Monday, November 20, 2017

Jayhawks still preparing to play without freshman forward Billy Preston

Kansas forward Billy Preston watches during warmups on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 at United Center. Preston was held out of Tuesday's contest.

Kansas forward Billy Preston watches during warmups on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 at United Center. Preston was held out of Tuesday's contest.


Although he offered no actual update on the status of withheld forward Billy Preston, who has missed all three of KU's regular season games so far, Kansas coach Bill Self admitted to being “worried” about the situation.

“Sure, I'm worried,” Self said. “I'm concerned. I do think it can work itself out, based on what I've been told. But that obviously hasn't happened yet.”

After missing the season opener two weeks ago to serve a one-game suspension for missing curfew and class, Preston has sat out the past two games while KU officials sort out a compliance issue involving a vehicle that he was driving in a one-car, noninjury accident on Nov. 11.

Preston was told at the Kentucky pregame meal last Tuesday in Chicago that he would not play in the game that night. He also missed last Friday's win over South Dakota State, the first game in which the Jayhawks were able to prepare to play without him.

“As of this morning, there was no movement,” Self said Monday afternoon. "So, no, there's nothing new on that situation."

Self has shortened practices to compensate for the extra minutes players are forced to log in games.

“Like today, I've got it down to go for an hour and 15 minutes," Self said of Monday's practice. "And I would never have done that in November with any other team.”

Self said the normal routine this time of year would be to practice for 30-45 minutes longer without worrying about the toll the early-season practices were taking on the Jayhawks.

Limited to seven scholarship players — senior walk-on Clay Young played 18 minutes in last Friday's victory — whatever extra rest the Jayhawks can get is beneficial.

“I could if I put my mind to it,” senior guard Devonte' Graham said of playing all 40 minutes. “But last game I was definitely tired. I was looking at the bench for a sub and Coach Rob (Norm Roberts) told me that we couldn't sub me out because we could only sub one in at a time.”

Kansas and its thin bench will take on Texas Southern at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Allen Fieldhouse.

Jayhawks jump to 3rd in AP poll

On the heels of a victory in Chicago over then-No. 7 Kentucky, the Kansas men's basketball team moved up one spot to No. 3 in this week's Associated Press poll.

The top two spots remained the same, with Duke (4-0) and Arizona (3-0) staying put, and Kansas leapfrogged Michigan State (2-1), which fell from No. 3 to No. 4 following its loss to Duke in Game 1 of the Champions Classic last week in the Windy City.

Kentucky (3-1), meanwhile, fell for the second consecutive week, dropping to No. 8 after its loss to KU and an uninspired home victory over East Tennessee State last Friday night.

In all, the latest AP poll features three teams from the Big 12 Conference ranked in the Top 25 (Baylor and West Virginia are 22nd and 23rd) and four others that are receiving votes (Texas Tech, TCU, Texas and Oklahoma).


Steve Zimmerman 2 years, 7 months ago

Whatever it is, Clay Young will have to man up! This season is walk-on record season. He'll see more minutes, the most minutes a walk-on sees in KU history. He will make the most baskets scored by a KU walk-on. The most rebounds, etc.. etc..

Matthew Neatherlin 2 years, 7 months ago

I think you are forgetting about Christian Moody. I'm sure he holds all walk-on records at KU.

Steve Zimmerman 2 years, 7 months ago

Aaah.. really? Cool to know. I wonder where Christian now...

Fred Davis 2 years, 7 months ago

I have a sneaking suspicion we’re never gonna see Preston in a KU Uniform again....

Diana Gassen 2 years, 7 months ago

Yep, I think you're right. I think we pretty much all know that by now. I mean, the lack of info for almost 2 weeks now tells me all I need to know. At this point, I would seriously be thinking about James Sosinski from the football team and prey De Sousa becomes eligible by January.

Titus Canby 2 years, 7 months ago

Diana, I love the idea for recruiting a player from the football team. Anyone remember Clint Normore?

Craig Carson 2 years, 7 months ago

I think Preston will be cleared to play..this decision doesnt come down to KU, its KU waiting for the NCAA to clear him..BUT, DeSousa now goes from a bonus to a necessity..without front court depth I dont see KU getting past the sweet 16

Diana Gassen 2 years, 7 months ago

Of course. Believe it or not, I have a really weird feeling about this particular team (more so than others over the past 10 or so years). I believe they have the best starting 5-7 players in the country. If they could just get a few more bigs to eat up some of the fouls and give our starting big(s) a few minutes of rest. I don't know what exactly it is about this particular team, but sometimes you just know it when you know it. Don't count this team out! And yes, I remember Clint Normore. Brown did it because he was desperate for bodies. Kinda

Dee Shaw 2 years, 7 months ago

Billy Preston will sit out more games than the three UCLA players. My prediction is that Billy won’t play until the first of the year.

Brian Skelly 2 years, 7 months ago

I think the Hawks probably need to be prepared to play without him. Anything he can provide is a bonus at this point.

