A (way too) early look at the 2017-18 Kansas Jayhawks basketball team
David McCormack spent the high school basketball season somewhat overshadowed on a star-studded Oak Hill Academy (Va.) team, a roster that included Kansas signee Billy Preston.
But the spring and summer tour has been something of a breakout period for McCormack, a 6-10 rising senior who has scholarship offers from KU, Baylor, Duke, Georgetown and a whole host of others. That trend continued through the first day of the NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp at the University of Virginia.
Playing a pair of 48 minute games with players rotating in and out roughly every six minutes, McCormack averaged 10.5 points and 10 rebounds across the two games against some of the nation’s best prospects. He said his emergence has little to do with no longer sharing the spotlight at Oak Hill and is more about his own improvement.
“It’s definitely a case of me getting better,” McCormack said, adding he’s continuing to get in better shape and has developed more of a face-up game.
Much of what the 290-pound center, rated the No. 23 player in his 2018 class by 247Sports, is looking for in a school and basketball program would seem to benefit the Jayhawks. He wants to play for a national power in a system that works through its big men. He’s also interested in a career in the media someday, and KU’s highly regarded journalism school is a plus.
“I really want to make sure the program fits me,” he said. “Make sure the coaching style fits me and how they develop big men. Playing with my back to the basket is my bread and butter.”
But McCormack, who is from Norfolk, Va., hails from the heart of ACC country and several programs from that league are making a strong push. Duke is considered one of the favorites, and McCormack recently took an unofficial visit to Virginia. He also recently picked up an offer from new North Carolina State coach Kevin Keatts.
Also among programs closer to home, he has scholarship offers from Maryland, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and VCU.
McCormack said he hasn’t even begun to trim his list yet. But perhaps another advantage for Kansas is the possibility of re-teaming with Preston in the Jayhawks’ frontcourt — if Preston isn’t a one-and-done college player, that is.
“That’s definitely something we talked about before he left,” McCormack said.