Leading up to the opening of the 2022-23 Big 12 Women’s basketball season Heartland College Sports will analyze each of the Big 12 women’s basketball rosters. Today it’s the Kansas Jayhawks.
2021-22 Season-Ending Roster: G Erica Haynes-Overton, C Taiyanna Jackson, F Matea Nikolic, G Mia Vuksic, G Aniya Thomas, F Ioanna Chatzileonti, G Sanna Strom, F Katrine Jessen, G Holly Kersgieter, C Danai Papadopoulou, G Zakiyah Franklin, G Julie Brosseau, G Chandler Prater, C Nadira Eltayeb, C Chisom Ajekwu.
No longer at Kansas: Haynes-Overton (transferred to Tennessee State), Nikolic (not on roster), Thomas (transferred to Missouri State), Brosseau (eligibility).
2022-23 Season-Opening Roster: G Wyvette Mayberry (5-7, Jr.), C Taiyanna Jackson (6-6, Sr.), G Mia Vuksic (6-0, Jr.), F Ioanna Chatzileonti (6-3, Jr.), G Sanna Strom (6-0, So.), F Katrine Jessen (6-4, So.), G Holly Kersgieter (5-11, Sr.), C Danai Papadopoulou (6-4, So.), G Zakiyah Franklin (5-8, Sr.), G Breeley Oakley (5-9, Jr.), F Zsófia Telegdy (6-3, Fr.), G Bella Swedlund (5-8, Fr.), G Chandler Prater (5-11, Jr.), C Nadira Eltayeb (6-4, Jr.), C Chisom Ajekwu (6-4, Sr.)
How The Jayhawks Are Built
Returning Players (11): Jackson, Vuksic, Chatzileonti, Strom, Jessen, Kersgieter, Papadopoulou, Franklin, Prater, Eltayeb, Ajekwu.
Transfers (2): Mayberry (transferred from Tulsa), Oakley (transferred from Howard College).
Freshman/Recruiting Class (2): Telegdy, Swedlund.
Potential starting lineup: Chatzileonti, Kersgieter, Jackson, Mayberry, Franklin.
Why?: The Jayhawks return four starters from a season ago, and those four were the team’s top four scorers. Kersgieter and Franklin were the team’s top two scorers and accounted for more than 25 points. Chatzileonti and Jackson combined for nearly 20 points, while Jackson led the team in rebounding and blocked shots. They’re locked in. Mayberry averaged 14.1 points per game for Tulsa and Kansas didn’t bring her in to sit. Kansas is a rare team that returns its top four scorers, top two rebounders (Chatzileonti was second), its leading shot blocker and injected its lineup with a double-digit scorer who shot better than 40 percent from the 3-point line last season (Mayberry). Kansas is pushing for more than just one NCAA Tournament win this year.
The bench: Eltayeb, Jessen, Papadopoulou, Prater, Vuksic
Why? Head coach Brandon Schneider has a team with a lot of experience in his system. Prater is one of the best first players off the bench in the conference, and on other teams she would start. Jessen logged more than 11 minutes per game. Brosseau averaged 16 minutes per game and started half of last season’s games. Those are the minutes the rest of the bench will divide up.
The wild card: Swedlund. Kansas only has two true freshmen and she’s the one that could find playing time. The Winner, S.D., product scored 2,256 career points, among the Top 15 in state history.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.