(WIBW) - Despite the uncertain future with potential discipline coming from alleged NCAA violations, KU men's hoops has secured a five-star recruit.
Guard Bryce Thompson signed with the Jayhawks on Wednesday a day after committing to Kansas. The combo guard from Tulsa, Okla. is ranked 19th nationally for the class of 2020. He chose KU over schools like North Carolina and Michigan State.
"It's a place where I can see I can develop and ultimately win at one of the highest levels, if not the highest level in college basketball," Thompson said of KU. "It's just a great coaching staff and I had a good time with the players."
“The signing of Bryce is one of our most important signees in recent memory,” KU head coach Bill Self said in a release. “Landing a top 20 player is a positive statement for our program on and off the court.”
As for what will play out with the NCAA, Thompson said he goes into this with the belief that it will work out after a recent visit to Lawrence.
"I was able to talk to the AD surrounding the whole NCAA situation," Thompson told 247Sports. "He cleared it up pretty much, it’s not going to be perfect, but I trust the coaching staff and that they are going to do what’s right."
There's another reason he might have some added faith in the staff. Thompson's father, Rod, played under KU head coach Bill Self while he was at Tulsa.
"That was very influential," Thompson said. "My dad has lots of knowledge. He's the one that's helped me with this decision. He had a good experience with Coach Self. So why can't I?"
"He's a player's coach I think that's going to get the most out of all of his players," Rod Thompson recalled of Self. "That was something that really stuck out with me and that I really remember. Guys really like him, he's really personable but would push you to be the best."
“I’ve known Bryce for a long time," Self said. "He says the first time we met was when he was in third grade. Norm (Roberts) was the lead recruiter for Bryce, especially since Norm and I both coached his dad, Rod, at Tulsa.
"Also, Bryce’s mother, Goldie, was a volleyball player at Tulsa. So we’ve known Rod and Goldie going back to 1997. Rod and I have always stayed in close contact with each other.”
Thompson was the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Oklahoma last year after leading Booker T. Washington High School to a state title. He enters his senior season after averaging 19.6 points, 5.2 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game.
“We’ve recruited Bryce for probably three or four years and certainly knew he was always going to be a target, but his development has really taken off the last couple years,” Self said. “He’s grown to 6-foot-5. He’s a lead guard and scoring guard. We’ve had some of our best success with these type of combo guards. He’s going to bring energy to our program and he’s going to bring talent. We anticipate him being an impact player for us.”