Five-star Class of 2016 center Udoka Azubuike, one of the best remaining senior basketball prospects in the nation, ended his recruitment on Thursday and pledged to Kansas in a televised announcement.
The 6-foot-11, 270-pound Azubuike is considered the No. 27 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, according to Rivals, and he was recently announced to the prestigious Jordan Brand Classic and the McDonald’s All-American Game.
Choosing from his final four of Florida State, Kansas, N.C. State and North Carolina, Azubuike gives the Jayhawks a bruising center who can seal and score within five feet of the basket with the best of the them. Although Azubuike will need to improve his hands, range and touch, he’s a massive post prospect who should be able to rebound, score near the hoop and clog up the paint on defense.
With Kansas losing Perry Ellis, Hunter Mickelson and Jamari Traylor, Azubuike gives the Jayhawks another big body on the interior and he’s also an important commitment in case Cheick Diallo or Carlton Bragg decide to turn pro.
Azubuike helped a very good Georgia Stars team win the Peach Jam in the Nike EYBL this summer as he played in 25 games. The center averaged 13.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game while shooting 66 percent from the field in EYBL play.
Azubuike joins three-star forward Mitch Lightfoot in Kansas recruiting efforts for the Class of 2016.
One of the top guards in the Class of 2016 has decided that he’ll head west to play college basketball.
Kobi Simmons announced Saturday evening at the HoopHall Classic in Springfield, Massachusetts that he will attend Arizona next year. Simmons, who attends Saint Francis School in Alpharetta, Georgia, picked Sean Miller’s program over Kentucky and Ohio State. He’s the second commitment in the Class of 2016 for Arizona, joining power forward Lauri Markkanen.
Simmons, ranked 19th in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.com, is a 6-foot-5 point guard who can also play off the ball. In addition to playing for the Saint Francis School, Simmons played his grassroots basketball for the Atlanta Celtics organization alongside the likes of Michigan State commit Josh Langford. At the adidas Uprising Summer Championships in Las Vegas in July, Simmons averaged 20.4 points per game. He was also part of an all-star team that participated in the adidas EuroCamp in Italy last summer.
Arizona has room to add more to its 2016 class, with there being four seniors on the current roster. Among those four is guard Gabe York, and the addition of Simmons will help account for that loss.
Among the current perimeter players with eligibility remaining are Kadeem Allen (redshirt junior), Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Allonzo Trier and Justin Simon (both freshmen). The addition of Simmons could mean more time off the ball for Allen, who’s been used as Arizona’s starting point guard after redshirting in 2014-15. Another highly regarded prospect Arizona remains in the running for is five-star wing Josh Jackson, with Michigan State being one of the programs looking to land a commitment from him.
Friday afternoon the Jordan Brand Classic announced the first 16 players for its annual Boys All-American Game, with the list including many of the top players in the Class of 2016. These are just some of the players who will play in the game, scheduled for April 15 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Of the 16 players on the initial list 13 have committed to colleges, with three headed to Kentucky and two headed to Duke. The remainder of the selections for this game will be made at the end of the high school basketball season. The Jordan Brand Classic has a total of four games, with their also being International, New York Regional and Girls All-American games.
Below are the 16 players selected for the Boys All-American Game, with their college commitment status in parentheses.
F Bam Adebayo (Kentucky)
C Udoka Azuibuike (uncommitted; will commit this weekend at the Hoophall Classic in Springfield)
C Marques Bolden (uncommitted)
C Tony Bradley (North Carolina)
F Miles Bridges (Michigan State)
G De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky)
G Markelle Fultz (Washington)
G Alterique Gilbert (Connecticut)
F Harry Giles (Duke)
F Jonathan Isaac (Florida State)
F Josh Jackson (uncommitted)
G Andrew Jones (Texas)
F V.J. King (Louisville)
G Malik Monk (Kentucky)
F Omari Spellman (Villanova)
F Jayson Tatum (Duke)