Who’s Got Next? Jayhawks Land Oubre and Buzz Williams Strikes Again…Posted by Sean Moran on October 14th, 2013
Who’s Got Next? is a weekly column by Sean Moran, the RTC recruiting guru. Once a week he will bring you an overview of what’s going on in the complex world of recruiting, from who is signing where among the seniors to discussing the recruitments of the top uncommitted players in the country. We also encourage you to check out his contributions at The Intentional Foul dedicated to recruiting coverage and analysis. You can also follow Sean at his Twitter account @Seanmohoops for up-to-date news from the high school and college hoops scene. If you have any suggestions as to areas we are missing or different things you would like to see, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jayhawks Sign First Recruit For 2014
Last Tuesday, Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks landed five-star small forward Kelly Oubre from Houston, Texas. Oubre is currently the fourth-ranked small forward in the class and 11th overall and is the first player to make a commitment to the Jayhawks in the class of 2014. The commitment took place after a whirlwind tour that first saw Oubre visit Lawrence for KU’s version of Midnight Madness, “Late Night in the Phog,” on October 4. As soon as this event ended Oubre took a weekend trip to Colorado Springs to participate in the USA Developmental Camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center before returning back to school. After getting back, Oubre cancelled his upcoming official visit to Kentucky and on October 8 announced his intention to play for Kansas.
Oubre is a 6’6” athletic wing who is known for his outside shooting ability. Last year he led his Fort Bend Bush High School to the Texas State Championship where they ran into current Kentucky freshmen Andrew and Aaron Harrison. After averaging 22.7 points per game as a junior, Oubre made the decision to transfer to Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada. This past spring and summer Oubre shot up the national rankings with his play in the camps and on the AAU circuit. He joined two other five-star wings in Justin Jackson (#8 – Scout 2014) and Justise Winslow (#9 – Scout 2014) on the Houston Hoops AAU team which also played in the Nike EYBL. Oubre averaged 15.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game while shooting 31.5% from the three-point line.
Kansas gets a small forward who is known for his effortless left-handed stroke. He prefers to launch threes from just below the foul line extended and can shoot out to NBA range. Oubre has the athleticism and skill to get to the basket and finish in the paint, but he prefers to rely on his shooting touch to get baskets. Sometimes this can get him into trouble when he continues to launch from deep when his shot is off. While this situation occurred several times during AAU play, Oubre turned in one of the top performances at the USA camp. Right now Kansas is also heavily involved with five-star power forward Cliff Alexander (#5 – Scout 2014) and five-star center Myles Turner (#2 – Scout 2014). Alexander joined Oubre in Lawrence for “Late Night” while Turner traveled to Colorado Springs for the USA Camp. The Jayhawks are also one of three finalists for the package duo of Jahlil Okafor (#1 – Scout 2014) and Tyus Jones (#4 – Scout 2014), both top five players nationally. Oubre got the ball rolling for the Jayhawks. Who’s next?
Marquette Loading Up
Four-star shooting guard Ahmed Hill committed to Buzz Williams and Marquette just one night after watching Marquette Madness. While most schools use big football games to bring in recruits, Marquette loaded up on their big hoops event Friday night as they hosted a plethora of talented players in the classes of 2014 and 2015. Hill hails from Augusta, Georgia, and is currently the 14th-ranked shooting guard and 73rd overall in his class.
With the commitment, Hill joins four-star guard Sandy Cohen (#85 – Scout 2014) and four-star small forward Malek Harris (#93 – Scout 2014) in the Marquette class of 2014. Hill struggled at times throughout the summer as his ranking dropped from 26th overall in the country, but despite the drop, he brings a skill set up to Marquette that Buzz Williams will take advantage of. He has the ball-handling skills to bring the ball upcourt, but he truly excels as a shooter and scorer. During the AAU season, Hill averaged 12.6 points per game, but on his Aquinas High School team he averaged 30 points per game and has already scored over 2,000 points in his prep career. Previously Hill was receiving interest from Indiana, Missouri, N.C. State, and Florida. With this commitment, Marquette now has six guard and small forward commitments in the classes of 2013 (Duane Wilson, Jujuan Johnson, and Deonte Burton) and 2014 and will most likely turn their focus towards big men going forward.
Other Notable Recent Commitments
- Johnny Jones and Louisiana State added another quality big man to their burgeoning program with the addition of four-star center Elbert Robinson. Last year Jones brought in five-star power forward and McDonald’s All-American Jarrell Martin (#14 – Scout 2013) and four-star power forward Jordan Mickey (#37 – Scout 2013). Robinson is currently the seventh-ranked center in the country and 59th overall in his class, and brings some added bulk to the Tigers’ roster. Massive might be an understatement when it comes to describing Robinson. He currently stands at almost 7’1” and 322 pounds to go along with a 7’5” wing span, the longest wingspan measured of any high school athlete at the LeBron James Skills Academy this past summer. While Robinson is a large man, he has nimble feet and a soft pair of hands. He can get winded fairly easily, though, but if he catches the ball deep in the post it’s almost a guaranteed two points.
- The dominoes started to fall this past Tuesday with Kelly Oubre’s commitment to Kansas and one of the lucky recipients of that decision turned out to be San Diego State. After attending the Jayhawks’ Midnight Madness with Oubre, four-star small forward Malik Pope then turned around and committed to the Aztecs. The Northern California native is currently ranked as the ninth best small forward and 26th overall in his class. Pope was previously a top 20 recruit entering his junior year before he suffered a broken leg which kept him out of the spring and summer AAU events. When he was close to making a return from the injury he broke his leg again and is currently once again in rehab. If Pope can make a full recovery, the Aztecs are getting a 6’8” lanky wing who is a match-up nightmare on the perimeter. He is a versatile athlete who can handle the ball and knock down deep threes on occasion. When he returns from injury he will need to work on taking advantage of his height and look to create more scoring opportunities in the paint.
- A few days after reeling in one of the top recruits on the West Coast in four-star forward Kameron Chatman (#23 – Scout 2014), the Michigan coaching staff struck again on October 6 with 6’8″ small forward D.J. Wilson. A native of Sacramento, Wilson is currently a three-star unranked small forward. He impressed over the summer on the AAU circuit and showcased his picture perfect jump shot at the UA Summer Jam in Milwaukee. As ESPN highlighted over the summer, the Michigan coaching staff prefers when their own rankings differ from external rankings, which is surely the case for the unranked Wilson.