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The latest with KU's ongoing recruiting efforts of some top-tier talent

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Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

With the Duke decisions made by Matt Hurt and Cassius Stanley now a thing of the past, the Jayhawks, as expected, are moving on rather quickly in the recruiting game.

With two prospects visiting this week and a handful of other Kansas targets making news one way or another in the past couple of days, Bill Self and his coaching staff have no time to sit around and mope about missing out on the now-future Blue Devils.

Stephen F. Austin grad transfer T.J. Holyfield and Mount Pleasant, Utah prep prospect Tristan Enaruna are both visiting Lawrence this week.

And Arkansas-Little Rock grad transfer Rayjon Tucker and Class of 2020 Top 5 prospect R.J. Hampton, who may be reclassifying to join the 2019 crew, are both attractive options, as well.

And that’s to say nothing about top 2019 prospect Precious Achiuwa, who is expected to make his decision in late May.

Here’s a quick update on a few of the players mentioned above.

• R.J. Hampton

Let’s start with the biggest fish on this list. Hampton, you probably already know, is ranked as the 5th best player in the 2020 class and has been considered by some recruiting analysts to be the top prep guard available in the country, regardless of class.

If he were to reclassify and come to Kansas, it would be a monster lift for the Jayhawks’ 2019 class and their prospects for the 2019-20 season.

It’s still early and we don’t know yet whether Hampton will reclassify, but if he does, it looks like it might be down to KU and Memphis. John Calipari is expected to visit him today and KU has had their turns, as well.

The latest I read pointed out that Hampton has some pretty deep ties to the Memphis program and Penny Hardaway assistant coach Mike Miller. But there’s little doubt that Kansas can offer things that Memphis can’t, so it should be an interesting battle.

Hampton sent out a one-word Tweet on Tuesday, saying simply, “Decisions.”

As you might’ve expected, that set off a series of reactions from fans at all kinds of programs, including KU, trying to convince the young man to join their squad.

The most creative I saw pointed out what Hampton’s first name could stand for. It went something like this.

R – ockchalk J – ayhawk

Not bad.

His actions are worth tracking these days simply because he is an enormous talent and he could be a factor somewhere as soon as next season.

• Rayjon Tucker

This prolific scorer from UALR is one of the top grad transfers available according to most recruiting analysts and his list of suitors certainly suggests that.

Tucker, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound wing who originally hails from Charlotte, N.C., averaged 20 points and 7 rebounds a game while shooting 42 percent from 3-point range for UALR during the 2018-19 season.

The versatile guard who can play multiple positions started his career at Florida Gulf Coast playing under former Self assistant Joe Dooley.

According to multiple reports, Tucker, who has declared for the 2019 NBA draft, will make five visits before making his decision.

He checked out West Virginia first and was at Auburn last weekend. He plans to hit Memphis next and will also visit Iowa State and Kansas. His KU visit is slated for May 3.

I couldn’t find much about the West Virginia visit, but it’s clear that KU, Memphis and Iowa State have some work to do to move ahead of Auburn.

“Auburn is definitely more than I expected,” Tucker told Rivals site, AuburnSports.com, after his visit. “Auburn is definitely the place to beat.”

• Tristan Enaruna

As reported by KUsports.com recruiting insider Matt Scott a couple of weeks ago, Kansas, Creighton and Miami (Fla.) are the programs still alive for the rising wing’s services and his official visits to all three places will be behind him by the end of the week.

The 6-7, 205-pound wing will visit Miami today, is headed to Creighton on Friday and will visit KU on Sunday.

According to 247 Sports recruiting analyst Evan Daniels, Enaruna’s mother, Anneliese Breijer, will make the trip from Holland to join her son on all three visits.

Ranked No. 105 in the 2019 class by Rivals.com, Enaruna appears to be the type of player who could make a small impact right away but has serious long term potential.

His size, length and versatility would make him a good fit at Kansas, with the versatility that Self’s teams have recently employed, and Enaruna, who played his prep ball in Mount Pleasant, Utah, has seen both his stock and his game explode during the past couple of seasons, at both the prep level and on the international stage.

• Precious Achiuwa

No real news on the recruitment of Achiuwa, but I stumbled across this nugget the other day while looking at 2019 draft coverage online.

According to ESPN.com’s Jonathan Givony, Achiuwa is on pace to be a lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Givony has the Montverde Academy star pegged to go No. 9 in the 2020 draft.

Here’s why:

“Achiuwa is a hungry scorer who is aggressive attacking the rim in the open floor, pulling up off the dribble, shooting with his feet set and taking difficult shots from inside the arc,” Givony wrote in his breakdown of the 6-foot-9, 215-pound forward ranked No. 16 in the 2019 class by Rivals.com. “His ability to change speeds powerfully, finish above the rim and throw in jumpers is intriguing for a player his size, even if his tunnel-vision decision-making and shot selection still often leave a lot to be desired. Achiuwa also is a playmaker defensively who wows you at times with his versatility switching onto guards and protecting the rim. His feel for the game and overall consistency are still a major work in progress, though, and going to the right school will be paramount for him. Ultimately, his combination of tools and talent are just too tantalizing to not project as a lottery talent now.”

