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Posts tagged with Class Of 2023

Two Class of 2023 big men eyeing Kansas basketball program

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Dennis Evans, the No. 11-ranked prospect in the 2023 class per Rivals.com is planning to visit KU for Late Night in October.

His AAU coach Elvert “Kool-Aid” Perry recently told Shay Wildeboor of JayhawkSlant.com that Evans was planning to attend KU’s annual season kickoff event. He also noted that KU has offered a scholarship to the 7-foot-1, 210-pound center from Hillcrest High in Riverside, California, and that Evans is interested in the KU program.

KU assistant Kurtis Townsend has been the lead recruiter for Evans and, according to Perry, their relationship is a big part of the reason that Evans plans to visit Lawrence in a couple of months.

Perry told Wildeboor that KU, TCU, Minnesota, California Riverside, Missouri, Florida State, San Diego State, Texas, Oklahoma State and Georgetown have shown the most interest in Evans thus far and that KU, Minnesota and TCU were “probably the three main schools.”

The Jayhawks also recently made the cut for Class of 2023 prospect Jazz Gardner, who recently narrowed his list to a final eight.

The 7-foot, 225-pound center from West Ranch High in Santa Clarita, California, has a final eight of Kansas, Dayton, Missouri, Pepperdine, St. Mary’s, Texas Tech, UCSB and USC.

Townsend has been the lead recruiter for Gardner, whose father, Jelani Gardner, was recruited to Cal by Townsend back in the 1990s.

Gardner averaged 19 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks per game as a junior at Los Altos High while leading his team to a 26-7 record. He transferred to West Ranch High for his senior season to play with his brother, Jai Gardner, who will be a freshman this season.

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Four-star combo guard Chris Johnson to announce decision on Tuesday

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Four-star combo guard Chris Johnson, who visited the University of Kansas earlier this week, will announce his college choice on Tuesday, according to his Instagram page.

Johnson’s Instagram story on Saturday night featured a countdown to his commitment time.

Ranked No. 24 overall by ESPN.com, — 32nd by 247 Sports and 58th by Rivals.com — Johnson arrived on KU’s campus on Monday evening for an official visit.

He recently told Rivals.com that he was considering visits to Arkansas, Alabama, Connecticut and Texas, and others, including Auburn, Kentucky, Houston, Memphis, Mississippi, Tennessee, UCLA, all of which have been reported to be showing heavy interest in Johnson.

As of Saturday, he had not named a list of finalists or narrowed his list in any way, so the fact that he’s ready to announce his commitment so close to his visit to KU is at least noteworthy.

Also of note is the fact that two Rivals.com publishers and one publisher at 247 Sports recently entered FutureCast and Crystal Ball picks for Kansas in Johnson’s recruitment. No other school had received a pick as of late Saturday night.

A recent recap of Johnson’s KU visit by Shay Wildeboor of JayhawkSlant.com certainly pointed to KU being the pick, as well.

“His focus is there,” Johnson’s father, Chester Johnson, told Wildeboor of KU. “The way he talked to me; I think his focus is going to Kansas. What I hear and what he told me, and this is just him and I talking as father and son, he told me there's no reason for him to go and visit another college. So, we’ll go from there.”

The elder Johnson made it clear that he had his made his choice after the KU visit.

“Me, personally, as his father, I’m hoping that he does sign there,” he told Wildeboor. “I don’t see another place that is going to treat him like he was treated and be real with him. One of the most winningest coaches ever and when you get that kind of publicity and somebody wants you like that, I don’t think you can ask for anything more.”

Johnson, who is originally from Fort Bend, Texas, currently plays at Montverde Academy in Florida. He is listed at 6-foot-4, 175 pounds by ESPN.com, 6-6, 192 by Rivals.com and 6-5, 180 by 247 Sports, and he is drawing interest and attention from several of the top programs in college basketball.

Second-year KU assistant Jeremy Case has been the lead recruiter for Johnson.

“Chris really liked how all of the coaches interacted with each other,” his father told Wildeboor. “It seemed like more of a family instead of just a school. Chris left with a couple of players during his visit and he really enjoyed the players. He en-joyed talking to them and they talked to Chris about what’s going on with the school. Chris really enjoyed the visit, and I know that I really enjoyed it. I know that I felt comfortable and I think we all did. They made it seem like we were more like family. One thing that I really liked, (KU coach Bill Self) is real. Tell me the truth and don’t sugarcoat it and tell me what he needs to do and then we get along. I think (Self) was genuine with everything he was saying.”

