College Sports

Marcus Garrett battling sickness ahead of KU’s game against Auburn

Kansas’ Marcus Garrett is battling an illness, but KU coach Bill Self anticipates the sophomore guard will be able to play in KU’s second-round NCAA Tournament game against Auburn at 8:40 p.m. Central on Saturday.

“He’s sick. He started feeling bad (Thursday) before the game,” Self said. “Last night he didn’t have a good night, but he’ll be ready to go (Saturday).”

Self said the team was hopeful that Garrett did not catch the flu.

“It’s being treated like it is (the flu). He was running a fever, certainly had some of those symptoms,” Self said. “We’re thinking a good day’s rest and a lot of fluids, he’ll be ready to play.”

Teammate Charlie Moore, who is Garrett’s roommate on this trip, also was optimistic about Garrett’s status.

“Yeah, he should be able to play,” Moore said. “He’s kind of sick. I think it’s more so the Utah altitude and everything like that. It’s something you need to get used to.”

Dotson’s ankle ‘doing good’

KU freshman point guard Devon Dotson gave an update on his left ankle after he landed awkwardly on it in KU’s 87-53 victory over Northeastern on Thursday.

“It’s doing good. I got a couple treatments, got a treatment this morning,” Dotson said. “It’s a little sore. I should be fine.”

Dotson suffered the injury while going up for an offensive rebound at the 14:19 mark of the second half. He returned to the game after that.

Self was asked on Friday if there was any concern about Dotson’s ankle heading into Saturday.

“There may be (concern). I haven’t asked him how he felt ... because he may tell me he doesn’t feel well,” Self said. “I’d rather not know that and imagine he’s going to be 100 percent, which I’m sure he will be.”

On K-State loss ...

KU’s players met with reporters on Friday afternoon just after Kansas State fell to UC Irvine, 70-64, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Dotson said he watched the game on his phone.

“I was definitely surprised,” he said. “I thought (the Wildcats) would pull it off.”

KU forward Mitch Lightfoot said he’d been pulling for Big 12 teams throughout the NCAA Tournament — including K-State — while believing wins this week could help the league’s reputation.

“I know a couple of their seniors,” Lightfoot said of K-State. “It’s rough to see them go out like that.”

A new challenge

When asked about Saturday’s opponent, Self said Friday that “there’s nobody in our league that plays like Auburn.”

The closest comparison he could think of was West Virginia from previous years when it had both Daxter Miles and Jevon Carter swarming defensively.

“It was still different (against West Virginia), but at least the pressure of every possession,” Self said. “(The Tigers) put pressure on you defensively most every possession, but offensively, they put pressure on you most every possession as well.”

Pearl on Kansas

Auburn coach Bruce Pearl, when talking about his team’s attacking defense, said a big key was trying to take away what each individual opponent does best.

He still had lots of worries about his roster matching up with KU defensively.

“How can we stop Kansas’ inside game? How can we stop (Dedric) Lawson with his inside-outside game? How can we stop those guys from driving down the lane?” Pearl said. “If we can figure out a way to do that and turn them over some in the process, we have a fighting chance to win.”

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Jesse Newell — he’s won an EPPY for best sports blog and previously has been named top beat writer in his circulation by AP’s Sports Editors — has covered KU sports since 2008. His interest in sports analytics comes from his math teacher father, who handed out rulers to Trick-or-Treaters each year.
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