Another year, an 11th straight Big 12 championship for coach Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks. These are the grades for individual players throughout this year.
Frank Mason III: A- Following an average freshman campaign, the sophomore guard turned a major corner and became the leader of the team. He had continued success driving the lane and improved his 3 point percentage to an impressive 41%. Averaged 12.6 PPG and 4.1 APG.
Wayne Selden Jr: C+ Selden had a fairly disappointing sophomore season and at times became a liability on offense (although he did shoot a respectable 38% from 3.) Although he struggled offensively, he did play good defense and was still the best option to play at the 2 spot. Averaged 9.1 PPG.
Kelly Oubre Jr: B The freshman wing started off the season poorly and rarely played until just a few games before conference play. But once he started producing the minutes increased quickly and so did his quality of play. He was able to use his long wingspan to bother opponents and drive to the basket. Also, he proved to be a solid outside shooting option at 37%. Oubre averaged 9.0 PPG and 5.1 RPG, and was second only to Frank Mason’s 43 steals on the season with 35.
Perry Ellis: A When Ellis injured his right knee against West Virginia he was on an absolute tear scoring 18, 19, 23, 24, and 28 points in consecutive games beforehand. He proved to be the only big man on the team who could create his own shot and score consistently. Before Ellis went down with the knee injury he was in contention for Big 12 Conference player of the year with Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield. He averaged 14.2 PPG and 7.0 RPG.
Cliff Alexander: C+ Alexander came to Lawrence as the top recruit in the class and was expected to have a spectacular year. Unfortunately reality was not quite what was expected. He had trouble finding consistent minutes because of foul trouble (and more recently, suspension), but showed flashes of dominance at times. If Alexander stays, another offseason preparing with Self, it could help him to restore the Jayhawks reputation of having a dominant big man. Averaged 7.1 PPG and 5.3 RPG.
Brannen Greene: C+ Greene had the biggest game of his career early in the season when he was the spark that led KU to a 75-70 victory against Georgetown. A few games into conference play Greene was the hottest shooter in the nation and was actually shooting over 50% from 3. The downside is that he was a liability on defense and displayed poor ball handling and decision making abilities at times. He ended the season on a shooting slump but still shot 43% on the year. Averaged 6.1 PPG.
Jamari Traylor: C+ Traylor had a very up and down season but has played well of late as a fill-in for Perry Ellis. He has a limited offensive game and can be foul happy but he also plays good defense and rebounds well. His motor is always impressive as well. Averaged 4.9 PPG and 3.7 RPG.
Devonte Graham: C Graham originally committed to Appalachian State but eventually found his way to KU. He proved to be a gifted passer (Self compared him to Aaron Miles before the season) and was solid from outside shooting at 38%. He will be a very interesting player to watch next year. Averaged 5.3 PPG and 1.9 APG (sounds low, but trust me he can dish it.)
Landen Lucas: C The redshirt sophomore found his way into the starting 5 briefly at the beginning of the season, but failed to impress enough to get consistent playing time. He showed some potential as a rebounder and defensive player and could earn more significant playing time next year. Averaged 3.0 PPG and 3.8 RPG
Sviatoslav Mykhailuk: C Svi came to Lawrence late last summer because he was playing for the Ukrainian National Team. He has a very high basketball IQ and a good outside shot. Self told the press before the season that Svi is the best NBA prospect on the team, which is high praise from a coach that just had a player drafted first overall. The problem is that he is only 17 and needs a little more time to develop and put on muscle with Andrea Hudy until he can reach his potential. Averaged 3.2 PPG.
Hunter Mickelson: C Mickelson transferred from Arkansas, forcing him to redshirt last year. In his first year at KU he was unable to get significant playing time. He is a solid defensive player and he will be able to get more minutes if he adds muscle and some offensive game. Averaged 2.5 PPG and 2.0 RPG.