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Originally published August 5, 2014 at 11:39a.m., updated August 5, 2014 at 11:19p.m.

Former Oregon signee Kasongo to visit KU

Kansas University basketball recruiting.

Kansas University basketball recruiting.

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Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self isn’t finished pursuing players in the incoming Class of 2014.

The Jayhawks — who still have one scholarship available in recruiting — this weekend are scheduled to host Ray Kasongo, a 6-foot-9, 230-pound power forward from Scarborough, Canada, who recently was denied admission to Oregon, but is said to be academically eligible to play in 2014-15.

Kasongo tells Zagsblog.com he also is considering California and Memphis and is planning on visiting those schools next week.

“I’m supposed to go there (KU) this Friday and visit with my parents,” Kasongo told Zagsblog.com on Tuesday. “Making it to the NBA is a big goal for me and they send a lot of bigs out there. I’m looking forward to visiting the school this weekend.”

Kasongo, a three-star prospect who is not ranked by Rivals.com, last October chose Oregon over UConn, LSU, DePaul, USC, Florida State and others. He was viewed as a possible starter at Oregon this season.

“It’s unfortunate. I was really looking forward to going to Oregon but the administration denied my application there. I’m not really too sure (why),” Kasongo told Zagsblog.com.

He made a name for himself last summer when he scored 24 points with 15 rebounds and seven blocks in a game in Las Vegas against a team that included KU’s Cliff Alexander and Duke’s Jahlil Okafor.

Kasongo, who is a buddy of former KU player/fellow Canadian Andrew Wiggins, played for AAU program Grassroots Canada and models his game after Amar’e Stoudemire.

“I love his game,” Kasongo said.

Kasongo is known for his athleticism.

“If he gets the right culture and the right development, the sky’s the limit for this guy, I’m telling you,” Michael Duncan, the director of Ohio Basketball Club, Kasongo’s former AAU team, told Zagsblog.com.

“He runs the floor like a deer, jumps out the gym crazy. When he came he was just raw. He’s gotta develop some post moves, gotta get a go-to move. If he ever gets the right coaching, it’s a wrap. He’s gonna be unbelievable. He’s just so super-strong and athletic.”

If he is deemed eligible by the NCAA clearinghouse, Kasongo would be able to play this upcoming season.

KU’s incoming recruiting class consists of power forward Alexander and guards Kelly Oubre, Devonté Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk. The frontcourt players on the roster: Alexander, Perry Ellis, Jamari Traylor, Landen Lucas and Hunter Mickelson.

Mickelson scores six: KU junior power forward Mickelson scored six points, grabbed eight rebounds and had one block in USA East Coast’s 90-83 win over Austria on Friday in a Tallinn Cup game in Estonia. Mickelson battled foul trouble while playing 18 minutes. B.J. Johnson had 20 points, while Dusty Hannahs and Tyler Roberson had 16 apiece for the U.S., which will play host Estonia Wednesday.

Svi credits teammates: KU frosh Mykhailiuk commented on his being named MVP at the Under 18 European Championships Div. B Tournament in a Facebook chat with the Journal-World on Tuesday.

“I feel great. I didn’t expect that I would be MVP, but this is all about the team,” said the 6-8 Mykhailiuk, whose Ukraine team placed second overall. “I think everybody can become MVP on my team. But we have what we have.”

Mykhailiuk said he is currently working out with Ukraine’s Senior National team, which will play in the World Cup, set for Aug. 30 to Sept. 14 in Spain.

“I am in Lithuania. It (arrival date at KU) depends on the national team,” Mykhailiuk noted.

If he doesn’t make the team, he’ll likely be on KU’s campus later this month or early September.

Orlando schedule: KU will meet Rhode Island at 1 p.m. CST on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 27) in the 2014 Orlando Classic, held at HP Field House in ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.

If KU wins, it would meet either Santa Clara or Tennessee at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 28 on ESPNU. The finals are either noon or 3 p.m. on Nov. 30 on ESPN2.

Teams on the other side of the bracket include Georgia Tech, Marquette, Michigan State and Rider. In a non-bracketed game that is also part of the 2014 Orlando Classic, on Monday, Nov. 24, Kansas will host Rider at 7 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse. Elsewhere, Santa Clara will be at Michigan State.

“It’s a great field and this will be a good early-season test for us,” KU coach Bill Self said. “From what we understand, this is always a first-class event and our players will look forward to participating.”

Kansas leads the series with Rhode Island, 2-1, with its last meeting a KU 80-69 win on Dec. 30, 2006, in Allen Fieldhouse. The Rams defeated the Jayhawks, 80-75, in the 1998 NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional in Oklahoma City, and KU won the other meeting, 73-60, on Dec. 29, 1993, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Comments

Aaron Paisley 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I don't necessarily think this would be the best use of the extra scholarship, but there's no harm in hosting the kid for a visit. Personally, I would use that extra scholarship on Christian Garrett as a reward for his hard work and loyalty to the program the past 3 years. Giving Garrett that scholarship has no impact on 2015 recruiting since Garrett will be a senior this year and it would be a great good will gesture.

Suzi Marshall 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I'm with you on rewarding Garrett with the scholarship. Plus it gives us an extra ride for '15 recruiting. However, if Self thinks the kid is a player and can help us...great.

Brett McCabe 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Bill doesn't invite them here to see if they can play. Now that we are all-in on the OAD, he probably knows that he needs some depth, some practice players and some projects.

Ryan Zimmerman 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I watched his highlight reel on youtube. He seems to really dominate against 5'11 white guys...

Brett McCabe 4 months, 2 weeks ago

c'mon. can't we laugh at ourselves anymore?

Mark Lindrud 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Let me help. Now a days a white guy is what we call a Caucasian. I hope this avoids anymore confusion.