Comments

Glen Miller 5 months ago

Are we favored for any players in the 2019 class? Are there any kids that are a heavy lean our direction. I mean UNC, Duke, Kentucky and those schools had guys who were heavy leans throughout and then got their guys....... our leans have seemed to flip at the end.

Craig Carson 4 months, 4 weeks ago

with the way this recruiting season has gone, im not holding my breathe on any of these guys signing with KU...thats whats sad..every other blue blood has had their recruiting class pretty much set for a few months..they might have waited on a player or 2, but they already had multiple top guys signed..here we are having to sweat it out....

Robert Brock 5 months ago

The Big Dogs gotta eat. Kansas gets what’s left.

Steve Zimmerman 5 months ago

Why would any of those kids come to KU if BS will feed Big Dok..?

Craig Carson 4 months, 4 weeks ago

even with Dok back, they will still need guards who can shoot..Grimes isnt likely to come back and you really dont want to rely on 2 lower rated freshman guards as the primary back ups....Tucker would fill an immediate need and would get plenty of shots...he could even be the featured guard due to his experience.....Enaruna is a long term option..with another mass exodus coming next season, KU NEEDS guys like him to build around...Precious coming to KU IMO, took a hit with Dok coming back..but I guess he was a OAD anyway so its pretty much a wash with having senior Azibuike...with how KU has struck out this season, I dont think they would land Hampton even if he did reclassify

Ryan Zimmerman 5 months ago

Is there any reason to believe we have a shot at Precious? I haven't heard any ties at all or leans that show us as remote contenders

Gerry Butler 4 months, 4 weeks ago

there have been multiple articles put out that more then likely that this was going to come down between Memphis and Ku for Precious - so ya just a little bit more then a remote contender for him. - Now having said that rumor has it that Memphis seems to have the inside track - - Penny has gotten some huge commits and is very quickly becoming a major pain in the A - - - but to say we aren't even a remote possibility is just a stretch by any means

Craig Carson 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Penny will be a major pain, but if he shows he cant coach, his impact will be short lived...star players returning to coach their Alma mata dont have a very good track record

Rick Schuster 4 months, 4 weeks ago

To make your point, Craig, look at Danny Manning. Great assistant coach working to develop our big men, but as a head coach, his record isn't that impressive.

Chris DeWeese 5 months ago

I'm not convinced we'll get any of these guys.

Craig Carson 4 months, 4 weeks ago

me neither..the lack of recruits could hurt a lot worse next season if we have another mass exodus..cant afford another pathetic 2 man class..

Chad Smith 4 months, 4 weeks ago

It just feels like we just need one of these guy to commit and that will demonstrate a belief that KU's program is not going to get severe penalties from the NCAA. I really do feel like if one comes to KU, so will a couple more.

Gerry Butler 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Got a very legit shot at Tucker. - The big obstacle with him is with Auburn as being said he fits Great with Auburns system - -just going to have to sell it big time when he comes here. - -Some people always want to look at things negative. - We have legit shot at Precious - - Rajon -- & Hampton - there was another Grad Transfer - - - - Holyfied that didn't play last Season due to injury but had a really good career would be a nice pickup - -The prize would be Hampton which a lot feel like we are sitting pretty good with. - - There was a article off Rivals that basically said they thought if he can get the credits he needs this Summer and he qualifies they feel he is Lawrence bound. -- It's Duke - - Kentucky - - Memphis and KU - - they said Duke really hasn't been that active with him so they are pretty much a non factor they said. - -With the people Kentucky has coming back they said they wasn't that sure how serious he would be considering there - Think we have a good chance at him and Enurana for sure and quite possibly another transfer. - were gonna be fine when it's all said and done. - -like a really good QB from the NFL said when his team was struggling - -maybe you have heard of him - name AAron Rogers said: - -just R - - E -- L - -A - -X -things gonna be fine. - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

Craig Carson 4 months, 4 weeks ago

hard for us to R E L A X when we keep watching every top recruit KU goes after choosing someone else..they have missed out on everyone so far...

Greg Bowles 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Craig Carson totally agree. Hurt was a huge disappointment. I though for sure that we would land him, especially since he played for Self already. But, we got Grimes out of the deal. What a real bummer that was. Why he thinks he is ready for the NBA is really weird. He had a mediocre season at best for KU. He is going to be eaten alive in the pros. He'll end up in Europe. Dotson really took me by surprise. I figured he would return and maybe try to get his draft stock a bit higher. He could still come back, if he finds that the scouts are not to favorable on his skills yet. De Sousa would be nice to have back. KU really needs to ride the NCAA on getting him eligible next season, then he will return. Poor kid really wants to play ball at Kansas. For him to stick around all last season, tells a lot about his devotion to the school.Fingers crossed for him.

Joe Black 4 months, 4 weeks ago

His name is Aaron Rodgers and how did that turn out for Mr Rodgers this past year?

