Kansas coach Bill Self said Thursday that freshman forwards Zach Peters and Landen Lucas were both candidates to redshirt this season.
Peters, a native of Plano, Texas, has been battling a nagging rotator-cuff injury in his left shoulder. Peters’ status has improved, Self said, but it’s still unclear when he could be back on the floor. Peters was one of KU’s most consistent frontcourt players during the team’s trip to Europe this past summer.
“If he can’t get back soon, we have no choice but to redshirt him,” Self said. “Because he’ll be so far behind; he won’t be able to catch up.”
Lucas, a native of Portland, Ore., will sit out Friday’s opener against Southeast Missouri State and will likely miss next Tuesday’s game against Michigan State in Atlanta.
“He is definitely a guy that we are strongly considering redshirting,” Self said. “And we visited with Landen and his family about it and they are in agreement with that. But it’s not 100 percent sure, because he could still play two weeks from now.”
As of now, Lucas is projected to be behind Jeff Withey, Perry Ellis, Jamari Traylor and Kevin Young in the frontcourt rotation. Self could also use junior Justin Wesley as a fifth big man off the bench. Self said he believes Lucas could become an impact player in time, but that a season of maturing could benefit him in the long run.
“It’s hard to really replace age 23 with age 19,” Self said. “He’ll be a much better player (in four years) than he will be now. And you don’t redshirt guys that you don’t think can play, because I do think he has a future here, impacting our ballclub.”
• Senior forward Kevin Young will begin practicing this weekend after breaking a bone in his shooting hand on Feb. 25. That rules him out for Friday’s game against Southeast Missouri State, but he could potentially see action against Michigan State on Tuesday.