Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk
Associated Press

Kansas sophomore hopes to have greater impact

Leave a comment

While some freshmen entering college basketball hit the ground running, either meeting or exceeding the preseason benchmarks set for them, others go through growing pains as they get used to a new program and new responsibilities. In the case of Kansas wing Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, the 2014-15 season was one that got off to a good start but ultimately finished with the 6-foot-8 Ukrainian on the periphery of the Jayhawks’ perimeter rotation.

With most of the team in South Korea representing the United States in the World University Games Mykhailiuk sought to make sure he’d be more of a factor in 2015-16, working hard both in the weight room and on the practice court. According to Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star the sophomore has added 17 pounds to his frame, and he has a greater understanding of things both on the court and in other aspects of campus life as well.

“With the team, I’ve been here for one year,” Mykhailiuk says. “So I know how everything is going, how things are working. I know the coaches and what they want from me. I know what they want from the team.”

In the offseason, Mykhailiuk set out to add strength and bulk to his frame, but he also wanted to refine his jumper. Entering college, his shooting ability was thought to be a strength. But for myriad reasons, Mykhailiuk never found a consistent rhythm as a freshman. This summer was about correcting that.

Where Mykhailiuk fits into the Kansas perimeter rotation this season remains to be seen, with many of last season’s contributors back for another season. Frank Mason III and Wayne Selden Jr., who led the way last season and in South Korea as well, will return to their starting roles. But the departure of NBA first round draft pick Kelly Oubre Jr. opens up minutes for a host of players to claim.

Mykhailiuk is one of those possibilities but he won’t lack for competition either. Freshman LaGerald Vick was able to pick up valuable experience in South Korea, and both Devonte’ Graham and Brannen Greene will be available after being sidelined for the World University Games due to injury.

The good news for Mykhailiuk (and Kansas) is that he’s put in the work needed to place himself in position to earn more minutes, and that should only benefit all involved as the Jayhawks look to remain atop the Big 12 and play deeper into the NCAA tournament in 2015-16.

No. 5 Kansas tested by Alan Williams and UC Santa Barbara in 69-59 win

Getty Images
Leave a comment
source: Getty Images
Getty Images

Kansas, ranked No. 5 in the preseason rankings, welcomed in one of the top Alan Williams and UC Santa Barbara — one of the top mid-major programs in the nation — to Allen Fieldhouse on Friday night, and pulled out a 69-59 win.

The Gauchos had kept it close in the first half, and a 10-0 run in the opening minutes of the second half cut the Jayhawks lead to 39-37. But for a five-minute stretch, the trio of Frank Mason, Cliff Alexander and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk scored KU’s 19 points to extend the lead to 15. UC Santa Barbara would get it to 10 on multiple occasions, but could never crack through and cut the deficit to single digits.

Bill Self did not start any of his heralded freshmen, but Devonte Graham led all Jayhawks with 14 points. Graham, the former Appalachian State signee who fought all of last winter to get his release, was the spark late in the first half. After being hit with his second foul, Graham returned to the game and behind the freshman floor general, KU went on a 10-0 run, which led to a 31-23 halftime lead.

Williams, the 6-foot-8 senior, recorded 16 double-doubles last season, ended with game-highs in points (22) and rebounds (13) to go along with four blocks.

Kansas now sets its sights on top-ranked Kentucky in Tuesday night’s Champion Classic in Indianapolis. UC Santa Barbara plays one of the best mid-major non-conference games of the year on Monday night at Florida Gulf Coast.

Kansas wing Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk named to FIBA All-Summer Youth Tournaments Team

Getty Images
Leave a comment

After a summer of events, which ended several weeks ago with the USA Basketball Men’s National Team capture gold at the World Cup in Spain, FIBA announced the All-Summer Youth Tournaments Team.

Kansas wing Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk was named to the five-person team selected by David Hein. The 6-foot-8 Mykhailiuk averaged 16.0 points  4.7 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.1 assists per game in the U18 European Championship. Later in the summer, he was named to the Ukrainian National Team. The Jayhawks is set to appear in international play next summer, representing the United States in the World University Games.

Isaac Humphries, a four-star 2016 power forward, was also named to the All-Youth Tournaments Team. The 6-foot-10 Aussie averaged 18.9 points and 11.6 rebounds in the U17 World Championships in Dubai. Australia ended up reaching the gold medal game, though, Humphries was plagued with early foul trouble — then limited by the likes of Diamond Stone, Ivan Rabb and the rest of the U.S. front court — as USA Basketball held on for a 99-92 victory.

Malik Newman, the No. 3 overall recruit in the Class of 2015 by Rivals, was named to the honorable mention list. Newman led the U.S. to the U17 World Championship. The 6-foot-3 lead guard led the U.S. in scoring at 14.9 points, adding 4.3 assists per game. Dillon Brooks, the leading scorer in the FIBA U18 Americans Championships, also was a near-miss. The 6-foot-5 wing was part of a Canadian team that lost to USA Basketball in the gold medal game. Less than two months later, Brooks committed to Oregon and enrolled in school for this season.

