Kansas basketball got some great recruiting news today, landing five-star combo guard Bryce Thompson, the No. 19 player in the country, per 247Sports.
Back in August, Thompson released a top seven of Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State, UNC, and Michigan State. The Jayhawks beat out some solid competition to land him.
That isn’t a huge surprise, of course. Bill Self is one of the nation’s best coaches and recruiters, and regularly brings in talent like Thompson. Landing him just over a month after responding to an NCAA Notice of Allegations, which could lead to a postseason ban, probation, and more for the team, is a bit surprising though.
Thompson is well aware of the situation that KU faces, and still decided to go ahead with his commitment. He explained the decision in a piece he wrote for the Tulsa World:
“I am aware of the controversy currently surrounding Kansas. It did concern me a bit at the beginning, until I went on my visit and I was able to talk face-to-face with some of the administration, including athletic director Jeff Long.
“My mom doesn’t play. She asked every question in the book. Mr. Long was able to answer them directly and stayed on point. He didn’t veer off into some other conversation. I appreciated that.”
Coach Self talked about developing players for the next level. He talked about how Frank Mason and Devonte’ Graham developed their games as Jayhawk guards and went on to earn multiple college basketball honors. He talked about how their work ethic and the instruction of the coaches created something special.
Coach Self coached my dad at Tulsa. That means a lot. Their relationship has remained strong since my dad graduated in 1998. As one of coach Self’s players, my dad knows coach Self’s level of expectation and the intensity he requires each time players take the floor. Coach Self is the type of coach I want to play for.