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Saturday, January 1, 2022

Notebook: Kansas coach Bill Self says freshman guard Bobby Pettiford tested positive for COVID-19

Kansas coach Bill Self speaks to the media during Big 12 NCAA college basketball media day Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas coach Bill Self speaks to the media during Big 12 NCAA college basketball media day Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo.

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Kansas basketball coach Bill Self said injured freshman Bobby Pettiford tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and has not been around the team since his symptoms first surfaced.

Pettiford was not at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday for sixth-ranked KU’s 76-67 victory over George Mason after being told to stay away while he worked through his illness.

Self said the Jayhawks immediately did contact tracing and that more players on the team were tested. None of those tests produced positive results.

“Hopefully that’ll remain the case,” Self said following Saturday’s 76-67 victory over George Mason at Allen Fieldhouse. “We have tested others and all negative. So I think we caught a break on that one.”

On Friday, while previewing the George Mason matchup, Self was aske

Throughout the season, KU’s policy has been to test players when they show symptoms. Pettiford is the first Kansas player to test positive for COVID-19 since the start of the 2021-22 season, and Self said he was unsure if the team’s testing policy would change or remain the same in the wake of Pettiford’s positive case.

“I don’t know if it changes unless there was contact tracing (issues) that occurred,” Self said. “Whenever there’s contact tracing (issues), within three to five days, that person is tested, as well. We fortunately didn’t have anybody fall into that because he hadn’t been around anybody since he had symptoms. He’s been away from the guys. Contact tracing did not catch anybody.”

Late last season, the Jayhawks had three players miss time because of positive COVID tests or contact tracing. David McCormack, Jalen Wilson and former Jayhawk, Tristan Enaruna, all missed games last season because of COVID.

In recent weeks, COVID issues have led to postponements or outright cancellations of dozens of college basketball games. But the fact that KU played Saturday with a positive test in its program — West Virginia did the same on Saturday against Texas — could signal a shift in how positive tests impact games in the weeks to come.

While Self said he felt fortunate that Pettiford’s positive test was KU's first encounter with COVID during the current season, he said teams and programs across the country should prepare to be without players in the weeks ahead.

“There’s no running from it,” he said. “We didn’t have contact tracing COVID, but we played without a starter today (Remy Martin, knee injury) and that may be the norm for the next couple or three weeks for everybody.”

Kansas basketball coach said injured freshman Bobby Pettiford tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and has not been around the team since his symptoms first surfaced.

Pettiford was not at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday for sixth-ranked KU’s 76-67 victory over George Mason after being told to stay away while he worked through his illness.

Self said the Jayhawks immediately did contact tracing and that more players on the team were tested. None of those tests produced positive results.

“Hopefully that’ll remain the case,” Self said following Saturday’s 76-67 victory over George Mason at Allen Fieldhouse. “We have tested others and all negative. So I think we caught a break on that one.”

Throughout the season, KU’s policy has been to test players when they show symptoms. Pettiford is the first Kansas player to test positive for COVID-19 since the start of the 2021-22 season, and Self said he was unsure if the team’s testing policy would change or remain the same in the wake of Pettiford’s positive case.

“I don’t know if it changes unless there was contact tracing (issues) that occurred,” Self said. “Whenever there’s contact tracing (issues), within three to five days, that person is tested, as well. We fortunately didn’t have anybody fall into that because he hadn’t been around anybody since he had symptoms. He’s been away from the guys. Contact tracing did not catch anybody.”

Late last season, the Jayhawks had three players miss time because of positive COVID tests or contact tracing. David McCormack, Jalen Wilson and former Jayhawk, Tristan Enaruna, all missed games last season because of COVID.

While Self said he felt fortunate for Pettiford’s to be the first encounter with COVID during the current season, he said teams and programs across the country should prepare to be without players in the weeks ahead.

“There’s no running from it,” he said. “We didn’t have contact tracing COVID, but we played without a starter today (Remy Martin) and that may be the norm for the next couple or three weeks for everybody.”

Martin sits

Kansas played Saturday’s victory without starting point guard Remy Martin.

Martin sat out with swelling in his right knee from an injury he suffered during KU’s win over Nevada on Wednesday night.

“(They) said he couldn’t go today,” Self said of team doctors. “I’m hopeful tomorrow he can get out there and at least try to get it loose, but there was enough swelling that he didn’t have very much range of motion.”

Self said KU did an MRI on Martin’s injured knee and the results showed that it was structurally sound. The plan from here is to see how it responds to rest bring him back as soon as he’s ready to go again.

“Hopefully tomorrow will be better and Monday he’ll be full speed so he can be ready to go Tuesday,” Self said.

KU plays at Oklahoma State at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

English reception

While the Allen Fieldhouse crowd did not go out of its way to show George Mason coach Kim English much love, the Kansas coaching staff was more than happy to do so.

Just before tipoff, after the two teams took the floor, Self and his assistants walked down to the GMU bench to greet the former Missouri Tiger.

There were hugs, handshakes and high-fives all around, but the most energetic exchange appeared to be between English and former KU guard Brady Morningstar, who actually played against each other.

Morningstar is now in his first year as KU’s video coordinator.

“I like his team,” Self said of English’s GMU squad. “I think his team’s good. … It was a good game for us and a good game for them, too, I’m sure.”

