Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self remained hopeful on Monday afternoon that freshman forward Cliff Alexander could soon return to the floor — perhaps as early as this week.
Alexander, a 6-foot-8 freshman from Chicago, is currently sidelined while the NCAA investigates a potential eligibility issue that to this point has remained undisclosed. Kansas held Alexander out of Saturday’s victory over Texas after the NCAA alerted KU officials to a possible violation that could potentially compromise Alexander’s eligibility. Alexander’s family has enlisted a Washington, D.C-based attorney to help wade through the process.
“It’s not ‘if’, it’s just ‘when’,” Self said of a possible resolution on Monday afternoon. “I’m hopeful this week. But we’re really not operating on our schedule. We’re operating on someone else’s schedule. But from what we’ve been led to believe and been told, it’s that they (the NCAA) understands the importance and the value of it.”
For now, though, Kansas must play the waiting game. The Jayhawks play host to West Virginia at 8 p.m. Tuesday with shared — or possibly an outright — Big 12 regular-season title on the line. The season will conclude on Saturday at Oklahoma. For now, Alexander is allowed to practice while sitting out of games.
“It’s a precautionary thing, what we’re doing,” Self said, “but it’s also being encouraged and handled this way by higher-ups, which I understand. I don’t necessarily like it, but I agree with the strategy.”
When asked where his optimism in the case was coming from, Self answered: “It’s coming from what my administration has told (the NCAA), that they understand the priority and certainly want to work in a timely manner.”
Alexander, a former McDonald’s All-American and consensus top-five recruit, is averaging 7.1 points and 5.3 rebounds while starting six games during his freshman season.