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Jayhawks on radar of 2 potential transfers

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Recruiting never stops in the fast-moving world of college basketball. And during the same week that the Kansas men’s basketball team learned it was losing a player, when former transfer Evan Maxwell announced he was leaving the program, the Jayhawks also surfaced as potential landing spots for a couple of transfers.

The first, Arizona State shooting guard Sam Cunliffe, was expected to arrive in Lawrence on Monday evening and will be in attendance at Allen Fieldhouse for the KU-K-State game on Tuesday night.

Cunliffe recently told Shay Wildeboor of JayhawkSlant.com that he was “beyond excited for the Kansas visit.”

A 6-foot-6, 195-pound Seattle native who was the highest rated recruit landed by the Sun Devils since James Harden announced recently that he was leaving ASU despite starting the first 10 games of his freshman season and averaging 9.5 points in 25.4 minutes.

"The current speculation about Me leaving ASU is just that,” Cunliffe Tweeted on Dec. 12. “I'm coming home to Seattle for personal and family reasons. Any decisions about my future beyond coming home right now have yet to be made. I understand the current media interest, but I ask that you respect the privacy of me and my family right now."

Named the Seattle Times’ State Basketball Player of the Year following his senior season at Rainier Beach High, Cunliffe picked Arizona State from serious interest from California, Colorado, Gonzaga, Minnesota, Oregon, UNLV, Utah, Washington, Washington State and others.

According to Wildeboor, Cunliffe, Rivals.com’s No. 36-ranked player in the Class of 2016, does not yet have any other visits lined up and it will be worth keeping an eye on him during the next couple of days to see how his visit with the Jayhawks went.

Cunliffe already has been removed from the Arizona State official roster and been granted a release.

Another potential transfer worth tracking is Georgetown’s Isaac Copeland, a 6-9, 220-pound forward who was ranked No. 23 in the Class of 2014 by Rivals.com and spent one season at famed Brewster Academy a la current Jayhawk Devonte’ Graham and former Jayhawks Thomas Robinson and Naadir Tharpe.

Copeland, a junior who started five games and appeared in seven for the Hoyas this season, is hoping to have two years of eligibility remaining following his transfer. He will apply for a medical red-shirt for this season and plans to have back surgery, which will keep him out of action for the next two to three months.

“Yes, the coaching staff at Kansas is trying to figure out a good time to visit if possible,” the former five-star prospect recently told Wildeboor via text message. “If everything works out, I am going to visit Kansas. I am looking to find out if I can make it out to Kansas for a visit. When I make my decision on a school, I plan to enroll at the beginning of the spring semester.”

For his career, Copeland has appeared in 73 games, averaging 8.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.

According to Wildeboor, Copeland recently narrowed his list of schools down to Arizona State, Cincinnati, Illinois, Kansas, NC State, Nebraska, Texas and Connecticut.

Comments

Jay Scott 4 years, 9 months ago

These kids both have serious upside. Getting both would be a huge move. Don't let his 6'9 height fool you. Copeland is a 3.

Suzi Marshall 4 years, 9 months ago

I kinda like recruiting transfers instead of HS kids. For the most part, they are more mature and have proven themselves on the collegiate level. If we can't get a true HS OAD, my preference would be a grad-transfer OAN, if we needed a OAD. Kansas has been lucky with OADs like Wiggins, Embiid, Jackson and BMac (if you want to call him that) but some of the others, I'd rather we take a pass.

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 4 years, 9 months ago

Interesting. Any stated reasons these guys are transferring? Cunliffe seems like he'd be a strong addition though there must be some drama behind the scenes.

Copeland has a lot of quality schools interested in him, so despite the seemingly mediocre stats he's probably a decent get too if he can get the medical red-shirt.

David Morrison 4 years, 9 months ago

I watched video highlights on both of these kids. They look like seasoned players and would definately be great additions to the team. Come on to Lawrence.

Harlan Hobbs 4 years, 9 months ago

When the Evan Maxwell move was announced, I said that some subsequent news might be forthcoming. Frankly, it was just an intuition, but now things are becoming a little clearer.

If Copeland does come to KU, that would just be one more veteran with size from a higher profile program who would likely take minutes away from Maxwell in two years after Azubuike and Bragg are likely gone, not counting anyone else who might be recruited.

Furthermore, if you are right, Jay, about Copeland's versatility, then that just makes him even more valuable. Both potential transfers would be good editions, even though I presume that neither would be eligible to play next year, unless they enroll in the spring semester and could then be available starting the spring semester in 2018, I guess. At least, that is what Copeland says that he wants to do.

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