Advertisement

Posts tagged with 2022-23 Season

Kansas point guard Dajuan Harris thrilled about facing best friend Isiaih Mosley when KU visits Missouri next season

Kansas guard Dajuan Harris Jr. (3) looks to whip a baseline pass as he is defended by Texas Tech forward Marcus Santos-Silva (14) during the second half of the Big 12 Tournament championship game on Saturday, March 12, 2022 at T-Mobile Center in Kansas City.

Kansas guard Dajuan Harris Jr. (3) looks to whip a baseline pass as he is defended by Texas Tech forward Marcus Santos-Silva (14) during the second half of the Big 12 Tournament championship game on Saturday, March 12, 2022 at T-Mobile Center in Kansas City. by Nick Krug

Topeka — Although it’s not officially listed on the Kansas basketball schedule for the 2022-23 season yet, the Jayhawks know that at some point during the upcoming season, they’ll be heading to Columbia, Missouri, to take on the Missouri Tigers.

That matchup, wherever it lands on the schedule, just became even more exciting than it already was for Columbia native and current KU point guard Dajuan Harris Jr.

That’s because on Monday, Harris’ good friend Isiaih Mosley committed to the Tigers.

When asked about what Mosley’s addition does to the KU-Mizzou showdown during the upcoming season, Harris could hardly contain his smile.

“We were talking yesterday on the phone and I already told him, ‘All that stuff you think you’re (going) to be doing, it ain’t working. We’re going to lock that up,’” Harris said between sessions at Washburn basketball camp on Tuesday.

There was some thought this offseason that the Missouri State transfer guard could be reunited with his lifelong friend and former Rock Bridge High backcourt teammate on the KU roster for the 2022-23 season. But Mosley never visited Kansas, and the Jayhawks reached their scholarship limit when Kevin McCullar Jr. transferred in and Jalen Wilson decided to return for his junior season.

Mosley then chose between Mizzou and Mississippi State after receiving interest from KU, Kansas State, Texas Tech and others throughout the process.

Harris never said much about what landing Mosley would have meant to him, but it’s clear that playing against him during the 2022-23 season will be nearly as big of a thrill as playing with him.

“That’s my best friend,” Harris said of the 6-foot-5 guard who averaged 20 points per game on 50% shooting from the field and 42% shooting from 3-point range last season. “We’ve been playing together since fourth grade. We know a lot about each other. We’re just going to have fun, though.”

So, too, will the crowd at Mizzou Arena.

As if defending national champion Kansas coming to town wasn’t already a big enough deal, the idea of two Columbia natives doing battle on the floor on what figures to be a national stage surely will add to the day’s buzz when it arrives.

Asked Tuesday what he thought about returning to his hometown for a game of that magnitude with his best friend, Harris said his focus would be entirely on the task at hand.

“That’s home,” he said. “I’m going to have a lot of people there, but I ain’t going to be too busy on the crowd. I’m going to be focused on the game for real.”

As for whether the two Rock Bridge alums would be matched up against each other on game night, Harris said he was up for anything.

“If coach wants me to (guard him) I will,” he said. “But we’ve got Kevin (McCullar) now, so I probably don’t have to now.”

Reply 3 comments from Dirk Medema Ellington Support

Former KU All-American Ochai Agbaji leaves a surprise for incoming freshman Gradey Dick

None by Kansas Men’s Basketball

Three of the five incoming Kansas basketball freshmen moved into their McCarthy Hall rooms on Saturday and one of them discovered a heck of a surprise.

Gradey Dick, Ernest Udeh Jr. and walk-on Wilder Evers all made their way to the KU campus with their families to move their belongings into their new rooms.

For Dick, a 6-7 wing from Wichita and the reigning National Gatorade Player of the Year, the moment turned emotional not when it was time to say goodbye to mom and dad but instead when he looked inside the top drawer in his new dresser.

In it was a note from the room’s former occupant, Kansas All-American Ochai Agbaji.

The note’s message was simple: “Whoever takes over this room, be great.”

Judging by the video of the discovery that was captured by a Kansas Athletics video team, it was clear that the mere presence of the note and the words in it gave the new Jayhawk chills.

“Oooo,” he said after reading it quietly to himself before sharing it with his parents. “That’s crazy. Appreciate you Ochai.”

Dick then summed up what the message meant in a single word.

“Motivation,” he said, before adding, “Gonna leave that right there.”

He then put the note back in the drawer where it came from and, presumably, plans to leave it there for the entirety of his stay in Lawrence.

The other two KU freshmen, MJ Rice and Zuby Ejiofor, are awaiting their graduations and expected to arrive in Lawrence sometime next week.

