Big 12 Basketball

Norm Roberts Says Kevin McCullar ‘Day-to-Day’ Ahead of Big 12 Title Game

Norm Roberts

Kansas guard Kevin McCullar Jr. missed the second half of Friday’s Big 12 semifinal with back spasms and is day-to-day leading into the Big 12 Tournament title game.

Kansas won the game, 71-58, as the Jayhawks (27-6) moved on to the Big 12 Championship Game on Saturday night.

It was the Jayhawks’ second game without coach Bill Self, who suffered a health event on Wednesday night. He will miss the rest of the Big 12 Tournament. Norm Roberts is serving as the Jayhawks’ interim coach.

 

“(McCullar) gave us all he could, he gave us all he could today and we’re really proud of him for doing that,” Roberts said. “But guys did step up. Joseph (Yesufu) gave us good minutes, Bobby (Pettiford), MJ Rice gave us good minutes out there and we told those guys, ‘Hey, it’s next man up, so step up, step up and make a play, help us in a positive way,’ and all those guys did.”

Jalen Wilson had 25 points for the Jayhawks, leading all scorers. He said Kansas just had to dig a little deeper without him.

“When a guy goes down you have to have his back,” Wilson said.

McCullar played 12 minutes on Friday night but didn’t play at all in the second half. He sat on the bench in warm-ups, appearing itchy to go back in the game but couldn’t.

He appeared to tweak the back in the first half while going up for a loose ball under the basket. It was a rather innocuous play, but he appeared to grab at his back briefly before a time out stopped play.

 

McCullar finished with six points and a rebound.

McCullar did not start Thursday’s game with West Virginia due to back spasms, but he played much more in that game than he did on Friday. He played 26 minutes against the Mountaineers, finishing with three points, seven rebounds, one assist and one steal.

Entering the game McCullar was averaging 10.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game in his first season with Kansas after spending four seasons with Texas Tech.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

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