February 12: News Headlines Digest

  • Also see our Daily Threads, February 12, and the News Digest for Yesterday, February 11, as well as Daily Threads for Yesterday, February 11


    ##Dodd: Self remains unclear how long Embiid will rest##

    LAWRENCE — In the days after Joel Embiid sprained his knee at TCU in late January, the Kansas basketball staff started hearing from a few doctors who had watched the replay.

    Embiid’s knee had buckled, suffering the kind of torque that can tear ligaments. The tests had been run, of course, and the diagnosis was just a sprain. But some medical men couldn’t believe it.

    ###Bedore: Notebook: Self doesn’t want KU players interacting with opposing fans###

    Manhattan — Bill Self doesn’t want Kansas University’s basketball players interacting with opposing fans during games.

    “We don’t talk about the seating arrangement or how close fans are (to the court), but the whole thing is, you don’t communicate with fans. It’s water off your back and there’s no communication between fans and players,” Self, KU’s 11th-year coach, said, explaining his long-standing policy in the wake of the Marcus Smart incident.

    ###**Medcalf: **Monday upsets showcase Big 12s depth###

    A league should be judged according to its depth, not its best.

    Florida can’t mask the SEC’s flaws. And San Diego State’s excellent season doesn’t change the decline of the Mountain West.

    Depth is the barometer.

    And if that’s the universal yardstick, then West Virginia’s 102-77 win over No. 11 Iowa State on Monday was a statement about the Big 12. Kansas State’s 85-82 victory over No. 7 Kansas a few hours later was pivotal to the league’s image, too. This conference is stacked. And you only had to watch a pair of Big Monday games to see it.

    ####ESPN: Joel Embiid’s Status Uncertain####

    “I don’t know yet how long he’ll be out for, if he’ll miss any games,” Jayhawks coach Bill Self told ESPN.com on Wednesday. “It’s up in the air.”

    “Will he play against TCU?” Self added. “I don’t know yet.”

    Self said the 7-foot freshman, projected by some as the top pick in June’s NBA draft if he elects to leave college after one season, had an MRI on his injured back.

    ####**AP: **Joel Embiid has knee, back injuries####

    MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas center Joel Embiid could miss time with back and knee injuries, and just how much could determine whether the Jayhawks still have a shot at landing a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

    ####**Keegan: **KU tough guy Tarik Black aims to share strengths offcourt####

    For all of his life, senior reserve center Tarik Black was groomed for the role he plays for the seventh-ranked Kansas University basketball team. He’s big brother to younger, even more talented athletes.

    ####**Bedore: **Self: Injured Embiid shut down for days, at least####

    Rest and rehab is ahead for Kansas University freshman Joel Embiid for at least the next couple days as the 7-footer recovers from an aching knee and sore back.

    “He definitely will not practice. The earliest he’d practice is Friday,” KU coach Bill Self said Tuesday night. “We don’t know yet. We’ll see how he feels day to day,” Self added, asked if Embiid would play in Saturday’s 3 p.m., home game against TCU.

    ####**Smith: **No Jo Jo?:What an Embiid-less lineup would mean for Kansas####

    With the news that Kansas University men’s basketball center Joel Embiid won’t even practice for the next couple of days as he tries to recover from some knee and back issues, it’s feasible to think his coach, Bill Self, and the training staff might decide to hold him out for a game or two, if necessary.

    Also see our Daily Threads, February 12, and the News Digest for Yesterday, February 11, as well as Daily Threads for Yesterday, February 11

  • The TCU game is on Big 12 Network, btw.

  • @approxinfinity Man, ever since I saw JoJo hyperextend his knee, I thought to myself, dang it he is hurt, he needs to rest. Then he torqued his back. Im glad that Coach is realizing the gravity of this situation and not trying to sugar coat it by saying “He is a little nicked up.” But, this could have come sooner. Get better soon big guy.

  • @Lulufulu85 With the next two games coming up, Embiid can get close to two weeks off. We play TCU at home on Saturday, and then Texas Tech on the road on Tuesday. With our depth Lucas and Traylor can cover us on Saturday, which would also allow Black to get some rest after hurting his ankle again against K-State. If necessary we could bring Black back against Texas Tech, but even then I think that Traylor and Lucas can play well enough to get by Tech. Then bring back Embiid and Black for a big game next Saturday against Texas. Depth is a wonderful thing.

  • This team typically stays healthy and that is a credit to hudy for her conditioning and selfs don’t be a pussy mentality. The latter isn’t always positive but if you think about it Kansas hasn’t really suffered any injuries, save Josh Selby, that truly affected the season. I guess this year the ying to that yang is finally coming around.

  • @Blown hopefully rest will take care it, said there was no structural damage. Embiid has gotten so beat up, physically and mentally.

  • Any thoughts on why Lucas couldn’t find the floor against KSU despite a limited number of bigs? He’s a great rebounder, but I’m not sure about his defense.

