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Originally published June 12, 2019 at 02:00p.m., updated June 12, 2019 at 05:27p.m.

4-star wing forward Jalen Wilson signs with Kansas

New Kansas commitment Jalen Wilson, a 6-foot-8, 210-pound wing forward from Denton, Texas, poses in KU gear during his visit to Lawrence in late May of 2019. Wilson picked the Jayhawks over North Carolina and Michigan on Wednesday, June 12, 2019.

New Kansas commitment Jalen Wilson, a 6-foot-8, 210-pound wing forward from Denton, Texas, poses in KU gear during his visit to Lawrence in late May of 2019. Wilson picked the Jayhawks over North Carolina and Michigan on Wednesday, June 12, 2019.

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Michigan’s loss is Kansas’ gain.

Seconds after the clock struck 2 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, 4-star prep prospect Jalen Wilson announced on Twitter that he planned to play college basketball at KU.

Wilson, who announced his choice with an artistic representation of him wearing a KU uniform (No. 10) against a blue, red and yellow background, picked Kansas over finalists North Carolina and Michigan.

"I just picked them because I feel like there's a really big need for me (at KU)," Wilson told Evan Daniels of 247 Sports. "It's going to be a great team and a national contender. Top to bottom of their roster it's a really good team and I have a great relationship with the coaches. I'm excited."

The decision comes roughly one month after Wilson reopened his commitment following the granting of a release from Michigan, the program with which he had signed and later asked to leave when former Michigan coach John Beilein jumped to the NBA this offseason.

“That opened up the opportunity for us to try again and to get it right,” said Kansas coach Bill Self, noting that KU went after Wilson the first time around.

The 6-foot-8, 210-pound wing forward from Guyer High in Denton, Texas, had shown serious interest in KU before picking Michigan the first time around. And when the opportunity to get back in touch with the Jayhawks presented itself, Wilson jumped at the chance and never looked back.

“I’m very excited about Jalen’s commitment,” Self said in a news release. “He’s been a Kansas fan for the vast majority of his young life and is certainly a guy who is used to winning after being a part of a great high school program at John H. Guyer High School. He will bring great size, skill and versatility, playing both as a big and a small, but more importantly he’ll bring incredible toughness.”

Ranked No. 47 nationally by Rivals.com, Wilson becomes KU’s second-highest rated recruit in the 2019 class. Fellow 4-star wing Tristan Enaruna, who already is on campus, was ranked No. 44 by Rivals.com.

But because of his status as the top remaining prospect in this year’s Rivals150 to make a decision, along with his close ties to Top 5 prospect and best friend, R.J. Hampton, who nearly picked Kansas before choosing to play pro ball in New Zealand next season, Wilson brings arguably the biggest splash in KU’s 2019 recruiting class.

“Jalen is a big time prospect,” KUsports.com recruiting insider Matt Scott said Wednesday. “At 6-8, he has a great perimeter game and can attack opposing defenses in a number of different ways. His frame is terrific as is and will be even more impressive once (strength) Coach (Andrea) Hudy gets her hands on him. He can shoot it, finish through contract and has the ability to defend multiple positions. His versatility will allow Self to use him in a variety of ways on both ends of the court. And he can play in any lineup, whether Self decides to play big or small.”

Roughly 30 seconds after Wilson Tweeted out his decision, Hampton hopped on Twitter to support his friend with a Tweet that read, "I don’t care what nobody say!! I’m Rockin wit KU this year... Congrats boy."

KU’s 2019 class, which includes four 4-star prospects in Enaruna, Wilson, Christian Braun (No. 90) and Issac McBride (No. 103) is the first in the Self era to not include at least one Top 40 player in the Rivals.com rankings and ends a streak of six consecutive KU classes that included at least one prospect ranked in the Top 11.

The Jayhawks, who earlier this week signed Iowa grad transfer and 6-5 shooting guard Isaiah Moss, now have one scholarship remaining in the 2019 class.

Self told the Journal-World on Wednesday that he was not sure if he would fill the final spot or not, adding, “it would have to be a no-brainer to use it.”

None by jwill

Comments

Zeik Montellioso 4 months ago

You made the right choice Jalen. Welcome to the Crimson and Blue!

Stuart Corder 4 months ago

ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!!

Jalen Wilson brings a truly special versatility to an already uniquely dynamic roster. His commitment officially raises the expectations for this roster, as it appears we now feature wider depth, more power and the explosiveness that last year’s squad lacked.

Our recruiting year has been a wild rollercoaster of ups and downs, but McBride/Braun/Enaruna/Wilson as well as getting De Sousa and Dotson back is absolutely tremendous and something to be excited about. We also have been spoiled with the return of Elliot and a solid preferred walk on.

AND we still have one scholarship remaining!

Marius Rowlanski 4 months ago

I hope we save that last scholarship unless someone special comes along and there aren't many if any of those left.

Len Shaffer 4 months ago

Awesome news!!! Is there anyone in the country who's better than Self at getting last-minute recruits?

