There has been much speculation on which guard would lose playing time when Josh Selby joins the Kansas rotation on Saturday. It now seems that all that speculation was for naught. Mario Little was arrested early this morning on charges of criminal trespassing and assault, in what Coach Self called “very poor judgment.” Rio has been indefinitely suspended from the team, and through his own actions has made himself the odd man out in the lineup, making room in the playing rotation for Selby.
From the official KU website:
Dec. 16, 2010
LAWRENCE, Kan. -
Little was arrested on misdemeanor charges of battery, criminal damage and criminal trespass.
“Mario remains a member of our team while we work through this process,” Self said, “but we have suspended him indefinitely from competition while we gather the facts of this incident. Mario exercised very poor judgment in his handling of a situation. We’re disappointed in his behavior; it’s unfortunate that our university, our program and his teammates all have to deal with this negative issue.”
“I apologize for what happened last night,” Little said. “I feel awful, and I understand that I will have to deal with the consequences of my actions. I accept responsibility for those actions, and I apologize to my teammates for being irresponsible.
While situations like this are both unfortunate and embarrassing, there is always a silver lining. Brady Morningstar, who has seemed at times to be frantically trying to increase his production, should play more relaxed, now that he won’t be looking over his shoulder so much, worrying losing precious minutes. As for Selby, Coach Self had said as recently as Monday, “I don’t think I’m going to start him, because he’s got to beat somebody out – perform well in games, not just in practice,” Self said Monday. “He’s got to figure out how to play to our other guys’ strengths, and they’ve got to figure out where to get him the ball.” There is now one less ‘somebody’ for Josh to beat out.
The only question that remains is whether coach Self will reinstate Mario at a later date. Certainly an arrest in itself is not cause for his expulsion from the team, however, a conviction could end Little’s college career. The consequences for his future are more than just a few lost games. Had Mario proved to be an integral part of a championship Jayhawk team this year, there was an outside possibility that NBA scouts might have taken notice, but without that exposure, his playing days outside of Europe are most certainly done.