Kansas freshmen Ben McLemore and Jamari Traylor will not be eligible to play in games during the 2011-12 season, KU coach Bill Self told The Eagle by text message this afternoon.
McLemore, a guard from St. Louis, and Traylor, a forward from Chicago, will be eligible to practice beginning with the second semester of this year and will be eligible to play in games next season. Self said the players are considered partial qualifiers.
This news, which came hours before the official start of the season at Late Night in the Phog, is a huge blow to the Jayhawks’ quest for an eighth straight Big 12 regular-season title. McLemore is KU’s most talented freshmen, a wing player who can shoot from deep. Traylor was not as highly-touted, but the Jayhawks are in need of big bodies to back up Thomas Robinson and Jeff Withey.
KU already lost one freshman, forward Braeden Anderson, in September because of academic issues. A Big 12 committee ruled that Anderson couldn’t be on scholarship, which forced him to leave school and seek a chance to play elsewhere.
McLemore and Traylor each played at three different high schools, which complicated their transcripts.