January 28: News Headlines Digest

  • Also see Our Daily Threads (January 28 ) and the News Digest for Yesterday (January 27) as well as Daily Threads for Yesterday (January 27)

    Self and Greene ####

    ##Jayhawks move focus to next slice of Big 12 schedule##

    Off to a 6-0 start in Big 12 Conference play for the third straight season and sixth time in the 11-year Bill Self era, Kansas University’s basketball team now moves on to the next portion of the 18-game schedule.

    “Our next three games are what we are focusing on,” Self said of Wednesday’s 8 p.m. home game against Iowa State, followed by Saturday’s 3 p.m. contest at Texas and Tuesday’s 6 p.m. battle at Baylor.

    ###Joel Embiid sprained knee against TCU; KU football picks up top-rated juco RB De’Andre Mann###

    Kansas coach Bill Self provided injury updates on a pair of his big men during his Hawk Talk radio show on Monday night.

    That included freshman center Joel Embiid, whose knee injury from Saturday’s 91-69 victory at TCU was more severe than previously thought.

    ###Gasaway: Ranking the top six National Title Contenders

    During his tenure in Lawrence, Bill Self has reliably churned out a series of dominant defenses. That tradition has undergone a slight revision this season, however, as the Jayhawks have been merely very good and not great on D. Then again, with an offense that’s rung up an incredible (“Creighton-like”?) 1.20 points per possession in conference play, maybe Self can afford a normal defense once per decade. Andrew Wiggins draws fouls, Joel Embiid converts looks at the rim and Perry Ellis does whatever is necessary for an offense that already has excelled against the best competition the Big 12 has to offer.

    The only cause for concern here if you’re a Jayhawks fan is turnovers, as KU has given away the ball on 22 percent of its Big 12 possessions. If Self can fix that one leak, it’s awfully tough to envision how this team can be stopped. In fact, with any luck we’ll see this offense face the Arizona defense come April. That would be one epic collision.

    Also see Our Daily Threads (January 28 ) and the News Digest for yesterday (January 27) as well as Daily Threads for Yesterday (January 27)

  • OSU got beat by OU.

  • @RockChalkinTexas That’s a big deal.

    As @jessenewell tweeted: This. MT @rustindodd: If OU wins tonight, KU will have 3-game lead over everyone in Big 12 — except 2 teams that still have to play at AFH.

  • This is conspicuous, because of Embiid’s anomalous, unecessary return after injury in a lopsided win vs. TCU, plus Black suiting up in a boot one game and being 50% now.

    It can be read at least three ways.

    1. Self is yanking Hoiberg’s chain as payback for Hoi playing games with Kane. Embiid is ok. And Black is too.

    2. Self’s luck with having play-through injuries the last few years with low depth teams appears to have ended. Embiid really is injured worse than thought. And Black really is slow to heel.

    3. One player is much better than Self is making it appear and one is not.

    I’m glad Hoi has to figure it out and not me.

    If both guys really were injured, KU would be in serious trouble.

    So serious Self would have to be already thinking about Mickleson taking off the redshirt.


    Why guys jump when they can.

  • Dagger time.


    Win those three and beating out KU enters long odds.

  • @jaybate - We’ve discussed a few times over the years how KU has avoided the serious injury bug. Embiid was about a half inch away from tearing his ACL … digest how that might have impacted this season.

  • @HighEliteMajor, after digesting it here is what I come up with: be very concerned that some kind of serious knee injury beyond a knee sprain has already happened. Be concerned that Joel was possibly sent back out in a blow out to fake being okay as best he could briefly in order to mask the degree of the injury for the upcoming game.

    Joel appears a very tough young man. He has already appeared to play through pain. He recently played through what appeared a significantly limiting eye injury and he has appeared to be able to take a lot of obvious physical punishment already, so we can reasonably infer he has a high pain threshold. And we know Self has some history of masking significant knee (and other) injuries either through initial non disclosure, or understatement.

    Kaun–knees that apparently needed surgery but were played through.

    Aldrich–apparently some kind of leg injury that was apparently never really disclosed that I can recall.

    EJ–some kind of knee injury that lead to a surgery that was apparently played through.

    Rush–part of a knee surgery rehab that appeared to be played through.

    Selby–reputedly playing in a boot.

    Releford–reputedly playing in a boot.

    Taylor–reputedly playing a season on a scoped knee only 10 days after a scope.

