Mario Little hasn’t played in a month. How much he plays the rest of the season may depend on the next two games.
The senior swingman was reinstated by Kansas coach Bill Self Monday after sitting out six games because of a suspension that followed a Dec. 16 arrest in which Little was hit with a litany of charges. But Self warns Little may not be on the floor much.
“Just cause he’s back in uniform doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to play a lot. Now it’s up to me,” Self told the Kansas City Star.
Then again, Self would be foolish not to give Little chunks of playing time in the next few days.
Swingman Travis Releford is unlikely to play Wednesday night against Iowa State because of a bum ankle. He and Little offer the same abilities – decent defenders, efficient scorers and selfless players – and more size than Brady Morningstar, the other often-used small forward off Kansas’ bench. (None can match starter Tyrel Reed’s all-around game or shooting.) Using Little Wednesday and Saturday against Nebraska would allow him to get back into form against two of the Big 12 North’s weaker foes. (Not that either are the pushovers of previous seasons.)
After that, Kansas is at Baylor, hosts Texas and is at Colorado. Self’s likely to ride the starters in those games. If Little’s ever going to be a factor in Lawrence, now’s the time to find out.
Want more? I’m also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller.