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Kansas Basketball Recruiting Update: Part 2

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As it gets closer and closer to top recruits making their choices, here's a look at some more impact players the Jayhawks could land.

Malik Newman is one of many top recruits with KU on the radar.
Malik Newman is one of many top recruits with KU on the radar.
Francois Nel/Getty Images

Yesterday we broke down three recruits who have Kansas high on their lists. Today we'll take a look at a few who have the Jayhawks in their sights, but other schools may be leading the race.

The timing of Kelly Oubre, Jr. and Cliff Alexander's decisions to stay or leave could impact the probability of Kansas landing these top-notch prospects.

With the commitment of Carlton Bragg head coach Bill Self is down to one scholarship offer, but it could be as many as three depending on Oubre and Alexander's situations.

Malik Newman -- 6-3, 174-pound SG

Callaway -- Jackson, MS

No one can argue with the fact Newman is a winner. He helped lead Callaway High School to four state titles in as many years.

A winning culture is great, but it will take more than that to play at Kansas, Kentucky or any of the other schools interested in the No. 4 ranked player by 247Sports.

Newman shouldn't have any problem doing that, after averaging, 29.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game his junior year, per hoopsscoop.com.

He has 10 scholarship offers from the likes of Kentucky, Kansas, Ohio St. and a host of SEC schools.

Newman has no issues scoring or getting to the rim, but he, like Ellis, is a tweener for his position. At 6-3 he is smaller than most shooting guards, but he looks for his shot and doesn't pass enough to play the point.

Those critiques are a little bit of a reach because he can score at the rim, from mid-range, and behind the three-point arc nearly at will. In other words, coaches will find a place for him one way or another.

Jaylen Brown -- 6-7, 217-pound SF
Wheeler -- Marietta, GA

Brown, ranked No. 2 on nearly every recruiting list, is the top-ranked unsigned player left on the board.

His offers are a who's who list of college basketball royalty, and KU is in the mix.

Although Perry Ellis is more of a small forward, he doesn't play it at Kansas. Brown could come and play the position, and most likely start right away for Self and the Jayhawks. Starting on a perennial top-10 team can't hurt for a player of Brown's caliber when looking at schools.

He's not a great shooter, but when you get to the rim like he does, you don't have to shoot well. He is a slasher and should find himself drawing a lot of contact and taking a ton of free throws next year.

While playing the three he won't have to be a rim protector, but he's a skilled enough defender to make an impact on that side of the ball.

The recurring theme this off-season is that KU needs a big man, and it does, but a player of his caliber cannot be overlooked.

Current Jayhawk signee Carlton Bragg said he would like to play with Brown, but who wouldn't? With top recruits like Brown it's really somewhat of a guessing game (as was the case with Andrew Wiggins two years ago), but when anyone writes or talks about him, Kansas, Kentucky, and UCLA are always mentioned.

It will remain to be seen if this hurts his recruitment or not, but Brown was reportedly arrested Thursday and charged with two misdemeanor traffic violations. In all likelihood it won't cost him too much, but it certainly won't help him in any way.

Stephen Zimmerman  -- 6-11, 214-pound C
Bishop Gorman -- Las Vegas, NV

If all you want in a 7-footer is someone who can shoot the three, hit fadeaways, dunk from nearly anywhere he wants, run a fast break, and pass, then Zimmerman is your man.

He is the No. 9 overall player, and No. 2 center, in 247Sports' rankings. While he most likely won't be able to excel in every above category playing for a major Division I program like he does in the video below, he still will be an impact player no matter where he lands in the fall.

He's received offers from Kansas, Kentucky, Arizona, UCLA, and UNLV (who many have as the leader in this race). ESPN's college basketball writer Jeff Goodman thinks the best fit for Zimmerman is Arizona for both proximity and playing time.

The last official visit he had with a coach according to 247 was the Jayhawks' Kurtis Townsend on Feb. 26.

He would fit fine in to Self's high-low offense, but one knock on him is that he isn't a great defender and rim protector for his size. Even if that is something he needs to work on, he will still be an upgrade to a Jayhawk squad that relied on a freshman who was suspended, a sophomore forced in to starting duty, and a utility fourth-year junior, to take the pressure off a small forward forced in to playing power forward and becoming the team's leading rebounder.

If that's not reason enough for you to think KU could benefit from a guy like this, I'm not sure what is.

It's not  highly likely, especially according to the experts at 247Sports, that he ends up at KU, but there is no doubt the interest is there or Townsend wouldn't be wasting his time at this point meeting with him.

As great as Zimmerman is, he isn't the highest rated big man on his team according to ESPN's Top 100 list. That would be Duke's Chase Jeter, who comes in at No. 9. However, 247 has the players swapped. Either way, he's already used to playing with elite talent and sharing the ball when needed.

Mike Thorne, Jr. -- 6-11, 270-pound C
Charlotte 49ers

Thorne is an interesting case. Jayhawk fans are familiar with the graduate transfer rule when Tarik Black finished his playing career in Lawrence after graduating in four years from Memphis.

Thorne may not be on the national radar because he plays for Charlotte, but there is no doubt KU could use his services. He went from a sophomore averaging 1.8 points and 1.4 rebounds, to averaging 10.1 and 7.3 this past season.

At nearly seven feet, he isn't your step back and hit a three big man like Zimmerman or Thon Maker. Instead, he's a bruiser underneath whose game is strikingly similar to Black's.

Media reports have said Self met with Thorne this week, and certainly Self could sell him on Black's positive experience (his time at Kansas likely helped him get to the NBA), and the fact that he will be coming to a talented team that is missing a big man in the middle.

It's hard to say what the chances are that he ends up at KU, considering more than 40 schools have reached out to him according the Kansas City Star, but the fact Self got a meeting with him is encouraging.

In a recent Star article his high school coach, Heath Vandevender, hinted that the Jayhawks could be a good fit.

"He wants to go to a school where he can be the primary five, because he only has one year left," Vandevender said. "He also wants to go to a school that has a history of getting bigs to the pro level."

Kansas Jayhawks: Check and Check.


Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/sports/college/big-12/university-of-kansas/article16504913.html#storylink=cpy

Check back with Rock Chalk Talk as the recruiting season heats up. We'll continue to keep you informed on the latest recruiting updates for all your Jayhawk sports.