(Editor’s Note: The following blog post comes courtesy of @CrimsonBlueKU, a huge KU fan and fairly recent graduate. Also a good follow on Twitter. We’re excited that he’s joined the Jayhawk Talk team and look forward to more from him.)
Now that Kansas State is in the rearview mirror we can focus our attention on the big Saturday that lies ahead.
I know you’re all thinking: how can it be any bigger than College GameDay?
Come on, really? College GameDay in Lawrence is like Kansas winning the Big 12. It just happens every year (OK, the GameDay part isn’t, but you get the point).
You have to think bigger.
Mario* Chalmers’ jersey retirement?
Closer, but still not it.
*I also may be in the minority when it comes to feelings toward Mario. I think he had a great career at KU and he’s become a hell of a glue guy for Miami. Don’t get me wrong, his shot that sent the title game to overtime will be eternal, but I think he gets too much credit for it. Had it not been for the events that happened in the earlier 2:03, we never would have gotten to that point. I digress.
The big thing that’s happening on Saturday is a recruiting visit. And not just any visit.
Julius Randle (No. 2 by Rivals) will be in the building in what will be his final official visit before he makes a decision.
The Jayhawks, who currently have the second rated class behind Kentucky, have commits from four-stars Joel Embiid, Conner Frankamp, Brannen Greene and Wayne Selden. Those four alone provide much needed depth at the one, two, three and five. This class is only missing a stud and a power-forward, both of which Randle could provide.
Randle is so important because Kansas loses Withey and Young to graduation. I love the motor of Traylor and think he just needs time. Ellis has the skill set, but he needs to get comfortable with Self’s demands for toughness. And he needs to learn how to play pissed off. Wesley…let’s just say I hope he’s graduating because he has hands of stone. The only thing he does exceptionally well is jump (and reblog on tumblr).
The Phog needs to be just as amped as it was Monday night to show that this is where Randle needs to be. The fans need to shower him with love and show that he is wanted. With this being his final visit, he could very well commit to Bill Self and the Jayhawks (though I think he’ll take his time).
On the other hand, Andrew Wiggins (No. 1 by Rivals) just trimmed his list to four Tuesday morning: Kansas, Florida State, UNC and Kentucky.
I still say he ends up at Kentucky, but the way BBN has played this season and with Nerlens Noel injuring his knee against Florida, who knows what could happen. Calipari could send eight to the NBA or none at all.
Wiggins will visit KU on March 4, but it’s hard to say whether KU is a true player.
As I’m sure you know, we’ve seen this story before. Self is in tight with a Top 10 recruit until the very end and then something changes and he isn’t in Lawrence the next season (I’m looking at you Sean Miller and Kaleb Tarczewski).
Wiggins is icing on the cake, while Randle is the important first piece. One is nice, two is even better, but I can see KU end up with neither.
Either way, help Coach Self and show Randle some love this weekend.
He could be the difference between a good and great team in 2013-14.