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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Graham charms campers

Kansas junior basketball guard Devonté Graham answers questions from campers at the Bill Self Basketball Camp Monday, June 13, 2016.

Kansas junior basketball guard Devonté Graham answers questions from campers at the Bill Self Basketball Camp Monday, June 13, 2016.

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It should come as no surprise that Kansas University junior Devonté Graham, who coach Bill Self has been told by his players is “the most popular kid on campus,” charmed several hundred of Self’s basketball campers on Monday in Horejsi Center.

“How old was I when I first started playing basketball? I was 4, which is why I wear No. 4. That’s a little fun fact right there,” Graham, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound point guard from Raleigh, N.C., said in a Q-and-A session.

“I was good from a young age. I used to play football and basketball. I quickly figured out football wasn’t the sport once I got to high school. Seeing all those big dudes on the field … I just liked basketball way more,” he added.

Graham shared another “fun fact” regarding his superstitions.

“Before the game, I always put on left sock, right sock, left shoe, right shoe,” said Graham, who averaged 11.3 points off 46 percent shooting (44.1 from three), 3.7 assists and 3.3 rebounds his soph season for the Jayhawks (33-5). “I always eat candy before the game. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. I eat candy, get some energy.”

Graham so far this June has been a counselor at various basketball camps while, of course, playing a lot of basketball.

“We work out eight hours a week (with coaches for eight weeks in accordance with NCAA rules). There’s weightlifting, (unsupervised pick-up games) and I go shoot by myself at night-time. At 9:30, I go shoot an hour or hour-and-a-half,” Graham said.

Graham’s goals for the summer are simple.

“I’ve got to be even more of a leader,” he said. “I was working on that last year. Especially with all the new guys and freshmen, it’s one of the big things I’ve been working on.”

Freshmen Udoka Azubuike, Josh Jackson and Mitch Lightfoot have joined junior transfer Evan Maxwell on campus for summer school.

“They (KU newcomers) ask questions and all that kind of stuff. They don’t know where to go. The first couple weeks, you’ve always got to try and help them out,” Graham said. “Coach is on us about it, so we’re trying to help those guys out.

“I mean, they all look pretty good. It’s a comfort thing. They are kind of timid now. They are not in shape, but good enough shape for right now. It’s definitely a new team. We’ve got a lot of new players. We’re all getting to know each other right now.”

Brown working on list: Troy Brown, a 6-6 senior-to-be combo guard from Las Vegas Centennial High who is ranked No. 8 in the recruiting Class of 2017 by Rivals.com, plans to announce a list of schools after the upcoming Peach Jam AAU event.

“Arizona, Cal, Kansas, Stanford, Oregon. They’re all recruiting me to play the one, but they also say that they like that I can play the one through the three,” Brown tells Zagsblog.com. “I’m going to be looking at the environment of each school. I want to be comfortable wherever I’m at, so I want to be able to enjoy everything with the school. I want to be able to have a relationship with the coaching staff on and off the court as well,” he added.

Richards offers: Nick Richards, a 6-10 senior-to-be from The Patrick School in Elizabeth, N.J., who is ranked No. 19 by Rivals.com, has received offers from KU, Kentucky, Syracuse, UConn, Villanova, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Oklahoma and others, Zagsblog.com reports. Richards is a native of Jamaica and has only been playing organized basketball for about three years.

“He is long, athletic, moves really well down the floor and can sometimes stretch the floor with his mid-range jmper,” Zagsblog.com’s Chris Cirillo reports.

Newman visits WKU: Former Mississippi State guard Malik Newman, who has left the SEC school after one season, visited Western Kentucky last weekend, WBKO-TV in Bowling Green, Ky., reports.

Comments

Dirk Medema 3 years, 7 months ago

There will really be lots of new guys here once Newman and Thornton arrive.

Larry Biglong 3 years, 7 months ago

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Jay Scott 3 years, 7 months ago

F off with spam for that garbage site

Jay Scott 3 years, 7 months ago

Do you have him locked in a closet?

There isn't one single piece of reporting that speculates where Newman is going. What is your "insight" based on?

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 7 months ago

I did find it strange to see him visiting WKU. They are a solid non-major but I don't get it. Would rather see us get Thornton but either would be a big get for 2017.

Harlan Hobbs 3 years, 7 months ago

I am so impressed with Devonte. He is a born leader, and we are lucky to have him. While getting Newman and Thornton would be nice, they won't help us this year. I was hoping we would find another big man who can play the "4" position effectively. Carlton may be the guy, but if he isn't, Mitch Lightfoot seems to be our only alternative at this point since all of our other big men are almost exclusively low post players.

The "4" position may be more important for rebounding than scoring given the surplus of players at the guard and wing positions. Am sure that Coach Self and his staff will figure it out. They always do.

Jay Scott 3 years, 7 months ago

... Or Svi and Jackson will play there....

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 7 months ago

It would cost us on offense but Coleby could probably spell Bragg for limited time in case of fouls or being ineffective. Bragg needs to be the man and I think he will be.

Harlan Hobbs 3 years, 7 months ago

Would question whether Josh or Svi can effectively rebound at the 4 position. Of course, I could be wrong given that they both are so multi-talented. Then again, perhaps a smaller lineup would speed up the offense. Have often hoped that KU would exploit that more, especially given the shorter shot clock.

Robert Brock 3 years, 7 months ago

Jay - I expect Newman will choose NC State because of the clear path to PT that he would have. My GUESS.

What I am not guessing at, however, is that Thornton is a lot better player and one who would be better for KU.

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