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Is Michigan back in the mix for KU target Jalen Wilson?

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Although many recruiting analysts have called the race to land Class of 2019 prospect Jalen Wilson a battle between Kansas and North Carolina, a third program has found its way into the mix.

And it's the very school that the 6-foot-8 Wilson committed to in the first place.

Wednesday afternoon, multiple reports indicated that Michigan had hired former Wolverine and longtime NBA forward Juwan Howard as its next head coach. Howard will replace John Beilein, who recently left Michigan to join the Cleveland Cavaliers, sparking Wilson's desire to reopen his commitment.

Wilson, who hails from Denton, Texas, did receive his release from his letter of intent with Michigan. And the 4-star forward who is best friends with KU target R.J. Hampton, has scheduled visits with KU (May 30-June 1) and North Carolina (June 3-5).

But according to quotes reported by ESPN.com's Jeff Borzello, Michigan may very well be back in the mix now that Howard has been hired.

"He's alumni and has NBA knowledge so that's always great to have in a coach," said Wilson, according to a Tweet from Borzello. "They have always stayed in mix, but with the timing and not knowing who it would be, I had to go out and explore options."

In his most recent column touching on the topic, Rivals.com analyst Corey Evans was asked if Howard's hiring made Michigan the leader for Wilson's services.

Evans' answer?

"I doubt it," he wrote. "

Evans continued: "Kansas is the strong leader for former Michigan recruit Jalen Wilson and if he were to not commit to either the Jayhawks or North Carolina, it would come as a giant surprise. Wilson will definitely keep Michigan atop of his list and if it is Juwan Howard, who boasts plenty of NBA background, the interest level would be there. ... Now, if Howard were to keep select members from the former staff in Ann Arbor, it could help in the relationship building process with Wilson."

With that said, Evans seems to believe that Wilson has gone deep enough into the process of exploring his options at KU and Carolina that it would be difficult to go back now.

"He is intrigued by the small forward opening at Kansas which is why he swiftly set a visit up to see the Big 12 program for May 30," Evans wrote. "North Carolina (also has) visit date, but Michigan is playing catch-up now and will do as such the longer the coaching search continues in Ann Arbor."

Now that Michigan's search is over, — ending with the Wolverines hiring a freakin' member of the famed Fab Five, no less — the fun can begin.

KU still appears to be in good shape here, and Bill Self and company will get their shot to sell Wilson on campus next week. That can't be overlooked. And even though Wilson has tried to downplay the importance of the chance to play with Hampton, it no doubt will remain a factor at least in some small way.

Given the way KU's recruiting has played out during the past 6 months or so, doesn't it seem fitting that there's a little added drama and difficulty with yet another prospect?

Hang in there, KU fans.

Beyond the quotes he gave Borzello, here's a quick look at a little more Wilson reaction to the Juwan Howard hire.

None by jwill

Reply 4 comments from Gerry Butler David Robinett Ryan Mullen Glen

Say What? Tait’s Weekly Appearance on Rock Chalk Sports Talk

The deadline for underclassmen to pull their names out of the NBA Draft pool is now a week away (May 29) and there are plenty of Jayhawks who will need to keep an eye on that date in the week ahead.

During my latest appearance on "Rock Chalk Sports Talk" on KLWN, Derek Johnson (filling in for Nick Schwerdt) and I talked about each player and whether what transpired last week changed our minds about whether the KU underclassmen would stay in the draft or pull out.

Dedric Lawson is the most likely Jayhawk to stay in.

Quentin Grimes has a decision to make.

And Devon Dotson, on the heals of a solid showing at the NBA Combine in Chicago, also may be weighing his options with more intensity than some may have thought he would.

And then there's Silvio De Sousa, who continues to wait for news from the NCAA about his appeal of a 2-year suspension.

All of that and more in the latest episode. Give it a listen below.

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Five-star target R.J. Hampton eyeing return visit to Kansas; may join good friend Jalen Wilson later this month

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

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.

