Lifelong Kansas University basketball fan Mitch Lightfoot is officially a member of the Jayhawk basketball program. The 6-foot-8, 210-pound senior from Gilbert (Arizona) Christian High, on Thursday signed his national letter-of-intent with KU.
“Mitch is one of those guys at 6-8 that can play the power forward position and maybe even a little small forward in time,” KU coach Bill Self said of the player, who averaged 17.9 points and 9.9 rebounds a game his junior season. “He gives us great versatility and is a guy that knows how to play with other good players. He will develop himself into one of the premier players in our program.
“He grew up loving the Jayhawks before moving out to Arizona,” Self added of Rivals.com’s No. 117th-rated player who moved to Arizona from Kansas City when he was 6. “Norm (Roberts) was the point man in Mitch’s recruitment and did a great job with his family. After we got to know his immediate family and his extended family, it became very apparent he was a great fit. Everyone knew after visiting with him and his family that he was a top priority.”
Self said he’d like to sign four players this recruiting year.
“We have to sign some size,” Self said. “Losing Hunter (Mickelson), Jamari (Traylor) and Perry (Ellis) and then with a great chance of someone else will probably leave early, we’re probably looking at replacing four of our top big guys up front. Even though our backcourt are underclassmen, we anticipate that at least one of those guys will have the opportunity to maybe move on to the next level after the completion of this season.”
Of his signing, Lightfoot said: “It’s a thrill to fulfill my dreams and now start new ones.”
Recruiting: Thon Maker, a 7-foot senior center from Orangeville Prep in Mono, Ontario, will attend tonight’s KU-Northern Colorado game on an unofficial visit, Jayhawkslant.com reports. Maker is also considering Kentucky, Indiana, Notre Dame, Arizona State and St. John’s. Maker, who was born in Sudan and grew up in Australia, has said he will announce in April. He’s not currently ranked because he was originally in the Class of 2015 ... De’Aaron Fox, a 6-3 guard from Katy, Texas, on Thursday chose Kentucky over KU, Louisville and LSU.