We are in October, which means that the start of the college basketball season is just days away. However, let’s focus on what the fans really care about: recruiting. According to KU Twitter, the world is coming to an end when it comes to Kansas basketball recruiting. Don’t believe me? Just search through it and see the people that are convinced that Kansas will go from competing with Kentucky and Duke to competing with Central Missouri and North Dakota State for recruits.
I’m going to put this to bed now – Kansas will be just fine. The elephant in the room is the notice of allegations that was just handed down from the NCAA. Will this impact recruiting? It very well could. Will it destroy the University of Kansas? Absolutely not. The ball will keep rolling when it comes to Kansas and even with these allegations, the Jayhawks will reel in some top talent in the 2020 recruiting class. Let’s dive into some of the recruits that the Jayhawks are focused on.
Class Rank: 14
Considering: Michigan and Kansas
Isaiah Todd recently cut his list down to Kansas and Michigan. During his recruitment, it was always thought that Kansas was a step behind North Carolina and Kentucky. However, after strong visits to Lawrence and Ann Arbor, Todd cut his list to KU and Michigan. While Kansas is right there, I think the consensus is that he’s leaning towards Michigan at this point. I expect more information to leak out after USA team interviews over the weekend, but for now, I’m not seeing the Jayhawks landing Isaiah Todd, but the situation is still fluid and can change over the next week. As of today, I think he will be announcing that he will be a Michigan Wolverine on 10/17, but there is a chance he never plays a minute of college sports. He’s rumored to be exploring the RJ Hampton route of going overseas for a year before making the jump to the NBA.
Class Rank: 15
Considering: Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and North Carolina
This is a recruitment where you will really get an idea if the NCAA investigation will impact the Jayhawks for top talent. Bryce Thompson, in my opinion, has always been a bit of a Kansas lean. His father played for Coach Self at Tulsa, he’s from Big 12 country, and the Jayhawks have made him a priority long before he blew up on the national stage. However, the NCAA allegations have created a little cloudiness in his recruitment. North Carolina has come on very strong while the in-state schools have remained a very legit threat to land Thompson. I think he will end up staying in Big 12 country at the end of the day. However, with everything going on, I’m moving my pick from Kansas to a toss-up for now.
Prediction: Toss-Up (Kansas & Oklahoma)
Class Rank: 22
Considering: Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Marquette, Memphis, Minnesota, and North Carolina
Want to talk about a kid that the Kansas staff absolutely loves, look no further than Dawson Garcia. Garcia stands an impressive 6’11 who can stretch defenses out to the 3-point line and take players off the dribble. Garcia is extremely talented and is coveted by all the schools that are on his list. To this point, his recruitment has been a little bit of a mystery. Nobody can seem to get a good feel on what direction he’s leaning. He’s already visited Minnesota, Memphis, and he has a trip booked to Indiana at the end of October. While the Jayhawks would love to add Garcia, it’s hard to feel great about their chances until they get him on campus. I’m not comfortable with making a prediction, but obviously no visit will equal no commitment for Kansas.
Class Rank: 25
Considering: Kansas, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon, Providence, Texas, Texas A&M, Seton Hall, UCLA and Wake Forrest
A kid that gained a ton of attention of the summer was Canadian stud Karim Mane. Going into the summer, Mane was a relative unknown but absolutely shredded competition on the UA circuit which caused him to jump up to a five-star prospect. Mane is a big combo guard who is at his best when he’s attacking to the basket. There is no question that Mane is one of the best PG prospects in the 2020 class. Mane took an official visit to Maryland during his junior year, but there has not been any additional visits setup. This is a slow-moving recruitment with no real leaders at this point. Kansas will be heavily involved with this one, but with so little information coming out, it’s hard to make a prediction for anywhere.
Class Rank: 44
Considering: Arkansas, Michigan, Kansas, Ohio State, Florida, Oregon, and USC
Moody is another top prospect for Coach Self and Kansas. Last month, Norm Roberts visited Moody in-person down in Florida and while Coach Self went to Arkansas to visit Moody’s family. Self has made it very clear that he wants to land a wing like Moses Moody. Moody is a good athlete with an excellent jump shot. Would really benefit from playing with a good playmaking point guard. Moody is coming off a visit to Michigan with Isaiah Todd that seems to have gone well. He has also taken an official visit to Ohio State. All the schools on his final seven seem to be making Moody a priority. Moody is a native of Arkansas like top KU target KK Robinson and a package deal could materialize there. Moody will visit Arkansas next week and likely Kansas sometime this fall, and I expect the Jayhawks to contend all the way until the end. His recruitment is very fluid, but I think Kansas is currently in a good spot with Moody. Kansas would love to land one of Bryce Thompson or Moses Moody, and I think there is a very good chance Kansas will get one of them. As of now, I’m not ready to make a pick on Moody with a few visits to go.
