Kansas Jayhawks and the NBA Draft

A foot and a half off the ground, and still only slightly taller than the big man. Those were the boys.

On Thursday night, two of Jayhawk fans' all-time favorite boys and a we-barely-knew-thee legacy will make the leap from the college ranks, where they each had successful amateur careers in their time at Kansas, and into the basketball business world that is the NBA. We don't need to go into the specifics of their outstanding careers in Lawrence, as we've done so ad nauseam the last couple years here at Rock Chalk Talk. So, instead we now turn our focus to how their games will transition to the pro league.

The general consensus among NBA Mock Draft sites is that 6'11" center Cole Aldrich will go somewhere between eight and fifteen, the freshman swingman Xavier Henry will fall into line somewhere just a few places below Aldrich and that the all-time winningest player in Kansas basketball history, Sherron Collins, will just be hoping to be taken in the second round.

Sidenote: Isn't it just further proof that the college game is greater than the pro game when an undersized kid like Collins can become such a legacy in college, yet will likely be fighting for an NBA roster spot? No feel-good stories when it comes to money, money, money.

What the "Insiders" are saying...

NBADraft.net - Aldrich: Utah - #9, Henry: Milwaukee - #15, Collins: Oklahoma City - #51

Yahoo! - Aldrich: Utah - #9, Henry: Houston - #14, Collins: second round not listed

DraftExpress.com - Henry: New Orleans - #11, Aldrich: Houston - #14, Collins: Los Angeles Clippers - #54

MyNBADraft.net - Aldrich: Houston - #14, Henry: Milwaukee - #15, Collins: Pheonix - #46

Earlier this week, Sherron had this to say of a workout with a team on his Twitter page (@SHERRONCOLLINS4):

I had one if my best workouts for Portland today went great now on my way back to Vegas got Milwaukee on Tuesday then back to the chi

Obviously, we all hope that this is the case and that some team takes the chance on him and he makes the most of it.

Jayhawk History in the Draft

Complete Career Stats of Kansas Players in the NBA (Basketball-Reference)

Year Round Pick Overall Player Team
1947 - - - Ray Evans New York Knicks
1948 - - - Otto Schnellbacher Providence Steamrollers
1952 1 9 9 Clyde Lovellette Minneapolis Lakers
1953 8 - - Dean Kelley Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons
1953 11 - 29/30 Gil Reich Boston Celtics
1954 3 4 22 B. H. Born Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons
1954 7 2 56 Alan Kelley Milwaukee Hawks
1957 6 8 48 Maury King Boston Celtics
1959 10 6 71 Ron Loneski St. Louis Hawks
1961 3 9 32 Bill Bridges Chicago Packers
1962 1 5 5 Wayne Hightower San Francisco Warriors
1963 4 2 28 Nolen Ellison Baltimore Bullets
1965 8 7 68 George Unseld Los Angeles Lakers
1966 1 6 6 Walt Wesley Cincinnati Royals
1966 13 3 103 Al Lopes Baltimore Bullets
1967 4 2 33 Ronald Franz Detroit Pistons
1968 9 8 114 Roger Bohnenstiel New York Knicks
1969 1 9 9 Jo Jo White Boston Celtics
1969 4 5 48 Dave Nash Chicago Bulls
1969 11 13 154 Bruce Sloan Philadelphia 76ers
1971 3 9 44 Dave Robisch Boston Celtics
1971 4 13 64 Walter Roger Brown Los Angeles Lakers
1971 13 12 207 Pierre Russell Milwaukee Bucks
1972 1 7 7 Bud Stallworth Seattle Supersonics
1972 14 4 184 Aubrey Nash Baltimore Bullets
1975 7 2 110 Rick Suttle Los Angeles Lakers
1975 8 18 144 Roger Morningstar Boston Celtics
1976 1 16 16 Norm Cook Boston Celtics
1977 7 14 124 Herb Nobles Detroit Pistons
1978 5 11 99 Ken Koenigs Cleveland Cavaliers
1978 6 8 118 John Douglas New Orleans Jazz
1979 2 20 42 Paul Mokeski Houston Rockets
1980 10 12 211 Randy Carroll Phoenix Suns
1981 1 16 16 Darnell Valentine Portland Trail Blazers
1981 3 1 47 Art Housey Dallas Mavericks
1981 7 22 160 John Crawford Philadelphia 76ers
1982 2 5 28 Dave Magley Cleveland Cavaliers
1982 2 23 46 Tony Guy Boston Celtics
1984 4 10 80 Carl Henry Kansas City Kings
1984 9 1 185 Brian Martin Indiana Pacers
1984 9 15 199 Kelly Knight Utah Jazz
1986 2 2 26 Greg Dreiling Indiana Pacers
1986 2 18 42 Ron Kellogg Atlanta Hawks
1986 4 1 71 Calvin Thompson New York Knicks
1988 1 1 1 Danny Manning Los Angeles Clippers
1988 3 25 75 Archie Marshall San Antonio Spurs
1990 2 7 34 Kevin Pritchard Golden State Warriors
1991 1 26 26 Mark Randall Chicago Bulls
1993 1 16 16 Rex Walters New Jersey Nets
1993 2 15 42 Adonis Jordan Seattle Supersonics
1994 2 11 38 Darrin Hancock Charlotte Hornets
1995 1 28 28 Greg Ostertag Utah Jazz
1997 1 19 19 Scot Pollard Detroit Pistons
1997 1 27 27 Jacque Vaughn Utah Jazz
1998 1 3 3 Raef LaFrentz Denver Nuggets
1998 1 10 10 Paul Pierce Boston Celtics
1999 2 16 45 Ryan Robertson Sacramento Kings
2001 2 14 45 Eric Chenowith New York Knicks
2002 1 4 4 Drew Gooden Memphis Grizzlies
2003 1 7 7 Kirk Hinrich Chicago Bulls
2003 1 12 12 Nick Collison Seattle Supersonics
2005 1 29 29 Wayne Simien Miami Heat
2007 1 13 13 Julian Wright New Orleans Hornets
2008 1 13 13 Brandon Rush Portland Trail Blazers
2008 1 27 27 Darrell Arthur New Orleans Hornets
2008 2 4 34 Mario Chalmers Minnesota Timberwolves
2008 2 22 52 Darnell Jackson Miami Heat
2008 2 29 59 Sasha Kaun Seattle Supersonics


