Kansas coach Bill Self turned to freshman Carlton Bragg as the two exited the locker room to head to the postgame press conference on Thursday.
“You nervous, Carlton?” Self said with a smile.
The freshman, who sometimes gets jittery when asked to speak in public, had earned his spot as a KU representative following a 12-point effort in KU’s 85-63 victory over Kansas State at the Sprint Center.
“I was ready when my number was called,” Bragg said. “Just playing hard and playing my role.”
Never miss a local story.
Bragg’s 12 points were a career high, topping a 10-point performance against TCU on Jan. 16.
Self still made sure to give him a hard time in front of reporters.
“I told him most guys that come in here get more than zero rebounds,” the coach said.
Diallo sits with injury
KU freshman Cheick Diallo did not play Thursday after getting elbowed in the mouth by teammate Svi Mykhailiuk during Wednesday's practice at Allen Fieldhouse.
“He didn’t do it on purpose,” Diallo said. “I (went) to block him, and he just elbowed me.”
Diallo received three stitches in his upper lip but said he would be available to play Friday against Baylor.
Self was asked about playing his starters — particularly Frank Mason, Devonte’ Graham and Perry Ellis — while up 20 points with less than four minutes to go.
The coach said leaving those players in was “not a risk.”
“Jamari (Traylor) was tired, and weren’t going to play Cheick, and no reason to put a stiff Landen (Lucas) back in,” Self said. “We were just trying to buy a couple minutes. Frank and Devonte’ can play all day long.”