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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Texas Tech transfer Kevin McCullar Jr. chooses Kansas over Gonzaga

May 19, 2022 Updated Thu., May 19, 2022 at 7:33 p.m.

Gonzaga’s Andrew Nembhard drives against Texas Tech’s Kevin McCullar on Dec. 18 in Phoenix. Gonzaga won 69-55.  (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga’s Andrew Nembhard drives against Texas Tech’s Kevin McCullar on Dec. 18 in Phoenix. Gonzaga won 69-55. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Kevin McCullar Jr. may be suiting up for a preseason top-15 team next season, but the Texas Tech transfer won’t be wearing a Gonzaga uniform.

If he chooses to return to college, McCullar will change teams but not conferences in 2022-23, committing to Kansas on Thursday after indicating weeks earlier he’d be choosing between the Zags, who spent the majority of the 2021-22 season ranked No. 1, and the Jayhawks, who won the national championship.

The move from Texas Tech to Kansas hinges on McCullar ’s decision to stay in the NBA draft or return to college next season.

“As I look to the next chapter of my career, if I decide to withdraw from the NBA draft, I am thrilled to say that I will be playing for the University of Kansas and coach (Bill) Self,” McCullar wrote in a graphic attached to his announcement.

McCullar is considered one of the top wing defenders in college basketball and averaged 10.1 points and 4.6 rebounds last season for Texas Tech, which lost to Duke in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

The San Antonio native posted a double-double in a neutral-site game against Gonzaga last December, scoring 14 points on 5-of-15 shooting while pulling down 10 rebounds in a 69-55 loss to the Bulldogs.

He’ll join Kansas, which loses Remy Martin, Jalen Coleman-Lands, Mitch Lightfoot, Ochai Agbaji and David McCormack from its national championship squad, but could also bring back early NBA draft entrants Christian Braun and Jalen Wilson.

Gonzaga’s 2022-23 roster, meanwhile, is still riddled with unknowns as starters Drew Timme, Julian Strawther and Rasir Bolton test out the NBA draft process. All three are eligible to return to school after signing with NCAA-certified agents, but the Bulldogs will have to replace at least two starters in projected top-three pick Chet Holmgren and point guard Andrew Nembhard.

Mark Few recently added LSU center and former five-star prospect Efton Reid through the transfer portal. The Zags are bringing in one high school player, four-star forward Braden Huff. GU is also one of six finalists for Iowa State transfer point guard Tyrese Hunter, who’s also considering Texas, Kansas, Louisville, Purdue and Tennessee. Hunter took an official visit to Spokane earlier this month.

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