Billy Preston Signs Overseas, Won’t Play at Kansas

Photo via Arcamax

The Billy Preston saga at Kansas is over. News came this morning that Preston has signed with BC Ikogea, part of the Bosnian Professional League. With the signing, it officially means that Preston will never play a minute for the Jayhawks this season. Preston had been sidelined all year due to questions surrounding a car accident he was in back in the Fall. Bill Self continually said he expected the issue to be cleared, but now it appears it won’t even matter.

For Kansas, it is a bit of unfortunate news for a team that was expecting to get some added fire power to their front court. In Self’s eyes, it wasn’t a matter of if, but a matter of when he will play. Preston was expected to be a major piece to Bill Self’s concoction in Lawrence this year. Getting him back in the middle of the season could have given this team an added boost down the stretch. Instead it looks like the Jayhawks are moving on with the team they have.

While this news certainly doesn’t help the depth issue that Kansas has, it isn’t a crushing blow to their title hopes either. Preston was a McDonald’s All-American recruit noted for his offensive abilities. He was somewhat ball dominant however, and his defense would have been a work in progress, at least to reach Self’s standards. Instead Kansas will move forward with Udoka Azubuike, Mitch Lightfoot and Silvio De Sousa up front.

We know Billy is an NBA prospect so we will do our best to continue his development to help him excel for our club and fulfill his goal which is to be an NBA star in the near future.”

For Preston, the decision was made in an attempt to best ready himself for an NBA career. Being a highly touted high school prospect, he was expected to be a one-and-done at Kansas before declaring for the NBA Draft. Sitting on the bench at Kansas wasn’t helping his draft stock. Per the Kansas City Star, the BC Ikogea reached out to Preston after tracking his situation, and the team is committed to helping his development. NBADraft.net has Preston as the 59th best draft prospect in this Summer’s draft.

The news doesn’t make or break KU’s season, but you have to imagine Bill Self and his staff are not happy with how this played out. Being questioned constantly from the media about the issue, Self did believe a decision was coming soon. It is a bit surprising that the NCAA could not come up with a resolution to a case that seemed so small back in November when it occurred. Regardless, both Kansas and Preston have their priorities. One is looking to win the Big 12 and a National Championship, the other is looking to jump start his professional career.

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