KU pledge, four-star forward Marcus Adams will reclassify to Class of ’23. Here’s why

Kansas four-star pledge Marcus Adams Jr. felt a sense of anguish.

The No. 1-seeded KU Jayhawks (28-8, 13-5 Big 12) had just lost 72-71 to No. 8 Arkansas in the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 32 on Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena.

Adams, a 6-foot-8, 205-pound small forward in his junior year at Narbonne (California) High School, was gutted. But he knew what he wanted and also knew he couldn’t just sit around anymore.

He was ready to be a Jayhawk as soon as possible.

By the time Saturday night’s KU game ended, Adams said, he had decided that he would reclassify from the Class of 2024 to the Class of 2023. He announced his decision via Twitter on Sunday.

Adams, the No. 29-rated player in the Class of 2024 (per 247Sports), will thus join the Kansas program this summer one year ahead of schedule.

“Kansas fans can expect me to make an impact,” Adams told The Star Sunday afternoon. “(With) the early exit this year, hopefully next year when I am there we can take it all the way. Keep getting further. We had a great run this year; I am proud of my guys. I want to make a big impact over there.”

Adams, who will join fellow Class of 2023 pledges Elmarko Jackson, Chris Johnson and Jamari McDowell in Lawrence, said he talked to his parents and his high school coach, Anthony Hilliard, extensively about the decision. He said he has accumulated enough credits to graduate early.

Adams also said KU coach Bill Self and assistant coach Kurtis Townsend agreed 100% with his decision to join the Jayhawks this summer. Kansas could have two big roster spots to fill with the departures to the NBA Draft of star forward Jalen Wilson and, possibly, freshman Gradey Dick.

According to Adams, Self and Townsend believe Adams could help fill their shoes.

“Since Jalen Wilson, Kevin McCullar and Gradey (Dick, potentially) are leaving, the coaches are like, ‘We need you to score,’” Adams told The Star earlier in March. “‘We need a guy like you to score, bring rebounds, buckets, threes to the team, and you’re going to make a big impact here.’

Adams was a late riser in the Class of 2024. He didn’t receive most of his offers — including one from the Jayhawks — until a month or two before he committed to KU.

Adams choose Kansas over offers from, according to his 247Sports recruiting page, Oregon, Syracuse, UCLA, Texas, Mississippi State, USC, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas State, Tennessee, Xavier, Nebraska, Washington State and others.

Adams almost chose UCLA, but after a late push by Kansas’ coaching staff on the day of his commitment, he picked KU.

“Coach Self, (assistant) coach (Kurtis) Townsend were really great people,” Adams said in March. “They helped me out (with) a lot of things during the visit (Feb 24-26) and answered all my questions without a problem. I love the fan base over there.

“I love the people on social media telling me they really need me and they really want me. I felt like that’s a good place for me to go and I fit in really good.”