Friday, December 14, 2012

KU’s Justin Wesley suffers broken pinkie

KU junior Justin Wesley sports a broken finger as he looks for gifts on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, during the Jayhawks' holiday shopping excursion to Wal-Mart.

KU junior Justin Wesley sports a broken finger as he looks for gifts on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, during the Jayhawks' holiday shopping excursion to Wal-Mart.



KU junior Justin Wesley sports a broken finger as he looks for gifts on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, during the Jayhawks' holiday shopping excursion to Wal-Mart.

Kansas University junior basketball forward Justin Wesley broke his left pinkie finger at practice Thursday and will miss approximately three weeks of practice and games, coach Bill Self said Thursday night.

Wesley, a 6-foot-9 reserve forward from Fort Worth, Texas, hurt his finger scrambling for the basketball. Wesley wore a cast around the outside two fingers of his left hand during Thursday’s holiday shopping excursion at Wal-Mart. Wesley has scored five points total and grabbed 10 rebounds while playing 35 minutes in six games this season.

Ellis finals finished: Wichita Heights Class of 2012 valedictorian Perry Ellis headed to basketball practice Thursday afternoon with a burden lifted from his shoulders.

Ellis, now a KU freshman, had finished his first-semester final exams.

“My last one was this morning. I’m pretty excited about that,” Ellis said.

“We’ve got to do a lot of basketball stuff and other things you’ve got to do in college, so it makes it tougher here,” added Ellis, who reports, “I got a couple A’s, couple B’s, I think, so that’s pretty good.”

The 6-foot-8, 225-pound McDonald’s All-American, who also aced a pair of classes at KU last summer, figures to be one of the Jayhawks to benefit the most from an upcoming month between semesters with no classroom responsibilities.

“Perry’s minutes are going to continue to go up if he keeps trying to get out of his comfort zone to be aggressive,” Self said of Ellis, who has averaged 5.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in 16.1 minutes per game heading into Saturday’s 6 p.m. home game versus Belmont. “He has certainly done that in practice. He cares. He’s conscientious.”

Ellis, who has scored just 14 points in KU’s last four games, had 15 in KU’s season opener versus Southeast Missouri State.

“He played pretty well against Colorado (Saturday), but he had two points and one rebound. He was more aggressive in some ways. It just didn’t fall that day,” Self said.

It’s all a learning process, and Ellis has been a sponge.

“The key thing is being aggressive at all times,” Ellis said. “I think too much when I need to react and play.”

KU senior forward Kevin Young said Ellis, “is very talented. We all know it out there, on the court, in the stands. He’s a good kid. He’s hard to guard (in practice) just because he knows how to score. He’s just hard to defend.”

McLemore excels: KU red-shirt freshman Ben McLemore leads the team in scoring (16.0 ppg) and is third on the team in rebounding (5.6)

“Wait ’til he gets comfortable. That’s kind of how I look at it,” Self said at Thursday’s weekly news conference. “I’m not so hung up on points as I am being a good player, and he’s becoming a much better player as we go. He’s learning how to be aggressive while being unselfish. Hey, he’s one of the premier players in our league Day One, with a chance to be one of the very elite few in our league. I really believe that.”

Brown update: Larry Brown’s first SMU team is off to an 8-1 start heading into Saturday’s game at Rhode Island. Self, who speaks with former KU coach Brown regularly, shared a story about Brown’s return to the recruiting trail last summer after many years in the NBA.

“First time I saw him was for an 8 a.m. game — 8 a.m. games, nobody likes going to them,” Self said. “I get there at 7:59, just in time, and he’s off on his own. I saw him and said, ‘Coach, (are) you too good to sit with us, coaches?’ He said, ‘No, I have to have a chair. I can’t sit in the bleachers.’ I said, ‘If I were you, I’d make your assistant carry that chair to every game you go to today,’ as a joke. He made his assistant carry the chair every game he went to. I thought that was pretty funny because nobody does that.”

“I think after doing it as long as he has, he deserves the right to sit in a chair rather than bleachers,” Self added of the 72-year-old Brown.


THE_REAL_DEAL_WITH_BILL_MCNEIL 9 years, 12 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

msezdsit 9 years, 12 months ago

The season is early but McLemore has certainly lived up to his expectations and Perry Ellis is to much of a competitor to not come around. If we don't stop ourselves, I think you are right.

Bville Hawk 9 years, 12 months ago

How does a broken pinkie finger on your non-shooting hand keep you out of practice?

