Thursday night, Class of 2020 KU target Bryce Thompson released his first official list of finalists and the Jayhawks made the cut as one of his seven programs still standing.
Thompson, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound shooting guard from Booker T. Washington High in Tulsa, Okla., is ranked 18th nationally by Rivals.com and is a five-star prospect who absolutely blew up this summer.
Kansas coach Bill Self and his staff have long treated Thompson as one of their top priorities in the 2020 class. But after another stellar summer in which he showed off his versatility, smooth scoring ability and ever-expanding athleticism, Thompson both jumped in the Rivals rankings and began to draw interest from more of the top programs in college basketball.
Those programs still in the running for Thompson are: in-state schools Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, perennial powers North Carolina and Michigan State and far-but-not-too-far programs Arkansas and Texas.
According to Rivals.com’s Corey Evans, Texas Tech may still be in the mix, as well. But the graphic that Thompson Tweeted out on Thursday night only featured those previous six and Kansas.
Although a date for Thompson’s final decision remains in the distance, the dynamic scorer has started to sort out his official visits and will get things started this weekend in Austin, Texas.
After that, Thompson will head to UNC the weekend of Sept. 6 — according to Evans, he’ll be the Tar Heels’ only official visitor at that time — and follow that up with a visit to Kansas on Oct. 4 (in time for Late Night) and a trip to Michigan State on Oct. 25, when the Spartans host their own version of Late Night.
Those dates, as long as they hold, would leave Thompson with the option of taking one more official visit to either OU, OSU or Arkansas.
Evans reported that Thompson and his family would like to have all of the official visits wrapped up by November and while that certainly suggests that a decision could be coming in time for the early signing period, which opens Nov. 13 and runs through Nov. 20, no one in Thompson’s camp has publicly said that he will sign early.
Let the onslaught of fall visits officially begin.
This weekend, the Kansas men’s basketball program will host four-star Class of 2020 center Mady Sissoko for an official visit during the opening weekend of the college football season.
In years past, KU coach Bill Self often has talked about the importance of a quality football program and how having David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium full when visitors were in town could only help the Jayhawks’ recruiting efforts.
It remains to be seen just how full KU’s football venue will be when Indiana State comes to town for Saturday’s 11 a.m. season opener. But Sissoko’s plate will be full one way or the other.
“I’m really interested to see the player improvement at Kansas, the academics, the style of play and some other things,” the 6-foot-8, 225-pound big man told Shay Wildeboor of JayhawkSlant.com earlier this week. I just want to see and learn about as much as the Kansas program that I can during my visit.”
Sissoko currently attends Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant, Utah, the same program that produced current Kansas freshman Tristan Enaruna.
He told Wildeboor he was excited to catch up with his old friend and added that the pairing of seeing Enaruna at KU only made things sweeter.
“Kansas is a great program,” said Sissoko, who originally hails from Mali. “They send a lot of players to the NBA and I want to go somewhere that can help me get to the next level. When I got to the United States, Kansas was my top dream school, but that does not mean that I want to go to my dream school. I want to go somewhere that I can fit in the program and I want to go somewhere that wants me the most.”
Known by recruiting analysts as an elite shot blocker who can bully his way to baskets around the rim, Sissoko is ranked as the No. 48 overall prospect in the 2020 class by Rivals.com. That Top 50 slot is up 31 spots from his previous ranking and many consider Sissoko to be one of the fastest-rising prospects in the class.
In mid-July, after watching him at an Under Armour event in Georgia, David Sisk of Rivals site CatsIllustrated, which covers Kentucky, wrote the following about the big man’s defensive prowess: “Simply put, he is one of the most dynamic shot blockers I have seen.They are volleyball spikes. Nobody is safe, not in half court or on the fast break. He sent one to another court after an 80-foot sprint. He pinned another one with two hands against the backboard. He runs the entire game and does not take plays off.”
Although Sissoko has not yet formed a list of finalists, he is zeroing in on a handful of programs he either has visited or plans to visit in the near future.
In addition to his upcoming trip to KU, Sissoko told Wildeboor he already has visited BYU, Colorado, Michigan State and UCLA and plans to visit Memphis.
