Four-star Class of 2022 combo guard Kyle Cuffe Jr. commits to Kansas
The Kansas men’s basketball program picked up its first commitment from the Class of 2022 on Saturday evening, when four-star guard Kyle Cuffe Jr. picked the Jayhawks.
There’s been talk about Cuffe Jr. reclassifying into the 2021 class and joining the Jayhawks next season. But nothing concrete is known about his plans as of yet. Cuffe Jr. chose KU over finalists Kansas State, St. John’s, Georgia, Pitt and Texas A&M.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound shooting guard who currently attends Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J., said during his commitment ceremony that the school he was choosing, “gives me the best opportunity (as) a student and at being a basketball player.”
Decked out in gray sweatsuit, with a blue Kansas T-Shirt underneath, which he revealed after announcing his pick, Cuffe Jr. made his commitment at Gauchos Gym in Bronx, N.Y., where he has worked on his game since he was in third grade.
Several friends and family members were on hand for Cuffe Jr.’s announcement, which came just after 6:15 p.m. and was carried on Instagram Live.
In addition to thanking God and several of his coaches past and present, Cuffe Jr. thanked his parents and his sister for supporting him through his recruitment.
His father, Kyle Cuffe Sr., was a standout at St. John’s during his college days, but it was clear on Saturday that the elder Cuffe had no issue with his son going elsewhere for his college experience.
“I know I give this kid a lot of flack,” Cuffe Sr. said while welcoming people to the ceremony. “But I’m very, very proud of (him). He worked his tail off. Everything he got, he deserved. … There’s going to be a lot of ESPN and CBS (games) for you guys to watch him, so get ready, get excited. I know we are.”
Known for his explosive play and ability to attack the basket in the halfcourt and in transition, Cuffe Jr. said during a recent interview with Cal Griffin of Young Kings Talk on YouTube that he was focused mostly on developing into a true point guard.
Cuffe Jr. considers himself a combo guard at the moment and he has used his time at Blair Academy, where he transferred to face better competition after starting at a prep school in Connecticut, to become a better playmaker for others.
“Decision-making,” Cuffe Jr. said when asked during the YouTube interview what aspect of his game he wanted to improve most. “I want to be able to come off screens and make the right pass, knowing how and when to shoot the ball, things like that. … Right now I’m a combo, but (I’m) trying to become a point.”
Ranked No. 78 overall in the 2022 class by Rivals.com, Cuffe Jr. recently told Shay Wildeboor of JayhawkSlant.com that the relationships he had built with KU coach Bill Self and KU assistant Norm Roberts played a big role in his recruitment.
“I love the history of Kansas and what Bill Self has to offer,” Cuffe Jr. said. “I talk to coach Self and coach Norm Roberts on the daily. They let me know what I would bring to them and how much they value me. They also let me know how much I would value them.”