Originally published January 15, 2013 at 05:09p.m., updated January 16, 2013 at 12:09a.m.

Ben McLemore ‘sore’ after ankle sprain, but may not miss next game

Kansas’ Ben McLemore is escorted off the court by teammates Christian Garrett, left, Niko Roberts and Evan Manning, right, along with trainer Bill Cowgill after the freshman guard went down with an ankle injury late in the second half against Baylor on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas’ Ben McLemore is escorted off the court by teammates Christian Garrett, left, Niko Roberts and Evan Manning, right, along with trainer Bill Cowgill after the freshman guard went down with an ankle injury late in the second half against Baylor on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, at Allen Fieldhouse.


Ben McLemore woke up feeling “sore” on Tuesday morning because of his sprained right ankle, yet has suffered no structural damage and is listed “day-to-day,” Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self told the Journal-World on Tuesday afternoon.

“He has been in for treatment a couple times. It’s sore, but he’s doing well,” Self said of freshman guard McLemore, who suffered a Grade 1 sprain in Monday’s 61-44 victory over Baylor in Allen Fieldhouse.

“He should be a ‘day-to-day’ guy (regarding practice). It’s tender. I don’t know if he’ll be able to practice (today) or not. Hopefully we’ll have him full speed by this weekend,” Self added, indicating McLemore should be able to play against Texas (1 p.m., Saturday, in Austin) barring any re-injury.

Self, who awarded his Jayhawks (15-1 overall, 3-0 Big 12) a day off Tuesday, graded film before hitting the road recruiting late Tuesday afternoon.

“I thought we guarded them well,” Self said of holding the Bears (11-5, 3-1) to 23.2 percent shooting, including 4-of-14 shooting from three. “I thought offensively we were not real fluid. I think they had a lot to do with that, their length. We looked OK. We didn’t play great, but we didn’t allow them to play well, which was encouraging to me. That’s been something I’ve been harping on a long time.

“You are not always going to play great. You are not always going to make shots (KU hit 37.7 percent of its shots; 3-of-14 from three), but you can make sure the other team doesn’t play great. That was the case last night. We did a good job of guarding them.”

Baylor’s 44 points were the fewest a KU team has allowed in a conference game since holding Nebraska to 39 points on Feb. 17, 2007, in Allen.

“The number of points is a little misleading,” Self said. “They are better than that. They missed free throws (BU hit 14 of 23 for 60.9 percent). It’s great to hold anybody to a real low shooting percentage, win the battle of the boards (45-40) even though it wasn’t dominant. But we did enough good things to have control of the game.

“You know what?” Self added, “if you told them (Bears) they could hold Kansas to 61 (points) at home, they’re thinking they are going to win the game. We’ve got to get better in some areas.”

Self in Hall of Fame: KU coach Self will be inducted in the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame on Aug. 5, Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb announced Tuesday. The ceremony will take place in Oklahoma City’s National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been inducted into anything like that. It’s a great honor,” said Self, who is 284-54 in 10 seasons at KU and 491-159 overall in 20 seasons. “I’m really proud of my state and respect all the people in different sports and different areas that have contributed to the rich sports history of Oklahoma.”

The class of 2013 consists of Self, Wayne Baughman (Oklahoma wrestling), Clay Bennett (OKC Thunder owner), Nadia Comaneci (Olympic gold medal gymnast), LeRoy Gutowski (Oklahoma City University/NFL standout), Jimmy Harris (OU football) and John Henry Ward (Oklahoma State two-sport All-American).

A native of Edmond, Okla., Self was tapped Oklahoma High School Basketball Player of the Year in 1981 while at Edmond Memorial High School. Born in Okmulgee, Okla., Self played at Oklahoma State from 1982-85. While at OSU, he was a four-year letterwinner and was an All-Big Eight freshman selection.

Flagrant foul: KU’s Travis Releford was called for a Flagrant 1 foul for elbowing BU’s Deuce Bello late in the first half. Bello missed a pair of free throws. BU was awarded the ball and failed to score on the ensuing possession.

KU assistant Kurtis Townsend explained the ‘Flagrant 1’ vs. ‘Flagrant 2’ foul rule on Tuesday’s Hawk Talk radio show.

“It happened in a game at Michigan a couple years ago ... a guy came over the top and hit a guy right in the jaw (with elbow) and about knocked him out. In response to that, they made a rule any contact with the elbow above the shoulders, whether deliberate or not, is a flagrant foul,” Townsend said. “They get two shots and the ball back and your guy gets a foul assessed.

“A Flagrant 2 is where you try to hit a guy intentionally. You hit a guy on purpose, you’ll be tossed from the game. Travis’ was unintentional. We were trying to argue he got him with the backside of his arm and not the elbow. We watched it today (on tape). I think the refs made the right call. Travis didn’t try to do it intentionally. We teach guys instead of ripping it (ball) across the top, they have to do it below their waist and be strong with it and it takes away that call,” Townsend added.

