KU men’s basketball officially signs three recruits; more from signing day
The Kansas men’s basketball team has officially signed its three current recruits for the class of 2024 — Flory Bidunga, Rakease Passmore and Labaron Philon — who comprise what both 247Sports and Rivals rank as the No. 4 class in the country.
Bidunga, a 6-foot-9 five-star center from Kokomo, Indiana, was the consensus top player at his position in the nation available for 2024, and previously announced his commitment to KU on Aug. 12. He signed officially Thursday afternoon, joining his two four-star classmates who inked their own national letters of intent on Wednesday. Bill Self called him “the headliner of our recruiting class thus far” in a press release.
“Flory is an elite athlete,” Self said. “He can play above the rim. He changes ends as well as anybody. He’s getting stronger and developing more offensive skill. He is probably as good a prospect that we’ve had inside in quite some time. Coach (Jeremy) Case did a great job with recruiting Flory and his family.”
Bidunga grew up a soccer player in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and actually played the sport at his high school this fall as he continues to pursue basketball. But he drew national attention on the court for his ability to block shots and score in multiple ways in the post, and picked KU even as prognosticators had projected him to Duke and Auburn.
Self also credited Case for the recruitment of Philon, from Mobile, Alabama, whom he called “very underrated.”
“He’s athletic. He has vision. He has handles,” Self said. “He can play some point, but can also score.”
The 6-foot-4, 177-pound guard Philon, who committed Sept. 25, currently plays at Link Academy in Branson, Missouri, but in his junior season at Baker High in his hometown he averaged 35.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.6 steals per game.
Passmore, who was recruited by assistant Norm Roberts and committed Oct. 11, is also a guard with similar size at 6-foot-5 but plays as what Self called “a prototypical Kansas wing.”
“He’s got size. He’s got strength. He’s explosive, can play above the rim,” Self said. “His shooting is getting better and better and he should be able to guard anyone.”
He is originally from Palatka, Florida, but has played high school ball in North Carolina, most recently at Combine Academy. Like Bidunga, he has roots in another sport, as a former quarterback whose mother made him give up football after he got a concussion.
“Coach (Michael) Wright, Rakease’s guardian Jon Mobley and his mentor, A.J. Jones, have really helped with his development at Combine the past two years,” Self said.
KU may not be done with its 2024 class — it didn’t get its final 2023 freshman, after all, until weeks before the fall semester began — and Self has also hinted at the possibility of bringing in an international player midway through this season.
He will continue to pursue top talent aggressively as he looks to “go for the throat” in recruiting with the Independent Accountability Resolution Process decision now behind him, as he put it last month.
More from National Signing Day
The KU Athletics social media feeds were in heavy use Wednesday and Thursday as the signing period opened and programs announced one new addition after another. Here are some of the future Jayhawks who will be coming to Lawrence next year:
Men’s golf: Felix Bouchard, Alex Hogan, Hristo Yanakiev
Rowing: McKaylee Day, Kyra Kavouridis, Emma Nicotra, Alexandra Robinson, Eva Robinson
Soccer: Mikayla Coore-Pascal, Karina Da Silva, Graci Jones, Sophia Nickel, Lauren Wood
Softball: Bailey Amezcua, Kennedy Diggs, Karsen Griggs, Ava Wallace, Kaelee Washington, Bailey Weber
Swim and dive: Taylor Cloutman, Gabi Dyer, Anna Gearhart, Tait Haag, Alayna Henage, Emma Howze, Lucia Krings, Maya Lambert, Izzy Porter, Izzy Satterlee, Sophie Wallace
Track and field: Bryce Barkdull, Maddie Fey, Kaleigh Frazier, Kathryn Meacham, Alinah Sarratt, Alexys Salas, Nathan Thengvall
Volleyball: Zoey Burgess, Kenzie Dean, Heidi Devers, Ellie Moore, Grace Nelson, Reese Ptacek
Women’s basketball: Zoe Canfield, Carla Osma, Regan Williams
Women’s golf: Lauren Madson, Ebba Nordstedt