Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk; wow, what a mouthful. By his name alone, you can probably tell that he is a foreign player coming to the US to showcase his basketball skills at the highest level possible.
Sviatoslav was born in Cherkasy, Ukraine and is considered by many to be one of the best European prospects in years. By the start of the Jayhawks season next year, Mykhailiuk will be just 17-years of age.
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is a 6’8″ shooting guard, which is much bigger than average. To put his height into perspective, the average college shooting guard is around 6’4″ to 6’5″, which means Mykhailiuk will be guarded by much shorter players the majority of the time.
His height also gives him the advantage on the defensive end as well. His length will give Bill Self the opportunity to match him up with almost any player on the floor.
Sviatoslav is not just a big body. He is a tremendous athlete who can finish with power and can get to the rim with amazing quickness and ease. Handling the ball and running the offense isn’t a problem either.
For his professional Ukrainian team (Cherkaski Mavpy), Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk consistently showed scouts that he has no problem bringing up the ball and calling plays for the offense.
His shooting ability isn’t too shabby either; He has a beautiful shooting stroke that can catch fire at times. He has that international shooting touch that many international NBA players seem to have.
Players such as Manu Ginobili, Dirk Nowitzki, and Jose Calderon are all perfect examples of this. Sviatoslav can shoot off the dribble, spotting up, and most importantly, he has the ability to hit off-balance shots with relative ease like all of these players.
For only being 16-years old, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk has a ridiculous basketball IQ. He doesn’t force shots, and when he gets into a shooting slump, he will attack the basket and attempt to get to the free throw line instead of forcing unnecessary shots.
He was double-teamed in the majority of his games last year, and never seemed to lose his composure, and always is attempting to find the open man.
As for fitting into Bill Self’s offense; how could he not fit in? In all honesty, he could play any position other than center. He is extremely versatile, and also ran the pick-and-roll offense regularly in Ukraine, which is Bill’s main offense.
Being such a good talent, his biggest weakness could be his lack of growth potential. Being so polished, and skilled now, him getting much better is frankly hard to believe.
With this in mind, Kansas fans should be extremely excited for Mykhailiuk’s arrival. Maybe not as much as last year for superstar Andrew Wiggins, but they should be ready for another future Kansas-NBAer in Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk. Jeez, try saying that five times fast.
Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.