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Dress Well, Play Well

The best Kansas basketball jerseys of all time, and why last season's threads gotta go.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

As anyone who discussed Jayhawk basketball with me for longer than three minutes last year could tell you, I was not a fan of the jerseys.  The road blues were somewhat tolerable, since the crimson and blue combination almost always looks good, but the home whites with those blue shoulder panels looked like practice jerseys from Wal-Mart or something.  When I get my first glimpse of a jersey, I don't want my first thought to be "Ugh, did a gas station give KU a good deal on replicas if they bought them in bulk?"

Apparently Coach Self agreed, because once conference play started, they made very few appearances the rest of the season.  Adidas whipped up some alternate unis, and while they were undoubtedly cool-looking....they still felt like alternates.  I'd much rather bust those jerseys out a couple times a year than have to rely on them game-in and game-out.  I'd like KU to have just a little more tradition than the Arizona Diamondbacks.

I'm not sure if Adidas has something else in the works for this upcoming season, but I really hope so.  If nothing else, I'd rather see the jerseys worn during last year's Big 12 and NCAA tournaments.  At least then the shoulder panels would be gone.  I understand that I'm officially over 30 years old now, and jerseys aren't being marketed to my demographic anymore....but still.  If the majority of teenagers out there can honestly say they loved the home whites from last season, then I need to build a bigger fence around my yard, to make sure that all those kids stay off my lawn.

Here are my five favorite uniform sets of my lifetime, counting down from #5:

5:  2011-2013

I didn't like these unis at first, but they grew on me.  Starting last summer, this jersey has started to look better and better every day, after I saw what KU transitioned to.  Like when you think you're dating a crazy girl, so you break up with her, and then your next girlfriend gets angry with you and shaves your head while you're sleeping, and you wish you could go back to the days when you thought that picking out your future dog's name was "crazy."  Plus, I'm a pretty big sucker for logos on the back of the neck.

4:  1997

I like how they tweaked the mid-90's look, which featured a stripe down one side but not the other, but the font is just a tiny bit too skinny for this set to be higher on the list.  You might think that this jersey is a bit bland, but I would consider ourselves lucky, considering some of the other designs that were happening around the country during this time frame.

3:  2008-2010

For my money, the best shorts in KU history-- but the neckline that plunges like the outfit of a 38-year-old divorcee on a first date with a guy she met on doesn't quite do it for me.

2:  2004-2005

The jerseys worn for these two seasons did a phenomenal job of balancing the white, crimson, and blue against each other.  The shorts were toned down a bit, but still had a good-size Jayhawk displayed on the leg.  Simple, yet elegant.  Then KU switched from Nike to Adidas, and started wearing the uniforms with the multi-colored neckline and the DNA double helix up the sides.  Not cool.

1: 1998-2003

The circus font was perfection.  The trim down the sides of the torso was glorious.  I've always loved having a little piece of KU flair at the bottom of the neckline.  And the panels on the shorts with the big Jayhawk on one leg and the KU on the other were so delightfully 90's.  Not 90's in a bad way, like the Detroit Pistons....but 90's in an awesome way, like the Toronto Raptors.  I'm almost embarrassed to admit how much of my own money I would pay if the Jayhawks would go back to these jerseys tomorrow.


I know that taste in basketball jerseys is about as subjective as it gets, so what about everyone else?  Do you enjoy the current uniforms?  What are your favorites?  What jersey, if any, would you bring back to the present day if you could?