Reply 39 comments from Carsonc30 Jayscott Gerry Butler Mallory Briggans Foofan1315 Nativejayhawk2000 Koolkeithfreeze Bee Bee Andy Godwin Mlbenn35 and 5 others

A deeper look at KU basketball target Jalen Wilson

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

By now, you’ve probably at least heard the name Jalen Wilson mentioned a time or 20 in connection with Kansas basketball.

And, yeah, it appears as if there is mutual interest between the 4-star guard who recently requested his release from Michigan and KU, making a future pairing easy to see.

What you might not know, however, is exactly who Wilson is or how he got to this point.

So let’s take a look.

Originally pegged as a Top 50 recruit in the Class of 2019, the 6-foot-8, 210-pound Wilson was destined to join the Wolverines the moment his recruitment began, having been named after former Michigan legend Jalen Rose.

That, of course, did not keep other programs — including Kansas — from going after him. But nearly a year ago now, Wilson chose Michigan over finalists Baylor, Kansas, Marquette, Oklahoma State and UCLA.

He did so in style, too, releasing a 2-minute Twitter video in which he copied Kyree Irving’s “Uncle Drew” persona with “Uncle Lue,” who went to a local court in Dallas to play some pick-up games and announced his decision to attend Michigan at the end.

None by jwill

The biggest reason for his pick was his relationship with Michigan coach John Beilein, who recently was hired away by the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. And it’s Beilein’s departure that laid the groundwork for Wilson to reopen his commitment.

“We are thrilled to have a player of Jalen’s caliber join the program,” said Beilein in a news release after Wilson’s signing became official last November. “He is a strong, physical wing with the ability to score in a variety of ways... His versatility gives him the ability to play multiple positions on offense, and his strength allows him to be able to come in and be an impact defender.”

A four-year varsity player at Guyer High in Denton, Texas, Wilson averaged better than 16 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists in high school and also scored nearly 20 a game while playing on the Gauntlet AAU circuit.

With his signature back up for grabs — 247 Sports’ Brian Snow recently reported that Wilson plans to consider KU, North Carolina, Oklahoma State and Florida this time around — the Jayhawks have become a popular pick of many recruiting analysts given Wilson’s close friendship with 5-star prospect R.J. Hampton, who sits at the tippy top of KU’s current wish list.

There’s little doubt that the two would love to play together. And landing both players would be a huge turn of events for the Jayhawks.

According to JayhawkSlant.com, Wilson, who has received his release from Michigan, will visit KU May 30-June 1.

While there remains a lot of work to be done to get Wilson into a KU uniform, three Rivals.com recruiting analysts are giving KU the early nod.

Eric Bossi and Corey Evans both called KU and UNC the “front runners” and added that it’s likely a “two-horse race” between Kansas and Carolina.

Added Dan McDonald: “I probably lean towards Kansas here. The Jayhawks were in strong the first time around and the possibility of pairing him up with his buddy R.J. Hampton could be a big deal. All four programs involved make sense though.”

KU assistant Jerrance Howard played a strong role in recruiting Wilson the first time around and likely will be a factor in the weeks ahead, as well.

Here’s a look at some Wilson highlights, which, to me, bring to mind a mixture of Kelly Oubre, Perry Ellis and a stronger Lagerald Vick.

- BONUS VIDEO!!!!

Hampton (No. 14 in white) vs. Wilson (No. 10 in black)

Reply 6 comments from Marius7782 Steve Corder Dirk Medema Surrealku Mallory Briggans Ashwingrao

Jayhawks sitting on the brink of serious recruiting upswing

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Recruiting often goes in cycles, and the cycles seem to be never-ending.

One year, a program can’t miss on its desired targets and gets just about everybody it wants and, occasionally, even a couple of players it didn’t want but lucked into.

A couple of years later, especially among the blue bloods of the college basketball world, that same program finds itself on the outside looking in for the top-tier players, having to sit by and watch while other big time programs and hall of fame coaches restock their rosters with the top talent in the land.

So it goes, on and on, year after year, decade after decade.

