While the Kansas Jayhawks will lose multiple starters to the upcoming NBA Draft, head coach Bill Self has at least one key player returning. After missing most of this past season due to an injury, Udoka Azubuike will return for his senior season.
Azubuike is an absolute force in the paint for the Jayhawks when healthy. Unfortunately for the star center, torn ligaments in his right hand ended his season in January.
In his only full season as the starting center, Azubuike averaged 13.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. His numbers slightly increased on the offensive end in nine contests this past season.
With Dedric Lawson leaving Kansas for the NBA, the return of Azubuike provides the team with a go-to scorer in the frontcourt.
Self admit that he’s slightly shocked by the decision, but is thrilled to have Azubuike back in Lawrence.
“We’re all very excited about Udoka making the decision not to enter the (NBA) draft,” Self said. “We really anticipated that this would be the year he would enter the draft but that was also based on him having an injury-free year.”
— Kansas Basketball (@KUHoops) April 22, 2019
The return of Azubuike should provide a much-needed boost to the Jayhawks in 2019. If Devon Dotson decides to put his NBA dreams on hold as well, then next season could be special for Kansas.
As for Azubuike’s draft stock, it would boost tremendously with a healthy senior season.