Five-star forward Billy Preston picks Kansas over USC

Five-star forward Billy Preston has committed to Kansas, announcing his decision on ESPNU on Friday.

Preston chose the Jayhawks over USC, with Syracuse and Indiana also on his final list of four.

Preston had a long and constantly changing recruitment, with different schools emerging every few months. He cut his list to four in March, with Maryland, Arizona, Kansas and USC remaining. Preston then removed Arizona and added Indiana and NC State in September. He took visits to Kansas, Syracuse, Indiana and USC, but ultimately it was a battle between Kansas and the Trojans down the stretch.

Preston's family was close with the USC staff, but Kansas gained momentum after Preston's visit to Lawrence for "Late Night in the Phog" in late September.

Preston, a 6-foot-10 combo forward from Los Angeles who plays at Oak Hill Academy (Virginia), is ranked No. 20 in the ESPN 100 for the 2017 class. He's a skilled frontcourt player who can fill multiple roles on the offensive end, given his passing vision and ability to score inside and out. He averaged 13.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists on the Nike EYBL circuit with Houston Hoops and RM5 Elite.

Kansas was off to a slow start in the 2017 class, with ESPN 100 guard Marcus Garrett (No. 62) the only commitment coming out of the early signing period. Coach Bill Self has only two scholarship seniors on his roster in point guard Frank Mason and center Landen Lucas, but there's a chance freshman wing Josh Jackson leaves early for the NBA.

Preston can step in and be a playmaker and scorer next season for the Jayhawks, creating matchup problems for opponents.

The biggest target remaining for Kansas is elite guard Trevon Duval (No. 5 in ESPN 100), who visited Lawrence earlier this fall. Hamidou Diallo (No. 13) is also on the Jayhawks' board.

Preston has attended five high schools in the last four years, starting out at St. John Bosco (California) and Redondo Union (California), before heading to Prime Prep (Texas), whose basketball team then moved to Advanced Prep International (Texas). Preston then enrolled at Oak Hill for his senior season.