Tyrone Appleton, a 6-foot-3 guard who spent the last two seasons playing for Midland (Texas) Community College, officially became a member of the Kansas University basketball program, signing his national letter of intent Wednesday afternoon.
Appleton's signing gives KU six members in the 2008 class. It also puts KU one over on its scholarship count for next season. That issue will likely be resolved in the next week or so, with Brandon Rush expected to announce his intention to enter the 2008 NBA Draft.
Originally from Gary, Ind., Appleton was a member of the Rivals 150 two years ago when coming out of high school. This season, he averaged 13.2 points per game on 46 percent shooting, dished out 5.2 assists and registered 1.7 steals per game for 28-4 Midland. Appleton was named the MVP of the Western Junior College Athletic Conference, and was a second-team NJCAA All-American.
Appleton is just the second junior college prospect coach Bill Self has signed in his time at KU, joining fellow '08 signee Mario Little.
"Tyrone is a do-everything guard," Self said. "He's a good shooter. He's a good handler. He can play the one (guard) or the two (guard). He will fit in well with the way we play with our interchangeable parts on the perimeter.
"Tyrone has won big at the junior college level and certainly has sacrificed individual stats for the betterment of his team. We were sold on Tyrone when we first came in contact with him. He's going to be a terrific addition to a young basketball team from a talent standpoint but most importantly from a leadership standpoint.
"Having played for Coach McCasland having won the national championship his freshman year and they had a terrific team this year Tyrone has been well drilled and I am sure the transition will be smooth with him coming into our system," Self said.
For more on this story, log back onto KUSports.com and read Thursday's Journal-World.
2008 KU recruiting class (all signed)
Tyrone Appleton 6-3, 195, G, Gary, Ind. (Harmony Prep/Midland (Texas) College)
Mario Little 6-5, 210, G/F, Chicago, Ill. (Washington HS/Chipola (Fla.) CC)
Marcus Morris 6-8 1/2, 220, F, Philadelphia, Pa. (Prep Charter HS/APEX Academy (N.J.))
Markieff Morris 6-10, 230, F/C, Philadelphia, Pa. (Prep Charter HS/APEX Academy (N.J.))
Travis Releford 6-5, G/F, Roeland Park, Kan. (Roeland Park Miege HS)
Quintrell Thomas 6-8, 235, F, Elizabeth, N.J. (Saint Patrick HS)