The latest news and names to watch with KU basketball recruiting


Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

So there was more than a little shifting and reshaping on the Kansas basketball recruiting trail over the weekend, and KU now enters a monster week with a new picture regarding two of its top targets in the 2019 class.

KU coach Bill Self — along with Kentucky coach John Calipari — was expected to be in Minnesota on Sunday night for one final meeting with Top 10 prospect Matt Hurt before Hurt announces his decision on Friday, but multiple reports out of Minnesota on Sunday night indicated that Hurt and his family called those visits off and will have no more communication with the four finalists — Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and UNC — before announcing a decision on Friday.

Division I men’s basketball recruiting is currently in a dead period and will be open again on Friday until a quiet period hits on April 25.

Both Hurt and Top 40 shooting guard Cassius Stanley will have made their commitments by then, with Stanley now switching up his decision date to Saturday instead of Wednesday, which is the opening day of the spring signing period.

While the Hurt news seems to be trending in the wrong direction for the Jayhawks — 65% of 247 Sports’ crystal ball predictions now belong to Duke compared to 30% for KU — there is at least some reason to believe that Kansas is still in solidly in the running for Stanley, a 6-foot-5 freak athlete from North Hollywood, Calif., who had trimmed his final list to KU, UCLA and Oregon before adding Duke last week.

Like with Hurt, many recruiting analysts believe that Stanley is headed to Duke, but the fact that he changed his announcement date after visiting Duke over the weekend to allow one final day of contact before an announcement means that KU still has a shot.

Self and company could conceivably make one final trip west on Friday to try to sell Stanley and his family on Kansas one final time before the announcement is made.

Until Duke got involved, many believed that the Jayhawks’ biggest obstacle to getting Stanley would be pulling him away from the west coast. But now that the Blue Devils are a factor, KU is facing two stiff challenges. Still, the fact that Stanley changed his date after visiting Duke instead of keeping it for Wednesday should at least be taken as a sign that him to Duke is not a done deal.

As for UCLA, which recently hired Mick Cronin after a crazy and clunky coaching search, 247 Sports site Bruin Report Online recently reported that Stanley and his family had met with Cronin but added that the Bruins were still “considered a longshot.”

Throughout the past several weeks, as some of KU’s other top targets in the 2019 class have elected to commit and sign elsewhere, the promise and potential for landing Hurt and Stanley in the spring had given KU plenty of hope to put together a strong class to help replace what could be as many as five or six departures from the 2018-19 roster.

Now, with decision day looming for both players and the Jayhawks fighting to stay alive, Kansas may be facing the very real scenario of having to fill the class through other means in the coming weeks.

While that might play out differently than many believed it would, it does not necessarily mean bad news for the Jayhawks.

For starters, 2019 signees Christian Braun and Issac McBride are ready-made contributors who are already in the fold. Both are tough competitors and mature kids who will be ready to play meaningful minutes next season if needed.

Beyond that, Self told the Journal-World recently that he would target grad transfers and potentially juco talent as a way to fill the roster if needed and the market for both is as rich as ever, with scores of kids continuing to explore their transfer opportunities year after year.

A few names to keep an eye on, whether the Jayhawks get good or bad news from Hurt and Stanley this week, are:

• Tristan Enaruna – 6-9 forward from Mount Pleasant, Utah, who Self and company have been recruiting for months. recruiting insider Matt Scott reported today that Enaruna will visit KU on April 28 after making similar trips to finalists Miami (Fla.) and Creighton in the days leading up to his visit to Lawrence.

• Precious Achiuwa – 6-9 forward from Montverde (Fla.) Academy who is ranked No. 16 in the 2019 class by and is a 5-star prospect with tons of potential. Achiuwa, both at the McDonald’s All-American Game and last week’s Nike Hoops Summit, has been one of the hotter names on the spring all-star circuit and KU has been on him for a while. His decision is expected to come sometime in late May, with North Carolina and Memphis also very much alive in the chase.

• Rayjon Tucker - This 6-5 wing and grad transfer from Arkansas-Little Rock averaged 20.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game last year and has drawn early interest from KU, Memphis, North Carolina, West Virginia, Louisville and others. Originally from Charlotte, N.C., Tucker started his career at Florida Gulf Coast, where he played for former KU assistant Joe Dooley, before transferring to UALR for one season. He sat out the 2017-18 season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules and started all 30 games for Little Rock during the 2018-19 season.

• T.J. Holyfield – 6-8 grad transfer from Stephen F. Austin, who missed last season because of a shoulder injury, indicated on Twitter recently that KU would be one of the visits he would take in the coming weeks, with Illinois, Texas Tech, Miami (Fla.) and Oregon also on the list. The big man with game down low and away from the rim averaged 13 points and 6 rebounds per game during the 2017-18 season while shooting 41 percent from 3-point range.

