Weekend recruiting news from 3 top Kansas targets
photo by: Journal-World Illustration
One class of 2019 prospect was in Lawrence on an official visit. Another top KU target opened up about his recruitment at a USA Basketball event in Colorado Springs. And yet another hinted about making a commitment this fall instead of waiting until the spring.
It was that kind of weekend on the action-packed recruiting trail for the Kansas men’s basketball program, which welcomed four-star Minnesota forward Zeke Nnaji to town for an official visit after conducting an in-home visit with the power forward a couple of weeks ago.
Nnaji, an AAU teammate of Top 10 forward Matt Hurt’s, and the No. 37-ranked player in the 2019 class per Rivals.com, is down to a final five of Kansas, Arizona, Baylor, Purdue and UCLA and is smack-dab in the middle of his visit process.
Nnaji is scheduled to take official visits to his four remaining finalists, starting with Arizona this weekend, through the first weekend in November. His father recently told Adam Zagoria, of ZagsBlog.com, that Nnaji plans to make a decision “around” Nov. 24.
Speaking of Hurt, the five-star forward from Minnesota was in Colorado Springs over the weekend, participating in yet another USA Basketball event — the USA Basketball October Minicamp — and Rivals.com recruiting analyst Eric Bossi caught up with him for a conversation about his otherwise quiet recruitment.
As expected, Hurt said he’s in the process of trying to nail down some official visit dates and wants to take them on a weekend when he can visit each school for a game and get a true feel for each program.
“Like on a Saturday, when I can come down and see the real atmosphere and environment for a game,” he told Bossi. “I want to see how they prep a team before a game and stuff like that because I’ll consider a lot of that in my decision. Football games are probably more fun type visits because you are there with the team and the students having fun. But I think I will get more out of it by going to a basketball game.”
Although the 6-foot-9, 200-pound, do-it-all forward has yet to announce any kind of cuts to the enormous list of schools pursuing him, Hurt provided Bossi with a de facto final seven over the weekend, naming Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Memphis, Minnesota and North Carolina, while saying those programs “are primarily the ones who are contacting me a lot. I probably won’t cut any schools, but it’s really seven or eight.”
Because prospects are allowed just five official visits, Hurt will not be able to officially see all seven schools on that list. While that might not have a bearing on his decision, the way he sets up his visits could end up being a quiet way to trim a couple of schools from the list.
Finally, there also was weekend news from James Wiseman, the 7-foot center from Memphis ranked No. 2 overall in the 2019 class by Rivals.com.
Wiseman, who also was at the USA Basketball minicamp in Colorado Springs, offered up an update on a timeline for his decision.
“The commitment is probably going to happen at the end of this year,” Wiseman told Bossi. “Me and my mom and my sister are still talking about it. Soon though.”
As for what has stood out to him about his recent interactions with Kansas, Wiseman pointed to KU coach Bill Self.
“Just him not selling himself like the other coaches do,” said Wiseman of Self’s approach. “He was being real with me and telling me what I need to work on and really just really saying about how he would like to develop me into a great player some day.”