Bill Self has signed prospects from Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma — as well as the faraway reaches of Canada, Russia, Alaska, Arizona, California, Illinois, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington — in his eight seasons as basketball coach at Kansas University.
He’s proven he’ll go anywhere blue-chippers reside.
“The thing we shouldn’t get too hung up on ... we couldn’t care less where players come from,” Self said.
He and his assistants soon will hit the road for the July 6-15 recruiting evaluation period, then after a short breather, continue the pursuit of prospects July 22-31.
“We do want to recruit the best players in our back yard, obviously. Since we’ve been here, we’ve had years where we’ve had home visits eight hours away and to see Travis (Releford, down the road in Kansas City), too. It doesn’t matter. The best players that fit what you are trying to do is what we go after. We’ve had them from all over,” he added.
College coaches from all over the country will be traveling to AAU events in Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Ohio and other locales this month to scout players in the Class of 2012.
KU will have a minimum of three scholarships to give this school year, four if Thomas Robinson heads to the NBA after his junior campaign.
One scholarship already has been gobbled up by Zach Peters, a 6-foot-9, 235-pound power forward from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas, who is not playing on the AAU circuit this summer.
Here are some other players on KU’s wish list in the Class of 2012. Obviously, there could be others on the list. KU coaches cannot comment on recruiting in accordance with NCAA rules:
• Perry Ellis, 6-8, 220, forward, Wichita Heights: Rivals.com’s No. 19-rated player lists KU, Memphis, Kentucky, Duke, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Wichita State. Ellis has attended several KU games on unofficial visits. He has said he will make up to five official visits this summer and fall.
• Kaleb Tarczewski, 7-0, 220, center, St. Mark’s High, Southborough, Mass.: Rivals.com’s No. 12-rated player made unofficial visits to KU, North Carolina and Arizona in June. He has said KU has recruited him the longest and hardest of any school on his list. He will announce his college choice in August.
• Shabazz Muhammad, 6-5, 190, combo guard, Bishop Gorman High, Las Vegas: The country’s No. 1-rated player, who played in the Jayhawk Invitational in April, has yet to slice a list that includes KU, Arizona, North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, Texas, UCLA, UNLV and others.
• Nino Jackson, 6-2, 175, point guard, Ardmore (Okla.) High: Rivals.com’s No. 45-rated player, who has worn KU shorts to various AAU events, has a list of KU, Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma and North Carolina. There are rumors Jackson may attend high school in Las Vegas his senior year.
• J’Mychal Reese, 6-1, 170, point guard, Bryan (Texas) High: Rivals.com’s No. 59-rated player lists KU, Texas, Baylor, Memphis, Oklahoma and others. There has been talk his dad might land an assistant coaching job at Texas A&M or Texas Tech, which would complicate his recruitment.
• Marcus Smart, 6-4, 205, small forward, Marcus High, Flower Mound, Texas: Rivals.com’s No. 24-rated player lists KU, Texas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and others. He recently told Rivals.com that KU, Texas and Carolina were recruiting him the hardest.
• Mitch McGary, 6-10, 250, power forward, Brewster Academy, Wolfeboro, N.H.: Rivals.com’s No. 5-rated player who participated in the Jayhawk Invitational, lists KU, Maryland, UConn, Indiana, Arizona, Purdue, Illinois and many others.
• Landen Lucas, 6-8, 240, power forward, Findlay Prep, Henderson, Nev.: Rivals.com’s No. 134-rated player, who visited KU unofficially in June, lists KU, Arizona, Oregon, Duke, Tennessee, Georgia Tech and others.
• Willie Cauley, 6-10, 220, center, Olathe Northwest: Rivals.com’s No. 41-rated player has heard from KU, North Carolina, Ohio State, Kentucky, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Missouri, Alabama and others.
• Gabe York, 6-2, 170, shooting guard, Lutheran High, Orange, Calif.: Rivals.com’s No. 47-rated player has mentioned KU, Notre Dame, Marquette, Arizona, UConn, UNLV, Louisville and others.
• Robert Upshaw, 6-11, 235, San Joaquin Memorial High, Fresno, Calif.: Rivals.com’s No. 32-rated player, who competed in the Jayhawk Invitational, lists KU, Arizona, Texas, Maryland, USC, UCLA and others.
• Winston Shepard, 6-8, 205, small forward, Findlay Prep, Henderson, Nev.: Rivals.com’s No. 44-rated player, who also played at the Jayhawk Invitational, lists KU, Kentucky, Memphis, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, UNLV and others.
• Christian Sanders, 6-3, 170, combo guard, St. Thomas High, Houston: The son of former KU guard Brad Sanders patterns his game after Kirk Hinrich. He made an unofficial visit to KU in June. The unranked player is also considering Colorado, Maryland, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M and others.
• Brandon Ashley, 6-8, 225, power forward, Findlay Prep, Henderson, Nev.: Rivals.com’s No. 14-rated player lists KU, Arizona, Oregon, Stanford, Cal, UCLA, Kentucky, Georgia Tech and others.
• Archie Goodwin, 6-4, 180, shooting guard, Sylvan Hills High, Little Rock, Ark.: Rivals.com’s No. 11-rated player lists KU, Arkansas, Kentucky, Memphis, Baylor, Texas, UConn, Florida and others.
• Adam Woodbury, 7-0, 230, center, East High, Sioux City, Iowa: Rivals.com’s No. 50-rated player lists KU, Iowa, North Carolina, Duke, Texas, Florida, Minnesota and others.
• T.J. Warren, 6-7, 200, small forward, Brewster Academy, Wolfeboro, N.H.: Rivals.com’s No. 36-rated player lists KU, Georgetown, North Carolina State, North Carolina, Tennessee, Duke, Florida and others.
• Rosco Allen, 6-7, 205, power forward, Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas: Rivals.com’s No. 75-rated player lists KU, North Carolina, Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona State and others.
• Danuel House, 6-7, 195, small forward, Hightower High, Missouri City, Texas: Rivals.com’s No. 26-rated player lists KU, Missouri, Duke, North Carolina, Colorado, Louisville and others.
• Shaquille Cleare, 6-9, 285, center, Village School, Houston: Rivals.com’s No. 29-rated player lists KU, Maryland, Baylor, Florida, Arizona, Arkansas, Texas, Texas A&M and others.