KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The University of Kansas men’s basketball team opened the season ranked third in The Associated Press Top 25 — and they’re a good bet to be near the top of the poll next season as well after signing the nation’s fourth-ranked recruiting class Wednesday.
The Jayhawks signed small forwards Gradey Dick and M.J. Rice and centers Zuby Ejiofor and Ernest Udeh Jr. on Wednesday. All are considered four-star recruits by Rivals, which ranks the class behind only Kentucky, Duke and Alabama.
All four players are among the top 50 in the country, according to Rivals and 247 Sports.
Dick is a 6-foot-7 sharpshooter from Sunrise Christian Academy in the Wichita area. He’s ranked as the No. 37 player in the country and chose the Jayhawks over Alabama, Baylor and Kansas State among others.
He was the Kansas Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year in 2020 as a sophomore after averaging 20.4 points with 5.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 steals per game.
Dick averaged 10.4 points at the NBA Top 100 Camp during July 2021 in Orlando, Florida.
Rice, a 6-foot-5 prospect with the strength to attack the rim and knock down shots from the perimeter, is a five-star prospect, according to 247 Sports. He heads to Lawrence from Prolific Prep in Napa, California.
God1st! Blessed! KANSAS see you soon! Prolific FAMILY let’s finish this PROCESS! GOD MADE! GOD PROTECTED! pic.twitter.com/VwnUCICKP5— Marquise (MJ) Rice (@MJrice_1) November 11, 2021
Rice is ranked No. 23 overall in the country by Rivals. He also visited Oklahoma State and Pittsburgh during the recruiting process.
Ejiofor is a 6-foot-8 prospect from Garland (Texas) High School in suburban Dallas with a versatile interior game, posting up or facing up against defenders. He chose KU over Arkansas, Texas and Houston among others.
Rivals ranks Ejiofor as the No. 47 overall player in the 2022 class.
Udeh, a 6-foot-10 prospect from Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Florida. He could develop into a force at the rim on offense and defense for the Jayhawks.
He chose Kansas over UCAL and also had offers from Alabama, Arkansas and Baylor.
Udeh is the No. 29 prospect in the nation, per Rivals.
The early signing period ends Nov. 17. The NCAA’s late signing period runs from April 13 to May 18, 2022.
The Jayhawks’ signing class is the highest-ranked since Rivals ranked the 2018 class — which included Oak Park’s Ochai Agbaji, Quentin Grimes and Devon Dotson — third overall and since 247 Sports ranked the 2013 — which included Andrew Wiggins, Wayne Seldon and Joel Embiid — second overall.