Friday, June 1, 2018

Former Jayhawk Lagerald Vick pulls name from NBA draft pool

NBA G League and a return to school now among guard's top options

Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (2) lines up a shot during practice on Thursday, March 22, 2018 at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb.

Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (2) lines up a shot during practice on Thursday, March 22, 2018 at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb.


Fresh off of his experience at the Professional Basketball Combine in Florida in late May, former Kansas guard Lagerald Vick has pulled his name out of the 2018 NBA draft pool and is undecided about his immediate future.

According to his mother, LaLa Vick, returning to school remains one of Vick’s options, but that does not necessarily mean a return to KU.

“We’re looking at all options,” LaLa Vick told the Journal-World on Friday night.

Included among them are the possibility of going straight to the NBA’s G League, which LaLa said was the only option that Vick had mentioned to her specifically. At this time, it does not appear that Vick has any interest in playing overseas.

LaLa Vick said her son, who announced he was leaving KU on April 6 — saying “I have nothing but great memories and times with the Jayhawk family ... It is now time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life” — has not hired an agent and chose not to do so intentionally in order to keep his options open.

At the time he announced his decision to leave Kansas with one year of eligibility remaining, Vick’s mother told the Journal-World that her son’s time at KU was done.

Although that may still be the case, there appears to be at least a sliver of a chance that Vick could find his way back to Kansas, provided the KU coaching staff is willing to take him back.

“That option is still on the table,” LaLa said, noting that she and her son planned to call KU coach Bill Self soon to look further into the possibility of a return to KU.

Should Vick elect to return to college but not play at Kansas, he would have to sit out a year in accordance with NCAA transfer rules before being eligible again, unless he can obtain enough credits to graduate before the end of summer school.

Self, who is in Colorado Springs, Colo., working to put together the U18 Men’s National team that will compete in the FIBA Americas tournament in Canada later this month, did not immediately return a text message inquiring about Vick’s situation.

Because KU followed up the departure of Vick, Malik Newman, Devonte’ Graham, Svi Mykhailiuk and Billy Preston by signing just four players in the 2018 recruiting class, the Jayhawks, who have no seniors on the 2018-19 roster, do still have one scholarship available to hand out.

After exploring the idea of adding a graduate transfer throughout the month of April, Self has indicated in recent weeks that he now is just as likely to keep the scholarship available as he is to give it out.

Early entry players had until midnight Wednesday to remove their name from the draft list in order to retain their collegiate eligibility. Vick’s mom said her son met the deadline and has been back in his hometown of Memphis working with a trainer he has known for years to stay ready for whatever comes next.

As long as he does not hire an agent, Vick will not be draft eligible in the 2018 NBA draft on June 21 in Brooklyn, leaving the G League and college as his top options.


Henry Joseph Hofmeister 4 years, 1 month ago

come back. one more year in a place you already know with coaching and trainers you are familiar with would be better than a year off transferring. next year's team will be good and g league money isn't great.

Rory Wendelin 4 years, 1 month ago

It would be nice to have experience in our backcourt. I welcome him back with much excitement to see him grow even more in his final year at KU. This is also wishful thinking. He is more likely to go to the G League. Point being: Come back, Lagerald!

Tim Orel 4 years, 1 month ago

I wonder what the state is of his academics. If he left April 6th, did he do things to finish his classes early? Or does he have a bunch of incompletes or even F's? I would really like for him to return - we could sure use his experience and he's been one of my favorite players since I saw him play at the World University Games (not personally - on those TV broadcasts). He could really use the extra year, especially if he can start and stay at a high level instead of having a big valley in the middle of the year.

Ray March 4 years, 1 month ago

It would be great if they work it out so he can come back. It would be equivalent to signing another great shooting guard out of high school to fill the final scholarship since that goofus Romeo Langford made the dumb choice to go to "Indiana". I wonder if Vick burned some bridges with Self and the KU staff already? I thought it was weird that he was leaving when he wasn't really considered a highly sought after NBA recruit. I wonder if his mom La-La-Land is part of the problem in his odd decision making??

Robert Brock 4 years ago

Vick’s momma is right - it’s time for Lagerald to move on. He needs to earn a paycheck and take care of his daughter.

Travis Clementsmith 4 years ago

Maybe the best way to do that is finish up his degree so he has more options than just basketball?

