Kansas basketball program pushes back return date

Kansas head coach Bill Self talks to his players, coaches and staff on the court during practice on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at Sprint Center. On Wednesday afternoon, the NCAA announced that upcoming basketball tournaments would be played without fans because of concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

The Kansas men’s basketball program is delaying its return to campus by roughly two weeks, KU coach Bill Self told the Journal-World late Thursday night.

Originally aiming for a July 6 return — as allowed by Big 12 Conference guidelines — the Jayhawks now are shooting to be back in Lawrence by July 19.

Per NCAA rules, KU’s coaches cannot start working with players in person until July 20, so any basketball activity done by Self’s players before then would have been voluntary anyway.

“I personally didn’t think the reward outweighed the risk this early if you can’t work with them,” Self told the Journal-World. “That was our thinking.”

Tuesday night, following an appearance on a special edition of his “Hawk Talk” radio show, Self contacted each of his players individually and talked with them and their parents about their plans to return.

“The ones that spoke up, I think they agreed (with our new plan),” Self said. “I think most people are going to bring (their players) back sooner, but we just didn’t see the benefits of that.”

Self said two of the 15 players on KU’s 2020-21 roster are already in Lawrence.

Senior forward Silvio De Sousa has been in Lawrence throughout the pandemic. And senior guard Marcus Garrett recently returned from his home Dallas.

A large percentage of the rest of the roster is within driving distance, and a handful of those players — Ochai Agbaji, Christian Braun, Tyon Grant-Foster, Dajuan Harris and Chris Teahan — live within an hour or two of KU’s campus.

In some instances, depending on where they’re coming from, some of KU’s players might have faced a 14-day self-quarantine upon returning to campus, which would have delayed their ability to get started even with a July 6 return.

Self said Virginia native David McCormack has been in St. Louis in recent weeks. Incoming freshman Bryce Thompson is a few hours away in Tulsa. And Mitch Lightfoot (Phoenix) and Gethro Muscadin (Louisville/Fort Worth, Texas) may need flights back to campus when they return.

Jalen Wilson and Michael Jankovich, along with freshman guard Latrell Jossell, are all coming from Texas, which, according to reports, has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases in recent days.

“We may have to think about (doing something different) with those guys coming back,” Self said of the Texas crew.

The one Jayhawk facing the biggest obstacle is sophomore forward Tristan Enaruna, who has been at home in the Netherlands and will not be allowed to return to Kansas until the government lifts the travel ban into the United States.

According a June 15 update on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, anyone who has been in the Netherlands (or 36 other countries on the list) in the previous 14 days may not enter the United States.

The CDC notes that there are exceptions for certain travelers, but it is not clear from the website whether Enaruna would qualify for those.

“We don’t know when he’s going to be able to get back with us,” Self said on “Hawk Talk.” “Of course, it’s not an emergency to get back now, but we’ll look forward to getting him back when we can.”

Comments

Scott MacWilliams

Wait, US is still banning travelers from countries that have flattened the curve, while we're seeing record numbers of new cases in hotspots all over the country from re-opening too soon? We're fast approaching 2.5 million documented cases and 128,000 deaths, both likely undercounts.
Netherlands has a population of about 17.28 million and is down to 110 new cases per day now, from a peak of 1335 per day in April. We could be doing better, but lousy leadership is costing thousands of lives. New Zealand had a soccer match with 43,000 fans in the stands yesterday as they have completely eradicated the virus.

1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Dale Rogers

I agree with most of that but the biggest problem I see is people who refuse to take precautions, including no masks and no distancing. All they are doing is prolonging this thing, making things worse for the rest of us. Stupidity reigns.

1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Dale Rogers

Is there a country that is acceptable to the US that Enaruna could go to for 14 days and then come to the US? Does KU pay his travel expenses or is that on him and his family? That could be an issue.

1 month, 2 weeks ago

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William Dostert

Dear Scott, Please crawl back into your bunker and put your respirator on. This is a KU sports website not a CDC or government bashing site. Yesterday California saw a 25% drop in new cases and the press did nit even cover it. It is a giant hoax. That being said lets just talk about basketball,

1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Tony Bandle

Maybe you should talk to the 120,000 plus families who had to bury a loved one because of this "hoax"!

1 month, 1 week ago

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Shannon Gustafson

Pot, meet kettle.

It's unfortunate you talk like an authority but then somehow believe that a one day drop in new cases is anything more than a blip on the radar. A hoax that's killed 128.000 people in 4 months, explain that one.

1 month, 1 week ago

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Brett McCabe

William, is it a hoax or did the cases just drop in California? How about Texas and Florida? Pick a side. If it’s a hoax, the statistics don’t matter.

This must be the most well orchestrated hoax in history. Heck, the whole world is in on it! Plus those 125,000 dead people. Talk about committing to a role.

I’ve long had a hard and fast rule about keeping my politics off this site. But, nimrod, sometimes these things overlap. Like when another nimrod ignores a problem, then tries to hide it and then all of the sports stop. And millions lose their jobs. And the “hoax” is apparently perpetuated by daily briefings conducted by the coward in chief. Must be the deep state.

1 month, 1 week ago

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Bret Eckert

McCabe
Keep your dumb ass off of here.
Everyone is tired of you.

1 month, 1 week ago

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Shannon Gustafson

In general that's true but you should at least pick one of his posts that don't make any sense. His post above was the best thing he's said in months.

1 month, 1 week ago

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Steven Haag

I don’t believe any of it. Back in April, New York added 2,000 deaths to COVID and not ONE of them had even been tested. It’s a virus.....like the flu. 90% of ALL experts say that 90% of all of will eventually get the virus. It’s not a matter of if, but when. It will not get “eradicated”. That being said, if the Netherlands cases are down, not sure I understand the 14 day quarantine.....unless that is just the official stance for all International travelers.

1 month, 1 week ago

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Dirk Medema

Hoax is a bad choice of words, though there is so so much nonsense going on with the pandemic. It’s NY forcing sick patients out of hospitals into nursing homes where the most vulnerable are captive. It’s hospitals continuing to use ventilators that they’re reimbursed more emergency $ for even though it had become clear that ventilators were harmful. It’s no wonder that NY had a mortality rate over 10 times higher than the rest of the country. I believe something like half the deaths in the country is from there.

It’s states spending millions on masks with companies that are one week old and run by former lobbyists. Whatever happened to all those masks? It is masks not being beneficial one month, when they are made to specific standards, but then becoming mandatory and “beneficial” when there are no standards at all for how the masks are to be made. It is mask standards that violate OSHA requirements.

It is “shelter in place/stay at home” orders that encourage people to stay inside when being outside in the sunshine is by far the best thing you can do for yourself.

It is current testing and reporting policies that do not differentiate between people that currently have the virus and those that had it at some time in the past and currently have antibodies. The latter is a really good thing that is not only completely unreported, but actually lumped together to be a negative.

There’s so much more nonsense but that’s plenty.

Hopefully, Tristan is getting in lots of work on his game and comes back strong.

1 month, 1 week ago

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Barry Weiss

totally agree Dirk.

1 month, 1 week ago

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