Self says sophomore guard Marcus Garrett on track to return Saturday

Kansas guard Marcus Garrett (0) defends against a pass from Louisiana forward JaKeenan Gant (23) during the first half, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Marcus Garrett (0) defends against a pass from Louisiana forward JaKeenan Gant (23) during the first half, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Sidelined for last Friday's showdown with No. 5 Tennessee in the title game of the NIT Season Tip-Off in Brooklyn, N.Y., Kansas sophomore Marcus Garrett is on his way back.

But he’s not there yet.

Speaking to a live audience during Tuesday’s “Hawk Talk” radio show at Johnny's West in Lawrence, KU coach Bill Self provided an update on Garrett’s status after the Dallas native was held out of KU's win over Tennessee because of concussion-like symptoms he experienced leading up to Friday's game.

“Well, he’s with us, and certainly you look at him, you think he could play," Self said Tuesday night. "But he’s still having some headaches and dizziness and so he actually hasn't done much.”

Outside of some limited drill work during the past couple of days, Garrett has not practiced at all following the Jayhawks' return to Lawrence last Sunday.

And with the team slated for its second practice of the day at 8 p.m. Tuesday — the KU coach said Tuesday's second session (the second time that's happened in a week) wasn't exactly punishment, more an emphasis on making sure the required work gets done — Self said he expected it to stay that way for at least the next day or so.

“As long as he’s still feeling a little bit of dizziness or whatever, we don’t play until Saturday so there’s no reason to put him out there and risk him getting hit again," Self said.

With or without Garrett, the second-ranked Jayhawks will return to action at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, when they play host to Stanford at Allen Fieldhouse.

It marks the third year in a row that the Jayhawks have faced Stanford on their schedule. And it will be the second return to Allen Fieldhouse for former KU guard and current Stanford head coach Jerod Haase, who was cheered adoringly by the home crowd when Stanford came to town in 2016.

Self said he hopes the KU crowd again will shower Haase with love on Saturday.

As for Garrett’s status, Self said it was very likely that Garrett did suffer a mild concussion, though noting that it was't "very, very serious," and he praised team doctors for their handling of the situation.

Since his early days as a head coach back at Tulsa and throughout his career at Kansas, Self has taken concussions very seriously any time a situation like this surfaced.

“I don’t know if people remember Zach Peters,” recalled Self of the former KU player who never lasted just part of one season. “He never really got started for us strictly because of concussions. I had two players at Tulsa whose careers were ended by concussions — I mean their career — because they had got so many in a short amount of time. We don’t think there’s any problems with Marcus, at least the medical staff (doesn’t) in doing all the tests. This is more precautionary than anything.”

Comments

Bryce Landon

Several thoughts here:

1) It's pretty safe to say that Jerod Haase will get another warm welcome from the Allen Fieldhouse crowd, and deservedly so. He was arguably the toughest KU player in the Roy Williams era. Even before he came to Kansas, he had a big game for California in beating UCLA the day after his father died. If ever there was a Kansas player that was deserving of a place in the Final Four that didn't get there, it was Jerod Haase. ([Bleep] you, Arizona! Seriously, [Bleep]ing [bleep] you!)

2) Big props to Coach Self for his handling not only of Marcus Garrett's concussion recovery, but for the recoveries of other players he has had in the past who had concussions. Concussions in sports have been a big deal recently, and the way coaches and teams handle concussions has come under a lot of scrutiny as a result (i.e. the Shane Morris fiasco at Michigan in Brady Hoke's last season there). I'm glad to know KU has a coach who has always taken concussions seriously even before media scrutiny forced everybody to take concussions seriously. Get well soon, Marcus!

1 week, 4 days ago

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