The next names to watch in Kansas Basketball's 2020 recruiting efforts
With three Class of 2020 commitments expected to make their pledges to Kansas official by signing letters of intent sometime today, the recruiting rolls on for the Kansas basketball program.
Landing five-star guard Tulsa guard Bryce Thompson on Tuesday was massive news and that pick up positions KU’s 2020 class to hover around the Top 10 nationally no matter what happens from here.
So where do the Jayhawks turn their attention now in their efforts to finish off a strong class?
Two letters is all you need to answer that question — KK.
K.K. Robinson is the next big target on the Jayhawks’ 2020 wish list and the Jayhawks are still in the hunt for the 6-foot, 170-pound point guard from Oak Hill Academy.
Robinson, who visited KU in early October, has zeroed in on a final group of Kansas, TCU, Illinois and Arkansas. And, according to Evan Daniels of 247 Sports, Robinson plans to announce his decision during Thanksgiving break.
Although that means Robinson’s destination will be known in the next few weeks, his commitment will not be official until the spring, when he can sign his letter of intent.
The current early signing period only runs through Wednesday.
A native of Arkansas, Robinson is finishing his prep career at Oak Hill in Virginia and has made official visits to all four programs.
Illinois snagged a point guard last week and the Razorbacks are considered by many to be the favorite for Robinson’s services.
Originally recruited to Arkansas by former Razorbacks coach Mike Anderson (now at St. John’s), Robinson has been impressed by what new Arkansas coach Eric Musselman and his assistants have done to make him a priority in the recruiting process.
“They definitely made a big jump from where they were at first,” Robinson told Nikki Chavanelle of Rivals site HawgBeat.com last month. “I had them in my top four, they're probably one or two now. The detail and the planning that they have for me (separated them from the rest). They brought out about 20 books and showed me how I would be able to get better and fit into their game system.”
While Arkansas could be viewed as the program to beat, Robinson has been high on Kansas throughout his recruitment.
“That is a really big and legendary school in basketball,” Robinson said of KU in an October interview with Corey Evans. “Being able to be recruited by them, it is just a blessing. He (Self) has done good with guards that are my height in the past and he has a plan for me. … Talking to the coaching staff, I really could tell that they wanted me to play for their program.”
It appears to be a two-team race for Robinson and it will be interesting to see what the commitment by Thompson does for Robinson, both in terms of how he sees himself fitting in at KU and how much more comfortable he is with Kansas now that a five-star, Top 20 prospect has shown he is not afraid to join the Jayhawks.
Robinson, who is ranked No. 80 in the 2020 class by Rivals.com, has all seven staff votes aligned with Arkansas in the Rivals FutureCast projections. His Crystal Ball standing at 247 Sports also favors Arkansas, with 100% of the votes going to the Razorbacks.
One more to watch
Another name worth keeping an eye on is Texas point guard Latrell Jossell.
The 5-foot-10, 160-pound point guard from Keller, Texas, reported on Twitter on Wednesday that he had received an offer from Kansas.
KU assistant Jerrance Howard is the lead recruiter for Jossell, who projects as a rotation player who could provide quality depth at the point.
Rivals.com analyst Eric Bossi called Jossell a player who is "very high on the Jayhawks" and one that "at a minimum, KU fans should be watching closely throughout the signing period."
Said Bossi of Jossell: "He is a very good athlete, can shoot a bit from deep and plays really hard. Currently, I think he's maybe more of a combo guard and might be more prepared to help out at a little bit lower level right out of the chute. But Self has shown he can find under the radar guards and develop them."
Bossi said it's too early to know exactly what type of player Jossell could become. But he noted that similarly overlooked, undervalued guards like Frank Mason III and Devonte' Graham have done well at Kansas in the recent past.
"Guys like him with heart and a chip on his shoulder can often surprise after a few years in a good program with other good players around them," Bossi noted. "Jossell hasn't announced any signing plans or anything like that. But, again, his situation is worth keeping an eye on."