Not long after KU's 87-63 win over Eastern Michigan on Saturday afternoon, Kansas coach Bill Self and assistant coach Jerrance Howard headed to South Dakota to watch 2019 recruit Matthew Hurt in the Hoop City Classic.
Hurt, the five-star forward and Top 10 prospect from Rochester, Minn., who has been at the top of KU's wish list in the 2019 class for years, scored 36 points in a 74-62 loss to Brandon Valley (SD).
Hurt has unofficially visited Kansas, but has yet to make an official visit to Lawrence. That is scheduled for the first weekend of February.
The 6-foot-9, 200-pound do-everything forward officially visited Kentucky in November, North Carolina in mid-December, and will visit Duke in January.
Memphis, which also had an assistant coach on hand Saturday night, is also in the mix for Hurt.
Bishop Miege High is no stranger to elite talent on the basketball court. From Travis Releford to Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, the Stags have had some of the top talent the Kansas City metro area has seen.
With freshman Mark Mitchell currently following in those guys' footsteps, Bishop Miege might have the best high school basketball talent the area has ever produced.
Too much hype too early? Not with Mitchell. The 6-foot-7 lefty is a talent the area hasn't seen since Jaron Rush starred at Pembroke Hill in the late 1990's. Mitchell is well on his way to being an even bigger star than Rush was during his time at Pembroke.
Once Mitchell enters his sophomore year at Miege, expect a lot of college coaches to make their way to the school, including the Kansas staff who already spent time watching Mitchell this past summer at the Jayhawk Summer Finale.
Check out a few highlights of Mitchell from Friday's game against Rockhurst in Kansas City. Both Kansas-bound Christian Braun and former Jayhawk Conner Teahan were in attendance.
Townsend heads west
Kansas assistant coach Kurtis Townsend was scheduled to check out the Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas this week before meeting up with the Jayhawks in Arizona for their 8 p.m. game at No. 18 Arizona State on Saturday in Tempe, Ariz.
The Tarkanian Classic, one of the more popular high school basketball tournaments in the country, began on Tuesday and will run through Saturday. With teams from all over the country participating in the tournament, it's a great opportunity to see a number of Kansas targets in one event.
Here is a list of teams participating in this years Tarkanian Classic. https://basketball.exposureevents.com/123198/tarkanian-classic-boys/teams
Kansas basketball assistant coach Norm Roberts will be in the Washington D.C. area this week to check in on number of Kansas recruiting targets.
On Wednesday, Roberts watched 2020 big man Hunter Dickinson, a 7-foot-2 big man from DeMatha who has a long list of schools interested in him, including Kentucky, Oregon, Michigan, Boston College and Kansas among many others.
Dickinson officially visited Purdue in October and unofficially visited Maryland in late November.
On Thursday Roberts is expected to stop by Bethesda Chase High to check in on 2020 small forward Elijah Wood.
Wood, who was inside Allen Fieldhouse for Late Night in the Phog in late September, was briefly at Sunrise Christian in Bel Aire, before deciding to head back home to Baltimore earlier this year.
Wood has growing interest from a number of schools already, including Auburn, Kentucky, Florida, Florida State and Kansas among others.
DeMatha won't play in the ARS National Hoopfest until Saturday night, but Roberts will see two top teams go head to head on Friday night, when Sunrise Christian takes on Montverde. Sunrise features 2020 big man N'faly Dante and Montverde features 2019 small forward Precious Achiuwa.
Dante is one of the more coveted big men in the 2020 class, with his size, athleticism and skill set measuring off the charts. He has been on a few unofficial visits this fall, starting with his trip to Kansas for Late Night in the Phog. Dante also unofficially has visited Oregon and LSU.
Achiuwa's recruitment is about as quiet as it gets in the recruiting world. He doesn't talk about it and he has yet to make any official visits.
He has unofficially visited Memphis and UConn, but outside of those visits Achiuwa has yet to give any hints about what schools he's interested in. Originally from New York, Achiuwa is a Top 10 player in the 2019 class and one of six Top 10 players that have yet to make their college decision.
Signed Class of 2019 shooting guard Christian Braun started his senior season at Blue Valley Northwest Friday night in impressive fashion. Braun scored 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in front of Kansas assistant coach Norm Roberts.
Braun committed to join the Jayhawks in mid-September and made his commitment official on the first day of the early signing period in mid-November.
The four-star guard is one of two players in the Class of 2019 currently committed to Kansas.
On Friday, Braun outscored Blue Springs by himself in the first half, helping Northwest get out to a huge halftime lead and cruise to a 70-40 win.
Here's a look at some of Braun's biggest highlights during his debut game of his senior season.
Class of 2020 point guard R.J. Hampton made news this week by officially announcing that he would visit Kansas the weekend of Dec. 15, when the Jayhawks host Villanova.
Hampton was previously scheduled to make his official visit to Kansas for Late Night in the Phog back in September, but chose to reschedule because of a conflict and his desire to visit KU's campus for a game.
It was widely thought that Hampton would reclassify into the Class of 2019, which includes players who began signing their letters of intent this month, but the talented guard decided to remain in the Class of 2020 back in late August and now appears to be full-speed ahead on zeroing in on the school that's best for him.
