A (way too) early look at the 2017-18 Kansas Jayhawks basketball team
It’s been a busy “offseason” so far for the Kansas basketball team as the Jayhawks return to campus for Sunday’s first session of the Bill Self basketball camp and then Tuesday’s first day of summer school.
To recap, in the 10-week span following KU’s March 25 season-ending setback to Oregon, the Jayhawks:
▪ lost three players (Josh Jackson, Dwight Coleby, Carlton Bragg) who were eligible to return in 2017-18.
▪ added three transfers (Charlie Moore, Dedric Lawson, K.J. Lawson) who must sit out a season in accordance with NCAA rules.
▪ added a graduate transfer (Jack Whitman) who is immediately eligible to play in games.
▪ added a walk-on (Chris Teahan).
▪ retained two players (Devonté Graham, Svi Mykhailiuk) who chose a senior season at Kansas over the 2017 NBA Draft.
With the roster currently set at the NCAA’s scholarship limit of 13 and Coach Self’s recent statement that the Jayhawks “are done” recruiting players in the Class of 2017, it might be a good time to review all that’s happened since Kansas dropped a 74-60 Elite Eight decision to the Ducks in Sprint Center.
30 - Senior point guard Frank Mason wins The Associated Press national player of the year award. “My goals and our goals were to be here as a family,” Mason said during a ceremony at the Final Four in Arizona. “It’s something different for me because I expected to be here with my teammates and coaches.
31 - Mason claims United States Basketball Writers Association Oscar Robertson player of the year honor. “We accomplished a lot this season, and this award would not have been won without my teammates and coaches,” Mason said while honored again at the Final Four.
1 - Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame names 14th-year KU coach Bill Self a member of the Hall’s Class of 2017. He joins Roy Williams, Larry Brown, Phog Allen and James Naismith as KU coaches to be so honored. “I really believe the most special thing about coaching at Kansas is to be part of maybe as tradition-rich program as there is in college basketball,” said Self, who will be officially inducted on Sept. 8 in Springfield, Mass.
2 - Mason wins Naismith Trophy as presented by Atlanta Tipoff Club. “What an incredible honor for me and my family,” Mason said.
6 - Sophomore Carlton Bragg announces plans to transfer after averaging 5.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 13.8 minutes per game in 2016-17. It was a season in which Bragg, a 6-10 forward, was suspended four games. “This past year didn’t go as well as I thought it would, and it’s in my best interest to get a fresh start. I want to thank my teammates, coaches and the fans for all their support these past two years. I will always cheer for the Jayhawks,” Bragg said while not announcing a transfer destination.
7 - Mason wins Wooden Award, presented in Los Angeles. “It’s been a good year for us. I wouldn’t say great. A great year to me is winning it all,” Mason said.
9 - Combo guard Devonté Graham announces on Twitter that he will return to Kansas for his senior season. He revealed the decision on the three-year anniversary of his being released from his scholarship at Appalachian State. “He feels it would benefit himself to come back to improve his (NBA) stock. Regardless of who we sign, he realizes he has the chance to be the face of our program. These are all things he decided were important,” Self said.
10 - Brothers Dedric and K.J. Lawson announce plans to transfer to Kansas after two seasons at Memphis. Dedric, a 6-9, 240-pound forward, averaged 19.2 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, and K.J., a 6-7, 210 forward 12.4 points and 8.3 rebounds in 2016-17. “Dedric is one of the best big-man prospects in the country. He was a double-double machine last year,” Self said. “K.J. is a very competitive athlete who we feel will add to our culture here.”
12 - Guard Svi Mykhailiuk announces he’s entering his name in the NBA Draft pool but not signing with an agent, meaning he still could return for his senior season. “It’s everyone’s dream to play in the NBA and not going with an agent allows me to see where I stand after the NBA Combine and workouts,” said Mykhailiuk. He averaged 9.8 points per game while starting 25 games his junior campaign.
13 - A video from a Memphis nightclub surfaces showing incoming KU player K.J. Lawson blasting his former Tigers coach, Tubby Smith. In a Snapchat video, Lawson spoke over the lyrics of a song, saying, “This is what we do when we leave Tubby. (Bleep) Tubby.” A few hours later, Lawson issued an apology for what he called his “inexcusable behavior,” on Twitter.
