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Time for NCAA to stand up and clear Silvio De Sousa

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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. by Nick Krug

Devonte' Graham knows how to feed the hot hand, but it's also on shooters to know when they have the hot hand and senior Svi Mykhailiuk seems to be doing a better job of it than in past years.

On the topic of hot hands, I'm here to tell you, I have one at the moment. In a column displayed on the front page of the Journal-World sports section Tuesday, I wrote that it's time for the real Malik Newman to stand up. Sure enough, Newman responded with by far his best game for Kansas, dropping 27 points and eight rebounds on visiting Iowa State.

How did I make such a timely call? Pure luck.

Now it's time for me to ride my hot hand and see if my luck can continue. Here goes:

It's time for the NCAA to clear Silvio De Sousa so that he can make his debut Saturday against Kansas State.

It would be a shame for De Sousa to have to wait much longer, given that he gave up his second semester at IMG Academy to join Kansas, which needs the muscle he can add to a thin front-court.

Once De Sousa makes his KU debut, coach Bill Self predicts it will be "three or four weeks" for him to get comfortable. He can still help a little before he's comfortable and probably a lot once he settles in.

For now, we can only rely on Youtube videos to get a feel for what type of player De Sousa is. Highlight tapes show only the good plays, obviously, but even so it's tough not to be impressed with this "Hoop Diamonds" collection of highlights from the 6-foot-9, 245-pound native of Angola.

He doesn't appear to have a particularly long wingspan, but is a quick leaper and perhaps best of all, understands that he can help his team most by staying close to the basket at both ends. It doesn't look as if he'll use his time at Kansas to try to prove to NBA scouts that he has a reliable jump shot. That's the impression Cheick Diallo gave, which is one reason he never logged many minutes for Kansas after making an impressive debut on Dec. 1, 2015, when he totaled 13 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots vs. Loyola (Maryland). In Diallo's remaining 26 games with KU he never surpassed any of those totals.

De Sousa (pronounced deh-SOE-suh, like once-inflated slugger Sammy Sosa) was named MVP of the FIBA Africa Championship in 2016. Silvio Fernando, also of Angola, was an all-tournament selection for that team. Fernando, a 6-10, 245-pound freshman for Maryland, is averaging 11 points and 6.5 rebounds for the Terrapins, coached by former Kansas point guard Mark Turgeon.

De Sousa is at a disadvantage compared to Fernando in that he joined his team mid-year, but still it's encouraging that a player who has not been hyped quite to the extent as De Sousa is making such a big immediate impact at a Big 10 school.

Comments

Joe Joseph 1 week, 3 days ago

The NCAA does no favors for itself. At a time when the NCAA is facing incredible criticism, it continues to drag its feet on a variety of affairs, while continuing to proclaim itself a champion for the student-athlete.

Please. The NCAA does not care about student athletes.

Suzi Marshall 1 week, 3 days ago

How long did it take for the NCAA to clear Fernando? It seems since they both played for the same Angolan National Team, the NCAA should already have the information they need to have cleared de Sousa quickly.

Titus Canby 1 week, 3 days ago

Is it just us, or are other schools going through the same things we are when it comes to getting players cleared? Can anyone name other NCAA players sitting out (like De Sousa and Preston) waiting for NCAA clearance?

John Fitzgerald 1 week, 3 days ago

I could be wrong but did Hamidou Diallo for Kentucky sit out all year last year when he came in half way like De Sousa? That’s if he even came in half way through the semester last year. Again, I could be way off base I’m just curious if someone can correct me or confirm.

Craig Carson 1 week, 3 days ago

I think Diallo for UK choose to sit out for the year..I dont think he was benched by the NCAA???

Mark Winkler 1 week, 3 days ago

it wasn't a NCAA issue why he sat out....I lived there during that time and he choose to sit or got there and team was loaded so red shirted...NCAA would never let a UK player sit too long.....I am so tired year after year they drag feet....Why no Preston either.....you have had since Nov 11.....nobody annoucing the games is asking why?????

John Fitzgerald 1 week, 3 days ago

If he’s not cleared by the end of the month will KU send another letter? If so it’s a shame it would come to that. I get that it’s their job to verify these things and make sure a player is truly eligible but clearing them as quick as possible should be a priority. The NCAA is here for the student athletes not the other way around.

Andy Godwin 1 week, 3 days ago

Under Self it is nearly impossible to make a significant contribution if one becomes eligible late in the season. Sam Cunliffe is a perfect example, how many seconds before he was pulled for getting caught behind a screen on an end bounds play. Self and KU fans want to win and a single possession can alter the game's outcome. Self will let only the players he trusts make mistakes within a game and at crunch time, because they are more likely to also make a key play (example Devonte last night in getting stripped of the ball leading to an ISU fast break late in the game and then Devonte redeeming himself with two key buckets and leading a fast break). The only difference with Billy Preston if his eligible ever gets resolved or De Sousa, is they are desperately needed depth in the front line, whereas both Garrett and Cunliffe sat when the game was in the balance.

