Rock Chalk Jayhawk: KU basketball traditions fill ‘The Phog’
Kansas basketball coach Bill Self on Tuesday traveled to St. Louis to meet with Caleb Love, a 6-foot-3, 175-pound senior point guard from Christian Brothers College High School and Brad Beal Elite AAU.
Love, the No. 20-ranked player in the recruiting Class of 2020 by Rivals.com, has a final list of KU, Missouri, Indiana, Louisville, North Carolina and Arizona.
Love also met with coaches from UNC and Louisville on Tuesday in St. Louis. Love, who visited Missouri last weekend, is slated to visit KU on Oct. 12-13.
“Prior to announcing his list, most figured that Love was bound to leave the St. Louis area and that he wasn’t likely to have any local schools on his list of finalists. So, when Mizzou was included, many speculated it was a ‘favor’ listing while he picked between the real finalists,” writes Eric Bossi of Rivals.com.
“Listing Mizzou is looking to be far more than a favor and based on what I’ve been hearing the last few weeks, Cuonzo Martin and the Tigers are emerging as a very legitimate contender to land Love,” Bossi adds. “Love was in Columbia last weekend and the early buzz is that Martin and his staff continued to build on the momentum they’ve been gaining. Now, I’m not ready to proclaim the Tigers a favorite over the two that have seemed to be in the best position for a while – North Carolina and Louisville – but I do think it’s time we stop (dismissing) any thought that Love could stay local and play for his home state program.”
KU offers scholarship to Kalkbrenner
The Jayhawks have made a scholarship offer to Ryan Kalkbrenner, a 7-0, 225-pound senior center from Trinity Catholic High School in St. Louis, according to Jayhawkslant.com. Kalkbrenner is ranked No. 68 in the recruiting Class of 2020 by Rivals.com.
He’s received offers from KU, Kansas State, Missouri, Purdue, Cincinnati, Xavier, Illinois and others. He played AAU basketball for Mac Irvin Fire of Chicago.
KU coaches met with Kalkbrenner on Tuesday as well as Davion Bradford, a 7-0, 260-pound senior center from Mehlville Senior High in St. Louis. Bradford will visit KU for the Oct. 4 Late Night in the Phog. He played AAU basketball for MOKAN Elite.
Sissoko picks Michigan State
Mady Sissoko, a 6-8, 225-pound senior forward from Wasatch Academy in Utah, orally committed to Michigan State on Tuesday night in a ceremony at his high school. He chose the Spartans over KU, Memphis and BYU.
Sissoko on Tuesday sat at a table with hats of his four finalists in front of him. After making a short opening statement he grasped the MSU hat and placed it on his head.
There was little suspense as recently he canceled visits to KU and Memphis. Sissoko, a former high school teammate of KU freshman Tristan Enaruna, averaged 12.5 points and 8.9 rebounds per game as a junior. Sissoko is ranked No. 40 in the recruiting Class of 2020 by Rivals.com.
Hampton likes New Zealand
R.J. Hampton, the No. 6-ranked player in the recruiting Class of 2019 who elected to play pro ball in New Zealand during the 2019-20 season instead of attending Kansas, Duke, Kentucky or Memphis for a one-and-done season, tells USA Today he’s “really liking” the start of his overseas adventure.
Hampton arrived in New Zealand for training camp of the New Zealand Breakers on Aug. 17.
“It’s surpassing my expectations being over here,” Hampton, a 6-5 combo guard out of Little Elm (Texas) High School, wrote in his most recent blog entry at USAToday.com. “People always want to know if I regret my decision and I can say that I 100% don’t regret it at all. Being here just reinforces to me that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. It feels good to be able to say that.”
He did note that “it really helps to have my family over here with me. I don’t know what I would do without them. We have a house here and it’s really been normal. My little brother is home schooled, and everyone is adjusting really well.”
Hampton is projected as a lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
“I’m excited to tell you guys that my Li-Ning shoes should be out soon! I’m giving my input on the colors and what I want to do with it, but I’ve actually been wearing them and they’re amazing! I feel like people will really like them,” Hampton wrote in his blog. Yes, he already has a lucrative shoe contract.
KU-Duke tip time set
Starting time for the Champions Classic game between KU and Duke will be 6 p.m. Central time Nov. 5 at New York’s Madison Square Garden, it was announced Tuesday. Michigan State and Kentucky will follow approximately 8:30 p.m. The games are on ESPN.