Kansas basketball: Johnny Furphy injury could harm Jayhawks depth

Kansas freshman guard Johnny Furphy (10) poses during media day inside Allen Fieldhouse Wednesday.
Kansas freshman guard Johnny Furphy (10) poses during media day inside Allen Fieldhouse Wednesday. /

Highly touted Kansas basketball freshman Johnny Furphy could miss the start of the season with an injury.

A day after being named to the Julius Erving Award Watch List, some disheartening news was shared about the newest addition to the Kansas Jayhawks, Australian phenom Johnny Furphy.

He committed to Kansas in August following a strong showing at the NBA Academy Games, immediately enrolling after he reclassed from 2024 to 2023. Furphy has been dealing with shin splints for quite some time, though, and does not appear to be close to a return.

According to Kansas basketball head coach Bill Self, Furphy has missed more than a week of practice — and he could be absent even after the team’s scrimmage against Illinois this Sunday.

“I don’t know how much he’s going to miss,” Coach Self proclaimed at KU’s media day. “Because he was behind getting here and then he’s been out for about 10 days and that 10 days is probably going to be another week. And then we’re hopeful when he does come back there’s no setbacks. And he needs the reps as much as anybody.”

Those comments would suggest that Furphy will miss the scrimmage and likely multiple games to begin the regular season. For a team with just nine active scholarship players, this could become a serious issue for the preseason No. 1.

While guards Elmarko Jackson, Nick Timberlake, and Jamari McDowell will likely take up the minutes that Furphy is surrendering, his size and athleticism adds another dimension of talent. If another player were to miss time, Kansas would have just seven scholarship players available — a small number even for Coach Self, who often utilizes 7-man rotations.

Another reason why this is so detrimental to the squad is because Furphy arrived on campus less than three months ago and has less time under his belt as a Jayhawk. The last thing KU needed was for him to fall behind schedule even more with an injury.

Self suggested a return by the Champions Classic on Nov. 14 was possible, but until we hear some encouraging news about Furphy’s healing process, Jayhawk fans will have to consider him inactive for the time being.

Next. Analyzing candidates for final spot in starting 5. dark