One of the top high school basketball players in the nation moved one year closer to playing at the collegiate level.
R.J. Barrett, who recently led Canada to a gold medal in the U19 FIBA World Cup, announced that he would reclassify to the 2018 class on Monday in a blog that he posted with USA Today Sports. He was previously the top-ranked player in the ’19 class.
The 6-foot-7, 200-pound small forward was named the FIBA World Cup MVP after averaging 21.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists in seven games. During a win against Team USA in the semifinals, Barrett scored 38 points on 12-of-24 shooting with 13 rebounds and five assists.
In his USA Today Sports blog, Barrett said Kansas, Arizona, Duke, Kentucky, Michigan, Oregon, Texas and UCLA have shown the most interest.
“Not too much will change with my approach to the recruitment; we’ll just do the visits a little sooner than we probably would have if I stayed in 2019,” Barrett wrote. “I haven’t set anything up yet for sure with visits, but we’ll get to that.”
After reclassifying, Barrett was ranked No. 3 by ESPN in the Class of 2018, only behind Marvin Bagley III and Zion Williamson.
Barrett, a left-hander from Mississauga, Ontario, plays high school basketball at Montverde Academy in Florida.
“Obviously, I was ranked No. 1 in the 2019 class and now that I’m moving up to 2018 my goal won’t change,” Barrett wrote. “I still want to be the best player in the class and the only way to make that happen is through hard work. We work really hard at Montverde so I know another year there won’t do anything but benefit me.”
With Barrett moving up one class, Charles Bassey, a forward from San Antonio, Texas who has received a scholarship offer from KU, will slide up to Rivals.com’s No. 1 ranking.
Earlier this summer, KU coach Bill Self said the upcoming recruiting class will “probably be about as important a year as we’ve had.”
“I think we could lose five or six guys (after the 2017-18 season) so we’ve gotta sign big, we’ve gotta sign little, we’ve gotta sign point guard and tall wings,” Self said. “We need to sign a little bit of everything.”