Aaron Paisley 4 years ago

He can finish up his degree in the offseasons while getting a head start on a pro career.

Marius Rowlanski 4 years ago

So playing another year at KU is just a waste of time?

I think this is why Vick didn't get an agent and being the only senior on the team might get his name back on the draft board.

Geoff Ermlap 4 years ago

Self should talk him into coming back. He is probably the best guard in the country available to KU right now. A tremendous athlete and a senior who knows selfs system. He could have a stellar senior year and be a real difference maker. If he could catch on in the G league he doesnt have to go to class and can practice all day to improve while making a modest paycheck. That might serve him better but KU could absolutely use him if that can be worked out

Chris DeWeese 4 years ago

I don't think Self wants him back.

Jason Venable 4 years ago

“The talk we had at the end of the season would be that he would go somewhere else if he decided to stay in school. That was something we talked about. We kind of agreed on that,” Self told ESPN.

“He should look into whatever he wants to do, or look into other schools or whatnot," Self told about Vick. ”But there will be a point in time when I get back that I'm sure we'll sit and down and we'll visit and talk about the situation. But I have not planned on having him back since the season was over."

What makes you think that? LOL.

Steve Quatrocky 4 years ago

Stay Calm and Trust in Coach Self, he knew this was going to happen, he has the scholarship available and Vick will humble himself to make the call but I appreciate him waiting until Coach is done with USABall, thats showing maturity and humble-ness right there. Vick did nothing wrong, nothing different than Doke in declaring early and gauging the market, but he and his Mom were a little overconfident in their farewell statements and actually said goodbye but not too overconfident as they didnt sign with an agent.

Coach was better off for it, as with Vicks scholarship, he had an oppty to sign Romeo or any other 2-3 guard who he thought had more potential than Vick but would tie up the scholarship longer than one more season, find a grad transfer better than Vick, leave it open for next year, or bring Vick back for his senior season after a major dose of reality courtesy of the NBA AND have the scholarship open next year. Its a WIN WIN WIN. And remember, there are bunch of other guys who just pulled out of the Draft that might qualify as a grad transfer too so Coach really has all the options right now assuming Vicks grades are in order..

Tony Bandle 4 years ago

The Prodigal Son returns......and let's throw a party and welcome him back.

All of a sudden a Vick, Moore, Grimes, Dotson, Ogbagi, Garret, Cunliffe back line combo looks even more daunting.

OG, if the Vickster comes back, better get ready to try on a red shirt size that fits.

Jason Venable 4 years ago

If Vick does come back then Ogbagi will red-shirt. Cunliffe will never see the court except for practice. Maybe he should've stayed at ASU.

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 4 years ago

i'd like to know the true story around sam. why did we recruit a scholarship transfer that is at the end of the bench like walk-ons? he has to have connections and is about getting his degree for free.

Marius Rowlanski 4 years ago

You don't really believe that Coach Self would give a scholarship away just to have a well-connected player earned his degree while sitting at the end of the bench.

Cunliffe started at Arizona State before coming to Kansas. He already had a scholarship. Sam came to to Kansas because he had a previous relationship with the coaching staff and Coach Self needed a three-point shooter.

This could very well be the year that shows why Coach Self recruited Sam.

[''] 4 years ago

Bad decisions all around from this guy. Heck now if he does come back he will get less playing time than he did last year and his draft stock goes no where. He should concede that he needs to explore overseas.

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 4 years ago

i disagree. he has improved every year. junior to senior year is incentive to work his a$$ off all summer and be the senior next year. draft stock may not reach much but it's a possibility. a free degree is also a possibility. g league salary is 26k. ku tuition and fees are 25k. he has room and board on top of that here so it would be stupid to leave.

Travis Clementsmith 4 years ago

My best read is this: Vick wanted to go at the end of the season with the teammates he basically came in with. Self thought there might be a good opportunity to get another player for this class. At the time, it was mutually beneficial to both parties. Now, Self has a scholarship opening, good only for this year. Vick has rethought his earlier decision and maybe sees a better path forward than originally contemplated. Self has a need for both experience and outside shooting. Vick knows the KU program. Assuming there are no personal issues that can't be overcome, it makes a lot of sense. I can't be convinced if Vick were a graduate transfer from another school he wouldn't have been the hottest commodity on the market.