Duke has experienced it on both sides. Kentucky has, too. And so have North Carolina, Michigan State and others who are generally regarded as perennial national title contenders and the types of teams that always seem to load up with McDonald’s All-Americans and 5-star standouts.

Kansas clearly belongs in that conversation, as well. And Bill Self’s squad currently sits on the brink of a bounce back.

After missing out on Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Matt Hurt, Cassius Stanley and a couple of other targets in the past six months, the Jayhawks are poised to fill their remaining available spots in the 2019 class with some serious talent.

They still have to get to the finish line, of course, and landing 44th-ranked forward Tristan Enaruna, who has serious long-term potential to blossom into a star, was a good start to the spring.

But a handful of recruiting analysts appear to believe even bigger things are coming.

One of them is Rivals.com analyst Corey Evans, who, in his most recent piece, “Three-Point Play,” which was posted on Thursday, Evans’ first entry in the three-part blog was titled, “Kansas Slated To Win The Spring.”

And Evans referenced KU’s current standing with four top prospects as the reason for his claim.

Considered by many to be the leader in the hunt for Top 5 guard R.J. Hampton, who just recently reclassified into the 2019 class, KU also is right in the thick of the race for versatile forward Precious Achiuwa (No. 17), 6-foot-5 Arkansas-Little Rock wing Rayjon Tucker, who is regarded by some as the top grad transfer available, and fellow-grad transfer T.J. Holyfield of Stephen F. Austin.

All four players have visited KU recently and, perhaps more importantly, the Jayhawks actually could have scholarships available for all four players, as well. That depends on who stays in the 2019 draft and what happens with Silvio De Sousa.

KU also cracked the final four for Johnny Juzang, another 2020 kid who reclassified into the 2019 class, so, clearly, things are starting to cycle back in a positive direction for Kansas, which endured a few rough months of hearing how the federal investigation had negatively impacted recruiting. Landing any of the players mentioned above — along with signing Enaruna and getting Udoka Azubuike to return — should quiet a lot of that talk.

Holyfield is likely the least likely of the bunch. And even though Achiuwa has been heavily tied to Memphis of late, it’s worth noting that Evans, on Thursday, officially switched his prediction for the 6-foot-9, 215-pound Achiuwa to Kansas.

Achiuwa has been somewhat quiet during his recruitment and is not expected to make a decision for several more weeks.

That, of course, gives all of the programs still vying for Achiuwa’s signature — KU, Memphis and North Carolina lead the list, with Georgia, UConn and possibly St. John’s in the mix, as well — time to sell the strong, high-volume scorer on their school and also gives Evans (and others) time to change his pick from KU to someone else.

Also worth noting is that 247 Sports recruiting guru Evan Daniels recently changed his crystal ball pick on Achiuwa from Memphis to undecided.

Regardless of how that specific battle plays out, Evans’ prediction that KU can win the spring remains strong.

If KU can land Hampton, it would almost certainly vault the class — currently ranked No. 29 with three 4-star signees — into the Top 10. If Tucker, Holyfield and/or Achiuwa also climb on board, you could be looking at a Top 5 class, mere weeks after KU struck out on a few other top targets and had fans in a frenzy about what Self and company would do.

Cycles, folks. They can be good and bad, profitable and excruciating. And the Jayhawks could be on the brink of riding high for a while.

Reply 22 comments from Marius7782 Carsonc30 Jayscott Shannon Gustafson Sam Allen Barry Weiss David Brown Robert  Brock Jessej421 John Strayer and 5 others

Jayhawk Breakdown: NBA scout sizes up Devon Dotson’s pro prospects

Kansas guard Devon Dotson (11) gets under the bucket against Baylor forward Freddie Gillespie (33) during the second half, Saturday, March 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Devon Dotson (11) gets under the bucket against Baylor forward Freddie Gillespie (33) during the second half, Saturday, March 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

We’re now a week into May, and that means it’s draft season for the folks in the NBA and dozens of draft hopefuls who will spend the next several weeks working to impress that one NBA scout, coach or GM just enough to get a shot at a pro career.

It won’t happen for all of them, of course. And several of them will return to college next season, a move that has become even easier to make under new rules that allow players to test the waters with help from an agent while maintaining their college eligibility.

With the NBA’s pre-draft combine slated for May 14-19 in Chicago, and a new G League prospect combine on the books for May 12-14 in the Windy City, the next few weeks will be key for all kinds of college players hoping to turn pro.

Included on that list, of course, are four Jayhawks — Dedric Lawson, Quentin Grimes, Devon Dotson and Silvio De Sousa — and several other notable names.

With that in mind, I recently caught up with an NBA scout who works for a team in the Eastern Conference to discuss his franchise’s breakdown of those four Jayhawks and their chances in the June 20 draft in New York City.

The scout shared the information on the condition that neither he nor the team would be identified so he could provide a thorough look at strengths, weaknesses, areas each player needs to work on most and their outlook for the next couple of months.

Former Kansas guard Lagerald Vick was in Charlotte, N.C., last week and Atlanta on Wednesday, participating in a pre-draft workout with the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets and Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta also announced it was bringing in De Sousa and Grimes for individual workouts on Thursday, but, according to a Tweet from the Hawks, only Grimes participated.

In the past week, we took a look at the scout’s breakdown of All-American junior Dedric Lawson as well as his read on Grimes and today, we move on to freshman point guard Devon Dotson, who declared for the draft while making it crystal clear that he would do everything necessary to retain his college eligibility at the same time.

Dotson’s father, Dana Dotson, called his son’s desire to test his draft stock “an information-seeking quest” and the expectation by most involved with the process is that Dotson will be back at Kansas for his sophomore season.

With that in mind, here’s a look at what the scout thinks of Dotson’s standing if he were to stay in the 2019 draft.

The scout’s franchise has Dotson slated in the 30-45 range of the current draft and a recent 2020 mock draft I saw had Dotson pencilled into the No. 29 spot, the second-to-last pick in the first round.

Time will tell if he improves on that standing — whether it’s this year or next — but, for now, here’s a look at the current breakdown.

Offensive strengths:

• His first entry in his scouting report needed just five letters and all caps: QUICK.

• Good scorer off the dribble. You want this kid getting downhill and using his speed and quicks. Really fast first step and gets going downhill. Really good finisher around the rim.

• He’s becoming a better shooter. He seems to have spent a lot of time in the gym this season refining his jumper.

Defensive strengths:

• Really good athlete who is super light on his feet.

• Understands angles and how to approach different matchups. Comfortable chasing specialists and locking down his matchup on the ball.

Now let’s move to the areas that have Dotson slated by most as a second-round pick at best.

Offensive weaknesses:

• Needs to keep working on his jumper.

• Needs to get better taking care of the ball. He is so fast and because of this can get going in a wild manner that can lead to turnovers and bad passes.

• He can get to the rim whenever he wants but will his lack of size create problems when he has to finish over bigger, taller bodies?

Defensive weaknesses:

• Limited to who he can guard because of his size.

• Needs to add strength to be able to withstand the grind of our league.

• Foul prone because he takes ticky-tack chances. Needs to be better with his hands.

There’s little doubt that Dotson’s professional future is as a true point guard, both because of his size and play-making ability.

So a big part of what the NBA guys want to see next week and in the future is just how ready Dotson is to truly run the show, both as a primary ball handler and a pass-first point guard who can set up his teammates for easy buckets.

The scout said there were enough moments during Dotson’s freshman season where he showed the ability to do all of those things. But he added that they still aren’t quite fully developed.

“This is all a work in progress,” the scout said. “But coming from being a combo guard with a chance at being a true point guard, he showed some really good stuff.”

Reply 20 comments from Carsonc30 Dirk Medema Joseph Bullock Pius Waldman Lance Jayscott Brian_leslie Gerry Butler Brett McCabe Steve Corder and 2 others

New KU forward Tristan Enaruna makes commitment to Kansas official

Four-star Class of 2019 prospect Tristan Enaruna attached this photo to the Twitter message he sent announcing his commitment to Kansas on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. Enaruna is a 6-foot-9, 205-pound forward from Netherlands who played his high school ball at Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant, Utah.

