Two new names on KU's radar who are considering reclassifying into the 2019 class
Reclassification is the in thing in college recruiting these days and the Kansas Jayhawks may benefit because of it.
In addition to waiting on a decision from Top 5 Class of 2020 prospect R.J. Hampton, two other hot names have surfaced lately in KU’s recruiting efforts.
One of them, like Hampton may, is reclassifying from the 2020 class into 2019, making him eligible to play college basketball later this year. And the other is considering it.
Here’s a look.
The first player is Johnny Juzang, a 6-foot-7, 200-pound, Top 25 prospect who is drawing interest from some of the top programs in the country, including Kansas.
Earlier this week, he announced his decision to enroll at the college of his choosing early and said he would pick a school “in the next few weeks.”
The North Hollywood (Calif.) prospect currently has offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Cal, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Marquette, Miami, Oregon, San Diego State, UNLV, USC, Utah, Virginia and Washington.
And he has a few visits on the books, as well, including Kentucky next week. According to Rivals.com’s Corey Evans, he already took an official visit to Virginia last year and landing Juzang figures to be an all-out battle for all of the programs involved, including UCLA and new head coach Mick Cronin, who have the hometown advantage.
No other scheduled official visits have been announced at this time.
Juzang played AAU ball with the Compton Magic and averaged 23 points 8.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game for Harvard Westlake during his junior season.
Another relatively new name to watch on the recruiting trail is that of Kyree Walker, a Top 20 shooting guard in the 2020 class who also is exploring the idea of reclassifying to become eligible to play college ball during the 2019-20 season.
The 6-foot-4, 180-pound 5-star prospect hails from Hillcrest Academy in Phoenix currently holds offers from Cal, Memphis, Arizona State, UCLA, LSU, Oklahoma, Illinois, Texas, Nevada, Arkansas and Kansas, with KU and Arkansas both receiving the most buzz from recruiting analysts of late.
Walker initially committed to Arizona State early in the process but has since de-committed and opened up his recruitment to both a number of schools and the possibility of enrolling in school a year early.
In an interview with VandySports.com, Rivals recruiting guru Eric Bossi called Walker “a physical scorer who can play above the rim” and “a tenacious competitor on the defensive side of the ball.”
“What stands out the most, though, is a big time first step,” Bossi told the site. “It’s the key to his entire game. Knowing that he can blow by just about anybody gives him confidence and then the strength to finish through contact and his ability to shift things on the fly make him a tough customer as a scorer.”
Obviously there’s still a long way to go for any program to land any of these players, Hampton included. But what has become crystal clear in this whole process is the fact that, like the grad transfer route of late, the reclassification option has become a serious part of teams’ recruiting plans and opened up other worlds entirely.
A Kansas class that two weeks ago looked to be a little thin and in need of some good news from Matt Hurt and/or Cassius Stanley, missed out on both of those Duke-bound prospects and yet still appears to be just fine given that the Jayhawks are very much in the running for all three players mentioned above, as well as others in the Class of 2019 and on the grad transfer path.
They may not get them. This trio may not end up reclassifying. But they do give Kansas and the other programs vying for their services options. And, in the recruiting game, that’s all you can ask for.