Almost three months after declaring for the NBA draft intending to tip off his professional career, shooting guard Lagerald Vick will instead return for his senior season at Kansas after going undrafted.
Vick and Jayhawks head coach Bill Self announced the news Friday night in a statement, meaning the 6-foot-5 Vick will be one of two returning starters to a Kansas team that reached the Final Four.
“I honestly thought I played my last game at Kansas after the Final Four because, with my situation and my family’s situation (he has a daughter in Memphis, his hometown), I felt I needed to turn pro,” Vick said. “After seeing where I stand and meeting with Coach Self, I feel it is best to return to Kansas for my senior year. Coach tells me the team is working hard and looking good. I can’t wait to get back to Lawrence and join them.”
The Jayhawks had moved on from Vick in the recruiting season, with Self not expecting his starting guard back in the fray for the 2018-19 campaign. But while Vick had declared for the NBA draft, he never hired an agent. After not being selected, Vick decided not to pursue overseas opportunities — instead reportedly having a heart-to-heart meeting with Self, who later quizzed his team to gauge how they would feel about Vick’s return.
“He realized going through the process he has to do more things to get better,” Self told the Kansas City Star on Friday night. “The thing that kind of sold me … he said he needed to do the things to help us get better, too.”
Vick averaged 12.1 points and 4.8 rebounds last season in starting 35 out of 39 games for the 31-8 Jayhawks. But Self told The Star that Vick will not be guaranteed a starting spot in a crowded roster on a team hoping to compete for a national title.
“The minutes will work themselves out,” Self told The Star. “That’s not a big concern. Nobody’s been promised minutes. It’s the guys that play the best will play. Lagerald will not be starting ahead of anybody nor will anybody else (start ahead of Vick). Whoever plays the best will play.”