Tuesday, April 30, 2019

5-star Kansas target R.J. Hampton officially reclassifies into 2019 class

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting


The college basketball recruiting class of 2019 has a new player in it. And his name is one you’ve probably heard a few hundred times before.

After weeks of wondering and speculation, Little Elm, Texas, guard R.J. Hampton on Tuesday made official his decision to reclassify from 2020 into the 2019 class.

Hampton, a 5-star prospect who sits very high on KU’s wish list, announced the news in a video on Twitter.

“Best 3 years of my life,” Hampton’s Tuesday morning Tweet read. “Little Elm will forever and always be home. Thank you.”

Podcast episode

The KU Sports Hour

On R.J. Hampton reclassifying and what KU's 2019-20 roster could look like

With the news of highly acclaimed guard R.J. Hampton reclassifying to join the Class of 2019, KU basketball beat writer and Journal-World sports editor Matt Tait is joined by Benton Smith to discuss this development and various other factors that will determine what KU's roster could look like next season.

Download podcast

Included with it was a 1-minute video that featured the 6-foot-5 junior thanking a series of people who have helped him throughout his career, including his coaches, teammates, best friends and family.

“With that said, I’ve decided to forgo my senior season and join the Class of 2019,” Hampton said to close the video.

Hampton’s decision, which had been hinted at for the past several weeks, significantly impacts the recruiting scene in 2019. It’s not that often that a top 5 talent becomes available this late in the game.

The programs involved with Hampton and his family have been recruiting him for a while. But it was only recently — and officially Tuesday — that they began to believe adding him to their roster was possible for the 2019-20 season.

The news comes a couple of days after Hampton told reporters at last weekend’s Nike EYBL event in Atlanta that he felt like he had nothing more to prove in high school.

The dynamic, playmaking guard averaged 29 points, five assists and five rebounds last weekend in Atlanta.

“Hampton is considered to be one of the best prep guards in a number of years,” recruiting insider Matt Scott said Tuesday. “Although he’s a natural scorer, he can play either guard position and has a number of elite skills that make him an attractive option for any roster.”

Hampton’s reclassification was not the only news that surfaced in his recruitment on Tuesday.

After trimming his list to a final four of Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Memphis a few weeks ago, Hampton cut one of his finalists on Tuesday and added a new program to the list.

Duke is out, Texas Tech and head coach Chris Beard are in and the race to land the No. 5-ranked player in the 2020 class, according to, is officially on.

Hampton told Rivals recruiting analyst Corey Evans that he was in the process of deciding which of the four he wants to visit in the months ahead and that a decision about his future would likely come sometime in July.

Hampton already has made visits to Kansas, Kentucky and Memphis. His KU visit took place in early March, but return trips to all three, along with a visit to Texas Tech — which sits 300 miles from his Little Elm home, just north of Dallas — could be on tap in the coming months.

The Red Raiders’ recent rise and run to the 2019 national title game clearly impressed Hampton.

“I love the way Coach (Chris) Beard coaches and they are on a hot streak,” Hampton told Evans. “It would be a lot of fun to get back to the national title game.”

When talking with reporters in Atlanta over the weekend, Hampton’s father, Rod Hampton, also made it crystal clear that he and his family have a strong connection with Kansas.

“(KU assistant) Jerrance Howard is like family to me,” Rod Hampton said, according to “I mean, we can talk about anything and be comfortable. It doesn’t matter if I call him at 3 in the afternoon or 3 at night, he’s going to pick up and vice versa. He’s just like family.

“I would feel very, very comfortable dropping R.J. off at Kansas right now with Jerrance Howard and the coaching staff at Kansas. I would have no problem at all and would feel very comfortable with R.J. playing at Kansas with Jerrance and the staff. We are definitely comfortable with the coaching staff.”

According to a report from 247 Sports recruiting analyst Evan Daniels, KU coach Bill Self conducted an in-home visit with Hampton and his family on Tuesday night.


Jay Scott 3 years, 7 months ago

Does the BM have more verbal diarrhea on this subject or has he been put back on his meds?

Dirk Medema 3 years, 7 months ago

He might be out picketing for Coach Self's dismissal.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 7 months ago

It's not exciting to hear that TTU is now in the game, though they have a pretty huge turnover for next year. In terms of % lost to retained maybe even more than KU.

