Bryce Thompson, whose dad, Rod, played for current Kansas basketball coach Bill Self at Tulsa, has been to Lawrence several times since emerging as a major college hoops prospect as a freshman at Tulsa’s Booker T. Washington High School.
Last weekend’s trip to KU provided a unique opportunity for the country’s No. 19-ranked player in the Class of 2020 (by Rivals.com), however, as he fully embedded himself in the program during an official campus visit.
“This time he really got to spend some time with the players, hang out and all that stuff,” Rod Thompson said Monday night in a phone interview with The Star. “He really had a good visit. Ochai (Agbaji, sophomore guard) was his host and he really enjoyed being with him and the guys. He went to practice Sunday. He just enjoyed being at Kansas.”
Thompson did not attend Friday’s Late Night in the Phog because of a prior commitment at his high school’s homecoming football game.
He was in Lawrence early Saturday for KU’s football game against Oklahoma and stayed in town until Sunday night.
“He (Self) said he loved Bryce’s versatility as a combo guard (that) his shooting ability separates him with his playmaking,” Rod said of his son, who averaged 25.3 points a game on 54 percent shooting (47 percent from three) for Oklahoma Run PWP on the Under Armour Circuit this past AAU season. “He said he would fit in with their core group of guys, that he is a high, high priority (for KU).”
Of Self, Rod Thompson said: “I know as his coach he’d push him, push him to be great. I know all about Boot Camp,” added Rod Thompson, who participated in Self’s rugged Boot Camp conditioning program at Tulsa.
“I get goosebumps you just saying Boot Camp,” Rod added laughing.
On a more serious topic ... Rod said he and his son did ask Self about the NCAA’s investigation into KU basketball.
“We realize there are allegations. Nothing has been decided,” Rod said. “It’s something you do have to ask questions about and go from there.”
Bryce Thompson, who has visited KU, Texas, North Carolina, Oklahoma State and Arkansas, will attend a USA Basketball camp this coming weekend in Colorado, then visit Oklahoma the following weekend.
After that … “We’ll try to figure it all out. He plans on signing in the early period,” Rod Thompson said. ”We’ll sit down and kind of evaluate some stuff and make a decision.”
KU recruiting Grant-Foster
Tyon Grant-Foster, a 6-7, 190-pound sophomore guard/forward from Indian Hills Community College in Iowa, has been offered a scholarship by Kansas, Rivals.com reports.
Grant-Foster, who attended Schlagle High School in Kansas City, is considering KU, Kansas State, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Wichita State, Oregon, Texas A&M, Miami, Florida State, St. John’s, SMU, Arkansas, West Virginia, Georgia, Texas and others.
He averaged 8.2 points and 4.2 rebounds a game his freshman year at Indian Hills CC. Grant-Foster hit 37.5% of his shots. He was 24 of 86 from three for 27.9%.
He came on strong late last season, scoring 25 points and grabbing 11 rebounds against Southwestern in the national juco tournament.
“A native of Kansas City, Kansas, Grant-Foster is extremely versatile, athletic and still developing physically,” writes Eric Bossi of Rivals.com.
Grant-Foster competed at last weekend’s Mullens-Mitchell Juco Blowout in Fort Worth, Texas.
Bossi says he attended the event so he “could check out for myself why interest seems to be ramping up for juco transfers. I’ve always enjoyed watching that level because of the effort and sense of urgency that comes with it, but after seeing some of the country’s top teams and players, I can say that the talent at the juco level is as deep as I can remember it being in quite some time.”
KU pursuing Mading
KU also is recruiting Marial Mading, 6-10, 205-pound sophomore power forward from Chipola College in Florida. Mading attended Rhode Island one semester before heading to juco so he will have three years of eligibility remaining in college.
He is considering KU, Florida, LSU, Oregon, Texas A&M and others. He also played at the event in Fort Worth last weekend.
“At around 6-10, Mading can shoot the three with ease, he creates off the dribble and causes serious matchup problems,” writes Bossi.
Of KU, Mading said: “I don’t know everything about Kansas basketball but I do know 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.”
And of his decision, Mading said: “First thing is obviously my relationship with the head coach — a coach who is going to trust my skill set and let me play the game the way I know how to play it. Also a program that has good player development and can help me get to the next level.
“When the time comes to make a decision it won’t matter what time it is or what month it is, I’ll make the decision.”