Injured in Marquette game, Garrett should be able to play vs. Stanford, Self says

Kansas coach Bill Self gestured to his team during the second half against Tennessee on Friday night in Brooklyn. | Adam Hunger | AP

By Gary Bedore gbedore@kcstar.com

Kansas sophomore guard Marcus Garrett, who suffered concussion-like symptoms late in last Wednesday’s victory over Marquette in the NIT Season Tip-Off, should be able to play in Saturday’s home game against Stanford, KU coach Bill Self said Tuesday night on his Hawk Talk radio show.

The 6-foot-5 Garrett took a shot to the head from Sam Hauser while jumping for a loose ball with a minute left in KU’s 77-68 semifinal victory over the Golden Eagles in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Garrett was unable to play in Friday’s 87-81 title game victory over Tennessee.

“He is with us and certainly you look at him you think he can play, but he is still having some headaches and dizziness,” Self said on Hawk Talk. “He actually hasn’t done much. He didn’t do anything else in New York (after Wednesday’s game). We didn’t practice Saturday. We traveled Sunday (with) no practice. We practiced yesterday (Monday) and he didn’t do anything. Today he actually did a little bit — limited stuff for about 15 minutes. We think he should be able to play by Saturday,” Self added.

Self noted that it’s wise to be cautious in situations like this.

“The reality is (the fact) we are talking concussion-type symptoms probably means he has some type of concussion,” Self said. “I don’t think they grade them anymore like they used to. The reality is (this is) not serious like some guys have. With some it can be very serious. This was a situation he could have gone back out there and finished the game the last 30 seconds, but there was no reason for him to, when he let (the team doctor) know he was woozy.

“He is a tough kid. We missed him against Tennessee. That kind of game, it would have been nice to have him guard (Admiral) Schofield (21 points) on some of those possessions. But he’ll be back out there.”

Garrett was to gather with the rest of his teammates in KU’s practice facility at 8 p.m. Tuesday — an hour after the conclusion of Hawk Talk. Self, who was displeased with the team’s afternoon practice, ordered the squad back to the practice facility for a second practice of the day (night).

“We did so well today we’re coming back as a reward at 8 o’clock to do it again … because we did so well,” Self said jokingly. “They (players) were so happy and pleased. It happens every year,” he added of having a second practice that originally was not on the schedule. “Unfortunately for us it happened twice in the last week. We did it right before we went to New York. This has not turned out to be the greatest practice team.

“It’s strictly focus,” Self stated. “We get maybe 30 minutes in and have a hard time completing assignments. We’ll get it right. I don’t see it as punishment. I look at it as if you have a job to do and it’s supposed to take an hour and 45 minutes to do it and it takes you four hours to do it, you’ve still got to do your job. You’ve still got to finish what the assignment is. We got through about 30 percent of what our assignment is.”

Self discusses Les Miles hire

Self discussed new athletic director Jeff Long’s hiring of Les Miles as KU football coach during the hour-long radio show.

“This is really an exciting time,” Self said. “Not taking away from anybody here before at all. We all like David (Beaty, former coach) and his staff. But sometimes fresh blood can rejuvenate a place not only from a coaching standpoint but an administrative standpoint as well.

“I think what you have seen is that we have an athletic director and a chancellor (Douglas Girod) that’s going for the throat. I mean they are going for the throat, which is what we need. I think that gets people excited. I think it’s terrific,” he added of hiring a coach who won a national title at LSU.

“I mean if we are going to turn it and make a statement … we’ve got the chair of the football selection committee (Long) as our athletic director and then we go out and hire a guy that has won a national championship (Miles). … He was at LSU when Alabama was the best and most dominant program college football has seen maybe since OU in the ‘40s when Bud Wilkinson was winning all those games in a row (at Oklahoma). Alabama has to get through LSU to get where they want to go. He has to go through Alabama (as LSU coach).

“To me that’s exciting you have a guy who has been in the game, been in the fire,” Self added. “I think it will bode well for everybody that supports us. I think people should be very excited about that, also to be excited that there is certainly a vision on what is getting ready to take place within our athletic department.”

KU not concerned about poll

Self is not upset that KU (5-0) stayed at No. 2 in the AP poll this week. Gonzaga jumped from No. 3 to No. 1 after beating former No. 1 Duke.

KU, preseason No. 1, earlier was passed by then No. 4 Duke following the Blue Devils’ annihilation of then No. 2 Kentucky in the Champions Classic.

“No,” Self said, asked if his players pay any attention to polls. “And it doesn’t affect morale at all. That would be like running a marathon and you are in the lead at the half-mile mark, you’ve still got 25 1/2 miles to go. It doesn’t mean anything. I’d rather be up there high than not up there high, but that’s not a knock to us. That’s not anything.

“We happened to be No. 1 when Duke put on an exhibition how to play the game. So everybody remembers that. Then we happened to be No. 2 when (then-No. 3) Gonzaga beat the team — not only beat them but had them down double digits until the very end — that was thought of 10 days earlier as being invincible.

“I’m good with that. It doesn’t make any difference to us, 1 or 2. I don’t see any negatives with that at all. All I do know is I think we could play better, which is exciting.”

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