The Washington State Cougars are hoping to fill the final spot in their 2020 class with explosive Canadian guard Jefferson Koulibaly, who is coming for an official visit to Pullman this weekend, a source tells CougCenter.
The Montreal native, who stands 6-foot-4, originally was a member of the 2021 class, but it appears he’s strongly considering reclassifying to 2020. He’s not rated by any of the major recruiting services, however, he’s averaging 31 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists for Lincoln Prep in Hamilton, Ontario.
The stat line is eye popping, but it sometimes can be tough to contextualize high school stats, particularly when they come north of the border — those points are coming on 23 shots a game and 10 free throws a game, so he’s getting a lot of volume. It’s likely that what truly caught Smith’s eye is Koulibaly’s well-rounded game, which fits perfectly with Smith’s desire to add “six-tool players” — guys who can do a lot of things well.
In that way, Koulibaly is reminiscent of current freshman guards Noah Williams and Ryan Rapp, as well as incoming signee TJ Bamba — all of whom are 6-5 and bring the kind of length and athleticism on the perimeter that WSU has been lacking for years. The source said the staff sees Koulibaly as a guy who would be another critical piece in that regard, and they’re pushing hard to land him even as it appears programs such as Maryland and Georgetown are starting to sniff around.
North Pole Hoops ranks Koulibaly as its No. 5 Canadian recruit in the 2021 class, and it’s clear he’s got plenty of athleticism; this is the pinned tweet on his Twitter profile, from a little over a year ago:
Jefferson Koulibaly (@KJeffers0n) with the play of the tournament! pic.twitter.com/q1FsJSlxiv— Orangeville Prep (@OrangevillePrep) November 3, 2018
North Pole Hoops described Koulibaly’s game this way back in November, when the season was just getting started:
Koulibaly added a lot to his bag this summer, with his improved handle standing out the most so far. He’s so much more creative with the ball in his hands and can create separation for the step back or blowby with consistency. Combine his newfound playmaking ability with his elite perimeter defence and he might be the best two-way prospect in the class when all’s said and done.
Here are just a few highlights that show that off (warning — Music NSFW ...):
If Koulibaly were to commit, he’d join Bamba and Nigerian big man Efe Abogidi in this class. Here’s a look at the scholarship situation as it currently stands, pending any offseason departures: