Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Self: Mykhailiuk deserves to start

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk comes away with a steal from Washburn guard Turon Parker during the second half on Monday, Nov. 3, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk comes away with a steal from Washburn guard Turon Parker during the second half on Monday, Nov. 3, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.


So far, the transition from Ukrainian club team basketball to international competition to college basketball/USA style hasn’t overwhelmed 17-year-old Kansas University freshman Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk.

“Svi has probably been as good as anybody in the last few days of practice,” KU coach Bill Self said of the 6-foot-8 guard who is listed as a probable starter for today’s 7 p.m. exhibition game against Emporia State after his six-point, three-rebound, 16-minute stint off the bench in the opener versus Washburn.

“I think he’s really made a conscious effort to try to understand what we’re doing. For him to focus in and get it — it’s a little bit harder (for him than) others to focus in and get it — because he doesn’t understand ‘Oklahoman English’ that well. He wasn’t taught that back in the Ukraine,” native Oklahoman Self added with a smile. “It takes him awhile to understand some of the things I’m saying, but he’s done very, very well.”

Self said unless he changes his mind on game day, Mykhailiuk will join Frank Mason III and Wayne Selden Jr., on the perimeter with Jamari Traylor and Perry Ellis starting in the frontcourt.

“Svi is ... he could be hot or cold right now. He’s hit or miss,” Self said. “There’s been days without question he’s been our best player, and there’s been days without question, it’s like, ‘Good gosh, Svi, just make an easy play.’ I think a lot of that’s going to be with youth. I do see his minutes going up. He needs to be out there because he can do some things from an offensive standpoint and from a position-defender standpoint that he’s a little bit ahead of some other guys, so I do see him playing more.”

Self said the Jayhawks have installed about “20 things we can do” out of the 90 plays they’ll have available by season’s end.

He didn’t name names of anybody who might be struggling learning the college playbook. Generally speaking, however ...

“It’s hard to play guys if they don’t know what you are trying to do — the simplest of things when you put them in,” Self said. “It’s not that it’s complicated. You’ve just got a situation where one guy can totally throw off what everybody else is trying to do. We’re more concerned doing what’s best for our team as opposed to an individual being able to be out there to play. We’ll allow guys to play through mistakes, but they need to have a pretty good grasp of what we’re doing to have the confidence to let them play through mistakes.”

Sophomore Mason said he struggled learning the playbook a year ago, thus spent extra time with assistant coaches outside of practice and also studied the plays on the team’s Internet application.

“It helped a lot. It will be more smooth if they get a chance to do that,” Mason said of the newcomers.

Mykhailiuk, who played club ball for Cherkasy Mavpy and also has competed at last summer’s Under 18 European championships and FIBA World Cup, has had no problems picking up the collegiate game. He has a good feel for the sport he has been playing a long time.

“I started in school, in second grade. My first coach came to class and said, ‘Who wants to go to basketball? We have practice at 3.’ I’ve been playing (ever since),” Mykhailiuk said, noting his mother played high school ball. “I played before in the Superleague in Ukraine. They were 27, 30 years old. I’ve learned a lot from them.”

Known for his shooting (he hit two of five threes vs. Washburn), Mykhailiuk has been hoisting a lot of shots before or after practice with a fellow newcomer.

“Me and Kelly (Oubre Jr) try to do it a lot,” Mykhailiuk said. “My expectation here is to be a good teammate, to help my team the best I can.”

As far as catching on to English, he actually speaks English, Russian and Ukrainian fluently.

“The whole language barrier sometimes gets him a little bit, and that’s kind of funny to watch,” junior Hunter Mickelson said, “but he’s a smart kid. He’s super young (turned 17 on June 10), but sometimes when you watch him practice it’s hard to tell. He’s got a great mind for the game. He makes quick decisions, ones you see older guys making he’s already making.”

Off the court ...

“He likes video games just like all of us,” his roommate, junior Evan Manning, said. “He asks a lot of questions. He wants to learn. He’s really trying to put himself in the culture of this place, which is really cool. He’s young, but he’s not scared. He’s a competitive person. How he played in the World Cup ... he was able to hang in there and play with those grown men from all over the world. He did a great job and is going to be a great player.”

Greene OK: Brannen Greene, who suffered a concussion against Washburn, is expected to play tonight, Self said.

Separation: Asked if the players had started to “separate themselves” as Friday’s season opener against UC Santa Barbara approaches, Self said: “We haven’t had separation like I thought we would both inside and on the perimeter. You could make a case for Cliff (Alexander) in certain situations, Landen (Lucas) in certain situations. You know Jamari and Perry are going to play, regardless. You can make a case for any of our six perimeter players being starters. I’d like to see a little more separation.”

