Kansas basketball roster: Starting lineup prediction, bench rotation, depth outlook for 2022-23 season

Since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 groups in 1985 — and ultimately to 68 in 2011 — simply two packages have received back-to-back nationwide championships: Duke in 1991 and 1992 and Florida in 2006 and 2007. As the 2022-23 season approaches , Kansas has some vital holes to fill from final season’s roster if it desires to hitch that elite fraternity of repeat champions.

Following 4 memorable seasons collectively, Ochai Agbaji and David McCormack have moved on from KU after enjoying starring roles in serving to raise the Jayhawks to their first title since 2008. Other key contributors from the title-winning squad are departing as nicely, together with versatile wing Christian Braun, offensively explosive guard Remy Martin and venerable massive man Mitch Lightfoot.

Although most of the faces within the rotation will probably be new, two starters do return, and a plethora of gifted gamers are poised to emerge from reserve roles or from the nation’s No. 4 ranked recruiting class to assist change the departed manufacturing. Ultimately, a major drop-off could be shocking for a program that hasn’t missed an NCAA Tournament since 1989.

With a brand new season drawing nearer, let’s check out the Kansas roster and attempt to decipher what the lineup may appear to be for the Jayhawks as they attempt to repeat as NCAA Tournament champions.

Projected beginning lineup

1. Dajuan Harris Jr.

6-1 | 170 | Redshirt Jr.

Harris is considered one of KU’s two returning starters after logging 29 minutes per recreation in his redshirt sophomore season. Although undersized and athletically restricted, he is confirmed to be a gradual hand for the Jayhawks in facilitating the offense. Harris additionally has a knack for ripping opposing ball handlers and sneaking into passing lanes on protection. Predecessors Devon Dotson, Devonte’ Graham and Frank Mason set the bar fairly excessive at level guard when it comes to offensive manufacturing. But so long as different gamers step as much as carry the offensive load this season, Harris can maintain thriving as a job participant.

2. Kevin McCullar

6-6 | 210 | Redshirt Sr.

With three years of Big 12 expertise underneath his belt at Texas Tech, McCullar arrives at KU’s as one of many league’s most-proven perimeter gamers. He’s a rugged defender and bodily presence who may help with distributing and scoring whereas additionally dealing with difficult defensive assignments. His profession 29.9% 3-point share is not nice, particularly when paired with Harris, who is barely a median shooter. But because the no 19 ranked transfers of the offseason, he’ll be instrumental in serving to KU change Agbaji and Braun.

3. Grady Dick

6-8 | 205 | Fr.

Dick completed the 2022 recruiting cycle ranked because the No. 21 gamers within the class by 247Sports. As a McDonald’s All-American and former star for powerhouse Sunrise Christian, the Wichita, Kansas, native figures to make a right away affect. 247Sports recruiting analyst Brandon Jenkins described Dick as a “lengthy and lean shooter with a robust basketball IQ and nice dimension for the wing place.” Given that KU’s high 4 3-point shooters by share from final season have departed, Dick’s capturing prowess will probably be wanted.

4. Jalen Wilson

6-8 | 225 | Redshirt Jr.

Wilson’s manufacturing stagnated a bit in his redshirt sophomore season whereas Agbaji and Braun took their play to new heights, however he nonetheless averaged 11.1 factors. Now, it is his flip for a breakout yr. Wilson can rating in any respect three ranges and guard a number of positions, making him the kind of versatile weapon that coach Bill Self will depend on in nearly any sort of lineup. If he can enhance on his profession 29.8% 3-point mark, Wilson may turn out to be a 2023 NBA Draft choose due to that versatility. He’s the most-proven participant in a Kansas uniform on this roster.

5. Zach Clemence

6-10 | 225 | Soph.

Clemence appeared in 24 video games and logged simply 118 whole minutes as a real freshman caught behind a bunch of veterans final season. But within the time the previous four-star prospect did play, he flashed the kind of talent set that ought to get Kansas followers excited for what he can do in an expanded position. For instance: in 4 minutes throughout the 2021-22 season opener towards Michigan State, Clemence scored seven factors, hit a 3-pointer and picked up two steals. He’s a real massive stretch offensively and must be athletic sufficient to dam photographs and defend picks and rolls defensively. Physicality could also be a priority.

Bench

MJ Rice

6-5 | 220 | Fr.
Rice earned McDonald’s All-American honors and completed the 2022 recruiting cycle because the No. 37 gamers within the class, in line with 247Sports. He’s listed as a bench possibility right here, however Self made it clear this summer time Rice will probably be within the hunt for a beginning job. Although initially from Durham, North Carolina, Rice averaged 20.1 factors per recreation for Prolific Prep in Napa, California, final season. 247Sports recruiting analyst Brandon Jenkins wrote that Rice “has the bodily construct of a Mack Truck however combines his highly effective body with a large amount of athleticism and talent.”

Bobby Pettiford Jr.

6-1 | 190 | Fr.
Pettiford performed a gradual position throughout the first month of final season till an belly harm derailed a promising freshman marketing campaign. Self had no downside deploying Harris and Martin collectively as an undersized duo in 2021-22, so there must be loads of minutes obtainable for Pettiford at both guard slot as Self figures out of his backcourt rotation.

KJ Adams Jr.

6-7 | 225 | Soph.
Adams is an extremely athletic ahead who performed a utilitarian position in 37 appearances as a real freshman. With a rise in minutes, he may turn out to be a human spotlight reel for the Jayhawks on each ends. He’s not an out of doors risk, however he is the kind of participant who could make profitable performs off the bench and develop right into a fan favourite as his profession continues to progress.

Joseph Yesufu

6-0 | 180 | Jr.
Yesufu burst onto the nationwide scene within the 2020 NCAA Tournament with two big offensive performances for Drake. Now in his second season at Kansas, he’s preventing for a gradual position after his minutes waned in final season’s NCAA Tournament run. Although one undersized guard departs in Martin, the return of Harris and Pettiford means there may be nonetheless a battle for minutes amongst undersized guards.

Depth

Ernest Udeh Jr. | 6-11 | 240 | Fr.
Zuby Ejiofor | 6-9 | 235 | Fr.
Cam Martin | 6-9 | 230 | Sr. Redshirt

Unless Self is able to embrace a small-ball mantra, the Jayhawks will completely want some assist in the frontcourt as McCormack and Lightfoot depart. Clemence seems to be guess to carry down a beginning position, and Adams appears prone to play some energy ahead off the bench. After that, it appears like three gamers can have an opportunity to steal a job within the frontcourt. Ejiofor and Udeh are four-star true freshmen, whereas Martin is the polar reverse as a sixth-year senior who transferred in from Missouri Southern State earlier than final season. Martin was a Division II All-American who spent final season as a redshirt. Don’t be stunned if considered one of these three finds their method into the rotation. As a McDonald’s All-American, Udeh definitely has the highschool pedigree to make an early affect.

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