Jayhawks offer scholarship to rising 4-star forward
According to multiple reports from a number of national recruiting analysts, the Kansas men’s basketball program has offered a scholarship to four-star Class of 2019 power forward Kai Jones.
Jones is currently ranked No. 123 in the 2019 class by Rivals.com, but appears to be well on his way to climbing in those rankings.
At 6-foot-10, 200 pounds, with wild athleticism and good length, Jones is the type of player that many analysts expect to continue improving at a rapid rate.
Already with offers from Arizona, Georgetown, Illinois, Louisville and others, Jones, who plays AAU ball for Team Breakdown on the Under Armour circuit, attends famed Brewster Academy in New Hampshire. He originally hails from the Bahamas and played his junior season at Orlando Christian Prep in Florida.
Brewster, as you may know, certainly has been good to the Jayhawks throughout the years, sending the likes of Thomas Robinson, Naadir Tharpe and Devonte’ Graham to KU from the New Hampshire prep school.
Where Jones factors into KU’s plans for the 2019 class is anybody’s guess, but he certainly fits the mold as one of those long, athletic, versatile players who could find a role in KU coach Bill Self’s system in a number of ways.
Five-star forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, formerly of Bishop Miege High and now at IMG Academy, is at the top of the Jayhawks’ wish list at the power forward position, and fellow five-star forward Matthew Hurt, who has incredible versatility and can be plugged in at a number of spots, is also high on KU’s list. The two played together last month for Team USA, coached by Self, at the U18 FIBA Americas tournament in Canada. Landing both in the Class of 2019 would be a huge haul for the Jayhawks.
Self and his staff remain in pursuit of several elite guards in the 2019 class — point guards Cole Anthony, Josiah James and Tre Mann the biggest names among them — and also could be looking to add a couple of big men depending on what happens to the roster after the 2018-19 season.
The possibility certainly exists that the Jayhawks could be in the market for as many as three or four big men in the 2019 class, with Udoka Azubuike, Dedric Lawson, Silvio De Sousa and even K.J. Lawson all potentially heading toward exploring their options after the upcoming season.
That, along with the departure of senior Lagerald Vick and potential departure of projected lottery 2019 pick Quentin Grimes, would give KU five or six open scholarships to use in the 2019 class. With one already slated to go to Chicago point guard Markese Jacobs, that leaves Kansas with some serious flexibility in how it could choose to use the remaining four or five scholarships.
As for Jones, he appears to be fairly new to the game, but is said to have great instincts and a terrific work ethic and approach to improving his game.