KU assistant Norm Roberts is the lead recruiter for Sissoko, who told CatsIllustrated that Kansas was recruiting him, “very hard.”
In-state hoops prospect Gradey Dick is planning to make an unofficial visit to Kansas for Late Night on Oct. 4, a source told KUsports.com on Monday.
Dick, a 6-foot-5, 170-pound guard in the class of 2022 from Wichita Collegiate, received a scholarship offer from the Jayhawks this summer and made a name for himself in the recruiting world with a solid summer when he showcased his extreme athleticism.
“This kid is a very skilled prospect who plays with a high motor and is ultra-aggressive on the court,” KUsports.com recruiting insider Matt Scott said.
Dick has teamed with fellow class of 2022 prospect Mark Mitchell, of Bishop Miege, on the summer circuit and is considered by many recruiting analysts to be a fast-riser in the class.
While Dick and Mitchell are still years out from their signing ceremonies, KU’s efforts in the class of 2020 have ramped up in recent weeks.
With three seniors on the current roster (Udoka Azubuike, Mitch Lightfoot and Isaiah Moss), the Jayhawks figure to have at least three open scholarships to hand out to prospects in the 2020 class during the next several months.
With a few others on this season’s team — Devon Dotson, Ochai Agbaji, Silvio De Sousa — having the potential to leave school early, the number of players KU targets in the class could be higher.
None of that will be known for months. But we do know today who the Jayhawks have been targeting.
Here’s a quick look at a handful of names worth watching as Bill Self and company try to add talent for the future.
• Javonte Brown-Ferguson – 6-11, 220-pound center currently in the 2021 class may be exploring a move into the 2020 class. The Baltimore native ranked No. 45 overall in the 2021 class and received an offer from KU in July.
• Dawson Garcia – 6-10, 200-pound power forward from Savage, Minn., Garcia is a four-star prospect ranked No. 38 overall in his class. Can play inside and out, shoot 3's and handle the ball extremely well for a player his size.
• Jalen Green – No. 3-ranked prospect in Rivals’ 2020 class who spent time in the No. 1 slot during recent months, Green is a 6-5, 170-pound shooting guard from Prolific Prep (former home of Josh Jackson) in California.
• Caleb Love – 4-star point guard from St. Louis plans to visit KU on Oct. 12. The 6-3, 175-pound guard ranked No. 32 overall by Rivals also will take official visits to Missouri, Indiana, North Carolina and Louisville.
• Adam Miller – 6-3, 165-pound shooting guard from Chicago’s Morgan Park, this four-star prospect is ranked No. 30 overall by Rivals.com.
• Moses Moody – 6-5, 185-pound small forward from Montverde Academy. Moody is four-star prospect ranked No. 59 overall by Rivals.com.
• KK Robinson – 6-foot, 170-pound, four-star point guard from Little Rock, Ark., ranked No. 79 overall in the class. Robinson recently trimmed his list of finalists to seven — KU, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa State, Texas A&M, TCU and Vanderbilt.
• Mady Sissoko – 6-8, 225-pound center from Wasatch Academy (former home of Tristan Enaruna) is expected to make an official visit to KU this weekend. 4-star prospect is ranked No. 48 in the 2020 class by Rivals.com.
• Jalen Suggs – One of three Jalens in the Top 16 of the 2020 class, Suggs is a 6-4, 185-pound point guard from Minneapolis who is a five-star prospect ranked No. 16 overall by Rivals.
• Bryce Thompson – 6-4, 180-pound shooting guard from Tulsa, Okla. No. 18-ranked prospect in the 2020 class, this five-star talent is on just about everyone’s radar these days and has been in touch with Kansas for months.
• JT Thor – Formerly in the class of 2021, Thor reclassified into the 2020 class a couple of months ago and is currently ranked No. 53 overall in the class. At 6-9, 185 pounds, this versatile athlete has all kinds of options and potential at the collegiate level.
• Isaiah Todd – 6-10, 210-pound center from Raleigh, N.C. The No. 9-ranked player in the 2020 class per Rivals.com.
• Kyree Walker – A familiar name who had been rumored to be considering reclassifying into the 2019 class, Walker is a strong, physical, 6-5, 205-pound, four-star point guard from Phoenix ranked No. 26 overall in the class.
