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Four members of KU’s 2022 recruiting class sign national letters of intent to officially join Jayhawks

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

While much of Wednesday was spent with the Kansas men’s basketball program basking in the aftermath of a season-opening victory over Michigan State on Tuesday night, the day was also pretty significant for KU’s future.

Four members of the Class of 2022 made their oral commitments official by signing national letters of intent on Wednesday.

Five-star wing Gradey Dick (6-7, 195), of Sunrise Christian Academy, and four-star forward Ernest Udeh Jr. (6-10, 232) were the first to sign, around noon.

Five-star guard MJ Rice (6-5, 200) and four-star big man Zuby Ejiofor (6-8, 220) made their commitments official just after 5 p.m.

That group makes up the No. 4-ranked 2022 class in the country, according to Rivals.com.

Each player brings a different set of skills to the court, but all four seem to be in line with the type of versatile and athletic talent that Kansas coach Bill Self brought to the program this offseason.

The Jayhawks could still add another player or two to the 2022 class before it’s all said and done. But they’re unlikely to add another in the early signing period, which opened Wednesday and runs through Nov. 17. The Division I basketball regular signing period runs April 13, 2022 through May 18, 2022.

Here’s a look at some of the action from today’s official signings.

None by Gradey Dick

None by Garland High School

None by Marquise (MJ) Rice

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KU hoops targets Bona, Miller pick UCLA, Alabama

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Two Class of 2022 hoops prospects who recently visited Kansas announced their college decisions on Monday and the Jayhawks missed out on both.

Big man Adem Bona, 6-foot-10, 210 pounds from Prolific Prep in Napa, Calif., toured KU’s campus, saw the facilities and met with the coaches and current players in September.

He chose UCLA over Kansas and Kentucky.

Bona is ranked as the sixth best center in his class and the No. 33 overall prospects in 2022 according to Rivals.com.

About an hour after Bona’s commitment, five-star prospect Brandon Miller announced Alabama as his choice.

The 6-foot-7, 190-pound, five-star small forward is ranked 12th in the Class of 2022 by Rivals.com.

Miller visited KU in mid-October and was choosing between KU, Alabama, Tennessee State and a direct path to professional basketball.

Miller’s father played football at Alabama and many believed that Nate Oats’ program was the team to beat throughout Miller’s recruitment.

Even without those two prospects, KU’s 2022 recruiting class, which currently includes four players, is still ranked No. 3 in the nation, just behind Duke and Kentucky.

Arkansas and UCLA round out the top five according to Rivals.com’s Class of 2022 team rankings, and the addition of Miller bumped Alabama up to No. 16 in the rankings.

KU likely still has room to sign at least another player or two in the class before all is said and done.

Players in the 2022 class can make their oral commitments official beginning next week, when Division I’s early signing period opens on Nov. 10. Committed players have a week to sign their letters of intent. After Nov. 17, the Class of 2022 prospects will have to wait until April 13, 2022 to make their pledges stick.

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Top-12, 5-star KU target Brandon Miller to visit Kansas this weekend

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

It’s Miller time for the Kansas men’s basketball program this weekend, as top-12 prospect Brandon Miller and his family are slated to make an official visit to KU.

The 6-foot-7, 190-pound, five-star small forward is ranked 12th in the Class of 2022 by Rivals.com.

After initially cutting Kansas from his final eight in early September, Miller added the Jayhawks back to his list of finalists, which now consists of KU, Alabama, Tennessee State, the NBA’s G League and Australia’s NBL.

As the lone blue blood program on his list of finalists, KU has a chance to set itself apart this weekend. Miller’s final eight also included Kentucky, Tennessee and Florida.

Miller recently took a closer look at the G League and he is expected to arrive in Lawrence today.

“He really wants to see how Coach (Bill) Self and the staff interacts with the players,” Miller’s father, Darrell Miller, recently told Shay Wildeboor of JayhawkSlant.com. “I think we’re going to check out the football game, too. Brandon can maybe get a feel for the student life a bit.”

