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Sunday, June 4, 2017

KU’s Devonté Graham excited to see new-look Kansas basketball team come together

Kansas junior Devonte Graham shares a laugh with his teammates during pregame warmups prior to Monday's game against West Virginia in Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas junior Devonte Graham shares a laugh with his teammates during pregame warmups prior to Monday's game against West Virginia in Allen Fieldhouse.

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During his three-plus seasons as a Jayhawk to date, Kansas guard Devonté Graham has become accustomed to looking around the KU basketball facilities and seeing at least a few familiar faces suiting up next to him.

Sunday afternoon, however, at registration and check-in day for this week’s Bill Self Basketball Camps, Graham saw and experienced a whole bunch of new faces.

Gone are former running mates Frank Mason III, Landen Lucas, Carlton Bragg Jr. and Dwight Coleby. In to fill their shoes, instead, are a handful of transfers and fresh-faced freshmen who will make up the 2017-18 Kansas basketball roster.

While Graham still will have a few familiar faces running with him, the senior-to-be admitted that the new-look roster would take some getting used to.

“It’s definitely going to take a while because it’s not like we’ve just got two or three new players coming in that can just see what everybody else is doing,” Graham told reporters after an autograph session at check-in. “We’ve got a whole new half.”

Like the rest of his teammates, Graham is set to start summer school on Tuesday. And while the influx of new faces will be different, Graham said he was looking forward to having all of the newcomers in town.

“A lot of them can’t play,” he said, noting that Memphis transfers Dedric and K.J. Lawson, along with Cal transfer Charlie Moore, will have to sit out in accordance with NCAA transfer rules a la Malik Newman a season ago. “But they’ve got to learn what coach likes and the system and stuff like that. So it’s just basically learning everything over again and teaching them the Kansas ways.”

While that trio will not be eligible to play when the season rolls around, freshmen Marcus Garrett, Billy Preston and walk-on Chris Teahan, along with graduate transfer Jack Whitman, will be eligible during the 2017-18 season. Graham said the combination of both soon would become comfortable, with everyone in crimson and blue working toward the same goal.

“I don’t think it’s going to affect us,” he said. “If anything, it’s going to make us better. We picked up the (Lawson) brothers. Charlie, Jack can play. He’s going to help us this year. And those guys are going to make us better, just competing against them every day throughout the season and this summer.”

As for Graham himself, he said his two and a half week trip back home to Raleigh, N.C., between the end of the spring semester and the start of summer school was good from both a personal and basketball perspective.

Most of his time was spent with friends and family and playing and working out at North Carolina State.

“I rested after we lost for about two weeks,” he said. “At home, it was the same thing I was doing here, playing at NC State and lifting and doing some fitness stuff.”

While that proved to be a nice break from his routine in Lawrence, Graham said he was ready to move forward with his final season as a Jayhawk.

“We’ve got a good group here,” he said. “First day together as a whole, although we’re still missing Marcus, but I’m just happy to be back, play some pick-up with them and get ready for Italy.”

The Jayhawks will work with campers, play pick-up games and run through lifting and conditioning exercises for the next two weeks, all with an eye toward their exhibition trip to Italy in early August.

Comments

Shannon Gustafson 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I sure wish there would be a media member to go to Italy and document what's going on over there. I'd love to be able to watch the games instead of just read an article about them.

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 4 months, 2 weeks ago

for sure!!!! ku alumni please pay for us to have a camera and a news guy!!!

Robert Brock 4 months, 2 weeks ago

We need reports about the Italian cuisine from Anthony Bourdain.

Joseph Bullock 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I haven't heard anything about this, but I would be very surprised if our games in Italy are not televised! At least pre-recorded, and televised at a later date. I may ask Coach Self today, at our Topeka Jayhawk Club Gold Tournament!

Bryce Landon 4 months, 2 weeks ago

At the bare minimum, they ought to be on the radio like our games against the Canadian team were in the summer of 2015.

Tony Bandle 4 months, 2 weeks ago

With the Lawsons, Moore and Conliffe, throw in Lightfoot and you've got a heck of a practice squad to throw at the starting eight rotation during practices.

At least at the beginning oif next season, it looks like Graham, Newman, Preston, Azu and Svi with Vick and Whitman first off the bench and backed up by Garrett, Lightfoot and, eventually, Conliffe,

Normally, I would consider Garrett for a red shirt but with 3 1/2 transfer season sit outs, I think we need his depth on the back line. Next season we'll have the Lawsons, Moore, Conliffe and possibly Azu as the starting five but Bill better get a quality big man, for sure.

"MR. BOL BOL. THIS IS THE UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS PAGING MR. BOL BOL."

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 4 months, 2 weeks ago

man, to look at it redshirting these transfers. oh my god.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 months, 2 weeks ago

It is football season (well....almost..) Where is the giant orgy supporting the football team? Like the "Late Night" for the basketball program.......Why does the university ignore it's football team and then sponsor a huge orgy in the field house (during football season) for the "other" sport at the university. This has always amazed and troubled me.

Matt Tait 4 months, 2 weeks ago

There are summer camps for the football team at the exact same time. They just don't open them up to the same kind of coverage that we are allowed to give to the basketball camps.

Our guy Benton Smith (along with Tom Keegan's input) is giving and will continue to give you more coverage of the football team than any other news outlet out there. It's there. And it will keep coming throughout the summer and into preseason camp.

Enjoy!

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 4 months, 2 weeks ago

this just might be the football team to watch. i'm getting a 3game pack.

Tony Bandle 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Well, bring a six pack to your three pack and cheer the Hawks on!!!

Tony Bandle 4 months, 2 weeks ago

PS You don't happen to own a chain of funeral homes in St.Louis by any chance?

Harlan Hobbs 4 months, 2 weeks ago

You'll have to forgive Fredo, Phil. He's a transfer from the political blogs. Obviously, doesn't know much about sports either.

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 4 months, 2 weeks ago

i'm excited to see devonte this year. pull a frank mason on us buddy :)

Bryce Landon 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Better yet, take us to the Final Four, Devonte!

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