KU Jayhawks’ Johnny Furphy ‘learning, getting feedback’ at NBA Combine in Chicago

Kansas Jayhawks guard Johnny Furphy made a positive impression on the first day of the 2024 NBA Draft Combine in Chicago.

The 6-foot-9 native of Melbourne, Australia made 12 straight 3-pointers during a stationary shooting drill, draining attempts from various spots beyond the arc.

Furphy, 19, is on a fact-finding mission at the week-long scouting event. He is eager to hear what NBA front-office types think about his overall game and how it might translate to the pros, if he elects to remain in the draft pool.

“At the moment, I’m going through this process — learning, getting feedback,” Furphy told a reporter Tuesday during NBA Combine media availability.

Furphy must exit the NBA Draft pool before May 29 if he wishes to return to KU for a sophomore season.

“I’m not leaning either way right now. No matter what, I’ll benefit from this process and enjoy it,” said Furphy, who is taking part in individual drills but not scrimmages at the Combine.

“I haven’t thought about a cutoff or picks, specifically,” Furphy noted of his possible placement in the draft. “I just want to see where I’m at compared to these guys and get feedback. I’ll benefit regardless.”

Furphy is considered a likely first-round pick in the draft, which is set for June 26-27 in New York. KU coach Bill Self said recently that he thinks Furphy is likely to turn pro because word is he’s likely to be taken in Round 1.

“There’s a few players that I’ve been keeping a keen eye on (while watching film of the NBA),” Furphy told NBA writer Mat Issa of Basketball Insiders. “The two guys I think I have the most in common with are Cam Johnson and Mikal Bridges (small forwards with the Brooklyn Nets).”

Furphy definitely seemed to be enjoying the experience in the Windy City. He attended the Chicago Cubs-Milwaukee Brewers baseball game Sunday at Wrigley Field, then went to the NBA Draft lottery show Sunday night in Chicago.

His measurements at the Combine: 6 feet, 7 1/2 inches without shoes; 6-8 wingspan; 8-8 1/2 standing reach.

“The last six months have been pretty crazy,” Furphy told reporters, as chronicled in a video by Cyro Asseo of Hoops Hype. “I haven’t really been able to comprehend a lot of the things. A lot of it has been flying by. A lot of things have been going into it, a lot of luck as well,” he added of his averaging 9.0 points (on 46.6% shooting; 35.2% from 3) and 4.9 rebounds his freshman season at KU and emerging as a possible first-round draft pick and one-and-done college player.

Asked what he’s focusing on as he prepares for the draft, Furphy said: “I think the first thing would be my body. I know I need to get bigger. It’s something I’ve been dealing with my whole life. If I improve on that it’ll take my game to a whole new level.”

Of his rapid progress, he told 247sports: “I wasn’t surprised, but I was pretty fortunate with how it worked out. It was a great situation to be in. Great program. Great coaches. It worked out so well for me. I joined the team so late (in summer) but still being able to have an impact.”

Furphy said a key this past season at KU was “staying confident, taking risks as well. Being ready when the opportunity comes. If there’s an opportunity, being able to take it. I think that worked out for me.”

He said he hopes NBA scouts notice his “rebounding. I think it’s a great way I can impact the game without the ball. I am pretty versatile, whatever the situation is.”