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Bill Self: KU senior Lagerald Vick not expected back from leave of absence

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Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (24) shoots a free throw against Baylor in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Jerry Larson)

Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (24) shoots a free throw against Baylor in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Jerry Larson) by AP Photo/Jerry Larson

Already well versed in answering questions of the Lagerald Vick nature, Kansas coach Bill Self on Monday provided an answer that is likely to be the last.

Asked at the end of his regularly scheduled press conference if there were any roster changes in store for the Jayhawks as they began preparations for this week’s Big 12 tournament in Kansas City, Mo., Self closed the book on any possibility of Vick rejoining the team following his now-month-long leave of absence that has taken him back home to Memphis to tend to personal matters.

“No. There’s no movement,” Self said Monday. “And it’s not going to move back. There’s really no reason to ask anymore. Enough time has passed where we won’t have any roster changes moving forward.”

With that, Vick’s Kansas career comes to a close. The athletic, 6-foot-5 wing who started 61 games in his 117-game KU career, finished with averages of 9.4 points and 3.5 rebounds on 40.5 percent shooting from 3-point range.

His 45.5 percent 3-point shooting clip in 23 games this season still ranks second in the conference, but nine players finished the regular season with more attempts than the KU guard, who elected to return to Kansas for his senior season last summer after initially announcing his decision to turn pro following his junior season.

Vick’s time in a Kansas uniform will be remembered for high highs and low lows, but Self said last week, before KU’s regular season finale, that the Memphis native should be remembered fondly by Kansas fans.

New seed, new advantage?

For the first time in years, the Jayhawks will play in this week’s Big 12 tournament as something other than the top seed. But Self and his team did not seem at all disturbed by having to battle through the rest of the Big 12 as the No. 3 seed, which will open the tournament in the last game on Thursday against No. 6 seed Texas at approximately 8 p.m.

Before this season, the Jayhawks have been a 1 seed in each of the last 10 Big 12 tournaments.

The last time they weren’t the top seed came in 2008, when Kansas was seeded second and knocked off No. 1 Texas in the title game. KU has been the top seed in 11 of Self’s 16 seasons in charge of the program and has not been seeded lower than second since Self’s first season in 2003-04, when the Jayhawks also were seeded third.

“It’s been a while since we’ve played the last game (on Thursday) night,” Self said Monday. “But I don’t think it’s going to be that much different. I think that, if anything, it gives our fans an opportunity to see the night session because (No. 5) Iowa State and (No. 1) K-State will be in the other session, if I'm not mistaken, if it goes as scheduled or whatnot. Hopefully it'll be a little bit of an advantage for us from a crowd standpoint.”

Both Iowa State and K-State are known for bringing large fan bases to Sprint Center on an annual basis.

Lawson honored again

One day after being named first team all-Big 12 and conference newcomer of the year, KU junior Dedric Lawson earned second-team All-American honors from The Sporting News.

Lawson, who led the Big 12 in both scoring (19.1 ppg) and rebounding (10.6 rpg), has posted four consecutive double-doubles and tallied 20 for the season.

His 56 career double-doubles rank him fourth on the NCAA Division I active list and his 20 this season rank fifth on KU’s all-time single season list, one from moving into a tie for third.

Lawson is joined on the Sporting News second team by Big 12 player of the year Jarrett Culver, of Texas Tech, Wisconsin center Ethan Happ, Marquette point guard Markus Howard, and Murray State point guard Ja Morant.

First team picks were: RJ Barrett and Zion Williamson, of Duke, Tennessee forward Grant Williams, Michigan State point guard Cassius Winston and Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura.

Wrote Mike DeCourcy of Lawson’s selection: “Lawson might have had an even more spectacular season had he not been forced to play nearly the entire year out of position because of the injury that took center Udoka Azubuike out for the year. Lawson had to play in his place, invariably defending bigger players and absorbing the physical punishment that went along with that. But even with that inconvenience, so to speak, he continued to excel and keep Kansas in the race for still another Big 12 championship.”

Jayhawks drop 4 spots

Last Tuesday’s loss at Oklahoma, which officially eliminated the Jayhawks from contention for this year’s Big 12 regular season title, also had an impact on the Jayhawks this week.

