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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Jayhawks remain in good position with 2017 No. 1 overall prospect DeAndre Ayton

Team EZ Pass’ DeAndre Ayton shoots a free throw against Team Doo Be Doo in the Under Armour Elite 24 game in this photo from August 22, 2015, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Ayton, ranked No. 1 in the Class of 2017, is being recruited only by Kansas University — so far.

Team EZ Pass’ DeAndre Ayton shoots a free throw against Team Doo Be Doo in the Under Armour Elite 24 game in this photo from August 22, 2015, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Ayton, ranked No. 1 in the Class of 2017, is being recruited only by Kansas University — so far.

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There’s still a long way to go in the pursuit of 7-foot center DeAndre Ayton, Rivals.com’s top-ranked prospect in the class of 2017, but Bill Self’s Jayhawks certainly seem to be in a good position.

As has been reported, Kansas has been recruiting the Bahamas native longer than any other program and he already has spent some time in Lawrence and had a chance to develop a bond with the coaching staff.

“I firmly believe that Kansas, at least at this stage, is the team to beat for the elite big man,” wrote JayhawkSlant.com’s Shay Wildeboor this week. “There's absolutely no doubt that Kansas has invested the most time recruiting Ayton (and) Kansas, long ago, made it clear that he was a priority in the 2017 class.”

According to his official profile page on the Rivals network, Ayton only has four offers at this point — KU, Kentucky, Arizona and Arizona State. A big reason for that is the fact that many believed the likelihood of him heading to college at all was small, but the five-star Hillcrest Academy (Phoenix) standout cleared that up earlier this summer by saying, “They think I’m not going to college, but I have to go to college. My mom wants me to go to college and that’s what I’m looking for.”

Since then, KU, UK and Arizona have remained at the top of Ayton’s list, with several other schools trying to get into the mix. KU’s loyalty and persistence appear to be paying off, though.

In his recent update, Wildeboor said he expected Ayton to make an official visit to Kansas at some point during his recruitment and deems KU, Kentucky and Arizona as the front-runners.

“Kansas has been there since ninth grade,” Ayton told FloHoops.com in late July. “They show me a lot of love, sending me letters and stuff like that. They have been coming to every game since I was in ninth grade, and that's big, man. I want to see the full experience at Kansas. I saw their weight room and stuff like that, but I want to see the whole campus.”

Reports have varied about when a decision might come. Some have said that Ayton will decide this fall — the early signing period runs from Nov. 9-16 — and Wildeboor said he’s not expecting an early decision.

Either way, Wildeboor feels strongly about KU’s solid position with the Bahamas big man.

“I'm not saying that DeAndre Ayton to Kansas is a done deal,” he wrote. “(But) I believe that saying no to Kansas will be difficult for Ayton.”

Chaundee Brown sets visits

Four-star Class of 2017 shooting guard Chaundee Brown, 6-5, 190 from Orlando, recently told Shay Wildeboor of JayhawkSlant.com that he will visit the KU campus the weekend of Sept. 2. Brown, ranked No. 64 in the class according to Rivals.com, is the third member of the 2017 class to announce an official visit with Kansas, joining four-star commitment Marcus Garrett (Sept. 30) and five-star point guard Troy Brown (Sept. 30).

KU also is expected to receive visits from several others on the Rivals150 list, including DeAndre Ayton (C, No. 1), Trevon Duval (PG, No. 5), Collin Sexton (PG, No. 12), Trae Young (PG, No. 14), Quade Green (PG, No. 25), Tremont Waters (PG, No. 39), Deng Gak (PF, No. 78), Jericho Sims (PF, No. 146) and others.

Gordon trims to 11

Late Thursday, Kansas learned it made the cut for Carte’Are Gordon, a 6-8, 240-pound four-star power forward in the Class of 2018 who recently announced on Twitter that he had trimmed his list of finalists to 11.

The four-star prospect from Webster Groves, Mo., outside of St. Louis, posted to Twitter a photo of himself surrounded by the logos of the 11 finalists. Joining KU on the list were, in no particular order: Notre Dame, Missouri, Texas, Illinois, Oklahoma State, SMU, St. John’s, St. Louis, Kentucky and USC.

Comments

Suzi Marshall 3 years, 6 months ago

I'll bet all my 401K that Self is going all out for this recruiting class ignored to have a National Championship competitive team to help get back to San Antonio to defend our NC at the Alamo Dome in 2018.

It would be a spectacular turn about if Self could land Ayton in the early signing period. Given the likely list of guys leaving, whom we all know about, the prospects of having a starting lineup of 1. Newman, 2-3. Vick, 4. Ayton, 5. Azubuike should give an elite 2-3 like Troy Brown considerable dazzling prospects to consider. If we land Ayton and T. Brown, Self will be in great shape to defend in San Antonio, although we could really use an elite PG like one of Sexton/Duval/Young/Green. The guys we are currently expecting back will provide great depth along with the Garrett and the other 3 guys we sign.

Harlan Hobbs 3 years, 6 months ago

Cogent analysis, Suzi. I know you are confident and just kidding, as I am, but don't put your retirement at risk. I'm already drawing on mine, but then again, I'm so much older than you.

Gerry Butler 3 years, 6 months ago

Suzi, I as you believe or well my thinking is We are in good shape with DeAndre. I just have for no other reason, I have just got a gut feeling we are going to have a monsterious recruiting year. With the possibilities of what could be leaving. Here is what I feel would be huge. - -Does it mean we get these guys?- -Absolutely not, but boy fun to dream. wouldn't it be great? - -here they are Ayton,T Brown, C Brown, & Young would be awesome. Now in realit I think pretty good chance on 3-4 Ayton real good, C Brown, pretty good T brown 50/50 at best and Young ummmm probably not but don't hurt to dream. - -Still feel we gonna come out really strong.

Jay Scott 3 years, 6 months ago

Where are the Chicken Littles who insist that players who might be OAD are the sole reason Kansas hasn't won several more National Championships...

Edward Daub 3 years, 6 months ago

Jay , we meet once a week for a KFC Lunch Buffet...

Jay Scott 3 years, 6 months ago

With a licensed therapist in attendance hopefully....

Dirk Medema 3 years, 6 months ago

We appear primed for a massive roster turnover, so this recruiting class will need to be huge just to have a full roster. We're already one player short of a full load right? Kind of amazing to have the depth we've got without even having a full roster. Can you imagine what it would be like if the game hadn't passed by Coach Self {sarcasm}.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 6 months ago

2018? Let's be the defending NCAA champs for the 2017/18 season going for a back-to-back NCAA title. I think this team has a really solid chance of bringing another title to KU.

Harlan, I think you got me by 7 years from one of your past comments. I was born in AUG59.

Yonatan Negash 3 years, 6 months ago

There is no question Ayton ends up signing with KU.

John Randall 3 years, 6 months ago

There are nothing but questions until names appear on dotted lines.

Harlan Hobbs 3 years, 6 months ago

APR48 for me, so I guess I've got you by 11 years. However, thanks for the good sentiment.

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