KU basketball recruiting: Self watches sophomore guard; Robinson-Earl finishes strong

By Gary Bedore gbedore@kcstar.com

College basketball coaches and recruiting analysts flocked to Texas last weekend for four events in the Dallas area that highlighted the first of two consecutive open weekends in recruiting.

Rivals.com analyst Eric Bossi spotted Kansas coach Bill Self on Saturday at an Under Armour Association Session One game that included R.J. Hampton, a 6-foot-4 sophomore point guard from Little Elm (Texas) High School. Hampton, the No. 3-ranked player in the recruiting Class of 2020 by Rivals.com, scored 34 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished eight assists for Team Mudiay in a 77-71 win over the Philly Pride in Duncanville, Texas.

“Hampton showed why I think he's the best point guard prospect in America regardless of class,” Bossi wrote Sunday at Rivals.com.

“He’s got great size, he is skilled, he is athletic and he puts up huge numbers without forcing anything. Hampton shows a new wrinkle to his game each time he hits the floor. You can tell he loves playing the game and that enthusiasm spreads to his teammates,” Bossi added.

Bossi says Hampton is being recruited by KU, Baylor, TCU, Kentucky, Texas, Duke, Memphis, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and others.

“While Hampton is a no-brainer priority at the highest levels, how to recruit him could eventually be a tricky proposition,” Bossi wrote. “As long as there is talk that the NBA could change its early entry rule so players can enter the draft after high school, a coach has to have a backup plan for a guy like Hampton. The most popular talk is that the 2020 class will be the one to get the green light for the NBA and if that happens, Hampton is the kind of player that will have a chance to seriously consider skipping college.”

KU coaches on Saturday were seen watching Bryce Thompson, a 6-3 sophomore shooting guard ranked No. 45 in the Class of 2020 by Rivals.com. Coaches from Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Tulsa and others also were at his weekend games in Texas.

“In the class of 2020, Thompson is one of the more highly skilled wing players. He's grown to at least 6-foot-4, has added a bit more bulk and is looking to drive more,” Bossi wrote Saturday. “If he's open from deep, Thompson isn't going to miss much, but he does need a fair amount of space to get his shot off due to a low release. He's already a Big 12 priority and will continue to be so."

Robinson-Earl puts up big numbers

KU target Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, a 6-9, 235-pound junior forward from Bishop Miege who scored 16 points in KC Run GMC’s Under Armour Association tourney opener on Friday night in Duncanville, scored 20 or more points in three games contested Saturday and Sunday.

Robinson-Earl scored 20 points and grabbed 16 rebounds with three steals and three assists in KC Run GMC’s 66-59 loss to Tennessee B. Maze Elite on Saturday. Robinson-Earl, who is ranked No. 16 in the recruiting Class of 2019 by Rivals.com, scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a 63-60 loss to New Jersey WeR1 later Saturday. He scored 26 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in Sunday’s 74-73 loss to Ohio CK2 Elite.

Robinson-Earl is considering KU, Kansas State, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Louisville, Stanford, Wake Forest, Notre Dame, Virginia, Iowa and others.

ESPN, 247sports.com ratings out

Kansas basketball signees Quentin Grimes, Devon Dotson and David McCormack have been ranked Top 25 players in the recruiting Class of 2018, according to ESPN.com.

ESPN’s final Top 100, which was released on Thursday, rates Grimes as the No. 8 overall prospect in the class. Dotson is No. 22 and McCormack No. 25.

Earlier in the week, Grimes, a 6-5 senior combo guard from College Park High in The Woodlands, Texas, earned an identical No. 8 final ranking by Rivals.com. Dotson, a 6-1 senior point guard from Providence Day High in Charlotte, N.C., was No. 18 and McCormack, a 6-10 senior forward from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., No. 33. Also, Ochai Agbaji, 6-4 wing from Oak Park High, received a No. 141 ranking from Rivals.com. He was not ranked in ESPN.com’s Top 100.

Grimes also has been rated No. 11 in final 2018 class rankings of 247sports.com. 247sports.com lists Dotson at No. 18 and McCormack No. 37. Agbaji is No. 165.

The No. 1 player in the recruiting Class of 2019 according to ESPN.com and 247sports.com is James Wiseman, a 6-11 junior forward from Memphis East, who allegedly favors Memphis and Kentucky over KU and others. The 6-11 Wiseman won a state championship this past season at Memphis East under the direction of new Memphis coach Penny Hardaway.

Rivals.com’s No. 1 player is Vernon Carey, a 6-10 forward from University High in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who has KU and many others on his list.

“It's doubtful any other staff will spend much time on Wiseman because the best anybody other than Kentucky or Memphis can probably do is finish third in a recruiting battle literally everybody believes is destined to finish one of two ways,” wrote Gary Parrish of CBSsports.com. “So I wouldn't expect many other coaches to be bouncing into town for in-home visits considering they'll almost certainly amount to a waste of energy and resources..”


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