Kansas coach Bill Self spent the weekend moving around the country during the NCAA’s three-day spring evaluation period for recruiting.
Self spent time at the Under Armour Jayhawk Invitational in Gardner before heading to the Nike EYBL event in Sacramento. Kansas assistant Norm Roberts evaluated in Sacramento and Dallas, while assistant Jerrance Howard and Self watched top prospects Malik Newman (No. 1 in 2015) and Josh Jackson (No. 1 in 2016) here in town.
It came on the heels of a two-week recruiting period in early April. The spring evaluation period is often for discovering players and setting up recruiting strategies for the three weeks of evaluation periods in July. It’s early in the process, of course, so compiling recruiting lists and identifying potential KU targets is full of pitfalls.
But as Self and his staff come off the road and work on adding some final pieces to their 2014 class, here are 10 names to follow in the Class of 2015. The list was compiled with help from Shay Wildeboor of Rivals.com and Matt Scott of 24/7 Sports.
Carlton Bragg, No. 10 in Rivals’ top 150, 6-8, forward
Villa Angela St. Joseph (Cleveland, Ohio)
Top post prospect from Ohio, Bragg competed in the adidas event in Dallas this past weekend. One of the many schools also interested: Kentucky.
Jaylen Brown, No. 11 in Rivals’ top 150, 6-7, small forward
Wheeler High (Marietta, Ga.)
Kansas recently had luck signing a small forward from Georgia (Brannen Greene). Brown According to Rivals, Brown has offers from UCLA, Kansas, Louisville, Arizona, Georgetown … well, just about everybody. Kentucky is also interested.
Jalen Brunson, No. 14 in Rivals’ top 150, 6-1, point guard
Stevenson High (Lincolnshire High)
Son of former NBA player Rick Brunson, the younger Brunson was selected the 2013-14 Gatorade Illinois Boys Basketball Player of the Year as a junior. The state of Illinois, of course, also included Jahlil Okafor, the No. 1 overall recruit in 2014, and KU signee Cliff Alexander.
Chance Comanche, No. 12 in Rivals’ top 150, 6-10, center
View Park Continution (Los Angeles)
There are plenty of big-time post prospects on the West Coast. Rivals’ scouting report says Comanche “… is comfortable shooting jumpers out to 15 feet and is an alert passer. He blocks some shots but will become more effective there … as he adds the strength.”
Cheick Diallo, No. 8 in Rivals’ top 150, 6-9, forward
Our Savior New American (Centereach, N.Y.)
A high-motor-type big man from the East Coast; KU has landed a few of those during Bill Self’s tenure.
Tyler Davis, No. 20 in Rivals’ top 150, 6-9, center
Plano, Texas (Plano, West)
A wide-body from the Dallas metroplex, Self was able to see Davis in person on Sunday morning.
Malik Newman, No. 1 in Rivals’ top 150, 6-3, shooting guard
Callaway High (Jackson, Miss.)
A Ben Gordon-type combo guard, Newman was in Kansas City this past weekend competing in the Under Armour Jayhawk Invitational. He didn’t mention specific schools, but he should have no shortage of interest as he enters the summer as the No. 1 overall recruit.
Ivan Rabb, No. 2 in Rivals’ top 150, 6-9, forward
Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, Calif.)
Another big man out West, Rabb is also reportedly drawing heavy interest from Arizona, Cal, Georgetown and North Carolina.
Justin Simon, No. 23 in Rivals’ top 150, 6-4, shooting guard
Temecula Valley (Temecula, Calif.)
Kansas offered Simon earlier this year, according to Rivals. He’s also looking at Arizona, San Diego State, Southern Cal and Louisville, among others.
Stephen Zimmerman, No. 4, 7-0, center
Bishop Gorman High School (Las Vegas)
One of the most sought-after big men in the class, Zimmerman has offers from just about everybody. Rivals’ scouting report says Zimmerman is not your “typical low post banger but does have a physical edge to him. Very smooth from end to end and highly skilled with the ball (and) shoots well to 17 feet…”