With visits to Kansas and the University of New Orleans officially out of the way, the New Orleans Times Picayune reported earlier this week that 7-foot McDonald's All-American Mitchell Robinson soon would make a decision between KU and UNO.
But close followers of Twitter who have been observing Robinson's behavior of late are aware that there might be a third school in the picture. And, no, it's not LSU, which Robinson also visited before trips to Kansas and New Orleans.
Instead, it's Western Kentucky. That's right... the same Western Kentucky program that Robinson initially had committed to but, in July, from which he asked for a release.
There's nothing official out there saying that WKU is back in the mix. But @BarstoolWestern, a Twitter account with 6,000 followers that tracks Western Kentucky sports, Tweeted this week that it had sources that confirmed that Robinson was "seriously considering returning to WKU."
Big deal, right? Fan site hopes for the best and tries to create a little buzz and/or hope that the return of the Top 10 prospect and potential future NBA lottery pick is a real option for the Hilltoppers.
That would be the logical conclusion. But add to that the fact that Robinson himself (@kodakmitch23) ReTweeted that claim and one that urged WKU fans with the following: "Hearing a lot of different thoughts from Tops fans about this. If you want to see him play for WKU, give him a shout"
Robinson also ReTweeted a Twitter poll put up by @100MilesofHate (sweet name, smh) that asked: "If you're @WKUBasketball & Coach Stansbury, do you welcome back Mitchell Robinson if he wishes to return?"
As of 1:30 p.m. Friday, with 1,092 votes counted, "Absolutely" was leading "Nope" 64-36. And that's far closer than I thought it would've been.
Robinson also ReTweeted at least three or four other Tweets referencing his possible return to WKU, including one person who took the ultimate leap and said Robinson going back to Western Kentucky "would be like Lebron coming back to Cleveland."
Robinson, as you surely know by now, is from Chalmette, La., so him going to UNO would be a lot more like him returning to Cleveland than him electing to stick with his initial commitment to WKU.
There's no telling just how serious this chatter about the 7-footer changing his mind (again?) and staying with Western Kentucky for the 2017-18 season really is. But it's at least worth tracking, even if Twitter is not the most official and scientific place to do such things.
Either way, if that Times Picayune report was accurate and Robinson is planning to decided soon, we'll know one way or another in the fairly near future and can move on from Robinson Watch 2017 regardless of the outcome.
According to a Wednesday night report from The New Orleans Times-Picayune, 7-foot McDonald’s All-American Mitchell Robinson did in fact visit the University of New Orleans on Wednesday and the big man appears to be headed toward making a decision sometime soon between Kansas and UNO.
The Top 10 prospect in the Class of 2017, who recently was granted a release from Western Kentucky after spending part of the summer at WKU, is from Chalmette, La., which sits just 10 miles east of New Orleans.
The location of his hometown further explains why both UNO and LSU were among the schools Robinson considered after leaving Western Kentucky, but Kansas still appears to be very much in the running to land Robinson.
While few people, if any, know exactly when a final decision will be made, it sounds like by the end of the week is certainly possible and it’s also starting to sound more and more like there is a legitimate chance that Robinson could be eligible to play during the 2017-18 season. In order to do so, Robinson would need to receive a waiver from the NCAA granting him immediate eligibility.
Landing Robinson, waiver in hand, would no doubt be huge news for the KU program. It would erase any concerns about front-court depth and talent and would turn KU’s big man status into a legitimate strength.
Remember, Robinson is a projected lottery pick in the 2018 NBA Draft and pairing him, a true 7-footer, with another 7-footer in sophomore Udoka Azubuike would give KU some serious options and advantages to work with during the upcoming season.
With that in mind, let’s jump ahead just a bit and look at a few possible lineups that assume Robinson joins the Jayhawks and is eligible to play this season.
Option 1: Twin towers
PG – Devonte’ Graham
SG – Malik Newman
SG – Lagerald Vick
PF – Mitchell Robinson
C – Udoka Azubuike
• This would seem to be KU’s most formidable lineup. Twin 7-footers clogging the middle and 3 lightning-quick, fantastic-shooting guards playing around them. Beyond that, it would give KU incredible depth at all positions, with senior Svi Mykhailiuk and promising freshman Marcus Garrett poised to back-up the three guards and five-star freshman Billy Preston and sophomore grinder Mitch Lightfoot in place to rotate with the two big men. Just the mere thought of Robinson and Azubuike on the court at the same time is enough to get KU fans excited.
