The week started off great for the No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks as they came back from 14 points in the final three minutes to take down No.9 West Virginia. The Jayhawks were dealt a little bit of bad news on Thursday though, as five-star point guard Trae Young chose Oklahoma over KU.
Young is a 6’2″, five-star point guard from Norman, OK. According to Rivals, he’s rated the No. 14 recruit overall. Young is a big-time scorer. This season, he’s put up multiple 40-point games, and recently just set the state record for points in a game with 62.
Young would have been a huge get for head coach Bill Self and the Jayhawks. KU is already set to lose All-American candidate point guard Frank Mason next season to graduation. The loss of Mason will be a huge void to fill at the point guard position. Junior guard Devonte’ Graham could assume the role of point guard next season, but there is much speculation that he’ll pack up and leave for the NBA after this season. If that happens, KU’s hole in the backcourt might as well be the Grand Canyon.
Young would have added to what is a talented 2017 class. Five-star forward Billy Preston and four-star guard Marcus Garrett are already signed to play in Lawrence next season. According to Rivals, Preston is the No. 8 overall recruit and Garrett is No. 37.
Self still has one more shot to fill the point guard hole. Five-star point guard Trevon Duval is still on the board. Per Rivals, Duval is the No. 3 overall recruit. Some experts speculate that Duval could be waiting to see which players leave early to choose a school. He recently visited KU for the Baylor game in early February, and he reportedly loved his visit to Lawrence.
The Jayhawks do have transfers Malik Newman and Sam Cunliffe that will be eligible to play next season. Newman, a former five-star, transferred to KU after spending last season at Mississippi State. He is more suitable to play the two guard spot, so if KU can hit on another point guard Newman will be able to play his normal position.
Cunliffe, a former four-star, is a similar player to Newman. He transferred to Kansas in December after spending the first semester at Arizona State. He appeared in 10 games for the Sun Devils, averaging 25.4 MPG and 9.5 PPG. Since he transferred midseason, Cunliffe won’t be eligible to play until January of next season.
As for Oklahoma, this is a big get for Lon Kruger and the Sooners. They’re in last place in the Big 12 this year, but with the core being so young, adding Trae Young to the mix should make Oklahoma a contender and an NCAA tournament team next year.