Riley Kugel no longer transferring to Kansas Jayhawks

Kansas Jayhawks basketball has another open scholarship for next season after losing one of its transfer commitments on Wednesday.

Riley Kugel, a guard who previously played for the Florida Gators, is no longer bound for Lawrence and KU due to an undisclosed academic issue. Matt Norlander of CBS Sports confirmed that on Twitter/X.

Rumors about Kugel’s potential transfer hang-up have circulated for weeks, and Kansas coach Bill Self addressed the issue on Monday in an interview with reporter Andy Katz. Self directly referenced Kugel even though he hadn’t signed with KU yet.

“We also got a commitment from a young man from Florida, Riley Kugel … It’s up in the air whether or not Riley will come,” Self said.

Kugel originally committed to Kansas on March 31, the Jayhawks’ first addition to a transfer portal class that is currently ranked sixth-best in the country by 247Sports. Since then, KU has added three more players to the class, all of whom are backcourt players like Kugel.

That group includes South Dakota State transfer Zeke Mayo, Wisconsin transfer A.J. Storr and Alabama transfer Rylan Griffen.

Kugel spent two years at Florida, and last season he averaged 9.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. He has two years of eligibility remaining, and Norlander mentioned in his post Wednesday that other high-major programs are recruiting the now-available former Gator. Along with Kansas, Kugel also included the Arizona Wildcats, Houston Cougars and UConn Huskies in his top four during his initial transfer process.

With this departure, Kansas has two open scholarships for the 2024-25 season. The Jayhawks could use just 12 of their 13 allotted scholarships this year and finish their self-imposed sanctions stemming from their protracted infractions case with the NCAA, or they could fill all of this year’s spots and finish the penalty the following season.

This is also the second player previously committed to KU who won’t make it to campus. Labaron Philon, the 32nd-ranked player in this year’s high school class, asked to be released from his national letter of intent last month and has since committed to the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Kansas is one of just five Division I programs that didn’t lose any players from their 2023-24 roster to the transfer portal.

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