KU Basketball News

Now healthy, junior center Dwight Coleby returning to KU ready to get to work

Back in his native Bahamas the past few weeks, Kansas center Dwight Coleby has completed the final stages of rehab from left knee surgery.

“It’s my first time playing full court. I’m starting to get used to the full court,” Coleby told the hosts of the “10th Year Seniors” podcast in Nassau.

“I’m very close (to 100 percent),” said the 6-foot-9, 240-pound junior, who had surgery on Oct. 17. “I’m just trying to work on it, keep trying to push off it, try to run better and move better and get comfortable on the court.”

Coleby, who will return to KU’s campus this weekend in advance of the 2016-17 school year, which starts on Monday, said that his injury was more serious than the ACL tear originally reported.

“I tore my ACL, tore my meniscus and I had a micro fracture,” Coleby said.

Rehab was difficult once he discarded crutches after a few weeks.

“I lost all the muscles in my leg,” he said on the podcast. “Starting rehab, I was trying to get strength back in my leg. I was just learning how to lift my leg. I couldn’t even lift it.

“I had to learn how to walk. I had to learn how to jump and move and do stuff like that. It’s a long process.”

A transfer from Ole Miss, Coleby is expected to vie for meaningful minutes this season.

“We’re hoping when he comes back he’s full-go,” KU coach Bill Self told The Star in a recent interview. “We still haven’t seen Dwight at full speed. He has to continue to work at it in rehab but also has to get some confidence to go on it (knee). He’s not behind, but if he doesn’t start out full speed he could get behind. I am hopeful that’s not the case.”

Coleby was asked what it’s like to play for 14th-year KU coach Self.

“He tries to push you for all you’ve got,” Coleby said, “to try to reach your highest level. He tries to push you every second of the day. Even before I came (to KU), he was on me. Even though I was not moving like I used to, he still was trying to push me to be as fast as everyone else, push me to be better.”

Coleby certainly enjoys being a Jayhawk.

“Most of the dudes (on the team) are like superstars, rock stars,” he said. “Everywhere you go, everyone knows you. Whether you are in Lawrence or Kansas City … even if you are going to Kansas City, I’ve been there a few times. They (fans) know who I am and I don’t even play yet. They want to take pictures with you. They want autographs. It’s crazy over there.”

Jackson, Graham mentioned

KU freshman Josh Jackson tied for seventh in a Gary Parrish/CBSsports.com poll asking college coaches, “If you could pick any Div. 1 player and put him on your team this season, which player would you pick?”

Duke’s Grayson Allen was first, followed by Washington’s Markelle Fultz, Duke’s Harry Giles, Maryland’s Melo Trimble, Villanova’s Josh Hart and Iowa State’s Monte Morris. Tying Jackson for seventh: Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes, Oregon’s Dillon Brooks, Duke’s Jayson Tatum and Villanova’s Kris Jenkins. KU’s Devonté Graham tied for 13th.

Gary Bedore: 816-234-4068, @garybedore