Kansas center Udoka Azubuike injures knee and will not play in Big 12 tournament

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) fights for position with West Virginia forward Sagaba Konate (50) and West Virginia guard Jevon Carter (2) during the second half, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) fights for position with West Virginia forward Sagaba Konate (50) and West Virginia guard Jevon Carter (2) during the second half, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee during a scrimmage in Tuesday's practice and will not participate in the Big 12 tournament, KU basketball coach Bill Self announced this afternoon.

"We will hold him out this weekend in Kansas City and he will be reevaluated Sunday and our expectation is that he'll be back on the court next week," Self said. Self said the sprain, "is isolated. It is a Grade 1 sprain."

A Grade 1 sprain is the least severe and means that a ligament has been stretched but not torn.

Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors suffered a similar injury two years ago and missed two weeks.

Comments

Brian Skelly

Boom goes the dynamite.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Robert Brock

No need to even pop any popcorn. Season over.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Chris DeWeese

Put Clay Young in!

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Sae Thirtysix

MLightfoot - lace 'em up tight.
SDe Sousa - welcome to the party pal.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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David McNickle

I hope this is a "we didn't want to play 3 games in a row" injury.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Ryan Zimmerman

Well at least we have our depth at big man... err.... i mean we can play guards since we have good quality depth there....errr...

Hey next year, though! Looking good

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Pius Waldman

It is difficult to say how this will affect play. Could be the bringing out of DeSousa.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Chad Smith

YIKES. Well hopefully he can come back for NCAA's. Or maybe we can sneak out a 1st round win and he can come back for round 2. Geez, this is not good.

I'm usually more optimistic, but I can't really see us going far without him this season.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bryce Landon

I wasn't sure we were going to go far this postseason even with him.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Chad Smith

probably right, but really I see this as a great opportunity for our other frontcourt players to step up and get some meaningful minutes against whoever play as both OU and OSU both need victories right now for their respective resumes.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Joe Ross

Doke might even miss the first week of the tournament, Im guessing. Could be that we'll have to play the rounds of 64 and 32 without him.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Tony Bandle

Random Thoughts:

1] A three game season sweep by Okie State of KU just got a bit more realistic.

2] Kiss the Number One Seed in the West good bye. [I'm not sure that's such a bad thing].

3] Is it too late to clone a couple more Devontes?

4] When all was said and done and the parking lot has emptied, did any of you, in your heart of hearts, actually believe KU had what it took to make a run to the title game? I didn't think so.

5] It's all about the match ups. A run to the Sweet Sixteen without Dok would be awesome.
Even with Dok who, if he plays, will be compromised to some degree.

6] If or when Dok is declared out for the season, play a five guard three point offense with a zone defense that crowds the three point line.

7] If nothing else, this will pays dividends next year with the continued growth of Lightfoot and the invaluable bonus experience for De Sousa.

8] Thanks Preston, Whitman and Coleby.

9] I guess it's Lightfoot, Newman, Vick, Svi and Graham with Garrett and De Sousa off the bench. Sam I Am may get to play simply out of sheer desperation!

10] NEVER GIVE UP...NEVER SURRENDER!!!

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dave Miller

regarding item #3 -- Is too late to clone a couple of Thomas Robinson, Cole Aldrich, Jeff Withey, and a young Danny Manning ??? :)

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Joe Ross

2.) Agree about #1 seed being gone, but I think its closer than most might think (based on Kansas' body of work: Q1 and Q2 wins).

3.) I'd clone extra 'Dokes instead. 'Bout 3 of 'em.

4.) If we were firing on all cylinders on the perimeter, and Doke, Lightfoot and DeSousa were ALL playing well in the post, then yes. But that's a pipe dream. The answer to your question is NO!

8.) LOL!

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Steve Jacob

The problem here is Bill Self will tell everyone how ready he will play in the NCAA's because it would affect seeding. Don't trust anything until Monday.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dirk Medema

Huge opportunity for Silvio though it feels more like we're headed towards deja vue.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bob Thompson

KU didn't play Udoka much at the beginning of the year due to his inexperience and foul problems. We will need to change our style back to run and gun. I think we can do it, but it will take EVERYONE to play their best. Lagerald and Malik will have to be on their game or it will be lights out.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Doug Longstaff

I think maybe you're thinking of last year, Bob. Kansas has consistently played Udoka for about the same amount of time all year this season. He's averaged 24.3 minutes per game. His average for the first 10 games of the year....25.2.

There is no way to overstate the importance of Azubuike to this team. If he catches it low it's sure of a thing as there is in college basketball. If you dedicated resources to denying him or doubling him, there will be an open shooter, plain and simple.

He's also getting 20% of the rebounds on a BAD rebounding team.

We won't go far without him.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dirk Medema

Definitely takes pressure/expectations off of this week.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bill Cushing

Definately need to have fresh Double A's in Devonte!

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bryce Landon

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Gary Wirsig

Will he use his spare time to work on free throws?

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bryce Landon

Come on, man, really? One of our guys sprains his knee and you crack on him for his free throw shooting? That's bad taste, man. You're better than that.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Michael Sillman

Amazing how this sort of thing happens every year about this time. In the future Self needs to put bubble wrap on the critical players and keep them out of practice.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bryce Landon

No, it doesn't. The only times I can remember that it happened were to Kevin Pritchard in 1988 and to Joel Embiid in 2014. And when we lost Cliff Alexander in 2015, it was because of eligibility issues, not to injury.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Titus Canby

Let's just do the same thing we did in '88 when Pritchard got injured. I'll go for that.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bryce Landon

I'd go for that too. The problem is, Cinderella stories like Danny and the Miracles are once-in-a-lifetime deals.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Titus Canby

One good thing about this team - I don't expect anyone to play soft in the NCAA tournament for fear of getting injured and hurting the draft chances. I think we'll get lots of hustle out of this team... next week. All Haase and no Wiggins.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Kurt Eskilson

And didn't Haase finish the season with a broken – at least cracked – wrist?

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Tony Bandle

By skipping the Big 12 Tourney, and assuming KU can beat their first round NCAA opponent without Dok, that would give him 10 - 11 days, depending on the schedule, to bring the knee back up to 80% - 90%.

That does NOT sound like a totally impossible goal.

Think where we would have been if Silvio had not been able to start early. At the very least, he allows us five more fouls to give at the center position.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Corey Sparks

Honestly those grade one knee sprains take about 1-2 weeks to "heal." Dok is a 7 footer so I'd wager that it'll take him a bit longer to heal. I honestly think we shouldn't play him in the first or second round. If we manage to get out of that, that'll give him 15-16 days recovery.

Selection Sunday has suddenly turned into Doke Evaluation day.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Brett McCabe

I trust that Self will do what's right for the player, and I agree with an earlier poster that Self's comments are intended to hold as high a see as possible. Nevertheless, I agree with you. Put it on the rest of the team to get to week 2. Who knows, maybe Silvio will be able to relax knowing that he plays until he fouls out or until the game is over.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dave Miller

One word: ZONE

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dale Koch

Realistically, 2 games left.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Barry Weiss

toast

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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David Robinett

Best case: Silvio gets minutes and gets comfortable. MMalik and LaGerald step up.

Worst case: first ever loss of a number one seed to a number 16

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dale Koch

We won’t be a #1 Seed. We lose tomorrow. We will be a 2 for sure. Duke gets our #1.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Tony Bandle

YEP!!

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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