Kansas coach Bill Self gave his Jayhawks basketball players a day off on Monday — the day after his five starters played 27 or more minutes in a 93-87 exhibition victory over Missouri at the Sprint Center.
He and assistants Jerrance Howard, Norm Roberts and Kurtis Townsend did not rest, however.
They hit the recruiting trail to visit Quentin Grimes, a 6-foot-5 senior combo guard from College Park High School in The Woodlands, Texas as well as Matthew Hurt, a 6-9 junior forward from John Marshall High School in Rochester, Minn.
Grimes, the No. 11 prospect in the recruiting class of 2018 according to Rivals.com, last weekend made an official recruiting visit to Marquette. He’s also visited KU, Kentucky and Texas.
Grimes has said he will let the November 8-15 early signing period pass and sign with a school in the spring. Grimes recently told Rivals.com that KU’s coaches, “have been contacting me almost every day and that they think I’m the best guard in the country. That has really stood out to me.”
Meanwhile, Hurt, the No. 5-rated player in the class of 2019, last weekend made unofficial trips to Duke and North Carolina. He also has visited Kentucky and Indiana and includes KU, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin on his early list of schools.
“We did the ‘Late Night in the Phog’ deal last year,” Hurt’s dad, Richard, told Zagsblog.com. “I think we’re going to go down in mid-November to a game at Kansas against South Dakota State.”
Williamson eliminates UCLA
Zion Williamson, a 6-6 senior forward from Spartanburg (S.C.) Day School, who is ranked No. 2 in the class of 2018 by Rivals.com, has cut UCLA from his list of schools, Zagsblog.com reported Monday.
Williamson is coming off successive visits to KU for Late Night in the Phog, Kentucky for Big Blue Madness and Duke for the Devils’ Countdown to Craziness. Clemson, South Carolina and North Carolina also remain on his list.
He recently told Rivals.com he’d probably make his decision, “in late November, early December, but if it doesn’t feel right then probably longer.”
Langford visits Indiana
Romeo Langford, a 6-4 senior shooting guard from New Albany (Ind.) High School, who is ranked No. 6 nationally, is scheduled to visit KU this weekend.
Langford — he was in Bloomington, Ind., for Indiana’s Hoosier Hysteria last weekend — also has visited Vanderbilt, North Carolina and UCLA.
Romeo’s dad, Tim, told insidethehall.com that his son will either narrow his list to three schools after the KU visit and sign in the spring, or possibly simply end the recruiting process during the early signing period.
“He will make the final decision. But us as a family and as parents, we may say, ‘These are our three.’ But if he says, ‘This is the one I want,’ we’re going to go where he wants to go. As a matter of fact, he can tell me tonight, tomorrow or whenever that we don’t need to take the trip to Kansas and we won’t. We won’t take a trip just to be taking it,” Tim Langford told insidethehall.com.
“If he’s confident in the school he wants to go to, so be it. The plan is go to Kansas this weekend and then right before the (high school) season starts, around mid-November, narrow it down to three. But if he says he’s ready, we’ll just make a decision.”
Trae Young wants to dethrone KU
Oklahoma freshman guard Trae Young, who was recruited by KU, told ESPN.com his goal is for the Sooners to win the league this season.
“I want to break Kansas’ streak (of 13 straight league titles),” Young told ESPN. “It’s not going to be easy, by any means, but that’s something that I’m going to be hard on all year. If I would have went to Kansas, I would have been a little bit different, but I wanted to break that streak. That’s my goal. We’re gonna do it. I have all faith in God that that’s what his plan is.”
Media Day on Tuesday
Self and Jayhawk players Devonté Graham, Malik Newman and Svi Mykhailiuk are scheduled to attend Tuesday’s Big 12 media day at the Sprint Center. After that, the Jayhawks will practice back in Lawrence as they prepare for their second of three exhibitions — an October 31 home contest against Pittsburg State.
“There are a lot of things we learned,” Self said of Sunday’s first taste of exhibition basketball. It was a game in which the Jayhawks, who trailed by four at halftime, saw a 17-point lead dip to six in the final moments. “What we’ve been saying all along … we are not a good rebounding team at all. We’ve got to do it by committee.”
MU, led by freshman frontcourt players Jontay Porter (12 boards), Michael Porter Jr. (eight boards) and Jeremiah Tilmon (four boards), outrebounded KU, 41-37. Graham led the Jayhawks with 10 rebounds, all on the defensive end. Newman grabbed six rebounds, while center Udoka Azubuike, forward Billy Preston and guard Marcus Garrett had four apiece.
“They dominated the glass for the most part, offensively at least for the majority of the night,” Self stated. MU had 19 offensive rebounds to KU’s 10.
“I thought Missouri outscrapped us, especially the first half,” Self added of a Tiger team that led 44-40 at halftime and by as many as six points the final half before KU used a 26-7 run to build its 17-point lead. “That’s something we can certainly control ourselves. There were a lot of things I didn’t think we did great.”