Allan Olson 2 years, 7 months ago

Have to say Billy, if you even thought that free car could be a problem, you should be ashamed. I hope your penalty, if there is more, will be time served.

Craig Carson 2 years, 7 months ago

Allan..lets not jump the gun and assume he got a free car..because if it comes out that that wasnt the case and he is cleared to play, you will, or at least should feel guilty that you rushed to judgement without having all the facts

Allan Olson 2 years, 7 months ago

Yes Craig I will feel bad about the comment, if and when he's completely cleared to play. Sure pray that happens soon. Still, notice I used the words...IF you even my foundation. Now that we're almost two weeks into this matter, with no more info from Coach, gotta make us all nervous.

Tony Bandle 2 years, 7 months ago

My prediction is he will be reinstated for the first Big 12 Conference game with Texas on Dec. 29th which will make it a 12 game suspension........or not!!!

Ryan Mullen 2 years, 7 months ago

Allan Olson you my friend lose at internetting today. That was pathetic.

Allan Olson 2 years, 7 months ago

Ryan, does you're comment mean you still believe O J is innocent?

Jack Hoff 2 years, 7 months ago

Can we go one year without a Bill Self player doing something egregious that jeopardizes eligibility? Seriously this has become a yearly ritual with Self coached teams. Taking bets for who the freshman is gonna be next year

David Kemp 2 years, 7 months ago

There are compliance people in administration whose job it is to deal with this. It is not on Self.

David Kemp 2 years, 7 months ago

They should have known about the vehicle way before this.

John Fitzgerald 2 years, 7 months ago

Self finds out about the car and what does he do? He sits him until compliance handles it, which is the correct way. What about this makes it Self's fault? Nothing! You're just an angry goon. Move along now.

John Fitzgerald 2 years, 7 months ago

Just so everyone knows, this "Jack Hoff" (too scared to use his real name so he makes up an inappropriate one) is the same moron that backs Beaty, a coach that is 3-32 in his 3 years at KU. But even though he's 3-32 he's a great guy and only brings in quality kids. Ones that are willing to refuse a handshake to the other team, which is a tradition in every sport to practice good sportsmanship, and then continue to take cheap shots at the QB. But that wasn't Beaty's fault right?

Jim Stauffer 2 years, 7 months ago

You know John if we chose to we could dig up past posts of yours and show some of your positions to be considered foolish by the populace. Fact is, we do not know if Jack is right on Beaty until the time comes when he either produces as Jack thinks he can or they fire him and hire someone else. And it is a repetitive thing where our kids in BB always seem to be the ones suspended for a period. Too many to list. While Kentucky and Duke continue to play all their one and dones. It is worthy of discussion.

John Fitzgerald 2 years, 7 months ago

Do it then, Jim. Make yourself look dumber than you already are.

Jack Hoff 2 years, 7 months ago

I’ve noticed that everyone on here who has a different opinion than you do get their character attacked by you. Calling people dumb and morons over their opinions on college athletics. Maybe we should rethink which one of us is an angry goon. John I may disagree with you but I’d never attack you personally. I’ve met Beaty on multiple occasions, and I personally believe he’s in it for the long haul and wants to turn this program around. In private he knows he doesn’t have the horses and wants more than anything to win games for this university sooner rather than later. That’s just my opinion after having met and spoken with the guy. Sorry that my opinion causes you to lose sleep at night. And Bill Self is the one that recruits kids and every year we seem to have issues with players in his team. In three years the worse a Beaty coaches team has done is refuse to shake hands with a cocky sore winner who thinks he’s better than everyone. That’s forgivable. But because you dislike Beaty you make it out to a bigger deal than it is. Self has had players hit girls, vandalize vehicles, post nudity in social media, dunk at the end of a game, punch a player in the groin, steal shoes and leave town, and the list goes on and on. So screw you John, get off your high horse. I hope Beaty gets us to a bowl next year and you can eat $hit

Bryce Landon 2 years, 7 months ago

Not only is John Fitzgerald an angry goon, he's a homophobic bully who has targeted both myself and Brett McCabe with gay slurs on these boards for expressing an opinion different from him. You'll never find those comments, because the LJW erased them from the comment threads. But that's part of his track record. Somehow I doubt he'd say those things to us in person. So for him to accuse anyone of being a coward is laughable - Pot, meet kettle.

Humpy Helsel 2 years, 7 months ago

In the context of an FBI investigation, I'd say we have a real problem. Clearly there are serious questions related to who owns the car and how it managed to be driven by Mr. Preston. This stuff has gone for years. But it isn't the NCAA looking into it, it is the U. S. Attorney of the Southern District of New York. The school is taking no chances beyond the damage already done. I'll put odds at 50/50 Billy Preston ever plays a game this year, or ever, at KU. I hope I'm wrong.

Robert Brock 2 years, 7 months ago

Never fear: Sheahon Zenger will get this all sorted out by April.

