R.J. Hampton, the country’s No. 6-ranked high school basketball player in the recruiting Class of 2019 by Rivals.com, has eliminated Kentucky from consideration, Hampton’s dad reported Monday.
Rod Hampton told Memphis 92.9 FM radio host John Martin that Kentucky’s “backcourt is set,” thus R.J. is down to three schools — Kansas, Memphis and Texas Tech.
R.J. Hampton, a 6-foot-5 point guard from Little Elm (Texas) High School, attended the KU-Baylor game on March 9 at Allen Fieldhouse. He also has visited Memphis.
“I’m thinking that he may visit Kansas with Jalen (Wilson, who asked out of his letter-of-intent at Michigan last week and will visit KU on May 30),” Rod Hampton told 247Sports.com on Monday. “We don’t need to visit Kansas or Memphis, but the next couple of days he’s going to decide where Texas Tech stands. If he’s serious about that, then we’ll go visit,” Rod Hampton added.
Rod Hampton told 247sports.com that his son will likely make his college choice “the first week of June.”
First session of summer school at Kansas begins June 4.
Memphis has no scholarships left to award prospects in the Class of 2019. However, Rayjon Tucker, a 6-5 graduate transfer combo guard out of Arkansas-Little Rock, who has committed to Memphis, may decide to keep his name in the 2019 NBA Draft, which would open a spot.
Meanwhile, Wilson, a 6-8 small forward out of Guyer High in Denton, Texas, who is ranked No. 47 in the recruiting class of 2019 by Rivals.com, has said he will visit Kansas on May 30 through June 1.
Wilson — he has a list of KU, North Carolina, Oklahoma State and Florida — is a close friend of Hampton.
“We’ve been friends since I think first grade. That’s my guy. That’s my right-hand man,” Wilson said Sunday of Hampton in a podcast with Joe Tipton of Tipton Edits. “He’s just a great guy, a great player. With us and Kansas, that’d be a great fit. Everybody is already assuming we’re going to play together. I’ve not played with him in a long time. If that happens … I mean Lawrence better be ready. That’d be pretty lit,” Wilson added.
He said the two would not choose KU, “just because we’re best friends. You’ve got to go with what’s best for yourself.”
Wilson said on Sunday’s podcast he likes many things about KU.
“Growing up I loved the Morris twins. They were really big role models,” Wilson said of NBA players Marcus and Markieff Morris. “I love Kansas basketball. Just Allen Fieldhouse ... the atmosphere is crazy. That’s the loudest I’ve ever heard a gym (during visit to KU during his junior season). Just the tradition they have there ... they have a lot of successful guards and wings. Just the basketball, the atmosphere, the crowds, the alumni, the college itself is so alive. It never dies. Coach (Bill) Self and his staff are great coaches. They are really cool. You can talk to them. It’s not even like a coach to a player relationship. (Self says), ‘I am here to make you get better, make you reach your dreams.’ That’s what I really like about him,” Wilson added.
Wilson did not mention the dates he’ll be visiting UNC, OSU or Florida.
Of what he wants to learn on his trip to KU, Wilson said: “See what he (Self) has in store if I was to come there, what he envisions for me, what my role would be. I’m getting down to the wire with coaches: ‘What do you see me playing? How do I fit in the system?’ My plans for college are not to come and sit. I feel I am the best player on every school I’m considering. I just want to make an impact and win.”
Wilson (and possibly Hampton) will visit KU the day after the May 29 deadline for college players to remove their names from the NBA Draft if they wish to return to school. KU guards Devon Dotson and Quentin Grimes and power forward Silvio De Sousa have their names currently in the draft pool.
“Two starters are (currently) leaving for the draft (in Dotson, Grimes). It’s something we (he and Hampton) are going to have in our back pocket,” Wilson said. “Two high level players are going to play a lot for Kansas (if they return). It’s always something you’ve got to think about.
“With us, we just want to hoop. We just want to get in the best position to put us in the league (NBA). To get in the league, you’ve got to play and play a lot, perform and lead,” Wilson added.
Wilson said on Sunday’s podcast he was “very surprised,” that Precious Achiuwa, a 6-9 senior power forward from Montverde (Florida) Academy, chose Memphis over KU.
“I literally thought it was Kansas. I could have bet on it. I thought Memphis had D.J. (Jeffries, 6-7 forward) already. If he (Achiuwa) sees Memphis as a place to get to the next level, it’s on him,” Wilson added.
Moody hears from KU
Moses Moody, a 6-5 junior combo guard from Montverde (Florida) Academy, is being recruited by Kansas, Arkansas, Texas Tech, Texas, Ohio State, Florida and others, he told Rivals.com. Moody, the No. 47-ranked player in the recruiting Class of 2020 by Rivals.com, recently visited Ohio State.
Watford to LSU
Trendon Watford, a 6-8 senior forward ranked No. 16 in the recruiting Class of 2019 by Rivals.com, on Monday committed to LSU over Alabama, Indiana and Memphis.
“Watford is one of the most versatile, skilled forwards in America. Love what the Tigers can be with Watford and Darius Days next to each other,” Rivals.com’s Corey Evans wrote on Twitter.