Saturday, January 13, 2018

Notebook: Silvio De Sousa receives standing ovation; no update on Billy Preston’s status

Kansas guard Malik Newman (14) pulls in Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa (22) for a chat as he checks into the game for the first time during the first half, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Malik Newman (14) pulls in Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa (22) for a chat as he checks into the game for the first time during the first half, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Silvio De Sousa's first official game as a Jayhawk probably will not be remembered for his time on the floor.

But just before recording one foul and one turnover in four first-half minutes of KU's 73-72 victory over Kansas State on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse, the freshman forward received one heck of an ovation from the home crowd when he checked into the game for the first time with 9:42 to play in the first half.

At the sight of De Sousa — pronounced Deh-Soe-Suh — simply walking down to the scorer's table, many KU fans in attendance rose to their feet, celebrating the arrival of the 6-foot-9, 245-pound forward from Angola, who graduated from IMG Academy a semester early to join this year's Jayhawks.

That was the last round of applause he received on Saturday, but it does not figure to be the final ovation this season.

“It's definitely going to help,” said senior point guard Devonte' Graham of getting an extra body in the front court. “It's going to take him a little bit of time to get adjusted to the college level. Coming straight out of high school, and then in the middle of the season, is tough. So it's going to take him a while. He said it felt different playing out there than it did at IMG. But he's definitely going to help us out in the next couple weeks.”

Added KU coach Bill Self, who said he told De Sousa around 9:30 a.m. Saturday that the NCAA had certified his amateur status: “It was more than what he bargained for. And I asked him if he was fine and he said, 'Coach, I'm great.' And I also asked him, 'Were you ready for that?' And he said, 'No.' That was a different element. We've only coached him for two weeks and I don't think we've seen the left-handed hook pass out of bounds. Guys, it's not fair to expect too much, but he's going to be fine. It's just going to take him a couple weeks.”

Self, who had hinted that the ruling might come Friday, said he believed that a couple of people in the NCAA office who had not yet seen De Sousa's case needed to review the information Saturday morning before giving KU the all clear.

“Our people did a great job getting that stuff to them as quickly as possible, everything they requested,” Self said. “And then they had to digest it and this was the earliest they could make that decision. It's not a killer for us. Even though we would've liked for him to be eligible every game (this semester), he wasn't ready to help us yet. ... He'll pick up stuff quicker now because he knows.”

No Preston update

With De Sousa finally in the mix, the off-the-court focus for this team is down to the situation involving freshman Billy Preston, who has yet to play because of a compliance issue involving a vehicle he was driving during a single-car, non-injury accident in November.

Like De Sousa's was, that situation is currently in the hands of the NCAA and the Jayhawks are awaiting word on Preston's eligibility status for the rest of the season. To date, the 6-10, 240-pound McDonald's All-American has been held out of competition at KU's choosing as a precaution. And Self said Saturday that he did not know when KU would receive any news.

“We know we've got Silvio now so we'll play to that,” Self said. “And I don't have any information on Billy at all. I think it's probably ridiculous of me to keep asking every four hours, 'Is there anything?' They're going to let me know when something happens. And I promise you, when something happens, we'll let you know.

“They're not even related in any way, shape or form, obviously, but we haven't been given, to my knowledge, anything that would give us a timetable at all.”

Confidence in Graham

After picking up his second foul at the 12:32 mark of the first half, Graham was called to the bench, where he sat for 2:50 of game time before returning to the floor to close out the half.

The move was a gamble, considering Graham's importance and the fact that K-State guard Cartier Diarra was noticeably trying to put a third foul on the KU leader. But Self said he never blinked at the decision and Graham said he appreciated it.

“I think you could play Devonte' and Svi (Mykhailiuk) better than anybody with two fouls,” Self said. “I trust him and Svi more than anybody to play with two fouls.”

Both Graham and Mykhailiuk finished Saturday's game with four fouls in a combined 73 minutes on the court.

