(Edit number 1: With Walker and Grady committing and some new big names added to the portal, we are going to do a quick update and call this version 1.1)
(Update 2: Some new big names in the portal as well as some guys Kansas has offered means it’s time for a new update)
Last year we took the year off because it was pretty apparent Kansas wouldn’t be taking any transfers. This year, however, particularly in light of Bill Self’s comments after the season ending loss, the big board is back.
I expect Kansas to take at least 1 and probably 2 transfers this offseason with all the talent that figures to be available. We won’t rank every transfer here; just the top 10-15 or whatever number I feel comfortable with, and will periodically update it throughout the season.
A couple notes: due to covid, every player on this list will be eligible next year provided their academics are in order, and this is ranked based on how much I want them at Kansas, not necessarily who the best players are (although in many cases those will overlap).
Years listed are their most recent (2020-21) year in school.
- Marcus Carr, 6-2 junior, Minnesota
Carr led the Big 10 in minutes played for the Gophers and was 3rd in assist rate while also barely turning it over. His shooting numbers aren’t great (career 33.6 percent from three and 42.6 percent from two) but it should be noted he has had to take a lot of tough shots during his career. He can create his own shot and obviously create for others, and also has the ability to get into the lane and breakdown the defense that so many great KU point guards have had.
He’ll be 22 for next year’s NCAA tournament, making him both good AND old, which is a rarity these days. He’d be a favorite to be first team all Big 12, and should be KU’s top target.
2. Marcus Williams, 6-2 freshman, Wyoming (update: committed to Texas A&M) With Williams announcing his transfer, he probably becomes the team’s realistic top target, with it looking like Carr will either stay in the NBA draft or commit to Kentucky. He shot 33 percent from three and ranked 4th in the conference in assist rate last year as a freshman, and in reading about him seems like he has a high ceiling defensively as well. 3. Adam Miller, 6-3 freshman, Illinois (Update: committed to LSU) Miller struggled a bit as a freshman but got a ton of playing time for the Big 10 tournament champion and #1 seeded Illini and was a top 50 recruit out of high school, so the talent is there. He needs to improve his ball handling and defense a bit, but it would be nice to have his caliber of athlete next to Dajuan Harris in the backcourt. 4. John Harrar, 6-9 senior, Penn State (Update: Harrar removed his name from the portal and will stay at Penn State) Harrar has a bit of a problem staying on the court, committing about 5.5 fouls per 40 minutes over the course of his career, which is a huge problem when you’d ideally only want 2 big men in the rotation and David McCormack also fouls a bunch. When he plays, though, Harrar shoots 57 percent from two for his career and was one of the better rebounders in the Big 10. 5. Christian Bishop, 6-7 junior, Creighton (Update: committed to Texas) Bishop is rumored to be headed to Kansas, and the Jayhawks have offered, but if so he’ll likely have to switch his role a bit. Despite standing at 6-7, Bishop played a lot of center for the Blue Jays, but figures to be a wing for the Jayhawks. The issue with that is he has taken 8 total 3-pointers in his college career, and having a non shooter out there may destroy the spacing of the offense. That said, he’s long and athletic which is something Kansas needs, and he shot 69 (nice) percent from two this year while being one of the best rebounders in the Big East. He’s certainly good enough to play at Kansas; I just wonder about the fit. 6. Mac McClung, 6-2 junior, Texas Tech (update: pulled out of the portal) I am not the biggest McClung fan, and there are rumors he didn’t exactly endear himself to teammates in Lubbock, but he can get into the lane with the best of them which obviously makes him attractive to Bill Self. If he could handle being just an option rather than the main option, he may be a fit in Lawrence. 7. Alfonso Plummer, 6-1 senior, Utah (update: committed to Illinois) Plummer is mostly a spot up shooter, making 40 percent of his nearly 300 attempts in two years at Utah. He’s not going to do much else but if Agbaji stays in the draft, Kansas needs shooters.
2. Sahvir Wheeler, sophomore, Georgia
Wheeler has his faults. Notably, he’s small (5-10) and struggled shooting over his first two seasons in Athens. But he was 11th in the country in assist rate last season and is a pretty decent defender, especially for his size. If you assume the turnovers go down and shooting percentage goes up from being surrounded by better teammates (and I do), Wheeler could be a nice addition to the backcourt.
3. Jalen Coleman-Lands, senior, Iowa State
Coleman-Lands will be 25 during next year’s NCAA tournament, so no doubt he would provide some experience to the Jayhawks. He has taken an unreal 779 3-point attempts during his college career, and is shooting 37ish percent from deep. He’s not a great defender, but would be a good Agbaji replacement.
9. Tanner Groves, junior, Eastern Washington (update: committed to Oklahoma) He’s only this low because Kansas doesn’t seem to have a spot for him with the big men they have, but he’s going to be a great pickup for whomever nabs him. At 6-9, Groves shot almost 37 percent from three and 63 percent from two and his performance against Kansas in the NCAA tournament will no doubt lead to some major suitors.
4. Darrion Trammel, 5-10 sophomore, Seattle
Trammel is the rare small school guy that might be worth taking a shot on. He ranked 29th nationally in assist rate and led the WAC in drawing fouls last season, and also shot almost 90 percent from the line. With Kansas likely in need of a guard who can set people up, Trammel might fit the bill.
11. Jaheam Cornwall, 6-0 senior, Gardner Webb (update: committed to Penn State) Cornwall ranked 4th in the Big South in assist rate last year, and is a career 42 percent shooter from 3 on over 500 attempts. He’s also played well against good competition the last couple seasons, which should get rid of at least some concerns about what a move to the Big 12 would do to his numbers.
5. CJ Frederick, 6-3 sophomore, Iowa
He’s just a shooter, but a pretty good one. Frederick shot 47 percent from three last season for the Hawkeyes, and is a 46 percent career shooter from deep, although he has attempted fewer than 200 total in his two years in Iowa City.
6. Alterique Gilbert, 6-0 senior, Wichita State
Gilbert was one of the best passers in the AAC last year, and also a pretty good defender. He’s a terrible scorer, but Kansas needs a ball mover in the backcourt more than it needs a scorer.
7. Tre Mitchell, 6-9 sophomore, UMass
Mitchell led the league in shots and usage as a freshman, and upped his efficiency as he kept roughly the same usage as a sophomore. He is a career 55 percent shooter from two and 34 percent from three while drawing a ton of fouls and also being a pretty good passer. On pure talent, he should be higher on this list but Kansas has a glut of 6-9 types and needs a guard bad, so that’s why he’s down here.
8. Marcus Bagley, 6-8 freshman, Arizona State
Bagley showed some promise as a freshman, shooting 35 percent from three and 47 percent from two, but I’m not sure you’d rather have him for 3 years than Clemence or Adams for four (maybe).
9. Bryce Hamilton, 6-4 junior, UNLV
I am not a big fan of volume scorers who take a bunch of bad shots, which is what Hamilton is. He shot under 30 percent from three last season and only took 64 free throws despite taking a whopping 292 twos. He has improved his passing over the course of his career.
13. Filip Rebraca, 6-9 junior, North Dakota (Update: committed to Iowa) This is what the kids call “one for me.” Rebraca was one of the best players in the Summit League and posted a 54.4 percent true shooting percentage despite being the only option for the Fighting Hawks. He also was one of the better rebounders in the league. He isn’t much of a perimeter guy, though, which hurts his case.