Gethro Muscadin update

Former Kansas basketball forward Gethro Muscadin was involved in a serious car wreck Wednesday night near Topeka and is currently in the hospital “fighting for his life,” according to KU coach Bill Self.

Details about the incident were initially scarce, but Self, who rarely tweets, said on Twitter on Thursday that it was a one-car accident involving Muscadin and a friend. Muscadin was in attendance at KU’s home game against Nevada on Wednesday night. He sat near the top of Allen Fieldhouse and did not connect with Self or any of his former teammates. Self said the two had exchanged text messages earlier in the week and that Muscadin called him on Wednesday night at 9:56 p.m. but that Self was unable to answer because he was not by his phone.

University of New Mexico coach Richard Pitino, who coached Muscadin this season, also classified Muscadin’s condition as “fighting for his life.”

“Every prayer matters right now. So tragic and devastating,” Pitino added.

On Friday, Self provided an update on the situation, noting that Muscadin's was a passenger in the car being driven by a friend.

“It’s not good, guys,” Self said Friday. “Fortunately, the driver is, I believe, going to be OK, but Gethro, he’s definitely fighting for his life. And it would be a very, very, very, very long recovery if he’s able to get through this. So, praying for a miracle.”

The incident comes just a few days after Pitino announced that Muscadin was leaving the Lobos program, citing that the two agreed it was not the right fit for him.

The 6-foot-10 native of Haiti transferred to New Mexico after electing to leave Lawrence following his true freshman season at KU earlier this year. He was one of five underclassmen on KU’s 2020-21 roster who transferred to a new school after last season.

Despite his departure, current Kansas sophomore Jalen Wilson said the Jayhawks were all hoping for the best.

“That’s one of our family members,” Wilson said. “You know, when you come to Kansas, we’re all family for life and I just wish the best for him.”

Women’s hoops postponed

The Kansas women’s basketball game at TCU, originally scheduled for Sunday in Fort Worth, Texas, has been postponed in accordance with Big 12 Conference basketball game threshold guidelines.

KU announced the cancelation of its nonconference matchup with Northwestern State on Dec. 28 due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols within the KU women’s basketball pro-gram.

The Jayhawks, who finished the nonconference portion of the season with a 9-1 record also postponed Wednesday's upcoming home game against West Virginia, making the Jan. 8 home game against Oklahoma their next scheduled contest.

This and that…

Saturday’s victory was the seventh consecutive win for the Jayhawks… KU is now 11-1 or better for the ninth time in Self’s 19 seasons… KU now leads the series with George Ma-son, 1-0 and the Jayhawks have won 25 consecutive nonconference games at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas is now 139-5 all-time under Self against nonconference foes at home… The Jayhawks are 6-0 at Allen Fieldhouse this season and 5-1 in games played away from the Jayhawks’ home venue.

Comments

Rodney Crain 11 months, 1 week ago

BP - get well soon. Hope no else tests positive over the next week.

Remy - get better soon.

Blessing in disguise - Glad to see the bench get some minutes. Saw some positives today.

Seat belts.

Len Shaffer 11 months, 1 week ago

Wow, does this article need serious editing!!!!! The first 5 or 6 paragraphs are repeated, Bill Self's name is missing at the beginning, and then there's the coup de grace: "“It’s not good guys." Talk about a classic example of a missing comma!!! At first I thought it was a commentary on the guys being jerks.

PLEASE do something to check your columns a little more so this type of stuff doesn't keep happening.

RJ King 11 months, 1 week ago

It's not a nuclear treaty, Len. Or even a lease agreement. Are you aware of the cuts over the past 15 years to the newspaper industry?

As a client or consumer you can expect to get two of three elements: Quality, Price, Service ... but almost never all three. LJW online is FREE and TIMELY. Give it a break. Your criticism is petty and whiney.

Matt Tait 11 months, 1 week ago

Appreciate the understanding, RJ, but Len's not wrong here. Those were both bad mistakes — not of the life-and-death variety, but still bad nonetheless. And I'd absolutely be missing the boat if I thought they were OK or no big deal.

You're correct, though, too, I'm afraid. At the moment, I'm the only sports writer at the Journal-World and my plate is pretty full. I'm not looking for sympathy or making excuses, but I wanted to share that so people might understand how these things happen from time to time — they rarely did in the past.

We are hiring someone to replace Benton Smith, whose last day was a couple of weeks ago after he chose to get out of the business and do something else. And I'm excited about bringing in someone fresh to help with our coverage and to help ensure that our standards remain high.

In the meantime, bear with me as best you can and I'll keep grinding away.

Happy New Year to all of you and thanks for contributing to our site.

RJ King 11 months, 1 week ago

Matt - I worked for years in the newspaper industry. I currently work in sports television doing live shows. Due to massive budget cuts, two or three people now perform the work previously done by five or six. We strive for perfection, but mistakes sometimes show up on air. No one is harder on us than we are on ourselves.

Restaurants, retail, airlines, health care workers, etc. are all just doing the best they can - trying to hang on, with many taking a pay cut along the way. There's enough strife in the world right now, and not enough walking in another's shoes.

Benjamin Shear 11 months, 1 week ago

Thanks Matt. I appreciate your transparency and honestly. I think I can speak for all of us that we appreciate what you do. Happy New Year!

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