JD Davison, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound senior point guard from Calhoun High School in Letohatchee, Alabama, who is ranked No. 15 in the recruiting Class of 2021 by Rivals.com, has included Kansas on his list of six schools.
The others in the running for Davison are: Alabama, LSU, Memphis, Michigan and Auburn. He announced his six finalists Friday on Twitter.
Corey Evans of Rivals.com on Friday called Davison, “arguably the most explosive player in high school basketball. Standing close to 6-3 and bringing great strength and tremendous athleticism to the backcourt, Davison boasts the qualities of a complete guard that can play both spots along the perimeter due to his playmaking, scoring and defensive abilities.”
Eric Rutter of SI.com noted that Davison, “is one of the flashier guards in the country and he is known to put on a show. He led his team to the Alabama Class 2A championship game a year ago, and that run was accompanied by many rim-rattling drives.
“Davison can get his jumper off and knocks down shots. Davison simply does need to take a lot of shots from the outside since he’s so skilled at driving the lane, but he will need to develop a consistent outside game at the next level.
“From a defensive perspective,” Rutter added, “Davison makes a few plays as an on-ball defender and shows that he stays engaged on motion plays. Overall, he is more of a scoring threat than a well-rounded point guard, but his ability to fill the bucket is so high that he will likely make an early impact in college.”
Davison is expected to wait until spring to sign with a school. It’s believed he wants to make some campus visits if current COVID-19 recruiting restrictions are eased.
KU has a preferred walk-on from SEC country slated to join the basketball team next season in Keon Coleman, a 6-4 combo guard from Opelousas Catholic in Louisiana. He will be attending KU on a football scholarship but also intends to play basketball.
Kentucky offers Hunter Sallis
One of Kansas’ top recruiting targets in the Class of 2021 on Friday was offered a scholarship by Kentucky.
Hunter Sallis, a 6-5 senior combo guard from Millard North High in Omaha, Nebraska, who is ranked No. 11 in the recruiting Class of 2021 by Rivals.com, revealed the Kentucky offer on Twitter.
Other teams to offer Sallis include KU, North Carolina, Creighton, Nebraska, Iowa State, Louisville, Oregon, Gonzaga, Auburn, Michigan, Texas A&M, UCLA, Texas Tech, Wisconsin, Colorado and others.
“Kentucky has been involved with Sallis since news broke last Friday that Kennedy Chandler (6-0 point guard ranked No. 10 nationally) made a commitment to Tennessee. The UK program was high on Chandler before he joined the Vols but are now looking elsewhere,” wrote Zach Geoghegan of Kentuckysportsradio.com.
Corey Evans of Rivals.com thinks it may be a two-team race for Sallis.
“Kansas and North Carolina feel like the two to beat,” Evans said in a recent podcast recorded by Kentuckysportsradio.com. “But don’t shortchange the chances of Creighton, Iowa State, Gonzaga, Louisville, or Nebraska. Michigan just offered. Kentucky has also started to pick things up with him and if an offer is handed out, which I expect it will sometime soon, the Wildcats could be a trendy team to watch with the five-star guard.”
Evans added: “We were ahead of the curve with him and he is showing that we are correct with his 11th overall ranking. He is the embodiment of the new-age guard that has the size, length, shot-making and passing qualities that would allow for him to play all three spots along the perimeter and he has only gotten better each step of the way.”
In an interesting twist to the Sallis recruitment … blue-chip point guard Frankie Collins, who as recruiting analysts expected verbally committed to Michigan over Kansas this week, said in his own blog at SI.com he’d like to help bring some other top high school players with him to the Big Ten school.
“I’ve been talking with Chet (Holmgren) a little and so I’m really trying hard to get him. We also offered Hunter Sallis too and so I’m working on him,” Collins, a 6-1 senior point guard from Coronado High School in Henderson, Nevada, wrote on his blog.
“I think we’d be tough together in the backcourt,” Collins added of Sallis, who averaged 22.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game his junior season at Millard North.
Holmgren, a 7-footer from Minnehaha High in Minneapolis who is ranked No. 3 nationally, does not have KU on his list of schools.
Sallis has said he’d like to take some campus visits, if possible, once pandemic restrictions are eliminated.
“Hunter’s been a tough one to get a read on,” noted Brian Snow of 247sports.com. “Kansas has been in for a while, North Carolina for a while. You have the local schools Nebraska and Creighton. But he seems open to listening to schools and we’ll see how open he is. We’ve seen schools have the ability to come in and make a late impression.”
Collins, by the way, chose coach Juwan Howard’s Wolverines over Kansas, Georgetown, Auburn, Arizona State, New Mexico, USC and Vanderbilt.
He averaged 13.9 points and 6.2 assists per game last season at Compass Prep in Phoenix, Arizona. Before that, as a sophomore, he attended Clark High School in Las Vegas.
R.J. Hampton a possible lottery pick?
Remember R.J. Hampton, who shocked the college basketball world last year when he announced for a pro team in New Zealand over KU and Memphis?
Hampton, who is projected as a possible lottery pick in this year’s NBA Draft, wound up averaging 8.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 15 games of an injury-plagued season for the New Zealand Breakers.
He’s currently projected as the No. 14 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft by ESPN.com with a draft range of 10 to 20.
“With Kemba Walker at age 30 and a lack of depth behind him at guard, the Boston Celtics could look at adding some backcourt talent, which is considered the strength of this draft class. Hampton is one of the best athletes in this draft and has significant upside to grow into long-term,” wrote Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com.
“I definitely feel like my time in New Zealand playing against grown men and on a great team really benefitted me,” Hampton told SI.com. “I definitely feel like I’ve played myself into that top tier.
“My first five or six games in New Zealand I shot the be really well then I kinda went into a slump. I think I can shoot the ball really well. I know I can grow to be a better shooter.”
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Gary Bedore covers all aspects of Kansas basketball for The Star — the current team as well as former players and coaches and recruiting. He attended KU and was born and raised in Chicago, as well as Lisle, Ill.