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Big 12 News and Notes: McCullar Returns to Kansas, Keyontae Johnson Cleared For NBA Draft and More



As we end the month of May, the college basketball offseason is on pause as programs wait for NBA draft entries to decide whether or not they’re returning to school. Let’s take a look at the news around the Big 12 this week.

Kansas F Kevin McCullar Returns

Earlier this week, Kansas starting forward Kevin McCullar announced his return to Lawrence for his fifth season of eligibility. McCullar was exploring NBA aspirations but ultimately decided to return to school.

McCullar completed his first season at Kansas, averaging 10.7 points and 7.0 rebounds through 34 games. The senior forward began his career at Texas Tech under Chris Beard and Mark Adams.

McCullar will join one of the best transfer classes in the country as the Jayhawks bring in Hunter Dickinson (C – Michigan), Nick Timberlake (G – Towson), Arterio Morris (G – Texas) and Parker Braun (F – Santa Clara).

K-State’s Keyontae Johnson Cleared For NBA Draft

Kansas State forward Keyontae Johnson received great news this week as he was medically cleared to have his name in the NBA draft pool. Johnson collapsed on the floor back in 2020 and has taken steps to return to the court. Johnson transferred from Florida to Kansas State last fall and was able to play during the 2022-23 season. The All-Big 12 recipient averaged 17.4 points and 6.8 rebounds, helping lead the Wildcats to the Elite-8.

Johnson is currently projected to go in the middle of the second round of the draft, according to

UCF Loses 2023 HS Commit

On Friday, 2023 forward Petras Padegimas announced that he will re-open his recruitment, decommitting from UCF. Padegimas has received interest from Florida Atlantic, Loyola Marymount, Utah State and others.

Central Florida currently has one high school signee and four transfer portal additions: Comeh Emuobor (2023 3-star F), Jaylin Sellers (G – Ball State), Jaykwon Walton (G – Wichita State), Shemarri Allen (G – Kansas City) and Omar Payne (F – Jacksonville).

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