KU notebook: Dwight Coleby looks at mid-majors as possible transfer destinations
By Gary Bedore firstname.lastname@example.org
Some possible transfer destinations are starting to surface for former Kansas forward Dwight Coleby, who announced plans to leave KU on Monday.
One source close to the situation told The Star that the 6-foot-9 Coleby is believed to be considering mid-majors Western Kentucky, Arkansas-Little Rock, Stephen F. Austin and Louisiana Monroe.
Basketball Times mid-major columnist Joshua Parrott on Wednesday listed the same schools on Twitter, and also included SMU. The Mustangs are coached by former KU assistant Tim Jankovich.
Also on Wednesday, shuhoops.com indicated Seton Hall was a possibility for Coleby, who averaged 1.7 points and 1.8 rebounds a game in limited duty a year ago.
Coleby, a graduate transfer, will be immediately eligible next season.
Parrott tweeted on Wednesday that he heard Coleby was in the process of visiting Western Kentucky.
Coleby, who is from Nassau, Bahamas, and also played two seasons at Mississippi, has not yet released an official list of possible schools.
Jackson a likely No. 3 pick?
Analysts from draftexpress.com and nbadraft.net left Tuesday night’s NBA Draft Lottery show in New York believing Kansas one-and-done Josh Jackson will be selected No. 3 overall by Philadelphia in the June 22 draft.
ESPN.com’s Chad Ford and Bleacher Report, however, exited the proceedings with Jackson being tapped fourth overall by Phoenix.
“Jackson is probably the best fit for Phoenix in the draft. He’s a versatile two-way wing who is great in the open court, can lock down three positions and plays with an intensity reminiscent of Kevin Durant. His jump shot is shaky, but the Suns have plenty of shooters,” Ford wrote of the 6-foot-8 Detroit native at ESPN.com.
ESPN, Bleacher Report, draftexpress.com and nbadraft.net penciled in Washington’s Markelle Fultz and UCLA’s Lonzo Ball as the top picks of Boston at No. 1 and the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 2. Ford has Kentucky’s Malik Monk at No. 3 and Bleacher Report has Duke’s Jayson Tatum at the 3 slot just ahead of Jackson.
Prior to the lottery, Jackson’s hometown Detroit Free Press presented an interesting case for Jackson being selected No. 1 overall.
A pair of unnamed NBA officials cited Jackson’s status as a “two-way forward” — in the same realm as LeBron James, Kahwi Leonard, Durant, Paul George and Jimmy Butler — would make him a logical choice at No. 1 over point guard Fultz and combo guard Ball.
“That’s where the game is going. Why not get one of the youngest guys with that kind of potential coming out? He defends and rebounds, so he will be able to be on the floor from Day 1,” an executive from an Eastern Conference team told the Free Press.
“I think he’s the only prospect in this draft capable of carrying a franchise,” a Western Conference executive said.
Draftexpress.com’s Matt Kamalsky does present the possibility that Boston, which already is loaded at guard, could look to trade its pick rather than take Ball or Fultz.
“Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, and Jayson Tatum could all conceivably play multiple positions at the next level depending on the players around them and will certainly receive consideration from the Celtics as they do their due diligence,” Kamalsky wrote.
KU well represented at lottery
Former KU basketball one-and-done players Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins were official representatives of their NBA teams — Philadelphia and Minnesota — at Tuesday’s draft lottery show in New York. The former Jayhawks visited with Jackson, who as a projected lottery pick, was invited to attend the lottery show, shown on ESPN.
“Just play your game and be confident,” Wiggins, a 22-year-old third-year player for the Timberwolves, told the 20-year-old Jackson as reported by nba.com.
Jackson, who averaged 16.3 points and 7.4 rebounds a game this past season for the Jayhawks (31-5), just might be paired with the 7-foot Embiid in Philadelphia next season.
“I think the two guards Fultz and Lonzo Ball are going to be one and two,” Embiid told Comcast Sports Net of Philadelphia. “I like Josh Jackson a lot and Jayson Tatum. So I expect one of those guys to be at three with us.”
Embiid, 23, who missed his first two NBA seasons because of right foot surgeries, played in 31 games in 2016-17 before having season-ending left knee surgery.
“My offseason goal is to make sure my body’s ready because I think next year I’ll be able to play almost every game,” Embiid said.
He was limited to 28 minutes per game and was held out of the second game of back-to-back games the team played.
“Just make sure my body’s ready to take on the toll of the NBA schedule, back-to-backs, but I intend to play every game and we’re going to see how it goes,” Embiid said. “It’s about getting strong and getting my legs strong and making sure I’m ready for next year.”
Embiid became a national story Tuesday when he told the Philadelphia Inquirer the Sixers are close to unseating LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers as best team in the East.
“We’re gearing up at the right time. When we start getting good, that’s when Cleveland and LeBron will start going down,” Embiid told the Inquirer.
Philly was 28-54 this past season. Cleveland is in the Eastern Conference finals after winning the NBA title a year ago.
“When I say we are going to be ready to win when the Cavs are going down, that doesn’t mean, like, five years,” Embiid said. “Next year I think we are going to be ready to win.”