Forty-something Bill Self doesn't always understand how young minds work.
"I've never experienced a guy who started on an Elite Eight team that thought the grass was greener elsewhere, but everybody's entitled to their own opinions -- what they think is best for them," Self said Thursday after 6-foot-11 freshman center David Padgett pulled a head-scratching move.
Padgett's pick puzzling (KU Sports)
"He didn't seem like anything was wrong then," said Moody, a 6-7 walk-on who could figure more into the Jayhawks' front-line plans now. "It's a huge shock for me, but you have to wish him well because we're all looking forward to next year."
"We'll be fine," said junior guard Michael Lee. "The way I feel is everybody we've got now is enough to get it done. We have some great additions coming in. We're not going to view this as an excuse and say, 'Oh, man,' and cry about it. We just have to keep going forward."
Although Padgett started 19 games this past season for a team that came within an overtime loss to Georgia Tech of going to the Final Four and has every reason to expect to go that far next year, the 6-foot-11, 230-pounder decided he wanted out. Padgett leaves a team loaded with four returning starters, including All-Big 12 power forward Wayne Simien, and a quality incoming class of three freshmen.
But while Wilkes and Niang left in search of more playing time, that wasn't Padgett's issue. While averaging 6.5 points and 4.5 rebounds, Padgett only saw his minutes curtailed by a foot injury in January and foul problems. Padgett apparently thought he wasn't getting enough perimeter opportunities at KU, even though Self's high-low offense stresses just that and would have given him more outside shots next season.
Padgett tells KU he is leaving (Wichita Eagle)
"As far as I know, the subject of where he might transfer to was not brought up during our conversation with him today," Kansas sports information director Mitch Germann said Thursday.
Padgett leaving Kansas (Raleigh N&O)
Some of Padgett's teammates, however, believe that he may be headed for North Carolina to rejoin former KU coach Roy Williams. Asked his thoughts of Padgett potentially becoming a Tar Heel, Self said: "That would be very disappointing, but David gave me no indication that that was the case."
Freshman's move stuns Jayhawks (Kansas City Star)
Padgett hasn't said where he would play next year. "I'd say North Carolina is a possibility," Vinson said, "just because coach Williams loved him so much. It doesn't necessarily mean he's thinking about going there."
Transfer shocks KU players (KU Sports)
Under NCAA rules, a transfer can receive a scholarship his initial year at his new school only if he gets official permission from the school he left. If he does wind up with Williams at North Carolina, Kansas fans who are already angry with with their former coach for leaving are certain to be furious.
Kansas coach says Padgett will transfer (Reno Gazette-Journal)