KU freshman forward Zach Peters has experienced mixed results in his recovery from a nagging rotator-cuff injury in his left shoulder. The good: Peters is doing better with his rehab exercises. But still, a return doesn't appear imminent, KU coach Bill Self said Monday.
Peters had been battling the injury for most of the fall before being shut down for a month in early October. He was expected to return around the second week of November. On Monday, Self said Peters was still experiencing pain while doing certain basketball motions, including shooting.
“He said it hurts too bad,” Self said. “So I don’t see any immediate resolution on that at all. He gets his arm in certain position and it still bothers him a lot.”Ellis reunites with former teammate
Just last spring, Perry Ellis, a former standout at Wichita Heights, was joining forces with guard Terrence Moore to lead Heights to its fourth straight Kansas 6A title. But these days, the former teammates have headed separate ways.
Ellis, one of the most accomplished high school players in Kansas state history, is in Lawrence, preparing to make his long-awaited debut at Kansas. Moore, meanwhile, is a freshman guard for Emporia State.
But old friends will be reunited at 7 p.m. Tuesday when Kansas plays host to Emporia State in KU's exhibition opener at Allen Fieldhouse.
“We haven’t talked about the game,” Ellis said Monday. “But we’ve just talked about how each other was doing and stuff. There was not any talking about the game really.”
Both players should play plenty of minutes. Ellis is expected to be the first forward off the bench for Kansas in his debut, while Moore led the Hornets with 12 points in 23 minutes in a 60-49 loss at Tulsa on Saturday. For his part, Ellis said he’d be sure to give his new teammates a full scouting report on Moore.
“Real athletic,” Ellis said. “Plays hard. That’s something I’ll tell my teammates. But we’re just trying to get ready (for the season).”Turnover questions
As you might expect, Self took an opportunity Monday to note that turnovers have been an issue so far in practice.
“It is getting gradually better,” Self said.
It's early, and few coaches are going to say they're happy with turnovers in October. But if KU has major question marks beyond who will start at the power forward spot, it’s how senior Elijah Johnson will adapt to his lead guard role and whether sophomore Naadir Tharpe or freshman Rio Adams will be able to develop into an adequate backup option. For now, the turnover issue appears to be a work in progress.
“Those of you that are sitting on press row,” Self quipped, “have your hands ready.”Self on Aldrich
Former KU center Cole Aldrich is now in a new NBA home in Houston after being part of the deal on Saturday that sent NBA Sixth Man of the Year James Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Houston Rockets.
Aldrich, who left KU after his junior season in 2010, is entering his third year in the league, and Self said he’d exchanged texts with Aldrich after the trade.
“He said it was a good opportunity for him,” Self said. “If they would have traded him to Toronto, (he would have said) 'Hey, this is the perfect spot.’
“He’s the best. But he needs to get a new contract; and this is a very important year. And he needs to get on the floor in order to get that. And so, he really believes this is a good move for him. He thinks he’ll have more opportunities there.”