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Kansas Signs Ukrainian Phenom Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk

As former Kansas stars Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid are busy preparing for the 2014 NBA draft this June, Bill Self has also been busy. Last week Self signed Ukrainian 2014 high school basketball phenom “Svi” Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk. Mykhailiuk has been called “the best prospect in Europe in a long time, probably since Ricky Rubio,” according to Rick Petro of NBADraft.net.

Not only is Mykhailiuk the most talented high school basketball player to come out of Europe in many years, but he will be the youngest on his team. Ukrainian High School seniors receive their diplomas after their 11th year, meaning Mykhailiuk will only be 17 years old by the start of the season. This is forcing him to stay with the Jayhawks for at least two seasons due to the NBA Draft age requirement rules, an age minimum that is currently 19 and could change to 20 in coming years. If NBA commissioner Adam Silver has his way, Mykhailiuk will be required to stay until after his junior season.

There is absolutely no doubt that Mykhailiuk has the talent to be a college sensation, though his age can be a determining factor in his playing time. Mykhailiuk who will be 17 years old by the start of the season may be too young to keep up with the older players. An age gap that could lead to Mykhailiuk redshirting his freshman season, a decision Bill Self will have to analyze.

Though Mykhailiuk only played 13 minutes with 2 points off of 1-4 shooting and 1 steal at the Nike Hoop Summit he still impressed scouts. Despite performing poorly at the Nike Summit, Mykhailiuk shined during the 2013 Division A, U-16 European Championships. Leading Ukraine, Mykhailiuk averaged 25.2 Points, 3.4 assists, 8.0 rebounds and 3.3 steals.

As the Jayhawks prepare for their 2014-2015 season they have perhaps the most talented 2014 recruiting class behind Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina. After this weeks signing of Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, the Jayhawks have also signed 2014 5-star recruits Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre as well as potential starting point guard Devonte Graham. According to ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla, Mykhailiuk could’ve been a top-10 prospect in the 2015 class. Though he is young, Mykhailiuk will provide the Jayhawks with security and talent without the worry of him leaving after his freshman season.