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Originally published April 6, 2018 at 10:07a.m., updated April 6, 2018 at 11:02a.m.

KU’s Lagerald Vick announces intention to turn pro

Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (2) raises his arms after the Jayhawks defeated the Wildcats 65-61 during the second half on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 at United Center.

Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (2) raises his arms after the Jayhawks defeated the Wildcats 65-61 during the second half on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 at United Center.

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On Friday morning, two days after watching teammate Malik Newman do the same, Kansas junior Lagerald Vick announced that he would forego his senior season at KU by officially declaring for the 2018 NBA Draft.

In a statement released by KU announcing his intentions, Vick revealed that he would not yet hire an agent, which, in theory, would leave open the possibility of Vick returning to KU after testing the water. But, according to his mother, LaLa Vick, her son's time at Kansas is finished.

“I've always told him, you cannot be selfish in your position,” LaLa told the Journal-World Friday morning. “You've done your part, it's time to let some other teenager who has been working hard for his dream to come in and do his thing. Come in, work hard, put your toes in the water and let's get it. It's time to swim. Michael Phelps. Let's do this.”

With that, Vick's career at Kansas officially comes to a close. And it ends on a positive note for both the player and the program.

"I have nothing but great memories and times with the Jayhawk family — my coaches, my teammates and the fans," Vick said in a news release. "I will never forget the accomplishments and how you all have supported me. It is now time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life.”

LaLa said the family on Friday was working toward finalizing plans for where Vick would spend the next couple of months working out and preparing for the June draft and that the family would allow the rest of the process to play out from there.

In many ways, this moment has been has been years in the making for the 6-foot-5, 175-pound wing from Memphis. After initially starting down the path of football, where both he and his mother thought he could become a star, Vick hit a growth spurt around eighth grade and was asked by his school's basketball coach to come out for the basketball team.

At first, Vick was not interested. But after giving it a try and finding out he had a lot of natural ability, the Memphis native fell in love with the game and made everything in his life about basketball from that point on.

With their focus fixed on remaining humble and working hard, Vick and his mother first talked about this day when big time college programs began showing interest in him in high school.

“That's been a conversation from Day 1, even in high school, 'What are your plans for your future,'” LaLa said. “Lagerald's plan has always been the NBA. And I've always told him, 'Look, Gerald, ball is all you know. So you have to go out there and get it.'”

Never was that plan more real than during his breakout junior season at Kansas.

After starting out as one of the hottest players in the country and leading the team in scoring throughout the non-conference portion of KU's schedule, the 6-foot-5, 175-pound wing hit a slump when Big 12 play arrived and struggled to continue to score the way he had in November and December and also saw that affect his contributions elsewhere.

As the season neared its end, Vick re-emerged and his play in the postseason, on both ends of the floor, was a huge reason the Jayhawks reached the Final Four for the first time in six years.

For the season, Vick finished with solid numbers, averaging 12.1 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting 49 percent from the floor and 37 percent from 3-point range. Vick also ranked third on the team in blocks (13) and assists (83) while playing 33.1 minutes per game.

"Lagerald had a really good year for us," KU coach Bill Self said in a release. "He started out so hot and finished strong. I believe the time is right for him to move on, explore his options as a professional and see what develops. We won a lot of games with Lagerald over the last three years and appreciate everything he's done for Kansas and our basketball program. We are 100 percent supportive of his decision and wish him the very best in whatever path this takes him."

According to LaLa, lots of prayer and a desire to put himself in better position to support his 5-year-old daughter, Markayla, and the rest of his family, inspired Vick to turn pro.

“I know this was God's gift to him,” LaLa said. “The decision he made was the best thing for him and his daughter. And he has a niece who calls him Uncle Daddy. And those are the people he has to nurture and take care of and this will give him the best chance to do that.”

As for LaLa, who, in her own right, became sort of a cult hero among KU fans, both on Twitter and in person at games, she does not believe her time as a Jayhawk is over just yet.

“I told Coach Self, 'Look, I'm still coming to Late Night,'” she said with a laugh. “We've still got two Memphis boys on the time in Dedric and K.J. (Lawson). I appreciate Kansas basketball taking us places we've never been. And I really appreciate Coach Self and the staff for letting me be myself. They always accepted me. The people there were so nice to our family. And this journey for Lagerald has been amazing.”

Vick's departure, along with Newman's and the graduation of Devonte' Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk, means Self's Jayhawks will head into the 2018-19 season looking to replace at least four starters from their latest Final Four team.

Sophomore center Udoka Azubuike, who is headed to Florida this weekend to spend time with his mother, who made her first trip to see him play basketball at the Final Four, said after KU's loss to Villanova that he would spend some time in the next week or so weighing his options, as well.

If there's a time or a team that is capable of handling such turnover, it's Kansas, which has three transfers with Division I playing experience waiting in the wings who will be eligible to play next season — point guard Charlie Moore and forward Dedric and K.J. Lawson — and one of the top incoming recruiting classes in college basketball, with McDonald's All-Americans Devon Dotson (PG), Quentin Grimes (combo guard) and David McCormack (center) all expected to vie for major minutes right away.

That's in addition to returning junior Mitch Lightfoot and sophomores Marcus Garrett and Silvio De Sousa, all three of whom played big minutes and held down valuable roles for the Jayhawks during the 2017-18 season.

Arizona State transfer Sam Cunliffe, who will be entering his first full season with the program, also could factor into the mix.

In addition, KU secured a commitment from Kansas City, Mo., prospect Ochai Agbaji, who offers some versatility in terms of filling out the roster, and the Jayhawks remain in pursuit of five-star shooting guard Romeo Langford, who is down to Kansas, Indiana and Vanderbilt as his finalists and is expected to make a decision by the end of the month.

Comments

[''] 1 week, 6 days ago

Self: Hey man, you gotta go. We need your scholly spot for someone coming in who is waaaayyyy better than you. Thanks!

Lawrence McGlinn 1 week, 6 days ago

It does make you wonder when Self is looking at oversigning with this recruiting class.

