Batch of recruits, including Zion Williamson, to attend Late Night in Phog
By Gary Bedore firstname.lastname@example.org
Prep school senior power forward David McCormack, who has already committed to Kansas, and high school senior small forward Zion Williamson, who is right at the top of the Jayhawks’ wish list, will be attending Saturday’s Late Night in the Phog as part of official recruiting visits.
McCormack, 6-foot-10, 260 big man from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., on Sunday chose KU over Oklahoma State, Xavier, Duke, UCLA and North Carolina State. Williamson, 6-6, 230 from Spartanburg (S.C.) Day School, is considering Kansas, UCLA, Duke, Kentucky, South Carolina, Clemson and others.
Williamson is ranked No. 2 nationally by ESPN.com and Rivals.com and No. 1 by 247sports.com. McCormack is ranked No. 33 by both Rivals.com and ESPN.com.
Williamson plays for South Carolina Supreme’s AAU program, which is affiliated with Adidas. An Adidas executive, James Gatto, was one of the persons arrested this week by the FBI in the current scandal involving college basketball recruiting. Gatto is accused of offering prospects money to enroll at Adidas-aligned schools.
Williamson’s stepfather, Lee Anderson, told South Carolina’s WSPA 7 News on Thursday night that “no one from Adidas has approached Zion or his family. If anyone approached the family without Zion’s best interests in mind we would simply walk away.”
Anderson told the TV station on Thursday that “no one outside of the immediate family will have any say or sway on Zion’s decision on where he’ll go to school.”
As far as the on-the-court discussion of Williamson, who arrived on KU’s campus on Friday, he’s expected to be one of the top picks in the 2019 NBA Draft.
“Williamson is as physical and aggressive a scorer as there is in high school basketball. A powerful lefty with a wide frame, he attacks the rim running downhill like few others, bullies his way through contact, and yet is still athletic around the cup,” ESPN.com wrote in its scouting report on Williamson. “He owns a solid shooting touch to about 15 feet and is also an exceptional rebounder. 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.”
Several juniors and sophomores are expected to attend Saturday’s Late Night (6:30 p.m. start) on unofficial visits.
The junior group is led by James Wiseman, 6-10, 210-pound power forward from Memphis East High School who is ranked No. 2 in the Class of 2019 by Rivals.com.
He’ll be joined by two of his high school teammates who happen to be brothers of KU’s Dedric Lawson and K.J. Lawson. Chandler Lawson, a 6-8, 200-pound junior power forward, is ranked No. 21 in the Class of 2019 by Rivals.com; Johnathan Lawson, a 6-5 freshman small forward, is expected to be a top-10 player in the Class of 2021.
Local prep juniors Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Zach Harvey will attend Late Night on unofficial visits as they did a year ago. Robinson-Earl is a 6-8 forward from Bishop Miege who is ranked No. 16 in the Class of 2019 by Rivals.com; Harvey is a 6-4 shooting guard from Topeka Hayden listed at No. 38.
Wichita Sunrise Academy teammates Malik Hall, a 6-7 junior forward ranked No. 49 nationally and N’Faly Dante, a 6-10 sophomore power forward ranked No. 10 in the Class of 2020, will attend.
Samuell Williamson, a 6-6 junior small forward from Rockwall (Texas) High, ranked No. 101 nationally, also will be in the stands.
Six sophomores are slated to attend on unofficial visits.
They include: No. 3-ranked R.J. Hampton, a 6-4 point guard from Little Elm (Texas) High; No. 4 Jalen Suggs, a 6-3 point guard from Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis, Minn.; No. 23 Xavier Foster, a 6-9 power forward from Oskaloosa (Iowa) High and No. 39 Bryce Thompson, a 6-3 shooting guard from Tulsa Booker T. Washington High. Thompson is the son of Rod Thompson, who played for KU coach Bill Self at Tulsa.
Unranked players in Rivals.com’s Top 50 in the Class of 2020 to attend: K.T. Raimey, a 6-3 point guard from Olathe East and Ty Berry, 6-1 point guard from Newton High.
Jacobs back in Chicago
Markese Jacobs, a 5-11 junior point guard who has committed to KU, is back at Chicago’s Uplift Community High School after transferring to Hillcrest Prep in Arizona in August.
He had transferred to Hillcrest with his older brother, Demarius, who is playing a year of prep school ball at the Arizona school.
“I wasn’t able to play with my brother, and I didn’t fit the program,” Jacobs told the Chicago Sun Times. “It’s a great program and everything, just didn’t fit me.”
Markese Jacobs, who is not expected to be at Late Night, is ranked No. 74 in the Class of 2019 by Rivals.com.
Langford cuts Louisville
Romeo Langford, a 6-4 senior shooting guard from New Albany (Ind.) High, has eliminated Louisville from his list of college schools.
“Due to the current allegations associated with the University of Louisville men’s basketball program, a family decision was made that Romeo Langford will no longer be considering U of L in his recruitment,” Langford’s dad, Tim, told the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Langford, the No. 6 rated player in the Class of 2018, has set up an official visit to KU for Oct. 27. He will visit UCLA this weekend and also has visited Vanderbilt. He also has North Carolina and Indiana on his list.
Chalmers tweets about Late Night
Fans won’t be surprised if former KU guard Mario Chalmers of the Memphis Grizzlies attends Saturday’s Late Night in the Phog after reading a Twitter posting of his on Friday.
“Late night at Phog Tomorrow. Might be more than one surprise at the event. Be watching and be there to see. Rock chalk,” Chalmers Tweeted. Former KU players Ben McLemore and Wayne Selden also play for the Grizzlies.