Four-star Class of 2019 prospect Tristan Enaruna attached this photo to the Twitter message he sent announcing his commitment to Kansas on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. Enaruna is a 6-foot-9, 205-pound forward from Netherlands who played his high school ball at Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant, Utah. by Photo courtesy of @TristanEnaruna

Class of 2019 forward Tristan Enaruna wasted no time making his commitment to Kansas official, signing his national letter of intent on Wednesday, barely 12 hours after announcing his decision to join the Jayhawks.

The 4-star prospect from Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant, Utah, chose KU over Creighton and Miami (Fla.) and said his desire to join a big time college program ultimately won out. But Enaruna was not the only one overjoyed by his decision to join the Jayhawks.

“We have been recruiting Tristan the entire year and have always been impressed with his IQ, skill set and tremendous athletic ability,” KU coach Bill Self said in a news release Wednesday.

A 17-year-old, 4-star prospect who jumped 61 spots in the most recent Rivals.com rankings — from No. 105 to 44 — Self called Enaruna “young for his class,” but lauded his newest player’s versatility and all-around game.

“He would remind KU fans of a Kelly Oubre and Andrew Wiggins-type from his size, athletic ability and skill set,” Self said in the release. “He is still time away from having the impact that those two players had and strength will be very important in his development. We feel like Tristan's ceiling is one that he could be one of the most complete offensive players that we’ve had here at Kansas over the last several years.”

Enaruna said Tuesday night during a phone interview with the Journal-World that his recent visit to Lawrence helped cement his desire to join Self's Jayhawks.

“The guys, the teammates, we had a good time," he said. "Obviously, the fans are amazing. I’ve always dreamed of playing on a big stage like this. I’m excited about that.”

Originally from Almere, Flevoland, Netherlands, the 6-foot-9, 205-pound Enaruna moved to the United States during his junior year of high school. During his senior season at Wasatch Academy, Enaruna averaged 10.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game while leading his team to the GEICO National Tournament in New York, where Enaruna’s sixth-seeded squad fell to No. 3 seed Oak Hill Academy.

“He had a great year,” Self said. “Tristan has been very well drilled and very well coached. He has been in the United States the last two years which should allow his transition into college to be a fairly seamless one.”

Enaruna officially becomes the third player in the 2019 class to sign with Kansas, joining 4-star guards Christian Braun of nearby Blue Valley Northwest and Issac McBride of Little Rock, Ark. Both of those players signed with Kansas in November and Self and his staff remain on the prowl for additional bodies to add to the 2019-20 roster.

Depending on what comes of KU’s four players who have declared for the 2019 NBA Draft, the Jayhawks figure to have at least two or three more scholarships available to hand out to players in the 2019 recruiting class.

Three members of the 2018-19 roster who declared for the draft — Devon Dotson, Quentin Grimes and Dedric Lawson — officially appeared on the NBA’s list of 66 invitees to next week’s predraft combine in Chicago.

Reply 36 comments from Joe Baker Carsonc30 Jayscott Barry Weiss Surrealku Pius Waldman Shimsham Nick Kramer Koolkeithfreeze Ryan Zimmerman and 9 others

KU target R.J. Hampton reportedly moves up timeline for college decision

Kansas 2020 recruit R.J. Hampton watches from behind the bench during the second half, Saturday, March 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas 2020 recruit R.J. Hampton watches from behind the bench during the second half, Saturday, March 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

According to ESPN recruiting analyst Paul Biancardi, Kansas basketball target R.J. Hampton has moved up the timeline for his college decision.

Hampton, a 5-star prospect from Little Elm, Texas, who recently reclassified into the 2019 class from 2020 told Biancardi that he now plans to pick a school at the end of May instead of waiting until the completion of the AAU circuit and making a decision in July.

