After receiving commitments from Iowa graduate transfer guard Isaiah Moss and Denton, Texas high school small forward Jalen Wilson earlier this week, Kansas’ basketball coaches hit the recruiting trail Thursday in search of players in the Class of 2020.
One KU target competing at the NBPA Top 100 camp in Charlottesville, Virginia is Mady Sissoko, a 6-foot-10, 225-pound senior to-be-center from Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant, Utah. He’s a former teammate of incoming KU freshman forward Tristan Enaruna. Sissoko is originally from Mali. Enaruna from the Netherlands.
Sissoko, the No. 48-ranked player in the recruiting Class of 2020 by Rivals.com, is being recruited by KU, Michigan State, Auburn, Arizona, UCLA, Colorado, Miami, North Carolina State, Minnesota, Arizona State, BYU and others.
“Everywhere Mady Sissoko goes this spring and summer, the now top 50 player in 2020 just dominates in the paint,” writes Eric Bossi of Rivals.com. “While many bigs are trying to show off their perimeter skills, Sissoko is only concerned with dunking everything he can, running the floor and dishing out punishment.”
Wasatch coach David Evans says: “I have never seen a player improve more in three years than Mady. He has tremendous athleticism, work ethic and an amazing motor. He plays so hard. Mady believes that he can defend anyone and get every rebound. He continues to work on all his skills and has developed a very consistent outside shot. (He is) a great free throw shooter and post up player.”
Sissoko averaged 12.5 points and 8.9 rebounds a game for Wasatch in 2018-19. Bossi says Sissoko is in no hurry to make a decision and his recruitment is still “pretty wide open at this point.”
KU is recruiting yet another player our of Wasatch Academy — Caleb Lohner, a 6-7, 200-pound senior-to-be forward ranked No. 89 in the Class of 2020 by Rivals.com. Lohner, who is from Dallas, tells Rivals.com he’s considering KU, Stanford, Baylor, Texas A&M, Michigan State, BYU and others.
“There is a kid on my high school team, Tristan (Enaruna), he just committed there about a month ago. Bill Self has been in our gym a few times and the interactions that we have had have been great,” Lohner tells Rivals.com. “I love their assistant coaches. They reached out to me and hopefully I can take a visit there. I have a lot of interest in that school.”
Wasatch coach Evans says of Lohner, who averaged 10.4 points and 5.4 rebounds a game last season: “Caleb is a matchup problem for most teams. His ability to shoot, penetrate or post up is what makes him different. He is a team guy who is also a great passer and rebounder. He makes players around him better.”
Thor on KU’s wish list
J.T. Thor, a 6-9, 185-pound power forward from Huntington Prep in West Virginia, is expected to switch from the recruiting Class of 2021 to 2020. Currently ranked No. 11 in the Class of 2021, Thor is considering KU, Kentucky, Maryland, Arizona State, California, LSU and others.
“J.T. Thor is one of the most talented and versatile prospects in the 2021 class, and it seems that each week another prominent program enters his recruitment. The situation must play out a bit more before a leader emerges,” writes Corey Evans of Rivals.com.
“The five-star (has) visited New Mexico and Maryland. Kansas also hosted Thor earlier this spring and that is where he will end up if the Jayhawks prioritize him and continue to recruit him thoroughly. The Jayhawks are a favorite of Thor’s and seeing that he has the chance to reclassify into the 2020 class — an option that Thor currently remains on the fence about — Kansas might be able to have Thor on campus this time next year. However, Maryland has made strides with him and he also holds offers from other programs, including Arizona State, LSU, Miami, NC State and Pitt,” Evans adds.
Maker considering KU, others
Makur Maker, a 7-foot, 230-pound senior-to-be center from Lutheran High in Orange, California, who is ranked No. 5 in the recruiting Class of 2020 by Rivals.com, tells Rivals.com he’s being recruited by KU, Oregon, Kentucky, Alabama, USC, UCLA and others. Oregon is considered the favorite.
“For a month or so there has been rampant speculation that the 7-footer would ultimately end up enrolling at a college in the fall instead of going to high school in 2019-20. Maker made it very clear to an assembled group of media that he has no interest in enrolling early and that he’ll be remaining in his class,” writes Eric Bossi of Rivals.com. “He says that he needs reps and more time to adjust before college and that’s fair. I checked with his guardian as well and he echoed the same statements.”
No. 14-ranked Nix likes KU
Daishen Nix, a 6-4 senior-to-be point guard from Trinity International in Las Vegas, who is ranked No. 14 in the Class of 2020, is considering KU, UCLA, Maryland, UNLV, Arizona, Arizona State, Alabama, Kentucky, Memphis, West Virginia and others.
“Look for some clarity on his favorites towards the end of the summer,” Bossi writes, noting, “on Wednesday night, Nix was far and away the best point guard I saw take the floor during the four games I watched (in Virginia). He’s big, he’s physical, he has tremendous feel for the game, is the best passer in the class and he’s also a big-time defensive point guard because of his toughness and understanding of the game,” Bossi adds.
Jayhawks No. 1 on Gottlieb list
Jalen Wilson’s announcement that he’s attending KU has convinced national radio talk show host Doug Gottlieb that KU is the team to beat nationally in 2019-20.
“Kansas should be everyone’s No. 1 team in the country. Loaded, great point guard, impressive big men, great coach, complete roster in terms of depth, experience and now a talented frosh like Jalen Wilson,” Gottlieb wrote Thursday on Twitter.
KU’s recruiting ranked 17th best
KU’s recruiting class of Wilson, Enaruna, Christian Braun and Issac “Mackey” McBride is ranked No. 17 nationally by Rivals.com. The organization does not count grad transfer Moss in its ratings. Enaruna is ranked No. 44 by Rivals.com, Wilson No. 47, Braun No. 90 and McBride No. 103.
“Wilson has the chance to leave a quick imprint in Lawrence,” writes Rivals.com’s Evans. “The Jayhawks’ previous misses on Precious Achiuwa and Matthew Hurt ultimately did not derail their efforts in putting together a talented starting five and supporting cast. Wilson’s talents should translate well to the college game and he will be leaned upon for his versatility on both sides of the ball.
“He will likely battle Ochai Agbaji and Tristan Enaruna for minutes at the small forward spot next season. Due to Wilson’s size and athleticism, he could also fill the small ball 4-man role whenever Bill Self decides to go with a smaller lineup. Wilson’s greatest value is his shot-making as he is more than capable at creating his own offense in the half-court. That, along with his length and lateral abilities, and he should be leaned upon for guarding multiple positions on the defensive end.”
Jersey numbers revealed
KU has revealed jersey numbers for the 2019-20 Jayhawks. Players with the same numbers as last year: Udoka Azubuike (35), Silvio De Sousa (22), Mitch Lightfoot (44), David McCormack (33), Marcus Garrett (0), Ochai Agbaji (30) and Chris Teahan (12). Devon Dotson has switched from No. 11 to No. 1. Newcomers: Jalen Wilson is No. 10, Christian Braun No. 2, Isaiah Moss No. 4, Tristan Enaruna No. 13, Issac McBride No. 55 and Michael Jankovich No. 20. Elijah Elliott has switched from No. 10 to No. 5.