Jayhawks remain 'hopeful' Billy Preston will rejoin the KU lineup

Kansas forward Billy Preston (23) puts up a shot during warmups prior to tipoff against Fort Hays State, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

The no-news in the Billy Preston saga took on a slightly different sound on Thursday afternoon.

During his regularly scheduled news conference, KU coach Bill Self was asked if there was “any movement” in the freshman forward's status. After initially responding with the routine answer of “no,” Self took time to clarify the answer.

“I haven't talked to anybody today,” Self said. “Visited about it yesterday. When you say there's no movement, that would probably be a false thing to say. There's no movement on a conclusion. There's certainly movement on trying to do everything to get a quicker conclusion.”

As for whether he remained optimistic that the 6-foot-10, 240-pound matchup nightmare for opponents could still return to the Kansas lineup at some point this season, Self said the program remained hopeful but added, “I, personally, don't see it happening in the next two days.”

Second-ranked Kansas (6-0) plays Syracuse (6-0) in Miami at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Preston, the McDonald's All-American who has yet to play a regular season game with the Jayhawks, sat out the season opener after missing curfew and class and has been held out of the past five games while KU officials seek to sort out a compliance issue involving a vehicle he was driving during a single-car, no-injury accident on Nov. 11.

Although Preston's absence has left the Jayhawks devoid of depth, Self said the uncertainty surrounding Preston's status has started to wear on his young player.

“He's taking it very well,” Self said of Preston. “But there is something bothering him. I mean, there's no doubt about that. He's not excited this is happening by any stretch, nor are we. But we know we've got to deal with it. He's handled it very maturely. He's been a good teammate. I think there have been some positives from that regard. Sometimes, you know, people can say that they're adjusting, have a great attitude, which he does, but that still doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. Certainly that's the case with him.”

Comments

Daniel Kennamore

Yeah, pretty close to zero chance he ever takes the court at this point.

He's missed nearly a month of a season that only spans five.

1 year, 10 months ago

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Adam Bengtson

Billy Preston will not play a basketball game in a Kansas uniform in the 2017-18 season.

1 year, 10 months ago

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Creg Bohrer

I hope you're Daniel, but my gut tells me we may never see him play a game..

1 year, 10 months ago

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Jesse Johnson

I'm so tired of having these talented 5 star big men come in and... not contribute to the team at all. Alexander, Bragg, Diallo and now Preston. All of these players had or have had off-court issues that either hindered their play on court or kept them off the court entirely. Alexander and Bragg both completely failed to live up to their hype. So did Diallo, although in his situation it felt like it wasn't really his fault. He was kept off the team by the NCAA for absolutely no reason, and when he finally was able to play, he was so far behind in learning the system that Self seemed to have no interest in giving him minutes to develop into a rotation player. This situation with Preston is just so frustrating because A) we really, really need him and B) nothing about why he is being kept from playing even makes sense yet.

1 year, 10 months ago

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Glen Miller

It's pretty obvious to me why he is being kept from playing...... he was driving a car he shouldn't have been. It was either someone else's car that was "loaned" to him, a car from a local dealer that he "borrowed" or some other type of NCAA infraction that they are trying to figure out what the punishment should be. I don't know of any other type situation that would prohibit him from playing games because of a car wreck, not even a DUI would have kept him out this many games........ What this reads to me is that he would have had to sit out games anyways. I am just glad we didn't play him and have wins taken away. So while I am frustrated that there is little news, and I really hope I am wrong. I doubt I am.

1 year, 10 months ago

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Marius Rowlanski

Need to add Hunter Mickelson, Jack Whitman, Embiid (a great player but was injured throughout the postseason) and Coleby.

1 year, 10 months ago

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Barry Weiss

if coach can only say he's "hopeful" that Preston plays this year, that does not sound very promising. It must be in the hands of the NCAA to be taking this long. Such a shame for Preston, the team, coach, the university and us fans. I guess the only winner is our opponents who won't have to face a tougher KU team if we had him.

1 year, 10 months ago

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Tony Bandle

The absolute best we can hope for is that the NCAA gets off its rear end, declares the car an unapproved benefit, gives Billy a first semester suspension with time served and allows him to start with conference play against Texas.

