Kansas Basketball Recruiting: Who Is Most Important 2015 Recruit for Jayhawks?
Bill Self's ability keep Kansas at the top of the Big 12 for a decade despite annual roster turnover—and recently coaching staff turnover—showcases his abilities as talent evaluator, recruiter and disciplined developmental coach.
After another impressive haul in this four-man 2014 class, with the likes of Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre parading into Lawrence, Self appears well positioned to lure a couple more blue-chip prospects to the Phog for 2015-16.
While each recruit carries his own importance, there are a few 5-star players that could ultimately prove to be the most important piece of a potential class for the Jayhawks.
Ivan Rabb (PF)
The No. 1 overall recruit in the 2015 class, per ESPN.com, does not appear to be in any hurry in trimming his extensive college list.
Ivan Rabb, an ambidextrous, 6'11" power forward with attributes of both a true center and shifty small forward, would give Kansas the best frontcourt in the nation, assuming 2014 recruit Cliff Alexander does not bolt after one season.
Rabb's high school coach, Lou Richie of Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, California), told SNY.tv that he will begin trimming a list of eight schools, Kansas included along with Cal, UCLA and North Carolna, after a couple of unofficial visits late this summer.
His big-man athleticism will remind KU fans of the recently departed Joel Embiid, and he could be the No. 1 overall pick of the 2016 draft.
Allonzo Trier (SG)
Allonzo Trier, a 6'4" combo guard, announced last Monday he would be transferring to Findlay Prep for the 2014-15 season, only increasing his value considering the reputation Findlay has for churning out elite scorers over the past decade.
With Wayne Selden potentially leaving for the NBA after the upcoming season and the unclear professional intentions of Kelly Oubre and wild-card 2014 Ukrainian recruit Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Self might have to replenish up to 90 percent of his backcourt scoring before the 2015-16 season.
Allonzo Trier is the type of special player that can alleviate the stress of roster turnover. He would immediately provide versatility, extreme athleticism and a perimeter threat that breaks ankles.
Diamond Stone (C)
Diamond Stone is unquestionably the most important recruit for Bill Self in the 2015 class. While he would provide serious muscle at a position of questionable depth for the Jayhawks, the No. 4 overall recruit, per ESPN.com, also holds one half of the key to another elite "package deal."
The other half belongs to No. 3 overall recruit Malik Newman, a dynamic 6'3" shooting guard from Jackson, Mississippi, a long haul from Stone's hometown of Milwaukee.
Hunter Mickelson and Landen Lucas appear to be heading for a timeshare at center for the next couple of seasons, but both are unproven and both have played only a handful of minutes the last two seasons combined.
As for Newman, can a title contending team ever boast too many scorers?