Kansas big man Silvio De Sousa declared eligible

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Reinforcements are on their way for Kansas.

Silvio De Sousa, a top-25 recruit who enrolled at Kansas for the second semester, was declared eligible by the NCAA and will be in uniform Saturday when the 12th-ranked Jayhawks take on Kansas State, the school announced.

It’s a welcome development for Kansas and coach Bill Self, who have been waiting for weeks on word from the NCAA abou De Sousa’s eligibility after he enrolled. He graduated early from IMG Academy, but the NCAA vetted both his academics and professional status before clearing him.

The 6-foot-9 forward is expected to help shore up Kansas’ thin frontline immediately. The Jayhawks have gotten major contributions from starting center Udoka Azubuike, but little beyond that from their frontcourt despite a recent surge from backup Mitch Lightfoot. They’ve been without top recruit Billy Preston all season due to eligibility concerns raised regarding a car he had been driving.

De Sousa’s availability comes at a time when Kansas looks as vulnerable as it ever has during its 13-year run atop the Big 12. The league is the country’s best, and the Jayhawks are without a star the caliber of an Andrew Wiggins or Josh Jackson like so often populates their roster, and the frontcourt has been a major area of concern. With De Sousa now available – even in short spurts – Kansas’ main weakness apparently has been strengthened.