Five-star Class of 2022 prospect MJ Rice, the No. 20 recruit in the 247Sports Composite rankings and top-five player at the small forward position, announced his commitment to Kansas and Bill Self on Tuesday. Rice chose the Jayhawks over Oklahoma State, NC State and Pittsburgh.
“I loved everything about the school, the coaches, the campus, the fans,” Rice told Sports Illustrated. “When I went on the visit, I just felt like I was at home. I feel like coming there I’ll have the opportunity to play my game on a big stage and I trust the coaches.”
Rice made official visits to Kansas, Oklahoma State and Pitt over the last two months as he narrowed his focus, but his recruitment has long been a mystery. NC State at one point looked like a viable landing spot and turning pro also seemed on the table, but KU closed the deal late to secure its first five-star commitment in two cycles (since Bryce Thompson joined the 2020 class).
Potential NCAA sanctions looming over the Kansas program have likely made recruiting a challenge for Kansas in recent years as it continues to deal with fallout from the FBI scandal that ensnared the Jayhawks. However, KU is off to a hot start in 2022 led by commitments from Rice and a pair of four-star standouts in Gradey Dick and Zuby Ejiofor. The class ranks ninth nationally in second in the Big 12.