Kevin McCullar, or "McCullah" as he is so lovely (and more than likely unintentionally) called by Fran Fraschilla, has decided to forego the rest of the NBA Draft process and return to the Kansas Jayhawks for another season. Originally a Texas Tech Red Raider, McCullar averaged 8.7 PPG, 1.4 steals/game, a 43.2 FG%, and 1.9 assists per game for the 78 games played for the Red Raiders. He transferred after his junior year, about a year ago to the day actually, to the Kansas Jayhawks, where he averaged 10.7 PPG, 2 steals/game, 44.4 FG%, and 2.4 assists/game on 34 games played. After the heartbreaking loss to Arkansas in the 2nd round of this year's NCAA tournament, McCullar then decided to test the NBA waters, going through the combine process as well as playing in a couple combine games where he put up solid numbers.
What made him come back to KU then you may ask? Well for starters, many mock drafts had him picked late in the 2nd round if at all in the upcoming draft. With a body type and potential like McCullar's, there's still room for growth and to improve his draft stock, which is probably one of the main drivers of his decision to return. Another potential driver would be the NIL money that he is going to receive. NIL now allows for colleges to keep up with the G League, who is allowed to also take from the high school recruiting crop. The G League, up until the advent of NIL, was the only way to go if you wanted to be paid for your play while not quite being talented enough to play in the NBA itself, that or play overseas which is normally reserved for the international players. With NIL now in play, McCullar more than likely saw how much Hunter Dickinson was getting and wanted in on it. Finally, it could honestly also be he just saw the team Bill Self was building this year and wanted in for one last shot at a collegiate national title. McCullar barely missed out on a title with Tech and was a year late for the Jayhawks' title, so it could just be he wants that shot. We probably won't know what the biggest driver was, but it can be assumed all these factors were at play for McCullar's decision to return.
I for one am super excited that McCullar is returning. The defensive prowess and tenacity, as well as the ability to go on an absolute scoring tear at will, will benefit the Jayhawks greatly. Not only that, but McCullar will see dividends as well by returning to be coached a little more under Self's tutelage. Self has molded program guys and excellent ballplayers, and I expect McCullar to be no different. This certainly bumps KU into preseason #1 status too, which I'm sure many Jayhawk fans are excited about (including myself) This will perhaps be one of the best teams Self has ever assembled during his time at KU, even if you do not appreciate Kansas Basketball there's potential to witness one of the greatest ever college basketball teams. Truly, that is how much potential this team has, and with the backing of one of men's college basketball's best coaches, that potential can be brought out to its fullest extent. Get excited folks, the Jayhawks are coming.
Burn Notice: 10/10 As Bob Davis used to say, the Hawks are COOKIN'