Kansas does not currently have any commitments in the Class of 2023.

None by Chris Johnson🥷🏽

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Class of 2023 combo guard Chris Johnson arrives in Lawrence for official visit to Kansas

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

One of the top combo guards in the 2023 recruiting class arrived in Lawrence on Monday for the start of his official visit to Kansas.

Ranked No. 24 overall by ESPN.com, — 32nd by 247 Sports and 58th by Rivals.com — Chris Johnson noted his arrival on KU’s campus on Twitter on Monday evening.

Johnson, who is originally from Fort Bend, Texas, currently plays at Montverde Academy in Florida. He is listed at 6-foot-4, 175 pounds by ESPN.com, 6-6, 192 by Rivals.com and 6-5, 180 by 247 Sports, and he is drawing interest and attention from several of the top programs in college basketball.

He recently told Rivals.com that he was considering visits to Arkansas, Alabama, Connecticut and Texas, and others, including Auburn, Kentucky, Houston, Memphis, Mississippi, Tennessee, UCLA and more have been reported to show interest in Johnson.

According to a recent update from Rivals, Kansas already has made an impact.

“They love my game and they’ve been on me since pretty much a year and a half,” Johnson told Rivals of KU’s coaches. “I love that coaching staff.”

KU’s recruiting efforts for Johnson have been led by second-year assistant coach Jeremy Case, whom Johnson called “a real down-to-earth guy,” who, “doesn’t sugarcoat things.”

Johnson first reported a scholarship offer from KU in October of 2021.

In June, Johnson told Rivals.com’s Rob Cassidy that he had no time table for a decision in mind.

“I don’t even know right now; I’m just trying to get on all these campuses and see how everything is before I start thinking about that,” he said.

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Class of 2023 Kansas hoops targets Taison Chatman, Scotty Middleton update recruiting status

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

A couple of high-profile recruiting prospects on the Kansas basketball radar made news over the weekend.

Four-star combo guard Taison Chatman (6-3, 175) included Kansas while trimming his list of finalists to five over the weekend.

Chatman, who is ranked as high as No. 26 by 247 Sports and in the 60s by ESPN, On3 and Rivals, is picking between KU, Minnesota, Ohio State, Virginia and Xavier.

Kansas offered Chatman a scholarship in late April following his run to a Minnesota state title. He made an official visit to KU in late June and also has visited Xavier.

Chatman told Shay Wildeboor of JayhawkSlant.com that KU coach Bill Self told him he would “fit in great.”

“It was good and I spent a lot of time with the team,” he said of the visit. “I toured the campus and spent time with the coaching staff. I hung out with Bobby (Pettiford) and Zach (Clemence). We went through a day in the life. They get a lot of basketball players and they are treated well up there, too. I think it’s a great school.”

Known as a talented scorer with good vision and athleticism, Chatman averaged 13.5 points per game for Totino-Grace High in Fridley, Minnesota, during his junior season.

Four-star wing Scotty Middleton (6-6, 180) also made news over the weekend.

Already down to a final five since April, Middleton, who hails from Sunrise Christian Academy, where current Jayhawks Zach Clemence and Gradey Dick starred, plans to announce his choice on Aug. 6 during an Instagram Live session with recruiting analyst Paul Biancardi.

Middleton’s list includes UConn, Ohio State, Seton Hall and Texas A&M.

When asked in April why Kansas made the cut, Middleton told Wildeboor: “Probably because of KU’s winning culture. You know, coming off a national championship, you got to see what Kansas basketball is and Bill Self does a great job at making his guys play hard and at a high level.”

Ranked No. 62 in the 2023 class by Rivals.com, Middleton received an offer from KU back in February. He is known primarily as a tenacious wing defender, but his athleticism also serves him well on the offensive end, where he needs to develop a more consistent jump shot and better handles to continue to make a move up the rankings.

He’s already up from No. 97 in the previous Rivals rankings and 247 Sports lists him as the No. 35 overall prospect in his class.

Middleton originally is from Miami, Florida.

None by Scotty Middleton

None by Taison Chatman

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