Option 2: Run and gun
PG – Devonte’ Graham
SG – Malik Newman
SG – Svi Mykhailiuk
SG – Lagerald Vick
C – Mitchell Robinson OR Udoka Azubuike
• In this scenario, KU coach Bill Self would be putting his most experienced lineup on the floor and capitalizing on what he saw in Italy that he really liked — fast guards, running wild and shooting open shots from all spots on the floor. Because Self has always favored playing inside-out, this option seems like a long shot with Robinson in the fold, but the four-guard approach worked so well last year and Self easily could elect to start this way and yet still find 25+ minutes apiece for Robinson and Azubuike. Going this route would potentially bring out the best in the two 7-footers, as well as Preston, who all would be competing for playing time up front.
Option 3: The traditional look
PG – Devonte’ Graham
SG – Malik Newman
SG – Lagerald Vick
PF – Billy Preston
C – Udoka Azubuike
• This, to me, seems like the most unlikely of the three, but, if it came to fruition, it would be pretty tough to beat. The idea of Preston in the starting lineup means that things would have clicked sooner rather than later for the player Self has called the best looking freshman power forward to report to campus during his 15 seasons at Kansas. But there’s still a long way to go, mentally, for Preston, so it’s hard to imagine this one happening early on at least. If it did, Kansas would have an incredibly talented player in Robinson ready to spell either Preston or Azubuike at any time and also would have the same guard depth — Mykhailiuk and Garrett — as in the first lineup. While Preston in place of Robinson would take a little size away, it likely would allow the Jayhawks to play a touch faster.
Regardless of which one of those lineups you like best, or even if you have your own variation or prefer the senior version of Svi to start over Vick, one thing is abundantly clear from doing this exercise — adding Robinson, as long as he’s eligible, would not merely be a ho-hum case of blue blood program adds another McDonald’s All-American.
Instead, it would be an absolute game-changer for the Jayhawks and, potentially, for college basketball, giving KU some serious depth up front and giving Self plenty of options in how he plays and who he puts on the floor.
Stay in touch with KUsports.com for the latest on Robinson, who could make a decision/announcement at any time.
Finally a bit of news on the recruitment of 7-foot McDonald's All-American Mitchell Robinson, but it might not be the type of news that Kansas fans want to hear.
Jon Rothstein is reporting that Robinson will visit New Orleans today.
After checking out LSU and watching the Tigers fall off of his list of options, the big man made a visit to Kansas last weekend and indicated immediately that he liked what he saw by simply Tweeting, "Kansas is nice," on the night of his arrival.
Nothing more has come out of Robinson's visit to KU and Rothstein's report about today's visit to New Orleans is the first real news of any kind surrounding the consensus Top 10 prospect in the Class of 2017 since his visit to KU.
While the Jayhawks remain in the running for the former Western Kentucky signee, who still would need to receive a waiver from the NCAA to be eligible to play during the 2017-18 season, the fact that he's looking at New Orleans, just a couple of weeks after seriously considering LSU, might be an indication that the Chalmette, La., native is looking to move closer to home for what likely will be one year of college ball before jumping to the NBA.
Chalmette sits just 10 miles east of New Orleans.
Either way, until there's news otherwise, KU remains in play for the talented big man, who, best-case scenario, would become eligible for the upcoming season and provide the Jayhawks with another much-needed body up front, and, worst-case scenario, would come to KU as another important practice body who could help 7-foot sophomore Udoka Azubuike develop on a daily basis.
Either option would likely be a worthy reason for Kansas to use its final scholarship.
The news that most people following college basketball recruiting expected became official on Monday night.
That's when Class of 2018 prospect Marvin Bagley III announced on ESPN's SportsCenter that he would reclassify into the 2017 class and attend Duke University during the 2017-18 school year.
Bagley, a 6-foot-11, 220-pound forward from California, chose Duke over finalists UCLA and USC, which made up his final three after that trio, along with Kansas, Kentucky and Arizona, had cracked his Top 6.
Bagley never visited KU and said on SportsCenter that he chose Duke because of the feeling he had while on campus.
"The brotherhood there, man," Bagley said live on the popular highlight show. "That's what Coach K preached to me and my family and I had a good feeling when I was there."