HawkKlaw 9 years, 12 months ago

It's probably just a precautionary thing. I'm sure Wesley wants to be out there, but it's the coach's (and physician's) call.

Side Note: I once completely dislocated my pinkie in the middle of a pick up game and still finished the game out. I didn't re-dislocate it or anything, but admittedly it was probably not the smartest of moves. Wesley should let it heal.

monkeehawkSL8 9 years, 12 months ago

   It depends on what kind of break it is, are there pins involved? I had a torn tendon in one of pinkies that was set with a pin. It hurt to breath. I keep working, I was a tough guy, I was also a stupid guy. Today I have a small t-rex looking finger that resembles a broken branch.

dylans 9 years, 12 months ago

Keith Langford is left handed is Justin?

milehighhawk 9 years, 12 months ago

He's ambidextrous.

Or at least he fouls with both hands.

Joe Baker 9 years, 12 months ago

That's funny right there, I don't care who you are

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 12 months ago

Because practice requires the kind of things that broke his finger in the first place. They don't just stand and shoot.

Maximus140 9 years, 12 months ago

I agree. He should never shoot when that thing is healthy. Two hands still so no problem rebounding, still has 2 legs so he can run up and down the court, and eligible for 5 fouls until he fouls out. Time for him to Junior Up and just go.

Lets me tell you about some injuries that football player, wrestlers, baseball players go through......

JHawk74 9 years, 12 months ago

As long as Withey and Young play great basketball anything Ellis contributes is a bonus. Ellis and Traylor are clearly the 3rd and 4th option for our big guys at this time. Ellis and Traylor are very important to the team and seem to understand their roles. Ellis can learn from Withey and Young and be ready to be a starter next year.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 12 months ago

JHawk74: I'm sorry, but I can't disagree more on the statement "anything Ellis contributes is a bonus", even assuming your qualification about Withey and Young playing great basketball. Respectfully, I think you set the bar too low for Ellis this season -- "be ready to be a starter next year."

Ellis is an appx. top 30 player. He's the kind of guy that we should expect to contribute immediate, quality minutes. He's a McDonald's All-American. We need the guy to be one of the best players on this team by March.

Make no mistake, this team needs Ellis to be a big time player. To be the kind of player that despite Young's effectiveness, Self won't be able to keep out of the starting lineup. Post scoring is a challenge for this team, and it will rear its head against more quality opponents -- opponents that are more competent defending Withey. Enter Ellis. Without Ellis being a real scoring option, and real force in the post, we are not a Final Four team. Withey and Young are not true scorers in the post.

I was as impressed as anyone with Young's performance vs. CU. But history tells us that won't be the norm. We shouldn't expect that. Now, if it becomes the norm, all the better -- but I tend to think that Ellis progressing into a force in the post gives this team its best shot at getting where we want to be.

Jack Jones 9 years, 12 months ago

"Setting the bar", whether too low or too high, is relevant to only two people; Bill Self and Perry Ellis.And because of that, my money is on Bill Self and Perry Ellis. Perry Ellis will be what he will be - a pretty damn good college basketball player.

jaybate 9 years, 12 months ago

"Hypothesis for Why 5-Stars Gravitate Toward Starting Despite Veteran D1 Journeymen Playing as Well or Better"

Part 1

Hypothesis: All the coaches at the top programs that have shoe contracts personally and/or through their schools simultaneously have to develop players for team play, while also developing the branding of players the Shoecos channel to these schools for marketing purposes.

Under this hypothesis, Ellis will inevitably become a starter for two reasons:

1) to satisfy Addidas that Ellis is being adequately promoted for his career path in shoe promotion; and

2) to ensure at least some 5 star recruits from Addidas' stable that must choose among several Addidas D1 programs keep choosing KU.

To clarify the hypothesis a bit further, it assumes ShoeCos subsidize AAU teams in order to spec on developing high school players that can eventually promote shoe sales through college branding and then through professional branding. Each such player represents a marketing probability function to the ShoeCo. All will play in a D1 program and so help that team promote shoe sales in its market area. Most will Some will fail to develop--a cost of speculating on development. Some will develop enough to play over seas and promote over seas. Some will develop enough to stick in the NBA as journeymen and so promote the brand in franchise markets. And a few will develop out to the right tail of the marketing probability function and promote global sales by being NBA super stars.

D1 is the minor league of shoe promotion. 340 some schools in large and small markets across America, each under contract to a single ShoeCo promoting shoe sales in that submarket, but also brand managing the players according to their marketing probability function.

Basically, if a coach wants to have 5-stars on his team, he is agreeing to do two things:

a) develop them in order to help his team, but also to

b) help move them along the marketing probability function.

