Kansas City, Mo. Lester Earl made his Kansas men's basketball debut at last year's Sprint Shootout.
"I remember, I remember," Earl said longingly after KU's 65-55 Sprint Shootout victory over Illinois on Saturday at Kemper Arena. "It's kind of frustrating I can't be out on the court again for my year anniversary."
After transferring from LSU, Earl had to wait a semester to play last year before scoring five points and grabbing six boards in a Shootout win over Texas Christian. He's currently out of the lineup as he rehabilitates from arthroscopic left knee surgery.
"My target date (for return) was the 2nd," Earl said of KU's home game against Texas A&M; on Jan. 2. "But I think that may be pushing it too much. I am going to come back healthy. If it takes to February, I don't mind.
"I just want to be 100 percent -- not 80, 85, 90 or 99 percent, but 100 percent. Right now it's weak. My quad is not strong and I don't feel like there is anything supporting my knee. It's slowly getting better by resting it and letting it heal."
Earl -- he's had two major operations and two arthroscopic surgeries on the left knee -- said he's been doing leg lifts to strengthen his left quad.
"Hopefully I'll be awarded this other year (of eligibility) and look out," he grinned.
Earl, a senior, has appealed to the Collegiate Commissioners Association for another year of eligibility.
Perfect from line: KU senior guard Ryan Robertson hit 10 of 10 free throws. It's the best effort by a Jayhawk since Rex Walters made 11 of 11 in 1992.
"Dang. I should have gotten fouled once more," Robertson joked.
He said he's benefited from KU's recent free throw sessions. The Jayhawks are each shooting 1,000 before Christmas.
"One of the good things that comes from the fact we have shot free throws poorly as a team is we ALL have had to shoot a lot of free throws," Robertson said. "I've been happy with my percentage but I am a member of this team and am working on free throws, too."
For the year, Robertson has drained 26 of 27.
Significant wins: Chicago native and KU freshman Marlon London scored two points and grabbed four rebounds Saturday. He played significant minutes in this week's wins over Illinois teams DePaul and U of I.
"It means bragging rights are mine," he exclaimed.
Stats, facts: KU senior forward Nick Bradford grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. He also had four assists and three steals. ... Robertson had five assists and three turnovers. ... KU won its eighth straight game in Kemper Arena.