Kansas guard Bobby Pettiford the latest Jayhawk to enter transfer portal

Kansas guard Bobby Pettiford Jr. (0) looks to throw a baseline pass around Iowa State guard Tamin Lipsey (3) during the second half on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Another member of the 2022-23 Kansas men’s basketball team has entered the transfer portal, with Bobby Pettiford joining forward Cam Martin, who announced his plans to leave on Monday.

A sophomore guard from Durham, North Carolina, Pettiford entered the portal on Wednesday and will be looking for a new team for the 2023-24 season.

Pettiford had a decent-sized role during his two seasons with the Jayhawks, one of which earned him a national title ring, but never could find a way to consistently crack the rotation.

He appeared in 32 of 36 games this season — averaging 12.1 minutes per contest — and played in 42 total games during his two seasons in Lawrence.

Once dubbed by KU coach Bill Self as a player who soon would take his spot as the next great guard to play for the Jayhawks, injuries prevented Pettiford’s career from ever really taking off.

After initially committing to Louisville, Pettiford joined the Jayhawks out of Durham, North Carolina and showed up to KU’s campus with an ankle injury.

From there, an abdominal injury that forced him to shut it down for most of the 2021-22 national title season, along with hamstring issues during the most recent season kept the 6-foot-1, 190-pound combo guard from reaching the potential many believed he had when he arrived in Lawrence.

Pettiford responded to a tweet announcing his move into the portal from the Verbal Commits twitter account with a heart. He then added his own tweet that simply read: “Forever Rock Chalk. Always will have a special place in my heart.”

With Jalen Wilson, Kevin McCullar Jr. and now Martin and Pettiford leaving this offseason, Kansas now has room for the four incoming freshmen who will join the roster this summer — four-star guards/wings Elmarko Jackson, Jamari McDowell, Chris Johnson and Adams.

However, while they normally are allowed 13 scholarships per season, the Jayhawks could be down to 12 for the 2023-24 sea-son because of the self-imposed penalty tied to the Jayhawks’ NCAA infractions case that remains ongoing. The penalty, which was announced last November, indicated, among other things that KU would face a “reduction of three total scholarships in men’s basketball distributed over the next three years.”

It’s entirely possible that Martin and Pettiford will not be the last of the current Jayhawks to look for opportunities elsewhere this offseason. Sources close to the program have told the Journal-World that they expect at least a couple of other current KU players to look to enter the portal, which has become a routine and popular part of the college basketball calendar at schools across the country in recent years.

If that happens, Kansas will be able to replace them — most likely with players through the portal — up to the scholarship limit for next season.

In addition, freshman guard Gradey Dick has to weigh the decision of returning to KU or turning pro, as well.


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