Kansas successfully convinced in-state recruit Zach Clemence to keep his talents close to home, as the four-star prospect announced Monday he has committed to the Jayhawks over Ohio State, Baylor and a number of other suitors from across the country.
The 6-foot-9 forward from Wichita's Sunrise Christian Academy is the first commitment KU has secured in the 2021 recruiting class and a notable recruiting win amidst an ongoing battle with the. Clemence is rated as the No. 34 player in the nation and the No. 2 player in the state.
"Kansas was always my No. 1," Clemence, originally from Texas, told 247Sports of why he chose the Jayhawks. "They just kind of pushed me and led me to thinking it was a great place and I think it is."
Clemence is a modern-day power forward with small forward skills who could potentially impact the KU program early with his size, skill and scoring ability. 247Sports' Evan Daniels noted in his scouting report of him that he has a growing skill set and deep range to potentially fit the billing of a stretch forward in KU's system.
Clemence is a versatile forward prospect with good positional size, mobility and skill. During his junior season, Clemence's body started to fill out and the weight program at Sunrise certainly helped. Clemence is mobile and consistently runs the floor. He plays with energy and competes on both ends. There's a lot of potential offensively, as he has terrific hands and touch, plus impressive shooting mechanics, footwork and range. The next step in his development is adding strength and continuing to improve his ball handling. Clemence is tracking as a sure fire high major recruit.
Kansas went 28-3 and was on track to be the No. 1 overall seed in the 2020 NCAA Tournament before the college basketball season abruptly came to an end due to the pandemic. The Jayhawks lose Devon Dotson, Isaiah Moss and Udoka Azubuike from last year's team but bring back Marcus Garrett and Ochai Agbaji, among several others. They've also signed five-star Oklahoma standout guard Bryce Thompson, who will enroll this fall as the crown jewel of their top-20 incoming recruiting class.