About ESU: Former Colorado standout Shaun Vandiver is 40-45 in three seasons at Emporia State. His Hornets are picked eighth out of 14 teams in the Mid America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) 2014-15 preseason coaches poll. ... Last season, ESU went 18-13 and tied for sixth in the MIAA with a 10-9 record. ... The Hornets return two starters — junior guards Terrence Moore and Micah Swank — off last year’s team. Moore averaged 17.6 points and 4.0 rebounds per game and Swank 6.3 ppg. Other key returnees include sophomore G Jevon Taylor (5.7 ppg), sophomore F Jay Temaat (4.0 ppg) and sophomore F Josh Pedersen (3.4 ppg). ... KU leads the series 19-3. KU beat ESU, 88-54, in the last meeting on Oct. 30, 2012. Ellis scored 15 points and grabbed seven boards, while Lucas had six points and nine boards.


Rodney Crain 7 years ago

Hope you get to start Svi and wish you the best for this season! We are thrilled you are here!

Hraty Nu , spodivayusya , u vas ye vidminnyy hru ! Rok Mel Jayhawk

Walter Bridges 7 years ago

Once Svi gets a little more comfortable his 3-point shot along with Greene's and Seldon's COULD turn into a nightmare matchup plus open up the bigs inside.

I know Svi missed a few but w/his form and release, I thought it was obvious that he expects his shots to fall.

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

He does have a history of missing his 3's against older competition, he will need to show he can do that first for me. I do like many things about him, but you got to finish.

Suzi Marshall 7 years ago


I'm not sure if he has any kind of support structure around him. I suspect he's probably closest to KO because Oubre seems to be the type that would reach out and befriend a guy like him.

However, the headline seems to be misleading because according to what Self says, there are several that "deserves" to start.

Scott MacWilliams 7 years ago

Seems to me there is a Ukrainian assistant coach on the KU track team, or something like that. I'm guessing that he has connected Svi with whatever Ukrainian community there is in the area. Those kind of things will help him as the year goes on.
What a great addition to the team from out of nowhere... We lucked out because he was apparently sold when he found out that Sasha Kaun played here, and Kaun has made a big name for himself in Euroball. Rock Chalk, Svi Hawk!!

Brianna Zaleski 7 years ago

The reason Conner Frankamp quit is becoming all the more obvious. Svi came in and was a better, taller version of CF, so he got the heck out and quit... Side note, CF was at the WSU exhibit game this past wknd. Hard to not suspect that those wheels were put in motion well before CF decided to quit KU. Marshall is a good coach, but comes off as a bit shady/ sleazy, and I don't doubt for a min that he would jump at an opportunity to stick it to Self by stealing one of his players. Good luck

Glen Miller 7 years ago

Marshall said they don't want him...... I've heard rumors of Duke unfortunately ugh

Doug Cramer 7 years ago

Brianna - The exact same thought crossed my mind as well.

Walter Bridges 7 years ago

I'm more inclined to think Self gave CF a similar motivational speech as the one given to Tharpe at the end of last season.

Pure conjecture but Conner is no quitter..

Jonathan Allison 7 years ago

"Marshall is a good coach, but comes off as a bit shady/ sleazy, and I don't doubt for a min that he would jump at an opportunity to stick it to Self by stealing one of his players"

Interpretation: "Marshall is a good coach, and smart, too"

If the wheels were in motion for CF to be recruited by WSU, then I would guess that it was the Frankamp camp that started the motion. But lets not put Self on too high a pedestal, he recruited Kevin Young when Kevin Young was committed to SDSU. It's just part of the job and part of what makes good coaches into great recruiters.

Allison Steen 7 years ago

I think she's pointing out to Wichita State and their coach's inferiority complex when it comes to KU. It's there and it's obvious.

Ron Sterling 7 years ago

Self didn't recruit Young when he was committed. Young's HS coach told him KU was looking and gave him Self's #. Young called Self and when Self found out Young was committed, he told him he wouldn't talk to him unless he reopened his recruitment. Fischer was mad, and probably right to be, but his anger was misplaced. He should have been made at the HS coach. Self was above board about the whole thing.

Walter Bridges 7 years ago

Good memory..and a nice surprise. Young was far better than advertised and fit in well.

Jim Stauffer 7 years ago

Marshall is not going to jeopardize his situation by violating the rules in such a way. It would be a very natural move for CF to move to Wichita, his hometown, who happens to play in a league made up of guys just like Conner. Guys who may not have all the physical advantages but can truly play the game.

Best to Conner wherever he goes.

Gerry Butler 7 years ago

I would have to start paying a littler better attention to the sources if they said Connor could end up at Duke. Connor was struggling to get playing minutes here there is no snowballs chance he will end up at Duke, their in on top notch recruits at every position uh no that rumor needs to stop now, isn't happening. daddy whole thought process was Connor was gonna come to KU step in and be THE MAN not happening. although Connor is a good player he IS NOT talented enough to take on that role. daddy think he is gonna be the star, and her is a news flash he transfers to W.S.U. he not gonna be the man here either. not trying talk smack on Connor he is a good player but dad thinking because he was HE GUY in high school he could do and should be the same at KU nope, big difference between high school and major college ball, things you could get away with in high school not happening in major college to many players just as good and or BETTER then you Connor will be fine wherever but Duke just not happening

Mike Adams 7 years ago

Who would have ever thought Svi would beat out KO? There is no way he is as good on D as KO, which is usually big in Self's book. Self has stated several times KO is our best perimeter defender. I think this is more to give Svi and his supporters/potential recruits back home a fist pump...maybe help land some other International players we are looking at. Svi won't be starting against Kentucky unless KO has made negative improvement on his shooting.

