Okafor and Jones Entertained at Kansas; Duke's Turn Next

Jahlil Okafor (left) and Tyus Jones (right)

Two of the country’s top recruits were in Jayhawk nation this past weekend attending their official visits to Kansas University.

Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones have made it known that they want to attend the same schools as one another for next season and last weekend’s visit to Kansas is one of their top choices.

Kansas coach Bill Self knows how to reel in top prospects as he proved earlier this year when he got freshman phenom and previous number one recruit Andrew Wiggins to commit to KU. The annual “Night in the Phog” festivities are a huge celebration that always create a lot of buzz in the college basketball world and reel in big recruits. However, many fans were denied entry to the event earlier this month as a result of it being sold out and Okafor and Jones were not in attendance.

This past weekend, with the two 5-star recruits being there on an official visit, Kansas organized an open to the public practice and scrimmage in Allen Fieldhouse. The free event attracted around 10,000 roaring fans and appeared to be a new and efficient recruitment strategy. Okafor and Jones both tweeted positive reactions after they left the university. Okafor’s tweet read, “At the airport heading back to Chicago. Had a great time in Lawrence, appreciate all the love from everyone on campus.” Okafor received a standing ovation upon entering the arena and at one point the crowd was chanting, “we want Tyus.” Jones also tweeted and said: “Had a good visit at KU this weekend. Thanks to the fans for showing love.” Self said that they did not host the scrimmage to impress the two prospects, and that it was to give the fans who got denied to Night in the Phog a chance to see the players in action. Well, not everyone is buying that this was the only reason for the event.

This was a chance for Kansas to make themselves the most appealing school for Okafor and Jones to attend together and it seems like they did a good job based on the reactions. The next stop for the duo is to Coach K’s court at Duke University this upcoming weekend. Many believe that Duke has the best odds at getting these two to commit. However, Okafor and Jones were not at Duke’s annual “Countdown to Craziness” this weekend because they were in Kansas. It will be exciting to see what Coach Krzyzewski has up his sleeve to try to make his team and school seem like the most appealing fit.

Whichever team these two young stars end up on will immediately be in conversation to win a national title. Kansas already has one of the most hyped up players in Andrew Wiggins, but the chances of him still being at Kansas and not in the NBA when Okafor and Jones would be there are slim to none. Top ten recruit Kelly Oubre already committed to Kansas and the three of these guys would make a lethal combination.

Duke on the other hand already has the former #2 prospect in the nation behind Wiggins, freshman forward Jabari Parker. One twist to this is that Parker and Okafor previously played together on their AAU team the Mac Irvine Fire and have a good relationship together. Yes, Parker is already predicted to be a top pick in the NBA draft the following year, but his relationship with Okafor could lead to him staying another year and Okafor and Jones joining him at Duke. This visit to Duke are the last official visits that Okafor and Jones have planned and will likely make their anticipated decision more clear to themselves and to the public.