Tyon Grant-Foster’s commitment to Kansas, which the 6-foot-7 Indian Hills Community College guard/forward announced on Monday, gives KU basketball coach Bill Self his first pledge from a prospect since the program received an official notice of allegations from the NCAA on Sept. 23.
“Can’t understate (how) crucial for a commitment this is for Kansas. One of the top junior college talents and the first to commit to KU since the NCAA released its initial infractions. Should be a productive one for Self and company,” recruiting analyst Corey Evans of Rivals.com wrote on Twitter on Monday.
Grant-Foster, a first-team Street and Smith Magazine preseason juco All-American out of Kansas City Schlagle High School, says Self and KU assistant Jerrance Howard willingly answered his questions about the NCAA’s inquiry into KU hoops.
“They were right up front about it. They told me all the possibilities (that) could happen. Coach Self said he’ll handle it,” Grant-Foster told The Star in a phone interview on Monday.
KU, which figures to learn its NCAA fate sometime next spring or summer, will likely need to fill several vacant roster spots for next season. KU currently has 12 players on scholarship, one under the NCAA limit of 13. The Jayhawks will lose scholarship seniors Udoka Azubuike and Isaiah Moss with current senior Mitch Lightfoot possibly redshirting this season and returning for a fifth year.
Meanwhile, non-seniors Silvio De Sousa, Devon Dotson, Ochai Agbaji and David McCormack all could conceivably turn pro. Losing others to the pros or transfer is always a possibility.
Whatever the case … a versatile Grant-Foster figures to be an immediate rotation player in 2020-21.
“Tyon Grant-Foster is a legitimate NBA prospect based on what I have seen out of him,” Rivals.com analyst Eric Bossi wrote Monday. “Looking forward to getting to know his game better throughout the season. Will be heading to watch him play here in a few weeks when Indian Hills plays John Logan College. He’ll be matched up with Louisville bound Jay Scrubb who many feel is the premier junior college player in the land.
“Grant-Foster has great size, he’s very versatile, he plays extremely hard and he’s a leader. Late bloomer who is improving at a rapid rate and still has significant upside to improve,” Bossi added.
Indian Hills coach Hank Plona on Monday praised Grant-Foster on Twitter.
“Thrilled for Tyon Grant-Foster on his commitment to Kansas! Tyon is a special talent, and the real deal of a person. I am so proud of his hard work, character, and determination. Sky is the limit for Tyon! @Ty_Youngbull,” Plona wrote.
Grant-Foster said he’s heard from a lot of family and friends via text and social media since announcing his commitment to KU on Monday. He chose KU over Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Arkansas, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Mississippi, Oregon, SMU, St. John’s, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, and others.
“They say they are really proud of me and know if I keep pushing (that) the sky is the limit,” Grant-Foster said.
KU’s Dotson on Cousy watch list
Kansas sophomore Devon Dotson is one of 20 point guards listed as a candidate for the 2019-2020 Bob Cousy Award, presented annually to the top lead guard in the country.
Texas Tech’s Davide Moretti is the only other Big 12 player on the list which includes Kentucky sophomore Ashton Hagans, Duke sophomore Tre Jones, Marquette senior Markus Howard, Michigan State senior Cassius Winston and North Carolina freshman Cole Anthony.
Others on the list: Remy Martin, Arizona State; McKinley Wright, Colorado; Andrew Nembhard, Florida; Trent Forrest, Florida State; Bryce Aiken, Harvard; Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois; Anthony Cowan, Maryland; Zavier Simpson, Michigan; Payton Pritchard, Oregon; Jordan Ford, Saint Mary’s; Lamonte Turner, Tennessee; Marcus Evans, VCU and Kihei Clark, Virginia.
The winner of the Cousy Award will be presented on April 10, 2020, in Los Angeles.
Recruit Baldwin has Kansas ties
Patrick Baldwin, Jr., a 6-9 junior forward from Hamilton High in Sussex, Wisconsin, emerged as one of the top players at last weekend’s USA Basketball minicamp in Colorado Springs.
Baldwin, the No. 3-rated player in the recruiting Class of 2021 according to Rivals.com, is son of former Leavenworth High and Northwestern University standout Patrick Baldwin, the head coach at UW-Milwaukee.
Baldwin’s mom, Shawn, was a volleyball standout at Northwestern.
“Duke’s been up. Kentucky, Michigan, UCLA has been up. Northwestern, Georgetown has been up a couple of times. So those are the main ones that have come up right now. And I’ll probably just see how it goes,” Baldwin, Jr., said over the weekend to Rivals.com.
Of his recruiting, Baldwin Jr., told Rivals.com: “I think just using my dad to bounce ideas off of and asking good questions is my approach. I don’t want to make the wrong decision and you see so many guys transferring. So I am just taking my time and living in the moment with all of this.”
Baldwin added to USA Today: “I may take a couple local visits, but I haven’t taken any officials yet and don’t have plans for any. That time will come, but not now. Both of my parents committed right before their senior season so that’s kind of my timetable, but if I’m not ready I’m not going to push it. That’s just my plan.”
Kendall Brown to visit Marquette
Kendall Brown, a 6-7 junior small forward from Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, Kansas will make an official visit to Marquette on Oct. 25-27 following his recent unofficial visit to KU, he tells Zagsblog.com.
Brown, the No. 18-ranked player in the recruiting Class of 2021 by Rivals.com, also is being recruited by Maryland, Nebraska, Arkansas, Baylor, Gonzaga and others.
“Late Night (in the Phog) was crazy,” Brown told Zagsblog.com. “I’ve never seen anything like it before.
“I got there on Friday (Oct. 4) and toured around a little bit before going to Late Night. They (KU coaches) said they really like me and like my game. They talked about what I need to work on. They’re excited about it. I’m a big guard on the wing, really bouncy. I’m athletic, so they’d have me get out and run.”
Brown said he plans on committing to a college “around next year before the school year starts.”
Miller emerges at USA camp
Adam Miller, a 6-3 senior from Chicago’s Morgan Park High School, impressed at last weekend’s USA Basketball minicamp in Colorado, according to Rivals.com analyst Bossi.
“The high scoring combo guard has been nails through two days of camp,” Bossi wrote Sunday of Miller, who is ranked No. 27 in the class of 2020 according to Rivals.com.
“He’s drained one deep jumper after another, used his strength to play through contact and has been playing with great energy. What makes him a pleasant surprise, though, is how good he’s been defensively. Don’t get me wrong, I never thought of him as a poor defender but he was on the potentially elite end of the spectrum Saturday.
“He’s taken visits to Arizona, Arizona State, Illinois and Louisville while Kansas and Wake Forest are still on his list but there’s no rush to decide. I tend to think this is shaping up as a Sun Devil/Illini battle but the resolution could take some time,” Bossi added.