Gerry Butler 4 months, 4 weeks ago

It worked out just fine when he stated that for the year he was talking about. - -Chill the sky is not falling - -the Sun will still come up tomorrow. -

Michael Maris 4 months, 4 weeks ago

It would be great to get Silvio De Sousa back and land the Grad Transfer. But, it will still create an issue for the next recruiting season. As, then Kansas would be replacing 4 Front Court players (De Sousa, Dok, Lightfoot and the Grad Transfer). And, that's assuming that D. McCormack doesn't have a great Sophomore season and end up declaring for the NBA Draft (as well). So, this "One and Done" recruiting scenario is really starting to take it's toll on seasoned quality roster depth. I'm all for the NBA and NBAPA eliminating the One and Done restrictions and making the requirement to be more like what the MLB and MLBPA have for their sport. That way, recruited players who step foot on campus have to stay a minimum of 2 season at the Collegiate level.

Drew Doerfler 4 months, 4 weeks ago

this!!! times 1000.......Self really needed to get a power forward in this class ranked around 30 to 60 or 2 to have in the system for 3 to 4 years or else we have no depth again the year after next except for any new guys that he signs......maybe a transfer power forward that has to sit a year?

Gerry Butler 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Your not going to have to worry about McCormack going anywhere after this season. - -With Doke returning , Dave's development will take a little longer behind Doke. - being able to develop at his own pace , continue to work on things. - -Dave more likely then not is a 3-4 year very solid player but he just won't be declaring after THIS season

Craig Carson 4 months, 4 weeks ago

ive been saying this same thing...my main concern isnt quality of our current class, it QUANTITY...grad transfers are great, but they are only a 1 year fix...Ku will lose Aizbuike and Lightfoot to graduation..any grad transfers are gone, if Dotson, Abaji and DM have the kind of years we hope, they all could be gone as well..so that leaves Garrett and the 2 lower rated freshmen from this season...even when Roy couldnt recruit 5 stars while UNC was under investigation, he could at least recruit plenty of good 4 stars who stayed 3-4 and kept them competitive...Self and his staff havent done that at all

DaNeille Dani Davis 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Just curious...who pays for these recruiting trips? The schools, the families, or then of course you have these shoe companies..

Glen Miller 4 months, 4 weeks ago

If it is an official visit (you get 5) and you are a high school Senior........ your trip is taken care of mostly by the University. They can reimburse for travel, food and where you stay while on your visit or set you up themselves. Otherwise, it is 100% supposed to be up to you and your family. That's how it went with me when I was taking visits many years ago anyways.

Dirk Medema 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Dani - The cost of An official visit is paid entirely by the host school though there are regulations on all that can be provided and the recruits are limited to 5 official visits.

Greg Bowles 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Dirk, restrictions? You mean like Louisville's Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll?

Dirk Medema 4 months, 4 weeks ago

The Debbie Downers seem to be out in full force today.

Most any recruit with any perimeter game should love to play alongside Dok. Yes, he will be a focal point of the O, but as Benton pointed out yesterday @ 70+% he demands a huge focus from the D as well so perimeter players get the extra windows for clean looks. Perimeter players are also that much more likely to get an assist on a pass.

With McCormick's development, it also makes it that much easier to sub for him to keep him fresher and less foul prone but also allows him to be that much more aggressive in his last line of defense.

Matt Gauntt 4 months, 4 weeks ago

I am guessing that half of the "KU fans" here are really Kentucky or Duke fans trying to fan the flame of doubt hoping a prospect will also start doubting.

Gerry Butler 4 months, 4 weeks ago

lmao , I imagine with what is being brought out in this Trial DUKE - - KENTUCKY - - & North Carolina just maybe might wanna tighten things up in their own back yard according to Matt Norlendar - -All 3 schools saying they would be able to help with Zion if it were close

Layne Pierce 4 months, 4 weeks ago

we need 2 more 4 stars, to keep any kind of continuity for next year. Fact is that we are on a downward trend at the moment, but Doke's decision at least stops the free fall.

We still have a lot of players to look at. Certainly our recruiting needs to be reviewed. Wondering if Howard is in some kind of trouble, and kids know it.

We can expect the Dicky Vs of the world saying Kansas doesn't have the usual group of 5 stars, what is happening? That's just the way it is.

RCJH

Tony Bandle 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Random Thoughts:

1] Kansas has a case of the P.T.'s that is clouding the issue with recruits.

2] P.T.'s you ask......think of Playing Time vs Probation of Tournament. Kansas may have the most playing time available of all the elite schools, however, the shadow of NCAA probation hangs over the program like a thick cloud over the Chiefs parking lot on game day!

3] I honestly thought we would be hard pressed to match this year's record next season.

4] However, Dok's return could mean at least 5 more victories and a deeper run in the tourney, that is A. if he is healthy and B. if we actually get to play in it!!

5] I agree with Craig..actually, I fear depth this season could be a problem at least in the back court. Next year, if there is probation this season, it will be lifted for next season and there will still be loads playing time available.

6] Duke should eat s### and die!!!

Craig Carson 4 months, 4 weeks ago

I don't think KU is in danger of probation..but vacating a FF could be the worst of it..even then it is t likely

Adam James 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Isaac McBride is gonna turn heads when he arrives on campus. He is blue collar and doesn't have all the fan fair like these other guys. No expectations and he will surprise the fans.

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