Kansas has two basketball players listed on Sports Illustrated’s Top 60 Big Board, an early set of rankings far in advance of the 2019 NBA Draft.
Somewhat surprisingly, KU junior center Udoka Azubuike, who attended the NBA Combine and an individual workout with the Los Angeles Lakers before removing his name from the 2018 draft pool, was not included on the list of 60. The two Jayhawks mentioned were freshman combo guard Quentin Grimes at No. 7 overall and junior power forward Dedric Lawson at No. 42.
“Grimes was a key cog for the USA team coached by Bill Self that just won gold at the U18 FIBA Americas and should play a similarly large role for Kansas,” wrote SI.com’s Jeremy Woo. “Checking all the key boxes for a combo guard, Grimes has a nice mix of positional size, ballhandling ability and passing feel and is ready for the college level. He has impressive coordination for his size and finishes pretty well around the rim.
“He stands to be more aggressive defending and imposing his will on the game in all facets, and appears to need the ball in his hands to thrive right now. His three-point shot is also a little shaky at times. As long as Grimes rises to the occasion at Kansas, the lottery should be within reach,” Woo added.
Of Lawson, Woo wrote: “After transferring to Kansas from Memphis along with older brother K.J., Dedric Lawson will have an enhanced platform to state his NBA case after averaging 19 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.0 blocks per game in 2016-17. While not an exceptional athlete, Lawson has been highly productive on both ends of the glass and around the basket and has shown inconsistent but functional set-shooting touch from outside. He could be in position for a big year as part of what’s essentially a brand new Jayhawk rotation and should be able to rejuvenate his draft stock in the process.”
ESPN.com’s Myron Medcalf lists KU freshman Grimes as the best NBA prospect on the 2018-19 KU roster.
“Coach Bill Self has seen a number of talented wings develop into NBA prospects: Andrew Wiggins, Josh Jackson, Kelly Oubre, Frank Mason and Devonté Graham, among others. It's a long list,” Medcalf wrote this week. “According to Self, Grimes might have an edge on all of them. … The 6-5, 204-pound wing could crack the top 10 in next summer's NBA draft if he lives up to the hype,” Medcalf added.
Selden on summer roster
Former KU player Wayne Selden is listed on the roster of the Memphis Grizzlies summer league team. Selden, 23, is a third-year pro who averaged 9.3 points and 1.9 assists a game in 35 games for the Grizzlies this past season. The 6-5 shooting guard, who missed several games early in the season because of a quad injury, started nine games.
Taylor heads to Venezuela for playoffs
Former Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor will join Venezuela League team Guaros de Lara for the Professional Basketball League playoffs which start Sunday, according to sportsvenezuela.com.
The 28-year-old Taylor averaged 16.4 points and 3.7 assists in 28 games for Guaros two seasons ago. Taylor averaged 21.0 points and 5.6 assists in eight games for Samsun Anakent of the Turkish League last winter.
KU 36th in revenue
Kansas’ athletic department ranks 36th nationally and fourth in the Big 12 in total revenue generated during the 2017 fiscal year, USA Today reported on Thursday.
KU had revenue of $95,251,461 against expenses of $94,709,233. Texas led the country at $214,830,647. Oklahoma was seventh nationally at $155,238,481, followed by West Virginia (27th, $110,565,870), KU, Oklahoma State (40th, $91,644,865), Texas Tech (43rd, $88,804,476), Kansas State (45th, $86,081,528) and Iowa State (50th, $82,659,447). Baylor and TCU’s figures were not available.
Antoine schedules four visits
Bryan Antoine, a 6-foot-4 senior shooting guard from Ranney Prep School in Tinton Falls, N.J., will make official recruiting visits to Florida (Sept. 15), Kentucky (Sept. 22), Duke (Sept. 29) and Villanova (Nov. 3), Zagsblog.com reported Thursday. He recently trimmed his list to those schools, plus Kansas. Antoine, the No. 8-ranked player in the recruiting Class of 2019 according to Rivals.com, has not said yet when he will visit KU. Duke is considered the favorite.
His high school teammate, 6-4 shooting guard Scottie Lewis, also is being recruited by all five schools on Antoine’s list.
“I believe it,” Lewis, Rivals.com’s No. 11-ranked player, told the Lexington Herald-Leader, supporting Antoine’s assertion that he has no leader at this time. “We talk about it so much. We try to be as well-rounded as possible. It’s a constant conversation between ourselves. So I believe it.”
Embiid slams, talks trash
Former KU center Joel Embiid, one of the most outspoken players in the NBA, dunked on Orlando Magic rookie Mo Bamba in a recent pickup game and was caught on tape trash-talking the former Texas player after the slam.
“Welcome to the (expletive) league!” Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, screamed after the bucket.
There are no hard feelings as the two are good friends.
"(Embiid) told me to demand the ball more," Bamba told cbssports.com of advice given last season. "He said he knows how little space you have in college, catching the ball and having everyone sink onto you, so you have to make moves quicker."
Embiid recently appeared on the online Web series “Hot Ones” and was asked about defeating fellow Sixer T.J. McConnell in a video game.
“I’m actually really good at everything I do," Embiid said. "That’s what I like doing. I like kicking people’s (butts) and letting them know that they (stink), they are trash, and I’m better than them.”