University of Kansas

Former KU forward settles in Czech Republic, courtesy of 3-year deal

Former KU player Hunter Mickelson (left) signed a three-year contract this past offseason with defending Czech League champ CEZ Basketball Nymburk.
Former KU player Hunter Mickelson (left) signed a three-year contract this past offseason with defending Czech League champ CEZ Basketball Nymburk. The Associated Press

Former University of Kansas forward Hunter Mickelson appears to have found a home in the Czech Republic.

Mickelson, 25, who was selected honorable mention all-Czech Republic League while playing for Turi Svitlavy in his first season as a professional basketball player in 2016-17, signed a three-year contract this past offseason with defending Czech League champ CEZ Basketball Nymburk.

He’s off to a strong start, scoring 18 and 10 points in a pair of exhibition games for his new team.

The 6-foot-10, 245-pound Mickelson averaged 12.9 points and 7.5 rebounds in 38 games a year ago.

Mickelson averaged 2.3 points and 2.3 rebounds a game his senior season at KU in 2015-16. He also played two seasons at Arkansas before transferring.

KU highly regarded in publications

Kansas’ basketball team has been ranked in the top five in three publications that each year preview the college basketball season.

Athlon Sports’ 2017-18 preview magazine has the Jayhawks at No. 3 overall, while Street and Smith’s Yearbook has the Jayhawks at No. 4 and Lindy’s Magazine No. 5.

Wichita State is ranked No. 3 by Lindy’s, No. 7 by Street and Smith’s and No. 9 by Athlon.

Arizona is preseason No. 1 of Athlon and Street and Smith’s. Lindy’s has tabbed Michigan State as the No. 1 contender to win it all.

Newman a top transfer

Kansas redshirt sophomore combo guard Malik Newman has been listed by Fanrag.com’s Jon Rothstein as one of 20 “impact transfers” heading into the 2017-18 season.

“Older, wiser, and more experienced than he was two years ago at Mississippi State, Newman has an excellent chance to lead the Jayhawks in scoring,” Rothstein wrote on Friday.

“The 6-3 combo guard reached double figures in every game that Kansas played on its foreign tour to Italy this past summer. He should reap the benefits of going head-to-head with both Frank Mason and Devonté Graham every day in practice over the past year.”

Others on the list out of the Big 12: Texas’ Dylan Osetkowski, formerly of Tulane and Texas Tech’s Brandone Francis, formerly of Florida. The list is available at https://www.fanragsports.com/rothstein-20-impact-transfers-2017-18-season/.

On Wednesday, Rothstein listed KU’s Billy Preston as one of 25 “impact freshmen” for the coming season.

“For Kansas to win its 14th consecutive Big 12 regular season title, it needs mileage out of Preston. The 6-10 forward may have as much overall talent as any player in the 2017 class, but the question remains: Can he be consistent on a regular basis? The Jayhawks will have to count on Preston with regularity at the power forward spot,” Rothstein wrote.

Others on the list included Missouri’s Michael Porter, Texas’ Mohammed Bamba and Oklahoma’s Trae Young. The list is available at https://www.fanragsports.com/rothstein-25-impact-freshmen-2017-18-season/

Gary Bedore: 816-234-4068, @garybedore

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