In the middle of last week Kansas head coach Bill Self received the news he and Jayhawk fans were hoping for in regards to freshman guard Rio Adams.
Adams, who hails from Seattle and played at Rainier Beach High School, has been cleared by the NCAA’s Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse.
That means the 6-3 guard is fully qualified to receive a scholarship, pushing the number of freshmen who will be Jayhawks this season to ten.
Given the loss of Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor, having their full allotment of expected newcomers (in addition to Ben McLemore and Jamari Traylor, who weren’t cleared last season) is a positive for Kansas as they embark on their off-season trip to Europe.
Like Milton Doyle, who was cleared last month, Adams is a player described by many as one who can play both guard positions.
Kansas will be a young team, but the Jayhawks do return three key contributors from last season’s national runner-up.
Center Jeff Withey will be their primary offensive option in the paint, but the addition of Perry Ellis and Landen Lucas (not to mention Traylor) should keep the senior from having to shoulder too much of the weight.
Guard Elijah Johnson, the team’s leading returning scorer, and wing Travis Releford will both figure prominently in Self’s plans for this season.
The trip to Switzerland and France is a welcome one, especially when considering just how many first-year players the Jayhawks need to fit into the system.
Having all hands on deck for the trip, which began today, is an important first step for this young group if they’re to keep Kansas atop the Big 12 standings.