Class Rank: 46
Considering: Illinois, Arizona State, Arizona, Kansas, Wake Forrest, and Louisville
Kansas has been a big fan of lefty scoring guard, Adam Miller. Miller is a little bit of an underrated prospect if you ask me. Miller is a score-first combo guard that would be perfect in the Bill Self system. He’s possesses all the tools to be a Point Guard, but he plays great off the ball and can shoot it with range. To me, I think that Miller is going to end up staying home. While I’m not counting out the possibility that Kansas could make a strong push to sway Miller, I think Miller will end up playing for Brad Underwood. The dark house I’d watch out for here as of now would be Arizona State.
Class Rank: 71
Considering: Kansas, Arkansas, TCU, and Illinois
KK Robinson has become a priority for the Kansas staff. The 6-foot PG is a tremendous athlete who has a quality three-point shot. He’s a great rebounding guard who would be a great fit at Kansas. To me, you think of a hybrid between Frank Mason and Devonte’ Graham when looking at Robinson. Kansas has been pitching their success with guards that resemble Robinson’s makeup. I had the privilege of talking with him recently, and he really enjoyed his time in Lawrence for Late Night in the Phog. He lists seven schools on his final list, but he told me the four schools I listed above are the ones prioritizing him the most. I think that ultimately it will come down to Kansas and Arkansas for KK Robinson, who is an Arkansas native. At the end of the day, I think the Jayhawks will pull this one off if they continue to recruit Robinson the way they currently are.
Class Rank: 123
Considering: Kansas, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Louisville, and others
A kid that is rapidly rising is Gethro Muscadin. A lengthy 6’10 big man who can do a little bit of everything. He can stretch defenses and he’s a great shot blocker. Coach Self has really made Muscadin a top priority for the 2020 recruiting class. Muscadin will need to continue to add muscle and could be the first big project for new strength and conditioning coach, Dr. Ramsey Nijem. Muscadin has visited Minnesota, Kansas, and Texas Tech. Louisville has been really trying to get involved, but they have a ton of ground to make-up if you ask me. I feel very good about the Jayhawks chances when it comes to landing Muscadin. If all the recruits on this list announced today, he’s the one guy I would bet a lot of money on to play for Kansas next year.
Class Rank: N/A (JUCO)
Considering: Kansas, Arkansas, Iowa State, Georgia, Kansas State, Miami, and others
A Kansas City, Kansas native who is blowing up after going the Junior College route is Tyon Grant-Foster. Standing 6’7″, Foster has shown flashes of being a big-time talent since going the Juco route and top programs are starting to take notice. One of the most intriguing part about Grant-Foster is his ability to play one through four. That is making him a very hot commodity for college programs. He recently took a visit to Iowa State and has an official visit to Kansas scheduled this week. The staff is all over him saying that he can play 25-30 minutes if he works hard according to an interview with Rivals Eric Bossi. Reading between the lines here, the two schools that seem to be standing out are Kansas and Iowa State. I think he has a great relationship with both staffs and his decision could come sooner than later. I think as of today I’m comfortable saying that the Jayhawks can land the local product if they continue to push like they currently are.
Class Rank: N/A (JUCO)
Considering: Florida, Kansas, Oregon, and Texas A&M
Originally from Sudan, Mading is another name that is rising very quickly in the recruiting world. After transferring to Chipola College from Rhode Island, Mading is garnering attention from the programs listed above. He shows excellent touch for a player who is 6’10 and has the ability to be a playmaker for others on the court. In a recent interview with Rivals Eric Bossi, Mading said of Kansas: “They are one of the best programs in college history. They have a history of going deep in the tournament, it’s a winning program and they send a lot of guys to the NBA which is my ultimate goal.” Since the attention from these top programs is relatively new, I think this is a recruitment that has a long ways to go. If Kansas misses out on Isaiah Todd, you could really see them put the full-court press on the Sudan native.
Overall, I think that the staff is looking to land five guys. Currently, I’m predicting that they will land KK Robinson, Tyon Grant-Foster and Gethro Muscadin. I think they would love to add two of their top high school prospects to that list in-order to create the desired five-man class. Remember, they will have a solid group of returning players next season but will for sure have to replace Udoka Azubuike, Mitch Lightfoot, Isaiah Moss, and Devon Dotson. Ochai Agbaji and Silvio De Sousa could be real wild cards. While I think both will test the NBA draft waters, I’m not comfortable saying both will be gone after the season is over. Coach Self did a good job reeling in kids in the 2019 class that will be here for a while in Dajuan Harris, Christian Braun, Jalen Wilson, and Tristan Enaruna. The Jayhawks will bring back David McCormack and Marcus Garrett as well after next season. If one of Agbaji/De Sousa stays and the Jayhawks land five guys from the above recruiting list, the Jayhawks will be just fine looking at the 2020-2021 season. The Jayhawks will likely look at grad-transfers/traditional transfers to fill-up the remaining scholarship spots. I think they will likely enter the 2020 season with all 13 spots filled. So, I say this to all the chicken little Kansas fans, the sky is not falling, the Jayhawks will be just fine!