Devonté Graham has been working out in Thousand Oaks, Calif., the last couple of weeks in preparation for the NBA Combine and NBA Draft. Svi Mykhailiuk, meanwhile, has been prepping for both in Gaithersburg, Md., a suburb of Washington.
It’s finally sunk in that the two guards, who played for wildly-successful University of Kansas basketball teams the last four years, have moved on.
“There’s never going to be another D-Tae and Svi,” KU senior walk-on Clay Young said Saturday with a smile.
He brought his two Jayhawk teammates to his hometown for a Barnstorming Tour game Saturday night at the new Lansing High gymnasium. Young was a four-year starter at the old Lansing High School, which was replaced in 2015.
“It’s the ‘Clay Show,’ man. We’re just riding the wave with him,” said Graham, who along with Mykhailiuk, confirmed they’d accepted invitations to the upcoming NBA Combine set for May 16-20 in Chicago. The 2018 Draft is June 21 in Brooklyn.
“We wanted to come back and do something fun for his home town,” Graham added.
The fans, who occupied three-fourths of the gym’s seats, showed love to all three Jayhawks. The players signed autographs for an hour and a half before the game, which was contested against area high school players.
Mykhailiuk said he appreciated the reception, while insisting KU fans will have a batch of new guards to cheer for starting next season.
“It’s different people every year,” Mykhailiuk said. “Somebody’s gonna step up. It’s going to be new faces.”
The guards on the 2018-19 roster will include incoming freshmen Devon Dotson, Quentin Grimes and Cal transfer Charlie Moore, as well as returnees Marcus Garrett and Sam Cunliffe. Transfer K.J. Lawson and incoming freshman Ochai Agbaji can play guard and forward. There’s still a chance KU could land guard Romeo Langford, who will choose either KU, Indiana or Vanderbilt on Monday night.
Dotson hails from Charlotte, N.C.; Graham, of course, is from Raleigh, N.C.
“I probably did. I hosted so many people,” Graham said, asked if he played host to Dotson on his recruiting visit to KU’s campus last season. “You can see it when you watch him play and from the highlights … he’s going to be special.”
As far as the futures of Mykhailiuk and Graham, they are projected as likely second-round picks in the upcoming draft.
“You never know, man,” Graham said, when asked if he and fellow KU guards Mykhailiuk, Malik Newman and Lagerald Vick all could be drafted. Newman’s dad also said Saturday his son has accepted an invite to the combine.
“I mean we are all pretty good players. It’s about what team likes you, where you fit best and how you perform in the combine and different workouts,“Graham added. “I think we’ve all got good enough talent to get drafted. You just never know.”
Graham said his workouts have been beneficial.
In California he’s been running drills with the likes of Boston College’s Jerome Robinson, Ohio State’s Keita Bates-Diop and USC’s Chimezie Metu.
“Grayson Allen I guess just got there yesterday, so I’ll be working out with him (as well),” Graham said of the Duke wing, admitting, “It was hard to get back in shape. Once you get out of shape, resting for two weeks trying to get your body right, it’s kind of hard to get back into shape. It’s easier to get out of shape than back into shape.”
Lansing native Young will not be playing basketball next season. The sports management major (minor in business) is looking for a full-time job.
“I’ll see what options I have and pick what’s best for me,” he said, noting he completed his internship on Friday.
Of his sendoff as a player in Lansing on Saturday, Young said: “It’s nice to come home and play here. I didn’t play in this gym. It’s a new high school. It’s exciting to be back in Lansing with these guys.”
Luinstra an official KU walk-on
Free State High senior point guard Garrett Luinstra has officially accepted an offer to join KU’s program as a walk-on, he said Saturday night.
Luinstra met with coach Bill Self two weeks ago to finalize his status as a preferred walk-on.
“Ever since I was growing up, it was my dream to play there. Walking on or scholarship, there’s not a better experience than playing at Kansas,” said Luinstra, the Sunflower League player of the year and first-team all-state player as chosen by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association.
Luinstra, who swished his first three-point attempt in Saturday’s Barnstorming game, averaged 19.0 points per contest his senior season.
He had accepted an offer to play at KU months ago, but Self had wanted to bring him to campus to explain what was ahead the next four seasons.
“I met some of the players, walked around the facilities. I tried on the uniforms. They (KU players and staff members) were all welcoming. It was a great time,” Luinstra said of his visit to the campus two weeks ago.
Luinstra said he could play “4 man, 3 man, anywhere. It depends where he (Self) wants me at. I’m here to make the scholarship players better. I want to do everything i can to make the team better.”