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Ranking The Jayhawks: Introduction And End Of Bench

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the third year of ranking the Kansas basketball players. For the purposes of the exercise I'm not going to rank the walk ons or transfer Dwight Coleby, and will just be focusing on the rotation players. I don't have a set methodology, but I am attempting to somewhat predicting playing time while also saying who I think the best players are. In other words, Brannen Greene might get as much or a little more playing time than Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, but Svi is ranked higher in my rankings because I think he's the better player. However, if I think Landen Lucas and Hunter Mickelson are relatively equal, but I think one of them is going to get a lot more playing time, I'll rank that player higher.

I have to say.....this is freaking impossible. Even the guys at the bottom of this list are decent big 12 players. Someone who is really good is going to get pretty much frozen out of the rotation (although it would be fun to play all 12 and just run up and down the floor like crazy). Since there are 12 players in the rotation, I'll have four posts of three players each until we are done.

12. Jamari Traylor, Senior forward

Traylor excelled as a sophomore in a limited minutes role, but slimmed down in an effort to play a different role last season and really struggled as a result. Traylor shot 48.6 percent from the floor, which isn't great when most of your shots are in the lane, and had a defensive rebounding rate of just 11.2 percent, lower than Brannen Greene and virtually equal to Frank Mason. Traylor potentially offers a lot as an energy guy off the bench and a guy who can beat a big man guarding him off the dribble. Still, his turnover rate of 27.1 percent is horrific, and with the rest of the roster's potential struggles on the defensive glass, Traylor probably shouldn't get much more than a handful of minutes per game.

11. Brannen Greene, Junior wing

Greene started off blazing hot last season, but a hip injury really slowed him down and hindered his outside shot. Greene ended up shooting "just" 40.4 percent on threes after being well over 50 percent at the beginning of the conference season. Greene is supposedly fully recovered from hip surgery and is pain free, but who really knows with these things. In any event, his value is mostly as a spot up shooter and a good defensive rebounder. Many of his rebounds last season were uncontested, but he did in general show a good nose for the ball in knowing when to abandon his man to go get the rebound versus when to get up court to transition into his offense.

Ranking Greene presents two separate problems: he is undoubtedly the best shooter on the team. A 6-7 wing who has a high enough release to where he can get his shot off in virtually any situation, and a guy who when healthy can reasonably push the 50 percent mark behind the arc. Shooting is the most valuable thing one can do on the court, which should mean that Greene should be ranked much higher. Even the threat of his shot is good enough to open things up down low, and putting him on the wing on the same side that Perry Ellis is operating should give the latter a lot of one on one matchups, or give Greene a lot of open shots. However, Greene doesn't create his own shot, can't handle the ball well, turns it over too much, and does not defend well. When he is shooting lights out from three you can live with that, but later in the season when he was not shooting well, he provided basically no value. He'll get to play a lot if healthy, and how good of a season he has will depend on how many threes he shoots. Self was a bit anti three last season, but the Jayhawks have at least four guys who should be shooting as many as 200 threes this season, so we will see which gives.

10. LaGerald Vick, freshman guard

Vick was a late recruit this summer after blowing up on the summer circuit and reclassifying to 2015. Because of that, he might not get a lot of playing time, especially with Mason, Graham, Selden, Svi, and Greene ahead of him in the guard/wing rotation.

Still, Vick showed a lot of promise in South Korea at the World University Games. He is incredibly athletic, capable of not just being a slasher on offense but potentially one of the team's best defenders down the road. He also showed the ability to shoot threes, and although he will make plenty of freshmen mistakes, hopefully he can get some playing time early to get adapted to college basketball and so we can see what we have with him. No telling on how long he will be on campus, but he looks like the type of player you can build around in a couple years. Oh, and he's 10th on this list.