With a little more free time these days thanks to a certain global pandemic, I am going to try to finish the top 30 seasons under Bill Self rankings that I started during the 2019-20 preseason. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) my numbering got all messed up thanks to Kansas having 3 of the top 25 seasons this year.
We’ll pick back up with Marcus Garrett, who just wrapped up a fantastic junior season. After being a big part of KU’s offensive woes as a sophomore, he drastically improved his ball handling over the summer, and turned himself into the best passer and decision maker for the 2020 Jayhawks. He led the team in assist rate, shot 47 percent from two on increased volume, and even shot 33 percent from behind the arc, meaning teams couldn’t leave him alone without giving up a makeable open three.
He consistently took advantage of his man guarding him, and because he often was guarded by the 2nd best perimeter defender on a team rather than the best one, he had a lot of open or semi open drives to the basket. In particular, Garrett running pick and roll with Udoka Azubuike was nearly unstoppable. A hedge led to an open alley oop, while trying to fight through the screen led to a layup attempt for Garrett. He shot 52 percent at the rim and turned himself into a legitimate option on offense, helping open things up (if only a little) for Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike inside.
All of this without even getting to his defense. Garrett was named Big 12 defensive player of the year and Naismith defensive player of the year for the entire country. He changed games both on and off the ball defensively. His five steals in the second half in Morgantown essentially won the game for the Jayhawks, and against Oklahoma Lon Kruger opted to basically plant his guy in the corner and play 4 and 4 rather than risk Garrett doing anything defensively. He guarded 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s this season, and showed he was able to guard them all. That kind of defense would be valuable with him being almost a zero on offense, but with the ability to knock down open shots and his passing skills, Garrett just turned in one of the best seasons ever under Bill Self.