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Archive for Saturday, April 5, 2008

Jayhawks’ Stewart suffers bad break

Kansas guard Rodrick Stewart (5) pounds his fist on the ground as coach Bill Self and trainers tend to Stewart's right knee. Stewart fractured his right kneecap during a dunk drill, ending his season.

Kansas guard Rodrick Stewart (5) pounds his fist on the ground as coach Bill Self and trainers tend to Stewart's right knee. Stewart fractured his right kneecap during a dunk drill, ending his season.

April 5, 2008

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2008 NCAA Tournament

Final Four

2008 NCAA Tournament

Get your March Madness fix at KUSports.com.

— Rodrick Stewart slipped on a wet spot on the Alamodome floor as he went up to attempt an acrobatic slam dunk at the end of Kansas University's shootaround Friday afternoon.

Just like that, the senior's college basketball career was over.

Stewart fractured his right kneecap after planting then rising on the dunk try, which was designed to thrill the 10,000 or so fans in attendance at the Final Four practice sessions.

The 6-foot-4 Seattle native, who has averaged 2.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 33 games but has been used sparingly of late, was attended to on the floor by trainers and doctors, then was taken off on a cart to the locker room area where he had X-rays showing the fracture.

Stewart will stay in San Antonio with his teammates and sit on the bench with his knee immobilized for today's 7:47 p.m. national semifinal game against North Carolina.

He'll have surgery next week after returning to Lawrence. The prognosis is he will be able to play again. Stewart has said he'd like to continue his career professionally next season.

"I've got to get it together. I feel terrible for him," said KU coach Bill Self, indicating the late-practice dunk drill was supposed to be just for the freshmen, but Stewart "got excited (and went in for the dunk).

"It's terrible for anybody to get hurt like that. For a fifth-year senior to not have a chance to run out of that tunnel at the Final Four, not be part of the game-time atmosphere, is disappointing. He'll postpone surgery until next week so he can sit on the bench, be with the team."

Stewart who was stricken with tonsillitis in Omaha, Neb., site of KU's first- and second-round games, has played just 12 minutes total in the last eight games.

He has lost his handful of minutes to senior Jeremy Case.

"Our locker room is pretty subdued. It was such a freak deal," Self said. "The doctors said they've never seen anything like this, how it happened. Our guys will rally around it because Rod will make sure they do. The doctor said it could have been worse, but the X-ray shows he'll heal up fine. It's going to be a process for him."

The Jayhawks indeed were stunned to see Stewart's knee out of place as he sat on the floor in intense pain. He waved to the crowd before he was whisked away.

"We were on high on life. It brings you down, really brings you down," KU junior Brandon Rush said of Stewart not playing in the Final Four.

"It's tough for us," sophomore Darrell Arthur said. "We're going to try to surround him with our love and try to support him the whole way."

As far as the impact on the team ... "I think it will have some impact (on team). Rod worked so hard to get to this point. This is his senior year," sophomore guard Sherron Collins said. "It (stinks) for him to go out like this, not even be able to participate in the Final Four. It is just another lump we have to get over. But now it's for Rod, use it as an energy boost for him."

It's likely senior Case, who played nine minutes last week against Villanova and two against Davidson, could be called upon if KU needs a ninth player to enter the game.

"I am shocked it happened, that something like this could happen," Case said. "When he went down, I thought he was joking. We're used to Rod missing dunks, and he always has something to say (about it). This gives us a bad feel. The mood of the team is down. We'll try to focus and rally around Rod."

Extra! Extra! Write the headline

So, just how would you capture the euphoria of victory - or, god forbid, the agony of defeat - in just a few words?

As the Jayhawks get ready for their big game against North Carolina in the Final Four, we're giving everyone a chance to submit their suggested headlines for Sunday morning's paper.

Some advice: Be clever, descriptive and, of course, concise. Remember: Your optimistic words just might end up being prophetic.

For now, we'll stick with taking ideas for the national semifinal, the one pitting Bill Self and the No. 1-seeded Jayhawks against Roy Williams and his No. 1-seeded Tar Heels.

Show off your headlines by going to www2.ljworld.com/headline and leaving your suggestion in the comments.

Comments

jonny_quest 6 years, 8 months ago

Rodrick Stewart "went up to attempt an 'acrobatic' slam dunk"..."designed to thrill the 10,000 or so fans in attendance at the Final Four practice." It is selfish, stupid and irresponsible to put your team in jeporady one day before the game for no other reason than to show-off during a practice in front of a crowd. Is it unfortunate...sure it is...for the team. However, Rodrick Stewart deserves no sympathy. By the time any player reaches college level basketball, especially the level of KU, then they should know better than to risk injury from hot-dogging. They hear this countless times from their coaches, too.

sourpuss 6 years, 8 months ago

That is a terrible thing to say, j-q. There was a wet spot on the floor. I do not think he was doing something he thought was risky. Practicing at all can be risky. When I played sports, our coach didn't want us to scrimmage too much because people could get hurt, just like in a game. People did get hurt at practice. It was a freak accident, it wasn't his fault. If anything, the towel boys at the venue need to keep a better eye on the state of the floor. I'm sure they'll be more careful about that now.

spiff 6 years, 8 months ago

please disregard the jerk posting directly above metough break Rod, actual human beings do feel sympathy for you

Eride 6 years, 8 months ago

Rod could of slipped and fractured something just running a drill if there was a wet spot on the floor... the reason for the injury wasn't hot dogging... it was an accident, plain and simple.

ralphralph 6 years, 8 months ago

j-q probably didn't think that girl in the snowboarding should have hot-dogged that last jump and lost her Olympic gold ... her interview should be reviewed after everything like this that happens ... she basically said, "Hey, I do this because it's fun. If I can't have fun, I don't want to be here. It's not just about winning, it's about the joy of the sport." My first reaction was sort of like j-q, that maybe the dunking thing wasn't a great idea, but after sleeping on it ... Hey, it's supposed to be fun, and you could get hurt tying your shoes, so you gotta live for the now sometimes.

ralphralph 6 years, 8 months ago

p.s. -- do you really bring in J Case rather than, say, Ty Reed? It might depend on whether anybody else can shoot tonight, unlike the last game, but I would have liked to seen Bill put Reed out there and see if he might catch fire ... when he's hot, he can flat shoot the lights out, even from very deep 3 land ... but we usually don't get to find out, even when we're up 25....

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