Wednesday, April 12, 2017

KU’s Svi Mykhailiuk declares for NBA Draft, won’t hire agent

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) heads in for a bucket past TCU guard Kenrich Williams (34) during the first half, Thursday, March 9, 2017 at Sprint Center.

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) heads in for a bucket past TCU guard Kenrich Williams (34) during the first half, Thursday, March 9, 2017 at Sprint Center.


According to the Kansas basketball Twitter account, KU junior Svi Mykhailiuk has decided to enter the NBA Draft this season but will not hire an agent, leaving available the option to remove his name from consideration and return to school for his senior season.

That news was in line with the update KU coach Bill Self gave on Mykhailiuk’s status following Tuesday night’s team banquet and also consistent with what Self believed Mykhailiuk both would and should do.

“We support Svi 100 percent with his decision to test,” Self said in a Wednesday press release. “I know he'll prepare very hard for it and after the combine, he'll get accurate feedback and make an informed decision which is what the rules are designed to do. In no way, shape or form is this a surprise. We expected this.”

Mykhailiuk has until May 24 to pull his name out of the draft pool. Between now and then he is free to work out and talk with NBA representatives while also attending the NBA Combine May 9-14 in Chicago.

The recent rule change to this process gave Mykhailiuk the option to test the waters without committing to leaving school. Self has said since the rule was amended that nearly every junior even considering a professional career should take advantage of the new rules and it appears as if Mykhailiuk is doing that, gathering as much information as possible before making a definitive call on whether to stay or go.

“I do think the guys that test, they need to jump in head-first to try or they’ll go and they’ll look bad,” Self said Tuesday.

Mykhailiuk, who started 25 games for the Jayhawks during the recently completed 31-5 season, revealed his path just three days after fellow-junior Devonte’ Graham announced his intentions to return for his senior season without seeking NBA feedback. Self said Tuesday night that he was a little surprised Graham did not take the same route but added that he was more than happy to already know that Graham was returning.

Mykhailiuk averaged 9.8 points and 3.0 rebounds in 27.3 minutes per game in 2016-17 while shooting .398 from 3-point range on 176 attempts.

“Kansas has prepared me for this opportunity and after talking with Coach Self, my family and teammates, it is my plan to work hard and take my game to the next level,” Mykhailiuk said. “I have matured a lot in my three seasons at KU as a player and a person, playing for great coaches and with great teammates, many who are in the NBA. I have got a lot stronger under coach (Andrea) Hudy and have improved my overall game every year. It's everyone's dream to play in the NBA and not going with an agent allows me to see where I stand after the combine and workouts.”

As for where the Jayhawks go from here, with the program now having to wait at least a few weeks for more clarity on Mykhailiuk’s future, Self said he and his staff would continue to hit the recruiting trail looking to add to their 2017 class.

“We’ve got one more to give on paper,” Self said. “So at least one more depending on what decision guys make. So I would say at least one more.”

According to Matt Scott, of, KU assistant Jerrance Howard will be in East St. Louis, Ill., on Friday to visit Class of 2017 big man Jeremiah Tilmon, a 6-foot-10, 235-pound, 4-star prospect ranked No. 42 in the current class.

Although no official announcement has come from freshman Josh Jackson, Self continues to operate with the expectation that Jackson, a likely top-three pick in this summer’s NBA Draft, will be turning pro.

“I’m not gonna hold my breath on that one,” Self said Tuesday night.


Bryce Landon 1 year, 2 months ago


Or should I say...


Suzi Marshall 1 year, 2 months ago

The only thing surprising was that Graham decided NOT to test. It seems like a player has everything to gain with nothing to lose by testing. Why not allow a player to actually see where he gets drafted and what kind of deal he can negotiate with a team while maintaining eligibility.

I hope Mykailiuk makes a great showing but this year's draft is loaded with guards, but my bet in on him becoming a first or early second round draft pick. If he's not a guaranteed to be a first round, he should return. Next year will be a much better draft for him.

Eric TheCapn 1 year, 2 months ago

Graham wants to be next year's Frank Mason. He wants to be the face of the Jayhawks. He wants to be remembered at KU forever, his jersey retired. He wants all that praise. He wants to be NPOY. Go get em' Devonte!

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 2 months ago

a smart move for Svi. He should get invited to the combine, and he will have a chance to see how he measures up against the best of his peers.

