Pair of Kansas Jayhawks basketball players receive invites to 2024 NBA Draft Combine

The two NBA hopefuls must prove themselves during the combine
Allstate Maui Invitational - Kansas v Marquette
Allstate Maui Invitational - Kansas v Marquette / Darryl Oumi/GettyImages

The Kansas basketball program has been represented by at least two former Jayhawks in four of the past seven NBA drafts. That trend is likely to continue next month when the 2024 draft begins. There are two KU standouts expecting to hear their names called on June 27 — Kevin McCullar and Johnny Furphy.

Both players have mid-to-late first-round grades according to the majority of pro scouts. It is no surprise that they were included in the long list of college and international athletes invited to the NBA Draft Combine. Furphy and McCullar will accept their invites and participate in the event later this month.

Two former Kansas basketball standouts invited to draft combine

The combine will occur from May 5-12. There will be a handful of scrimmages, athletic tests, drills, and more during the week-long event. It typically gives scouts a better read on players and has the opportunity to boost or plummet draft stock.

McCullar had a breakout season offensively in the 2023-24 campaign, averaging 18.3 points and 6.0 rebounds on 45.4% field goal shooting. The defensive stalwart battled a knee injury toward the latter stages of the season, forcing him to miss the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments, but still earned All-Big 12 First Team honors and was an All-America mention. He participated in the combine one year ago before withdrawing his name to return to Kansas.

Furphy is an Australian native who joined the Jayhawks late last summer. His length, athleticism, and outside shooting stroke made him an important contributor in year one for KU. He averaged 9.0 points and 4.8 rebounds on 46.6% field goal shooting and 35.2% 3-point shooting. The 6-foot-9 guard made the All-Big 12 Freshman Team.

Unlike McCullar, who ran out of eligibility after exercising his additional COVID-19 year, Furphy still has the option to return to school. His lack of experience and questionable defensive skill set have dropped his draft stock since his hot start at the beginning of the year. However, he is expected to keep his name in the draft pool since he is projected to go round one.

Kansas routinely places its players at the next level, and HC Bill Self has excelled at developing the games of wings and forwards in recent years. Now, the two players could become the first pair of Jayhawks to be picked in the first round since Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun in 2022.