Thursday, May 30, 2019
Ten spots are spoken for, three scholarships remain and the Kansas men’s basketball program is moving full-speed ahead toward finalizing its roster for the 2019-20 season.
One day after learning that star point guard Devon Dotson was returning to KU for his sophomore season and fellow-freshman Quentin Grimes was transferring to continue his career elsewhere, Kansas prepared to welcome 4-star prospect Jalen Wilson to town for the start of what figures to be a very intense and interesting 7-10 days for the No. 47-ranked player in the 2019 recruiting class.
Wilson was scheduled to arrive in Lawrence around 7:30 p.m. Thursday night and is expected to spend the next couple of days seeing the ins and outs of the KU program.
His goal for the visit is simple — find out where he fits in.
“All the schools that are on me heavy are schools that need a wing,” The 6-foot-8, 210-pound forward recently said in an Instagram Live interview with Tipton Edits. “That’s what I’m really going off now, schools that are really in need of me.”
This weekend’s visit will not be Wilson’s first time on KU’s campus. Wilson took an unofficial visit to KU back in January of 2018, but this visit, will be vastly different than his unofficial visit both in terms of the time and attention he’ll receive from the Kansas coaches and what’s at stake in terms of the timing of the visit.
“Just to see what he has in store if I was to come there, what he envisions for me, what my role would be, stuff like that,” said Wilson of what he wants to learn from KU coach Bill Self this weekend. “I’m getting down to the wire with coaches (and I’d like to know), ‘What do you see me playing and how do I fit in the system?’”
Previously a part of Michigan’s 2019 recruiting class, Wilson became available when former Wolverines coach John Beilein made the jump to the NBA. Soon thereafter, the 4-star forward from Guyer High in Denton, Texas, requested and received his release from Michigan and reopened his recruitment.
Although no lists have been officially released, Wilson appears to be down to three programs during his second run on the recruiting trail — Kansas, North Carolina and Michigan. Florida and Oklahoma State also remain in the mix, but only Kansas and North Carolina (June 4) currently have visits scheduled.
A Wednesday report from Sam Webb, who covers Michigan basketball for 247 Sports, said new Michigan coach Juwan Howard also planned to meet with Wilson in the near future. But there’s little doubt that Howard and the Wolverines will be playing catch up at this point, with Wilson already having established long-standing relationships with the KU coaching staff, particularly Kansas assistant Jerrance Howard, who is listed as the lead recruiter for Wilson.
During his Instagram Live interview, Wilson confirmed that he pretty much had settled on picking KU before he made his visit to Michigan.
“Growing up, I loved the Morris twins,” he said of former Jayhawks and current pros Marcus and Markieff Morris. “I love Kansas basketball, Allen Fieldhouse, that atmosphere is crazy. The college itself is so alive; it never dies. Coach Self and his staff are great coaches and they’re really cool. It’s not even a coach-to-player relationship, it’s just I’m here to make you get better and make you reach your dreams and that’s what I really like about them.”
A four-year varsity player at Guyer High in Denton, Texas, Wilson averaged better than 16 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists in high school and also scored nearly 20 a game while playing on the Gauntlet AAU circuit.
He currently lauds his versatility and ability to play multiple positions — most notably the big wing position a la recent KU stars Josh Jackson and Svi Mykhailiuk — as his biggest strength and has not tried to hide what he believes he can offer any program.
“My plans for college are not to come in and sit,” he said. “I feel like I’m the best player on every school I’m considering, so I just want to make an impact and win.”
Wilson's addition to KU's 2019 recruiting class would have an immediate impact. Currently ranked No. 31 in the nation by both Rivals.com and 247 Sports, KU's 2019 class, with Wilson, would jump all the way up to No. 15 in the 247 Sports rankings, according to the site's class calculator.
All three players already signed in KU's 2019 class are 4-star prospects, with guards Christian Braun and Issac McBride and forward Tristan Enaruna ready to join the 2019-20 roster.
The first session of summer school begins Tuesday.