Jayhawks get basketball commitment from high school sophomore

LAWRENCE | How much can a national championship help in recruiting? The Kansas basketball program found out on Wednesday night when Royce Woolridge, a high school sophomore from Phoenix, Ariz., gave an oral commitment to KU for the class of 2010.

“Royce told me last night,” said Dan Mannix, Woolridge’s coach at Sunnyslope High. “I think there are a few factors. Obviously, Kansas has a great program, one he really admires. He had talked about a few schools that really stood out – if you could play for them, he’d like to, and that was one of them.”

While KU doesn’t yet have a commitment for the Class of 2009, the Jayhawks already have one for the following year. called Woolridge’s commitment the earliest in Arizona history. Woolridge, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard, chose KU over UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, California and Georgetown.

“He’s a scorer,” Mannix said. “That’s the best way I could describe him right now. He has really deep range for a young guy. You can’t teach 23-foot range, and he has that. He would probably be more of a combo guard. He can break people down off the dribble.”

Mannix expects Woolridge to grow a couple more inches before he comes to KU. After all, Woolridge’s father, Orlando, was 6-foot-9 and played 13 seasons in the NBA.