KU target R.J. Hampton reportedly moves up timeline for college decision

photo by: Nick Krug

Kansas 2020 recruit R.J. Hampton watches from behind the bench during the second half, Saturday, March 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

According to ESPN recruiting analyst Paul Biancardi, Kansas basketball target R.J. Hampton has moved up the timeline for his college decision.

Hampton, a 5-star prospect from Little Elm, Texas, who recently reclassified into the 2019 class from 2020 told Biancardi that he now plans to pick a school at the end of May instead of waiting until the completion of the AAU circuit and making a decision in July.

Kansas is one of four programs in the running for Hampton’s services, with Kentucky, Memphis and Texas Tech also in his final four.

“I want to go where I fit in, can be myself and help a team win,” was the quote from Hampton that Biancardi attached to his recent Tweet.

The 6-foot-5, 180-pound combo guard who many have called the best prep guard in the country regardless of class is the top remaining uncommitted player in the 2019 class — ranked No. 5 overall in the latest Rivals.com rankings — and is the type of instant-impact player that would provide a serious boost to whichever program he chooses.

Earlier this week, 247 Sports recruiting analyst Evan Daniels entered his crystal ball pick for Kansas in the Hampton recruitment and several other recruiting analysts have said they too are leaning toward Hampton picking KU.

Kansas coach Bill Self has been recruiting Hampton and his family for a long time and has been ultra-aggressive in his pursuit of the 5-star prospect since during the past several weeks.

Landing a player of Hampton’s caliber would be an immediate lift to KU’s 2019 recruiting haul and likely would move the Jayhawks’ current class into the Top 10.

Currently, with 4-star guards Christian Braun and Issac McBride already signed and 4-star forward Tristan Enaruna committing to Kansas Tuesday night and expected to sign his letter of intent today, KU’s 2019 class ranks 29th in the Rivals.com team rankings and is tied for 11th in average star ratings of the players in the class.

With that trio on board, Self and his coaching staff figure to have at least two more spots to fill in the 2019 class this offseason.

The Jayhawks are replacing transfers Charlie Moore and K.J. Lawson and also could be replacing current NBA draft entrants Dedric Lawson, Quentin Grimes, Devon Dotson and Silvio De Sousa.

De Sousa, who is still waiting word on his appeal of a two-year suspension by the NCAA, has said he will return to Kansas if he wins the appeal. And many people close to the program expect Dotson to be back for his sophomore season after testing his draft stock this month in Chicago.

If so desired, all four players have until May 29 to pull their name out of the draft pool, which would clear the way for their return to Kansas for the 2019-20 season.


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