Early signing period opens Wednesday; KU expected to sign 2 Class of 2021 prospects this week
Wednesday marks the first day of college basketball's early signing period for the 2021 recruiting class and the Kansas men's basketball program is expected to sign two prospects this week.
Four-star forwards KJ Adams and Zach Clemence have been committed to Kansas for months and both are expected to make their commitments official this week.
JayhawkSlant's Shay Wildeboor reported Tuesday that Adams plans to sign his national letter of intent at 7:45 a.m. Wednesday and Clemence told the Journal-World on Tuesday that his plan is to sign his letter at 11 a.m. Saturday.
“I'm just excited to be a part of KU,” Clemence said when asked what he was looking forward to most about making his commitment official.
Per NCAA rules, Kansas coach Bill Self has not been able to comment on either player throughout their recruitment, but he will be able to provide his reaction when KU officially receives their letters.
With KU potentially losing seniors Marcus Garrett and Mitch Lightfoot to graduation following the 2020-21 season, the addition of these two players would help the Jayhawks fill the roster.
However, with Silvio De Sousa already gone — KU will play with just 12 scholarship players this season instead of the NCAA maximum of 13 — Self will have one additional scholarship to pass out, should he find another player in the 2021 class that he'd like to add.
Another wrinkle impacting the current class is the NCAA rule that will allow all current winter sports athletes an additional year of eligibility — should they choose to use it — because of the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.
That means that both Garrett and Lightfoot could return for another season — a fifth year for Garrett and a sixth year for Lightfoot, who already redshirted the 2019-20 season.
Time will tell if either player takes advantage of that opportunity, but if they do, KU's roster for the 2021-22 season would be bigger than it is during most seasons. No official word has been announced about how the scholarship limit will be handled for next season, but the expectation is that the NCAA will waive the 13-scholarship maximum for one season.
That would provide all Division I programs with one year to manage the extra year of eligibility dilemma and more likely would have an impact on the 2022 recruiting classes.
As for the additions we know about, Adams is a 6-foot-6, 220-pound forward who can play on the perimeter and use his strength and size to score inside.
Known for his toughness and work on the glass, the Westlake High prospect from Austin, Texas, also has a strong, explosive frame and the ability to shoot the ball with consistency out to the 3-point line.
Ranked No. 85 overall in the class of 2021 rankings by Rivals.com, Adams compares favorably to a bigger Marcus Garrett or Travis Releford.
Clemence is another forward who can operate both on the perimeter and down low.
The 6-foot-10, 205-pound forward from Sunrise Christian in Bel Aire, can play three positions and said he favors the role of the stretch 4 because it puts him in the best position to capitalize on his wide range of skills.
The Pleasanton, Texas, native is ranked No. 29 in the most recent Rivals.com Class of 2021 rankings.