Thursday, November 9, 2017

Class of 2018 big man Silvio De Sousa seeking NCAA approval to join Jayhawks early

Team Drive''s Silvio De Sousa #22 shoots a free throw against Team Clutch in the Under Armour Elite 24 game on Saturday, August 20, 2016 in Brooklyn, NY.

Team Drive''s Silvio De Sousa #22 shoots a free throw against Team Clutch in the Under Armour Elite 24 game on Saturday, August 20, 2016 in Brooklyn, NY.


A handful of Twitter messages that surfaced Thursday suggesting that Class of 2018 power forward Silvio De Sousa had been authorized to join the Kansas basketball program in time for the second semester of the current season were not quite accurate, according to a source with knowledge of De Sousa's recruitment.

But the tweets, which came from what appears to be some kind of KU fan account and have since been deleted, were not completely unfounded.

While announcing his commitment to Kansas to the Journal-World back in August, De Sousa said then that he wanted to explore the idea of graduating from IMG Academy early in time to join the Jayhawks this season.

“Of course I want to play for my team in high school this year,” De Sousa told the Journal-World in August. “But if I get a chance to go straight to Kansas, I would love to just go to Kansas. That would be something great for me and I will be grateful.”

His guardian, Fenny Falmagne, confirmed to the Journal-World on Thursday night that De Sousa was in fact waiting to see if such a move was possible.

“We feel good about the process,” Falmagne said. “Right now, it’s just a matter of making sure the NCAA is going to allow everything to happen. We just have to know 100 percent where he’s at, if he can do it or not. And we don’t want to assume anything.”

Falmagne said they expected to hear some kind of news by Tuesday and added that, if the news is positive, De Sousa would move forward as quickly as possible.

Final exams at IMG are scheduled for Dec. 18-20, meaning that the earliest De Sousa could realistically join the Jayhawks would be ahead of their Big 12 Conference opener on Dec. 29 at Texas.

“Academics is no problem,” Falmagne said. “We’re basically waiting for the NCAA to let us know if it’s OK for him to do this. He’s definitely excited about it. It’s a big step on his path to what he wants to do in his life. And any time you have a checklist, you get excited to check that box.”

At this point, it’s difficult to know whether De Sousa will be permitted to join the Kansas program this season or not. If he is, the 6-foot-9, 245-pound power forward ranked by as the No. 25 player in the 2018 class would provide a huge boost for a thin Kansas frontcourt and a roster that features just eight scholarship players who are eligible to play during the first semester.

“Most people know how I play basketball," De Sousa told the Journal-World. "But I want to help them with my size and just rebound the ball and do whatever it takes to help them win.”


Dirk Medema 3 years, 3 months ago

My guess is it would take a lot to get him up to speed with what we do with rotations and help and such, especially in the middle of the season when they are preparing for games not teaching. That being said, it certainly couldn't hurt to have another big body available.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 3 months ago

How long it takes for Silvio to get up to speed is the million-dollar question. I think his presence can only help us, especially come March and April.

Not taking anything away from Lightfoot as he is a hard worker and is becoming fundamentally sound but he just doesn't have the body to be able to hold down the frontcourt on his own.

Matt Gauntt 3 years, 3 months ago

So a follow-up question. If he did join in December, would that count as his one year? In other words, would he be eligible to go pro in Spring 2018 or would he have to wait until Spring 2019 to go the NBA?

Gerry Butler 3 years, 3 months ago

From what I've heard he would NOT be able to declare for the NBA in 2018. As he would not of been removed from high School for a full year as of yet. Which means he would have to stay until 2019.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 3 months ago

Yup. I agree that he still needs one full year past what would have been his graduation date but if you look at what happened with Hamidou Diallo, I'm not so sure.

Diallo did not play in the spring semester after he joined Kentucky between the fall and spring semester. He WAS cleared by the NCAA but Diallo and Coach Cal decided it would be best for him to wait until the season started.

What he did do though is go to the NBA draft combine without ever stepping onto the court. He returned to Kentucky after not getting the advice he was hoping for and we will see him November 14.

So, although I agree that Gerry has it right, any time you deal with the NCAA you can never fully predict the outcome.

Brian Wilson 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes it counts as one year of his 4. But he isn't staying four anyway. He is #25 overall, which basically/kind of means he is one of the top 5 in the country at his position. Coming in early and playing one quick semester just gets him a jump on the 2018 season before he turns pro......and he gets to play in March two seasons for KU. This kid must pretty smart! i can't wait to see him in a KU uniform.

