Busy practicing for the World University Games, Landen Lucas has put one of his hobbies on hold this summer — golf.
“It’s been hot outside, too. I haven’t been able to golf too much. Golf has gone down this summer,” said the 6-foot-10 Portland junior, who normally can be seen on area courses this time of year.
“The good thing is after we get back from this trip (July 3-14 Games in South Korea), we should have a little bit of a break before we get started (with school Aug. 24). All those hobbies we like to do, we should be able to get back to those. It’s a grind for these four, five weeks, then we have a nice break after that.”
Lucas’ best round?
“I shot a 79 one time, which is really good for me. For the pros and stuff it’s not,” Lucas said. “It was out at Falcon Ridge down the road (in Lenexa). I’m usually in the 90s. That was a really good day.”
The languages: Lucas grew up in Japan, where his father, Richard, played pro basketball. He speaks Japanese fluently. Are there any similarities between words in Korea and Japan?
“Not at all. Maybe some. We’re taking a class in Korea,” Lucas said. Indeed, the Jayhawks are taking a class in Robinson Health and Physical Education Center on Korean history and culture.
“I think Japan was really involved with them early on, I guess. They (Koreans) have tried to get as far away from that as possible with their language. I don’t see too many similarities at all. I’ve looked for some and maybe catch onto some things, but I haven’t seen anything,” Lucas added.
World travelers: Lucas played in Estonia and Latvia last August with Athletes in Action. Senior Hunter Mickelson played in Estonia and Finland with Guy Rancourt’s USA East Coast Basketball team.
“This is one of those things without basketball a lot of us wouldn’t be able to do,” Lucas said of traveling to South Korea. “We’ll just appreciate it and have fun while we are over there. I feel it’ll be a good trip for all of us.”
Asked which player might be thrown out of his comfort zone the most overseas, Lucas said: “I’m trying to think. ... I feel like Frank (Mason III) is going to be new to everything. He speaks his mind, so we’re going to hear every experience he goes through,” Lucas added, smiling.
Lucas healthy: Lucas said he’s 100 percent healed from offseason surgery on his left leg. He had a noncancerous bone tumor removed from the shin area.
“I took about three months off, just trying to get back in the flow of things,” he said. “I just hope I can get out there and play well (in World University Games). The main goal this summer is to win and get better as a team. I think we’ll all have a chance to get out there and contribute to that.”
More on the class: Asked to reveal the most interesting thing he’s learned in the class on Korea so far, Hunter Mickelson said Thursday: “We’ve learned a whole bunch of stuff. Little bit of the language, little bit of the culture, a lot of its history. I think more than anything the most interesting would be the history between the two countries, North and South Korea.
This, that: KU officials said Thursday the two exhibition games against Canada (Tuesday and a week from today in Sprint Center) will not be televised. ... KU’s Kelly Oubre Jr. has dropped out of the lottery in Chad Ford’s latest NBA mock draft at ESPN.com. Ford says Oubre will be taken No. 16 overall by Boston. He says Cliff Alexander will be the 14th pick in the second round, by Phoenix. Ford said Alexander sprained an MCL in a workout a few weeks ago, which “has limited his ability to prove himself the past few weeks.” Alexander is slated to return to workouts this week.