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2019-06-10 Looking ahead to this week in KU mens hoops recruiting

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6 days 2 hours ago #23020 by HawkErrant
Sitting here on an early Monday morning nursing a back that has decided five years was enough of a respite, time for another incident (chronic, flairs up, I'm okay, or at least I will be)...

Bill Self and his Kansas staff remain in need (or so just about everybody on the outside looking in from around the country believes) of some three point makers in order to bolster what is viewed as the only extant weakness in a KU team that should be dominant next season barring that old bugaboo injury (can we please, just once, get a break, ye Muses? Calliope and Clio, please tell Melpomene to red-shirt KU on her tragedy scrolls next season, and blessings!).

Two of the three recruits still being pursued -- one a HS recruit and the other a grad transfer -- are known to be good 3pt makers, so they would bring some help to the SG and SF positions for KU. Add them to the hopefully improved 3pt shooting of Dotson (capable, but faltered a bit later in the season) and Agbaji (out hot, cooled down the stretch as shin splints affected his game), a Garrett still looking for his outside shot (no word yet on his finding one, but he was shooting much better last year until his high ankle sprain hobbled his game late in the season, and his family have had him training from NBA 3 distance this summer), new kid PG McBride who reportedly hit 48% from the 19'9" HS trey line as a senior, new kid SF Chris Braun (a solid outside shooter, but I've no data on his 3pt prowess) and new kid and highest ranked HS recruit and potential stretch 4 Tristan Enaruna -- <take a breath> -- and KU should have a lot of possible if not great options for 3pt shooters in AY2019-20.

The three kids still on the short range radar for KU recruiting are SF Jalen Wilson, F Josaphat Bilau and grad transfer Isaiah Moss.

Wednesday we learn the destination of Rivals 4* (#47) SF Jalen Wilson.
To recap, despite growing up loving KU and the Morrii, Jalen initially chose Jim Beilein and Michigan over KU, only to have Beilein bolt for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Having reopened his recruitment, visited KU again and making a first time visit to the tarred ones (TTBOMK new Michigan coach Juwan Howard did not get a chance to visit with Jalen and family), Jalen has made his decision and is announcing it this Wednesday at 2 PM (presumably CT).

If it is anything but KU the media college hoops recruiting establishment and a whole bunch of KU, UNC and UM insiders will be astounded.

Former Iowa Hawkeye Isaiah Moss visited KU a few weeks ago, but with KU thinking it still had a shot at the reclassifying RJ Hampton the Jayhawks did not offer Moss at that time, leading Moss to commit to Arkansas. After the Hampton fiasco, Moss reconsidered (all by his lonesome?) his decision, dropped his commitment to Arkansas and set his 42% 3pt shooting dead-eye sites on Mount Oread. No word on any announcement yet. Not even confirmation that KU has actually made an offer this time (if he wasn't expecting one, why did he reopen his recruitment?), but expect that it will happen "sometime soon" (what does that phrase even mean any more?)

Again, all the signs (guru thoughts and scuttlebutt sources) are that KU is where Moss will finish his college career. But be aware that he has to complete his summer courses at Iowa in order to complete his graduation requirements. I have not heard anything about any expected problems in that area.

As for 3* PF (Process?) Josaphat Bilau, he is visiting Nevada today and tomorrow. The French big man's Rivals page did not list any other visits when I checked it this morning, but word from JayhawkSlant head writer Shay Wildeboor is “the 6-foot-10, 235-pound power forward from Spire Academy in Geneva, Ohio. Bilau, a three-star prospect with offers from the likes of Florida International, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Kansas State, Nevada, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Texas Tech, Virginia Tech, Wichita State and others, along with interest from Kansas, Georgia, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, and others, has scheduled an official visit. He's planning to visit Kansas for sure, and... the Kansas staff would like the final visit. If everything plays out as expected, Bilau will visit Kansas and then begin the decision-making mode of his recruitment." (Link to JayhawkSlant forum post for members.)

So there you have it. Hopefully KU lands all three, giving Self & Co more of the help needed from the newly expanded three point arc and a budding big for development into a significant role in his sophomore season after Mitch and Dok (both graduating after next year) and maybe Silvio (possibly an early entrant if he plays anywhere close to fans' hopes, but I would not be surprised to see him stay for his senior year, either) leave Mount Oread.

