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Originally published March 29, 2021 at 02:27p.m., updated March 29, 2021 at 03:30p.m.

KU junior Tyon Grant-Foster enters transfer portal

Kansas guard Tyon Grant-Foster (1) slaps hands with Kansas guard Dajuan Harris (3) and Kansas guard Marcus Garrett (0) after a bucket during the second half on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Tyon Grant-Foster (1) slaps hands with Kansas guard Dajuan Harris (3) and Kansas guard Marcus Garrett (0) after a bucket during the second half on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Kansas junior Tyon Grant-Foster has entered the transfer portal, KU coach Bill Self announced Monday afternoon.

Grant-Foster, the former No. 1-ranked junior college player in the country, appeared in 20 games for the Jayhawks during his lone season with the program, averaging 3.1 points and 2.2 rebounds in 8.3 minutes per game.

“Tyon and I visited today and he told me of his intention of putting his name in the portal,” Self said. “I support that decision. We all have enjoyed Tyon being here. He is a tremendous young man that has a great future and we all support him moving forward in his basketball career.”

Coaches and teammates within the Kansas program had high hopes that Grant-Foster could become an impact player for the Jayhawks in Year 1. In fact, Self said in December that he could envision the 6-foot-7, 205-pound guard becoming one of the team’s best players by February.

But that never materialized, and Grant-Foster remained a deep option on the Kansas bench throughout January and February and into March.

He played a total of 16 minutes in four games in February and just 11 minutes in two games in March, including nine mostly-second-half minutes during KU’s 85-51, season-ending loss to USC in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Throughout the season, Self pointed to the lack of opportunities Grant-Foster had been given to both get comfortable in the Kansas system and prove that he deserved a spot in KU’s regular rotation. And as the Jayhawks entered the NCAA Tournament with COVID-19 issues affecting their frontcourt, Self said he told Grant-Foster that he would have an opportunity to be an impact player for KU on the season’s biggest and brightest stage.

But with the Jayhawks needing a come-from-behind effort to knock off Eastern Washington in Round 1, Grant-Foster played just two minutes in that game.

Grant-Foster flashed big moments during his limited time at KU, by the far the biggest coming when he scored eight points, grabbed eight rebounds and recorded two blocks while making a couple of big time plays late to help KU win a nonconference game over North Dakota State at home in December. He also scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds in a home win over Omaha a week later.

But he played double-digit minutes in just two of the final 14 games he appeared in and shot 40% from the floor (27 for 68) and 13% (3 of 23) from 3-point range.

Originally from Schlagle High in Kansas City, Kan., Grant-Foster played two seasons at Indian Hills Community College before coming to Kansas.

Sources told the Journal-World this week that Grant-Foster has drawn interest from programs in the Big Ten Conference. Wherever he ends up, he will have two years of eligibility remaining thanks to the free year given out by the NCAA in the wake of the pandemic. And if the one-time transfer exemption passes next month — as is expected — he could be eligible to play immediately at his new school.

Grant-Foster’s departure opens up a scholarship for the Jayhawks to fill heading into the 2021-22 season, and there figures to be no shortage of options.

Kansas City senior guard Brandon McKissic has listed KU as one of his final six transfer destinations and the Jayhawks remain in pursuit of prep guards Ty Ty Washington and Bobby Pettiford, who both recently backed out of commitments to Creighton and Louisville, respectively.

Comments

Edward Daub 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Heavens to Murgatroyd!

Tyon was the No.1 ranked JUCO player?

Pass me my Foster Grants.

He might still have great potential.

The Big 10 Conference is already knocking on his door!

Robert Brock 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Juco is not where you find basketball talent these days. Sports “academies” are where you find hoops jocks - not jucos.

Dale Rogers 3 weeks, 1 day ago

I find it sad when the reality of a situation doesn't match a player's expectations. In Tyon's case, he has skills and just needs some development. He just got into a situation where some very skilled players at his position were ahead of him. He may do better playing someplace where his skills are needed on the front line or early off the bench. I wish him much luck and hope his next stop works out well for him. At the same time, I'm sad to see him go. He may have become an important part of the team next season but he doesn't have enough years left to take that risk. Good luck to you, Tyon. Thanks for your time as a Jayhawk.

David Rodenbaugh 3 weeks, 1 day ago

It will sting if he ends up having the success someplace other than KU like Quentin Grimes had at Houston.

