Kansas Basketball 50 in 50, No. 38: Just How Legendary Were These Legends?

LAWRENCE KS - FEBRUARY 07: Kansas Jayhawks fans cheer during player introductions prior to the game against the Missouri Tigers on February 7 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

50 in 50 is a feature here at RCT counting down until the Jayhawks kick off the 2011 basketball season on November first. Got an idea for something you'd like to see featured here? tweet @rockchalktalk or @fetch9 or email me at fetch9 at gmail dot com.

The Legends of the Phog game has finally arrived and I have been remiss in analyzing the rosters. That all changes today, with a graphic look at the roster. In the plot below I have plotted each player's offensive rating with his usage rate. Per usual, the farther to the right, the higher the usage rate and the farther up the better the offensive rating. Normally I use the D1 average for the middle of the offensive rating part of it, but in this case I'm going to use 110, which is pretty close to where the elite ranges start. After all, these guys are legendary, right? For usage rate I went with 20% as usual because there are (obviously) 5 players on the floor at once.

A couple disclaimers before I continue. First, there are two plots. I don't know how the rosters will be divided, but having all of the players on one graph was too cluttered.

Next, rather than taking their career offensive rating I am merely using their offensive rating from their best (or in some cases only) year. This is mainly because I have neither the time nor the ability to get career numbers. I also didn't count a season if it was compiled in a low% of minutes (for example, Jeff Hawkins had a 121.1 offensive rating his Junior year, but in only 14.2% of the minutes).

Lastly there are a couple players for whom there is no offensive rating data listed. Sadly, they will have to go without being on the graph.


Just a couple of notes here:

  • I planned on noting how good the Morris twins are, and they definitely were (the best front court duo of my lifetime, I still say)
  • However, look at how good Cole Aldrich was. I know he hurt the team a bit in being slow up the floor, but when you combine his defensive abilities with how good he was on offense (!), where does he stack up with the best KU players ever? A lot higher than I previously thought, that's for sure.


  • I honestly don't even remember Billy Thomas
  • If there's a KU player I am most proud of (weird term, but I think it fits), it's definitely Darnell Jackson, who overcame a whole host of tragedy to post a hell of a season and win a championship as a Senior. Fitting end for a guy as classy as he was. And also, given his improvement on the court over the four years of his career, he is a heck of an infomercial for Danny Manning.
  • Ryan Robertson was a lot better than I thought he was as well. The weird thing is that when you go look at his career stats he had a lot better Junior year than Senior year seemingly; it's just not reflected in offensive rating. Perhaps he got bonus points for mentoring a certain Freshman point guard.
  • Simien had a better year than this offensive rating wise, but his minutes played were a bit too low for me to put him on the list.
  • Finally, poor Josh Selby. Obviously some of it was out of his control, but he really was a bad college basketball player.

I'm not sure if Denver will toss up an OGT for the game, but if he doesn't feel free to use this.

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