Early on Sunday morning, news broke that Joel Embiid would be headed to California to see a back specialist to get a second opinion the injury that has kept him out of the lineup for the past two games.
Kansas head coach Bill Self elaborated on that concern on Sunday evening in a conversation with Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star.
“It’s nothing where he won’t be feeling great in four weeks with some rest,” Self said, while also telling Dodd that the injury is more significant that a simple back strain, which is what Kansas called it when it was announced Embiid would sit out the end of the regular season. “We don’t have four weeks.”
The Jayhawks kick off Big 12 tournament play on Thursday, playing the winner of Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.
With Embiid healthy and in the lineup, Kansas is arguably the nation’s most talented team and one of the favorite to win the national title come April. But if he’s flying to California to see a specialist and get a second opinion about a back injury, how confident should we be that his injury is actually going to get better?
Already lacking depth, No. 13 Iowa State will be short a key contributor Saturday when they take on Oklahoma State in Stillwater.
Friday night it was announced that senior forward Jameel McKay has been suspended indefinitely by head coach Steve Prohm and did not make the trip with the team. McKay, who’s been dealing with knee issues recently, is averaging 12.4 points and a team-high 9.0 rebounds per game on the season.
Over the last six games he’s averaging 7.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per contest, shooting 60.6 percent from the field.
McKay has been asked to man the middle for a team lacking in both size and depth, with Georges Niang shifting over to the five when McKay needs a break for either rest or foul trouble reasons. Without McKay even more responsibility falls upon the shoulders of Niang, Abdel Nader and Deonte Burton in the front court.
The Cyclones are looking to end a two-game losing streak, and even with Oklahoma State’s struggles accomplishing that gets tougher with McKay out of the lineup.
News of McKay’s suspension was first reported by the Ames Tribune.
LAS VEGAS (AP) UNLV junior guard Daquan Cook has been dismissed from the team.
Interim coach Todd Simon made the announcement on Friday, though no reason was given.
Cook was suspended for 13 games by previous coach Dave Rice in November after being arrested and charged with DUI.
Cook appeared in two games this season after being reinstated, scoring three points in four minutes. He missed the 2014-15 season after tearing his right ACL and played 28 games as a sophomore.