The addition of Bagley instantly moves Duke's 2017 recruiting class to the top of the rankings and also positions the Blue Devils as the preseason favorite heading into the 2017-18 season.
Kansas, meanwhile, continues to focus its efforts on 7-foot McDonald's All-American Mitchell Robinson, who visited campus over the weekend but has been pretty quiet about how his visit went since Tweeting last Friday night, "Kansas is nice."
The Jayhawks have one scholarship available to give for the 2017-18 season, and even if it winds up going to Robinson, the standout center still would need to be cleared by the NCAA to play immediately since he spent the summer on the campus of Western Kentucky, where he initially signed but asked out of his commitment after his godfather left the WKU coaching staff in July.
Class of 2018 star Marvin Bagley III will announce his college decision Monday night on the 10 p.m. SportsCenter, according to ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman.
And there figures to be more than a little attention paid to the announcement.
For one, anybody who follows college basketball with any regularity will be interested in learning the preferred destination of the 6-foot-10, 220-pound force from Chatsworth, Calif. Beyond that, most of the intrigue surrounds whether Bagley will be headed to his chosen school in time for the upcoming 2017-18 season or if he’ll be staying in the Class of 2018, where he is ranked by most recruiting services as the No. 1 prospect in his class.
For weeks, news of Bagley’s potential attempt to reclassify into the Class of 2017 has dominated recruiting talk. And in that time Bagley reportedly visited Duke, UCLA and USC. It was believed that Bagley also would visit Kansas, but with the Jayhawks in Italy during the first week of August and five-star big man Mitchell Robinson in to visit this weekend, there have been no reports of Bagley actually making a visit to KU despite the Kansas coaching staff’s strong efforts to go after him.
That makes KU a long shot to land the versatile forward, who many believe is headed to Duke. That said, 247 Sports recruiting guru Jerry Meyer pointed out on Twitter on Sunday night that, while Duke remains the favorite to land Bagley in 247’s Crystal Ball predicitions, USC’s national championship odds recently became less of a long shot in Las Vegas.
According to a source familiar with Bagley’s recruitment, his attempt to reclassify also could be considered a long shot, but Bagley and has family have been solely focused on that goal for the past couple of months, with the idea being to get him to school this year and into the NBA by this time next year.
Regardless of what plays out, Monday night’s announcement will go down as one of the bigger moments, if not the biggest, in the 2018 recruiting cycle.
With temperatures in the 80s and only a handful of Kansas men’s basketball players in town, 7-foot center Mitchell Robinson might not be getting a complete look at Lawrence in August when he visits the KU campus this weekend in search of his next school.
But when it comes to showing recruits around the facilities and teaching them about the illustrious tradition of Kansas basketball, there is no down time or off day and the KU coaches should be able to give Robinson as complete a look as needed to help him make his decision.
In search of a new school to attend after leaving Western Kentucky because of the departure of his godfather from the WKU coaching staff, Robinson’s situation is as interesting as they come.
For starters, it’s rare for a consensus Top 10 prospect and former McDonald’s All-American to still be on the board this late in the recruiting game, but Robinson’s unique circumstances created that reality.
Unfortunately for both Robinson and all of the teams pursuing him, that reality also means it’s possible that he will not be eligible during the 2017-18 season because he was previously enrolled in summer school classes at WKU and spent some time with the program this summer. Reports have indicated that Robinson is exploring the possibility of getting some kind of waiver from the NCAA to make him immediately eligible. And if KU is the pick there’s no doubt that the KU coaches and the Kansas athletic department as a whole would do whatever it could to help make that happen. Remember, the school spent thousands of dollars to help get Cheick Diallo cleared for competition, though that was a different situation altogether and did not involve Diallo having enrolled with a different college program prior to coming to Kansas.
Still, KU has proven it will go above and beyond what most are willing to do to help players with their eligibility issues and there’s no doubt that they would make similar efforts to help Robinson if he were to pick the Jayhawks.
A quick search of the rules regarding a transfer like Robinson’s revealed that the NCAA rule book states that a student-athlete’s eligibility clock begins when that athlete enrolls “as a full-time student at any college.” Furthermore, full-time is defined as being enrolled in a minimum of 12 hours, which Robinson was not at WKU.
