Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Kansas hopeful of adding Billy Preston, Silvio de Sousa soon
Kansas coach Bill Self is hoping he can add two frontcourt pieces soon.
If Billy Preston and Silvio de Sousa join the Jayhawks in the coming weeks, they could be a totally different team by February. Neither player will be eligible for Thursday night’s game against Stanford in Sacramento, Calif.
“Our team, if we’re able to have our full complement of players and figure out everybody’s role, you’re looking at, depending on when we get our guys back — depending on if and when we get our guys back — you’re looking at the first of February before we know how to plug everybody in,” Self said, according to CJOnline.com. “But still though, if you’re playing somebody and you can sub guys out when they get two fouls and not have to play certain guys, it will still be a big bonus for us.”
Preston, a 6-foot-10 McDonald’s All-American ranked 18th in his class by ESPN.com, has yet to play this season, although he is practicing. He was held out as the university’s compliance department sought to get a “clearer financial picture” following a single-car incident involving Preston in October. The school said Preston’s car hit a curb, causing minor damage to the tires. No police report was filed.
Self said the situation is now out of Kansas’ hands — and rests with the NCAA.
“I’m pretty optimistic and our people are pretty optimistic,” Self said, “but it is at the point now where it will be out of our hands and somebody else is going to make the decision.”
Kansas’ only front court presence so far has been freshman Udoka Azubuike — averaging 14.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game — so the addition of Preston and/or de Sousa could be significant.
The Jayhawks could also add de Sousa, the 6-9 IMG Academy forward who is playing this week at the Chick-Fil-A Classic. It depends on his academic situation, which sources told ZAGSBLOG remains unclear.
“He hasn’t gotten his scores back. They just need to get graded and sent in and let (NCAA clearinghouse) decide what the situation is,” Self said. “But … I do feel really optimistic about that one though, unless something went really haywire.
“If he’s eligible, he’s coming.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.