KU notebook: Agbaji to make official visit, offering future classes and barn storming and charity events featuring Frank Mason
Class of 2018 shooting guard Ochai Agbaji is finally taking that official visit to Kansas.
Consider it a bit of a victory lap for the incoming freshman from Oak Park High in Kansas City, Mo., who committed to KU and officially signed earlier this year.
According to JayhawkSlant.com, Agbaji will make his official visit to KU's campus the weekend of May 4-6. While the visit may be a little different than those roll-out-the-red-carpet visits that come with prospects who are still in the decision-making process, that does not mean it will not be just as valuable.
In fact, Agbaji, who said recently that he expected to move to Lawrence on June 1, could actually get more out of this than an actual official visit in that it will give him an opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with the KU coaches and support staff, therein preparing him even better for what's to come when he arrives in June.
Agbaji, you may have seen, recently made a monster jump in the Rivals.com rankings for players in the Class of 2018, from unranked a couple of months ago to No. 141 overall in the site's most recent rankings.
Agbaji, who earned a handful of Kansas City-area player of the year honors came onto the scene late in the recruiting process, but quickly drew the interest of some of the top programs around the country.
With his options growing by the day earlier this year, Agbaji's recruitment came to an abrupt end when KU jumped into the picture and offered him a scholarship after KU coach Bill Self saw him in late January, following a few viewings by KU assistant Norm Roberts.
He committed just a few days after the offer, saying then, "What more are we really looking for," and Self discussed the 6-foot-5 guard's potential after receiving his letter of intent earlier this month.
"Ochai could be a high major defender early in his career," Self said. "And his skill set is such that I think he could be an immediate impact player for us."
As you might have read, it was a big recruiting weekend down in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and some of the moves since Sunday seem to back that up.
With coaches already having pinpointed the players they wanted to get a second or third look at heading into the weekend, the aftermath created a situation where those second and third looks became offers.
According to recruiting analysts across the country, at least two players received that kind of treatment from the Kansas coaching staff, with Class of 2019 big man Kofi Cockburn (6-11, 300 pounds, 4-stars, ranked No. 31) and Class of 2020 shooting guard Bryce Thompson (6-3, 160, 4 stars, ranked No. 45) picking up offers from KU.
Cockburn is in that true center mold, a dominant shot blocker who can rebound, be physical and control the paint.
Thompson, meanwhile, who sounded like he had been waiting on an offer from KU for quite sometime, is more of a scorer with good length and athleticism.
Thompson, who topped 20 points twice last weekend, is attracting all kinds of attention from across college basketball and, in a recent interview with Pat Lawless of PrepCircuit.com, he explained what he liked about KU.
“I like their fans,” he told Lawless. They have a great fan base and coach Bill Self is a Hall of Fame-caliber coach. There's a lot to like about them. I went to Late Night in the Phog at the beginning of the year. It was amazing and something I've never experienced before.”
Jayhawks set to go barn storming
In keeping with tradition, the departing seniors from this year's Kansas men's basketball team will be playing together one more time, Saturday night at Lansing High in their annual barn storming fun.
Devonte' Graham, Svi Mykhailiuk and Clay Young, who graduated from Lansing High, will team with other collegiate players from around the area to take on a group of 810 Varsity high school all-stars, including future KU walk-on Garrett Luinstra, of Free State High, in a game that will tip off at 7:30 p.m., and feature a night of fun on and off the court.
"For KU or basketball fans not able to go to Allen Fieldhouse, this will be a fun event, watching some of KU's best players in recent years up close and getting an autograph for cheaper than a movie,” said event organizer and Lansing High and KU graduate Chad Rader. “This will be a great event for Kansas fans, as well as the Lansing community and Leavenworth County.”
Tickets will be sold at the door and will cost $10 for adults and $7 for children 10 and under. An autograph session will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Mason back on the mound
Former KU point guard Frank Mason III will be returning to the area for the first of two times this summer on May 22, when he will throw out the ceremonial first pitch of the 2018 season for the Kansas City T-Bones minor league baseball team.
Mason, who has a history of toeing the rubber to toss out a first pitch, will be on hand for the T-Bones' home opener and also will stick around to sign autographs during the game.
Later in the summer, Mason will return to Kansas City to host his first Frank Mason III Charity Softball Game at T-Bones Stadium on June 16. For tickets to that event, log on to www.FM3softballcharitygame.com. Proceeds from that event will help benefit the Children’s Mercy Kansas City & National Youth Foundation.