Later in those same eligibility rules, however, is a section about a transfer trigger clause, which may be of greater importance to Robinson’s situation.
It states that a transfer student is a student who transfers from a collegiate institution after having triggered any of the conditions:
• Enrolled full-time during any term and attended class or in Division I if you are enrolled full time and are on campus on the opening day of classes. — This does not apply to Robinson.
• Reported for a regular squad practice. — Because the season has not started, it would seem this does not apply either.
• Practiced or competed while enrolled less than full-time. — This one is unclear, as the NCAA now allows a few practices in the summer and reports have indicated that Robinson did, in fact, practice with the team in some capacity this summer.
• Received institutional financial aid while attending summer school. — And this one seems likely, given that Robinson was on campus, enrolled and living in a WKU dorm.
Clearly, there’s a lot of uncertainty here and a big part of this whole process figures to be whether KU wants to spend time trying to help Robinson make his case should he decide he wants to come to Kansas.
One thing that’s important to point out about that: It is up to the university to file a waiver. An athlete cannot request one for himself. But it’s the conference or the NCAA that administers the waiver from that point.
According to Bill Embody, of 247 Sports site Tiger Blitz, who confirmed a report by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, the powers that be at LSU deemed it not worth their time and are no longer recruiting Robinson.
Citing a source with knowledge of the situation, Embody writes that Robinson “has a slim chance of playing college basketball next season, (which was) part of the reason LSU stopped recruiting the New Orleans native.”
So just who is Mitchell Robinson? Other than one of the hottest names on the minds of KU fans right now, he’s also a legitimate pro prospect with great size, good athleticism and the ability to make a difference for whichever program signs him.
That’s if he plays college ball at all. One of the big concerns out there seems to be that if he is forced to sit out the 2017-18 season after transferring that he might just jump to the NBA Draft after that and forego his college eligibility altogether.
While there’s no doubt that Kansas will vet that situation thoroughly, it will remain a risk down the road no matter what is said or agreed to today.
Measured at 7 feet tall without shoes and 7-1 with shoes by USA Basketball, the 233-pound, athletic big man has a 7-foot-4-inch wingspan and a 9-foot-3-inch standing reach.
According to DraftExpress.com, those numbers put Robinson in some rare company, with only Class of 2018 big man Bol Bol (7-3 in shoes, 7-8 wingspan, 220 pounds) standing in his class.
“He's continued to grow into his late teens, adding 18 pounds to his frame since the USA Basketball U18 Training Camp last June,” wrote DraftExpress. “(Robinson) has a unique combination of reach, length and frame that is very similar to that of a young Serge Ibaka from a physical standpoint.”
Robinson committed to Texas A&M in October of 2015 — almost two full years ago now — and then backed out of that commitment in April of 2016 after A&M assistant Rick Stansbury left to take the job at Western Kentucky.
That opened the door for Robinson to join his godfather, former North Carolina guard Shammond Williams at WKU, where Williams joined Stansbury as an assistant coach prior to the 2016-17 season.
The relationship between his former A&M recruiter and his godfather quickly led to Robinson committing to Western Kentucky in June of 2016, and, on Nov. 9 of last year, he signed his national letter of intent to join the Hilltoppers.
He remained committed to WKU until Williams decided to leave the school in July and was given his official release on Aug. 1.
That brings us to today and the impending arrival of Robinson on KU’s campus on Saturday for an unofficial weekend visit.
Where it goes from here is anybody’s guess, but the Jayhawks appear to be in good shape to land Robinson if they decide they want him and if he likes what he sees this weekend.
Kansas basketball coach Bill Self won't have much time to shake off whatever jet lag hits from his return from Italy to the United States this week, and it appears it will be important that he do so.
According to Matt Scott of 247 Sports site TheShiver.com, five-star Class of 2017 prospect Mitchell Robinson plans to make an unofficial visit Lawrence this weekend.
Robinson, a McDonald's All-American who recently left Western Kentucky after his godfather, a member of the WKU coaching staff, resigned and now the No. 8 player in the 2017 Class according to Rivals.com is looking for a new school.
Robinson, who is from Chalmette (La.) High, reportedly made an unofficial visit to LSU last weekend but did not commit, as some reports had indicated. Robinson told Shay Wildeboor of JayhawkSlant.com that the rumors of his commitment to LSU were not true and confirmed that he would visit KU this weekend.