Steve Zimmerman 3 years, 7 months ago

6 commits, vs 2. It's sad, but I think there's no excitement in KU's recruitment. I would love to believe what Shannon said, but, how can you explain those numbers at other schools.

Shannon Gustafson 3 years, 7 months ago

I've explained it like 15 times at this point. If you don't understand by now then I'm not sure you ever will. The "other schools" your so concerned about had their crap recruiting class last year (when their news broke) and now they've recovered as new names/schools (like KU) have taken over the news during the Adidas trial and now our class is suffering because of it.

Once Miller is fired all of those Arizona recruits will jump ship anyway so it's all for naught.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 6 months ago

Didn't he play Ayton in Arizona's one NCAA game despite Ayton being declared ineligible?

Steven Haag 3 years, 7 months ago

That’s what’s been going on with the younger generation. They fall 100% for the “latest fad” and what’s hot right now. Texas Tech will NOT sustain the pedigree of KU. Beard is a good Coach and has Tech playing ball, but it won’t last. Hopefully this kid looks at more than just a “sampling size”

Eric TheCapn 3 years, 6 months ago

Darn whippersnappers.

The younger generation is always "bad," "lazy," "fickle." The older generation is "always to blame for everything." Put yourself in their shoes and try and remember what it's like to be young.

Brett McCabe 3 years, 7 months ago

OMG! Do you think he'll pick us?!! I can hardly breathe!

By the way, if you are a dad, you might want to rethink dropping your kid off with a guy who was convicted with a DUI a few years ago and failed to tell his boss or anyone else at the university. But, then again, this is your one shining moment, so whatever it takes to get quoted. Call Lavarr, he'l help you through this. Big Baller Brand!

Jay Scott 3 years, 7 months ago

Pavlov had no idea that his research was so spot on.

Tony Bandle 3 years, 7 months ago

Random Thoughts:

1] Just maybe by July, the dust will have settled and the NCAA issue will be resolved one way or the other.

2] KU goes on probation, who we got is all we got and Dok will have to stay healthy and try to shoot at least 50% from the foul line, Devon will listen to the NBA and improve his distribution, shooting and avoid driving into trouble, Marcus must find a shot he can make consistently, Ochai must dig deep into his potential, ditto for David, Mitch must maintain his heart of a line and continue to be a "wall" at the hoop, Silvio somehow escaping Stalag NCAA would be amazing and the two new kids better learn defense and three point shooting in a hurry.

3] KU evades probation, then all of the above plus some other guys to be named later. Winning the Big 12 is possible and getting into the NCAA is likely.

4] I am not going to indict or defend Bill Self because I think every elite program and most of those that aren't elite are all on the take or are in cahoots with, in one form or another, shoe companies, boosters, agents, parents, guardians etc.

5] Since this is a list of random thoughts, is chocolate chip ice cream better with dark chocolate chips or milk chocolate chips?????

Tony Bandle 3 years, 7 months ago

PS "lion" not "line"...sorry, I'm 70 and it's 10:45 pm!!

Eric TheCapn 3 years, 6 months ago

You can edit your own posts on here, good sir. If you do, change the numbering so that 2 becomes 1a and 3 becomes 1b. :)

Andy Tweedy 3 years, 7 months ago

At the point you immerse dark chocolate in a couple scoops of ice cream, isn't it pretty much also milk chocolate?

Robert Brock 3 years, 7 months ago

Jerrance Howard (Snacks) is in charge of Hampton’s recruitment? Egad!

Stuart Corder 3 years, 7 months ago

Good article, although I fear this does not bode well for KU’s chances at Hampton landing at KU. We are guard heavy - and that’s without Grimes possible return.

Also, shouldn’t the Silvio De Sousa appeal receive a final verdict this week?

Shannon Gustafson 3 years, 7 months ago

We currently have Agbaji and Garrett returning with Dotson possible to return and two low ranked Freshman coming in. How is 4 players, 3 with a total of half of a season of experience and one "may or may not return" defined as "guard heavy"?

There is no such thing as Grimes' possible return. He's gone, he never even wanted to go to College. He's not coming back. If you said Dotson possible to return then you'd be correct.

Pius Waldman 3 years, 6 months ago

There has to be a good reason why his hearing hasn't happened. If the NCAA is avoiding the hearing they need to for it. In my judgment this has to be the biggest mistake or understanding I can remember. AD shared they forced KU to admit an employee of Addidas was a KU booster. Unbelievable.

