College Basketball 2022-23 Countdown: No. 9 KS

by John Fanta
FOX Sports College basketball writer

Editor’s note: John Fanta is counting down the top 15 college basketball teams through to the start of the 2022-23 season. Check-in at number 9 is kansas.

All is well at Allen Fieldhouse. Bill Self and Jayhawk are soaring high in a new season as the National Champions for the first time since 2008, and while this year’s team has a different look, there’s no doubt that Kansas should be the national contender once again.

How did Kansas win the national title?

How did Kansas win the national title?

Mark Titus and Tate Frazier smash the Kansas Jayhawks to the championship.

However, the list of departures is noteworthy. I’m gone Ochai AgbajiDavid McCormack Christian BrownRemy Martin, Mitch Lightfoot and Galen Coleman Lands. But while the Jayhawks lost six of their top eight title team players last season, there are plenty of options to fill the void.

The strength of this year’s Jayhawks edition is its versatility. It starts and ends with the return of the red shirt novice Galen Wilsonwho tested NBA He withdraws the water but turns it back on in Lawrence. The 6-foot-8 striker will be looking to build on his 11.1 points and 7.4 boards per game last season, not to mention his Final Four display that included 26 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists in the two wins in New Orleans.

Another influential returning player is the point guard Daguan Harriswho returned for the junior season after averaging 5.4 points and 4.2 assists per game last year while serving as an outstanding defender in Kansas.

Meanwhile, in the transfer gate, the Jayhawks made only one acquisition, but it was one of the most significant acquisitions of the entire season. KS reeling in transfer within conferences, Texas Tech Kevin McCullar Jr.The 6-foot-6 winger is a powerful defender and versatile offensive weapon.

The biggest question for Kansas: How much will the nation’s No. 4 employment category make? The self will depend on the first-class newcomers Grady DickAnd the MG rice And the Ernst Ode Jr. To give the Jayhawks some production. They will definitely get their fair share of opportunities.

Another major factor will be how much some returning players with more minutes do.

KS sure has a lot of “new” on the list, and the Big Dipper is expected to be 12 BaylorAnd the Texas And the TCU It all featured in the pre-season top 15, but Self has enough returning, plus a talent-packed recruiting class, to be a national contender once again.

Here’s a deeper look at the Jayhawks.

Who’s back for the Jayhawks?

We’ve discussed some of the major returnees above with Wilson and Harris, but KS is also bringing back two clips that didn’t play a major role last season but could be asked to do so now. Zach Clemensa 6-foot-10 sophomore, will surely have a chance to earn important minutes in the center after being behind McCormack in learning ability last season.

Two more returning players to watch Bobby Pettiford Jr. And the Joseph Yesofu. Pettford missed the majority of last season with a stomach injury and could find a place in the rotation. The former four-star recruit has great speed and can provide a scoring spark, although injury concerns remain.

Yesufu is the one to watch closely because he’s had a great season. conversion from drake Last season, Yesufu averaged just 2.1 points per game in his junior campaign in a very limited role. He is expected to jump, and all indications are that he will.

Returning to Wilson, the biggest key to him after the NBA Draft Water Test is his surroundings. He shot only 26% from depth last season but fought in attacking the edge and playing his longest. If his jump comes, there’s nothing Wilson can’t do at the college level.

Who’s new on the list?

The Jayhawks are more familiar than McCullar Jr. , who can play any position from one to four and will be vital for Kansas defensively. Like Wilson, the key to Texas Tech’s transformation is the game of its surroundings. Last season, only 31% of downtown fired. McCullar showed just how dangerous his big stage appearance was in the NCAA Championship last season when he racked up 31 points against him. Notre Dame And the duke.

In terms of freshmen, Dick tops the class as the 20th inductee in the country according to 247 Sports. Join the Wichita native Andrew Wiggins (2013) as the only Gatorade High School player of the year to head to Kansas. At 6ft 8in, Dick will likely step in as the Jayhawks’ main winger and should be their biggest threat. As a Sunrise Christian Academy senior, Dick averaged 18 points per game and shot 47% from a 3-point range.

Elsewhere on the ocean, Rice is a four-star recruit who can get a few minutes off the bench in his first year. The 6-foot-5 winger averaged over 20 PPG as a Prolific Prep senior in California and enters the program with the potential to provide a scoring boost.

The third McDonald’s All-American to enter the Jayhawks program is the 6-foot-11 from the Udeh Center, which might be the most interesting new student to watch. Kansas has an obvious gap in the five, and Audi has a high chance of stepping in and making an impact, but the transition can be tough for freshmen on the front court. Beyond the return, a four-star student zombie jofor It is another possible option. Both Audi and Ilgofor are top mobile players full of sports.

The Jayhawks’ Big Questions…

As we explained above, replacing McCormack will not be done by just one player. Other than the choices we went through, another player worth keeping an eye on is 6-foot-9 players Cam Martina former All-American Division II racer in Southern Missouri who was late to kindergarten last season.

Sure, the self can get small as well with how heavy the wing is on this list, but when KS was at its best, it was usually with strong play in the fives. There’s no doubt that self will find an answer in this post, but it’s kind of a mystery at the moment.

The other big key to Kansas would be shooting in the ocean. Harris’s return to run the point is significant, but it will be interesting to see what the Jayhawks do in terms of shot distribution. This team lost six of the nine players featured in last year’s national title match. There are a lot of shots on the table.

Schedule forecast…

The defending champion will meet John Scheer and the new-look Duke team in Indianapolis for the Classic Champions Tour on November 15. This will definitely be one of the most anticipated matches of the season without conferences. Eight days later, it’s a trip to Battle 4 Atlantis to meet North Carolinaalso Dayton or Wisconsinthen possibly Tennessee.

The out-of-league roster continues on December 1 when Shaheen Holloway and Seton Hall Come to Allen Fieldhouse as part of the Big 12 / Big East Battle, before meeting to compete with Missouri On December 10.

The other two great non-fraud matches – December 17th vs. Indianaand January 28 in Kentucky In the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Do we need to say more?

And all of that doesn’t even include meetings with Baylor, Texas, TCU, Texas Tech and the rest of the Big 12. The Jayhawks’ regular season finale on March 4 comes with a trip to Austin to meet the Longhorns. This… is going to have some hype as Self and Chris Bird meet before the tournament week.

Top 15 Countdown:

John Fanta is a National College Basketball announcer and writer for FOX Sports. It covers sports in a variety of capacities, from invoking games on FS1 to serving as the main host on the BIG EAST Digital Network to providing commentary on The Field of 68 Media Network. Follow him on Twitter @John Fanta.

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