KU basketball recruiting notebook: A PG to watch, big men options and a college hoops newcomer

photo by: Journal-World illustration

University of Kansas basketball recruiting

After being cut from his list of finalists a couple of weeks ago, the Kansas men’s basketball program returned to Class of 2022 point guard Skyy Clark’s top 10 earlier this week.

The reason?

While most programs Clark dropped when announcing his final eight simply went away, the Kansas coaching staff stayed in touch and grabbed Clark’s attention by doing so.

“Even though they didn’t make the top eight, they went harder in recruiting me and that meant a lot to me,” Clark recently told JayhawkSlant.com. “A lot of schools I never heard from again, but Kansas turned it up a notch, which I loved. It showed me how they thought of me as a player and a person.”

KU and DePaul both were added to Clark’s list of finalists, bringing the total to 10 — KU, DePaul, Kentucky, Memphis, Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee State, UCLA and USC.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound guard who will attend Brentwood Academy in Nashville this season averaged 25 points and four assists per game as a sophomore at Heritage Christian in Los Angeles.

A five-star prospect ranked No. 16 overall in the 2022 recruiting class by Rivals.com, there is some talk in recruiting circles that he is considering reclassifying into the 2021 class.

The Jayhawks are still heavily pursuing at least two other top tier point guards in the 2021 class, Omaha’s Hunter Sallis (6-5, 175, ranked No. 11 per Rivals) and Alabama prep standout JD Davison (6-3, 175, No. 15).

New offer goes out

According to Rivals.com’s Corey Evans, Kansas on Thursday extended a scholarship offer to Class of 2022 point guard Kyle Cuffe Jr.

Cuffe announced the KU offer with a message on Twitter earlier this week.

Cuffe is a four-star prospect ranked No. 68 overall by Rivals. The 6-foot-2, 173-pound guard attends Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J., and currently has 16 offers, most of them coming from back east.

Pitt and St. John’s are believed to be the current leaders for Cuffe, whose father, Kyle Cuffe Sr., played at St. John’s in the early 2000s.

True big man in the mix

With the Jayhawks already holding commitments from athletic Class of 2021 players Zach Clemence and KJ Adams, the door is open for Kansas to add another player or two in the 2021 class.

KU would like to add a point guard as one of those pieces and might pursue size as well.

Class of 2021 center Sam Ayomide certainly would bring that to campus.

At 6-foot-11, 255 pounds, Ayomide is an athletic and powerful player near the basket.

Currently ranked No. 144 in the 2021 class, — up 21 spots from the last round of rankings — the three-star center holds 13 offers and is receiving more and more interest from major programs each week.

Included among the schools joining Kansas in offering Ayomide are: LSU, Illinois, Seton Hall, Wake Forest, TCU, Virginia Tech and Memphis.

Other names to watch as KU continues to explore the idea of adding size to the class are four-star Atlanta big man Daimion Collins (6-9, 205 No. 20) and four-star power forward Arthur Koluma (6-7, 200, No. 59) of Glendale, Ariz.

New to the game?

According to JayhawkSlant.com, the KU coaching staff conducted a Zoom call visit with 6-9, 190-pound small forward Langston Wilson of Georgia Highlands College in Rome, Ga., on Wednesday.

Now, because he did not play high school basketball, Wilson’s name is not one you’ll find on any of the recruiting rankings. But he has emerged as an intriguing prospect and attracted more than 40 scholarship offers because of his athleticism and natural ability.

Despite not playing in high school, Wilson told JayhawkSlant’s Shay Wildeboor that he landed a scholarship at Georgia Highlands after film of him playing pick-up ball made its way to the head coach’s office.

Wilson made the most of his first year of college ball. Not only did he find a way to play, but he also averaged 10.1 point and 7.6 rebounds per game.

Originally from Bonner-Prendie High in Philadelphia, Wilson, who graduated high school in 2018, slowly became an option for coaches at schools of all sizes.

One of his first offers came from Iona, now coached by Rick Pitino, and his first major offer came from Maryland in late May.

“Around June, it just went crazy,” he told Wildeboor. “I think in one day Wichita State, Oregon, Ole Miss, and a few others offered me. I had like five offers in one day. It was just ridiculous, and everything just started picking up, picking up, picking up and picking up.”

Late last week, his recruitment reached a level that included Kansas and KU coach Bill Self and assistant coach Jerrance Howard informed Wilson that KU wanted to offer him a scholarship.

“I was at a loss for words for a long period of time,” Wilson told Wildeboor. “I called my coach and had tears in my eyes. I called my dad and I was balling and crying after the scholarship offer from Kansas. Not just because of the school itself, but also because of the level of basketball and being recognized at that level.”

Wilson, who calls himself “a positionless forward who can do a bunch of different things,” told Wildeboor that he would like to take as many visits as possible if things ever open up to the point where visiting college campuses is allowed.

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