Blue-chip point guard cuts list to KU, eight others; Self speaks on NBA broadcast

Kansas recruit Josiah James, back row and far left, stands behind teammates during the championship trophy ceremony following Team USA's 113-74 victory over Canada in the gold-medal game of the FIBA Americas U18 Championships in St. Catharines, Canada. Bill Self coached the team to a 6-0 record. | Screenshot/FIBA basketball online stream

By Gary Bedore

Josiah James, a 6-foot-6 senior point guard from Porter Gaud School in Charleston, S.C., has included Kansas on his list of nine schools.

James — he played for Kansas coach Bill Self’s gold-medal winning USA Basketball under-18 team at the recent FIBA Americas U-18 championship in Canada — on Saturday through his AAU team (TMP Basketball of Charleston) tweeted a list of KU, Duke, South Carolina, Arizona, Clemson, Florida State, Michigan State, Tennessee and Virginia.

James told The State newspaper he received an offer from KU at the conclusion of the FIBA Americas tournament in June. Duke made an offer in April.

"Those are Hall of Fame coaches, Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) and Coach (Bill) Self,” James, the No. 11-ranked player in the recruiting Class of 2019 according to, told The State. "For them to see something in me and offer me a scholarship to come lead their program at my position, it really means a lot. It makes me want to work even harder.”

Josh Jackson hit above eye

Former KU guard Josh Jackson of the Phoenix Suns told reporters he was to undergo concussion testing after getting elbowed above the right eye by Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley in the first half of Saturday’s 71-63 Las Vegas Summer League victory over the Kings in Vegas.

The cut required four stitches to close. Jackson played with a mask the second half.

He gained revenge by blocking Bagley's layup attempt in the second half. Jackson stood over Bagley as he sat on the floor following the clean block.

“Absolutely. That’s all I was thinking,” Jackson told the Arizona Republic, referring to thinking about the elbow after the rejection.

Jackson, a 6-foot-8, second-year pro, scored 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting vs. the Kings. Former KU point guard Frank Mason scored 7 points with five assists and four turnovers in 28 minutes for Sacramento. Mason hit 2 of 5 shots and 3 of 5 free throws.

KU's Self was in Vegas for the game and made an appearance on TV during the Los Angeles Lakers-Philadelphia 76ers contest Saturday night on ESPN.

“Josh … if you grade him out overall, maybe he’d get a B, B-plus or A-minus,” Self said of a rookie year in which Detroit native Jackson averaged 13.1 points and 4.6 rebounds in 77 games.

“But when you talk about the last half of the season, you’re talking about one of the premier rookie performers in the league, without question,” Self added. “He’s an energy guy, an extra possession guy. He can score eight points but get eight assists and four steals and three blocks and really help a team win by doing intangible things. He’s a terrific competitor. His ceiling is very high. He has not even started to scratch what he can do.”

Graham scores 12 points for Hornets

Former KU point guard Devonté Graham scored 12 points, dished seven assists and grabbed two rebounds in Charlotte’s 94-90 Las Vegas Summer League victory over Miami on Sunday. Graham hit 3 of 10 shots and was 0 of 3 from three. He had one turnover in 27 minutes for the Hornets.

Bucks' Ellis scores 3 points

Former KU forward Perry Ellis scored 3 points and grabbed five rebounds while playing 11 minutes in Milwaukee’s 81-78 loss to Dallas on Sunday in Vegas.

Svi shines on Saturday

Los Angeles Lakers rookie guard Svi Mykhailiuk grabbed nine rebounds against Philadelphia in his Vegas Summer League debut Saturday. That’s one more board than the 6-foot-8 former KU shooting guard had in three games at the California Classic earlier in the week in Sacramento, Calif.

“I don’t know, I just attacked,” Mykhailiuk told reporters after Saturday’s game — one in which he hit 4 of 8 threes en route to 17 points in 23 minutes. “I just saw rebounds and (said), ‘Why not?’”

His performance came in a 96-79 victory attended by some Lakers veterans as well as coach Luke Walton and general manager Rob Pelinka.

“That dude (Mykhailiuk) is crazy — in a positive way, in a good way,” Lakers rookie Moe Wagner told after the game. “Sometimes I’m like: Wow. Because when you know him personally, he’s not like a very outgoing guy. He’s funny and stuff, but he’s not like the way he plays.

“His confidence is unbelievable. It’s a lot of fun to be on the court with him. He gets these rebounds that are very impressive for his size. He’s a very exciting player,” Wagner added.

Lakers guard Josh Hart added: “He’s gutsy. That’s probably the biggest thing (about him). He’s very confident. Some of the shots he hit today were just crazy. When you have confidence like that (and) when you can shoot the ball the way he can, good things happen.”

KU coach Self spoke to ESPN’s broadcast team about Svi: “I really think the transition between his junior and senior year … he declared and went to the Combine (after his junior year) and really performed well, but he got hurt. He didn’t have to come back, but it was probably in his best interests. He came back, and it was like one of those times, 'Hey, it's put up or shut up time.’ That was good for him to be pressed against the finish line. He definitely stepped up (his senior year)."

Former KU guard Malik Newman, who did not play in the California Classic because of an ankle sprain, scored 3 points in 12 minutes in his summer debut for the Lakers. He hit 1 of 3 shots overall and was 1 of 2 from three.

“Malik was terrific for us. If you were to study the last five weeks or so, he was as good as any guard in the country,” Self said during the Lakers-Sixers game. “He was on fire for us. He’s MVP of the Big 12 tournament and most outstanding player of the (NCAA Midwest) Regional. He was definitely trending up. I thought it was a good decision for him to put his name in and try (for the NBA; he’s signed with the Lakers as a two-way player). I think he’s in a good situation personally. I haven’t talked to the Laker brass about the situation he’s in, but if you are going to be a two-way guy (between G-League and parent club), that’s not a bad place to be right now (with LeBron James on the Lakers). Hopefully they’ll need some shooting, and that’s one thing he can do. He can get the ball in the basket."

Self speaks about Embiid

Self was asked about Sixers center Joel Embiid during the summer game broadcast.

“The guy has unbelievable feet,” Self said of the former KU big man. “We had NBA guys watch us in practice (Embiid’s one-and-done season in 2013-14), and I’d get him down there on my own. I said, ‘OK, Joel, just show them some dream shake stuff.’ It was amazing. He picks up stuff so quick. He’s now 7-foot-2 and has put on good weight from what I can tell. His skill set and intellect is off the charts. As good as he is, I think he’s still just scratching it."

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