Reports began to leak out that Milton Doyle had been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse this weekend, originating with ESPN.com and eventually verified by Gary Bedore of the Lawrence Journal World.
Monday, Phog.net tacked on its own confirmation of the good news - and it is good news indeed.
Despite last season's cinderella run to the national title game, the loss of Ben McLemore and Jamari Traylor - deemed partial qualifiers and ineligible for competition during the 2011-2012 season - was a big blow. Fortunately for Kansas fans, Bill Self isn't regarded as one of the best coaches in the game for nothing, and the Jayhawks found a way to thrive with the personnel they had available.
Doyle was a late signee, but his potential is tantalizing. A prospect who fits the label of "hidden gem," he was originally committed to Isaiah Thomas and Florida International - and remained so despite having a monster senior campaign at Chicago's Marshall High. When Thomas was released he opened up his recruitment and the Jayhawks pounced.
A 6-foot-4, 174-pound combo guard, during the second alumni scrimmage of the summer at Self's basketball camps, he handled himself extremely well. Handling point guard duties, he faced the likes of Russell Robinson and Aaron Miles, two of the best on-ball defenders of the Bill Self Era, and didn't blink. Additionally, he showed his deep range by canning a pair of threes and tacked on a driving layup.
The state of the point guard position is a topic of much discussion among Kansas fans this off-season, with the departure of Tyshawn Taylor to graduation and the NBA's Brooklyn Nets. Elijah Johnson is his heir apparent and seems poised for a breakout senior year, but a battle is expected for the spot behind him. Returning guard Naadir Tharpe is the likely candidate, but unique talents such as Doyle and Seattle Ranier Beach star Anrio Adams have the ability to claim the spot - and the minutes - for themselves.
Including McLemore and Traylor, the Jayhawks are sporting eight freshmen this season, and now await word on Adams. Assuming he is cleared, the Class of 2012 will be complete and the Jayhawks will be able to move forward without eligibility questions hanging over their head for the first time since the 2009-2010 season.
That's sweet relief indeed.