    And this year, if I recall correctly, Selden had an early undisclosed knee injury that was apparently played through and now, after two blazing 20 pt plus performances, now may have recurred and induced a couple of muted performances.

    None of the above encourages optimism about the potential mildness of injury to Black’s ankle. Black missed an entire game with a boot on. We know guys in the past have played in boots. Plus that boot looked like the kind you get for a broken ankle, or some damaged ligaments or tendons to this layman.

    Nor does the above encourage much optimism about the likelihood of Embiid having only a slight sprain. Would Self even mention a slight sprain before a big rematch with ISU other than to play around with Hoiberg? Probably not. Hence, my two hypotheses: a) playing around with Hoi; or b) something more serious than a slight sprain.

    If the guys listed above were playing through injuries that needed surgery, some without missing any games, often with only being characterized as “a little nicked up,” then seeing Black sitting out an entire game in a boot suggests something that perhaps cannot be effectively scoped, and something that could persist quite some time.

    And Self just hinting at Embiid being worse than thought, when he was sent back out on the floor unnecessarily in a blowout makes me wring hands.

    Time will tell one way or the other, of course.

    But the truth remains: in a worst case scenario of Embiid and Black being finished, Traylor and Lucas and Wesley and Mickelson can be pressed into duty, and this can be turned back into a Kemba/Carmelo kind of team with everything going through Wiggins.

    This Kemba/Carmelo kind of team would be much more encumbered by Selden having a serious, persistent and apparently no longer talked about knee issue.

    So: if we see Greene’s, or Connor’s, or White’s minutes ramping up precipitously the next few games, we can perhaps infer not only that Selden has health problems that are not expected to resolve during the season, but more significantly that Self is perhaps restringing the team into a Kemba/Carmelo kind of team in which the team is put on Wiggins back, and we play with bigs who’s only role is defense and rebounding. That kind of a team would have to have a trey shooter on the floor at the wing opposite Wiggins that the present stringing of the team lacks with Selden (most games).

    If I recall correctly, Carmelo’s ring team and Lute Olson’s ring team at Zona made due with long, non NBA grade bigs not sharply better (though probably more experienced) than Traylor, Lucas, Wesley and Mickelson, because they had a Carmelo, or a Mike Bibby on the perimeter and a couple of reliable trey dingers along side. Can’t recall Kemba’s cohorts as well, but maybe you can.

    Anyway, the season started out depending mostly on how good Wiggins could be. So: in a worst case injury scenario with Black and Embiid out for good, the team merely defaults back to that.

    Imagine the oddsmakers in Vegas sweating bullets about all this right now. They are the guys with huge bones at stake here. 🙂

  • @HighEliteMajor I shudder to think about it, but it probably would have impacted next season. 2008 happened because of a Rush injury (knee? I think) made him come back instead of going pro. If the worst had happened then Joel returns next year.

    This year, we have so much talent, that I think we could compensate relatively well.

  • @jaybate 1.0 said: " in a worst case scenario of Embiid and Black being finished, Traylor and Lucas and Wesley and Mickelson can be pressed into duty."

    Mickelson is a mandatory redshirt because he transferred in. For bigs we would have Ellis, Traylor, Lucas and Wesley in that order, unless Coach wanted to start a true 5 in which case it would be Ellis, Lucas and Traylor. Lucas is a good rebounder anyway.

    I’m not going to lose sleep over Embiid until I see him not playing or not playing the same way.

  • @ParisHawk ooooooh, I forgot about Mickelson HAVING to sit due to transfer. Thanks for the assist. And I got pre-occupied with making due and completely forgot The Designer! Well, double bad on me. Nevertheless, subtract Mickelson and add The Designer and my point still stands and is stronger with The Designer.

  • Am i missing something here? Embiid had a very slight knees sprain and now posters are talking about Joel missing the season.

    If Embiid’ would have experienced anything more severe than a slight knee sprain, he would have not have been able to return to the court the same game and would have had trouble walking. The fact that he was practicing on Monday indicates that it was indeed a slight strain that had some swelling and now is pretty close to normal. I am sure a doctor saw him immediately after the game and all the applicable tests were run to ensure it was not anything more serious. Intensive treatment by staff has ensured that he is now close to fully recovered.

    Anyone that has played sports, particularly soccer, often gets this type of injury when you knock knees with another player. Initially the pain is intense but abates quickly, you ice you knee after the game to prevent swelling and in a couple of days it is mostly gone, unless you press at the point of impact. I am sure Embiid will be wearing a knee pad/brace for protection next game.