Cory McCart 3 weeks, 1 day ago

grimes was a huge high school recruit, not a top ranked juco guy. not sure why he left. frustration, lack of playing time? i guess it just wasn't a good fit. anyway, i don't think he'll reach that level at a top-level program. again, i could be wrong.

will enjoy watching quentin play tonight. wish he were still a jayhawk, though!

Joe Joseph 3 weeks, 1 day ago

I don't think it was playing time with Grimes. He averaged 27 mpg as a freshman. If I recall, didn't he kind of fancy himself a point guard? My guess is that he wasn't quite the impact player he thought he might be. Throw in some homesickness as well and, well, there you go. No doubt Grimes would have helped A LOT this year...

Doug Horn 3 weeks ago

Grimes definitely wasn't playing time. I thought he got more playing time than he deserved. Kid had a big head and believed the hype about his skills. So much so that he declared for the NBA draft. There was no way that he was going to get drafted in the first or the second round. Once again he believed the hype someone was telling him. Not sure what Self told him before he declared for the draft, but rumor was that when he pulled his name from the draft that Self told him that I told you if you put your name in the draft that he couldn't hold a roster spot for him. Self has always seemed to gather as many facts about a players draft status and present all the facts to a player before they make a decision. I think that Grimes didn't believe the information that Self was providing him. So he declared. Grimes used the fact that Self didn't hold a scholarship for him as part of his reason for asking to be able to play right away at Houston. It worked out for him, but you do notice that this year is his second at Houston. Now he is in the final four and he will have a shot at getting drafted, after three years of college ball.

Jonathan Allison 3 weeks ago

I think the problem with Grimes/KU was not that he fancied himself a point guard as much as that he fancied himself a one and done.

That said, I'm very happy for him to be in the FF.

Bryce Landon 3 weeks ago

I'm not happy. He never really bought into being a Jayhawk; he had one foot in the NBA the entire time. And now he's in the Final Four while the team he left behind is sitting at home twiddling their thumbs.

Mallory Briggans 3 weeks, 1 day ago

I dont get how Self envisioned him being an important part of the rotation ......but never played him . Its always about trust with Self and again another player with potential gone . Cant say i wasnt surprised. I guess the quickest way to get rid of a player who you dont have confidence in ,is not to play them and in most cases the player leaves. This is not only at KU its pretty common everywhere . Players want to play but they need the opportunity ,cant fault a player who wants to compete. If TGF was proclaimed No 1 ranked Juco player to being buried on the bench is a bitter pill to swallow .

Wishing you all the best TGF

James Donnell 3 weeks, 1 day ago

When he got in a game, he was in 3-4 minutes. I am not sure who can make an impression and get in the flow of a game in that amount of time. He showed flashes of talent and athleticism. I just wish he would have been allowed more floor time and have been allowed to play through mistakes. I won’t be at all surprised if he becomes a very good player wherever he goes.

Ted Hume 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Bill Self: "We need to get more athletic to be a contender"

Bill Self fails to develop and integrate into the rotation the best athlete on the team...ugg

At least it wasn't Enaruna

Mallory Briggans 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Self doesnt have patience for bench players to work through mistakes . You screw up you sit the bench .You sit the bench you lose confidence ......now you have a player with no confidence , Self doesnt have patience for starters who make mistakes ....Jalen Wilson rode the pine a time or two when he wasnt playing well . As far as the Juco argument ,if TGF didnt qualify for college whether a Power 5 or Mid-major does not mean he lacks talent .I have never seen a player get better sitting on the bench ......TGF wasnt any different

Brett McCabe 3 weeks, 1 day ago

If JUCO ain’t what it used to be, then why is Dollar Bill signing JUCO players? Did he run out of recruiting money?

Tired of listening to this whiny jerk complain about the abilities of the players he recruited.

Tony Bandle 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Foster-Grants are fine but I've always been a Ray-Ban man myself.

Mallory Briggans 3 weeks, 1 day ago

247sports college basketball transfer portal has its last updated college basketball portal today . Grant -Foster is on it so its current ....... Juco players can play. some are academic casualties. There was a juco player drafted into the NBA in last years draft so there is potential With all the eligible transfers which Kentucky and Michigan State have already gained from if we dont get much interest from at least a few thats more of an indictment of the program.. if the word is you may transfer and not play . Brett i do agree with you on Self being critical about lack of athleticism or ability , ....youre right Brett he recruited them .....when you have an average team ,with average talent you get average results

Brian Mellor 3 weeks, 1 day ago

A player like Grimes probably benefits a lot from being the Man, rather than just one of the guys. Some people need to know they carry the burden to really reach down and deliver what they’re capable of.

