7. Devonte Graham | Freshman | 2013-14 #KURank: N/A
It's probably not much of a coincidence that the day after Naadir Tharpe announced his intention to transfer, Devonte Graham committed to Kansas. Originally committed to Appalachian State, Graham spent a year of prep school at Brewster Academy, which also produced Tharpe and Thomas Robinson. His recruiting stock soared after playing well at Brewster, but App State would not let him out of his NLI. Finally, after former coach Jason Capel was fired, and after some pressure from the media, App State let Graham out of his letter of intent and soon thereafter he signed with the Jayhawks.
Because he blossomed so late, Graham was and is still a bit of an unknown. At 6'2", Graham offers more size than the point guards in recent memory (Tyshawn Taylor excepted) and both his playmaking ability and leadership skills are highly thought of.
In KU's first exhibition against Washburn, Graham had 7 points, shooting 2 of 3 from two and 1 of 2 from three. He added 3 assists but also turned it over 3 times.
The biggest key for Graham's effectiveness will come on the other end of the floor. Naadir Tharpe was good offensively last year, but was a big reason why Kansas's defense fell off so far from previous seasons. Him getting beat so often at the point of attack led to the defense having to rotate and recover far too often, and with how bad they were at defensive rotations for most of last year, the point guard getting beat put the whole team into tough situations a lot. Improvement off the ball from some other perimeter defenders will help, but the biggest key to Kansas getting back to excellent defense will be if the point guard plays better on ball defense.
Graham doesn't look like he will be much of a threat from deep, but if he can take care of the ball and play good defense, Kansas's overall situation at point guard will be an improvement from last year.