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Monday, August 1, 2016

KU lands commitment from 4-star Dallas guard Marcus Garrett

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

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Kansas basketball’s 2017 recruiting class is well positioned to land at least a couple of top-tier, elite prospects.

But it officially will be remembered as the class that began with four-star Dallas guard Marcus Garrett.

The 6-foot-5, 180-pound versatile guard from Dallas’ Skyline High committed to the Jayhawks on Monday night, announcing his decision on Twitter, making him the first player in the class to orally commit to KU.

"After long talks with my friends and family, I have decided that I will further my education and basketball career at the University of Kansas #RockChalkJayhawks," Garrett wrote on Twitter.

Ranked 44th in the nation by Rivals.com, Garrett is a modern-day guard who can both handle the point, play off of the ball and fit into multiple styles and positions.

According to the Dallas Morning News, he averaged 17.7 points, 10.1 assists and 7.0 rebounds per game last year, leading Skyline to a 32-3 record.

His uncle and summer coach, Matthew Watts, told Eric Bossi, of Rivals.com that KU’s strong pursuit and status as “a blue blood” was enough to inspire Garrett to end his recruitment early.

“Coach Self told us that he is going to use him in the three-guard rotations,” Watts told Bossi. “He always has three guards on the floor and he fits. The best thing about about Marcus is the way he defends and he can guard the one the two and three. He will have an opportunity to come in and compete as a freshman.”

At the recent Final Chapter showcase in Las Vegas, Garrett and Dallas-based Swaghouse got the chance to match-up against another elite guard in the Class of 2017, Troy Brown of the Las Vegas Prospects. Although Garrett's team was overmatched, Garrett more than held his own in the showdown with Brown, a five-star, 6-6 guard whom KU also has been pursuing. According to Bossi, who was in attendance, Garrett flashed his all-around game on the big stage.

"He’s a legitimate point guard with tremendous size and strength to ward off defenders when he attacks the lane," Bossi wrote. "He got to the rim pretty much whenever he wanted to, drew fouls and also mixed in some deep jumpers. But what stands out most is his high basketball IQ and feel for the game."

This was not the first time Bossi had praised Garrett. After the Pangos All-American camp in California in early June, Bossi noted Garrett's decision to stick with his longtime summer team, Swaghouse, instead of jumping ship.

"He's proof that you don't have to play for a big name shoe team or attend a nationally known high school to make big waves," Bossi wrote.

With Kansas expected to lose senior Frank Mason and freshman Josh Jackson off of the 2016-17 squad — and possibly juniors Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, as well — Garrett would join Mississippi State transfer Malik Newman, who will sit out this season, as two new pieces in KU’s backcourt heading into the 2017-18 season.

Garrett chose Kansas over offers from Baylor, Connecticut, Iowa State, K-State, Oklahoma State and Texas, among others.

Comments

Steve Macy 1 year, 4 months ago

A welcome signing, possibly losing a lot of backcourt after this year. Coach Self is working the recruiting trail.

John Randall 1 year, 4 months ago

There can be many pitfalls between an announcement and a signing. Even the offer may be qualified this early in the process. Coach Self is about as straight a shooter as you can find, and the comments from high school and summer coaches sound like M.Garrett doesn't act fast and loose with his commitments, either. Size and versatility are wonderful to have on the perimeter, for sure.

Aaron Paisley 1 year, 4 months ago

If the offer was a conditional offer, Garrett would not have already committed.

Steve Macy 1 year, 4 months ago

If it was a football recruit, I would agree.

Jason Spangler 1 year, 4 months ago

Sounds like a good kid but 44th in the nation? Offer list is weak. Let's hope this is a solid bench player for the future.

Aaron Paisley 1 year, 4 months ago

Not like KU has ever had guys ranked that low become stars in the past, or currently.

Marius Rowlanski 1 year, 4 months ago

And the real truth is that being ranked 44th in the nation ISN'T a low ranking as Jason seems to think. That number also includes foreign players who come over to the US to play high school basketball.

Ron Sterling 1 year, 4 months ago

UConn, Oregon, and Texas may not be a murderer's row of blue bloods, but those aren't exactly mid-majors either. And Garrett will actually be he highest ranked PG (depending on how you count Frankamp) Self has signed out of HS since Josh Selby, fwiw.

Jay Scott 1 year, 4 months ago

Jason. Coach Self isn't really that interested in a top 10 ranked PG. Why? Because they don't stay long enough to learn the system. He's rather have a 44th ranked player starting as a junior and senior.