Some 5-stars are good enough to beat out veteran D1 journeyman, while others are not. When they are not, the logical move is to build a team so that the veteran D1 journeyman plays 20-25 minutes during the key stretches of the game, while the 5-star starts and so his branding is being developed for the ShoeCo and he is developed toward the right tail of his marketing probability function, without completely wrecking his team's chances at immediate success.

jaybate 9 years, 12 months ago

Part 2

Both ShoeCo and coach understand that there is a tipping point where if the 5 star is played too much before he is ready, the team will suffer and become associated with losing; losing is almost as bad for brand management, as not starting.

At the same time, both understand that winning without promoting the 5-star does the ShoeCo no good. If the ShoeCos marketing agenda is not served by sending a 5-star to a program, then the ShoeCo has wasted its marketing budget with the player so far, and diminished his immediate and future marketing worth. If the D1 coach tells the ShoeCo that he knows best, and sits 5-stars and subs them sparingly, or plays them out of position to help the team win, this is detrimental for the Shoeco"s marketing agenda. Same if the coach demands the 5-star play with injuries that, if worsened by playing, could move the 5-star toward the left tail of his marketing probability function in the long term.

Under these conditions, the ShoeCo disciplines the D1 coach by denying him future 5-stars players from its stable for a couple years. If the coach/school have a long term contract with the ShoeCo, there is nothing the coach/school can do. The competing ShoeCos will not send their 5-star players to a school contracted with their competitor. The coach's only move, then, is to broaden out where he recruits, and to beat the bushes for more diamonds in the rough, until the ShoeCo he has offended lifts the 5-star embargo and gives him one or two to see if he will then behave according to their marketing agenda.

This hypothesis is formulated to fit the observable facts of the last several years, since Xavier was asked to play a supporting role (thus retarding his rightward movement on his marketing probability function), EJ was asked to sit for a year and a half because of wildness (ditto) and Selby was played out of position and with an injury (ditto).

But as always, its only an hypothesis.

Gary Wirsig 9 years, 12 months ago

Snore, drool, startle...huh? Oh sorry, must have dropped off there. I am pretty old - what was the hypothesis again? (All in fun)

jaybate 9 years, 12 months ago

Oh, my, yes, u r much older and more out of it than u realize.


ParisHawk 9 years, 12 months ago

Substitute EgoCo (meaning the player and his entourage) for ShoeCo and I think you're closer to the truth, despite the loss of the conspiracy theory angle.

I'm beginning to wonder who is pulling the strings behind some of your posts...

ParisHawk 9 years, 12 months ago

Did you know you can press the "like" icon on your own posts?

Jack Wilson 9 years, 12 months ago

Don't hit like too much on your own posts, you might go blind. It's in the disclaimer.

jaybate 9 years, 12 months ago

This may be your lamest use of conspiracy smear yet. :-)

Conspiracy requires more than two persons acting secretly to achieve something illegal, or improper.

This hypothesis involves one coach making a choice about what he has to do to sustain access to 5-stars. :-)

The coach does not conspire with any one. :-)

This hypothesis propose nothing illegal or improper occurs. :-)

You need lay off the conspiracy pills. You see conspiracy theories every time your mind is asked to think of something new.

Seriously, expand your vocabulary. I will work with you, if you like.

Emphasize accuracy.

Then you will get better.


funkdog1 9 years, 12 months ago

I believe in American English the accepted spelling is "pinky".

Lee Sears 9 years, 12 months ago

I figured he was already out with an injury. He hasn't been played any significant minutes in several games. Maybe he has been in the doghouse with Self ?

HawkKlaw 9 years, 12 months ago

No, he just has Withey, Young, Ellis and Traylor ahead of him on the depth chart. Not a lot of minutes available for Justin this year.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 12 months ago

And, God bless him for his effort, he just isn't very good (at the high D-I level).

Mike Barnhart 9 years, 12 months ago

Hope Justin gets good grades and graduates, basketball probably hasn't turned out as he planned.

Anybody read Jaybates novel? Me neither.

texashawk10 9 years, 12 months ago

The way Wesley's finger is wrapped up in the picture, I'd say it's pretty severe break. If it was just a minor break or fracture, I would imagine he would just have a splint on it. I would guess there's probably a risk for some nerve damage right now and his finger needs some protection. Either that, or Bill Self and the training staff are being overly cautious because Wesley isn't in the rotation so they can afford to let Wesley completely heal his finger.

