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#KU50: 11 Kirk Hinrich

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11 days until Kansas basketball!

Boston Celtics v Chicago Bulls Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Kirk Hinrich actually came to Kansas as more of an athlete than anything else. He shot just 31 percent from three as a freshman and averaged just 5.5 points a game. Still, he showed enough in spurts to where Kansas fans knew something big was coming.

I’m not sure people saw this, however. By the time it was all said and done, Hinrich ranked 2nd all time in threes made by a Jayhawk and his 1753 points currently rank 12th all time.

Hinrich is one of the most efficient players in Kansas history. He shot 54 percent on twos and 43 percent on threes during his career, and led the Big 12 in true shooting percentage in back to back seasons. Oh and he’s also the Big 12 career leader.

Hinrich was more than just a scorer though. He led the Big 12 in assists as a sophomore, and of all KU players with 1,000 career points, he has the 3rd most assists. He’s also the only member of the 1,500 point, 600 assist club. That’s a thing, right?

Hinrich was one of the go-to guys on back-to-back KU teams that made the Final Four. He was 10th nationally in 3-point percentage as a junior, as well as 10th in effective field goal percentage. He upped his usage as a senior with the losses of Drew Gooden and Jeff Boschee, but his effective field goal percentage stayed high, at 56.7 percent.

Defensively, Hinrich was one of the best on ball defenders KU has ever had. He doesn’t get his due sometimes due to the pace those teams played at, but the 2002 team ranked 6th in defensive efficiency, and the 2003 team was 3rd, both spearheaded by Hinrich’s efforts.

Hinrich combined excellence and sustained success as well as anyone in Kansas history. For my money, you won’t find a better guard than him, and he checks in a very deserving 11th.