If all of the exercise bordering the Kansas men’s basketball program of late has your head spinning a bit, you are undoubtedly not alone.
I just can’t convey to you the variety of KU supporters who have arrived at out to me in the earlier few of weeks in search of some insight into the state of KU’s existing roster.
At minimum on paper, it appears to be to me like the Jayhawks have gotten improved. A ton far better.
Which is not a knock on the men who still left, relatively praise for the actuality that the gamers who KU signed to change them are a lot more tested and have shown that they can participate in consistent and essential roles at the college stage.
Here’s the nuts point: KU’s nevertheless not accomplished. Relying on what comes about with the NBA draft choices of Ochai Agbaji and Jalen Wilson — and we most likely will not know the response to that until July — Kansas mentor Invoice Self still has any place from one to a few scholarships to hand out ahead of the team experiences for summer time workout routines on June 6.
For the reason that of the transfer portal and the current passage of the NCAA’s one particular-time transfer exemption, there are continue to loads of options out there, regardless of how a lot of places the Jayhawks require to fill.
A ton could modify in the coming months. Or even in the coming times.
But all we have to go on is what we know currently. So, putting Agbaji and Wilson aside (you now know what introducing all those two to the roster would provide), here’s a glance at the place KU’s roster and depth chart now sit.
Despite getting rid of Marcus Garrett and Bryce Thompson from very last year’s roster, the Jayhawks are poised to enter the offseason with even much better depth at the direct guard posture.
Drake transfer Joseph Yesufu is capable of participating in the position and provides explosive athleticism, elite engage in-building means and experience to the floor. Include to that the reality that returner Dajuan Harris was just beginning to strike his stride above the remaining several weeks of previous year, and you are searching at a pretty stable 1-2 punch there.
There is much more, while. Freshmen-to-be Bobby Pettiford Jr., and Kyle Cuffe Jr., each have point guard prowess, and it’s harmless to presume that at the very least a person of the two will build as a place guard as his university occupation progresses.
The smart revenue there is on Cuffe, as Pettiford initiatives as the type of participant who simply can engage in both of those on and off the ball.
The Jayhawks also not too long ago made the ultimate 6 for four-star prep position guard Tyty Washington, and if he picks KU this place gets to be even a lot more stacked.
On paper, this may perhaps be the thinnest of the five commencing positions to day, but a great deal of that will count on how promptly Cuffe and/or Pettiford produce.
Further than that, the idea of participating in two point guards is some thing Self has normally appreciated and would like to get again to. Somewhat than fielding a crew with a level guard and a secondary ball handler the way he has the earlier couple of seasons, Self wishes to get back to putting multiple participate in-producing guards on the flooring at the similar time.
The belief there is that the transfer will allow KU to play quicker and be additional athletic.
As a final result, Harris, now with a yr of practical experience below his belt, could find prolonged taking part in time at this place along with a player like Yesufu or Washington (if KU receives him).
If the Jayhawks do land Washington, the two Yesufu and Harris could share time at the 2, with depth coming from Cuffe and Pettiford. If they do not land Washington, look for KU to proceed to prioritize a participate in-generating guard who can shoot and rating.
This is Agbaji’s posture, so if he returns KU right away plugs in a participant who has began 77 consecutive video games (12th longest streak in school record) and was the team’s top scorer a time ago.
If he does not, this a single would seem to have Braun written all about it.
Braun is multipurpose enough to perform a amount of distinct roles for the Jayhawks, and, getting into his third year in Lawrence, he now has a great deal of encounter to be counted on as 1 of the team’s leaders and important contributors.
Newcomer KJ Adams, at 6-foot-7, 200 lbs and athletic and robust sufficient to perform inside of and out, is a further intriguing selection for minutes below, but Adams’ measurement, toughness and versatility give him possible at the 3, 4 and even 5 positions relying on who’s out there with him.
Wilson, if he returns, also could be an choice at the 3 subsequent season if/when KU elects to play huge at the 4 and 5 spots.
THE 4 Spot
Like Agbaji at the 3, this location is made for Wilson. But compared with past time, when Wilson led the Jayhawks in rebounding and was at the 4 in KU’s very best lineups, the 2021-22 Jayhawks appear to have other alternatives.
That gives both insurance policies towards Wilson keeping in the draft and versatility for Self if Wilson does return.
Cam Martin and Zach Clemence are the two most intriguing choices at this spot, largely since of their means to shoot the basketball as genuine stretch 4s.
Both of those have demonstrated great touch and the potential to get scorching from the outdoors and both equally are significant ample to enjoy down small, as well. Dependent on how well they guard on the perimeter, each players, together with veteran Mitch Lightfoot, could engage in the 4 future to one more true major person.
Adams is also a viable applicant at the 4 — his legitimate place in today’s school sport — and he has the possible to be the ideal perimeter defender of that bunch.
THE 5 Location
Even with offseason surgical procedures on his foot that will have to have 12 months of recovery, KU’s David McCormack is the unquestioned starter at the 5 for the Jayhawks heading into future time.
Just after a rough start off to the 2020-21 time, McCormack turned it about and delivered some fairly steady engage in from January to the conclusion.
He concluded second on the crew in scoring and rebounding and also gained next-workforce all-Big 12 honors. His journey by way of a season with significant expectations and a rough patch need to only make him much more well prepared for the 2021-22 year.
It won’t harm that he will have some genuine support within, as nicely. If KU elects to perform modest, with 4 guards most of the time, McCormack figures to male most of the minutes at the 5. When he sits, juco transfer Syndey Curry (6-8, 260) along with Lightfoot and Martin give the Jayhawks authentic depth inside.
While it might take the Jayhawks a very little time to piece it all with each other, this crew need to have greater depth and flexibility at all 5 positions.
Include to that the fact that this team’s main is really a really professional group — working experience will become a bona fide strength if Agbaji and Wilson return — and it promptly starts to make sense why most college basketball analysts have KU in or close to the leading 5 getting into the offseason.