The latest with KU’s ongoing recruiting efforts of some top-tier talent
With the Duke decisions made by Matt Hurt and Cassius Stanley now a thing of the past, the Jayhawks, as expected, are moving on rather quickly in the recruiting game.
With two prospects visiting this week and a handful of other Kansas targets making news one way or another in the past couple of days, Bill Self and his coaching staff have no time to sit around and mope about missing out on the now-future Blue Devils.
Stephen F. Austin grad transfer T.J. Holyfield and Mount Pleasant, Utah prep prospect Tristan Enaruna are both visiting Lawrence this week.
And Arkansas-Little Rock grad transfer Rayjon Tucker and Class of 2020 top 5 prospect R.J. Hampton, who may be reclassifying to join the 2019 crew, are both attractive options, as well.
And that’s to say nothing about top 2019 prospect Precious Achiuwa, who is expected to make his decision in late May.
Here’s a quick update on a few of the players mentioned above.
• R.J. Hampton
Let’s start with the biggest fish on this list. Hampton, you probably already know, is ranked as the 5th best player in the 2020 class and has been considered by some recruiting analysts to be the top prep guard available in the country, regardless of class.
If he were to reclassify and come to Kansas, it would be a monster lift for the Jayhawks’ 2019 class and their prospects for the 2019-20 season.
It’s still early and we don’t know yet whether Hampton will reclassify, but if he does, it looks like it might be down to KU and Memphis. Kentucky coach John Calipari is expected to visit him today and KU has had their turns, as well.
The latest I read pointed out that Hampton has some pretty deep ties to the Memphis program and Penny Hardaway assistant coach Mike Miller. But there’s little doubt that Kansas can offer things that Memphis can’t, so it should be an interesting battle.
Hampton sent out a one-word tweet on Tuesday, saying simply, “Decisions.”
As you might’ve expected, that set off a series of reactions from fans at all kinds of programs, including KU, trying to convince the young man to join their squad.
The most creative I saw pointed out what Hampton’s first name could stand for. It went something like this.
R – ockchalk
J – ayhawk
His actions are worth tracking these days simply because he is an enormous talent and he could be a factor somewhere as soon as next season.
• Rayjon Tucker
This prolific scorer from the University of Arkansas-Little Rock is one of the top grad transfers available according to most recruiting analysts and his list of suitors certainly suggests that.
Tucker, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound wing who originally hails from Charlotte, N.C., averaged 20 points and 7 rebounds a game while shooting 42 percent from 3-point range for Little Rock during the 2018-19 season.
The versatile guard who can play multiple positions started his career at Florida Gulf Coast playing under former Self assistant Joe Dooley.
According to multiple reports, Tucker, who has declared for the 2019 NBA draft, will make five visits before making his decision.
He checked out West Virginia first and was at Auburn last weekend. He plans to hit Memphis next and will also visit Iowa State and Kansas. His KU visit is slated for May 3.
I couldn’t find much about the West Virginia visit, but it’s clear that KU, Memphis and Iowa State have some work to do to move ahead of Auburn.
“Auburn is definitely more than I expected,” Tucker told Rivals site, AuburnSports.com, after his visit. “Auburn is definitely the place to beat.”
• Tristan Enaruna
As reported by KUsports.com recruiting insider Matt Scott a couple of weeks ago, Kansas, Creighton and Miami (Fla.) are the programs still alive for the rising wing’s services and his official visits to all three places will be behind him by the end of the week.
The 6-7, 205-pound wing will visit Miami today, is headed to Creighton on Friday and will visit KU on Sunday.
According to 247 Sports recruiting analyst Evan Daniels, Enaruna’s mother, Anneliese Breijer, will make the trip from Holland to join her son on all three visits.
Ranked No. 105 in the 2019 class by Rivals.com, Enaruna appears to be the type of player who could make a small impact right away but has serious long term potential.
His size, length and versatility would make him a good fit at Kansas, with the versatility that Self’s teams have recently employed, and Enaruna, who played his prep ball in Mount Pleasant, Utah, has seen both his stock and his game explode during the past couple of seasons, at both the prep level and on the international stage.
• Precious Achiuwa
No real news on the recruitment of Achiuwa, but I stumbled across this nugget the other day while looking at 2019 draft coverage online.
According to ESPN.com’s Jonathan Givony, Achiuwa is on pace to be a lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Givony has the Montverde Academy star pegged to go No. 9 in the 2020 draft.
“Achiuwa is a hungry scorer who is aggressive attacking the rim in the open floor, pulling up off the dribble, shooting with his feet set and taking difficult shots from inside the arc,” Givony wrote in his breakdown of the 6-foot-9, 215-pound forward ranked No. 16 in the 2019 class by Rivals.com. “His ability to change speeds powerfully, finish above the rim and throw in jumpers is intriguing for a player his size, even if his tunnel-vision decision-making and shot selection still often leave a lot to be desired. Achiuwa also is a playmaker defensively who wows you at times with his versatility switching onto guards and protecting the rim. His feel for the game and overall consistency are still a major work in progress, though, and going to the right school will be paramount for him. Ultimately, his combination of tools and talent are just too tantalizing to not project as a lottery talent now.”