Texas Tech transfer Kevin McCullar Jr. is slated to be on campus Monday for the start of summer workouts and Tuesday’s first day of summer school.

None by Kansas Men’s Basketball

None by Kansas Men’s Basketball

None by Kansas Men’s Basketball

Reply 2 comments from Doug Roberts Bryce Landon

Kansas basketball freshmen starting to make their way to Lawrence for summer workouts

The Kansas Jayhawks logo as seen at center court at Allen Fieldhouse on March 6, 2022.

The Kansas Jayhawks logo as seen at center court at Allen Fieldhouse on March 6, 2022. by Zac Boyer

Now that June has arrived, there’s more to watch than just the NBA decisions by Kansas forward Jalen Wilson and Texas Tech transfer Kevin McCullar Jr.

It’s also time for the next crop of Jayhawks to start making their way toward Lawrence for the beginning of summer school and summer workouts.

The first summer school session beings Tuesday and it looks as if half of KU’s incoming class of freshman will be on campus in time for the beginning.

Gradey Dick, a 6-foot-7 wing from Sunrise Christian, is slated to arrive this weekend, in time for the start of summer school and KU’s first team workout on Monday.

Big man Ernest Udeh, a 6-10 forward from Dr. Phillips High in Orlando, is also expected in this weekend.

MJ Rice, a 6-5 guard from Prolific Prep in Napa, California, and Zuby Ejiofor, a 6-8 forward from Garland, Texas, are both awaiting graduation and are expected to arrive late next week.

All four freshmen will have a chance to show they belong in the rotation in Year 1. But it’s hard to envision all four of them actually being in the rotation. Dick and Rice almost certainly will. And then it seems as if Udeh and Ejiofor could be battling for one spot that gets minutes and one spot as a deep reserve.

Kansas coach Bill Self is hosting his first camp of the summer next week, which should give us a chance to talk to some of these guys and get a look at how guys might fit into the 2022-23 rotation.

It’s still way early, though, and there’s no doubt that putting together the rotation will be a work in progress that runs into November.

Reply 2 comments from Cap10d Dirk Medema

Now that he’s back, let’s examine what that could mean in NIL dollars for Kansas forward Jalen Wilson

Kansas forward Jalen Wilson (10) shoots a selfie as the Jayhawks celebrate their 76-50 win over Miami to advance to the Final Four.

Kansas forward Jalen Wilson (10) shoots a selfie as the Jayhawks celebrate their 76-50 win over Miami to advance to the Final Four. by Nick Krug

Jalen Wilson’s decision to return to Kansas for his junior season figures to come with plenty of name, image and likeness opportunities in the next 12 months.

But what might those look like, how high can the dollar amount climb and how does that stack up to what Wilson could have earned if he had made the jump to the next level?

Let’s dig in, shall we?

We haven’t heard from Wilson yet, so we don’t know exactly how important the NIL stuff was in his decision. But it’s hard to imagine it did not play at least some kind of a role. The NIL phenomenon is here to stay and it seems like it will be a factor for dozens — if not hundreds — of college athletes year after year well into the future.

The first and most important thing to remember about Wilson’s NIL opportunities at Kansas during the next 12 months is that the possibilities are endless.

We already know about deals he has struck in the past with J. Wilson’s, Wendy’s and Raising Canes, but there’s no reason to think that’s where it has to stop.

Wilson, as the face of the defending national champs, should have all kinds of opportunities to cash in during his junior season. Whether that’s more local and national businesses snagging him as a spokesman or the opportunity to link up with companies for some easy cash for a few social media posts, there is absolutely no limit on the number of businesses with which Wilson can strike deals.

Consider this: Former KU All-American Ochai Agbaji, who had the potential to earn all kinds of money last season, elected to pass on most of the opportunities that came his way in order to stay focused on the work on the court. And he still pocketed nearly $100,000.

So, to think that Wilson, who might also favor focusing on his game over cashing checks, could not reach that number as a defending national champion is off the mark.

Wilson’s earning potential likely will be three or four times that much if he wants it to be. And those deals with restaurants and businesses are only part of the story.

Remember 6th Man Strategies, the third-party NIL company that signed on to represent all 18 Kansas basketball players when NIL opportunities first became legal on July 1, 2021? They’re still around, and they’re still in the business of raising money to distribute to KU players as part of the NIL process.

It’s all in exchange for some kind of service — an autograph session, a meet-and-greet, dinner with the team, the postseason barnstorming tour, etc. — but it’s still big money for things these guys would’ve been doing for free in the past anyway.

Let’s do that math here real quick. 6th Man Strategies’ stated goal at the time its announced partnership with Kansas basketball was to find 100 donors to pledge $1,000 per month for any given year. The 100 Club they called it. If they get there — and the last I heard they had signed up about 50 right away without much effort at all — that’s $1.2 million per year to divvy up among the KU roster.

