Sunday, September 24, 2017

2018 big man David McCormack says coaching staff, tradition made picking KU an ‘easy decision’

New Kansas commitment David McCormack, the No. 2 ranked center in the Class of 2018, announced his college choice on live television Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.

New Kansas commitment David McCormack, the No. 2 ranked center in the Class of 2018, announced his college choice on live television Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.


A little less than a month ago, the Kansas men’s basketball team officially jumped into the Class of 2018 recruiting game by landing a commitment from five-star big man Silvio De Sousa, a 6-foot-9, 245-pound forward from IMG Academy by way of Angola.

On Sunday, the Jayhawks added even more size to the family when four-star center David McCormack, of Oak Hill Academy, orally committed to Kansas during a live segment on a local news station in Norfolk, Virginia.

McCormack, the No. 26-ranked player in the 2018 class, according to 247 Sports — and the No. 2-ranked center — said he picked Kansas because of the coaching, tradition and good vibes he felt during his unofficial visit this summer and throughout the recruiting process.

“Coach (Bill) Self is an amazing coach,” McCormack said on the broadcast. “He’s great as far as player development, relationships, he’s a winning coach, there’s a lot of history behind Kansas. … (I’m) looking forward to making more championships and more memories at Kansas.”

McCormack, who played for the same AAU program as former KU standout Frank Mason III (Virginia-based Team Loaded), chose Kansas over finalists Duke, NC State, Oklahoma State, Xavier and UCLA. And he did it in a unique way.

With hats from three of his six finalists — UCLA, NC State and Duke — on the table in front of him, McCormack wasted no time in revealing that the three lids were nothing more than decoys.

“Next year, I decided I will attend Kansas University,” he said as he unbuttoned his dress shirt to reveal a Kansas basketball T-Shirt underneath.

“This means the world to me,” said McCormack’s mother, Janine, who joined the broadcast’s final 30 seconds. “I’m so proud of David and I support my son 100 percent. I think he made a wonderful decision.”

McCormack said Kansas assistant Jerrance Howard was critical in helping him reach that decision.

“He was a great guy,” McCormack said of Howard. “He made it an easy decision. He was very trustworthy.”

In McCormack, the Jayhawks are getting a player described by many as an absolute monster down low.

After weighing nearly 300 pounds a year ago, McCormack, who teamed with current KU forward Billy Preston at Oak Hill last season, went to work on his body and his game, shedding massive amounts of weight and improving in nearly every area he went to work.

“He was about 295 last year, he’s 255 now,” Oak Hill head coach Jason Smith recently told “He’s got a great body now. That has helped him tremendously. He’s more mobile now, he plays above the rim instead of below the rim. His shot has improved to 17 feet. He’s an inside presence on both sides of the floor. He’s going to be a really, really good college player. I gotta give him credit because he lost weight but he’s the guy who changed his diet and lost the weight and it’ changed him into a much better player.”

Added recruiting analyst Eric Bossi: “McCormack is a kid who has spent the last couple of years transforming his body and his game. He’s become a true low post power broker who holds space, plays with physicality and is a dangerous back to the basket scorer. He seems to be a great fit for Kansas and should be ready to play early in his Big 12 career.”

The mere thought of pairing McCormack and De Sousa — a more athletic and explosive player with a never-ending motor — together in the Kansas front court puts the Jayhawks in terrific position for the coming seasons.

After being forced to play small the past couple of years, with long, athletic wings filling the four spot, Self, should he desire, now figures to be able to return to his favored two-big-man approach beginning in 2018-19.

Even if current Jayhawks Preston (6-10, 240) and Udoka Azubuike (7-0, 280) leave school after the upcoming season, Self’s squad still would have Memphis transfers Dedric and K.J. Lawson, would-be-junior Mitch Lightfoot and De Sousa and McCormack to make up a deep, strong and talented rotation of big men.


Dee Shaw 5 years, 2 months ago

Sweet. Welcome to the family. Rock Chalk Jayhawk.

Matt Stone 5 years, 2 months ago

Looks like we got a determined young man. Glad to have him. Stoked at his transformation. Now to get 2 or 3 of these guys in SF/Williamson, SG/Grimes or Langford and PG/ Dotson or Garland could make this a Final 4 team. Grimes and Dotson may be the last 2 adds though. We will see Grimes at Late Night Saturday. RCJH!

Steve Zimmerman 5 years, 2 months ago

McCormack made the right decision. He's a great addition to the team. Mini-Udoka version, just as fierce, monster down low. With quick feet like his, it's perfect for pick-n-roll; which we haven't seen much lately when Lucas was there.

BTW, for those doubting coach Howard, watch this:

Good job, coach!!

Joseph Bullock 5 years, 2 months ago

Welcome aboard David! Zimmerman, All of those people who don’t like Coach Howard/it isn’t about his Recruiting abability. He made a mistake and they can’t let it go. It isn’t like they haven’t made mistakes. I’m not excusing what he did, but he isn’t going anywhere (and I’m glad), so they need to accept it. Anyway, those people have no idea what goes into recruiting, and how much of a Positive Impact Coach Howard has. A lot of what he does behind the scenes, is never put out to the public, just like wiith the other assistant coaches. Some people think Coach Self does everything, burn he can’t do it all Rick Chalk, Howard Hawk!

Steve Zimmerman 5 years, 2 months ago

Right on, Joe! I feel KU head coaching staff is dancing right now. We're pretty loaded so far. Looking so good front-court wise, at least.

As a side note, IMHO, Preston will likely benefit to stay another year or two at KU. He just doesn't look like a strong candidate of one-and-dones, no offense, that's just my 2 pence.

Bryce Landon 5 years, 2 months ago

The problem with that, Joseph, is this: If any of us did what Jerrance did and then lied about it to our employers, we'd be fired, no questions asked. All Jerrance got was a slap on the wrist - a suspension.

And while he may be a good recruiter, Jerrance isn't a good coach. The team hasn't consistently played defense with the same tenacity that they did before he came, and our big men who used to have a dominating presence in the front court often get abused by opposing players, or are out of position on defense resulting in an easy layup for the opposition.

Dirk Medema 5 years, 2 months ago

Dok is gone.

I could see Preston possibly coming back if this season doesn't go really well. Probably at least testing the waters. If he were to come back, it makes me wonder if Coach would totally flip the recent trend toward 4 guards and let the Lawsons or Mitch be the 3.

With Charlie Moore waiting in the wings, we already have a potential starting PG, but wouldn't it be nice if he became our 6th man/reserve PG. We're pretty certain to lose 3 guards. We need a bunch in this class.

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 5 years, 2 months ago

I like his style throwing a "what's up?" to duke.

Chris DeWeese 5 years, 2 months ago

David plays with fire and grit. I like his energy and mobility. He should see a lot of success at KU. Rock Chalk!

Bryce Landon 5 years, 2 months ago

Between D'Souza and now McCormack, I'd say our front court should have the necessary depth and size to prevent easy inside scoring that we've seen too much of in recent seasons.

Kent Richardson 5 years, 2 months ago

At the big dance we can move from doing the Funky Broadway to the Monster Mash.

Henry Joseph Hofmeister 5 years, 2 months ago

with these big guys coming in from frank country there's a guard that knows us. i am so excited. flex strong kansas country.

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