    I thought KSU was doing a good job of drawing the bigs up to the three point line to take away any help (from the bigs) on drives by the guards.

    KU absolutely needs a healthy Embiid to compete for a national championship.

  • @dylans guessing quickness, at the end we had 4 guards and Perry

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Don’t misinterpret the “no structural damage” comment.

    Embiid’s knee “sprain”, by definition, is a partial tearing of ligaments. The sprain compromised the structure and stability of the knee. Self now has identified that he has a “bone bruise.” This is directly from the hyperextension vs. TCU. This is common in ACL tears because the hyperextension causes the bones to contact each other violently enough to cause the bruising. So he was very lucky not to tear the ACL. Further, the PCL – ligament in back of the knee structure – was surely the ligament sprained by this occurrence. As I mentioned when this occurred, my concern is the compromising of stability, and if this might happen again. Not unlike Black rolling his ankle again. The brace has a locking deal that helps prevent the hyperextension, so that’s good.(though it’s not complete protection).

    What is also good in this whole deal is there is no mention of surgery, and that there appears to be no cartilage/meniscus involvement. That’s can be painful to deal with, of course.

    Though the back deal vs. WVU seemed like he just came down wrong, I can’t help but suspect that his protection of the knee, changing the way he run, jumps, etc., has caused or contributed to the back.

    Shutting him down for literally 2+ weeks now is not out of the question, even if it means not playing him against Texas.

    Interesting how Self’s tune has changed on the injury. We know we can’t “buy” what Self sells on injuries.

    Our eyes are on a bigger prize. It is unlikely that we’ll get that #1 seed. So after that, a #2, #3, or #4 – it doesn’t matter much. We want Embiid healthy and ready to rock in March.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Probably right. Defensive liability against small fast guys in a man to man defense. But Lucas got almost no minutes even when Black tweaked his ankle, Embiid was out, and Traylor sitting.

    I wish I could see what Bill is thinking. I haven’t figured out why when teams (Texas K-State) are pulling Embiid out to the perimeter on defense; Bill doesn’t have Embiid sag down into the lane. Gipson isn’t shooting threes or driving on anyone. KUs sad perimeter defense needs a rim protector or a point guard who can cut off the driver. Frankamp was very disruptive, but i don’t think Bill is going give him many minutes, so Tharpe’s D must improve.

    Or Bill could implement a zone defense 2-3 zone fits, but that ain’t happening. You will most likely see a triangle and 2 though in the tournament. (Hope I didn’t give away any trade secrets)

  • @HighEliteMajor This was our main concern right out of the box. ISU at home he should not have played, but taken the first week to treatment. After he was thrown to the floor at UT, he’s not been the same. Though the low back pain can be compromised by the body’s compensation for the knee injury, it can also be a cumulative effect of not enough muscle to support the frame & alignment of a large man trying to make that frame do things it is just not strong enough to perform. Knee & back injuries are very common in big guys, and I’ve a nephew that could not hold up after college for the lower back issues he developed over time. He had try outs with the Hawks, Nuggets, & Sonics, but could never pass their physicals & opted not to play abroad. We all certainly hope for the best for Joel & this season as well, but it would not be remiss to think we may have seen the last of him for an extended period or possibly the remainder of the year. JMO

  • @HighEliteMajor : so glad to see you spell it out for board rats. Board rats’ denial about injury and willingness to believe leadership that spins a hyper reality contrary to observable facts is something board rats can learn from and carry into their reads of political leaders and bosses in their work places. An informed public applying logic (rather than trust, fear or faith) as the litmus test of analysis remains the greatest bulwark against being mislead by self-interested leadership. Not saying Self was wrong, or right to play Embbiid. One would have to know more facts to judge. I AM saying it does not serve the best interest of The Legacy to swallow obvious horse manure and call it leadership soufflé.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @globaljaybird Copy and paste. Back injury is usually forever in my anecdotal experience. Ask Larry Bird about back injury. Anyone that saw him pre back injury knows why Red Auerbach thought he could become the greatest basketball player ever. He was, like Mickey Mantle in baseball, so freakishly gifted in every possible way, that even as an agonized near cripple, he could play at a hall of fame level. Joel may come back and be very good, but he seems very likely never again to be what he could have been. Was playing for a 1-seed worth it, if that were the case? In hindsight, of course not. But Self and defenders of playing Embiid always have the alibi that there was no way of foreseeing this outcome. But of course that is false. There was no way of forseeing with specificity and high probability this specific eventuality. But it appears reasonable that playing on any unhealed knee injury is risking worse injury of it and further risks other injury through compensation. He is in modern medicine’s therapeutic hands now, and that is always a risky place to be, too. Intervening to heal complex systems also has it share of problems.

    So: it seems now that Joel has already joined the list of KU players that saw their performance levels sharply curtailed by “playing through”. The only question now is: can he ever get off that list that others could not?