And sometimes personalities come into play. I’m happy he’s had success somewhere else, he’s still a guy I root for and still do.

Rodney Schulz 3 weeks, 1 day ago

For all those who doubt the ability and judgment of Bill Self I have just one question: are you any where close to as good, multi-year successful and highly ranked at your job as he is with his job?

If you are not you have no room to speak.

Brian Skelly 3 weeks, 1 day ago

It does seem that if Self doesn't trust you to crack the rotation, your simply not going to get much run.    For walk-ons that's probably not a big deal.    But this guy was recruited by multiple high end programs.     Im sure it's not what envisioned -- or did Self.

Regardless, I don't hold it against the players.    For 99% of them the time they have playing organized ball is the time they have left in school.    I hope he finds a place he can fit.

Mallory Briggans 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Bill Self has had a great run at Kansas there is know doubt about that .......but Coach Self admitted himself that he should have more than 1 championship ....he has had some great teams that were good enough to win it all but didnt.........So the ability to field a great team he has done. All i know is Kansas is at home and Grimes is in the final 4 and thats even more upsetting .

Bryce Landon 3 weeks ago

I'm with you, Mallory, it's absolutely galling.

Barry Weiss 3 weeks, 1 day ago

this is a bummer. at a time when we need athletic type players, Tyon was that type player.

Jerry Walker 3 weeks ago

You can occasionally unearth a nugget from the juco ranks but more commonly they're kryptonite. Athleticism is usually not an issue with ballyhooed juco recruits but beyond that there are reasons why they're at a juco...and they're mostly red flags.

Mallory Briggans 3 weeks ago

That is true Jerry they are playing Juco for a reason .we got Curry coming in next year a Juco player hopefully he pans out. or should i say he has to pan out . 2 misses from Juco ranks wont be a good look .

Robert Brock 3 weeks ago

Tyon is athletic but did not bother to learn the offense or the defense...a la Cheick Diallo. He became a liability when on the court.

Jonathan Allison 3 weeks ago

who is Bill Self's most successful JUCO recruit since he's been at KU? Mario Little?

Jonathan Allison 3 weeks ago

I can't even really remember any other Juco recruits at KU, I know that there have been some, but mostly they either never crack the rotation or leave the program before they ever even suit up.

Not a Bill Self player, but I have to go back to Jeff Graves to think of a Juco transfer other than Little who made an impact on the team.

Mallory Briggans 3 weeks ago

Diallo was a 5 star recruit......MVP of the McDonalds all american game ......Drafted number 33 by the Clippers traded to Pelicans ....played 180 career games in the NBA currently playing in Russia in their highest league . Mind you he was drafted after 1 season at KU but what I m hearing is he could not play at Kansas ........or did Self not develop and utilize his talent ......He could play in high school and the NBA ...but couldnt as a Jayhawk

Jonathan Allison 3 weeks ago

having missed the month of November due to his NCAA eligibility case, and then having to battle against depth and experience at the forward position had a lot to do with Diallo not breaking through at KU.

After he returned from NCAA purgatory he had to compete for minutes with Cartlon Bragg, Dwight Coleby, Jamari Traylor, Hunter Mickelson, Landen Lucas, and Perry Ellis.

Now... none of those guys were amazing can't miss NBA prospects... but all of them were ahead of Diallo in experience and all of them knew their role and how to help the team win.

It's one thing for an extremely raw, highly athletic NBA prospect to get minutes on a rebuilding (tanking) NBA team, but it's a different thing to get minutes on a national title contender, especially when there aren't many more cupcakes on the schedule before conference play.

James Donnell 3 weeks ago

Certainly looks bad when we have these touted guys come in for a year and then leave. Potential transfers-in undoubtedly look at that. Drew built his team with great transfers. They are in the Final Four because of Butler, Mitchell, and Teague, who all transferred to Baylor. And if you are watching the games, it is obvious we do not have the talent or athleticism to compete with the elite teams. These guys on the other teams are fast, strong, and can shoot.

