The largest and most talent-filled college basketball recruiting weekends typically occur during weekends on campuses while big football games are played, or during Midnight Madness events at the beginning of the season. With that in mind, Kansas’ loaded crew of recruits that took in its thrilling victory over Missouri was exceptional for an in-season weekend effort.
The Jayhawks’ message boards and fan sites were buzzing for more than a week that a terrific group of future Kansas players, and many prospects that Kansas fans hope are future players in the program, would be hitting campus for the all-important rivalry game against Mizzou. The two current 2013 commits, guard Conner Frankamp and wing Brannen Greene were joined by a group that included 2012 pledges, and three of the top dozen uncommitted players remaining in the nation’s 2012 class.
With three signees and two commitments already in the fray for 2012, Kansas has some good incoming talent going forward. Still, it’s no secret that coach Bill Self would like to shoehorn a blue chipper or two into the existing roster. Then again, who wouldn’t?
It was previously widely reported that Kansas was going to host former 2011 St. John’s signee JaKarr Sampson, a 6-7 forward currently at prep school at Brewster Academy (N.H.), and top national wing Shabazz Muhammad, fresh off winning a Nevada state championship at Bishop Gorman (Nev.), was in the house as well. Before the weekend’s dust settled, a surprise star also visited with the star studded group.
As if the chance to woo Sampson and Muhammad wasn’t enough, 6-9 center Tony Parker of Miller Grove (Ga.) was also somewhat of a surprise visitor. In Muhammad, Parker and Sampson, Kansas has three players that legitimately would be the best player in their current recruiting class, which already included two consensus top-50 national players in 6-8 in-state forward Perry Ellis, and 6-6 wing Andrew White of The Miller School (Va.).
Now, it’s too early to get excited as all three players’ recruitments are expected to play out in a methodical fashion, but the atmosphere in a packed house of cheering fans cannot be overlooked. Sampson still has St. John’s on his list that also includes programs like Baylor, Florida and Providence. There is very strong buzz that Kansas is moving in heavily, though, for Sampson, who is originally a native of Ohio. As for Muhammad and Parker, UCLA are on both lists, and there are still strong vibes that Ohio State could be a legitimate player for Parker.
Muhammad is also expected to be part of another loaded recruiting weekend, this time at Duke. The Blue Devils are set to have a pair of top-20 prospects in Muhammad and 6-8 forward Amile Jefferson of Friends Central (Pa.) taking in their game against North Carolina. Additionally, their sole signee for the 2012 class, Houston-guard Rasheed Sulaimon, is expected to be in town to state the Blue Devils’ case to Muhammad and Jefferson. As for Jefferson, Duke has been rumored to be in good shape with him for a while, so it wouldn’t be out of the question to hear a commitment from him after his trip.
Kellon Hassenstab runs Hoopniks.com. Follow him on Twitter @hoopniks.