If all goes according to Bill Self’s recruiting plan, Kansas’ basketball team will have at least one Chicago born and bred point guard in the playing rotation — maybe even the starting lineup — from the 2018-19 season through the 2022-23 campaign.
That’s five full seasons of former University of California starter Charlie Moore, who announced plans to transfer to KU on April 25, as well as Chicago Uplift Community High School sophomore Markese Jacobs, who orally committed to KU on Oct 2.
“I’ll give them a name, ‘Chitown tough,’ ’’ said Nick Irvin, head coach at Chicago’s Morgan Park High School and Mac Irvin Fire AAU said of two of his pupils — who both are listed as 5-foot-11, 170-pounders.
Irvin coached Moore both at Morgan Park, where the Mustangs won two state titles in his four seasons, and also with Mac Irvin Fire. Jacobs plays for Irvin’s 16-and-under Mac Irvin Fire AAU squad.
“Markese is fast, very athletic, tough. He can defend. He is feisty. He knows how to win,” Irvin said of Jacobs, who has decided to transfer to Hillcrest Prep in Arizona for his junior campaign.
“He is a treat to watch. You never know what he’s going to do. He’s tricky in the air,” Irvin added. In fact there are several clips of Jacobs’ athletic dunks available on youtube.com.
“He can shoot it, too. He has a nice jump shot and handles. He attacks the rim like (Russell) Westbrook,” Irvin said.
Jacobs still has his two years to play in high school and will be eligible to play at KU in 2019-20. That will be Moore’s redshirt junior season. After sitting out the 2017-18 campaign in accordance with NCAA transfer rules, Moore will be eligible to compete in games as a redshirt sophomore in 2018-19.
“Charlie is more a John Wall type. I take that back, more like Kyrie Irving,” Irvin said when asked for possible comparisons to current NBA guards.
“Charlie will be an NBA player,” Irvin added. “Markese could because of his athleticism. I think Charlie can lead them (Jayhawks) to a national championship. That’s how much confidence I have in him (Moore) having been around him every day for a number of years. I know what he’s got. I know what he’s going to bring to the table and know what he’s capable of doing. He loves to win, loves the moment. I can’t wait to see the two dynamite guards.”
KU in the 14-year Bill Self era has had a stellar point guard from Chicago in Sherron Collins, one of the Jayhawks’ all-time greats.
“Sherron Collins is a very good dude,” Nick Irvin said. “I watched his career at Kansas. I always watched him and cheered him on, watch him in the pro-am still (during summers). Sherron helped ‘em win a national championship. He’s a great player.”
KU has also brought in Julian Wright, Jamari Traylor, Cliff Alexander and Mario Little from the Windy City during the Self era. Chicago guard Milton Doyle attended KU one summer then transferred to Loyola of Chicago where he had a standout career.
“Bill Self already knows he can recruit my guys anytime,” Nick Irvin said. “Kansas has a fine program. He coached my brother (Byron who went to both Arkansas and Missouri and played for Portland Trail Blazers) on an overseas touring team. He talks to my family.”
KU assistant Jerrance Howard recruits the Chicago area for KU.
“Jerrance works extremely hard. He’s in all the gyms here,” Irvin said. “We stay in contact a lot. We grew up playing together. I’ve known him a long time. He’s always happy, smiling. He doesn’t let anything bother him. He cares about the kids. He is a great all-around guy.”
Self, who coached three seasons at the University of Illinois, likes to recruit the fertile Chicago area.
“We’ve known the Irvin family a long time,” Self said.