(Editor’s Note: The following piece is a guest entry from KU fan and blogger, Chris Resor. He will be writing for Jayhawk-Talk this season and we’re stoked to have him! Follow him on Twitter at @ChrisResor)
Many Kansas basketball fans enjoy the recruiting season nearly as much as they enjoy the basketball season. As such, there tends to be a common theme to the questions that I am asked most often.
“What’s the chances we get so-and-so?”
This can be a difficult question to answer, because each recruit seems to have a different set of deciding factors important to them. There’s also the important questions of opportunity to play and the system they will play in. This article will help address many of these questions for each of KU’s 2013 targets. Who’s visiting when? What positions are open? What do the players value most? What other teams are recruiting these players? And so on.
Based on all of the above factors, I will give you my best guess on the chances that each player signs with KU when all is said and done.
Julius Randle: (6′-9 F Plano, TX) Former teammate of current Kansas Forward, Zach Peters, Randle is considered the top player in the class by many experts. He can play any position and can star with any ensemble of players, so roster spots are irrelevant. UK is making a major push, and is considered his leader at this time. However, Kansas is trying to secure a visit to Lawrence for “Late Night in the Phog,” and if Bill Self can do it, consider KU to be a major player in the race. But at this time, I would put KU’s chances of landing this stud low, at 20%.
Aaron Gordon: (6′-8 F San Jose, CA) This Blake Griffin clone is considered a long shot to leave the west coast, but the fact that he is attending “Late Night” tells me that he is giving KU a puncher’s chance. Bill Self is going all in on guys from 6′-8 all the way up to 7′-0. Since the visit hasn’t happened as of this being published, I have to stay low for the time being - 10%.
Jabari Parker: (6′-8 Chicago, IL) Jabari Parker’s recruitment has been played as close to the vest as any I can remember in recent years. There are rumors that Duke and Michigan State lead for his services, but there has never been any good evidence that would suggest that this is the case. Kansas’ in-home visit recently at the Parker household was “eye opening” and made a great impression on Parker and his family. Again, with this recruitment being one of the most secretive in recent memory, I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting this above 20%.
Tyler Roberson: (6′-8 F Roselle, NJ) The fact that he has moved back his visit from October 12th (Late Night) to the 19th shouldn’t scare off the KU faithful. It was mostly due to his hectic schedule in the weekends that surround that date. There is still a chance that he could attend Villanova’s version of Midnight Madness. Villanova and Kentucky are major players in this recruitment, but KU sits well with him. KU’s chances, 40%.
Wayne Selden: (6′-5 G Tilton, NH) One of the most explosive players in the class, Selden is being sold the idea of coming in and being the typical Bill Self combo guard. With the ability to play 3 positions, competition on the current roster should not affect his decision. His decision to attend “Late Night” has put KU right at the top of the list. With James Young more than likely choosing somewhere other than KU, Selden seems very likely to take that scholarship. This number is about as good as a sure thing in the recruiting process, 75%.
Conner Frankamp: (6′-0 G Wichita, KS) No one has risen in the rankings as much as the sharp-shooting guard from Wichita has this summer. Frankamp’s explosion at evaluation camps, and his play for the US team this summer has ensured that Kansas will have a bonafied star in the back court next season regardless of who else chooses the Jayhawks. Since he cannot sign his LOI at this time, he is on the list, but believe me this kid is 100% a Jayhawk!
Brannen Greene: (6′-7 F Forsyth, GA) Similar to Conner, having already committed to the Kansas Jayhawks, this smooth shooting SF has to be on the list since his LOI is not signed either. Having recently stated that other coaches are actually still actively recruiting him, he reaffirmed his commitment to Coach Self personally in recent weeks, so we must put him at 100% also.
Joel Embiid: (7′-0 C Gainesville, FL) Having only been playing basketball for about a year, this seven footer has quickly became a household name. Dave Telep’s man crush will push him to a 4 Star ranking by the time he finishes his senior season. He is another of the “Late Night” visitors, but I believe this big man will stay home in Gainesville and join his AAU teammates, Chris Walker and Kasey Hill, on Billy Donavon’s squad next season. Bill Self’s record with big men gives him a foot in the door, however. I think 20% sounds about right.
James Young: (6′-6 G Rochester Hills, MI) Although it has been rumored that Young has cut his list to two recently, Kansas and Michigan State are still sitting neck and neck with the two rumored leaders, Kentucky and Syracuse. Unlike others on the list, where particular players decide to play their college ball will determine where Young decides to go. Any combination of players committing to any of these 4 schools would sway Young’s decision in my mind. With this being the case, I would assign each school an equal chance of landing Young. KU: 25%.
Frank Mason: (5′-11 G Petersburg, VA) This fearless PG was the leading scorer in the state last year, and after committing to Towson last season, has spent a year in prep school to get his academics in order. His game will remind some of Sherron Collins, in that he is completely fearless when it comes to getting to the paint. His recent visit was put off due to a transcript issue with the school, but should visit Lawrence as early as Thursday, and a commitment is very possible before he leaves. Whether its this week or later, I would put KU’s chances of landing Mason at 90%.
Karvier Shepherd: (6′-10 C Dallas, TX) All 3 Texas schools, Oklahoma, and Kansas are on the top 5 for this gifted big man out of Dallas. It was recently rumored that Texas A&M and Kansas were close to landing Shepherd, but I still think all 5 are legitimate contenders. Again, Self’s recent success with big men is a big help in this recruitment. KU stands a great chance at landing Shepherd, and in the recruiting business, a great chance is around 60%.
Roddy Peters (6′-4 G District Heights, MD) Bill Self has jumped into this recruitment late because of the recent commitments of his first 3 choices to other schools. But with the chances of the Harrison twins potentially choosing Maryland later this week, Peters is now open to several different schools. Self was at Suitland HS on Tuesday to watch Peters, and has set up an official visit so KU is going to be an option, but right now, those chances are low - 20%. However, if the twins should choose MD on Thursday, Peters to KU jumps to 50%.
To recap, in this business, anything over 60% is about as close to a sure thing as you will find. With that in mind, I think the 2013 class will eventually include the following:
Conner Frankamp, Brannen Greene, Wayne Selden, Frank Mason, Karvier Shepherd .
Whether its Selden, Mason, and Shepherd, or any combination of the aforementioned, to go along with the solid commitments of Greene and Frankamp, there is 100% chance that the 2013 class will be one of the best in the Bill Self era.
#kubball, Basketball, Bill Self, Brannen Greene, Conner Frankamp, Frank Mason, Kansas, Karvier Shepherd, Recruit, Recruiting, Wayne Selden