With the start of another school year right around the corner, things are beginning to heat up in the 2020 college basketball recruiting class.
And that usually means official visits, trimmed-down lists and fall commitments are forthcoming, as well.
Caleb Love, a 4-star point guard from St. Louis, recently released official visit dates for five of his six finalists and Kansas made the cut.
Love, who stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 173 pounds, will visit KU the weekend of Oct. 12, according to Rivals recruiting analyst Corey Evans.
The other four schools who will get official visits from the No. 32-ranked player in the Rivals.com rankings for 2020 include: Missouri (Sept. 7), Indiana (Sept. 12), North Carolina (Sept. 20) and Louisville (Sept. 27).
Arizona is the sixth school on Love’s list of finalists and Evans wrote that the talented point guard is trying to work out a way to make an unofficial visit to Arizona sometime in the next couple of months, as well.
Evans wrote that Love has made unofficial visits to KU, Indiana, Missouri and Louisville in recent months and speculated that, with all of his official visits coming before November, Love could be on track to commit and sign in the early signing period, which arrives Nov. 13 and runs through Nov. 20.
Evans added: “If that is the case, one school will head into the college season with one of the very best talents that the nation has to provide in the backcourt and (Love) is the type that should immediately impact a program for the better upon his enrollment.”
Evans also indicated that Love has become one of the most sought-after players in the 2020 class because of “his toughness and desire to compete at the point of attack.”
Conner Teahan tried it, Mario Kinsey did it before that, Clint Normore won a national championship by doing it back in 1988 and James Sosinski is the most recent name you might recognize who pulled off the feat.
Today, there’s an interesting prospect out there who appears to be eyeing the idea of playing both basketball and football at KU in the distant future.
Ga’Quincy McKinstry, a Rivals.com 4-star football athlete in the Class of 2021 reported on Twitter Wednesday night that he had received a scholarship offer from the Kansas men’s basketball program.
In the Tweet, McKinstry hit the caps lock button before typing, “I WILL HAVE THE CHANCE TO PLAY BOTH SPORTS #RockChalk” into the message.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound McKinstry does not show up on the Rivals150 list for basketball players in the Class of 2021, but he is the No. 1 ranked football player in Alabama per Rivals and also comes in at No. 30 overall in Rivals’ national rankings.
So how — or perhaps why is the better question — would KU hoops coach Bill Self consider using one of his oh-so-valuable scholarships on a player who isn’t ranked in the Top 150 and is probably a better football player than he is a basketball player?
The answer is simple – he might not necessarily have to. According to NCAA Division I rules, a player may only enter into a financial aid agreement with one athletic program at a given university.
So if McKinstry were to join Les Miles’ football program first and both practice and play in games with the Jayhawks on the gridiron, his scholarship, the way I understand it, would technically count as one of the 25 per class available on the football side of things, essentially making him a walk-on on the basketball program.
That’s how it worked a couple of seasons ago, when KU coach Bill Self brought Kansas football tight end James Sosinski onto the roster when the basketball team needed an extra body in its front court.
Sosinski came to KU as a scholarship football player and therefore did not count against the men’s basketball program’s scholarship numbers.
Sosinski played just nine minutes in seven games with the Jayhawks that season, but did get a Final Four ring out of the deal and even scored in KU's Final Four loss to Villanova.
A similar path was followed by Kinsey in the early 2000s. After coming to KU to play quarterback, Kinsey spent part of one season on the men’s basketball team — then coached by Roy Williams — and actually was a contributor in both sports before leaving KU altogether for disciplinary reasons.
In his one season at QB for the Jayhawks, the ultra-athletic Kinsey threw for 1,215 yards, 7 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
During his lone season with the men’s basketball team (2000-01), Kinsey played in 16 of the 23 games for which he suited up and averaged 1.9 points and 0.6 rebounds in just under 9 minutes per game before being dismissed from the team in February of 2001.
With McKinstry just now entering his junior season of high school, and with him also boasting football offers from powerhouse programs Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Notre Dame and more, there remains a long way to go before the idea of him even coming to Kansas, let alone playing both sports at KU, becomes a reality.
