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Projected Starting Lineup for Kansas Basketball After Furphy’s Departure

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Kansas

On Wednesday, May 29, Johnny Furphy officially announced his intentions to stay in the NBA Draft pool. This was not a surprise to Kansas head coach Bill Self, who has been building his 2024-25 roster around the likelihood that Furphy would not be back in Lawrence for another season.

Now that it’s official, what could the Jayhawks starting lineup look like heading into the 2024-25 season?

Let’s take a look at the lineup in our projections after Furphy’s decision became official.

 

Point Guard: Dejuan Harris Jr.

Dejuan Harris Jr has started every game at point guard for the Jayhawks for two consecutive years, and there’s no reason that shouldn’t continue going into this season. Harris has a unique command of Self’s offense and understands his role extremely well. He also is an underrated defender. There will be some nice options off the bench, including two players who are back at Kansas for their sophomore seasons, Jamari McDowell and Elmarko Jackson (who has starting experience). Incoming freshman Rakease Passmore will try to push for playing time as many expect him to be Self’s point guard of the future.

Shooting Guard: Rylan Griffen or Zeke Mayo

Rylan Griffen, a transfer from Alabama, should be able to make an impact from day one. Griffen was in the starting lineup for an Alabama team that made it to the Final Four last season, and he averaged 12 points, 3.5 rebounds, and two assists per game. He also shot 39% from beyond the arc, which will be huge for a Kansas offense that was severely lacking in three-point shooting last season. Griffen is also an excellent defender and would be a fantastic role player in Self’s starting five.

Another incoming transfer, Zeke Mayo, should be the first man off the bench for the Jayhawks. Mayo is more of a scoring threat than Griffen and also has a 39% three-point shooting percentage despite taking more shots. Mayo should be Self’s spark off-the-bench guy this season but could be a starter as well.

 

Small Forward: AJ Storr

AJ Storr is a transfer from Wisconsin and should be able to fill the role that Kevin McCullar Jr. was able to play when healthy the last couple of seasons for the Jayhawks. Storr averaged 17 points and four rebounds per game while hitting 40% of his three-point attempts. Storr also averaged 20 points per game in the postseason and never scored less than 10 points in a game after Thanksgiving this past season. He was a consistent playmaker for the Badgers, and the Jayhawks will be happy to have him in their starting lineup.

Power Forward: KJ Adams Jr.

KJ Adams Jr is back for another season with the Jayhawks and will be in the starting lineup again. He’s been a diverse piece to Self’s lineup the past couple of seasons. He can play the three, four, or five spots on the court and is a Swiss army knife player. Adams expanded his offensive game this past season and continues to thrive when playing on the same page as his point guard, Harris. They may be the best alley-oop duo in the country. Adams will look to continue his growth under Self and hopes to lead the Jayhawks back to another Final Four.

 

Center: Hunter Dickinson

Dickinson is back and will be a leader on this Jayhawk squad. He led the team with 18 points, 11 rebounds, and two assists per game and will look to improve on those numbers in his second year under Self. Dickinson will likely be on many preseason All-American and All-Big 12 lists, and for good reason. Dickinson’s play in the paint and around the arc gives him some versatility that not all big men over 7 feet tall can handle. He is an elite passer for a big man as well. Dickinson can get better defensively and that could be where Self pushes him a bit this summer. One exciting piece to this upcoming team and the future of the Kansas Jayhawks will be Dickinson’s backup. You’ll want to remember the name Flory Bidunga, a two-time Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year and the No. 1 center in the 2024 recruiting class. Bidunga can spell Dickinson when needed, and if KJ Adams gets into foul trouble or needs a break, Self could deploy a two-big lineup, which would be fascinating to see in action. Bidunga will be a fresh face off the bench and should be ready to make an impact immediately when called upon. The Jayhawks have a much deeper team this year, and Self’s rotation should be settled by the start of the season, but this looks like the most likely scenario for a starting five heading into the summer months.

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