For the second time in five months, Bill Self and the Kansas basketball program outduel Kentucky for an elite wing prospect.
Back in May, the Jayhawks landed a commitment from Andrew Wiggins, who decided to head to Lawrence for his one-year college hoops stopover. And on Tuesday, Kansas earned a commitment from Kelly Oubre, who will slide right in and replace Wiggins at that small forward spot. Evan Daniels of Scout.com broke the news and Oubre confirmed it minutes later.
This news was far from a surprise. Oubre’s decision was down to Kansas and Kentucky. He spent this weekend on an official visit to Lawrence for Late Night at the Phog and proceeded to cancel his trip to Kentucky for Big Blue Madness.
Oubre is a talented recruit that is one of the better NBA prospects in the Class of 2014. He ranks as the No. 12 recruit in the class, according to Rivals, but he’s the kind of player that could end up being better at the professional level that he is in college. Checking in at 6-foot-7, Oubre is a left-handed wing that looks like he was bred to be a scorer. He’s really developed his perimeter stroke to an elite level, but given his size and his athleticism — he’s not Jordan-in-his-prime athletic, but he’s an above-average leaper that has the quickness to beat people off the dribble — he needs to make sure that he doesn’t pigeon-hole himself as just a jump-shooter.
The best thing about Oubre as a prospect is that he wants to defend, he wants to get better and he wants to win. There’s a reason that, by the end of the summer, Oubre was the guy that everyone was talking about from a Houston Hoops team that also included North Carolina commit Justin Jackson and top 20 recruit Justise Winslow on the wing.
Oubre is the first commit for the Jayhawks in the Class of 2014. A New Orleans native, he moved to Houston before transferring to Findlay Prep in Nevada for his final season as a high schooler.