Thursday, February 6, 2020

Self: Looking ‘less and less’ like Wilson will return to lineup

Kansas forward Jalen Wilson (10) passes during the first half, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Jalen Wilson (10) passes during the first half, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Bill Self didn’t want to completely rule out a possible return to action for injured freshman Jalen Wilson, but as of Thursday the Kansas basketball coach considered that scenario unlikely at best.

“It’s looking less and less like there is a potential to return this year,” Self said, while giving an update on Wilson during his weekly press conference.

The setback Wilson suffered with back spasms roughly two weeks ago has more to do with Self’s thinking on the matter than the left ankle the 6-foot-8 forward broke back on Nov. 8, during KU’s second game of the season.

“We wanted to check out his foot, and we thought he was making really positive progress and he still is,” Self said of Wilson. “The thing is he hurt his back and got those back spasms and missed a week. And he's just now back to where he can probably attempt to try and go 100%, or be close to it.”

With only nine games left in the regular season, there wouldn’t be much time for Wilson to reintegrate should the Jayhawks (19-3 overall, 8-1 Big 12) try to fit him back into the rotation.

Self said Wilson’s limited reps over the course of the past few months will play some factor in the ultimate decision.

At this point in time, though, Self said neither he nor Wilson want to officially say the freshman wing will sit the rest of the season, because something unforeseen could happen to another player that could change the rotation. Basically, if one of KU’s regular contributors had to miss time, due to an injury or some other issue, the Jayhawks might need Wilson to fill that void.

“We should have a definite decision on it hopefully within the next week or so,” Self said. “But I told him and he told me, there's no reason to make it definite right now because something could happen that could change this. But the way things are today I don't see him playing.”

Wilson only played two minutes in KU’s season opener against Duke and had just checked in off the bench on Nov. 8 versus UNC Greensboro when he broke his left ankle.

He was ranked the No. 47 player in the class of 2019 by Rivals.

Jayhawks overcoming ‘fatigue’

There’s rarely any letup in the Big 12 basketball schedule, but Self is glad his players got a bit of a break in between games this week, ahead of their trip to TCU (11 a.m. Saturday, ESPN2)

“Well, without dwelling on negatives, we've had a lot happen the last two weeks,” Self said, referencing the brawl that concluded KU’s game against Kansas State on Jan. 21, leading to suspensions for Silvio De Sousa (12 games) and David McCormack (two).

“And with that, I think, comes a mental fatigue that makes physical fatigue more draining,” Self said. “When your mind’s sharp and fresh and those sorts of things, usually your body has a better chance to follow.”

This time of the season, Self elaborated, tends to be the “dog days” of the schedule anyway.

“Certainly you can kind of feel run down and tired,” he said. “But I think this week was good for us.”

KU’s coach had first referenced that fatigue following the Jayhawks’ home win over Texas earlier in the week.

“The good thing about playing on Monday, if you get the win, you’ve got some time to regroup a little bit,” he said, “and we've had a chance to do that.”

Wiggins to Warriors

Moments before Self spoke to reporters Thursday at Allen Fieldhouse, news broke that one of his former players, Andrew Wiggins, had been moved to Golden State, in one of the biggest moves of the NBA’s trade deadline day.

“I think it’s great,” Self said of the transaction, which sent Wiggins away from Minnesota, the team that selected him No. 1 overall in the 2014 NBA Draft.

“It's not going to, obviously, pay dividends for him this year, as far as getting the chance to play deep into the playoffs and things like that,” Self added of the Warriors, who entered the day with a 12-40 record, the worst mark in the entire league.

However, Self thinks Wiggins will benefit during the 2020-21 season by teaming up with Warriors stars Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Thompson has missed the entirety of this season due to injury, while Curry has only played in four games, contributing to Golden State’s poor record this year, coming off five consecutive Finals appearances.

“To me that looks like a pretty good quartet to play with,” Self said of the Warriors, “so I'm really excited for him.”

During Wiggins’ first five years with Minnesota, the team finished with a winning record and reached the playoffs just once. The Timberwolves are currently on a 13-game losing streak and again expected to miss the playoffs.

“So I'm sure it'll be nice for probably a scene change,” Self said of Wiggins, who is averaging 22.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists in his sixth season, “even though he told me he really liked Minneapolis.”


Dirk Medema 2 years, 10 months ago

Defining it as a medical redshirt is only significant if he was going to also take a traditional redshirt and stay at KU for 6 years. I find it hard to believe he stays 5 years and maybe not even 4.

Dirk Medema 2 years, 10 months ago

Jalen could be setting up for a BMac year next year.

Jonathan Allison 2 years, 10 months ago

He should play this year. He could help us, and did he ever plan on being a 4 year player anyway? Maybe he does... but isn't he good enough to go pro as an early entry?

