The college basketball season is fast approaching. Now is a good time to take a closer look at the Kansas basketball roster and what potential lineups coach Bill Self can put out on the floor.
Kansas arguably has the most depth in college basketball heading into the 2021-22 season, and this could possibly be the deepest team Self has coached.
With that, here are six interesting lineups with a short description of each.
G Dajuan Harris
G Remy Martin
G Ochai Agbaji
F Jalen Wilson
C David McCormack
Picking Kansas’ starting five was challenging, but I think Remy Martin, Agbaji, Wilson and McCormack are a given. Those four are too talented to keep out of the starting lineup and they all can score in double figures on a nightly basis.
What people may disagree with is having Harris as a starter. My reasoning is simple. Harris has tons of buzz around his improvement, and Self loves having two ball handlers in the lineup. Harris also may be the Jayhawks’ best passer and defender, so I think he can certainly make a case to be a consistent starter.
G Bobby Pettiford
G Joseph Yesufu
G Christian Braun
G Jalen Coleman-Lands
F Cam Martin
If Harris doesn’t crack the starting five, it’s likely Braun will. I have him in the sixth-man role, but I still think he will receive time that mimics starter minutes. If you remember his freshman year, Braun was very impactful in that role, and having a solidified scorer off the bench can help Kansas.
This bench unit almost functions as a separate starting five. I expect Yesufu to receive around 20-25 minutes per game. Players like Coleman-Lands and Cam Martin will likely play specific roles (shoot 3-pointers). Overall, this bench five and the starters above are the players I expect to have at least some minutes game-to-game.
G Remy Martin
KU has two of the Big 12’s top four 3-point shooters from last season (percentage wise) in Coleman-Lands and Agbaji. You also can’t forget about Christian Braun’s smooth outside stroke, and Remy Martin has shot 33.6% in his career at Arizona State.
Cam Martin is known for his outside shot, and he averaged 25 points per game last season at the Division II level with Missouri Southern. Add all these pieces together and you have quite the shooting threat. If the Jayhawks need to hit a late-game triple, this could be the lineup to do so.
G Remy Martin
We saw some five out looks last season with Wilson at the five spot. It even helped Kansas narrowly defeat Kentucky in the Champions Classic. The Jayhawks can certainly go back to this if teams decide to play small ball against them or if McCormack and Cam Martin end up in foul trouble.
This lineup also gives Kansas the opportunity to play with three fast and skilled ball handlers in Harris, Remy Martin and Yesufu. Since Wilson has shown he can hold his own in the five spot – if Self chooses to play five out – I think it can be rather effective.
F Cam Martin
Kansas can play some bully ball this year if necessary. Wilson already functions as more of a small forward or three with his shooting ability and athleticism. Cam Martin specializes in shooting 3-pointers, and therefore he could slide to the four spot if Kansas wants to play big with McCormack in the game.
However, I don’t see Kansas using this lineup very often because of the amount of talented guards and wings they have. It would also be rare for Self to play a lineup without a primary ball handler.
G Chris Teahan
G Michael Jankovich
F KJ Adams
F Zach Clemence
F Mitch Lightfoot
This squad features two super-seniors who have been around the KU program for a long time in Chris Teahan and Mitch Lightfoot. Junior Michael Jankovich is another fan-favorite listed here. With the depth Kansas has, I only see playing time for these fan favorites when the Jayhawks are leading by a large margin.
Adams and Clemence are two impressive freshmen that Self has brought in, but again I don’t see much playing time for these two – even though they are talented. Adams has impressed early with his frame, and Self said chasing down loose balls and grabbing rebounds is what he does best. His motor could get him some playing time, but it’s more realistic for him to see time at the end of game. Same with Clemence, who is known for his ability to stretch the floor.