Underclassmen to watch on the Kansas basketball recruiting trail
photo by: Journal-World illustration
Already full in the 2020 class and focusing most of its recruiting efforts on prospects in the classes of 2021 and 2022, the Kansas men’s basketball program has not been slowed down by the recruiting restrictions put in place because of the pandemic.
Things have been different, of course, with the Kansas coaching staff doing all of its recruiting from cellphones, iPads and online channels instead of airplanes and in-person visits.
But the evaluations continue, the offers and analyses are ongoing and the film study is never-ending.
With that in mind, here’s a quick look at some of the latest KU hoops recruiting moves of note.
Introducing Mikey Williams
The Twitter account for the Compton Magic AAU program reported last week that freshman point guard Mikey Williams, of San Ysidro High in San Diego, has received a scholarship offer from Kansas.
The 6-foot-2 point guard and highlight machine who was named the MaxPreps freshman of the year has been projected as one of the top players in the class of 2023.
He currently has dozens of offers and figures to pick up many more as his prep career moves along. Included among some of the earliest offers are Memphis, Oregon, UCLA, Texas Tech, Arizona and Arizona State.
Last season, Williams averaged 30 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game in 32 games. That included scoring 77 points in a single game.
Williams has the skills to run the point and make plays for others and the athleticism, size and explosiveness to create highlights and make plays for himself.
2023 Mikey Williams #SanYsidro has picked up an offer from Kansas@619CONFIDENTIAL ✔️@tetuck @jcgirl23 @niquedunning @MacThomas23 @OvertimeShea @ladyleo197 @EvanDaniels @ebosshoops @PaulBiancardi @JoshGershon @coreyevans_10 pic.twitter.com/PNi57Ua8NE
— Compton Magic (@Compton_Magic) April 18, 2020
Another MoKan prospect to watch
Tarris Reed, a 6-8 forward in the class of 2022 from Chaminade High in St. Louis, is also on KU’s radar, according to a recent report from Rivals.com recruiting analyst Eric Bossi.
Bossi recently wrote that Reed was becoming a “priority target” for several programs in the Midwest, including Kansas.
Missouri, Nebraska, St. Louis and UMKC already have offered scholarships to Reed and Bossi wrote that Purdue and Kansas were showing strong interest.
Currently ranked as a four-star prospect and the No. 75 overall player in the 2022 class, Reed visited KU for Late Night last October and was able to see MoKan alums and current Jayhawks Christian Braun, Dajuan Harris, Ochai Agbaji and Chris Teahan in Allen Fieldhouse.
“It was fun and most of the MoKan family popped out,” Reed told Bossi of his trip to Late Night. “It was honestly a great experience and felt like home.”
According to Bossi, Reed figures to continue to rise the more he improves his game, builds his frame and gets in front of college coaches.
“It was going to be a big spring and summer for Reed,” Bossi wrote. “He’s got a big and strong frame, knows how to play physical around the rim and has a rapidly expanding game away from the hoop. Things will pick up even more for him once coaches get to watch him more. Given that he’s still finishing up his sophomore year he’s in no rush to make a decision.”
KU offers Arkansas small forward
Class of 2022 forward Joseph Pinion revealed last month that Kansas had offered him a scholarship.
“I’ve talked to Coach Self like four times and I think the program is fantastic,” he told JayhawkSlant.com. “I remember exactly where I was when I received the scholarship offer from Kansas. I was in my living room and I was extremely excited. I had the biggest smile on my face.”
The four-star prospect from Morrilton (Ark.) High, who averaged 18 points and eight rebounds as a sophomore shot 50% from the floor, 35% from 3-point range and 71% from the free-throw line.
According to Rivals.com, the 6-6, 180-pound forward holds scholarship offers from KU, Central Arkansas, DePaul, Oral Roberts, South Alabama and Tulsa, while Arkansas, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Purdue, Stanford and Virginia Tech continue to express serious interest.
Bossi recently caught up with Pinion and asked him about his game.
“I would describe myself as a great shooter and ball-handler and also an unselfish playmaker,” Pinion told Bossi. “I believe my IQ separates me from others.”
Sophomore center on KU’s radar
Tichyque Musaka, a 6-foot-11, 190-pound sophomore from Valley Christian Schools in San Jose, Calif., also has received a scholarship offer from KU, according to Zagsblog.com.
The big man who is originally from Congo in Africa is not currently listed in the Rivals 150 rankings for the class of 2022. But Zagsblog also reported that Musaka is being recruited by USC, Oregon, TCU and Georgetown.
According to a tweet from Ben Steele, of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Musaka picked up an offer from Marquette on Wednesday.