Chad Smith 2 years, 10 months ago

I don't know all the ins and outs of exemption and redshirt process . In football you get 4 games now and you can still redshirt. In basketball, I think Jalen already forfeited his traditional redshirt this year when he played 2 minutes against Duke. But I honestly don't know what the rule is for basketball. I thought it was if you played at all in a regular season or postseason game you do not qualify.

I'm guessing if he did want to still retain a year of eligibility he would have to apply for a medical redshirt, which given the fact that he broke his ankle, the request would probably be honored and approved more than likely.

If anyone has official knowledge on the subject, I would love to learn!


Jeff Foster 2 years, 10 months ago

It's all interesting because I thought before the season, he was being touted as our best Freshman and likely maybe not a O&D, but maybe two and done. So, if he can contribute at all for this year, wouldn't that benefit the team more given that he's probably not staying four years? Or does it just muddy the water more?

Brian Wilson 2 years, 10 months ago

Spot on! Wilson will go pro after his second year and may be O&D. Play him now and let him get some minutes in prep to help in March. At 6'8" and his skill KU could always use more depth defending the perimieter as well as going to the hoop. Then in 2021, just guessing, he will jump to the next level.

Armen Kurdian 2 years, 10 months ago

If he's ready, he should get put in on mop up duty for some games and see how he does. I agree...I don't think red-shirting is in play here...he won't be playing his full eligibility...pretty sure that he could get a medical redshirt if they put in for it, but don't see the point. Well, I'll caveat that, even though it's probably unnecessary, always better to have it and not need it than need it and not have gotten it.

Ashwin Rao 2 years, 10 months ago

"Under the proposal, medical redshirts would be eliminated, but redshirt status would not be lost unless a player participated in more than four games in a season." (you will have to copy/paste, because the last ")" does not get recognized. )

Looks like it applies to all athletes governed by NCAA.

Steven Haag 2 years, 10 months ago

There are other factors in play as well. By this time of the year Bill generally has a rotation. There is also a chemistry that has been formed with certain lineups on the floor. Throwing him in this late could disrupt that. We don’t have any games left where we will be so far ahead that players down on the bench will get mop up duty. We are pretty much looking at 7 or 8 players getting 95% of the playing time from here on out.

Brett McCabe 2 years, 10 months ago

If Jalen is smart, he’ll enter the transfer portal. After seeing that idiotic dorm, he and his parents should say: that’s a really, really, really bad idea.

Until KU wrecking ball’s that monstrosity, nothing good is going to come of KU basketball. Allen Fieldhouse was built to bring more people in. That stupid pile of crap was intended to to do thing but create an ill state of mind.

That thing is a curse. Just like the trading of Babe Ruth. The blacklisting of Kaepernick. And the firing of Hank Stramm. It’ll take fifty years or a dramatic act to eliminate all of the bad things that dorm and Self’s weirdness have wrought. Run, Jalen, as fast as you can.

Gerry Butler 2 years, 10 months ago

And there he is. There you have it guys it's now a wrap. HEY there Howdy Duty so glad to hear from you , always a pleasure to read your input roflmao , man your a piece of work. - do you stay up late at night just trying to figure out what wisdom you can bring to the table every single time? -little side note - - IT'S NOT WORKING. -McCabe - - -your an absolute idiot. Ya I'm sure Jalen just waits with baited breath for your advice , OH well McCabe says I better run -- so of course I'm going to run, If McCabe says so then , So let it be written - - let it be done. - - Holy Crap man, for GOD'S sakes PLEASE try and think before you spew these kinds of things out your mouth, now you have a great day ok? - try and get some rest ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

Joe Black 2 years, 10 months ago


This is probably the most articulate post you have ever done.

Having said that, what the frick frack patty wack crack are you on? That is the most bizarre incoherent crap of the year. Please, for the love of God, go to therapy. You need help dude. We are all rooting for you to get the help you need or at least a lobotomy (oops, you already did, sorry man)

Jonathan Allison 2 years, 10 months ago

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

Mike Greer 2 years, 10 months ago

One of these days, soon I hope, I'll recognize Brett McCabe, and just skip his posts. This would save me time pondering his mental health. We have a coach on the verge of being the second youngest coach to reach 700 wins. A coach I've watched most of his head coaching career because I've lived in the Tulsa area all this time and have friends that are TU grads. A coach that I've seen turn programs around and has maintained the status of KU as a perennial power. Ok, not every kid he's signed has been a choir boy.

Steve Zimmerman 2 years, 10 months ago

We can wait to watch this young kid next season. Right now, I think we're in good shape, thanks to our stellar D, and team starts to gel - thanks to Garrett. And, for all we know, B12 rules this season and we're getting stronger each season. ACC is going south, it's time for coach Williams to consult with coach BS - Heels' D is just so horribly horrible and terribly terrible!!!!!

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