Two of Kansas’ highest priorities in the 2019 basketball recruiting class have managed to do something fairly hard in the social media era: keep their plans on lockdown.
Cole Anthony and Precious Achiuwa, both five-star recruits, have been quiet throughout their high school careers about the schools that stand out to them and have declined to publicly elaborate on their situations despite being consensus top-10 players nationally.
“I don’t pay attention to recruiting right now,” Achiuwa told The Star on Saturday. “I’m just worried about finishing the summer strong.”
A 6-foot-8 forward, Achiuwa is a physical player who already has a body ready for the college game. Playing for New Heights at the Under Armour Challenge, he had a slew of head coaches watching him last week.
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Newly hired Connecticut coach Dan Hurley was a fixture at his games along with coaches from St. John’s and Syracuse. Hurley coached for nine years at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, N.J., where Achiuwa currently attends, and has made him a priority since being hired.
Achiuwa’s older brother God’sgift played for St. John’s under former coach Steve Lavin. Kansas also has been on Achiuwa’s radar for a while.
After his AAU season ends, he plans to sit down with his family before deciding on the next step in his recruitment.
Anthony, the son of former NBA player Greg Anthony, has been quiet on the advice of his father, who doesn’t think he has anything to gain by publicly commenting on the schools he’s hearing from.
“To comment on any one school would be unfair,” he told The Star in April during the first Nike EYBL session.
He stayed true to his word at the Peach Jam, declining to elaborate on his current recruiting situation.
Anthony is another prospect built for today’s college game as he can score or distribute depending on what his team needs.
Jayhawks coach Bill Self and assistant Norm Roberts watched Anthony play for the PSA Cardinals at the Peach Jam and appear to have him toward the top of their wish list. Self has made Anthony a priority after recently coaching him on the USA under-18 national team.
Like Anthony, Roberts hails from Queens and has strong recruiting ties in the Big Apple. Anthony currently plays for Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens but has said it’s likely he plays his final year of high school basketball elsewhere.
He recently told the New York Post that he plans to wait as long as he can before picking a college because of the possibility of a coach changing jobs.
Josh Christopher offered by KU
Josh Christopher, a five-star shooting guard in the 2020 class, recently picked up an offer from Kansas and admitted he doesn’t know a lot about the program.
Playing for the Las Vegas Prospects at the Peach Invitational Tournament, Christopher said the only visit he has planned right now is Missouri, but plans to learn more about the Jayhawks from close friend Billy Preston.
“He’s like my brother,” Christopher said. “I’ll probably talk to him about it, see what he thought of it in regards to his situation. I’m sure he’ll have something good to tell me.”
Christopher’s cousin Nicodemus is the strength coach at Missouri and was offered by the Tigers in April.
He’s yet to fully embrace the recruiting process because of summer commitments: AAU, USA basketball and the Drew League.
Anthony Edwards on Jayhawks’ radar
Anthony Edwards, a consensus five-star recruit in the 2020 class, could emerge as a Kansas priority next year as his stock continues to rise. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard had a strong showing at the Under Armour Challenge while playing for the Atlanta Express.
Edwards is a scoring machine who plays tough defense and even serves as a rim protector despite his size. He already holds a Kansas offer and the Jayhawks have been in contact, but the pressure is on new Georgia coach Tom Crean to keep him from leaving the state. Crean was courtside for a lot of his games this past week.