Kansas coach Bill Self says Jayhawks are prepared for weekend arrival


Kansas head coach Bill Self yells during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Stanford in Stanford, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Kansas head coach Bill Self yells during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Stanford in Stanford, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) by Associated Press

After his team’s final Zoom chat of the offseason on Thursday night, Kansas basketball coach Bill Self said he got the feeling that the Jayhawks were comfortable with the plan to return to campus.

“We didn’t hear any complaints,” Self told the Journal-World on Friday, noting that the he and his team went over protocol and what to expect when they get back to campus. “But they did have questions on a variety of things.”

Although a handful of KU’s players are already in town, the rest of the roster is expected to be back in Lawrence on Sunday.

The Jayhawks then will do COVID-19 testing on Monday, with the goal being to get started with team workouts as soon as they receive their test results.

Seniors Marcus Garrett and Silvio De Sousa have been in Lawrence for the past several weeks. And sophomore Tristan Enaruna returned from the Netherlands on Wednesday.

Self said Enaruna would be able to go through testing but still would have to quarantine for 14 days before participating in team workouts.

While that wait will be less than ideal, Self said he was thrilled the sophomore forward was able to make it back without incident.

“The issue with him was the (U.S.) travel ban,” Self said. “The scary thing with other international kids, especially the freshmen more so than the returning guys, was acquiring a visa when the embassies were closed. But he didn’t have that issue like incoming freshmen may.”

In addition to talking with his players about what to expect when they arrive — from how workouts will look to team meals and proper precautionary hygiene — Self said he and his assistant coaches spoke with several parents about their plans, as well.

“By no means do I think that anybody is 100% positive that their child won’t be exposed to this,” Self said of COVID-19. “Because the reality of it is they probably will be at some point in time. We just have to take the precautions that best eliminate the potential for spread.

“I told the guys, ‘We’ll deal with whatever, we just don’t need to help it and we need to make sure everybody plays their role.’”

Asked if he was surprised that the pandemic was still so prevalent more than four months after the 2020 NCAA Tournament was canceled, Self said things have played out about like he expected they would.

“I’ve never been comfortable at all that this thing was going to be short-lived,” he said. “I never thought that. Like everybody else, I was always confident that we’re in America and you take for granted that people will always figure stuff out. But, as bad as it’s been, my concern is it could get worse.

“Even though it sucks and even though nobody likes it, you have to respect the fact that we do need to proceed with caution because we don’t know long-term effects or anything else that could be potentially going on.”


Dirk Medema 6 months, 4 weeks ago

Eliminate the spread is consistent with the prevalent rhetoric so it is understandable. It is still disappointing that we don’t recognize there are shades of grey and not just black and white. Hopefully everyone can be healthy enough for an infection to be insignificant.

In the case of the players, hopefully they can continue without positive test results so they can continue practicing.

Tim Orel 6 months, 4 weeks ago

I am sad to have lost the tourney last spring, but I did get mad when I saw someone walking around with a Michigan State National Championship jersey for 2019-2020. I don't give this season much of a chance to get underway before it gets halted until there's a vaccine, and I don't expect that to be tested and ready before spring. I just have to keep up with Rock Chalk and hope for the 2021-2022 season to be played.

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