KU football player James Sosinski expected to be in uniform with KU basketball on Wednesday night
Before Monday's practice, Kansas basketball coach Bill Self said he wanted a couple more days to evaluate KU football tight end and potential KU basketball walk-on James Sosinski before giving him an outright spot on the team.
Evidently, Self saw enough on Monday to alter the timeline.
Monday night, on his weekly Hawk Talk radio show, Self revealed that Sosinski, the 6-foot-7, 260-pound tight end with a junior college basketball background, had impressed enough to earn a uniform and a spot on the bench.
“We’ve decided that he’s going to suit up for us. So he’ll travel with us,” Self said on Monday night. “That doesn’t mean you should expect him to get in the game, stuff like that. Because he wouldn’t play ahead of other guys yet.”
Self said Monday that the former South Mountain Community College standout, who received Division I hoops offers after just averaging 19 points and 12 rebounds in just one semester with South Mountain, had impressed him thus far through his basketball IQ and physical strength.
Although he figures to remain a deep insurance policy and primarily is expected to help the Jayhawks in practice by providing a physical presence for 7-foot center Udoka Azubuike to battle with, Self was not ruling out a potentially bigger role.
“Who knows, if a month from now we’re playing somebody and they are hurting us and we need to steal a couple of minutes because they’ve got a big guy that's laying on us, maybe he can go out and neutralize that,” Self said of Sosinski. “Or maybe he can go out and foul the heck out of somebody really hard. I think he can be an asset.”
Beyond that, Self said Sosinski also would benefit the the Jayhawks just by traveling with the team.
“When we go to places and shoot on the day of the game, in order to get our seven guys who are playing the majority of the minutes out there, they're going to be guarded by (walk-ons) Clay (Young), (Chris) Teahan and three managers. ...Getting a big guy out there that can at least lay on 'Dok will be an asset for us.”
In many ways, Sosinski already is.
“I noticed (during Monday's practice), when he would screen somebody it was different than when some other guys screen you. He’ll hit you. He really has done pretty well.”
Although Sosinski had not yet been added to KU's official roster as of Tuesday morning, a basketball official said KU's newest big man would wear No. 55 for the Jayhawks.
“He is a good player,” Self said. “He’s a nice young man. I think he’ll be good for us.”