KU’s Self ‘confident that we’ll have some news soon’ on Preston, De Sousa

By Gary Bedore gbedore@kcstar.com

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self had no new news to report as of Monday night on the status of freshmen forwards Billy Preston and Silvio De Sousa heading into Tuesday’s game against Iowa State.

Both are awaiting clearance from the NCAA. That clearance could come at any time. Self has said both would immediately be used in games if and when they are cleared.

“I am confident that we’ll have some news soon,” Self said just after 2 p.m. Monday during a meeting with media to preview the Iowa State game that will be at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Allen Fieldhouse (ESPN2). “I’m not saying today (Monday) positively, but I think we’ll have a better idea of where everything is today.”

Preston, a 6-10 freshman from Los Angeles, has not played in a game all season as KU and the NCAA look into the financial picture regarding the vehicle he’s been driving on campus this school year. De Sousa, a 6-9 recent IMG Academy graduate from Angola, is waiting for the NCAA to certify his amateur status.

“I think it could play out very favorably for Silvio. With Billy, I know how we feel as a university but we haven’t been given any more information from anyone else to confirm that feeling,” Self said.

Self was asked if KU was aggressively pursuing a decision from the NCAA.

“We’re pushing buttons. Our people have done a lot and have been about as aggressive as can be without literally upsetting everyone in Indianapolis (site of the NCAA),” Self said. “I think our people have been good. On Billy’s situation, I think it’s just a little bit more complicated than your normal things, but you still have to give a decision. So we’re expecting it soon.”

Self said not knowing if the two bigs will be available “doesn’t help practice. The advantage of it … when you only have seven guys and you know only those seven can play, you practice those seven together all the time. That’s an advantage even though it’s not what you want.

“When you have 10 guys and only eight you know can play but you could get the call any day that the others could play, you have to be somewhat prepared. I’d say our practices have been average at best when you talk about game preparation. When you talk about just getting out there playing and rhythm, it’s been OK. From a conditioning standpoint and things like that, that’s been good.

“It’s hard to get your players to prepare for a team if you don’t know who is going to be playing. Definitely conclusions will help us in that regard one way or another.”

Obviously the situation is fluid and can change at any time. Self did not address either player’s situation on his weekly radio show Monday night.

Gary Bedore: 816-234-4068, @garybedore

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