'Doke' undecided as of Monday, the day before Jayhawks' basketball banquet

By Gary Bedore gbedore@kcstar.com

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self chatted with sophomore center Udoka Azubuike on Monday, but not about the 7-footer’s plans for next season.

“I just talked to him a little bit ago, just talking to him. He didn’t hint one way or another on anything. We were just talking,” Self said Monday on the eve of KU’s season-ending team awards banquet.

The banquet has sometimes — not every year, but sometimes — served as the forum in which KU’s nonsenior players reveal whether they are turning pro or remaining for another school year.

“I don’t think anything will be decided by tomorrow,” Self said. “With Doke … I don’t know anything on him whether or not he’s going to do it or not do it (enter the 2018 NBA Draft). I mean, we’ve talked, but I don’t think he’s made a definitive answer on what he wants to do yet.”

With or without an Azubuike declaration, the banquet, which is sold out, should be a festive affair.

Self normally speaks for about 20 to 30 minutes, offering comments on the past season — in this case, a 31-8 campaign that included Big 12 regular-season and postseason tourney titles and a berth in the Final Four — as well as the ensuing campaign.

“I’m looking forward to tomorrow,” Self said Monday. “It’s obviously the finality of the 2017-18 season. I want this team to go out with a very positive bang. I’m sure the banquet will provide all that tomorrow night (Tuesday). I know our players, especially our seniors (Devonté Graham, Svi Mykhailiuk and Clay Young), are looking forward to it.”

Self said in the week since the Final Four that he’s been mainly “watching golf, definitely trying to take it a little bit easy. We’re all trying to get our batteries recharged.”

He’s also been recruiting.

KU has one scholarship to award following the decisions of sophomore Malik Newman and junior Lagerald Vick to toss their names into the 2018 NBA Draft.

The Jayhawks are hoping to land McDonald’s All-American Romeo Langford, a 6-5 senior guard from New Albany (Ind.) High. Langford, Rivals.com’s No. 6-rated player in the recruiting class of 2018, has a final list of KU, Indiana and Vanderbilt.

“You could say we are actively recruiting,” Self said, not mentioning names in accordance with NCAA rules. “We have a scholarship that has opened up. We are presently trying to fill that.”

Three Jayhawks listed in ESPN mock draft

Kansas’ Graham, Newman and Mykhailiuk are listed as second-round selections in the June 21 NBA Draft, according to ESPN.com’s most recent mock draft released on Monday.

Graham, a senior point guard, is projected to be taken by Detroit with the 12th pick of the second round, while Newman, a sophomore combo guard, is projected to be selected by Denver with the 13th pick of Round 2. Mykhailiuk, a senior shooting guard, is listed as the 19th pick of the second round by New Orleans. Vick was not listed as a possible pick in the two-round draft.

KU recruiting ranked sixth

KU is listed sixth in Rivals.com’s list of team recruiting rankings for the class of 2018. KU has four signees thus far: No. 10 Quentin Grimes, No. 17 Devon Dotson, No. 34 David McCormack and unranked Ochai Agbaji.

Duke is No. 1 overall in the team rankings, followed by Kentucky, UCLA, Oregon and LSU.


More from this section