A 6-foot-5, 170-pound point guard from Little Elm, Texas, Hampton is a five-star prospect in the eyes of every recruiting service and is ranked No. 4 overall in the 2020 class by Rivals.com.
Kansas basketball fans will have a lot to fill up on next Friday.
Besides the Thanksgiving turkey leftovers, Kansas fans will also get to see the Jayhawks in the second games of the NIT Season Tip-Off — against either Tennessee or Louisville — and the announcement of Class of 2019 power forward Zeke Nnaji.
Nnaji has a list of five schools he's considering, but that could change with his unofficial visit to North Carolina coming up this weekend.
Nnaji, a long and athletic 6-foot-10 forward from Minnesota, has been a priority of KU's throughout the recruiting process and became even more important recently when Jeremiah Robinson-Earl committed to Villanova.
On his own, Nnaji offers long-term potential and a frame that could put on weight and become a force at Kansas.
Add to that the fact that he is AAU teammates and close friends with Top 5 prospect Matt Hurt and his importance and potential skyrockets.
Hurt is expected to visit KU sometime during the season and announce his decision in the spring.
Nnaji has scheduled his announcement for after the early signing period — Nov. 14-21 — but it's entirely possible that he could sign and send his letter of intent before announcing his choice.
Arizona, Baylor, Kansas, Purdue and UCLA are Nnaji's five finalists, with Carolina thrown in the mix, as well.
The No. 37-ranked player in the class, per Rivals.com, will make his announcement at Noon at Hopkins High School in Lakeville, Minn.
Kansas assistant coach Kurtis Townsend will be in California on Friday to check in on 2019 shooting guard Cassius Stanley, a four-star prospect from North Hollywood, who is among KU's top options on the perimeter in the 2019 class.
Stanley, who officially visited Kansas for Late Night in the Phog in late September, appears to be nearing a decision in the not so distant future.
Oregon is expected to be in to see Stanley on Saturday. UCLA is also expected to be in to see Stanley this week.
The 6-foot-5, 170-pound Stanley, who is known for his freakish athleticism, is ranked No. 31 by Rivals.com.
In the past few weeks, Stanley and his family have gushed about their visit to KU and their appreciation for Kansas coach Bill Self. But the fact remains that many recruiting analysts still believe it could be tough for KU to pull the talented guard inland from the West Coast.
Stanley announced his final three — KU, Oregon and UCLA — on Sept. 21, and even with his two other finalists out West, the Kansas coaching staff has done a great job to get to this point in the game and the Jayhawks have a real shot of landing the high-flier. KU has made Stanley a priority throughout the recruiting process and the coaching staff clearly believes he would be a big piece of their 2019 class.
Class of 2019 power forward Zeke Nnaji might have another school added to his final list of five.
Nnaji, a four-star prospect ranked No. 37 by Rivals.com in the 2019 class, recently wrapped up his fifth and final official visit last weekend at Purdue after having already visited Arizona, UCLA, Baylor and Kansas.
It wasn't long after getting home from his Purdue visit that Nnaji had North Carolina coach Roy Williams and staff offering him a scholarship while visiting Nnaji in Minnesota.
Nnaji, who is close with Top 5 prospect and AAU teammate Matt Hurt, has long been a priority for the Kansas coaching staff but became even more important recently when Top 10 prospect Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, a power forward from IMG Academy, committed to Villanova.
Nnaji made his official visit to KU the weekend of Late Night and, by all accounts, loved his time in Lawrence.
There is no known timeline for the power forward's decision, but it's clear that things are heating up in his recruitment.
The No. 1-ranked Kansas men's basketball team will make its 2018-2019 season debut tonight at 7 p.m. at Allen Fieldhouse, and one of the top players in the Class of 2021 will be there to see it.
2021 point guard Khristian Lander is currently unofficially visiting Kansas.
The Evansville, Ind., native is considered to be one of the top point guards in the class of 2021.
The 5-foot-11, 150-pound Lander is a four-star prospect according Rivals.com and currently is ranked 30th overall in the Rivals rankings for the Class of 2021.
Landers, who already holds scholarship offers from Big Ten programs Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Purdue, will play his sophomore season at F.J. Reitz High.
After Kansas assistant coach Norm Roberts stopped by IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., on Tuesday to check in on Class of 2019 power forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, he headed east to Montverde Academy to check in on two more Kansas prospects.
Roberts checked in on Class of 2019 small forward Precious Achiuwa and Class of 2020 small forward Cade Cunningham.
Both players are considered to be Top 10 players in their classes. Achiuwa, who transferred to Montverde from St. Benedict's in New Jersey for his senior season, is considering UConn, St. John's, Syracuse, Memphis and Kansas, among others. He unofficially visited Memphis for the Memphis Madness basketball kick-off earlier this month.
Cunningham decided to make the move to Montverde this past summer after spending his first two years of high school at Arlington Bowie High School just outside of Dallas.
Cunningham has offers from Oklahoma State, LSU, Texas A&M and Kansas, among others. He averaged 19 points, 8 rebounds and 4.5 assists during his sophomore season at Bowie.