KU coach Bill Self says senior Lagerald Vick will not return for Saturday's finale vs. Baylor
For just the second time in the Bill Self era, there will be no Senior Night for the Kansas men’s basketball program.
While that reality has seemed somewhat inevitable for the past several weeks, it became official Wednesday night, when KU coach Bill Self revealed on his weekly “Hawk Talk” radio show that Lagerald Vick, the lone senior on KU’s 2018-19 roster, would not return from his leave of absence for Saturday’s regular season finale vs. Baylor at Allen Fieldhouse.
“Lagerald is not going to be back for the game Saturday,” Self told “Hawk Talk” host Brian Hanni. “We have visited, and he is still taking care of some things so he will not be there on Saturday.”
So, it’s no trophies, no speeches, no time limits, no pregame flowers. And there figures to be a very different feel inside Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday than what has existed at the final KU home game of the season during recent years.
The only other season in the Self era to end without senior speeches was 2006-07, when KU’s roster featured six juniors and the core of the 2008 national championship team.
As for how KU got here this season, Vick, of course, has been away from the team since Feb. 7, when Self announced that the senior from Memphis was taking a leave of absence with no timetable for a return to attend to a personal matter.
Vick has been in his hometown since leaving Lawrence and Self said Wednesday night that he was impressed by how the senior, who still leads the Jayhawks in 3-point shooting (66 of 145 for 45.5 percent) despite missing the past seven games, had handled himself while away from the team.
“Attitude is good. Certainly taking care of business,” Self said Wednesday night. “I think he’s handling everything very well, to be quite candid, without going into any detail, which I won’t.”
One thing regarding Vick that Self was willing to dive deeper on during Wednesday’s “Hawk Talk” was whether the 6-5 guard could still return to the team at some point to help the Jayhawks in the postseason.
“Obviously, it’s getting late (in the season) and we’re going on one month that he would be out,” Self said. “Even though this isn’t etched in stone, for every day that passes, the likelihood of him coming back is less and less.”
With that in mind and no need to carve out any extra time for a senior speech on Saturday, the Jayhawks can turn their entire focus to Baylor, which could be in position to compete with KU for the 3 seed in next week’s Big 12 tournament.
Iowa State’s 15-point loss at West Virginia on Wednesday means KU will be no lower than the 4 seed at the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City, Mo., and would be the 3 seed with either a Baylor loss to Oklahoma State on Wednesday night or a win over Baylor on Saturday.
Here’s a quick look back at all of the seniors honored on Senior Night during the Self era:
2003-04 – Bryant Nash and Jeff Graves
2004-05 – Aaron Miles, Mike Lee, Keith Langford and Wayne Simien
2005-06 – Jeff Hawkins, Stephen Vinson and Christian Moody
2006-07 – No Seniors
2007-08 – Russell Robinson, Jeremy Case, Rodrick Stewart, Sasha Kaun, Darnell Jackson and Brad Witherspoon
2008-09 – Brennan Bechard and Matt Kleinmann
2009-10 – Sherron Collins
2010-11 – Brady Morningstar, Tyrel Reed and Mario Little
2011-12 – Conner Teahan, Tyshawn Taylor and Jordan Juenemann
2012-13 – Jeff Withey, Travis Releford, Kevin Young and Elijah Johnson
2013-14 – Justin Wesley, Niko Roberts and Tarik Black
2014-15 – Christian Garrett
2015-16 – Evan Manning, Jamari Traylor, Perry Ellis and Hunter Mickelson
2016-17 – Frank Mason III, Tyler Self and Landen Lucas
2017-18 – Devonte’ Graham, Svi Mykhailiuk and Clay Young