After just two games back from a severe ankle sprain, Udoka Azubuike has been lost for the rest of the Kansas basketball season.
Azubuike has dealt with numerous injuries during his Kansas career.
This latest issue is eerily reminiscent of one he dealt with as a freshman two years ago.
As a freshman, Azubuike injured his wrist 11 games into the year. This season, he has the same injury on the opposite hand, and will miss the rest of the year.
Without Azubuike, the Jayhawks will likely go with more small ball looks, as it did during his absence in December.
With regard to the future of his basketball career, it sounds like all options are on the table.
Bill Self discussed next steps for Udoka Azubuike earlier this week.
Azubuike flirted with the NBA after last season, and could do so again. Of course, there is a chance for him to return, prove his health and improve his draft stock.
“Here’s the bottom line,” Self said. “The kid’s 19 years old. So if he enters the (NBA) draft this year, he’s still one of the youngest guys in the draft, even though he’s a junior. So there’s nothing with his biological basketball clock (that’s) ticking that he needs to hurry up and do something. There’s nothing like that. Even though, in his mind, (it’s), ‘I’ve been here three years.’ So that is a positive thought.
“Obviously, he would have options. He could go (pro) and hopefully put himself in (a good) position. He could return (to KU). That’s obviously (something) that he could do. This would never happen, but, technically, he could get the year back (via) medical hardship. So, technically, he could have two (years left in college). But that’s not going to happen, so there’s really no reason to worry about that.”
During this season, Azubuike’s numbers were almost identical to what he posted in 2017-18. He averaged 13.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per contest for the Jayhawks.
Kansas is ranked No. 7 in the country. Bill Self’s team has an opportunity for a big win tonight against TCU.