And I'll walk across some prime swamp land for sale on the Brooklyn Bridge with monkeys flying out of my butt!!!

1 year, 10 months ago

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Allan Olson

The football player and the high school kid are looking real good right now. And, the guards will be getting some rest from Sam becoming eligible. All three may be actually be better players than our past opponents, except UK, of course. Maybe included with the current two walk-ons, there will be sufficient breathing times for the stars. If Preston cannot play this year, then his car situation will be found to be one hell of a blunder by the NCAA investigators. I believe he will still play after semester break. But, he did not look that sharp in two games in Italy or the exhibitions. He could throw the team off its current stride should he try too hard to impress the pro scouts with his individual play.

1 year, 10 months ago

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Marcia Parsons

Do we know that the NCAA is involved, or are you assuming that? So far as I've heard, it's still with the KU compliance committee. Did I miss something?

1 year, 10 months ago

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Len Shaffer

It may not have been stated that the NCAA is involved, but only the NCAA could take this long with something that should be relatively straightforward ...

1 year, 10 months ago

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Andy Godwin

According to Matt Tait last night on 810, there is no indication that the case is even in the NCAA's hands. He speculated it was still within the compliance office at KU.

1 year, 10 months ago

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Barry Weiss

what in the H could be taking the KU compliance office so long? I can't believe this is being held up by them. Strange if true.

1 year, 10 months ago

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Andrew Whitehead

I didn't see anyone pick up on this, but in one of the articles (I believe the one that talked about Malik Newman's dad attending the Oakland game), Bill Self made an interesting comment on the Preston issue. He said "It's not on our schedule. It's on someone else's schedule." I have to assume by "our" schedule, he means KU's schedule. The only other "someone else" I can reasonably guess is the NCAA. Surprised no reporter pressed that quote for any clarification, I felt like the question was begging to be asked.

1 year, 10 months ago

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Barry Weiss

I recall that too. what a mess.

1 year, 10 months ago

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Allan Olson

The logic has to be that KU itself cannot alone give him a pass on this problem. If so, he would be playing now. This issue will or has to hit a desk in the NCAA before anyone says Grace, and lets him play. Self will not risk games won/NCAA tournament until this is resolved by the highest "court". If the NCAA is not already deeply involved, then a few heads should role at KU Compliance!

1 year, 10 months ago

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Douglas L. Boehr

I heard the Gestapo is involved. I mean the NCAA which will result in his disappearance from college basketball.

1 year, 10 months ago

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Harlan Hobbs

We need to get the investigators who basically exonerated North Carolina to take over the case. Of course, if they take as long to deal with the Preston case as they took with the UNC case, all of the current KU players will probably be long gone.

Sounds like the "swamp" to me.

1 year, 10 months ago

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Jeff Coffman

I thought that when they assess benefits, that if it is so much, than they have to repay it, plus sit for 1/3 of the regular season games (about 12 if I remember right). Remember Josh Shelby, he took some clothes or something and had to make a donation and then had to sit the 12 games. I'm guessing that it will be a 9 or 12 game suspension and some type of payback of a donation.

If I remember with the Josh Shelby case they basically let them know about 2-3 games left in the suspension. So he had sat 9 and then they told him he was eligible after sitting 3 more. My guess is after he has sat 9 games, we will know.

1 year, 10 months ago

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Robin Smith

Jeez people.

1 year, 10 months ago

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Clarence Haynes

The public relations aspect of this situation has frankly been mysterious.

1 year, 10 months ago

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Kevin Kelly

Who owned the car?

1 year, 10 months ago

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Andy Godwin

The question might be "who paid for the car?" The car is registered to Billy Preston. According to 810 the car cost ~$20,000.

1 year, 10 months ago

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Tony Bandle

The car cost $20,000??? Heck, if you're going to cheat, drive a Lamborgini!!!

1 year, 10 months ago

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Joe Black

I heard a K-State donor gave him the car to get KU in trouble!

1 year, 10 months ago

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Kyle Neuer

This taking too long for it to be good news, but we'll see.

1 year, 10 months ago

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Marius Rowlanski

It's time to simply move on. Another BIG mistake.

1 year, 10 months ago

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