KU still awaiting official visit from ‘dangerous’ jump shooter Bryce Thompson

By Gary Bedore gbedore@kcstar.com

Blue-chip basketball recruit Bryce Thompson, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound junior combo guard from Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, Okla., has embraced a new NCAA rule that allows juniors to take official campus visits.

Thompson, the No. 65-rated player in the recruiting Class of 2020 by Rivals.com, whose dad, Rod, played for Kansas coach Bill Self at Tulsa, has completed official visits to Colorado, Arkansas and Texas A&M. He’s made unofficial visits to Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State and also has Tulsa, TCU and others on his list of schools.

“It’s always good up there. You know Coach Self. What he does speaks for itself. I got to see Late Night in the Phog and all of the crazy fans, so it was good,” Bryce Thompson said in commenting to Rivals.com on his late September visit to KU.

Thompson — he’s not yet set a date to visit KU officially — has been called “one of the most dangerous jump shooters in the Class of 2020,” by Eric Bossi of Rivals.com.

He’s been compared to former Oklahoma guard Trae Young, who starred at Norman (Okla.) North High School. Thompson says he talks to OU coach Lon Kruger “about every week.”

“He is always telling me that he wants me to come there,” Thompson said of Kruger. “I like their playing style. They like to get up and down and he gives them a lot of freedom, so I like them a lot.”

Of taking several early official visits, Thompson said: “I just want to get out and see everything before I cut the list down. I want to be able to see what everybody has to offer and how everything is going to play out.”

Cockburn to visit Illinois

Kofi Cockburn, a 6-10 senior center from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., will make an official visit to Illinois on Dec. 28-30, Oak Hill coach Steve Smith tells Zagsblog.com.

He has visited UConn and also has KU, Syracuse, Pitt, LSU, Florida State and St. John’s on his list of prospective schools.

“I want to go to a school where I’m able to go in, get better, and show my talent as a player and a person,” Cockburn told Zagsblog.com over the summer.

Edwards slices list to eight

Anthony Edwards, a 6-5 senior shooting guard from Holy Spirit Prep School in Atlanta, who recently reclassified from the recruiting Class of 2020 to 2019, has narrowed his list of schools to KU, Duke, North Carolina, UCLA, Kentucky, Florida State, Georgia and Michigan State. Florida State is considered the heavy favorite. He has visited FSU, Clemson and Auburn unofficially.

“I don’t have any dates (for official visits) yet, but I know for sure I’m going to set up a visit for Florida State and Michigan State,” Edwards told 247sports.com as reported by Zagsblog.com. “I haven’t decided about the other three.”

He is ranked No. 3 in the Class of 2019 by Rivals.com.

KU defeating top teams

KU’s media relations department has unearthed some stats that show how well the Jayhawks have been faring against elite teams in the regular season.

No. 2-rated KU, which defeated then-No. 10 Michigan State and then-No. 5 Tennessee so far in 2018-19, has won 13 straight games against AP top ten teams. KU’s last loss to a top ten team was to then-No. 1 Kentucky, 72-40, in the 2014 Champions Classic in Indianapolis.

The next best stretch of wins over top-10 teams (since 1996-97 when such records were first kept) is seven in a row by Duke (Feb. 28, 1998 to Feb. 3, 1999), Kentucky (Jan. 29, 2002 to Jan. 3, 2004), Syracuse (Nov. 20, 2009 to Dec. 7, 2010) and KU, which also had a seven-game stretch of wins versus top-10 teams from Feb. 8, 2012 to Jan. 18, 2014.

Also ... KU is 19-5 versus top-five teams in the regular season in the 16-year Self era.

“We’ve had a great run of players,” Self said on Tuesday’s Hawk Talk radio show. “Of course everybody in the top five has guys. We’ve also had some good fortune, too. A lot is guys just making plays with the game on the line.”

In the postseason, KU 9-7 versus top ten teams in the Self era and 3-2 versus top five teams.

“We’ve got to obviously do as well postseason as regular season,” Self said. “Those are good stats that obviously, maybe if you go to a friendly place may get you a cup of coffee and a bowl of soup. That would be about the extent of it.”

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