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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Silvio De Sousa cleared by NCAA; will play today vs. K-State

Newcomer Silvio DeSousa talks with assistant coach Kurtis Townsend prior to tipoff against Texas on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017 at Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.

Newcomer Silvio DeSousa talks with assistant coach Kurtis Townsend prior to tipoff against Texas on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017 at Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.

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Nineteen days after first setting foot on KU's campus as an official member of the Kansas men's basketball team, freshman forward Silvio De Sousa finally has been cleared to play.

The KU basketball program on Saturday morning announced that the 6-foot-9, 245-pound power forward who came to Kansas a semester early after graduating from IMG Academy in Florida in December, had been certified as an amateur athlete and would be eligible to play in today's 11 a.m. game against Kansas State at Allen Fieldhouse.

“I know it’s a big relief to Silvio, who has been very patient throughout this process,” KU coach Bill Self said.

De Sousa has been with the Jayhawks, both practicing and sitting on the bench during games, since Dec. 26, missing four games that, had the process gone faster, in which he technically could have played.

While the wait was difficult for the thin KU roster to deal with on game days, having De Sousa on campus for the past three weeks has allowed him to ease into the idea of being a Jayhawk.

“I actually do feel like we know him pretty well,” Self said. “We've spent a lot of time with him. He's been with us long enough that I would trust him to play in a game, but I don't know if I would trust him to play in the last three or four minutes. But play in a close game, midway through the second half? Absolutely. No question.

“His attitude is unbelievable because he's doing two or three times more than anybody else every day. Whether it be going to Watkins and getting certain tests done or the extra physicals or meeting with compliance two hours a day. So I think his attitude has been absolutely terrific.”

The one area in which De Sousa has the most work to do is conditioning. But Self said Friday that the freshman forward had been working overtime in that department during his first few weeks with the Jayhawks.

How De Sousa fits into the rotation remains a work in progress — and likely will be ongoing into February — but Self said there were a couple of easy and obvious areas which he believed De Sousa could help right away.

Allowing the Jayhawks to play two big men — as opposed to four guards — more often than they have to date is one of the biggest. And Self believes, with De Sousa, Udoka Azubuike and Mitch Lightfoot, the KU front court suddenly has flexibility.

“When he's in there for 'Dok, I don't have any problems at all,” Self said. “When 'Dok and him are in there together, that would be OK. If he and Mitch are in there together, that would be fine, he can still play the five and Mitch can play the four. So it just probably depends on the situation.”

As for what skills De Sousa will bring to the floor, Self also said that was an easy call.

“When the ball's in the air, who goes and gets it,” Self said. “I see mainly that as being the biggest addition.”

Comments

Robert Brock 5 months, 1 week ago

LOL - remind De Sousa to block out first.

Michael Maris 5 months, 1 week ago

That's exactly right. This year's team seems to have left that portion of game fundamentals in the closet.

Chris DeWeese 5 months, 1 week ago

Not sure if he'll actually play today, but at least he'll be suited up and able to play. Good news finally came.

Gerry Butler 5 months, 1 week ago

Oh he is gonna play , you can take that to the bank. - how much who knows, maybe probably not a lot, but you can count on it he will play

Marius Rowlanski 5 months, 1 week ago

You got it right Gerry - unless we both have it wrong.

Craig Carson 5 months, 1 week ago

he will see minutes..he may not have any plays run for him, but he will get some type of minutes...it will probably be in the 1st half...cant see Self playing him late in the 2nd half unless,hopefully, KU is blowing KSU out

Jeff Foster 5 months, 1 week ago

One down, one to go. Chances Billy gets cleared for WVU? I still bet it comes Tues/Wed. Hate to have our full compliment of players for such a key game now wouldn't we NCAA? But hey, they're ALL about the STUDENTathlete.

John Brazelton 5 months, 1 week ago

February should be a good month for KU with a full roster unless the NCAA decides to suspend Preston further. The big challenge for Self will be getting everyone to play together.

DiscGolfer Jason 5 months, 1 week ago

Awesome. I do not believe we well see BP, but at least we got one big. Hopefully, Self will use him and Mitch as a PF. The guy has a motor so don't limit his use of it as a C.

Barry Weiss 5 months, 1 week ago

Great News! Man, I hope Billy gets cleared soon, this has to be tough on him seeing someone else get cleared before him, but I know he is a team guy. Come on NCAA... FREE BILLY!

Gerry Butler 5 months, 1 week ago

Great day. - -HUGE news. - how much this helps our depth is undescrible , Great day for Silvio - -feel really bad for Billy, know he has to be hurtin. I just don't think there is any chance we get Billy anytime this year

Marius Rowlanski 5 months, 1 week ago

Unbelievable. Finally some good news. Now what's the holdup on Preston?

Jeff Coffman 5 months, 1 week ago

I assume Dr Zenger is still in the NCAA office 24/7 until Preston has resolution.

James Mathews 5 months, 1 week ago

My guess is if the NCAA finds something(??? )After the fact they can’t come back and change there mind, so there going over anything and everything with a fine tooth comb. It’s sad you do this to a kids career, however you never give them a reason To begin with

Dirk Medema 5 months, 1 week ago

James - There's a difference between you not being able to read every detail of the situation in the newspaper and Billy not knowing what and why. This also is not something that the university or NCAA did to Billy. My guess is Has everything to do with what Billy and his family did with others. The university is looking out for the interest of all the players and program.

It is also unfortunate that others have abused amateurism so extensively as to create the monstrosity that is the NCAA.

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