The Recruiting Trail: Kansas can’t catch the Cat
By Nick Ratliff
We’re back here on the Recruiting Trail, and there’s so major news to get to this week. Some major things happened in the world of basketball recruiting this week that drastically changed the recruiting landscape for the 2013 class, so let’s get to it.
The major news since my last blog you’ve probably heard if you follow Kansas basketball recruiting even a little. The news is that Anthony “Cat” Barber, the point guard from Hampton, Virginia who has been the most talked about prospect in the short history of this blog, verbally committed to North Carolina State. On the surface, this appears to be a major blow to next year’s recruiting class for Coach Bill Self, but there appears to be more to the story than Cat simply choosing to be part of the Wolf Pack. I won’t go into details because at this point these claims are only alleged, but the rumors are that Kansas, Louisville and Alabama, Cat’s three other prospective schools, all backed out of his recruitment after some red flags were raised about Barber’s character while he was on his official visit to Louisville. If you want details, just Google “Anthony Barber Louisville visit rumors” or something of that nature.
So, with Barber out of the picture for the Jayhawks, the question is who is “plan B” at the point guard spot for 2013? The short answer to that question is Indiana guard Demetrious Jackson, who’s has previously been talked about in the blog. Many people say that Jackson is more of a “Bill Self type of guard” than Barber, so Barber not attending Kansas may be better for the Jayhawks in the long run, if they land Jackson. Chris Jones, one of the top junior college guards in the country, chose to attend Louisville earlier this week. In my opinion, with Jones no longer an option, the class will either end up signing Jackson if he so chooses to attend Kansas, and if they miss on him, the staff will save a scholarship and wait to sign a point guard in 2014.
The plethora of in-home visits to players across the country continued this week, as Bill Self visited forward Jabari Parker, ranked #2 in the country, in Chicago last Saturday, #23 overall ranked shooting guard Wayne Selden in New Hampshire on Tuesday and #8 overall ranked guard James Young from Michigan on Thursday. All three players have said that the visit and sales pitch could not have been better, but as I said last week, with a storied program like Kansas, most players will say that it was the best it could have been and it’s hard for people like me and you to figure out where Kansas stacks up with all of the other schools on that prospect’s list after the visit occurs. From all of the information I’ve read on each visit, it sounds like James Young’s visit was the most impactful. Before the visit, it seemed like a longshot to land the talented guard. But from the comments that Young has made to his AAU coach and parents about the visit, it sounds like Bill Self and his staff floored the young man and made him very seriously consider coming to Lawrence next year.
Before I wrap it up, there is some pretty breaking news on the football recruiting front. Earlier today, Charlie Weis and his staff received a commitment from junior college outside linebacker Marcus Jenkins-Moore. Jenkins-Moore, out of Pierce Community College in Woodland Hills, California, is regarded as one of the top junior college prospects in the country. Jenkins-Moore, a December Juco graduate who will attend KU starting in the Spring semester this year, had offers from the likes of Kansas State, Arkansas, Pittsburgh, Texas A&M and both Arizona schools, just to name a few. Jenkins-Moore is known to cover a lot of space and be a ball-hawk, and will have a very good chance at a starting job next year.
That does it for this week. See you next week as we continue down the Recruiting Trail.