Now, no one is naïve enough to think that walk-ons Charlie McCarthy and Dillon Wilhite are going to get the same amount of NIL money as the all-conference starters, so let’s just assume a couple of things for the sake of this exercise.

First, let’s call Jalen Wilson KU’s best and most popular player. That makes him a top earner.

That doesn’t mean he’s automatically going to lead the team in scoring or be the Big 12 Player of the Year, but it certainly could. For this, though, we’re going to call him that so we can assign value to his role.

Second, let’s assume that KU’s best player is deserving of 25% of that $1.2 million provided by The 100 Club. That alone is $300,000 for just one player.

And that still leaves you 75% of the pie to hand out to the rest of the roster.

Maybe the three next-best NIL faces are worth 10% apiece (or $120,000 per player) and maybe the next five are worth 5% apiece (or $60,000 per player). That gets you to 80% through the top nine guys in KU’s rotation, leaving still 20% to hand out to the rest of the roster — four more scholarship guys and four walk-ons — or to those top nine for other opportunities.

What’s more, let’s say The 100 Club is not to a full 100 members yet. In order to hand out 80% of that $1.2 million, it would need to have just 80 donors signed up. And, remember, that would get the top nine players on KU’s roster an average of $106,667 per player for the year.

So how does that stack up to G League money? Pretty favorably, really. And it’s even more impressive when you consider all of the free exposure these guys get by playing on ESPN and other television networks all the time. No one in the G League is cashing in on that kind of brand-building.

The average G League salary for the 2021-22 season was $37,000. That’s for a player that just plays in the G League and does not have any roster bonuses or two-way dollars coming his way.

There’s also the $125,000 salary for what are known as “select players,” but these are generally given to the players who skip college and play for a team like the G League Ignite to kick off their pro careers.

Then there are the two-way contract guys. Each NBA team is allowed to sign two players to two-way deals and those start with a base salary of $125,000 and include a prorated portion of the NBA’s minimum salary — which is somewhere around $600,000 — for the time they spend on the NBA roster. Two-way contracts are not guaranteed in any way, however, and something as unlucky as a simple sprained ankle can cause a team to terminate the contract and grab another guy. So, while there is money to be made this way, it’s far from a guarantee and also is not automatically any more lucrative than what a player in Wilson’s position at Kansas can make in NIL deals.

There also are Exhibit 10 contracts in the G League, which offer up to $50,000 for players who spend at least 60 days with the G League affiliate on top of the G League salary. So that brings the total to $87,000 for the six-month season, without any additional money coming in from a potential NBA call-up.

Good money, to be sure, but the guess here is that Wilson will do better than that at Kansas in NIL deals. A lot better, in fact.

My guess — if he wants it — is that Wilson will be in position to make around $400,000 during the next 11 or 12 months.

That’s a pretty good incentive to return to school, all while knowing that the chance to work on your game and improve in the areas NBA scouts want to see you improve could be leading you toward seven-figure money in the NBA just one year later.

Reply 6 comments from David Robinett James Miller Rodney Crain Andy Godwin Bville Hawk Dirk Medema

Now that the 2022-23 Kansas basketball roster is set, here’s a look at 5 key questions entering the summer

Kansas forward Jalen Wilson (10) talks with Kansas forward Zach Clemence (21) in the final minutes against Oklahoma on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Jalen Wilson (10) talks with Kansas forward Zach Clemence (21) in the final minutes against Oklahoma on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

With Jalen Wilson and Kevin McCullar Jr. both pulling their names from the NBA draft pool in favor of Kansas on Wednesday, the Jayhawks quickly and emphatically filled two spots in their 2022-23 starting lineup.

That duo and point guard Dajuan Harris Jr. are locks to start for the Jayhawks when next season rolls around.

But that doesn’t mean the entire picture is crystal clear. Wednesday’s news helped KU’s overall outlook and should make the Jayhawks a preseason Top 10 team in the eyes of most people.

But there are still a handful of significant questions with this roster, as deep and talented as it is.

Here, in my opinion and in no particular order, are the five biggest questions facing the Jayhawks as they head into the start of summer workouts next week.

• Who starts at the 5 and what does that position look like overall?

KU’s backcourt and wing positions appear to be loaded, but there’s no doubt that they’re missing a back-to-the-basket big man that they can throw it into and let him go to work. That doesn’t mean the 5 spot is in trouble, but it does mean things are going to look different there next season.

For my money, Zach Clemence has the best opportunity of any of KU’s big men to slide into that position and run with it. He’ll need to be more physical on a more consistent basis and he’ll have to show he can defend both the interior and the perimeter. But he’s got that in him and he has the potential to be a matchup nightmare as a 5 on the offensive end.