Tony Bandle 3 years, 3 months ago

A couple of years ago I would have said, no way this happens. Now, however, I think the chains are starting to loosen a little and it is a possibility. If you asked me to bet a dollar, however, I think the NCAA says "nope"!

Eliott Reeder 3 years, 3 months ago

If this happens, and everyone stays healthy, this team will be quite the force to reckon with come March.

Tony Bandle 3 years, 3 months ago

If he comes in next semester, does he count as part of the 2017 recruiting class or is he still included in the 2018 recruiting class?

I know, I know....a totally BBall nerd question but I was just curious.

Gerry Butler 3 years, 3 months ago

HE counts against our 2017 recruiting and takes the last scholi we had since Whitman left. - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 3 months ago

Gerry, what do you mean by counting against our 2017 recruiting. The scholarship isn't the issue as he already had one in next year's class and having an extra scholarship unused doesn't really help us much.

I would think that it would either help this year's draft class or next year's. And really.. as great as it is to have a top 5 draft class, what difference does it really make.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 3 months ago

It's not like FB where you have a limit on the number of scholarships offered per year. In BB, it is just the total, of which we are 1 short due to Whitman's late flake.

James Miller 3 years, 3 months ago

I can"t see how anyone would be opposed to this move. We are desperately thin at the 4/5 positions and he would offer immediate depth. We all know Preston and Doke are prone to fouling and depth will be needed, not too mention Lightfoot is undersized.

The only possible down side is his senior year changing, but, as noted in previous posts, he is projected to declare well before then. I believe this to be a calculated risk that benefits athlete and program.

Gerry Butler 3 years, 3 months ago

I Agree with what you say and his senior year BUT another way to look at that is - -we seem to be sitting pretty sweet with some 2019 recruits, so even though this would change his senior year it looks very promising that in 209 we have really legit shot at Robinson-Earl being here - -morel likely then not another Lawson will be here , and have a pretty decent chance with Matthew Hurt committing here so this move would only seem to be a win win

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 3 months ago

The only possible negative effect I can see is that Silvio will definitely test the NBA waters after what would have been his first year at Kansas. He probably was going to do that regardless unless he had a Carlton Bragg like first season.

I think Matthew Hurt will be at the UK next season but Robinson-Earl is ours to lose.

Lawrence McGlinn 3 years, 3 months ago

Consider the chaos this would set off if the NCAA said yes. How many other recruits at other schools might be eligible to do this? Don't think it will get the green light. Even without him, KU has more in the front court than NCs like Villanova a couple of years ago and UConn a few years back. A good backcourt, good wings and some good luck can do it.

Gerry Butler 3 years, 3 months ago

Oh I for sure think this WILL happen, it's just a matter of WHEN. - -HE is not any kind of academic issues at all really good student so as far as passing the exam - I don't see any problems - just a matter of how soon the NCAA gives him the clearance, they sometimes drag their feet as we know - yet for some reason they seem to think they should know something by Monday or Tuesday - -for sure a win win for KU

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 3 months ago

I forgot about this earlier but look at Duke and Marvin Bagley III. He was able to reclassify for the 2017 season and has met all his eligibility requirements. Of course, this was Coach K who usually doesn't have to wait long as most do when it comes to the NCAA

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 3 months ago

They have already said yes in a similar situation. Check out Kentucky and Hamidou Diallo. Diallo was cleared by the NCAA to play last spring but decided not to start until this fall.

Jay Hawkinson 3 years, 3 months ago

If a player meets all the normal eligibility requirements, I don't see how the NCAA would have a stake in this either way. They clear lots of high school players to show up a semester early for spring ball. Joining in December is not ideal from a basketball standpoint, but that is the school's problem.

The only way this could be problematic for them is if it forces them to spend lots of time investigating whether borderline courses can be counted as core courses. That seems to be the issue here - whether de Sousa's coursework from Angola can be used for the course requirements.

Brett McCabe 3 years, 3 months ago

Chaos? How? It would actually stabilize the OAD situation a little. If a kid is academically eligible to attend college, why should he /she not be allowed to do so? It’s great for everyone.

I’ve often said that if a kid is an elite athlete, he should get out of high school at the first possible moment. Elite players don’t get better in high school, they probably get worse.

Lawrence McGlinn 3 years, 3 months ago

I understand the OAD debacle, and I think my point is clear. KU is not the only university with a bball program, and there are doubtless other fall 18 recruits who might decide to reclassify if Sylvio got approval at this late date. Every program with elite players coming in fall18 would be looking into this and pushing to get their guys reclassified with under 2 months to go. I don't think the NCAA would go ffor that. That's all I am saying. I agree that OAD should be "done" away with.

