KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas will be without two players for its NCAA opener on Saturday afternoon in Indianapolis.
But the good news is that junior forward David McCormack should be available for the Jayhawks’ opening game at 12:15 p.m. on Saturday against Big Sky champion and No. 14 seed Eastern Washington.
Coach Bill Self said that McCormack will arrive Friday in Indianapolis and should even be available for practice ahead of third-seeded KU’s game.
Bill Self says "good news, bad news."— McKenzie Nelson (@McKenzieMNelson) March 17, 2021
-David McCormack will arrive Friday morning to Indy
-Tristan Enaruna will not make the trip
-Jalen Wilson will arrive in Indy on Monday #NCAATournament
McCormack — who was born in the Bronx, New York, before playing in high school at prestigious Oak Hill Academy in Virginia — is the Jayhawks’ second-leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 13.4 points and 6.2 rebounds in 27 games this season.
He missed the Big 12 Tournament after entering COVID-19 protocols for possible exposure, but has tested negative for enough consecutive days to rejoin the team.
Eventually, Kansas had to withdraw its team from the conference tourney after a quarterfinal win against Oklahoma.
Sophomore guard Tristan Enaruna wasn’t as lucky and redshirt freshman forward Jalen Wilson also won’t be available against the Eagles.
Self reportedly told Hanni that Enaruna, who averages 2.8 points and 1.6 rebounds in a reserve role, tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week and will not make the trip.
Wilson, who did not travel to Indianapolis with the team to Indianapolis, will not arrive until Monday, which means he could be available should KU advance.
Wilson is the Jayhawks’ leading rebounder and third-leading scorer, averaging 12.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.
Self is coaching in his 22nd NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, including his 17th with KU.
His teams are 48-20 in tourney play and have reached three Final Fours — all with Kansas, including the 2008 national championship.
He previously took Illinois to the NCAA Tournament three times and led Tulsa there twice.
TALE OF THE TAPE
(3) Kansas vs. (14) Eastern Washington
When: 12:15 p.m., Saturday, March 20
Where: Indiana Farmers Coliseum
() indicates national rank
|12-6 (2nd, Big 12)||Conference record||12-3 (t-2nd, Big Sky)|
|73.1 (124)||PPG||78.0 (41)|
|65.8 (59)||Opp. PPG||69.4 (155)|
|.440 (183) .467 (54)||FG%||.467 (54)|
|.406 (38) .414 (72)||Opp. FG%||.414 (72)|
|.344 (142)||3P FG%||.354 (97)|
|.326 (121)||Opp. 3P FG%||.309 (46)|
|13.7 (133)||Assists||15.1 (60)|