• R.J. Hampton – 6-5 junior ranked No. 5 in the 2020 class who is considering reclassifying to the 2019 class. This would be the guy you sell out for. With or without Devon Dotson back on the floor, Hampton would give Kansas the star it needs in the 2019 class and would set things right in the recruiting world in a hurry. Many have called him the top prep guard in the country regardless of class and his ability to play fast, score all over the floor and use his size, vision and skill to produce his own numbers and set others up for theirs would be a monster addition to the KU roster.

Clearly, there’s a lot of talent still out there even if the Jayhawks wind up missing out on Hurt and Stanley. These names are just a few of the players available with known ties to Kansas, but there’s no doubt that Self and company have a Plan B, Plan C and Plan D ready to roll should they need to utilize them in the coming weeks.

With that in mind, here’s a quick look at the recruiting calendar for the next few months.

• April 15-18: Dead period

• April 19-24: Contact period

• April 25: Quiet period

• April 26-28, 2019: Evaluation period (only for certified events)

• May 14-19 - NBA Draft Combine: Evaluation period (for combine only)

• May 15: Quiet period

• May 16-24: Dead period

• May 25 – July 5: Quiet period

Glossary of terms:

Quiet Period: A time when prospects can talk to college coaches in person on a college campus. Coaches are not allowed to watch athletes compete in person, visit their school, talk to them at home or anywhere outside of the college campus.

Dead Period: During the dead period, coaches may not have any in-person contact with recruits and/or their parents. Coaches are not allowed to talk to recruits at their college campus, the athlete’s school, a camp or anywhere else. Athletes and coaches are, however, still allowed to communicate via phone, email, and social media.

Evaluation Period: A specific time of year when college coaches are allowed to watch an athlete compete in person or visit their school. However, coaches are not allowed to communicate with that athlete or his parents off the college campus. Coaches can sit in the stands during a recruit’s practice or game, as well as visit the recruit’s school to talk to coaches, teachers, counselors, etc. After the visit, the coach may call or email the recruit to let them know how their experience was.

Contact Period: Any and all communication between athletes and coaches is fair game. Coaches can email, text, call or direct message recruits and their parents through any NCAA-approved methods and visits can take play on college campuses, at tournaments or at the recruit’s home or school.


Dirk Medema 1 year, 1 month ago

April 29? The combine isn't for another couple weeks. Is this the cutoff for declaring?

Matt Tait 1 year, 1 month ago

No. April 21 is the deadline for underclassmen to declare. Not sure where the 29th came from. Took it out for now, but I'll look into it. Thanks.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 1 month ago

Weren't Wiggins and Jackson both crystal balled to go elsewhere?

That's not meant as a criticism of your articles of the past Matt. I thought those were fun and always set in context with disclaimers. Lately though, they just seem to be part of the E-agenda that also told us that it was virtually inevitable that duke won win it all vs not even making it to the last weekend for the 2nd year in a row.

Matt Tait 1 year, 1 month ago

Jackson was a coin flip between KU and Michigan State.

Wiggins was 100 percent unknown by everyone. The way I recall that one going was that every other program involved thought the others had a better shot and they were out. Crazy.

Ayton also was a lock for KU until decision day and then he picked Zona. So we all know that anything can happen and things can get crazy.

Definitely not saying KU's out of it for Hurt or Stanley. Even if they get them both (unlikely) then they'll still pursue those other names on the list above.

It's going to be a wild couple of months...

Mike Bennett 1 year, 1 month ago

We need to figure out a better way to pay the recruits more. I'm not happy about allowing Duke to sweep in and take 2 recruits from us when we were the leaders for a long, long time.

Craig Carson 1 year, 1 month ago

Hate to be the elephant in the room but KU isn't picked to land any of these guys..this season is shaping up to be Selfs 1st NIT team...

Glen Miller 1 year, 1 month ago

Get a grip man! Let's see how this plays out first. Dotson, McBride, Braun, Garrett, Agbaji, Lightfoot, McCormack, Azibuke......... that's not a bad starting point there if a few guys stick around. NIT is a bit of a sky is falling reaction at this point.

Craig Carson 1 year, 1 month ago

you gotta be realistic...Aziibuike is the next to announce, Silvio most likely wont win his appeal..thats makes 6 top players gone with the only replacements being a low rated freshmen....KU isnt picked to land any of these top guys left on the board...if we wake up Monday morning and KU didnt land both Hurt and Stanley or at least 1 of them, we will see proud KU scramble to scour the JUCO/Grad transfer market just to have enough kids to field a team..while other top schools already have their incoming class set, here we are on bended knee praying these last few kids choose us...Self and his staff dropped the ball this recruiting season...