But at least as of today, the Pinson Valley High prospect from Pinson, Ala., who is best known as one of the top defensive backs in his state, appears to be excited about the opportunity KU is providing him.
Don’t be surprised if the rest follow suit to make sure that they don’t let a Top 30 football talent like McKinstry get away.
McKinstry, who goes by the nickname “Kool-Aid,” already is an accomplished athlete in both sports, having helped Pinson Valley win both football and basketball state titles early on in his prep career. He averaged double-digits for the PVHS team en route to the state title last season and dropped 36 points in an AAU game with the Alabama Celtics earlier this summer.
His first Div. I basketball offer came back in March from Jacksonville State. More followed, including a basketball offer from Auburn in late July.
• Jayhawks offer 4-star PG
Earlier this week, KU offered a scholarship to Class of 2020 point guard Andre Curbelo, according to JayhawkSlant.com. Curbelo, a 4-star prospect per Rivals.com, hails from Long Island Lutheran in New York and is ranked No. 57 overall — No. 11 among point guards — in the 2020 class. In-state program St. John's appears to be one of KU's biggest competitors for Curbelo's services and the 6-foot, 170-pound prospect also has offers from several other east coast programs.
• KU makes cut for KK Robinson
KK Robinson, another 4-star point guard in the Class of 2020, recently trimmed his list of finalists to a Top 7 and left the Jayhawks in the mix. Kansas is joined by Illinois, Iowa State, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, TCU and Texas A&M in the point guard's final seven. Robinson, who hails from Little Rock, Ark., is a 6-foot, 170-pound guard who is ranked No. 78 overall by Rivals.com in the Class of 2020.
Fresh off another strong showing at last weekend’s USA Basketball mini-camp in Colorado Springs, Class of 2020 guard Bryce Thompson started talking timeline for a decision.
“I may end up getting it done before my senior season starts just so that I can play freely, have fun and not having to be stressed about not having to perform every night but I don’t know,” Thompson recently told Rivals.com analyst Corey Evans. “I still have to talk to my parents about it.”
Firmly ranked as a five-star prospect and seemingly continuing to rise, the 6-foot-4, 180-pound shooting guard from Booker T. Washington High in Tulsa, Okla., has been a top target of Kansas basketball for several months. But the Jayhawks have serious competition in their pursuit of Thompson, whose father played for KU coach Bill Self at Tulsa in the 1990s.
Thompson, who made officials visits to Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Oklahoma and Texas A&M during his junior year of high school, — as allowed by new NCAA recruiting rules — told Evans that Arkansas, KU, Michigan State, North Carolina and both in-state, Big 12 programs were the ones that had been in the most consistent contact with Thompson and his family of late.
While that does not guarantee anything in terms of senior year visits, it certainly seems likely that the five programs that will receive official visits during the coming months likely will be KU, Michigan State, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
Thompson talked briefly about each of those programs during his interview with Evans, and, somewhat expectedly, he had positive things to say about each place and each visit.
Said Thompson of KU: “Coach Self is a great guy with a great program. I got to play pick-up with the guys and I really enjoyed that. It was good.”
Thompson has not yet narrowed his group of suitors to a list of finalists, but he told Evans last weekend that was coming.
“(After the USA mini-camp) we will probably talk about narrowing it down and focusing on my primary schools,” Thompson told Evans. “That is something that I look forward to.”
Added Evans in his most recent write-up: “Expect for a cut list to be made within the next few weeks with all five making the cut, official visits to be taken in the fall and a signing to occur in November.”
The five-star Oklahoma prospect was hardly the lone player at last weekend’s USA Basketball camp on KU’s radar.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the other players at the prestigious camp who KU is pursuing:
• Isaiah Todd – 5-star PF in Class of 2020 ranked No. 13 overall by Rivals.com
One of the biggest names in the 2020 class, the 6-10, 210-pound forward has started to put his game together in recent weeks and is re-emerging as a top prospect among high school seniors. Rivals.com dubs the Baltimore native who attends Trinity High in Raleigh, N.C., as “an immediate producer that fits today’s style of ball to a tee,” and he has started to show signs of again being the player who some thought was the top prospect in the 2020 class entering his high school career.
