Labaron Philon, a 6-foot-3, 175-pound senior point guard from Link Academy in Branson, Missouri, has orally committed to play basketball at Kansas.
Philon — he visited KU on Friday through Sunday after making an official visit to Cincinnati earlier this month — chose KU over Cincy, Alabama and Mississippi.
A native of Mobile, Alabama, Philon announced his college choice Monday night via a Joe Tipton/On3.com graphic on Twitter.
“I chose Kansas because my game can fit into their system really well,” Philon told On3.com. “Coach (Bill) Self is one of the best coaches ever and I can come in and make a big impact for the team.”
Philon, a four-star prospect, is ranked No. 27 in the recruiting class of 2024 by 247Sports.com, No. 35 by ESPN.com and No. 38 by Rivals.com. He committed to Auburn on Feb. 3, then reopened his recruitment on April 21.
According to verbalcommits.com, Ole Miss assistant coach Wes Flanigan was Philon’s lead recruiter when he was on the coaching staff at Auburn. Flanigan left for Ole Miss on April 8 and Philon decommitted shortly after.
Philon’s Link Academy teammate, Tyler McKinley, has committed to play at Cincinnati.
“I would describe my game as smooth. Being able to drive and knock down tough shots. Also a player who can get it done on both sides and lead a team,” Philon told On3.com.
Philon referred to himself as a “dawg coming to Lawrence soon.”
Philon last year attended Baker High in Mobile, Alabama. He averaged 35.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.6 steals per game. He hit 52% of his shots, including 34% of his 3s and 82% of his free throws. He had 51 points in one game.
Philon left the state for Link Academy with 2,334 career points in three seasons. He was on track to become a top 10 scorer in state history, according to Maxpreps.com.
“We are very proud of Labaron and all his accomplishments,” Baker High coach David Armstrong told al.com. “We are happy with everything he has done for Baker. He is a program-changing type player, and we are excited to have been a part of his journey for the last three years. We wish him nothing but the best moving forward.
“I think moving to Link will be good for him if he puts in the work, and I know he will. Labaron will forever be a Baker Hornet. It’s been an absolute pleasure to coach the kid. I don’t know if I’ll ever coach a better player. He is absolutely special.”
He initially chose Auburn over KU, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas, Houston, Cincinnati, Louisville, LSU and Penn State.
“He’s a top 20 player in the country,” UMS-Wright head coach Michael Napp told al.com. “He is just so dynamic with the ball. He can get any shot, any time when he wants it. He can knock down so many shots from so many different places. He’s an elite ball handler.”
The four-star guard averaged 13 points, 4.2 rebounds, and five assists per game while playing for Team Thad during Peach Jam this past summer.
“Labaron was a great leader for us on and off the court,” Team Thad director Norton Hurd told On3.com. “I feel he is arguably the best point guard in the country in 2024 with his balance of creating for himself and others. He competes like no other and plays both ends of the ball. He will do great things in college and beyond.”
Russ Heltman of SI.com wrote this of Philon: “The 6-4, 170-pound weapon brings plenty of that (scoring) to the table for Link Academy. Philon is a talented half-court maestro who uses a strong crossover to create space whenever he needs it. The finishing skills are all there around the rim, whether it is with his strong hand or not. Shooting-wise, Philon has a compact stroke that he deploys from the midrange and on the outside via catch-and-shoot opportunities. Add in a heady steal acumen on defense that he turns into fast breaks and it’s not hard to see why Philon is one of the top 2024 players in Missouri.”
KU has received two commitments from players in the class of 2024. Flory Bidunga, a 6-9, 220-pound forward from Kokomo (Indiana) High, announced for KU over Auburn, Duke and Michigan on Aug. 12.
KU is gearing for a big recruiting weekend on Oct. 6-8. Cooper Flagg, the No. 1 player in the class, and Emmanuel Stephen are slated to attend Late Night in the Phog on Friday, Oct. 6, then head to KU’s football game against UCF on Saturday, Oct. 7.
Flagg is a 6-8, 195-pound senior forward from Montverde (Florida) Academy. Stephen is a 7-0, 215-pound senior from Dream City Christian in Glendale, Arizona, who is ranked No. 119 in the class of 2024 by Rivals.com.