Chad Durbin 3 weeks ago

In my honest opinion, not many of us are qualified to evaluate elite talent, as we see 30 some games annually, and in TFG case very few minutes in each game. HCBS and staff are constantly evaluating, teaching, and coaching. This year, I would estimate the coaches spent more time with player, “in the bubble”, than they normally do. It would be tough for a TFG, JUCCO player to learn a new system, play defense, and continue to develope, did I mention play defense, which he rarely did to HCBS level of expectation? Good Luck to TFG and Enaruna, but neither ever impressed to the recruitment level that came with them. The transfer portal will or won’t work, time will tell, but it is a convenient excuse to exit a program because a kid can’t stick it out. The kid, 17-22, did after all commit to the team, but most of us didn’t know what we needed or wanted at that age anyway. HCBS will recruit talent, and more kids will leave in the future, but he is far better than Shaka Smart or Lon Kruger, who just couldn’t compete. Chris Bears has up and down years, and Scott Drew finally made a FF after 18/19 years at Baylor.... SMH, I will stick with Bill Self, and ask KU to give him a raise!

Bryce Landon 3 weeks ago

A raise for Bill Self? What are you, on crack? Until the man gets us back to the Final Four (which I don't see happening anytime soon), he should at the very least take a pay cut and at most be fired for his constant underachieving.

Jonathan Allison 3 weeks ago

Bill Self is not above criticism, but those calling for his firing are laughable.

Bill Self is a a very well deserved HOF coach and continues to be one of the top 3 to 5 college coaches in the country year after year.

Yes I know that KU basketball is bigger than any one individual, but elite coaches don't grow on trees, and frankly Kansas isn't exactly looking like the kind of paradise that could attract a top level coach away from an established contender right now... with the looming NCAA infractions case and the turmoil in the athletic department.

If we lose Bill Self, who do we get to replace him? I don't think Jay Wright or Tony Bennett will be interested. I suppose you look for a younger coach, an up-and-comer you know... like the next Bill Self.

Maybe we go back to the well at Illinois and recruit Brad Underwood... but he's roughly the same age as Self and is a K-stater.

a few years ago people were gaga for Shaka Smart... well frankly at this point he's Marquette's problem.

Brad Stevens ain't leaving the Celts. Indiana called him and he blocked their number.

Danny Manning is available... maybe Jacque Vaughn...

actually that might not be a bad idea, but college coaching isn't the same as the pros.

Chad Durbin 3 weeks ago

Bill Self deserves a raise from the crack Bryce and the other chicken littles have been smoking! Give him a chance to produce. I mean geez he has only made the tourney every year he has been at KU, won countless Conference Championships, final fours, Elite Eights, and Sweet Sixteens, but that just isn’t enough is it? KU fans have become accustomed to winning, and consider this an off year and not a decent year with a weaker team. Ask Duke, NC, Mich St., and Kentucky what a bad year is. You don’t see their fans asking for their removal. Step away from the pipe, Bryce.

Mallory Briggans 3 weeks ago

Jonathan you made an interesting point on why Diallo didnt get playing time and it was valid What is more discouraging is the roster ..........

Frank Mason Wayne Selden Lagerald Vick Devonte Graham Svi Brannen Greene Carlton Bragg Dwight Coleby Jamari Traylor Landen Lucas Perry Ellis Cheick Diallo

I wont add anything else other than that roster didnt win the national championship.

Jonathan Allison 2 weeks, 6 days ago

yeah. so many times we've been stacked with talent and depth at every position. It's hard to explain why we tend to choke in the NCAA tourney. We have be ousted in the first weekend 7 times under Bill Self, but we've also made it to 8 elite 8s. We've only made it to 3 final fours, but with the talented teams that we've had we could easily have 3 national titles during that time. But Bill Self has had a historic career as KU coach. We set the high water mark for regular season dominance and have continued the record streak of 31 consecutive NCAA tourney appearances, and we've won a ton of postseason games over the years. Not that those things are as good or better than having multiple national titles, but the track record of success is undeniable.

Chad Smith 2 weeks, 6 days ago

People have short memories and outrageous expectations as KU fans. Duke and Kentucky were both atrocious this year. And UNC got steamrolled by Wisconsin in the 1st round.
Meanwhile KU had COIVD issues at the worst time and couldn't shoot a layup against USC. Yeah Ku got destroyed and that one stinks to watch.

But not all that long ago KU went 28-3 (17-1) in the BIG 12 and was primed to be the #1 overall seed in the tournament. That tournament didn't happen unfortunately. Self will get some more athletes in here and he'll get more frontcourt muscle and KU will be just fine.

Since Wake Forest fired danny manning please have KU bring him back and he can teach the Bigs again. The frontcourts were very good with Manning on staff. I know he wants to be athletic director, and I'm cool with that too, but I'd rather have him on the basketball staff again.

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