Wrote Rivals.com analyst Eric Bossi: "He is planning visits to Kansas and Kentucky with Michigan, North Carolina, and Oklahoma State among the others involved at this point in time."
• Caleb Love – 4-star PG in Class of 2020 ranked No. 32 overall by Rivals.com
Already known as one of the fastest and most physical guards in the class, Rivals.com reported that Love made major strides toward being a better leader during the USA camp in Colorado Springs. The 6-3, 175-pound point guard from Christian Brothers College High in St. Louis already has made unofficial visits to Indiana, Kansas, Louisville and Missouri in the past few months and appears to be headed full speed toward getting serious about his suitors. He said recently that those four, along with Texas, Georgetown and Illinois have been showing him the most love of late.
Wrote Bossi: Look out for a final list within the next several days and an official visit tour to be taken in the fall.”
• Patrick Baldwin Jr. — 5-star PF in Class of 2021 ranked No. 3 overall by Rivals.com
According to reports from Rivals.com, the 6-9, 205-pound athlete from Hamilton High in Sussex, Wisc., Baldwin Jr., had arguably the strongest finish to the USA Basketball camp and continues to be one of the most sought after players in the junior class. Baldwin’s father played at Northwestern and now coaches at Milwaukee. Both programs are in on him, along with several other major conference programs, including KU, K-State and Missouri.
Wrote Bossi: “He’s a big time stretch four man with high-level IQ and feel for the game to go with his elite jump shooting from deep.”
• Kennedy Chandler – 4-star PG in Class of 2021 ranked No. 28 overall by Rivals.com
A MOKAN Elite teammate of recent KU commitment Dajuan Harris, Chandler’s recruitment has blown up over the summer and he now is drawing interest from some of the top programs in college basketball, including KU.
Wrote Bossi of the 6-foot, 163-pound point guard from Briarcrest Christian in Eads, Tenn: “He had a huge summer leading MoKan Elite to a Peach Jam title and was terrific in Colorado Springs. … It would be hard to argue that any guard more consistently made plays off the dribble for himself and others. Chandler is sneaky quick and athletic but his greatest gift is the ability to make quality decisions at full speed.”
Add another member of the MOKAN Elite AAU program to the list of prospects on KU’s radar during the current recruiting cycle.
According to his Twitter feed, Kennedy Chandler, the No. 28-ranked prospect in the 2021 class per Rivals.com recently picked up an offer from Kansas.
Chandler, who teamed with recent KU commitment Dajuan Harris to help bring home the Peach Jam title last weekend in Georgia, averaged 14 points and six assists per game for MOKAN while putting on a display of highlight-reel finishes at the rim, often on the receiving end from Harris passes.
While the Peach Jam experience — Chandler’s first — helped put him on the national map, the thrill of bringing home the trophy still outweighed everything else.
“Man when that buzzer went off, it was a great experience,” he told Jake Weingarten of Stockrisers.com. “It was a crazy atmosphere, me and my team just went out there a played hard every single game and we deserved that win.”
According to Stockrisers, the performance netted Chandler some attention from the likes of North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, Michigan, Louisville and other high-major programs.
Per his Twitter page, it also led to scholarship offers from Penny Hardaway and Memphis, Lon Kruger and Oklahoma, Jim Boeheim and Syracuse, Sean Miller and Arizona and, of course, Bill Self and Kansas.
Still just a junior-to-be at Briarcrest Christian in Eads, Tenn., Chandler landed on @D1Circuit’s All-Underclass squad for Nike’s 2019 EYBL circuit, averaging 14 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game during the regular season while shooting 48.9% from the floor, 71.4% from the free throw line and 36.4% from 3-point range.
Chandler, who is listed at 6-foot, 163 pounds by Rivals.com, has been invited to the upcoming USA Basketball U18 training camp, July 25-28 in Colorado Springs, and many recruiting analysts view his athleticism and tenacity as his biggest strengths.
Wrote 247 Sports analyst Brian Snow after the Nike Elite 100 recruiting summit earlier this month: “One of the best athletes from the point guard position, Chandler was getting into the lane any time he wanted throughout the week. He needs to continue to improve as a shooter, but his change of pace and dynamic first step make him nearly impossible to deal with in an isolation setting. Also, Chandler is a good passer with a good feel for the game. In transition especially he stands out with his decision making. Despite not being the biggest guard, standing under 6-feet tall, he is a very good finisher around the rim because of his crafty style and basketball IQ.”
