Svi’s peers praise his shooting in poll: ‘Klay Thompson comparisons are premature’

Svi Mykhailiuk played four seasons at KU and was drafted by the LA Lakers this summer. | Rich Sugg | rsugg@kcstar.com

By Gary Bedore gbedore@kcstar.com

Former Kansas guard Svi Mykhailiuk’s fellow NBA rookies voted him second-best shooter of all players selected in the 2018 NBA draft in the annual rookie poll released this week at NBA.com.

The 6-foot-8 Mykhailiuk, who was selected in the second round by the Los Angeles Lakers, tied Kevin Huerter of the Atlanta Hawks. They each received 13 percent of the vote in the best shooter category while finishing behind former Oklahoma guard Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks (47 percent). Young placed first in a poll of 36 first-year players, which was conducted by NBA.com’s John Schuhmann at the annual NBA rookie photo shoot.

Mykhailiuk, 21, averaged 10.0 points a game while hitting 40.3 percent of his 87 three-point attempts in seven NBA Summer League games in Las Vegas. In all, he averaged 2.9 makes per game from beyond the arc. He was coming off a senior season in which he canned a KU single-season record 115 threes (on league-best 44.4 percent shooting).

“The Klay Thompson comparisons are premature (and unfair), but he was shooting the lights out at the Thomas and Mack Center (at UNLV) in July. His shot mechanics and footwork look like they’re going to translate to the next level,” wrote Christian Revis of NBA.com.

Judging from comments from Lakers director of scouting/assistant GM Jesse Buss, Mykhailiuk will get every chance to be in the LeBron James-led Lakers’ rotation this season.

“Terrified,” Buss told NBA.com when asked if he was “worried” Mykhailiuk would not be available at No. 47 overall, which is where he was selected by L.A. “We felt like he was basically a first-round talent.”

Mykhailiuk was named second-team all-NBA Summer League.

“You never expect a guy who’s drafted in the second round to have immediate success that way, even if he is a four-year guy, because he’s going against lottery picks, highly-touted guys,” Buss told NBA.com. “I know it’s just summer league, but for him to have an accomplishment that early is very impressive.

“His play was fantastic. I was surprised at some of the things he did, some of the stuff off the dribble, and that he was comfortable enough to showcase that right away,” Buss added. “He had some upside in those areas, being able to create his own shot and create shots for others. But to show it right off the bat? I thought that was something the coaching staff was going to have to work with him on.

“Obviously, we knew he was a dead-eye shooter. So it was encouraging to say the least, but there’s a long road ahead of him, and he knows he has to continue to grow and develop,” Buss added.

Former KU guard Devonté Graham of the Charlotte Hornets tied for fifth in the rookie of the year voting. Mykhailiuk didn’t receive any votes. Phoenix’s DeAndre Ayton and Cleveland’s Collin Sexton tied for first with 18 percent of the votes each.

“Candid coaches” talk scandal

CBSsports.com’s “Candid Coaches” series asked this question to more than 100 college basketball coaches: “Has the FBI’s investigation significantly reduced cheating in the past 10 months?”

“No,” was the reply of 47 percent of the coaches. “Yes,” was the reply of 43 percent and “Unsure” the reply of 10 percent.

Here’s one particularly sobering response of an unnamed coach: “Hard to say for sure but I think so. I think the biggest factor is fear. A lot of the guys that were cheating always knew they had to watch out for the NCAA or it could impact their career. But I don’t think ANYONE knew they could go to jail. These guys have families they don’t want to lose.”

Another anonymous coach’s response on the impact of the investigation on recruiting: “The FBI scared some parents off to some schools. But it’s not going to change some idiot kids or some idiot parents. It didn’t change the cheating. It changed the way people ask for things. I just don’t think it changes, it just made us all have to have a mandatory meeting with your general counsel, and if you had any adidas contacts in your phone log, they want to know why. People are going to do what they’ve been doing in the past, whatever that is, but it’s not going to change what people around those kids want.”

KU, UNC in running for Mann

Rivals.com analyst Corey Evans commented on Thursday on the recruitment of one of the most sought after point guards in the class of 2019 — Tre Mann.

Mann, a 6-4 senior from Village Charter High School in The Villages, Fla., who is ranked No. 30 in the recruiting class of 2019 by Rivals.com, will make an official recruiting visit to North Carolina on Sept. 14-16 and KU on Sept. 21-23. Florida, Tennessee, Iowa State, USC, Indiana, Auburn, Texas, North Carolina State and Louisville are also on his list.

“Mann’s recruitment is far from over,” Evans writes. “Many, for one reason or another, believe that he is a layup for UNC. While the Tar Heels have picked up major steam lately and have scheduled an official visit with him, his recruitment remains wide open. Tennessee and Florida have just as good of a chance as the Tar Heels. Kansas is also a sneaky contender, as he will take an official visit to Lawrence the weekend after he goes to Chapel Hill. UNC is a strong contender, but not an automatic commitment that many have come to assume.”

Lawsons to attend Late Night

Two of the Lawson brothers — Chandler and Johnathan — who are being recruited by KU, will attend the Sept. 28 Late Night in the Phog to watch their brothers, Dedric and K.J., participate for KU in the annual event.

Keelon Lawson, father of the Lawsons, told The Star he did not know yet if Chandler would be using it as his official visit or merely attend Late Night on an unofficial visit.

Chandler Lawson, a 6-8, 200-pound senior forward from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., is ranked No. 87 in the recruiting class of 2019 by Rivals.com. Johnathan Lawson, a 6-6, 165-pound sophomore small forward from Memphis East High School, is expected to be one of the top-rated players in the class of 2021.

Chandler Lawson played for first-year Memphis coach Penny Hardaway at Memphis East last season. Many analysts consider it a KU-Memphis battle. Chandler Lawson has also heard from Mississippi, Florida, Georgia Tech, Illinois and many others.

Chandler and Johnathan also attended Late Night in the Phog at the start of last season.


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