Sam Constance 9 years, 12 months ago

Am I the only one who, in glancing at the headline, saw "J---- W----y" and for a split-second thought Jeff Withey was out?


Although that does stink for Wesley and for the loss of his energy in practice. But compared to missing Jeff Withey for 3 weeks, it's not nearly as dramatic.

KansasComet 9 years, 12 months ago

Perry Ellis time is coming. It's lets than 10 games into his Freshman Campaign. No worries here!

justinryman 9 years, 12 months ago

They look like something RUNDMC would have wore back in the 80's.

Yeah they are just that sweet.

jaybate 9 years, 12 months ago

Why do I get the feeling Perry is going to see serious minutes against...Belmont? :-)

Why, I bet AW3 is going to see big minutes against...Belmont. :-)

Belmont is kind of a coming out party for all the struggling new guys.

Why, we me even see Anrio see big minutes against...Belmont.

Regardless, get ready for Perry to come steaming back, because Self is setting him up for a confidence builder.

Go, Perry, go!!!!

jaybate 9 years, 12 months ago

What is it about talking about the ShoeCos and the agents that gets everyone's so nervous?

They are just players in the D1 business, like anyone else, right?

jaybate 9 years, 12 months ago

Not sure how this relates to my post, but I love that The Prophet has taken defense stretching to a new level.

Joe Baker 9 years, 11 months ago

It's all about the shoes. You post so many issues about shoes. EJ later qualified the statement as an ongoing issue between him and Collins. My guess is Collins issued a challenge to EJ's shooting by "getting his shoes on" before he stepped on the court.

I thought it was relevant to your ShoeCos and agents. You gotta get your shoes on before you can go to court.

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 12 months ago

Belmont is a great opportunity for Perry Ellis to show he can be as active (or close to it) as Kevin Young on the offensive glass. KU should have a bundle of offensive boards, I'd love to see Ellis get after it and maybe even put up a dunk or two off an offensive rebound. Same thing goes for Traylor, he's shown the energy and effort on the offensive glass, big opportunity to get in the mix.

Wonder how Wesley's injury affects practice rotations, if at all. More practice time for Lucas? Forcing Ellis or Traylor to guard W in practice?

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Self said early that KU's lack of muscle would be compensated for by using more bigs and giving more fouls. Against MSU, Self used Justin 7 minutes. Inference: Self loses that much contribution from Justin's absence against Ohio State and Temple.

The other variable is Self has probably been playing Justin less early vs the cupcakes in order to develop the green wood. Self already knows Justin can guard the post and fill the limited role Self has for Justin this year. Inference: Self was probably going to start using Justin 7-10 mpg the second half of the season before the injury; this could slow that down.

Justin is yet another role player board rats are misunderstanding. Is he going to become big minute guy? No. But is he important to Self compensating for his skinny bigs conference with fouling once the grind it outs, muscle ball, and Saturday Monday games start? Yes.

Joe Baker 9 years, 12 months ago

These phenom all state, McD AA, and Gatorade POY (X4), will learn. Jabari Parker, Wigs, and Randall will hit the freshmen brickwall. They all bloom during the second half. They get their wings their soph yr, and begin to fly.

It's a big step up from HS to D1 play.

Wesley is one funny dude. You just look at him and start laughing. I'm sure he's a great guy. He just fouls and looks over at the bench with the goofiest look. He fouls before getting into a game. Someone once said that Wesley fouls when he gets out of bed.

If you haven't read this, please do:

Beyond he Phog-

Seriously, Wesley will be fine. He's a great depth man.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 12 months ago

I mentioned this a few weeks ago (speculating) after the Peters' news about the potential of Josh Smith coming to KU at semester, our open scholarship, etc. The thing I have seen on this topic is below ... KU, Georgetown, and Washington are the leaders apparently. Wow.

Joe Baker 9 years, 11 months ago

HEM- I think many, myself included, wrote that we didn't want Smith at KU. He just seems to be a really bad apple. Unfortunately, Howland may have played mind games with him. I think Howland ran him off of the team. However, Smith's attitude isn't the best either. Self is far and above Howland as a coach. I think Self would and could do wonders with Smith. The bigger issue might be if Self wants the extra baggage on the team.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

UCLA is an Addidas team.

Josh is probably from an Addidas summer game background.

KU is an Addidas team.



jaybate 9 years, 12 months ago

Re: Justin--another one bites the dust!

Ohio State and Temple fall within the window of Justin's injury. These are games where we could use his 6-9 225 body. He outweighs KY 30 lbs and has an inch on everyone but Jeff. He played 7 vs. MSU.


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