When you're the HC and on your way to 1,000 wins and the Hall of Fame, you can do it your way.

Glen Miller 1 year, 4 months ago

I'm with Jay on this one. Besides...... Mason and Graham were outside the top 100. I think we'd all agree that those two pick ups weren't too shabby.

Aaron Paisley 1 year, 4 months ago

KU has also had quite a few lower rated PG's flop out of the program under Self. Relying on lower rated PG's is not a great strategy because then you end up with Elijah Johnson running point when those guys don't develop as expected.

Marius Rowlanski 1 year, 4 months ago

Graham's final rankings were 36th:

https://n.rivals.com/content/prospects/9850

Mason' s were 76th:

https://n.rivals.com/content/prospects/29164

I know Mason was at one time somewhere in the low 100s, not sure about Graham but as I said above, they moved up to 36th.

Either way, your point is well taken. Self can see if a player has the potential to develop into his system. Morningstar and Reed were both in the low 100s. Tyshawn Taylor was ranked 77th.

Brian Mellor 1 year, 4 months ago

I seem to recall that both Graham and Mason had significant bumps in their rankings after receiving offers from Kansas.

Aaron Paisley 1 year, 4 months ago

Self does go after top 10 PG's and would sign them in a heartbeat if he could. KU has offers out to Trevon Duval, Collin Sexton, Trae Young, Quade Green, and Paul Scruggs who are the top 5 uncommitted PG's in 2017. The year KU signed Mason, KU missed out on at least 8 other PG's. Bill Self goes after top ranked PG's, he just hasn't closed the deal on one since Selby.

Jay Scott 1 year, 4 months ago

Those offers come with the candor that they may not start or even see major minutes as frosh. Given that most of them plan to be Steph Curry 24 months from now....that's why Coach Self hasn't signed those PG's. He's fine with that I suspect.

Aaron Paisley 1 year, 4 months ago

Yet Self still targets and recruits those players pretty hard so he's still clearly trying to land those players even knowing they will likely only be at KU for a year or two.

Jay Scott 1 year, 4 months ago

....or that they won't come at all without a promise to start....and $$...and Drake tickets...

Glen Miller 1 year, 4 months ago

You're missing the point and being ranked 44 out of literally tens of thousands of high school players is hardly what I would consider a bummer. He could end up higher or lower, considering that there is still a full season of high school ball to play. Only 10 players a year get to be in the top 10 and usually only 1 or 2 point guards are in there. Calm down there....

Aaron Paisley 1 year, 4 months ago

If the point is Bill Self prefers lower ranked PG's over higher ranked PG's (it is by the way), then I'm not missing the point and that point is a complete load of crap. Going back to Mason, The only reason Bill Self signed Mason is because Self struck out on Kasey Hill, Tyler Ennis, Rysheed Jordan, Demetrius Jackson, Roddy Peters, Bronson Koenig, and withdrew the offer to Cat Barber after his incident on his recruiting trip to Louisville. If Cat Barber doesn't steal a cell phone on his Louisville trip, there's a very good chance he ends up KU and Frank Mason goes elsewhere.

Why did Bill Self offer all of those other players if he didn't want them? Mason and Graham have been pleasant surprises, but to say that Bill Self prefers those players over highly ranked players is just a complete load of crap. If Kasey Hill had said yes to KU instead of Florida, Frank Mason never steps foot in Lawrence except maybe as an opponent.

This year, if you give Bill Self the choice between Sexton and Garrett and could only have one, Self's taking Sexton every time because Sexton is currently viewed as the better player. Coaches who willingly settle for lower ranked players when higher rated ones are a possibility don't stay coaches for long because lower rated players = lower talent levels over the long haul.

For every Frank Mason and Devonte Graham, there has been a Naadir Tharpe and Rio Adams. The 2008 team had three 5 star players who ran point for that team, so did Bill Self suddenly decide to not recruit 5 star PG's like Robinson, Chalmers, and Collins anymore or did those guys quit coming to KU? It's pretty obvious the answer is they quit coming to KU and not that Bill Self quit recruiting them.

Relying on signing lower rated guys is how you end up with EJ running point because lower rated guys don't always pan out.

Jay Scott 1 year, 4 months ago

What was EJ rated?

I'll help you. He was the #4 rated PG nationally. Yes he was always a PG. He was projected as a Baron Davis or Chauncey Billups. Goes to show ya that highly recruited PGs don't always work either...

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 4 months ago

Aaron, you are on your game with this post.

