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Jayhawks at Summer League: Svi Mykhailiuk off to another hot start in Vegas

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Detroit Pistons' Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (19), from Ukraine, dunks the ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, March 2, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Detroit Pistons' Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (19), from Ukraine, dunks the ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, March 2, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) by Matt Tait

Former Kansas Jayhawk Svi Mykhailiuk is at it again out in Las Vegas.

After shining with the Los Angeles Lakers’ Summer League squad in 2018, Mykhailiuk found a similar groove with his new team, the Detroit Pistons, over the weekend.

Showing steady feel and rising confidence, Mykhailiuk proved to be one of the Pistons’ main offensive weapons over the weekend.

In the opener, a 96-80 exhibition-type victory over Croatia, Mykhailiuk tallied 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting and also dished five assists while playing as one of Detroit’s primary ball handlers, able, asked and willing to turn the corner and make plays for others. He hit 2 of 6 from 3-point range and also was hit with six turnovers.

In Game 2, a 93-73 Detroit win over Portland, the man who hit the biggest shot of KU’s Elite Eight win over Duke back in 2018 made his second straight start, scoring 18 points and dishing four assists in six fewer minutes. He hit 4 of 10 from 3-point range in that game and trimmed his turnovers down to two.

“Offensively, he’s done a really good job of making decisions, making good plays,” Pistons assistant coach Sean Sweeney told The Detroit Free Press. “Defensively, I’ve been pretty pleased with his ball pressure. He’s getting down in his stance and competing.”

That first part could be the most crucial, given the potential the coaching staff sees for Mykhailiuk with the Pistons.

Back in March, shortly after landing with the franchise via trade, Detroit News beat writer Rod Beard Tweeted that Pistons coach Dwayne Casey said Mykhailiuk’s future fit with the franchise could come at point guard.

Asked recently by the Free Press what worked last summer and what he planned to do this summer, Mykhailiuk said simply, “I was just playing. It just happened to be good games. Just work hard and don't think about what you’re doing on the court. Just play.”

Svi and the Pistons will look to move to 3-0 at 4 p.m. Monday against Indiana.

Here’s a quick look back at how a few other former Jayhawks fared in Summer League action over the weekend.

• In a battle of former teammates, Devonte’ Graham’s Charlotte Hornets topped Dedric Lawson and the Golden State Warriors, 93-85, in the Summer League opener for both clubs. Graham, who started and played 27 minutes, finished with 21 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. Lawson, in 10 minutes, matched Graham’s steal total and finished with 2 points and 3 rebounds.

Graham followed up his solid debut with a rough 3-of-13 performance in a loss to San Antonio on Sunday for eight points in 26 minutes. Lawson, meanwhile, grabbed two more steals and scored five points in 15 minutes during Golden State’s bounce-back win over Toronto.

• Frank Mason III, who recently was waived by Sacramento but retained on the Kings’ Summer League roster to allow him to audition for other teams, did not play in the Kings’ Vegas opener.

• After a strong showing of shot making last week in Salt Lake City, shooting guard Malik Newman did not play in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Vegas opener and then started during Sunday’s win over the Chicago Bulls. In 23 minutes, Newman finished with five points, three rebounds and three assists and hit two of nine shots from the floor.

• Attempting to find a spot on an NBA roster after two stints overseas, Thomas Robinson’s run in Vegas is off to a slow start. After putting up better numbers in big minutes last week in Salt Lake City, Robinson scored two points in nine minutes in the Spurs’ opener and did not play in Sunday’s win over Graham’s Hornets.

• Cliff Alexander, who’s also trying to find his way back into the league, scored 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting from the floor and 5-of-6 shooting at the free throw line for the Los Angeles Clippers in a win over the Lakers. LeBron and Anthony Davis versus Kawhi and Paul George it was not, but Alexander added four rebounds in 15 minutes in the Clippers’ Summer League opener.

• Former KU center Jeff Withey started for the Washington Wizards in their Summer League opener, playing 12 minutes and recording three points and a block in a win over New Orleans. Rookie and reigning No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson did not play in the game.

• Former KU big man Landen Lucas did not play in the Atlanta Hawks opener and added one point and three rebounds in eight minutes off the bench in a 24-point Atlanta loss to Minnesota on Sunday.

• Lagerald Vick (Houston) and Andrew White III (New York Knicks) did not appear in the box scores of those teams last weekend. And former Jayhawk and Kansas native Conner Frankamp, who finished his career at Wichita State, received a pair of DNPs (Did Not Play) with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Comments

Brian Babcock 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Thanks Matt. I don't follow the NBA so it's nice to see a summary of how former players are doing.

Brian Wilson 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Really good update Matt. It's always interesting to hear what everyone is doing. But....articles like this also really frustrate me when it comes to KU.

Svi playing point guard in the NBA! No....really! Would someone explain to me if Svi is good enough to play the point in the NBA why wasn't he playing it at KU?

HCBS is always playing players that are projected NBA small forwards at Power Forward or Center, Perry Ellis, Dedirc when Dok was healthy. It was early on, before Svi came to KU, that Svi projected to probably playing PG in the NBA. Why didn't we give it a go? KU could of had a HUGE lineup and if things had clicked maybe another banner. If it's projected for the NBA, why is it not good enough for KU?

I will harp it again: Last years lineup should of had players in their correct NBA positions. After Dok was out. We should have stuck with it until everyone clicked: McCormack, Dedric, KJ, Agbaji and Dotson start, Lightfoot and Garrett should have been 6 and 7 off the bench. Grimes should have been benched behind Dotson.

Jonathan Allison 2 months, 1 week ago

  1. This is Summer League. It's a little different from true NBA competition.
  2. Svi would have fouled out every game trying to guard point guards, and it was too important to have him o the floor.
  3. Svi came to KU as a 16 y/o kid who could barely speak the language let alone run the offense
  4. In four years at KU Svi never would have been a better PG than Frank Mason or Devonte Graham.

I love Svi and he's definitely a better pro prospect than both of those guys and figures to have a long professional career. Maybe over time he can develop into a capable NBA guard who can run the point when needed, but he's going to butter his bread as a catch a shoot guy for most of his pro career.

Dane Pratt 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Nine days into July and still no word from the NCAA.

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