New York Kansas University's Thanksgiving-week trip to New York had a lot in common with garbage in a midtown Manhattan alley.
Ã¢ÂÂWe had a lot of aggravating things after we got up here. I think it affected how we played, and we canÃ¢ÂÂt have those,Ã¢ÂÂ KU coach Roy Williams said Friday after the No. 2-ranked JayhawksÃ¢ÂÂ 83-73 loss to No. 8 Florida in the Preseason NIT consolation game. KU fell to North Carolina in the semis, 67-56.
Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs team stuff, not a problem. We took care of it.Ã¢ÂÂ
Williams and KUÃ¢ÂÂs seniors were steamed some players arrived late for meals, snacks and various get-togethers.
At KU, itÃ¢ÂÂs a sign of team unity to be prompt at all times.
Ã¢ÂÂCoach just basically said he wasnÃ¢ÂÂt going to take it anymore. He said he was fed up with it,Ã¢ÂÂ freshman Jeff Hawkins said, like all Jayhawks refusing to name the guilty parties.
The most aggravating thing that happened in New York, of course, was senior guard Kirk Hinrich spraining his back during the first half of the North Carolina game.
Hinrich showed a lot of toughness in playing the rest of that game and 31 minutes against Florida.
Ã¢ÂÂKirk canÃ¢ÂÂt even take a deep breath without being in pain,Ã¢ÂÂ senior Nick Collison said. Ã¢ÂÂNinety eight percent of the players in America wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt have played tonight. I donÃ¢ÂÂt care if he scores another point in his career. What he did against Stanford and tonight Ã¢ÂÂ: he is a fighter.Ã¢ÂÂ
Hinrich played with a severe ankle sprain in last MarchÃ¢ÂÂs NCAA Tournament victory over Stanford, less than 48 hours after wrenching his ankle against Holy Cross.
Hinrich says this injury is worse.
Ã¢ÂÂThe back Ã¢ÂÂ: I mean, you canÃ¢ÂÂt move,Ã¢ÂÂ said Hinrich, who hit two of eight shots and one of seven threes in scoring five points versus Florida. Ã¢ÂÂYou canÃ¢ÂÂt twist. Stand-still shooting is not horrible, but to go hard and pull up is tough.
Ã¢ÂÂI felt better today. After the game Wednesday I couldnÃ¢ÂÂt do anything.Ã¢ÂÂ
Hinrich received heat and ice treatments Wednesday through Friday. He also had several massage treatments and electrical stimulation.
Ã¢ÂÂHe was a hurt and miserable guy,Ã¢ÂÂ trainer Mark Cairns said, noting Hinrich will undergo testing this weekend with the tests to be completed and released on Monday.
The good news is that all indications are Hinrich is OK and shouldnÃ¢ÂÂt be out of action.
Ã¢ÂÂHeÃ¢ÂÂs got a little back sprain,Ã¢ÂÂ Williams said. Ã¢ÂÂHe came down on it (foot) wrong the other night and in the first half felt pain. As luck would have it he fell on it again later in the same spot.
Ã¢ÂÂHe said he was having trouble putting on his shoes last night. I said, Ã¢ÂÂ'So do I, but I donÃ¢ÂÂt have to run 94 feet several times a game.Ã¢ÂÂ He had some muscle problems back there. Just as theyÃ¢ÂÂd gotten it under control, then this happens.
Ã¢ÂÂAll of a sudden he comes down on it, has a little bit of a blow (versus Carolina) and thereÃ¢ÂÂs a sprain in there.Ã¢ÂÂ
Doctors and spine and back specialists checked Hinrich in New York.
Ã¢ÂÂHe loves to play. HeÃ¢ÂÂs a tough kid,Ã¢ÂÂ Williams said. Ã¢ÂÂLooking back now, I probably shouldnÃ¢ÂÂt have played him. I was talking to him during warmups and he said, Ã¢ÂÂ'Coach I really can play and want to play and think I can help us.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂHe took some medication and stretched a lot. He got some treatment and another treatment when we got to the Garden. He felt much better than heÃ¢ÂÂs felt and wanted to play.Ã¢ÂÂ
HinrichÃ¢ÂÂs mom and dad also gave Williams the OK. After all, Captain Kirk has never missed a game in his KU career.
Ã¢ÂÂI want to play. IÃ¢ÂÂve only got so many games left in my career,Ã¢ÂÂ Hinrich said. Ã¢ÂÂCoach said heÃ¢ÂÂd give me a chance to warm up and I felt OK. I fell down one time the first half and then it started bothering me again.Ã¢ÂÂ
There is still hope: The Jayhawks have lost two games in November for the first time in the Williams era and are 2-2 for the first time since the 1987-1988 title season.
Ã¢ÂÂWe got beat by Ball State last year. It doesnÃ¢ÂÂt do you any good to go undefeated in November. ItÃ¢ÂÂs a long season,Ã¢ÂÂ Collison said.
Williams noted: Ã¢ÂÂI told the guys, KirkÃ¢ÂÂs and NickÃ¢ÂÂs freshman year we go to Alaska and win the Alaska Shootout and everybody feels great, but so what. We go to Coaches Versus Cancer tournament and win their sophomore year. Last year we lost our first game and end up in the Final Four. They remember their junior year better than their freshman and sophomore years. WeÃ¢ÂÂve got to build from today, build at our first practice, second practice, third practice from today.Ã¢ÂÂ
Of the 2-2 mark, Wayne Simien said: Ã¢ÂÂWhether weÃ¢ÂÂre ranked or not, people expect banners hung. Whether weÃ¢ÂÂre No. 1 or 15, banners are expected to be hung. WeÃ¢ÂÂve got to take this out on each other and work hard at practice.Ã¢ÂÂ
All-tourney: Simien made the all-tournament team with Matt Bonner, Florida; Josh Childress, Stanford; and Raymond Felton and Jackie Manuel, North Carolina. The MVP was CarolinaÃ¢ÂÂs Rashad McCants.