University of Kansas

KU basketball recruiting target Jalen Wilson to visit Lawrence on Thursday

Jalen Wilson, a 6-foot-8 small forward from Guyer High in Denton, Texas, who recently asked out of his national letter-of-intent with Michigan, on Thursday will begin an official visit to Kansas, he confirmed to The Star in a text message.

Wilson — who reopened his recruiting May 16 after Wolverines coach John Beilein accepted the Cleveland Cavaliers job — said in the text he has no official list of prospective schools.

He is scheduled to complete his official visit Saturday, then head to North Carolina for a visit on June 3-5. He also said recently he’s considering Florida and Oklahoma State. Michigan still remains a possibility for Rivals.com’s No. 47-rated player in the recruiting Class of 2019.

“(Forward) Silvio De Sousa’s return does little to impact Kansas’ pursuit of Jalen Wilson,” writes Corey Evans of Rivals.com. “The Jayhawks had a major hole to fill at the power forward spot which only could have been filled by De Sousa due to the limited amount of college-ready big men available this spring. They will continue to pursue N’Faly Dante (6-10 forward, Sunrise Christian Academy, Bel Aire, Kansas), though, as he could potentially reclassify into the 2019 class, but he is no longer a must-have prospect for Kansas thanks to De Sousa’s return.

“Regarding Wilson, the small forward position remains a major need for Kansas,” Evans adds. “Missing on Precious Achiuwa (to Memphis) really hurt the Jayhawks, and Wilson is intrigued by the opportunities available at his position in Lawrence. He visits KU this week and is expected to visit North Carolina in the coming days. While others such as Florida, Michigan and Oklahoma State remain involved, the best bet is that he will not get past mid-June without giving his verbal commitment which will likely be celebrated by the Jayhawks.”

The first session of summer school at KU begins Tuesday.

Wilson signed with Michigan in November 2018. He chose the Wolverines over KU, Baylor, Marquette, Oklahoma State, UCLA and others. He went on to average 18.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists a game for Guyer last season.

Wilson is a good friend of R.J. Hampton, a 6-5 senior point guard from Little Elm (Texas) High, who on Tuesday announced he’d signed a contract to play pro basketball in New Zealand a year before entering the NBA Draft.

Wilson grew up somewhat of a KU fan despite the fact he was named after former Michigan Fab Five guard Jalen Rose.

“Growing up I loved the Morris twins. They were really big role models,” Wilson said of NBA players Marcus and Markieff Morris in a podcast with Joe Tipton of Tipton Edits. “I love Kansas basketball. Just Allen Fieldhouse .. the atmosphere is crazy. That’s the loudest I’ve ever heard a gym (during visit to KU during his junior season). Just the tradition they have there. They have a lot of successful guards and wings. Just the basketball, the atmosphere, the crowds, the alumni, the college itself is so alive. It never dies. Coach (Bill) Self and his staff are great coaches. They are really cool. You can talk to them. It’s not even like a coach to a player relationship. (Self says), ‘I am here to make you get better, make you reach your dreams.’ That’s what I really like about him.”

Of what he wants to find out on his trip to KU, Wilson told Tipton Edits: “See what he (Self) has in store if I was to come there, what he envisions for me, what my role would be. I’m getting down to the wire with coaches: ‘What do you see me playing? How do I fit in the system?’ My plans for college are not to come and sit. I feel I am the best player on every school I’m considering. I just want to make an impact and win.”

Dante to reclassify?

There is growing speculation that N’Faly Dante, a 6-10, 225-pound senior-to-be from Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, Kansas, may switch to the recruiting Class of 2019. He currently is ranked No. 8 in the Class of 2020 by Rivals.com.

“There is not a better shot-blocker or rim presence in America than Dante,” writes Evans of Rivals.com. “The 7-footer has tremendous length but even better instincts and timing in dominating his area near the basket. It is even more promising to see his offensive capabilities improve, as has his confidence within crowded spaces. Having done really all that there is to do in the high school game, talk has picked up again on possibly making the move into the 2019 class. Kansas, Kentucky, LSU, Michigan State and Oregon are just a few of the programs in the mix.”

Evans noted that Kentucky has a need for a power forward.

“The Wildcats might not land N’Faly Dante,” Evans writes, “though they are pushing for his early enrollment.”

Also, there remains speculation Kyree Walker could reclassify. Walker, a 6-5 senior-combo guard to-be from Hillcrest Academy in Phoenix, who averaged 30.1 points a game his junior season, is being recruited by KU, Arkansas and others. He’s the No. 17-ranked player in the Class of 2020 by Rivals.com. He decommitted from Arizona State last October.

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