Clemence said after the season ended that taking a back seat last year and playing a smaller role than he ever had was humbling and made him hungry. I like his chances to be ready for a big-time breakthrough.

If it’s not him, or if he shares the role, I think freshmen Ernest Udeh or Zuby Ejiofor could be in the mix for immediate and important playing time.

Both are athletic and long and figure to bring good activity around the rim. They’ll have to learn fast and show Kansas coach Bill Self and company that they’re mature enough to handle such a big role, but with Clemence and Cam Martin potentially more perimeter-oriented, the opportunity could be there for one of the two freshmen to grab ahold of a huge role.

At the end of the day, though, I think this is Clemence’s job to lose and I wouldn’t bet against him.

• How do returning guards Bobby Pettiford and Joe Yesufu fit into the picture?

Unless you weren’t paying attention at all last season, you’re well aware of what Self thinks about Pettiford’s game. On more than a few occasions, Self called Pettiford the next great guard at Kansas, putting him in that Frank Mason, Devonte’ Graham, Devon Dotson type of category. Obviously, that’s high praise. Now Pettiford just needs to get and stay healthy.

If he can, the possibilities are wide-ranging for what he can do and be during his sophomore season.

You could make a case for him as a starter at the 2. You could make a case for him as a key backup to Harris, who Self likely will still look to play closer to 28-30 minutes per game than 36-38. You could make a case for him as a guy who gets 20-25 minutes per game no matter how or where they come.

We’ll see how his health is and how quickly he gets acclimated to Year 2 and a new roster, but I think some people might be forgetting about Pettiford a little bit. I wouldn’t advise that. The guy’s a big time talent and exactly the type of player Self loves to use.

As for Yesufu, I talked to Self the other day about his role next season and he needed about 20 seconds to spell it out. “He’s just got to be a scorer,” Self said. Those who have been around Yesufu insist that he can be just that, off the dribble, as a shooter, in the mid-ranger, wherever you need it.

His role last season kept him from showing that, but he should get an opportunity early on and throughout the offseason to show that he’s deserving of a bigger role. If he succeeds in doing so, he, too, becomes a very interesting piece and a guy you could see being used a bunch of different ways. KU will need guards who can score — and shoot — to offset the 78% of the scoring from last year’s team that they’re losing. But Self has no shortage of options to look at when seeking the replacements.

Yesufu, with a year at Kansas under his belt and experience scoring in the college game, may get a longer look early on. But if he’s not ready to show something, there are others waiting who may be.

KU’s backcourt is crazy deep, with a combined six players who could play at the 1 or the 2 (though not all at both). In order to stand out among them, you'll have to be ready to rock early and often or else the number of guys who could jump in front of you on the depth chart could turn real long real fast.

• Which freshman guard, MJ Rice or Gradey Dick, is more ready to start today?

Try this one on for size – if Wilson and/or McCullar had stayed in the draft, both freshmen might be in position to start. As it stands, it’s probably one or the other and that’s only if Pettiford or Yesufu isn’t up for the challenge.

Rice is one of those natural talents who has the type of competitive edge that inspires people to call him a dog on the court. He’s super skilled, can score at all three levels and is simply known as a bucket getter.

I’m not sure he’s elite at any one thing but he’s darn good at all kinds of things. At 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, he uses his body to bully defenders on the drive and he’s automatic finishing around the rim. He also likes to get on the glass and I think a decent comp for him is Jalen Wilson as a guard.

Rice would’ve likely been easy to plug into the lineup at the 3 if KU had needed to, but if it’s the 2 we’re talking about, Dick’s shooting ability might give him the edge. The Wichita native was one of the best pure shooters in his class and his length and rise allow him to elevate and get shots off over just about anybody.

At 6-7, 195, Dick doesn’t have the same body and build to hold up on physical drives to the rim. But get him in space and he’ll show that he’s as athletic as almost anybody on the floor.

If we’re talking need here, I’d probably lean toward listing Dick as the answer here, given who else Kansas is likely to have in the starting lineup. But if the rest of the lineup is a non-factor, Rice is equally ready and both should play big minutes right away.

• Where does McCullar play?

The easy answer to this question is anywhere Bill Self needs him to. McCullar is that versatile of a player and his ability to guard 1 through 5 on defense makes him a Marcus Garrett type of player.

On offense, he’s probably best as a true 3. That’s especially true with Jalen Wilson holding down the 4. But don’t sleep on McCullar playing some 2 for the Jayhawks in certain lineups or if others struggle to show they’re deserving of the minutes there.

