Jamari Traylor

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Injured Kansas forward’s status will be re-evaluated next week

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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.

Man publicly apologizes for bumping into Kansas forward Jamari Traylor after Kansas State win

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source: Getty Images
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The home win for Kansas State over No. 8 Kansas was a huge win for Bruce Weber’s team in the rivalry. Unfortunately, the win was overshadowed a bit by a fan who bumped into Kansas forward Jamari Traylor.

A man identifying himself as the person responsible for bumping Traylor publicly revealed himself on Tuesday.

Nathan Power wrote a letter to the editor in The Collegian that acted as an apology to everybody involved.

Here it is, in full:

K-State friends, I was the individual identified as the fan who bumped Jamari Traylor during the court storm following K-State’s victory over KU. I want to take this moment to share a sincere apology in breaking from the Wildcat way and stepping outside what is acceptable in the spirit of the game. Following the basketball game I simply let my emotions get the best of me in all of the chaos. In my excitement I was not careful of the people I was around. I am sorry that I made the KU basketball team—Jamari Traylor in particular—feel disrespected. By no means can I change what took place but in the future I will be aware of how emotions can impact good judgment.

It’s a stupid decision by anybody to touch a player for simply participating in a game, but Traylor should also be commended for keeping his cool in such a heated situations. Plenty of athletes (and people) have reacted far worse for simpler things and he did a good job of just letting it go.

As for Power, he shouldn’t be allowed to attend games if he can’t act responsibly. It’s commendable that he apologized, but the rest of the population seems aware not to touch the participants when they attend a sporting event.

No. 12 Kansas executes late, beats No. 21 Baylor in Waco as a result

Jamari Traylor (Getty Images)
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No. 12 Kansas picked up a huge road win in their Big 12 opener on Wednesday night, surviving their trip to Waco with a 56-55 win over No. 21 Baylor despite a horrid first half performance that saw them score just 18 points.

Jamari Traylor led the way with 13 points to go along with five boards, two blocks and a pair of key assists in the second half. His play at the high post against Baylor’s 2-3 zone is what sparked the Jayhawks down the stretch, with those two dimes he dropped leading to dunks from Cliff Alexander. Wayne Selden was also big down the stretch, as he shook off a rough night by hitting three straight buckets in the final three minutes to turn a 49-47 deficit into a 54-51 lead.

For a team that has been as maligned as any top 15 program this season, the Jayhawks have a strong resume and seem to only be getting better.

For Baylor, however, this loss is going to leave a sour taste in their mouths. They had three chances to win this thing in the final 10 seconds and botched all three. Rico Gathers was all alone to tip in a missed layup in transition and proceeded to miss a layup of his own. On the ensuing out of bounds play, Kenny Chery didn’t throw the ball to Jonathan Motley — who was WIDE OPEN — and instead turned the ball over. And after Kansas guard Frank Mason missed a free throw at the other end, this happened:

Baylor started the season so well, and yet here they are, sitting at 0-2 in the conference after the fist week of league play.

I’ve now seen the entirety of Baylor’s first two Big 12 games, and I think I’m ready to call the Bears a tournament-caliber team. Chery choked on the final inbounds play, but he scored 25 points and was the single biggest reason that Baylor was in a position to win the game in the final 10 seconds. Jonathan Motley and Rico Gathers make up a very good and rarely pretty front line, while the rest of the piece — Lester Medford, Taureen Prince, Royce O’Neale — provide enough support to make this team a threat.

But they can’t let wins like this slip away anymore, not at home and not in a conference as tough as the Big 12.

And it’s worth noting here that this loss does not fall on Scott Drew. He can’t make his players throw the pass when the inbounds play he draws up gets someone wide open. He can’t make layups for his guys. He can’t shoot before the final buzzer goes off.

Drew has his flaws as a head coach.

But his coaching did not cost his team a win on Wednesday night.

You Make the Call: Was this a charge on Baylor’s Johnathan Motley?

Johnathan Motley (AP Photo)
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Baylor redshirt freshman forward Johnathan Motley threw down what could have been one of the more impressive dunks of the season in the first half of the Bears’ game against No. 12 Kansas Wednesday night. Only one problem: it didn’t count, as the officials ruled that Kansas forward Jamari Traylor successfully took the charge.

You make the call: was the call correct, or should it have been called a block on Traylor? I think they got this one right, which couldn’t be said for this charge called on Virginia’s Justin Anderson during the Cavaliers’ home win over NC State.

Kansas big man returns to lineup, sophomore inserted to starting five vs. Utah

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No. 10 Kansas follows up a road victory over Georgetown with a neutral site meeting with No. 13 Utah on Saturday afternoon at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

On Wednesday, Brannen Greene dropped a career-high 19 points, including 5-for-5 from three, in the Jayhawks’ 75-70 win over the Hoyas. His performance will be rewarded with a spot in the starting five against the Utes, replacing Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk. It’ll be Greene’s first start since opening night against UC Santa Barbara, a game in which he scored three points in 17 minutes.

The 6-foot-7 Greene had gone scoreless through the previous two games in limited action, but is averaging 6.4 points per game and shooting the ball well from beyond the arc. The Utes are allowing opponents to shoot 33 percent from three this season.

This is the first change Bill Self has made to the starting lineup during KU’s current six-game winning streak. However, this wasn’t the only roster move made on Friday.

Self also announced  that Jamari Traylor will suit up against Utah. The junior forward was arrested earlier this week, charged with interfering with a police officer.

“Jamari is going to suit and play. He’s obviously paid the penalty for making a poor decision on not cooperating on something he wasn’t remotely involved in,” Self told reporters, via KUSports.com. “It brought a lot of negative attention on him. Certainly he’s embarrassed by it. The only way you can handle this, like we’ve told him is become a better man because of it and identify why that would happen. He’s certainly working on that and open to doing that. I don’t see any reason for penalizing him any more than what we’ve already done.”

Traylor is averaging 3.3 points and 3.9 rebounds in 19.1 minutes per game this season.

Junior forward one of two Kansas athletes arrested early Sunday

Jamari Traylor (AP Photo)
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Through seven games Kansas redshirt junior forward Jamari Traylor has made two starts, averaging 3.3 points and 3.9 rebounds in just over 19 minutes of action per game. According to multiple reports Traylor landed in some hot water early Sunday morning, as he was one of two Kansas athletes to be arrested with the other being Kansas wide receiver Rodriguez Coleman.

Traylor was arrested on a charge of interfering with the duties of a police officer, and he was released after posting $100 bond.

“We were made aware of the situation concerning Jamari,” head coach Bill Self said in a release per the Kansas City Star. “We have been gathering information all morning and will continue to do that. This will be certainly addressed and handled as we receive complete information.”

In recent games Perry Ellis and Cliff Alexander have led the way in the front court for the Jayhawks, with Landen Lucas making five starts (Traylor getting the other two). Should Traylor have to miss any game time it will likely mean more minutes for Lucas and Alexander, with Arkansas transfer Hunter Mickelson (3.2 mpg) having the opportunity to earn more playing time as well.