Creighton’s first official visitor during a potentially busy recruiting stretch is a 2020 center whose recent AAU performances have caught the attention of several coaches across the region.
Ryan Kalkbrenner, a 7-footer from St. Louis, was on campus Wednesday.
He’s ranked No. 82 overall on the 247Sports composite. Rivals categorizes him as a four-star prospect — but he jumped from 139th overall to 68th on that database’s rankings this week.
And those assessments could continue to improve if Kalkbrenner builds off his recent surge.
Playing for Chicago’s Mac Irvin Fire on Nike’s AAU circuit, Kalkbrenner has averaged 7.7 points and 8.9 rebounds in 13 games. He has shot 56.1% from the floor, and he’s gone 25 of 30 at the foul line.
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But his defensive instincts are what have been most noticeable. Kalkbrenner is leading all eligible players in Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League at 4.5 blocks per game. He was named the top defensive player during Nike’s Atlanta session in April. He had a 10-block game last month in Dallas.
Kalkbrenner has been offered scholarships by about a dozen Division I schools since March, including Creighton, Illinois, Cincinnati and Kansas State. He’s reportedly set to visit the Illini later this week.
For the Bluejays, he certainly fits into an area of need. Creighton has two scholarship big men on its roster: sophomores-to-be Christian Bishop and Jacob Epperson. CU is pursuing graduate transfers this month — it’s set to host Idaho State’s Kelvin Jones for a visit this week — but that would only be a one-year solution.
So the Jays are after big men for their 2020 recruiting class. In addition to Kalkbrenner, Creighton is scheduled to bring in center Kiyron Powell, from Indiana, for an official visit later this week. The Bluejays offered Powell in May.
Ten months ago, the NCAA changed its rules to allow recruits to take up to five official visits during their junior year of high school and five more during their senior years. But they can officially visit a college only once per year.