Kansas basketball: Jayhawks land Australian phenom Johnny Furphy

Kansas basketball (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images)
Kansas basketball (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images) /

On Wednesday, 247Sports’ Travis Branham announced that 6-foot-7 small forward Johnny Furphy from Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence has committed to Kansas basketball and will be eligible to play this upcoming season after reclassifying from the 2024 to 2023 recruiting class.

After weeks of speculation wondering if head coach Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks would fill their open roster spot, that question has finally been answered in a big way.

Furphy gained a ton of interest this summer from top-tier college basketball programs (and even pro scouts) following his performance in the Sportradar Showdown in Las Vegas and the NBA Academy Games in Atlanta.

In the NBA Academy Games, Furphy averaged 14.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 45.2% from the field and 35% from 3-point range.

Furphy had interest from Duke, North Carolina, Gonzaga, and others before picking KU.

Although he’s currently unranked on the 247Sports website, chances are good that he’ll soon be recognized as a top-100 (if not top-50) prospect in the 2023 class, according to college basketball recruiting expert Eric Bossi of 247Sports.

“I think everybody knows that Kansas is one of the basketball programs in the United States but what made the difference in the end was coach Self explaining the role he had in mind for me,” Furphy told 247Sports. “To be honest, I was nervous about coming to such a big program but coach [Bill] Self has given me confidence that he both wants and needs me at Kansas.”

Must Read. Kansas' Elmarko Jackson projected as top-5 NBA Draft pick. light

Self deserves a lot of credit for pulling this off.

A lot of high-major schools were in pursuit of Furphy, and yet, he committed to KU without ever setting foot on campus – which shows just how good of a sales pitch that Self and his staff made to Furphy and his family.

Additionally, they were able to convince Furphy to reclassify to 2023 so that he could join the team as soon as possible.

“We just thought it was the best situation for me and my basketball, so I am really excited to get started,” Johnny Furphy said. “I have heard a lot of amazing things about Kansas, so this opportunity was really appealing for us.”

Furphy’s athleticism, size, and shot-making ability should earn him a chance to get some early minutes off the bench for Kansas basketball this year – something the Jayhawks desperately needed behind Kevin McCullar Jr.

Once Furphy gets more familiar with Self’s system and is able to spend more time in the strength and conditioning program, he will only become more of a threat for this team as time goes on.

Landing Furphy is icing on the cake when it comes to the job Self and his staff have done these past few months to replenish the talent on this roster. They just continue to solidify their preseason No. 1 ranking and bolster their chances at winning another national championship.

What an offseason it’s been for Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks.

Next. Thomas Robinson pens heartfelt note to Kansas fans. dark