University of Kansas

Self expected to meet with Graham, Mykhailiuk next week about hoop futures

KU coach Bill Self will be all smiles if guard Devonte' Graham returns for a senior season with the Jayhawks.
KU coach Bill Self will be all smiles if guard Devonte' Graham returns for a senior season with the Jayhawks. rsugg@kcstar.com

Kansas coach Bill Self said he expects to meet soon with junior guards Devonté Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk about their futures with the program.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if they both said they want to test, and I don’t think that’s all bad, unless they know for sure they need to come back,” Self said. “And I wouldn’t be surprised if they both said, ‘We haven’t done what we wanted to do and I think I can help myself.’ 

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Self, who was introduced as a Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame member on Saturday, said Graham could be influenced by the senior season of Frank Mason, who has been at the Final Four collecting national player of the year honors.

“Look at Frank did his senior year, and ball (will be) in his hands as much as Frank’s,” Self said. “And Svi? He’s only 20 years old still.”

Self said he expects there to be some level of interest in both players.

“I would support any decision,” Self said.

Graham averaged 13.5 points and Mykhailiuk 9.8 for the Jayhawks, who finished 31-5 and reached the NCAA Tournament Midwest Region final before falling to Oregon.

NCAA rules now allow players to get direct feedback about their interest, to test the waters of the NBA, which can include participating in the NBA Draft Combine if invited. They can retain their eligibility if they don’t sign with an agent and have until May 24 to make a final decision on whether to stay in the draft or return to school.

About Mason as an NBA prospect, Self said he believes his star guard will get a strong look.

“I think there are a lot of people that really like Frank,” Self said. “I don’t know if there are lot of people who love him that would say he’s a for sure a first-rounder.

“The way I look at it, everybody would like their kids to go in the first round, but I don’t think this kid is going to be denied one way or another.

“Physically he has some limitations. He’s not going to wake up tomorrow and have his wingspan be 6-3 and (stand) 6-1 instead of 5-10. But the more you watch him the more you like him and I think he’s grown on every NBA franchise.”

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self was announced Saturday as a member of the 2017 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class.

Blair Kerkhoff: 816-234-4730, @BlairKerkhoff

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