Devonte’ Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk are each out of eligibility. Malik Newman and Lagerald Vick have each declared for the 2018 NBA Draft.
Now Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks will await a decision from sophomore center Udoka Azubuike.
As of Monday, there wasn’t one. Bill Self told KansasCity.com’s Gary Bedore that he’s spoken with Azubuike regarding his looming decision to either declare for the NBA Draft, or return for his junior season, but said “He didn’t hint one way or another.”
“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),” Self told Bedore. “I mean, we’ve talked, but I don’t think he’s made a definitive answer on what he wants to do yet.”
Fortunately for Azubuike, he doesn’t necessarily need to make a definite answer on his future just yet. Azubuike does have until April 22 to declare for the draft, and at the least, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Jayhawks star big man to travel that route without an agent, which would allow him to return to school next season should he choose to do so. If that is the path Azubuike ultimately elects to travel, he’ll then be able to work throughout the NBA Draft process, meeting with scouts and receiving feedback before making a final decision before June 11.
To this point, Azubuike’s name is one that rarely appears on various NBA mock drafts, quite possibly due in large part to his vulnerability in pick-and-roll defense, free throw woes and inability to stretch the floor in the mold of many modern-day big men. That’s something that Azubiike may not be able to address entirely as a junior next season, but he could come out as a much more complete product in a draft not quite as loaded with interior talent.
As a sophomore, Azubuike averaged 13 points and 7 rebounds per game en route to All-Big 12 third team honors.