Suzi Marshall 7 years ago

Mike, it could be a Self kick in the pants to get KO onboard with what he's trying to do with the team. Only Self and the coaching staff knows.

Mike Adams 7 years ago

I know it's an exhibition game. And, what is that supposed to mean any way this is KU basketball ... these kids have never started a college basketball game and this is HUGE for them. The coaches know this. It would be small minded to NOT understand Self and his coaches have in-depth conversations about what it means to start certain players -- good call Suzi. While it won't matter in 2 months it does now.

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

R-E-L-A-X Mike, it is an exhibition game. They are not starting a real college basketball game yet. Reread this please--- this game does not count.

You excitment is fun but this game is a glorified scrimmage played like a game. Do you get this fired up about a Chiefs exhibition game?

Lot's of experments going on, Coach is still trying to find his team, this is just fun tonight. Does not really matter who starts, who finishes. The players know this, so should our fans. This small minded one does. Self even says so notes Suzi, several players deserve to start.

Put the coffee down. Take a breath and seek something peaceful. My word you must have been a handful on Christmas morning.

Suzi Marshall 7 years ago

You shouldn't underestimate the importance of starting Mykailiuk tonight, even if it is an exhibition game. Self is very particular who he starts, anytime. There is a specific purpose.

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

My lord it is an exhibition game. There is no separation in the team (SELF), you even noted it above Self said many guys could start (SUZI).

This is not a big deal. It does not mean anything other than he had a good week of practice. Or Greene is hurt, or he made more free throws or Cliff and KO did not practice well, maybe they want to try this combo they are going to use against UCSB or Svi has family in... You cannot read significant importance into starting an exhibition game.

I cannot wait until the season starts and you "homers" relax a little bit.

Suzi Marshall 7 years ago

You could be right. Self may also not want to show KY much. Only Self knows.

Walter Bridges 7 years ago

One thing it means is that KO can sit and watch Svi without any negative consequences such as a loss..

It also allows Svi time adjust to the style of play in the NCAA. I thought Svi did pretty well out there on both ends.. Svi will be back next year while KO will be in the NBA. In the long run, the more time Svi gets the better it is for KU. This kid could end up as 'College Player of the Year' if he sticks around long enough.

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

Not both ends... Self said it did not work out for Svi starting since he missed his shots and played nervous. Which is kind of interesting considering he played for his country in some big tournaments.

The thing I like was his body language never was bad and he still contributed on defense and the break. He is going to be a good player for us.

Kerby Rice 7 years ago

I don't think WSU would have a scholly for Conner. They currently had 13 scholarship players, 2 that are seniors in Cotton and Carter, and 3 players already committed who I believe they intend to sign in the Fall. Conner was reportedly at the Shox game sitting behind the bench and shook hands with coaches afterwards. I am a diehard KU fan attending Grad School at WSU and the attitude about Conner is kindof hit or miss. Some people you talk to would take him in a heart beat while others want nothing to do with him. I don't know a whole lot about Conner but he doesn't appear to fit the style of play Marshall wants to play. Was also curious if any of you think Conner may have hurt himself by saying he wants to have a bigger role. A rotation spot at Kansas as a sophomore seems like a pretty big role to me

John Fitzgerald 7 years ago

Svi is the real deal. Stoked we get him for more than one year.

Todd Simpson 7 years ago

hoping an editor @ will advise that the KU game tonight is on ESPN3 as well

John Fitzgerald 7 years ago

I ordered ESPN full court on Uverse so I'm praying it won't be blacked out.

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

Full Court does not start till Friday. The UCSB game is there, not tonights. ESPN3 or if you can get it works too.

John Fitzgerald 7 years ago

KU really makes it difficult to watch these games from home, my goodness.

Shannon Gustafson 7 years ago

You can watch the game with U-Verse, even if you're in the "blackout" zone, just use Google Chrome browser and download the ZenMate extension. This changes your location so it appears your out of the state and allows you to view the game on ESPN3.

This also applies to other service providers that are allowed access to ESPN3 (Comcast and such)

The other option of course is to wait a day or two and they will lift the blackout and allow you to watch the replay without any "tricks".

Steve Kubler 7 years ago

Blacked out in 99% of Kansas, again :(

Rodney Crain 7 years ago

You might want to check this blackout map out for ESPN Full Court. I ordered mine today to watch KU but I live in Chicago...

Micah Lemons 7 years ago

Heads up to Gary and the editors - the countdown clock has been wrong since day light savings two weekends ago...

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