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Basketball Recruiting

Five-star junior KJ Evans discusses his options, breaks down game

January 2, 2022

The expectations are now extremely high for Baltimore native KJ Evans. Many say he will be the next best star out of Baltimore since Carmelo Anthony and that’s an extreme amount of expectations lofting on the shoulders of Evans. The 6-foot-10 prototypical wing attends Montverde Academy, a program that has continuously been atop the high school ranks virtually every year.

Evans is the cousin of a former San Diego State freshman, now a UTEP Miner, Che Evans. In addition, his father Kwame Evans Sr. was a standout at George Washington in the ’90s. He plays his basketball for Team Durant on the Nike EYBL circuit. He’s the total package and will have a legitimate chance to battle for that top-ranking in the 2023 class.

His recruitment took off very quickly. He landed 15+ scholarship offers and tons of high-major programs including several blue blood schools that have been intrigued by the Baltimore native. Amongst his scholarship offers are Kentucky, Indiana, Maryland, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, Auburn, LSU, Georgetown, Pittsburgh, and others.

Major upside prospect who can score at all levels, very fluid shooter, but the area I’m most impressed with him is probably his skill with the ball and his ability to run the floor and be around the perimeter at his size. He’s grown to 6-foot-10, adding two inches since he was at 6-foot-8 exactly one year ago. With great size and forgetting to mention his 7-foot-2 wingspan, KJ Evans becomes one of the more physically gifted prospects in the class.

We chopped it up on his recruitment. Here's’s first interview of 2022 with Kwame Evans Jr.

Which schools are heavily involved in your recruitment?

“Kentucky, Memphis, Indiana, Texas, Oregon, Duke, Syracuse, USC, and Auburn.”

What’s Kentucky’s pitch? And what is your relationship like with Coach [John] Calipari?

“Kentucky’s pitch is to come in and work for what I want and to be focused on my goals and school while being there. My relationship with Coach Cal is a good one because he’s just that coach who wants what’s good for you.”

How about Indiana? What are your thoughts on them and Mike Woodson?

“Indiana’s pitch was come in and contribute off rip and do what I need to do to go to the NBA, and focusing on school as well. My thoughts on them are just that they have a good coaching staff and Mike Woodson coached in the NBA, so the system he uses can help a lot. They are good people to my family and me.”

How about a program like Auburn? Has Jabari Smith’s impressive year stood out in recruitment?

“I like Auburn a lot, they talk to me on a consistent basis, and yes, because I can be like that if I keep working and that’s how they want me to be if I go there.”

Any visit plans?

“Visiting most schools after my season, like during AAU.”

Anywhere you’re definitely going to visit?

“Indiana, Oregon, and Texas.”

(Has a visit to IU in Feb.)

Talk about this season, how has Montverde helped you on and off the floor?

“Montverde has helped since I arrived. On the court, my motor has gotten a lot better, and just getting better at my craft and competing more and more every day. Off the floor is great as well, they teach you at an early age to become men and they keep you on top of your schoolwork as well.”

How would you best break down your game?

“Do-it-all forward that shoots it really well and I handle it. I can play 1-4 on defense and make the right plays for the team.”

Finally, when will you cut things down in your recruitment?

“Sometime during AAU.”

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