We have seen freshman Connor Frankamp and Brannen Greene begin to earn some minutes of the bench for Kansas this season, and both seem destined to get increased playing time come February and March. While formally redshirt candidates, both players appear to be panning out for coach Self – Frankamp played some big minutes in Kansas’ crucial league-opening win in Norman and Greene has contributed scoring off the bench. Lost in all this is a player that all of us had high hopes for: sharp-shooting sophomore guard Andrew White III.
White hasn’t seen the court since the Bahamas tournament back in November during Thanksgiving break. Most thought that White would be a much larger participant for the Jayhawks this season. Many fans assumed he would become a better defender throughout the year and a better three point shooter and an overall offensive weapon off the bench. He was penciled in as a guy who would get more playing time than Greene and Frankamp, yet we haven’t seen any answers to why he isn’t playing. White is seen missing even during garbage time of blowouts while we see the usual suspects such as Evan Manning, Justin Wesley, and Christian Garret. Why exactly is White not playing? Sure, he needs improvement on his on-the-ball defense and to become a more consistent shooter from all parts on the floor; however, he won’t ever get better or become more accustomed to playing in game situations unless he takes off the warm-up shirt and breaks out the jersey and shorts. Remember last year he was a freshman who adapted himself as a bench warmer, he did seem to be lost in the shuffle at times last year, but when called upon made some big shots in non-conference play and against some hot shooting teams could help us in winning a few shootouts for the remaining part of this season.
Now, I don’t think its ego being the part of this. Bill Self has given virtually everyone on the roster a shot this year. Landen Lucas has been sighted a few times inside grabbing rebounds during his short 8-10 minutes of work. Brannen Greene has knocked down a few clutch 3 pointers every now and then. Andrew White needs playing time, even if it’s a few minutes following substitutions, or long stretches while Tharpe, Mason, and Selden are in foul trouble. It will allow this team to improve and could dramatically improve White’s confidence moving forward. Transferring to another, less-pressured school might become a brighter horizon for him. But, for the most part, number three needs to make a few appearances the rest of this year. It will help White and could help Kansas.