Burlington High senior point guard Tyrel Reed, who has yet to play in a game in January because of a severely sprained right ankle, has resumed running full speed and cutting at practice.
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Kansas University signee could return to game action in a week or so.
"I won't bring him back too early," said Stacy Reed, Burlington High's coach and Tyrel's dad. "We are not in dire straights here by any means (Wildcats are 6-0 with Tyrel and 4-1 without him). I want him to have a long and successful career.
"We want him back when he is fully ready. We want to win and play well in all our games, but the end of the season is more important."
Reed, who has had an MRI on his ankle, did not suffer any structural damage when he blocked a teammate's shot and landed on the player's ankle at practice on Jan. 1.
"You talk about an ankle sprain, he got the whole ankle," Stacy Reed said of Tyrel, who averages 27.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 6.0 steals a game.
"They (doctors) are surprised he has so much bruising on the bone. But all the ligaments are perfect. They said, 'It's up to you and him and how he feels (as to when he can return).'
"He wants to come back now, but it's still pretty tender on the cut. We'll slowly play it by ear. It's kind of a day-to-day thing."
Reed - who has made 52 percent of his shots and 46 percent of his threes - has stayed in shape by swimming at 6 a.m. every morning and again after school. He also has various treatments three times a day.
"It's amazing how many people will come up and say, 'Will he play tonight?'" Stacy Reed said. "There's great interest. I said, 'He's played in over 100 games in Burlington. He never missed a game in seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th, 11th grade.' I just want him back when he's completely healthy and ready to play."
Reed had a season-high scoring output of 44 points against Humboldt. His dad admits Tyrel could have topped the 50-point mark in some other games.
"I don't believe in beating teams (badly) and having the best player score so many points. I'm not that kind of coach and don't want my son to be that type of person," Stacy Reed said.
"There are games he could have scored 50, 60 points. He doesn't care about that. He's more willing to make sure his teammates are having a good time and winning. He doesn't care about anything but winning. It's what I'm so proud about."
Stacy Reed hadn't heard whether Tyrel was being considered for any of the country's top postseason all-star games.
Tyrel made a name for himself on the national level last summer by making the 24-player all-star team at the Adidas camp in Georgia.
"If that is what you have to do ... to score so many points to get in those games, he could care less," Stacy Reed said. "Ty can play against anybody. He will surprise a bunch of people during his college career with his intelligence and some other things. He understands the game."
¢GameDay coming to town: Students and fans are invited to Allen Fieldhouse on Feb. 3 to watch a live broadcast of ESPN College GameDay. ESPN will broadcast live from Allen Fieldhouse that morning, and ESPN that night will televise the game between KU and Texas A&M.;
The GameDay set will be located on the floor of the Fieldhouse. Fans will have open seating in the east stands for the morning activities. The event is free to the public, and doors will open at 8 a.m. There will be an ESPN SportsCenter spot at 9 a.m., followed by a live, one-hour show from 10-11 a.m.
The KU pep band and spirit squads will perform, and free merchandise will be handed out throughout the morning. KU coach Bill Self will conduct a live interview with the GameDay crew during the 10-11 a.m. hour.
Additionally, the Booth Family Hall of Athletics will open at 8 a.m.
GameDay also will air live from the Fieldhouse from 7-8 p.m. Only ticketed fans for the A&M-KU; game will be admitted to that portion of Gameday live.
This marks the second time ESPN College GameDay has originated from Allen Fieldhouse. In its inaugural year, the GameDay crew witnessed then-No. 7 Kansas defeat Texas, 90-65, on Jan. 29, 2005.
¢Mean fan: The Dallas Morning News' Tim MacMahon heard a Baylor fan behind press row bait KU's Brandon Rush into some trash talk during the first half of the Jayhawks' 82-56 rout of the Bears on Wednesday night in Waco, Texas.
"Y'all lose in the first round again," the fans said.
"At least we'll make it," Rush said of the NCAA Tournament.
The fan had no further reply.
"I heard a few things," Rush told the media after the game. "They told us we'd lose in the first round. It's what I heard."
¢RPI talk: KU is ranked No. 13 in the country in this week's RPI ratings as compiled on kenpom.com. KU is 40th in strength of schedule. Oklahoma State is No. 12 in RPI, Texas Tech 18, Texas A&M; 25 and Texas 53. The Big 12 ranks seventh of 32 conferences in RPI. The league trails the ACC, Pac-10, SEC, Big Ten, Missouri Valley and Big East. The Big 12 ranks 12th in strength of schedule.