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Bill Self comments on Joseph Yesufu, KU basketball’s other new signees



LAWRENCE, Kan.— Bill Self has weighed in on some of Kansas basketball’s newest faces.

Joseph Yesufu, Cam Martin and Sydney Curry all signed with the Jayhawks on Wednesday, allowing Self to comment for the first time on the trio of collegiate pledges who had earlier announced their intentions to transfer into the program for the 2021-22 campaign. Those additions bring KU’s list of signees to six, with reclassified former Class of 2022 recruit Kyle Cuffe Jr. inking with the program Thursday and fellow high school prospects KJ Adams and Zach Clemence having made their commitments official earlier.

Yesufu, a Drake transfer, might be the most recognizable name of the bunch.

A breakout star from the most recent NCAA Tournament, Yesufu averaged 23.2 points and shot 46.9% from 3-point range across his final nine games with the Bulldogs, including a 21-point effort in Drake’s victory over Wichita State in the First Four and 26 points with six made 3s in its season-ending defeat to USC. The 6-foot, 180-pound guard out of Bolingbrook, Ill., has three seasons of collegiate eligibility remaining.

Yesufu’s late surge last season earned him recognition as the Missouri Valley Conference’s sixth man of the year.

“Joseph is an explosive, dynamic scoring guard that will allow us to play an up-tempo, aggressive style on both ends of the floor,” Self said in a news release. “He ended last season playing at a high level, including winning an NCAA Tournament game and propelling Drake to a great season.”

A 6-9, 240-pound forward, Martin starred at Missouri Southern under the guidance of head coach and former Jayhawk standout Jeff Boschee. A two-time NCAA Division II All-American, Martin last season led the MIAA in scoring (25 points per game) and finished second in rebounding (9.1 per game), shooting 58% from the floor and 45% from 3-point range on 110 attempts.

The Yukon, Okla., native, who played at Jacksonville State as a freshman, set a Missouri Southern single-game record with 54 points scored versus Missouri Western on Feb. 22, 2020. He also scorched Washburn for 46 points with nine made 3s during an NCAA Tournament Division II opening-round matchup on March 16, 2019.

A fifth-year senior, Martin has one remaining year of collegiate eligibility.

“Cam is going to bring a lot of versatility to our frontcourt, allowing us to play with space and size,” Self said. “Jeff Boschee runs a solid program at Missouri Southern and knows exactly what it takes to play at this level. We’re very excited that Cam is coming to Kansas and look forward to the positive impact he will have on this team.”

Sydney Curry, the Jayhawks’ third signee from Wednesday, comes to KU from the junior college ranks.

The 6-8, 260-pound forward, who currently plays at John A. Logan College in Carterville, Ill., has averaged 13.1 points on 68.8% shooting and 8.2 rebounds through 19 games this season, which is set to conclude at the NJCAA National Tournament on April 19-24 in Hutchinson. A native of Fort Wayne, Ind., Curry shot 74% from the floor in 2019-20, averaging 13.5 points and 8.3 rebounds en route to being named the Great Rivers Athletic Conference’s freshman of the year.

Curry will have two years of eligibility remaining upon his arrival at KU.

“Sydney is going to bring size, strength and athleticism to our frontcourt, giving us another rim protector,” Self said. “He’s a big man that can play above the rim and has shown the ability to have a big presence inside. Sydney has been developed very well while at Logan and is making a big impact as they continue to play in the upcoming JUCO national tournament.”

With the pledges of Yesufu, Martin and Curry now official, KU will turn its attention to Bobby Pettiford — the three-star guard out of Durham, N.C., is expected to sign his national letter of intent on Friday. The Jayhawks are also still looking to make other additions, with four-star guard TyTy Washington and Creighton transfer forward Christian Bishop the team’s most notable targets at the moment.