🏀 Kansas Men’s Basketball Adds Four in Early Signing Period
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Two bigs – forward Zuby Ejiofor (Garland, Texas) and center Ernest Udeh Jr. (Orlando, Fla.) – and two wings – Gradey Dick (Wichita, Kan.) and MJ Rice (Durham, N.C.) – have signed National Letters of Intent to play basketball at Kansas, KU head coach Bill Self announced Thursday. The four will be freshmen at KU for the 2022-23 season.
Kansas’ class ranks first among Big 12 schools and fourth nationally according to 247sports.com. Additionally, Dick, Udeh and Rice have been named to the 2022 Naismith Trophy Boys High School Watch List.
"Overall, this is an outstanding recruiting class and I don’t think that we are done by any means. We went out to sign five and we got four. I feel great about these four because they are all impact players for us next year. Where we stand right now moving forward will depend on how this year’s team continues to develop and who returns based on the success of this season. I’m very excited about where we are at."Head Coach Bill Self
"Gradey is a terrific prospect. He has skill, athleticism, size and I believe he can be an outstanding collegiate player here early in his career. He’s one of the best prospects to come out of our state since I’ve been at Kansas. I anticipate him making an immediate impact and playing a huge role his freshman year."Bill Self
GRADEY DICK, G, 6-7, 195, WICHITA, KANSAS (SUNRISE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY)
Gradey Dick verbally committed to KU in March 2021. A native of Wichita, Kansas, Dick played his first two seasons of prep basketball at Wichita Collegiate before switching to national power Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, Kansas, in 2020-21. Sunrise Christian is coached by Luke Barnwell.
Last season, as a junior in 2020-21, Dick helped lead Sunrise Christian to a second-place finish at Geico High School National Championship. Also, on that Sunrise Christian team is current KU freshman Zach Clemence.
A four-star recruit, Dick is ranked No. 25 in the Class of 2022 by ESPN.com, No. 35 by 247sports.com and No. 37 by Rivals.com.
This past summer Dick was a member of Team USA that won the to a gold medal at the Under 18 3-on-3 World Cup in Hungary. Others on his team included Kyle Filipowski, Keyonte George and Eric Dailey Jr.
As a sophomore in 2019-20, Dick averaged 20.4 points., 5.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists a game in leading Wichita Collegiate to a 21-3 record and the Kansas 3A state tournament, which was canceled because of COVID-19.
"Zuby is a combo forward that can play to four or the five spot. He reminds me of a Jamari Traylor, Darnell Jackson-type player. He plays with unbelievable energy. He’s got good size. He’s an athlete that can rebound about as well as anybody. His skill level is improving and I believe he can become a very efficient shooter. We’re very fortunate to have him in the fold and he will be a terrific player for us."Bill Self
ZUBY EJIOFOR, F, 6-8, 215, GARLAND, TEXAS (GARLAND HS)
Zuby Ejiofor has a 7-foot-0 wingspan. He averaged 21.0 points and 13.0 rebounds for Garland High School as a junior in 2020-21. Garland is coached by Randy Love. Ejiofor plays AAU basketball for Houston Hoops.
A four-star recruit, Ejiofor is ranked No, 41 nationally by 247sports.com, No. 47 by Rivals.com and No. 77 by ESPN.com. He committed to KU on July 1.
Ejiofor was born in the United States and his family is from Nigeria. He started playing basketball in the eighth grade.
"MJ is a big-time scorer. He’s got good height, has a very strong, mature body and is very explosive. He can flat out score the ball and would be your prototypical two or three guard. I believe MJ has a chance to be a top scorer for us early in his career. I’m not saying he is Mitch Richmond, but he reminds me of a very young Mitch Richmond."Bill Self
MJ RICE, G, 6-5, 200, DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA (PROLIFIC PREP [NAPA, CALIF.])
MJ Rice committed to KU in August 2021. A five-star recruit from Durham, North Carolina, Rice plays for Prolific Prep in Napa, California, for coach Billy McKnight. Rice started his high school career at Durham (N.C) Academy, then moved to Oak Hill Academy in Virginia in 2020-21 before transferring to Prolific Prep for his senior season in 2021-22. Rice averaged 23.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists a game his junior season at Oak Hill Academy.
Rice is ranked No. 20 in the country in the recruiting Class of 2022 by ESPN.com, No. 23 by Rivals.com and No. 25 by 247sports.com. He chose Kansas over many power-five schools and also considered playing in the NBA G League.
"Ernest is big, long, athletic and he’s coming into himself as a basketball player. I would consider him one of the best true big men in the country with a chance to move up on that list as he gets more and more comfortable with the game. He will be an impact player for us considering what we will be losing. In time he can become a presence on both ends much like some of the best big guys that we have had here at Kansas."Bill Self
ERNEST UDEH JR., C, 6-10, 230, ORLANDO, FLORIDA (DR. PHILLIPS HS)
Ernest Udeh Jr. has a 7-foot-2 wingspan. He averaged 10.1 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots per game as a junior at Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Florida. The Panthers, who are coached by Ben Witherspoon, won the 2021 state title and Udeh had 13 rebounds and six blocked shots in the state championship game. Udeh played for the Southeast Elite AAU Program in Florida.
A four-star recruit, Udeh is ranked No. 27 by 247sports.com, No. 29 by Rivals.com and No. 38 by ESPN.com. He was recruited heavily by numerous power five schools and also the Overtime Elite professional hoops league. Udeh committed to Kansas in October.