Layne Pierce 3 years, 7 months ago

Mr. Howard has helped with a lot of top recruits. So give him his due. Made some mistakes, but havent' we all.

I refuse to get to giddy about R.J. because the girl who really wants you is the one that matters, and all the rest is just bright lights and manipulation.

We also need to get over OAD, that is a mental disease in which one escapes the overall reality of a team by looking for the quick fix, which 90% of the time is a mirage.

The only reason I am not 100% against OAD, is because of Josh Jackson. There was never a player that came to play as a freshman like he did. He was every bit as good as his billing.

He played like a man, he played to win, and he did not try to protect his multi-million dollar body

In many ways our problems of front court cannot be solved by R. J. So let's remember that. RCJH

Jay Scott 3 years, 7 months ago

Recruiting really good basketball players who have a strong team and work ethic is always a good idea.

If someone disagrees, they're an idiot.

Eliott Reeder 3 years, 7 months ago

I've been away from the comments section for a while... at what point did Brett McCabe turn against the team and when did Jay Scott become the voice of reason on here? What weird, alternate reality is this!?!?!?

Jay Scott 3 years, 7 months ago

Congrats on your new higher level of enlightenment Eliott!


Craig Carson 3 years, 7 months ago

I have zero faith in him picking KU...with the hype Texas Tech has and the lure of the new cool kid at Memphis (Penny) combined with the FBI black cloud, KU really isn't in the race to land him..hope I'm wrong but we've seen them miss on EVERY top recruit they've went after..don't see why this would be the exception

Tim Orel 3 years, 7 months ago

I've been watching the storm clouds gathering over Arizona from testimony. I'm hoping that KU will cease being the NCAA's whipping boy and I hope that Arizona takes the spotlight off KU. I haven't read about other programs, but Sean Miller really sounds like he's dirty and whatever Self and the other coaches were caught saying / texting is really nothing as bad as AZ's practices.

Len Shaffer 3 years, 7 months ago

I have never understood this whole "reclassification" thing. How does that work academically? Is it only for people who have already graduated or have enough credits to graduate from high school? If that were the case, why would there even be a QUESTION as to whether they would reclassify? And if that were not the case, how would they be academically eligible?

Or it is a situation where it's just a question of whether to go to college or spend a year at a prep school?

Shannon Gustafson 3 years, 7 months ago

It's for those who have enough credits that they can graduate early if they take Summer classes to get the last remaining credits required for early graduation.

Bee Bee 3 years, 7 months ago

K U having to compete with T Tech for recruits. Enough said.

Glen Miller 3 years, 7 months ago

Might as well get used to it. As long as Beard stays and has the financial backing to improve facilities, it's likely to be a little more than a flash in the pan. He's a good coach and he's getting attention from good players. A Championships game appearance doesn't hurt.

Shannon Gustafson 3 years, 7 months ago

Yes, it is pretty bad when we're one of 4 remaining schools in the running for the #7 ranked kid in the country. You could just as easily say "wow, it's pretty cool that TT is recruiting against KU & Kentucky now, that's quite the leap they have taken after their championship game appearance this year".

Geezus, I swear some of you would complain if you were given a hundred dollar bill..."Why didn't you give me two hundred!?!?!".

Craig Carson 3 years, 7 months ago

@Shannon..we wouldnt be freaking out about TTU recruiting a kid we need had KU not struck out on every other top player they targeted...but when we see every kid that we were picked to land going somewhere else, its a reason to be concerned..I like seeing other BIG12 teams recruiting good, but not when it means taking would be recruits away from KU

Shannon Gustafson 3 years, 7 months ago

Sure is "interesting" that the day after RJ reclassifies Duke releases one of their guards (I mean he "asks" for a release from his letter of intent...yeah right). Surely Duke didn't force him out after hearing that RJ's dream school was Duke but they had no more scholarships so they were not in his final 4...

Craig Carson 3 years, 7 months ago

I hadnt thought about that..but something tells me that he asked out since he feels Stanley might get more playing time than him

Eric TheCapn 3 years, 6 months ago

"And his name is one you’ve probably heard a few hundred times before"? Not everyone follows recruiting that closely, friend. I've never heard his name before this article. Even now I've technically never "heard" it. :P

Joe Baker 3 years, 6 months ago

Every time I read this post, I want to read that he COMMITTED TO KU

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