KU freshman Tristan Enaruna shows off his versatility
Kansas senior center Udoka Azubuike hit a 16-foot jump shot and 14-footer to go with his usual array of dunks en route to 14 points in the Red team’s 80-75 loss to the Blue squad in the Bill Self campers game Tuesday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse.
The 7-foot, 270-pound Delta, Nigeria native, who ran the court well, appeared to be fully recovered from right hand surgery that limited him to nine games his junior season.
Meanwhile, 6-9, 245-pound Silvio De Sousa, who sat out his entire sophomore campaign because of an NCAA eligibility issue, went coast to coast for a dunk, glided baseline for a slam and flushed a pass off the backboard from Marcus Garrett. The Angola native definitely looked like he’d shaken off all rust en route to 11 points in a losing cause.
Sophomore point guard Devon Dotson of the winning Blue team hit four threes en route to a scrimmage-high 19 points, while sophomore combo guard Ochai Agbaji knocked down three threes en route to 17 points for the Red squad.
Those returnees produced numbers for sure, yet it was three scholarship freshmen — Tristan Enaruna, Christian Braun and Issac (“Mackey”) McBride — who may have made the biggest impression on several hundred campers — scoring 14, 13 and eight points respectively. Walk-on Michael Jankovich also hit a three to cap the scoring of the freshman group.
“I know they are coming in with a mindset they have to be aggressive,” sophomore Agbaji said of Braun and McBride, who played for the winning team and Enaruna, who played for the losing squad. “They have to learn how the offense works. They’re just going out there and playing right now and working hard.”
KU coach Bill Self did not watch the scrimmage (first team to 80 points was declared the winner), but did introduce his 2019-20 players to the campers prior to tipoff.
“Here’s a guy 6-foot-8 who can do a little bit of everything,” Self said in introducing Enaruna, who exhibited a soft touch on midrange jumpers (he did not hit a three) to go with a slam dunk off a lob from Agbaji and a dunk off a dash along the baseline.
Enaruna, who Self pointed out “is our first player from the Netherlands,” agreed with his new coach’s assessment of his game.
“Shooting, passing, trying to block shots, rebound. I try to do everything,” Enaruna said after hitting 7 of 13 shots.. “I think for me it’s really important now having a killer mindset going into every game, having the mindset nobody will be able to stop me. I think every part of my skillset is able to have a lot of room actually to become better — shooting, passing, dribbling, but also being a leader, being vocal to the guys.”
Braun, a 6-6 freshman wing out of Blue Valley Northwest, hit 5 of 9 shots Tuesday. He converted three three-pointers.
“I mean he is really tough. That’s what I learned playing with him a week now. He’s tough. He doesn’t back down, always stepping up to the challenge,” Agbaji said of Braun, who on one possession accepted a pass from the 6-2 McBride and drilled a three from the corner. Braun actually converted back-to-back threes late in the scrimmage.
Noted Enaruna: “Christian always wants to play hard. He always goes after the ball. He’s able to shoot the ball, get the ball to teammates.”
McBride was 2 of 8 shooting from three on Tuesday, but did manage eight points with three assists. He found power forward David McCormack (12 points) for a dunk. The 6-10 McCormack, by the way, matched Azubuike’s outside prowess, hitting a pair of jumpers from the corner.
“He is really shifty which is going to make it hard for everybody to guard him,” Enaruna said of the Little Rock, Arkansas native McBride. “He can shoot it too. He has shooting that’s going to be brought to the team this year.”
Two of Dotson’s threes on Tuesday were well beyond the new three-point arc (22-1 3/4).
“He is shooting with a lot more confidence,” Agbaji said of Dotson, 6-2 sophomore from Charlotte, North Carolina. “I think it’s something we need from the point guard position, a guy who can stretch the floor and attack off the dribble as well.”
Senior forward Mitch Lightfoot also hit three threes en route to 15 points for the winning Blue squad.
Two former KU players participated. Elijah Johnson scored eight points for the Blue team and Travis Releford nine for the Red.
There’s a chance KU will add a player to its incoming freshman class on Wednesday — a class that includes No. 44-ranked Enaruna (by Rivals.com), No. 90-rated Braun and No. 103 McBride. Jalen Wilson, a 6-8 senior forward from Denton Texas, who is ranked No. 47 nationally by Rivals.com, has said he will announce for either KU, North Carolina or Michigan at 2 p.m. Wilson told The Star in a text message the announcement will come via his social media accounts.
Camp box score
Devon Dotson 19 points, Mitch Lightfoot 15, Christian Braun 13, David McCormack 12, Issac McBride 8, Elijah Johnson 8, Michael Jankovich 3. x-points unofficial and do not add up.
Ochai Agbaji 17, Udoka Azubuike 14, Tristan Enaruna 14, Silvio De Sousa 11, Travis Releford 9, Marcus Garrett 9, Chris Teahan 3. x-Points are unofficial and do not add up.