KU Lands Three Recruits

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- The University of Kansas men's basketball team signed three highly-touted recruits -- Darnell Jackson, Alexander Kaun and Russell Robinson -- to national letters-of-intent, coach Bill Self announced on Wednesday.

Darnell Jackson is a 6-8 power forward from Oklahoma City, Okla., who posted 20 points and 12 rebounds per game last year at Northwest Classen High School. This season Jackson is playing his senior year at Midwest City High School in suburban Oklahoma City, and he is ranked as the 13th-best power forward and 52nd-best prospecst overall by Rivals.com.

"Darnell Jackson was the first young man to commit to us," Self said. "I'm really proud of Darnell. He's done a great job in the classroom, and he's just beginning to play basketball -- he didn't start playing until his ninth grade year. He has a great body at about 6-8, 240 pounds, and he has an unbelievable upside. He can run, he can jump, he's very coachable and he's very eager to learn. I think Darnell Jackson is the type of player -- with the way that we play -- who could be an inside force for us over the next several years. Darnell is now at Midwest City, and he has the opportunity to play for one of the top programs in Oklahoma under the direction of coach Rodney Dinde."

Alexander Kaun, who goes by "Sasha," is a 6-11 native of Siberia, Russia, but plays for Florida Air Academy in Melbourne, Fla. He is ranked as the fifth-best center and 23rd-best player in the nation by Rivals.com. He tallied 13.0 points, seven rebounds and two blocks per game last year while leading Florida Air Academy to a 29-0 record and a state championship.

"Sasha, in our opinion, is one of the very best big men in America," Self said. "He just started playing basketball his 10th grade year, and he has been very well coached under the direction of Aubin Gorporo. He comes from a very disciplined background at Florida Air Academy, where he really understands what it's like to get up and go to work everyday. I believe in time, Sasha can be a player that can go down as one of the best big men in recent Kansas history."

Finally, Russell Robinson is a 6-1 guard from New York, N.Y., who tallied 18 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals per game last season at Rice High School. He is rated the eighth-best shooting guard and 31st-best prospect overall by Rivals.com.

"Russell Robinson was probably as valuable a player to his team as any player was in America in summer basketball last year," Self said. "He led the Gauchos to three tournament championships, and he was named MVP of all three tournaments. He is a combination guard that can score, but can also handle the point. The thing I like most about him is his tenacity. He's tough, he can really, really defend and he could be a stopper-type defender. Anytime you can recruit someone out of Rice High School with coach Mo Hicks and its history of producing great players, I think that's a big feather in our cap. Coach (Norm) Roberts did a phenomenal job with Russell's recruitment."

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