Australian star Johnny Furphy reclassifies, signs with Kansas | Zagsblog
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Saturday / June 15.
  • Australian star Johnny Furphy reclassifies, signs with Kansas

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Kansas coach Bill Self scored a major coup in early August by landing Australian star Johnny Furphy, who reclassified and committed to Kansas on Wednesday.

    Furphy is a 6-foot-7 small forward from the BA Centre of Excellence, who excelled at the recent NBA Academy Games near Atlanta.

    “I think everybody knows that Kansas is one of the basketball programs in the United States but what made the difference in the end was coach Self explaining the role he had in mind for me,” Furphy said in an interview with 247Sports. “To be honest, I was nervous about coming to such a big program but coach Self has given me confidence that he both wants and needs me at Kansas.”

    Furphy joins a recruiting class that includes guards Elmarko Jackson and Jamari McDowell after two other freshmen opted to leave in Chris Johnson (Texas) and Marcus Adams Jr. (Gonzaga).

    He is the latest international star to join a high-profile American school after Zvonimir Ivisic committed to Kentucky earlier Wednesday. Before that, Aday Mara, Berke Buyuktuncel and Jan Vide committed to UCLA, while Arizona added Motiejus Krivas and Paulius Murauskas from Lithuania.

    “Johnny is a youngster that we saw in person for the first time at the NBA Academy Development camp in Atlanta during the July period, and then we saw him multiple times the next week in Las Vegas,” Self said in a statement Thursday.

    “He is one of the most gifted, skilled young kids in the 2023 class and certainly as gifted and skilled as any player remaining that we could recruit. He’s been well trained at the Center of Excellence in Australia. He’s well beyond his years from his feel and basketball IQ standpoint. The platform at the NBA Global Academy has allowed him to be seen and recruited at this level. We are very excited about him and think his future is very bright.”

    Playing for CoE, Furphy averaged 14.3 points and was 22-for-56 (39.3 percent) from three-point range, to go along with 5.6 rebounds in 12 games played in 2023. Playing for Victoria at the 2023 Australia-U20 Championship, Furphy averaged 13.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.2 steals in six games and made 38.5 percent of his three-point field goals, going 21-for-33 from beyond the arc.

    The Jayhawks are playing exhibition games in Puerto Rico Aug. 3, 5 and 7.

    “I think the scale of Kansas, I think it was an opportunity that was really appealing for myself and my family,” Furphy told 247Sports. “We just thought it was the best situation for me and my basketball so I am really excited to get started. I have heard a lot of amazing things about Kansas so this opportunity was really appealing for us.”

    (This post was updated Aug. 4.)

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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