KU notebook: Bill Self slated to visit highly-regarded prep forward Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson, a 6-foot-7 junior forward, from Spartanburg, S.C., was scheduled to receive a visit from Kansas basketball coach Bill Self on Tuesday. | Gregory Payan | The Associated Press

By Gary Bedore gbedore@kcstar.com

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self on Tuesday was scheduled to visit Zion Williamson, a 6-foot-7, 230-pound junior forward from Spartanburg (S.C.) Day School, who averaged 36.8 points and 13.0 rebounds a game this past season.

Williamson, who is ranked No. 2 in the recruiting class of 2018 by Rivals.com, is considering KU, Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, South Carolina and others.

Williamson scored 51 points in Spartanburg Day School’s 76-51 victory over Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach in South Carolina’s Class 2A state title game. Williamson also led his high school to a state title his sophomore season.

“He’s one of the most explosive athletes in recent memory —a big, agile, position-less player who thrives in traffic and in transition, who loves physical basketball yet has a soft touch and whose name invokes impressive comparisons: Larry Johnson, Draymond Green, Jamal Mashburn,” wrote Reid Forgrave of Bleacher Report.

“One Western Conference scout was recently having lunch with other scouts and brought up Williamson’s name. He said their eyes all lit up, and they compared him to Charles Barkley.”

Williamson’s ESPN.com profile reads: “He’s an absolute beast whose game is as aggressive as it is powerful. He’s consequently one of the most impactful players in all of high school basketball and among the best long-term prospects in the game as well.”

Williamson told ESPN last week that he has not compiled an official list of college contenders.

“I’m just taking it step by step, looking at all of the choices and opportunities I could have with each school. So, I’m just taking it slow right now,” Williamson said.

KU also is recruiting the No. 1-ranked player in the class — Marvin Bagley, a 6-10, 220-pound junior forward from Sierra Canyon High in Chatsworth, Calif., who averaged 24.9 points and 10.0 rebounds per game this past season. Bagley is considering KU, Kentucky, Duke, UCLA, USC and Arizona.

“I just can’t wait for my time,” Bagley told ESPN last week. “Just seeing (the 2017 recruits) making their decisions on where they want to go to school … seeing them experience the McDonald’s Game and going to different places is something for me to look forward to. I can’t wait to get to that point and I’m going to work hard until that time comes.”

KU recruiting in the East

KU coaches on Tuesday and Wednesday planned to visit Moses Brown, a 7-foot junior center from Archbishop Molloy in Queens, N.Y., who is ranked No. 6 in the recruiting class of 2018 by Rivals.com; Hudson Catholic (Hackensack, N.J.) junior teammates Jahvon Quinerly, a 6-foot point guard ranked No. 26 and Louis King, a 6-6 small forward ranked No. 32; and Naz Reid, a 6-9 forward from Roselle Catholic in Asbury Park, N.J., who is ranked No. 14 in the class of ’18.

Juiston update

Shakur Juiston, a 6-8 sophomore forward from Hutchinson Community College, who was to visit DePaul this week after visiting Iowa State and UNLV, may visit Rhode Island, according to cyclonefanatic.com.

There are reports Juiston no longer is considering KU, though he has yet to say that publicly. 

Final ESPN rankings

KU signees Billy Preston and Marcus Garrett were ranked 17th and 61st respectively in ESPN.com’s final rankings of players in the recruiting class of 2017.

Preston, a 6-9, 220-pound senior forward from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., is ranked No. 10 and Garrett, a 6-5 senior combo guard from Dallas Skyline High, is ranked No. 38 by Rivals.com.

KU target Trevon Duval, 6-2 senior point guard from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., is ranked No. 5 by ESPN.com and No. 4 by Rivals.com.

Duval has a final list of KU, Duke, Baylor, Arizona and Seton Hall. Duval wrote Tuesday on Twitter that reports he was on Duke’s campus for an unofficial visit were incorrect.

Gary Bedore: 816-234-4068, @garybedore

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