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Ranking Kansas Basketball: Part 3

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

We have almost made it to the end. If you'd like to read both previous parts you can click here. In this edition, I think you'll find that there is a pretty natural gap between the top six guys on the list and the bottom six (though Bragg and possibly Vick have the upside to get into the top six this season). There are two pretty big (I think) leaps of faith in this section, but if both leaps are rewarded, the Jayhawks could be in for a special season.

6. Devonte Graham, Sophomore guard

A blind exercise for you:

Player Min% ORtg Usage Shots% eFG TS OReb DReb Arate TOrate
A 35.8 106.1 19 16.5 46.6 53.6 1.8 7.1 23 20.1
B 40.2 105.8 19.8 19.4 47.7 51.7 1.8 7.3 22.4 19.3

Pretty similar right? In fact, they are each other's most similar players on KenPom. Player A is Graham last season. Player B? Frank Mason as a freshman. They offer some differences. Mason is quicker and a little better at getting into the lane. I also find it interesting he had a lower turnover rate despite Graham being considered the more natural point guard. However, I think some of that was Graham hitting the freshman wall, as he had just 3 turnovers in his first 8 Big 12 games.

Still, it's tough to find a more exciting comparison for Graham than Mason. He's an inconsistent shooter (despite shooting over 40 percent from three last season) and needs to get better on defense. Still, everyone who has watched Kansas this summer has mentioned that Graham has gotten a lot better, and Self is obviously a big believer if he is moving Mason off the ball to get Graham into the starting lineup.

5. Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Sophomore forward

Sviatoslav had a rough season last year, with just an 88.2 offensive rating. Svi clearly struggled with the physicality of the American game as well as just some natural adjustments to playing on a new continent. Still, even though he was a bit behind (as most 17 year olds would be) he flashed enough to keep me excited. His basketball IQ was readily apparent when he was on the court, he moves his feet well on defense, and his release on his shot is incredibly quick. He looked noticeably stronger during Late Night, and while I'm not going to do any scouting based off that, he didn't look to have lost any quickness and was able to get his shot up just as quickly. He was always inefficient inside the arc playing for his age group national teams in Ukraine, so I am not expecting him to be a gifted all around scorer this season, but he should be a decent assist, low turnover, good defender who can play multiple positions and potentially be the best 3-point shooter on the team.

4. Wayne Selden, Junior guard

Is this the season Selden blossoms into the player we all thought he could be when he came to Kansas? Selden averaged 19 ppg in the World University Games while shooting 50% from the floor. For a guy who shot 39.5 percent on twos last season, that was nice to see. One thing I think helped was the ability to get out in transition, as Selden was able to use his size and strength to score through guys. He'll likely be able to do the same this season, and the new foul rules that prohibit contact (assuming they actually stick with them this time) and the larger block/charge circle could lead to Selden drawing a lot more fouls.

Selden took just a quarter of his shots at the rim, and made only half of them after making 69 percent (nice) of them last season. He looked more explosive over in South Korea and if he keeps up his ability to shoot the three (37 percent last season) he should be one of the Jayhawks' go to scorers this season.

Selden also plays well defensively, improving tremendously from his freshman to his sophomore season. He did a great job on Buddy Hield twice last season, being a big part of Hield shooting just 30 percent from three in the two games the teams played last season. If he can add that type of value defensively all season, he could be in for an all conference type season.