One of the more fun lineups I’ve come up with in recent days (and we’ll do an expanded look at that in the days ahead) has Harris at the point, McCullar at the 2, Dick and Rice at the 3 and 4 and Wilson at the 5.

I can’t imagine that being a popular lineup and it would be almost entirely matchup-based if Self ever were to use it. But that’s five guys that can get up and go and with Wilson and McCullar both capable of playing above their position on the defensive end — along with those two and Rice liking getting on the glass — I’m not so sure the Jayhawks would actually even be overmatched in any way with that lineup.

Maybe if you’re talking about trying to defend a guy like Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe or Carolina’s Armando Bacot. But not against most other teams.

Having said that, I like McCullar as an obvious 3 with the passing, vision and ball handling ability to play some 2 and the athleticism and toughness to be able to slide into the 4 if Kansas needs someone else in that role when Wilson’s grabbing a breather.

• What kind of a role can super-senior big man Cam Martin have?

This is your million-dollar question and I’m not sure we’ll know the answer for a little while.

Yes, Martin is a veteran and has some experience, but none of it came at KU or even at the Division I level. Does that mean he’s in a bad spot? Not necessarily. But I also don’t think it means you can count on him the same way you could count on a guy like Mitch Lightfoot in the past, who also was an experienced veteran who had matured and appeared in a lot of games.

Martin no doubt learned a ton last year. And going up against David McCormack in practice had to be good for him.

We just haven’t seen enough of him yet to know what to expect. He could factor in at the 5, but that will be almost entirely dependent on how well he can defend the perimeter.

He could factor in at the 4, but if KU has gotten used to playing a guy like Wilson at the 4 and wants to continue to do that, Martin is not athletic or fast enough to come anywhere close to playing a Wilson-type role. Beyond that, the Jayhawks already have a guy who is more ready for that style in sophomore-to-be KJ Adams, who absolutely is going to play somewhere.

Martin’s decision to redshirt the 2021-22 season was a good one. It gave him a chance to learn the system, practice against big time competition and become more comfortable in making the jump from D2 to D1.

Even if his role is limited this year, he still made the right call because it would not have been any bigger during the Jayhawks’ title run.

Martin is a confident dude who believes in his game and is willing to work hard. The guess here is we’ll see early on if those traits, combined with a year of learning in the system, lead to playing time or pine time.

Reply 7 comments from Cassadys West_virginia_hawk Dirk Medema Jayhawkmarshall Chicagohawkmatt Bryce Landon

Why I think Jalen Wilson and Kevin McCullar Jr. will both be in Kansas uniforms next season

KU's Jalen Wilson, left, and Texas Tech transfer Kevin McCullar Jr., right, have both taken their stay-or-go NBA draft decisions to the final day of the deadline. (Journal-World/Nick Krug photos)

KU's Jalen Wilson, left, and Texas Tech transfer Kevin McCullar Jr., right, have both taken their stay-or-go NBA draft decisions to the final day of the deadline. (Journal-World/Nick Krug photos) by Matt Tait

As long as they’re willing to share their decisions with the public, we should know sometime today whether Jalen Wilson and Kevin McCullar Jr. will be Jayhawks next season.

The guess here is that both will withdraw from the NBA draft pool and announce their plans to return to college to start together in the same Kansas lineup during the 2022-23 season.

Wilson and McCullar have until 10:59 p.m. (Central time) to officially inform the NCAA of their decisions. That does not necessarily mean they have to announce it to the public by then. Heck, they don’t have to announce it at all. But most players do, and it seems likely that these two will, as well — stay or go.

I’ve gone back and forth with my thoughts on Wilson’s decision more than any player I can remember covering. I’ve said from the beginning that it’s a win-win scenario for him. And I still believe that. But this one appears to have been a really tough process — in as many good ways as possible.

Wilson no doubt helped himself a ton with the performance at the G League Elite Camp and the NBA combine, but he may have been starting from a little too far back for it to make leaving Kansas the automatic choice.

He could go. Let’s not overlook that. I don’t think Wilson would be drafted, but I do think he’d catch on with a G League team and he could even wind up signing a two-way contract.

That seems to be the best-case scenario right now, though. And let’s remember one thing about two-way contracts: They can disappear in the blink of an eye. They are not guaranteed in any way, and if a player on a two-way contract gets injured, he is almost always immediately cut. Look no further than Frank Mason III’s short stint with Orlando for proof of that.

Ultimately, that uncertainty is why I think Wilson will return. If a team is out there that is willing to guarantee him a great deal — in a relative sense, as an undrafted player, and the key word there is guarantee — then I think he’d take it in a second. I get the feeling that he’d like to go. I’m just not sure what that deal would look like or that that team is out there.

