Kansas guard Kevin McCullar to return to school | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / May 20.
  • Kansas guard Kevin McCullar to return to school

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    By SAM LANCE

    Kevin McCullar will return to Kansas to play out his final year of college eligibility, per KU Athletics.

    “How about one more year Jayhawk nation,” McCullar said in the release. “To be able to play in front of the best fans in the country; to play for the best coach in the nation, I truly believe we have the pieces to hang another banner in the Phog. Rock Chalk! Let’s do it!”

    McCullar — the 6-foot-6, 210-pound guard — declared for the NBA Draft following the 2022-23 season. Recently, McCullar competed in the NBA Combine, but struggled to find his footing during scrimmages.

    Now, he’s returning to Kansas.

    “Kevin went through the pre-draft process, which is designed to do exactly what it did,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “Even though he has improved his status as an NBA prospect, there is still work to be done and he has informed us that he is going to return to Kansas for his last year of college.”

    The San Antonio native started his career at Texas Tech, playing under Chris Beard. McCullar redshirted his first year in Lubbock — the year the Red Raiders made it to the national championship game. The next season he started six games as a freshman.

    McCullar started to display his impact and prowess as a sophomore, earning Big 12 Honorable Mention honors for his 10.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. During his final season at Texas Tech, McCullar averaged similar numbers to the previous year, but he was battling injuries. Still, McCullar was a Big 12 Honorable Mention and Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Semifinalist in 2021-22.

    Last season as a Jayhawk, McCullar started in every game but one for Kansas. He averaged 10.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists and 2.0 steals per game while shooting 44% from the field. McCullar was the only player in the top five of the Big 12 in both steals and rebounds.

    “This is a big day for Kansas basketball,” Self said. “We’ve had a lot of good things happen through recruiting this offseason, but nothing that has transpired this offseason was bigger for KU basketball than having a seasoned veteran like Kevin McCullar return to our program.”

    Self continued.

    “Kevin is not only a terrific player, but a terrific teammate. He fit in so well in year one and we’re excited about what he’ll do with our program from a leadership standpoint.”

    Kansas now theoretically has one open scholarship space. Remember, Kansas has a self-imposed loss of one scholarship spot for the 2023-24 season because of the ongoing IARP investigation, giving the Jayhawks 12 total scholarships.

    Here is a quick break down of the roster…

    Staying in NBA Draft: Jalen Wilson, Gradey Dick

    Returning to Kansas: Kevin McCullar, Dajuan Harris, KJ Adams

    Portal Additions: Hunter Dickinson, Arterio Morris, Nick Timberlake, Parker Braun

    High School Recruits: Elmarko Jackson, Chris Johnson, Marcus Adams, Jamari McDowell

    Players leaving via transfer portal: Joe Yesufu (Washington State), Bobby Pettiford (ECU), MJ Rice (NC State), Cam Martin (Boise State), Zach Clemence (UCSB), Zuby Ejiofor (St. John’s), Kyle Cuffe (Syracuse), Ernest Udeh (uncommitted)

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