Written by: Joe Ryan
This is exactly how I am feeling at this exact moment in my life.
The evil sharks are swimming, the evil sharks are swimming and I’m about to lose my mind.
Here is the official statement by Kansas coach Bill Self:
“In practice yesterday, Udoka sprained his medial collateral ligament in his left knee during a scrimmage situation. It is isolated. It is a grade one sprain. We will hold him out this weekend in Kansas City and he will be reevaluated Sunday and our expectation is that he’ll be back on the court next week.”
There is a nor’easter happening in upstate New York right now and I am seriously thinking about going outside, in my bathing suit, and seeing how long I can last until I ultimately perish. I am still debating this.
So, let’s go away from me and back to basketball.
Obviously, NOT GREAT!
Kansas star player, and really only big man, Udoka Azibuke, will miss the Big 12 tournament with an MCL sprain. Kansas is hopeful he can return to the court for the NCAA’s but let’s be real, how luck does Kansas ever get with that. (Cc: Joel Embiid, Cliff Alexander, Carlton Bragg, Udoka Azibuke (last year)).
Kansas is extremely thin in the front court regardless, and now with Udoka, I have no idea where they turn.
If Udoka is out for a serious amount of time, they can wave goodbye to their Final Four chances because they have no chance of replacing a guy who averages 13.7 ppg, 7.1 rebounds per game and shoots at a 77% field goal clip (the best in the nation).
You can’t replace that!
So, will Kansas win the Big 12 tournament now? Absolutely not. They’ll be luck to get to the semifinals.
Kansas might legitimately run out a lineup that consists of:
PG: Devonte Graham
SG: Marcus Garrett
G: Malik Newman
F: Lagerald Vick
And I seriously am not kidding. They actually might do this.
Two things come in mind when this injury surfaced.
- Will Udoka return for the NCAA tournament and will he be his old self?
- Silvio de Sousa must step up
Believe it or not, it’s de Sousa time now. I wrote about how de Sousa needed more playing time, and here is his chance. Silvio has been getting minutes here and there but never enough opportunities to shine. We know what we are going to get from Mitch Lightfoot, and he will do his job. But we have no idea what we’re getting from de Sousa. The highly touted prospect has shown signs of greatness, but also, he has shown signs of him not knowing what he’s doing out there. It is de Sousa time to shine now. He has the ability to do it, but now he’ll actually have the minutes to do it.
I hate to say this about a kid who is still supposed to be a senior in high school, but, the Kansas season will live or die on how Slvio de Sousa plays from here on out.
And I am absolutely terrified.
But, I have faith in Silvio.
** Disclaimer: If there are any grammatical mistakes or spelling mistakes, please forgive me. I banged my hand against the table a quarter million times when I found out the news. I am definitely slightly concussed. **