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Archive for Thursday, November 28, 2002

Hinrich bothered by bad back

November 28, 2002

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— Kirk Hinrich doesnâÂÂt know whatâÂÂs wrong with his back.

He just knows it hurts.

âÂÂItâÂÂs pretty sore. I donâÂÂt know whatâÂÂs going wrong. ItâÂÂs been bothering me a little, but nothing like this,â Hinrich, Kansas UniversityâÂÂs senior guard, said after scoring 13 points in 35 minutes of WednesdayâÂÂs 67-56 loss to North Carolina at Madison Square Garden.

Hinrich felt back pain throughout much of the game after making a breakaway layup about six minutes in.

âÂÂI made the layup and landed on my feet. I didnâÂÂt fall or anything,â Hinrich said.

KUâÂÂs training staff said Hinrich would stretch and undergo massage and other forms of treatment as he prepares for FridayâÂÂs game against Florida (5:30 p.m. CST, no TV).

No extensive tests will be performed on Hinrich until the Jayhawks return to Lawrence on Saturday or Sunday.

âÂÂI donâÂÂt know,â Hinrich said, asked if heâÂÂd play Friday. âÂÂWeâÂÂll try to fix whatever it is.âÂÂ

Meanwhile, sophomore forward Wayne Simien twisted his right ankle twice. He has been suffering from tendinitis in the same ankle all season.

âÂÂI rolled it twice early in the first half. I got it taped. It was not a factor (in how he played),â said Simien, who had 11 points and eight boards in 32 minutes. âÂÂI was getting good looks, just not getting it down.âÂÂ

Asked if the ankle was OK, he said, âÂÂNo, but IâÂÂm going to play.âÂÂ

Meanwhile, Keith Langford, who suffered foul problems and had just seven points in 29 minutes, suffered a cut on his right calf and had it taped heavily the final half. He didnâÂÂt think heâÂÂd need any stitches.

The Jayhawks had as many mental problems as physical after their first loss of the season.

Hinrich said some players had shown up late for things like dinner and meetings on the trip to New York.

Nobody would reveal the culprits, but the violations couldnâÂÂt have been too serious since coach Roy Williams didnâÂÂt hold any regulars, or regular subs, out of the game.

âÂÂI donâÂÂt know,â senior Nick Collison said, asked why guys would be late. âÂÂI canâÂÂt tell why people are doing things, but this is going to change,â he added after his 19-point effort, hinting he might take even more of a leadership role.

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This, that: KUâÂÂs 56 points were the Jayhawksâ lowest total since since scoring 57 versus Oklahoma on March 10, 2001 âÂÂ: KU had just two threes and 11 assists. âÂÂ: Sean May had five blocks for UNC. âÂÂ: UNC had just 12 fouls. âÂÂ: The Heels had 14 steals, most by a KU foe since South Carolina State on Dec. 15, 2001.

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Emotional moment: Kansas coach Roy Williams asked the teamâÂÂs bus driver to drive past Ground Zero on Wednesday afternoon, after the teamâÂÂs shootaround at Madison Square Garden. The players didnâÂÂt get off the bus but listened intently as the driver reminded the Jayhawks of the happenings of Sept. 11, 2001.

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Norm to receive award: Missouri coaching legend Norm Stewart attended FridayâÂÂs game, but not just to support his friend, KU coach Williams.

Stewart will be honored with the âÂÂDean Smith Awardâ for career coaching achievement on Friday night.

âÂÂItâÂÂs a nice honor. ItâÂÂs in DeanâÂÂs name,â Stewart said. âÂÂItâÂÂs presented at the NIT, which at one time was more dominant than the NCAA Tournament, back in the âÂÂ50s and âÂÂ60s. ItâÂÂs still a great preseason tournament. These are four very good teams.

âÂÂPeople always want to play in the Garden and this tournament carries some prestige in the preseason.âÂÂ

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Famous faces in crowd: Ex-Jayhawk All-American Danny Manning attended with his wife, Julie, and children Evan and Taylor. Manning often practices with the Jayhawks, since he has not caught on with a pro team yet this season. âÂÂ: Actor Peter Boyle of âÂÂEverybody Loves Raymondâ attended not to root on UNC frosh Raymond Felton, but to watch good college hoops.

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Familiar foes: Williams had to be somewhat quiet in barking out plays during WednesdayâÂÂs game because of the fact North Carolina and KU run many of the same plays.

âÂÂOur terminology is the same, so you canâÂÂt make calls too loud because they would know,â Williams said.

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