That last part — for KU's Homecoming game — could be particularly important, given Miller’s potential to skip college altogether and jump straight to the pro ranks. Some recruiting analysts believed that was his preference for most of the summer, but a few, including Joe Tipton of On3.com, are now saying they expect Miller to play college basketball.

The fact that Kansas appears to be the only new addition to his list of finalists and Miller’s desire to visit KU this weekend puts KU in a favorable position entering the weekend.

“Bringing Kansas back in was a long, thought-out process,” Darrell Miller told Wildeboor. “We could have easily reopened recruiting, but we only wanted to learn more about Kansas.”

According to the Rivals.com data base, the Millers visited Alabama in early June. All five of the current Rivals.com FutureCast projections belong to Bama. All of them were entered in September.

Known as a high-upside defender with length, fluid athleticism and natural scoring ability, Miller can guard multiple positions on defense and has proven to be best in transition and while attacking the rim on offense.

As a junior at Cane Ridge High in Antioch, Tenn., last season, Miller averaged 23 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals per game while making 47% of his 3-point attempts.

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4-star KU target Ernest Udeh Jr., down to Kansas and UCLA; will announce choice on Oct. 20

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Fresh off of a weekend visit to Lawrence, Class of 2022 big man Ernest Udeh Jr., narrowed his list of finalists to two — Kansas and UCLA.

Udeh announced the final pairing on social media Wednesday evening, with a photo edit of him hovering above the KU and UCLA logos.

He also shared the date that he planned to make his decision public, telling Joe Tipton, of On3.com, that he would make reveal his choice at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 20.

Ranked No. 29 overall in the 2022 class by Rivals.com, Udeh, who is originally from Nigeria and plays at Dr. Phillips High in Orlando, is also the fifth-ranked center in his class.

At 6-foot-10, 232 pounds, he’s known as a ferocious presence in the paint, both as a defender around the rim and a player who tries to dunk everything as hard as his possibly can on offense.

After returning home from his official visit to KU, Udeh told Shay Wildeboor, of JayhawkSlant.com, that he had “nothing negative to say” about his visit to KU.

During the visit, the talented center got to meet the entire team, including most of KU’s coaching staff, and he spent the most time with KU senior Ochai Agbaji and sophomore Joseph Yesufu, whose families also have Nigerian roots, along with third-year sophomore Jalen Wilson.

None by Ernest Udeh Jr.

None by Ernest Udeh Jr.

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4-star Kansas target Ernest Udeh Jr. enjoys visit to ‘basketball place’

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Four-star Class of 2022 big man Ernest Udeh Jr., left Kansas with a good taste in his mouth, following his official visit over the weekend.

“The visit was really good,” he told JayhawkSlant.com’s Shay Wildeboor on Sunday night. “Nothing negative to say about it. I enjoyed my stay there.”

The reasons for that run deep and had to do a lot with the bond and relationships he created and felt while in Lawrence. Udeh told Wildeboor that he talked to basically every member of the KU basketball staff while in town and added that he enjoyed hanging out with the current players, particularly senior Ochai Agbaji and sophomores Jalen Wilson and Joseph Yesufu.

“I spent the most time with Ochai, Jalen and Joseph,” Udeh told Wildeboor. “But I met and spoke to different guys throughout the visit. The visit was really good. You can tell that their fan base really loves the players.”

Ranked No. 29 overall in the 2022 class by Rivals.com, Udeh, who is originally from Nigeria and plays at Dr. Phillips High in Orlando, is also the fifth-ranked center in his class.

At 6-foot-10, 232 pounds, he’s known as a ferocious presence in the paint, both as a defender around the rim and a player who tries to dunk everything as hard as his possibly can on offense.

In addition to touring campus and KU’s facilities, Udeh watched the current team practice. That, he said, gave him a better feel for how the coaches and players interact and the style that KU coach Bill Self and his staff use to prepare their team.

