Melvin Ejim Out 4-to-6 Weeks
Iowa State senior forward Melvin Ejim, a pre-season all-Big 12 Conference selection, will miss four to six weeks after suffering a hyper extension and bruise to his left knee during practice this week. The injury could keep him sidelined for eight nonconference games, including contests with Michigan, BYU, Auburn, Northern Iowa and Iowa.
“He got tangled up going for the rebound,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg told the Des Moines Register. “His knee came down at an awkward angle. After watching the film, we’re all thankful it’s not a lot worse. His knee bent in a way it wasn’t supposed to bend. It looked pretty ugly.”
Ejim averaged 11.3 points and led the Big 12 Conference in rebounding with 9.3 per game last season. He was one of just two starters returning for Iowa State. The Cyclones will have to find a way to replace his production until he returns to the lineup.
“You can’t just replace Melvin with one guy,” Hoiberg said. “It’ll be by committee. Someone will have to be ready when his name is called.”
Transfer Royce O’Neale Eligible at Baylor
The NCAA granted the transfer request of Royce O’Neale, who will be eligible to play at Baylor this season. O’Neale is from Killeen, Texas, and transferred from Denver to be closer to his ailing grandfather. The NCAA approved O’Neale’s request to be eligible immediately and not have to sit out the season as a transfer.
O’Neale is a 6-6, 220-pound junior guard who averaged 11.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per game last season. He was selected to the all-Western Athletic Conference team.
KU’s Challenging Schedule
Kansas is ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press preseason rankings. It won’t take long for the Jayhawks, who will face one of the nation’s toughest schedule, to get a chance to prove their worth.
After opening the season on Nov. 8 against Louisiana Monroe, Kansas will take on No. 4 Duke in the Champions Classic on Nov. 12 at the United Center in Chicago. That’s part of a fabulous doubleheader; in the other game, No. 1 Kentucky will face No. 2 Michigan State.
Kansas also has nonconference games with No. 10 Florida and No. 23 New Mexico plus has four Big 12 games scheduled with No. 8 Oklahoma State and No. 25 Baylor.
SiriusXM Big 12 Preview
A two-hour preview of Big 12 men’s basketball will air on SiriusXM at 5 p.m. Central/6 p.m. Eastern on SiriusXM College Sports Nation, Channel 91 and on the SiriusXM APP. The show also will be available for download on our SiriusXM On Demand service by going to siriusxm.com/ondemand.
The show features interviews recorded during the Conference’s Media Day on Oct. 22 in Kansas City.
Big 12’s Terrific Two
With men’s and women’s basketball preseason rankings released this week, there are four schools with teams ranked in the top 25 in both football, men's basketball and women's basketball. Baylor and Oklahoma State are on that list along with Michigan State and Louisville.