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Archive for Friday, November 6, 2009

Gary Bedore’s KU Basketball Notebook

November 6, 2009

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Self hoping Henry returns Tuesday

Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self hopes injured freshman guard C.J. Henry will be able to play in Tuesday’s exhibition finale against Pittsburg State.

“He needs an opportunity to get out there and show what he can do with confidence,” Self said of the 6-foot-4 Oklahoma City native, who couldn’t play in Tuesday’s rout of Fort Hays State because of a nagging right knee injury.

“Not that he lacks for confidence, but he needs to see some good things happen because he hasn’t been out there,” Self added.

Henry, who gave up a pro baseball career after three seasons, sat out last hoops season at the University of Memphis because of a cracked bone in his foot.

“I am concerned, not concerned as much about the injury as the fact he’s missed so much time (week and a half),” Self said. “Once you start playing games, it’s hard to get that rhythm and be out there. Once you start playing games for real, you don’t put guys in the game just to get them in the game. He needs to be out there. As far as long-term health, I’m not concerned about that.”

Taylor will likely start next week

While noting he doesn’t put any stock in starting lineups this early, Self said “we’ll probably more than likely start Tyshawn Tuesday.”

He was referring to Tyshawn Taylor, who was replaced by Tyrel Reed in Tuesday’s opening lineup against Fort Hays State because of careless turnovers at practice.

Big O in town to hunt

Former KU center Greg Ostertag made a surprise appearance in the media room following Self’s regular weekly news conference Thursday. The 36-year-old former NBA player said he’s in town for hunting season. He told the Journal-World in September he hoped to make a comeback in the NBA, but has yet to receive an offer of a guaranteed contract. The 7-footer played 11 years in the league, retiring at the age of 33.

Red-shirting decisions not yet determined

Self said a decision on possibly red-shirting Mario Little, Travis Releford or Conner Teahan would be made prior to Tuesday’s game.

“I guess we could always say we are going to red-shirt somebody and take them off (later),” Self said. “You can’t do it the other way.”

He said: “I believe not all of them are going to red-shirt. They all want to play, but I would be disappointed if they didn’t feel that way. If you are a good player and the deck is kind of stacked against you right now, you feel maybe you are the odd man out, but if we feel you can be a starter here, that is not a bad scenario. If it ensures you graduating (without having to return to campus someday) it really is not bad.”

Self said the players will be the ones to make the call.

“I am not trying to convince them of anything. If you ask them what does coach want, they’d say, ‘Coach hasn’t said what he wants. All he wants us to do is have information so we can make the decision that’s best for us.’”

Recruiting updates

Harrison Barnes, a 6-foot-8 senior forward from Ames (Iowa) High, will make an unofficial visit to Iowa State this weekend. He is expected to choose either KU, North Carolina, Duke, Oklahoma, UCLA or ISU next week, perhaps a week from today on ESPNU. The weeklong early signing period begins Wednesday. ... Brandon Knight, a 6-3 guard from Pine Crest High in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., likely will choose a school in April, his dad tells Rivals.com.

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