LAWRENCE— At occasions, new Kansas guard Joseph Yesufu is prone to have tendencies that remind Kansas followers of Devon Dotson.
There’s good cause for that. Each grew up round Chicago — Yesufu in Bolingbrook, Illinois — and mimicked the identical Bulls star.
“I really like Derrick Rose,” Yesufu mentioned of the previous Bulls and present Knicks guard Tuesday whereas working at Washburn coach Brett Ballard’s camp in Topeka. “That is my favourite participant of all time.”
Figuring out this explains one other main a part of Yesufu’s sport … and one which will likely be evident early on as KU’s coaches and gamers turn into accustomed to his fashion of play.
Yesufu depends closely on floaters offensively — a shot he crafted after watching Rose rising up.
“I at all times puzzled why he at all times would throw up these pictures,” Yesufu mentioned. “So I went to the gymnasium and simply began training them, after which that is when it simply turned a part of my sport.”
An offseason exercise video posted to Yesufu’s Twitter account exhibits this is not simply discuss. Many of the highlights within the brief clip are Yesufu probing the lane on the drive, then rising up with one hand to place in high-arching two-point makes an attempt.
Yesufu says it is a instrument that was developed, partially, due to his shorter dimension. The 6-foot guard started training the specialty shot at round 10 years outdated, utilizing it as an equalizer when going towards taller shot-blockers inside.
“It was positively powerful for me to get it at first,” Yesufu mentioned, “however as soon as I began getting it, I began going to my left hand too.”
He continues to excellent the craft right this moment. Yesufu says in a few of his particular person classes, he’ll work on his floater for about an hour, beginning on the left block then making his means across the lane to the proper block. After that, he’ll scoot again a number of ft and proceed his means across the courtroom from a bit additional out.
“Quite a lot of my teammates get irritated by it, as a result of I shoot these so much, and so they fall so much,” Yesufu mentioned. “It is form of a mid-range shot, and it is unstoppable. Lots of people cannot cease this. They do not know whenever you’re gonna drive. They do not know whenever you’re simply going to leap up, shoot the floater or simply shoot the mid-range shot.”
Synergy Sports activities Know-how’s logs affirm that Yesufu was among the many nation’s leaders final yr in using this specific shot try.
As a sophomore at Drake, Yesufu averaged 2.2 pictures on “runners,” which was the Seventeenth-highest mark for any participant nationally.
This is the place issues turn into nuanced, although. Yesufu made 39% of these runners in response to Synergy’s monitoring, whereas rating within the 56th percentile in factors per possession on the shot classification.
The runners — due to their problem and worth (two factors and never three) — ranked as certainly one of his least-efficient choices within the half-court.
This doesn’t suggest, nevertheless, that there will not be a spot for these tries subsequent season. For one, the power to have a floater makes Yesufu extra well-rounded offensively, which might power defenses to respect his drive whereas probably leaving him open on the perimeter for threes.
That menace is also a part of a skill-set that KU’s guards lacked final season. The Jayhawks struggled particularly with creating their very own pictures off the bounce, which was an space the place earlier gamers like Dotson, Frank Mason and Sherron Collins thrived.
Yesufu additionally mentioned KU’s coaches introduced him in with hopes that his pace might assist enhance the staff in transition.
“Quite a lot of groups like Baylor, they love enjoying quick. That is what Coach (Invoice) Self is making an attempt to get again to, enjoying even quicker,” Yesufu mentioned. “So that is what I really feel I can present for the staff.”
Yesufu will likely be a part of a revamped KU backcourt that added expertise this offseason. Self additionally acquired a dedication from Arizona State switch level guard Remy Martin, who could possibly be the Massive 12 preseason participant of the yr if he decides to affix the Jayhawks as an alternative of turning professional. Iowa State graduate switch Jalen Coleman-Lands, an outdoor capturing specialist, additionally is about to enroll at KU within the coming months.
Self additionally added freshman guards Bobby Pettiford and Kyle Cuffe and can return starters Christian Braun and Ochai Agbaji if the latter returns for his senior marketing campaign. Dajuan Harris, the Jayhawks’ second-best help man final season, is also again as a high reserve.
“I really feel like we do have one of the best staff within the Massive 12,” Yesufu mentioned, “and I can not wait to point out it subsequent yr.