Ian Brown 4 years ago

What a jackass. Did he actually think he was one of the 60 best players trying to enter the league this year? Despite his absence from all the mock drafts and the fact that nary a single scout believed he'd get drafted nor ever play a day in the league, and everyone else with two eyes and a brain who has seen him play and knew he wouldn't get drafted or ever wear more than a "G-League" jersey, he STILL opted to leave school.

And it wasn't to test the waters like his smarter, larger, and far more talented teammate Azubuke who actually has NBA talent and potential. No, he (or someone) had it in his (or her) mind that he'd somehow magically impress scouts at the combine and trick them into believing he was someone who could help an NBA team.

Unfortunately, I don't think I was Lagerald who made the decision--I think it was mommy and her selfish, shortsighted desire to begin making money off her son. And being a good son and a better person than he is a basketball player, he listened to mommy and didn't want to let mommy down and did as mommy said.

If HE actually believed he was going to defy the mock drafts and the opinions of literally every scout who said he had no chance of being drafted, then he's even dumber than I thought.

Regardless, if I was KU, I'd tell him good riddance. We've already replaced him and his position and then some. If he was a big, like a solid 4 or 5 who could help us out down low, then I'd have him back. But he's a 2/3, and mediocre 2/3 guards come a dime a dozen, and we have at least 2 of them coming in from high school who are already better, more polished players than he will ever be.

Brian Leslie 4 years ago

Lagerald's mother has been taking care of his daughter for 4-5 years. Show a little respect and compassion for that; that's not a selfish person. It sounds like you are unaware of that backstory.

And Lagerald was a starter on a Final 4 team. I don't get the anger. Maybe the backup plan is to transfer to a school that would allow him to be around Markayla and work on rounding out his game. I feel confident that Coach Self will advise Lagerald to do what is in Legerald's interest as a young man.

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 4 years ago

what are you even talking about? we made the final four with a couple mid range bigs, not good at all. lagerald is good if he wants to be. if he makes this decision as it seems he is finally instead of his mother, then that's a part of growing up like a lot of people do at college. do what's best for your future family not your past family.

Harlan Hobbs 4 years ago

Outstanding comment, Steve. Bill Self is a compassionate man, and I doubt that he bears any grudges against Lagerald. However, the only question for me is team chemistry.

I have no reason to believe that Lagerald wouldn't fit in, but that should be the overriding factor to consider. You can have all the players in the world, but if they aren't pulling in the same direction, it isn't worth it.

As you say Steve, "In Coach Self We Trust!"

Thomas Thompson 4 years ago

I believe Self knew that Vick might want to come back. It will be interesting to see what Vick wants to do G League or KU. If he left with unfinished classes then he is going to G League. He needs to take care of family. Maybe another year of school is the best for Vick and family.

Brian Conrad 4 years ago

Could be the very best thing for Vick . He has skills. But needs to listen better. Work defense gain confidence. Main way is to focus. Only listen to coaches not outsider . Talent is almost there if he would focus like Newman did , he could definitely ready next year. Or if set in his ways listening to wrong people he could be sacking groceries 5 years from now. Put your heart & head in KU tell Self you will do anything he tells you. Legerald will end up millionair

Jonathan Allison 4 years ago

I got lambasted when Vick announced for the draft because I suggested that his not hiring an agent left a sliver of a possibility that he could return to KU.

I gave it slim chance, but now it's looking a little less slim. I still wouldn't consider it a likelihood, but it remains possible.

Bryce Landon 4 years ago

If he comes back to Kansas, someone needs to tell him to stop turning his waistband inside out; it makes him look like a dork.

Alan Dickey 4 years ago

I hope Vick comes back to bolster our experience and depth. Regardless, there are going to b some players who are going to get less PT than they were hoping—even more so if Vick coms back, and likely including Vick, unless he makes a real leap during the early part of the year.

If Vick comes back (and if De Sousa returns), we have six returning Jayhawks and three incoming transfers who collectively in their last years of play played a total of 200.8 mpg and scored collectively 80.7ppg. Then you have three incoming highly-regarded freshmen. Only so much PT to go around.

P.S.: Are those of you above who speak of an “Ogbagi” intending to refer to Ochai Agbaji?

