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Kansas adds Ukrainian star Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk

By Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer

Kansas has added Ukrainian star Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk.

Mykhailiuk is a 6-foot-6 shooting guard who plays for Cherkassy and is just 16 years old. He will turn 17 in June, and is expected to attend Kansas for two seasons. Jonathan Givony of Draft Express said Mykhailiuk never signed a pro contract and should have no eligibility issues.

"Obviously, this is great news for us," Kansas coach Bill Self said in a statement. "He is 16 years old and will turn 17 in June, but his skill level, knowledge and aptitude for the game are way beyond his years. I think that he will be an immediate impact guy. He is a guy that can play all three positions on the perimeter. At 6-8, he can play point, play the No. 2 (guard) or the No. 3 (guard). He allows us to be more versatile next year and certainly, there would be few people that would shoot it better than him."

Self said Mykhailiuk would play with his national team this summer and return to Lawrence in the fall.

One NBA scout who saw Mykhailiuk recently compared him to potential lottery pick and former Michigan swingman Nik Stauskas.

"He's a shooter with athleticism that can dribble and pass," the scout told CBSSports.com.

The scout also said Mykhailiuk would be ranked in the top 10 in both the high school classes of 2015 and 2016. He will be at least 18 months younger than many of the freshman entering college this year.

Mykhailiuk averaged 25.2 points and 8.0 rebounds at the 2013 U16 European Championships and also played in the Hoop Summit in April.

"I liked everything," Mykhailiuk said of Kansas. "From the history, the strength program and especially the coaches – everything. It's Kansas. KU has players every year. Coach Self has had so many players go to the NBA. That's an important thing."

Mykhailiuk joins one of the best recruiting classes in the country, one that includes top-10 prospects Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre, as well as point guard Devonte Graham.

Mykhailiuk's biggest obstacle to an immediate impact could be toughness and physicality, an NBA scout said.

"Hopefully they recognize what they have," he said of Kansas. "But Oubre, [Wayne] Selden and [Brannen] Greene are more ready."

But with the early departure of two of the top three picks in June's NBA draft, adding more talent can only help the Jayhawks. Mykhailiuk certainly fits the mold.

 
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