Quick Take: The McCullar Decision

🧐🧐🧐

  • 🧐 Breaking Down The McCullar Decision 

  • 🎥 Watch the Self Presser 

  • 📝 Mike’s Quick Links

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EVERYTHING IN THIS NEWSLETTER IS BASED UPON WHAT I AM HEARING FROM PEOPLE I TRUST. PLEASE DO NOT MISTAKE THIS FOR FACT OR FOR ACTUAL JOURNALISM, WHICH HAS VERIFICATION STANDARDS THAT I HAVE NOT ADHERED TO. I DO NOT GUARANTEE THE ACCURACY OF THE CONTENT.

Breaking the Bad News Down

I hope I’m not the first to tell you: In a stunner, Bill Self announced Kevin McCullar is out for the entire NCAA Tournament on Tuesday afternoon.

Let’s start here: This is an emotional situation for KU. I still have a lot of unanswered questions. To be as transparent as possible, the following is my best read as things currently stand. I view Self’s remarks as the best way to break this thing down.

Maybe McCullar’s injury is more serious than we know, but I don’t see how Self protected that scenario in any way. I still think we should leave open that possibility.

It does seem like he was, and has been, cleared to play.

One of Self’s responses to a question stands out more than the others. He went out of his way to spell out where KU stands.

Self was asked, “How tough is that to watch a kid… comes back for another year and isn’t able to [play]? At least for the first round..”

This is a softball question. The reporter is basically asking Self, “Please say something nice about feeling bad for McCullar.” And Self — one of the best ever at handling a press conference — took it in the opposite direction.

We're shutting him down for down for The Tournament,” Self said. “If we’re fortunate enough to win two games, we would’ve done it without him. He hasn’t practiced in six weeks, basically. He hasn’t done more damage to his knee. He tried to do it and said that he just couldn’t go.”

I think this was a “line in the sand” moment for Kansas. After not practicing for ~six weeks and wavering back and forth, Self seems to have said you’re either all the way in or all the way out.

McCullar is in a legitimately tough position. There is a lot we don’t know. It seems clear he’s been hurt to some extent. There’s probably quite a bit of pain involved with the injury. And he’s worked his entire life to get drafted and play in the NBA. It’s a tremendous amount of pressure.

“The other weeks, it progressively got a little bit better,” Self said. “This week it just didn’t. After consultation with doctors and with Kevin, with where he is mentally and physically, it’s best for him to shut it down.”

It certainly seems like Kansas was surprised by this. Self also said he doesn’t know who he will start in McCullar’s place vs. Samford. Maybe it’s gamesmanship by Self. If not, it’s another sign that KU was expecting him to play this weekend.

And McCullar’s expectation setting, like the line below, didn’t help. He reportedly said this just one week ago.

It sounds like Self didn’t want the McCullar question to linger any further. Like Self said about his message to the rest of the team, “It’s put up or shut up time.”

KU is moving forward with the group it knows can be ready and comfortable to play.

Self’s Presser and McCullar’s Statement from Tuesday

You can read Kevin McCullar’s statement here.

And the entire five minutes of Self’s presser is worth a watch. Even the last minute tells you more about Self’s feelings toward this.

What I Sent Out about McCullar 📱

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🏀 Evan Miya says the McCullar news moves the Kansas line three points toward Samford, per his analysis.

🏀 Watch last night’s crossover podcast with the ‘Ain’t No Seats’ show as we reacted to the McCullar situation.

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