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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Mykhailiuk plans to meet Jayhawks in Italy in time for exhibition tour

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) has a laugh with Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) during the first half against Iowa State, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) has a laugh with Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) during the first half against Iowa State, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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For the past several weeks, Kansas guard Svi Mykhailiuk has been back home in Ukraine, playing with his national team in preparation for the upcoming European Championship U20 tournament set for July 13-23 in Crete.

The training has been merely the first part in a summer-long stint overseas for the senior-to-be, who is expected to join his Jayhawk teammates in Italy in time for KU’s four exhibition games in Rome and Milan the first week of August.

“He’s just gonna meet us there,” KU coach Bill Self told the Journal-World this week when asked about Mykhailiuk’s status for the team’s summer trip to Italy. “He’s gonna meet us there, he’s not gonna practice with us, he’s gonna stay with his team and I’ll play him some, obviously, when we get over there, but I don’t know how much I’ll play him.”

Mykhailiuk’s status as an experienced veteran on the 2017-18 team will allow the Ukrainian to seamlessly slide back into his role after his absence this summer, which has opened a door for some of KU’s younger players and transfers to get more out of their summer workouts in Lawrence.

For the second consecutive summer, Self mentioned the name of junior Lagerald Vick when asked who had stood out to him thus far, but the KU coach said he was not at all worried about mixing Mykhailiuk back into the fold when the team arrives in Italy on Aug. 1.

“He’ll get an opportunity to be with us then,” Self said of the senior sharp-shooter who announced his return to KU for a senior season on May 24. “It won’t throw anything off at all.”

Mykhailiuk has averaged 13 points per game while starting and playing around 25 minutes per game during seven exhibition tune-ups for the upcoming tournament in Crete. That includes games of 21 and 22 points, one each in a four-game stretch in France and a three-game session in Italy.

The young Jayhawk, who turned 20 on June 10, also is expected to compete with Team Ukraine at FIBA Eurobasket 2017, Aug. 31-Sept. 17 in Israel and Turkey later this summer.

As for the Kansas part of Mykhailiuk’s European summer, the Jayhawks will play two games in Rome (Aug. 2-3) and two games in Milan (Aug. 5-6) during the eight-day trip that Self said was designed as much to create memorable experiences off the court as it was meaningful gains on the court.

“I’m approaching this totally different in that we’re going over there and we’re gonna try to play well and that stuff,” Self began. “But we’re going more for the experience and the opportunity to see another part of the world and, obviously, do some team bonding and try to get everybody on the same page with how we need to do things this year.”

Kansas will begin its stretch of 10 pre-Italy practices allowed by the NCAA on Friday. Self said KU would cram four of the 10 practices into a six-day stretch at the outset and then conduct two a week for the three weeks leading up to their departure on July 31.

Comments

Barry Weiss 1 week, 6 days ago

this is good. I think it is important for Svi to get off to a fast start this season, really light it up in his first couple of games, to become a starter. If he gets off to a slow start, it may be hard for him to be a starter once the regular season starts.

Henry Hofmeister 1 week, 6 days ago

that guy is a stud. i hope we have another like him in the future.

Brett McCabe 1 week, 6 days ago

In terms of playing for us, I'm not a fan of Svi's strategy. It probably helps his professional career, but I think that it's not good for the one team I care about. Mr. Vick, opportunity is knocking.

Barry Weiss 1 week, 6 days ago

I tend to agree that Vick brings more to the table and that is why Svi lost his starting job last year. Who knows what the rotation will be this fall, but if Svi comes out cold his first few games, it may not bode well for him starting.

Lawrence McGlinn 1 week, 6 days ago

Can I use the O word for Svi? Overrated? He shot just about 40% from 3 last year, not bad, but the looks he had with Mason and Graham penetrating and kicking it to him...so many wide open shots! And only 70% from the line. That does not suggest an elite shooter. He's got physical tools and size, and he's young, but I think Vick's trajectory has passed him for now. Hopefully the work he did this summer in prepping for the draft helped his game.

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