Craig Carson 1 week, 6 days ago

If you really think Self would be that heartless than you dont know Self..Vick is a junior and has paid his dues..even with him leaving, that still doesnt make Langford-KU a lock..Grimes plays the same SG position he does..both cant start

Lawrence McGlinn 1 week, 6 days ago

There have been some suspiciously timed transfers of upperclassmen over the past 15 years that have happened when we were close to oversigning. Tharpe was the most obvious. I don't have the time to research others, but I believe there have been some.

Gerry Butler 1 week, 6 days ago

Craig , that idiot just loves to see his ;lips move. - -He doesn't know s- - - . - He can't seriously truly think Self is like that. - -He makes statements like that just to get response from others. - absolute idiot - - Holy carp what a moron - -don't even acknowledge - - this guy is so proud of himself - he doesn't even list any kind of name for himself - -yippee lmao

Dirk Medema 1 week, 5 days ago

Way off on Way better, as well as your view of Coach Self.

"According to LaLa, lots of prayer and a desire to put himself in better position to support his 5-year-old daughter, Markayla, and the rest of his family, inspired Vick to turn pro."

Looks like Markayla had a lot more to do with his decision. Guessing it even played into other aspects of his life/performance. Didn't he reclassify in HS in order to come to KU a year early. Markayla would have been 1 or 2 at the time.

Tim Orel 1 week, 6 days ago

I've been a fan of Vick's since his play for KU in the World University Games. I wish him the best and I'm glad he's not hired an agent. KU would benefit from having a senior on the floor next year, especially as post-season play comes along. He's got to do what's best for him, however.

Joe Joseph 1 week, 6 days ago

"[Vick] announced via a press release that he would not be back for his senior season at KU and instead would turn pro."

Tim Orel 1 week, 6 days ago

Vick not hiring an agent or taking any other action that would make him ineligible means he's still considering trying to return (don't know if Self would still have that scholarship for him if he were to try and return). But a player can test the pro waters and come back if Self would have him and he's still eligible.

I know a return is not likely, but it's still a possibility and KU could still use senior leadership.

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 1 week, 6 days ago

many might not see him as a leader as he is portrayed as shy but a lot of people are drawn to shyer friends if they think of themselves that way. it draws out the shyness and creates leaders.

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 1 week, 6 days ago

I'm somewhat surprised, but wish you nothing but the best Lagerald. You were an important piece of the puzzle for the team's Final Four run this year. Best of luck in the pros!

We could really use another 3-point shooter for next year. Hopefully we can bring in Romeo Langford as I think he is supposed to be an excellent shooter!

Joe Joseph 1 week, 6 days ago

I wish the best for Vick and am happy he's able to pursue his dream of playing professionally.

I know a lot of people are high on Romeo Langford, but it's hard to imagine him, as a freshman, having more of an impact than a senior Vick would have had. One thing is for sure: Vick's departure will sting if KU does not land Langford.

Noel Backwards 1 week, 6 days ago

Couldn't agree with you more Joe. If we could have gotten a full season of non-conference Vick with the team we have coming in it would have made us dominant. I'm not sure what the outlook is for this team now even if we land Langford, which I think we will now. The freshman are too unpredictable and you can't expect them to come in and dominate from day 1. With Vick you had, at the very least, a guy that you knew what you could get from.

Jesse Johnson 1 week, 6 days ago

I disagree. It was clear he hit his ceiling this year. He just doesn't have much more to his game than catch-and-shoot or catch-and-dunk. The reason he dropped in production from non-conf to conf is because teams figured out how to guard us. In non-conf we were just shooting threes. Once they figured out how to take that away, Graham finally figured out how to make plays inside and so did Newman eventually. Vick just disappeared because he's just not a playmaker. Watching videos of Langford, he has a lot more to his game than Vick.

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 1 week, 6 days ago

so you've never seen him catch a lob dunk? or dribble drive? or dribble drop back for the floater?

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 1 week, 6 days ago

jesse, you watch high school highlights, not every game of his. you are comparing that to a final four starter. ????

Marius Rowlanski 1 week, 5 days ago

Vick isn't anywhere near his ceiling. I get that people thought Vick would be better because of how much he improved between his sophomore and junior year and didn't seem to make as much improvement his junior year but that doesn't mean he didn't improve.

Vick improved in every major statistical category. Vick is the most athletic player from this year's team and that alone might get him into the mid-2nd round.

Danny Hernandez 1 week, 6 days ago

I'm going to miss Vick, When he plays his game, he's awesome. We're going to miss Vick next year, and the fans dissing on Vick will soon realize that. Damn, he was athletic.

Jesse Johnson 1 week, 6 days ago

I don't mean to diss on him. I truly wish him the best and I'm grateful for the three years he gave us. I just think from a team standpoint, this is addition by subtraction. I think his minutes will go to a more talented player. That's just the harsh reality of sports.

Marius Rowlanski 1 week, 6 days ago

So, you think we would have made it to the Final 4 without Vick? Or win both the conference tournament and the conference outright?

I don't.

Jesse Johnson 1 week, 6 days ago

We were incredibly thin this year and Vick was a solid, albeit not very talented, wing that put in some good minutes to help us get to the F4. We are talking about next year though and the other guards/wings we have coming in just have a lot more talent and I'd rather Vick's minutes go towards developing them since Vick has hit a ceiling.

Craig Carson 1 week, 6 days ago

the difference between Vick and the incoming freshmen is that Vick was a proven commodity...Grimes or even Langford (if he commits to KU), are unproven..they might be real good or they might look lost

Tracey Graham 1 week, 6 days ago

As with Malik, I do not understand their decision. The 2018 Draft is STACKED. The 2019 Draft class is projected to be much weaker. Both Newman & Vick would have a better chance of getting drafted next summer than they do this summer. So unless they really need the money or they just hate college, I don't know why they wouldn't want to stick around and try to improve their draft stock.

But again, it's those guys' lives, and their decisions, not mine. If they think this is what is best for them, that's the bottom line. I wish them luck and I hope this decision works out for both of them.

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 1 week, 6 days ago

honestly i think it is a broken system and maybe grades are forcing athletes decisions.

Dirk Medema 1 week, 5 days ago

You apparently didn't read mom/LaLa's comments. There's a lot of non-BB reasons going into this decision.

