6. Conner Frankamp | Sophomore Guard | 2013-14 #KURank: 7
In memoriam. We press on.
5. Jamari Traylor | Junior Forward | 2013-14 #KURank: 12
It goes without saying that Jamari Traylor made the biggest leap from last season to this season. Traylor went from energy guy who had intriguing potential to a player whose efficiency numbers were through the roof and really probably deserved more playing time.
Traylor went from shooting 43% as a Freshman to 67% last year and while it is fair to argue that a lot of his points came off offensive rebounds, dunks, and easy layups, he improved in other areas as the season went along to the point where I expect him to have a huge year as the first big off the bench.
Last year Traylor took 71% of his shots at the rim, second most on the team, but also shot 78.5% on those shots. Hoop-math's numbers also have Traylor shooting 40.7% on two point jumpers, though I would imagine that is more to how their code is written counting some close in shots as 2 pt jumpers rather than any marked skill Traylor possesses.
Although he's mostly seen as a battering ram (and really, he should be Jimmay Mundine's replacement next year. Or maybe Michael Reynolds') but he has added some skill to his repertoire.
Traylor had an 8.4% assist rate last year, which is pretty good for an interior offensive player, and it really showed later in the year as he developed chemistry with Tarik Black. Traylor still turns it over way too much (26.8% last year) but has developed into an impressive interior passer:
Traylor isn't a great ball handler, but for his size he is incredibly quick, so he can usually beat the first man off the dribble. That draws a crowd of defenders, allowing him a number of options to pass the ball.
Or, he can of course always take it right to the rim for a layup or dunk:
Last but not least, Traylor has showed promise as a rebounder and interior defender. His offensive rebound rate was equal to Landen Lucas, percentage points lower than Tarik Black and Joel Embiid, and as a Freshman he had a block percentage of 8.4%.
Because he has a limited set of post moves and turns it over a lot, Traylor's best role is suited to coming off the bench. Still, he rebounds well, has developed the ability to drive the lane effectively, and thinks the game well. If he can stay out of foul trouble, another problem he's had his first couple seasons, Traylor should be playing 25 or so minutes per game and putting up effective minutes for the Jayhawks.