THE Kansas Jayhawks were already a solid choice to be the No. 1 in next season’s men’s basketball preseason with another stellar recruiting class, the transfer portal’s loaded transport, and a strong returning core. Not to mention a healthy bill is one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time. And I’m pretty sure my ears are still ringing from covering Allen Fieldhouse’s Border War return against Mizzou in Lawrence in December. 2021. Kevin McCullar Jr.the decision to withdraw from NBA The draft process and return to the Jayhawks on Wednesday leaves no doubt: KU has the most stacked roster in the country heading into next season.
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McCullar had coin-fodds of being drafted, with his best chance of locking down on an NBA roster coming in the summer and preseason. It would be far from a certainty. And returning to one of college basketball blue bloods, he will be a figurehead for a team that should compete for another national championship. The 6-foot-6 McCullar is known for his defensive abilities, having been named Naismith Defensive Player of the Year semi-finalist for the past two seasons. He also started 33 games for Kansas last season, averaging 10.7 points and seven rebounds per game. McCullar is also ultra-experienced, having played for three years at Texas Tech before transferring to Kansas.
The Jayhawks are among the deepest and most talented lists
McCullar’s return gives the Jayhawks almost every other team in the country they wanted. KU has too many elite talents. It will be a crowded starting lineup with an eight or nine player rotation that will be as good as any in America. Prior to McCullar’s return, Kansas’ starting five appeared to be Dajuan Harris, Michigan transfer Hunter Dickinson, Towson transfer Nick Timberlake, Texas transfer Arterio Morris and KJ Adams. And I can’t forget star-studded freshman Elmarko Jackson, who will no doubt play a role in how the Jayhawks fare this fall. It’s a salacious seven with McCullar. I covered Harris in high school and he became one of best distributors in the country. My alma mater is Towson and I watched Timberlake be a big fish in a small pond in the greater Baltimore area his entire college career. A 3-point shooter without fires, a great passer, and tenacious in the transition. Some low level bosses do not unfold. I bet Timberlake is bucking that trend.
There was a lot of deserved fanfare about Dickinson leaving Michigan to come to Kansas, as he was highly regarded as the best player to enter the transfer portal this offseason. One of the Big Ten’s best players in recent seasons in a conference with worse defensive teams across the board should help the 7-foot-1 center thrive. Adams is entering his third year at Lawrence and has stepped up to fill some gaps in the The Jayhawks National Championship Team from two seasons ago. Now, he is the KU veteran and is only expected to improve in his junior season.
Of course, there will be competition for a first place #1 from Duke, UConn, Marquette, Houston, and others. But no one else has the combination of talent, depth, and experience, both on the field and on the sidelines, like KU. It might be boring to have Kansas’ repetitive nature at the top of college basketball. If you don’t like them, beat them. It’ll be a hard as hell something to do this winter and next spring.