    There is no worse case scenario here. If Embiid was practicing on Monday he will play on Wednesday. Tarik aggravated his ankle sprain during pregame warmups and will need additional time to heal; no need to rush when we have Traylor and Lucas that more than make up for the 5-10 minutes it takes Tarik to rack up enough fouls.

  • The slow return of Black into the rotation is a typical example of the time needed to heel a sprained ankle. Black is one tough hombre… even Self has commented on his toughness and he doesn’t say that about many players.

    And this example helps illustrate how fake Kane’s sprain was before we played in Ames… he was on crutches right up until the game. Pisshaw! What complete BS.

    The Mayor’s tactics are starting to foul my opinion of him, just like how Smart’s “floparhea virus” has sickened my stomach on him.

    Both of these guys need to start wearing underwear on their faces… because they have become big a-holes!

  • I need some help. Tonight thanks to a ‘winter storm’ here in Baton Rouge, I will be able to attend the LSU-Kentucky game. The storm will keep most folks away I’m guessing, since they really don’t care about basketball here. This means there will be some choice seats that I will be able to move down to. I need some heckling ideas for Kentucky since I will try to proximate near their bench. @Jaybate, this is right up your alley, help me out!

  • @wissoxfan83

    How about mentioning something like… “This is what perfection looks like?” (sung out in laughter)

  • @wissoxfan83 - How about:


    Something like that.

    Just sayin…

  • How about a poster directed to the squid that says:

    Mario says hello…

    Or one directed to the team:

    Bobby Mo is waiting for thee

    …at the 2014 NIT…

  • @wissoxfan83 fun time!!! Wish I could heckle w/you!

  • @JayHawkFanToo Don’t take what happened to Embiid too lightly. A hyperextension like that causes a sprain – and most docs recommend at least a couple weeks to heal it.

    As I’m sure you’ve encountered before, a sprain is partial tearing of ligaments. The ligaments that are most stressed by a hyperextension are the ACL and PCL. ACLs, of course, are different from other ligaments in the knee because they don’t heal themselves real well. A torn ACL looks like a shredded rope many times and have to be replaced. PCLs, MCLs, and LCLs usually heal from partial tears. ACLs really don’t. But a hyperextension also can tear cartilage, the menisci, and even the popliteus tendon.

    The main problem with a hyperextension is that it weakens the ligaments and structures that might otherwise prevent the hyperextension from happening again. So I think Embiid may be prone to do it again here very soon. That to me is huge risk.

    Personally, I’d shut him down for a few games, just to be safe.

    But Dr. Randle, KU’s team doc, is terrific. He repaired my son’s torn ACL and is the best around. If he’s on the court, Randle must think it’s ok.

    It will be interesting to see how Embiid reacts. It may very well be just a slight sprain. It looked a bit more violent than that to me. Just lucky that Shepherd didn’t bump it as it bent backwards.

    By the way, I think @jaybate’s suggestions in advance ISU regarding Embiid are definitely plausible, mainly because it would make great sense to sit Embiid even if the injury is “slight.”

  • @HighEliteMajor I thought the team doc was Larry Magee? Just curious, what happened to him?

  • @oldhwkfan Sorry, Magee is still head doc. Randle is the orthopedic surgeon for the team. He’d be the guy dealing with Embiid’s knee. Randle did Rush’s ACL repair.

  • @wissoxfan83 Whatever you said, it worked. Kentucky Mildcats- soft as a baby’s butt.

  • @KUSTEVE It was a fun game to be at!

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I don’t, I take health related issues very seriously. I talked to my current orthopedic surgeon (did my shoulder not too long ago and will likely do my knee on the near future), and she indicated that if the injury was serious, Embiid would have left the court on crutches and would have had a hard time walking. The fact that he came back to the game and was at practice on Monday would appear to indicate a slight strain.

    It would not surprise me if Coach Self sits Embiid for a couple of games to make sure his knee is 100%. More likely, he will be wearing a brace with the metal joint that prevents bending the knee past a certain point. I guess we will find out in few hours.

  • @wissoxfan83

    I watched a good portion of the game and looks like Kentucky’s defense is not ready for prime time. They were often caught all bunched up on the middle with no one guarding the wings. All in all, Kentucky looks more like a team playing the first week of the season and relying heavily on individual performances rather than playing as a team. Young seems to be the only Kentucky player that had a decent game. Cauley-Stein is softer than a marshmallow.

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