‘Absolute monster’ David McCormack commits to KU basketball

Six-foot-10 center ranked No. 33 nationally at recruiting outlet Rivals.com

David McCormack, a 6-foot-10, 260-pound senior center from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., orally committed to Kansas on Sunday evening. McCormack joins recent KU commit Silvio De Sousa as Jayhawks in the Class of 2018. (Photo courtesy Rivals.com)

Next year’s Kansas basketball roster just got significantly bigger.

 

The Jayhawks on Sunday evening secured their second recruit from the Class of 2018, receiving an oral commitment from four-star center David McCormack of Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va. At 6-foot-10, 260 pounds, McCormack is the No. 33-ranked player in the upcoming class according to recruiting outlet Rivals.com.

McCormack joins five-star prospect Silvio De Sousa, a 6-9, 220-pound power forward from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., as incoming Jayhawk recruits ahead of the 2018-19 season. De Sousa is Rivals’ No. 25-ranked prospect.

McCormack, who made an unofficial visit to Lawrence on Aug. 22, chose KU over Georgetown, Duke and Oklahoma State, among others.

In announcing his decision in a newscast on WAVY-TV in Norfolk, Va., McCormack unbuttoned a dress shirt to reveal a grey undershirt with the Jayhawk logo and “Kansas” written across the front.

McCormack cited coach Bill Self’s history of player development, assistant coach Jerrance Howard’s personal touch in recruiting and the program’s tradition of winning as reasons for his decision.

“Looking forward to winning more championships,” McCormack said, “and making more memories at Kansas.”

McCormack averaged 10.6 points and 8.6 rebounds as a junior at Oak Hill and, more recently, 14.8 points and 9.8 rebounds as a member of Team Loaded AAU on the Adidas circuit over the summer.

“Can’t imagine a big man that Bill Self will love more,” tweeted Sam Vecenie, a college basketball writer for TheAthletic.com. “Plays super hard, awesome on defense, guards on perimeter too. Great fit/talent combo.”

Recruiting analyst Shay Wildeboor of JayhawkSlant.com described McCormack as a dual-threat player that can make a difference on offense and defense, particularly in rebounding and blocked shots.

“He’s a big man and he knows it,” Wildeboor told The Topeka Capital-Journal. “He knows where his bread is going to be buttered. He’s going to be a guy that is going to play down low. He’s going to be a guy that’s going to play to his strengths. He’s just one of those guys who knows who he is.

“The thing I love about him the most is you can’t teach size, you can’t teach strength.”

Labeling McCormack as “an absolute monster down low,” Wildeboor lauded the personal and physical development the center has undergone in the last year under Oak Hill Academy coach Steve Smith — “He’s not going to be one of those guys who sits around and expects anything to be handed to him,” Wildeboor added.

Paired with the athletic four-man De Sousa, the Jayhawks have locked up what Wildeboor called “the frontcourt of the future.”

“They’re going to be perfect together,” Wildeboor said. “They’re going to complement each other well. I don’t know if it could’ve been a more perfect match.”

Nabbing commitments from a pair of top-50 prospects is likely a relief to the KU coaching staff, which has struggled locking up recruits during the early signing period the last few seasons.

“I know KU is obviously looking at some other guys, maybe some guys that are more highly ranked,” Wildeboor said, “but I think when you look at David McCormack, he’s a complete package. The fact that he’s probably going to be around a while, at least more than one year. I just think the upside is off the charts.”

Those “other guys” KU will pursue include Quentin Grimes, a 6-5 guard from The Woodlands, Texas, who is listed as the No. 11-ranked prospect in the Class of 2018. Grimes’ mother went to KU and the guard is set for an official campus visit in October, with Texas, Marquette and Kentucky also in pursuit.

“I think right now Kansas is really the team to beat,” Wildeboor said of Grimes. “They’ve done a great job recruiting him. Quentin knows where he stands on KU’s list. I think you’ve got to try to get that one wrapped up early.”

Wildeboor also likes KU’s odds on landing No. 17-ranked Devon Dotson, a 6-1 guard out of Charlotte, with the Jayhawks also chasing No. 2-ranked 6-6 forward Zion Williamson and No. 6-ranked 6-4 guard Romeo Langford.

“If you can add those four guys early,” Wildeboor said, “that’s a grand slam.”

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