Archive for Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Jayhawks shake cramps

November 21, 2001


It's hard to say what left a worst taste in Kansas forward Nick Collison's mouth ... Monday's loss to Ball State or the Gatorade and salt concoction he drank before Tuesday's game against Houston.

"It was kind of gross, but I think it worked," said Collison, who scored 22 points in KU's 95-78 Maui Invitational loser's bracket victory over the Cougars.

He experienced no leg cramps a day after being rendered helpless during the second half of KU's loss to Ball State.

"I was worried about it because I know I cramped so much yesterday. It was natural to think it'd happen again today," Collison said. "I drank so much Gatorade between yesterday and today.

"I was a little sore, but I started playing and forgot about it. I wanted to stay up and not sit on the bench (when he left the game) or in the locker room. I think that's what happened yesterday."

The three Jayhawks who had cramps on Monday Collison, Aaron Miles and Drew Gooden chugged enormous amounts of liquid Monday night and Tuesday.

"Man we drank so much ... salt, shakes, Gatorade, carbos," Gooden said after scoring 19 points and grabbing eight boards. "All this stuff. Last night ... I've never drank so many fluids in my whole life."

Miles, a freshman who suffered cramping on the final play of the Ball State game, also filled up.

"I drank Gatorade with salt. I ate bananas," Miles said after dishing seven assists against two turnovers in 19 minutes. "I consumed a lot of Gatorade. I played all right. As long as we won, it doesn't matter."

As to Monday's cramping, Gooden had a simple explanation.

"I mean it's just the heat," he said. "You lose so much sweat in this gym. You lose so much fluids in this gym your muscles start cramping.

"It's what keep your muscles working fluid. Once you lose all your salt in your body your muscles cramp. The lactic acid kicks in."

Team doctor Larry Magee discussed the preparation for Tuesday's game.

"We paid a little bit closer attention to salt replacement and fluids," Magee said. "We made a big effort last night to have more salt and fluids. I think sometimes our athletes don't eat enough salt. Everybody thinks salt is a bad thing. We went mainly with salt on food and electrolyte solution. We put it (salt) in the drink."

Why the cramping Monday in the stuffy 90 degree Lahaina Civic Center gym?

"There are so many factors," the doctor said. "Being acclimated to the environment ... it's warm in Kansas but hasn't been this warm, sure not this humid. I went swimming yesterday morning. Today the swim suit is still wet. It's terribly humid."

Ball State didn't suffer any cramping until the end of Monday's game when center Lonnie Jones cramped but refused to leave the game. Duke's Chris Duhon had to be taken to the hospital for cramps Monday, while South Carolina's Aaron Lucas was carried off the court after a first-round game. Other players, like most of Ball State's, had no problem.

"I don't know why that is," Magee said, commenting on why some players cramp and some don't. "I think certain people are more prone to heat cramps, muscle makeup and things like that. I can't give you a great answer."

One theory going around the Civic Center was perhaps soothing hot tubs at the KU team hotel early in the week might have caused the cramping. Some of the Jayhawks who sat in the hotel hot tub cramped, yet many others didn't.

"I guess theoretically if you stay in a hot tub a long period of time that could happen, but I think it's more the heat and humidity," Magee said. "The heat and humidity is great here."

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