“It was really great watching a practice at the next level,” Udeh told Wildeboor. “Honestly, Kansas is just a basketball place. Of course, it’s where the game was invented, but the culture that is there because of that is great. … Coach Self is an awesome, stand-up guy, very genuine, and has a great personality.”

Prior to his trip to KU, Udeh completed a visit to UCLA. His list of schools includes the Jayhawks and Bruins, along with Baylor, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Miami, Michigan and Florida. It also has been reported that he is considering playing pro ball in the Overtime Elite League.

With two more visits now behind him, the talented big man told Wildeboor that he was happy to have more information to use as he tries to evaluate what’s best for his future.

“Getting back home and reviewing everything and deciding how I want to move forward with my recruitment process is all I’m doing as of this moment,” he said.

There was not a lot out there about four-star wing Jordan Walsh’s visit to KU over the weekend.

But he, too, made the trek to Lawrence to get a closer look at the Kansas program.

Expected to announce his college choice in a couple of weeks, Hogville.net, which covers Arkansas, reported Monday that a source had indicated to them that Walsh could announce his choice in the next few days.

The 6-7 combo forward from Link Academy in Branson, Mo., has Arkansas, Kansas, Texas, as well as TCU, Oklahoma, USC, Arizona State and Memphis on his list.

Walsh is ranked No. 31 overall in the 2022 class by Rivals.com.

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Kansas basketball set to host 2 top-35 prospects this weekend, top-15 target sets KU visit date

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

One week removed from one of the biggest recruiting nights of any calendar year — Late Night in the Phog — the Kansas men’s basketball program is set to host a couple of notable Class of 2022 prospects this weekend.

Jordan Walsh, a 6-foot-7, 195-pound small forward originally from the Dallas area, and big man Ernest Udeh Jr., a 6-10, 230-pound center from Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Fla., are both expected to get a closer look at KU over the weekend.

Walsh is ranked No. 31 overall in the 2022 class by Rivals.com and Udeh Jr. is ranked No. 29.

Udeh Jr., recently completed a visit to UCLA and his list of schools includes the Jayhawks and Bruins, along with Baylor, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Miami, Michigan and Florida. It also has been reported that he is considering playing pro ball in the Overtime Elite League.

“He’s a strong, explosive athlete that both protects the rim on defense and tries to rip the rim down with dunks every time he’s in the paint on offense,” wrote Rivals.com’s Dan McDonald of Udeh Jr. “His aggressive disposition and his willingness to work on his game and be coachable will take him a long way.”

Walsh, who early in his recruiting dubbed KU as his “dream school,” already has made visits to Texas, TCU, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Arizona State and Memphis. He recently told 247 Sports that he was eyeing Oct. 24 or 25 as the date to announce his decision.

KU currently has three commitments in the 2022 class — five-star wing Gradey Dick, four-star center Zuby Ejiofor and four-star small forward M.J. Rice. Dick and Ejiofor both visited KU for Late Night in the Phog last week.

It is not yet known how many players Kansas can or will sign in the 2022 recruiting class. But the Jayhawks remain in pursuit of some of the top talents in the class.

Miller visiting Kansas?

Another highly ranked prospect in the 2022 class appears to have had a change of heart about the Jayhawks. At least temporarily

Brandon Miller, the No. 12-ranked player in his class per Rivals.com, recently told 247 Sports and On3.com that he plans to visit Kansas the weekend of Oct. 15.

In early September, the 6-foot-7, 190-pound wing cut KU from his group of finalists while narrowing his list to a final four — Alabama, Tennessee State, the NBA’s G League and Australia’s NBL.

At the time, Miller cut KU, Kentucky, Tennessee and Florida from his final eight.

Now, however, he’s back to a final five that is made up of three schools (KU, Alabama and TSU) and the two professional leagues.

Asked by 247 Sports for his impressions of Kansas, Miller recently said: “I’ve got a visit with them coming up the week after this week so I will have to describe that after the visit, because I have only seen their campus on Zoom. Zoom can’t tell it all.”

