KU makes top-five list for ex-Dayton sharpshooter

photo by: AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Dayton guard Koby Brea (4) shoots over Arizona guard Pelle Larsson (3) during the first half of a second-round college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament in Salt Lake City, Saturday, March 23, 2024.

Kansas is in contention for Dayton transfer Koby Brea, the nation’s leading 3-point shooter from the 2023-24 season, but it will have to outlast some tough competition in order to acquire his services.

KU made Brea’s top-five list — as he released Monday to a variety of media outlets including 247Sports, ESPN and On3 — along with Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky and UConn.

It’s easy to see why Brea is in high demand from the most prestigious programs in college basketball. In his fourth season at Dayton (he has one more year of eligibility), he shot 100-for-201 from beyond the arc, i.e., 49.8%, and averaged 11.1 points per game while coming off the bench for 29 of the Flyers’ 33 games.

Brea, a 6-foot-6 guard from Washington Heights, New York, is a pure shooter to the extent that he attempted just 45 shots within the arc and 16 free throws during the 2023-24 season. The 49.8% mark from beyond the arc, meanwhile, was more than three percentage points ahead of his next closest competition, Belmont’s Cade Tyson.

The remarkable shooting display, even at high volume, was something of an outlier compared to his three prior seasons, but even from his freshman to junior years he shot 39.4% from beyond the arc. (If that had been a single season, it still would have ranked 46th in the nation this year.)

“Since I was a little kid, I always liked shooting the ball,” Brea told the Dayton Daily News in 2022. “When I was real small, I’d shoot from as far out as I could. I wouldn’t reach the rim, but I just kept trying and trying. As I grew older, I watched the great shooters like Steph Curry and Reggie Miller. I love to be able to shoot from that far. Not everybody can do that. And when you can, you make a difference.”

He scored 10 points when Dayton upset KU in November 2021.

KU will not only have to beat out top schools to earn Brea’s commitment but also manage its own scholarship situation. With Johnny Furphy currently in the NBA Draft and Hunter Dickinson not, the Jayhawks already have 12 scholarship players expected for next year, between three incoming freshmen, three transfers and six returnees. That means they would only be able to take either Brea or Alabama transfer/KU target Rylan Griffen, pending any additional departures by current players, and they would still need to incur a one-scholarship penalty next season due to the Independent Accountability Resolution Process.

ESPN’s final ranking

ESPN released on Tuesday morning its final player rankings for the 2024 men’s basketball recruiting class, and KU’s freshman trio is well represented.

Center Flory Bidunga, from Kokomo, Indiana, leads the way at No. 17 with a five-star rating and a grade of 90. Guard Labaron Philon and wing Rakease Passmore aren’t far behind, with rankings of Nos. 30 and 32, respectively, and grades of 89 and 88. Both are considered four-star prospects.

The three will join the Jayhawks this summer along with transfers Riley Kugel, Zeke Mayo and AJ Storr. All have officially signed except for Kugel.


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