KU basketball staff hits recruiting trail in full force Monday
Sunday’s Border War break was nice while it lasted, but Monday marked a return to business as usual for the Kansas men’s basketball program.
Specifically, to recruiting.
And, in actuality, there was really nothing normal about the move the KU coaching staff made on Monday in its pursuit of five-star Class of 2018 prospect Quentin Grimes.
Grimes, who visited KU a couple of weeks ago and was in town when former Jayhawk Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers practiced at Allen Fieldhouse, has narrowed his list to a final four of Kansas, Marquette, Kentucky and Texas.
According to 247 Sports’ Crystal Ball predictions, the Jayhawks remain the leader for the 6-foot-5 guard from The Woodlands, Texas, but Bill Self and company are not leaving anything to chance.
According to a Tweet from 247 recruiting analyst Evan Daniels, Self on Monday, with all three assistant coaches by his side, joined Jerrance Howard, Norm Roberts and Kurtis Townsend in making a trip south on Monday to visit Grimes at his school.
The five-star prospect who is ranked No. 16 in the 2018 class by 247 Sports, wrapped up his official visits over the weekend with a trip to Marquette and has now made official visits and hosted in-home visits with all four of his finalists.
The KU coaches, who, according to Matt Scott of TheShiver.com, made the trip to Texas shortly after the Border War win over Mizzou on Sunday, have been ultra-aggressive in their pursuit of Grimes, whose mother attended KU, and, according to several reports have told the talented shooting guard that they believe he is the best guard in the class.
"Grimes had a great time during his visit to Kansas with his family," Scott wrote Monday. "And he plans on announcing between now and the end of the year. Texas, Kentucky, Marquette and Kansas are the schools Grimes is considering, but Kansas is the run-a-way leader at this point."
As long as the whole band was on the recruiting trail together, Self and company decided to make one more stop, according to Adam Zagoria of zagsblog.com. KU’s coaches were slated to check in on Class of 2019 forward Matthew Hurt later in the day Monday.
Hurt, a 6-foot-9, 199-pound athletic forward from John Marshall Senior High in Rochester, Minnesota, is ranked as the No. 5 overall player in the 2019 class by 247 Sports.
Hurt made an unofficial visit to KU for Late Night in 2016 and has been firmly on KU’s radar throughout the recruiting process. Zagoria reported Monday that Hurt plans to visit Lawrence again for the Nov. 17 South Dakota State game at Allen Fieldhouse.
While there’s still plenty of time to make a final push for Hurt and the rest of the 2019 class, it’s quickly approaching crunch time in the 2018 class, which will be first eligible to sign national letters of intent on Nov. 8.
The early signing period runs through Nov. 15 and the Jayhawks, who currently have the No. 2-ranked recruiting class in the country according to Rivals.com, are expected to receive letters from big men Silvio De Sousa and David McCormack along with point guard Devon Dotson next month.
Adding Grimes to that trio would only bolster KU’s impressive 2018 class and put the Jayhawks in the running for the top spot in the standings, with more scholarships to give and a few of their top targets still undecided.
Speaking of those undecideds, Zagoria also reported that a source told him five-star forward Zion Williamson was no longer considering UCLA and will not visit Los Angeles this weekend.
While many believe the battle for Williamson will come down to KU, plenty still believe in-state schools Clemson and South Carolina are both still very much alive for the ultra-athletic forward.