University of Kansas

Former KU guard Sam Cunliffe chooses Evansville as transfer destination

KU guard Sam Cunliffe on making most of playing time

KU sophomore guard Sam Cunliffe talked Thursday about his role coming off the bench for the Jayhawks.
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KU sophomore guard Sam Cunliffe talked Thursday about his role coming off the bench for the Jayhawks.

Former Kansas shooting guard Sam Cunliffe, who announced plans to leave KU on July 23, has chosen Evansville as his transfer destination.

The 6-foot-6 Seattle native made a campus visit to the Missouri Valley Conference school on Saturday and also visited Pepperdine and Xavier. He also had Washington, Fresno State, Minnesota and Grand Canyon on his initial list of possible schools.

“Coach (Walter) McCarty played in the NBA with the Celtics. He’s a great guy, great coach. I trust him and believe in his vision,” Cunliffe told The Star on Tuesday afternoon, a couple minutes after posting his decision on Twitter.

“I’m comfortable with the school, the town and coach. I visited three days ago and felt pretty clear it was the right place for me to be,” Cunliffe added. “They’ve got other good players. I think it’s a place where I can show what I can do and the coaches can help me reach the highest level.”

Cunliffe scored 28 points in 15 games for the Jayhawks his sophomore season after averaging 9.5 points in 10 games at Arizona State during the first semester of the 2016-17 campaign.

He will be able to practice but not play in games in 2018-19 in accordance with NCAA rules. He will have two years of eligibility remaining starting in 2019-20.

“I’m unbelievably excited for this opportunity,” Cunliffe said. He recently told The Star he has “been back home (in Seattle) working on my game, making sure my body is right.”

Earlier, in explaining his decision to leave KU, he told The Star: “I’m going into my junior year. I feel I’m trying to take this game as far as I can. For me to be able to do that, I don’t feel I will be able to show everything I can do on the court just with there being so many guys (at his position).”

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