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March Madness: Kansas expects David McCormack back but Jalen Wilson will miss at least 1 game

Nick Bromberg
·2-min read

Kansas should have David McCormack back for the start of the NCAA tournament. But the Jayhawks will be without Jalen Wilson.

Bill Self said Wednesday that McCormack is expected to be back for the No. 3 seed Jayhawks first-round game against No. 14 seed Eastern Washington on Saturday. McCormack missed the Big 12 tournament because of COVID-19 protocols and is set to join the team in Indianapolis on Friday.

McCormack's return is a big one for the Jayhawks. He was named the Big 12's most improved player in 2020-21 as he averaged 13.4 points and six rebounds a game in 23 minutes per game. Self said he wasn't sure how much McCormack would be able to play.

"You will not be able to count on him for a significant number of minutes I don’t believe on Saturday even though it’d be nice if we could," Self said.

It's even bigger with the news that Wilson won't be available on Saturday. Wilson averages 12 points per game and is the Jayhawks’ leading rebounder with 8.2 rebounds per game. He and McCormack are the only two forwards who average over 11 minutes per game for the Jayhawks.

Wilson tested positive for COVID-19 on the Friday of the Big 12 tournament. His positive test led to the Jayhawks pulling out of the tournament that afternoon ahead of a semifinal game against eventual Big 12 tournament champion Texas.

If Kansas beats Eastern Washington on Saturday, Wilson could be available to join the team for its second-round game against either USC or the winner of the Wichita State-Drake play-in game.

Tristan Enaruna won't be available for either game. He was ruled out for the Big 12 tournament with McCormack after McCormack — Enaruna's roommate — tested positive for COVID-19. Self said Wednesday that Enaruna would miss the first weekend of the tournament because he recently tested positive for COVID-19.

Kansas was one of three Power Five teams who had to pull out of conference tournaments because of COVID-19 positives. Virginia and Duke both had to back out of the ACC tournament because they each had positive tests.

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