Kansas Adds DeBose for World University Games
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas men’s basketball head coach Bill Self announced the addition of Florida Gulf Coast’s Julian DeBose to the roster for the 2015 World University Games Saturday. Jayhawk guard Devonte’ Graham was the bearer of terrible timing as an injury will sideline him for three weeks, causing the need for DeBose to temporarily join the team that will represent the USA in Gwangju, Korea.
“Julian arrived in Lawrence this afternoon and he’ll be practicing with us starting tomorrow and be a part of the KU contingent from this point forward in getting ready for the World Games,” Self said.
Graham suffered a partial tear of the tendon above his left knee on June 17. While the injury will not require surgery, the Raleigh, North Carolina native’s status for competing in the World University Games is definitely out. The team leaves June 28 with competition scheduled from July 3-14.
Charged with the task of finding a high-caliber player that fit the World University Games’ requirements, Self called upon Joe Dooley, the longtime Kansas assistant and current head coach at Florida Gulf Coast. Together, they found a way to get DeBose to Lawrence in time for a handful of practices before the USA National Team plays Team Canada in two exhibition games next week.
“When Devonte’ went down we were scrambling for a replacement,” Self said. “Joe (Dooley) had talked to us all along about Julian. I called Joe after Devonte’s injury and Julian was able to take the next 25 days off on three days’ notice and got here.”
The short time frame didn’t prevent Self from finding a quality guard. At 6-4, 197 pounds, DeBose was the third-leading scorer for the Eagles in 2014-15 with a solid 11.9 scoring and 3.9 rebounding average. The Washington, D.C., native helped his team to a 22-11 record last season and put up double figures in 20 of his 30 games played. His .432 field goal percentage was best among all FGCU guards and also ranked 15th in the league.
“Joe (Dooley) said he will remind us a lot of (former KU guard) Travis Releford,” Self said. “He’s got good size. He’s a jack of all trades and a great energy guy.”
Prior to attending FGCU, DeBose played two seasons for Rice University in Houston. In his final season with the Owls (2012-13), DeBose started all 30 games and averaged 10.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per contest.
EXHIBITION TICKETS – Sprint Center Box Office
In preparation for the World University Games, the USA National Team will host Team Canada June 23 and June 26 at 7 p.m. at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Cost of the tickets is $27 for the Tuesday, June 23 contest, $37 for the Friday, June 26 matchup or both games for $50. Fans can purchase tickets online at Sprint Center or by calling the Kansas Athletics ticket office at 800-34-HAWKS There are also group ticket opportunities for the contests, which can be accessed by calling 785.864.6216 for those options.
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