Jonathan Allison 1 week, 6 days ago

Vick is wise to test the waters before he hires an agent.

My guess has been that Vick would declare for the draft and not initially hire an agent, leaving at least the possibility that he could return in the event that KU doesn't bring in Langford.

Even though it is being made to sound like he will not be back at KU next year, his decision to not hire an agent clearly means that he is being careful to not blow his college eligibility if he decides that he is not ready to go the professional basketball route.

If he withdraws from the draft he could return to KU or elect to transfer, if he elects to transfer then he will have to sit out a year due to the transfer rule (unless he can graduate after three years, but no one has indicated that is a possibility at this point).

I highly doubt that he would transfer and sit out his 4th year of college. So my assumption is that he is leaving open the possibility of returning to KU if we don't land Langford and if he decides against going pro.

I for one would gladly welcome him back for a Senior season, but obviously if we land Langford he probably would not choose to come back to KU even if the scholarship were still available because he would possibly be bumped from the starting lineup or at least have a reduced role. Let's assume Langford comes to KU.. the starting job is his to lose. Dotson and Moore secure the PG position, Langford starts. Would Vick have the inside track over Grimes and Garrett, possibly, but he would definitely be competing with them for PT.

I think that Vick is definitely making the best decision for himself at this point.

Also I would point out that if you declare for the draft, but you are obviously just "testing the waters" and intend to return to school after getting feedback, then NBA scouts are not likely to consider you as a draft prospect.

This situation can probably be compared to Brannen Greene's departure to gain some perspective. When Brannen Greene announced his departure after his Jr year, it was clear that Coach Self was done with him, and he was done with college basketball. There was no turning back. However with Vick, they have left an opening for a return that could be possible if the correct circumstances occur.

David Morrison 1 week, 6 days ago

Did you miss the comment by Vick's mother that his time at KU was over?

Jonathan Allison 1 week, 6 days ago

so why do you suggest that he intends to not immediately hire an agent?

also edited to add, that I wrote this post before the comments from Vick's mother were added to the article, but the theory remains the same.

Sure after reading the comments I feel that he's probably most likely gone, but until he does something to cost him his eligibility the possibility of a return remains. Right now, I'd guess that there's maybe a 5% chance that he changes his mind. He's almost certainly gone... but just almost.

Gerry Butler 1 week, 6 days ago

LOL, evidently umm - -yes they did David - -I know what you mean

Dirk Medema 1 week, 5 days ago

Comments from LaLa were not part of the original article. It would be nice if LJW would add a note when they update articles.

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 1 week, 6 days ago

i hope he's considering himself a grown man at this point and not listening to family. if he can graduate with one more year free tuition, then that's the man choice. he's not a lottery but he could be if he makes his senior year confident and a leader. definitely test the waters like svi did, go to the combine and get advice on what you need to work on. svi rose a lot this year. if vick gets that advice and comes back expect him to be a focused monster.

Dirk Medema 1 week, 5 days ago

Another "man choice" is to provide for his family/procreation. A degree will open doors for many that are not available for others, but so does playing for Coach Self. There will be plenty of open doors for him, and opportunities to finish his degree as well.

Marius Rowlanski 1 week, 5 days ago

I didn't know that grown men stop listening to their family.

I'm pretty certain that Vick doesn't listen to the LJW comment section when making decisions.

Noel Backwards 1 week, 6 days ago

Bittersweet news. Vick will be missed, but I think his departure opens the door to land Langford. Langford seems like a great player as well as Dotson, Grimes, and McCormack but it's just hard to predict what you will get out of freshman. That is the sad part about losing Vick because he would have been a good Senior leader and someone who knows how to play the game the way Self wants it played. New starting lineup prediction: Garrett, Grimes, Langford, D. Lawson, Azubuike.

Craig Carson 1 week, 6 days ago

um, Garrett wont be the starting PG..that honor will most likely fall to to Moore..unless Garrett comes back next season with a vastly improved jump shot and FT % he'll probably wont start..

Dirk Medema 1 week, 5 days ago

Agreeing with Craig that Marcus won't be the starting PG, but not so certain that he won't start. He knows how Coach wants the game played, and that is really important. Could easily see him starting as one of the other perimeter players.

That being said, guessing there will be lots more fluidity in the lineup next year with a roster full of eligible players. Expecting 10+ to play in the non-con part before the rotation inevitably tightens for Big12 and post-season play. Garrett will likely be a part of it as well as develop his O game this off-season.

Marius Rowlanski 1 week, 5 days ago

Coach Self likes having experience on the court so yes, I can see Garrett starting - at least when the season starts.

His defense doesn't hurt either.

Robert Brock 1 week, 6 days ago

Vick’s mother made it clear that his time at Kansas was finished.

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 1 week, 6 days ago

that just isn't right. mothers should know that the nba doesn't hire momma's boys. they are looking for guys with self confidence. family seems to f up everything for the great players.

Dirk Medema 1 week, 5 days ago

This is an ignorantly demeaning comment.

Because his mom is more out spoken does not mean that LaGerald lacks self-confidence. LaLa is also doing tons to help him be responsible for his family. Wouldn't be surprised if his mom has been taking care of his daughter until he's able to. Hat tip to Vick and his mom.

Matt Gauntt 1 week, 6 days ago

I really do with Vick all the best.

That said, I think he is making a mistake. How many guys have left early in the last 5 years that are only putting up marginal minutes and low points per game? I just don't see him being drafted in the two rounds. I suspect he is getting antsy and it taking quick cash over long term success. Leave now and get a minimal contract or stay a year, grow and get a first round contract.

Jesse Johnson 1 week, 6 days ago

The problem is it seems as though he hit a ceiling this year. If that is true (and I suspect that it is), an extra year only exposes that more, which would worsen his stock.

Dirk Medema 1 week, 5 days ago

Definitely not agreeing with Jesse's ceiling analysis. Seems way off to me. LaGerald still has lots of development ahead of him if he chooses to work at it.

My initial thought was that he could have done lots to improve his position with another year, but reading the addition of his mom's comments makes it all seem very appropriate. IIRC It all goes back even to the end of his HS days. I believe he skipped his senior year to reclassify during the summer. That too was about him stepping into a less comfortable position and being responsible for his daughter.

