Lindsay inks with Kansas

Lindsay inks with Kansas

When Mervyn Lindsay left Lawrence, Kan. on June 11 at the conclusion of his official visit, he was ready to end his recruitment. Instead he held off, wanting to be sure, and took a second official - this time to Marquette. His initial instincts held firm, however, and on Wednesday the 6-foot-5 wing from California became the latest member of the Kansas Class of 2011.

Strangely enough, Mervyn Lindsay got his first taste of the fanaticism that surrounds Kansas basketball while standing in rival territory.

Well, technically anyway.

Shortly after his plane touched down June 9 at Kansas City International Airport, the long, lanky wing prospect - eager to get his official visit with the Jayhawks underway - was greeted by assistant coach Kurtis Townsend.

A 6-foot-5 teenager tends to attract a lot of attention in this part of the country when he's accompanied by a highly-recognizable member of the Kansas coaching staff. So it should come as no surprise that the questions began almost immediately.

"In the airport, people were asking 'Is he coming to Kansas?'" Lindsay recalled. "I had never had that happen to me before. So the fan base, the town, the coaching staff - everyone affiliated with Kansas - is amazing."

The Jayhawks first got involved with Lindsay - who hails from Moreno Valley (CA) Canyon Springs High School - in late May, not long after his de-commitment from Texas Tech.

The situation with the Red Raiders and new head coach Billy Gillispie simply didn't end up working out, he explained, and while that door closed others began to shortly thereafter.

One such door led to Lawrence, Kan., when Townsend got Lindsay on the phone. The next day, Head Coach Bill Self gave him a call, and the ball was officially rolling.

"Right when they called I was kind of shocked," he said. "But I had to maintain myself like, 'Oh, okay. This is Kansas.'"

Unsure of what to expect from anything on his first visit to the Sunflower State, Lindsay entered his official with no expectations - and was impressed from the start. From spending time with the coaches to playing pickup with the current team, he enjoyed every minute.

Because most of the roster was still in town at the time, Lindsay had an entire host of...well...hosts, to show him the ropes of campus life on Mount Oread. He gelled on and off the court with the team, and said the coaches were even more friendly and genuine in person than they were on the phone.

"They were really down to Earth guys," Lindsay said. "Most coaches probably act out of character sometimes, but these guys were just down to Earth. They kept it real all the way."

By the time he headed back to the airport on the 11th, Kansas had made such an impression that Lindsay was ready to put a rubber stamp on his recruitment. In his mind, the Jayhawks were the clear and obvious choice.

Instead, he showed patience. With an official visit scheduled to Marquette the very next day, he wasn't to give himself time to think, and to see what another program had to offer. He wanted to see how they stacked up.

In the end, his initial instincts held firm, and he officially signed his grant-in-aid paperwork with Kansas on Wednesday afternoon.

"When I came back home, that's when I made my decision," Lindsay said. "It wasn't easy, but KU led the way."

"We are excited to have Merv join our team," Self said, via a press release. "He has great potential and has the ability to help us this season. He is a very athletic wing who is a good shooter. Like all the incoming freshmen we have, as Merv gets stronger he will continue to develop."

Now, Lindsay is just excited to get to campus and get to work - something he expects to happen within the first week of July.

He knows he needs to improve his overall skill level and spend some quality time with strength coach Andrea Hudy in the weight room. But with hard work he believes he can make a difference immediately.

"I'm not nervous at all," Lindsay said. "I'm anxious to get down there with the guys and start working out, and really start getting ready for the season so I can produce."

Kansas Newcomers for 2011-12

Braeden Anderson, Fr., F, 6-8, 215, Okotoks, Alberta, Canada (Wilbraham and Monson Academy [Mass.])

Mervyn Lindsay, Fr., F, 6-5, 180, Moreno Valley, Calif. (Canyon Springs HS)

Ben McLemore, Fr., G, 6-5, 185, St. Louis, Mo. (Christian Life Center [Texas])

Naadir Tharpe, Fr., G, 6-0, 170, Worcester, Mass. (Brewster Academy [N.H.])

Jamari Traylor, Fr., F, 6-7, 212, Chicago, Ill. (IMG Academy [Fla.])

Kevin Young, Jr., F, 6-8, 200, Perris, Calif. (Loyola Marymount)

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