Kansas University’s basketball recruiting Class of 2012 is currently ranked No. 19 in the country by Rivals.com, the website reported this week.
The Jayhawks have received commitments from No. 24-rated Perry Ellis, a 6-foot-8, senior forward from Wichita Heights, and No. 144 Zach Peters, a 6-9 senior forward out of Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas.
KU is also pursuing No. 20-rated Kaleb Tarczewski, a 7-foot senior center from St. Mark High in Southborough, Mass., who, along with Ellis, will attend the Oct. 14 Late Night in the Phog. Tarczewski will visit Arizona the following weekend.
The Jayhawks are after No. 56-ranked Andrew White, a 6-6 senior forward from Miller School in Chester, Va., who is also considering Louisville, Texas and West Virginia, as well as unranked Ioannis Papapetrou, a 6-6 senior guard/forward from Florida Air Academy in Melbourne, Fla., the alma mater of former KU center Sasha Kaun. Papapetrou, who is originally from Greece, also is considering Texas and Florida.
Indiana has the No. 1-rated recruiting class to date, followed by Providence, UCLA, Arizona, Pittsburgh, Houston, Baylor, Villanova, Texas, Michigan, North Carolina, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Florida State, Texas A&M;, Florida, Virginia, St. John’s, KU, Xavier, Iowa, Maryland, Oklahoma State, Kentucky and Mississippi State.
Eye-opening stats: Peters, a 6-9, 240-pound wide receiver, turned heads by catching 17 passes for 245 yards and three touchdowns in Prestonwood Christian’s 62-34 football victory over John Paul II last Friday in Plano, Texas.
“The thing that’s great about Zach — his height has been a benefit — but it’s his power and strength and his runs after the catch that really makes him special,” Prestonwood coach Chris Cunningham told ESPN.com. “He didn’t drop a ball on Friday and he’s running great routes. You have to wonder what he’d be like as a college receiver, whether he’s lined up at tight end or receiver.”
Peters, who has 33 catches for 432 yards and six TDs for Prestonwood (3-1), is firmly committed to playing just one sport — basketball — at KU. He attended Saturday’s Legends of the Phog in Allen Fieldhouse.
“As soon as they see him, they want to know more about him,” Cunningham said of college football recruiters. “They start wondering if they can work it out where Zach can play basketball and football. They look at him as a potential recruit now.
“They all know he loves basketball, so no one is really trying to sway him, but if he continues to play this way, you would think someone would try to offer him in football. He’s not just a great athlete for a guy 6-9, he’s a great athlete, period,” Cunningham added to ESPN.
Junior Walker to visit: Chris Walker, a 6-9, 205-pound junior forward from Holmes County High in Bonifay, Fla., tells Rivals.com he will attend Late Night on an unofficial visit. Walker is the No. 8-rated player in the Class of 2013.
Walker told zagsblog.com he has a list of KU, Kentucky, Kansas State, Texas, Florida, Florida State, UConn, Memphis, Baylor and Oklahoma State. After originally saying he’d orally commit to a school on Nov. 15, Walker has changed his mind and has no decision date in mind.
Nunn reopens recruiting: KU may be in the running now for Kendrick Nunn, a 6-1 junior from Chicago’s Simeon High, who decommitted from Texas A&M; this week. Nunn’s dad told fivestarbasketball.com that KU, Illinois, DePaul, Syracuse, Pitt, Memphis and Baylor have expressed interest. A&M; also remains on his list.
“Kendrick’s just using this as a chance to get better looks and new opportunities,” his dad told the website. “He wants to see what else is out there.”
Thursday’s trip: KU coach Bill Self was in Roselle, N.J., on Thursday to check in Tyler Roberson, a 6-7 junior wing from Roselle Catholic, Zagsblog.com reports. Self was also at St. Benedict’s Prep to watch Tyler Ennis, a 6-2 junior point guard. Self is scheduled to speak today at Rutgers for the Brayden Carr Foundation.
X, Arthur bond: Former KU wing Xavier Henry had a good time guarding, and being guarded by, his Memphis Grizzlies teammate Darrell Arthur during Saturday’s Legends of the Phog exhibition.
“Shady is great. He does everything,” the 6-6 Henry said of 6-9, 235-pound Arthur.
“He’s a real good pick-and-pop guy. He stretches all other team’s fours (power forwards), makes them come out and play ‘D.’’’
One more Legends story: Former KU guard Ryan Robertson, who had participated in just one fullcourt basketball game in the last six months, figured he’d hit the gym 10 days before Saturday’s Legends of the Phog.
“I caught wind from either Greg Gurley or Scot Pollard that the game would be a sellout,” Robertson, 34, related. “I said, ‘Man, I better go at least shoot.’ I went to the YMCA. The only ball I could find was a flat girls ball. I shot with that flat girls ball for five minutes. I said, ‘This is worthless. I’m done. I’m going to have to show up and hope it works out.’ I showed up, and it worked out.”
He had 15 points and five assists in 23 minutes, playing the second-most minutes on his White team behind NBA veteran Nick Collison (29).