Three star 6'9" PF Ray Kasongo was denied admission to Oregon on July 30th, and that may be to the benefit of the Indiana Hoosiers. The reasons for that denial have not been released, but it sounds as if there are not any academic concerns with Indiana. Kasongo had originally committed to Oregon before decommitting later on. He would later recommit to the Ducks before signing in November.
It was originally rumored that Kansas was the front runner and Kasongo visited there over the weekend. As it turns out though, the Jayhawks have a loaded front court which would have led to very limited playing time for Kasongo which is one of his main priorities. He is also being recruited heavily by LSU and he may visit them later this week as seen below. His next visit after that though will be to Indiana in about a week, and it would be incredibly surprising to me if he did not commit to the Hoosiers on that visit.
The Hoosiers have more playing time available down low than any major team in the country which means Kasongo could be on the court extremely often and that seems to be his main focus right now. Obviously, Indiana also has the tradition and basketball environment to go along with the playing time to make it a very attractive place for Kasongo. If I had to give a percentage on how confident I am Kasongo will commit - I'd place it at 80%.
So let's just assume he is going to commit. What will the Hoosiers be getting with Kasongo? First off, they will be filling their final open scholarship in both 2014 and 2015. As I have said many times now though, there is going to be turnover at the end of the year - so I wouldn't get too worked up over no open scholarships in the 2015 class. Kasongo will bring a much needed big frame to the Hoosiers as he currently stands at 6'9" and weighs 235 pounds. He also has had success against some of the best high school players in the country. He scored 24 points and added 15 boards and 7 blocks against Cliff Alexander and Jahlil Okafor last summer. If that doesn't open your eyes - I am not sure what will. He is only a three star and is ranked pretty low in the 247Sports Composite Index at #222, but the potential seems to clearly be there. Here is some video of Kasongo:
One thing is clear from this video - Kasongo can rebound and finish the ball. He appears to be very athletic as well. He seems to play a little bigger than his 6'9" frame which is great news for the Hoosiers who are looking to add as much height as possible. He also seems much less raw than fellow 2014 commits Tim Priller and Jeremiah April and would likely immediately move ahead of those players on the depth chart especially with April not getting any time in Canada due to injury and Priller only getting limited minutes.
It is a little concerning that so much pressure would be added to Kasongo as a freshman as Hoosier fans have waited all offseason for a clear guy to emerge down low in the transfer market. That never materialized, but now Kasongo would fill that hole which could get the faithful pretty excited again about the upcoming season. Those expectations need to be held in check a bit given where he is ranked at #222. He is not going to come in right away and be a star player - but I don't think he needs to be. Indiana just needs serviceable players down low given the great guard play they should enjoy this season. If Kasongo can come in and play that role - rebound and score on offensive put backs - the Hoosiers will have exactly what they need to make this a successful season.