Archive for Tuesday, January 7, 1992

TRIP TO TANNING BOOTH MAY HAVE LED TO BACK SPASMS

January 7, 1992

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Rex Walters returned from Hawaii last Saturday with a deep, dark tan.

In hopes of keeping his skin bronzed, the Kansas guard visited a tanning salon earlier this week.

Big mistake.

"One thing that I think screwed my back up is I went to a tanning booth," Walters said. "It has a real hard surface."

He suffered back spasms before practice on Tuesday and was questionable until just before tipoff on Wednesday.

His back muscles loose after a day of heat treatments, Walters scored 16 points on six-of-eight shooting in KU's 103-54 win over Wichita State.

His back problems started not in the tanning booth, but right before Tuesday's practice.

"I WAS STANDING on the track, acting like I was playing defense on Calvin (Rayford). I was swinging at the (make-believe) ball, and hurt my back," he said. "I only practiced the last 20 minutes. Last night, I put my feet up on pillows and elevated it. It ached all night. I took muscle relaxant and had treatments today.

"I didn't know I was going to play until before the game when coach Williams (Roy) put my name up on the board."

Walters not only shattered a shooting slump but was assigned to WSU's leading scorer, Chad Elstun, who made just five of 13 shots.

"He's going to be a good player. He's already quick, which surprised me because I always teased Doug about his quickness," Walters grinned, referring to former Jayhawk Doug Elstun, Chad's brother.

KU forward Richard Scott wore a sleeve on his left knee for protection Wednesday. He has bumped the knee twice in the past 10 days and has experienced some soreness.

Scott, who had surgery on the leg last summer, scored 13 points and had seven rebounds in 23 minutes.

An elbow by WSU's John Smith opened a cut over sophomore guard Calvin Rayford's right eye with 5:56 left in the first half. It took four stitches to close the gash.

Rayford returned for the second half wearing a new jersey in accordance with the NCAA's "HIV rule."

"It's happened to me before. It happens. It wasn't intentional," said Rayford, clipped after Smith handed the ball to a teammate and swung his elbows.

Rayford, who has been effective the past two games driving the lane, had six points and three assists. "Coach said if the drive is there, penetrate and take it," Rayford said.

Center Greg Ostertag, who had missed the last seven games following surgery on his lower leg, scored two points and had five rebounds in 14 minutes.

"It felt good. It only hurt where the scar is," Ostertag said. "I was excited to get back. My conditioning is bad. I got tired pretty fast. Playing in games and all the running we do at practice, it shouldn't take too long (to get in shape)," he said.

Blake Weichbrodt, a member of KU's JV team the past two seasons, has joined the varsity. He hit two free throws in the final 1:44.

The 6-foot-2 junior from Norman, Okla., says he's looking forward to Monday's game at Oklahoma. His parents have purchased a bundle of tickets with the game not yet a sellout.

"About $300 worth," Weichbrodt said. "A lot of friends and family will be there."

He led the JV in scoring the past two years. Last year he averaged 14.5 points on 58 percent shooting.

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