Stoppages OK

Saturday's game featured a handful of stoppages by the officials, who on a few occasions went to the monitor to review a play or make sure they got a call right.

Asked if that made it hard for the home team to find a rhythm — particularly in the second half — Graham said he did not mind the break in the action.

“It was actually big stops,” he said. “Lagerald (Vick's) three was a three and I think they actually called it a two at first so (them calling it a three after reviewing it) was huge. And then the one that went out of bounds (off of K-State but was initially awarded to the Wildcats), I actually asked the ref if he could review it because I thought it went out of bounds off them and he said he was positive that it was their ball. And then coach (Self) asked him and thank God we got the ball. Coach has a little more pull than I do.”

This and that...

Kansas is now 14-3 or better for the fourth consecutive season and 4-1 or better to open Big 12 play for the 12th year in a row... The Jayhawks now have won six in a row against the Wildcats and lead the all-time series with K-State, 194-93... KU has won 12 straight over K-State inside Allen Fieldhouse... Saturday's contest was the third consecutive game in the series decided by three points or fewer... Kansas is now 9-1 in one-poing games dating back to the 2010-11 season... Graham's 23-point outing marked his ninth consecutive game in double figures and his 15th of the season. He now sits in 26th place on KU's all-time scoring list, ahead of Marcus Morris, Adonis Jordan and Richard Scott and just 45 shy of Wilt Chamberlain... Mykhailiuk's 3-of-6 mark from 3-point range gave him 117 3-pointers for his career, moving him into 11th place on KU's all-time list, just two shy of passing Adonis Jordan for 10th place.

More news and notes from Kansas vs. K-State

By the Numbers: Kansas 73, Kansas State 72.

By the Numbers: Kansas 73, Kansas State 72.


Ben Berglund 4 years, 10 months ago

This could be the start of something beautiful.

Andy Godwin 4 years, 10 months ago

Self back peddling yet again about Billy Preston. For weeks everything was rosy and should have a positive decision soon, then if or when he is eligible, to now no time table - "“They're not even related in any way, shape or form, obviously, but we haven't been given, to my knowledge, anything that would give us a timetable at all.” I appreciate that De Sousa is a big body, but he has miles to go before he contributes meaningful minutes. Preston has a chance to make a difference and now Self seems to be lower fan exceptions, maybe even writing Billy off.

RJ King 4 years, 10 months ago

I actually think Self is doing a great job of deflecting any criticism of Preston. In pointing out again and again that he thinks we'll know something "soon," he steers the conversation away from what went on in the first place. And likely only a portion of the story will be published in order to save face for someone, or some entity.

I just don't get the stupidity of having the car. This is hardly the first impermissible benefits case. Surely Preston AND his family knew that even a hint of such benefits raises a red flag, and could easily jeopardize his eligibility.

I understand "innocent until proven guilty," but given that this is SO complicated as to take MONTHS to resolve, it would seem there HAD to be enough initial sketchiness that Billy and his family should've known to run the other direction from the outset.

This wasn't an instant decision (to tweet something stupid, have another drink, start a fight, etc). It was probably AT LEAST an hour-long, CALCULATED decision to accept a car - or buy it in an unconventional way - and then drive it. If there was ANY question whatsoever as to the propriety, even a 19 year old should understand that you always err on the side of staying clean to protect yourself AND your teammates.

I'd love to read that the car was absolutely legit all along, and that Preston and family are cleared of any wrongdoing. In the meantime, tired of the criticism revolving around Self's statements to the LJW. He shouldn't take the fall for whatever Billy or the Preston family did to create this mess.

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 10 months ago

Completely agree with your first paragraph. I understand that the rest is speculation and it would seem that had Preston bought the car legitimately that this would have been resolved already.

Myself, I would rather wait for a final decision before criticizing (even if you're correct) because we all know the NCAA isn't known for its efficient decision making and should have already ruled one way or the other.

