KU Basketball has been, at least in my opinion, abnormally busy these past couple weeks. For the off-season, plenty of headlines are being made, so let's talk about them and delve into what all we got going on:
Rock Chalk Roundball Classic
The annual Rock Chalk Roundball Classic will be tonight, June 9th, at Lawrence High School. The charitable event brings together former men's and women's basketball players for KU, as well as football players and other celebrities from around the Lawrence area to play in a pickup style basketball game. The charity raises money for pediatric cancer and is super fun to go to. The event encompasses the weekend as well as tonight, with the VIP dinner and bowling event to complement the game. If you can make it out and afford a ticket, I highly recommend going! It will be a great time and for a good cause.
The NBA Draft
The NBA Draft is merely 3 weeks away on June 23rd, and plenty of Jayhawks will be up to hear their name called in this year's draft, or at the very least be eligible for a UDFA signing. Standouts like Christian Braun and Ochai Agbaji have great potential to be lottery picks, and I've been seeing a lot of workout news from Remy Martin, David McCormack, and Mitch Lightfoot. It'll be interesting to see where these guys fall, as we all know Lebron James needs a Jayhawk on his team to win championships, and basically every Jayhawk has worked out for the Lakers. It can't be superstition if it's true right? This being said, I'm excited to see Braun and Agbaji get picked and get their shot, and perhaps the others if the chips fall that way. In the latest mock drafts I've seen, I saw Agbaji at 10 and Braun at 16. We may see some surprises though, as they both had great combines and have been showing out in workouts.
First Intersquad Scrimmage
Finally, the first intersquad scrimmage happened this week, with plenty to talk about in terms of determining who will start this year and who may stand out. Joe Yesefu had 30 points, and was drilling 3's throughout, while KJ Adams had 16 including a couple impressive plays. Adams was rumored to possibly transfer this year, but dispelled those rumors after an impressive showing here and clarifying in a media appearance, saying he doesn't want to go anywhere. Not all players participated in the scrimmage due to not being on campus, however we could see some shakeups in potential starting lineups after what we saw with this first scrimmage. Joe Yesefu in particular may have just made a name for himself, but for now he still sits behind Dajuan Harris.
Overall, this offseason feels different because of the National Championship I think. After a few big moves the Jayhawks seemed primed to make a case at a repeat, but obviously it is still very, very early. The Jayhawks have had a lot of talent before, talent that ends up underperforming or overperforming depending on the day and player. I think this will be a solid squad though that will make noise come November and potentially come March as well. In a banner year for the Hawks, the least this squad expects is repeated excellence, which feels good to say as a Jayhawk alum.
Burn Notice: 7/10 Smoke, but no fire yet