Glen Miller 1 year, 1 month ago

I don't think we changed how we recruit....... dropping the ball isn't really where my mind goes. Win some and lose some. I think some of you guys are unrealistic with your recruiting expectations. We can't land EVERY kid we go after and it looked as though we had a lot of youth coming back when kids announced earlier in the season. Maybe we aren't getting kids because we aren't willing to pay or promise things other schools are, did you every consider that? Self has proven that for the most part (Grimes and Selden maybe not) that you have to earn your spot. Many of these kids coming out of high school now don't want to have to work to get PT. Plus, the FBI investigation and possible postseason ramifications aren't helping. This will possibly be a down year, I am not blind..... but look how many years in a row we've brought in a top 15 class. Knee jerk reactions aren't really my thing.

Craig Carson 1 year, 1 month ago

im not asking for them to land every top player..but my God, can we at least least our recruiting class set early like every other top school..the KU staff knew before the season that they could lose up to 6 players..then we see Earls kid go from KU lock to choosing Nova, now we could watch former KU lock Matthew Hurt pick Duke...thr FBI thing isnt the issue..Arizona is neck deep in the FBI mess and they signed A LOT of good talent..Louisville has has had multiple NCAA issues and even they landed some good players...unless KU makes a recruiting splash these next few weeks, will will see our NCAA streak come to an end..Self is a great coach, but he simply wont have enough players to rely upon

Craig Carson 1 year, 1 month ago

and we are KU..we have a HOF coach and a legendary program..a top 15 class is to be expected..that ISNT unrealistic

Craig Carson 1 year, 1 month ago

and you have to be honest about the potential line up..Dotson (who likely will be back) is a great PG,Ajai has break out potential and DMAC has massive much as I like Garret and Lightfoot, unless they come back with a massively improved jump shot,especially from 3, they will again be offensive liabilities...I hope that come Monday morning KU has both Hurt and Stanely signed so this all can be a mute point...but with Dukes current reputation of landing every top player they lay eyes upon, the odds arent in our favor

Dale Rogers 1 year, 1 month ago

I'm not all that confident that postponing commitment date to match the first signing date means he's open to more recruiting contact. It may well means he wants to commit and sign at the same time to keep other coaches from calling on him and trying to flip him.

Matt Tait 1 year, 1 month ago

The signing period opens April 17.

Stanley moved his commitment announcement from April 17 to April 20.

Whether that means he did it to allow more contact or just to fit his schedule, it doesn't change the fact that coaches at all of his finalists will now have at least one day to try to contact him. If he had kept it on the 17th, they would've been out of luck.

We'll see what happens.

Joey Russell 1 year, 1 month ago

Do these terms only apply to high school recruits or to transfers as well? Hauser Brothers maybe

Shaen Allen 1 year, 1 month ago

Beverly to Miami. Hurt cancels KU in-home. Not looking good.

Matt Tait 1 year, 1 month ago

Saw that. Updated the list. The UALR guy is worth keeping an eye on. Good size. Talented player. Productive past.

Definitely an interesting option.

Rae Bricil 1 year, 1 month ago

Really hoping Self has some scorers in that hat of his...this recruiting class could be pretty dire unless he pulls one out.

Also wondering how this scandal is not hurting Arizona's recruiting--they have some solid players signed up.

Lastly, amazing how lately once Coach K arrives on the scene the whole recruiting dynamic shifts. Almost like he gets first pick and then everybody else can come in and pick up the scraps...he's 72---shouldnt he be retiring soon.

Greg Bowles 1 year, 1 month ago

He's got a sweet gig at Duke. He won't retire till they drag his dead body off the court.

Joe Baker 1 year, 1 month ago

The tide has turned in recruiting. I will be curious to see who else Self can bring into the stable.

David Friend 1 year, 1 month ago

I am starting to think that the NCAA is done with any penalties. Will Wade was reinstated and Miller is not getting fired. The alleged investigation is not what is hurting KU with recruiting. Just look at Oregon and Arizona. There is something else going on. Now this is pure speculation but there are an awful lot of whispers that Self is leaving. I wonder if other coaches are using that. I do not believe he is but I can see other coaches using those tactics.

Craig Carson 1 year, 1 month ago

Self isnt about to leave any time soon

Robert Brock 1 year, 1 month ago

I don’t want Self to leave. But, Howard? That’s another matter.

Daniel Parker 1 year, 1 month ago

I see that the Hauser brothers are both transferring out of Marquette...Sam averaged 14.9 and 7 boards I proven....perhaps Bill and the boys should take a look. It worked pretty well with at least one half of the last set of brother transfers we got.

Craig Carson 1 year, 1 month ago

i was thinking the same thing..seeing as how they might not fill all the scholarships they have now, they might as well set themselves up for the 2020 season..maybe next year we wont have to be sweating out landing the few recruits left

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