Guarantees in life: death, taxes and Svi with the corner three.
Svi Mykhailiuk is on a three-game tear, dropping 24 in a loss to Oklahoma, 24 in a win against Texas A&M and 22 in his Sunflower Showdown finale. Svi is truly the poster child for the four-year player crowd. As reiterated in just about every broadcast, Svi has yet to turn 21. Benefiting from the 2016 rule change that allows players to test the NBA draft combine without forfeiting their eligibility, Svi made the wise choice to return for the 2017-18 season to complete his collegiate career.
Shooting 47.4 percent from three (up from 39.8 percent last season), Svi is actually shooting better from behind the line than the floor. With little emotion or fan fare, Svi is seemingly automatic from the corner. So many times, an opponent has cut KU’s lead to single digits, only for a Svi three to halt the momentum shift. The Jayhawks go cold coming out of halftime against K-State, Svi pulls up to end the skid.
Logging the most minutes of his career, Svi is the perfect quiet force to complement Devonte’ Graham. Svi rarely forces his shot, protects the basketball and is averaging four rebounds a game, more than doubling his average from his freshman and sophomore seasons. With help from Andrea Hudy, KU’s esteemed strength and conditioning coach, Svi has transformed from a 17-year-old kid into a NBA body.
In a tight conference title race, Mykhailiuk is trending in the exact direction his team needs. With junior guard Lagerald Vick’s erratic productivity, Svi and Graham will be called upon to lead the backcourt for the emerging Malik Newman and freshman Marcus Garrett. With teams foolishly continuing to leave Svi open from his sweet spot, he will keep making opponents pay in his own calm, cool and collected way.