Is Kevin McCullar playing vs. Houston? Latest on the Kansas Jayhawks basketball star’s injury status

Kevin McCullar was absent during the Kansas basketball victory over Oklahoma State. Will he suit up for the marquee Big 12 matchup against Houston tomorrow?

Feb 4, 2023; Ames, Iowa, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Kevin McCullar Jr. (15) reacts during a game against the Iowa State Cyclones
Feb 4, 2023; Ames, Iowa, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Kevin McCullar Jr. (15) reacts during a game against the Iowa State Cyclones / Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas basketball team steamrolled Oklahoma State 83-54 in this past Tuesday's competition. Bill Self was able to get away with not having Kevin McCullar, the conference's leading scorer, because they were playing the worst team in the league at home — but circumstances are much different tomorrow.

No. 4 Houston and its top-ranked defense are traveling to Lawrence to shock Allen Fieldhouse in their first-ever Big 12 meeting in school history. The Cougars sit atop the standings with a 6-2 conference record and a 19-2 record overall. They are riding a 5-game winning streak which includes victories over two ranked teams.

Kansas has not fared well on the road this year, dropping three of the four games away from the Fieldhouse since 2024 arrived. Therefore, it is vital that they can defend their home court, and having a healthy McCullar would significantly boost the Jayhawks' chances of coming out victorious.

McCullar missed the last game due to what was described as a "bone bruise" in his knee. Can he suit up tomorrow, or will Elmarko Jackson receive his second consecutive start?


Although he has not been deemed active for the contest, all signs point to Kevin McCullar being available. Coach Self spoke about it during his media availability yesterday, and this is what he told reporters.

“It’s too early, but like I said all along, it’s a bone bruise. I’m anticipating him being able to go, but I don’t know to the extent or how much it will bother him or anything like that," Self said. "We'll know more after today."

From Self's words, it sounds like McCullar will be playing. However, it is possible he is on a minute restriction if the pain is severe. There also might be some gamesmanship involved by Coach Self to keep Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson ready for any possible scenario.

Regardless of whether McCullar will be healthy enough to play, tomorrow's game is the most important to date for the Jayhawks. If they drop to 5-4 in conference play, Kansas basketball has a game in one of the most hostile environments in the country two days later. Winning the Big 12 will be an uphill battle from here.