A return to Kansas would give Wilson more time to showcase what he can do — as well as a greater opportunity to do it — and would open the door to some potentially serious name, image and likeness money as well as the chance to serve as the face of the blue blood program.

Every time a KU player is interviewed for a national college basketball podcast or on SportsCenter or wherever else in the months ahead that make up college basketball’s offseason and preseason, it will be Wilson who gets the first crack at putting himself out there. Not Ochai Agbaji. Not Remy Martin. Not anyone else. That can only enhance Wilson’s stock and NIL earning potential.

Look for more on the NIL angle sometime after his announcement, provided he does in fact decide to come back to Kansas.

From there, it’s all about the work. We already know Wilson is willing to work. As a leader and a returning veteran on a mission, I think we’d see a new side of Wilson. And it’s not like he has that far to go to be big time.

He shot just 26% from 3-point land last season and still averaged 11.1 points per game. He would get more shots next season and if he could raise his 3-point percentage to 34-35% it’s not hard to see him becoming a 15-16 points-per-game guy.

As for McCullar, I’ve believed since he announced he would attend KU if he returned to school a couple of weeks ago that he would wind up a Jayahwk. The fit is just too perfect and the opportunity too great for him to pass it up by hoping to get noticed in the G League.

The exposure he’ll get at Kansas — through winning, from the brand and because of the spotlight you get at a blue blood program that just doesn’t come at every other school — will put McCullar in a new light and give him an opportunity to showcase himself for those who might not have had time to look as closely. If he turns in a strong season, it could open some serious doors for his professional future.

The critics will say that didn’t happen for Remy Martin. But Martin was never going to play in the NBA. He was not invited to the pre-draft combine once during his five-year college career and his size and skills just don’t quite translate. Could he survive out there? Absolutely. But the NBA talent evaluators aren’t looking for guys like Martin. They are looking for guys like McCullar, and his time as a Jayhawk will only help him in his pursuit of a pro career.

June 1 has arrived and today’s the day we’ll start to get a more complete look at exactly what team Kansas will put on the floor to defend its 2022 national title.

Reply 8 comments from Dirk Medema Benny Armstrong Robert  Brock Eric Dawson Dale Rogers

The latest update on potential Kansas basketball target Isiaih Mosley

Missouri State guard Isiaih Mosley (1) dribbles next to Oklahoma guard Marvin Johnson (5) in the first half of a National Invitational Tournament college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Nate Billings)

Missouri State guard Isiaih Mosley (1) dribbles next to Oklahoma guard Marvin Johnson (5) in the first half of a National Invitational Tournament college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, March 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Nate Billings)

What started as a three-headed monster of potential Kansas transfer targets is now down to one.

Texas Tech’s Kevin McCullar Jr. is coming to Kansas if he pulls out of the draft. Former Iowa State point guard Tyrese Hunter is headed to Texas. And Missouri State guard Isiaih Mosley reportedly — per CBS college hoops analyst Jon Rothstein — has withdrawn his name from the draft pool and is planning to play in college next season.

That’s a fairly nice upgrade from the days of the Joe Cremo offseason dreams. Mosley is ranked as the third-best transfer portal prospect this offseason by 247 Sports.

While it’s been pretty quiet for the past couple of weeks, Mosley’s situation is worth watching. It appears that Mississippi State is heavily involved with Mosley, as well, but at least at some point there was mutual interest between him and Kansas. He has not visited KU, though, so it's hard to know exactly how interested he might be.

It’s possible that Mosley, who stands 6-foot-5 senior and was a two-time first team all-Missouri Valley Conference selection during his time at Missouri State, has been waiting to make a decision until after KU’s Jalen Wilson makes his. Of course, the timing there could be purely coincidental, too.

Remember, Wednesday’s deadline is only about withdrawing from the NBA draft pool in order to retain eligibility. Players in the transfer portal do not have to announce or decide where they’re heading next by then.

KU does not currently have a scholarship available and only would if Wilson — or someone else — were to leave.

If Wilson leaves, Bill Self’s squad will be looking to replace 91% of its scoring from last season’s national title team. Doing that with a guy who averaged 20 a game last year could make that a little easier.

Even if Wilson returns, KU still will be looking to replace 78% of its scoring from last season. At that point, they'll have to ride with who they have, though, because, again, there would be no scholarship available.

Those numbers, along with several other factors, make it clear that next year’s KU team is going to look dramatically different than the one that won the 2022 national title.

The question is, will Mosley be a part of that new-look roster? Because of his connections to the KU roster — most notably his close friendship with Dajuan Harris Jr. — a lot of people believe that Mosley to KU would be automatic if the Jayhawks have an opening. I'm not sure that's where this is at, though. It's also important to note how quickly these things can change and how different the situation is and appears to be when you're talking about KU having a hypothetical spot available and an actual spot available.