Titus Canby 4 years ago

A few years ago, didn't Nadir Tharp announce that he was leaving KU, then try to come back? And didn't Self say no?

I would love to see Vick return and bolster up our inexperienced backcourt, but I'm skeptical that it will happen.

Alan Dickey 4 years ago

Tharpe left KU shortly after, in late March 2014 (just after our loss to Stanford in the tourney), a pic was posted of him obviously under the influence of something and in the nude glued to a half-naked woman from the Lawrence area who was a married mother of two young daughters and was an elementary school nurse. Obviously, they were consenting adults, but it didn’t look good for the program, and Self expressed his disappointment. Within a month, Tharpe “decided” to leave KU. I don’t believe he ever tried to come back. His “decision” to leave had nothing to do with any pro-ball opportunity.

Lawrence McGlinn 4 years ago

My opinion is that it was not Tharpe's decision. It was Self's. He needed a scholarship for Graham, and Tharpe had both the picture thing and unsatisfactory play. I think it may have been the same thing here. He needed a scholarship for an incoming top recruit, but it did not materialize. Let's pump the brakes on the, "Bill Self is a compassionate man" stuff. KU B-ball is a business, plain and simple. Tharpe is the most obvious example, but other players have "decided" to leave after not performing up to expectations.

Titus Canby 4 years ago

Alan and Lawrence, thanks for the clarification.

Layne Pierce 4 years ago

Strangely if Vick comes back, redshirts pop out.
Franky, he is so lucky that Romeo Langford finally settled for Indiana, and that really was because of the shoe contract BS.

He frankly became the odd-man out last year, because SVI and DeVonte played so well together, and Newman caught on and then you threw the ball into Dok. That left LaGerald tryin to find his spots. Next year, could be a whole new ball game. Look how much Svi improved when it was on him and DeVonte.

Still, if he plays like last year, his time is goin down.

There's also the question of what he would have to do to make a difference in the Pros, and that is play much better defense, rebound a little more, handle the rock better, and go to the hoop, don't just settle for 3s.

Wish him the best no matter what. Hes a Jayhawk.

Harlan Hobbs 4 years ago

Sorry you take offense at describing Bill Self as compassionate, Lawrence. You obviously haven't been paying attention over his career and seen how much his players at every place he's coached love him. Seeing all those who returned to be at his HOF induction speaks volumes, as do the large numbers of former players who return to Lawrence on a regular basis.

Being compassionate and running a smooth operation are not mutually exclusive.

Marius Rowlanski 4 years ago

Patino had a few people attend his HOF induction in 2013 after winning/not winning the NCAA championship. So did Tark in the same in the 2013 induction class.

Has absolutely nothing to do with your post but...

Harlan Hobbs 4 years ago

Good point, Marius. It just goes to show that players love their coaches who look out for their interests regardless of how the coach is perceived in the outside world.

The bottom line is that, when it comes to Lagerald, Coach Self will weigh what is best for Lagerald, but not at the expense of the team. Sometimes, being compassionate means showing "tough love" which might be misinterpreted at first glance.

Lagerald hopefully has a long, productive life ahead of him, which certainly will require much more than just what he does for the next year.

Harlan Hobbs 4 years ago

One other thought. Lagerald has a child to whom he needs to be a good father. Frank Mason was in the same boat while he was at KU.

Frank has handled his responsibilities with determination and fortitude, and hopefully, Lagerald will find a way to do so as well.

Dane Pratt 4 years ago

How about KU ponies up for some free condoms. School and basketball is a full time job and more. Can't imagine throwing a kid in the mix.

Freddie Garza 4 years ago

I'm kind of indifferent. If he comes back, cool. If not, cool. We'll be fine either way.

Harlan Hobbs 4 years ago

Probably, so. Even Yahoo sports has an article out today putting KU #1 in their current pre-season poll for next year. Of course, that is an essentially worthless prediction at this point.

Chris DeWeese 4 years ago

Vick ain't coming back to KU. He'll either go the G league route or transfer. I don't think Self wants him on the team anymore. Vick has reportedly had a poor attitude (arrogant, defensive, lazy), which is likely why he got benched more than once this past season. I don't think Vick appreciates Self's coaching style and really doesn't like criticism. If he really wants to go pro, he needs to be willing to explore the over seas option.

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