Five-star guard Bryce Thompson announced his commitment to Kansas on Tuesday morning, giving the Jayhawks their first five-star recruit since the 2018 class.
Thompson — a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma — chose Kansas over a final four that included Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and North Carolina.
There were different front-runners in Thompson’s recruitment in the past few months. The Jayhawks were always contenders, and Bill Self has known the Thompson family since coaching Bryce’s father, Rod, at Tulsa — but the NCAA hitting Kansas with a notice of allegations earlier this fall raised questions.
Oklahoma had been involved in Thompson’s recruitment, and he took two official visits to Norman. The strongest push down the stretch came from Oklahoma State, which was hoping the commitment from No. 2 senior Cade Cunningham on Nov. 5 would put the Cowboys over the top. Thompson went to both Oklahoma State and Kansas last week unofficially, and also met with coaches from both staffs on Sunday.
Thompson is one of the better perimeter scorers in the 2020 class. He averaged 24.4 points and shot 45.8 percent from 3-point range for the Oklahoma Run PWP grassroots program on the UA Association circuit last spring and summer.
“Thompson is one of the most improved players in the senior class,” ESPN national recruiting director Paul Biancardi said. “He has a tremendous knack in scoring the ball. His ability to make open shots and contested shots is impressive. His passing skills are better than most know about. He’s a high-end, go-to recruit for Kansas.”
Thompson is Kansas’ third commitment in 2020, joining elite junior college wing Tyon Grant-Foster and high school center Gethro Muscadin. A mainstay among the top recruiting classes every year, Kansas has taken a step back the last two classes — with the potential NCAA issues playing a factor. In the 2019 class, Kansas had just one ESPN 100 prospect in its five-man group and the Jayhawks are not involved with any other five-star prospects in 2020.
But Thompson gives Self a ready-made scorer for next season, and he will be expected to provide perimeter punch immediately in 2020-21. Kansas will lose Isaiah Moss and Udoka Azubuike, and Devon Dotson could also explore his NBA draft options. Expect the Jayhawks to look for point guards to round out their class.