10 Landen Lucas | Sophomore | 2013 #KURank: 11
I am currently undefeated in terms of being the first to jump on the bandwagon of players who turn out to be good, or at least better than expected. Kansas fans hated Tyshawn Taylor, but he turned into an All American. Naadir Tharpe was never a superstar, but he turned himself into a well above average offensive player.
Enter Landen Lucas. Lucas redshirted his first year, but played in Kansas's two exhibition games. Obviously that was not much to go off, but the way he rebounded was instantly noticeable. He is never going to be the type of rebounder Kenneth Faried is, but that is how he attacked the glass.
Case in point: last year, Landen Lucas had an offensive rebound rate of 10.6% and defensive of 21.4%. That was roughly equal to Tarik Black, and a stone's throw from Joel Embiid's numbers. I won't read much into Lucas's other numbers due to his playing time (just 7.6% of the available minutes played) but he shot the ball well and also had Kansas's second highest shot block percentage.
Lucas is good at getting shots around the rim (71% of FGA) but needs to improve at making those shots. Sample size plays a huge part into this, but he had a lower percentage at the rim than seven other Jayhawks. Lucas isn't a very explosive athlete and plays mostly below the rim, which plays into why he can't score at the rim very well.
Lucas isn't a great interior defender because of that either. He's good positionally, but because of a lack of size and leaping ability he's relegated to mostly standing behind his man and making him shoot over the top.
Still, Lucas showed off a couple nice post moves and is probably the best rebounder on the roster currently. With how important rebounding is, Lucas should see some playing time this year and blossom into a major contributor in his final two years in Lawrence.