He's only 19. I think that he'll return and graduate and improve his draft position. Coaches and scouts have seen him play a lot this year, so there shouldn't be too many surprises based on combine results. However, a strong Sr. season could get him into the first round next year.

Kyle Sybesma 1 year, 2 months ago

The NBA & NCAA need to overhaul their draft process.

Option 1: Every NCAA player and high school graduate is eligible for the NBA draft. From here we match MLB. Players get to decide to sign or go back to college. Maybe Seldon & Greene would have come back (if Self would have taken Greene back). The draft is all about potential. With the option of players denying the NBA and going back to college you should see picks of more proven players. Theoretically.

Option 2: Every NCAA player and high school graduate is eligible for the NBA draft. After the draft NBA teams can decide to keep the player on the roster, send them to the Developmental League OR they can tell them to go back to college while retaining their draft rights.

Let's look at Diallo. He was drafted by the Pelicans. He didn't play much and NOLA had to pay big bucks for little production. What they could have done was draft him to get his rights and then send him back to KU while not paying him (an insurance policy would have to be created for injury). Diallo gets significant playing time to improve.

Tim Orel 1 year, 2 months ago

The one problem is for the colleges - they may not know if they need another player until after the draft and decision by the NBA team. This could lead to later signing periods by HS seniors, as they wait to see who is actually going pro and who is returning to their school.

I agree the draft process needs to be improved, and I like the idea of making it like baseball, though I think I'd like the football style better - at least two years in college, or if they don't go to college, wait until that class has been out two years. I do understand football is more physical than bb (at least it should be) and the delay is to allow players to physically get bigger, but I think both sides would benefit by mandating more time in college.

Mo Golany 1 year, 2 months ago

He will test and be back. Doesn't make sense to leave for the 2nd round with no guarantees. Look at Diallo what a mistake that guy made he's playing in the D-league he could have been a first rounder this year with more guaranteed money and an actual shot playing in the NBA. Long Term that's what they need to be thinking.

Harlan Hobbs 1 year, 2 months ago

Returning to KU or staying in the draft are not Svi's only options. He could play in Europe, earn good money, and then end up in the NBA eventually.

My gut tells me that he won't return to KU, and I suspect that Coach Self feels the same way. That's one reason that with just one scholarship available on paper, Coach still says he wants another good ball handler. If Svi returns, then our top priority should be a big man to back up Udoka.

Barry Weiss 1 year, 2 months ago

I agree Harlan, I'd say he goes to Europe. I can't see him being a first round pick, more likely high, high second. If I'm the coach of a player like this, and maybe any players, there are no guarantees for any returning players. If a really high recruit comes your way, the current player may be left with less minutes next year. I think Svi's defensive stuggles and off and on 3 ball game has him about where he would be next year as well.

Jason Brinker 1 year, 2 months ago

I agree that going into next season with only 4 bigs seems a little light. Especially if there would be another serious injury during the season to one of them. But maybe Self really liked the 4 guard lineup this year and is planning to incorporate more of that again next season. Maybe not quite as much as this year but I could see a 50/50 split between the 4 guard lineup and the more traditional 3 & 2. If Svi leaves, I think he goes after one of each. If Svi stays, it could be a coin flip. He may lean big, but if a guy like Duval says he wants to come, how do you turn that down?

Mike Greer 1 year, 2 months ago

I think if Svi wanted to play in Europe he would have left last year. He wants to play in the NBA and a year in Europe probably isn't going to help him as much as another year at KU as far as achieving that NBA goal. He had a solid year this year, but he still has potential to improve and mature as he is only 19. If he looks at the situation of Selden and Greene, I think because he didn't get an agent, he will come back for his senior season if he doesn't look good for a first round or early second round pick.

Tevin Brown 1 year, 2 months ago

Im with harlan he sounds like his leaving. I expected this tho i I'll be shocked if svi comes back.