Cedi Osman (Turkey), Dragan Bender (Croatia) and Stefan Peno (Serbia) rounded out the All-Summer Youth Tournaments Team.

Kansas freshman Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk on pronouncing his name (AUDIO)

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is one of the most intriguing recruits in the country.

Let’s start with the obvious: he would be heading into his senior year in high school in he was from the States, but instead he played for Ukraine’s senior national team at the World Cup in Spain. He’s also a 6-foot-7 wing that is quickly shooting up 2016 NBA Draft boards, making him one of the players we are most excited about seeing this season.

Mykhailiuk has one of the most difficult names to pronounce, but he helped solve that problem in his first meeting with the media in Lawrence on Wednesday. That’s good news for announcers scheduled to call the Kansas games, but what’s even better is that, according to Jesse Newell of the Topeka Capital-Journal, he’s happy if you just call him Svi.

If he keeps doing things like this in Lawrence this season, I don’t think Kansas fans will care what his name is:

Ohio senior forward contributes to Senegal’s first FIBA worlds victory since 1998

Maurice Ndour
Leave a comment

Prior to Sunday, Senegal’s senior national team hadn’t won a game at the FIBA Basketball World Cup (formerly known as the FIBA World Championships) since 1998. That changed Sunday afternoon, as the Senegalese held off Puerto Rico by the final score of 82-75. Senegal’s squad was led by Mouhammad Faye (20 points) and former Louisville (and current Minnesota Timberwolf) center Gorgui Dieng, who accounted for 18 points and 13 rebounds in the victory.

Senegal is also one of four teams at the FIBA Basketball World Cup that has a current college player on its roster, and on Sunday Ohio senior forward Maurice Ndour provided some help off the bench. Ndour accounted for eight points, two rebounds and two steals in 30 minutes of action off the bench. In two games at the Basketball World Cup Ndour, who was a second team All-MAC selection last season, is averaging 6.0 points and 2.5 rebounds per game.

Next up for Ndour and his teammates is a game against Croatia Monday morning.

Ndour was the only collegian at the event to experience victory on Sunday, and he was also the most productive from an offensive standpoint. New Zealand’s college tandem of Isaac Fotu (Hawaii) and Tai Webster (Nebraska) combined to score four points and grab six rebounds in their team’s 75-62 loss to the Dominican Republic, with Webster accounting for four of the six rebounds. Next up for New Zealand: the United States on Tuesday.

SMU senior center Yanick Moreira, who posted a double-double in Angola’s win over South Korea on Saturday, wasn’t as effective in his team’s 75-62 loss to Lithuania. Moreira finished the game with two points and two rebounds in just five minutes of action. Lastly there was Kansas freshman Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, who played ten minutes in Ukraine’s 81-76 loss to Finland. Mykhailiuk scored four minutes during his time on the floor, which came after not playing at all in Ukraine’s opener Saturday.

SMU center’s double-double leads Angola to win at FIBA Basketball World Cup

SMU v Memphis
Leave a comment

Saturday marked the start of the FIBA Basketball World Cup, with the United States and hosts Spain both coasting to comfortable victories. The event is loaded with professionals, which is to be expected, with there being just five players currently on college basketball rosters participating. Among those five is Angola center Yanick Moreira, who’s a member of Larry Brown’s program at SMU.

Moreira played in just 23 games last season due to injury, so this time on the court ahead of the 2014-15 season could prove valuable for him as he looks to solidify his spot alongside Markus Kennedy in the SMU front court rotation. Moreira got off to a good start Saturday, accounting for 16 points and ten rebounds in Angola’s 80-69 victory over South Korea. Moreira made seven of his eleven field goal attempts, and six of his ten rebounds were of the offensive variety.

After being outscored 30-16 in the third quarter, which wiped out most of Angola’s 18-point halftime advantage, the Angolans outscored Korea 28-21 in the final quarter. As part of Group D, which includes Lithuania, Slovenia, Australia and Mexico, Angola is looking to earn one of four available slots in the knockout rounds. Saturday’s win gets them off to a good start, and Moreira and company will look to move to 2-0 when they face group favorite Lithuania Sunday afternoon.

Moreira was the lone collegian to reach double digits Saturday, but he wasn’t also the only player to experience victory. Ukraine’s Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, who will join the Kansas program immediately after his tournament is completed, did not see any action in Ukraine’s 72-62 win over the Dominican Republic. The Ukraine is in Group C, which in addition to the favored USA has three current college basketball players.

The other two current collegians in Group C are New Zealand’s Isaac Fotu (Hawaii) and Tai Webster (Nebraska). Both saw time in New Zealand’s 76-73 loss to Turkey, with Fotu accounting for seven points and four rebounds in the defeat and Webster finishing with six points and five rebounds. Corey Webster led New Zealand with 22 points and Rob Loe, who played his college basketball at Saint Louis, added 11 to go along with six rebounds.

Maurice Ndour, who will be a senior at Ohio this season, accounted for four points, three rebounds and two steals in Senegal’s 87-64 loss to Greece in Group B play. Gorgui Dieng, who played at Louisville, paced Senegal with 21 points and 14 rebounds.