Normally, the sunflower state is not considered a hotbed for recruiting when it comes to basketball.
From 2013 to 2018, there were a total of only 10 Kansas high school players listed in Rivals’ final 150 prospect rankings – an average of 1.7 players ranked per class. However, between the final 2019 rankings and the current 2020 rankings there are 11 players included from Kansas – with the majority of them coming out of Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita.
Of the seven prospects from Kansas ranked in the 2019 rankings, Sunrise produced five of them. In the 2020 class (as it’s ranked now), three of the four players are also from SCA.
This increase in Kansas high school talent can only mean good things for KU as they rev up their recruiting efforts for 2020. When the 2019-20 season is over, Bill Self will need to replace anywhere from three to possibly six players from the current roster depending on who attempts to turn pro or transfer.
Of the four Kansas prospects ranked in the Rivals Top 150 of the 2020 class, two of them currently hold offers from KU – one of those being the No. 9-ranked prospect overall in the class, 6-foot-10 center N’Faly Dante. Seems like the perfect opportunity to help recoup losing Udoka Azubuike to graduation next May, doesn’t it?
David McCormack should be back for his junior year but with losing Azubuike and Mitch Lightfoot you are going to need another body in there to play alongside McCormack or spell him when he’s tired or in foul trouble.
However, going after local recruits hasn’t been something the Kansas staff has appeared to be very interested in during recent years.
Of the seven recruits ranked in the Top 150 in the 2019 class, KU offered just three of them – despite five of the seven being ranked as four-star recruits. The only one to commit was current Kansas shooting guard Christian Braun.
From 2013 to 2018, KU only offered two out of the 10 ranked Kansas prospects. Eight of the 10 players were rated as four-stars, the other two were three-stars. Only one committed to the Jayhawks and that was former guard Conner Frankamp.
With the uptick in talent in Kansas perhaps now Bill Self and his assistants will start to target some more of the local players. It is hard to imagine many of them turning down the opportunity to play for not only the state’s most accomplished program, but one of the blue bloods of college basketball.
And with the number of spots they might need to fill after this upcoming season, looking in their own backyard might be the best place to start.
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