Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Jamari Traylor is headed to Kansas.
Where his IMG Academies teammate DeAndre Daniels is going remains unclear for the moment.
“It was a good fit for me,” the 6-foot-8, 215-pound power forward told SNY.tv by phone. “I really like Coach [Bill] Self and coach [Kurtis] Townsend. I really like the players. On my visit I saw the campus and everything I knew it would be a good place for me.”
Traylor chose Kansas over Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Indiana.
Daniels is mulling Kansas and Texas and will now announce Thursday morning.
“I can’t speak for DeAndre,” Traylor said. “I don’t know where he’s gonna go. We were talking earlier but he’s not really sure so I don’t really know about DeAndre.”
Traylor joins point guard Naadir Tharpe, shooting guard Ben McLemore and power forward Braedon Anderson in Kansas’ 2011 class.
Traylor said he seriously considered Oklahoma State and didn’t actually decide until Wednesday, the final day of the late signing period.
“But when it all came down to it I always knew that Kansas was the place for me and it would be the best fit for me,” he said.
A Chicago native, Traylor said a key turning point came during his visit to Kansas when he met with Self.
“I was sitting down with Coach Self and he looked me in the eye and said, ‘Are you serious?'” Traylor said. “He said he understood, as far as my life, dealing with kids like me and he said it would be good for him to be in the next chapter of my life. And I knew that Coach Self was a good coach that I would want to play for.”
Playing time is a key factor.
Traylor hopes to help replace departed forwards Marcus and Markieff Morris.
“As far as I’m concerned, playing team is a big factor for me,” he said. “I know if I come in and I work hard it shouldn’t be a problem for me to play if I’m doing my part.”
Traylor is a face-up four man who also hopes to play the three.
“I know I can bring toughness to Kansas,” he said. “I know I’m a high-energy guy and high-rebounder. I block shots. I can also score the ball, so I plan to bring a lot to Kansas next year.”
IMG coach Andy Borman spoke highly of Traylor’s upside.
“He has a tremendous upside,” Borman said last month. “Jamari has only been playing organized basketball for 3 years…so he is still a little raw with his face-up game, but is probably the best overall athlete in the entire 2011 class. He attacks and defends the rim as well as anyone in our program. He has tremendous hands and finishes extremely well at and around the rim.
“He is the type of player that plays bigger than his frame because he gets off the ground so quickly and plays at the top of the block.
Now Traylor is happy the decision is behind him.
“I’m thrilled to finally get it behind me,” he said. “There was a lot of, I wouldn’t say pressure, but a lot of people pulling me for where I should go and everything and I’m glad it’s over. But I’m also glad I get to be a Jayhawk next year.”
**DeAndre Daniels Saga Drags On
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.