Kansas returns three starters from last year’s national runner-up team, but one of the returnees expected to compete for one of the other two spots will likely miss the beginning of the regular season.
Senior forward Kevin Young is expected to miss up to two weeks due to a broken bone in his hand, a timeframe that would include the Jayhawks’ regular season opener against Southeast Missouri State on November 9.
Young, in his first season at Kansas after transferring from Loyola Marymount, averaged 3.4 points and 3.0 rebounds per game in 38 contests (11.3 mpg) in 2011-12.
“He should be back shooting and non-contact within 10 days and hopefully back on the court within two weeks,” Self said in a statement.
Young was positioned to compete for a starting spot alongside center Jeff Withey in the Jayhawks’ frontcourt. And Self has previously said that Young’s energy had set him apart from KU’s other interior options. Now the injury leaves KU with one less veteran option to pair with Withey during the season’s opening weeks.
“I think it’s a setback for Kevin and us because he’s worked so hard and has been playing so well,” Self said.
This development makes the Jayhawks even younger in the paint, as Young, Withey and Justin Wesley are their lone front court seniors.
Of Kansas’ nine newcomers four are forwards: Perry Ellis, Landen Lucas, Zach Peters and Jamari Traylor, with Traylor at least having the experience of being a part of the program last season (but not being able to play).
Kansas should be able to deal with Young’s absence if he can’t play in the opener against Southeast Missouri State.
Hopefully for the Jayhawks the recovery will be completed within two weeks, because after the opener they take on Michigan State at the Champions Classic in Atlanta.