Having already locked up yet another Big 12 title, No. 9 Kansas will complete its regular season schedule with a game at No. 15 Oklahoma on Saturday. And in his weekly press conference, Kansas head coach Bill Self stated that he hopes to know more about the status of junior forward Perry Ellis by the middle of next week.
Ellis left Kansas’ overtime win over No. 20 West Virginia Tuesday night in the first half with what was later diagnosed as a sprained knee. Without Ellis big men such as Hunter Mickelson and Jamari Traylor stepped up as the Jayhawks erased a significant deficit to force overtime.
“He’s responding well to treatment, but he’s definitely not going to play (Saturday at Oklahoma), exactly what the doctors said the other day,” Self said Thursday. “Hopefully in a week we’ll know if he can get out there and play.
“That is not anything that’s been negative whatsoever. We’ll just have to wait and see. But hopefully by next Tuesday or so we’ll have a better feel on what his status will be for the Big 12 Tournament.”
Ellis is Kansas’ leading scorer and rebounder, and with Cliff Alexander sidelined indefinitely due to an ongoing NCAA investigation, this is another hit to their interior depth that the Jayhawks did not need. Traylor, Mickelson and Landen Lucas will see even more minutes with both players out, which could help them moving forward.
But if Kansas is to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament, they clearly need a healthy Ellis on the floor.