Kansas’ Devonté Graham will start his senior season as the No. 11-ranked player in college basketball, according to ESPN.com’s John Gasaway.
Duke’s Grayson Allen tops the list of the country’s top 25 players as he did at the start of last year. Kansas’ Frank Mason who played next to Graham in the Jayhawks’ 2016-17 backcourt, emerged as consensus national player of the year while Allen had a rough junior campaign.
“Graham’s most important contributions as a senior may not come only on offense as a replacement for Mason but also as a mentor or at least example for Mississippi State transfer Malik Newman,” Gasaway wrote at ESPN.com. “Kansas fans have long been able to rest easy knowing that Mason and Graham would give them not only scoring but also excellent backcourt defense. If both halves of that statement are also true of Graham and Newman, the Jayhawks may win yet another Big 12 title,” Gasaway added.
The top 25 list is led by Allen, followed by Michael Porter Jr., Missouri; Bonzie Colson, Notre Dame; Ethan Happ, Wisconsin; Jalen Brunson, Villanova; Jock Landale, Saint Mary’s; DeAndre Ayton, Arizona; Miles Bridges, Michigan State; Allonzo Trier, Arizona; Wendell Carter, Duke; Graham; Jevon Carter, West Virginia; Kelan Martin, Butler; Trevon Duval, Duke; Landry Shamet, Wichita State; Trevon Bluitt, Xavier; Nick Ward, Michigan State; Mohamed Bamba, Texas; Joel Berry, North Carolina; Rawle Alkins, Arizona; Hamidou Diallo, Kentucky; Moe Wagner, Michigan; Angel Delgado, Seton Hall; Robert Williams, Texas A&M and Jeffrey Carroll, Oklahoma State.
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Mason in Sacramento on Wednesday
Former KU guard Frank Mason will work out for the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, the team announced Tuesday. He’ll be joined by Oregon’s Jordan Bell, North Carolina’s Justin Jackson, Florida’s Devin Robinson, Utah’s Kyle Kuzma and Virginia’s London Perrantes.
Sixers to consider Mason in Round Two?
Josh Jackson is not the only former KU player considered as a possible pick of the Philadelphia 76ers in the June 22 NBA Draft.
Thesixersense.com believes the team should take a look at Mason in the second round. Philly picks at No. 36, 39, 46 and 50 of Round Two. Jackson is considered a likely pick of the Sixers at No. 3 overall.
“The concerns about Frank Mason’s size will drop him to a mid-second-round selection but the concerns about his height are invalid,” wrote James Niescier of thesixersense.com.
“We have seen first-hand this year that the height of a point guard is not directly related to success. Mason (6-foot in shoes) has three inches on Isaiah Thomas and has a similar stature to Kyle Lowry, both all-star point guards. His NBA-level shooting and his ability to lead a high-caliber offense make him worth the risk and a must draft if he is available when the Philadelphia 76ers select at 46 or 50,” Niescier added.
KU recruiting class ranked 21st
ESPN.com has ranked Kansas’ incoming two-man recruiting class of Billy Preston and Marcus Garrett No. 21 nationally.
Kentucky’s eight-player class checks in at No. 1, followed by Duke, Arizona, UCLA, Texas, Missouri, Alabama, Florida State, Miami, Louisville, Florida, Oregon, Xavier, Western Kentucky, Michigan State, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, USC, Iowa State and Arkansas.
Preston is a 6-9 forward from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., ranked No. 10 in the recruiting Class of 2017 by Rivals.com; Garrett a 6-foot-5 guard from Dallas Skyline High, is ranked No. 38 by Rivals.com.
ESPN did not take transfers into consideration in its team rankings. KU has landed Dedric Lawson, 6-9, PF, Memphis; K.J. Lawson, 6-7, PF, Memphis; Charlie Moore, 5-11, PG, Cal and Jack Whitman, 6-9, PF, William & Mary.
Bagley, Bol dominate
KU power forward targets Marvin Bagley and Bol Bol emerged as two of the top players at the the Nike EYBL event in Los Angeles over Memorial Day weekend.
Bagley, a 6-foot-10 senior-to-be from Sierra Canyon High School in Chatsworth, Calif., averaged 28 points and 15 rebounds over four games. The Phoenix Phamily player, who has a recruiting list of KU, Kentucky, Duke, Arizona, USC and UCLA, has averaged 25.8 points (on 54.6 percent shooting) and 14.9 rebounds in 15 league games this AAU season. Bagley, the No. 1-ranked player in the Class of 2018 has cashed 13 of 56 threes for 23.2 percent. He has 47 blocks in 15 games.
Bol, a 7-2, 215-pound senior-to-be from Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, Calif., who is ranked No. 7 nationally, averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in four games for California Supreme. He had seven blocks in a win over New Jersey Playaz Club. Bol has 67 blocks in 15 Nike EYBL games, while averaging 24.1 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. The former Bishop Miege player has made 22 of 45 threes for 48.9 percent and has cashed 65.6 percent of his shots overall. He’s made 83.3 percent of his free throws.
“To classify Cal Supreme (Calif.) center Bol Bol as a ‘rim protector’ would be putting it rather mildly. The 7-footer combines precision, length and timing on his blocks that are unrivalled by any player on any circuit,” wrote Jason Jordan of USA Today.
KU target Johnson to set up visits
KU recruiting target Keldon Johnson, a 6-6 senior-to-be shooting guard from Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, is planning on scheduling his five official visits at the end of the summer.
He currently has a long list of schools that includes KU, Texas, Oregon, Louisville, UCLA, Maryland, North Carolina State, UNLV, Memphis, Georgetown, Wake Forest, Virginia, Virginia Tech.
“It (recruiting) has definitely hit a spike since the first live period. I’ve picked up a few more offers and new schools are showing interest,” said Johnson, the No. 32-ranked player in the recruiting Class of 2018 by Rivals.com.
He has averaged 20.7 points and 8.5 rebounds in 16 AAU games for Boo Williams. He has made 51.6 percent of his shots and 74.6 percent of his free throws.
Azubuike due back Saturday
KU coach Bill Self said sophomore-to-be forward Udoka Azubuike will report to campus for summer school on Saturday and probably see the doctor for clearance to play pick-up basketball on Monday.
Self indicated last week that Azubuike would likely be released for full-speed basketball sometime this week.
Azubuike had surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left wrist in early January.