Pius Waldman 1 year, 2 months ago

OK there are 30 first rounders and always a few foreigners sometimes expected to remain in Europe to be picked up future years. So lets say 25 and for Svi to make that would be a big surprise. How does a coach recruit knowing one of his players is on a island waiting for a ship to pick him up. The number is 13 and you can't go over yet should the wrong ship come and he decides to return to school no recruit will sign to go to KU knowing that he might not get the scholie. The only way that could happen is if one of the players either transfers or agrees to be a walkon. Self has this problem his recruits have many options and probably won't wait until Svi decides. So does he sign a guard or a big, Duval probably his first choice but highly recruited and maybe going elsewhere.Should he first sign a big and if Svi doesn't return maybe a guard still available that will wait to see what Svi does. As for Jackson wonder if he is waiting for the court case to be solved. Seems like he has a schedule for sometime in April.

Jason Roberts 1 year, 2 months ago

The deadline to declare for the draft is May 24th

The NBA Draft Lottery is May 17th.

Any chance Josh Jackson is waiting until then to decide IF he wants to go? It seems like a full on guarantee that he will declare BUT you never know. He would be a top 3 in the '18 draft as well AND he might be thinking about what could have been with the Elite Eight loss.

John Fitzgerald 1 year, 2 months ago

I'd love for him to stay but Self made a clear hint saying he wouldn't hold his breath on Jackson staying. I'm betting he declares by the end of the week.

Tim Orel 1 year, 2 months ago

Do you suppose he's interested in his hometown Pistons?, one of the first to come up in Google, has him going to the Celtics with the #1 overall with Frank Mason joining him at #50. That would be time to root for the Celtics again.

Michael Sillman 1 year, 2 months ago

Don't underestimate his relationship with Graham in your analysis.

Harlan Hobbs 1 year, 2 months ago

Excellent points Barry, et. al. We heard regularly during the season that, in many fans' opinions, Lagerald should have been starting ahead of Svi. I disagreed only because I felt that Lagerald could come off the bench and be just as effective as if he were starting, while I wasn't as confident that Svi could.

With Newman now eligible and Cunliffe at midseason, I don't see Svi playing more minutes next year than he did this year. Also, Lagerald is an overall better talent, especially given Svi's difficulty with defense and lack of rebounding for his size.

Unless Svi could be a more consistent "slasher" than he was this year, his minutes have probably plateaued.

Matt Stone 1 year, 2 months ago

Jeremiah Tilmon would be a great pickup but he would have to sit a year right? We need a backup big that can play next year. Coleby really is it. Both guys get in foul trouble or get an injury then what? If KU gets Tilmon MU would be super pissed as they believe he is going there. That would be a coup and be awesome. Tremont Waters is another guard that Self looked at that could join the Hawks if Duval doesn't.

Jason Brinker 1 year, 2 months ago

Tilmon is 2017 recruit. He would not need to sit out. He signed a LOI with Illinois, but asked for a release when they fired their coach. KU was on his list before committing to Illinois. Self should have a good shot at landing him.

Mike Riches 1 year, 2 months ago

I wonder how many Kansas players have ever declared for the draft and then come back to school? Any ideas? It seems like it would be really easy to stop focusing on schoolwork, team rules, etc. once a player has moved on mentally...

Mike Greer 1 year, 2 months ago

The NCAA rule change hasn't had this rule in effect for very long, so I don't know if there have been any. Before the rule change that allows them to try out without an agent and then return to school, many players would test the waters and get feedback. Brandon Rush comes to mind as one that tested the waters and returned under the old system.

Yonatan Negash 1 year, 2 months ago

Personally, I don't think this is a huge loss.

At this point, hard to see him back.

If not NBA, he'll go to EURO league.

Time to move on.

Doug Wallace 1 year, 2 months ago

Like to have him back. I think one more good year at KU could raise his stock in NBA Draft. Well I hope the best for him regardless of what he decides.

Armen Kurdian 1 year, 2 months ago

I'd say 80/20 he comes back. His stock rose from last year to this year, and no reason to believe it won't rise again next year. He's developed a really good cut and drive and is a great ball handler and shooter. But he'd be a near sure fire 1st rounder in 2018.

Adam Bengtson 1 year, 2 months ago

The EURO thing makes no sense. He would of darted last year. He doesn't want to be out east anymore, he has been there, done that. He wants to play in the NBA. We all know he could improve to late 1st round next year, but his patience my be expiring. He is still young, but logic would tell you to come back based on all the stats on someone like him leaving. I hope he's back!

Harlan Hobbs 1 year, 2 months ago

Rush only returned because he tore his ACL shortly before the draft in 2007. He made a super recovery, and we all know what followed in 2008.

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