The Kansas men’s basketball program has found a taker for its 13th and final scholarship for the 2019-20 roster.
Dajuan Harris, a fast-rising 3-star point guard who is destined to crack the Top 100 and earn a 4-star rating from Rivals.com when the updated ratings are released, announced his commitment to Kansas via Twitter on Tuesday night, just before 9 p.m.
A recent graduate of Rock Bridge High in Columbia, Mo., Harris plans to stay in the 2019 class — instead of taking a prep school year at Sunrise Christian Academy and reclassifying to 2020 — and is expected to begin classes at KU this fall.
Harris has been taking online classes this summer in order to make the move back to 2019 possible and has to finish up that work to clear the way for the move to KU.
Harris told KUsports.com recruiting insider Matt Scott that he hoped to arrive in Lawrence sometime next month.
A 6-foot-2, jet-quick point guard with good speed and vision, Harris announced his commitment via Twitter and included an edit of him in a white Kansas jersey — wearing No. 13 — with the words "110% committed" attached to the Tweet.
After initially committing to Missouri State as a member of the Class of 2019, Harris changed gears and temporarily reclassified into the 2020 class. But after recently receiving a release from his commitment to Missouri State and reopening his recruitment, Harris began fielding offers from some high-major programs, including Kansas.
That was just the beginning of his rise.
For MOKAN Elite AAU coach Chris Neff, who has seen it all and helped coach a lot of players to the Division I level, the past couple of weeks were as crazy as anything he had seen with a single player. And Neff credits Harris for his demeanor through it all in helping him land Tuesday's outcome.
“This is just a culmination of hard work and him being committed to keeping his head down and running the race," Neff told the Journal-World late Tuesday.
A strong showing at the Peach Jam AAU tournament in Georgia last weekend — he averaged more than eight assists per game in helping lead MOKAN Elite to the title — put Harris firmly on the national map and led to his decision to pick Kansas on Tuesday night.
Harris has strong connections to a couple of members of KU’s current roster — freshman Christian Braun, sophomore Ochai Agbaji and junior walk-on Chris Teahan all played for MOKAN — and also developed strong relationships with KU’s coaching staff.
"I'm very excited," Harris told the Journal-World shortly after committing. "They made me feel like home and believed in me."
Added Harris of what he will add to the KU roster: "Defense! Like taking charges and diving on the floor for loose balls. On the offensive side I'm going to make everyone around me better and set my teammates up for great shots — basically a playmaker."
Neff agreed with both assessments and said that MOKAN assistant coach Dave Milliren was locked into Harris' potential earlier than most.
"I'll never forget it," Neff began. "Three years ago, when he first joined our 17U team, I asked coach Dave Milliren, 'What level do you think Dajuan is?' And he looked at me immediately, like snapping his fingers, and said, ‘Oh, he’s a blue blood. He’s blue blood on his defense and deflections alone.' The kid has some Stacey Augmon length, going way back. You don’t want to be defended by this kid.”
Harris becomes the fifth freshman to join KU's 2019 recruiting class — all five will be 4-star prospects if Harris, as expected, gets the bump in his rating — and the sixth newcomer to join the Jayhawks this offseason, with senior graduate transfer Isaiah Moss (Iowa) being added to a freshman class that includes Braun, Issac McBride, Tristan Enaruna, Jalen Wilson and Harris.
The MOKAN Elite AAU program won the star-studded Peach Jam AAU tournament in Georgia over the weekend and a current KU target was one of the team’s stars.
Dajuan Harris, a 3-star point guard out of Columbia’s Rock Bridge High, who Rivals.com analysts have said is on the fast track to becoming a 4-star prospect when the next rankings come out, helped pace MOKAN Elite to the title.
True to his reputation, Harris did his damage with his athleticism and court vision, getting others involved whenever possible and looking to set up teammates with precision passes before trying to put the ball in the basket.
