Kansas' David McCormack, Tristan Enaruna Expected to Play in NCAA Tournament

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2021

Kansas forward David McCormack (33) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

Kansas expects both David McCormack and Tristan Enaruna to be available for the NCAA tournament, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.

Head coach Bill Self announced Tuesday the two players were ruled out of the Big 12 tournament because of COVID-19 safety protocols, but it seems they should both return in time for March Madness.

McCormack averages 13.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, both second-most on the team, while he leads the Jayhawks with 1.0 blocks per game. Enaruna averages just 2.8 points in 9.4 minutes per game but appeared in 25 of the team's first 27 games as a versatile reserve.

Losing depth in the post hurts any team, although McCormack especially showed his value in Kansas' upset win over Baylor with 20 points and three blocks. 

Self explained losing McCormack for the Big 12 tournament will help his team develop more flexibility going forward:

"On a plus side, though, if we're going to go into the NCAA tournament thinking we're going to have to play just one way, and then that one way is taken from us—we haven't really had a chance to prepare or practice it. So, I'm looking at it as, we're going to be better playing small in the NCAA tournament ... because it's forced us to change our game plan going into this one."

A projected return for the NCAA tournament should then give the Jayhawks a boost with the season on the line.

Bleacher Report's Kerry Miller projects Kansas to be a No. 3 seed in the tournament.