17- Josh Jackson declares for the NBA Draft. He averaged 16.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game during his one season at Kansas. “I am very thankful for all of the support I have received from my coaches and teammates at Kansas, and I look forward to starting my career in the NBA,” said Jackson, who is expected to be a top-3 pick in the June 22 draft.
25 - Chris Teahan follows in the footsteps of brother, Conner, and announces plans to attend Kansas as a walk-on. The 6-5 Rockhurst High football/basketball player averaged 16.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game his senior season, knocking down 36 percent of his threes and 75 percent of his free throws. “I’d always thought about it,” Chris said. “I talked to Coach Self a little bit. My senior year came along and I went to a couple of games. I said to myself, ‘This is where I have to go.’ I never felt anywhere else was the right fit. Coach told me how hard I have to work. I said I was up for the challenge. He said, ‘That’s it,’ Teahan said of being added to the team.
25 - Point guard Charlie Moore announces plans to transfer from Cal to KU after averaging 12.2 points and 3.5 assists per game his freshman season. “The flight from Cal to Chicago is four hours. Chicago to Kansas is an hour, and the drive is seven. It’s better physically for me to be closer to home,” said Chicago native Moore, wanting to be closer to his dad who recently suffered a stroke.
2 - William & Mary senior forward Jack Whitman announces plans to transfer to Kansas after averaging 10.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game his redshirt junior season at the Williamsburg, Va., school. Whitman hit 66 percent of his floor shots, 59.7 percent of his free throws in 2016-17. “I mean I’m not guaranteed anything (minutes). I feel they are thin at the 4-5 spot. I can definitely help out,” said Whitman. He had 13 points and four boards in a loss at Duke.
3 - Bragg chooses Arizona State as his transfer destination over Cincinnati and Illinois. “I would say it (trip to Arizona State) was amazing. It was beautiful weather. The campus is beautiful. What really stuck out with me was Coach (Bobby) Hurley, just the things he said stuck with me throughout the whole visit,” Bragg said.
15 - One day after graduation ceremonies at Memorial Stadium, Dwight Coleby announces plans to leave KU as a graduate transfer. He averaged 1.7 points and 1.8 rebounds per game in limited duty last season. “In talking with Coach (Self) about my future, I feel that this is what is best for my potential opportunities … I will always be a Jayhawk,” Coleby said. He did not announce a transfer destination.
24 - Mykhailiuk withdraws his name from the NBA Draft and says he’ll be returning for a senior season at KU. An ankle injury he suffered at the NBA Combine didn’t help his chances of impressing scouts. “I had a lot of feedback, and I decided to come back,” Mykhailiuk said. He had individual workouts with three NBA teams after the combine. “I saw what I need to improve on next year and be a better player. I look forward to being with my teammates and help my team win,” Mykhailiuk added.
That’s been about it for basketball news since the final game of the 2016-17 campaign. It all starts again soon enough, as the Jayhawks gather as a team Sunday to sign autographs for campers attending the first session of Self’s basketball camp for youths.
Mykhailiuk figures to be the only Jayhawk to not be on campus for summer school.
He’s currently in his home country of Ukraine planning on playing for Ukraine’s national team in FIBA Eurobasket 2017, to be contested Aug. 31-Sept. 17. If Mykhailiuk, as expected, makes the Ukrainian National Team, he would play for his country in Group B games starting Aug. 31 in Tel Aviv, Israel. The top four teams in the group that is made up ofUkraine, Israel, Lithuania, Italy, Germany and Georgia would advance to the round of 16 on Sept. 9 in Turkey. Finals are Sept. 17 in Istanbul.
Self said Svi would “probably not be back soon,” but was planning on Mykhailiuk traveling with the Jayhawks to Italy for four exhibition games July 31 to Aug. 8.
Incoming Kansas freshman Marcus Garrett graduates Monday and said he will arrive later in the week. Freshman Billy Preston tweeted that he arrived on campus on Saturday.
Players are allowed to practice with coaches up to eight hours a week while school is in session, the month of June to be a hectic one for the Jayhawks, ostensibly set to begin making headlines again, starting Sunday.