Kansas basketball gets huge boost with commitment from 5-star MJ Rice

Bill Self and the Kansas basketball staff are off to a tremendous start to their 2022 recruiting class, and it just got stronger with the addition of small forward MJ Rice.

According to 247Sports, Rice is a 6-foot-5, five-star small forward out of Napa, California currently ranked as the No. 20 recruit in the country.

Though his offer list isn’t overly impressive, his commitment immediately catapults KU’s 2022 recruiting class into the top five. The Jayhawks now sit at No. 2 in the country with commitments from Rice and four-star forwards Zuby Ejiofor and Gradey Dick.

Rice has a frame that looks college-ready and should be able to find minutes early next year with KU likely to lose several guards to graduation and the NBA Draft. Rice is an explosive athlete who loves to drive to the basket, and is exactly the type of tough-nosed player KU will need next year with Remy Martin and (likely) Jalen Wilson departing to the NBA.

Rice also has a smooth-looking jump shot that should keep defenses honest. And with players like Joseph Yesefu, Christian Braun, and others returning alongside him, KU’s backcourt shouldn’t miss a beat next year.

Don’t expect Self to rest on his laurels now that he has Rice’s commitment in the bag either. He and his staff are still in pursuit of several five-star talents including Chris Livingston, Mark Mitchell, and Brandon Miller.

Mitchell, ranked as the No. 10 player in the 2022 class, is of particular interest to the coaching staff as he plays at nearby Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita and is teammates with current KU commit Gradey Dick. Landing him or any of the aforementioned recruits would likely cement the No. 1 overall recruiting class for the Jayhawks heading into next year.

The future looks bright for Kansas basketball and Rice’s commitment only makes that future shine that much brighter.