KU fans have been waiting for some time to see how the last couple of scholarships for next season will play out given the number of players leaving the Jayhawks from a successful 2010-11 season. Bill Self had a loaded squad last year with three probable first round draft selections — Markieff Morris, Marcus Morris, Josh Selby — and plenty of senior leadership in Brady Morningstar, Tyrel Reed and Mario Little. Suffice to say, there’s space to fill.
Enter Kevin Young, the surprise transfer from Loyola Marymount who had originally committed to San Diego State only to upend those expectations with his signing with Kansas. Originally, Young had only signed a grant-in-aid agreement, which NCAA rules stipulate is only binding on the school’s side. The player can voluntarily walk away if they would like, and that’s apparently what Young has done.
As for any expectations, the KC Star reports that the 6-8 forward set freshman records on the defensive end for rebounds, steals and blocks and continued that athletic performance through his sophomore season before sitting out last year to transfer. Many liken him to Julian Wright, but it’d be wise to just be thankful for another high-motor body and see what comes after he plays a few games. Not every new recruit is the savior riding into town, after all.
But Young does add another body at a point of need. Other recruits like Jamari Traylor are going to need some time to develop and take in the elite college game, while others like Thomas Robinson will rise to take over team leadership roles. There’s changes all around for Bill Self and his staff, but it’s nothing they haven’t seen before. And adding one more body just makes it a bit easier to shuffle the deck.