KU basketball recruiting notebook: Examining a couple of top-tier 2021 point guards

photo by: Journal-World illustration

University of Kansas basketball recruiting

Class of 2021 point guard Nolan Hickman appears to be nearing a decision about his college future.

The 76th-ranked player in the senior class recently told JayhawkSlant.com’s Shay Wildeboor that he was getting close to making a decision but that he still did not know when he would make an announcement.

What he does know is that he will play his senior season at Wasatch Academy, in Mount Pleasant, Utah, the same school that produced current Jayhawk Tristan Enaruna.

As a junior at Eastside Catholic last season in Sammamish, Wash., the 6-foot-1, 170-pound point guard averaged 17.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.0 steals per game.

He currently has more than a dozen offers from schools of all sizes to consider, including big-name programs like Arizona, Oklahoma, Oregon State, UCLA, Washington and Washington State joining KU.

“I’m pretty much considering all of my offers,” Hickman told Wildeboor.

One thing that has made his recruitment challenging is the fact that he has not been able to visit schools in person. But through Zoom calls and virtual visits, he has been able to build relationships with the coaches at the programs pursuing him.

Hickman told Wildeboor that he had an “amazing” Zoom call with KU coach Bill Self on July 8 and also has heard a ton from KU assistant coach Kurtis Townsend during recent weeks.

“We’ve been talking for a long time and he’s definitely my guy,” Hickman said of Townsend. “Coach T is a down-to-earth type of guy and very humble.”

All four Rivals.com analysts who entered FutureCast picks for Hickman this week have headed to Kansas. And the lone Crystal Ball pick currently listed on Hickman’s 247 Sports profile, from Brian Snow, also belongs to KU.

Hickman has been on the rise in the recruiting rankings in recent months. He jumped from not ranked last May to No. 88 overall last August and then moved up 11 spots to No. 77 in early June before climbing one more spot to No. 76 two weeks ago.

The race for 5-star Omaha combo guard Hunter Sallis

Rivals.com recruiting analyst Eric Bossi ranks Kansas as the No. 2 contender in the pursuit of 6-foot-5 combo guard Hunter Sallis.

The five-star prospect ranked No. 11 nationally by Rivals has yet to release a list of finalists. But the No. 2-ranked point guard in the class of 2021 from Millard North High in Omaha, Neb., has no shortage of options.

Sallis currently has 30 offers from high-major programs, with North Carolina as the current leader in Bossi’s eyes, followed by KU at No. 2, Creighton and Nebraska tied for third, Gonzaga in fifth and Oregon at No. 6.

According to Bossi, KU was the first blue blood program to get heavily involved with Sallis, who stands 6-foot-4, 165 pounds and is known for his ability to play both guard spots and explosive athleticism.

The way Bossi sees it, KU’s biggest advantages in the race include the fact that Sallis has been on the KU campus for an unofficial visit in the past and will have playing time available with the departure of senior Marcus Garrett following the 2020-21 season.

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