Craig Carson 2 years, 7 months ago

As optimistic as I wanna be, it does make me a little nervous that its taking so long just to find out basic things about vehicle ownership or method of how it was purchased.. I wanna say that in the end, Preston will be cleared to play..But if in the worst case situation he isnt, getting DeSousa for the second semester become a necessity...without any front court depth, I dont see KU getting past the sweet 16. If Lightfoot were 6 10" with more bulk, then it would be different..the people that really screwed KU in terms of depth is Bragg, Coleby and Whitman..those 3 transferring really put KU in a hole

Daniel Kennamore 2 years, 7 months ago

Every freaking year we have one of these cases where someone eligibility is in doubt for the first month or more.

We typically have yet another late in the season too.

It's getting old.

Nick Kramer 2 years, 7 months ago

Process question: Knowing that an automobile is perhaps the most enticing and most noticeable of possible 'impermissible benefits,' doesn't the coaching staff take a few minutes with each player before the year even starts and ask "Are you driving a car? If so, where did you get it? No free cars. If you violate the rule - Here's what will happen to you." I don't understand the line that says "Compliance is checking on this." Did Billy lie to the coaching staff or did they forget to ask?

Jerry Walker 2 years, 7 months ago

It's already been reported by the LJW that he had registered the car with the school before this incident.

Richard Hernandez 2 years, 7 months ago

If bill self says he's worried that don't sound good! A couple of these comments are right about these freshmen either not eligible from the get go or do some stupid things that takes them out part of the season. Self needs to get a grip on that bs.really getting old!

RJ King 2 years, 7 months ago

There's an old saying that, "if a teenagers lips are moving, then they're lying." Obviously that's hyperbole, but what is Self supposed to do? Have each recruit / freshman take a lie detector test?

Barry Weiss 2 years, 7 months ago

If coach says he's "worried", I'd say this deal is toast. This story just keep getting worse. Nothing on Preston's side, as far as paperwork, could take this long. It is now being reviewed by either the NCAA or hopefully not the prosecutor that went after Arizona. I just want this whole thing to go away.

Freedman Moor 2 years, 7 months ago

Adidas programs: Arizona State, East Carolina, Indiana, Kansas, Louisville, Miami, Mississippi State, NC State, Nebraska, Rutgers, Texas A&M, Tulsa

Echoing the sentiment of others, I would say this whole thing has less to do with the car and the player than the atmosphere currently surrounding every Adidas-sponsored program. So KU's administration is tasked with the unenviable responsibility of trying not to draw further attention to itself, like an 800-pound gorilla trying to be inconspicuous in an operating room. Even if you're completely engrossed in the welfare of the patient, the sheer size of this ape makes it impossible to navigate the room without running right into it.

The folks getting frustrated by the annual calamities have a valid point. Why is there always something every single year? Even if these incidents have nothing to do with the FBI's investigation (which in all likelihood, they do not) what are the odds that these incidents haven't drawn the attention of FBI investigators? Who is to say they aren't following their investigation WHEREVER it leads them?

The programs sponsored by Adidas don't really comprise an exceedingly long list. And by the way law enforcement officials gauge accomplishment, you know that someone is looking for a feather in their cap. Which program would comprise the biggest feather is only somewhat debatable. During the 80s, Miami (and their drug connections) got away with murder in football. Kansas is far-and-away the most successful basketball program on this list. Of course that doesn't mean that personal gain (as far as reputation) would completely supercede actual evidence, but I would think KU and Miami would have the strongest gravitational pull among these programs.

If it were an NCAA investigation, you would expect East Carolina and Tulsa to get the hammer, while the other schools got a stern finger-wagging, but this isn't the NCAA's call. So I said it before and I'll say it again, don't be surprised if Bill Self finally says he has had enough of college sports sooner than later. (Note: Gregg Popovich's contract ends in 2019.)

Dale Stringer 2 years, 7 months ago

Chances are that some car dealer gave him a real good deal that was only available because of his potential NBA salary.

Michael Maris 2 years, 7 months ago

Yearly basketball program distractions are a nuisance to the ultimate team goal. So yet, here's another distraction. Hopefully, this episode will come to an end in the near future.

Layne Pierce 2 years, 7 months ago

Jack I don't agree with you on very much, but you've got a right to your opinion, just like everybody else.

Self runs a clean program or we would have already been on probation years ago. You think the NCAA is not watching us like a hawk, (no pun intended). Young people make dumb mistakes. Ask UCLA.

As far as Beatty goes, I think he needs to go. Do I hate him, no, I like him. I just feel he is out of his league, and I see that if we go on, the hole just gets deeper and deeper. I've always said our stadium being filled with blue one year would be enough to double the quality of our recruits. But that said, what do you think empty stands are going to do for the program?

Don't you care Jack about the fact that KU football is a laughing stock, and after 3 years that has not changed, forget wins and losses, are we even competitive? Don't you worry about the fact that when the next big conference realignment comes, nobody is going to want us with our football program. We'd be lucky to get into the Mountain West. Of course we could just drop football, or go down a level,, and just join the American Conference, so we can play Wichita State two or three times a year.

Anyway keep expressing your opinions, and god bless. Rock Chalk

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