Five-star target R.J. Hampton eyeing return visit to Kansas; may join good friend Jalen Wilson later this month
There has been plenty of chatter in the past several days about the possibility of top-tier Class of 2019 prospects R.J. Hampton and Jalen Wilson teaming up in Lawrence for the 2019-20 college basketball season.
But there’s a chance the two could be on KU’s campus together even sooner than that.
According to a Monday report from 247 Sports recruiting analyst Evan Daniels, Hampton, the No. 5-ranked player in the 2019 class per Rivals.com, is considering joining Wilson on his upcoming visit to KU, which is slated for May 30-June 1.
“I’m thinking that he may visit Kansas with Jalen,” Hampton’s father, Rod Hampton, told 247 Sports.
Hampton made an official visit to KU during the 2018-19 season in December and also visited Memphis last September. Those two, along with new contender Texas Tech, make up Hampton’s list of finalists, with Kentucky having been recently eliminated.
“We don’t need to visit to Kansas or Memphis,” Rod Hampton told Daniels. “But the next couple of days he’s going to decide where Texas Tech stands. If he’s serious about that then we’ll go visit.”
KU is the only school on the list of finalists for both Hampton and Wilson, and that fact has fueled speculation that the two could be coming to Lawrence permanently.
“Kansas, that’d be a great pick,” Wilson said during a live Instagram interview with Tipton Edits on Sunday night. “Everyone’s already assuming that we’re going to play together. I haven’t played with him in a long time, so if that happens, Lawrence better be ready. That’d be pretty lit.”
Wilson called Hampton, “just a great guy, great player,” and said the two Texans had been friends since first grade.
“That’s my guy,” Wilson said. “That’s my right-hand man. We’ve been playing together for a long time. … I see him like probably every single other day, especially now that it’s summer.”
While both players have some visits and decisions to sort out, it appears that a couple of key announcements could be coming in the next couple of weeks.
Sources have told the Journal-World that a June 1 decision date could be in the plans for Hampton, and his father told Daniels on Monday that his son planned to reveal his choice “the first week of June.”
Hampton, himself, has been hinting at a decision to come in his Twitter bio, which now reads, “your question will be answered soon, I got the date finally.”
While landing either player — Wilson is a 4-star prospect ranked No. 47 overall by Rivals and Hampton is a 5-star prize — would significantly bolster KU’s 2019 recruiting class, the idea of getting both of them to join the Jayhawks for next season is enough to move KU’s class, which currently ranks No. 31, into the Top 10.
According to the 247 Sports class calculator, adding both players would bring KU’s 2019 score from 55.96 to 67.49 and would move KU ahead of North Carolina into the No. 8 spot in the 2019 team rankings.
Just adding Hampton would move KU from 31st to 13th with a new score of 64.77.
Kansas currently has three signees in the 2019 class. Four-star guards Christian Braun (Blue Valley Northwest) and Issac McBridge (Baptist Prep in Little Rock, Ark.) signed in November, and four-star forward Tristan Enaruna, who currently is KU’s highest-ranked 2019 signee, committed to KU and signed his letter of intent earlier this month.
Enaruna is ranked No. 44, per Rivals, while Braun cracked the Top 100 at No. 90 and McBride landed at No. 103.