KU basketball to get recruiting visit from highly acclaimed Arkansas high school guard

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Nick Smith Jr., a 6-foot-5, 175-pound junior combo guard from Sylvan Hills High School in Sherwood, Arkansas, will make an official recruiting visit to Kansas on June 20-21, he confirmed to The Star on Sunday night.

Smith, the No. 36-ranked player in the recruiting Class of 2022 according to Rivals.com, on Saturday told Stockrisers.com he would visit KU following trips to Auburn (on June 5-7) and Georgetown (on June 11-13).

He is considering KU, Baylor, Texas Tech, North Carolina, Arkansas, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgetown, Mississippi, Oral Roberts and others.

Smith, who averaged 25.0 points (on 60% shooting), 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game his junior season of high school, was offered a scholarship by KU coach Bill Self on Dec. 21. Campus visits, which have been prohibited for more than a year now because of the pandemic, will resume on June 1.

Smith scored a season-high 44 points in an 82-72 victory over Jacksonville on Feb. 2. He was named MaxPreps’ Arkansas state player of the year.

“As I’ve gotten older I have progressed toward more of a point guard role,” Smith told Rivals.com. “But at the same time, I can score when I want to. I can facilitate for my team. I feel like I can do everything the coach needs me to do, but me at my best is scoring.

“I’ve always been a scorer,” he added. “I can shoot. I can pull-up, get to the basket, shoot off the dribble, catch and shoot. I feel like I can do all of that, because I’ve been doing it. That’s my strength,” Smith added.

Washington scores 19 in Iverson game

Blue-chip basketball point guard prospect TyTy Washington scored 19 points in his Team Loyalty squad’s 143-131 loss to Team Honor in Saturday’s Iverson Classic in Memphis.

Tyrese Hunter, who is headed to Iowa State on scholarship, scored 18 points for Team Loyalty while Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga) scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Josh Minott (Memphis) contributed 18 points for Team Honor.

Hunter was MVP for Team Loyalty and Holmgren for Team Honor.

Washington, a 6-4, 180-pound senior point guard from Compass Prep School in Chandler, Arizona, will announce his college choice on Saturday. He has a final list of KU, Kentucky, Arizona, Baylor, LSU and Oregon.

Washington, who is ranked No. 12 in the recruiting Class of 2021 according to ESPN.com, No. 16 by 247sports.com and No. 32 by Rivals.com,won the event’s three-point shooting contest on Friday night.

Alabama signee JD Davison won the slam dunk contest and Duke signee Paolo Banchero won the 1-on-1 championship.

Washington recently was named MaxPreps Arizona state player of the year after averaging 24.0 points, 7.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds per game for (28-2) Compass Prep in 2020-21. He hit 48% of his shots, including 41% of his threes and 88% of his free throws.

ISU signee Hunter is a point guard from St. Catherines High School in Racine, Wisconsin. He is ranked No. 44 in the Class of 2021 by Rivals.com and No. 35 in the class by 247sports.com.

“It took plenty of work from Iowa State to keep Hunter on board, too,” wrote Michael Swain of 247sports.com. “The Racine, Wisc. native committed to former Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm last fall after developing a quality relationship with Prohm, assistant coach Daniyal Robinson and the rest of the coaching staff. But when Iowa State and Prohm parted ways after a 2-22 season in 2020-21, Hunter could have asked for a release from his National Letter of Intent. But the recruit took his time and new head coach T.J. Otzelberger made the point guard his top priority in his first weeks on the job. After daily communication and multiple Zoom calls, Hunter reaffirmed his commitment to Iowa State and will arrive in Ames this June with plenty of hype.”

Former Wake Forest forward has KU on his list

Wake Forest sophomore forward Ody Oguama, who entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal on May 4, told 247sports.com on Saturday he’s heard from coaches from KU, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Central Florida, East Carolina, Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Butler, Siena and others.

Oguama, 6-9, 225-pounds from Raleigh, North Carolina averaged 7.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in 2020-21.

He hit 46.5% of his shots and 67.2% of his free throws while averaging 21.9 minutes per game. He scored a career-high 14 points against Duke. He also had 13 points and 10 rebounds versus Boston College. 13 points versus Notre Dame and 12 rebounds against Miami. He has three years of eligibility remaining at his transfer destination.

“Wake Forest transfer Ody Oguama’s recruitment is coming down the stretch with a decision coming in the near future. The 6-9, 225 pound sophomore plans on making a list within the next week and a decision the week after. Arkansas and Cincinnati have been the main schools so far for Oguama with Kansas and Minnesota being the latest schools to enter the mix,” wrote Dushawn London of 247sports.com.

“The main things I’m putting into my decision will be that player/coach relationship,” Oguama told 247sports.com. “I’m just trying to see the best fit for me as well as the relationships, atmosphere of the school, and culture within the program.”

Of KU, he said: “The early relationship is good. I can’t really make too much of it because they only contacted me two days ago. I was on the phone with one of their assistant coaches and they told me they are interested and moving forward that we’ll keep in touch. Moving forward I just want to get more information. They’re a big-time school. I just want to know how I would fit into that program and thrive as a player on and off the court.”

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