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Saturday, December 31, 2016

KU transfer Evan Maxwell leaving the program

Kansas guard LaGerald Vick pulls up for a shot against forward Evan Maxwell during Late Night in the Phog on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard LaGerald Vick pulls up for a shot against forward Evan Maxwell during Late Night in the Phog on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Although the news does nothing to damage KU's rotation this season, KU's crop of big men took another hit on Saturday, when 6-foot-10 center Evan Maxwell announced, via press release, that he was leaving the program.

“I’d like to thank Coach (Bill) Self, the other coaches and staff, and especially my teammates for allowing me to be a part of such a great program,” Maxwell said in the release. “I just don’t think it was the right time for me and this will allow me to focus more on my future.”

Maxwell, a native of Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, signed with KU in May after a two-year stint at Liberty and was on pace to sit out the season due to NCAA transfer rules.

He was not in attendance at Friday night's 86-80 TCU victory in the Big 12 opener for both teams.

With two seasons of eligibility still to use, the forward, who averaged 10 points and 4.8 rebounds per game during his sophomore season at Liberty, had high hopes for his time at Kansas. He was not alone.

“We were all excited when Evan committed and we all had high expectations for him,” Self said. “This semester did not go the way Evan had anticipated. We support his decision to take some time away to figure out what he wants to do moving forward. He’s a tremendous young man and we wish him nothing but the best.”

With senior Landen Lucas graduating, the Jayhawks now are guaranteed to lose two front court players from the current roster. However, injured freshman center Udoka Azubuike, freshman forward Mitch Lightfoot and junior Dwight Coleby all are expected to return.

Beyond that, the future of sophomore Carlton Bragg Jr., remains up in the air, though it now looks far more likely that he could return for a third season than it did when the season began. And the Jayhawks also are anticipating the addition of forward Billy Preston, the No. 8-ranked player in the Class of 2017 according to Rivals.com, who signed with KU in November.

Comments

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 9 months ago

Not a huge surprise with Azubuike and Bragg coming back and Preston coming in. He probably would have been the 6th big on the team.

Svi will like depart along with Mason. We could use a 20 mpg guard, although this kid from Dallas may fill that bill.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 9 months ago

And Newman will be eligible after sitting out this year. I could see us getting another G, especially if Svi/Devonte leaves early.

Newman, Vick, Graham, Freshman1, Freshman2

Marius Rowlanski 1 year, 9 months ago

Marcus Garrett, the #37 ranked guard (rivals) has signed. We still could use at least one more.

Robert Brock 1 year, 9 months ago

Giving Maxwell - a walkon-quality player - a scholarship, was one of the strangest moves of the Bill Self regime.

Pius Waldman 1 year, 9 months ago

Well appreciate your comment. Hey 2017 just showed up can you share a couple of other strange moves the Bill Self regime made.

Marius Rowlanski 1 year, 9 months ago

Self had enough scholarships to take a shot w/Maxwell. Now he has the scholarship back.

Mallory Briggans 1 year, 9 months ago

When Self commented he was looking for another big man maybe Maxwell figured he may be an odd man out. Coach Self is the talent evaluator and maybe he didn't see enough in Maxwell in practices to consider him a main piece for next years program. I hate to see any player leave the program if he can contribute, but again only he knows the reason he is leaving . But all the best to Mr Maxwell.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 9 months ago

That's 2 liberty successes that couldn't make the grade at KU. It's a different level of commitment and competition. It is interesting that he didn't even survive a whole season. I wonder if there are any bigs out there that have graduated and want to transfer at mid-year?

Harlan Hobbs 1 year, 9 months ago

Calling Maxwell a "walkon-quality player" seems a little harsh, Robert. Have you seen him play?

My guess is that it is another "numbers" game. With two years of eligibility, he probably feels that he has to play somewhere that gives him more playing time so that he can hopefully develop. Given his height, I presume that he has visions of playing after college, most likely in Europe.

I suspect that we may hear some more related news in the near future. Perhaps, KU is courting another big man who can shore up any need that we might have beyond Azubuike, Coleby, Bragg, Lightfoot, and Preston (who probably has designs on being a one and done).

The loss of Udoka for the rest of this year really hurts as it would have been a great learning experience in advance of what should be a really good year next year. If that happens, then he essentially will end up being a one and done, at least as far as the conference season is concerned.

Bryce Landon 1 year, 9 months ago

I didn't even know this guy was on our team.

Jay Scott 1 year, 9 months ago

Will he play a year at Nebraska and then transfer again to Syracuse as the missing piece to a national championship?

Marius Rowlanski 1 year, 9 months ago

AW3 could have made a difference here if we hadn't wasted so much time on Greene.

Jay Scott 1 year, 9 months ago

AWs total inability to defend would have kept him from ever playing...

Marius Rowlanski 1 year, 9 months ago

Then he is where he should be. Boeheim rarely plays man-to-man and uses the 2/3 zone almost exclusively.

Which was torched by Boston College today.

Harlan Hobbs 1 year, 9 months ago

Nice reference to Andrew White, Jay. Maxwell will probably need to transfer to a mid-major program if he wants significant playing time right away. All the major programs are always pretty well set unless someone gets injured.

Jay Scott 1 year, 9 months ago

AW is "leading" Cuse to a 20 point pasting at the hands of Boston College. Could be the Eagles first ACC win in two years. He's awful. No defense whatsoever and only passes when trapped and doubled.

Marius Rowlanski 1 year, 9 months ago

AW3 has a decent stat line but leaving Neb. killed any chance of being drafted although it was a longshot at best.

Mallory Briggans 1 year, 9 months ago

A friend of mine from Oklahoma used to say " YOU CAN PUT KITTENS IN AN OVEN , BUT THAT DONT MAKE THEM BISCUITS.....in other words Maxwell is a 7 footer but that doesn't mean he can play or have the mental toughness to compete , you have to remember he still had to practice against the likes of Dok Lucas and Coleby and that was enough for him to know it wasn't at Liberty anymore . Maxwell was at Liberty for a reason

Marius Rowlanski 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm not sure practicing against Coleby would cause anyone to rethink playing at KU.

Martin Rosenblum 1 year, 9 months ago

Lipstick on a pig....Kittens in an oven....what we really need is a big man coach. A guy who can be like a Danny Manning and these recruits want to play for and learn from in addition to HCBS would be a real plus for the program.

Jay Scott 1 year, 9 months ago

... Because Embiid didn't develop at all... Nor did Ellis.. Or Tariq Black.... Or Lucas...

Clara Westphal 1 year, 9 months ago

Martin, you are absolutely right. We have needed a big man coach ever since Danny Manning left. I don't know who coaches the big men now but they are not getting the job done.

Doug Merrill 1 year, 9 months ago

I do not agree re the big man coaching. Dok was coming along well before getting hurt. I am guessing that the talent level of the current group is resulting in the outcomes we see, not a deficit in coaching skill. Once in a while (TCU) Landen shows what he can do against average talent. It would be great if he did that every game but fouls and inattention seem to be his biggest issues; not basic coaching.

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