Jalen Wilson is a part of our Heartland College Sports Big 12 men’s Top 25 returning players countdown as we get closer to the 2021-22 college basketball season opener.
No. 8: Jalen Wilson, F, Kansas
Where he left off: Wilson was one of the Big 12’s top freshmen, as the redshirt earned both All-Big 12 Newcomer and Freshman team honors. He led all Big 12 freshmen in rebounding with 7.9 per game, which also left him second in the Big 12 overall. He set a Kansas freshman record for consecutive double-doubles (four) and his six double-doubles in Big 12 play was the most in the conference.
He averaged 11.8 points and two assists per game for Kansas, as he started all but three games. His first career double-double came against Kentucky. His quick emergence in December stabilized the wing for the Jayhawks.
Where he’s headed: Wilson should have a season in which he, at minimum, maintains his production (it’s hard to gauge just how much the transfer of Remy Martin will transform the Kansas offense). But, even in games in which Wilson wasn’t sharp offensively, he proved last year that was a dogged rebounder and defender. The balance in his game was apparent late last season. So was his ability to drive to the basket and shoot from distance, which is one of the reasons he declared for the NBA Draft but kept his eligibility to get his scouting report card. He has the length and multi-faceted talent the NBA craves. Kansas fans should enjoy it. They may only get to see it for one more season.
Top 25 criteria: ONLY players that played in the Big 12 last season were considered. Rankings are based on where players left off at the end of last season, as we are not able to make assumptions about the improvements players have made this offseason.
Heartland College Sports Big 12 Basketball Preview
Top 25 Returning Players: No. 25 Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua| No. 24 Christian Braun | No. 23 Rondel Walker | No. 22 Umoja Gibson | No. 21 Matthew Alexander-Moncrieffe | No. 20 Nijel Pack | No. 19: Marcus Santos-Silva | No. 18 Mike McGuirl| No. 17 Jalen Bridges | No. 16 Kalib Boone | No. 15 Kevin McCullar | No. 14 Isaac Likekele | No. 13 Adam Flagler | No. 12 Jalen Coleman-Lands | No. 11 Sean McNeil | No. 10 Taz Sherman
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.