There would be other benefits to adding Mosley to the roster if Wilson were to leave. In addition to his 20.4-point scoring average, he also averaged 6.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game last season while shooting 50% from the floor, 40% from 3-point range and 90% from the free throw line.

Mosley played high school basketball with Harris at Rock Bridge in Columbia, Missouri, and was also a MoKan teammate of Harris and Christian Braun’s. We know Braun is gone, but giving Harris a buddy — and, really, they’re more like brothers — to run with again could be huge for his continued development.

According to Rivals.com, coaches from Kansas, Duke, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Mississippi State, Louisville, Florida and others reached out to Mosley shortly after he entered the portal.

So it’s clear that Mosley has options.

Wilson has until 10:59 p.m. central on Wednesday to officially remove his name from the draft pool in order to retain his college eligibility.

It’s worth noting that the deadline is for Wilson to notify the NCAA not for him to announce it publicly. It seems likely that he will do just that — one way or the other — but if we don’t hear anything by 10:59 p.m. on Wednesday does not mean Wilson’s staying in or returning. As long as he followed the proper protocol and notified the correct people, the announcement part of it is kind of irrelevant.

Now we wait.

Reply 4 comments from Dirk Medema West_virginia_hawk Andy Godwin

Kansas basketball cracks final 6 for Iowa State transfer Tyrese Hunter

Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji (30) ducks under Iowa State Cyclones guard Tyrese Hunter (11) for a bucket during the second half on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji (30) ducks under Iowa State Cyclones guard Tyrese Hunter (11) for a bucket during the second half on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Iowa State guard Tyrese Hunter released his top six schools on Monday afternoon and the defending national champions were on the list.

Joining Kansas in the push to land the talented guard are: Tennessee, Louisville, Gonzaga, Texas and Purdue.

Regarded by some as the top player to enter the transfer portal this offseason, Hunter figures to be a huge pick up for whichever program lands him.

As a true freshman with the Cyclones last season, the 6-foot, 178-pound defensive menace from Racine, Wisconsin, averaged 11 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.0 steals per game in 35 games last season.

His 71 steals ranked in the top five for a freshman in the history of the Big 12 Conference. And he averaged 32 minutes per game while shooting 39.1% from the floor, 27.4% from 3-point range and 68.7% at the free throw line.

While none of those offensive numbers jump off the page at you, Hunter is known for his defense and ball-handling ability. He seemed to be at his best during the most grueling parts of the Cyclones’ Big 12 slate, going toe to toe with talented offensive players night in and night out.

His pressure on the perimeter made life tough for just about everyone he guarded and he earned Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors as a result. He also was a unanimous selection for the Big 12’s all-freshman team last season.

A four-star prospect ranked No. 35 nationally in the Class of 2021, Hunter had offers from a couple dozen big time programs, including Arizona State, Creighton, Florida, Georgia, Louisville, Marquette, Miami (Fla.), Minnesota, Northwestern, Texas A&M and Texas Tech.

The two most interesting names on that list are Louisville and Texas Tech. Louisville because the Cardinals, with new head coach Kenny Payne, are back in the mix this time around. And Texas Tech because that offer came from then-TTU coach Chris Beard, who is now the head coach at Texas, which is also on Hunter’s list of six finalists.

As that list suggests, the word about Hunter entering the portal was that he was looking for a prime time place to showcase his talent.

It’s worth noting that former Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm did most of the work in recruiting Hunter to Ames, Iowa, and current ISU coach T.J. Otzelberger found a way to keep him committed after taking over.

Clearly, Otzelberger was a fan.

“Tyrese is a gifted player,” Otzelberger said after the Cyclones’ Sweet 16 loss to Miami in Chicago last month. “He certainly matured as the season moved on, did a great job commanding our team, proved that there’s no task too big for him even though he’s a freshman. Plays with a poise and composure beyond his years.” In two games against the Jayhawks last season, Hunter averaged 10 points, 3.5 assists and 3.5 steals per game while playing 31.5 minutes. In the game in Lawrence, his five steals and five assists nearly led to an upset road win. That was the game that Dajuan Harris Jr. hit the off-balance layup — over Hunter — in the final seconds to win it for the Jayhawks.

Although the two battled against each other last season, the idea of Hunter and Harris pairing up at KU and making life miserable for opposing guards has a few national basketball analysts thinking big things for the Jayhawks and Hunter if he were to choose KU.

“Hate to see (Hunter) leave (Iowa State),” ESPN broadcaster Fran Fraschilla tweeted over the weekend. “But if he ends up at (KU), he reminds me of former Jayhawk Tyshawn Taylor. He’d be (a) National Defensive Player of the Year there.”

