University of Kansas

R.J. Hampton slices list to four colleges, says he likes ‘family vibe’ at Kansas

Rock Chalk Jayhawk: KU basketball traditions fill ‘The Phog’

From early in the day until the moment of tip off for a game, Kansas basketball is steeped in tradition in Allen Fieldhouse.
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From early in the day until the moment of tip off for a game, Kansas basketball is steeped in tradition in Allen Fieldhouse.

R.J. Hampton, a 6-foot-5 junior point guard from Little Elm (Texas) High School, who is ranked No. 5 in the recruiting Class of 2020 by Rivals.com, has officially narrowed his list of prospective colleges to four.

After eliminating TCU, he has a final four of Kansas, Memphis, Duke and Kentucky.

“With Kansas, the main thing I like is the culture and the family vibe that coach (Bill) Self and coach (Jerrance) Howard have presented to me. They’ve been there since my freshman year and I love what they have going on,” Hampton wrote Tuesday in his own blog at USA Today.

Hampton confirmed in the blog he is seriously considering reclassifying to 2019 and entering college this summer or fall.

“I just wanted to see how the teams’ seasons ended and how the rosters were stacking up,” he said of developing a final list. “What I’ll really be looking at with this decision is who’s there and how I’ll fit in with next year’s squad. I just really want to know how I’d be used in the system.

“Tre Jones is staying at Duke and I think that’s great. Kansas has Devon (Dotson). All of the schools have really strong point guards so, again, that only makes it a more attractive option for me.”

Hampton will take required summer courses to become eligible to attend college during the 2019-20 school year but will not announce a reclassification decision until after he completes those classes, his father, Rod Hampton, told the Memphis Commercial-Appeal this week.

Stanley to hear from new UCLA coach?

Cassius Stanley, a 6-5 senior shooting guard from Sierra Canyon High in Chatsworth, Calif., who has a final list of KU, UCLA and Oregon, will certainly be hearing from new Bruins coach Mick Cronin in the near future.

Stanley, the No. 33-rated player in the recruiting Class of 2019 by Rivals.com, is scheduled to announce his college choice a week from Wednesday — the the first day of the month-long spring signing period. There have been unconfirmed rumors Duke and other schools have tried to become involved with Stanley.

“I expect we will have a conversation (with Cronin) out of respect for the program,” Stanley’s dad, Jerome Stanley, told the Los Angeles Times. “That was the purpose of waiting.”

Walker offered by KU

Kyree Walker, a 6-4 junior shooting guard from Hillcrest Academy in Phoenix, who is ranked No. 18 in the recruiting Class of 2020 by Rivals.com, was offered a scholarship by KU on Monday, according to the Hillcrest Prep Twitter account. He’s also been offered by Arkansas, Memphis, Nevada, Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas, California, Kentucky and others. At one point, he was committed to Arizona State.

“He’s a kid that’s super athletic,” Hillcrest Prep coach Nick Weaver said of Walker in an interview with arkansasonline.com. “Big body, an NBA body. Probably one of the best defenders you’ll see in the whole country. A lock-down defender. He’s a guy that’s super versatile, super athletic, can play a 1, 2 or 3.”

Walker also is considering reclassifying to 2019.

“That’s a decision the family is going to make,” Weaver told arkansasonline.com. “I know they’re going through it right now. I know they’ve talked about it and they very highly considered it. So if he did, it wouldn’t surprise me.”

Here’s ESPN.s scouting report on Walker:

“Walker is an attacking guard/wing who can get to the rim. He has the quickness and frame to defend both wing positions. … Walker is not afraid of making plays on both sides of the floor and his frame allows him to play through bumps. He must invest time into his jump shot and mid-range game. At this moment, Walker struggles knocking down shots from the catch and shoot three and from mid range. Walker must also work on his change of speed and direction to become an elite attacking guard.”

ESPN added: “Walker plays up two grade levels so he’s young and full of competitive juices. Walker at this point can go either way on his development. Walker must continue to physically/mentally grow, refine his shot-making skills and continue developing his overall feel for the game to make that big, elite jump to the next level. Walker has the time, frame and the tools to do all of the above.”

Beverly a top guard prospect

Harlond Beverly, a 6-4 senior combo guard from Montverde (Fla.) Academy, is a “major priority” of KU, according to Eric Bossi of Rivals.com. Beverly, who is ranked No. 59 in the Class of 2019 by Rivals.com, has KU, Michigan, Indiana, Georgia, Miami and others on his list. He’s originally from Michigan.

“The guy who stood out most to me (at last week’s Geico Nationals) was Harlond Beverly,” Bossi wrote at Rivals.com. “The senior guard hails from Michigan and is in my opinion the best available guard in the country not named Cole Anthony, despite there being a few other guards ahead of him in the current rankings who remain open. Beverly is explosive. He can shoot with range. He does things pretty efficiently and he knows how to shine and get his while playing with other big-time talent. The more I see of him, I see a potential impact player anywhere in America and I have a feeling the race for his services is about to get very intense,” Bossi added.

KU 13th in preseason poll

KU is ranked No. 13 in the first 2019-20 preseason poll of ESPN’s Jeff Borzello. Michigan State is preseason No. 1. Kansas State, Wichita State and Missouri are not ranked in the top 25. Texas Tech is the only other Big 12 team listed at No. 14.

“For the first time in 15 seasons, Bill Self is not coaching the defending Big 12 regular-season champions. Can the Jayhawks start a new streak next season?” Borzello wrote on Tuesday. “There are a lot of questions to be answered in Lawrence. Lagerald Vick is gone, Charlie Moore is gone, Dedric Lawson is likely gone, K.J. Lawson is likely gone. What will Quentin Grimes and Udoka Azubuike decide to do? If both Grimes and Azubuike return, they will join high-level point guard Devon Dotson and part-time starters Ochai Agbaji, Marcus Garrett and David McCormack.”

Actually, Dedric Lawson has declared for the NBA Draft and K.J. Lawson and Moore have announced plans to transfer. There’s a strong possibility Grimes and Azubuike will declare for the draft. The status of Silvio De Sousa is also in question. He’s been declared ineligible for the 2019-20 season by the NCAA, though KU has appealed the ruling.

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