Johnny Furphy has been a revelation for the Kansas Jayhawks basketball team ever since being inserted into the starting lineup last month. The 6-foot-9 Australian freshman is providing his team with some much-needed outside shooting and length on the wing.
He committed to Kansas this summer out of the NBA Australia Academy and is making his impact felt. Averaging 8.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 0.8 steals on 51.2/37.6/73.2 shooting splits, he has been a big-time contributor for Bill Self over the past month.
Although his impact was minimal during the early stages of the season, Furphy is now considered an NBA Draft prospect and one of the best freshmen in the nation. Bleacher Report's Kerry Miller updated his Freshman of the Year rankings on Thursday, and the KU guard landed No. 9 for his inaugural appearance of the campaign.
"Feels a bit weird to catapult Furphy into the top 10 fresh off a disappointing performance in the loss to Kansas State. However, the emergence of this "shooting forward" in the month or so prior to that dud sure has made it easier to buy Kansas as a title contender," Miller wrote. "His year-to-date marks are weak, but he was averaging 15.7 points and 7.5 rebounds in the six games leading up to Monday's loss."
Players ahead of Furphy include Rob Dillingham, Reed Sheppard, PJ Haggerty, and familiar face Ja'Kobe Walter of Baylor. It is also worth noting that Furphy does not have the most impressive overall stat line from the list, but he has been a mainstay in the starting rotation for a short period of time.
While he has missed his last ten 3-point attempts, Furphy has been one of the squad's most consistent contributors during conference play. If he continues to play at this level for the remainder of the regular season, Furphy will continue to climb the freshman ranks.