Well, we’re down to only two in our quest to find the best player who played at KU under Roy Williams. As the writers and commenters noted, there weren’t really any bad choices as all number one seeds advanced to the Final Four. In the voting, we saw every possible combination voted for. Some kept their votes to teammates with a Paul Pierce and Raef LaFrentz or Kirk Hinrich and Nick Collison vote combo seen frequently, but when it was all over, the voters split the teammates and left us with a championship of Kirk Hinrich against Raef Lafrentz.
It what many would consider an upset, Kirk defeated Paul Pierce, gaining 60% of the votes in the process. It’s hard to see Pierce losing if his NBA legacy was taken into account, but for this exercise, it wasn’t, and Kirk won. In the other semifinal, it was a battle of Iowa-born big men, and LaFrentz snagged 66% of the votes, leaving Nick Collison on the outside looking in. (Note: Even after a few late votes, both Kirk and Raef still won- each receiving 58% of the vote)
So, now that we’re down to two players, let’s take a closer look at each of their careers at Kansas.
1 Kirk Hinrich
Career at Kansas: Points per game/Points per 40 minutes: 12.4/16.7
Career at Kansas: Assists per game/Assists per 40 minutes: 4.7/6.4
Career at Kansas: Rebounds per game/Rebounds per 40 minutes: 2.7/3.6
Years at Kansas/Conference Championships: 4/2
Deepest NCAA Tournament run: NCAA Championship game
2001-02 First Team All Big 12
2002-03 First Team All Big 12
1 Raef LaFrentz
Career at Kansas: Points per game/Points per 40 minutes: 15.8/30.7
Career at Kansas: Rebounds per game/Rebounds per 40 minutes: 9.1/17.6
Career at Kansas: Blocks per game/Blocks per 40 minutes: 1.1/2.1
Years at Kansas/Conference Championships: 4/4
Deepest NCAA Tournament run: Elite 8
1996-97 First Team All Big 12
1996-97 Big 12 Player of the Year
1997-98 First Team All Big 12
1997-98 Big 12 Player of the Year
1997-98 First Team All American
With these two players, there is really no wrong answer, but you only get one choice, so make it count. We’ll give it until noon on Saturday KU time to get the votes in. The winner will be announced on Tuesday.