Leading up to the opening of the 2022-23 Big 12 Men’s basketball season Heartland College Sports will analyze each of the Big 12 men’s basketball rosters. Today it’s the Kansas Jayhawks.
2021-22 Season-Ending Roster: G Bobby Pettiford Jr., G Joseph Yesufu, G Christian Braun, G Dajuan Harris Jr., G Kyle Cuffe Jr., F Jalen Wilson, G Remy Martin, G Chris Teahan, G Charlie McCarthy, F Dillon Wilhite, G Michael Jankovich, F Zach Clemence, F KJ Adams Jr., G Ochai Agbaji, F Cam Martin, F David McCormack, F Mitch Lightfoot, G Jalen Coleman-Lands.
No longer at Kansas: Braun (NBA), Martin (out of eligibility), Teahan (out of eligibility), Agbaji (NBA), McCormack (pro basketball), Lightfoot (out of eligibility), Coleman-Lands (out of eligibility).
2022-23 Season-Opening Roster: G Bobby Pettiford Jr. (6-1, So.), G Joseph Yesufu (6-0, Jr.), G Dajuan Harris Jr. (6-1, Jr.), G Gradey Dick (6-8, Fr.), G Kyle Cuffe Jr. (6-2, r-Fr.), F Jalen Wilson (6-8, Jr.), G MJ Rice (6-5, Fr.), G Wilder Evers (6-3, Fr.), G Charlie McCarthy (6-2, So.), G Kevin McCullar Jr. (6-6, Sr.), G Michael Jankovich (6-5, Sr.), F Zach Clemence (6-10, So.), C Ernest Udeh Jr. (6-11 Fr.), F KJ Adams Jr. (6-7, So.), F Cam Martin (6-9, Sr.), G Zuby Ejiofor (6-9, Fr.).
How The Jayhawks Are Built
Returning Players (10): Pettiford, Yesufu, Harris, Cuffe, Wilson, McCarthy, Jankovich, Clemence, Adams, Martin.
Transfers (1): McCullar (transferred from Texas Tech)
Freshman/Recruiting Class (5): Dick, Rice, Evans (walk-on), Udeh, Ejiofor
Potential starting lineup: Clemence, Dick, Harris, McCullar, Wilson
Why?: On paper, the Jayhawks look like they have a ton coming back. The reality is that Harris and Wilson are the only two significant contributors returning from last season. Both were starters by season’s end and should be the two players head coach Bill Self can ‘Sharpie’ in, to quote CBS’s Seth Davis. Even though McCullar is new to Lawrence, the locals know him well and he’ll slide right into the starting lineup. That leaves an incredible amount of competition for two spots. Dick is part of an incredible recruiting class and figures to be the first true freshman to crack the starting lineup (though he likely isn’t going to be the last). The Jayhawks need some height inside, and Clemence — who was a big part of the Jayhawks’ 2021 recruiting haul — gets first crack at being the next David McCormack. I wouldn’t be surprised if Udeh challenges Clemence at some point.
The bench: Adams, Cuffe, Martin, Pettiford, Rice, Yesufu
Why? The Jayhawks have a plethora of options here, and some of these players are good enough to start. This group seems more likely to start the season coming off the bench. Don’t be surprised if one or two are starting by Big 12 play.
The wild card: Martin. The former Division II Player of the Year decided to redshirt last season instead of burning his one last year of eligibility getting little to no playing time. Good decision. Now the runway is wide open for the forward to get playing time. Plus, he’s taken a full year to get acclimated to moving up a division. Self raved about him last year. If he’s ‘that player,’ he could eventually get starter’s minutes.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.