Silvio De Sousa declares for NBA Draft but will return to KU if appeal granted
Kansas sophomore Silvio De Sousa issued a statement Saturday on Twitter reiterating what he told The Star’s Sam Mellinger on Friday. De Sousa, a 6-foot-9 Angola native, tweeted he’d be entering his name in the 2019 NBA Draft with his intent to return to school if the NCAA grants an appeal made for reinstatement of De Sousa’s eligibility.
The NCAA ruled on Feb. 1 that De Sousa must sit out the 2019-20 season, “because his guardian received payment from a university booster and agent and agreed to receive additional funds from the same person.”
“The past two years have been the hardest in my life,” De Sousa wrote Saturday on Twitter. “I have faced obstacles, but they only help me learn about life and grow as a man. I have nothing but to thank God for allowing me to be the person I am today. I want to thank the University of Kansas, my coaches, my teammates and especially the fans for the unconditional love and support everyone has given me.
“You all stuck with me no matter what. With that being said, I have declared for the 2019 draft and will be looking for the right feedback and advice to ensure that I make the right decision to pursue my dreams, BUT my first choice is to REMAIN a JAYHAWK. Thank you, University of Kansas, and the entire Jayhawk Nation for all. Rock Chalk Babyyyy! (Signed) Silvio De Sousa.”
De Sousa had told The Star and another media outlet on Friday, that if the NCAA declares him eligible next season, “I will be back for sure.”
De Sousa and all players who declare for the draft have until May 29 to withdraw if they wish to return to school.
KU’s Dedric Lawson, Devon Dotson and Quentin Grimes also have declared for the draft. KU junior center Udoka Azubuike has until 10:59 p.m., Central time, Sunday to enter his name in the NBA Draft if he wishes to test the draft waters. No decision had been reached as of early Saturday evening.
Hurt ‘fell in love’ with Duke
Matthew Hurt, a 6-foot-9 senior forward out of John Marshall High in Rochester, Minn., who announced for Duke over KU, Kentucky and North Carolina on Friday in a ceremony at his high school, said he “fell in love with Duke since I (first) visited there.”
Hurt, the No. 7-ranked player in the recruiting class of 2019 according to Rivals.com, told the Rochester Post Bulletin that Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is “one of the greatest (coaches) of all time. Just being coached by him — because we don’t know how many years he has left — and just saying I got coached by Coach K means a lot.”
Hurt’s dad, Richard, said it “was truly a four-horse race until about three weeks ago or two weeks. When Tre (Jones, freshman point guard also from Minnesota) decided he was going to come back, I think that was the differentiating factor.
“I think Matthew understands what having a quality point guard will do for his game and I think Tre’s going to find out pretty quickly that having someone with his skill level will help his game,” Richard Hurt added.
Matthew Hurt noted it was difficult to inform the runner-up coaches of his decision.
“I had to call them and that was tough for me because of the relationship I had with them,” Hurt said of Bill Self, Roy Williams and John Calipari. “Saying no was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”
Hurt’s brother, Michael, will be a senior forward at Minnesota next season. Michael Hurt told the Rochester newspaper that he thinks it’s likely Matthew will be a one-and-done college player.
“I think that (Matthew) being a one-and-done is starting to become more of a reality. I have more confidence now that he is going to be a one-and-done because he is so versatile,” Michael Hurt said.
“At the NBA level, being able to shoot the three as well as he does at 6-foot-9, and that he can guard multiple positions because of that length, is what they’re looking for. Guys with size who can shoot the ball are huge.”
TJ Holyfield visiting Texas Tech
TJ Holyfield, a 6-8, forward and graduate transfer from Stephen F. Austin, is on a recruiting trip to Texas Tech this weekend. He is scheduled to visit KU on Monday. He also has visited Miami and is planning on visiting Illinois and Oregon.
Holyfield, who is originally from Albuquerque, N.M., missed all of last season with a dislocated shoulder after averaging 12.9 points (on 54.8 percent shooting, 28 of 68 from three, 41.2 percent) and 6.4 rebounds a game during the 2016-17 campaign. As a junior, he shot 54.8 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from three.
Stanley to announce Monday
Cassius Stanley, a 6-5 guard from Sierra Canyon High in Chatsworth, Calif., will announce for either KU, Duke, UCLA or Oregon on Monday at an afternoon school assembly, he told Rivals.com on Saturday before the Jordan Brand Classic in Las Vegas. Stanley did not reveal the time of the announcement.
Stanley, the No. 33-rated player in the Class of 2019 by Rivals.com, is said to be favoring Duke after visiting Duke a week ago.