KU basketball makes final three for 4-star guard ... on same day as latest commitment

Isaiah Elohim, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound senior shooting guard from Sierra Canyon High School in Chatsworth, California, narrowed his list of schools to three on Monday: Kansas, Villanova and Arkansas.

Paul Biancardi of ESPN.com indicated a commitment to one of the three finalists is expected in the next week to 10 days. Some recruiting analysts believe Arkansas is the favorite.

“Elohim is a top 100 prospect with terrific scoring, talent and strength,” Biancardi wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Elohim — he visited Arkansas and Villanova earlier this month and KU in February — is ranked No. 32 in the recruiting class of 2024 by Rivals.com, No. 42 by 247Sports.com and No. 53 by ESPN.com.

He has eliminated USC and Providence from his list.

Elohim, originally from Kingston, New York, averaged 16.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game as a junior at Sierra Canyon High.

“Kansas and coach (Kurtis) Townsend and (Bill) Self have been recruiting me for a while and I had a great visit and relationship with the staff. They’re a school with a great culture and history and I like the way they do things,” Elohim told Eric Bossi of 247Sports.com.

Bossi is one analyst who believes Arkansas may be the leader.

“Arkansas has been recruiting me for a long time through thick and thin — even when I was hurt — and I have a great relationship with the whole staff and had an amazing visit. They also fit my playing style and I respect the culture coach (Eric) Musselman and that staff have set,” Elohim told Bossi.

Bossi’s scouting report on Elohim: “At 6-5 he has good length, a strong body and well-above-average instincts for getting to the rim and scoring around defenders and through contact. He is an effective pull-up jump shooter from 17 feet and in who just needs more reps on his shot to become a more-consistent shooter from deep.

“... When he’s available, his toughness, ability to get to the basket and penchant for putting up points in a hurry have always stood out. He’s got a college-ready frame and projects as an effective wing at the high-major level.”

Philon ‘plays with confident pace,’ analyst says

Also on Monday, KU received a commitment from Labaron Philon, a 6-foot-3, 175-pound senior point guard from Link Academy in Branson, Missouri, originally from Mobile, Alabama. Philon, who chose KU over Cincinnati, Alabama and Mississippi, is ranked No. 27 in the recruiting class of 2024 by 247Sports.com, No. 35 by ESPN.com and No. 38 by Rivals.com.

Philon averaged 35.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.6 steals a game last season at Baker High in Mobile. He hit 52% of his shots, including 34% of his 3s and 82% of his free throws. He had 51 points in one game.

“He plays with a confident pace. He has good size with nice length and an ability to score the basketball in a number of ways,’ wrote Jamie Shaw of On3.com. “Philon is a big-time high school scorer. While not an elite athlete, he uses his pace, along with an assortment of hesitation dribbles, to get into the paint and finish. The lack of top-end burst can hurt him at the rim, but he can be crafty there. He understands angles and has good footwork while preferring a pull-up or floater once he is in and around the paint.”

And he’s a “smart and competitive defender,” Shaw added.

“He is not afraid to mix it up and is able to use his footwork and angles to make up for his footspeed guarding the ball,” Shaw wrote. “Philon has good length and a natural anticipation as a team defender. Philon plays with a great demeanor. He is not afraid of the moment and willing to do what it takes to put his team in the best position for a win.”

Rob Cassidy of Rivals.com had this to say about Philon, who indicated Jeremy Case was the KU coach in charge of his recruitment: “Philon’s calling card is his creativity. His length allows him to guard multiple positions on defense and score in a number of ways on offense. The 6-4 prospect is one of few guards that is actually capable of playing the 1 or the 2 at the college level because of a rare blend of playmaking and scoring abilities. He’s not an elite shooter but can hurt you from deep if left open.”

Summary of KU recruiting Class of 2024 to date

KU has received class of 2024 commitments from Philon as well as Flory Bidunga, a 6-foot-8, 215-pound senior forward from Kokomo (Indiana) High School. Bidunga is ranked No. 5 nationally by Rivals.com, No. 6 by ESPN.com and No. 8 by 247Sports.com.

KU is gearing for a big recruiting weekend on Oct. 6-8. Cooper Flagg, the consensus No. 1 player in the class, and Emmanuel Stephen are slated to attend Late Night in the Phog on Friday, Oct. 6, then head to KU’s football game against UCF on Saturday, Oct. 7.

Flagg is a 6-foot-8, 195-pound senior forward from Montverde (Florida) Academy. Stephen is a 7-foot, 215-pound senior from Dream City Christian in Glendale, Arizona, who is ranked No. 86 in the class by 247Sports.com, No. 95 by ESPN.com and No. 119 by Rivals.com.