University of Kansas

KU signees Preston, Garrett finish 10th and 38th, respectively, in Rivals’ rankings

Breaking down the end of KU basketball season and looking ahead to 2017-18

The Kansas City Star's Jesse Newell and Gary Bedore analyzed how the 2016-17 KU basketball season ended in the Elite Eight and discussed the Jayhawks' prospects for 2017-18.
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The Kansas City Star's Jesse Newell and Gary Bedore analyzed how the 2016-17 KU basketball season ended in the Elite Eight and discussed the Jayhawks' prospects for 2017-18.

Kansas basketball signees Billy Preston and Marcus Garrett finished their high school careers as the Nos. 10- and 38-ranked players in the recruiting Class of 2017, according to

Preston, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound senior forward from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., dropped two spots from his previous mark of No. 8 in the website’s final individual player rankings which were released on Wednesday.

Garrett, a 6-5, 180-pound senior combo guard out of Dallas Skyline High, fell one spot from 37 to 38.

Missouri commit Michael Porter Jr. remained No. 1 nationally.

Preston averaged 15.3 points and 10.4 rebounds his senior season at Oak Hill. Garrett, the Texas state Gatorade Player of the Year, averaged 17.3 points, 10.4 rebounds and 9.1 assists per game while leading Skyline High to the Class 6A state semifinals. He recorded 12 triple-doubles and 32 double-doubles in 36 games for Skyline (34-2).

“I think Marcus is going to be good. He’s a 6-5 guard, strong. He is going to be a really good player,” KU coach Bill Self said at Tuesday’s KU basketball awards banquet.

Of Preston, Self said: “He is a prototypical 4-man. He’s a big guy who can handle the ball and shoot. He’s a really good prospect.”

Signing period underway

The month-long spring signing period for high school basketball players started Wednesday and runs through May 17. The biggest remaining prize in the recruiting Class of 2017 is Trevon Duval, a 6-2 senior guard from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., who has a list of KU, Duke, Arizona, Baylor and Seton Hall.

“Speculation much of the way has been that Duke is the team to beat and that Seton Hall could be a sleeper,” Eric Bossi of wrote on Wednesday of the country’s No. 4-rated player.

M.J. Walker, a 6-4 senior shooting guard from Jonesboro (Ga.) High, has a final list of KU, Georgia Tech, UCLA, Florida State and Maryland. Bossi believes Georgia Tech will land the No. 42-ranked Walker.

KU is planning on visiting former Illinois commit Jeremiah Tilmon on Friday, reports.

Tilmon, a 6-10, 235-pound senior forward out of East St. Louis High, has Missouri, Illinois and others on his list.

Garrison Brooks, a 6-10 senior forward from Auburn (Ala.) High, who this week was released from his Mississippi State letter-of-intent, has heard from KU, Baylor, Iowa State and Pitt, according to Brooks is ranked No. 120 nationally.

Kenny Wooten, a 6-8, 205-pound senior forward out of Trinity Christian School in Las Vegas, who decommitted from Arizona State this week, may be favoring Oregon as a destination. He initially chose ASU over KU, California, Oregon, Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois and others.

“I try to stay open-minded about things and not rush myself into something again. But Oregon would be hard to pass up. I mean, it’s Oregon,” Wooten told

KU will have one scholarship to give when freshman Josh Jackson announces his intentions to declare for the 2017 NBA Draft. A second scholarship will be available if junior Svi Mykhailiuk keeps his name in the 2017 NBA Draft. He announced plans to enter the draft on Wednesday but not sign with an agent, thus leaving open the possibility of returning for a senior campaign.

KU senior Landen Lucas says farewell after the Jayhawks' 73-63 Senior Night victory over Oklahoma on Feb. 27, 2017, at Allen Fieldhouse.

Lucas, mom start foundation

KU senior Landen Lucas and his mother, Shelley Lucas, an educator and leadership development professional, on Wednesday announced plans to start the Landen Lucas Sports For Life Foundation.

“Landen knows the value in life lessons learned through sports and he wants to be sure that all students have the opportunity to participate in sports. Therefore, we will be providing scholarships for students in the Lawrence school district in the college town of the University of Kansas, and then in the Portland/Beaverton School districts, where Landen attended school from seventh-12th grade,” Shelley Lucas wrote on Facebook.

A donation at the Go Fund Me Web address will “directly contribute toward the sports fees, equipment, shoes, and valuable life lessons for many underpriveleged middle school students who can not afford to participate in sports without your help!” Shelley Lucas wrote.

She indicated that those who make donations are eligible to receive an autographed photo of Landen Lucas or a “piece of official KU #33 basketball gear.”