National champion Christian Braun will not return to Lawrence for his senior season, with the All-Big 12 second-team honoree officially announcing Tuesday night that he will stay in this year’s NBA draft.
In 2021-22 Braun started 39 of KU’s 40 games, averaging 14.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per contest. He also scored 12 points in the national title game and was named to the Midwest Region All-Tournament team.
When the Burlington, Kansas native originally declared in late April, Kansas coach Bill Self said in a statement: ““We all believe Christian is a first-round talent … We think he has a shot to go high in the draft and we are very hopeful that he does.”
Braun is one of two Jayhawks from last season who had declared for the draft but maintained their collegiate eligibility, the other one being sophomore forward Jalen Wilson. Kevin McCullar, who announced he’s transferring from Texas Tech to KU if he returns to school, is also testing the draft process.
Players have until June 1 to declare whether or not they will return to college or stay in the draft. The draft will be held on June 23.
Braun is also officially the sixth scholarship player from last year’s championship team that is leaving the program this year. Remy Martin, Mitch Lightfoot and Jalen Coleman-Lands all exhausted their eligibility, while Braun, Ochai Agbaji and David McCormack declared for the draft.
For now, the Jayhawks’ 2022-23 scholarship limit is fully spoken for, with Braun’s departure opening up space for McCullar.