KU's Elijah Johnson not going anywhere

December, 8, 2010
12/08/10
10:37
AM ET
Yesterday, I reminded you -- and you no doubt heard numerous times during the Jimmy V Classic broadcast -- that Kansas, while already very good, was still not at full strength. The Jayhawks are waiting on Josh Selby, who is finishing up an NCAA-mandated suspension, to become eligible. When he does, Kansas could very well go to 11. But there will be challenges surrounding his arrival, too.

For one? Playing time. Kansas already has an experienced and well-rounded batch of guards, and one or more of those guards is eventually going to have to lose minutes to the freshman. How will that play out?

In at least one way, it already has: After a Kansas City radio station reported that talented sophomore guard Elijah Johnson was considering a transfer due to playing time concerns, Johnson was asked about the matter last night. His response was fairly unequivocal (hat tip: The Dagger):
"I'm a Jayhawk til they kick me out. And I don't think they're kicking me out any time soon, so I've got 2 1/2 more years," Johnson said.

That's a good sign. It suggests that Kansas' team chemistry is strong enough to withstand an insurgent freshman's late arrival. It's not hard to see how that would rub veterans the wrong way. After all, they're talented too -- Johnson was a top-30 recruit in high school himself -- and he put in the pine-riding dues behind Sherron Collins and Xavier Henry last year.

There could still be issues related to Selby's arrival. Balancing his individual rim-attacking ability with Kansas' well-oiled high-low motion offense -- being himself, but being himself within the parameters of Bill Self's system -- will be a major challenge. It would have been much tougher if the rest of his teammates weren't on the same page. It seems, at least anecdotally, that they are.

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