Graves to return
Kansas forward reinstated after meeting with Self, may not play Saturday
Posted: Monday December 15, 2003 6:54PM; Updated: Tuesday December 16, 2003 1:38AM
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas senior Jeff Graves' suspension ended Monday but coach Bill Self has not decided if the forward will play in the sixth-ranked Jayhawks' game Saturday against UC Santa Barbara.
Self suspended the 6-foot-9 Graves last Friday for repeated violations of team rules, such as showing up late for practice or missing it altogether. Self met with Graves and his family for more than an hour Monday, then he rejoined his teammates for practice.
"We will wait and judge to see how he does," Self said. "I'm not going to guarantee playing time. You can talk the talk but you have to walk the walk. Right now, Jeff is talking the talk. I think Jeff can do it. But he knows if he doesn't turn it around, then there's not much hope left for him."
Graves had been averaging about four points and four rebounds this season for the Jayhawks (5-1). Last season he replaced the injured Wayne Simien and played well in the NCAA tournament, getting 16 points and 16 rebounds in the title game loss to Syracuse.
Graves' playing time "will be a coach's decision based on how he does this week," Self said.
"We had a good discussion with his family," he said. "We met for an hour and 15 minutes. It was more of a discussion rather than me talking."
Graves, who was not available for comment, will be allowed to accompany the team to Reno, Nev., for the Dodge Holiday Classic this weekend. But Self said he has not guaranteed Graves any playing time.
Guard Keith Langford said Graves apologized to the team.
"I don't think he had to. But he took it upon himself to do so," Langford said. "It was a small step, but it went a long way.
"I don't know if he has reached his potential, but we need him down the stretch."