Point guard Devonte Graham to visit KU on Friday
04/14/2014 9:47 PM
04/14/2014 9:47 PM
In its ongoing search for additional options in the backcourt, Kansas will play host this weekend to Devonte Graham, one of the top available point guards in the 2014 class.
Graham, a 6-foot-2 guard from Brewster Academy, will take an official visit to KU starting on Friday, his prep school coach, Jason Smith, announced on Twitter on Sunday.
Graham, who is unranked in the 2014 recruiting class, will also visit North Carolina State next Monday and Tuesday. According to Smith, he is also considering Virginia, Providence, Virginia Tech and Xavier.
Kansas coach Bill Self visited Graham on Friday. Graham originally committed to Appalachian State out of Broughton High in North Carolina. But he opted to attend prep school at Brewster in New Hampshire this past year. Previous Appalachian State coach Jason Capel would not release Graham from his letter of intent — ESPN.com reported last fall that Capel believed N.C. State was tampering with Graham — but Capel was fired in early March.
New Appalachian State coach Jim Fox released Graham from his letter of intent last week, and Graham immediately became one of the most sought-after high school players in the country. He had different degrees of interest from a list of schools that included KU, Boston College, Cincinnati, Creighton, Florida, Florida State, George Mason, Georgia Tech, Missouri, Nebraska, Providence, South Florida, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Xavier.
Brewster is the same prep school that produced former Kansas All-American Thomas Robinson and current point guard Naadir Tharpe.
The Jayhawks, of course, are certainly in the market for help in the backcourt. KU will return Tharpe, a senior, and sophomores Frank Mason and Conner Frankamp, two players capable of running the point. But after Tharpe started strong during Big 12 play, he struggled down the stretch and the Jayhawks were plagued by point guard issues for most of March.
Here are highlights of Graham:
While Graham may not profile as an immediate upgrade for Kansas, he is an intriguing talent available this late in the recruiting process. In a scouting report at Rivals.com, Graham is described as “a long and rangy point guard who is deceptively athletic. He dribbles the ball with purpose, advances the ball up the floor via the pass in transition and is a very good on the ball defender. He doesn’t take a lot of risks and (is) usually quite efficient.”
With the departure of freshman center Joel Embiid to the NBA Draft, the Jayhawks currently have one open scholarship. The loss of senior Tarik Black and freshman Andrew Wiggins also left scholarship openings, but the Jayhawks have already signed power forward Cliff Alexander and small forward Kelly Oubre, both McDonald’s All-Americans.
Kansas is also still after top-five center prospect Myles Turner, the best remaining recruit in the class of 2014. Turner said earlier this month that he will likely announce his decision after participating in the Jordan Brand Classic in Brooklyn on April 18.
Turner is still considering a list that includes KU, Texas, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, SMU and Duke.
“No matter where I go, I’m going to get a good education,” Turner told The Star earlier this month at the McDonald’s All-American Game in Chicago. “I want somebody that’s going to work with me. If I had the opportunity to one-and-done or two-and-done, I want to come back and work on my degree.”