OAKLAND, CALIF. Keith Langford wasn't about to wear one of those spooky hockey masks to protect his broken nose on Saturday at the Arena in Oakland.
"It's not necessary. I mean, what is plastic gonna do? Plastic isn't gonna stop somebody from elbowing me in the face," Langford, Kansas' sophomore guard, said after scoring 12 points in 33 minutes and playing some dandy defense in the Jayhawks' 80-67 victory over Cal-Berkeley.
The 6-foot-4 Langford was playing less than 24 hours after busting his nose at Friday's practice.
"I was a little light-headed in warmups. Other than that I felt fine," Langford said.
He was playing defense against walk-on Christian Moody at practice Friday when Moody, "was swiping through with the ball. I got too close and he swiped me across the face with his elbow.
"It was pretty painful. I went to the hospital and got X-rays. It was broken in two places, which surprised me. It was pretty painful all through the night. I took pills trying to take the pain away."
It was unknown if Langford could play until pregame warmups.
"If he had any dizziness or light-headedness we weren't going to play him. In fact, the lineups in the locker room we had Keith/Michael Lee up on the board," Williams said.
Lee, who contributed five points in 14 minutes, said he would have welcomed a start, but "I walked up to Keith and said, 'I hope you are OK,''' Lee said. "It was an opportunity for me to do some things, but I wanted Keith to be 100 percent and play in the game."
The bottom line?
"I didn't want to come all the way to California and sit the bench," Langford said.
Langford's ailment gave the rest of the team teasing fodder.
"The guys have been teasing me some," Moody said, "but Keith came up to me and said it's part of the game."
Langford should be able to play with his broken nose, which he said will take six or seven weeks to heal.
"I just have to try to not get in the way of any more elbows," Langford said.
KU trainer Mark Cairns said Langford's breathing passages would be monitored, but the nose should heal as long as it doesn't get hit again.¢
Miles rebounds: Aaron Miles had 16 points and 11 assists. He was 1-of-11 with seven turnovers at Oregon, his last trip to the West Coast.
"I always like to play well on the West Coast in front of family and friends," said Miles, whose parents attended the Newell Challenge.
Fellow Oregonian Lee, who also scored five points, also had family on hand.
"As far as the Oregon game, I was rushing things just like everybody on the team. That was not a good game for us, but I didn't take it personally," Miles said.¢
Mum on Giddens: KU coach Roy Williams had no comment when asked about KU signee J.R. Giddens, who at 1:30 p.m. Monday in Oklahoma juvenile court faces arraignment on felony theft charges regarding his role in a shopping spree at an Oklahoma City Wal-Mart. Giddens has been charged with conspiracy to commit felony theft, grand larceny from a retailer, concealing stolen property and obtaining property by false pretenses.¢
Pollard on hand: Former KU forward Scot Pollard attended the game with wife, Mindy. He's currently on the injured list of the Sacramento Kings because of a cracked bone in his lower back.
"I'm happy to be here watching the Jayhawks, but I'd prefer to be at our shootaround (in Sacramento)," said Pollard, who drove back in time for the Kings' home game. "I've been on the injured-reserve list. I've missed 28, 29 games and will miss at least 35 total. It's kind of embarrassing to keep getting checks on the first and 15th of the month. The guilt is piling up. But I've got to do what's best for the long run and rest it (his back)."
Pollard's wife on Oct. 17 gave birth to the couple's second daughter, Tallula. Daughter Lolly is 4.
"We have this thing about the letter 'L,''' Pollard joked.¢
Stats, facts: KU's players attended the Golden State Warriors-Toronto Raptors game on Friday night. ... KU has won a season-high four straight games. ... KU is 13-3 versus Cal. ... Nick Collison tied Pollard for seventh on KU's career rebound chart. ... Collison nearly had a double-double at halftime with 11 points and nine boards. ... Kirk Hinrich had 12 threes in his last three games. He hit three versus Cal. ... Miles set a Newell Challenge record with 11 assists.