Wednesday, April 26, 2017

KU junior Svi Mykhailiuk awaiting word on NBA combine invitation

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) watches as the Iowas State defense brings the ball up during the second half, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) watches as the Iowas State defense brings the ball up during the second half, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.


It’s been known for a couple of weeks now that Kansas junior Svi Mykhailiuk is putting his NBA stock to the test by declaring for this summer’s draft and going through workouts designed to give him enough feedback to make an informed decision about whether to stay in the draft or return to school.

Mykhailiuk will do so without hiring an agent, leaving open the possibility for him to return to Kansas for his senior season.

So how then, without someone working on his behalf, does a player like Mykhailiuk get in touch with the right people to get the information he needs and desires to make a sound decision?

Kansas coach Bill Self explained the process to the Journal-World this week, and, not surprisingly, he plays a pretty important role.

“I’ll do it primarily,” said Self of reaching out to NBA coaches, scouts and general managers to help Mykhailiuk. “But what we’re trying to do right now is find out if he’ll be invited to the combine.”

If he is, the draft showcase scheduled for May 9-14 in Chicago will be all of the exposure Mykhailiuk needs, as multiple representatives from all 30 teams will be on hand to watch workouts, interview players and put them through medical exams in preparation for the June draft.

Although the underclassmen who have declared have until May 24 to decide about their futures, last Sunday marked the early entry deadline, meaning more information about the combine should be forthcoming.

“By the 26th or 27th or 28th I believe they’re supposed to have the initial invites to the combine out,” Self said. “We’re all hopeful that he gets an invite to that, and if he doesn’t then, of course, we’ll visit again and evaluate it and see where he’s at. But right now all indications say that he will probably be invited to the combine. If that’s the case, we’ll start visiting with general managers. But the reality of it is, basically, if you go to the combine, you’re going to visit with them yourself.”

Up to this point, Mykhailiuk has focused primarily on preparation for the upcoming combine. At 6-foot-8 with guard skills and a solid shooting touch, there’s a lot for NBA folks to like about Mykhailiuk.

Perhaps most notable among them is his age.

Despite being on the brink of completing his junior year of college, the Ukrainian is still just 19. That appeals to NBA decision-makers much in the same way that drafting players straight out of high school or after one year of college does. But the advantage that Mykhailiuk has over those prospects is the three years of coaching from Self, dozens of games against competition at the major college level and career's worth of work in the weight room.

“I think the help we can give him is more initially, to determine whether or not you should declare,” Self said. “And he made that determination that he wanted to and then after the combine you get really accurate information about where they see him on their boards. Right now, we’ve gone through the underclassman pre-draft advisory committee. We know how people see him through that. But, really, we’re gonna have to wait until the combine to really determine if they see him in a different light than what he’s already been told.”


RJ King 1 year, 10 months ago

Can't quite read between the lines as to the pre-draft advisory committee evaluation. Glad he did not hire an agent.

Looks like if Svi is back we have used the 13 scholarship allotment, given the transfers on board. I'm hoping he returns. Should he leave, we'd have one additional scholarship for 2017-18.

Brian Wilson 1 year, 9 months ago

That looks right. There are ways to get an extra scholarship or two if Bill wants it. There are other ways for the Lawsons or Moore to have other financial aid or scholarship or even one of the players on the list. Maybe Garrett, etc...the only way I could see that kind of finagaling though is for Jeremiah Timon, or Brandon McCoy or someone similar to want to come.

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 10 months ago

It would be interesting if 'what he has already been told' was public information. However, like Self says, it's what the combine report that matters.

IMO, Svi's value to the NBA would be to be able to play the stretch 4 position because I suspect they don't think he has the relative athletic ability that competes at the 1-3. I wouldn't be one bit surprised to see Svi return to KU to play the 4 spot, like Jackson did. With only 4 bigs and Az yet to prove he can play over 20 mpg, it seems likely the 4 guard rotation will be a significant lineup for the Hawks.

Ben Kane 1 year, 10 months ago

I don't think he can guard the 4 spot.

Harlan Hobbs 1 year, 10 months ago

My guess is that Coach Self doesn't expect him to be back and wants that additional scholarship to try for a big man. Svi would have to play the stretch 4 position if he wants significantly more playing time. He doesn't have the overall skills to take minutes away from Devonte, Malik, Lagerald, or probably Cunliffe.

To play the stretch 4, he will have to do a lot better with his rebounding and defense. Jackson excelled at both and had more double-doubles than any freshman in Kansas history.

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 10 months ago

yep....and that stretch 4 would likely be a grad transfer or an international guy. Nevertheless, Self will allow Svi the explore all his options because he's earned it.

Barry Weiss 1 year, 10 months ago

I agree Harlan. Not sure if I am reading Coach's comment about "if he isn't invited, then we will visit to see where he's at" or something to that effect. Hmmm...that sort of seems like maybe Svi will then possibly then transfer or go to Europe? I'd think if he were coming back, Coach would have said something along the line of we will be thrilled to have him back. I don't know, maybe I am reading too much into that.

Brian Skelly 1 year, 10 months ago

He wont be a 4 in the NBA, even with the turn of the league to a pick-and-pop style of offense. He's simply not big enough. He'll be fine as 3, or he wont be in the league. That said, I think he'll drafted weather it's this year or next.

As the article points out, his age -- being we'll younger than many kids in his 'class' -- will help him out quite a bit.

I think he comes back and plays his Sr. year at KU... and then is only 20 after he graduates and gets drafted next year.

Tony Bandle 1 year, 10 months ago

Since no one plays defense in the NBA, Svi should be just fine. If he shoots well at the combine, all other short comings will be forgotten and he'll have someone take him. The question is where in the draft.No way is he a first rounder, even at the bottom.

If that's the case, he be better off giving it another season and having Ms. Hudey put another 10-15 pounds of muscle on his frame.

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