For Kansas coach Bill Self, the annual “Late Night in the Phog” event serves two clear purposes.
In one sense, it is the unofficial season tip-off, the first opportunity to unveil his latest team in a packed Allen Fieldhouse.
In other ways, though, it is the most important recruiting event on the calendar. On Friday night, Self and the Kansas staff will welcome more than a dozen major recruiting targets into Allen Fieldhouse for the 30th annual Late Night. Some players will be on official visits; others, including underclassmen, will be in town on unofficial visits, meaning the recruits pay their own way to campus.
Kansas is still looking for its first verbal commitment in the 2015 class, but it’s an intriguing recruiting year for the Jayhawks. KU has zero scholarship seniors on the roster, and many of its recruiting needs will hinge on the future of players that could possibly depart early for the NBA Draft. One position to watch, though: Center. Self said last summer that he would potentially like to sign a couple of big men.
As Kansas prepares for Late Night, here’s a look at the list of recruits scheduled to be at Late Night. This list was compiled with help from Rivals.com’s Shay Wildeboor and 24/7 Sports.
2015 recruits (with Rivals ranking)
▪ Jaylen Brown, No. 2, 6-7, 200, Marietta, Ga.
Big, powerful wing with offers or interest from just about everybody; Rivals analyst Eric Bossi reports that his “jump shot and ball handling are coming along.”
▪ Stephen Zimmerman, No. 10, 7-0, 241, Las Vegas, Nev.
Coveted center is still considering Kentucky, UCLA, Arizona, North Carolina, Indiana and hometown school UNLV.
▪ Carlton Bragg, No. 14, 6-9, 225, Cleveland, Ohio
Bragg will be on an unofficial visit this week, per Rivals.com. His list has been narrowed to Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky and UCLA.
▪ Brandon Ingram, No. 18, 6-8, 180, Kinston, N.C.
Ingram is reportedly set to visit Kentucky next week and has interest from in-state schools Duke and North Carolina, among others.
▪ Tyler Dorsey, No. 19, 6-4, 180, Pasadena, Calif.
Dorsey originally committed to Arizona before re-opening his recruitment in June. A lead guard who can play some point, Rivals’ Eric Bossi describes Dorsey as a guard who “scores from deep, off the dribble and at the rim. Rebounds extremely well for a guard who is as prolific a scorer as he is.”
▪ Marcus LoVett, No. 90, 5-11, 165, Chicago, Ill.
A Chicago product, LoVett was — at least publicly — a late addition to the list of Late Night visitors.
2016 recruits (with Rivals ranking)
▪ Jayson Tatum, No. 4, 6-7, 175, St. Louis, Mo.
One of the headliners in a solid 2016 class; Tatum’s father, Justin, was a starter at Saint Louis University and is a high school coach in St. Louis. Missouri, of course, will be highly interested in Tatum as well.
▪ Malik Monk, No. 6, 6-3, 170, Bentonville, Ark.
Arkansas product is one of the top guards in the 2016 class.
Other 2016 recruits expected to be at Late Night (with Rivals ranking)
▪ Kobi Simmons, No. 15, 6-5, 175, Alpharetta, Ga.
▪ Marques Bolden, No. 28, 6-9, 230, DeSoto, Texas
▪ Schnider Herard, No. 42, 6-10, 255, Plano, Texas
▪ Nick Rakocevic, No. 66, 6-10, 190, Westchester, Ill.
▪ Tyler Cook, No. 93, 6-8, 240, St. Louis, Mo.
2017 recruits (with Rivals ranking)
▪ Troy Brown, No. 2, 6-6, 180, Las Vegas, Nev.
Brown’s older sister, Jada, is a sophomore forward on the KU women’s team. Already has offers from Duke and Arizona, among many others.
▪ Mitchell Ballock, No. 24, 6-4, 175, Eudora, Kan.
Still just a sophomore at Eudora High School, Ballock scored a Kansas offer during the summer.