Kansas University’s basketball program today hopes to land an oral commitment from Zach Peters, a 6-foot-9, 235-pound sophomore forward from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas.
He’s a 16-year-old who has the strong recommendation of Team Texas AAU coach Wes Grandstaff, who has tutored numerous major-college standouts, including KU’s own Darrell Arthur and Keith Langford.
“Zach is real strong, probably similar to a Tyler Hansbrough-type kid,” said Grandstaff, who is in his first season as Peters’ AAU coach. “He can shoot it, play inside/out. He’s a tough matchup because he can shoot. If bigger guys come out on him, he can attack the basket. He’s a good defender and a great rebounder. For his size, he’s very mobile and athletic.”
Peters takes pride in controlling the glass.
“You aren’t going to move him off the block unless you foul him,” Grandstaff said of Peters, who at 2:40 p.m. today in a ceremony at his high school will announce for either KU, Texas, North Carolina or Kentucky. KU is considered the front-runner.
“Zach is a kid you don’t want to make mad. He has a mean streak in him,” Grandstaff added, referring to intensity in defending and chasing down rebounds.
Peters averaged 15.3 points and 9.0 rebounds his sophomore season for Texas’ Class 5A state champs.
“He can shoot the three. He shoots 500 threes a day. He works hard,” Grandstaff said, noting Peters has even hit the weights at a young age.
“I’m not sure I’ve seen a kid his age as strong and defined as he is muscular-wise,” Grandstaff said. “Most kids his age are trying to get rid of baby fat. Not Zach.”
Peters is a a year older than many prep sophomores. According to Dime Magazine, Zach repeated the eighth grade. After Zach dislocated his hip in a Jet Ski mishap while on a family vacation in Cancun, his parents decided to home-school Zach and his brother, Evan, with the help of tutors. The mature youngster has made several unofficial trips to colleges with his parents and today is ready to make his college choice with two seasons of high school remaining.
“He has been real proactive about going out and researching and checking out schools on trips,” Grandstaff said. Peters attended the KU-Nebraska game last February in Allen Fieldhouse.
“You go to KU and go to the right game and KU sells itself. I took Darrell Arthur at a very young age to KU. You go to Midnight Madness or something, see people camping out, that makes a great impression on kids.”
Of course, Zach also heard a lot about KU from his grandmother, who hails from Topeka.
“They are keeping it pretty hush-hush. I have a feeling it’ll be Kansas,” Grandstaff said. “I haven’t been told that, but I have the feeling it’s Kansas. I love coach (Bill) Self. He has that great personality and works his butt off.”
Julius Randle, a 6-8 freshman forward, is also a major college prospect from Prestonwood Christian Academy who has KU on his early list of schools.
Recruiting: Rivals.com reports that KU coach Self this week has checked in on Peters, as well as Perry Ellis, a 6-8 sophomore from Wichita Heights and Ben McLemore, a 6-5 junior from Eskridge High in St. Louis. McLemore’s St. Eagles AAU team will compete at the Jayhawk Invitational, April 30-May 2 at Horejsi Center, Haskell and some other gyms around town. Ellis will be playing at the Jayhawk Invite for Pray and Play Players.