Kansas basketball pursuing a different type of point guard in 2020 recruiting class


Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

When you think about the players who have played point guard for Kansas coach Bill Self during the past 16 seasons, a very specific image comes to mind.

Devonte’ Graham. Frank Mason III. Devon Dotson. Russell Robinson. Sherron Collins. Aaron Miles.

All of them were terrific players, outstanding leaders and productive point guards for Self’s KU teams. And not one of them stood taller than 6-foot-2.

And then there’s Class of 2020 prospect Kyree Walker, a 6-foot-6 monster of a man who weighs in at 230 pounds and plays the point.

Even KU’s bigger point guards under Self, like Tyshawn Taylor, at 6-3, and Elijah Johnson, at 6-4, were not as big as Walker, who recently talked with’s Corey Evans about the status of his recruitment.

The Jayahwks are among a dozen or so teams seriously pursuing Walker on the recruiting trail, and his recruitment, like so many others these days, is one that carries a bit of uncertainty.

Currently ranked No. 17 overall in the Class of 2020, the 5-star prospect from Hillcrest Academy in Phoenix is another high school junior contemplating the idea of reclassifying into the Class of 2019 to get a jump on his college career.

He discussed with Evans the likelihood of him reclassifying and also broke down what he liked about a handful of the schools pursuing him, a list that includes KU, Memphis, Oregon, Tennessee, Arkansas, Vanderbilt and UCLA.

“I am not thinking about it right now,” he told Evans of reclassifying. “It is up in the air. I just worry about my class and what I am doing. If I were to do it, it would be after the summer and after everything (with AAU basketball) is over. I am just worried about being the best player on and off of the court.”

As for his current take on the KU coaching staff, Walker made it clear that his size was what stood out to several coaches.

“Bill Self said that he needs a point guard that can do a lot of things,” Walker told Evans last week. “... There are not a lot of guards that have my size.”

According to Evans, Walker’s size makes the possibilities almost endless for whatever program winds up landing him, be it in the coming months or next year.

Wrote Evans in breaking down the Hillcrest PG: “Walker has dimensions of physicality and toughness to his game (and) possesses a skill set that would work well in the college game. Regardless of the year that he enrolls in college, the program that lands him will have a ready-made, go-to scorer in the backcourt who can consistently produce each time he hits the floor.”

Said Walker of his reputation as a big time scorer: “Everybody thinks that I can just score, but I am more than that. I am a team player and when we need a bucket, I can get us one. But when someone else needs to get a bucket, I can do that, too. I have been in the gym, just working on my jumper, trying to improve. I don’t play for anybody but myself. A lot of coaches really like that.”


Phil Leister 2 years, 8 months ago

"I don’t play for anybody but myself."

Cue the ridicule from the anonymous online posters in 3, 2, 1...

Joe Black 2 years, 8 months ago

It is a ridiculous statement. Probably didn't come out exactly as he intended but sounds extremely selfish worded that way. Didn't want you to be disappointed Phil.

Brian Wilson 2 years, 8 months ago

Sorry you are unable to comprehend. It came out wrong. Basically he plays the game because he loves it and not because it pleases others. He has more to learn and he doesn't need anybody else to motivate him to work on it and get better. IMO, the kind of competitiveness every player should have.

Dirk Medema 2 years, 8 months ago

Brian, I don't think it is a matter of Phil being unable to comprehend what Walker was talking about as much as Phil having seen all too often a few whiner quitters come out and flame on a recruit.

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 2 years, 8 months ago

It would be fun watching him play. He'd probably fit well into HCBS's two guard philosophy. If he plays point on defense in college, I wonder if he could stay in front of a smaller, quicker PG. Maybe he relies on his size to make up for it?

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