Marcia Parsons 1 week, 3 days ago

He also let two guys run right past him to score. It wasn't just one thing.

Craig Carson 1 week, 3 days ago

I think Self told Cunliffe to watch out for the screen....then he lets himself get screened anyway and to add insult to injury, fouled the guy for an and 1...I think if Sam would have been able to play the 1st few games when KU was blowing teams out he would have had the chance to work himself into the game defensively

Dale Rogers 1 week, 3 days ago

Hmm, two fouls might have something to do with it, too.

Barry Weiss 1 week, 3 days ago

why not include Billy in this? We need both!!! Do you have some inside scoop that Billy may not be cleared? Thanks Keegs

Scott Proch 1 week, 3 days ago

Sounds like a 'heat check' for you at this point Tom....

Bill Corrigan 1 week, 3 days ago

Should KU Chancellor Douglas Girod be urged to contact the NCAA directly about the Silvio De Sousa/Billy Preston impasse?

Bryce Landon 1 week, 3 days ago

Why? He can't be bothered to fire Dr. Zenger even with a plane flying a banner around Memorial Stadium.

Xandor Okaqui 1 week, 3 days ago

Both Billy's mom and De Sousa should file a lawsuit against the NCAA. How much money did Preston lose, whereas he could've played overseas? De Sousa time spent and not going to the second semester at IMG?

Perhaps that would speed up the process. What would it take the NCAA to fully review KU's submission on the details of Preston's vehicle incident? An hour, maximum? Or De Sousa's grades and eligibility? 30 minutes?

Both should definitely sue after the season regardless. That would make the NCAA get a little more hasty on time-sensitive issues.

Len Shaffer 1 week, 3 days ago

I may be wrong on this but I think the NCAA is severely understaffed and that's a big part of their problem.

But the biggest problem for the NCAA is their complete lack of communication. It could make an immense difference if they would just occasionally explain to the public what they were doing. I understand privacy concerns, but surely there must be SOMETHING they can tell us rather than just letting everything sit in radio silence for God knows how long.

Adam James 1 week, 3 days ago

Self has a short leash with players that are simply not ready. If you are ready, you will play and be allowed to play through some mistakes. The coaching staff sees these guys day in and day out and they know exactly what their limitations are. If DeSousa gets cleared and is ready he will play. If he's not (similar to Diallo) we will continue to scrap with our guard orientated lineup. With Preston, we know he is ready and he will be integrated with the green light.

Robert Brock 1 week, 3 days ago

Question: why did the KU Compliance Department take until December 23rd to get requested information to the NCAA in the Preston case?

1 week, 3 days ago

$1,000,000 Question! Wouldn't one think the "compliance" dept would take Extra care and be Extra PROACTIVE with the University's 15 MOST RECOGNIZABLE (student) athletes!?!?! Why did it take a car accident in November to figure out BP/car status? did not the semester start in August/Sept?! Proactive v Reactive...WTF??

Barry Weiss 1 week, 3 days ago

Who knows. My theory is that as Coach has mentioned, it did take time to get records from the Prestons or whoever, conduct interviews, etc. It could also be that part of the package KU presented to the NCAA on 12/23 is proof that the car has been paid off or paid back and proof that money came from the Prestons. If they did not have it, or needed time to accumulate it, that "could" have been part of the delay. Also, its possible that based on prior impermissible benefit cases, the typical penalty is being held out of a certain number of games and that KU timed their package to include that number of games already being held out, so that the NCAA would not have to add on games to when the investigation was complete. This is all pure speculation so who really knows.

Bora Mac 1 week, 3 days ago

It did NOT take 6 weeks to determine the financial picture. It took a few days.

What DID take 6 weeks...was undoing the wrong...as best as possible. If money came from a wrong place...that needed to be "fixed" Well gosh darn wouldn't be great if old Coaches program screws the pooch...Coach just pays. Unfortunately the fairest solution is not allowed.

But if the financing flowed through wrong hands...there certainly were documents. And those documents need to be recast into a proper financing course of business so COACH could say...well Gosh Darn...we didn't quite get this right...but look...we fixed it good....and anyways we weren't that far off in the first place...no harm, no foul!

Billy's mom had to source some clean up money, travel to Lawrence to put new documentation in place, and sign some affadavits that said as best they could...no big deal.

Sooo....Play ball Billy tall.

Mark Winkler 1 week, 3 days ago

it was turned in Nov 11. Was reported last night during the game....