Kansas is one of four programs in the running for Hampton’s services, with Kentucky, Memphis and Texas Tech also in his final four.

“I want to go where I fit in, can be myself and help a team win,” was the quote from Hampton that Biancardi attached to his recent Tweet.

The 6-foot-5, 180-pound combo guard who many have called the best prep guard in the country regardless of class is the top remaining uncommitted player in the 2019 class — ranked No. 5 overall in the latest Rivals.com rankings — and is the type of instant-impact player that would provide a serious boost to whichever program he chooses.

Earlier this week, 247 Sports recruiting analyst Evan Daniels entered his crystal ball pick for Kansas in the Hampton recruitment and several other recruiting analysts have said they too are leaning toward Hampton picking KU.

Kansas coach Bill Self has been recruiting Hampton and his family for a long time and has been ultra-aggressive in his pursuit of the 5-star prospect since during the past several weeks.

Landing a player of Hampton’s caliber would be an immediate lift to KU’s 2019 recruiting haul and likely would move the Jayhawks’ current class into the Top 10.

Currently, with 4-star guards Christian Braun and Issac McBride already signed and 4-star forward Tristan Enaruna committing to Kansas Tuesday night and expected to sign his letter of intent today, KU’s 2019 class ranks 29th in the Rivals.com team rankings and is tied for 11th in average star ratings of the players in the class.

With that trio on board, Self and his coaching staff figure to have at least two more spots to fill in the 2019 class this offseason.

The Jayhawks are replacing transfers Charlie Moore and K.J. Lawson and also could be replacing current NBA draft entrants Dedric Lawson, Quentin Grimes, Devon Dotson and Silvio De Sousa.

De Sousa, who is still waiting word on his appeal of a two-year suspension by the NCAA, has said he will return to Kansas if he wins the appeal. And many people close to the program expect Dotson to be back for his sophomore season after testing his draft stock this month in Chicago.

If so desired, all four players have until May 29 to pull their name out of the draft pool, which would clear the way for their return to Kansas for the 2019-20 season.

Reply 8 comments from David Howell Max Ledom Glen Carsonc30 Dirk Medema Foofan1315

4-star forward Tristan Enaruna picks Kansas

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

The Kansas men's basketball program on Tuesday night secured a commitment from the third member of its 2019 recruiting class when 4-star forward Tristan Enaruna announced his commitment on Twitter just before 8 p.m.

In a phone conversation with the Journal-World, the 6-foot-9 forward from Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant, Utah, said KU's history, tradition and standing among college basketball's blue blood programs was what sold him on picking Bill Self and Kansas.

“I’ve always wanted to play on a big team, like the highest level of college basketball," Enaruna said. "And they’ve been recruiting me very hard and we kind of built a relationship. I really like Coach Self and I think that he will be able to help me become the player that I really want. I think I’m overall just a great fit for that team."

At 6-foot-9, 205 pounds, Enaruna possesses the size and skills to play a number of different positions and do different things on the floor.

“I think one of the most noticeable things about me is just my versatility," he said. "Like being able to play different positions, guard different positions and doing a lot of different stuff on the court. I like to handle the ball and get my teammates involved. I really like to pass. People think that I’m really looking to score a lot, but I love passing.”

Having said that, putting points on the board is also a strength of Enaruna's, according to KU's newest player.

“Scoring is another thing that’s one of my other strengths," he said. "Post-ups, jump shots, 3s and I really like to play in the pick and roll.”

Enaruna came to the United States from Netherlands midway through his junior season and has been on an upward trend in the recruiting game nearly the entire time. Ranked No. 44 in the most recent Rivals.com rankings, Enaruna, who picked KU over Creighton and Miami (Fla.), jumped 61 spots from the previous rankings to crack the Top 50.

"Enaruna is loaded with potential," KUsports.com recruiting insider Matt Scott said Tuesday night. "He's long, skilled and not anywhere near his ceiling. He's a future pro that has really grown since coming to the United States in the middle of his junior year. His length and skill set will be a huge asset for Coach Self and his staff."