You may notice the omittance of NBA Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain from that list, but that's because he was what was considered a "territorial pick" of the Philadelphia Warriors in 1959, due to the guidlines of having to have completed three years out of high school before playing in the NBA.

Since we all have opinions, I'll go ahead and throw my predictions of sorts out there and you can do the same in the comments. 15 RCT points (which are good for nothing) for each correct call regarding a Kansas player. Personally, I think the popular choice of Cole to Utah makes for a sound fit. He's a defense first kind of post player and we all know Jerry Sloan used to love him some former Jayhawk great(?) Greg Ostertag, who was most definitely first and foremost a defensive presence. And, doesn't Cole's laid back personality kind of fit Salt Lake City - quiet and not\thing going on. That would be a nice fit for him.

I don't see Xavier going to Houston. Not after they just paid out a big contract last offseason to a similar type player in Trevor Ariza. Since he's not a great three point shooter, he'll need someone on the floor with him that can stretch the defense to the perimeter and must be accounted for to allow him to be more of a dribble penetration type player. A player like a healthy Michael Redd in Milwaukee would seem to fit the bill. Current Buck John Salmons actually seems like the kind of player than Henry could potentially become in the league. Pencil me down for Xavier in Milwaukee.

As far as Sherron goes, the second round of the NBA Draft is the biggest crapshoot in the entire world. (Not that the first round isn't, too.) So, I won't even begin to speculate on which team could use a backup point guard, because they all could. So, instead, I'll pick the player that won Big 12 championships in every year of his college career and a national championship also to go to the team winning all the championships in the NBA - the Los Angeles Lakers. Why not? I like them. So what?

Also, remember all the drama and anxiety over last spring's recruiting saga over Henry and eventual Cincinnati standout Lance Stephenson? Well, he also declared for this draft (surprise, surprise) and opinions on him are even more varying than our Kansas boys. I've seen as high as the end of the lottery all the way to the very end of the second round. Henry got himself in and, whether you think he earned it or not, put himself in a far better position to be drafted than Stephenson. Anyone still wish that we'd have taken Lance instead? (Not that there were people calling for that or anything...)


Talking Points

  • Favorite Jayhawk(s) in the NBA?
  • Jayhawk with the best NBA career?
  • Predictions where this year's crop of Jayhawks will go?
  • How glad you are to see me posting again?
  • Which Jayhawk in this year's crop will have the best career?
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