The Kansas basketball team has made its first big splash in the Class of 2018.
The Jayhawks on Sunday received a commitment from Silvio De Sousa, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound power forward from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. The No. 25-ranked prospect at recruiting outlet Rivals.com, De Sousa took his official visit to KU last Friday.
De Sousa, a native of Angola, also listed Maryland, Indiana, UCLA and Oregon among his other considered schools, though the five-star prospect only visited KU.
“I’m a kind of main scorer, rebounder and athletic player,” De Sousa told DraftExpress.com earlier this month. “That’s who I am on the court.”
De Sousa said he is looking to improve his ball handling, shooting and defense at the college level.
“I need to improve a lot for the next couple years,” he added.
Rivals.com national analyst Eric Bossi said all indications were KU hosted a great visit and added Bill Self and staff will “really enjoy” coaching De Sousa next season.
“There’s period of adjustment for all but a few players coming to college, but what Silvio has going for him is, he’s college ready strength wise and he’s got an incredible motor on him,” Bossi told JayhawkSlant.com. “He’s a little bit raw from a skills standpoint. He just plays so hard and when you combine that with his athleticism, he’s able to get a lot of stuff done.”
Bossi said De Sousa has the mental makeup Self demands out of his big men.
“The big thing for Silvio is learning to play the game in a way where he’s not reliant on being physically dominant and being able to overpower guys,” Bossi said. “He needs to improve his anticipation and feel for the game and things like that.”
Jerry Meyer, the director of scouting at 247Sports.com, told the outlet that he sees De Sousa as a “good fit” in the traditional three-out, two-in lineup deployed by the Jayhawks. De Sousa is the No. 30 overall player in 247Sports’ composite rankings.
“Silvio’s a player who knows how to carve out space down low, and he’s also really good facing the basket in high-post situations,” Meyer said. “He’s a perfect fit for what Bill Self does, and I could really see him thriving with their structure and that system that values touches down low. He has a physical presence on the court and knows how to control space, and he’ll continue to get even better at that.”
KU, which will graduate guards Svi Mykhailiuk and Devonte’ Graham next offseason, could be left with two frontcourt players on its returning roster — forwards Mitch Lightfoot and Dedric Lawson — if sophomore center Udoka Azubuike and freshman forward Billy Preston opt to enter in the NBA Draft after the upcoming season.
Lawson, along with guards K.J. Lawson and Charlie Moore, must sit out the upcoming season due to NCAA transfer guidelines.