Ironman Kirk Hinrich will sit out the first game of his college basketball career on Wednesday night.
Hinrich, a 6-foot-3 senior guard from Sioux City, Iowa, who has played in 108 straight games, will not dress for the Kansas-Central Missouri State contest, which tips off at 7 p.m. at Allen Fieldhouse.
Hinrich is expected to be back for SaturdayÃ¢ÂÂs contest at Oregon, keeping alive his streak of consecutive games played against NCAA Div. I teams.
He suffered a back strain in last WednesdayÃ¢ÂÂs 67-56 Preseason NIT semifinal loss to North Carolina and played in pain during FridayÃ¢ÂÂs 83-73 loss to Florida in the consolation finals in New York.
Ã¢ÂÂWeÃ¢ÂÂve done extensive tests on Kirk and it is still diagnosed as a back strain,Ã¢ÂÂ KU coach Roy Williams said. Ã¢ÂÂI decided I wanted to see if itÃ¢ÂÂd help him to have five straight days off with no practice. I fully expect him to resume practice later in the week and then play against Oregon.Ã¢ÂÂ
The Jayhawks did not practice Saturday and Sunday. Everybody but Hinrich practiced two hours on Monday. Hinrich took the court and shot free throws after the practice.
Ã¢ÂÂHopefully with five days off, itÃ¢ÂÂll be better. IÃ¢ÂÂm not looking back on it, (but) I probably shouldnÃ¢ÂÂt have played him Friday night,Ã¢ÂÂ Williams said. Ã¢ÂÂHe felt much better and thought he could go. He wanted to try it desperately. He wanted to see if he could help us win, yet his back bothered him so much heÃ¢ÂÂs 2-for-8 (shooting).Ã¢ÂÂ
Even with a bad back, Hinrich earned defensive player of the game honors against the Gators.
Ã¢ÂÂHe is just relentless, as tough as you can possibly be,Ã¢ÂÂ Williams said.
Sophomore power forward Wayne Simien, who twisted his right ankle twice against North Carolina, practiced Monday, and barring any other problems, should play Wednesday. Simien has tendinitis in his right ankle.
Ã¢ÂÂHe will probably have some pain in the ankle a long time, maybe even the whole season,Ã¢ÂÂ Williams said. Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs something we can rest him for two months and thereÃ¢ÂÂs a chance heÃ¢ÂÂd be better. (Even then) you donÃ¢ÂÂt know if heÃ¢ÂÂd hurt it the first day he comes out or starts trying to condition. Wayne is a tough youngster. He had a tough time in New York, but Wayne worked very hard in practice today and is doing some nice things.Ã¢ÂÂÃ¢ÂÂ¢
No intensity: Williams told his Monday night Ã¢ÂÂHawk TalkÃ¢ÂÂ radio show audience he still doesnÃ¢ÂÂt understand the teamÃ¢ÂÂs lack of fire in WednesdayÃ¢ÂÂs loss to North Carolina.
Ã¢ÂÂI was stunned. Mike Montgomery of Stanford said, Ã¢ÂÂ'Roy IÃ¢ÂÂve seen your teams for 15 years. IÃ¢ÂÂve probably seen 50 games and IÃ¢ÂÂve never seen a team of yours that little emotionally into it and not being alert and not being as active as they were that night.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂI said, Ã¢ÂÂ'I agree with you.Ã¢ÂÂ Why did it happen? WeÃ¢ÂÂve had some meetings and talks trying to figure out why it happened and make sure it doesnÃ¢ÂÂt happen again.Ã¢ÂÂ
The Jayhawk players and coaches held a team meeting after eating 40 pounds of turkey, 8 pounds of ham and 248 home made dinner rolls at the home of Roy and Wanda Williams on Sunday night.
Ã¢ÂÂWeÃ¢ÂÂve had a couple instances, guys showing up a little bit late or right on time. That kind of thing. I ended up blasting them in New York. I said, Ã¢ÂÂ'We donÃ¢ÂÂt act like that. ThatÃ¢ÂÂs going to change. WeÃ¢ÂÂre not going to have that any more,Ã¢ÂÂÃ¢ÂÂÃ¢ÂÂ Williams said. Ã¢ÂÂKids have to step forward. This team is pulling together even more. WeÃ¢ÂÂve had some open discussions like last night after Thanksgiving dinner. ItÃ¢ÂÂs something IÃ¢ÂÂm not that concerned about. I think itÃ¢ÂÂs going to be a basketball team that will be together.Ã¢ÂÂÃ¢ÂÂ¢
Hard workout: Williams was active at practice Monday, barking orders all over the court during drills.
Ã¢ÂÂWe had a really good, brisk practice for two hours,Ã¢ÂÂ Williams said. Ã¢ÂÂWeÃ¢ÂÂve got to have a lot of those.Ã¢ÂÂ¢
Free speech: Williams was asked by a Hawk Talk caller if heÃ¢ÂÂd ever Ã¢ÂÂhad a talk withÃ¢ÂÂ one of the mothers of a KU player who the caller said likes to Ã¢ÂÂstir things up,Ã¢ÂÂ on Internet message boards.
Williams said he wasnÃ¢ÂÂt sure who the caller was talking about. The caller was referring to Keith LangfordÃ¢ÂÂs mom, who is a frequent contributor on phog.netÃ¢ÂÂs message board. She speaks her mind - with some positive and negative comments about recruiting, coaching decisions in games and the like.
Ã¢ÂÂI never had a discussion with Ã¢ÂÂem about it,Ã¢ÂÂ Williams said. Ã¢ÂÂIt is America. Do I appreciate it? If itÃ¢ÂÂs negative, not one iota. I donÃ¢ÂÂt care if itÃ¢ÂÂs your mom, my mom, anybodyÃ¢ÂÂs mom, I donÃ¢ÂÂt appreciate any negativity about our basketball team. But it is America.Ã¢ÂÂ
Williams isnÃ¢ÂÂt a big fan of the Internet.
Ã¢ÂÂIf you ever see Roy Williams in a chat room you know itÃ¢ÂÂs a lie,Ã¢ÂÂ he said.