Aaron Paisley 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I take offense to being called Caucasian. I prefer pigmently challenged.

David A. Smith 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Yeah, because being caucasion is the absence of having a race, much like white is not a color. Therefore,it is perfectly acceptable to talk about white guys. That's not racism at all.

Joe Ross 4 months, 2 weeks ago

ill leave race out of it, but i just watched the video and the highlight reel did show a bunch of guys way shorter than he is. would like to see some other vids with him facing some guys with height. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQFaKo4T-l4

Andy Hess 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I thought the same thing. I'd really like to see him facing off against some AAU competition, but I guess that's not in the cards.

Robert Brock 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Why was Kasongo denied admission? Did he make Phil Knight angry when Kasongo accidentally wore adidas socks one day while in Eugene?

Glen Miller 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I wouldn't expect much out of this kid overseas Svi. He should be over here working with his team and trying to earn minutes. I don't see how he can get away with missing a month of school??? Have the rules changed or am I just dumb to think that these kids are student/athletes.....

Billy Gibbons 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Classes don't start for another few weeks. These kids haven't been student/athletes for quite some time...maybe in part because we expect them to report to duty before school begins?

Congrats, Svi!

Andrew Horigan 4 months, 2 weeks ago

He has a chance to make his country's roster for the world cup in Spain. He could play against some of the best, the US is in Ukraine's bracket. It would be fun to see a future KU player going against players like Rose and Curry. There is no harm in representing your country.

Aaron Paisley 4 months, 2 weeks ago

None of the players are in Lawrence right now so he wouldn't actually be missing anything right now. The Ukrainian national team is coached by Mike Fratello so Svi is going to get good coaching during his work outs over there and the competition level during those work outs is a step up from KU.

As for when he'll start classes, it's not uncommon for kids to show up late due to financial issues and getting tuition payments processed and Svi will have the benefit of tutors to help him catch up on whatever classes he misses early on.

Rodney Crain 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I went back and looked at the articles about Christian joining our team. He had scholarship offers from a few SEC and Ivy League schools but walked on in 2011 at KU with no promises of PT. He recently paid his way to the John Lucas camp, so I don't think he is hurting for money. I disagree that we should just give the guy a scholarship just because we have one.

Sve is going to have adjustment issues coming to KU late. Especially if it is mid to late September. It is fine to play for your country, but do not think it will not have some effect on him. If he makes their team, right after playing the U18 tournament without a real break, it is going to be a long season for him. I just do not expect he will contribute much this season.

Kasongo, something smells funny about him. We do not have the whole story, it sounds strange what happened to him. OR denies admission???

Suzi Marshall 4 months, 2 weeks ago

The question regarding awarding Christian a scholarship should revolve around the question of ...Has he earned a scholarship relative to other opportunities, i.e. players.

Mykhailiuk will have plenty of time to rest at the end of the Kansas bench. If he misses the first month of school, in addition to all summer, it is bound to cause problems with the others on the team. It reminds me so much of how Krause used to give Kukoc special treatment while raising the ire of Jordan and Pippen. My bet is KO and Selden give him a rousing reception those first few practices.

We should keep our distance from Kasongo, however, if Self says "ok", I'll be a fan.

Rodney Crain 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I think we agree, a scholarship should never be considered a participation medal.

Aaron Paisley 4 months, 2 weeks ago

So you were against Bill Self awarding Connor Teahan a scholarship his senior year as well?

It doesn't matter if Christian Garrett relevant minutes this year or not, the kid has put in the time and effort and the coaching staff and other players are well aware of this. The biggest reason why this should seriously be considered by Bill Self is because Christian Garrett will be a senior this upcoming season and therefore, awarding him a scholarship does not impact KU's recruiting for the 2015 class. This is something done as a reward and to publicly recognize Garrett's hard work in practice.

If the financial need was great enough, as you said, Garrett had some decent offers coming out of high school that could've taken. An act like this is not done because the kid needs a scholarship, it's done because he's earned it through hard work and dedication and it doesn't impact recruiting for 2015.

Rodney Crain 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Conner earned playing time, and helped us win games as a junior. That example does not help your point. It does matter if he plays relevant minutes. A scholarship should never be treated as a participation medal for just showing up. Who cares about him being a senior, you do not reward somebody for sitting on the bench. We reward seniors at their last home games, that is enough. This idea is weak and meaningless if you just give him one for being around. If I was Chistian I would not want it unless I earned it after I walked on.

I am pretty sure he gets a ring when we win a B12 title, so its not like he is mistreated or left out.

Janet Olin 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Other articles, web sites have said Kasongo is academically eligible. They can't all be correct. Someone is hiding something; I doubt Coach Self would be interested if the kid isn't eligible. He's been in this bind before; I would think KU has researched this very carefully.

Benz Junque 4 months, 2 weeks ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Aaron Paisley 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Kasongo was not ruled academically ineligible by the MCAA, he was denied admission to the University of Oregon. Oregon is a pretty well regarded school academically and their admission standards reflect that. KU is a school that doesn't have very high admission standards so Kasongo would have a much better chance at being accepted to a school like KU that doesn't have very tough admission standards.

John Fitzgerald 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Kasongo would be a good practice guy to prepare our bigs for games. I'm assuming that's what he would be used for at least. As for Svi, I'm not mad at the kid for wanting to play for his country. Yes, it will affect his playing time at KU and he'll probably spend some time on the bench learning Self's system, but judging by his interviews he seems like a bright kid. He will understand, he will grow, and I think he'll be a good weapon off the bench this year and especially next year. I'm also confident the team will understand his reasons for arriving late and not give him a hard time. My only concern is how fast he will learn and adapt to Self's coaching style. Excited either way though! RCJH!

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