Trusting that he will continue to work on his game and life so that he can be a good provider and father.

Adam James 1 week, 6 days ago

Vick is done as a Jayhawk as the junior year is always the cut off point. The only reason a player would stay the additional year is to get their degree. Guys like Svi and Graham are great examples of this. Greene, Selden are similar to Vick in this regard. In this case Vick is not interested in getting the degree and going to class. He would much rather play oversees if he doesn't get drafted. If we get Langford, I think we will roll out this line-up.

Dotson (Moore) Langford (Garrett) Grimes (KJ, Cuncliffe) Lawson (DeSousa, Lightfoot-redshirt) Doke (McCormack)

Jonathan Allison 1 week, 6 days ago

Greene was forced out because of his behavior. Selden's situation is closer to Vick's except that Selden was at the time a better NBA prospect than Vick currently is, and Selden's career displays that as even though he was undrafted he is currently in the NBA.

I do think that you've got a point though about the Jr year cutoff, but only for the traditional American college player NBA prospects. Svi is still just 20 years old after 4 years of college. Udoka is just 18 after two years of college. Graham came back because he knew that he'd be the star of the team and had a chance to really showcase his talent, getting the degree was a bonus.

Guys like Selden and Vick are more traditional in that they know that they most likely aren't going to do much in a senior season to vastly improve their NBA draft prospects, thus they sense that if they can leave now and start getting paid and can devote themselves full-time to getting better, then they are more likely to be better off than if they stay one more year, don't get paid, and are just another year older. That said, a college degree is more than just a piece of paper when a professional basketball career doesn't pan out.

[''] 1 week, 6 days ago

Vick & Selden are galaxies apart! Bad analogy.

John Joseph Gorski 1 week, 6 days ago

Seldon is way better than Vick and Seldon is just a back up in the NBA for a horrible team. Vick's future is overseas after he's used as a back up in the D League for a season or two.

Craig Carson 1 week, 6 days ago

Langford and Grimes both play SG..dont see them starting together..and I dont understand why people keep assuming Dotson is going to start...how many times in Selfs career has he started a freshmen at PG?? Moore is a more proven player, he most likely will (and should) start

Tyler Gross 1 week, 6 days ago

Grimes will play the 2, and langford the 3, its really easy to figure out that those two will start if langford does pick ku. Dotson will also most likely start because he will probably be the best PG on the roster. Self hasnt started a freshman PG because if you look at his entire time at KU hes always had Talented upperclassmen PGs, This will be the first time I believe that he will have Moore whos never played for KU and has only 1 year, and Dotson who is a freshman. There is no way hes just going to start Moore because dotson is a freshman, I suspect bill self is slightly better coach than what you give him credit for and will start the better PG, Who that will be? Remains to be seen but I think dotson will start because he will get our other talent more involved and projects as a much better defender at PG than Charlie moore.

Dirk Medema 1 week, 5 days ago

Listening to Coach and paying attention to games shows that there are front court and back court players.

Langford and Grimes can easily play along side one another. There's lots of flexibility in Coach's system, and he really wants the overlap in most of those positions; 2 ball handlers, 2 shooters, etc.

1 week, 6 days ago

"...We are 100 percent supportive of his decision and with him the very best in WHATEVER PATH THIS TAKES HIM" yikes. best of luck, LGV!

Barry Weiss 1 week, 6 days ago

well, my hope is that this final piece brings Romeo Langford our way. That kid is legit, I don't care if he is a one and done, he will help us get to the final four.

Freddie Garza 1 week, 6 days ago

I'm just going to put it out there. Vick isn't an NBA basketball player. Surely he'll play professionally probably either in the G League or in Europe somewhere. But he's not an NBA basketball player.

Kid should've gotten that degree. I suppose he still can, but he's def. gonna need it.

Brad Avery 1 week, 6 days ago

Vick is a great athlete. Mediocre basketball player.

Jonathan Allison 1 week, 6 days ago

he averaged 12 ppg, 5 rpg, 2 apg, 1 spg for the KU men's basketball team. He may not be a great NBA prospect, but he's definitely better than a mediocre basketball player.

Chris DeWeese 1 week, 6 days ago

I agree. He's not a mediocre bball player. He has a beautiful shot, great leaping ability, and tremendous athleticism. The two things I'm concerned about are his focus and his slight physical build. That doesn't mean he couldn't work on those in the NBA, but I wonder if they put him in a one down position compared to other draftees.

Barry Weiss 1 week, 6 days ago

I think Coach is pretty upfront with these guys. And although Coach would have like him to stay, he probably let him know that his minutes could be down next year with what we got coming in and just having a deep bench. All that could make his numbers next year lower than this, so like Newman, going now could be both of their "peaks" as far as numbers for whatever league or team that try to get into.

Dirk Medema 1 week, 5 days ago

I think you've got it completely backwards. It's not that Coach is upfront with the players about playing time, etc., but that he knows them and their lives way more than we do. I'm not recalling much of any comment about Markayla prior to LaLa's comment, but guessing that wasn't a surprise to Coach. I'd guess that she had talked with Coach about their intentions long ago, and Coach's upfront has a lot more to do with Romeo patiently waiting to announce than anything else.

It would also seem that you are not giving scouts credit for being able to evaluate prospects if you think it's about stats. They are very capable of evaluating what goes into being a player, and it is more than just the numbers that come out.

Barry Weiss 1 week, 5 days ago

wrong, I have read articles where Self discusses this. He always sits down with his players after the season. If you think those are one way discussions, I think you need to think again. Its also telling that the players that have struggled at times are the ones like this that leave or transfer out. Go ahead, keep thinking Coach does not tell players when he knows their playing time may go down. Good grief.

Marcia Parsons 1 week, 6 days ago

That's a lot of one and dones. As for Vick, I had hoped he would be staying.