Marius Rowlanski 4 months ago

Is that a good thing? To me, it seems that those who are at the very top of the list fill out there primary targets and those who choose late are looking for where they will get the most minutes.

Maybe it's confidence or maybe it's nothing than an observation.

Jim Stauffer 4 months ago

I believe we get late recruits because the other three (UNC, Duke and UK) all get much more coverage from media than we. Self has the toughest road to recruit the extremely top level players because they want a media splash and it comes greater from those three. I love a class of McBride, Braun, Enaruna and Wilson that may not but could be here for multiple years intact. What a core to return next year if they do stay, along with Mac and Agbaji. Bottom line, Self gets the best of what is left from the 3 golden children of the media. But, he then relishes the idea of taking them on with their higher ranked players. We have benefitted in our competition with those others by often playing experienced players against their frosh. Will be even more interesting to see how things settle once the OAD's are all in the league.

Lex Valdez 4 months ago

Welcome to Lawrence Mr. Wilson... next year is going to be fun being a Jayhawk fan!

Eric J. Baker 4 months ago

It's awfully nice of Hampton to say he's rocking with KU this year, since a lot of KU fans had some VERY mean things to say about him when he decided to play professionally in New Zealand.

Michael Terry 4 months ago

I really don't care that we don't have a top tier recruit. Too many of them have their sights sets on being one and done, which isn't good for any program. We need good players who will stick around for two or three years.

Azubuike - 22 Dotson - 24 De Sousa - 20-30 ranking McCormack - 27 Garrett - 64 Lightfoot - 67 Agbaji - Outside Top 100

This is going to be the core of our team. A likely No. 1 ranking, or Top 3 for sure. No top 10 rated players in that group coming out of high school. I think Self is on the right track.

Jeremy Wilhelm 4 months ago

Yeah, Villanova has caused us some grief the last few years and is arguably thebest program in the last 5 years.

I looked at the 2017-18 Villanova team and they had the following recruits:

Year----------Players-------max grade--------Stars-----Players

2014-15-----2---------------83-------------------4,4--------Bridges/Booth

2015-16-----3---------------90-------------------5,4,3/4---Brunson, Delaney, DiVincenzo

2016-17-----2---------------*--------------------- 5,3-------Spellman, Painter

2017-18-----3---------------86-------------------4,4,3-----Samules, Rountree, Gillespie

Marius Rowlanski 4 months ago

Kansas fans would never put up with Jay Wright and his trips to the NIT but I get your point and agree.

Marius Rowlanski 4 months ago

Self is a top recruiter by any standard but I think his true talent is finding the players that will fit into the system even if a little rough. Player development is Self's best talent.

Dirk Medema 4 months ago

Not certain that Coach Self is "on the right track " because we don't have a top recruit because he was fully pursuing them and will again in future classes.

What I am certain of is that he is a great coach and its nonsense to put much thought into his faults. It's not that they don't exist, but they are so minimal relative to his wealth of strengths.

Rock Chalk!

RJ King 4 months ago

I like our look for 2019/20. Could quite possibly bring some unanswered prayers.

Duke is Duke for now. They hooked Hurt and Stanley. Villanova somehow grabbed Earl. And Precious went with the shiny new object that is Memphis. Many higher ranked players - looking to start - committed in the Fall and/ or early Spring when it sure looked like we would be set with Dotson, Grimes, and Abagi/ Garrett.

Jim Stauffer 4 months ago

I keep asking myself where Hurt, Stanley and Precious would play with this lineup. Wilson answers the Stanley question for me. DeSousa is far ahead of Precious IMO. And Enaruna is certainly skilled enough to be equal to Hurt in at least some respects. Question to us all, would you trade Wilson, DeSousa and Enaruna for Stanley, Hurt and Precious? I would not.

Jay Scott 4 months ago

As much as there is to be thankful for, this is a time to be thinking of others...

If you know a Chicken Little, reach out. These are dark days for the Chicken Little flock. They're going to need some love and support. Their worst fears have come true....a likely #1 ranking again and a total absence of calamity. Make sure they're coping with all this reasonably well. It may be months before they have something to panic about.

Gary Wirsig 4 months ago

Been a while since I laughed out loud at a post on this site, but your first line got me!

Justin Ward 4 months ago

Don't worry brother, majority of people still panic every time you use your fingers to type. Hopefully you're the one that's ok.

Jay Scott 4 months ago

These are the cries for help from the Poltrus Diminutae that we all need to be keenly alert for. The irrational redirected angst. The denial. The inability to escape that they've been hurt and reached out to.

Be a ready and willing support to these calls of desperation.

Titus Canby 4 months ago

Are you saying that the Chicken Littles are like Sparganosis tapeworm?

Jay Scott 4 months ago

Nah....CLs are harmful only to themselves...

Jay Scott 4 months ago

Like addicts and homeless. Poltrus Diminutae will never disappear completely.

Brian Wilson 4 months ago

If you're going to panic....make it a good one!

HCBS is a last minute poor planner when it comes to recruiting, but as I have said.... KU will be just fine.

