The University of Kansas basketball roster is set for the 2022-2023 season. It became official when Jalen Wilson announced his return to the Jayhawks and forgo his professional basketball career for one more year. Kevin McCullar Jr. also made things official by announcing he would transfer to Kansas rather than entering the NBA Draft.
Here is how things have shaken out for head coach Bill Self and the Jayhawks as they look to repeat as National Champions:
G- DaJuan Harris Jr.
G- Kevin McCullar Jr.
G- Bobby Pettiford
G- Joseph Yesufu
G- Kyle Cuffe Jr.
SF- MJ Rice
F- Jalen Wilson
F- Gradey Dick
F- Zach Clemence
F- KJ Adams
PF- Zuby Ejiofer
C- Ernest Udeh Jr.
C- Cam Martin
G- Charlie McCarthy
G- Michael Jankovich
F- Dillon Wilhite
This year’s roster makeup is decidedly different than last year’s championship roster that was led by six seniors and no five-star recruits. Cam Martin is the only non-walk-on returning senior, and he hasn’t been a factor to this point in his college career. McCullar, who is the other senior on the roster, will add a veteran presence despite being new to the program.
Wilson, Harris, and Yesefu are the only other upper-classmen on this roster. However, the younger players shouldn’t be overlooked. Rice, Dick, and Udeh were all McDonald’s All-Americans and five-star recruits who can make an immediate impact, either as starters or role players off the bench.
Chemistry is Key
If the players can work on their team chemistry through the summer and figure out their roles early in the season, that will go a long way toward working on repeating come March 2023.
There’s no doubt Wilson will be the leader of this team. It will be interesting to see if Harris continues to be a table setter or if he looks to become more aggressive as an offensive weapon. Could Cam Martin become a Mitch Lightfoot-esque player? I wouldn’t predict that at this time, but it is possible he could see some time off the bench.
It’s very likely we could be looking at some of the new talent to be used early and often. McCullar should be starting from Day 1. Dick, the two-time and defending Kansas High School Gatorade Player of the Year, should be a starter as well. One of the other freshmen from this top-five recruiting class, possibly Udeh, could start right away as well. The other two could be contributors off the bench right away.
Bill Self will need to put trust in his young guys early if they want to win another Big 12 title and compete for another National Title. They can work out the kinks early in the season and be fully immersed by the time conference play rolls around.
Despite the turnover on the roster, the mix of returning talent, transfers, and top-tier freshman talent will put Kansas right back in the conversation as contenders once again. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone as Self always seems to have the pieces in place to be competitive year in and year out. Just another year in the storied history of the Kansas basketball program.