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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Recruiting heats up for 2018 hoops prospects

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

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Kansas coach Bill Self, along with dozens of other big time Division I basketball coaches, spent some time in Fort Worth, Texas, over the weekend, evaluating talent at the adidas Gauntlet.

The main attractions for most coaches, including Self, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Indiana’s Archie Miller, South Carolina’s Frank Martin and assistants from Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina and more, were Zion Williamson and Romeo Langford, two of the top three players in the 2018 recruiting class according to Rivals.com.

Those two players faced off Friday night and, according to Rivals recruiting analyst Eric Bossi, drew a crowd that lined up outside of the arena more than 90 minutes before tip-off.

Kansas is and has been on the list of both players, but landing either will not be easy.

Shortly after the Friday showdown, Langford, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound, 5-star shooting guard from New Albany, Ind., shared some of his thought process with Bossi.

"The first thing I look at when it comes to the schools is the education aspect,” Langford said. “Then I look at if I can trust them and if my family can trust them and how they will treat me.”

Williamson, a 6-6, 230-pound, 5-star small forward from Spartanburg, S.C., called Friday’s atmosphere “second to none” and added that he always enjoyed playing against one of his “good friends.”

As for the recruiting road ahead, which has been ongoing for a while but only figures to heat up in the coming months, Williamson told Bossi he did not mind the constant spotlight.

“When I was young, I was told this was going to come with the life I chose,” he said. “So I'm just enjoying the process.”

Other notable names who participated at the adidas Gauntlet event include 5-star combo guard Quentin Grimes, 5-star point guard Immanuel Quickley, 4-star point guard David Duke and others.

Self's assistants also had a busy week last week, traveling all over the country to meet with 2018 prospects.

KU cracks final 5

Kansas was one of five schools to make the cut for Class of 2018 point guard Brandon Williams, who announced on Twitter on Saturday night that he had narrowed his list to Arizona, Gonzaga, KU, UCLA and USC.

Williams, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound, 4-star junior from Crespi High in Encino, Calif., is ranked No. 40 in his class in the Rivals150 and No. 16 according to ESPN.

Allen to Nebraska

Brewster Academy guard Thomas Allen, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound guard who recently asked out of his commitment to North Carolina State after a coaching change, announced via Twitter this weekend that he had committed to Nebraska.

The one-time KU target who came from the same prep school as Jayhawks Thomas Robinson, Naadir Tharpe and Devonte’ Graham told the Lincoln Journal Star that he was hoping to make an immediate impact next season and Brewster Academy coach Jason Smith said that put Nebraska in a great position during Allen’s recruitment.

"The deciding factor for Thomas is an opportunity to earn playing time very early in his career,” Smith told the Lincoln Journal Star. “Nebraska as well as other schools that were recruiting him were recruiting him based on his elite-level shooting. I think it was Nebraska who definitely came into the picture for a need for perimeter shooting on their team.”

Comments

Robert Brock 5 months, 3 weeks ago

The Hawks are still in need of immediate help on the low block and a back-up point guard.

Jonathan Allison 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Interesting OAD story for UK fans:

http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/19228161/hamidou-diallo-kentucky-wildcats-declares-nba-draft-agent

Hamidou Diallo graduated HS last year and went to prep school in the fall. He signed with Kentucky in January and joined the team for second semester. He was eligible to play, but did not enter a game. Now he has declared for the NBA draft and could leave after one semester of college and never playing a single game.

Kentucky fans freaking out:

https://kentucky.forums.rivals.com/threads/diallo-entering-draft-not-hiring-agent.234290/

Benny Armstrong 5 months, 3 weeks ago

This is pretty amusing to scroll through and read their comments. I was down in Lexington earlier this spring and heard similar sentiment from fans about the reliance on one and dones. A lot of them love all the winning Cal has brought (especially compared to what was going on before he arrived), but are getting tired of the crap shoot it has become each year as he assembles an entirely new starting five. Yes, they've won a title and made final fours, but largely flamed out early compared to their fans expectations, not to mention the disaster that was their loss in the NIT.

Such is the deal they made in bringing the devil to Kentucky...

Suzi Marshall 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Geezzzzz...I would absolutely HATE to have a program like the one at UK. I'm all for any student leaving school early should a great job open up in their field but when ALL of them do it, the fans there never get know their players.

I thought Newman might end up doing something like but he's remain true to his word.

The way Self does it, intentional or not, seems to be the best combination.

Harlan Hobbs 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Agree completely, Benny. There is something to be said for continuity and identity. The UK fans love having the #1 recruiting class just about every year, but when very few of them stay more than one year, they basically become a "rent a player" program.

Bill Self and his staff have done as good a job as anyone of mixing up the approach. We have had our "one and dones" but we also have had our long term success stories like Frank Mason, Perry Ellis, Travis Releford, Tyshawn Taylor, Jacque Vaughn, Raef LaFrentz, Wayne Simien, Keith Langford, Nick Collison, Kirk Heinrich, etc., etc., etc., not to mention many who gave us three years before moving on.

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Still no word from Trevon Duval? I thought he was going to pick a school in April.

John Boyle 5 months, 3 weeks ago

“When I was young, I was told this was going to come with the life I chose,” he said. “So I'm just enjoying the process.” -Williamson, a 6-6, 230-pound, 5-star small forward from Spartanburg, S.C.

Like he is sooo old now. Maybe he meant when he was younger. He is still young.

Alan Dickey 5 months, 3 weeks ago

We just landed Cal. transfer Charlie Moore for 2018-19 on.

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