Here's to a great week for one and all, and ROCK CHALK!

“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don’t do anything about it” ~Albert Einstein
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6 days 1 hour ago #23023 by Wheatstate Gal
Be well, HE!!! Take ‘er easy for a bit.
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5 days 23 hours ago #23024 by HawkErrant
Thanks, Wheaty! I am, I am.

“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don’t do anything about it” ~Albert Einstein

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5 days 22 hours ago #23025 by AZhawk87
I don't quite get the Moss thing. shooting percentage is high, but averaged just 9 pts per game on a second tier D-1 team, and I've never heard of him.

Do we need a shooter so bad that he's our best option?

As a grad transfer I would think he would only go where he is confident he will get playing time, so it's confusing as to whether Self thinks any of the returning players or new recruits can become a solid shooter, or whether Moss just wants a final year at a big time program like KU.

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5 days 20 hours ago - 5 days 20 hours ago #23026 by HawkErrant
Looking at ESPN: College Basketball Transfer Rankings for 2019-20 (Grad Transfers) and 2020-21 (Traditional Transfers), Moss is ranked 19th just behind SG Jaevin Cumberland and ahead of UNM SG Anthony Mathis (who you may recall Self & Co was really interested in, but had no chance at as he opted to return home to play @Oregon).

Here’s a link to his college stats. ESPN: Isaiah Moss

His 3PT % increased each year in school (36%, 39%, 42%), he averaged 81% FT over his career (79% last year), averaged 1.8 assists and 1.4 TOs per game in 24 minutes per game. He was 4th in the B1G in 3PT shooting % per Matt Tait. KUSports.com - Tait on Moss

The only bad stat that jumps out at you is his poor total shooting % (just 39.9% his senior year, a college career low), but when KU was first looking at him I read that he didn’t drive the ball that often, mostly focusing on trying to hit threes, and that a lot of his 2 point misses were just inside the arc. And that ties to the major knock on him that I’ve read, that he can be a streaky shooter. Last season he scored in double figures 15 times (over 15 points eight times), but he also had 8 games where he scored 3 or fewer points. I would assume those were times a opponent made it a point to really focus on defending him at the arc.

I also recall reading that late in the season when Iowa needed points he was often their go to guy, so that is a plus in his favor. And first time around I read stories and social media posts stating that he is a good defender (e.g., Tait notes he was second in steals for Iowa last season despite being 5th in playing time).

All things considered, given:
KU has 3 rides available;
Lack of proven 3PT shooting is a major concern for next year;
SG is one of 2 positions viewed as no locked in starter;
I keep hearing talk that Kyree Walker is not a lock to reclassify for late December eligibility;
Moss apparently wants to play at KU;
There is no one else available close to his ability and experience to fill the position, and
He only fills a scholarship for one year if he isn’t that great...

IMO KU has next to nothing to lose and a lot to possibly gain by picking him up for next season.

“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don’t do anything about it” ~Albert Einstein
Last Edit: 5 days 20 hours ago by HawkErrant.

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4 days 9 hours ago #23041 by HawkErrant
Tomorrow (Wednesday) @2PM CT is announcement time for Jalen Wilson. Vast majority of folks in the recruiting business, and school insiders from KU, UNC and UM from what I've been reading, expect him to announce KU.

Hope they are right.

If he does, that leaves one ride open for next year, and we are still waiting to hear when Josaphat Bilau will be visiting. He finished his Nevada visit today, and has indicated he will take others. Word is Self has asked for the last one. No word on any others as yet.

In other news, this unrated and unranked young fellow in Nebraska who was totally off everyone's radar because of concerns about grades and test scores sending him to JUCO apparently has done okay in both categories and is suddenly getting some love. He is described as "raw" but a natural talent.


Lök Wur is a 6-9/190 SF from Papillion, Nebraska.

Since getting his release in the past week from Eastern Florida JUCO, Lök Wur has picked up offers from Nevada, Rutgers, DePaul, Washington State, Texas A&M, Rutgers and some others, and interest from UCLA, VaTech and more. Not sure if KU has reached out to him if Bilau should fall through. Most intriguing thing from the highlight video (keeping in mind that it *is* a highlight video) is his ball handling and shooting touch, both seem to be exemplary.

Late blooming fruit?...

“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don’t do anything about it” ~Albert Einstein

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