John Strayer 3 years, 3 months ago

But how many of those other b-ball programs have a remaining scholly? That kind limits that move in the short term. Maybe long term programs start holding on to one...just in case?

Lawrence McGlinn 3 years, 3 months ago

That is part of the chaos I am talking about. We know the ethics of some coaches, unfortunately, and a well-timed "decision" by a marginal scholarship player to quit the team could open up the scholly for a more talented recruit. Also, a "closer look" at some recruit's high school transcript might make him eligible to graduate early. I hope that junk would not happen, but who knows? Mainly, I think the NCAA just would not want all the paperwork on such short notice. I love KU basketball, but I am cynical about the College Bball industry.

Shannon Gustafson 3 years, 3 months ago

This isn't a "new" thing, it's happened before and it will happen again. I don't know why you're acting like this is some new loophole KU discovered or something. You can't start "chaos" by doing something that's been going on for years.

Creg Bohrer 3 years, 3 months ago

I get what you're trying to say, but I doubt that would be a problem because most years KU or any other university wouldn't have a scholarship open.

Joe Baker 3 years, 3 months ago

Why not. The timing is perfect. The NCAA needs good press. They may grant it on PR alone. We have nothing to lose and way more to gain.

Joe Baker 3 years, 3 months ago

Why not? The timing is perfect. The NCAA needs good press. They may grant it on PR alone. We have nothing to lose and way more to gain.

Craig Carson 3 years, 3 months ago

Im torn over this..on one hand, he'd be an immediate impact next semester with KU being so thin..BUT, with him missing a half a season of practice and being thrown right in during conference season, how effective is he really gonna be??? he might look as lost as Diallo did and be ineffective...but also, that takes away a front court player for next season..which puts KU at Lawson and McCormack as the only front court guys (assuming Azizbuike and Preston leave which isnt 100%)

Eric TheCapn 3 years, 3 months ago

Even if he doesn't play a minute this year, the experience will be good for his development, KU will have another (very strong) practice player as opposition to the starters, and he will be much further along in the KU program at the start of next year. It's a win-win-win if he is really set to graduate early and the NCAA allows it.

Gerry Butler 3 years, 3 months ago

I along with others don't think Silvio is coming early to be a practice player, he is losing half a year the way it is of his freshman year by coming early. Feel like if he comes and sits - he is not coming early, he would rather just hold off and have his FULL year of Freshman if that were the case, and I'm sure if he talked to Coach, Self would not be telling him to enroll early just so he was a practice player. -- Like I read on another KU site very true he is going to be behind for sure - -BUT right off you don't need to draw no schemes for him - -we don't need him to be some offensive jaugernaut - -the reason? active - - - -active - - -active - -which = - -rebound - -rebound - -rebound THIS he can do - - Tough/Physical - - -we have the scorers what we need is that presence - - another big body spell Doke/Preston if he score 8-9 points a game grabs 7-8ebounds a game to go with the others big plus -for sure it's a no lose situation

Creg Bohrer 3 years, 3 months ago

I agree he's not trying to come early to ride the pine..

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 3 months ago

How do we lose a frontcourt player for 2018? For him to come to KU and only play one spring semester doesn't make sense on too many levels plus you forgot Lightfoot and Dedric Lawson who plays the 3-4 positions.

That would give us 5 frontcourt players without adding any other recruits.

Finally, as Matt pointed out in an earlier article: "Dedric and K.J. have two younger brothers — Chandler and Johnathan — who are top prospects in the 2019 and 2021 classes.

Beyond that, their cousin, D.J. Jeffries, also is a Top 10 player in the 2019 class".

I don't see how Silvio playing this spring changes anything except giving Silvio a head start on next year's team.

Shannon Gustafson 3 years, 3 months ago

What are you talking about "takes away a front court player for next season"? It doesn't change next season at all other than giving Silvio a 20 game/half a year head start on next year. He's not eligible for the NBA after his half year since you have to be 1 year removed from high school graduation.

Whether he will be effective being thrown into the conference season has nothing to do with it either. Bill isn't forced to play him if he's not ready, just like he didn't play Diallo when he wasn't ready. There are no negatives to this, only positives.

Cody Lown 3 years, 3 months ago

Hamidou Diallo was in the same position this past year, and apparently he was eligible for the NBA. He went to the combine, and then chose to come back to Kentucky. He enrolled in the spring semester and did not play, but evidently was eligible for the NBA

Don Brennaman 3 years, 3 months ago

Practice player or whatever he has to be better prepared than the football player. Players of this sort will sue and may win.

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