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Kansas coach Bill Self raves about versatility of 3-man 2023 signing class

Kansas University basketball recruiting

The Kansas men’s basketball program officially added three prospects in the Class of 2023 to the roster for next season on Wednesday, when Chris Johnson, Jamari McDowell and Elmarko Jackson signed their letters of intent on the first day of the early signing period.

According to 247 Sports, the trio of new Jayhawks makes up the 10th best group in the 2023 class to date. Kansas coach Bill Self paid the group some pretty high praise in a news release announcing the arrival of their letters.

Self compared the group to past trios of Frank Mason III, Wayne Selden and Brannen Greene in 2013 and the Mario Chalmers, Brandon Rush, Micah Downs group from a 2005.

“To me, these three could fit in the same type of category as far as what their potential will be at KU,” Self said in the release. “(These guys) will all complement each other so well because they’re all similar but they’re so different because of their versatility.”

Johnson, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound wing from Fort Bend, Texas, who currently plays at Montverde Academy, was the first member of the class to commit to KU.

“Very versatile, can score, get his own shot but at the same time be a distributor,” Self said of Johnson. “The thing that people rave about with him is that he could be an elite defender, an elite collegiate defender.”

McDowell, a 6-4, 180-pound guard from Manvel, Texas, was the second player in the class to commit.

“Jamari is the best shooter of the three,” Self said. “He can make a shot with range. He’s got point guard skills and actually plays point guard for his high school team. At 6-4, he’s got great size for his skillset and is a guy that I kind of see as an Ochai (Agbaji) that you can throw lobs to and he’s a terrific 3-point shooter.”

Jackson, a 6-3, 185-pound lead guard originally from New Jersey, committed to KU just before Late Night in October and then made a visit to campus for the season tipoff event.

“He’s (an) athlete that can make plays with the ball and can play above the rim,” Self said of Jackson. “He is extremely explosive and a guy that has been well drilled, well taught in a short amount of time to put him in a position to potentially be a McDonald’s All American. We’re so excited to have him. He’ll be one of those versatile guards that can play the point, but also can play anywhere off the ball, as well.”

KU assistant Norm Roberts was the lead recruiter for Jackson, while second-year assistant Jeremy Case was the point man in KU’s pursuit of Johnson and McDowell.

Comments

Steve Zimmerman

This '23 bunch is going to rock AFH hardest. We've got perfect 3-men. All who can rise above the rim, can shoot, have control over ball, high court vision.. got to praise coach for recruiting these type of players.. versatile indeed. Please do NOT recruit guys taller than 6'3 who CAN'T DUNK. It's an embarrassment to the program.

3 weeks, 4 days ago

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Kevin Woods

KU need a big who can control the paint by getting defensive rebounds and scoring down low. Jump shooters are nice but some nights the shots won't fall.
If all else fails find a guy who can grab 10 boards a game every game!!!

3 weeks, 4 days ago

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Jim Stauffer

We have two of them already. On the job training as we speak.

3 weeks, 4 days ago

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Andy Godwin

But can they wait their turn and grow into the system? There are quite a few quality guards/wings on scholarship (i.e., Pettiford, Yesufu, Harris, Dick, Cuffe, Rice, McCullar, Wilson) as well as walk-ons (Evers, McCarthy, Jankovich) on the roster, and only McCullar and Jankovich are seniors. However, Wilson a RS Junior who will be looking to move to the next level. Clearly not all will stay (e.g., will Dick be a one-and-done?) and given the transfer portal others will look elsewhere if their playing time is not where they think it should be. Remember, injuries happen and the next man up mentality. There could be a lot of competition between Pettiford, Yesufu, and Rice for minutes and all are worthy. It is also likely Self will open a scholarship or two and will be looking for an experienced big in the transfer portal depending on how the Freshman (Udeh and Ejiofor) and Adams, and Clemence progress. Welcome trio to the KU basketball 2023-2024 team. Rock Chalk.

3 weeks, 2 days ago

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