By RUSTIN DODD
LAWRENCE — In the days after Kansas won the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes in early May, KU coach Bill Self was hopeful that one recruiting jackpot would turn into another. Maybe it’s just superstitious hooey, of course, but Self believes recruiting can run in cycles. Sometimes you hit a roll, and why not try to hit another home run in the Jayhawks’ 2014 class?
That’s the thinking, at least, and while it’s still early in the 2014 recruiting process, college coaches hit the road this past weekend for the first of three five-day recruiting windows during the month of July. (Coaches can also evaluate from 5 p.m. June 17 to 5 p.m. on June 21, and from July 24-28.)
Here’s a look at some of KU’s top targets in the 2014 class, according to Rivals.com and 247Sports.com. Many of these players are expected to attend KU’s Late Night in the Phog, which has been pushed up to Oct. 4 after the NCAA allowed for an earlier start to practice. (One interesting consequence from the scheduling change: The earlier start to practice could mean many top programs hold their annual “Late Night” or “Midnight Madness” events on different dates, allowing top recruits to attend the same event at different schools.)
Ranking*, Player, Position, Height, Weight (Hometown)
1. Jahlil Okafor, center, 6-10, 270 (Chicago)
The consensus No. 1 player in the 2014 class, Okafor has continually told reporters that he’d like to attend the same school as guard Tyus Jones, the No. 2 overall player.
2. Tyus Jones, point guard, 6-1, 170 (St. Paul, Minn.)
Jones, who took an unofficial visit to KU last spring, has a list of suitors that includes Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, Michigan State, Ohio State, UCLA and home-state school Minnesota, according to Rivals.com.
5. Cliff Alexander, forward, 6-8, 240 (Chicago)
Alexander is expected to visit Lawrence on Late Night, and new KU assistant Jerrance Howard, who has ties in the Chicago area, has reportedly been the point man in his recruitment.
6. Myles Turner, center, 6-11, 225 (Euless, Texas)
Turner, a rising name in the class, could also be at Allen Fieldhouse for Late Night.
8. Stanley Johnson, forward, 6-6, 200 (Santa Ana, Calif.)
Johnson will be in Lawrence for Late Night, according to Rivals.com. He is also drawing interest from most of the usual suspects: Duke, Arizona, Florida, UCLA, Kentucky and others.
19. Kelly Oubre, guard, 6-5, 200 (Richmond, Texas)
Oubre is planning on visiting Late Night, according to Rivals and 24/7Sports. The Houston-area native has a list that includes KU, Arizona, UCLA, Alabama and others.
OTHER NAMES TO WATCH
3. Emmanuel Mudiay, guard, 6-5, 197 (Dallas); 7. Rashad Vaughn, guard, 6-5, 200 (Las Vegas); 14. Malik Pope, forward, 6-8, 205 (Elk Grove, California); 16. Justise Winslow, forward, 6-5, 200 (Houston); 55. Ahmed Hill, guard, 6-4, 185 (Augusta, Ga.); 61. Lourawls Nairn, guard, 5-10, 180 (Bel Aire, Kan.)
*Rating is according to Rivals.com’s Top 150