Kansas fell four spots to No. 17 in the latest Associated Press Top 25, released Monday. Texas Tech, which won a share of the Big 12 regular season title with Kansas State, jumped to a season-high No. 7 in the poll, while the Wildcats landed at No. 15.

Those three teams are the top three seeds at this week’s Big 12 tournament in Kansas City, Mo., and they are the only Big 12 teams that were ranked in this week’s AP Top 25. Fifth-place Iowa State also received votes this week in the poll that was headlined by Gonzaga, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky and Duke as its Top 5.

Comments

Bryce Landon 2 months, 1 week ago

Wow. I only wish we knew what kind of personal problems LaGerald has that are of such a nature that we'll never see him in a Kansas uniform again. I really hate for him to have to go out the way he did, getting benched for most of the first half of the KSU game in Manhattan and being largely ineffective the second half. The worst part is, this news will only add fuel to the LaGerald haters' hot takes like "he's a quitter" or "he's a selfish bastard who thinks it should be all about him" or "his mommy told him to take his ball and come home" or "he was dismissed from the team and Self is unwilling to just say so". I hope that, whatever his troubles are back home, he is able to get them resolved, complete his degree program, and make the most of his life in the real world.

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 2 months, 1 week ago

my favorite players always turn out like this. what kind of problem could keep you from 4 months of starting a money career? 3 and a half years away, now suddenly dude, you fam needs you, no job, keep school up. no future. self should just say he was dismissed.

Mike Greer 2 months, 1 week ago

I have this blind confidence in Coach Self, if Vick was dismissed that he would come out and say so. Conversely, at this point they may have agreed there was no reason to rush back, the lineup is set, he's pulled the red shirt off Agbaji, and the cards will fall as they may.

Shannon Gustafson 2 months, 1 week ago

He was dismissed. The blind faith in Self is that he's not going to ruin a kids future by saying what went down. If he leaves it as-is then Vick is seemingly unaffected by it as far as future playing opportunities go.

Steve Zimmerman 2 months, 1 week ago

Do you have facts that he was 'dismissed'? You had already ruined the kid's future, if you just speculated.

Chris Bailey 2 months, 1 week ago

I've both read and heard he was dismissed as well. Sounds like you're spot on with your comment.

Steve Zimmerman 2 months, 1 week ago

Any facts that support Shannon's comment?

Dane Pratt 2 months, 1 week ago

Can't imagine what LV's family issues are but we should be applauding him for putting his family above all else.

Bville Hawk 2 months, 1 week ago

The Vick story is all so very strange. He apparently is on schedule to graduate this Spring. Bill makes some nice comments about him previously, but last Saturday on Senior Day, there is absolutely NO evidence of him. His name was never uttered by the PA announcer, his picture was never displayed on the video board.

He is by all appearances a persona non grata as far as the athletic department and basketball program are concerned.

I can't believe there aren't some credible rumors going around explaining what went down.

Shannon Gustafson 2 months, 1 week ago

There are some credible rumors but they don't explain the "why", just the "how".

Edward Daub 2 months, 1 week ago

Vick was certainly Slick and Non-Stick, KU's "The Teflon Man".

Let's root for him to graduate in May.

Let's root for him to succeed in professional basketball.

Chris DeWeese 2 months, 1 week ago

I sincerely hope LaGerald lands on his feet. It's looking like he'll graduate, so good on him. At best I hope he can play pro ball somewhere, anywhere. He has so much potential, he could easily make some dough overseas. However, if his personal issues/family concerns are that serious, I don't see him leaving.

Armen Kurdian 2 months, 1 week ago

Yeah, I don't know how you go home to attend to personal issues the end of your senior year when maybe you are trying to earn a spot to play money ball in the next year. I hope he comes through whatever it is.

Tony Bandle 2 months, 1 week ago

My guess is we will find out where Jimmy Hoffa is buried and what island did Amelia Earhart crash on before we know about LaGerald....and that would seem appropriate.

Brian Conrad 2 months, 1 week ago

He was great shooter ... sometimes ... seemed like he was hard to coach .. many times out of sink with team.
Pretty sure Self had rules for him to come back .. One was to listen to coach

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