Kansas, Maryland coaches enter final stages of elite point guard’s recruitment
By Gary Bedore firstname.lastname@example.org
Coaches from Kansas and Maryland traveled to the state of North Carolina on Wednesday to watch a workout of blue-chip point guard Devon Dotson, who has reportedly narrowed his college choices to those two schools.
Dotson, a 6-foot-1 senior from Providence Day High in Charlotte, N.C., is ranked No. 17 in the recruiting class of 2018 by Rivals.com. He recently eliminated Florida after the Gators received commitments from a pair of guards. Dotson also has made an unofficial visit to Clemson.
On Monday, Dotson wrote on Twitter, “Big week ahead,” leading to speculation that a decision on a school will be revealed soon.
Rivals.com’s Eric Bossi in fact says a decision could be announced Friday or Saturday. Bossi indicated Dotson may be working with high school officials on a date for a pep rally in which he’d announce his college choice.
KU, which will entertain No. 11-ranked Quentin Grimes (6-5, combo guard College Park High, The Woodlands, Texas) Friday through Sunday, figures to be in need of guards following the graduation of Devonté Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk, the likely loss of combo guard Malik Newman to the NBA and possible loss of Lagerald Vick to the NBA Draft, as well. KU next season will return point guard Charlie Moore, combo guard Marcus Garrett and shooting guard Sam Cunliffe.
Williamson weighs 272
Zion Williamson, whose acrobatic dunks are all over Youtube, officially measured 6-6 in shoes and a heavier-than-expected 272 pounds at last weekend’s USA Basketball Junior National Team minicamp in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“Williamson remains one of the most athletically freaky players that I have scouted in nearly 20 years in the business,” analyst Bossi of Rivals.com wrote after the event, which brought together 54 of the country’s top high school players.
“How he was able to sustain max energy and athleticism at that size is mind-boggling to me. Ideally he can shed some of those pounds but whether he lands at Clemson, Kansas, Kentucky or one of his other finalists, he’s going to be an immediate fan favorite and one of the most unique players the college game has seen in some time,” Bossi added of the Spartanburg (S.C.) Day High School senior and No. 2-rated player in the recruiting class of 2018 who has a list of Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, UCLA, Clemson and South Carolina.
Williamson — who recently made an official visit to KU for Late Night in the Phog — will attend Kentucky’s Big Blue Madness as part of another blue-blood official visit this weekend. He also has scheduled visits to Duke (Oct. 20-22) and UCLA (Oct. 27-29). Clemson and South Carolina are also in the running for a visit.
Williamson told Scout.com he would “try to” choose a school “early basketball season or probably late November, early December. At the end of the day, if I don’t feel it at that time, I’m going to have to wait longer.”
Self applauds formation of committee
KU coach Bill Self commented Wednesday on the formation of a new NCAA commission, which has been created to make what the NCAA calls “substantive changes to the way we operate college basketball.” The 14-person NCAA commission will be led by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
“The recently announced basketball commission comprised of people who truly care for our game will be good for long term benefit of our sport,” Self, the president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, wrote on Twitter.
Two recruits discuss scandal
Some of the top recruits and their parents spoke at the minicamp in Colorado Springs about the FBI investigation in college basketball that so far has resulted in 10 arrests, including two Adidas employees. KU is one 10 schools in Power Five conferences with an Adidas partnership.
“I just feel like Adidas, Nike and Under Armour, whatever they’re doing, they’re all doing the same thing, whatever it is,” Lee Anderson, Zion Williamson’s stepfather and coach of his son’s summer basketball team, told Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports. “Adidas just happened to have been called out. I’m sure Nike is going to be called out. I’m sure Under Armour could possibly be called out. It doesn’t affect how we look at Adidas, Nike or Under Armour. That’s just the way that the culture is right now.”
Combo guard Romeo Langford, the No. 6-rated player in the class of 2018 who is considering KU, North Carolina, UCLA, Vanderbilt and Indiana, told Yahoo: “I really don’t want to go to a school that’s doing illegal stuff. I want to make sure that everything is clean. That’s the main thing with my family, make sure everyone is straight up, not lying or not having anything happen behind closed doors.”
Wiggins inks lucrative extension, too
Former KU guard Andrew Wiggins on Wednesday signed a five-year, $148 million contract extension with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the same week his former teammate, Joel Embiid, inked the same maximum rookie extension with the Philadelphia 76ers.
The 22-year-old Wiggins’ extension had been agreed upon weeks ago, with the signing finally taking place Wednesday.
“I like everyone from the trainers to the coaches to the front office, my teammates,” Wiggins, who averaged 23.6 points per game last season, his third year in the leauge, told ESPN.com. “I love everybody. They’ve treated me with nothing but nice since I got here. And they were the first people who gave me the opportunity to play in the NBA after I got traded from Cleveland and they welcomed me with open arms. So this is where I wanted to be at.”
Of his contract, he said, “It’s motivation to get better and show everybody what I can do, the other stuff I can do. The stuff they think I can do, add more, just keep on adding to my game.”
Embiid, by the way, will practice with the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday in Allen Fieldhouse. His Sixers will meet the Miami Heat on Friday night at the Sprint Center.