Kansas Jayhawks listed as final option for Lawrence-native, South Dakota State transfer

Kansas basketball is looking at potentially bringing a hometown kid in Zeke Mayo back to Lawrence. Mayo entered the transfer portal on March 26 and officially listed the Jayhawks as one of his final four transfer options on March 30.
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - First Round - Buffalo - South Dakota State v Providence
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - First Round - Buffalo - South Dakota State v Providence / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

Zeke Mayo, who graduated Lawrence High School in 2021, is a 6’4” Junior guard who spent three years with the South Dakota State Jackrabbits before entering the transfer portal. Mayo was the 2023-2024 Summit League Player of the Year, averaging 18.8 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 3.5 APG. Additionally notable is that he has career shooting splits of 45.0% from the field, 38.8% from beyond the arc, and 87.0% from the FT line.

Despite the Jackrabbits being outmatched against Iowa State in the round of 64 this March Madness, Mayo balled out as advertised and recorded 19 points (4-6 on 3FGs) and 4 assists, both of which were team-highs in SDSU’s 65-82 loss. To date, Mayo has been by far one of the best players to enter the transfer portal this year. Where will he end up? If not with the Jayhawks, it looks like it would be with the Creighton Bluejays, Oklahoma Sooners, or Texas Longhorns, per his most recent social media post:

Zeke Mayo would be a perfect fit in the Jayhawks starting lineup

Should Mayo bless Lawrence with his return, he would slot in perfectly at the SG spot next toDajuan Harris. The 6-foot-2 pass-first starting PG is a reluctant shooter and the 2023-2024 iteration of the Jayhawks were one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the country (ranked 329th in made threes per game and 229th in 3FG%). Mayo’s 2.6 made threes per game at a 39.1% clip from last season could do wonders for Kansas’ spacing and he would instantly become the second best ball handler on the team.

Prior to this news, the Jayhawks were linked to Florida Gators sophomore guard Riley Kugel, who listed KU as one of his final four options as well, but he is not nearly as efficient of a shooter as Mayo. The final destination for Liam McNeeley, the 6’7” SF and 11th overall incoming freshman recruit, is also still pending after he decommitted from Indiana. There have been rumors that he could end up in Lawrence as well, but he may be a bit redundant with Johnny Furphy, should the Australian choose to return to Kansas and not enter the NBA draft.

Overall, Mayo feels like the most seamless fit with what the projected Kansas basketball roster will be and bringing home a Lawrence-native would make for a great story. It will be interesting to see who the Crimson and Blue prioritize this offseason.