A day after learning point guard Naadir Tharpe was leaving the program, coach Bill Self announced the signing of another point guard Devonte' Graham. Here is the official release from the university:
Point guard Devonte’ Graham has signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to play men’s basketball at Kansas, KU head coach Bill Self announced Friday.
A 6-2, 175-pound guard from Raleigh, North Carolina, Graham originally signed a NLI at Appalachian State in November 2012. He did not enroll at Appalachian State and spent the 2013-14 season at Brewster Academy prep school in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. Following a coaching change at Appalachian State, Graham was granted his NLI release in April 2014.
“We’ve had our fair share of guys from Brewster over the years, primarily Naadir (Tharpe) and Thomas (Robinson),” Self said. “We’re very familiar with that program. We certainly solidified our situation in the backcourt by bringing in a quality guy and I think Devonte’ is one of the premier point guards in the country. Jason Smith is not a good coach, he’s a great coach. He’s been at Brewster for a number of years and has coached many, many great ones. He definitely made me feel Devonte’ is as good as any he has had in the backcourt.”
Graham averaged 17.2 points and 5.0 assists per game and led Brewster to the national prep championship and New England championship in 2013-14. Following being released from Appalachian State, Graham’s stock immediately rose as he went from being unranked to No. 36 in the final 2014 rankings by Rivals.com.
“I think Devonte’ will be an immediate impact guy for us,” Self said. “That’s not to take away from the other guards we have but this is a situation that we just got a lot better. He comes from very good high school and prep school programs and an exceptional AAU program in Gardner Rose. After he and his mother (Dewanna King) came here on their recruiting visit, it was a situation we felt like he and she connected with everybody here and I think he will be a great leader for our program.”
Prior to Brewster Academy, Graham led Broughton High School in Raleigh, N.C., to the state championship game where he averaged 15.7 points and 5.4 assists and a 26-6 record in 2012-13. Graham, who was coached by Jeff Ferrell while at Broughton, averaged 14.8 points, 4.3 assists and 2.2 steals per game as a junior.