Added Stadium’s Jeff Goodman after Hunter’s list came out on Monday: “Will be a HUGE pickup for any of these schools. Might be the best player who has gone into the portal this year.”

A year ago, many believed that player was Remy Martin, who elected to leave Arizona State and landed at Kansas. Although Martin was all about offense and Hunter seems to be more defensive-minded, the impact could be similar should Hunter pick KU because the Jayhawks would be adding a dynamic, play-making guard with all the confidence in the world.

According to On3.com's Joe Tipton, Hunter has plans to visit Tennessee this weekend and Gonzaga the following weekend. As of now, there is no known timeline for a decision to be made.

KU's roster remains a bit in flux, with three players testing their NBA draft status over the next five weeks. KU could have an open scholarship if either Christian Braun or Jalen Wilson chooses to stay in the draft after the June 1 deadline to withdraw. But even if they don't, the bottom line here is that if a player like Hunter wants to come to Kansas, the coaching staff will find room for him.

None by Walking._.Bucket

Reply 12 comments from Dirk Medema Chad Smith West_virginia_hawk Lee Short David Robinett Bobsarobot Shorte3355 Koolkeithfreeze Alex Berger Bryce Landon

SMU transfer Kendric Davis adds Kansas basketball to list of 7 finalists

SMU guard Kendric Davis shoots free throws during an NCAA college basketball game against Memphis in Dallas, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

SMU guard Kendric Davis shoots free throws during an NCAA college basketball game against Memphis in Dallas, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) by Matt Tait

When his name first surfaced in the transfer portal, SMU guard Kendric Davis’ popularity sky-rocketed at college basketball programs across the country.

Including Kansas.

Monday night, Kansas fans found out that their dream of adding the reigning American Athletic Conference player of the year to the defending champs’ roster for the 2022-23 season was at least a real possibility.

KU made Davis’ list of seven finalists, according to his Instagram page. What’s more, he said he plans to make his next stop known at 8 p.m. Friday.

A few powerhouse programs join the Jayhawks on Davis’ trimmed-down list, with Gonzaga, Texas, Houston and Texas Tech leading the way. TCU and Memphis are also still in the mix.

In leading the SMU offense last season, Davis averaged 19.4 points per game and shot 37% from 3-point range.

He also averaged 4.4 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game while shooting 44% from the floor and 87% at the free throw line.

While some have said that Davis choosing Kansas would put him in line to be next season’s Remy Martin, it’s worth noting that he does not carry quite as much in the way of buzz and hype as Martin did a year ago.

It’s close, though. He already is regarded as one of the top transfers available, and, at 6-foot, 180 pounds, the talented point guard is roughly the same size and could play a similar role to the one Martin played for the national champion Jayhawks this season.

Wherever Davis lands, it will be his third stop in college.

A native of Houston — he attended Sam Houston High — Davis started his college career at TCU, where he played 17.1 minutes per game in 37 appearances and two starts as a true freshman during the 2018-19 season.

He transferred to SMU after that season and started all 77 games he appeared in for the Mustangs during the past three seasons.

In addition to entering the transfer portal, Davis also has announced his plans to pursue a jump to the NBA, declaring for this summer’s draft while planning to retain his college eligibility.

Even that is reminiscent of what Martin did before coming to KU.

After deciding to leave Arizona State following a spectacular four-year career with the Sun Devils, Martin first declared for the 2021 NBA draft then committed to KU and finally elected to withdraw from the draft pool and play his super-senior seasons at Kansas.

Talking in general terms about where KU was in terms of recruiting additions to the 2022 class, Kansas coach Bill Self said after the team’s postseason banquet last week that the Jayhawks were “open to whatever.”

“A lot depends on guys’ decisions,” Self said of early entries into the NBA draft or the ever-present potential for offseason transfers. “I personally think with the likelihood that (Ochai Agbaji) is probably not going to be back, we certainly could use a guard, a tall shooter or guard who can play maybe combo. We’d like to get a guard who can score the ball.”

Davis does not fit the tall part of that description, but he certainly has proven he can score. Davis carries a career scoring average of 13.8 points per game, including double-digit averages in each of the past three seasons, 19 per game as both a junior and senior at SMU.

Fun fact: He scored 16 points in 36 minutes in a TCU home game against Kansas in February of 2019. Davis shot 4-of-9 from the floor in that game — a KU win — and added 7 assists and 5 rebounds while knocking in 7 of 11 attempts at the free throw line.

Regardless of where Davis commits, he will have until June 1 to decide whether to join his new school or stay in the NBA draft pool.

Reply 3 comments from Layne Pierce Mallory Briggans Dirk Medema

Next