Reports: Kugel won’t attend KU

photo by: AP Photo/L.G. Patterson

Florida's Riley Kugel, left, shoots past Missouri's Aidan Shaw, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Florida transfer wing Riley Kugel will not attend Kansas, according to multiple reports Wednesday afternoon.

Matt Norlander of CBS Sports was first to report the news, which follows a comment by KU coach Bill Self in an interview with the NCAA Monday about the prospect of the long-committed Kugel joining the team was “up in the air.”

Self did not provide the reasoning for the commitment’s uncertainty.

Kugel, who played two seasons with the Gators, was the first commitment of the transfer cycle for the Jayhawks, way back on March 31 while the NCAA Tournament was still ongoing. The ensuing commitments of Zeke Mayo (South Dakota State), AJ Storr (Wisconsin) and Rylan Griffen (Alabama) followed in short order, but while all three of those transfers put pen to paper on financial aid agreements for KU, Kugel never had his signing officially announced.

Instead, now, Norlander wrote of Kugel that he is “being recruited again by high-majors.”

The loss of Kugel, who seemed to figure into Self’s recently articulated plan to have “eight starters,” puts KU back down to 11 scholarship players for next year — deeper than last season, but still below the maximum of 13 or, if the Jayhawks wanted to enforce their final penalty from the Independent Accountability Resolution Process, 12.

Returners include KJ Adams, Hunter Dickinson and Dajuan Harris Jr. from the starting lineup, as well as Zach Clemence, Elmarko Jackson and Jamari McDowell. In addition to the three transfer signees, the Jayhawks will bring in freshmen Flory Bidunga and Rakease Passmore.

This is the second prospective newcomer KU has lost this offseason after incoming freshman Labaron Philon, although Philon was already signed and had to be released from his National Letter of Intent in order to commit to Alabama instead of KU.


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