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Monday, November 13, 2017

Five-star KU recruit Silvio De Sousa’s letter of intent arrives in Lawrence

Team Drive''s Silvio De Sousa #22 shoots a free throw against Team Clutch in the Under Armour Elite 24 game on Saturday, August 20, 2016 in Brooklyn, NY.

Team Drive''s Silvio De Sousa #22 shoots a free throw against Team Clutch in the Under Armour Elite 24 game on Saturday, August 20, 2016 in Brooklyn, NY.

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It remains to be seen if he will be eligible to play for the Kansas basketball program this season.

But there's no mistaking that 6-foot-9, 245-pound forward Silvio De Sousa, of IMG Academy by way of Angola, is a Jayhawk.

That fact became official Monday, when the Kansas basketball program announced it had received De Sousa's letter of intent. He joins Class of 2018 prospects Devon Dotson and David McCormack in signing with the Jayhawks during the early signing period, which runs through Wednesday.

Ranked No. 18 nationally by Rivals.com, De Sousa, it was revealed last week, is exploring the possibility of graduating from IMG in December and joining the Jayhawks in time for the second semester.

His guardian, Fenny Falmagne, told the Journal-World last week that they hoped to hear something from the NCAA by Tuesday. But whether he's cleared to come to KU this season or have to wait until next season, his addition will be big for the program.

"He has great size for a true four-type man," KU coach Bill Self said in a press release. "He's very explosive and at one time, a couple years ago, was rated a top-five player in his class. Not participating in the summer grass-roots stuff as much over the past year, his rankings have dropped a little bit, but we feel like he's a top-five talent."

Last season, De Sousa averaged 13 points and seven rebounds per game for IMG Academy and shot 61 percent from the floor. IMG went 28-2 and lost in the quarterfinals of the Dick's High School National Championship.

This past summer, De Sousa represented Angola in the FIBA AfroBasket 2017 in Tunis, Tunisia, where he led Angola with 17 points and 13 rebounds per game and shot 51 percent from the floor while leading his team to the quarterfinals.

Prior to his FIBA competition, De Sousa averaged 20.5 points and 8.2 rebounds for his AAU team, the Florida Vipers this past summer.

"Coach (Kurtis) Townsend has been the point man on recruiting Silvio," Self said. "He's a guy who can provide immediate help the first day he steps on campus. He plays hard and goes after the ball, which reminds me of Markieff (Morris) when he first got to Kansas. He's a guy who can give you points and rebounds early in his career and we feel he has the potential to become a good perimeter shooter."

De Sousa joins a long line of Jayhawks from Africa since 2014.

"It is kind of strange that we went through a period of time that we didn't recruit very many international guys," Self said. "And here of late, from Joel (Embiid) to Cheick (Diallo) to Udoka (Azubuike) and now to Silvio, we've gotten four players from the continent of Africa in the last five years."

Grimes to announce Wednesday

Five-star guard Quentin Grimes, 6-5, 180 pounds from The Woodlands, Texas, revealed on Twitter Monday that he would announce his college decision at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at a ceremony at his school open to the public.

Grimes, who is ranked No. 11 in the 2018 class, has been a top target of KU's for years and the Kansas coaching staff has stayed aggressive in its recruitment of him.

Both Texas coach Shaka Smart and Self made trips to see Grimes on Sunday night, and many recruiting analysts believe those two programs are his top choices.

The Crystal Ball predictions from 247Sports favor KU, 78 percent to 11 percent over Texas.

Garrett earns honor

Kansas freshman Marcus Garrett has been named the co-Big 12 Newcomer of the Week, the conference announced Monday.

Garrett was a surprise starter in his KU debut, and he recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in a 92-56 Kansas victory over Tennessee State last Friday. The Dallas guard was 4 of 6 from the field with two assists and two steals. His double-double was the first in a Jayhawk debut since the 2003-04 season.

Garrett shared the honor with Texas forward Mohamed Bamba. Oklahoma guard Trae Young was named the Big 12 Player of the Week.

Comments

Alan Dickey 1 week ago

Good article with good information. Minor correction: De Sousa is ranked no. 25 nationally by Rivals.com, rather than no. 18.

Andy Godwin 1 week ago

Although his learning curve regarding Self's system would be way behind, another big body for a run at the end of the year would be welcomed. When one gets into the NCAA tournament you match up with teams that play different styles. Having more fouls to give against bigger athletic teams could help somewhere along the run for a national championship.

Craig Carson 1 week ago

not exactly....Purdue had 2 big bodies to match KU' 1..they still won by 32 points. There are only a few teams in the entire NCAA that would have front courts that would give KU issues..match ups wont be the main concern, it'll be health and foul trouble of the 2 KU bigs..KU did great with only Lucas last year, Azibuike brings a lot that Lucas didnt and Preston already looks better than Bragg

Shannon Gustafson 1 week ago

There are no negatives to bringing in De Sousa early. Just because our interior talent is good now doesn't mean it can't be improved, and doesn't mean it will stay as it is all year (injury, suspension, slump, etc.).

Lets lay out how things could go if we bring him in early:

We are good as-is and don't need him: no problem, he'll just get a head start for next year which doesn't hurt this year's team and potentially greatly helps next year's team.

We are good as-is and don't need him but he's so dang good we can't keep him off the floor: no problem, if he's better than someone we have then we just boosted our team talent higher than anyone could have imagined.

We have an injury: we have him to fill in a spot so we've still got 3 bigs (or 2 bigs if we have 2 injuries).

One or more of the bigs don't meet preseason expectations (aka, they pull a Bragg and play well below their talent level): more reason to bring in some more talent to push them in practice and possibly give us valuable minutes on the floor.

We run into foul trouble in a critical game or two (or more): De Sousa gives us 5 more fouls the bigs can spread around and make sure the best bigs are available at the end of the game.

We have a big get in trouble for one reason or another and get suspended (see Bragg last year): We now still have 3 bigs remaining, not 2, and it keeps Lightfoot from being expected to play 20+ minutes at the 5 (which he's greatly undersized for).

John Fitzgerald 1 week ago

Matt,

What do you think are the more accurate recruit rankings? Rivals, 247Sports, or ESPN?

Matt Tait 1 week ago

Good question.

I've started going with 247 a lot more here lately because they have a composite ranking which takes all of the rankings out there (or at least several of the big ones) and combines them into one average ranking for each class.

I like that. I still go with Rivals from time to time because that's what so many people are most familiar with, but I'm incorporating that composite ranking more and more, too.

How does that sound? Think readers like you would prefer one or the other?

John Fitzgerald 1 week ago

From your explanation I think 247 makes the most sense and probably about as accurate as you can get. Thanks!

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 1 week ago

247 does sound better. Thanks for clarifying what the difference is. I know seaofblue (uk) always states that first also.

Dirk Medema 1 week ago

Salvio is from Angola by way of IMG not the other way around.

Dirk Medema 1 week ago

It would be really nice to get Grimes officially on board. Guessing Zion and Romeo will announce in the Spring after the annual end of season shuffle takes place. A great class regardless.

Matt Stone 1 week ago

Tyler Herro announces tmrw with a lean towards U.K. So that may eliminate U.K. from consideration. Think Grimes will pick KU but playing close to home at Texas must be tempting. Langford may be leaning to Indiana and most certainly will if Grimes comes here. Need 1 of those two for sure. Williamson may be worried about Lawson brothers to join KU. Don't see any other recruits joining after SG is picked up. RCJH!

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