Craig Carson 1 week, 6 days ago

not really..sure Grimes could be OAD, but DeSousa looks to be a 3 year type of player and McCormack could be a 2-3 player as well....the majority of kids who are OAD tend to be players ranked in the top 25 in HS rankings since those are the kids who NBA teams focus on..Dotson and Grimes fit that mold (and Langford if he commits)..however, Dedric could be next years Newman...that is, star for a year at KU then go pro

Dirk Medema 1 week, 5 days ago

1nDone are more like top 10 with a few exceptions.

Stuart Corder 1 week, 6 days ago

Vick is incredibly athletic and has an above average 3pt shot. It’s unfortunate that this year he had to play outside of his position the entire year.

Unless he absolutely blows away scouts at an NBA workout, he’s destined for international professional play. He could develop into a Keith Langford - if he adapts an aggressive mentality that did not appear to show through his play this year (in my opinion).

Speaking of Langfords - this does pave the way for Romeo Langford to join an already impressive KU roster. He seems to be the front runner for the available scholarship. If he decides on a different school, is there anybody with inside knowledge as to other recruits KU is pursuing?

Jesse Johnson 1 week, 6 days ago

I don't think there are any other recruits left. If we don't get Romeo, we'll probably save it for next year.

Tim Orel 1 week, 6 days ago

I have to believe that Self would use it for either a walk-on or for a graduate transfer. I don't believe he'd leave it open. There are also some decommits from various schools who have lost coaches (for various reasons) so there might be one of those.

Ben Berglund 1 week, 6 days ago

Langford was one of the all time great slashers at Kansas ever. Not to belittle Vick, but his game has/had very little on Keith Langford's

Dirk Medema 1 week, 5 days ago

You missed the analogy being made. Keith has had a very successful pro career overseas, and has helped his family in the process; even paying for some to go to college. Wasn't it his half-brother that played for us?

Kind of like being an "UncleDaddy".

Bryce Landon 1 week, 6 days ago

Well, at least we don't have to see him going around looking like a dork with his waistband turned inside-out anymore.

Seriously, though, this dude is even less ready for the NBA than Malik. If I was an NBA scout looking at Vick's game and the way he played most of the regular season, I'd say he was D-League material at best.

Danny Hernandez 1 week, 6 days ago

as some posters have said, Vick did play out of position and I would think as fans, we should hope that he realizes his dream and makes it in the NBA and leave it at that! I've seen many NBA players end up better that they were in college. It happens and can happen. So many debbie downers here,

damn, can't imagine what it would have been like to be second guessed in everything I did in my 20's like these student athletes are.

Most are not ready for marriage yet still they go right ahead.

Dirk Medema 1 week, 5 days ago

It shouldn't come as a surprise that your BB comments are as ignorant and demeaning as your FB comments. It is a shame that you don't seem able to live up to your comment of going away to Iowa City. You're a wannabe hanger on, and we would be so much better off if you'd would seriously go away. You regularly quit on the team, and rarely provide any constructive comments. Live up to your word and leave already.

Mike Riches 1 week, 6 days ago

All the best to Vick.

It's hard to believe Mitch Lightfoot will be our most experienced player next year (in terms of games played at Kansas...) I don't know if that's ideal, but I tend to believe you can make up in experience what you lack in talent and often the other way around.

Brian Skelly 1 week, 6 days ago

Vick isn't NBA ready -- and I don't think he ever will be -- but he's certainly pro ball ready. G League, or overseas, he'll be getting a check to play basketball for several years at least.

Hard to envision him coming back and his "stock" skyrocketing to 1st round status next year (possibly 2nd), but that's it. I wish him the best. But im not expecting to see him on an NBA roster anytime soon.

Tony Bandle 1 week, 6 days ago

Random Thoughts:

1] Maybe it's a case of getting out of Lawrence as much as being ready for the NBA.

2] With the entire starting back line now leaving and one soph and a bunch of frosh taking over, Charlie Moore just jumped to the top of the Critical performers list for next year.

3] If you rationalize that De Sousa is part of the Class of 2018 and you Add Romeo to Dotson, Grimes and McCormack, you could make the case that this may be one of the best recruiting classes of all times for KU. [Although just getting Wilt and the Gooden/Hinrich/Collison classes were pretty damn good as well].

4] Looks like a red shirt for Marcus Garrett is out of the question now.

5] Help me here, but does Vick and Newman's departures mean we have no seniors in the entire scholarship group??!! I think it does.

Marius Rowlanski 1 week, 3 days ago

I think Charlie Moore will be the starting PG for next year's team but will probably get most of his minutes off the bench as Dotson takes over as the starting PG.

Brad Watson 1 week, 6 days ago

Good Luck in the pros....LaGerald...was kind of hoping you would come back and finish your degree and help teach the younger players...but I understand...its not too late to change your mind...we could use your leadership next year...and it might make you more money later...and you would have your degree.......think about it...its just one more year.

Dirk Medema 1 week, 5 days ago

Momma says they've been thinking about it for at least 5 or 6 years. Sounds like the decision was basically made a long time ago.

Marius Rowlanski 1 week, 4 days ago

Would be nice to see his name spelled correctly after 3 years on the team.

Brad Watson 1 week, 3 days ago

Ouch!...That was quite a dart!...Marius...its time for you to come out of your Moms' basement...you have been there too long...and yes I did spell mom with a capital...just kidding of course..but the next time you make an error...I will be ready to pounce!

Marius Rowlanski 1 week, 3 days ago

It was closer to being airsoft than a dart unless it was made of rubber.

Bill Lamson 1 week, 6 days ago

There were few players I enjoyed watching more than Vick the past couple of years. I don't like comparing one person to another since they are all different...I think he was unique, had a fun skill set to watch, could jump out of the gym like few others and hit 3's so I'll definitely miss seeing him in a Jayhawk uniform, but I think he made the right decision for himself. He may not be 1st or 2nd round pick, but he's got enough talent to make a living playing pro ball, and that's plenty of motivation for most people to leave when then can. And if he has an injury he could completely lose any chance of playing pro since non-lottery picks trying to recover from an injury usually don't get a second look.
And looking at the roster next year I'm sure he figured there was a good chance that his minutes would go down, so why spend another year in school that might not benefit you at all...at least not on the court.
But I STILL would have loved to see him and Malik back next year! Dang that would have been a good team...final four for sure....ah well.

