KU-related recruiting storylines from last weekend’s USA Basketball mini-camp in Colorado Springs
Fresh off another strong showing at last weekend’s USA Basketball mini-camp in Colorado Springs, Class of 2020 guard Bryce Thompson started talking timeline for a decision.
“I may end up getting it done before my senior season starts just so that I can play freely, have fun and not having to be stressed about not having to perform every night but I don’t know,” Thompson recently told Rivals.com analyst Corey Evans. “I still have to talk to my parents about it.”
Firmly ranked as a five-star prospect and seemingly continuing to rise, the 6-foot-4, 180-pound shooting guard from Booker T. Washington High in Tulsa, Okla., has been a top target of Kansas basketball for several months. But the Jayhawks have serious competition in their pursuit of Thompson, whose father played for KU coach Bill Self at Tulsa in the 1990s.
Thompson, who made officials visits to Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Oklahoma and Texas A&M during his junior year of high school, — as allowed by new NCAA recruiting rules — told Evans that Arkansas, KU, Michigan State, North Carolina and both in-state, Big 12 programs were the ones that had been in the most consistent contact with Thompson and his family of late.
While that does not guarantee anything in terms of senior year visits, it certainly seems likely that the five programs that will receive official visits during the coming months likely will be KU, Michigan State, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
Thompson talked briefly about each of those programs during his interview with Evans, and, somewhat expectedly, he had positive things to say about each place and each visit.
Said Thompson of KU: “Coach Self is a great guy with a great program. I got to play pick-up with the guys and I really enjoyed that. It was good.”
Thompson has not yet narrowed his group of suitors to a list of finalists, but he told Evans last weekend that was coming.
“(After the USA mini-camp) we will probably talk about narrowing it down and focusing on my primary schools,” Thompson told Evans. “That is something that I look forward to.”
Added Evans in his most recent write-up: “Expect for a cut list to be made within the next few weeks with all five making the cut, official visits to be taken in the fall and a signing to occur in November.”
The five-star Oklahoma prospect was hardly the lone player at last weekend’s USA Basketball camp on KU’s radar.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the other players at the prestigious camp who KU is pursuing:
• Isaiah Todd – 5-star PF in Class of 2020 ranked No. 13 overall by Rivals.com
One of the biggest names in the 2020 class, the 6-10, 210-pound forward has started to put his game together in recent weeks and is re-emerging as a top prospect among high school seniors. Rivals.com dubs the Baltimore native who attends Trinity High in Raleigh, N.C., as “an immediate producer that fits today’s style of ball to a tee,” and he has started to show signs of again being the player who some thought was the top prospect in the 2020 class entering his high school career.
Wrote Rivals.com analyst Eric Bossi: “He is planning visits to Kansas and Kentucky with Michigan, North Carolina, and Oklahoma State among the others involved at this point in time.”
• Caleb Love – 4-star PG in Class of 2020 ranked No. 32 overall by Rivals.com
Already known as one of the fastest and most physical guards in the class, Rivals.com reported that Love made major strides toward being a better leader during the USA camp in Colorado Springs. The 6-3, 175-pound point guard from Christian Brothers College High in St. Louis already has made unofficial visits to Indiana, Kansas, Louisville and Missouri in the past few months and appears to be headed full speed toward getting serious about his suitors. He said recently that those four, along with Texas, Georgetown and Illinois have been showing him the most love of late.
Wrote Bossi: Look out for a final list within the next several days and an official visit tour to be taken in the fall.”
• Patrick Baldwin Jr. — 5-star PF in Class of 2021 ranked No. 3 overall by Rivals.com
According to reports from Rivals.com, the 6-9, 205-pound athlete from Hamilton High in Sussex, Wisc., Baldwin Jr., had arguably the strongest finish to the USA Basketball camp and continues to be one of the most sought after players in the junior class. Baldwin’s father played at Northwestern and now coaches at Milwaukee. Both programs are in on him, along with several other major conference programs, including KU, K-State and Missouri.
Wrote Bossi: “He’s a big time stretch four man with high-level IQ and feel for the game to go with his elite jump shooting from deep.”
• Kennedy Chandler – 4-star PG in Class of 2021 ranked No. 28 overall by Rivals.com
A MOKAN Elite teammate of recent KU commitment Dajuan Harris, Chandler’s recruitment has blown up over the summer and he now is drawing interest from some of the top programs in college basketball, including KU.
Wrote Bossi of the 6-foot, 163-pound point guard from Briarcrest Christian in Eads, Tenn: “He had a huge summer leading MoKan Elite to a Peach Jam title and was terrific in Colorado Springs. … It would be hard to argue that any guard more consistently made plays off the dribble for himself and others. Chandler is sneaky quick and athletic but his greatest gift is the ability to make quality decisions at full speed.”