Tony Bandle 1 week, 3 days ago

My apologies for my wrong call for the timing of the release of the hostages, Billy and Silvio, by the NCAA. I realize that the ESPN big bang was not Iowa State or Kansas State at Allen. It's BIG MONDAY, Kansas at West Virginia. I predict that it will be all hands on deck by Monday night!!

[PS I also predicted that the Royals would play the Cardinals in the 2017 World Series, that Johnny Manzel would be a Super Bowl MVP and that Bill Walton had improved as a color commentator-I was really wrong on that one!!]

Bryson Stricker 1 week, 3 days ago

Bill Walton is a top 5 commentator for ESPN. If you don't believe so, you just enjoy boringness and doing something that people just imitate.

Commentary used to be an art. Now it is just repeating what we are seeing and providing a little bit of knowledge that anyone under the sun could get.

Bill Walton provides a real experience. He is there in the moment, high as balls and commentating the game while also entertaining the audience. ESPN keeps him for a reason.

Len Shaffer 1 week, 3 days ago

Bryson, you have GOT to be kidding!!!!!

Bill Walton is by FAR the worst commentator I've ever heard. Half the time he doesn't pay the slightest attention to what's going on and instead goes off on completely irrelevant tangents, usually about himself or the Pac-12. You are right about him being an "experience," but so is a car crash.

You can say the others are boring for repeating what we're seeing, but I for one like it when a commentator explains a play in greater detail or talks about the game that I'm watching. If I want to see what Bill Walton had for lunch, I'd follow him on Twitter or go to his Facebook page. But I'm tuning in to watch a KU basketball game, not a day in the life of Bill Walton.

As for him being a top-5 commentator for ESPN: if that's true, that says all you need to know about ESPN's standards, the general stupidity of the American public, or both.

And finally there's the little matter of him having one of the most annoying voices on the planet. I think I'd enjoy it more if they just played the sounds of multiple cats scratching chalkboards.

Alex Wehking 1 week, 2 days ago

Bill is a legend, and I would watch him commentate anything any day of the week.

Bob Bowles 1 week, 3 days ago

I really think the NCAA is using the singer Billy Preston (I'm showing my age) song as their motto.....

Nothing(no decision) from Nothing (The NCAA) leaves Nothing (Two talented kids missing a chance to get to play).

Adam James 1 week, 3 days ago

Oakville...... I'll match your predictions and say Jan. 20 is when it all goes down. We get Preston and DeSousa for the Baylor game and Zion Williamson commits. RCJH!

Sam Burns 1 week, 3 days ago

Am I the only one wondering if a certain ex West Virginia employee who is now in the position of authority with the NCAA eligibility will make sure the new players are NOT eligible until at least after the first game with West Virginia?

Craig Carson 1 week, 3 days ago

i was just about to say that..wouldnt it be suspicious if KU looses on monday then gets both cleared to play on tuesday morning?

Jonathan Allison 1 week, 2 days ago

they've had enough success against us in recent years that I don't think they're scare of a couple of freshman forwards who have yet to play a college game.

John Brazelton 1 week, 3 days ago

The NCAA would rather do an error-free clearance rather than allow an elite basketball program like KU's have to forfeit games or championships due to an ineligible player. Don't look for either player to be cleared quickly. Another loss or two because of the lack of big man depth won't make or break the KU program.

Bryce Landon 1 week, 3 days ago

As much as it sucks to go through this whole mess with Billy and Silvio, I'd rather have our problems then have the problem Texas was just hit with:

https://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/andrew-jones-20-year-old-texas-longhorns-basketball-star-diagnosed-with-leukemia/

Tony Bandle 1 week, 3 days ago

AW S**T.....well put, Bryce.

My Mom lasted 17 years with leukemia, she was 69 when she passed and that was 25 years ago. Hopefully, a young elite athlete in top physical condition coupled with modern medicine can save the day.

Ron Curtin 1 week, 3 days ago

How about the player file a lawsuit against the NCAA. Do so on the grounds they are costing the kid a chance to showcase his talents and possibly be an NBA draft pick. Unless the NCAA has found something that the kid has done wrong there would be no other reason for them to hold the kid up on playing. The rumor is that Mr. Luck is involved with the decision with regard to these players for KU getting cleared to play. It could be a conflict of interest if he was holding this up due to bias for another school in the Big 12. If this is NOT the case then the NCAA would owe it to everyone to come out and disclose the reason for the hold up. Most of the schools in the NCAA are public schools funded with public money. That in itself is a reason for the general public to be told what is going on.

Sam Burns 1 week, 3 days ago

Maybe we can have some signs at the next game "IMPEACH OLIVER LUCK!!"

Jim Stauffer 1 week, 2 days ago

A phone in on KK's show suggested Oliver Luck and Huggins will conspire to see that these guys are not on the floor Monday against WVU. Sounded like typical conspiracy theory, but had the right names attached.

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