T-Rob OK after crash: Former KU forward Thomas Robinson of the Sacramento Kings was not injured in a one-car accident after Monday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Robinson told he turned his Porsche Panamera too wide and too late at the intersection of Del Paso Boulevard and Broadgate Drive.

“It’s not that bad. The car’s not totaled,” Robinson told the website. “I messed the bottom part of my bumper up. I probably busted something inside the engine probably, but I’m not sure. I’m breathing right now,” he added. “I don’t care too much about the car.”


midwest_muser 1 year, 3 months ago

How about AWIII gets 20 minutes on Saturday. We'll need him down the road if we get an injury or a pesky zone D...


RJ King 1 year, 3 months ago

T-Robb is what, 22? I'm guessing he never owned a car before and rarely drove in high school and college. (After all, he was a KANSAS signed recruit, not Kentucky, Connecticut, etc.) Slow down big guy - we love you!


ku_foaf 1 year, 3 months ago

Looking forward to seeing them Saturday in Austin. I'd love to see Ben play, but it is more important that he heal.


1951jayhawks 1 year, 3 months ago

I think we can beat Texas without him but I do think we should suit him up just in case. Does anyone know if we are going to Medially Redshirt Wesley? He isn't going to get into the the rotation this year but he might help us next year.


Tony Bandle 1 year, 3 months ago

I would like to order one large Crimson and Blue Julius. please, to go!! Please make it thick and rich, heavy on the icy cool!! Maybe a little hotdog on the side with a bunch of relish but just a tad of mustard!!!!!


Joe Baker 1 year, 3 months ago

Self, who awarded his Jayhawks (15-1 overall, 3-0 Big 12) a day off Tuesday, graded film before hitting the road recruiting late Tuesday afternoon.

The road lead to Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano? Was the recruit one Julius Randle? I sure hope so and it's a good sign.


duanep5ku 1 year, 3 months ago

I Echo the sentiment of Oakville and Helm on this subject. I would prefer to see, Ben wearing a suit on Saturday. I think we have a good shot at beating Texas without Ben playing and even a loss would not be a big deal,right now. I think this would be the perfect game to try to get AWIII some minutes.


Tony Bandle 1 year, 3 months ago

I agree with HEM..after Saturday, there are 14 more conference games. 3 Big Twelve tourney games and potentially 6 more NCAA Playoff Games for a total of 23 games.

I don't care how his ankle feels...I would leave all his uniforms in Lawrence and put him in street clothes. See how the team responds to adversity, get AWIII some much needed PT, still face a team that you should beat even in their home court and give BenMac 8 FULL days to recover.

Think of it this way...what if he would get two fouls and have to sit out the first half and then get into more foul trouble and miss a bunch of the second half. How would the Hawks respond?? Probably a necessary scenario for the coaching staff should face as well.

I see it as a short term prevention for a long term gain...if we lose, we lose.


HawkKlaw 1 year, 3 months ago

BMac should sit this game out even if it means an "L" for KU, but I have a feeling he won't. Any competitor as fierce as he always wants to play through it. If he feels okay and the doctors clear him, he'll play.


jgkojak 1 year, 3 months ago

My one complaint with Bill Self is he does not sub out at the end of games soon enough.

I'd have taken the guys out at the 3:30 mark - not played the scrubs, but given the Tharpe-White-Ellis-Traylor-Adams group a chance to gel/get some minutes.


Lifelong_Jayhawk 1 year, 3 months ago

As long as nothing happens to make the injury more severe, and as long as we win on Saturday, I'm cool with whatever Self does with B-Mac.

And I'm glad T-Rob is okay. I hope he's getting ready to move to Seattle when the Kings become the New SuperSonics.


Jonathan Allison 1 year, 3 months ago

tape or no tape a sprained ankle is much weaker than a good ankle. The likelyhood of respraining it is very high when you play with the intensity that these guys play with.

I played through a couple sprains in high school. I have never liked to take too much time off after a sprain because I felt like it would heal faster if I worked out on it, but it's dangerous to go out on the freshly sprained ankle and play live basketball at a high level.

Like many other posters I am concerned that this will affect his explosiveness for the rest of the season. Luckily it's his right ankle, and not his left for planting/jumping reasons, but it could very easily limit his lateral quickness, especially on the defensive end.

I know that this injury is not as serious, but Travis Releford sprained his ankle 2 years ago, and not until this season did he finally seem to have the springs back.


nostradavid 1 year, 3 months ago

Ben won't want to sit. He'll play a few less minutes Saturday, but he will have fun.


William Blake 1 year, 3 months ago

In my day the remedy was ice, rest and tape.

Today maybe ice, rest, treatment and tape?


Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 3 months ago

Ben McLemore about to learn one of life's lessons in manhood...courtesy Bill Self+Andrea Hudy&staff...


Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 3 months ago

But regarding patient behavior and fortitude and ability to "play through" injuries of course depends on the nature of the injury itself (obviously). Let's just say regarding some very minor type bumps/bruises, that there are a LOT of wussies/girlie-men out there amongst the lay public. I dont think those types could agree to come to play for Bill Self, heck, most of those wouldnt be able to play competetive sports. I'm sure a good part of Self's recruiting schtick is: "work hard, play hard, earn your mpg". Bill Self very much so is an old-ball, tough-azz type of coach. Wouldnt have him any other way. He is not Bruce Weber, who simply lost control of a top20 Illini squad last year. Cant imagine that happening at KU--the program's structure and accountability built-in simply will not tolerate such. (Notice Charlie Weis building a similar culture for ku football--give him time...). Self will go to battle minus some star player if he has to on matter of principle ("team"). He has a sense of just how far he can and cannot push his players. That's why he is the coach he is, and painful to say, Gillispie is not = Self. I've been watching alot of college coaches ever since I figured and liked what Self was doing, and it is extremely fascinating to watch and compare other coaches...


jaybate 1 year, 3 months ago

Was there ever any doubt in anyone's mind that Ben would "play through"?

Recall the following cases.

This year Elijah has been playing on quilted knees that initially prevented a former 5-star jumping jack from touching paint, or getting to the rim, and even now on quilted knees that don't seem to permit diagnonal movements.

Last year Elijah played half a season on a knee that needed surgery!

Last year Tyshawn had his knee scoped and was back playing in ten days!

Travis apparently played the last half of last year with a boot!

Thomas Robinson played most of last year with what appeared to be hyper extensions of both elbows and with at least one knee, and sometimes both knees strapped.

Josh Selby played the season before with a boot.

Tyrel Reed played half of that same season on a foot that needed surgery.

Sherron Collins played through so many injuries that by the end he appeared to lose half his explosiveness.

Two years before that Mario Little played on effectively one leg that had to have surgery after the season.

Brandon Rush came back from massive knee surgery to play through knee rehab within six months, or so.

Sasha Kaun played two seasons on knees so bad he could barely clear the floor.

And these are just what I can recall off the top of my head!

It is never a question of whether they will play through.

The only issue is how soon will they start playing through.

This is apparently what you sign on for at KU under Bill Self.

One thing that I have always been curious about: did Bill Self play through any injuries like these mentioned above? What I recall reading somewhere is that Self tore up his knee at the very end of his senior season and that ended his playing career. It didn't sound like he played through that knee injury. Did he "play through" other injuries of the kind mentioned above? Maybe one of the pro journalists could ask him.


Jack Wilson 1 year, 3 months ago

Sit Ben Saturday. Start Tharpe. Play White in the rotation. Have Ben ready to go for Tuesday at KSU. Easy.


FLAjayhawker 1 year, 3 months ago

Best news in a while, does anyone know if we're seriously in the Randle or Wiggins recruitment hunt?


Scott Smetana 1 year, 3 months ago

This injury could nag him occasionally over the next 2 years. Probably a good idea to have it rehabbed while at KU.


FarSideHawk 1 year, 3 months ago

I don't trust Bill Self on injury comments. He reminds of "It's just a flesh-wound' guy from Monty Python. :)


Brianna Zaleski 1 year, 3 months ago

Good news.

And shout out to the poster who called it exactly as it was, markoo I believe. Good job son!


Joe Satterwhite 1 year, 3 months ago

Whether he plays or not Saturday at least AW3 will play more


Phil Leister 1 year, 3 months ago

My only concern is how it will affect his explosiveness. As texashawk pointed out (and as anyone who's ever played sports knows) ankle sprains never fully, completely heal. I don't see it being a big deal with the training staff he's got access to, but rushing him back onto the court doesn't seem necessary at this point.


texashawk10 1 year, 3 months ago

As bad as UT has been this season, I would have Ben in uniform, but not play him unless it was absolutely necessary just to give him some extra rest and healing time from his injury. Sprained ankles never fully heal and the extra rest will let McLemore get back more of his explosiveness. Just my $.02, but Bill Self is a coach and I'm not so I'll defer the smarter choice to Self and the training staff.


Boouk 1 year, 3 months ago

If Ben can't play Saturday, at least Andrew White will get some more playing time.


AsadZ 1 year, 3 months ago

Nice to get a day off for the team. Time to recharge the batteries


Daniel Kennamore 1 year, 3 months ago

All the guys should be taking it easy this week. Starting Saturday five of our next seven games are on the road.


1 year, 3 months ago

After watching how he went down last night, the pain on his face, and how slow he was to get up, this is great news. Get well soon, Ben.


montanahawk 1 year, 3 months ago

Good sign. May not need 30 minutes out of him Sat in Austin.


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