Programming Versatility at an All-Time High with New Kansas Basketball Team | Tale of Tait


Kansas coach Bill Self laughs on the sidelines during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas Tech on Saturday, March 7, 2020, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo / Brad Tollefson)

by Associated Press

There are 125 days between now and when it really matters, and that should give KU fans enough time to imagine at least as many different lineups for the 2021-22 Kansas men’s basketball team.

Fortunately, the current KU roster is packed with both the type of talent and the number of bodies that make such an exercise possible.

From five super seniors and four returning starters to four freshmen to 10 new faces, Kansas’ roster is expected to be very different in the coming season compared to a year ago.

It is, of course, except when it is not.

With the return of starters Ochai Agbaji, Christian Braun, David McCormack and Jalen Wilson all viable options for handling similar roles this season, a completely new KU roster could look very familiar when the games begin.

This is what happens when trouble and fatigue sets in, making replacements necessary, that things get really interesting.

And I imagine KU coach Bill Self and his assistants are drooling over the possibilities. Here are a few, some of which are more likely than others.

My starting five

(as of July 6, 2021)

PG – Rémy Martin

SG – Ochai Agbaji

3G – Christian Braun

4 – Jalen Wilson

5 – David McCormack

People have written off Christian Braun a bit, but I just don’t see him. I think he brings everything to the starting five you want in a player and I expect him to improve his shooting and physique in the offseason, which makes him ready for a solid junior season. Other than that, I think the other four are anything but locks to begin with.

Top-25 Second Unit

PG – Dajuan Harris

SG – Joseph Yesufu

3G – Jalen Coleman-Lands

4 – Cam Martin

5 – Mitch Lightfoot

He’s one of those who “would be ranked or finish in the top half of Big 12 type teams” and at least four of those guys are likely to play a big part this season. The only exception could be Lightfoot, but his experience and ability to block shots could help him carve out a reserve role if Cam Martin and / or Zach Clemence aren’t up for big minutes right away. Either way, that backcourt is pretty darn good, with two playmakers and a few shooters and Martin and Lightfoot are big enough to do what they need to do on the glass. Watching this squad gives you a clear idea of ​​why the 2021-22 Jayhawks are so popular this offseason. Four of those guys could play starter type minutes and blend in really well with that first unit.

Let’s play big

PG – Christian Braun

SG – Ochai Agbaji

3G – Jalen Wilson

4 – Cam Martin

5 – David McCormack

This obviously will never happen – 1. Because the game got smaller, not bigger and 2. Because Self probably wouldn’t be comfortable with these guys as his main ball handlers – but Braun was there. He has been on the offensive in places in the past and this backyard trio would give KU a sizable advantage over just about anyone. The great thing that this presents is the idea of ​​playing Cam Martin and David McCormack together, something that I think Self will at least consider doing a good chunk of the time, as long as they adapt and can do whatever. must be done defensively to be absent. there at the same time.

Let’s play small

(aka Opposing Ballhandlers’ Worst Nightmare)

PG – Dajuan Harris

SG – Rémy Martin

3G – Joseph Yesufu

4 – Ochai Agbaji

5 – Jalen Wilson

I love this look. And even if it comes in a more traditional sense with these three little guards and Wilson and McCormack on the ground, I think it could be a very dynamic lineup. Harris, Martin, and Yesufu together could make life miserable for opposing guards. And all three are good enough offensively – albeit smaller – to keep their presence on the floor from hurting KU’s results. I don’t think we’ll be seeing much of this line. But if the game is good and KU needs a defensive spark, I could see this group being the group that plays together for 4-6 minutes and completely transforms a game.

The best look of new arrivals

PG – Rémy Martin

SG – Joseph Yesufu

3G – Jalen Coleman-Lands

4 – Zach Clemence

5 – Cam Martin

Talk about a pretty good crop of newcomers. Four of the five were starters in their previous stops and the fifth – Clémence – was a Top 100 rookie who brings with him offensive and defensive versatility. There are simply too many talented comebacks to expect Kansas to lean on the newcomers so hard. But this lineup shows you loud and clear that KU’s depth is on another level this season. It should keep things competitive from start to finish and it should also keep the guys fresh late in the game and at the end of the season.

Wings tour across America

PG – Joseph Yesufu

SG – Ochai Agbaji

3G – Christian Braun

4 – Jalen Wilson

5 – KJ Adams

Until Remy Martin in Kansas became official earlier this week, there was a real chance Yesufu would long be seen as the KU point guard. In this lineup, which includes five players who could thrive on the wing, Yesufu leads the point and the others run all over the floor with him, spotting, slashing, transitioning out and smashing the offensive glass on every possession.

Old heads

PG – Rémy Martin (23)

SG – Jalen Coleman-Lands (July 25, 15)

3G – Cam Martin (23)

4 – David McCormack (22)

5 – Mitch Lightfoot (July 25, 14)

There’s been a lot of talk about the ages of some of these guys – notably mate Mitch Lightfoot – but this maturity and veteran presence are numbers to help this team immensely. Beyond that, even if you played the four oldest guys on KU’s roster, it would still be a pretty decent team. Having Cam Martin, McCormack and Mitch together would make things a bit awkward and leave this team defensively vulnerable. So we’ll never see it exactly that way. But there’s no doubt that the quartet of Martin, Coleman-Lands, Martin and McCormack could team up with Agbaji – himself a senior – to field yet another fairly old and experienced five and change the outlook quickly. I know some have mentioned it before, but add to those other five seniors and you have a marathon talk night at the end of the season seniors night.

Young people

PG – Dajuan Harris

SG – Bobby Pettiford

3G – Kyle Cuffe Jr.

4 – KJ Adams

5 – Zach Clemence

On the other hand, it would be the youngest team KU could take down. And we’re much more likely to see this group of old people before we see this group. On the one hand, I think there’s a good chance that Cuffe, who relocated to get here earlier, is redshirted. The other four could all play a role this season, but it’s unclear what that looks like yet. I think Pettiford and Clemence are going to be players that KU fans love. And Cuffe is mature beyond his years and Adams is a physical shift waiting to happen. It’s just a matter of whether and how quickly all of these guys adjust to the college game that will determine how much they play in the 2021-22 season.

Group of bombs

PG – Rémy Martin

SG – Ochai Agbaji

3G – Jalen Coleman-Lands

4 – Jalen Wilson

5 – Cam Martin

It’s a pretty fun team and it’s not that hard to imagine these guys together. Coleman-Lands is a career 37% 3-point shooter, who has two seasons better than 38% shooting under his belt, including last season when he shot 39.5% from downtown. Iowa State. Cam Martin shot better than 40% at 3 points for much of his All-American time at Missouri Southern and Ochai Agbaji led the Big 12 in 3 points and was fourth in 3-point percentage in the conference. And then there’s Martin, who’s never met a shot he didn’t feel like he was going to do, and Wilson, who’s just as confident when he lets it fly. Space the ground and let it fly would be the mantra of this group, and because of that, these Jayhawks should be a much better shooting team than the 2020-21 group.


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