Providence transfer center to visit Kansas

Providence center Paschal Chukwu (13) goes up for a shot against Marquette guard Derrick Wilson during the first half of a game, Sunday, March 1, 2015, in Providence, Rhode Island.

Providence center Paschal Chukwu (13) goes up for a shot against Marquette guard Derrick Wilson during the first half of a game, Sunday, March 1, 2015, in Providence, Rhode Island.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Paschal Chukwu, a 7-foot-2, 225-pound center who has announced plans to leave Providence after his freshman year, will visit Kansas University the first weekend of June, Chukwu told Jayhawkslant.com on Friday.

Chukwu said he is also planning a trip to Nebraska. He has yet to reveal any other schools on his list.

Chukwu, who is from Nigeria, averaged 2.6 points and 2.4 rebounds for Providence his freshman season. He played high school ball at Fairfield College Prep School in Connecticut after moving to the U.S. three years ago.

Chukwu averaged 9.9 minutes a game as a freshman and was expected to start his sophomore season. Now he’ll sit a year at his transfer destination, with three years of eligibility remaining.

“Great things are going to happen with him,” Providence coach Ed Cooley told the Fairfield Citizen newspaper just days before Chukwu decided to transfer. “I can’t brag enough about him. I’m as high on him as any kid I’ve ever recruited and I know his best is yet to come. He should have a heck of a run from here on out. I’m excited as I can be about him.

“He’s got really good hands. He’s got a great touch. He can score around the basket. His biggest growth is going to come from strength. Once he gets stronger and is not moved out of the post ... that development in him will help him get to another level,” Cooley added.

Rivals.com’s No. 61-rated player in the Class of 2014 hit 33 of 50 shots for 66 percent as a freshman. He also canned 24 of 40 free throws for a chilly 60 percent. He had 23 blocks in 34 games for a 22-12 Providence team that lost to Dayton in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He had nine points against Rhode Island, nine rebounds against Butler and four blocks against Marquette.

Cliff says mom was “tricked”: Former KU forward Cliff Alexander told Michael Kim of Chicago’s 120 Sports that he had to sit out eight games last season because his mom accepted impermissible benefits from a third party.

“My mom got tricked into something she didn’t know what she was doing,” Alexander said, “and we needed money at the time.

“I was thinking about staying (for sophomore season at KU). Then when the incident went down, I felt like I was going to be ineligible for my sophomore season, so I made the choice to leave (for NBA Draft).”

Games schedule, times: KU’s basketball team — plus Nic Moore of SMU — will open World University Games Pool D competition against Turkey at 10 p.m., Central time, July 3, at Dongkang Gymnasium in Gwangju, South Korea, KU announced Friday. There’s a 14-hour time difference, meaning the contest will tip at noon on the Fourth of July, Korea time.

Pool D includes Serbia, Brazil, Chile and Switzerland. The USA will play Brazil on July 5 (6:30 a.m. in Kansas) and Chile on July 7 (12:30 a.m.). USA will face Serbia (July 7, 10 p.m.). Then pool play concludes with a matchup with Switzerland (July 8, 8 p.m.).

Bracket play for the World University Games runs July 10-13. There are four pools of six teams each and, following pool competition, the teams will be seeded for bracket play with the top two teams from each pool in the mix for winning medals. Teams that finish third and fourth in their pool will play in a consolation bracket, while the teams that finish fifth and sixth in their pool will play in a third bracket. Each team is guaranteed at least eight games.

KU will face Team Canada in exhibition games at 7 p.m., June 23 and 26, at Kansas City’s Sprint Center. Fans can purchase tickets at sprintcenter.com or by calling 800-34-HAWKS.

Chalmers tourney: The seventh-annual Mario V. Chalmers Foundation golf tournament and VIP mixer will be held July 27 at Alvamar. Tee time is 1 p.m., with the mixer to start at 6 p.m. A live auction and giveaways will take place, with a portion of proceeds benefiting Boys & Girls Clubs of Lawrence’s new Teen Center. For information, go to mariovchalmersfoundation.org.

TV rumors: Former KU forward Scot Pollard will appear on the 32nd season of the TV show “Survivor,” according to insidesurvivor.com and realityblurred.com.