The stock market analogy is a popular one in sports journalism. Do you buy this team? Are you selling that team?
I’m not going to give into that trope. Instead, I’m approaching it completely differently (read, not differently at all). Going through the roster of rotation players, at this point in the season, which would you as a fan like to see more of, are seeing the right amount of, or want to see less of?
This idea was inspired by (again, not the stock analogy at all) the fact that every fan wants to coach from their coach, yelling at the TV to bench this guy or play this guy more or shoot more 3s.
And to clarify, this is not necessarily purely a minutes discussion. It’s also a usage/role on the team discussion. But we’ll get into that. It’s also not about what Kansas needs the most. Of course it needs more from every guy in the lineup. This is about trust, as well.
Marcus Garrett: Same (Trending Down)
If I were to be more specific, this would be same for the first 30 minutes of the game and less for the final 10. I don’t know what it is but Garrett has been sloppy and costly at crucial points at the end of games. Garrett’s stats look pretty similar to last year’s, the problem is he needed to take another step forward to make KU great. It’s painful to say since he has had a solid career, but the team is probably better off right now with a little more Dajuan Harris (we’ll get to that) and a little less Garrett.
Christian Braun: Same
Braun is reminding me a bit of Ochai Agbaji last season. He can be electric but he can also disappear for long stretches. To Braun’s credit, he seems to be working the hardest of the starters and even if his shot isn’t falling, he’s consistently diving on the ground and fighting for the ball.
Ochai Agbaji: Same (Trending Up)
Agbaji is probably the most consistent player on KU’s team, and leads the team in field goal attempts per game, yet he is below David McCormack and Jalen Wilson in the percentage of possessions used. I still trust him game in and game out more than most players on this team. The key is how he can be used. It would be great to see ways to use his athletic ability and play above the rim for easy baskets.
Jalen Wilson: Same
Wilson has regressed into some freshman mistakes of late and has not shot the ball well. It feels like he’s forcing it and trying to do too much. But the biggest problem is his defense. There is too much confusion and his man is getting to the basket way too easily. Still, it’s hard to keep him off the floor because few players on this team can take over offensively and get a big basket like he can.
David McCormack: Less
McCormack leads the team in percentage of possessions used (29.4%) and percentage of shots taken (30.4). Both of those rank in the top 73 nationally despite McCormack only playing 51.8% of the team’s minutes. While good McCormack adds another layer to the Jayhawks, too often he is taking low-percentage shots and refusing to pass out of double teams. Plus, he’s missed his share of layups and dunks, leaving points on the table. And he’s not a good enough rim protector to make up for it.
Mitch Lightfoot: More
Mitch has been incredibly efficient in limited opportunities and is the best shot blocker on the team. He also plays within the flow of the offense and doesn’t have the same issues McCormack seems to of not reading the defense and the context to make the right read.
Dajuan Harris: More
Harris might be KU’s most complete player. His offense is still coming along but Harris’ vision and decision making is incredible. The ball moves and the offense clicks better when he’s in the game. Plus, his defense is early Garrett-esque. More Harris, please.
Tristan Enaruna: More
Listen, I have been pushing for more Enaruna for a while now. I will admit that he has not taken advantage of his opportunity like I think Self would like, but he has still been one of the better two-way players on the team and his skill set is what Kansas lacks. Maybe a few additional minutes will help get him in a rhythm to be more productive.
Tyon Grant-Foster: Less
His athleticism is ridiculous and could be very valuable, but he is an offensive liability right now and can’t be trusted too much at the moment. He has the second-lowest offensive rating of the rotation players, barely above Bryce Thompson, and hasn’t made a 3 since the opening game of the season.