Titus Canby 1 week, 6 days ago

Who is going to be our leader among the players next year? I'm thinking Lightfoot. He and Udoka are the only returning players who logged any considerable time this year.

As for Vick, I keep reminding myself, these guys don't come here to be students. Are any of them even still in Lawrence?

Tony Bandle 1 week, 6 days ago

Not to be nit picky but Garrett saw enough action to qualify but gives no indication that leadership skills have yet to become part of his personality'

Dirk Medema 1 week, 5 days ago

Absolutely right about Garrett being as much of a contributor as Lightfoot, but think you are way off on his leadership. He didn't show them on this team, because he was deferring to the established leadership. Looking a bit deeper shows that Marcus has plenty of leadership ability. It might not be that he or Mitch are stat leaders next year, but Mitch has already shown himself to be a leader in mentoring Silvio and my guess is the same for Marcus and the backcourt. Both will be invaluable next year.

Marius Rowlanski 1 week, 5 days ago

Dedric Lawson will be next years team leader. He has played two very standout seasons at Memphis and sat out a year to play for Kansas.

He knows what Self wants and he may be the top player on next years team.

Alan Dickey 1 week, 6 days ago

Tony, we won't have any senior scholarship players, but will have four juniors.

Those two recruiting classes were great, but don't forget about 2005: Rush, Wright, and Chalmers. Two of those won a national title.

I think our team took a bit of a hit with Newman's departure, even if Romeo comes.

If he doesn't we still will have a great team with a monster front court, which (barring any further departures) will look something like this:

FRONT COURT
Udoka Azubuike / Jr. / 7-0 / 280; (2017-18: 23.6 mpg; 13.0 ppg; 7.0 rpg)
Dedric Lawson / RS-Jr. / 6-9 / 230; (2016-17 Memphis: 34.5 mpg; 19.2 ppg; 9.9rpg; 3.3 apg)
Silvio De Sousa / So. / 6-9 / 245; (Rivals #25; 2017-18: 8.8 mpg; 4.0 ppg; 3.7 rpg)
David McCormack / Fr. / 6-10 / 260; (Rivals #34)
Mitch Lightfoot / Jr. / 6-8 / 210; (2017-18: 14.0 mpg; 3.8 ppg; 3.2 rpg)

WING
KJ Lawson / RS-So. / 6-8 / 210; (2016-17 Memphis: 33.7 mpg; 12.3 ppg; 8.1 rpg; 2.8 apg)
Sam Cunliffe / RS-Jr. / 6-6 / 190; (2017-18: 5.1 mpg)
Ochai Agbaji / Fr. / 6-5 / 195

BACKCOURT
Marcus Garrett / So. / 6-5 / 180; (2017-18: 19.2 mpg; 4.1 ppg; 3.4 rpg; 1.1 apg)
Quentin Grimes / Fr. / 6-5 / 180; (Rivals #10)
Devon Dotson / Fr. / 6-2 / 180; (Rivals #17)
Charlie Moore / RS-So. / 5-11 / 170; (2016-17 Cal.: 28.8 mpg; 12.2 ppg; 2.0 rpg; 3.5 apg)

And, by the way, that means that we have a total of 162.6 MPG returning or coming from other teams, which is not bad.

Dirk Medema 1 week, 5 days ago

Like the mpg comment, tho it remains to be seen how well they have learned Coach's system. Was hoping Sam would have learned more in the past year, but even Coach has commented on them not necessarily giving the scout team the same scrutiny/development as the starters.

Steve Johnson 1 week, 6 days ago

He gave it his best and stayed out of trouble. He may be better playing in Europe as he doesn't seem to be an NBA player. He will always be a Jayhawk and wish him nothing but success whatever he does.

Harlan Hobbs 1 week, 6 days ago

Ultimately, these young men make the decision they consider the best for themselves and their families. Time will tell if it was a smart move.

However, Lagerald came into the year with as much raw talent and potential as anybody his size. Those physical dynamics have not changed. Therefore, if he applies himself and becomes the kind of versatile player that we envisioned, he can make it in the NBA.

If not, there are opportunities in Europe, plus if they change the "one and done" rule, there is huge potential growth of the "minor" leagues here that could produce income opportunities.

My prediction is that Udoka will be the next shoe to drop. Being a selfish sort, I would love to have him back next year, but the circumstances for him are really no different than a lot of others who have declared. What we think they should do versus what they want to do is irrelevant in this world of sports.

As for next year, KU will be just fine. If Romeo makes it to Lawrence, that would be great, as he envisions himself as a "big" guard or a "swing man" like Josh Jackson, Wayne Selden, Malik, and Lagerald. Whether or not he can fill that bill or is just a shooting guard remains to be seen. However, I would love to see him try.

Harlan Hobbs 1 week, 6 days ago

P.S., I guess that when Coach Self said the other day that next year's team will look totally different than this year's team, he knew what he was talking about. Who would have "thunk."

If Udoka leaves, there will be no returning starters next year. However, the cupboard is still full and hopefully will get fuller.

Barry Weiss 1 week, 6 days ago

If I had to bet, I would bet Dok comes back. i think the whole free throw thing sort of set him back in a way. He probably knows he has to get that up so a pro team does not hold that against him. No one wants a hack and shack, and his FT shooting put him in that category. Same with Garret. Those two need to get professional help on shooting free throws.

Tyler Gross 1 week, 6 days ago

Yeah, and whats even more concerning is that hes as big as he is and hes a pretty terrible rebounder and defender. He fouls so much because he doesnt quite know how to play good defense, and he needs to become a much better rebounder, especially being 7ft 280lbs.

Geoff Ermlap 1 week, 6 days ago

He could transfer to another school if NBA doesnt pan out and self has moved on. I highly doubt this but it is another option other that returning to KU

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 1 week, 6 days ago

damn, i would lose all hope in ku if that's the case. vick is one of my favorite over decades. he may not be the best but he listened and bought in learned. i'm losing respect for self if this turns out to be losing a potential senior just to bring in romeo. that will make me turn in my ku gear. time to watch duke.

