Jayhawks Johnny Furphy and Kevin McCullar both selected in second round of 2024 NBA draft

A pair of Kansas Jayhawks, freshman guard Johnny Furphy and senior guard Kevin McCullar Jr., are both headed to the professional ranks after they were selected Thursday in the second round of the 2024 NBA draft.

Furphy was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs with the 35th overall pick, though his draft rights are being traded to the Indiana Pacers. McCullar was taken with the third-to-last pick of the draft, No. 56 overall, by the Phoenix Suns. That pick is headed to the New York Knicks via trade.

A native of Melbourne, Australia, Furphy averaged nine points and 4.9 rebounds per game in his lone season with the Jayhawks, earning him an All-Big 12 honorable mention and a spot on the all-conference freshman team.

Furphy was expected to be a first-round pick, with some mock drafts, including at ESPN, projecting him as a top-20 selection. Instead, despite an invitation to the green room on Day 1 of the draft, he had to wait until Day 2 to hear his name called.

“For him to come back, get drafted and find out he is traded to the Pacers is great,” Kansas coach Bill Self said in a statement. “It’s an up and coming franchise. They’ve got really good players. I spoke with them (the Pacers) this morning and they were very excited about Johnny. They ended up trading up a pick to get him.”

McCullar was projected as a mid to late second-round pick by numerous mock drafts and ended up being taken just before the final selection. He was also the final American-born player drafted this year.

Despite missing a large portion of last season due to an injury, McCullar was named first-team All-Big 12 in 2023-24 after averaging 18.3 points, six rebounds and 4.1 assists per game in his final year of college basketball. In two years in Lawrence, following three with the Texas Tech Red Raiders to start his career, McCullar improved his scoring totals each year and was received Big 12 postseason honors each season.

“Kevin is a first-round player and I think anybody that saw him healthy this year would agree to that,” Self said. “Kevin will play in the league for a long time and the Knicks got one of the toughest players we have had in our program. We are all excited that Kevin heard his named called. He will be a great fit to a playoff team and such a storied franchise.”

https://twitter.com/sny_knicks/status/1806451541043188137

This is the third year in a row the Jayhawks have had two players selected in the NBA draft, joining Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun in 2022, and Gradey Dick and Jalen Wilson last year.

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