That, of course, is much easier to do when Peach Jam MVP N’Faly Dante (No. 9 in the 2020 class, per Rivals) and explosive wing Kennedy Chandler (No. 28 in the 2021 class, per Rivals) are among your options to pass to.
But, still, Harris was solid from start to finish in the biggest showcase event of the summer. He reached double figures in a couple of games, averaged well above eight assists per game for the tournament and nearly had a triple-double in one pool play victory, finishing with 13 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds.
Wrote 247 Sports recruiting analysts Evan Daniels, who broke down Harris’ emergence during pool play action: “It was a sensational performance on the biggest stage in grassroots.”
Daniels also caught up with Harris during the event to get an update on his surging recruitment, which includes a recent offer from KU, which Harris announced last week on Twitter.
“What I’m going to bring to the team and to the table is I’m going to defend and I’m going to try to get everybody wide open shots, and make the right plays and be a playmaker,” Harris told Daniels while breaking down his game. “A long time ago I used to play for this coach who always wanted me to score, but I didn’t really care about scoring. I liked to get everybody else open shots.”
Harris told Daniels that his recent recruitment, which has picked back up after he was granted a release from a previous commitment to Missouri State, has included Texas and Missouri, along with Missouri State and KU.
Rivals.com recruiting analyst Eric Bossi believes more suitors are coming, recently writing that Harris, currently ranked No. 136 in the 2020 class by Rivals, should expect “high-major offers to flood in during July.”
Harris does not currently have any official visits scheduled and there is no known timeline for his decision.
As for what caught Daniels’ eye, it was Harris’ command of the court from all positions that made him worth watching and writing about.
“The 6-foot-2 wiry lead guard impressed with his passing ability, vision and creativity off the dribble,” Daniels wrote. “He also excelled on the defensive end, where he made things difficult on Sharife Cooper, one of the best point guards in the country. … The pin-point passes off the live dribble and his decision making when he drove particularly stood out.”
One of the fastest rising players in the Class of 2020 appears to have caught the attention of the Kansas basketball program.
Dajuan Harris, a 6-foot-1 point guard from Columbia’s Rock Bridge High, revealed Tuesday on Twitter that he had received a scholarship offer from Kansas.
Harris, a 3-star prospect in the Class of 2020, initially had been committed to Missouri State but, according to Rivals.com analyst Eric Bossi, recently received his release from Missouri State and has reopened his recruitment.
Ranked No. 136 in the 2020 class, Harris is the type of player that Bossi said “could have been a potential player of the year in the Missouri Valley (Conference).”
“The guy is just a leader. He wins a lot of games and makes everyone around him better,” Bossi wrote.
In addition to the uncertainty surrounding where Harris might wind up, there also is some uncertainty about when.
After initially committing to Missouri State as a member of the Class of 2019, Harris changed gears and reclassified into the 2020 class, according to what his high school coach, Dana Ford, told the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader back in May.
That move leaves the door open for Harris, who graduated from Rock Bridge this spring after helping lead the school to the Class 5 Missouri state title last winter, to sign in the next couple of months and play college basketball in the 2019-20 season or attend prep school for a year and arrive on a college campus in time for the 2020-21 season.
Rivals.com’s bio for Harris has him listed as a prospect from Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, a basketball powerhouse that fields a post-graduate team each year.
Regardless of the when and the where, both Bossi and KUsports.com recruiting insider Matt Scott believe big things are in store for Harris in the near future.
“Shools are just figuring out that Harris has gotten his release from Missouri State,” Bossi wrote last week. “Expect high-major offers to flood in during July.
Added Scott of Harris’ game: “He’s the closest thing you’ll see today to a true point guard. He can completely control a game without scoring a ton of points. He’s good. He’s just not someone who’s going to be ranked all that high because he isn’t a flashy scorer.”
Harris currently is in Georgia with MOKAN Elite, playing in the EYBL’s annual summer Peach Jam AAU event.
Since he rejoined the MOKAN roster after decommitting from Missouri State, Harris and company have not lost a game.
That streak continued on Wednesday, when MOKAN knocked off Mean Streets (Ill.), 80-62. Harris played 27 minutes and finished with 4 points, 7 assists and 2 steals while shooting 2-of-4 from the floor. Among the game’s highlights were this steal and flush from Harris.