As a junior at Cane Ridge High in Antioch, Tenn., Miller averaged 23 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals per game while making 47% of his 3-point attempts.

Bona update

Shay Wildeboor, of JayhawkSlant.com, reported this week that four-star big man Adem Bona, who visited KU last month, is down to KU, Kentucky and UCLA, with Australia's NBL also in the mix.

Wildeboor noted that KU is still very much in the hunt for the 6-foot-10, 233-pound big man from Prolific Prep in Napa, Calif.

According to Wildeboor's report, Bona will visit UCLA the weekend of Oct. 22 and then make a decision in the weeks that follow.

The big man prospect who is ranked No. 33 in the 2022 class by Rivals.com visited Kentucky last weekend.

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Kansas basketball program hosted highly coveted, Top-40 big man Adem Bona over the weekend

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

There was no upset or feel-good story that played out at Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon, but the Kansas-Baylor game still had meaning.

Highly touted, Class of 2022 basketball center Adem Bona was in attendance at Saturday’s game, and the lopsided loss by the home team did nothing to dampen his spirits about the visit.

“I had a great visit to Kansas,” Bona told Shay Wildeboor of JayhawkSlant.com. “It was my first ever visit to a college and it was awesome.”

There was, of course, much more to Bona’s visit than the football game. The 6-foot-10, 210-pound center from Prolific Prep in Napa, Calif., toured campus, saw KU’s facilities and met with the coaches and current players.

“I had the chance to meet the whole coaching staff and the culture at Kansas is like one-of-a-kind,” Bona told Wildeboor. “I also had the chance to see and feel the history at Kansas, and the family atmosphere they have built at Kansas is really great. In general, I had a great visit.”

Bona trimmed his list of finalists to eight in late August, and his recruitment involves the cream of the crop in college basketball. KU, Baylor, Kentucky and UCLA are all listed in his final eight, with Arizona State, USC and Miami (Fla.) in the hunt, as well. It has been reported that Bona also is considering jumping straight to Australia’s National Basketball League the way R.J. Hampton did a couple of years ago.

Regardless of which programs stay in the hunt, it’s hard to view KU being his first visit — ever — as anything other than a good sign. It may not mean that the sixth-ranked center in the 2022 class (No. 33 overall) ultimately signs with KU, but no other program will get the opportunity to host him for the first college visit of his life. Because of that, you can bet KU’s staff did it up big and made him feel like the best player on the planet.

Whether he is or not, remains to be seen. Both 247 Sports and ESPN have Bona rated as a five-star prospect, with the latter ranking him 17th overall in the class.

According to Rivals.com’s Jamie Shaw, Bona’s strength is his defense and desire to go hard all the time.

“Bona is a big and strong prospect, who plays with a relentless motor,” Shaw wrote recently. “While his offensive game is raw, he has great timing on defense, both in the passing lanes and in blocking shots, and he is a very aggressive rebounder.”

Duke’s pickup of five-star center Dereck Lively on Monday evening likely means Kentucky will go even harder after Bona now.

John Calipari’s program had been in the final running for Lively, who is ranked as the No. 1 center in the Class of 2022, and has been in the Bona race for a long time, as well.

Bona has given no indication of when he might commit, and he still has at least three visits currently on his schedule for the upcoming weeks — Baylor this weekend, Kentucky on Oct. 15 and UCLA the following week.

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Class of 2022 SF Aidan Shaw to announce college choice Friday

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Aidan Shaw, a 6-foot-8 small forward from nearby Blue Valley High has announced Friday as the day he will reveal his college choice.

Shaw, who played AAU ball this summer for MOKAN Elite, is down to a final five of Kansas, Missouri, Maryland, Iowa and Oklahoma State.

He recently told recruiting analyst Joe Tipton, of On3.com, that KU’s family environment stood out to him on his visit back in June.

He said that his introduction to KU strength coach Ramsey Nijem was one of the highlights of his trip and added that he enjoyed watching KU’s playing style during practice.

