Archive for Tuesday, December 5, 2000

Jayhawks hobbled by injuries

Boschee, Gregory skip Monday practice

December 5, 2000


Add another player to Kansas basketball's list of walking wounded.

KU junior Jeff Boschee sat out Monday's practice after suffering a mild left ankle sprain at practice on Sunday.

No X-rays are planned, and the junior combo guard isn't expected to miss Thursday's 6:05 p.m. game at Wake Forest.

Meanwhile, senior forward Kenny Gregory also sat out Monday's practice as he rests a stress fracture in a joint in his right foot. He's also not expected to miss any games. No surgery or immobilization of the foot is planned.

"I'm trying to rest it as much as possible," Gregory said Monday. "I've not been practicing as much."

He was given the option "of sitting out or taking a lot of pain. I'll try to test it out and play through the pain and hopefully I'll be all right," Gregory said.

KU coach Roy Williams doesn't know if Gregory's foot will bother him all season.

"They say it's not a bad stress fracture," Williams said. "It doesn't show up as a hot spot on the MRI. Yet it is painful. He didn't do anything today. We held him out completely. The only way to get rid of it is take six weeks off. Kenny is a senior. He wants to try to play with pain. We'll have to see whether he can do it.

"Jeff sprained his ankle last night and was not able to go today. It made it tough for practice to say the least. Aches, pains, injuries some are more difficult to handle than others. I hope Kenny's is not like that."

KU's other guards with leg problems Mario Kinsey and Luke Axtell practiced Monday. Kinsey, a freshman backup point guard, had surgery two weeks ago to repair anterior compartment syndrome in his left leg. He still is wearing a heavy wrap on his lower leg.

Axtell, a senior shooting guard, missed KU's first four games because of a sprained left ankle. He's re-tweaked the ankle a couple of times and practiced full-go Monday with the ankle taped.

Junior shooting guard John Crider, who will likely transfer to Washburn University, has been out several weeks with a torn quad muscle in his right leg.

With so many guards hobbled, KU administrative assistant Jerod Haase was forced out of retirement to practice on Monday. Former Jayhawks Nick Bradford and Rex Walters, who have helped out at practice in the past, are now at Kansas City Knights camp.

Even one of KU's high school signees is banged up.

Crowley, Texas, shooting guard Keith Langford, who scored 37 points in a game this season, has some knee pain caused by rubbing of a rough edge of his meniscus. He missed a North Crowley High game Saturday, a day after scoring 31 points, and is being evaluated game to game.

He likely will need arthroscopic surgery after the season or during the season if the pain becomes intolerable.

The Jayhawks played a home game Thursday against Illinois State, then practiced on Friday. On Saturday, Williams gave the team the day off. The coach kept working, however.

Williams flew to Los Angeles on Saturday on a recruiting trip. He watched three high school basketball games.

"It's a lot of fun to fly 2 1/2 hours on the day off. It's part of it and we realize that," Williams said Monday night on his Hawk Talk radio show.

KU, which signed four players in the fall, has one scholarship left in recruiting. Williams has said he'd like to sign a big man this spring.

Williams watched North Carolina's lopsided loss to Kentucky on TV Saturday in Los Angeles.

"There wasn't one time I thought, 'If I was on the bench I'd do this,''' Williams said. Last summer, he declined a chance to return to his alma mater to coach the Tar Heels last summer.

"I was a fan of Matt and North Carolina, cheering for 'em and telling the television the officials made every wrong call against North Carolina. I'm just pulling for Matt Doherty," he added, referring to first-year Tar Heel coach Doherty, a former KU assistant.

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