At 7 feet tall, 220 pounds and with a ton of skill and athleticism, the opportunity to land a player of Robinson's caliber this late in the game is quite rare. However, landing him is only half of the battle for whichever program is fortunate enough to get him to town.
Because Robinson signed with and was enrolled at WKU this summer, he likely would have to sit out the 2017-18 season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules. There are some who believe he is exploring his options that might make him eligible to play immediately via some form of an NCAA waiver but the prospects of that, at least as of today, appear murky at best.
Still, getting Robinson to visit is a big step for the KU program, which could use help inside and has one scholarship available thanks to the unexpected departure of former William & Mary transfer Jack Whitman.
The Jayhawks still have a great deal of interest in Class of 2018 No. 1 prospect Marvin Bagley III, who may be trying to reclassify into the 2017 class, but how likely that outcome is also unclear.
Within minutes, possibly even seconds, of the news breaking Wednesday night that William & Mary transfer forward Jack Whitman was leaving the Kansas basketball program, eager and uneasy KU fans alike were connecting the dots to Marvin Bagley III.
Late Thursday morning, KU coach Bill Self confirmed Whitman's departure, saying, "Jack called me last night and informed me that he would not be playing basketball at Kansas for his fifth year. I do not know what his plans are moving forward. All I know is he will not be part of our basketball program. We wish Jack the best with his future endeavors.” But that confirmation did not include anything about what the Jayhawks will do to replace him.
It sounds good on the surface, replacing Frank Mason III with Marvin Bagley III, who just so happens to be the No. 1 ranked prospect in the Class of 2018.
And, yeah, there were rumors floating around earlier this week that Bagley was at least considering reclassifying into the 2017 class so he could play college basketball this season.
But the whole thing is far from a slam dunk, and there are a lot of moves that need to happen before Jayhawk fans can even begin to dream of seeing the 6-foot-10, 230-pound big man in crimson and blue next season.
Before we look at what factors are stacked against them, let’s first look at what the Jayhawks have working in their favor.
• First and most obvious is the fact that Kansas, no matter who you talk to, is one of the few true blue blood schools in the country and one that most all of the top prospects in class after class at least like to check the temperature on to see if the program might be the right fit for them. It was recently for Josh Selby, Andrew Wiggins and Josh Jackson. And, in time, it could be for Bagley, too. So it’s not as if KU fans are crazy for thinking he might come to Lawrence the way it might sound silly for fans in Boulder, Colo., to think Bagley might want to be a Buff.
• Beyond that, Bagley does already have KU on his short list of finalists. Those schools, in alphabetical order, are Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and USC. Big time programs, all of them, but Kansas is on the list.
• The big-picture timing of trying to woo Bagley to town really couldn’t be better for Bill Self and the Jayhawks, as Kansas currently has the reigning college player of the year in Mason and also just put Josh Jackson into the NBA via the No. 4 pick in the draft. Seeing that kind of exposure on the college level and path to professional ball no doubt would seem awfully appealing to a player of Bagley’s caliber. Beyond that, KU’s recent surge of putting players into the NBA — often via the draft lottery — has inspired top-tier prospects to look at KU’s ability to develop NBA talent in a fresh and more favorable light.
Now, let’s take a look at what might make this less than likely, both now and in the future.
• For one, reclassifying is not a slam dunk. It happens, but it’s not automatic and there is a process that Bagley would have to go through to make it happen. Beyond that, his family recently told Eric Bossi, of Rivals.com, that those rumors about Bagley’s reclassification were just that, rumors, and that the elite talent had not yet made any such decision. So it’s possible that all of the Bagley talk was much ado about nothing. And if that’s the case, Kansas will still continue to pursue him, but it won’t be as a replacement for Whitman this season. CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish is absolutely convinced that Bagley is en route to reclassifying and Parrish said on his recent radio show that he had been told that Bagley (a) had the grades to get it done and (b) was moving forward full speed ahead. Having said that, one source familiar with Bagley's recruitment told me Thursday that it'll take "a miracle" for him to be able to reclassify and added that Duke and USC were the likely front-runners.
