Kansas Jayhawks basketball makes early contact with recent transfer portal entry

The college basketball season is not over, but the Kansas coaching staff is already dipping into the transfer portal for a potential addition to next year’s squad.

Kansas v Texas Tech
Kansas v Texas Tech / John E. Moore III/GettyImages

The NCAA Tournament is looming for the Kansas basketball team, and the Jayhawks are focusing on their collective struggles heading into the most pivotal part of the year. However, the coaching staff is already gearing up for the following campaign because they have reached out to a graduate transfer in the Ivy League.

Clark Slajchert, a senior who spent four seasons at Penn, was one of the first major players to enter the transfer portal. He left his former school because the Ivy League does not permit grad transfers to participate in athletics, so he is now searching for a new home where he can use his final year of collegiate eligibility.

The 6-foot-1 guard averaged 18.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.9 assists in the 2023-24 season, leading the team in minutes played (34.5) and 3-point percentage (42.2%). He figures to be highly sought-after in the portal due to his ability to shoot the ball beyond the arc, a skill Kansas is severely lacking right now.

He told 247 Sports he had heard from schools like UCLA, Arkansas, Clemson, Penn State, and Rutgers during the early stages of his recruitment. Slajchert is a California native but is clearly open to traveling to a school away from home considering he voyaged across the country to be at Penn.

Slajchert surpassed 1,000 career points in his second to last game with the Quakers, though he missed seven conference games after suffering an injury against Houston in December. He still managed to earn Second Team All-Ivy League honors and finished second in the conference in scoring.

KU might target experienced guards like Slajchert in the portal to pair with Dajuan Harris next year. Freshmen players Elmarko Jackson and Jamari McDowell could look for more favorable situations once the season concludes, and Australian standout Johnny Furphy will likely enter the NBA Draft. The coaching staff will need to go all-in to bolster the roster.

As fans have come to learn, it is never too early to start looking toward the next season, especially in the new age of the transfer portal and NIL. While Kansas basketball coaches might be reluctant to add a mid-major transfer guard after seeing Nick Timberlake's struggles to adapt to higher competition, Slajchert could be effective off the bench in the right role.