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Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk to enroll at Kansas for two years


Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, one of the most intriguing European prospects to come along since Ricky Rubio, has decided that he will head to Kansas for at least two seasons.

“Obviously, this is great news for us,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said in a release announcing the commitment. “He is 16 years old and will turn 17 in June, but his skill level, knowledge and aptitude for the game are way beyond his years.”

Mykhailiuk is a 6-foot-8 wing who is still just 16 years old. He played at the Nike Hoop Summit in April and was the youngest player in the history of the event. A native of Ukraine, Mykhailiuk played big minutes in the Ukranian professional league this past season. But he never signed a contract specifically in order to retain his collegiate eligibility.

The plan is for Mykhailiuk to spend two seasons at Kansas before entering the NBA Draft, as that’s how long it would take for him to be 19 years old and eligible to declare.

“I liked everything [about Kansas],” Mykhailiuk said in the release. “From the history, the strength program and especially the coaches – everything. It’s Kansas. KU has players every year. Coach Self has had so many players go to the NBA. That’s an important thing.”

Mykhailiuk’s an above average athlete whose strength is in his ability to shoot the ball. He’s a capable passer and can jump passing lanes defensively, but he still needs to add some strength to better finish around the basket and be a more capable defender. That’s understandable, however. In Ukraine, high schoolers graduate at the equivalent of what is 11th grade here.

“He is a guy that can play all three positions on the perimeter,” Self said. “He allows us to be more versatile next year and certainly, there would be few people that would shoot it better than him.”

According to an NBA scout that has seen Mykhailiuk play, if he was in the Class of 2015 or 2016, which is likely where he would be classified if he played high school ball in the states, he would be a top ten recruit. He compared him to Nik Stasukas.

Mykhailiuk joins a loaded perimeter attack for the Jayhawks, as he’ll likely be stuck behind Kelly Oubre, Wayne Selden and Brannen Greene.

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.