By Nick Ratliff
Welcome to this week’s edition of the Recruiting Trail. I promise this week’s blog will not be as long as last week’s, but there is still some news to get to this week in the world of Kansas basketball recruiting. Let’s get down to it:
As I discussed in last week’s blog, Kansas basketball coach Bill Self and his staff have been hard at work this week, visiting some of the nation’s top basketball prospects in their homes across the country. At the time that this was written, Self and staff have visited five of the nation’s top 30 players, two of them already committed to the Jayhawks next season. On Sunday, Self and assistant coach Norm Roberts did not have to travel very far, going south to Wichita to visit Kansas commit Conner Frankamp. The next day, Self and his staff took a plane all the way to New Jersey, meeting with four star guard Demetrious Jackson. On Tuesday, Self and Roberts went down to Hampton, Virginia to meet with Anthony “Cat” Barber, who had visited KU’s campus a couple of weeks prior. According to Shay Wildeboor of Jayhawkslant.com, both Barber and his mother were very impressed with the in-home visit. The following day, on Wednesday, Self and Roberts traveled to Plano, Texas to meet with the top ranked player in the country, Julius Randle. According to multiple sources, Randle and his family were both very impressed with Bill Self’s “straight shooter” delivery during the in-home visit. Today, on Friday, Self and staff visited the other Kansas commit for 2013, power forward Brannen Greene. Self and his staff have four more in-home visits set in the next couple of weeks before a bit of a lull period. All four of the remaining in-home visits are with top 25 ranked players and three of the four are with top 10 ranked players.
One of those visits will be held with former #1 and current #2 ranked player Jabari Parker from Chicago, set for this Saturday. Parker and his family have said all along that he will do an official on-campus visit to Lawrence as well.
And finally, a player that was being heavily recruited by the Jayhawks and was set for an in-home visit next week, shot blocking F/C Marcus Lee, narrowed down his list of schools to three this past week. Unfortunately for Kansas, they did not make the cut, as Lee is now down to Louisville, California and Kentucky. Look for Kansas to now go hard after Dallas product Karviar Shepard, as the Jayhawks are looking for a big man to protect the rim next season with Jeff Withey graduating after this year.
That’s it for this week. See you next week on the Recruiting Trail.
Listen to Nick Ratliff with host Nick Schwerdt, Co-host Joe Fuentes and producer Chris Schaeder on the Friday Night Sports Express, Fridays from 6-7 PM on 90.7 KJHK