• Even if the reclassification comes and KU gets a real crack at him in time for the 2017-18 season, it’s not as if it’s automatic that KU would get him. Bagley already may have visited Duke, and he’s scheduled to visit USC on July 26-27 and Arizona during the first week of August, when KU is playing overseas in Italy. “The Duke visit was completely geographical and we can drive, and we chose those three because we can drive to all of them,” Bagley’s father recently told FanRagSports.com. “And then we’ll get UCLA after, and then Kentucky and Kansas. We plan to visit them all. We’re going to try to get them in the best way we can.” For what it's worth, most national recruiting analysts seem to believe Duke is the team to beat for Bagley.
• The timing of this whole thing is nuts. Because summer workouts get going almost as soon as the Jayhawks get back from Italy, it’s hard to envision them putting in the kind of work necessary to land him while they’re in Italy. Then again, three members of Self’s staff did not make the trip to South Korea for the World University Games a couple of summers ago, and given that these Italian exhibitions are much less intense and important than those games, it’s not hard to imagine someone such as assistant Kurtis Townsend staying back to make a run at Bagley if that’s on the table. Having said that, Bagley’s also the type of talent that you’d easily still welcome into your program even in September or later if that’s what it takes to get him.
• Perhaps one of the most important things to remember about this deal is that Bagley’s whole motivation for reclassifying is not because he cannot wait to play college basketball for his school of choice. Instead, it’s because doing so provides him with the quickest path to the NBA and the money that awaits there. If Bagley is able to play college ball in 2017-18, he would be eligible for the 2018 NBA Draft, where he would at least be in the conversation for the No. 1 overall pick and certainly would be a surefire Top 5 choice. “I want to go the NBA,” Bagley recently told Andrew Slater of 247Sports. “That's my goal and those schools help get you there. They prepare you for that. That's why they made my list.”
• As for what he’s hoping to get out of whichever college program he signs with, Bagley said his whole mindset was focused on development. “I just want to get better,” he told Slater. “Wherever I feel like that is, wherever I feel like I'm around good people, around people who push me every day and tell me what I need to hear and not what I want to hear, that's where I see myself.”
At this point, it’s hard to picture exactly how all of this is going to play out. Bagley has not given any kind of time frame for a decision about his school or a decision about reclassifying and, even though there still is time to iron it all out, August is quickly approaching and things get a little tighter from there.
According to Slater’s report, Duke and now Kansas, thanks to Whitman’s departure, might be in the best shape of the bunch should Bagley reclassify because they have spots available immediately.
Regardless of KU’s chances of landing him or what his immediate future holds, this much we know: For at least the next few weeks, those interested in Kansas basketball would be wise to pay attention to whatever news comes out of the Bagley camp.
So last week news broke that Marvin Bagley III, currently the No. 1 ranked prospect in the Class of 2018 according to Rivals.com, was considering reclassifying and heading to school this Fall for what likely would be his lone season of college basketball.
Many recruiting analysts have said that Bagley is the clear-cut No. 1 player in the 2018 class and the 6-foot-10, 220-pound, 5-star prospect brings a well-rounded and explosive game to the floor every time he suits up.
As you would expect with a player of that caliber, all of the major players in college basketball are in on him and any one of them — Kansas included — would love to have him playing in their colors when he hits the college hoops scene.
At this point, Bagley has a Top 6 of Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and USC, with only a visit to Duke scheduled so far.
He grew up in Southern California and also spent some time living in Arizona. So it’s easy to see why those three schools are in play here, as well. And then Kansas and Kentucky are, well, Kansas and Kentucky so that makes sense, too.
What does not make sense is the belief that Bagley would consider reclassifying without knowing where he wants to play his college ball.
I’m not saying it’s a done deal. Not even close. In fact, Eric Bossi, of Rivals.com, recently spoke with Bagley's family and reported that they're calling the news "rumors" and saying they have not made any such decision about jumping up a class.
I don’t know the kid and barely know the circumstances surrounding his recruitment. But I find it hard to imagine that he would make a major move — or even consider one — like reclassifying in order to attend college a full year before he previously was expected to without having a pretty good feel for where he wants to go after the paperwork is done.
The guess here is that place will be Duke.
In order for it to be Kansas, the Jayhawks likely would need Bagley to decide against reclassifying and to stay in the 2018 class, which certainly is possible and definitely would give Bill Self and company more time to make their pitch and also time to find room to add him.
As of today, the Jayhawks are full and bringing on another player — whether he’s a monster player like Bagley or a 3-star big man for added depth — would require some movement on the scholarship front in order to open up a spot.
