Just a few months ago, it looked like Kansas basketball might have a serious roster issue entering 2019-20. Since, it has returned a couple of key veterans, and was opportunistic in landing a major late addition to its recruiting class: former Michigan signee Jalen Wilson.
The athletic wing is already on campus and has made a strong impression on his teammates. Considering the whirlwind that took him to Kansas, it sounds like he’s adjusted very well.
Michigan coach John Beilein’s move to the Cleveland Cavaliers was very sudden. Unfortunately, the longtime Wolverines coach didn’t get a chance to reach out to Wilson before the news broke.
Wilson found out in a less-than-ideal way: from a friend who saw the news first. From 247Sports:
“Very shocking,” Wilson said. “I found out because one of my friends called me, and I checked ESPN and it was true. So it’s just been really fast, but I found a new place and I found my home.”
Wilson went into more detail in a previous Instagram live interview with Tipton Edits. He admitted to being mad about the situation, but ultimately Beilein reached out and he understood that his former coach-to-be was just making the right move for he and his family.
Still, he had a decision to make: stick with Michigan and new coach Juwan Howard, or explore other opportunities.
Luckily for Kansas, Jalen Wilson grew up a Jayhawks fan and was very familiar with Bill Self’s program.
He said he used to root for the team during the Morris Twins era, and remained a fan of how wings like Ben McLemore and Kelly Oubre were used.
He thinks he fits the play style well, and knew he had his new home on his visit to Lawrence.
The decision-making process involved Wilson making visits to KU and UNC back-to-back. “Once I took my official [to KU] and saw everything and how it was laid out, I think I knew,” Wilson said.
“Growing up I wanted to be a Jayhawk,” Wilson said. “I loved the Morris Twins, so seeing the interest from coach [Bill] Self made me realize how important everything was. When they came back into the picture I was very excited to try it out.”
It came together quickly for both sides, but it sounds like they’ve found a pretty good match. The former four-star recruit is expected to have a pretty big role as a true freshman this coming season.