    There is always a first, I suppose.

  • @HighEliteMajor I’d like to see Lucas, Black and Traylor compete against UT’s big boy. Lucas “is a load” and Black is one tough dude. Traylor brings some rim presence. I’m confident we’ll take care of business against UT.

    TCU and TT will be great for these guys to prepare for UT. One game at a time and let’s acquire the next target of TCU.

  • @truehawk93 let him throw Tarik to the floor, or try!

  • Anyone who has every strained any joint knows it doesn’t get right with anything but rest and time. Embiid only has so much time in a Kansas uniform. 1-2 years barring a debilitating injury.

    Bill only has Wiggins for one season. Bill is trying to win the national championship this year not next. Next year Bill will try to win that championship, but that’s next seasons concern. So back to this year.

    Embiid has the grace and agility of a 6 footer. I have thought many a time he would be a truly intimidating individual where ever you saw him: Basketball court, back alley, Cameroon, my backyard, (not so much on the gridiron though). Just saying he is very large and freakishly athletic.

    Embiid needs time to recover and KU needs to learn how to play without him in the meantime or the losses will pile up. Embiid will not be 100% until next season, but will 85-90% be good enough to win it all? I think so, but Embiid is about 40-50%. Will he get enough time off to heal up?

  • Bill is soft for not making Tyler suit up and play through injury, too 🙂

  • @Blown Preferential treatment; giving his son a redshirt, the nerve of some people. sarcasm font

    Double rainbow, what does it mean?!?

  • @dylans At the beginning of this year I know most of us thought that Embiid would be a project and not nearly as good as he has been so far this year. We have been really lucky that he has developed so quickly and I am thrilled to hear that he is going to sit out for a bit. I hope he stays out multiple games honestly. We need him to be at full strength for the 1st round in March.

    I love Bill Self. We are so incredibly spoiled to have him. One of my only beefs with him has been that I think he has made kids play through injuries before. EJ / Tyshawn are two examples that come to mind. I know he is a hard ass but I feel he may have gone over the line a couple of times making these guys get out on the floor. Very pleased that he is taking Embiid off the court for a bit. If he is back to who he was pre TCU injury I think we are a Final 4 team.

  • Another note. Adams no longer w/odessa juco.

  • @joeloveshawks I was anticipating the season so much with all the Wigginsmania and the unknown factor of Embiid, that I had to attend the first game of the season. It was a costly venture, but well worth it!

    From the instant Embiid walked onto the court you could tell he is a special athlete. I didn’t know what to expect; he could’ve been a Moulaye Niang clone for all I knew. Those fears were quickly laid to rest though. His offensive polish was completely unexpected as is most of his game. The dude is an absolute stud.

    I don’t think this really applies here, but think about Lester Earl pre-inury and then how he was at KU. Back injuries can completely ruin a career, I hope his back is just tweaked because of his knee being weak. Knee injuries are bad, but you can salvage a servicable career (i.e. Manning, Rush). However if the knee needs surgery (ACL especially) the explosiveness never seems to return (i.e. Manning, Rush).

    @Crimsonorblue22 Too bad to hear Adams is still in his spiral.

  • At this juncture, I sense very real concern for maintaining league supremacy. We might survive the TCU contest, what with Tarik’s weak wheel, Landon’s limited game experience, and Jamari’s possible continued benching. But if we don’t have those three up and running on 7 of 8 cylinders at Lubbock Tuesday, Tubby Smith is bound to dish out TROUBLE. He has brought his Red Raiders into current prominence which is not to be taken lightly. Ask Lon Kruger.

  • @REHawk I think Jamari will be back and I think w/those 3 we will be good. We have been playing w/a limited Embiid for awhile. If we had Jamari I have no doubt that we beat ksu. Always remember Danny and the miracles! So many injuries. These guys will get quality minutes and Embiid will get his moJO back!

  • Games that 3 weeks ago looked as sure wins, no longer look that way.

    Texas Tech beat OU at Norman, and at one point they were up by 20 points after beating OSU the previous game. KU has two games left against them and they no longer look like “gimmes.” WVU trashed ISU last Saturday and the game at Morgantown seems a lot tougher now. Add the game against Texas at home and looks like KU will really have to earn the title. No easy games in the Big 12.

  • @JayHawkFanToo A very rational post. Is a good thing that we built a league lead when Embiid was healthy. Beginning to slip without his major minutes. If Jamari is still benched for Saturday’s contest, Black must defend very carefully; and Lucas will probably earn at least 15 minutes, experience vital to our survival at Tech, even with Jamari back in the lineup by Tuesday. I hope that JoJo is able to rest for at least 10 days w/o our lead vanishing.

  • On a related note, is it not fascinating, all the numbers associated with this sport? Not the least of which is MINUTES OF EXPERIENCE. And now, MINUTES MISSED due to recovery…or discipline.

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