Busting Brackets

Kansas Basketball: Riley Kugel adds another piece for Coach Self and Jayhawks

It's offseason and Kansas has a new edition for the 2024-2025 season.

Riley Kugel will play in Kansas Jayhawk uniform later this year.
Riley Kugel will play in Kansas Jayhawk uniform later this year. / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

This past Sunday, Florida guard Riley Kugel committed to Kansas Basketball after playing two seasons under Coach Todd Golden.

After losing to Gonzaga (now out of the tournament) by a fairly wide margin during the second round of the big dance that concluded in an 89-68 score, Kansas Basketball hopes to redeem themselves after starting the season as the No. 1 team in all of college basketball.

The 2023–2024 season was up and down, to say the least, for Coach Self and the Jayhawks. Winning big games against then-ranked No. 4 Houston but also falling against teams such as UCF, who finished the season with a 17-16 record and 11th in the Big 12 conference.

A starting lineup that normally consisted of Dajuan Harris Jr., Elmarko Jackson, Kevin Mccullar Jr., K.J. Adams Jr., and Hunter Dickinson was the winning formula. But we cannot forget the likes of Johnny Furphy, who provided a three-point threat off the bench.

Unfortunately, it was announced that star Kevin McCullar Jr. would be out for the rest of the season after last playing on March 9th against Houston. McCullar suffered a "bone bruise" that would eventually prevent him from playing in the NCAA Tournament. A huge loss for Kanas left fans wondering "what if?" in regards to whether or not the San Antonio, Texas, native playing would have changed the final results.

As for Kugel, the rising junior out of Orlando, Florida, he averaged nine points, four rebounds, and two assists while shooting 39 percent from the field. This season was highlighted by his 25-point outing against then-ranked No. 13 Baylor, followed by a 24-point contest against Wake Forest. However, Kugel's point total has slightly decreased from the 9.9 average that he achieved as a frosh. Nonetheless, he should be prepared for a much better season in a new environment in Lawrence, Kansas.

A slasher who likes to use his length frame to finish around the rim. On top of having the knack to hit a couple of dribble moves to create a shot opportunity from downtown. Kugel likes to get downhill in transition and right into the teeth of his opponent's defense.

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He should serve well within Coach Self's offense and, for sure, provide a spark for Kansas.