High School: Kansas Jayhawks

Four schools with best shot at Okafor

October, 6, 2013
Chicago Whitney Young center Jahlil Okafor, ESPN’s top-ranked senior, hasn’t officially cut his list to four schools, but Baylor, Duke, Kansas and Kentucky have the best chance of landing him, Okafor’s father said on Sunday.

Jahlil Okafor told Scout.com on Saturday he had narrowed his choices to Baylor, Duke, Kansas and Kentucky, but Chukwudi Okafor, Jahlil's father, said the list wasn’t official.

“We haven’t officially cut the list,” Chukwudi said in a phone interview on Sunday. “Those four schools have the best chance. Anything can still happen.”

Okafor participated in USA Basketball’s national team developmental training camp in Colorado on Saturday and Sunday. Chukwudi said he and his son would discuss his recruiting when Okafor returns to Chicago.

In late May, Okafor released a list of eight schools he was considering. The list included Arizona, Baylor, Duke, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan State and Ohio State.

Okafor has said he’d like to attend the same school as Apple Valley (Minnesota) point guard Tyus Jones, who is ranked No. 4 by ESPN. Jones and Okafor have planned official visits to Duke and Kansas together later this month. They previously visited Baylor together.

Alexander cuts Kentucky, adds UConn, Oregon

September, 22, 2013
NORRIDGE, Ill. -- Chicago Curie senior power forward Cliff Alexander, ESPN’s No. 2-ranked prospect, said Sunday he has eliminated Kentucky from his list of schools.

“They just stopped communicating with me,” said Alexander during the Mac Irvin Back to School Jam at Ridgewood High School on Sunday. “It’s surprising. I haven’t talked to [Kentucky coach John Calipari] in I don’t know how long. I’m somewhat [disappointed,] but hey it’s a business. You do what you have to do.”

Alexander, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound power forward, said all the other schools he named in a top-10 list in June are still in play. His list included Arizona, Baylor, DePaul, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisville, Memphis and Michigan State.

Alexander said he’s considering Connecticut and Oregon because they are also recruiting Huntington Prep senior point guard JaQuan Lyle, who is ranked No. 22 by ESPN. Alexander and Lyle have recently discussed attending the same school. Lyle recently decommitted from Louisville.

Alexander has made official visits to Arizona and DePaul. He will also make official visits to Kansas on Oct. 4, Memphis on Oct. 18 and Illinois on Oct. 26. He said he might take an unofficial visit to Michigan State.

Alexander said he expects to commit in mid-December and sign his letter of intent in the spring.

Alexander said DePaul and Illinois are among his finalists because he’s interested in playing in state and in the direction the programs are headed.

DePaul’s recent recruiting efforts in Chicago have helped their standing with Alexander. He said he’d like to play with former Chicago Public League players Billy Garrett, Tommy Hamilton, Rashaun Stimage and Myke Henry.

“I love [DePaul] coach Oliver Purnell,” Alexander said. “He’s a great guy. He’s built a great relationship with my mom. We had a fun time. I’m really considering them. It helps a lot playing with Tommy, Myke, Billy and Rashaun. I know those guys.”

Alexander said he also feel comfortable with the Illini’s coaching staff and players.

“Coach [John] Groce since he got the job, he’s been communicating with me well,” Alexander said. “My mom loves him, that whole coaching staff. I’ve been down there a few times and just hanging with the guy.

Jamari Traylor finds a home at KU

January, 15, 2013

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- The window in the back that was always open wouldn't budge, and the key no longer worked in the front door. Jamari Traylor had been kicked out of his home before, but this time his mother was serious.

The anger and angst of a rebellious 15-year-old had become too much.

Traylor couldn't call his father, who was serving a life sentence in prison, and he couldn't stay with his best friend, whose parents had asked Traylor to leave after discovering him asleep on their son's bedroom floor.

With temperatures in the 20s and nowhere to go, Traylor began to walk. Hours passed as he snaked through his neighborhood near 27th and State Street in Chicago's South Side, wearing a baggy, polyester coat with no mittens or earmuffs. It was December of 2008, just before Christmas, and tears welled in Traylor's eyes.

"My fingers and toes were burning," Traylor said. "They felt like they were going to explode. I was literally crying because it hurt so bad. It was the worst feeling in the world.

"I was just so cold."

Read the entire story.

Source: NCAA clears Milton Doyle

July, 20, 2012

Kansas freshman guard Milton Doyle has been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse and will be eligible to play next season for the Jayhawks, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Doyle, who played at Marshall High School in Chicago, has been enrolled in summer school at Kansas and was awaiting the NCAA Clearinghouse's approval. Doyle transferred to Marshall after his sophomore year at Tilden and the NCAA was investigating his credits.

Read the entire story.

Doyle waiting on decision from Kansas

May, 15, 2012
Marshall senior guard Milton Doyle was prepared to commit to Kansas on Tuesday, but he was told to hold off because the Jayhawks are still waiting on the status of other recruits, Doyle’s mother said.

Doyle, a 6-foot-4 guard, made an official visit to Kansas on Monday and Tuesday and is set to return to Chicago on Tuesday night. He met with Kansas coach Bill Self on Tuesday afternoon.

“They told him they were waiting on other recruits and whether they would qualify,” Doyle’s mother Lisa Green said. “He’s disappointed. We have no choice but to wait because it’s late in the game. They told him they’ll let him know by Friday. We will be talking to other schools.”

Doyle previously signed with Florida International, but he was let out of his letter of intent after the school fired coach Isiah Thomas. Doyle averaged 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists while playing in the Chicago Public League his senior season.

“This is the school of his dreams,” Green said of Kansas. “He dreamed about Duke, Kansas and Kentucky.”

Doyle flew under the radar for much of his high school basketball career. He attended Tilden his first two years and then transferred to Marshall. He broke his wrist and did not play his junior season. He also didn’t play the summer club circuit prior to his senior season.