The 2021-2022 National Champion Kansas Jayhawks. The defending champions lost a ton of talent, including the Big 12’s best player Ochai Agbaji. One of the country’s best recruiting class and one of the best players in the transfer portal will hopefully make up for the lost talent. Either way, the Jayhawks are in a good position to try and defend their title.
Preseason College Basketball Rankings: #8 Kansas Jayhawks
Kansas really has only two significant returning players. One of them is Jalen Wilson. He has played very well the last two years and was, of course, a key part of the team’s title run last season. That includes being second in the conference in rebounds and top 20 in scoring. He could be one of the best players in the Big 12 this season. Dajuan Harris Jr. also returns. He was fifth in the conference in assists last year and should be just as good this year.
The good thing for Kansas is that despite all of the departures they do bring in the nation’s fourth ranked recruiting class. The four-man class is entirely made up of players in the top 60, and includes a top 20 five-star. That guy is Gradey Dick. He is long out on the wing and will immediately be one of the best shooters in the country. MJ Rice is a powerful small forward. Ernest Udeh Jr. is a dominant big man who will start from day one. He is an excellent rebounder and a good rim protector and an overall force in the post. He has a chance to be one of the best players in the Big 12.
The lone incoming transfer for Kansas is Kevin McCullar. The Texas Tech transfer was one of the best players in the portal and will have a major impact on the Jayhawks this year and will certainly be one of the Jayhawks’ best players. Joseph Yesufu transferred in from Drake last year, but played limited minutes. He should have a bigger role on this year’s team. Bobby Pettiford played sparingly as a freshman last season, but he should also have a bigger role this year.
C – Ernest Udeh Jr. (#32 overall recruit on 247 Sports)
F – Jalen Wilson (11.1 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 1.8 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.4 BPG)
SF – Kevin McCullar (10.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.1 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.2 BPG)
SG – Gradey Dick (#20 overall recruit on 247 Sports)
PG – Dajuan Harris Jr. (5.4 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 4.2 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.3 BPG)