Welcome to KU Jalen!!

Sam Meyer 4 months ago

Getting real excited for all the incoming players. I think we’ll look back at the end result of the turmoil to think it was ultimately one of HCBS’s better hauls!!! RCJHGKU!!!!!!

Tony Bandle 4 months ago

Random Thoughts:

1] In some respects, you could look at the Three D's [Dok, Dotson, De Sousa] as a recruiting class, all returning after some serious possibility of leaving. Now compare the recruiting classes of every school in Division One. If you were betting would you take KU or would you take the field!!??

2] A little more upper class men leadership this upcoming season [Seniors Dok, Bass, Lightfoot], Juniors[ Garrett, De Sousa-sort of], Sophomores with a ton of experience [Dotson, Agbaji].

3] Healthy Dok for a hurt Dok - Plus, Eligible De Sousa for no DeSousa - Plus, motivated Dotson for a freshman Dotson - Plus, Bass in lieu of Grimes - Plus, Senior Lightfoot for a Junior Lightfoot - Plus, A no need to shoot Garrett for a had to shoot Garrett - Plus, a sophomore Agbaji for a frosh Agbaji - Plus!!! There's just pluses everywhere!!!

4] Somebody is going to get the red shirt

Marius Rowlanski 4 months ago

1] Exactly my feelings. I feel that Silvio should be eligible for freshman of the year.

Chad Smith 4 months ago

Redshirt Players:

1) Enaruna/Wilson: Both are closely ranked and play the same position, people talk about enaruna being raw but he was ranked higher than Wilson in the recruiting ranks.

2) Braun -- There is already garrett, agbaji in the 2/3 role. Assuming people stay healthy, he will have the hardest out of everyone getting significant playing time.

Mcbride backs up Dotson, so we know he will play.

and no one on the frontcourt, forget about lightfoot. he's a senior now and will be utilized a great deal as an important role player.

Glen Miller 4 months ago

It will be interesting to see how the season shakes out. It's looking something like this as far as I can tell......

1 - Dotson, Garrett 2 - Agbaji, Moss 3 - Wilson, Enaruna 4 - De Sousa, Lightfoot 5 - Doke, McCormack

I think Braun will play both the 2 and the 3. Obviously McBride is a PG. Jankovich could be a 3 point sniper for us in spot minutes.

That's 13 guys and we all know Self likes to rotate 8-9 guys by the time February and March roll around. I see McBride getting a redshirt unless he just shows out. Maybe Braun too, but I think his versatility is too valuable. It will be interesting to see what happens, but I feel like we can play all types of teams and have the players to match up.

Brian Wilson 4 months ago

McBride may be the odd man out if I had to guess. And if any were to get a red shirt I would think it would be him. Look at the lineup:

Dok and Mac
Silvio and Lightfoot
Enaruna and Wilson
Moss and Agbaji
Dotson, Garrett and McBride

In the past, Garrett has been playing all over....but most people don't realize that he is really considered/projected as a Point Guard - just check scouting services. With the arrival and height of Enaruna and Wilson, Garrett's services are no longer needed at the 3 so crap flows down hill and I would not be surprised if McBride is the odd man out and Garrett comes off the bench at PG & SG only. If Garrett struggles handling the ball then Agbaji gets the nod when Dotson comes out before giving much time to McBride. Hence, Moss ends up starter and Agbaji plays some PG and gets partially paired to Garrett when he's in. Further, it appears from what everyone is saying that Garrett is teacher's pet and so we can expect Garrett would be given his chances before bringing in a brand new Freshman PG when you have the opportunity to let him ride the bench and have a year to learn the position.

So, depending on how this group develops....this may be a strange year with HCBS playing and swapping in almost 2 teams and playing 9-10 deep. Usually its only 7 to 8.

Dirk Medema 4 months ago

Brian - I think you are very mistaken with your “teacher’s pet” unless it somehow is not meant as demeaning. To use your education analogy- Garrett is more of a student aide. A member of the class that is so knowledgeable and responsible for doing what’s right that you not only don’t have to worry about them getting it but you can also count on them helping others get it.

We as fans often are unable to see past the end of the stat sheet and usually only as far as the shooting column. Fortunately Coach realizes there’s a lot more to the game and uses players accordingly, though sometimes inexplicably without consulting us. The whole HOF induction was just a conspiracy by the elitist coaches to repress the masses.

Dirk Medema 4 months ago

While I am glad for confidence in any and all of the freshmen, I certainly would not bet on any of the starting in front of Moss and Agbaji. I also wouldn’t count on having Ochai around for another year. And Coach Self’s comment is that McBride is not a PG.

Mike Greer 4 months ago

Regarding Red Shirts, this is only relevant if you have players you think will take two or three years to develop and will use all four years of eligibility. Not many players stick around that long these days, especially players of the caliber we currently have. Agbaji only red shirted because he wasn't as highly a rated recruit and was pretty much an unknown commodity. Now we know just how under rated he was. These guys will either wait a year for playing time or transfer, no one is sticking around five years.

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