Kansas cracks latest cut for pair of 4-star Class of 2019 hoops prospects
With the July evaluation period now behind us, several Class of 2019 prospects have started to get serious about their recruitment.
And that means, first and foremost, the making and trimming of lists, with official visit dates and, ultimately, decisions to follow in the months ahead.
Because just about every top prospect, year after year, at least kicks the tires on considering Kansas — a blue blood program led by a Hall of Fame coach that is seemingly always in the national title picture — these trimmed-down lists are more and more important in understanding the current landscape of KU’s recruiting.
With uncertainty lingering regarding how many players KU will want/need to add following the 2018-19 season, recruiting the next class can be a little tougher than some of the classes of the past. But KU coach Bill Self and his coaching staff have been around the block more than a few times and know exactly what they want and exactly how to handle the fluid realities of a recruiting year like 2019.
This much we know: Top 10 prospects Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Matthew Hurt are at the top of KU’s wish list. Both are big time players who figure to make a major impact wherever they go and landing both — there’s no doubt they could play together — would go a long way toward elevating KU’s 2019 recruiting class into the top three or four in the country, perhaps higher.
Beyond that, KU already has a commitment from Class of 2019 point guard Markese Jacobs (No. 92 per Rivals.com) and also is in the mix for Florida point guard Tre Mann (No. 30), who has KU in his final three along with Florida and Tennessee.
After that quartet is a long list of elite prospects who Kansas is very interested in tracking throughout the recruiting process, which figures to really heat up this fall as these guys begin to take official visits and the November signing period draws nearer.
So who else is on the radar for the Jayhawks? Well, a couple of prospects just trimmed their lists and kept Kansas in the mix.
Samuell Williamson, a 6-foot-7, four-star shooting guard from Rockwall, Texas, sliced his list of schools to 10, with KU joining Baylor, Louisville, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, SMU, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech.
Rivals recruiting analyst Eric Bossi broke down Williamson’s game and recruitment with the following: “A polished offensive player with big upside due to his size and skill, Williamson hasn't yet set any official visits. Throughout the summer, Kansas and Texas have been generating the most behind the scenes talk while Louisville and Ohio State could also be sleepers if Williamson does elect to leave his home state.”
After watching Williamson out in Las Vegas, Bossi called him, “a mid-range killer (who) has deep range and is a tall wing who is going to be a deadly post-up scorer when it is all said and done.”
In other list-trimming news, four-star center Oscar Tshiebwe — 6-foot-9, 230 pounds from Hermitage, Pa. — knocked his group of finalists down to eight, with Kansas joining Virginia, Kentucky, Baylor, West Virginia, Ole Miss, Georgetown and Illinois.
Known at this stage in his career as a dominant rim protector and workaholic rebounder, Tshiebwe continues to work on his offensive game, which has potential, but has drawn the most eyes for his size and style on the defensive end.
Rivals.com recruiting analyst Corey Evans called Tshiebwe “a man among boys” at a recent AAU event in California, and Evans calls West Virginia and KU “the two programs to beat,” adding that Kentucky’s staff has started to turn up its efforts with Tshiebwe.
“He’s hands down the best rebounder in high school basketball," Evans said of Tshiebwe in a recent interview with the Lexington Herald-Leader. "I mean, that’s bar none. He’s the best rebounder out there."
Stay tuned for much more in the coming weeks as more players trim their lists and start lining up their official visits.