University of Kansas

Recruiting analysts see KU, North Carolina as possible contenders for Jalen Wilson

Kansas and North Carolina could emerge as the most serious contenders for Michigan signee Jalen Wilson if and when Wilson receives his release from his signed national letter-of-intent at UM, three Rivals.com analysts reported Saturday.

Wilson, a 6-foot-8 small forward out of Guyer High in Denton, Texas, asked for release from his letter on Thursday in response to Wolverine coach John Beilein accepting the Cleveland Cavaliers’ head coaching position.

“I would look for Kansas and North Carolina to be the front-runners with Jalen Wilson. Kansas was involved the first time around (before he signed with Michigan last November), has had him on campus before and are of course recruiting Wilson’s five-star point guard friend R.J. Hampton,” writes Eric Bossi of Rivals.com.

“They would certainly make for a nice, unexpected package deal. Carolina is also said to hold some appeal in Hampton’s mind as a place he always hoped to have a chance to play. Could others push their way in? No question. But as Wilson restarts his recruitment, I see Kansas and North Carolina (which has one scholarship available) at the top for Wilson,” Bossi adds.

Wilson — he initially chose Michigan over KU, Baylor, Oklahoma State ,UCLA, Marquette and others — averaged 18.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists a game for Guyer last season. Wilson, Rivals.com’s No. 47-ranked player, told 247sports.com he will look at KU, UNC, Oklahoma State and Florida. Michigan also remains a possibility.

“I think that this is more of a two-horse race between Kansas and North Carolina. Both should receive official visits before mid-June rolls around,” writes Corey Evans of Rivals.com. Summer school at KU begins June 4.

“I probably lean towards Kansas here. The Jayhawks were in strong the first time around and the possibility of pairing him up with his buddy R.J. Hampton could be a big deal. All four programs involved make sense though,” writes Dan McDonald of Rivals.com.

Hampton, the No. 6-rated prospect in the recruiting Class of 2019 by Rivals.com, averaged 32.4 points, 9.5 rebounds, 6.2 assists last season for Little Elm (Texas) High School. He has a final list of KU, Kentucky, Memphis and Texas Tech. Memphis, however, is believed to be out of scholarships at this time following Friday’s commitment of No. 17-rated Precious Achiuwa, who chose the Tigers over KU, North Carolina, UConn and Georgia.

Wilson told the Detroit Free Press on Thursday he “probably” will wait for Michigan to hire a new coach before deciding whether to attend another school or honor his Michigan commitment.

“It just depends on the timing,” Wilson told the Free Press. “If the timing doesn’t help me, then I’ll just have to make a decision off that. But right now, yes (he’ll wait).”

Achiuwa explains choice to Post

Memphis’ latest signee, Achiuwa, a 6-9 senior forward from Montverde (Fla.) Academy, told the New York Post on Friday that coach Penny Hardaway’s NBA ties were a huge factor in his choosing Memphis over KU.

“It came down to believing in what the coaching staff can help me with in terms of improving my game and also understanding the game, being ready as much as I can for the next level,” Achiuwa, who is originally from Nigeria, told the Post.

“These (Hardaway and assistants Mike Miller and Sam Mitchell) are guys who played at the (NBA) level we’re all trying to get to. They had great success. I trusted the fact they’ve been there, they know what it takes. That’s what it all came to, me believing in those guys.”

Of former NBA wing Miller, Achiuwa said: “When we did talk about basketball, we talked about the NBA and also broke down plays. He helped me understand the game a lot.”

Memphis’ No. 1-ranked recruiting class (by ESPN) now consists of No. 17 Achiuwa, plus No. 1-ranked James Wiseman, No. 37 Boogie Ellis, No. 48 Lester Quinones, No. 50 D.J. Jeffries, No. 84 Damion Baugh and No. 123 Malcolm Dandridge.

Memphis also has landed graduate transfer guard Rayjon Tucker, formerly of Arkansas-Little Rock, who chose Memphis over KU and others.

Memphis is on such a roll in recruiting the Tigers may not have room on the roster for No. 16-ranked Trendon Watford, a senior power forward from Mountain Brook High in Birmingham, Ala., who was said to be favoring Memphis prior to the Tigers filling all scholarship allotments.

Now, analysts figure Watford will announce for LSU on Monday over Alabama and Auburn.

KU continues pursuing players

Teams are allowed 13 scholarship players. Scholarship players who at this time are expected to be on KU’s 2019-20 roster: Udoka Azubuike, Marcus Garrett, Ochai Agbaji, David McCormack and Mitch Lightfoot, as well as signees Christian Braun, Issac McBride and Tristan Enaruna. Also, freshman point guard Devon Dotson is testing the NBA waters, but there is a strong possibility he will return to school.

Freshman Quentin Grimes and junior Dedric Lawson are expected to remain in the NBA Draft, though Grimes told The Star from the NBA Combine he still could return to college. Sophomore Silvio De Sousa has said he will remove his name from the draft pool if he wins an eligibility appeal with the NCAA. KU would have three scholarships left to give if De Sousa and Dotson both return, more if one or both leave.

Players have until May 29 to remove their name from the draft pool if they wish to return to school.

Chicago prep offered by Kansas

Adam Miller, a 6-foot-3, 165-pound junior combo guard from Chicago’s Morgan Park High School, has been offered scholarships by Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Arizona State, Florida, LSU, Northwestern, Oregon, Texas Tech and Wake Forest, according to Rivals.com.

Miller is ranked No. 35 in the recruiting Class of 2020 by Rivals.com.

He has not yet set up any dates for visits. He has made an unofficial visit to KU.

“(The visit) was fun. They are really updated,” Miller told Rivals.com referring to KU facilities. “The gym is humongous, old school, but their players have their own housing. They have their own place they can stay, there’s a gym in there (McCarthy Hall). I really like that, you can just get up and get shots. That’s a big thing I like about them,” he added.

Perry Ellis to be honored

Former KU basketball forward Perry Ellis will be officially inducted into the Kansas State High School Activities Association Hall of Fame at the state high school track and field championships May 25 at Cessna Stadium in Wichita.

Ellis will be presented his Hall of Fame Class of 2019 award in a 2 p.m., ceremony on the track.

Ellis, 25, played basketball in Germany and Turkey this past season. The 2016 KU graduate won four Class 6A state titles at Wichita Heights. He is the school’s career scoring (2,231) and rebound (984) leader. He had a 4.0 grade point average at Heights.

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