“You kind of just go,” he said.

Earlier this summer, Shaw told various recruiting analysts on the AAU circuit that he was looking for a school that could both develop his game and provide him with an atmosphere of elite team chemistry among the players and coaches.

Ranked No. 57 overall in the 2022 class by Rivals.com, Shaw is a four-star prospect who spent time during his junior season ranked in the Top 50.

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KU commitment Gradey Dick brings home gold medal with Team USA at 3-on-3 World Cup

Sunrise Christian Academy junior Gradey Dick, a five-star prospect in the Class of 2022, orally committed to play basketball at the University of Kansas on March 3, 2021.

Sunrise Christian Academy junior Gradey Dick, a five-star prospect in the Class of 2022, orally committed to play basketball at the University of Kansas on March 3, 2021. by Photo courtesy of Sunrise Christian Academy

Kansas basketball commitment Gradey Dick added a gold medal to his collection of basketball hardware over the weekend.

Dick, a five-star prospect in the Class of 2022 who orally committed to KU in March, teamed with Duke commitment Kyle Filipowski and Baylor commitment Keyonte George and IMG Academy's Eric Dailey Jr., in leading Team USA to gold at the Under-18 3-on-3 World Cup in Hungary.

The event has been going for the past decade but the United States did not send a team until 2019. That year, the Americans won gold. And, after a cancelation in 2020 because of the pandemic, Dick and company put the U.S. team back on top again, making it two-for-two for the Americans.

Dick, who also has USA Basketball experience from minicamps he attended in 2019, was a highlight machine throughout the event.

He showed off both his outside touch and his ability to attack the basket in helping lead his squad to a 6-0 record and the gold medal.

Team USA knocked off Estonia, 21-14, in the gold medal game on Sunday, keeping alive its streak of not allowing a single opponent to top 14 points in the games played to 21.

Dick, a Wichita native, will now return home to begin his senior season at Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire. After a standout career at Wichita Collegiate to open his prep playing days, Dick played his junior season at Sunrise, filling a reserve role on a team loaded with Division I commitments.

This year, he is expected to have a much bigger role for coach Luke Barnwell’s team, which consistently plays a tough national schedule and generates all kinds of exposure for its players.

None by FIBA3x3

None by USA Basketball 3x3

None by USA Basketball 3x3

None by FIBA3x3

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Five-star KU hoops target Mark Mitchell to narrow list on Saturday

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Five-star prospect Mark Mitchell, one of the top-rated players in the prep class of 2022, has announced that he will trim his list of schools down to a small group of finalists on Saturday.

Ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 8 overall player in his class, Mitchell spent his first few years of high school at nearby Bishop Miege before transferring to Sunrise Christian Academy during the offseason.

The talented 6-foot-7, 190-pound small forward has been on the high-major recruiting radar since he was in eighth grade. He recently led Miege to a Class 4A state title, averaging 18 points and six rebounds along the way.

Mitchell took an official visit to KU in mid-June, shortly after things opened back up following an extended dead period, and also made visits to Missouri, UCLA and Duke in the past couple of months.

In addition to that group, Mitchell also holds offers from Arkansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Texas, USC, Wake Forest and others.

He did not reveal how many schools would make the cut on Saturday.

Mitchell’s move to Sunrise not only figures to give him the opportunity to face tougher competition and gain even more national exposure, but it also puts him on a roster with Gradey Dick, another five-star prospect in the 2022 class who already has committed to KU.

Kansas currently has three commitments in the 2022 class — Dick, Zuby Ojiofor and M.J. Rice — but could have room for as many as two or three more players before things are finalized, depending on who stays or goes following the 2021-22 season.

Mitchell views himself as a true wing with great versatility, and he recently told David Sisk of Rivals site Tarheel Illustrated that finding a school where he can be both challenged daily and developed for the jump to professional basketball would be key to his decision.

“I think where I fit in is a big thing,” he told Sisk in May. “(I want to go) somewhere where I can fit in, where I'm used and where I'm needed.”

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