Rounding out KU's Class of 2011

With Ben McLemore now in the fold, two more scholarships to fill and the collegiate futures of several current players still up in the air, Head Coach Bill Self and his staff at Kansas are working the recruiting trail as hard as anyone this spring.

While the search for talent is on-going, it's easy to see a theme developing. Faced with the possibility of having to replace the bulk of their 2010-2011 rotation in the paint – and with two guards in McLemore and point guard Naadir Tharpe already in the fold – the Jayhawks are searching far and wide for big men to round out the Class of 2011.

Here's a look at some of the names currently on the Kansas radar:

DeAndre Daniels

A 6-foot-8 prospect from Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy, most Kansas fans are already well familiar with Daniels, who visited the Lawrence, Kan. campus in early December.

Reports indicated that Daniels wished to sign with a school and enroll at semester - something made possible by his status as a full qualifier - and until mid-January all signs seemed to be that Kansas would be that school. However, the enrollment deadline came and went at each school on his list, and he instead chose to return to IMG for the spring.

In what was once thought to be a two school race for his services between Kansas and Texas, Duke has thrown its own hat into the ring in recent weeks. Now, the combo forward is reported to be visiting Durham, N.C. next weekend. One figures a decision will come soon thereafter, as the trip to Duke will exhaust his supply of five official visits.

Braeden Anderson

A one-time DePaul commit, Anderson – a 6-foot-8 power forward from Wilbraham (MA) and Monson Academy – has seen his stock rise more dramatically than perhaps any recruit in the country during the past few months.

The Jayhawks were one of the first big names to get involved with him in the spring, and a March official visit elicited a strong response from the talented big man.

"The experience I had over there was just absolutely ridiculous," Anderson said, of his visit to Lawrence. "I can't forget it, as much as other people try to swing me in different directions. I can't stop bringing them up."

Anderson is currently focusing on three schools – Arizona, Kansas and Kentucky – though he picked up late offers from Memphis and Missouri this week, one of which he may decide to visit officially. He will participate in the 2011 Derby Classic all-star event in Louisville, Ky.

Otto Porter

A 6-foot-8 combo forward from Sikeston (MO) Scott County Central, Porter is a rarity in the world of high school hoops these days in that he chose not to participate in the AAU basketball system.

In a way, that makes his spot as the No. 49-ranked player in the class all the more impressive, especially when on considers that he plays his prep ball for a small classification school.

Long and lanky, he impressed Scout.com national recruiting analyst Evan Daniels with his play at the Marshall County Hoopfest in Draffenville, Ky. back in December, where Daniels said he did "a little of everything."

"Where Porter was the most effective from mid-range, where he knocked down six 14 to 18-foot jump shots," he wrote. "According to his coach his ability to shoot is something he works on on a daily basis."

Long thought to be signed, sealed and delivered to the University of Missouri, the departure of former head coach Mike Anderson to Arkansas may have opened the door a crack for other programs to get involved – though the Tigers certainly remain a factor.

According to Scott County Central head coach Kenyon Wright, Porter will visit Georgetown this weekend and has plans to visit Kansas later in the month. He will participate in the Jordan Brand Classic all-star game April 16 in Charlotte, N.C.

Stan Simpson

A junior college prospect from Carterville (IL) John A. Logan Community College, the 6-foot-9 Simpson is also on the radar of a number of top programs.

As of mid-March, the former University of Illinois power forward told Scout.com his list was down to four schools – UCONN, Kansas, Kentucky and Memphis. He takes the first of his official visits this weekend, traveling to Memphis.

According to Simpson, Self and assistant coach Kurtis Townsend stopped by to see him last week. He has cited the winning tradition of Kansas and Self as the driving force behind his interest in the Jayhawks.

Jamari Traylor

Another prospect from IMG Academy, though the 6-foot-6 Traylor is perhaps undersized for a traditional power forward, he makes up for it with his athleticism and outstanding motor.

We got the opportunity to see Traylor in persona at the NeXt All-American Classic in Chicago last weekend, and the Chi-Town native was impressive - finishing in traffic and blocking shots.

There's some question about his ability to qualify academically, but the list of schools recruiting him is impressive nonetheless. Having already visited Indiana officially, Traylor hopes to visit Kansas, Mississippi State and St. John's in coming weeks, before making a decision by the end of the month.

"I know I can play anywhere," he said. "Just as far as my college decision, I just want to go somewhere I can play as a freshman."


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