Marius Rowlanski 1 year, 4 months ago

Kansas and Self have thrived on players ranked a lot lower than 44th. Plus, he will have a lot of time to move up in the rankings and he could possibly add another inch or two.

Despite Jason's skepticism, a really good start to 2017

Humpy Helsel 1 year, 4 months ago

Have we had point guard with that type of length since Tyshawn? Who am I not thinking of?

Ben Berglund 1 year, 4 months ago

No. Even Ty is only 6'3". But for true PGs since then, it's been Johnson (not really a true PG, but kinda forced into the role), Tharpe, Mason & Graham. I think he'll actually be the biggest PG since Heinrich (and is still an inch longer), considering it was Hawkins and Mario after that.

Jay Scott 1 year, 4 months ago

EJ was PG. He was used as a combo guard but was recruited as projected to the NBA as a PG

Ron Sterling 1 year, 4 months ago

Love seeing Self do the work early. Great start to the class.

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 4 months ago

Great news. We need to sign some guys that will be around at least 3 years. With Garrett's nice size and reported high IQ, he will develop quickly at Kansas. Although there will be plenty of PT his freshman year, Graham will probably return for his senior year to be paired with Newman and Vick as the starting guards. However, all three of those guys will be gone for Garrett's sophomore year so I hope he develops a lot during his freshman year.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 4 months ago

Could be lots of room for other commits, and several highly regarded guards in particular. Nothing's guaranteed, but he should definitely have an opportunity to compete for PT.

Ron Sterling 1 year, 4 months ago

I wouldn't count on Graham sticking around. He's already shown up in some draft projects for 2017 as a late first rounder, and would likely only need to see modest improvement this season to solidify that position. However, even if that projection doesn't hold, you have to consider his age. Since he delayed entry into college, he's going to be as old as most seniors, and if there's anything the NBA draft hates, it's age. He may decide that his best shot is to roll the dice, and he'd probably be right.

In fact, I hope Graham does call it a career at KU after this season: taking the best back court in the country to a national title, of course.

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 4 months ago

I wish the NCAA would allow those guys back to play college ball if they don't like their draft status. All of us are allowed to remain in college if we don't have a good job interview before graduation.

Jay Scott 1 year, 4 months ago

Or until they sign, like that same NCAA does with NHL draftees.

Marius Rowlanski 1 year, 4 months ago

Suzi, you see Vick leaving after his junior season? I think Vick will be here for Garrett's second. season.

Mallory Briggans 1 year, 4 months ago

we cant make to much about the fact that Garrett is ranked 44th.......Where was MASON GRAHAM and LUCAS ranked .....not very high ....and all 3 are productive starters....before we relagate him as a bench player lets see what he has to offer......NEWMAN was at one time in the top 5 but had a lackluster freshman season so rankings are sometimes not a true gauge of a players potential...

Dirk Medema 1 year, 4 months ago

"But it officially will be remembered as the class that began with four-star Dallas guard Marcus Garrett."

Who was the first person to sign the year Wiggins was the last? Guessing that last year's class will be remembered as Jackson's class too - no offense Mitch. Garrett may be the first, and a quality players down the road as well, but my guess is he won't the focal point even in a few months.

Jay Scott 1 year, 4 months ago

ESPN has him unranked, like they did with Joel Embiid......

David Hall 1 year, 4 months ago

The reason why he wanted to get this over with early it's because he wanted to focus on his last year of high school

Harlan Hobbs 1 year, 4 months ago

Like Jay, I will take Coach Self's analysis over ESPN's any day. Also, your comment about the "longevity" of PG's who aren't just "one and done" is right on the mark. Has worked well in the past with guys like Russell Robinson, Mario Chalmers, Sherron Collins, Tyshawn Taylor, Frank Mason, and Devonte Graham. Once they learn the system, they become invaluable. Likewise, when they can play multiple positions, they are mainstays of the program.

Harlan Hobbs 1 year, 4 months ago

Of course, Selby was a "bust", so I would imagine that Coach Self may want a "mulligan" on that one.

It seems to me that the PG position involves a number of variables. The best ones have the character and leadership skills in addition to the physical skills. Coach Self has said that Sherron Collins was one of the toughest kids he has ever coached, and I would bet that he feels similarly about Frank Mason and Devonte Graham.

Sometimes, the so called intangibles mean as much or more than the physical skills. There certainly is something to be said for the player who relishes having the ball in his hands at crunch time, and I think that this year's team will have several of them.

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