Kansas in the spotlight
Bill Self has a great deal riding on this weekend, given that numerous top targets will be on campus. It's not just a matter of how the players connect with the coaching staff, either; the visitors also will be assessing their potential future teammates.
No. 1 senior Jaylen Brown will be in attendance, as the Georgia native continues to entertain some of America's most traditionally powerful programs. He'll be joined by No. 11 Carlton Bragg (pictured above), No. 14 Stephen Zimmerman, No. 26 Brandon Ingram and No. 39 Tyler Dorsey.
Kansas likely will suffer its annual NBA attrition next spring — both freshmen Kelly Oubre and Cliff Alexander are projected to go top five in the draft according to Draft Express — so bolstering the frontcourt with immediate impact players will be key. That's why four of the five senior visitors stand 6-7 or taller.
And that's just the seniors heading to Kansas. KU will receive unofficial visits from No. 1 junior Jayson Tatum along with other underclassmen Malik Monk, De'Aaron Fox, Schnider Herard, Nick Rakocevic, Mitchell Ballock, Troy Brown, Jeremiah Tilmon, Marques Bolden and Trae Young.
Can Kansas turn a visit or two into an immediate commitment? We'll see about that next week. But every program recruiting the players on this list will have their fingers crossed that the next 72 hours aren't too much fun.
Interestingly, several of the Kansas visitors will travel to Kentucky next weekend. Arguably the country's top two recruiting forces going head to head in back to back weekends? Gotta love it if you're a recruiting fan.
Cowboys to make Stone throw
No. 4 Diamond Stone travels to Oklahoma State this weekend for a visit with the underdog Cowboys. Many speculated this past summer that Connecticut may hold the edge, but at this stage he appears determined to take his official visits.
|Wherever he lands, Stone projects as a starring one-year player|
Stone's recruitment has been difficult to track. His list now differs starkly from the one attached to him a year ago, and the purported package deal with Malik Newman from the spring now appears unlikely.
Biggie in Big Blue
Fresh off a stirring performance at USA Baskeball, top-10 center Caleb "Biggie" Swanigan will travel to Kentucky for his official visit with the Wildcats.
This is no ordinary visit. Kentucky's nationally televised NBA combine takes place this weekend — every NBA team is expected to have a representative on hand — and Swanigan will watch first hand as the scouts descend on Lexington. Think that might make an impression?
The 'Cats obviously expect to lose multiple players from this season's star-studded team, and thus they are selling Swanigan on an immediate role despite what may be the country's most loaded frontcourt this season.
While Kansas is stealing the show nationally, rival and one-time Big 12 colleague Missouri also will attempt to close the show with impact performers.
|Can Mizzou bring Briscoe to the Midwest?|
The Tigers are bringing to Columbia three blue-chip seniors: Isaiah Briscoe, Thomas Bryant and Antonio Blakeney. Landing any of the three with would be huge for Kim Anderson's program, especially if they could score with big man Bryant and pair him with one of the guards.
More Key visits
Mississippi State will field a talented assortment of players, including committed seniors Quinndary Weatherspoon and Tookie Brown. Meanwhile, according to Gene Swindoll of Gene's Page, elite guard Malik Newman also will be on campus along with D'Marcus Simonds, Clayton Hughes, Tyson Carter, Garrison Brooks, Alex Reese, Devin Gilmore and Jesse Little.
Top-five senior big man Skal Labissiere heads to Baylor. Few expect him to choose the Bears, but they've upset the apple cart with other players in the past. Scott Drew will attempt to make Labissiere his signature recruit from this class.