With the trip to Italy coming in two weeks and preseason camp starting shortly after their return, it’s hard to imagine anyone from the current roster moving on for one reason or another at this point.
The Bagley thing is interesting, not because it’s rare — reclassifying has become more and more common during recent years — but because he’s such a big time talent.
But his move, should he make it, probably would not mean much for the Jayhawks at this point in time. Now, if he stays in the Class of 2018, stay tuned...
The calendar may still read 2017, but, with all of its scholarships now officially spoken for, the Kansas basketball team can and has moved forward, full speed ahead in its recruitment of the Class of 2018.
Because the Jayhawks are in on almost all of the elite talent in the 2018 class (what’s new, right?), many of the names are ones which you probably already have heard.
And while there still may be a long way to go before anything is closed to finalized with any of those players, the Jayhawks are off to a good start in their pursuit of the next crop of Kansas basketball players.
Here’s a quick look at some recent news from a couple of KU’s key targets in the class:
• Immanuel Quickley – 5-star point guard, ranked No. 15 by Rivals.com
The 6-foot-4, 180-pound lead guard from John Carroll High in Bel Air, Md., recently made news by narrowing his list down to a final four. Along with Kentucky, Maryland and Miami (Fla.), the Jayhawks made that cut and appear to be in as good of shape as anybody in the pursuit of Quickley, who actually already has made an unofficial visit to Lawrence.
"I think those four schools fit me the most as a person and as a player," Quickley recently told Scout.com’s Evan Daniels. "I think off and on the court those schools fit me the best."
As for his specific stance on the Jayhawks, Quickley had this to say: "Coach Bill Self is great on and off the floor. I really liked the feel of Allen Fieldhiuse when I visited. The feel there was cool to see."
Quickley told Daniels that he was now in the process of scheduling official visits to his final four and that he would like to make a decision before he begins his senior year of high school.
• Marvin Bagley Jr. — 5-star forward, ranked No. 1 by Rivals.com
The 6-foot-10 big man from Sierra Canyon High in Chatsworth, Calif., has narrowed his list to a final six full of some of college basketball’s biggest power players.
Kansas is on that list, along with Arizona, Duke, Kentucky, UCLA and USC.
Through the first few sessions of the Nike EYBL tournament, Bagley has backed up his Rivals ranking, averaging 25 points, 15 rebounds and 3 blocks in 30 minutes per game.
There has been some talk of whether Bagley might want to reclassify and join the 2017 class, but the athletic big man told Zagsblog over the weekend that he was not worried about reclassifying and would let his future play out however it was supposed to.
As for his specific thoughts on each of his finalists, Bagley delivered similar thoughts on each of them while talking to Zagsblog.
“They’re all great schools,” he said. “I could say the same thing about each of the schools. They’re all great. They speak for themselves. They’re in the tournament. They play in big time tournaments and games every year on ESPN.... I’m looking for somewhere I could go and get better. That’s my main focus. That’s what I tell everybody. It’s not about the name. It’s not about all the news and the hype. It’s about where I can go and get better. Wherever that place may be out of my list is where I’ll go.”
• Quentin Grimes, 5-star combo guard, ranked No. 12 by Rivals
Andrew Slater, of 247 Sports, recently caught up with the 6-foot-5, 180-pound guard from College Park High in The Woodlands, Texas, for an update on the current status of his list.
Grimes is the rare top tier prospect to not have at least two of the three or four top college programs on his offer list. That’s not to say he’s being ignored. Far from it. But, according to the Rivals data base, Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina all are absent from his offer list, leaving Kansas as the biggest blue blood program pursuing him, with Arizona, Florida and five other Big 12 schools also in pursuit.
Grimes recently told Slater that he was in the process of narrowing his list down to eight and then would like to get it down to a final five in the next couple of weeks.
In his lengthy interview with Grimes, Slater points out that Duke has made contact during recent weeks but it’s clear that Arizona and KU have stood out as much as anyone.
“Coach Self called and said I'm a top priority and that he plays a lot of guards and sees me bringing in something different than the other guards because of my size,” Grimes told Slater. “He said they’re known now for their guards, but that I would be unique because of being able to play point guard at that size.”
Grimes said he views himself as a scoring point guard and is looking forward to surrounding himself with lots of talent in college so he can showcase both his scoring and passing skills.