Former Jayhawk Yesufu returns to Big 12

Kansas guard Joseph Yesufu (1) turns to laugh with the bench during a timeout in the second half on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, at Allen Fieldhouse. Photo by Nick Krug

A former Kansas reserve will have the opportunity to face off against the Jayhawks next season.

Joe Yesufu, a 6-foot guard from Bolingbrook, Illinois, who was a member of KU’s 2021-22 national championship team and started three games the following season, announced Sunday night that he is transferring to West Virginia.

The move brings Yesufu to his fourth school across six collegiate seasons, but it also reunites him with Darian DeVries, who coached him at Drake during his freshman and sophomore seasons and is now the head coach of the Mountaineers.

DeVries oversaw the best year of Yesufu’s career, when he averaged 12.8 points per game and shot 38.4% from deep during the 2020-21 campaign as a sophomore at Drake. That performance earned him sixth man of the year honors from the Missouri Valley Conference.

Yesufu averaged 9.2 minutes for KU during the 2021-22 season and 12.7 in 2022-23 before entering the transfer portal in March 2023, as part of a group of eight players who did so following that campaign (seven of whom ultimately left).

He went to Washington State and opened the year as a starter for the Cougars, playing 25.2 minutes per game and averaging 6.2 points, before suffering a season-ending hip injury. He told The Spokesman-Review during the NCAA Tournament that he had secured a medical redshirt, meaning he could play a sixth year of eligibility.

WSU head coach Kyle Smith left following the season to take over at Stanford, replacing former Jayhawk Jerod Haase. Yesufu ultimately entered the portal at the start of April.

West Virginia, for its part, is assembling a sizable group of transfers to revamp the roster under DeVries. The group also includes DeVries’ son Tucker, who was a reigning back-to-back MVC player of the year at Drake, and another familiar Big 12 Conference face in former Oklahoma State guard Javon Small, among what is now a set of seven transfers.


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