We are doing something a bit different today....soliciting help. If you have been keeping track of our rotation countdown, you know we are down to the final 5. And it just so happens to be the 5 starters:
If I do a post on most important players (and I might), Lucas might rank at the top. Kansas took off last year when he was inserted into the starting lineup. He isn’t much of an offensive weapon, but on this team he doesn’t need to be. However, he can fairly consistently establish great low post position, which should benefit him in this offense, and if he can score at the rim like he did last year, Lucas could put up 8 or so valuable points per game. His real value, however, is his rebounding, where he was the 2nd best rebounder in the league last year, and defense. Lucas is the best interior defender in the Big 12, and one of the best in the entire country.
I have already tabbed Bragg as the team’s likely leading scorer, but even if he doesn’t this sophomore should take a huge leap. He’s already packed on a ton of muscle to hopefully get rid of the biggest weakness in his game. He can handle the ball, shoot it, score inside, and was one of the better offensive rebounders in the league last year. If he can stay on the floor and avoid fouls, he is going to be a star.
The Cousy award watch list member is one of the rarer players we have seen at KU. Listed at 5-11 but if he is over 5-9 I would be shocked, Mason nonetheless is fearless at getting to the rim and attempting to score over or through anyone. He has also turned himself into a tough as nails defender and he has turned himself into a career 38 percent shooter from three.
The #1 recruit in America, Jackson has been compared favorably to Andrew Wiggins. Obviously with freshmen we don’t have much else to go on, but he looks like a well rounded player on offense who also is going to be a well above average defender. If the jumper is there....look out.
Probably most people’s sentimental choice, Graham took off late last season when he scored 27 points in a big win at Oklahoma, while putting the clamps on Buddy Hield. He then followed it up with a Big 12 tournament MVP. He is certainly this year’s Mario Chalmers in that he’s who you want to have the ball in his hands in the final minute. He’s also one of the best and more underrated perimeter defenders around.
I have no idea how to insert a poll with the new composer, so you’ll have to let me know in the comments how you think the top 5 should be ranked.