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Two new names on KU's radar who are considering reclassifying into the 2019 class

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Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

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.

None by Johnny Juzang

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.

Comments

Andy Godwin 3 weeks, 2 days ago

I will wait to get excited until someone actually signs. KU has been in the running, lead for several players (according to the “experts”), only for them to go elsewhere. Seeing is believing.

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Hi Matt. Any buzz about getting an ruling on Silvio's appeal?

Matt Tait 3 weeks, 2 days ago

I have not heard back from his lawyer all week. Don't know that it's worth reading into that too much, either way, but it's definitely looking less likely by the minute that they'll get a ruling this week as they had indicated was possible and certainly had hoped for.

Lance Iamnot 3 weeks, 2 days ago

I have a horrible feeling that the NCAA will say absolutely nothing. It feels as if they just want the DeSousa matter to just go away at this point without their having to weigh-in, like a referee or umpire not wanting to make a close call. They do not want any mud on their boots.

Dirk Medema 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Looks like your Deep Throat connection continues to pay dividends. Say thank you from all of us the next time you meet them in that shadowy parking lot.

Lance Iamnot 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Looks like we may have a snowball's chance at some real good possible maybes. Here's hoping we draw to an inside straight flush.

Matt Tait 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Good way to put it.

When you reach the end of April and you've still got 4 or 5 scholarships to hand out to fill the current recruiting class and your roster, having maybes is better than having nothing.

In this particular case, a bunch of these maybes are pretty darn good and hitting on even just one of them would be significant for KU's 2019 class.

We'll see what happens.

Marius Rowlanski 3 weeks ago

Good luck on that inside straight flush. Just about the same odds of us getting a top 50 player in next season's recruiting class.

Craig Carson 3 weeks, 2 days ago

The lack of recruits will be troubling next season after another mass exodus

Tony Bandle 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Well, at least Duke hasn't got into the picture!

Shannon Gustafson 3 weeks, 1 day ago

They are out of scholarships so that's certainly a bonus going forward.

Brett McCabe 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Just so you dips* know, Jon Cornish just made the CFL Hall of Fame. Benton, in his article, forgets to mention that Willie Pless also made the HOF because, sloppy journalism is now the norm at the LJW.

Rather than commenting on another useless one-year-non-wonder, maybe give a little love to a Real Jayhawk?

Jay Scott 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Of much greater concern than basketball recruiting or minor league football is the mental health crisis in America.

Brett, there are many excellent providers who could help you. Many accept Medicaid if that's what you require. Don't suffer needlessly.

Eric TheCapn 3 weeks, 2 days ago

I appreciate the analysis, Matt, as well as some of your responses to comments. But what position does/would Juzang (sounds super fun to shout after a monster jam) play? Small forward?

How often do kids from LA come to Kansas? I remember Omar Wilkes did... but I'm old-ish, and Omar was a super freakin' nice guy.

Danny Hernandez 2 weeks, 6 days ago

some players like Jacque Vaughn and Paul Pierce come to mind, How about Eric Chenowith?

Steve Zimmerman 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Typical KU's recruitment drama. Every season is a 'wait and see' game. But I'm excited for 2020: Tre White, he's got KU listed. Let's hope he commit early. He's legit SF, explosive, and very athletic.

Shannon Gustafson 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Are you saying you expect recruitment of kids that starts at 15-16 years old at some point won't be a "wait and see" game? You're expecting a day to come where we just offer kids scholarships and they commit immediately?

Steve Zimmerman 3 weeks, 1 day ago

What's wrong with committing earlier? Lots of those top100 do.

Shannon Gustafson 3 weeks ago

There is no benefit to the kids if they commit early and for the schools there is a chance they they peak early and fall off (like the recent early recruit we released because he wasn't progressing as expected).

If you're hoping that this becomes the norm or even expecting anyone to sign super early then you're going to be disappointed 99% of the time.

Steve Zimmerman 3 weeks ago

Thanks for your insightful opinion. Let's hope we'll hit a jackpot or two next year.

Craig Carson 3 weeks, 1 day ago

At some point in time KU is gonna have to advance from "listed" to actually picked

Fred Davis 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Matt, I appreciate the work you do - but to write a ‘...class that appears to be just fine’ simply because a few guys plan to re-classify? So what? KU has missed out on its last three guys so badly after YEARS of recruiting them. This is a new reality KU is operating under until this FBI BS is finally resolved. The program is toxic right now & there’s nothing that suggests it’s going to end anytime soon - regardless of who reclassifies.

Marius Rowlanski 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Reclassify... Doesn't KU comprehend the difficulty w/reclassification?

Eligibility!

It's a gift that keeps on giving, particularly with the NCAA to making KU go through the exact same waiting game.

Wouldn't it be nice to see a bench filled w/eligible players?

Shannon Gustafson 3 weeks ago

It's relatively routine for American kids from accredited schools. The big problems is when international kids do it since their transcripts are a lot harder to get approved anyway and then when you add reclassification it complicates it further.

Marius Rowlanski 2 weeks, 6 days ago

You're right but we are doing a lot of recruiting in those international areas and getting burned by the NCAA.

My goal for next season where we don't have 3 transfers and two players waiting for eligibility. We had 5 players deligated to courtside seats until Preston realized he was never going to e eligible.

Dirk Medema 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Reclassifying is just taking some extra classes over the summer and submitting your paperwork to the NCAA just like otherwise. Summer school isn't easy but the process is exactly the same. Bagley and Zion to name the 2 most prominent have done it recently but as said it is becoming more common.

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