RJ King 4 years, 10 months ago

You are correct - my comments are TOTAL speculation of what things SEEM to be. And yes, we should hold back actual blame (or mercy) until (when/if) we learn what really happened.

My current criticism is of those who bash Self for making vague, hopeful statements, and who bash the KU compliance office and the (albeit sluggish and inept) NCAA for allowing this to drag out. I'm not so much pointing a finger at the Prestons, but taking issue with the finger pointing at those who are just trying to clean up the obvious mess.

Barry Weiss 4 years, 10 months ago

agree RJ. I never thought about that, but coach has pretty much kept the discussion on the KU investigation and now the hand off to the NCAA. None of this would even be going on if the "car" never came on the scene.

Steve Zimmerman 4 years, 10 months ago

It's a relieve just to see him wearing KU jersey on the court. Even if it's only for 5 min.

Steve Zimmerman 4 years, 10 months ago

BTW, do we have stats for # of dunks per season? How's Dok doing?

Dee Shaw 4 years, 10 months ago

De Sousa and Billy will have minimal impact on this years team. A lot of wasted time and energy worrying about these players by fans. De Sousa will average 1.3 points per game and Preston if his situation ever gets figured out will average a whopping 4.7 points per game. Both players will be lucky if they average 7 minutes a game.

RJ King 4 years, 10 months ago

At least it's 5-10 more fouls, and hopefully at least a few extra rebounds.

Shannon Gustafson 4 years, 10 months ago

With that sort of ability to see into the future, you shouldn't be wasting our time with individual stats, lets here about the conference championship or better yet, lets get the outcome of all of the games of the big tournament, we could all put some money down and never have to work again!

Reggie Flenory 4 years, 10 months ago

Doks footwork is improving!!!!!! Preston is the missing piece if we ever get him

Dee Shaw 4 years, 10 months ago

Don’t take what I say being negative. I’m just trying to be realistic. I agree any contribution they bring will help but don’t expect much. I think we as fans hope and wish for them to be eligible and just play and everything will be fine and they will be rock stars on the court. It takes more than that. If the kids don’t play defense they won’t see anytime. Coach Self makes that real clear. Maybe this year is different being so thin with big bodies.

Tony Bandle 4 years, 10 months ago

Dee, in any normal, season, I think you are correct, however, this year with the shortage of "bigs" in the rotation I think this season Silvio and, hopefully, Billy, will see a relatively larger amount of PT on a quicker timetable than Bill would normally enforce.

It is interesting watching Mitch get better with the forced PT. Those benefits will become evident next season. He and Marcus, however, both need to work on their offense, both shooting and being confident in taking that shot.

Gosh, with who we will have coming back, who we will have becoming eligible, who we will have coming in and who the other teams will be losing, Kansas will be awesome next season in the Big 12!!!

Matt Lacey 4 years, 10 months ago

Another good notebook stat, from the broadcast:

This was the first game we've won when trailing with 5:00 left.

Mallory Briggans 4 years, 10 months ago

Marcus Garrett had a triple double yesterday 2 shots 2 points 2 rebounds in 22 minutes ......How about giving Sam some of Marcus' minutes Garrett isn't even a threat to score .... I just feel Sam can add more of a threat on the offensive end.....Sam isn't even getting a look by Coach Self ,but its Self himself who complains about lack of bench production.I just feel Sam can give more than Coach Self is willing to see.

Todd Hill 4 years, 10 months ago

Marcus is playing because he is way better than Sam on Defense.

RJ King 4 years, 10 months ago

I'm fine with Garrett's play. He does everything but score. Not in a highlight reel fashion, but in a quiet way where seems to be learning, improving, and consistently doing what coach wants. He has both energy, poise, and good attitude. We will benefit next year from his minutes this year. I'd love to see more of Sam as well. If only our team could function well without Graham. (Only so many minutes for the other guards.)

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