Friday, November 8, 2019

KU freshman Jalen Wilson breaks ankle, expected to miss at least 3 months

Kansas forward Jalen Wilson is pictured during Media Day on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Jalen Wilson is pictured during Media Day on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas freshman Jalen Wilson broke his left ankle during his 27 seconds on the floor in Friday’s 74-62 Kansas victory over UNC Greensboro at Allen Fieldhouse.

Shortly after checking into the game midway through the first half, Wilson came up lame after running to the corner with the Jayhawks on offense.

Limping toward the sideline after hearing a “pop,” Wilson made his way toward KU coach Bill Self and told him to call timeout.

“I’m like, ‘Coaches can’t call timeout in the first 38 minutes,’” recalled Self after the victory. “But I didn’t know he was hurt as bad as he was, and he didn’t either. But he said he felt it pop.”

After a stoppage in the action, Wilson promptly checked out and made his way to the end of the bench, where trainers began to examine him. That lasted mere seconds and the 6-foot-8 guard from Denton, Texas, was quickly helped back to the locker room for further examination.

Sporting an air cast on his lower left leg, Wilson made a brief appearance on the bench during the second half of Friday’s victory, but was not there until the end.

“It’s a bad one,” Self said. “He broke it and it requires surgery early next week and the time table on a return will be close to three months. I’m not going to tell you that he’ll for sure sit the rest of the year, but the likelihood of that is pretty strong.”

News of the injury spread quickly to Wilson’s teammates, who were noticeably upset about the diagnosis.

“That’s tough,” KU point guard Devon Dotson said. “That’s my guy. I know how hard he works and how much he cares. So when I heard that that kind of set me back. I just feel for him.”

Dotson said he talked to Wilson briefly after the game, adding, “It’s hard. I wouldn’t know how to react in that situation and I’m going to be the best supporter and make sure he’s all right, whatever he needs.”

Added fellow freshman Tristan Enaruna, who said Wilson told teammates that he took a wrong step and heard the pop: “We never want things like this to happen, but he’s strong mentally and he’s positive so he’ll come back strongly. You could see that obviously he was kind of sad to go out like that. But I think he’s really pumped at the same time for his recovery. He’s a mentally strong dude.”

The absence of Wilson — along with Mitch Lightfoot and Dajuan Harris planning to redshirt and the Jayhawks already with an open scholarship after the departure of Issac McBride — leaves the Jayhawks with just nine healthy players.

Despite that fact, Self said Wilson’s injury did not inspire him to reconsider redshirting Lightfoot.

“Yeah, that’s not enough,” he admitted of the nine-player scholarship reality. “But if you get Mitch it doesn’t help our situation. Now you’ve got four 5 men as opposed to three. That’s not going to help us defend on the perimeter. … I don’t think that’s going to play a factor right now.”

Even with a limited lineup, there are plenty of ways the Jayhawks can make up for the minutes that might have gone to Wilson.

Continuing to work with two big men in the game is one of them. David McCormack and Silvio De Sousa combined to play just 17 minutes in Friday’s victory.

And getting more minutes for freshman Christian Braun is another. Braun played just two minutes on Friday.

Next up for Kansas is another home game against Monmouth next Friday.


Mark Wooden 3 years ago

Easy excuse to get a redahirt waiver with the NCAA. KU is in like flynn with them.

Bryce Landon 3 years ago

Two words here: "Medical Redshirt".

Thomas Green 3 years ago

I hate it for Jalen, as I would for anyone who gets injured. I have a hunch the emotional part of not being able to play and having to postpone ones aspirations is more difficult than the actual physical injury. I hope for a speedy and complete recovery followed by much success.

Mallory Briggans 3 years ago

best wishes for a speedy recovery for Jalen .

a little off topic ......but Im really curious on how the NCAA handles the Wiseman situation .He has been ruled ineligible but got an injunction to continue to play. Wiseman said he was unaware Hardaway gave his family 11,500 dollars to move. How is that different from what Silvios guardians situation . Silvio received 2 years at first so how will the NCAA jusify letting Wiseman play and not Silvio

Shannon Gustafson 3 years ago

The NCAA doesn't care about a judge's injunction. What jurisdiction have over NCAA rules violations? None.

So they will play him and the NCAA will ban them from post season play, and make them vacate all wins he plays in.

Micky Baker 3 years ago

This is a tough injury so early in his first season. I hope he recovers quickly and that he uses it as a motivation to learn some things about the game while he's sidelined so he can come back as an even better basketball player.

Mallory Briggans 3 years ago

so if Jalen gets a medical redshirt ..........could Kansas take the redshirt off of Mitch after all Mitch redshirted because he wouldnt get the playing time with the current roster I love Mitch's heart and energy ......3 months for Jalen would pretty much be in the heart of the big 12 schedule .so what should the Jayhawks do .

Shannon Gustafson 3 years ago

Losing a guard and replacing him with another big (who we've already got too many of if we're going to be better playing 1 big at a time) isn't going to help anything. If Mitch was a guard, absolutely.

Craig Carson 3 years ago

Hate to see a kid get hurt but hope he recovers well

Stuart Corder 3 years ago

What horrid luck for Jalen Wilson! Thankfully it sounds like it’s not severe enough to change his game or keep him off the court permanently, though.

Jayhawk Nation offers full support - although not in any capacity as “boosters.” ;)

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!

...I’m also curious to see how the NCAA handles Wiseman. I don’t understand why Hardaway paid him “to move his family to Memphis”, when he coached Wiseman as a high East Memphis High. 🤔

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