University of Kansas

Dwight Coleby to leave Kansas, will be immediately eligible at transfer destination

Kansas forward Dwight Coleby grabbed a rebound in front of Michigan State’s Nick Ward in an NCAA Tournament game March 19 in Tulsa, Okla.
Kansas forward Dwight Coleby grabbed a rebound in front of Michigan State’s Nick Ward in an NCAA Tournament game March 19 in Tulsa, Okla.

Kansas forward Dwight Coleby, a 6-foot-9 senior-to-be from Nassau, Bahamas, has decided to transfer, Coleby and KU coach Bill Self announced Monday night.

Coleby, who averaged 1.7 points and 1.8 rebounds a game in limited duty last season, will be immediately eligible as a graduate transfer at a yet-to-be-determined school.

He took part in KU commencement ceremonies Sunday, receiving his degree in communication studies.

“Dwight and I have visited about this multiple times since the end of our season and he has worked so hard academically to put himself in a position to make this decision,” Self said. “We wish Dwight nothing but the very best moving forward. He felt the opportunity to go to a place and have the option to play quite a bit more and have more of a significant role would enhance his chances to play professionally in the future.”

Self added: “We have truly enjoyed Dwight the past two years. He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. It was unfortunate he tore his ACL his first year (after transferring from Mississippi) but he played a key role, especially late in the season, to the success we had this year. We not only support him but also agree that this could potentially help his postcollege professional options. Dwight will always be looked upon by our program as a Jayhawk. We respect everything that he’s done in the time he has been here.”

Coleby, who tore the ACL in his left knee in September 2015, was slow to recover from surgery. After being sidelined in 2015-16 in accordance with NCAA transfer rules, he wound up playing just 5.6 minutes a game in 24 games his redshirt junior season.

“In talking with Coach (Self) about my future, I feel that this is what is best for my potential opportunities,” Coleby said. “I would like to thank the coaching staff for allowing me to come here. I’d like to thank my teammates for their support the past two years. I’d like to thank the fans for cheering me on and believing in me. KU is a part of my heart. It’s my alma mater and I am proud to have earned my degree from KU. I will always be a Jayhawk.”

Coleby logged 10-plus minutes in five games, including 13 against Purdue on March 23 in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. He had two points and a rebound in the 98-66 win over the Boilermakers. Coleby had three points and four rebounds while playing nine minutes in a 90-70 win over Michigan State in the second round of the NCAA tourney. He scored 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting in a 77-67 win Feb. 25 at Texas. He had a season-high six rebounds in a 73-68 win over Baylor on Feb. 1 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas recently signed a graduate transfer in Jack Whitman, a 6-9 senior-to-be out of William & Mary. Other bigs on the 2017-18 roster include incoming McDonald’s All-American Billy Preston and sophomores-to-be Udoka Azubuike and Mitch Lightfoot.

The Jayhawks now have 13 scholarship players on the roster, the maximum number according to NCAA rules. Senior-to-be Svi Mykhailiuk has declared for the NBA Draft but has not signed with an agent, meaning he still could return. If he keeps his name in the draft, KU will have 12 scholarship players.

Gary Bedore: 816-234-4068, @garybedore