Lawrence McGlinn 1 week, 6 days ago

I would just say winning basketball coaches have to make tough decisions, but let's not make them out to be moral icons. They get paid a lot to win games, and it is fun to watch the team win. But don't follow Duke! Remember they had a player, Sulaimon who was only dismissed by K after his sexual assault went public? Most people don't remember that when they canonize K. How about UMBC or Loyola Chicago? Washburn is pretty good and clean....

Marius Rowlanski 1 week, 3 days ago

Where did you get that idea? Transfer to another school if the NBA doesn't work out?

What he can do is return to college and get his degree if he chooses but his college career is OVER.

Your comment doesn't make me think you know much about college basketball.

Craig Alexander 1 week, 6 days ago

Udoka out of the three is the furthest from ready IMHO. I hope Vick and Newman are it from our starters.

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 1 week, 6 days ago

damn vick, i was hoping to see your senior night. you are without a doubt one of my favorite players since being a student in the late '90s. i love your quick step, hate that you kinda lost confidence in your shot and passed a lot this year. on another note, the comments from vick's mom are souring me on self. it seems he is being pushed out. kids make mistakes in college, you shouldn't take their scholarship and degree away just to free up for another player.

Dirk Medema 1 week, 5 days ago

The comments from LaLa show that they had a plan for him being a professional player long before KU ever came in the picture. I'm not seeing any indication that Coach influenced him leaving at all. Just support for the decision his family made.

James Donnell 1 week, 6 days ago

I am not sure why anyone would think Vick was coming back. Think of the reasons he wouldn't: he probably didn't think he could significantly improve his stats; he knows lots of talent is coming in and playing time is an unknown; he has a daughter he needs to provide for and thinks he can get paid to play ball; most of his buddies have moved on; he made it to a Final Four; he probably can't stand the idea of another year of classes and exams; and maybe he really dreaded that Senior Night speech!!

Harlan Hobbs 1 week, 6 days ago

With all due respect, it often has nothing to do with being NBA ready. Udoka has the most upside potential simply because of his size and above average footwork.

Yes, he has major free throw problems, but until he changes his unorthodox method, it will not get better. Sure he needs professional help with it, but will he get that at KU? Not likely.

The biggest reason that Udoka may come back is his youth. We knew when he came to KU, he had to be here two years before becoming eligible to enter the draft.

He still has plenty of time, but if the potential injury factor is as much in his mind as I think it may be, he could easily declare for the draft. I HOPE THAT I AM WRONG!

Lawrence McGlinn 1 week, 6 days ago

I just don't know where Dok fits in today's NBA. Embid is the prototype new big man. He is sleek and fast in the open court, hits midrange and outside shots, can defend away from the basket. Dok couldn't even defend a mediocre college 5 for Villanova. Nobody dumps it into the big man down low anymore. Dok is athletic, but he would need to change his physique and build his skill set a lot to be an NBA big, I like the guy, and I hope he makes it.

Dirk Medema 1 week, 5 days ago

Dok definitely needs to continue working on his FT, and he got it at KU. There was a huge change when he went to Coach and asked him for help in changing his shot. He made 70% the next game! He hadn't gotten enough reps to make it permanent, and that chicken wing kept reappearing. It is tough to completely rework your shot during the season. I would think he at least tests the waters and predominantly works on his FT form for the next month. Still has huge potential all the way around.

For what it's worth, after Spellman hit his 1st 2 3's, he was 0-4 the rest of the game. Still set an insurmountable deficit and tone for the game.

Brian Conrad 1 week, 6 days ago

Henry please move to Duke. . If you liked the inconsistent best player in decades ???? Fact games we lost Vick disappeared. . He did play some defense . But Nova proved we were terrible guarding the three all year ! Look when Vick had head in game he was great but does not crack top twenty in decades HENRY. Can you say Frank Mason , Josh Jackson , Morris twins , Rush , Mario , Arthur , Embid , Wiggins , Sheron , Aldridge , Simeon , Oubre , Tarik , Withey , McLemore , Collison , Heinrich, T Rob , Seldon , Jacque , not to mention Paul “ the truth “ Pierce and hundreds more

Robin Smith 1 week, 6 days ago

Vick has his best days ahead of him. Good length, crazy athleticism, and wonderful shooting form. He'll be in the NBA.

Lance Hobson 1 week, 6 days ago

Very good player but this may be a big mistake. Hope he ignores his mom and keeps the option to return intact. He may not even get drafted.

Dirk Medema 1 week, 5 days ago

Never ignore momma! Don't need to agree with her, but never ignore her.

Bryson Stricker 1 week, 6 days ago

The IQ levels in this thread are very, very, very low.

Tony Bandle 1 week, 6 days ago

Bryson, is your somewhat sardonic comment aimed at the Pro Vick people or the Anti Vick people or just everybody in general?

Bryson Stricker 1 week, 5 days ago

@Tony

Everyone in general.

I’ll tell you this.

Vick & Malik’s decisions to go were made months ago. NONE, I repeat NONE of you know their personal situations. There are many options besides the NBA for basketball.

Lagerald will not get drafted. No chance at all. Malik will be late 2nd round more than likely.

These guys are doing what’s best for them and any of you who argue and fault that can go be a fan elsewhere.

Yes Bill does “push” players out but it’s only in there best interest. Lagerald would not gain anything next year and bill has a plan for this team. A lot of coaches do this.

Romeo Langford is coming to Kansas, prepare yourself.

Alan Dickey 1 week, 5 days ago

Many of the "very, very, very low" IQ people in the 86 comments before yours made the same points you just made. Calling people stupid, and then agreeing with what they already wrote is--pretty dumb.

Dirk Medema 1 week, 5 days ago

Alan - While Bryson is brash, it comes with youth (23 IIRC), but he also comes from the perspective of living with the athletes. There is so much more than what we read in the papers, and I think this is the point that Bryson is making.

Even if the conclusion is the same, the path is quite different. To Bryson's credit, he is almost always commenting from a positive perspective, maybe even crimson glassed perspective, so really not nearly as dumb as you indicate.

Barry Weiss 1 week, 5 days ago

I certainly hope you are right about Langford.

