Tarczewski takes in Kansas

The date book of Kaleb Tarczewski is bursting at the seams in the month of June, with a trio of unofficial visits on the docket. Last week, he took the first of those visits to the University of Kansas - a program with which he is well familiar, by virtue of the two previous unofficial visits to the Lawrence, Kan. campus already under his belt.

With three visits to Lawrence, Kan. now under his belt, Kaleb Tarczewski is certainly no stranger to the campus of the University of Kansas.

The five-star big man first visited the Jayhawks program unofficially in the spring of 2010, following the annual Jayhawk Invitational basketball tournament. By then, Head Coach Bill Self and his staff - led by assistant Joe Dooley - had already long since begun their legwork in his recruitment, having identified him early.

Tarczewski then took a follow-up visit Jan. 29, to experience Allen Fieldhouse during a gameday setting as the Kansas State Wildcats came to town.

On Thursday he arrived in Lawrence yet again, to begin the first of three June unofficial visits that could signal entry into the home stretch of his recruitment.

According to his AAU coach, former Boston Celtics head coach John Carroll, the trip to Kansas was a big hit. As Tarczewski's father had accompanied him on the two trips previous, this time it was his mom's turn to come along and see things for herself.

"I think he enjoyed it," Carroll said. "I think his mom enjoyed it. I think he has a really high comfort level because he's been there numerous times."

While on campus, Tarczewski had the chance to play pickup ball with members of the current team, meet with some of the academic staff, strength coach Andrea Hudy and - of course - the coaching staff.

Most of it he's done before, Carroll said, but since it was mom's first trip the overlap was understandable.

"He kind of did the full monty, if you will," the coach explained. "Whatever you can do on an unofficial visit, he pretty much did."

The Jayhawks have long been considered by many to be the clubhouse leaders for Tarczewski, and while that may or may not be true, Carroll did praise the Kansas coaches for their handling of the recruitment - particularly Dooley, whom he said has probably "recruited him harder than anyone else in the country."

"Within the rules, he's done everything you can humanly do as an assistant coach," Carroll explained. "I think they've worked really hard. They've been present whenever they needed to be, they've been on the phone whenever they needed to be."

Monday, Tarczewski embarks on the second of his scheduled unofficials - a two-day trip to Chapel Hill, N.C. and the University of North Carolina - before rounding things out with a visit to Arizona on June 20-21.

Right now, those three schools sit at the top of his list, Carroll explained, with a small caveat.

"I think those are his top three school as we speak," he said. "But I think he didn't want to limit it to just those three, in case he goes on these visits and they don't turn out to be exactly what he thought. He'd have a little bit of wiggle room."

As of now, the plan appears to be to spend June gathering perhaps a final round of information before returning to the court with his AAU squad - the New England Playaz - during the July evaluation period to continue improving and becoming, in Carroll's words, "the kind of player he can be."

After that, assuming everything goes according to plan, decision time could be on the horizon for one of the elite big men in the Class of 2012.

"I think in the month of August he'd like to sit back and think about it, and by the time he comes back to school (at Southborough (MA) St. Mark's School) have a decision made," Carroll explained. "I think that's the gameplan."


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