In his book Long Shot, Jeff Boschee briefly talks about the intermittent issues Drew Gooden had with Roy Williams. Gooden would grow out his hair, wear old shoes, and other semi passive aggressive (OK, really passive aggressive) things like that. There was a time when it was fair to wonder whether Gooden would ever truly get it.
But get it he did. He ended his career with 1,526 points and 905 rebounds. Since the 1993 season, Gooden is one of just four players with 1,000 points and 900 rebounds (the others being Raef LaFrenz, Nick Collison, and Eric Chenowith).
Gooden scored in double figures in each of his three seasons in Lawrence, but his junior season is the one that really places him this high on the list. He was the Big 12 player of the year and NABC national player of the year, averaging 19.8 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. It wasn’t just volume either, as Gooden shot 52 percent inside the arc. He also had a turnover rate of just 14 percent, which is incredible for a player with his usage rate. It’s fair to say his raw numbers got a boost due to the pace those late Roy Williams teams played at, but Gooden ranked 2nd in win shares (1st in defensive win shares, and 3rd in steals per game!).
Gooden has had a nice NBA career (and internationally with the Finnish national team), but never quite reached the heights he seemed destined for at Kansas. Still, he was the best player on the 2nd best KU team of the modern era, and was an offensive monster and underrated defender. Had he come back for another year he could have potentially gotten all the way into the top 10, but as it is he comes in a very deserving, and maybe a bit low, 26.