story will answer your questions.

Junior Seau was a phenomenal football player who gave his all on the playing field as though his life and the lives of his teammates depended on his playmaking ability. Unfortunately his life was shortened on the playing field. Rather than living in intense pain, Junior took his own life in the hope that by doing so he might save others' lives.

jaybate 1 year, 10 months ago

The KU basketball program is a train moving forward.

Coach, or player, you step aboard and you're a participant in the program.

You step off, regardless of the reasons, and you're not.

Bill Self could fall down some steps and hit his head and need to take a year off, to decide "next."

The university and KUAD would probably grant him a leave of absence to work through things, because he's a big winner, a big money maker, and its probably a part of his employment contract...but only for a year.

And if a hot young coach came available at the end of that year?

At a certain point, the university would have to "move in another direction."

Lute Olson got a few second shots. That was rare.

Larry Brown stepped off the train at UCLA. They would never take him back.

Larry Brown stepped off the train at KU. There has never been a situaton where the stars aligned again.

It is not as simple as they don't like you when you leave.

A million pieces have to fall into place for you get the offer to get on the train in the first place.

A million pieces are a lot of pieces.

The odds of all of them ever falling in place are slim the first time, probably slimmer after you leave.

Opportunity knocks.

You answer.

The door opens and you get in.

You decide its not right for you: you tell it you want off and it says, "are you sure?"

You say yes.

It opens to let you out and then the door closes.

Its rare when someone gets a second chance at the same place.

Not impossible. But rare.

Good bye, Zach.

Whatever may have gone on, I wish you well.

Nothing is more important than your brain.

Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Ever.

Protect it at all costs.

You only get one.

Rock Chalk!

Jack Wilson 1 year, 10 months ago

I get all of the comments about Peters wanting to get healthy, etc. It all makes sense.

But the reasonable question is .. why couldn't he get healthy here? That is fair to ask.

Further, it is reasonable to not believe everything you hear, and to at least wonder if there's more to it. Remember, there was not word one that the concussion thing was an issue. It was the shoulder that was keeping him out.

It seems obvious to me that there is more to this, at least as far as rationale for leaving. Meaning, this decision isn't solely about just "getting healthy."

If it was, playing would not be an issue. If "playing" is not the issue, why leave? As a note, by leaving now, he can be eligible to play for someone else appx. mid-December of 2013.

Why not stay, go to class, get healthy, absorb and learn the system, and give it a go next fall?

That is my question.

But if we allow ourselves to think further, we probably .. maybe .. can figure it out. Bear with me here.

-It is reasonable to believe he needs to get healthy. We've heard it from Peters and Self.

-It is reasonable to guess is that Peters thought it was difficult to stay and not be able to participate. Tough situation with teammates, etc. But lots of kids who get hurt have that.

-Those two items don't lead to the conclusion that he should leave. Getting healthy and a tough situation staying and not participating could work going forward.

-It could work going forward IF, and only IF, he was in a good position to compete next season or in the future for playing time.

-That makes sense, right? If he stayed, tried to get healthy, and wasn't ready by next fall anyway, he has bigger issues where playing, period, is in jeopardy.

-He makes the decision to leave now, and he's eligible to play by mid-December, 2013 .. somewhere else.

-If he stays, he's eligible immediately next fall. Why leave and go to another school if you have to wait to play?

I believe that adding this up, the belief that he ultimately would not be in a position to compete for playing time in 2013, or in the future, was the deciding factor. He gains nothing by leaving, other than the ability to play somewhere else later than he would be able to play at KU. If he thought he was be able to play at KU .. get playing time .. there no reason to leave.

All of that makes sense, and no one would criticize that decision making process if it were true.

I do believe, most likely, we didn't get all of the information. And Self already told us in his interview the weekend before Thanksgiving that there is a lot of stuff fans aren't told, "behind the scenes" stuff. Not earth-shattering, but we need to remember that.

My bet .. he goes to Houston, or SMU, or Tulsa, LSU, UTSA, Texas A&M, or somewhere closer to home .. and he enrolls for the fall semester, 2013. And that he's playing come the end of the first semester of 2013.

Regardless, I hope it all works out for him.

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