Kansas basketball suffers first potential loss of Jayhawks offseason to NBA Draft

Johnny Furphy has likely played his final game as a Jayhawk
Samford v Kansas
Samford v Kansas / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The Kansas basketball team has technically not lost a player from the 2023-24 team during the offseason, but a Jayhawk took one step closer to his departure. Freshman guard Johnny Furphy has officially declared for the NBA Draft while maintaining collegiate eligibility.

Johnny Furphy declares for 2024 NBA Draft after one year with Kansas basketball

A 6-foot-9 wing from Melbourne, Australia, Furphy was a late-season addition to the Jayhawks after they lost two high school commits last offseason. He impressed scouts at the NBA Academy Games in Atlanta and reclassed from 2024 to 2023 to join Kansas early.

It took him time to become acclimated to the college level, but he was eventually inserted into the starting lineup over Elmarko Jackson. Furphy finished in double figures in 12 of his 19 starts, finishing the campaign with an average of 9.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.0 assists on 46.6%/35.2%/76.5% shooting splits.

While he entered KU as a potential long-term project, Furphy quickly emerged as a draft prospect due to his length, athleticism, and jump shooting. He made the 2024 Big 12 All-Freshman Team and was an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention.

Furphy is viewed as a potential first-round pick by most professional scouts, with some mock drafts placing him as early as the lottery. His stock slightly dipped after a cold stretch toward the end of the season, but he has extremely high upside and is highly coveted by multiple teams.

Because he maintained college eligibility and hired an NCAA-certified agent. Furphy can still choose to return to Lawrence for a sophomore season if he chooses to. However, given his draft stock, he is likely keeping his name in the draft pool if he has a strong NBA Draft Combine.

Here is the statement he released on the KU Athletics page.

"I am excited to announce that I am declaring for the 2024 draft while maintaining my college eligibility. I am so grateful to Coach Self and the whole team at KU for the opportunity they gave me to be a part of this incredible program. From moving to a new country, to participating in the NCAA Tournament, this year has flown by faster than I could have ever imagined. I love my teammates and am so proud of everything we accomplished this season. Everyone at Kansas has made me feel at home. What I have learned at Kansas has changed the way I think about basketball, and no matter what happens from here, I’ll always be a Jayhawk. Thank you and Rock Chalk!"