Dirk Medema 1 week, 5 days ago

Bryson - Saw you tweet Jason King's article for B/R. It's shame that other fans don't know. I had never heard virtually any of that before. Changes my perspective so much, or at least reaffirms a commitment to be positive and give the players the benefit of the doubt. Thanks for posting.

Austin Bergstrom 1 week, 5 days ago

Its a business not a game. Never more obvious than this situation.

Layne Pierce 1 week, 5 days ago

Is it just me, or aren't we all kind of glad. I am ready for a new look, the dawning of a new day. Malik and Lagerald, doing what they want, and God bless them. Grateful for what they did, and they will not be forgotten,

But,

Next year will really be a new beginning. Newman and Vick, and Doke, if he stays, all have a great deal to say about what kind of team we would have. Just like Svi and Devonte. This year's team was really built around those two. Doke was a force that made that possible. Newman learned to use it to his advantage. Vick, got kind of caught in the middle of it.

Their leaving means young people, new people have to step up even more. It may work, it may not. Certainly, Silvio come on down. What a job he did. Without him we don't get to the final four, we don't win the conference tournament.

Because we are KU, we always just reload, but sometimes there are blanks.

RCJH

Dirk Medema 1 week, 5 days ago

Could have gone from "glad" to "because" in my book. I'm definitely not glad that either of these guys left, but definitely support them in their decisions.

It is interesting that your 3rd paragraph basically echoes LaLa's comment about the next set of teens. Vick's personality is completely different than Devonte's so it wouldn't have been his team, and he wouldn't have been the best friend sidekick either (Svi).

As you said, mostly glad that Coach Self knows the players well, and orchestrates all of it so well for all that commit to it.

Harlan Hobbs 1 week, 5 days ago

There are a lot of anger management books out there, Bryson. You might try reading one. I would imagine that your ego will keep you from doing it.

How about that Tony? I can get a little mean if I want to. Us old "flatulence producers" need to stick together.

Erich Hartmann 1 week, 5 days ago

Good luck to LaGerald, he’ll need it. Mom’s quote of “let’s go do this” should continue on to say something about “foreign currency”, as that’s where his paycheck could be. Svi was a better, more versatile player for KU this year, is 6’8, and shot 44.4% trey, and huge for Svi was showing he could guard someone like Bagley. Vick was an above avg college 3 shooter, not gifted defensively, and made NO habit of taking people to the rim off the bounce. What potential?

Newman’s case is better, as he did replace Mason’s production & go-to ability for about 7-9 games this season. Mason did it for 3+ yrs. Malik is banking on his 1 shining moment in an E8 game vs Duke. Former McDAA, he’ll get a few looks, we’ll see how his combine goes. Is Newman better than Devonté? What was Josh Selby’s career path post-KU? Is Malik better than Selby was? I understand the timeline clock was ticking inside Malik’s head to a defeaning (squawk) by this point...

Erich Hartmann 1 week, 5 days ago

Regarding the above bickering about who’ll start or play the 2 or 3 or whatever...didnt we just see Self play 4+1 x 2yrs? Where they slot in or out will depend on what their key & secondary skillset is. And what about ea player’s gut feel & instinct for the game?

Frosh, even MickeyDs, you dont know their whole pkg from a h.s. mixtape highlights video. If a frosh has the whole pkg like Josh Jackson ( who was also a fire breathing alpha) or Trae Young, that would be great. Self will find them roles/mpg.

You could say the minute Nova hoisted the NC trophy, our next season began. Or the minute we were down 22-4, I sensed the season was over—Self said it politely afterwards that “once down 22-4, we’d have to play perfectly to claw our way back”. Which meant getting stops...which our season’s long Dstats simply showed we were incapable of that level of D (worst D stats in Self era, not that he didn’t try with them). If we were, maybe 22-4 hole didnt happen to begin with. All that’s left to say is hats off to Jay Wright, clearly a team a notch better than anyone else. KU, KY, UNC, Duke, MichSt, AZ...all flawed to some degree, and basically all in a similar pack.

At least we have a lot of pieces from Self to salivate over regarding next year. 5 days to prep for Nova, yet see what happened—my theory is that Self went into SanAntone with 3-4 bullets out of 6...not much else he could get out of this squad. Playing zone D even, almost anathema for a Self product. Even the “7” man 2012 KU team played m2m D. Recall its 2 bench guys were Teahan and KYoung. They got behind all season, but got stops, and clawed their way back in every game but that last one...

At least we got a reminder on RoyBall, pretty O, limited D, almost always a big L a few games/season when the O was misfiring.

Next season, please. Let’s see what Self’s next team is capable if on both ends of the floor & what his philosophy will be.

Matt Stone 1 week, 5 days ago

I posted this on another post.

Hearing Self had enough of Vicks effort or lack there of and basically was forced out. He wasn't going to get playing time. Interesting lineup would be C Dok PF D Lawson PF De Sousa SG Grimes PG Dotson Think scoring and rebounding would never be an issue. If Langford joins then he gets in lineup over DeSousa. Think Langford has to be higher in KU's crystal ball than what is published. Vanderbilt and Indiana have had open scholarships available for awhile and if Langford was interested in them he would have already picked 1. Think he has waited to see if KU's departing players would allow an opening for him to slip in, that has now happened. He has said he wants to play with other great players and KU and Vanderbilt are only 2 that offer that but KU has biggest edge. He has lowest amount of pressure to play here as other guys will score and he doesn't have to be the man as will have to be at Indiana. He supposedly doesn't want the spotlight which eliminates Indiana. He wants to be on a winner, KU is biggest winner of the 3. Wants a great coach that will make him better. No question Self owns that group. Seems like KU checks all the boxes! Vanderbilt and Indianas main advantages are close to home.

Barry Weiss 1 week, 5 days ago

maybe you can help Dirk find this article. He needs help. Basically just comes on here to rip on everyone. He does not believe Coach tells the players their PT will be down after an off year and a full load of top ranked recruits coming in. Dirk thinks its a one way street, the players tell Coach how it will be....lol....classic!

Rob Byrd 1 week, 4 days ago

Thank you Dirk!! I often wonder if there isn't a certain "troll" on here that feels so inadequate in his own skin, that he feels the need to pick on young athletes just starting out in life.

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