Flory Bidunga, the top-ranked center in the 2024 class, announced his commitment to Kansas on Saturday.
Bidunga, who made his announcement at the UA Next Elite 24 game in Atlanta, chose the Jayhawks over Auburn, Duke and Michigan.
“I was excited about Kansas when they offered,” Bidunga told ESPN. “We talked on the phone, and they were serious about me, then I was serious about them. When we got there and met everybody, it was good. Coach [Bill] Self and staff are always in my games. I see him as a coach who will push me and teach me on the court. Off the court, he is a caring and kind person. Very funny and a smartass in a good way off the court.”
Duke has appeared to be the favorite to recruit Bidunga since July, though Kansas remains in strong position. Auburn made the push down, but the Jayhawks were able to land the big man’s commitment.
“When I watch in practice, I see how he trusts his players,” Bidunga said. “I know they will develop my talent and help me in my goal of making the NBA. My dream is not only to make it, but to stay there.”
From Congo, the 6-foot-9 Bidunga is ranked No. 4 overall in the ESPN 100 and is No. 1 class center. He burst onto the scene last spring and summer, then backed that up with another dominant performance on the grassroots circuit in July. In six games at the Sportradar Showdown in Las Vegas with Indiana Elite, Bidunga averaged 18.5 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.5 blocks.
Bidunga, who plans to play soccer this season at Kokomo High School (Indiana), is well-mannered and plays with consistent energy and effort. In the open court, he runs with long strides and great open-court speed. A high-level athlete with strength, bounce and agility, Bidunga is at his best when finishing a game at the rim, rebounding and blocking shots. His shot-blocking range is great, due to his willingness to look for rebounds outside of his area. His touch improved as did his movement, a left-handed jump-hook over the right block toward the middle of the paint. He scores with post-up inside angles and he has the hands to catch and score in the high-low game. The next area of development is his face-up game.
Bidunga is Self and Kansas’ first commitment in the 2024 class and the program’s highest-ranked pledge since Josh Jackson (No. 2) chose the Jayhawks in the 2016 class.
Earlier in the UA Next Elite 24 game, ESPN 100 guard Nasir Mohammed announced his commitment to Notre Dame. The son of former Kentucky star and first-round NBA draft pick Nazr Mohammed, the 6-foot-5 wing chose the Fighting Irish over finalists Marquette, Stanford, Virginia Tech and Villanova.
“The relationship I built with Coach [Micah] Shrewsberry over the years is the difference,” Mohammed told ESPN. “His vision for me to be a lead guard and the pieces he put together were exciting. The history of the basketball program and the school’s academy fit me.