Self has been pursuing Enaruna for months, even going as far as to take a trip to Utah to watch him play during Big 12 play last season. Enaruna said seeing Self in person in his high school gymnasium was "motivational" and made a lasting impression that inspired him to pick the Jayhawks.

If his memory served him correctly, Enaruna recalled recording a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds the night Self was in town to watch him play. Enaruna hopes that that kind of production with Self watching is just the beginning of what's to come.

“He’s one of the best coaches to ever coach the game of basketball," Enaruna said of Self. "And that’s obviously one thing that I’m really excited about.”

Enaruna is now KU's highest-ranked player in the 2019 class, which includes 4-star guards Christian Braun (No. 90) and Issac McBride (No. 103).

Self and company still figure to have at least three more scholarships to hand out in the 2019 class before the class is complete.

None by Tristan Enaruna

Reply 35 comments from Marius7782 Carsonc30 Brett McCabe Surrealku Len Shaffer Matt Tait Shimsham Kackley David McNickle Barry Weiss and 15 others

The idea of 5-star guard R.J. Hampton picking Kansas gains momentum

R.J. Hampton during his official visit to Kansas

R.J. Hampton during his official visit to Kansas by Matt Scott

A decision from reclassified combo guard R.J. Hampton may still be several weeks away, but one of the top recruiting analysts in the country is ready to call it for Kansas.

On Monday afternoon, at exactly 3:42 p.m., Evan Daniels, of 247 Sports, logged his “crystal ball” pick in Hampton’s recruitment for the Jayhawks.

When asked by 247 Sports national writer Kevin Flaherty why he punched the pick in this week, Daniels said simply, “It just seems like a good fit. Right now, my gut would be Kansas for R.J. Hampton.”

Though entertaining to track, these crystal ball picks certainly do not mean anything is a done deal, though they often have been a good predictor and indicator of which program any given recruit might pick.

In the case of Hampton, the Class of 2020 5-star prospect who last week reclassified into the 2019 class, Bill Self and the Jayhawks are currently in a four-horse race for the 6-foot-5 guard from Little Elm, Texas.

Memphis, Kentucky and Texas Tech are the other three programs on Hampton’s list of finalists, and Self and his coaching staff have made Hampton a serious priority during the past couple of weeks.

Typically done recruiting the current class by this time of year, Kansas is still searching for 2019 prospects because of the departures that came following their second-round loss to Auburn in the NCAA Tournament in late March.

K.J. Lawson and Charlie Moore (DePaul) announced they were transferring and four other Jayhawks — Dedric Lawson, Quentin Grimes, Devon Dotson and Silvio De Sousa — declared for the NBA Draft.

Any of those four could still pull their names out of the drat pool and return to KU if they do so by May 29, but the expectation is that KU will have to fill at least four, and possibly five or six, spots to fill out the 2019-20 roster.

With a returning core of Udoka Azubuike, Marcus Garrett, Ochai Agbaji and possibly Dotson, Daniels believes Hampton would be a prime addition for Kansas.

“I think he fits perfectly,” Daniels told Flaherty. “R.J. Is a true combination guard, who can (play with the) ball in his hands or play off the ball. And he’s at his best playing next to a ball-handling guard.”

During a recent interview with the Journal-World, Rivals.com recruiting analyst Kristen Peek, who just spent time with Hampton at the Nike EYBL event in Atlanta, called Hampton “the complete package.”

“He’s long, quick in the lane, a great passer and can hit the 3,” Peek said. “Plus, he’s also a big time presence on the defensive end, as well. There’s a reason why both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade stopped by to watch his game during the first EYBL live period.”

On Monday, 247 Sports released its updated rankings for the 2019 class and Hampton landed in the No. 5 overall spot as the top remaining uncommitted player available.

KU signees Christian Braun and Issac McBride were ranked No. 133 and No. 150 overall, both way up from their previous spot in the rankings.

Braun moved up 99 spots and McBride jumped 51 spots into the Top 150.

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