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Sunrise Christian duo puts Kansas basketball on list of finalists

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Kansas University basketball recruiting

Class of 2023 forward Scotty Middleton recently included Kansas on his list of five finalists.

The 6-foot-6, 180-pound small forward from Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, also has Ohio State, Seton Hall, Texas A&M and UConn in his final five.

The rankings for Middleton are all over the place, with ESPN.com putting him at No. 19 overall and Rivals.com listing him as the No. 97-ranked prospect in the 2023 class. On3.com ranks him 23rd and 247Sports has him listed in the No. 42 spot.

Middleton has only officially visited one of his five finalists — Ohio State. He took an unofficial visit to KU for the KU-Kentucky game in January.

Meanwhile, four-star point guard Layden Blocker, also of Sunrise Christian Academy, recently narrowed his list to seven schools, with KU being one of them.

The No. 47-ranked player in the 2023 class per Rivals also has Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Gonzaga, Memphis and Oklahoma State on his list of finalists.

The 6-2, 168-pound guard told Shay Wildeboor of JayhawkSlant.com that he plans to visit all seven schools.

Top 2024 prospect off the market?

Five-star small forward Naasir Cunningham, the No. 1-ranked player in the 2024 class according to both ESPN.com and Rivals.com, recently announced that he was signing with upstart league Overtime Elite.

Cunningham holds offers from several major college programs, including Kansas, and his move to sign with Overtime Elite does not necessarily close the door on him playing college ball.

The reason? According to reports, he has chosen not to take a salary, which preserves his college eligibility. He still has the potential to earn name, image and likeness money throughout the remainder of his high school career at Gill St. Bernard’s School in Gladstone, New Jersey.

CB Day

In case winning a national title and declaring for the NBA draft were not big enough milestones, Overland Park Mayor Curt Skoog recently decided that KU junior Christian Braun deserved more.

In a proclamation at a recent Overland Park City Council meeting, Skoog declared Tuesday, April 19, 2022 as “Christian Braun Day” in Overland Park.

The proclamation celebrated Braun’s decision to play college ball close to home and also praised his energetic playing style and his 12 points and 12 rebounds in the national championship victory over North Carolina.

Braun, who attended Blue Valley Northwest High in Overland Park, also had a day named for him at his old high school. April 4, 2022 was declared Christian Braun Day at BVNW.

Enaruna on the move

Two years after leaving Kansas for a different opportunity elsewhere, former Jayhawk Tristan Enaruna is on the move again.

After spending the 2021-22 season with the Iowa State Cyclones, Enaruna entered the transfer portal this offseason and announced recently that he was headed to Cleveland State.

CSU recently named former Iowa State assistant coach Daniyal Robinson as its new head coach. Robinson replaces Dennis Gates, who was hired by Missouri in late March.

A 6-foot-8, 200-pound senior-to-be from Almere, Netherlands, Enaruna averaged 4.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game during his junior season at Iowa State. He started 26 of 33 games and shot 54.5% for the season.

In his two seasons with the Jayhawks, Enaruna averaged 2.4 points and 2.2 rebounds per game as a freshman and 2.8 points and 1.6 rebounds during his sophomore season.

Comments

Rodney Crain

Hard pass on Middleton.

Blocker - What is 3pt%?

5 months, 1 week ago

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Dirk Medema

Hard pass? Maybe Coach Self is just being unrealistic in offering Scotty?

Not sure about the actual percentage but 24/7 says he’s every bit of 6-foot-6 with long arms, bouncy athleticism, consistent outside shot, and excellent playmaking ability off the dribble. They expect him to make a strong debut when 247Sports next updates the 2023 rankings. Last year was his first in eybl, so maybe a bit under the radar.

He also adds “I’m looking for a program that plays hard on defense," said Middleton. "That’s how I play. I play hard on defense and it gets me going on offense so I want to go to a school where they grind defensively and then get out in transition.” That sounds familiar and really encouraging to me.

5 months, 1 week ago

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Dirk Medema

Read another article about Naasir Cunningham. Basically said O/E wrote a new contract to create the scenario that allows him to finish HS there, make some NIL$, and still leave his options open. Takes the Oak Hill/MonteVerde/Sunrise athletic factory model to a new level. Apparently funded by a few big NBA players.

5 months, 1 week ago

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Rodney Crain

If you like Middleton Dirk then he is a very hard pass for me. He is sitting on the Bench here, than the portal as soon as he gets any sniff of an offer from any other power 5 school.

NIL is not our friend as it stands today. There is no way any KU atlete is going to sign a big offer unless they are a one and done player with some wider draw. If some deep pocket booster wants to throw a player a decent contract cause they like them good for the player, there just is not a big enough market to make the kind of money some of the better located schools are getting. Not to mention dumb and dumber, our NIL marketers swinging and missing, for many reasons, as I stated before.

5 months, 1 week ago

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Rodney Crain

Matt does the school, coaches know of John Ruiz bringing players himself to Maimi, via huge NIL deals? He created a NIL deal that is 800k plus a car over 2 years for Pack out of K-State. He is not part of the school, as FL law prohibits schools to be involved in NIL deals. He has 111 deals across many Maimi sports teams. He is using the portal to attract talent with the enticement of big NIL deals.

Pack alone exceeds the amount you reported on a month or two ago for all of KU.

Talk about pay for play!!!

Now Wong at Maimi mens BB is chirping about how Pack got a better deal and is saying he will portal out if his NIL deal is not increased.

This is to be expected when there is no process in place. It's just a matter of time, before the best teams in the country will be measured by how deep the pockets are for thier boosters, cause they will be able to afford to pay the best players.

5 months, 1 week ago

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Dirk Medema

It would be interesting to see what Wongs contract says because Ruiz told him good luck. I don’t renegotiate contracts. Maybe there’s a reason he’s a billionaire and not a college student.

5 months, 1 week ago

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Dirk Medema

I know very little about Middleton, and definitely not enough to evaluate his potential for the team. I do know enough to like Coach Self and generally defer to agreeing with him. There’s a nice reality associated with it.

5 months, 1 week ago

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Lee Short

I saw an article today that says people saying NIL would mean winners and losers is premature. The article was from last summer. The article was written way too early to see how all this unfolds. But seriously, as NIL proliferates over the next 10 years, how does the University of Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Iowa, South Carolina, Alabama, Auburn, etc. stand a chance to attract a player likely to make big bucks off NIL. In fact, you can easily see sponsoring companies (or billionaire fans who have influence over a given company) essentially buying a whole college starting team in a market where advertising dollars are huge. Or, at least the player thinks he might do well financially to leave his home area e.g. Fayetteville, Arkansas he might do so vs. what he would have done otherwise.

This Miami situation is just the start. This is going to be more and more of a sticky mess over time.

You can see Nike, automatically, giving $100K contracts to the top 5 players in the major schools they sponsor. That would be a drop in the bucket for the advertising value for them and the payoff to the players.

5 months, 1 week ago

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Steve Zimmerman

Blocker will be an A+ player - a very very good recruit and has all the fundamentals already. He'll be a day-1 high impact player.

5 months, 1 week ago

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