LAWRENCE, Kan. - University of Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self announced Wednesday that standout guard Tyrone Appleton (6-3, 195) from Midland (Texas) College has signed a national letter of intent to play at KU next season.
A native of Gary, Ind. (Harmony Prep), Appleton averaged 13.2 points (46 percent shooting), 5.2 assists and 1.7 steals per game last season for 28-4 Midland. Appleton led the Western Junior College Athletic Conference in scoring, assists and steals as he was named MVP of the league. He was also named second team NJCAA All-American in 2007-08.
“Tyrone is a do-everything guard,” Self said. “He’s a good shooter. He’s a good handler. He can play the one (guard) or the two (guard). He will fit in well with the way we play with our interchangeable parts on the perimeter.”
“Tyrone has won big at the junior college level and certainly has sacrificed individual stats for the betterment of his team,” Self said. “We were sold on Tyrone when we first came in contact with him. He’s going to be a terrific addition to a young basketball team from a talent standpoint but most importantly from a leadership standpoint.”
As a freshman in 2006-07, Appleton led Midland to the NJCAA national title in which the Chaparrals went 29-8. He was second on the team with 14 points per game, including a team-best 16.4 points per game in league play. He also averaged 3.2 assists and 1.9 steals for the Chaparrals. Appleton played for coach Grant McCasland while at Midland.
“Having played for Coach McCasland – having won the national championship his freshman year and they had a terrific team this year – Tyrone has been well drilled and I am sure the transition will be smooth with him coming into our system,” Self said.
Appleton joins five future Jayhawks who signed national letters of intent last November. Those include junior college transfer Mario Little of Chicago, Ill., and freshmen Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris of Philadelphia, Pa., Travis Releford of Kansas City and Quintrell Thomas of Elizabeth, N.J.
2008-09 Kansas Men’s Basketball Signees (April 16)
Tyrone Appleton – 6-3, 195, G, Gary, Ind. (Harmony Prep/Midland [Texas] College)
Mario Little – 6-5, 210, G/F, Chicago, Ill. (Washington HS/Chipola [Fla.] CC)
Marcus Morris – 6-8 ½, 220, F, Philadelphia, Pa. (Prep Charter HS/APEX Academy [N.J.])
Markieff Morris – 6-10, 230, F/C, Philadelphia, Pa. (Prep Charter HS/APEX Academy [N.J.])
Travis Releford – 6-5, G/F, Roeland Park, Kan. (Bishop Miege HS)
Quintrell Thomas – 6-8, 235, F, Elizabeth, N.J. (Saint Patrick HS)